Title: Ripple In Reality
Pairing: PRESLASH Merlin/Arthur
Fandoms: merlin/legend of the seeker
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary:; When a spell gone wrong sends Zedd and Richard to Camelot, Merlin finds & helps them. As Merlin's supposed childhood friend, Richard gains the love of everyone but Prince Arthur Pendragon, who might
be a little jealous of him with Merlin.
Merlin had been minding his own business, trying, for once, to actually do his work and not get into trouble or do anything that could threaten the safety of his secret. Gaius would have been proud could he read Merlin's mind and see just how dedicated the young warlock was to the thought of just keeping his head low, following orders, keeping his mouth shut, and being a good manservant to his prattish master. So really, Merlin thought it was terribly unfair that, considering all of this, he still found himself in trouble.
Or, well, this wasn't good.
"I tell you Richard, the spell must have backfired and sent us somewhere else." The incredibly tall, older man with a long face and hair whispered in the middle of the (thankfully) deserted courtyard. "This can't possibly be D'Hara."
Merlin dropped the pale of water he'd been carrying to clean out the stables. He couldn't believe that this conversation was going on right in front of him, and not in the palace courtyard either! Sure, there was no one else around, but so many people had been executed for so much less!
That man should know better than to talk about magic in Camelot!
The younger man, the handsome one with the dark brown hair, frowned. "Zedd, we need to go back to D'Hara. Everywhere is in danger and I need to defeat Darken Rahl so that peace can return. We can't be stuck...wherever we are stuck!"
"I know boy." Zedd frowned, sighing in a tired way that reminded Merlin of Gaius whenever Merlin himself was being 'trying'. "But doing that spell has made me weak. It might take a couple of days before my magic is strong enough to-."
Merlin had had enough. "Be quiet." He hissed, arriving by their sides, glancing around them to make sure that there wasn't anyone listening in...or around at all. "Don't talk about magic and follow me!"
Richard and Zedd exchanged wary looks but they followed him nonetheless.
Merlin only turned to them once he knew they were alone. "Are you trying to get executed?"
"I beg your pardon?" Zedd frowned, drawing himself up to his impossibly high height.
"Magic is forbidden in Camelot!" Merlin hissed, still looking around them warily. "If anyone had seen you you'd have been taken to King Uther and executed on the spot!"
Richard blinked. "What sort of place bans magic?"
"Camelot?" Zedd asked instead, incredibly bushy eyebrows drawing together in a large frown. "I have never heard of this province. What part of D'Hara or the Midlands is it located in?"
Merlin frowned, looking up at the old man. "Midlands? D'Hara? I've never heard of those places before. Camelot is a part of Albion."
Zedd's eyes widened as he turned to his younger companion. "Richard, I think that spell might have sent us to an alternate world, one in which the Midlands and D'Hara never existed."
"So Darken Rahl doesn't exist here either?" Richard asked Merlin.
"Who?" The younger man asked, confused.
"You say that in this realm magic is forbidden?" Zedd turned to Merlin, eyes narrowed.
"Anyone even suspected to be a witch or wizard is killed." Merlin nodded, head still reeling at the thought of these people being from an alternate universe. Could such a thing really be true? Could magic so strong as to teleport being from one reality to another exist? "If you don't mean any harm to us, I will help you, but you must keep your magic a secret."
"Why would you help us?" Richard asked curiously. "Your king kills magic users."
"Uther's not my king." Merlin made a face, thinking of all the horrible things Uther had done in the name of 'justice'. "I'm from Ealdor which is under King Cenred's rule, but my mother sent me to Camelot and I now serve the king's son as his manservant, but Uther is not my king." He took in a deep breath, trying to push back the anger boiling in his stomach. "If you really don't mean any harm to us, and if you need time to...journey again...I will help."
"I might not be a Confessor but I know that this boy doesn't lie." The older man finally announced, smiling at Merlin. "I am Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander, Wizard of the First Order, and this is Richard Cypher, the true Seeker."
Richard nodded, placing a hand on the hilt of the grand sword he wore on his hip.
"My name is Merlin." Merlin smiled, before glancing around them, making sure once more that they hadn't been watched or listened to. "Come, I'll take you to Gaius, he'll know what to do."
Gaius, of course, had scolded Merlin for helping a wizard, but once he'd calmed down the court physician and Merlin had listened to the story that the Wizard of the First Order and the True Seeker told. They both marveled at the stories of Confessors and Mord'Siths and Darken Rahl. Merlin had been fascinated at the battle stories, wishing that he could belong to a world where magic was free and open, and that one day he could stand by Arthur's side and battle with him the way Zedd did with Richard.
Richard...he reminded Merlin a lot of Arthur...he was what Merlin knew Arthur could become.
That in itself endeared Richard to Merlin, and his sweet, friendly, and noble attitude only made Merlin like the Seeker even more.
In the end Gaius had decided to allow the two newcomers to stay with him. Zeddicus would stay in Merlin's room and Merlin and Richard would stay in the small abandoned servants quarter next to Gaius' rooms. They even came up with a good cover story for the two journeymen. Zeddicus was to be an old acquaintance of Merlin's mother, and Richard his grandson. "I want to thank you for this." Richard took Merlin aside later that day. "You are risking yourself and Gaius for strangers."
Merlin just smiled and shook his head. "If I were in your situation, I'd hope someone would help me too."
"You have a good heart." Richard smiled, placing his hand on Merlin's shoulder.
Merlin winced, flinching away from the touch, feeling a sting of pain from where Richard had touched.
Immediately Richard's smile disappeared, replaced by a worried frown. "You are hurt."
"Sore." Merlin was embarrassed to admit it, rubbing his shoulder. "Arthur-Prince Arthur-he likes to try to teach me to fight, but he has no patience for it and he's a bully, so he usually just ends up swinging his weapons at me instead of really teaching me anything."
"That is abuse." Richard frowned, the noble protector and rescuer of the 'defenseless' obviously rearing up. "Do the royals here abuse their servants? Maybe Zedd and I were sent here to deal with them and liberate you and your people."
"No! Arthur-Arthur can be a prat, but in his heart, he's good." Merlin quickly defended the man he felt a friend despite how much of a prat the blonde could be. "He likes to hide it though, under this disguise of superiority, but if he had to die to save his people he would. He-he's risked his life to save mine over and over again, and I'm only just a servant."
Richard eyed him silently before smiling. "You care a great deal about your prince."
"He's not my prince." Merlin mumbled, hating the fact that he could feel a blush darkening his pale skin.
"If you would like, while I am here I could train you with the sword." Richard pulled out the beautiful Sword of Truth, the blade glistening in the sunlight. "And maybe some hand to hand as well. That way you have a way of defending yourself."
Merlin smiled, thinking about his magic, and about all the times he couldn't do anything to help because Arthur or someone else was around so he couldn't reveal his powers. "I would like that."
He would also like to best Arthur during their training and see the prat look up at him in shock.
That would be great.
"Mer-lin you bumbling, no-good servant." Arthur sighed as he burst through the door. "I'm not supposed to be trailing after you wondering why my lunch-." The young prince paused when he realized that Merlin was not alone, his face darkening to a scowl. "I see you have company."
"Uh, Ar-Prince Arthur." Merlin cleared his throat. "I, uh,-."
"Prince Arthur." Richard smiled and inclined his head towards the younger prince. "It is an honor to meet you. I am Richard, my grandfather is a friend of Merlin's mother, and we have stopped by to pay him a visit."
Arthur's face was blank. "I see." He took in a deep breath. "Welcome to Camelot." His gaze went to Merlin, narrowing. "I was wondering where my manservant was while he should have been tending to me."
Merlin winced, knowing that tone.
He was in trouble.
"I'm sorry for distracting Merlin from his duties." Richard played his role of childhood friend well, sheathing his blade and smiling friendly at the manservant and then at the prince. "He was just boasting to me of your ability with the sword."
I was? Merlin blinked.
"He was?" Arthur made a face, before clearing his throat. "Of course he was. Merlin mightn't be able to even hold a sword, but he has been saved by my blade more times than he can count." His gaze lowered to Richard's sword. "That is a fine blade."
"Thank you my liege." Richard nodded, giving a little bow. "I am known as a capable sword fighter amongst my own people."
"Well," Arthur's smile was devious. "You will have to join the knights and I during practice. It is not often that I am given the opportunity to fight someone whose moves I do not already know and can anticipate."
Richard smiled slyly. "I accept your offer."
Arthur motioned to the door. "I was heading to the training right now. If you're not too tired..."
"Oh, no, I'd love to." Richard nodded, before turning to Merlin. "You'll come and watch?"
"I wouldn't miss it." Merlin grinned up at Richard, thinking how amazing it would be if Richard actually managed to do something that no one else had and actually beat Arthur.
He failed to see the way Arthur looked between them, expression darkening.Go To Chapter Two