Another life, another time. A meeting of two strangers brings healing to some very old wounds.
Merlin/Morgana. Modern AU. Reincarnation-fic. Multi-chapter.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. No profit will be made from this.
A/N: Cal and June are based on Merlin and Morgana as much as the actors' other roles. It's been a long journey. They have lived, forgotten and begun again.
Warnings: Expect smoking, swear words, mention of drugs etc for the sake of realism. - There are no saints in this world, no devils either.-
Un-beta-ed. All mistakes are mine.
It was late, long past midnight when he woke up at the station. The last bus left over an hour ago. All commotion should have ceased by now.
Awoken, Cal lay motionless, listened to the shrill whisper of wind against frozen ground, the distant blast of a ferry a steady reminder of the coast, and waited.
Then, noises. A faint creak and then the slam of cold steel, the glass shelter shuddered from the impact. Light footsteps. A young woman or a delicate man, Cal reasoned. His back ached from lying in the forced position, but he was reluctant to move for the risk of losing whatever body heat had got trapped between him and the many layers of fabric.
The intruder settled on the opposite end of the other bench, fussing with their belongings. Definitely a woman. Cal craned his neck to observe the newcomer through the iron mesh of the backrest. There was a wave of black hair, pale fingers, tan sheepskin overcoat obscuring her slender form. With erratic movements, she unlatched the cover of her mobile phone, extracted the sim card inside and got busy replacing it. So far, there wasn't any sign that she had even noticed his existence.
Cal would have been perfectly fine with leaving it at that, but the craving for a cigarette made him act on it.
'Any chance you have a fag on ye?'
The girl looked up, startled by the sound, as if only just realising that the lump of bags and blankets was an actual person. Her pale eyes gaping at his amused ones, the intensity of their eyecontact close to bizarre.
'No. Sorry. Quit years ago.'
'That's a pity.' Cal settled back, closing his eyes. The afterimage of her pretty face etched in his retinas. Not a bad way to fall asleep. (Hey. One can dream.)
After a minute, she started shuffling through her bag again, though quieter this time.
He expected her to leave any minute now. Instead, everything grew very still.
4:30. Cal hid his broken watch back in his pocket and turned to another side. Something tawny-brown caught his eyes, and he blinked to see the girl again, slouched against the supporting walls, legs and knees held close for warmth.
6:17. The bus shelter filled with noises. People getting on and off the bus. Then, walking. Sounds slowly distancing. Doors closed, the vehicle was driving away.
Cal sat up, batting his eyes at the crispness of the sun. His neck felt stiff. In the morning chill, his shirt clung clammily against his skin, causing shudders to run up and down his spine. If possible, the temperature had dropped even lower. The girl was gone. Like the rest.
Before another bus could pull in, the girl had returned, holding a brown parcel and a thermal cup. Cal swallowed involuntarily, filled with longing for a coffee, or any hot drink, as its familiar smell pervaded the shelter.
Instead of taking a seat on her usual spot, she made her way to him, handed him the another cup he'd failed to notice.
Making a short decision, she sat down next him, spilling her looted packages of sugar and cream on the seat between them.
Cal mixed two sugar in his cup and tasted the blend.
'Thanks,' he mouthed, the first sip scalding its way down to his stomach. Which resembled a bottomless pit. He poured the remaining package of sugar into the cream container, emptied the mix into his mouth, licked the residue sugar off his lips. The girl observed him with some amusement.
'I nearly thought you didn't make it.' Her tone was amused, spoken with a faint Irish lilt.
'I was prepared,' Cal nodded at his rather worn, yet well-insulated sleeping bag. 'Not so sure about you.' He snuck another look at the beauty at his side, but the girl was focused somewhere on the distance, holding the cup between her hands and thighs, two areas most likely to be frost-bitten.
'I didn't exactly plan last night.'
It didn't take a genius to know that. Cal kept rest of his observations to himself, silently wondering what could possibly keep her here. The traffic was winding up, the first train had arrived at the station. Her clothes and the quality roast they drank left no doubt she could afford to be anywhere she wanted, if she chose to.
Much like himself, she was an anomaly, only on different ends of the spectrum.
'I'm Cal by the way.'
She hesitated for a second, then covered it up with a faint smile. 'June.'
Cal smiled back at her. 'Right.'
The girl with the fake name hung around the station for another hour and a half, obsessing over the schedules, typing something on her phone. Staying clear from the crowds and the surveillance.
At length, she approached him again, smoking in a patch of sun in front of the station building.
'Where are you headed?'
'Nowhere,' Cal smiled, squinting at the light. His hat and duffel bag lay discarded on the bench. The cigarette had put him in such an ease not even her pretty face could shake.
'Good,' June replied with a twitch of a mouth, 'That's where I'm going.'
It must have been some rare joke when the girl pulled some two hundred quid from her coat pocket and told him to get her a ticket. In return she'd pay for his.
Cal stared at the money, then back at her. She neither laughed nor withdrew the offer.
Maybe it's a test, Cal reasoned on his way to the ticket office, an experiment just to see what he'd do, if he'd make a run for it. Any minute now, someone would point a camera at him: the experiment is over.
The station hall remained empty, paper bills crinkling sweetly between his fingers. He could walk away right this moment and no one would stop him.
He'd done way worse for far less of a temptation.
He took his place in the queue. There were two more people standing before him. A middle-aged woman was arguing with the salesman. Minutes ticked by.
What is taking them so long?
The whole contents of his duffel bag wasn't worth a fraction of this money.
There was nothing in it that could help identify him if he left it behind.
Cal paced around. A hundred quid to go nowhere. This was insane.
A/N: Just a short tease to set up the journey.