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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Dragon-Verse icon

The Call of the Last - Chapter Seven





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 found himself being pushed to the side as Merlin took control.

He wanted to fight it, but at the same time he could feel the rage and fear running through the sorcerer’s personality, and he knew he had no chance.  Instead, he let Merlin take the lead and simply gave him what information he needed to find his way through GenCorp’s headquarters.

The magic was all around him, tingling in his head and hands and heart.  It was as if, once Merlin had taken over, whatever connection he may have had to the ancient magic of the planet had opened like a floodgate, and Merlin was using it however he pleased.  The sheer power he was wielding frightened Emrys, but Merlin felt that and soothed him as best he could.

He was aware though that the magic wasn’t nearly as strong as it once had been.  Merlin could sense the difference, and was trying to compensate as he destroyed the security cameras and other monitoring devices when Emrys pointed them out.  At this rate Merlin would tire, but nothing was going to stop him from getting to his lover. 

The others were supporting him though, and Emrys managed to get that through to Merlin as they strode through the foyer and to the lift, taking out the security guard on the way.  He stopped at the doors of the lift, and that gave the others time to catch up.

“We need a plan,” Jones reiterated, standing to one side as the Doctor took the other, waving his silver tube over the door’s controls.  “I know you’re very powerful right now, but we don’t have any idea where they could be holding the King, and to go off half-cocked isn’t going to find him any faster.”  He leaned forward, practically whispering in Merlin’s ear.  “I know how you feel.  I would be needing to do anything to save my family.  But running around without a goal isn’t the way to go about it, and could get us into more trouble than it’s worth.”

Merlin seemed to be listening, and Emrys was glad.  “You’re right,” he sighed.  “But how are we going to find Arthur in all this?”

“We should be asking Emrys that,” Harkness suggested.  “He’s worked in this building for years.  If there’s anywhere they might keep a body preserved, it would be him to know that.”

Merlin hadn’t thought of that.  Emrys tried to come up with an internal schematic of the building even as the lift doors opened with a small ‘ping’.  “There are testing facilities on the tenth floor,” he considered.  “The labs are on twelve.”

“Those are too public,” Harkness said.  “Anyone could have come across the King if he was in one of those places, and I doubt whoever took him would want that to happen.”

“Is there anywhere in the building where there’s a magical signature?” Jones asked.  “There were druids on the island; it makes sense that there would be druids here as well, and that they’d be in charge of keeping the King’s body from prying eyes.   Also, the magic that bound Arthur is still pretty active, and you should be able to sense that.”

Merlin cursed himself for not thinking of that, and it was Emrys’ turn to soothe him.  He took a deep breath, and let Merlin back in charge; the sorcerer closed his eyes, reaching out with his magical senses to see if he could ‘feel’ Arthur in the building.

He was surprised to find weak magical wards all throughout the structure.  He said as much.

“I thought magic was supposed to be fading?’ Anwyn said, almost accusingly.

“It is,” Merlin answered.  “These wards really aren’t doing them much good.  They’re very easy to break.”

“So, it’s a good guess they know we’re here?” Harkness asked.

“I would say so,” Merlin admitted. 

“Then we’d best be ready.”  The man was holding what looked like an old-fashioned projectile weapon, while Anwyn readied her blaster and Jones pulled yet another weapon from his belt, this one Emrys couldn’t identify.  The Doctor didn’t look impressed by the weaponry, instead content to hold onto his silver device.

As he was trying to find Arthur, his companions bundled him into the lift, the Doctor standing by the controls.  Emrys felt fidgety and odd, as magic flooded his body.  He was in over his head, and he knew it; but there wasn’t a thing he could do.  He wasn’t his own person any longer, and he couldn’t help the stab of anger at what had happened to him.

The problem was, Merlin completely sympathized.  His thoughts were full of apology and sadness, not liking what was going on any more than Emrys was.   And yet, his main driving focus was on finding Arthur, on protecting him from whatever was going on.  Emrys could feel his determination and could understand it.

Merlin also agreed with Emrys that his working for GenCorp wasn’t a coincidence.

While he didn’t pretend to know anything about destiny, Emrys knew that he was meant to be there, at that particular time.  That his working at the same company that had found Arthur’s resting place was something that would have happened no matter what. 

Emrys had gone into theoretical genetics because he’d wanted to help people by trying to improve the human genome in ways that would make the quality of life better.  Creating ways to make humanity better had been a dream of his.  He’d been impressed with what GenCorp was doing in that area, and had jumped at the chance to obtain a job there.

He’d been in on so many projects, most of them going on to help the human race reach its potential.  The current project, Project Knight, had been one of those, and Emrys had revelled in the genetic ‘magic’ that he and his team had been able to accomplish.  Their tweaks had improved stamina, strength, and agility and would give humans advantages in off-world exploration.  Emrys was proud of the work he’d done.

He couldn’t figure out what they would want with Arthur’s body.   They only worked with theoretical gene strands, not with actual DNA.  GenCorp wouldn’t be gaining anything by taking the King’s corpse…at least no benefit that he could see.

“Emrys?”

Jones’ voice broke him from his thoughts.   He shook himself and looked at the dragon, who had a concerned expression on his human face.   “I’m fine,” he answered, realizing that while he’d been lost in thought, Merlin must have taken control, and the lift was heading upward, judging from the indicator panel.

“Merlin says he’s getting something from the upper floors,” Jones said. 

“That makes a change,” the Doctor commented flippantly.  “Usually the bad guys hang out in a damp, musty basement or stinking sewer.”

Jones laughed.  “I lost track of how many pairs of shoes I ruined in the sewers of Old Cardiff.”

“Not to mention the excuses you had to come up with to explain to the dry cleaners why your suits smelled like raw sewage,” Harkness added.

“Your coat suffered just as badly,” Jones snarked, rolling his eyes.

 “Makes me glad I wasn’t born back then,” Anwyn replied.  “I have an aversion to sewers.  They mess with my style.”

“She gets that from you,” Jones teased.

“Damn right she does,” Harkness said proudly.

Emrys wondered how they could banter like that, not knowing what they were going to find.  Merlin did, though; he’d seen it in the knights before they went into battle, joking and laughing in order to dispel their nerves. 

The lift passed the testing areas and the labs, still heading upward.  Emrys tried to pay attention to what Merlin was feeling; it was weird, the hum of the magic against his skin, and he didn’t think he would ever get used to it.

To Merlin though, it was Emrys’ life that was so strange.  What Emrys took for granted Merlin saw as a miracle, or magic.  Where Merlin understood dragons and spells, Emrys knew science and technology.  It was a dichotomy that could very well tear them apart.

“It’s here,” Merlin said.  “Arthur is here.”

The Doctor aimed his device at the control panel, and the lift came to a halt on the thirtieth floor…two down from the roof. 

“Any idea what’s on this floor?” Harkness asked.

Emrys considered.  “Not really, I’ve never been up here.  I think it’s more offices, only for upper management.”

“All right.”  He straightened, and the Merlin part of Emrys thought he closely resembled a battlefield commander.  “Since we don’t know what’s on this floor, Ianto and I are going first.  Anwyn,” he turned to his daughter, “Emrys is your responsibility.”

“I can take care of myself!” Emrys – no, it was Merlin – exclaimed hotly.

“Yes, you’re powerful,” Harkness answered.  “But you also need someone to watch your back, and I trust Anwyn to do it.  We’re going to rely on you to counter anything magical we run into.  Doctor,” now his eyes were on the Time Lord, “you’re with Ianto and me, but keep behind us.  I’d hate to have you regenerate just when I’m beginning to like you again.”

One side of the Doctor’s mouth quirked upward.  “Of course, I want to have the chance to convince you to like me once more.”

“Actually, you should worry more about Ianto than me.”

“Ah, but I have a plan!  If I can get back into your good graces, then you can convince Ianto.”  He winked, slyly.

Jones smirked.  “Jack can convince me in a lot of different ways….”

“Ew!” Anwyn gagged.  “My parents do not have sex!”

“Keep telling yourself that, sweetheart,” Harkness teased.

“Are you lot always like this when you’re about to face the unknown?” Emrys asked, feeling a bit left out of the banter.

“Nah,” Harkness said.  “Sometimes we’re worse.”  He checked his weapon, then nodded toward the dragon.  “Are we ready?”

Jones returned the nod, as did the Doctor.  Anwyn also checked her own gun, positioning herself close to Emrys.  He felt pitifully glad of her company, even as he was bristling a bit over the need for protection…or was that Merlin feeling that way, and Emrys couldn’t tell the difference any longer?

“Open the door, Doc,” Harkness ordered.  He and Jones stood at the door, their weapons ready. 

The Doctor waved his device over the indicator panel, and the doors slid open, revealing a large, hospital-like space, with four rows of empty beds that took up three quarters of the room.   What looked like an operating theatre was on one end, and an office was on the other. 

It wasn’t at all what Emrys had been expecting.

Yes, he knew they ran experiments and such onsite, but he had no idea why GenCorp would need an actual medical wing.  When their projects were approved for human trials, those were always done at another location, out of the city, and under government supervision.  There was no reason for this to be here.

Jones and Harkness moved as one, fanning out slightly as they stepped into the room.  The Doctor followed, keeping close as he’d agreed.  Emrys went after, Anwyn at his side.

They weren’t alone.

A man stepped out from inside the surgical area, wearing what Emrys now knew were druids’ robes.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t known the man, but his jaw dropped as it registered who was standing in front of them.

It was his boss, Dorian Edstrom.

But a memory forced itself into his mind, one of a battle lost in the mists of time. 

Of seeing King Arthur taking a mortal blow, and delivering one in return.

Merlin knew who this was. 

Mordred.

He pressed his lips closed, not wanting to give away the fact that he knew the man standing there was their ancient enemy, the druid boy Mordred, all grown up and reincarnated into this new form.  Emrys didn’t know why he hadn’t recognized Dorian as Mordred before this, because of the dreams he’d had of that final battle.  They were engraved on his consciousness as if it were stone.

He wondered if Dorian knew who he’d once been.  If not, his being there was worse than a coincidence.

“Emrys,” Dorian sounded surprised.  “I thought you’d be home for the weekend by now.  And who are your friends?”

He was snapped out of his shock by the question.  But before he could answer, both Harkness and Jones had stepped forward, their weapons pointing at Dorian.  “Torchwood,” Harkness barked.  “Please toss any and all weapons to the floor and kneel with your hands behind your head.”

Dorian actually smirked.  “I don’t think you have jurisdiction here, Torchwood.”  He raised a hand, pointing it directly at Harkness.

Merlin beat him to the punch, raising his own hand and blocking Mordred’s spell before it could go very far.

The shock on Dorian’s face would have been funny if it weren’t for the reason it was there.  “You’re magic?”

This, in a way, answered Emrys’ question about Dorian remembering his past life.  Certainly he would have known he was Merlin with that show of power?

“We’re here for the King,” Emrys said, not lowering his hand.  “We’ll just take him and go.”  He hoped they would be able to leave like that with Arthur, but he doubted it.

That doubt solidified when Dorian laughed.  “Sorry, Emrys, but the Once and Future King is mine.  I don’t intend on letting him go that easily.”

“You do realize you’re outnumbered?” the Doctor asked, his own sonic device pointed at Dorian. 

“What do you want the King for anyway?” Emrys had to know, for himself and for Merlin.  “It’s not like he’s even alive.”

Dorian smirked once more.  “He doesn’t have to be, to be of use.  Haven’t you realized yet what’s going on, Emrys?  It was called Project Knight for a reason.”

Emrys was stunned, and he stumbled back a step as if he’d been struck.  Project Knight had been his and his department’s baby; they’d worked on it, not realizing…he wanted to be sick.

“What’s Project Knight?” the Doctor asked.

“It…” Emrys swallowed hard.  “It was a line of theoretical manipulation that led to increased stamina, strength, and agility in humans.  It was meant to help off-world colonists on worlds that were borderline habitable.”  He took wanted to stalk toward Dorian and shake him.  “Are you saying the DNA sample we used came from Arthur?”

Dorian grinned.  “What better sample to use than from one of the greatest warriors of history?”

Rage built far too quickly within Emrys for it to have been only from him.  Merlin’s power rose within him, and it was only Anwyn’s hand on his arm that grounded him.  He couldn’t risk Arthur.  Not when he was so close.

 “The changes weren’t going to be used for exploration and colonization,” Dorian went on.   “With such a rich sample, we could breed an unstoppable army, one that we could sell to the highest bidder.”

Merlin had heard enough.  He lashed out, his magic throwing Dorian back and through the glass wall of the operating theatre, scattering glass everywhere.  He shrugged off Anwyn’s hand and strode forward…

Only to be thrown backward himself, bowling into Harkness and Jones and knocking them all sprawling.

Emrys had the air knocked from his lungs.  He found himself staring at the ceiling, darkness nibbling his vision as he struggled to breathe.  He heard someone calling his name, and then a sound that was obviously made by a blaster firing.

Anwyn, his muddled brain supplied.

He knew he had to get up and get back into the fight.  Emrys levered himself upright, finding himself draped half over Harkness, who was also rising.  Jones had already risen, and was covering them with his own weapon, which appeared to be some sort of stun gun.

All of their fire was being dispelled by a magical shield that Dorian had raised.

Emrys barely had time to register that Anwyn had taken cover behind one of the beds before he was letting Merlin call upon his magic once more, a spell he had no idea of falling from his lips.  Dorian managed to block it, and Merlin and Emrys both knew it was going to come down to a duel of magic between himself and the man who had once been Mordred, his mortal enemy.

Dorian, who had been his boss and friend.

“This is my fight,” Merlin said, not looking at the others.  “You should all leave before you get hurt.”

“No bloody way,” Jones growled.  With a roar, his shape changed, and the dragon was there, knocking beds and equipment aside to make room for his bulk.

Dorian’s eyes widened, and he threw up yet another shield as the dragon swiped at him with his sharp claws, managing to keep them from doing any damage.

“Guns aren’t going to do any good in a magical fight,” the Doctor shouted. 

“But we can’t leave them here!” Harkness exclaimed. 

“He’s stronger than we thought,” the Doctor answered.  “We need to regroup.”

Merlin aimed another spell at Dorian, and brought up his own shield in response to the other man’s attack.  The dragon joined the fight once more, speaking a single word of power that warped the senses enough to knock Dorian off balance long enough for Merlin to strike once more.  The magical bolt penetrated Dorian’s shield, sending him back amid the glass once more.

“I don’t dare use my flame,” the dragon shouted.  “It’s too enclosed in here.”

“We just need to make sure Dorian doesn’t get back up,” Merlin declared. 

He stalked toward their fallen enemy, and he could feel the heat of the dragon close by.  Glass crunching under his feet, Merlin followed him into the damaged surgical suite…

And stopped as he saw the body of his long-lost lover, lying on a gurney, looking exactly the same as he had that terrible day Merlin had laid him to rest on the cairn in Avalon. 

Arthur was still wearing the bloodied armour and the torn crimson cloak that Merlin had left on him as a badge of honour, signifying his death in that final battle.  His face was in repose, as if he were simply sleeping, and the King’s beauty took Merlin’s breath away as it had back all those millennia ago.  Burnished blond hair lay across Arthur’s forehead, and Merlin ached to brush it away.

That moment of distraction was all that Dorian needed.

Merlin felt himself flying backward and over the body of his dead lover, tumbling past the gurney and slamming into the floor.  Arthur was partially dislodged, his head hanging over the edge as well as one arm, as if he were reaching out for Merlin.

Emrys struggled to pull himself up.  He could hear the dragon roaring outside, calling to him to answer, to let them know he was all right.  He couldn’t speak; all he could do was stare up at the corpse of the Once and Future King, and be swallowed up by the love Merlin felt for this man.

He could feel the magic surrounding the King.  It thrummed across his consciousness like a heartbeat, drawing him upward.  Merlin reached out and stroked the cold hand of his former lover, and Emrys found himself weeping at the unfairness of what had happened to them.

He might not have wanted to share bodies with Merlin, but he couldn’t help but be touched by that shattering grief.

Merlin knew what to do.  He knew he had to free Arthur’s soul from the accidental prison he’d trapped it in.   They also had to defeat Dorian, because he was Mordred and their enemy, even if Emrys’ boss didn’t recall any of that.  He didn’t question how Mordred had reincarnated; only that he had, and he couldn’t be allowed to use Arthur to create his own army.

He could still hear the others out in the infirmary area, still calling for him. 

Merlin begged Emrys to let him do what needed to be done.

Emrys let him.

In that moment, they were of the same mind.

Merlin took control, using the wall to stand.  He could see Dorian facing his companions; Harkness was down, and the dragon who was Ianto Jones stood over the fallen body of his mate, protecting him from the magic that Dorian was flinging about.  But even the near-indestructible dragon was injured, scorch marks marring the emerald green of his scales.

Anwyn and the Doctor had taken cover, and it seemed as if Dorian wasn’t interested in them.  He was taking his rage out on the dragon, who flatly refused to move away from Harkness’ prone form.

Merlin knew what he had to do.

“Dorian!” he called, wanting to get the druid’s attention.

He succeeded.

“Why won’t you die?” Dorian shouted angrily, spinning back to face Merlin. 

“I’m not that easy to kill,” he answered, resting one hand on Arthur’s chest.   He had to get Dorian closer… “Besides, you aren’t really trying all that hard,” he taunted.

Dorian took one step closer, then another…

Merlin waited until he was fully within the surgical suite, hoping that what was left of the walls would protect his new friends from what he was about to do.

Dorian was raising his hand once more, when Merlin unravelled the magic keeping Arthur’s body inviolate.

The last thing Emrys felt was Merlin thanking him, and apologizing for what had happened…

And a much-loved voice whispering, “Merlin” in the dark.




Chapter Eight



Comments

whaou !!! the fight.
Thanks! :)
That last line made me cry.
Sorry.. *hands tissues*