04.03.14 ~ Good God, it's about time I got around to finishing this. I can't remember when I started this chapter, but I finally got it done today.
I'll say it now, if you've been waiting for this, I'm ever so sorry you've had to wait so long. I'd be a little pissed if I were in your shoes, so it's cool if you're pissed with me. I just hope this chapter is good enough to make up for it.
Anyway, time to get on with the lengthy process of Reviewer Replies!
Dplover13: You'll probably think it's been too long again, but I've finally done it (hope you're not too mad with me).
silverice31: Sometimes filler is necessary, and I think that was one of those times. Hope you like what I've got for you here.
TrulyMetalwings: Here is your update! (Sorry it took so long.)
wormtail-was-a-whovian: You knew it'd be great? I wish you'd told me what to write, because I'm not so sure. Hopefully it's somewhat decent though.
Meegan: Cross-overs are always fun. I'm actually planning another one for later on (whether I get far enough in writing it is a different story altogether). And yes, I am a Merthur shipper.
Torchwood Cardiff: I'm glad you're liking it, and hope you continue to.
Cookie97: I know people are dying for the frick-frack, but I didn't want this to be a story where they just boned every other chapter. I don't think their relationship would feel as nice as it does if they had jumped into bed together right away.
Galle: I'm glad you're liking the story, it really does mean a lot to hear that people enjoy this, and I don't think that feeling will ever go away. (I really need to get around to updating that French phrase in ch.3)
DoctorWilliams: Thank you, it pleases me to hear you're enjoying it. I'll try not to make you wait much longer for a bit of the dirty do (but given my updating times, that could still be a very long time).
hpets: Thank you for reading, hope you like this chapter!
Ilys47: Thank you for all those nice words. :) I'll try and make sexy-time happen before Chapter 20.
Frenchie: Glad you like it, thank you for a translation! (I'll get round to it, I swear.)
Now that's done, I present for your reading pleasure, Chapter 12.
"Doctor, I think my stomach is going to explode." Rory groaned jokingly as the two left the grand hall, both having had their fill. The king was adamant that they were to eat plenty after what must've been a long ride to Camelot. "Uther seemed nice enough."
"Aside from the killing sorcerers, yeah, he's lovely. Speaking of him, looks a lot like a bloke I met in a school once. Turned out to be an alien bat, but I'm at least 78 per-cent sure Uther's human." The Doctor seemed a bit agitated after the meal, but perhaps if Uther hadn't brought up the topic of sorcery, he'd have been okay.
"Where you're from, Doctor, have you had a problem with witchcraft?" Uther asked, taking a sip of wine from his goblet. The Doctor had just taken a bite from a wonderfully cooked piece of pork, and shook his head. "Really? It's a common nuisance here, I'm afraid." He sighed, rubbing his forehead slightly. "Sorcery took my wife Ygraine from me, and I have since been determined to wipe their kind out. No-one must suffer like I have." Uther gave the Doctor an icy look, that of a man who had a duty to their kingdom. Rory had seen that look on the Doctor more than once before. He looked to Merlin, who was pouring wine into Morgana's goblet, and he seemed completely unfazed by the King's words. He had probably heard them often enough before.
The Doctor led the way back to their room, sitting on the edge of the bed, while Rory paced the room. "Doctor, I've been thinking. Considering where we are, doesn't that mean we can't really do anything major here? I mean, Arthur and Merlin, they're part of a legend. We can't interfere here, or we'll change the course of history… right?" The Doctor looked up, and gave Rory a fond smile.
"I'm glad you've paid attention, Rory. Their lives, this kingdom... they're fixed points in time. What happens here will always happen, it can't ever not happen, or there will be serious consequences. They practically set up the future of the United Kingdom." The Doctor got to his feet and stepped over to the human. "But, you never know, we could end up causing a part of what lives on in the legend. Exciting thought, right? On the other hand, the risk of damage to history is too great. I know I promised to bring you here, but I'm afraid I might have to cut our trip short. We'll leave in the morning." The Doctor said reluctantly, causing Rory to give a slight frown.
"I understand." He said, moving over to the bed and lying across it. "It's just a shame we can't stay a litt-" A scream echoed in through the window, gaining the attention of the two men. The Doctor was quickly at the window, looking out into the courtyard, where a woman lay sprawled out and bleeding.
"Looks like you might get what you asked for." The Doctor commented before running for the door, Rory hot on his heels.
A small crowd had gathered around the woman now, and the Doctor had to push his way through. "Let me pass, I'm a physician." The crowd parted enough to let him through. He approached the body carefully, kneeling at the woman's side with Rory stood just behind him.
"What happened to her?" he asked, looking at the woman. There were deep, bloody cuts and gouges all over her body, and her clothes had practically been shredded.
"It looks like an animal attack, but I've no idea what could've done this." He admitted, closing the woman's lifeless eyes. "I'm so sorry." He whispered.
"Someone fetch Gaius, this man doesn't know what he's doing!" Someone from the crowd shouted.
"I'm here, I'm here, make way." A voice called back, and the crowd allowed a small, grey-haired elderly man to pass through and look at the body. "Oh, Doctor, you're here. What did you make of it?"
"Some kind of animal, but he isn't sure what." Rory answered for him, causing Gaius to notice him.
"You must be the Doctor's knight. He's told me a lot about you. I'm Gaius, the court physician. It's good to meet you, although I do wish it were under better circumstances." He looked back to the body, examining it closely. "If it was an animal, it must've had some fearsome claws on it."
The Doctor rose to his feet. "Rory and I will check with the guards at every entrance, see if they saw anything come through. Gaius, further examination of the body. Everyone else, I suggest you go to your homes - what did this may not have gone far."
The crowd began to disperse, and Gaius was able to step back from the body. "I'll check the books after, see if there's anything in there that would do something like this."
"Good man." The Doctor smiled, and nodded to Rory. The two headed for the main entrance, but stopped just short of it. "You go around the right, I'll take the left, meet you round the back." Rory nodded and turned, but the Doctor still had hold of his arm. Rory looked at the Doctor, seeing fear on his face. "Please be careful, Rory. I don't know if these old hearts can handle seeing you die again. I-" The Doctor fell quiet as Rory hugged him.
"I know." The men stood silently in their embrace, the Doctor breathing the citrusy scent of Rory's hair. Rory stepped away, meeting the Doctor's eyes. "I'll be careful." He gave the Doctor a small kiss before turning and walking along the perimeter of the town, hand poised on the hilt of his sword. The Doctor stood with a goofy smile on his face before shaking his head and moving to talk with the guards at the entrance.
Gaius and Merlin were leafing through books, when the door of the study opened, the Doctor and Rory stepping inside. "None of the guards saw anything come inside." The Doctor sighed, and leant against the wall.
Rory stepped across the room, standing at the table opposite Gaius. "Have you found anything?"
"Nothing yet, and we've almost been through every book." The physician replied, not looking up from the tome he was currently looking through
Rory's brow furrowed and he leant on the table. "Are we even sure this was an animal? It could've been a person, couldn't it?"
"Would you like to explain how a person did that to her?" Gauis questioned, looking up at Rory.
"Those wounds could've come from a sword?"
"No sword I know would cause wounds like that. They were almost more like tears. She was ripped and clawed at, I'm certain." Gaius countered, causing the knight to frown.
"Gaius?" Merlin spoke up as he slowly got to his feet. "I think I've found something." The Doctor was over to him in seconds, clapping him on the shoulder.
"Nice one Merlin, what is it?" He beamed.
"Not a lot about the actual creature, more about what it can do. Victims of the creature are found with large, bloody wounds, they rarely leave what they attack alive, and limbs have sometimes found to have been torn off." Merlin read morbidly from the book, the Doctor looming over his shoulder.
"Why isn't there a picture of it, surely someone's seen it before?" The Doctor asked, looking puzzled.
"Actually, according to this, it's invisible. People have seen what it's left behind, and it's written that a couple people have seen wounds spontaneously appear on someone, a hallmark of the creature." Merlin eyes scanned further down the page, before jumping back up to a small section of text. "It says here the only way to see the creature is through a reflective surface."
With the Doctor's knowledge of the trillions of creatures that inhabited the universe, putting two and two together sometimes led him to five, but this time he was certain of what it was. "Krafayis." The Doctor said under his breath.
Merlin turned to look at the Doctor, taken aback slightly by how close he had become. "Sorry?"
"Krafayis." He repeated, much louder so that everyone in the room could hear him now. "A creature of immense savagery, usually part of a pack that moves from place to place in order to find food. Typically, the weaker ones are left to die alone while the rest of the pack moves on, but I think this one has just gotten lost." The Doctor explained, pacing across the study as he spoke. "But yes, you're right, they are invisible and the only way to see them is via their reflection." He leant forward, hands resting on Gaius' desk as he looked at the three men in front of him. "We're going to need mirrors."
Less than half an hour later, Rory had gone with Merlin, Gwen and Morgana to the houses surrounding the castle, and gathered every mirror they could possibly find, while the Doctor, Arthur and Gaius kept their mirror hunt to the castle.
Once every mirror had been found, they were all brought to the castle's armoury, where Uther had commanded all of the knights to go and wait for the Doctor to tell them what was happening.
One rather muscular knight picked up one of the mirrors and turned it over in his hand. "What do we need these for?" He called to the Doctor, who was testing out some strange device he had strapped to his chest, which held a mirror that he could angle over his shoulders.
"Because, Percy, the mirrors are the only way you're going to be able to see the Krafayis!" The Doctor yelled back, waiting patiently. "So you're all going to need one!" He shouted, the knights suddenly grasping what the Doctor saw as obvious, and each taking a mirror for themselves. The Doctor did some final checks on the species matcher, glad that he had decided to replace the mirror. In the back of his mind, he found it ironic that the first time he'd encountered one, he'd been travelling with just Amy, and now he was here with just Rory.
When everyone was equipped with both a mirror and a sword – the latter of which the Doctor pointed out was only to be used in self-defence – he gathered everyone around him. "Right, lads, my name is the Doctor and you're going to pay attention to every last word I say as I would hate to see anyone here end up with one less arm after tonight." The Doctor looked grimly around the room, hoping to put at least a little fear into the men around him.
"The creature we're looking for is called a Krafayis, which I understand probably means absolutely nothing to anyone here, but either way, names are good, and it has one. Back to the creature, it is invisible, and can only be seen through its reflection, which is why you all have a mirror. Luckily, it is not a silent creature, so at least we have that in our favour. I'm sure I don't have to tell you all to be careful, this thing is deadly, and won't hesitate to attack if it feels threatened. Use your weapons only in self-defence. I pity the man who tries to fight it without thinking.
"If it is of any comfort to you, it may have already left the area. It knows there are a lot of people here, so that may keep it away." The Doctor explained, leaving out the part where the Krafayis might just see the many people as plenty of food. It wasn't fair to leave them hopeless after all. "You'll travel in pairs, the more eyes you've got, the better. Have each other's backs and try not to let the creature tear you to pieces. I won't bother telling you what it looks like as the chances of there being two creatures that are only visible through reflections are incredibly slim. If you see it, try to lead it towards the main gate. There, Gaius, Guinevere and I will have prepared a trap for the creature."
The Doctor fell silent, and the men rose to their feet, each quickly pairing up and heading out to start the search. In one corner of the room, Arthur pulled Merlin aside, and in another, Morgana and Gwen were fussing over each other, former telling the latter to be careful.
Rory was in talks with a knight who had offered to be his partner, but before he could respond, the Doctor had taken him by the arm and guided him away from the crowd, smiling apologetically to the knight he'd whisked him away from.
"I'm going to partner up with him, and don't worry, I-" The Doctor cut Rory off with a finger on his lips.
"No. I want you with Arthur and Merlin, you're going to be the safest with them. I don't know which expert-swordsman-slash-future-king and sorcerer I would want buddied with my boyfriend more than those two. Now go." And with that, the Doctor turned Rory on the spot and gave him a shove towards Arthur and Merlin, not giving the now very confused and blushing man a chance to question him about that particular word he used. He then turned on his heel, and started towards Morgana and Gwen, ensuring the King's ward that he would take the greatest care of her maid under pain of death.
Meanwhile, Rory tried not think about what the Doctor had called him as he walked over to where Arthur and Merlin stood talking in hushed tones. Arthur was dressed from his shoulders down in spotless armour that Merlin had no doubt spent several hours polishing. On the other hand, Merlin was dressed simply in mail and a red tunic, decorated with the Pendragon coat of arms. Two swords and a pair of mirrors rested on the stone bench nearby.
Noticing his approach, the two looked at Rory almost simultaneously, and the roman was forced to think on his feet. "The Doctor sent me to join you, he thinks I could learn a couple things from watching the great Arthur Pendragon in action." He lied as convincingly as he could, which seemed to be good enough, as a cocky smile lit up on Arthur's face.
"Well, yes, I imagine you could. If there's time after all this is done, I'll even teach you some strategic manoeuvres you can use in battle." Arthur boasted. Merlin was stood just behind him, and Rory managed to catch the sorcerer rolling his eyes, which made him grin, but Arthur just took it for eagerness to learn from the best.
A hand clapped down on Rory's shoulder, and he turned his head to find the Doctor stood behind him, the species matcher fully strapped on and functioning, giving off the odd beep and whir. "You boys know where you're going?" He asked, looking at all three in turn.
"Yeah, we'll head out now." Rory answered while Merlin and Arthur sheathed their swords and tucked the mirrors into their belts.
"Look out for each other. There's a fog starting to settle, so that could make things a bit difficult, but that doesn't change that you strike only in self-defence." The Doctor looked hard at Arthur, then Merlin, before his gaze turned to Rory. His eyes lingered there for a moment before looking down and taking a deep breath. "Be careful, boys."
"You too." Rory replied, causing the Doctor to give him a fleeting smile before he rejoined Gauis and Guinevere, and led them out of the armoury. Rory looked back to Arthur and Merlin, and swallowed thickly. "Let's go then."
04.03.14 ~ As always, please, please, let me know what you think! I love hearing feedback from you - be it good or bad - as it all helps me to become a better writer. I'm glad you've stuck with it this far, and haven't gotten sick of my shit yet, but university is a huge drain on my time, and it's hard finding times where I feel like writing, let alone have an idea of where to take something.
Just to refresh you, my current ideas are:
- Completing the Merlin crossover, hopefully done in the next two chapters, if not one.
- A tribute to the late, great Elisabeth Sladen where the Doctor gets to say goodbye.
- An idea I originally kept secret, but will now inform you of - much like in Father's Day, Rory asks the Doctor if he can go back to say a proper farewell to his mother.
- Two more ideas that I'm going to keep secret for now, but I will let you know that one involves another crossover, and the other ties the story into Series 7 of Doctor Who.
Right, I'm going to leave it at that, and I'll apologise now if you don't here from me again for almost a year (please don't hate me).
Again, thank you so much for reading this, I can't believe how big a following this story has, it is a massive confidence booster in my writing ability.
Anyway, until next time,