cover for Reborn
Beautiful cover done by Nicci_mac

Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Category: Futurefic, Modern Day AU, rebirth, reunion, Porn Battle VIII
Rating: R
Summary: The rebirth of a King.
Notes: Done for the porn battle VIII with the prompt of rebirth

Arthur is reborn because the world has need of him in the near future. It's a fairly low key rebirth if anyone asks him, though if he's been reborn before, he has no memory thereof, so for all he knows it's your standard return to life thing.

He's born on a Saturday in May and he grows up feeling that his life is a little off kilter

He dreams of the world crumbling underneath fire and brimstone and from an early age, he watches the sky with wary eyes.

He can't say that he knows what's coming, but he feels drawn to old folklore, myths and legends. He knows he's been around before, because he sometimes has this double vision of things, when one situation overlaps another and one of them is definitely not the present time.

Arthur is 21 when it happens.

Not the end of the world. He still doesn't know what that might be, what might happen.

No, he's standing in the middle of nowhere in Cornwall, wondering how and why he's even there. He vaguely remembers hitching down through Britain, and the last leg of the trip, he suddenly asked the driver to stop and let him out.

The man had watched him as if he was insane. Arthur is inclined to agree.

Arthur stands there, on the long, narrow road for a while. Then something catches his eye and he almost stops breathing. It's late in the afternoon, and although it's early summer, the shadows are already long and they are getting eerily longer as he watches.

Still, out there, across what Arthur suddenly knows is Bodmin Moor with crystal clarity, there's a shimmer in the air and he starts walking, leaves the road behind and all he can think of is getting to whatever it is that's waiting for him.

He wonders how he might know the area, although it's not a thought that alarms him in any way. It's more the feeling of a fragmented memory that he's having trouble piecing together.

He walks across the uneven ground and he can't say for sure if he's walking for 10 minutes or an hour, but he finally drops his backpack and runs the last few yards to the huge tree that grows out of the ground like it's making a statement of strength and rebelling against all the other short plants and bushes in the area.

When he puts his hands on the bark, he can feel a pulse, weak, but there. It should possibly frighten him, but it doesn't. He can't explain how or why, but he knows he's in the right place and that the time is right. The shadows have grown into twilight and the air around him feels like it's charged, as if it's not really the world he left behind at the road.

The tree shivers for a moment under his touch and Arthur chews on his lower lip but doesn't let go. He notices a narrow fissure in the tree, and as he watches, it seems to grow larger. There's a strange light coming from within the tree and Arthur puts his hands on either side of the opening, pushing outward, as if to help.

Slender fingers suddenly poke out through the opening, curling around the bark, obviously trying to force it apart.

Arthur can see a shadow of a body inside, dark against the unearthly backlight and he cannot tear his gaze from the glow of golden eyes.

Frozen to the spot for a moment, Arthur just stares, open-mouthed. His upbringing tells him it's all impossible, but the part of him that is older sings as magic rolls through his veins.

Arthur knows, with blinding clarity who he is and why he is there in the middle of the moor at night, cloaked in magic and darkness.

"Merlin," he says quietly. Not a question, because just as he knows who he is, he knows his companion. Reaching out, Arthur takes Merlin's hands and pulls. The tree is reluctant to let its inhabitant go, but Arthur growls, puts a boot against the trunk and pulls.

For a moment nothing happens, then Arthur falls backwards, a heavy weight on top of him.

Merlin stares down at him, then grins and Arthur barely manages to open his mouth to tell him off for something, anything, just like he used to do... Then Merlin's lips cover his in a bruising kiss and that's all Arthur can focus on.

The ground should be cold, but it's not. Arthur rolls them over and realizes through a haze that he's as naked as Merlin is, but the night air is like a balm on his skin and Merlin's hands trail fire in their wake and Arthur is quite unsure if he'll survive this encounter long enough to be of any help to the world.

They push against each other, and Arthur curls his hand around Merlin's erection, kisses him, jerks him off and refuses to let go of him. There's desperation in Merlin's touch as well, as if he's afraid Arthur will disappear if he stops touching.

And Arthur had been wrong.

His rebirth hadn't truly yet taken place and as he arcs his back and shouts his release to the stars, his rough voice mingling with Merlin's wild laughter, everything falls into place.

They lie panting for breath, entangled in every way possible for a long time. The full moon shines down on them and finally Merlin stands and offers his king a hand up.

"I believe we have much to do," he says quietly and Arthur nods. He feels at once like the world has slid into place as it hasn't been for him since his rebirth and his whole being is humming with power and a wild joy of facing what is to come.

There is no fear and no wariness. Not a drop of worry or regret. And Arthur sees it all mirrored in Merlin's eyes and knows that all will be well.

The End