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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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The Call of the Last - Chapter Five





Author: Milady Dragon
Artist: Madbottoms, whose amazing art is Here
Beta: Cjharknessgirl
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Merlin/Arthur (past); Eleven/River; Anwyn/OMC (mentioned)
Warnings: Language, Angst, Violence, Character Death, Reincarnation, MPreg (mentioned)
Spoilers: For all seasons of Torchwood (except Miracle Day; that does not exist in this universe) and for Merlin and Doctor Who (just to be safe)
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, Merlin, or Doctor Who.  All three belong to the BBC; Torchwood by Russell T. Davies; Doctor Who by Steven Moffat; and Merlin by Shine.  I don't own a thing here except for my own original characters.
Author's note:  This is written for the Long Live Ianto Big Bang Round One, and is yet another future story in the Dragon-Verse.  This takes place after The Green and the Blue so there are possible spoilers for anything that came before.  This is also a crossover with Merlin.

I want to thank my Chat Cheerleaders:  Totally4ryo, Bookwrm89, Cyberdigi, Moonfirefic, and Cjharknessgirl, because without their getting their pompoms out this might not have been finished, what with my crazy work schedule and personal life crises and all.  Also, a really big 'Thank you!' to Madbottoms for the wonderful art, which makes this story even better than I've been assured it is. 

Summary:  Jack's and Ianto's peaceful family life is disrupted when Ianto and their eldest daughter receive a magical call they are unable to ignore.  Drawn by that call, they find the Doctor and a young man having dreams of a past life.  Now they must race to find Avalon, and rescue the Once and Future King from whomever has stolen his body...and rescue his soul, as well.





14 April 3257 (Earth Standard Time)

Emrys could feel Merlin in his head, and he didn’t really much like it.

And it wasn’t so much the memories, although that had a lot to do with it.  No, it was the emotions that went along with Merlin’s life, and just how strong they were.

Especially those having to do with Arthur.

 The Doctor had claimed that Arthur and Merlin had been lovers, despite what the legends said about Guinevere and Lancelot and betrayal.  But Emrys felt it was more than that; the very magic that was Merlin, had bound them in ways that couldn’t be described, and the feelings were more powerful than anything he’d ever experienced in his own life.  Merlin and Arthur had been meant for each other, that much was obvious.

Emrys didn’t really know what to think about all that destiny bollocks, but it had really hit home when Freya had shown up.  They all honestly believed in it; but more importantly, Merlin believed it.   Although the memories had come fast and furious and he couldn’t catch everything, it seemed as if destiny had been a very large part of Merlin’s existence.  That exposure to destiny was making such things easier for Emrys to deal with, only he had the distinct impression that it wasn’t actually him doing the accepting.

He wanted nothing more than to go home, and enjoy the quiet weekend he’d been looking forward to when Dorian had told him he’d have it off.   That had only been mere hours ago, and yet it seemed like a lifetime…

Having someone else in his head, Emrys reflected, as he watched the ground pass beneath them, was almost like having a split personality he thought.  There was Emrys…and then there was Merlin, and they both were different despite being part of the same person.  He glanced over at Jack Harkness, who was piloting the flitter toward what was the island of Avalon, and wondered if it was too late to ask to be taken back to New Cardiff. 

Oh, who was he kidding?

He was stuck in this, and had been the moment he’d awakened in the middle of the night, nearly a month ago, after a spectacular dream of blood and fire that had left him unable to sleep.

It made him wonder if Arthur’s body was even on Avalon, after so long.

A flash of green passed across his field of vision, and he followed the dragon as he flew beside them.  Seeing him brought more thoughts and memories Emrys could attribute to Merlin; about being a Dragonlord, and about Kilgharrah, and how the dragon had convinced everyone that he was the last one.  Of course, that had been his plan all along, to make Uther think that he’d killed all the dragons in order to save his people from the obsessed King.  Emrys could see it, through the filter of Merlin’s memories, and it made sense.  Although it didn’t explain Aithusa, but Emrys was certain that Jones could, if asked.

It was quiet in the flitter’s cockpit.  Anwyn and the Doctor were in the rear seat, and while Emrys wanted to ask questions about what was happening to him, he was afraid of what he’d be told.  He’d heard enough back in the valley, and it had scared him.  He could totally lose himself in this new person who was taking up residence in his head, but somehow Emrys didn’t think that was the worst that could happen.

There was also the magic.

He could feel it now, at the back of his head, sparking and crackling and wanting to be free.  Of everything that had occurred, suddenly having this power frightened Emrys the most.  Not even Merlin’s personality taking over the few times it had hadn’t been as bad.   This…this was horrible, and yet he could tell that Merlin himself had lived with the magic his entire life.  It had been natural to him. 

That was beyond Emrys’ comprehension, even with Merlin’s help.

“And just why couldn’t we have taken your TARDIS, Doctor?” Harkness asked, bringing Emrys back into the world outside his own head.

“TARDIS?” Emrys asked, confused.  But then, confusion seemed to be his natural state anymore.

“My time machine,” the Doctor explained.  “And I don’t have her here with me.  She…dropped me off.”

“How can your time machine just drop you off?” Emrys demanded.

“Ah, but she isn’t just a machine!” the Doctor enthused.  “She’s got quite a mind of her own.”  He leaned forward.  “And I actually got to talk to her face-to-face!”

“What?” Harkness asked incredulously.

The Doctor launched into a tale in which Emrys only understood every other word, but he could tell just how amazed Harkness was by it.  By the end, the sadness between the two was so strong it could have been cut with Excalibur, and Harkness was wishing he’d been there.

“The TARDIS is a great lady,” he said morosely.  “I’m grateful to her for what she did to me.  It allowed me to meet Ianto and to have a wonderful family.”

Emrys must have let his curiosity show, because Harkness explained, “I was exposed to the time vortex a very long time ago, through the TARDIS and a remarkable young woman named Rose Tyler.  They made me as near immortal as a person can get.”

Suddenly something the Doctor had said earlier in the day hit Emrys, and he turned to look at the Time Lord.  “That was what you meant,” he realized.  “When you were talking about my name meaning ‘immortal’.”

“It was,” the Doctor said.  “Jack is the immortal I mentioned in that conversation.”  The same look of sadness crossed his mobile features as it had in the coffee shop.  “And I hope one day he forgives me for the pain I caused him because of it.”

Harkness didn’t say anything, but Emrys could see the conflict on his face as he said, “Yeah, maybe someday.  After all, as I said…everything that happened led me here, to my mate and my family.”

“And I wouldn’t be here,” Anwyn put in, “which would be a downright shame.”

The Doctor laughed.   “It seems she’s inherited your humility as well as your looks, Jack.”

“Along with her Tad’s intelligence,” Harkness said proudly.  “There’s a reason I called her my ‘Little Terror’ when she was a child.”

“If I couldn’t reason my way out of something,” Anwyn said, “then I’d just turn on the Harkness charm.”

“But that didn’t always work,’ Harkness went on, “and so she’d have to rely on the sheer toughness she also got from Ianto.”

“Did you?” There was a high-pitched, whirring sound, and Emrys turned in his seat to see the Doctor pointing a silver tube at Anwyn, who was looking at him as if he were slightly insane.  “Hmm…yep, a healthy dose of dragon genes…as well as just a touch of the vortex…hmm…” he looked surprised at something the device told him, and then grinned.  “Just how old are you anyway?  I can’t get an accurate reading.”

Anwyn huffed.  “Didn’t anyone ever teach you that asking a ladies’ age was impolite?”

The puppy dog look on the Doctor’s face made Emrys want to laugh.

It obviously wore Anwyn down, because she sighed and shook her head, smiling.  “I’ll be 610 in October.”

Emrys felt his jaw drop.  “You’re immortal too?”  Was he surrounded by them?

She shook her head.  “Nope, just very long-lived…which could be a really long time, if I don’t happen to get myself killed.  I’m not like Dad; I won’t resurrect if I die.  I’m like Tad; there are ways to kill me, it’s just really hard to do.”

“But you don’t have a dragon-form?” the Doctor asked, looking confused.

Anwyn’s expression saddened.  “No, I don’t.”

“I would think you would, just from Ianto’s genetics…although I have to say, how he and Jack are compatible to have children I don’t know…”

“It was a surprise to us, too,” Harkness admitted.  “But we’re glad it happened.  And the twins are our miracle.”

It suddenly hit Emrys; what Anwyn had said in his kitchen, as he’d been talking about his work…  “How is male pregnancy possible? The genetic blueprint of it was only just created about five years ago, and there’ve only been a few human trials!”

Harkness shrugged.  “It’s fairly common when I’m from.”  At Emrys’ obviously confused look, he clarified his statement with, “I’m from the future.”

“And the Great Dragons gave Tad the ability to carry the twins,” Anwyn added. 

“The first of the Star Dragons,” the Doctor mused.

“And what do you know about it?” Harkness asked.  “We only heard that term when the girls were born.”

“As I said…I looked along your timeline.  Not far, but enough to know how important it was that you and Ianto were together.” 

Emrys could swear the Doctor was hedging a bit, and judging from the look on Harkness’ face, the man thought so as well.  He wanted to know what it was that the Time Lord wasn’t saying, because he suspected it was important…

But he was distracted by the magic.  It was weaker than what it had once been, but Emrys could sense it just nibbling at the back of his mind, trying to catch his attention.

Merlin slid smoothly into control, leaving Emrys put out as the memories within him bubbled up and told him what the reincarnated Sorcerer was about to announce.  “Avalon is just ahead.”

It had gone dark during their trip, and the area they travelled over was mostly suburban sprawl, homes and buildings of flats where he knew trees and rivers used to be.  What Harkness had said back in the valley was true: empty land was quickly becoming more and more rare, and Emrys could feel Merlin’s anger at the destruction of the country that he’d known so well.  He could see in his minds’ eye the forests, and hills, and the glorious white walls of Camelot as the morning sun caught on its battlements.  Everything was gone and dead, and there would be no resurrecting it. 

The flitter slowed, and in the light from below Emrys could see the dragon circling just under the flitter, and he knew Jones was looking for a place to land.  Craning his neck he could make out a blob of darkness beyond the buildings, and he knew without truly seeing it that it was the Lake of Avalon.

Merlin remembered the times he’d come there.  He remembered laying Freya to rest, and her becoming the Lady of the Lake.  This was also where he’d thrown Excalibur twice; once to protect it, and the second time when Arthur had died.  No one should have that sort of powerful weapon, and he’d trusted Freya to look after it. 

He remembered vividly the day he’d brought Arthur there, and the pain of that last time they’d been together sliced through Emrys and Merlin both like Excalibur itself.  Merlin had used his power to raise a small island in the centre of the lake, and that was where he’d interred his lover, relying on the magic of Avalon to protect him always.  It hadn’t worked out that way, but then Merlin hadn’t counted on magic fading so badly.  He and Arthur had fought to bring the Old Ways back, and Merlin had been certain that magic would last for eternity.

He’d been so very wrong.

There was a light in the centre of the lake; an unnatural light, and Emrys knew that it must be from whoever had claimed the land once the magic had faded enough to find it.  It was on the island cairn he’d brought into being, and his anger grew stronger, furious that someone had dared to disturb his lover and King’s eternal rest. 

But then, if this hadn’t happened Merlin would never have known that he’d trapped Arthur’s soul there as well. 

It was time Arthur was set free.

“Looks like Ianto’s found us a place to set down,” Harkness said, and the flitter banked toward a small clearing near the lake’s edge.  “I wonder what people thought was here before…you know, before the magic failed.”

“It was like a perception filter,” the Doctor answered.  “Like when Ddraig Llyn was hidden from the Master…and when you and Ianto left for Hubworld.  People would just overlook it.  Only it was also powerful enough to bamboozle technology as well.”

“I bet the neighbours got a rude awakening the day they realized there was a lake in their back gardens,” Anwyn observed.

Harkness piloted the flitter skilfully toward where the dragon was waiting.  “I hate to say this,” he said, as the vehicle came in for a landing, “but I really doubt the King is here anymore.  I mean, what would be the point of keeping him here, if you were going to use the cachet of having the Once and Future King in your possession, even if he was dead?”

Merlin agreed, as did Emrys.  What Harkness said made sense; Arthur’s body was too important to have been left in its cairn.  The anger threatened to overwhelm him, but he tamped it down, needing to act and not react.

“I think you’re right,” the Doctor answered, opening the rear compartment the moment the flitter touched ground.  “But hopefully we’ll be able to get an idea of who might have him.”

They got out of the flitter, and Jones met them – now in human form, which had surprised the Merlin part of him a bit more than the Emrys part, and Emrys had been completely shocked that dragons actually did exist.  Merlin wanted to ask about it, but Emrys kept them on track.  “So,” he said, “how are we going to get out there?”

“I can help with that.”

They all turned to regard Freya, who had somehow appeared on the lakeshore with them.  She made a motion, and a boat appeared, bumping against a small rock that poked up from the water like a nature-made dock. 

Emrys felt an irrational wave of dislike toward her, and it clashed with Merlin’s fondness for the Lady of the Lake.  It had been her appearance that had raked up the mass of Merlin’s memories that Emrys was having trouble reconciling, and that brought Merlin himself to the fore.  Emrys could almost lie to himself that this was actually happening before that moment when Merlin had come out from the darkness within his mind to greet her back at the valley. 

“I haven’t been in an actual boat in years,” Harkness grinned.  He reached out, took Freya’s hand in his, and then kissed the back of it.  “Thanks for the lift, beautiful.”

Even in the semi-darkness around them, it was obvious that Freya blushed.  “It was my pleasure.”

“Jack,” Jones said, rolling his eyes. 

“It’s good to know some things don’t change,” the Doctor replied, smirking.

“Honestly, you two,” Harkness snorted, releasing Freya’s hand.  “I was just being grateful.”

Emrys got the distinct impression that there was a back story there, but didn’t press for details.

“We should get going,” Jones said.  “Jack and I can pull our Torchwood credentials if it gets dicey, but a quiet reconnaissance is the best way to go.”

 “I cannot get close to the cairn,” Freya said, apologetically.  “I don’t know why, only that something keeps me away…”

“Magic?” the Doctor asked.

The Lady of the Lake considered the question.  “If it is, it’s different from anything I’ve ever felt before.”

“Some sort of technology then,” Anwyn suggested.

“That would make sense,” Harkness agreed.  “Whoever is out there, they’re trying to protect their investment.  Making sure no one can actually set foot on that island would be a top priority.”

“Then I might be able to do something about that.”  The Doctor twirled the metal tube he’d used on Anwyn in his long fingers.   “If I can get close enough.”

“Wait,” Harkness said, stopping the forward movement toward the boat.  “Maybe Ianto and I should run an aerial reconnaissance first, just to see what we’re getting into.  We can fly in, take a look, and then come back.”

“I think that’s a good idea,” Jones answered.  “We may not even have to set foot on that island if we don’t have to.”

Emrys wanted to argue, but he couldn’t.  He really wanted to be the one to go out to Arthur’s cairn, to discover what had happened to Merlin’s lover…his lover.  The Merlin part of him was muddying up the Emrys part of him, and memories of hot skin and soft touches echoed across his nerve endings as if a ghost were stroking them lightly. 

Not that he believed in ghosts…although, he hadn’t believed in dragons or magic, either.  Not until the Doctor had shown up and forced him to summon both.

The need to rescue Arthur crested over him like a tsunami, but he would have to be patient.


 Chapter Six


Comments

You know, whoever took Arthur should be ashamed of themselves. *glares*
I know, they should be! :)