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 was roused from his sleep to the feeling of someone stroking his hair. Merlin. He smiled, eyes still closed as he cuddled closer to the warm body that lay pressed against his front… Wait a moment. If Merlin was still asleep then who the hell had just touched the back of his head? And who the hell was moving?; he could feel someone’s weight shift on top of the bed. Arthur’s eyes snapped open and he turned to peer over the top of the bedcovers to find a small, stubby-nosed creature about the size of a small dog snuffling about. The little creature cocked its head to one side and blinked its huge black eyes, letting out a curious squeaking sound.
Tossing the covers back, Arthur sat up sharply, dislodging the creature. It let out a disgruntled yelp as it landed on the floor, scrambling to the door as Arthur threw his pillow at it.
“What are you doing?”
Arthur sighed as Merlin reached up to drag the covers back over him again, trying to get comfortable again. It didn’t last long, as Arthur tugged his pillow out from under his head to throw at the creature when it stopped and turned back into the room. Suddenly the door was pushed open and Connor came in. There was another of the creatures at his feet and he stooped to pick up the first one. Connor looked at the pillows and the miserable look on the little creature’s face and glared at Arthur.
“Do that again and you’ll be sleeping in the street,” he warned. He turned to the creature. “Poor baby,” he cooed, “Was that nasty man mean to you?”
Ten minutes later, Arthur and Merlin were dressed and sitting at the kitchen counter with a bowl of cereal and a mug of tea. Connor was playing with the creatures in the lounge, pointedly ignoring Arthur.
“What are those things?” Arthur asked Becker.
“Those ‘things’, as you so tactfully put it, are Connor’s pets. The one in his lap is Nancy, the other one is Sid.” Becker looked through the open door to watch Connor. “They’re harmless, if a little messy at times. They’ve been living at Abby’s, but she brought them around this morning. I’d be careful at the moment; Connor is still pissed at you for throwing things at Sid.”
Once he had finished his breakfast, Arthur reluctantly went into the lounge, to where Connor sat. The young man glanced up as he approached but didn’t say anything. Arthur sighed; he really hated apologising. Back home, he rarely had to, and of the times he should, he rarely did. Merlin, however, had been trying to break him of that habit, his influence bringing out a new side to Arthur. And, he really didn’t like Connor being angry with him. He was beginning to think of Connor and Becker as friends.
“Connor?” he sat down, cross-legged, on the floor next to Connor. Almost immediately, Sid and Nancy pounced on him. As he tried to fend off the over-excited creatures, Connor just sat back with an amused look on his face. Eventually, they managed to knock Arthur off balance so that he fell backwards.
Connor laughed, but he did grab hold of Nancy and pull her away. Once he moved her, Sid also gave up in order to see where his playmate had gone and Arthur sat upright again.
“You deserved that,” Connor told him.
Arthur watched the creature wriggling in Connor’s arms, trying to get free of his grasp, and nodded.
“I guess I did. Look, I’m sorry about throwing pillows at it- him- but he startled me,” Arthur began, hesitantly reaching out to pet Sid. “What are they, anyway?”
Merlin followed Connor into the ARC a little later that morning. He was curious about what Connor did, wanting to find out more, and so Connor had offered to try and show him how to use the computer system. Meanwhile, Becker had taken Arthur along to his soldiers’ training session.
“Guys, Arthur is joining us this morning,” Becker announced. “So play nice, OK?”
Dev looked offended. “We’re always nice,” he protested.
At that, Becker laughed. He bet it would be about ten minutes before they started teasing Arthur, another five at least after that before the really personal questions started. They were always the same; at least fifty percent of their sparring sessions were in verbally baiting each other, trying to throw their opponent off-guard with words before fists or feet. However, Arthur was not to be deterred. He was skilled in hand to hand combat, though not with the martial arts moves that the soldiers used, and he quickly figured out their strategy.
He was facing Mark Andrews, Becker’s second in command, in the ring, keeping well clear of the kicks and punches with ease. Andrews smirked.
“So, your highness, how does it feel to be getting beaten by a commoner?”
Arthur aimed a punch at Andrews but the other man ducked, dancing away on the balls of his feet, hands raised in defence as they continued to circle each other.
Arthur frowned. “What about him?”
“’You two shagging?” His question didn’t quite have the desired effect, however.
“At it like bunnies every night,” Arthur replied, poker-faced, and took advantage of the other man’s surprise to sweep Andrews’ feet out from under him with a kick. As Andrews fell, swearing up a storm, the others laughed.
“That’ll teach him,” Becker said, congratulating Arthur. “Nice work. I guess this is the kind of thing you’re used to back home?”
Arthur nodded. “Partly. It does feel good to be back in the sparring ring again; I’ve missed it.” He glanced back at Andrews, still getting teased over his loss by the others. “What were those kicks he was doing?”
“We use a mixture of karate, kick-boxing, street-fighting,” Becker explained.
“Could you teach me?”
Becker called Dev into the ring, proceeding to demonstrate a few of the moves that Andrews had been using. Arthur watched with interest before stepping forward to try for himself. His movements weren’t as flowing as the others, but then some of them had been training in these disciplines for years.
“Not bad,” Andrews told him grudgingly from the sidelines. He smiled and offered a hand for Arthur to shake. “You’ve got some pretty good moves.”
Arthur shook his hand, returning the smile. The grudging praise and the teasing were the soldier’s version of an open-armed welcome; it was the same with his knights back home.
The sound of the anomaly detector alarm broke up the training session and Arthur followed the soldiers out, where Becker tossed him the standard tac vest and body armour that they wore.
“You’re letting me come with you?”
Becker rolled his eyes. “No, I just thought you’d like to wear this gear for the fun of it,” he retorted. “You are not getting a gun, though. Lester would skin me alive if I did that.”
Arthur strapped on the gear and followed him out to the cars, where Merlin was already waiting with Connor and Danny.
When he saw Arthur in the soldiers’ uniform of black combats, Merlin whispered to Connor, “I’m starting to see why you like Becker in that gear.”
Connor laughed as he got into the car.
Three hours later, they had herded the last of the stray Hypsilophodon’s had been rounded up and chased back through the anomaly. The dinosaurs- six foot tall, bad tempered, bipedal creatures- had given them a run for their money, moving fast on their powerful back legs. In the end, tired of chasing them on foot, they had rounded them up with the cars, trying to get them back through the anomaly before it closed. At one point, it had begun to fluctuate but then it had suddenly steadied again, holding in the air as the last creature ran through.
“What happened?” Connor asked no one in particular. “I thought it was going to close but then it was fine again.”
Merlin waved a hand nervously in the air. “I think that was me,” he said quietly.
Everyone turned to stare at him.
“What do you mean?” Danny asked him.
“I could feel it, the anomaly,” Merlin told them. “When it started to close, it was just like holding a door open. I just knew it would work, so I did it.”
Connor smiled, thinking. “You reckon you could do that again?”
“I don’t know. Why?”
“Because I think we might have found you a way to get home.”
It took them almost a week and a lot of practice runs at previous anomaly sites before Merlin finally figured out how he had managed to hold open the anomaly. On the sixth day, he successfully reopened one of the closed anomalies. That next morning, they drove back to the place where Merlin and Arthur had first come through. It seemed like an age since the ARC team had arrived, expecting to see rampaging dinosaurs and finding the two men instead, yet it had been mere weeks.
“I can’t believe it,” Connor told him. “We have been looking for a way to control these things for ages, and it’s magic that works. The one thing that we can’t reproduce.”
He knew that this would also mean that Merlin and Arthur would be leaving, and he was going to miss them. Despite their disagreements, he liked having the pair of them around. Arthur had even made friends with Sid and Nancy, the two Diictadons coming to greet him before Connor some days when they came home. Then there were all of the things that Connor still wanted to ask them.
“If I can reopen the anomaly,” Merlin began, “then that means that I can also open the one in Camelot, right?” Connor nodded. “So, that would mean that if I wanted to come back and visit, I could, doesn’t it?”
“We,” Arthur corrected. “We could come and visit.”
Connor looked between them, unable to keep the grin off his face. “Definitely. That’d be brilliant.”
The others stood back as Merlin concentrated, searching for the invisible trace that the anomalies left behind. He had described it to Connor as the air feeling slightly thicker around where the anomaly had been. When he allowed his magic to run freely with that feeling, he could will the remnants of the anomaly to reform and reopen.
There was a faint gleam in the air a split second before the anomaly came shimmering into existence again. Merlin turned back to the people watching him, a wide beaming smile on his face.
Arthur came forward and slipped his arm around Merlin’s waist, hugging him to him. “Of course it did.”
Merlin’s smile slipped as he looked over at Connor, Becker and the others, waiting nearby.
“I don’t want to go,” he said to Arthur. “I like it here.”
“I know but, as you said, we can come back and visit,” Arthur reminded him. “Come on, let’s say goodbye.”
Leaning against the car, Connor watched sadly as they stepped into the anomaly and vanished a few minutes later. He felt Becker’s arms around him and pressed in closer.
“I’m going to miss them,” he said.
Merlin looked around the forest, at the familiar clearing where they had first come across the anomaly. They were back. After closing the anomaly and, as an afterthought, carefully marking it’s location for the next time they needed to find it, the two men set off back towards the castle.
Arthur reached out and took Merlin’s hand, offering a reassuring smile.
They were about five minutes away from the outskirts of Camelot when they ran into the patrol. The man at the head of the group noticed them first, calling for them to halt. Arthur continued toward them slowly, and when Merlin tried to pull his hand away, Arthur tightened his hold. Things were going to be different now; he couldn’t go back to the way things had been before, unable to even show affection to Merlin outside of a locked room. No, he had seen how it could be and he liked it.
“My name is Arthur Pendragon, Prince of Camelot.”
The man lowered his sword and dropped to one knee in respect, as the others did. “My sincerest apologies, Prince Arthur.”
Arthur told them to get up and the man spoke again.
“We have been looking for you, Sire. The King has every able man in Camelot joining the search after you did not return- we were all most worried. I would ask that you allow us to escort you back to the castle; the King will be anxious to see that you are well.” He glanced at them, at Arthur and Merlin’s clasped hands, to the jeans, t-shirts and jackets they both wore. “If I may be so bold, Sire, may I ask where you have been?”
Arthur let out a laugh. “You wouldn’t believe us if we told you.”