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
They were back in Lester’s office again. The civil servant sat behind his desk, fingers laced in his lap, leaning back in his chair.
“Would someone mind explaining to me why you took those two,” he indicated to Merlin and Arthur, “out in the field with you?”
Connor fidgeted, avoiding looking at Lester, and Becker sighed. It looked like it was down to him to deal with their boss.
“With all due respect, sir, if not for Merlin’s assistance, Connor would very likely have been injured by the creature,” he said.
“It’s true; he held the creature off long enough for me to get a clear shot,” Lieutenant Andrews added.
Lester eyed Merlin again, and Connor was reminded of a kid studying an interesting new bug under a microscope. It appeared that Arthur had noticed a well as the prince’s glare settled on Lester.
“Look, they’re going to be here for a while, they can’t just sit at home and do nothing,” Connor pointed out. “Why not let them help?”
“Oh, fine. You’ll do what you want no matter what I say anyway, won’t you?” He sighed. “That was a rhetorical question, Connor.”
Becker ushered the others out of Lester’s office before their boss changed his mind. Merlin looked unsure about the whole thing but Arthur had the same expression that Connor got whenever they encountered a new kind of dinosaur. Well, after he was done with the running away part. He had that sparkle of anticipation that said he was eager to get started.
“Connor, I’ll see you later, OK?” Becker said as Andrews signalled him. “I’ve got training all afternoon.”
In lieu of a proper goodbye, since it wouldn’t be appropriate in the ARC, he gave Connor’s hand a squeeze before hurrying away to catch up with his second in command. Connor watched him go and then turned to the two men, watching him silently.
“Come on,” he said. “If you’re going to be helping, I’d better show you what we really do around here.”
Arthur and Merlin followed along as Connor took them around the labs and workstations, looking about them with interest. Much of it, however, made little sense to them. So much of what they did required at least a basic understanding of technology in order explain the details. When they reached the capture pens, however, Merlin’s curiosity piqued. Connor saw his eyes widen and the smile on his face as he looked across to the mammoth in his pen.
“What is that?” Arthur asked, following Merlin’s gaze and coming to a stop.
“That’s Manny,” Connor informed them, going over to the bars. “He’s a mammoth. He came through an anomaly ages ago and ended up on a motorway. Poor thing was stuck here when the anomaly closed again.” He glanced back at the two men. “You can come closer; he doesn’t bite.”
Arthur took the lead, as though proving to them all that he wasn’t afraid, and stepped up to the pen. Almost immediately, a long hairy trunk came out through the bars and snuffled the top of his head, making him duck and scurry out of the way.
Hearing Merlin chuckling, he turned and scowled, smoothing his hair and trying to regain his dignity.
“Oh, shut up,” he snapped.
Merlin caught Connor’s eye and laughed even harder, especially when Manny’s trunk emerged again to investigate Connor. Connor stroked the trunk and took an apple from the bucket he had collected on his way past the keepers’ station.
“Here,” he said to Merlin. “You want to feed him?”
Merlin made a big show of feeding the mammoth, all the while smirking at Arthur.
“Why is he called Manny?” Arthur asked, coming closer and pausing only to pinch the top of Merlin’s arm in retribution for his teasing.
Connor handed him an apple to give to the mammoth. “Manny is the name of a cartoon mammoth in a film called Ice Age. Jessica, one of the keepers, named him after the character.”
They moved on, leaving Manny to the rest of his lunch, to look around the rest of the creatures.
“You’ll like this one,” Connor told them, stopping at another pen. This one had high walls with glass panels at eye height to see through. “This is a Dracorex.”
Merlin looked through. “That’s a dragon,” he said. When he saw Connor begin to correct him, he shook his head. “Trust me, I know what a dragon looks like.”
Arthur looked at him curiously. “How would you know what a dragon looks like?”
Merlin froze, realising his mistake. Arthur had no idea about the dragon currently residing under the castle at Camelot, and he certainly had no clue that Merlin had been going to speak to it for years.
“I, uh, saw a picture,” he said and then looked to Connor. “So, what’s next?”
Connor took the hint and moved them on but he was dying to ask. Unfortunately, Arthur got in first.
“Merlin, the truth,” he said. “First your use of sorcery and then you speak of dragons as though you have seen one.”
Merlin sighed resignedly. “Can we talk about this later?” he said. “I promise I’ll tell you everything, just not here. Please?”
Reluctantly, Arthur agreed and they followed Connor out of the animals’ area. Neither man seemed in any mood for continuing the tour now and so Connor led them up to the soldiers’ training area.
“What are we doing here?” Arthur asked, looking around to where the Dev and Becker were sparring in the practice ring.
“I thought you might be interested in their training, since you’re a knight back home,” Connor told him. He grinned and waved to a couple of the soldiers he knew, taking their good-natured jokes and firing off a few retorts, before admitting, “Besides, I just like to come and watch Becker get all hot and sweaty.”
The two men looked slightly shocked that he had said that for anyone to hear, glancing at the soldiers to see their reactions, before Merlin laughed.
“May I ask you something?” Arthur began, sounding uneasy. “Is it really considered acceptable for you to flaunt your closeness with Captain Becker? It seems that everyone here is aware of the fact.”
Connor shrugged his shoulders and made himself comfortable on the low bench at the side of the room.
“Yes. Well, kind of. I mean there are still people who don’t like it but no one here has ever said anything bad.” He looked between the pair of them. “My turn to ask a question; are you two together? Are you lovers?” he clarified, seeing Merlin’s questioning look.
The young man’s cheeks flushed pink but he said nothing, instead looking to Arthur.
“It isn’t common knowledge at home,” Arthur told him after a moment’s silence. “Our time is not as accepting as yours seems to be.”
“I knew it!”
Connor looked back to the practice ring in time to see Becker knock Dev to the mat and pin him. He whistled loudly and cheered, causing Becker to look up and grin at him.
“Look, if you don’t want the others to know, that’s fine,” he said to Merlin and Arthur, “but there’s no need to hide whilst you’re here. Not at the ARC or at Becker’s place.”
Merlin nodded, and he could see Arthur thinking it over as well.
“This reminds me of Camelot,” Arthur mused. “I trained with my men every day.”
He watched as the soldiers dispersed and headed for the showers as their session finished, Becker coming over to join them instead. He wiped the sweat from his face with the towel around his neck and then sat down next to Connor.
“Don’t you have work to do?” he teased.
Connor shook his head. “What, when I could be here watching you?” he asked. “Anyway, were just finishing our tour, and thought we’d drop by.”
Becker laughed. “Whatever you say.”
“No, seriously. I thought that Arthur might be interested.”
Becker studied the blonde man for a moment. “If you ever feel like joining us for a practice session, you would be more than welcome.”
Arthur nodded, looking pleased. “I may just do that.”
“Well,” Becker said to Connor, “I should go get cleaned up. I’ll be out soon; meet you in your office?”
He stood and, after checking to see that none of the others were around, pressed a quick kiss to Connor’s lips before heading toward the locker room.
Merlin watched the screen with interest. His initial amazement of television had dimmed somewhat but he still found it fascinating. The film that Connor had been talking about earlier, Ice Age, played, a bowl of popcorn on the table in front of them. Connor was practically curled up in Becker’s lap and as the movie finished, he and Becker announced that they were going to bed.
“Remember to turn off the light when you go to bed,” Connor reminded them. “And turn the TV off- it’s this little red button here. OK?”
Arthur nodded, waiting only a few minutes more before switching everything off. In a move that surprised Merlin, he took the younger man’s hand and went toward their room. Merlin began to unroll the makeshift bed he had slept in the previous night on the floor beside the bed, just in case anyone had seen them, but Arthur stopped him.
“You’re sleeping with me tonight.”
Merlin watched his expression for a moment, to make sure that he was serious, before smiling widely.
“I have been thinking about Connor’s words,” Arthur said. “If we are to be here for a while, then I see no reason why we should not use it to our advantage. There is no need to hide, not from my father, or my knights or the people; here I am not the Prince and you are not my manservant.”
He curled his fingers into the front of Merlin’s shirt and pulled him close, claiming his mouth in a heated kiss. Merlin returned the kiss, lips parting as Arthur pushed to allow him entry. Hands tugged his shirt from his jeans, pulling it over his head and tossing it aside before Arthur divest them both of the rest of their clothes. Unwilling to let him go even for a moment, Merlin tumbled them both to the bed, mouths still fused, his arms wrapped securely around Arthur.
Three hours later, Arthur lay awake, Merlin contentedly cuddled up in his arms. He still couldn’t get his mind to stop, to let him get some sleep.
“What’s the matter?”
Arthur sighed. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“I don’t mind,” Merlin assured him, shifting position so that he lay level with the other man, face to face. “Now, what’s bothering you?”
“When were you going to tell me about the sorcery?”
Here it was, Merlin thought. The conversation. There wasn’t a lot of point in pretending or pleading innocence and so he told the truth.
“Never. I was hoping that you wouldn’t find out.” Arthur looked offended, and just a little bit angry, as Merlin continued. “I knew that if you found out I had magic then you would have to tell the King. I was trying to protect you, honestly, the very same thing I use my magic to do.”
“I don’t understand- Wait, you mean you’ve been using magic all of this time?”
Merlin nodded. “Think about it, Arthur. Think about all of the weird things that have threatened you- creatures, ghosts, trolls. How did you think they were all defeated?”
“I thought… Oh, I don’t know.” He sighed. “That was you?”
“Yes. Look, please don’t be angry; I was only trying to keep you safe.”
Arthur stared at him as though he’d never seen him before. Then again, he hadn’t, not really. The Merlin that he knew was an accident-prone, walking-disaster of a manservant. That was the Merlin he had grown to care about, and now his view of the young man had been turned completely upside down.
“Arthur, say something. Please?”
Any anger Arthur might have had left him when he saw the utter dread in the other man’s eyes. Merlin truly expected him to be furious, to hate him for the secret he had kept all this time. When he reached out, his hand connecting with Merlin’s arm, he felt that the young man was shaking. He felt awful knowing that he was the cause of that fear.
“I wish you had trusted me enough to tell me the truth,” he said, “But I can understand why you didn’t.” Merlin’s eyes widened in surprise as Arthur closed the space between them and brushed a kiss over his lips. “You really used magic to protect me? Idiot; you could have been caught.”
“Only you would call me an idiot for saving your life,” Merlin grumbled, though he was smiling as he said it, knowing that everything would be alright.
Arthur’s arm went around his waist, pulling him against his body, and he tugged the bedcovers over them.
“Well, who do you think would have had to bail you out when you got arrested?”
“You would have done that for me?”
“Of course I would,” Arthur told him.
Arthur sighed. “Merlin, do shut up and go to sleep.”
To be continued…