Fandom - Primeval / Merlin
Pairing(s) - Connor / Becker, Merlin / Arthur
Summary - Merlin and Arthur accidentally fall through an anomaly and find themselves face to face with the Primeval team. Then the anomaly closes and leaves them stranded.
Magical Mystery Tour
Arthur stood in the office, on the second floor of the odd building that the skinny one, Connor, had called the ARC. He wasn’t used to this, to people not respecting him, who he was. Well, except Merlin. Even when Merlin had been nothing more than his manservant, he had treated Arthur more like a friend than his Prince.
The insufferable man who stood before him now, however, was really beginning to get on his nerves. Lester, he had introduced himself as, Sir James Lester. Sir!
“Look, I don’t care if you’re the bloody Queen of Sheba,” Lester snapped. “You are not leaving this building with a sword. You’ll get arrested. Either it stays here or you can stay in a cell, here, with it.”
Merlin turned to him. “Please, Arthur. They know this place better than we do, so maybe we should listen to them. We’ll be fine; if no one here carries swords then you won’t need it, right?”
Arthur stared at him in annoyance.
“No, because we’ll have your skill for causing things to explode, won’t we?” he pointed out. “Don’t think I’ve forgotten about the fact you used sorcery.” Seeing that Merlin was about to protest, he added, “don’t even bother to deny it; I saw you.”
Lester cleared his throat loudly. “If you two are quite finished with your lovers’ tiff,” he said acidly.
Arthur froze. How could he know that he and Merlin were lovers? Was it that obvious? Nothing more was said, however, as Lester merely began tapping his fingers impatiently on his desk, still waiting for the sword. Reluctantly, he handed it over, as Merlin did with his dagger, and Lester stowed them in a cupboard in the corner and locked it securely.
“So when do you intend to return us home?” he asked.
All around the office, the people fell silent, looking uneasy.
“It’s not that simple,” Connor told them. “You see, the thing you came through, the anomaly, well, we can’t actually open them.”
“What he’s trying to say is that there is no guarantee that the anomaly back to your time will ever reopen,” Abby said. “We can hope it reopens but that could be in an hour or a day or even a year.”
“You mean to tell me that we are stuck in this place?” Arthur demanded. Lester nodded. “So what are we to do? Sit here and hope that the whatever-you-called-it opens again?”
This time Lester looked horrified. “Not here, no. I have enough to do without babysitting the pair of you.”
“They could stay with me,” Abby suggested. “It’s just me there at the moment; I’ve got a spare room now since Connor spends all of his time over at Becker’s place.”
Merlin looked over at the little blonde woman in the strange clothing and then back to Arthur, who shook his head.
“That would not be possible,” he said.
Abby frowned. “Why not?”
“What do you mean, why? How would it appear for you to have two men staying in your home?” Arthur asked. “It would not be proper.”
Well, that counted Sarah’s upcoming offer out as well. Everyone turned to Danny.
“No. I don’t have a spare room.”
Connor nudged Becker with his elbow but the man stubbornly refused to meet his eyes, knowing what was coming next. He couldn’t help it; despite the fact that Arthur’s attitude was starting to piss him off, he still felt sorry for the pair. They were stuck in a strange place and they’d just been informed that they might not ever be able to get back home. That was bound to make anyone a bit cranky, right? Besides, his mind was whirring through the things he wanted to ask them- he really wanted to find out if this Merlin was the great magician that the myths told him to be. He had seen the young man’s eyes flash gold just before the car blew up, or had he? It was one of the things on his mental list of questions.
He used the begging puppy-dog-eyes look that Becker usually gave in to, no matter what he was asking for, and the soldier sighed.
“That’s playing dirty,” he murmured, then louder, “They can stay at my place.”
Lester had given them the rest of the day off in order to take Merlin and Arthur home and get them settled. The two visitors followed him inside the flat, Arthur looking about him critically.
“I’ve only got the one spare bedroom so either you’ll have to share or one of you can sleep on the sofa,” Becker told them. Then, seeing the blank looks, he explained what a sofa was.
He gave them a quick tour of the flat before leaving Connor to explain some of the other mod-cons that hadn’t been around in the time of castles. Such as everything in the bathroom- running water, electric lights, flushing toilets- everything.
“Do you live here as well?” Merlin asked, remembering what Abby had said back at the ARC.
Connor began to shake his head, then stopped, looking thoughtful. “Not exactly. Technically, I still live with Abby, but I spend more of my time here than I do there.”
There were the confused looks again. He sighed; this was going to get annoying.
“Becker is my boyfriend, and so I tend to sleep here most nights,” he said, and saw the confusion change to surprise. “Is that going to be a problem?”
Both men shook their heads and followed Connor back to the lounge, where he told them to sit whilst he found them all some dinner.
Becker was just going through his collection of take-out delivery menus when Connor came into the kitchen.
“What do you think? Chinese or Pizza?” he asked, then looked up from the menus. “How’s it going?”
Connor sighed and hopped up to sit on the counter next to Becker. “Slow. At least Prince Arthur has stopped with the attitude.”
Becker put the menus down and came to stand in front of Connor. Leaning in, he took Connor’s mouth in a lingering kiss.
In the lounge, Merlin was still mulling over the events of the morning. If only they hadn’t gone to investigate that light, the anomaly, then they wouldn’t be trapped here, and he wouldn’t be nervously waiting for a conversation he didn’t want to ever have about why he had used sorcery in front of Arthur.
Arthur, fortunately, was too busy with other things to be lecturing him about his use of magic. He had paced to the door, wondering where Connor had gone to, and stopped dead.
When he didn’t answer, he felt Merlin’s presence as the younger man moved to stand at his shoulder.
The sound cause Becker to step back from Connor and look their way, as Merlin began to apologise.
“We didn’t mean to interrupt or anything,” he said hastily. “Sorry.”
Connor hopped down off the counter. “Not a problem,” he assured them. “Now, we were about to order some food; what do you like?”
At six o’clock the next morning, both Connor and Becker’s phones started ringing, adding to the din that the handheld anomaly detector that Connor had brought home with him was already making. As the pair hurriedly dressed and called into the ARC, Merlin appeared in the doorway to the spare room.
“What is that awful noise?”
Connor paused, glancing over at him. “We have to go to work; another anomaly just opened. Not the same one that brought you here, a different one,” he added.
Immediately, Arthur was beside Merlin, looking awake and curious. “We will come with you.”
Becker shook his head. “Not a good idea. Aside from the fact that Lester will have kittens if we bring you two along, you have no idea of what you’d be getting yourself into.”
Arthur crossed his arms across his chest, a defiant look on his face, and Merlin sighed. This wasn’t going to end well, he thought. Arthur was used to that look getting him his own way but he didn’t expect it would have the same effect here. Not wanting to have to put up with Arthur in a foul mood for the rest of the day, he turned to Connor.
“Maybe we could simply observe,” he suggested. “We will do what you tell us; we won’t be any trouble, will we, Arthur?”
There was a grudging agreement from Arthur.
“Fine. But you exactly as you’re told,” Becker told them. He looked over their clothing. “And you can’t go out dressed like that, you’ll draw attention.”
As Connor called Abby to let her know that they would meet the others at the anomaly site as opposed to the ARC, Becker headed towards his closet.
“You’re about my size,” he said to Arthur, “So I should have something that will fit. Connor is a bit skinnier than me so his stuff should fit Merlin.”
“I heard that!” Connor griped as he came into the room. “I’m not skinny.”
Becker laughed. “Sorry, love, but you are.”
Arthur was looking at the pair of jeans and a t-shirt that Becker handed him with a look of incredulity on his face.
“You expect me to wear borrowed clothes?”
Becker smiled pleasantly. “If you want to come with us, I do. Now, either hurry up and get changed or stay here. One way or another, we have to leave in the next five minutes.”
Fifteen minutes later, their car pulled up in the car park of the private sports club across town. The anomaly had opened on the golf course, leaving behind three rather frightened creatures that were currently hiding out in one of the sand bunkers. As the anomaly was still open, there was a good chance more of them would come wandering through.
Connor got out and began unloading boxes from the back of the car Abby had driven from the ARC, getting out the things he needed to close the anomaly. Arthur appeared beside him, looking on curiously. When Connor almost walked into him for the third time, he stopped.
“Look, if you’re going to stand there, do you think you could help?” He held out a case. “Carry this, would you?”
For a moment, it looked as though Arthur was going to complain or refuse but then he took it and followed Connor out to the anomaly. He stared; even though he had seen one of these before, the one they had come through, it was still fascinating.
“What are you doing?” he asked, seeing Connor begin to set up his equipment.
“I’m going to close it so that nothing else can come wandering through,” Connor said. “The others are going to try and catch the creatures and send them back to where they came from.”
Merlin watched as Abby and Danny circled around to the back of the bunker, three of the black-clad men he now understood to be soldiers following, those strange weapons raised.
“Why don’t you go over there to Connor and Arthur,” Becker suggested.
Merlin nodded and wandered off, Lieutenant Andrews going along at Becker’s request to keep their guests out of trouble.
“What are those things?” he asked when he reached Connor.
Looking back, he could see the others chasing some lizard-like creatures across the grass. They were about the size of a large dog, with a row of little spines down the bridge of their stubby noses. One of them, tired of being chased, turned around and snapped its sharp teeth at Danny, making him jump back quickly.
“Not sure,” Connor replied distractedly, tapping keys on the laptop. Suddenly the anomaly before them shrank in size to form a perfect sphere. No sooner had he got it closed than Danny yelled at him to open it again.
Connor reopened the anomaly and pushed Arthur and Merlin out of the way as one of the creatures veered off from the others and came bounding in their direction. It growled and snarled at them as Andrews took a couple of shots at it, tearing up the grass around its feet.
“Shoot the damn thing,” Connor told him.
Andrews had barely had the chance to take the tranquiliser gun from its holster before there was a flash of red light that formed a semi-translucent shield around them. The creature bounced off it with a crackle of sparks, shaking its head and looking stunned. Arthur, Andrews and Connor turned to Merlin as one. The young man stood with one arm outstretched, palm held out flat, vertically.
The creature growled again and took another run at the shield.
“Are you doing this?” Andrews asked Merlin.
Andrews didn’t get angry as Merlin had expected, instead he took the tranq gun out and checked that it was loaded correctly.
“Great. When I say so, stop doing it and get out of the way.” He moved into position. “Now!”
Merlin dropped the shield and ducked to the side as Andrews fired two darts into the creature. It staggered for about five seconds and then fell over.
“Pretty impressive,” he told Merlin.
Merlin beamed happily, the smile faltering a little when he caught Arthur’s eye. Damn it. That was the second time he’d used his magic in front of Arthur; both times he hadn’t intended to, but he had seen a danger to Arthur and had acted on instinct.
It took them another ten minutes to herd the two creatures into the anomaly, and then carry the unconscious one through as well, but eventually the danger was gone. The anomaly had closed on its own mere moments after the last creature was sent through.
“Where are we going now?” Arthur asked as they got back into the cars.
“Back to the ARC,” Connor told him. “Some of us actually have to work for a living.”
Merlin’s snigger from the back seat was quickly disguised as a cough as Arthur glared. If he was being perfectly honest, he wasn’t as annoyed as he pretended to be. Despite everything that had happened, he felt so free at present, away from the responsibilities of being the Prince. He had Merlin with him- he would figure out what to do about the fact that Merlin kept using sorcery later. When he had seen Connor and Becker together, it had made him realise that this was also an opportunity. Here, the usual gender and class boundaries didn’t seem to apply; he could spend time with Merlin without risk or scandal.
All in all, if he was to be stranded here then he intended to enjoy it.
To be continued…