Gelosed in timan - Lost in time
Disclaimer: If only I had magic, or owned the BBC...
Rating: K - nothing much happens
Summary: Merlin has waited for centuries for Arthur to come back. Now he has returned but there is one problem.
A/N: Many apologies to the linguists out there.
Arthur was exactly as he remembered him, only more muddy. For a moment, Merlin was lost for words. Then, Arthur spoke.
"Eala, Merlin! Ic þæt ne undergiete."
Vague flutterings of meaning flashed briefly through Merlin's mind. Arthur was frustrated and slightly angry but, knowing Arthur, that meant precisely nothing. He was almost always like that.
"Hwæt?!", Arthur demanded of the universe in general and of Merlin in particular. "Merlin?!"
That, he understood. Forcing his lips through the no longer familiar sounds, he attempted to answer. "Yes.. I'm eh.. Ic eom Merlin."
Oh heavens above! Magic changed the very fabric of reality to get Arthur here and, more importantly, now and a quick language course wasn't included in the spell. Think, Merlin ordered his foggy brain, think quickly.
Arthur showed no signs of patience. At all. It was frightening in a way how much at home Merlin already felt with the dripping noble.
"Min nebb is ceald.", Arthur stated as if it was a personal affront.
'His... nose? is cold? Oh, right. No wonder.'
It was coming back slowly but too slow right now. Merlin opted for dragging Arthur onto the shore. Though the king protested a lot and repeated 'Ic þæt ne undergiete.' a couple of times, soon enough they were both on dry land and walking back to Merlin's car.
'Hwær cwom pæð?', demanded Arthur. Where has the path gone, Merlin now understood. "Right here, " he answered. Arthur drew his sword and tapped the hard black surface, clearly not understanding.
Oh dear, Merlin thought, what'll happen when I show him the car? He litterally has no idea! And he's wet through and through. He stopped and, still flush with magic, simply pointed at the middle of a clearing.
Arthur rolled his eyes and went to warm himself. That, of course, didn't mean he stopped complaining.
"þeos fyre is to lytel ond mine fet sindon ceald."
"Yes, I know your feet are cold. And I'm not making this fire any bigger, I'll burn the whole forest down. UNGHFFFF!"
Merlin struggled in Arthur's strong grip until he realised he was being hugged. Blue eyes looked into his, filled with merriment."
From now on, Merlin's rusty language skills permit him to speak Arthur's language so the reader won't notice anything special anymore. Many many thanks to speaksaxon dot blogspot dot nl for the useful quotes!
"How is Camelot, how is my realm?"
"Well...," Merlin swallowed, "it's been a long time, a very long time. Camelot doesn't exist anymore."
"What?! How? How long?"
The loss was palpable on Arthur's face and Merlin cringed when he saw the anguish that he'd caused his friend and master in one fell blow.
"Over a thousand years."
They said nothing for a while. At least they were drying up nicely now.
"Listen to me, you clotpole. Just do as I say, you'll be alright!" Merlin tried to push Arthur into his car using sheer force. It wasn't going well.
"Listen to you? I am your king and you never obey me!"
"Just get into the car."
"And don't call me a clotpole. That isn't even a word, no matter how often you say it!"
Merlin raised a hand. "Swefe nu."
Two minutes later, Merlin was driving on the motorway with a happily sleeping Arthur in the passenger seat. Hey, it worked for BA Baracus...
"Where is the pit?"
Arthur blushed "The.. pit you go to."
Merlin showed him the toilet. It was all coming back. Taking care of Arthur, waiting on the dollophead hand and foot, having to explain himself every single sodding minute... He listened. Footsteps, no sound of flushing. Oh gallopping gargoyles!
"Sire, no, watch, listen. Here, you push here and.. your mess.. dissappears."
"Why? Why don't you just take it out?"
Merlin rested his head against a convenient wall. It was nicely cool against the throbbing.
"Because it is more convenient. Sire, please! I know it is hard to adapt.."
"I see no reason why I should adapt to anything. I am king, you know."
"No, you're not. That's Queen Elizabeth. Now just sit on the couch and be quiet."
When Merlin came back from the kitchen where he'd made a pot of very strong tea, Arthur had taken off his armour and was now down to his breeches.
"Your .. flat is far too hot for a man, Merlin. No wonder you look all soft."
Sigh. Only 62 degrees. Hot compared to the castle, of course. Merlin adjusted the thermostat. It turned out to be easiest to just do what Arthur said. Damn!
"Who is this queen Æthelbæth? A usurper? Why did you not fight her?!"
"Elizabeth, you dollophead." Arthur frowned in anger but Merlin ignored him. "You are a thousand years or more out, sire. Even I don't know how much exactly. Dozens of kings and queens have ruled after you. It is now 2013 eh.. according to the New Faith."
That finally gave Arthur pause. "But you look only slightly older. Ah...", understanding dawned on his face. "Magic."
"Yes, magic. Do you have any idea how long I waited for you?"
Arthur nodded. There was no reason to say it out loud. Both men sipped their tea.
Then Arthur, who'd been looking around at the walls apparently, spoke up.
"Why do you have a picture of an almost unclad man on your wall with lots of numbers underneath?"