Fic: Soon

Mar. 20th, 2016 10:49 pm
[personal profile] polomonkey
Title: Soon
Word Count: 813
Rating: R
Warnings: Murder, slightly cracky violence
Summary: Based on this tumblr post by [livejournal.com profile] 5leggedcricket: 'There is no way that Mary Collins was Merlin’s first kill. Have you seen the ease with which he killed her? He didn’t even have to think about it. What exactly had Merlin been up to in Ealdor?'

I was reminded I wrote this recently when we had the Merlin rewatch! So here's my alternate take on The Dragon's Call :)


Old Man Simmons dies first.

After Merlin nearly brings a tree down on his head, he starts to pay a little too much attention. Merlin’s careful for a while; then he tires of being careful. It’s not for some petty old crow to stop him using the magic that runs through his veins like blood.

Merlin waits till it’s just him and Simmons out picking apples, and then he very deliberately starts to float the apples up in the air.

The old man steps back, aghast.

“I knew it!” he shrieks. “I knew you were an unnatural creature! They’ll run you out of the village for this!”

Merlin laughs, juggling the apples above him.

“Laughing!” the old man shouts hysterically. “You’re a monster! A demon child!”

His voice is loud but there’s no one around for miles, Merlin made sure of that.

“Do you remember the time I forgot to bring an axe to fell the tree?” he says casually.

“I didn’t forget today.”

Old Man Simmons turns just in time to see the axe fly up from the grass and bury itself in his skull.

He staggers a few paces, arms jerking, then keels to the ground.

Merlin eats an apple and wonders how much longer he can stay out. It’s such a lovely sunny day.


***


Will’s father John doesn’t die in Cenred’s army. Merlin’s out early in the forest one morning and sees him staggering back towards the village, hair matted and tangled, face dirty and thin.

“Hey!” he shouts when he spots Merlin. “Get help, I’m wounded!”

There’s a bleeding gash in his leg and Merlin stares in open fascination.

“They thought they had me,” he grimaces. “I showed them.”

He squints at Merlin.

“You’re that bastard kid that Will used to bring around.”

Merlin tenses at the word ‘bastard’, his back going ram rod straight. John doesn’t seem to notice.

“How is my piece of shit son? I hope he’s happy to see me,” he says, cracking a toothy yellow grin.

Merlin remembers quiet nights when Will’s cries would echo across the village; the purple rash of bruises spread across his face and arms the next day.

“You’ll never find out,” he says calmly, and brings a tree branch cracking down on John’s head.

John dies almost instantly but the gash on his leg bleeds for a long time after. Merlin is completely entranced.


***


Hunith puts two and two together after one of the bullies that used to torment Merlin turns up drowned in the six inch deep stream by the woods.

“He could swim!” his distraught mother keeps crying out, and Hunith turns a piercing eye on her son.

“He goaded me,” is Merlin’s excuse, though in fact Richard had simply been asleep on the grass when Merlin had happened upon him and taken his chance.

“You’ll go to Camelot,” Hunith says. “Gaius will help. He can teach you how to control it.”

He doesn’t mind being packed away like this; what he minds is the look of fear in his mother’s eyes. Doesn’t she know he’d never hurt her? He loves her. She gave him life and therefore she gave him all the power he possesses. Doesn’t she understand he has to wield it? That it’s a gift and it would be a sin to waste it?

He sulks half the way to Camelot but he’s feeling better by the time he arrives. Then he happens upon Thomas Collins being put to death.

Rage like Merlin’s never felt before swells inside him. That’s one of his brethren, his kin, being executed up there. He wants to tear Camelot apart; to watch every man, woman, and child burn. But he’s not strong enough to do it like this. He needs a plan. He needs to bring the Pendragons down from the inside.

And so when Arthur twists his arm up behind his back, and attacks him in the marketplace, Merlin lets it happen. He needs to play the bumbling idiot, needs to be allowed access to the inner circle. But there’s a promise in his voice when he says “I could take you apart with less than that,” and a delicious coil of anticipation in his stomach. He can’t wait to show Arthur exactly what he means.


***


Mary Collins is collateral damage. Merlin doesn’t want to kill another sorcerer, but she’s in the way and it’s necessary. Her face is gone from his head the second after the chandelier comes down. All he can hear is Uther appointing him to be Arthur’s manservant, and the low hum of adrenaline that accompanies that announcement.

He knows what that adrenaline means. It means soon.


***


“I can’t believe we’re stuck with each other,” Arthur grumbles as he hands his sword to Merlin that night.

“Not for long,” Merlin promises, raising it above his head. “Not for long.”
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