such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (m: merlin/arthur [destiny | threelayers])
Amy ([personal profile] such_heights) wrote2009-09-13 09:31 pm

FIC: Rebirth [Merlin/Torchwood]

Rebirth
Merlin/Torchwood fusion ; PG-13 ; 1000 words ; mostly gen
It's not like every other time, not this time.

written during this weekend's festivities at [community profile] camelot_fleet! I suspect somebody had to write this at some point.



"Holy fuck," says Ianto Jones, stopping dead in the middle of the supermarket. A father leads his daughter away, clucking disapprovingly, but Ianto barely registers it. He claps his hands to his temples, his head pounding and his vision whiting out.

It's always like this, he remembers vaguely. He has just enough sense left to dump his shopping basket and escape out the back to a quiet corner of the carpark, where he sits on the pavement and tries not to be sick.

He rests his head on his knees, tries to breathe evenly, and remembers.

*

It's always like this. Mercifully, the knowledge of a thousand years lived never comes to Merlin in his youth, too much knowledge for a growing mind to bear. It's usually in his late teens or early twenties that he suddenly recalls everything he's ever known, always unannounced and completely overwhelming. It's late, this lifetime, Merlin notes. But then, Ianto Jones has been rather busy with other things.

Merlin begins to recover himself. He hasn't been back in this part of the world for centuries, and he wonders if it that's significant.

He starts to take stock. He's much better dressed than he was last lifetime, when he'd been trying out the fashions of every decade with horrible results. He laughs as he realises that he's sleeping with his charming, heroic, kind of a prat employer again. He also appears to have found himself a job catching aliens, which is kind of mind-blowing. More wonders in heaven and earth, indeed. (Merlin had been there when Shakespeare had come up with that one.)

He gets to his feet, realising he's due back at the Hub soon. Now comes the tricky part, the art of not allowing all this newly-remembered information to drown out the life of Ianto Jones. Merlin kind of likes him. He is him, after all. He also really doesn't know how he's going to explain this to Jack.

*

He slips into the Hub unobtrusively - so far, so much the same - but then he stops dead.

"What is it, Ianto?" Tosh asks.

"Oh my god," he says. "Gwen."

"Ianto?" Gwen calls from her workstation. "You need me for something?"

He rolls his eyes. This is needlessly complicated. Then he freezes again, and turns to look at Gwen.

"Toshiko, Gwen, could I speak to you both for a moment?" he asks, very calmly, his heart in his throat.

*

They gather down in the archives - Merlin really doesn't need additional witnesses for this. Tosh and Gwen both look bemused, but they go with it.

"Okay," he says. "This is going to sound a bit mad."

"That's what we do," says Tosh.

"No, I mean - even by Torchwood standards, this is mad. I am -- that is, I mean, you're both --" He hasn't seen these women in hundreds of years, and now he can't find the words.

He looks to Gwen. Even after all this time she's still a big-hearted warrior, a royal pain in the arse, a noble woman in the days when the nobility is dead. And Tosh, still smart and brave and kind, her loyalty and love and eternally-springing hope still intact after everything. "Morgana," he says, low, desperate for them to remember, "Guinevere. Do you know who you are?"

"What?" Gwen says softly, turning to Tosh.

Tosh claps a hand to her mouth, her eyes closing. "I remember," she whispers. "Oh god, I remember everything."

"Here, it's okay, take it easy," Merlin says, guiding them both to the ground. Soon, Guinevere and Morgana both look back at him, brimming with wonder and happiness. Somehow, it makes Merlin feel young again.

*

"All of us, back together again," Morgana says in amazement. "There must be a reason."

"We've got to find Arthur," says Guinevere. "Don't you think, Merlin?"

Merlin nods. "That would be my guess. Back in Wales, like this? Got to be."

"Oh god," says Morgana. "Surely it isn't Owen. You don't think he's Jack, do you?"

Merlin laughs. "No, I don't. Can you imagine? But I think I know where Arthur is. After all - I know everything. Come with me."

*

Down in the bottomless depths of Torchwood Three's archives, there's a door with a small silver lock that no one's ever been able to open - even Jack doesn't seem to know what's behind it. Merlin realises that there is no key that fits it, only a person and a time. He can feel magic humming in him, new and shocking. He stretches his hand out towards the lock, knowing it's going to open for him.

It does.

"Oh," says Guinevere, reverential. Merlin walks into the darkness, and the others follow behind.

They're in a cavern, and it's beautiful, ethereal light coming from somewhere and dancing through crystals, reflecting off stalactites. The sound of running water trickles down from above, and there's a still lake in the centre. A lake with a small isle in the middle, and a plinth, and the figure of a man. Merlin conjures a boat, and they sail towards it in silence, Guinevere holding Morgana's hand.

The sight before them is unbearably sad, Arthur's form still, peaceful, and set in stone, alone for all this time. He still holds his sword, but there's a garland of flowers resting on his brow. Merlin reaches out to traces the stiff lines of him. He doesn't know the spell to breathe life into him again.

"It must be all of us," Guinevere says. "Together." She steps forward and bends over Arthur, lightly kissing him. "It's me, I'm here." She looks to Morgana. "Now you."

Morgana hesitates, but then she walks forward and bends to whisper something in Arthur's ear. Merlin follows after her and lays a hand on Arthur's chest.

"It's me," he says, echoing Guinevere. "We're all here now."

Merlin feels Arthur start to breath, and watches in joyous amazement as his grey pallour fades and warmth blooms in his cheeks.

"Wait," says Guinevere, staring at her hands, and Merlin realises that they're all changing, transforming back to how they used to be. He tugs at his ears ruefully.

Arthur gasps, sounding for all the world like Jack coming back to life.

"You're a sight for sore eyes," Morgana tells him. "Welcome back."

Arthur stares at them all, then he throws his head back and laughs until Merlin thinks the whole cavern is going to come crashing down around them.
fictional: (Default)

[personal profile] fictional 2009-09-13 10:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I HEART THIS SO MUCH. I love that Jack isn't Arthur, and the laughing... it feels like spring. Oh, the sparkly! You rock.
ext_29272: (Default)

[identity profile] sunnyrea.livejournal.com 2009-09-14 12:19 am (UTC)(link)
oooooooooo Very interesting!
rageprufrock: beach (Default)

[personal profile] rageprufrock 2009-09-14 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
OH THANK GOD. BLESS YOU. Also, bless youx2 for not making Jack Arthur :D Seriously, this is lovely.
iambickilometer: (femmeslash otp)

[personal profile] iambickilometer 2009-09-14 06:09 am (UTC)(link)
This was absolutely fabulous. Such an interesting fusion, and I was not expecting Gwen and Tosh, but it made a lot of sense. So did neither Owen nor Jack being anyone's reincarnation.
glass_icarus: (merlin: foot!love)

[personal profile] glass_icarus 2009-09-14 04:41 pm (UTC)(link)
as;dlgkhas;ldkjf \o/

I AM NOT EVEN A TORCHWOOD FAN, BUT. HELLO THAR, OT4! &hearts :D
opusnone: (Default)

[personal profile] opusnone 2009-09-15 06:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Absolutely lovely and I loved that Arthur wakes up laughing.

[personal profile] oddsbobs 2009-09-15 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
What an interesting take on the reincarnation fic! :D