Title: Mark Of The Dragon
Sequel to: Grimoire
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: When Chloe wakes up she's taken to be interrogated by King Uther. She doesn't understand Prince Arthur's attitude towards her, nor does she know what King Uther and Gaius realize either...or that Pendragons are possessive with what's theirs.
Camelot was nothing like the legends.
Chloe had found this out the hard way after waking up in the medieval realm. She'd awoken to a friendly yet cautious Gaius, who was apparently the doctor of the palace (or Court Physician as he'd called himself). The man had been kind to the scared and disoriented girl, and had told her that now that she was awake she was to be taken to King Uther to be interrogated. Apparently, in the real Camelot, magic was forbidden, and since she'd appeared on its lands by what could only be magic she needed to explain herself. But Chloe knew she couldn't explain herself.
After having bathed in a wooden tub and put on a clean yet completely old-fashioned gown, the blonde let Gaius lead her to the King's chambers, where he was waiting on her along with a handsome blonde man who stood the moment she entered the room. Other than to note that he was handsome she didn't pay him any mind, eyes turning to King Uther, not exactly sure what she was going to do and knowing it showed. She curtsied crookedly, nearly tripping on the skirt of her gown, and took in a deep breath.
"Gaius must have informed you of why you are here, woman." The King announced, seated upon a large fur-lined chair, eyeing her warily. "What manner of witchery did you use to come into our realm, and what manner of witchery did you use to heal yourself? Where did you come from and whom do you work for? What is your name and where do you hail from?"
"Hail...from?" Chloe blinked, confused, not exactly sure what that meant. She looked at Gaius, noticing his intrigued expression, and then looked back at the king, ignoring the other blonde guy in the room. "Uhm...King Uther..." she cleared her throat. "You're not really going to like what I have to say."
The king raised an eyebrow and yet nodded for her to continue.
The blonde bit her bottom lip, before looking at him once more. "I'm not exactly from around here."
"We gathered as much." The King gave her a disgruntled look.
She tried once more. "I come from a place called America. And I'm not exactly sure how I got here."
King Uther leaned forwards in his seat. "Surely you must have some idea of how you arrived."
"Well..." Chloe winced. "A month ago, on my eighteenth birthday, my friends and I were possessed by the spirits of dead witches who wanted to rule the world."
There was a hiss, and King Uther stood.
"A friend...helped free us from their possession...but one of my friends who was possessed as well, discovered the spell book that belonged to the witch who'd been possessing her. My cousin, who also had been possessed, wanted our friend to burn the book-."
"Smart girl." Uther was tense.
"But my friend was hesitant to do so." She made a face, not sure how to continue from hereon. "On one of the pictures was the drawing of a dragon." She failed to notice the men react to this information. "I felt drawn to it...I...I couldn't understand why. It was calling to me, as if I knew it as if-as if it were a part of me...and so I touched it." She frowned, running her hair through her hand. "And when I did I saw all these images...but they were too fast for me to understand...and everything was agony...and my back seemed on fire..." She hugged herself, trying to calm herself from the memory. "And then I awoke here, My King."
There was silence.
She looked up, unnerved.
The King sat heavily upon his throne. "The marking...was it the same symbol on your back?"
"Symbol on my back?" Chloe frowned. "I don't have a symbol on my back."
"Yes, you do." The blonde male finally spoke, coming forwards. "We've all seen it."
"I have something on my back?" Confused and a little worried, Chloe grabbed at her shoulder, knowing she couldn't see her back and yet desperately wishing she could. "I-it must have been the pain I felt-something-I have a dragon on my back?"
"So you haven't...had it since childhood." The young male announced emotionlessly.
"Why would I?" Chloe turned to him, more and more confused.
The young male just looked away.
The King looked between them, eyes narrowed.
"My King...if I may..." Gaius cleared his throat.
"Of course Gaius." King Uther nodded, turning to the young man by his side. "Arthur, escort her to the gardens while I speak to Gaius in private."
"Yes, father." Arthur nodded, expression conflicted.
As in the fabled King Arthur?
Chloe blinked, eyes widening.
He was the future king of the Round Table?
"This way." Prince Arthur murmured, stalking out of the room.
Chloe had no choice but to follow him out, hurrying to keep up with him. He seemed to be in a bad mood, and it annoyed her that he was taking it out on her. Ignoring her completely as if she didn't belong. It wasn't like she actually wanted to be here in this stupid place having her future being decided by a stranger whom she didn't even owe allegiance to!
But Chloe kept those thoughts to herself as she followed the prince through the castle and outside. She hesitated when he did, and then followed him through a rusty gate that looked as if it hadn't been opened in years...leading into a garden that also looked abandoned...and yet it still couldn't hide its beauty from her. Her eyes widened as she looked around her, unable to understand why she felt so at peace and connected to this place. She ate everything in, twirling around slowly to try and get a feel for what this might have once looked.
Surprisingly enough, an image of the garden in perfect condition easily came to mind, and she couldn't help but feel so sad because something so majestic like this had been left to become what it was now.
She turned to Prince Arthur, about to ask him why the garden had been abandoned, when she froze, shocked to see the intense way in which he observed her. The young woman's eyes widened and she hugged herself, feeling surprisingly naked under that scrutiny. Obviously he was supposed to watch over her like a hawk, not sure whether she was a witch sent there to destroy them or something, but still it felt...personal somehow.
"Do you know me?"
The question took her by surprise, and she frowned slightly at him, tilting her head to the side. "No."
His eyes narrowed. "Up until today you'd never seen me before?"
She frowned darker. What sort of question was that? Of course she hadn't seen him before! Did he think she'd gone around spying on him or something? "No."
He looked away, a muscle jumping in his cheek, expression growing dark.
Chloe looked away as well, confused, wondering why he looked so displeased. "It's very beautiful here."
He made a face. "They're just flowers."
"Our gardens don't have flowers like these."
He looked at the flowers disdainfully...and then froze...eyes widening as he turned to look towards her. "What did you say?"
She sighed and looked away. "I guess I'm being silly."
Those eyes widened further. "Guinnie?"
"Huh?" She looked up at him, confused. "Did you say something?"
He eyed in an oddly intense way. "What's your name?"
She blinked, looking up at him. "Chloe. Chloe Sullivan."
His eyes were narrowed on her, fixated so intently.
She gulped, bringing her hands to her heart, not sure why it was racing so hard. "I-I really don't have any evil master plan you know." And now she was rambling thanks to her nerves. "I just want to find a way back home."
His features suddenly hardened visibly, a sneer appearing. "That will be impossible."
"Excuse me?" She blinked, horrified. "Why would you say something like that? If I was able to be transported here there is definitely a way to send me back!"
"Which will not be happening, I'm afraid." Arthur clasped his hands behind his back, face hard, eyes dark. "You came here by ways of obvious sorcery, and the only way you would be going back would be through sorcery again. And magic is banned in Camelot." He sneered in apparent dark delight. "You will not be returning to your world."
A chill ran down her spine at that ominous promise. "I don't have to stay in Camelot." She protested, already trying to think of an alternative. "There have to be other kingdoms out there who don't ban magic. I could find someone there who could-!"
Her breath left her lungs in a loud gasp as suddenly he surged forwards and pinned her against an old, half-rotted tree.
"The mere thought of consorting with witches is punishable with death." He hissed in her face. "Never speak of this again."
"It's punishable in Camelot." Breathing rapidly, heart fluttering, Chloe looked up into those dark, stormy eyes and felt herself getting lost, dizzy. "I don't have to stay in Camelot."
"You will be lucky if my father allows you to live." Prince Arthur leaned in closer, his breath sweet and fanning her face as he spoke. "And if he does decide to let you live-you will do so as a ward of his-so that he may keep an eye on you." He smirked. "You're not leaving."
The two blondes stared deep into each other's eyes, one horrified and the other viciously victorious.
Neither noticed the leaves slowly beginning to blossom on those once withered branches.
"See, My King? No spells or incantations. That girl is not a witch." Gaius stood by King Uther's side as they looked down upon the two in Queen Igraine's abandoned garden.
Uther stared down at the girl pinned to the tree she had absolutely no idea she was bringing back to life slowly. "What is she, Gaius?"
"I believe, she is indeed young Guinevere, My King." Gaius sighed. "Remember that her mother's family had strong blood connection with the fae, and it was prophesied before her birth that she would 'heal all broken'."
"Little Guinevere." Uther whispered, a deep sigh escaping his lips. "But Gaius, she has no recollection of her past if she really is her. And what about this realm America?"
"Remember, it was Nimueh who slaughtered her family for their ties to you and young Prince Arthur." Gaius announced, frowning. "But despite being so powerful, Nimueh knew that if she killed the child the fae would turn against her, so instead she hid her away in a realm of her making."
"The fae knew that my son's betrothed still lived?" Uther hissed, furious that they had not been told of this.
Then again, those creatures had turned on him due to the Great Purge.
They'd probably been glad that one of their blood, an Awaited, wouldn't mix blood with his household.
And Uther was of the same mind most of the time...
...but it had been Igraine's deepest desire, for the child she would bare, and the child of her best friend, to wed.
Also, thanks to Guinevere's 'gift' she would basically be a good luck token upon those who kept her. It was one of the reasons why Uther had been so happy to cement the ties between King Leodegrance's daughter and his son, although both hadn't even been born at the time. And even after Igraine's death, Uther had kept the betrothal between them despite her fae blood because he had seen how Leodegrance's realm had flourished after the child's birth. Contentions were settled, famines were lifted, people were happy. And Uther had coveted that for his own kingdom.
Now that he thought about it, Uther realized Nimueh must have captured young Guinevere and taken her away before massacring the family. That was the only way she could have been able to so easily and thoroughly destroy them as quickly as she had.
"Nimueh once told me, long ago, that there was another realm she governed...one in which she could place prisoners or captives whom didn't deserve to die." Gaius announced, face solemn. "These captives, once in this realm, would forget all about their true selves and would instead take on the lives and names appointed them. I believe that it is this world that young Guinevere has been unknowingly captive in for all these years...and has accidentally managed to free herself."
"We shall tell her, then." Uther decided.
It was best the girl realized her position, that she belonged to Camelot, and got used to it.
"I'm afraid that's not wise, My King." Gaius sighed. "Nimueh said that if one were to ever escape, there was a fail-safe. Should they be forcefully told or reminded of whom they were, they would die." The Court Physician sighed. "Young Princess Guinevere must remember on her own, or she will perish."
"Damned magic." Uther hissed, running his hand over his face. "We must think of something, Gaius, to keep her here. She is betrothed to my son, she bears the mark of the Pendragons on her very skin. She belongs to Camelot." He narrowed his eyes. "I will not have her leave and some other realm prosper because of it. Any healing that should come of her presence should happen to Camelot, to my people."
Gaius looked up at his king and sighed, gazing back down to where the prince was also staking a claim on the poor girl, very similarly to his father, without her knowledge or understanding as to why it was happening.
The Court Physician shook his head, feeling sorry for the girl.
She wore the Mark of the Dragon.
And neither Pendragon were going to ever let her forget that.