Word Count: 15,808
Characters/Pairings: Gen, past Arthur/Gwen
Warnings: Violence towards children, character death
Spoilers: Spoilers through series five of Merlin, AU season four of Supernatural
Summary: Centuries after his death, destiny calls Arthur Pendragon forth to fulfill his duty as the Once and Future King. But Arthur is also a Winchester now. Destiny won’t know what hit it.
Author’s Notes: I want to thank chosenfire28 for running this challenge. And to finnickodair, your artwork is awesome, and gorgeous. Thank you so much for picking my story. :)
“Dad,” Arthur called, running into the house, backpack bouncing along behind him. “Dad.”
Dean kept his head down, eyes focused on the book before him. He kept his hand over his mouth to hide his grin.
“Yeah?” he asked, putting just enough distracted disinterest in his voice to get Arthur to come barreling into the kitchen.
“Dad,” Arthur said again, eyes bright.
“What is it?” Dean said, looking up briefly. He had to look away quickly. Arthur stood a few feet away, dancing around like he had to go to the bathroom, but had been dared to hold it.
Biting back his laughter, Dean turned the page of his book. An impatient huff preceded the chair scraping along the floor. Tiny hands appeared before his eyes and landed on the open page.
Dean didn’t answer. He just grabbed his son’s arms and lifted him over his shoulder. Arthur let out a surprised shriek that turned into giggles as Dean let his fingers dance over his side. A few minutes later Dean dropped his breathless son onto the couch. He then settled down into his recliner.
“So, what’s new?”
Arthur rolled his eyes as he got his breath.
“I got invited to Davey’s Halloween party, can I go?”
Dean raised an eyebrow. “I thought Davey was a, how’d you put it, a clotpole?”
“He is,” Arthur said. “But it’s Halloween, and there’s candy. Can I go?”
“I need to talk to his parents first,” Dean said.
Arthur rolled his eyes and let out a dramatic groan.
Dean laughed. “Go. Get your homework done.”
Arthur grinned and ran off, grabbing his backpack from the kitchen and thundering up the stairs. Dean heard his door slam and he shook his head. He’d never been that energetic at nine.
That Friday was filled with rushed homework and a lot of excited chatter. Knight costume on and bag in hand, Dean ushered Arthur out the door and into the Harlow’s mini-van. He watched them drive away, Arthur’s tiny hand waving to him.
Dean sighed and went back into the too quiet house. He had plenty of work to keep him distracted while Arthur was out, but now he just felt listless. Grabbing a beer, Dean settled into his recliner and switched on the television. Maybe a few hours of mindless entertainment would do the trick.
Some inane reality show was starting when the phone rang. Dean answered it with a distracted greeting, before turning the television off.
“Whoa!” Dean said, his heart plummeting to his feet. “Say that again?”
“There was an accident,” Mrs. Harlow said, tears filling her words, panic making her voice shaky. “They’ve taken everyone to the hospital.”
Dean didn’t let the conversation go much longer. He hung up, grabbed his coat and keys and was soon barreling down the road, hoping he got there in time, berating himself for not going with Arthur, praying that he wouldn’t have to call Castiel.
Dean felt like his skin was too tight. His heart was lodged in his throat, and he nearly knocked over a nurse in his mad dash to the ER. He hit the front desk at a full run, causing the people in line to glare at him, and the nurse to give him a nasty look.
“My son was brought in,” Dean said, cutting in before she could start yelling at him. “His name is Arthur Smith.” He reached over the desk and stopped her from picking up the phone. “Please, he’s only nine.”
“Look, sir,” the nurse said, sympathy filling her eyes. “If you’d just wait a few minutes I’ll be with you then.”
“Look, lady,” Dean said, using the tone of voice he used with creatures he was about to kill. “My son was hurt. Now where is he?”
Dean spun around so fast he nearly knocked the person behind him off their feet. Davey’s mother, Mrs. Harlow came running up to him. Her eyes were bloodshot and there was a bruise spreading out over the left side of her face.
Dean charged towards her, grabbing her arms.
“Arthur?” Dean demanded. Mrs. Harlow shook her head, tears welling in her eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “The car just came out of nowhere.”
“Where’s Arthur?” Dean shook her a little, trying to get answers he so desperately wanted.
“They took him to the back,” she said. Taking a deep breath, she took a step back and wiped at her eyes. “He hit his head and hurt his arm.”
“How bad was it?” Dean asked, fear squeezing his heart. He knew all about head injuries, knew how dangerous they were.
“He was very confused. He kept insisting the driver had black eyes,” she said, her voice filled with fear. “He wouldn’t let up, even after they brought him here.”
“So he was awake?” Dean asked, heart freezing. Demons had hurt his kid.
“Yes,” she said.
Dean let out a deep breath as he followed her to the waiting area. He could plan his vengeance after he knew Arthur was okay.
There were other parents there that Dean recognized from parent teacher nights and various sleepovers. He settled down in the hard chair and kept his head down. If he didn’t calm down, he was liable to storm through the hospital until he found Arthur and that wouldn’t do anybody any good. He’d just end up in jail.
When a doctor finally came out and called his named, Dean felt his throat close up. He barely heard anything beyond his son being banged up but okay.
He was finally led to a room. Arthur lay on the bed, a bruise standing out stark against his left cheek. His right arm was held straight as a doctor wrapped bandages around it. He looked up when Dean entered, and his blue eyes filled with tears. His knight costume was ripped.
Dean rushed forward, careful of the equipment. He settled down next to Arthur and put an arm around him, pulling him into his side.
“Hey, buddy,” Dean said. “I’ve got ya.”
“Mr. Smith,” the doctor said. “I’m Dr. Gates.”
Dean gave him a tight smile. “Can you tell me what happened?”
“As far as we know, the driver of the other car had a heart attack,” the doctor said. “His car ran a red light and crashed into the other vehicle.” He finished wrapping Arthur’s arm then leaned back, pulling his gloves off. “You’ve got one brave little boy there.”
“Yeah,” Dean said as he gave Arthur a gentle kiss to the top of his head. “I’m still not sure where he gets it from.”
“Well,” Dr. Gates said. “The worst of it is his arm. That’s a pretty nasty sprain. It will take a couple of weeks to heal. He’ll have to wear a sling in the mean time.”
“What about his head?” Dean asked. “I was told he hit it?”
“The bruise is from another kid,” Dr. Gates said. “Apparently she panicked at the scene and her foot connected with your son’s cheek. We did a CAT scan and there’s no sign of a concussion.” Dr. Gates stood and collected Arthur’s chart, making a few notes. “He was a bit confused when they brought him in, but that seems to have cleared up. I’ll send the nurse in with the discharge papers. Here’s his prescription. You can pick it up at the hospital pharmacy.” He handed Dean a piece of paper with unintelligible scribbles on it. “I suggest making an appointment with his regular doctor in the next few days, but if his symptoms worsen bring him back immediately.”
“Of course,” Dean said, making a mental note to call Castiel. If the doctors had missed anything serious, Castiel could take care of it.
It took Dean another hour before he was finished filling out paperwork and picking up the painkillers the doctors prescribed Arthur. By the time they got home, Dean was ready to sleep for a week, and Arthur was a limp weight in his arms.
Dean quickly got Arthur changed into his pajamas. He laid him in the bed and gently pulled the blanket up around Arthur. He smoothed his hair back from his forehead and settled onto the bed next to him.
“Looks like you got your first war wounds,” Dean said, a tight smile on his face. “You know, I’ve heard chicks dig scars.”
“His eyes were black,” Arthur whispered, a tear sliding down one cheek. “I didn’t see things. The driver just grinned at me and then a black cloud streamed out of his mouth.”
Dean swallowed down his own tears, feeling the burning rage filling his heart. They’d hurt his son. It would be the last thing those demons ever did.
“I know,” Dean said. He picked up the canister of salt he’d grabbed from the kitchen and showed it to Arthur. “I’m going to add this to your window and doorway. It will keep the black cloud out.”
“Positive,” Dean said.
He stood and quickly added a layer of salt to the protection already on the room. He figured a physical reminder that he was safe would help Arthur feel better. Once finished he sat back down on the bed.
“I wasn’t seeing things?” Arthur asked and more tears spilled down his cheeks.
Dean had to fight to keep the rage from his voice. He didn’t want to scare Arthur.
“No,” Dean said, voice equally as quiet. “Arthur.” He paused and settled his hand on Arthur’s chest. He could feel his son’s heart beating, and that helped Dean calm his own.
“There are a lot of bad things out there, and most people don’t know they exist. But I do, and so does your Uncle Sam, and Uncle Cas. We help make sure they can’t hurt people. And I’m gonna make sure they never come near you again.”
Arthur nodded, his eyes dropping thanks to the stress and pain killers.
“Daddy,” Arthur said, voice filled with sleep despite his best efforts. “Can I help make the bad things go away too?”
Dean ran his fingers through his son’s hair and kissed him on the forehead.
“Yeah, when you’re bigger you can help.”
“I think I’m big enough now,” Arthur said. A yawn interrupted his words.