Another life, another time. A meeting of two strangers brings healing to some 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, way past midnight when he woke up in the station. The last bus had left more than 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 creak and the slam of cold steel, the door of the glass shelter shuddered from the impact. Light footsteps. A young woman or a delicate man, Cal reasoned. His back ached from the forced position, but he was reluctant to move, to maintain what heat had been trapped between him and the layers of fabric.
The intruder settled to the opposite end, and began fussing with their handbag. Definitely a woman. Cal craned his neck back to observe the newcomer through the iron mesh of the backrest. There was a wave of black hair, pale fingers, sheepskin coat covering her slender form. With rapid movements, she unlatched the cover of her mobile phone, extracted the card inside and got busy with its replacement. So far, there wasn't any sign that she had even noticed him.
Cal would have been perfectly fine with leaving it at that, but the craving for a cigarette made him act.
'Don't suppose you got a fag on ye?'
The girl looked up, startled by the sound, as if just realising that the lump of bags and blankets was an actual person. Her pale eyes gaped at his amused grin, the intensity of their eye contact close to bizarre.
'No. Sorry. I quit years ago.'
'Too bad.' Cal settled back, closing his eyes. The image of her pretty face hovered in his mind. Not a bad way to fall asleep. (One can dream.)
After a minute, she began 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 his the pocket, turned another side. Something tawny-brown caught his eyes, and he blinked to see the girl again, slouched against the supporting walls, legs and knees close for warmth.
6:17. The bus shelter filled with noises. People climbed on the bus. Some were walking away. The sounds distancing. Doors closed and the vehicle drove away.
Cal sat up, batting his eyes at the first signs of dawn. His neck felt stiff. In the early chill, his sweater felt clammy against the skin, sending shudders down his spine. If possible, the temperature had dropped even lower. The girl was gone. Left with the rest.
Before the next bus could pull in, the girl returned, holding a brown parcel and a thermal cup. Cal swallowed involuntarily, filled with longing for coffee, or any hot drink, as the delicious smell invaded the pavilion.
Instead of taking a seat on her usual spot, she made her way to him, handed him the other cup he'd failed to notice.
With a short decision, she sat down next him, spilling the loot of packaged sugar and cream on the seat between them.
Cal emptied two sugar into his cup, tasted the blend.
'Thanks,' he mouthed, as the first sip scalding its way to his stomach. It resembled a cavernous pit. He poured a 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 thought you'd frozen here.' Her voice was even, with a soft Irish lilt.
'I was prepared,' Cal nodded at his fairly worn, 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 probably the most frost-bitten.
'This wasn't exactly what I had in mind.'
It took no genius to know that. Cal kept rest of his observations to himself, silently wondering what could possibly keep her there. The traffic had returned, the first train had arrived at the station. Her clothes and the quality roast left no doubt she could afford to be anywhere she wanted, had she chosen to.
Much like himself, she was an anomaly, but in different ends.
'I'm Cal by the way.'
She hesitated, momentarily, then covered it with a faint smile. 'June.'
Cal smiled back. 'Right.'
The girl with the fake name hanged around the station for another hour and a half, obsessing over the schedules, typing something into her phone. Staying clear from the crowds.
At length, she found him again, smoking in the 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 hundred quid from her coat 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 did not laugh nor withdraw the offer.
Maybe it's a test, he reasoned on his way to ticket office, an experiment just to see what he'd do, if he'd run with it. Any minute now, someone would point at the camera at him.
The hall remained empty, paper bills crinkled sweetly between his fingers. He could walk out of here right now and no one would stop him.
He'd done way worse for far less of a temptation.
He took his place in the queue. Three people stood before him. A middle-aged woman was arguing with the salesman. What was taking so long?
The whole contents of his bag wasn't worth a fraction of this sum.
There was nothing in it that would help identify him, if he left it behind.
Cal paced around. Hundred quid to go nowhere. This was insane.
A/N: Just a short tease to set up the journey. Are you ready for an update? Feedback much appreciated : )