Promise of Retun by RebeccaPendragon
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Author's Chapter Notes:
Chapter 3 of 5
Word count: 1456
Troubled Sleep

Merlin entered his chambers and sat down on his old bed.
Slowly changing into his bedclothes, he sighed. There was only one thing that made the prince act like he had done earlier in his chambers; Gwen.

Laying back on his bed and pulling the blankets up to his chin, he sighed again. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.


Pain. Unbearable pain. Why was he in such pain? Where was the fire? He could smell it, the smoke, and feel the warmth of the fire as the heat rose upwards, but he didn’t understand where it was.

Slowly Merlin opened his eyes, winced, and closed them again. He was burning. Attached to a pole in front of so many people; and he was tied to the pole, burning in front of them.

He heard someone call out his name in distress. This time he opened his eyes quickly before he closed them even quicker. He knew that voice, and the blond hair of the crown prince stood out against all of Camelot. His blue eyes misted over with tears, as he had to watch his friend die, the guards given strict instructions to not let the prince go anywhere. According to Uther, Arthur had to get used to people dying for him. Arthur wasn’t slow in pointing out that Merlin wasn’t dying for him, but because he had no choice in the matter, Uther had ordered his execution. Merlin half smiled at how Arthur had become a good man, and he will be a good king. Merlin just hoped to live to see that day.

‘Arthur,’ Merlin whispered, his voice barely heard above the gentle sobs of Gwen and others who had known, and liked, Merlin. ‘Arthur, I’m sorry, but I promise you, I will see you again’. Why was he sorry? He was sorry because he had lied to the prince for so many years, he was sorry because Arthur had to watch him die. The prince turned to see Merlin’s eyes blazing gold, and although he was already dying, Merlin had enough strength in him to do two things. One – conjure the beautiful blue and white shimmering orb of light to hold Arthur in place. Two – Silently speak to the Dragon who he had freed over a year ago, and ask for him to come to his aid. He knew he couldn’t die; it wasn’t his destiny to die yet.

He heard the soft beat of wings and looked up as did almost everybody around him. As soon as he knew that everyone was distracted by the great Dragon flying above them he moved his magic away from the gleaming orb of light, thankful that Arthur didn’t see it, and suddenly he was gone. The flames were dying down from the pyre. He had no idea what was going on. He just felt his body move swiftly away from the hot ashes that had lost their food.

-----End of Flashback-----

Merlin’s eyes blazed gold as he woke from his nightmare. Gazing up at the ceiling, he knew it was false, that it had just been a nightmare, but still he gasped like he was running out of air from the flames; and the sweat fell down his thin face from the remembrance of the heat.
Finally calmed down, Merlin fell back into sleep, but not peacefully.


Merlin was led on his back, his head nearly touching a stone wall of a deep cave. There was a fire lit not far from where he lay, to keep him warm as he shivered, and a man sat next to it, humming quietly to himself.

‘Father?’ Merlin asked uncertainly.

‘Merlin, thank God. I thought you would be OK, but I wasn’t sure,’ Balinor said, his voice gruff.

‘Father; I thought you died.’ All Balinor did in reply was look up. Merlin saw a great shadow looming over him that he had not noticed before. ‘I wasn’t sure if you had come.’

‘Young Warlock, even if you hadn’t been a Dragonlord I would have been bound to come, for I am bound by a promise to your father. When I got there, you were too weak to get away yourself, having already been badly burnt by the fire, so I helped and transported you away, to this cave. When Balinor said he wished to see you, I brought him here. You have been under his care since, with a bit of help from me.’

‘Thank you, both of you.’ The Dragon just bowed his head, but Balinor spoke.

‘Merlin, you have been out cold for a long while, and you are weak. You need to eat and drink something and then go back to sleep.’

‘How long was I unconscious for?’ Merlin asked, but when neither Dragon nor Dragonlord answered he frowned. ‘How long?’ Merlin asked again.

‘On and off for nearly a year, but when you were conscious it wasn’t particularly obvious,’ Balinor whispered, as though he were ashamed. ‘The burns were too extensive. We couldn’t bring you round earlier, and we’ve already been waiting for a week for you to actually wake up.’ Balinor stopped because of a cough. The dragon looked down mournfully.

‘He had me get a high priest of the old religion to save you.’ Kilgharrah said to Merlin’s unasked question. ‘He couldn’t let you die when you still had to protect the young Pendragon.’ Merlin looked over to Balinor.

‘NO! Why did you do that?’ Merlin said, before he looked up at the Dragon. ‘Can’t you save him?’ he whispered silently.

‘I’m sorry Merlin, but I can not. He will die by the end of the night.’ Merlin looked back towards his father, a tear now making its way down his pale cheek.

It was later that dark night that Merlin saw himself sat down next to a growing fire, unable to control it due to his raging emotions; his father lay far off to the side, tossing and turning in his restless slumber before his untimely death. Merlin couldn’t bear to look round at him. It would only cause him more pain than he already held.

There was a thump as the Dragon came and sat next to Merlin on the edge of the steep cliff, and another thump as Merlin’s breakfast landed in front of him, by the fire.

‘Young warlock,’ The Dragon said, making Merlin look up. ‘This hurts you more than anything, I know. I can see it. But you should wake him. I have no doubt he would wish to speak with you before he dies, and his death will be easier with you at his side.’

Merlin sighed as he stood up and walked over to his father, shaking him to wake him out of his sleep.

‘Father, you must wake.’ He whispered into the Dragonlords ear. Balinor immediately jumped at the voice, before looking at Merlin and realising he wasn’t a threat.

‘What is it son?’ Balinor asked, his voice weak and cracking.

‘I was told that it would be easier for you if you were awake, and that you may wish to speak with me.’ In answer to Balinor’s confused look, Merlin looked at the Dragon.
‘He’s right. I need to speak to you. Once you have been fully healed, you must go to your mother, for we have heard that she was so angry with Uther when Gaius told her you were dead. I have watched her, hidden in the trees, wishing to run out and comfort her, tell her all is not lost, but I couldn’t. Now though Merlin, you must continue down your lonely road, find out who you are. See the world. When Arthur is ready to be king, you will hear about it, and only then can you return to Camelot with less chance of being executed. I wish you luck in defending the Prince. He is a good, honest man, and one day he will make a fine king,’ Balinor’s voice was now barely above a whisper. ‘You will be at his side, my son. You have made me the proudest father alive, and never forget Merlin, I love you.’ A coughing fit overcame Balinor and he could just say ‘Farewell, Merlin, my son’ before finally falling into such a deep sleep that he would never wake, and Merlin sat there, always wanting to stay by his father’s side. He just sat, and thought over his father’s words before, finally, the tears started to fall, his eyes starting to turn red.

Balinor had said not to go back till he was fully healed. Now there was one more thing to heal: the gap in his broken heart.

-----End of Flashback-----
Chapter End Notes:
I know Balinor is ment to be dead, but for the purposes of this story he is still alive, but Merlin is a Dragonlord. If the idea for him being unconscious for so long is unlikely then sorry, it just fitted with my story…
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