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A Word for Forgotten Songs (5/20)

Title: A Word for Forgotten Songs
Fandom: Merlin
Characters: Merlin, Arthur, Uther, Gaius, Gwen, Morgana, Leon, OMC
Rated: PG-13
Word Count: 723 (this chapter)
Summary: A strange warrior arrives in time to save Arthur and Merlin from bandits. He is wounded and falls ill. As Gaius cares for the wound, he knows the blade was dipped in a potion that only affects those with magic. After he heals, Merlin talks with him of magic and Arthur spars with him. They then learn that the bandit attack was not random.
Author's Note: This has been sitting on my computer for over 3 years! It's still not done but I couldn't put off the posting any longer. The original character is from one of my series and I kinda place him in lots of fandoms. His original series starts here. The story is set in series 2, somewhat early on. It's unbeta'd so all mistakes are my own.

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Merlin’s workload eased up as Alan got better. The man had asked Gaius for small jobs to keep busy, so all those small, mind-numbing tasks he hated, he didn’t have to do. Of course, Arthur found ways to fill that new free time. He was positive that the prince was creating the jobs on purpose.

Arthur did go with him periodically to check on Alan’s progress. His visits were shorter if Gwen was there. Merlin would have thought Arthur would take advantage of being in the same room without having to make excuses.

It wasn’t long before Alan was pacing the rooms like a caged animal. Since Gaius had given him a list of herbs to collect, Merlin decided to take Alan with him.

“Oh, thank you!” Alan exclaimed as they walked through the market. “I was going stir-crazy. I mean, Gaius is great and all, but I think he was going a little overboard with the ‘limited activity’.”

Merlin didn’t understand some of Alan’s words, but the meaning was clear. “I think he’s being extra cautious because of Uther’s interest in your health.”

“Wouldn’t it be better, then, if I were seen to be up and about?”

“And if you relapsed?”

“Merlin!”

Merlin turned and saw the baker waving at him. He walked over, Alan beside him. “Hello, Owen. Did you need something from Gaius?”

“No, I was just wondering if this is the man who was wounded saving the prince?”

“Yes, it is. This is Alan.”

“I thought so.” Owen pressed a cloth-wrapped bundle into Alan’s hands.

“Thank you, Owen, but I don’t--” Alan stopped when he realized Owen had gone back to his oven. He slipped the bundle into the bag he had slung over his shoulder.

As they passed through the rest of the market towards the gates, more people smiled at them or shook Alan’s hand. They were even given apples and some cheese!

Once in the woods, Merlin began searching for the herbs on the list. Alan was watching the forest as if he expected something to come charging out any minute. “Aren’t you going to help?”

“I don’t know what we’re looking for. Besides, someone has to stand watch.”

“Though how you plan to fight unarmed is a good question.”

“As I told Uther, anything can be a weapon if you know how to use it.” He looked over at Merlin. “You never get any recognition, do you? All the times you saved Arthur. I could see resentment in the marketplace.”

“I don’t do it for recognition.” He poked the dirt harder than was necessary.

“I don’t either, but it’s still a nice feeling.”

“Sometimes I wish I could use a sword properly so I could defend him that way. Instead he thinks I’m useless.”

“What about him asking to see you in the practice yard?”

“Yeah, to be a practice target. I just want to tell him the truth, but all the magic he’s known has been evil. I just don’t know how he’d react.”

“He’s your friend, Merlin, though he may try to deny it. He might be hurt that you didn’t tell him earlier, but I think he’d understand the reason why. As for the magic itself, I think he’ll realize you had opportunity to kill him.”

“So you think I should tell him?”

“I think you should at some point. You’ll just have to pick your moment.”

Merlin knew that Alan was right. Arthur would be hurt and would probably deny it until he came to realize the truth. He stood and wiped his hands on his trousers. “Right. A couple more spots and we can head back.”



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