Word of the Day Challenge: Oneirataxia
More Merlin series! Yay! When this actually gets written, this scene will be much longer. It feels kind of rushed, but I needed to condense it for the purpose of the challenge.
Oneirataxia – the inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy
Warning: graphic description of PTSD flashback, mild violence, one use of profanity
Spoilers for: Merlin 3×12 and 3×13, The Coming of Arthur Parts 1&2
Disclaimer: Don’t own Merlin
It had reached the stage that all of the training blades in the armoury looked exactly the fucking same.
‘You’ll know it when you see it.’
What did that even mean?
He turned a corner, only to see a whole wall covered in more bloody swords (not literally, of course).
He pursed his lips in irritation, incredibly tempted to just pick up any old sword, wen he saw that he was not alone.
There was a figure sitting on one of the benches up against the wall. They were shrouded in shadow, and Merlin didn’t think that he would have noticed them had he not been basically standing just a few feet in front of them.
“Hello?” he asked softly, taking a step towards the figure. “Are you-”
He barely had time to react when he was suddenly pushed back, a sword being held to his throat. His hands flew up either side of him, and he had to force himself to not accidentally use any magic.
Especially when he saw who it was just inches from killing him.
But in the candlelight dying throughout the armoury, Merlin could see that the knight’s eyes were glazed over.
Some of the clarity seemed to return for a moment, in which the knight let out a sudden gasp, and the blade slipped from his fingers.
Merlin jumped back, the sword clattering at his feet.
He looked up, incredulous, to see Leon stumbling back from him, eyes wide and fighting for clarity. The knight reached up to his head, burying his fingers in his hair and pulling at the roots.
Merlin placed his foot on the hilt of the sword, sliding it across the floor. Leon gasped at the sound, stopping in his tracks. He was trembling violently.
Now more scared for him than of him, Merlin stepped forward, making sure his shoes made as much sound as possible.
Leon was now taking deep, laboured breaths, his face angled to the ground.
When he was still a good few feet away, Merlin spoke.
“Leon, talk to me.”
The reply was so soft that he had to strain to hear it.
“Where am I?”
“You’re in Camelot.”
“Are you sure?” Leon slowly raised his head.
Merlin nodded. “I’m sure. Where else would you be?”
A flash of fear crossed Leon’s eyes.
“I should have died,” he whispered. “I was dying, why did they save me?”
And suddenly it was clear. The wounds from Morgana’s takeover were still healing, but it would seem that there were older ones still open and fresh.
“The Cup of Life.” He said. “What’s going on?”
“I keep getting… flashbacks. They’re so powerful, it’s like I’m there again.”
A candle flickered, and the light gleamed off of the sword still lying on the ground.
Leon seemed to notice it for the first time, and immediately put two and two together.
“Merlin, I’m so sorry,” he gasped.
“It’s fine.” He couldn’t exactly blame him for his oneirataxia.
“I attacked you!”
“You didn’t kill me.” He shrugged. “Not even a scratch. See?”
He tilted his head back to show his unmarred throat.
When he looked back down, Leon was still looking terribly guilty.
Merlin sighed. “We’ll work through this. It’ll be okay.”
Leon blinked. “You’ll help me?”