Plot Summary: A modern day Arthur does odd things he can't explain, and when those odd things lead him to an Dark Ages archaeological dig, he finds much more than he bargained for.
Rating: I'm bumping this one up to PG because of Arthur's dreams being a little bit graphic.
Genres: angst, fluff, modern AU
Notes: Wow, I cannot BELIEVE the response I have gotten from the first posting. I really can't thank you all enough for your encouragement. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Here's Chapter 1: community.livejournal.com/merlinxarthur/2
And now, Chapter 2!
Arthur went home and tried to forget about the incident with the clasp. He wasn’t sleeping much, being plagued by dreams that were unsettling and strange and that he couldn’t really remember when he woke. His father was casting him questioning looks, unwilling to voice his worry because he feared he’d look weak.
But he found himself shaken up when he was out to lunch one day and spotted a book in a bookstore with a picture of a knight on it. It only stopped him because he had the odd thought that it wasn’t even a very good picture of what a knight should look like, and then the rational side of him asked how the hell could he know that?, and then another part of his brain answered with some sort of stupid phrase like, “Well, you SHOULD know, shouldn’t you?”
He bought the book and had it lying on his desk for the rest of the afternoon as he stared at the cover, not finishing any of his work. He took it home with him and propped it up on the counter against the fruit in his fake fruit bowl, staring at it like it meant something, if only he could remember…
That night, he had a very realistic, very vivid dream about being in the middle of a fight, killing fierce, burly men with a sword that glistened red in the sunlight. He could smell the blood, feel the sweat and the fear and the pain of the men as they ducked his fierce and angry blows…
Arthur awoke four hours later to the sun pouring in through his window, his heart pounding and the sweat pooling beneath his T-shirt. His body ached as if he’d been running for hours.
He should have been afraid. He should have been calling a psychiatrist and making an appointment to discuss the dreams and be prescribed pills. But Arthur found he loved it. He loved the gracefulness of it, the odd and almost sickening beauty of his body bending to do something terrible and destructive like kill another human being.
He relished those dreams, and started climbing into bed early in the evenings so that he could have them a little longer, a little more. He couldn’t stop himself; the adrenaline, the thrill of the dream was addicting. He never wanted it to stop.
But thanks to the early evenings spent in bed, his social life went from active to a standstill. He wasn’t actually getting any rest while he was fighting imaginary bandits in his dreams, and his work and his energy levels began to suffer as a result.
Arthur found himself caught in a quandary: He needed to sleep, needed to live the regular life he’d been living for quite some time in order to appear sane and ordinary and keep his father from killing him. But he loved being whoever and whatever he was in the dreams, this imaginary hero with the strength of many men and the ability to defeat his enemies.
If Arthur was honest with himself, he knew he might just be going crazy. But he found he didn’t care.
Three weeks into the beginning of the dreams, instead of going out with his mates to a high society club, Arthur got into his Jaguar and drove to the site. He had no idea why he was going there, no idea why he was driving towards a place that had scared the hell out of him not three weeks before. He was confused by the dreams and weary from a lack of sleep but couldn’t shake the hollow feeling in his chest that he was missing something important.
He parked on the roadway near the old Roman road leading up to the site. He walked up towards the site with no hesitation. Whatever was making him do this, it was meant to be.
He began walking through the paths the archaeologists had left, pausing at a spot they had yet to discover. There was something just below his feet, here. They hadn't found it yet. He needed a shovel.
But the tools that the archaeologists used were locked up in the Jeep nearby, and Arthur had no way to get into the car without breaking the law. He would just have to come back another night.