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A Word for Forgotten Songs (8/?)

Title: A Word for Forgotten Songs
Fandom: Merlin
Characters: Merlin, Arthur, Uther, Gaius, Gwen, Morgana, Leon, OMC
Rated: PG-13
Word Count: 686 (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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Alan felt both drained and invigorated after his workout with Arthur. It felt good to get back in the swing of things again. He had shown Arthur a few simple moves and had picked up some of the prince’s.

He made his way up to Gaius’ rooms and was met by the older man holding a bowl of water and a cloth. “Uther wants to see you.”

A summons from the king, wonderful. The earlier spring in his step was gone as he trudged up the stairs to Merlin’s room to wash up as best he could. He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled his sweaty shirt over his head then let the sodden material fall to the floor. As he washed, he wondered why Uther wanted to see him. It could be to give him his reward for saving Arthur or just to know how he was doing.

When he stood to remove his trousers, he saw his other set of clothes cleaned and pressed. “Thank you, Merlin.” He finished washing and changed quickly. He went down into the main room. “Do I pass inspection?”

“You look very good,” Gaius replied.

“Good.” Alan pressed his hands along his shirt and used his fingers to comb his hair. Why was he nervous?

“Would you like some company?”

Do I look that bad? “That would be appreciated, Gaius, thank you.”

They walked to the Great Hall in relative silence. When they entered, Uther looked up from the map he was consulting. Arthur was there as well. Uther beckoned him forward. “Alan, I hear you got the better of Arthur today in the practice yard.”

“Yes, sire, but he beat me more times.” Alan nodded at the prince.

“We have received word of another attack by bandits not far from where Arthur was when you helped him.”

And Merlin. “Oh?”

“Arthur has asked that you accompany him and his knights when they go find these…men.” He spat out the last word as if he couldn’t find a more insulting one.

“Oh.” This was looking good.

“I, however, have said no.”

What? Why? “You believe that this is all an elaborate plot to gain your favor and then turn on Arthur once we’re outside the city.” From the look on Uther’s face, Alan realized he should have kept his mouth shut.

“Sire, Alan has had ample opportunity to harm Arthur,” said Gaius. “Why, just this afternoon in the practice yard, he could have passed it off as an accident.”

“Gaius, I have made my decision.”

“It’s okay, Gaius. Uther doesn’t want to worry about an attack from within. I understand. Thank you, sire, for telling me in person.” Alan bowed to Uther and backed away before turning and walking for the door.

Merlin was outside waiting. “What did Uther want?”

“He told me that the bandits have attacked again and he’s sending Arthur and a group of knights after them.”

“And he wants you to go, too? That’s great!”

“No, just the opposite. He believes this was a set-up. I acted like I was on your side just to befriend Arthur. First opportunity we’re outside the gates, I turn on him.” Alan groaned in frustration. “Why can’t the man see past his own paranoia?”

Merlin pulled Alan aside as the door opened and Uther strode out followed by his advisors. They didn’t even notice the two men. Arthur and Gaius were the last to leave.

“I’m sorry. Alan. Perhaps I shouldn’t have urged that you join us. I think it made my father believe you had some hold over me, some enchantment. I could still…”

“No, sire. If you go against your father’s orders, it will only make things worse for Alan.”

“Of course, Gaius.” Arthur looked at Alan. “At least he hasn’t put you under guard.”

“Well, that’s something. I can help Gaius will deliveries or whatever calls he needs to make. It will keep me busy and helpful at the same time.” He looked at Arthur. “Just put in a few extra cuts for me, okay?”

Arthur brightened at the thought. “Count on it.”



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