+ FOUND IN TIME +

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"Time Is Running Out"

By: Muse

I think I'm drowning
Asphyxiated
I wanna break this spell
That you've created

You're something beautiful
A contradiction
I wanna play the game
I want the friction

You will be the death of me
You will be the death of me

Bury it
I won't let you bury it
I won't let you smother it
I won't let you murder it

Our time is running out
Our time is running out
You can't push it underground
You can't stop it screaming out

I wanted freedom
Bound and restricted
I tried to give you up
But I'm addicted

Now that you know I'm trapped sense of elation
You'd never dream of
Breaking this fixation

You will squeeze the life out of me

How did it come to this?
Oh

You will suck the life out of me

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Rating: T – MA for violence, language and adult situations.

Genre: Romance/Humour/Adventure

Summary: A woman from the 21st century suddenly finds herself in Camelot. What kind of trouble will she get herself into? Gwaine/OC. Time Travel.

Disclaimer: This story is pure fanfiction. I don't own any of the recognizable characters from the show "Merlin".

Author's Note: My second "Merlin" fanfic! This one will definitely be shorter than "What Binds Us" (another "Merlin" fic) because I'm focusing more of my energy on that fic at the moment. I just needed to write something more lighthearted and fun! Hopefully my muse will stay with this one. Your feedback would be much appreciated. =) xx IFHD

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Chapter 1: Brave New World

"Where. The hell. Am I?"

I panicked. Usually, I was quite level-headed, cool, and collected - perhaps abnormally so, for the most part - but Christ almighty, panic was all I could do at this point. And scream. I sure did that, too. Not out of fear, though, but more out of heightened annoyance. One moment, I was on a canoe on a still lake behind my cottage all by my lonesome, enjoying the picturesque summer sun (and getting a nice tan at that) and the still beauty of the frost-tipped mountains around me in the horizon...and then...this. I had only closed my eyes briefly - for no more than five to ten minutes, at least - and when they fluttered open, I found that I couldn't recognize anything around me. Not a damn thing. I was still safely on the small-sized canoe in the middle of the lake, thank God, but my surroundings were anything but familiar.

Had I gone adrift that far? My light brown eyes continued to dart around the scene in a scanning manner, as though they would find something - anything - that would determine where I was. My family's cottage, which should have been in the distant horizon to the south, was gone, only to be replaced by endless rows and groups of trees and shrub...and more trees and shrub. Gazing at the sky through squinted eyes, I realized that the sun had lowered more than it should have at the peak of the morning; it looked as though it was well into the late afternoon already.

No. I couldn't have fallen asleep. And even if I had, I sure as hell would have at least distinguished where I was when I awoke.

Phone! Yes, my darling iPhone. That baby could GPS me out of anywhere! Excitedly feeling my pockets for the life-saving device, I hurriedly pulled it out, a wide grin plastered on my face. As I gazed upon the screen, however, the grin instantly vanished as quickly as it had come, as did any sign of relief within me.

No reception.

Typical.

I should really, really leave my phone company.

What also struck me as peculiar was that the time still said 9AM - only half an hour after I had drifted from shore.

With a throaty growl, I finally decided to row back to land as quickly as I could manage, gaze still keenly searching for a soul in sight. Although the area around my family's cottage was quite serene and tranquil, this particular area was even moreso; even through my panic, it brought a certain stillness within my being, surprisingly calming my rising emotions. As the canoe skidded to a stop, I hopped out easily and dragged it further onto the smooth shore. It was one thing to be lost, but to be stranded as well would have been more of a headache! Tossing the paddles lightly inside upon the seats, I trekked forward to nowhere in particular, stalking deeper into the woods and traversing through miniature brooks and streams. This looks like the beginning of a bloody horror film, I scoffed morbidly to myself, surveying the sublime scene before me: miles of dense trees and foliage as far as the eye could see, no sign of civilization to be found as of yet, the beauty and promise of untouched nature. At least there was still light out. I probably won't die for another couple of hours, at least...

It was then that I noticed distant movement in front of me through the shrubbery. The heavy galloping of a group of horses sounded, harmonized by a chorus of triumphant yells and hollering by their riders. Raising my eyebrows and grinning impishly, I excitedly peeked from behind the trunk of a large oak. Finally. Civilization! Maybe they could tell me where the bloody hell I am!

Instead of the possibility of being pointed to safety, a lone arrow shot by - missing my delicate nose by mere inches - and violently delved into the trunk adjacent to me. "What the fu-..." I was barely able to finish my curse before another arrow burrowed itself into the trunk a feet above my head. A curt yelp escaped my lips. Instead of right fear coursing through my veins, however, unbridled anger quickly arose. Clenching my fists to my sides, I screamed at the top of my lungs, "Stop. Shooting!"

To my own surprise, the fusillade of deadly arrows immediately halted heading in my direction; the sound of galloping horses and loud voices did as well.

"What is this, target practice?" I let out a grunt of annoyance, slapping the feathery end of the arrows (which caused me more pain than I had anticipated) as an exhibition of my simultaneous annoyance and hostility. I contemptuously fixed my dishevelled hair and hurriedly brushed off my dirtied clothing, attempting to push towards the back of my mind that I had almost been endowed with the fate of "death-by-arrow-to-the-face".

"Actually, m'lady, it's called a hunt."

I twisted my head towards the sound of a man's teasing voice. My expression immediately contorted in a less-than-attractive manner as I caught the sight of the long-haired speaker and three other men on horseback. From what I could see, three of the four men weren't just any men, by the looks of their attires. I raised a brow at their melange of chainmail; flowing, red capes; and, of course, bows and arrows in hand. The fourth individual seemed as though he was only a teenager, dressed in simple brown breeches, a blue tunic, and a striking red scarf. This young man emanated a mystery about him, though I quickly judged that he did not mean any harm to my being. Analyzing what they were all clad in, I murmured to myself, though audible to the men in the distance:

"Holy shit. It's the Medieval Fair."

The group of men eyed me similarly in return, with tilted heads and quizzical expressions plastered on their countenances. Tough crowd. The way they observed me was somewhat strange, as though they truly had no idea what I was on about. I must admit, however, that I was impressed that their costumes were quite extensive and authentic; if they travelled back in time, they would surely be mistaken for medieval people!

We stood in a silent standstill for a few moments, and I used this time of awkwardness to survey the strangers before me. My eyes were first drawn to the one who spoke. He had long, wavy, dark-brown hair; piercing hazel eyes; a stubbled jawline; and a cad-like smirk that seemed to be permanently etched upon his chiselled face. Confidence clearly exuded from every fibre of his being, and it was not hard to miss with one glance upon his well-built exterior. As my gaze lingered upon him, he prodded his white horse to pace closer to my form. Curiosity replaced question in his expression. With his head slightly cocked to his side, he queried with a small laugh, "Aren't you aware of today's festivities? Surely you must've heard from at least one soul about it?"

The three men behind him lightly chuckled, eyeing one another with mirth.

As the motley crew continued to eye me curiously - now as though I were growing a second head - I examined my own attire at this point: skinny, light-blue jeans; a red, boat-neck shirt; and black flats. Why were they looking at me as though I was the strange one? Did they dress themselves in the dark today or something? A weary exhale escaped through my bottom lip, causing some of my dark-blonde hair to jump upwards. "Look, I wasn't even aware that there was a Medieval Fair in town, so if you could just please not make fun of me..."

A second "knight" cautiously approached with his black steed, his narrowed, dark-brown eyes landing upon mine. "What is this..."Medieval Fair"..." he sounded as though he had never said those two words before, "...that you speak of, m'lady?" His voice was soothing; kindness and compassion reverberated through his being and shone through his high-cheekboned face.

Wait. There was no fair?

My eyes shifted from left to right. "So...you all...dress like this...normally?"

"Well... yes?" The young man with the red scarf then answered. He threw me a lopsided grin, eyes alit with amusement. "We are not part of any fair. Gwaine was speaking about Arthur's wedding!"

I cocked a brow, now really confused. "Who the bloody hell is Arthur?"

From the corners of my eyes, I quickly saw the blonde "knight" react unfavourably to this, looking incredibly angered by my question. He even dismounted his horse and made a point to stalk haughtily towards me. "I beg your pardon?" Although he had raised his voice, he shook his head once, as though willing himself to find some semblance of composure in my presence. His form stopped a few meters in front of me before he declared with pride, "I am Arthur, King of Camelot. It would do you right to speak with respect."

I knew that his heightened tone and domineering demeanour were intended to intimidate or elicit fear of some sort within me; however, what his actions only succeeded in doing was make me burst out into uncontrollable laughter. Was that a vein that just popped upon this Arthur's temple? I laughed even harder, now holding my stomach and slapping my thigh. Fighting to catch my breath and wiping away fallen tears with the back of my left hand, I pointed at the mighty king of Camelot, "You... you're brilliant. Are you an actor or something? Is this methodical preparation? Embodying your character even when you're not filming?" I let out a long sigh, finally managing to control myself. My head shook repeatedly. "Please don't tell me you're crazy! Meeting crazy people while I'm lost is really not what I..."

Obviously unamused, Arthur took a few, purposeful steps towards my being and pointed a steady index finger mere inches to my nose. He snarled, baring teeth, "Now, you look here..."

Annoyed by this stranger's treatment of me, I apathetically swatted his hand from my face. "Look, Arthur, I really don't have time for this. If you could just tell me where..." My voice slowly trailed off when I realized the bewildered and appalled looks that the men still on horseback were giving me. I shrugged. "What?" Through squinted eyes, my gaze landed back on Arthur; the vein in his left temple seemed as though it were ready to burst. His face had grown entirely red; coupled with his haircut, his head was looking very much like a ripe tomato by this point.

Arthur turned on his heel and simply commanded with a flick of his hand, "Seize her."

"But Arthur..." The young man began to protest, though was quickly cut off by the blonde prat.

"Shut up, Merlin."

The dark-haired knights eyed one another with uncertainty lining their expressions. As Arthur easily remounted his horse, the shorter-haired knight attempted to simultaneously reason with him on my behalf and placate the blonde tomato. "Arthur, is it clear that she is not from these lands. You cannot possibly just..."

The blonde king clearly remained unyielding to his counsel and reasonings. Arthur's face remained firm, jaw clenched. "Lancelot, stranger to Camelot or not, this woman needs to learn some manners. Particularly when it comes to acting in the presence of royalty." He twisted his head to the left before lightly kicking at the side of his horse to start galloping. "Gwaine, take her back to the castle."

My face blanched. Not because this Gwaine was now walking to my side in order to arrest - or kidnap - me, but by the mention of...Camelot? No. My family's cottage was certainly not in Camelot, or anywhere near a Camelot.

The coiling of fingers around my upper arm brought me back to the present. Or wherever the hell I was. My flashing orbs trailed along the knight's hand, up his arm, then began to scrutinize his sympathetic face. I would call him handsome, but it was hard to do so when so many other emotions engulfed my being. My hard eyes locked with his, and his hazel orbs bore into my own alternately. He murmured under his breath, "I apologize, m'lady, but I must follow orders."

He was serious. This man was entirely serious.

When all semblance of rationality left me, I did the only thing my mind could think of at that very moment.

Run.

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A/N: What did you all think? =D xx IFHD