Word Count: 15,808
Characters/Pairings: Gen, past Arthur/Gwen
Warnings: Violence towards children, character death
Spoilers: Spoilers through series five of Merlin, AU season four of Supernatural
Summary: Centuries after his death, destiny calls Arthur Pendragon forth to fulfill his duty as the Once and Future King. But Arthur is also a Winchester now. Destiny won’t know what hit it.
Author’s Notes: I want to thank chosenfire28 for running this challenge. And to finnickodair, your artwork is awesome, and gorgeous. Thank you so much for picking my story. :)
Arthur took a deep breath and gathered up the rest of the gear. Sleep had alluded him the rest of the night and he’d spent most of the drive out to the haunted house dozing. When they’d reached their location, they climbed out of the car and gathered at the trunk. His Uncle Sam met them a few seconds later holding a duffle bag and a shotgun.
“Arthur and I’ll take the house,” Dean said. He handed Arthur a shotgun and some ammo. “You search the property. We’ll meet back here in fifteen.”
Everyone nodded and set out to do their part.
Arthur followed his dad’s lead through the old house. It was rickety and listing to the side. The roof looked about ready to fall in and Arthur had to wonder who was dumb enough to think spending the night in this house was a good idea. Ghost or not, it looked like a good strong wind could knock it down.
The stairs that had once led up to a second story stopped after four, the rest were scattered all over the first floor. A scratching noise came from under the rumble and Arthur backed away from it. He did not want to know what lived under those rotten planks.
They’d reached the living room when all the doors slammed closed.
Boards flew up over the bare windows and silence filled the room. Arthur was back to back with his dad, shotgun held at ready, and hoping his Uncle Sam was having better luck than they were.
“Dad?” Arthur asked, eyes scanning the room. Everything was still and eerily quiet. Were before, the sounds of the outside world filtered in through glassless windows, now they could hear nothing.
“Stay close,” Dean said. Arthur heard his dad pull out his phone, then curse.
A loud banging sound had them jumping. The doors blocking them from the front entrance shuddered again and Arthur cocked the shotgun. On the third bang, the doors flew open and a group of four people stood at the entrance. One was a tall older man with a balding head and scattered white hair. He wore an expensive suit.
He stepped forward and gave them a smarmy smile.
“Dean,” he said. “I should have known you’d be right in the middle of this.”
Dean stepped in front of Arthur. “You come near him and I’ll kill you.”
A fluttering sound rang in his ears and soon the world tilted from beneath his feet. When the world stopped moving, Arthur opened his eyes and looked around. He had no idea where he was and he had no weapons either. The room he found himself in looked like the great room of a castle. Ornate wood paneling decorated one wall and large windows took up the other. The ceiling was curved.
There was a dais at one end with two thrones and a massive round table dominated the center room. Empty seats where pulled up to the table and when Arthur reached the edge he could see a golden dragon embossed in the center.
“Dad?” Arthur called out. Silence greeted his words and fear caused his heart rate to quicken. “Dad!”
The voice made Arthur jump. He turned and watched as the strange man from the house walked towards him, suit in immaculate state, hands held behind his back.
“Where am I?” he asked, his voice echoing throughout the room.
“You are safe.”
“Who the fuck are you?”
“I am Zachariah,” he said as he came to a stop a few feet from Arthur.
“I’m an angel of the Lord and I brought you here to insure that you fulfilled your destiny.”
Arthur crossed him arms over his chest in his best impersonation of his dad. “And what’s that?”
“To save the world, of course,” Zachariah said with a smile.
“My Dad did that already,” Arthur said.
He’d only heard bits and pieces about those awful years, but it was enough for him to know his dad and uncles were heroes.
“He only postponed it,” Zachariah said. “You, Arthur, have a great destiny ahead of you.”
Arthur snorted and backed away. Zachariah was looking at him like he was a prized trophy.
“Yeah, is that the same spiel you fed my Dad? Or are you trying out a new con?”
A loud crashing sound interrupted them. The room shook and glass rained down. Arthur ducked back against a far wall, hands over his head. The wood was a cool solid presence in the chaos surrounding him. He used the wall to keep his feet beneath him as the room shook again, a loud thunderclap of sound echoing in the room. The wooden doors at the end of the hall flew open, and the room around him flickered like an image on a broken television.
Looking up, Arthur watched as a familiar dark haired man entered. He wore clothes similar to Arthur, jeans and a dark hoodie, but his eyes were a bright blue and his expression promised death to any who crossed him.
Zachariah seemed stunned at his arrival and Arthur took the moment to inch his way towards the now open doors. Before he could take more than a few steps, Arthur found himself slammed back against the wall. He slid to the ground, struggling to get breath in his lungs.
“You really shouldn’t have done that,” the man said, his voice accented in a way Arthur only heard in his dreams.
“You think you can stop destiny?” Zachariah said, a haughty tone to his voice.
“This isn’t destiny,” the man said. “You’re just trying to restart a fight that’s already finished.”
“You know who he is.”
A dark smile crept onto the man’s face and he lifted his hand.
“Then you know who I am as well.” He cast a glance at Arthur. “Close your eyes.”
The man’s eyes flashed a brilliant gold, and bright white light filled the room. Arthur had to turn his head away, keeping his eyes closed so the light wouldn’t hurt him. It seemed to last forever before it died away. When Arthur looked back, the dark haired man was standing only a few feet from him, a worried look on his face.
“Arthur?” he said, holding out a hand. “You need to come with me. I don’t know how long I can keep him away.”
“What did you do?” Arthur asked as he backed away from the other man. “What are you?”
The other man flinched, but kept his hand out. “Please, Arthur, we don’t have a lot of time.”
“Get the fuck away from me,” Arthur said.
He turned and began running towards the doors. He only made it a few steps before the other man appeared before him. Arthur just barely managed to not run him over.
“Oh, sod it,” the man said. “We don’t have time for this.”
He reached out and grabbed Arthur. The world lurched around him once more. This time, however, a gentle golden light filled his vision and when the world righted itself, and he was standing in his living room. Several guns were pointed in their direction, and every question he’d ever had about his dreams were answered.
He turned at the sound of his dad’s voice and soon found himself in a bruising bear hug. He was released almost as quickly before being shoved behind his dad’s back.
He moved away, standing off to the side. Arthur let his gaze travel along the room before settling on Merlin. He looked the same despite his clothes, tall, gangly, and big eared. It was only when Arthur looked in his eyes did he see the changes, the long life spent waiting, the grief still fresh even after centuries had passed.
“Merlin?” Arthur said, confusion filling his words.
Stunned silence greeted his words, and then Arthur heard a hope filled whisper.
“You remember me?”
“Merlin?” Dean shouted. “What the fuck is going on here?”
Arthur felt his shoulders stiffen and turned to face his dad. He had both sets of memories filling his head now, a lifetime of being Prince Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon. A lifetime of wanting his father to be proud of him, striving not to disappoint the distant king he called father, battling with a life spent being a child and knowing his dad loved him and would happily lay the world at his feet if he could. It was all just a bit confusing.
“I, uh,” Arthur said. “I need some air.”
He ran out of the house before anyone could stop him. He didn’t think, he just kept going, down the porch and into trees shielding his house. He ducked and dodged by instinct, his feet finding the path without him consciously looking for it.
Before he knew it, he’d scaled the tree and was sitting in the far corner of the tree house his dad built him when he was seven. It had been renovated over the years, giving Arthur a good place to hang out as a teenager when their house got a bit too small.
All of his things were there, the bean bag chair, his crate full of books and comics, posters hung on the walls. A portable DVD player and his hand held gaming system sat in one corner, a stack of DVD’s and games sitting next to them. His futon was still spread out in a bed, blankets trailing the floor.
Another memory surfaced, this time of a large room with stone walls and a fireplace. A table took up a good portion of it, and Arthur remembered being small and curled up tight in the center of a large bed, the wind howling outside his windows. It had been his first night out of the nursery, his father having declared five to be old enough to warrant his own chambers. He was to start training as a knight the next day, and needed to start acting like the prince he was.
Arthur took a deep breath and tried to shake the memory off. It was hard to focus, both lives warring in his head. A hand settling on his shoulder had Arthur nearly jumping out of his skin. His dad was sitting next to him, a worried look on his face.
“Did you know?” Arthur asked, voice rough. He could feel tears filling his eyes, but he refused to give into them.
“No,” Dean said. He ran a tired hand over his face, looking much older than his fifty years. “But Cas told me you were important, that you needed to be protected.”
“That’s why you took me in.”
“Yes,” Dean said.
“No, you don’t.”
Arthur turned to look at his dad.
“What do you mean?”
“Look, Arthur,” Dean said. “I was in a pretty shitty place when Cas brought you to me. The apocalypse was over, and Sam had run off to be normal.” Dean took a deep breath and stared down at his hands. “Not that I blamed your uncle, especially after everything that went down, but I’d just spent the last few years fighting a war and suddenly it was over.”
“It’s hard to adjust,” Arthur said, more memories becoming clear. “Everyone just expects you to be normal, but you’re not. You’ve changed.” At his dad’s look, he continued. “I remember my first campaign. I was sixteen and I was ordered to clear out a Druid camp. It…didn’t go very well, but my father, Uther, was still pleased. Magic was evil and needed to be wiped out.” He ran his hands over his face and sighed. “I heard their screams in my dreams for years after.”
His dad snorted.
“And you just kinda embraced the life after that.”
Arthur nodded. “Yeah. At least until Merlin came along. He called me an ass and tired to hit me the first time we met.”
“I stabbed your Uncle Cas once we ran out of ammo.”
Arthur laughed and if it carried a bit of hysteria, neither of them mentioned it.
“He spent the night in the dungeons and then a few hours in the stocks.” Arthur wiped his face, feeling wet trails down his cheeks. “He saved my life that night.”
A warm weight settled across Arthur’s shoulders and soon he found himself clinging to his dad, confusion and grief filling him.
“I miss them,” Arthur said. “We never really got a chance. It was all about fighting, and stopping Morgana. And then there was Camlann and Merlin telling me he’s a sorcerer.” Arthur took a deep breath and pulled away from his dad. “I don’t know who I am anymore.”
“You’re my son,” Dean said. He squeezed Arthur’s shoulder. “And there ain’t a damn thing that will ever change that.”
Arthur wiped the tears from his cheeks.
“I was married before I died.” His eye took on a dreamy look as more tears filled them. A slight smile appeared on his face. “You would have loved Gwen.”
Dean gave him a soft look and leaned back against the wall.
“Tell me about her?”
Arthur settled in next to his dad and began talking.