Title: Blast From The PastSequel To: Back To The FutureSeries: Once & FuturePairings: Chloe/Arthur, Merlin/Morgana, Clark/Gwen, Lana/PercyFandoms: Smallville/Merlin (bbc)Rating: TDisclaimer: Don't own anythingSummary: Arthur has returned to the past with Chloe's warning not to go to Northumbria in his first year as king, and yet Chloe can't see that it's changed anything! And then, while infiltrating an underground fight club as a sting operation for Isis, she meets up with someone she never thought she'd ever see again, and finds herself faced with a VERY unexpected situation.A/N: This was really a oneshot, but was split into two because it was too large to post in Livejournal.A/N2: This should be the last 'shot' before the multi-chaptered fic the oneshots were always leading up to.
Isis was overcrowded with the people from the fight club, but they were getting their detonation devices removed safely and being reunited with their family members, and those who didn't have a family or place to stay were being offered one at the boarding facilities Isis offered, as well as participation into the social reintegration programs that Lana ran. They'd help the metahumans get decent jobs and places to live before ushering them back into the world. Helping metahumans deal with their abilities, and protecting them from the people who would hurt them wasn't the only thing that Isis did. It was a well-rounded program, and was one of the reasons why Chloe loved it so much. Already there were counseling sessions set up for those who wanted to attend and address the trauma that they'd gone through at the hands of their captors-captors who'd been arrested and were being brought up on charges of kidnapping and other counts against various Human Rights.
Chloe stood on the desk of her office, wearing her impossibly high heels as she tried to change the lightbulb. Usually one of the guys did this for her (though somehow it usually ended up being Davis of all people) but with everything that had happened everyone was understandably busy and the light that always ended up blowing had blown once again and she was forced to try and fix the issue herself or be left in darkness once the sun went down. She cursed being so short sometimes, it really wasn't worth it sometimes, no matter how "cute" Lois swore it made her. The blonde huffed and puffed as she stretched upwards, lightbulb on the tips of her fingers as she tried to push up on her dangerously high heels and connect the damned bulb to the damned light.
"I feel like I should say something about how dangerous that looks."
Chloe squeaked at the unexpected voice, and she lost her footing, giving a cry as she fell backwards.
There was a curse and rushed footsteps.
Somehow-impossibly-she fell into Arthur's arms, the blonde staring up into his face, not even noticing when the bulb fell to the ground and shattered loudly.
Arthur stared down at her before he raised an eyebrow. "I also feel the need to say: I told you so."
Chloe cleared her throat before she looked away. "I would've been fine if someone hadn't scared me."
He lowered to her feet and stared at her shoes. "Are those even safe to walk in, much less stand up on high tables in?"
She raised an eyebrow at him. "Do you see how high that is?" At his 'of course I do' look, she continued. "I'm not tall enough to reach it without them on."
"You're not tall enough to reach it with them on either," he countered.
He kinda had a point there, and she hated it.
Taking in a deep breath, Arthur's gaze lowered to the shattered glass. "You have another one? A lightbulb, I mean?"
Understanding the offer, Chloe went to grab her spare lightbulb and brought it to him. "Thank you."
"Think nothing of it." He climbed onto the table and went to work, the back of his neck bandaged from where the detonation device had been removed.
In lieu of watching him like some sort of creeper, Chloe went to grab a broom and dust-pan, collecting the glass fragments safely into it and then dumping them into her trashcan. By the time she was done and had put the broom and dust-pan away Arthur was finished as well, off of the table, and standing by a large painting, staring at it.
She gulped when she realized what it was and hesitated for a second as she called herself an idiot for not having even remembered that that was in here.
"You guys seem to have a thing for the whole King Arthur myth." Arthur called over his shoulder and then paused when he realized she was right there, his smile sheepish before his gaze returned to the painting of King Arthur and his Knights, as well as an elderly Merlin, seated around the round table. "I've noticed little nods to it around the whole place, I'm almost surprised that the place isn't called "Camelot" instead of "Isis"."
She licked her lips. "Lana named it, she owns the organization. But she lets us decorate our offices as we see fit… and she has a fondness for the Arthurian legends herself so she doesn't mind." Especially since her boyfriend, Percy, was the reincarnation of one of the knights in that painting.
To be truthful, Lana had reconsidered rebranding, calling "Isis" "Albion" instead, but "Isis" had already become too well-known a name by that time and it wouldn't make sense-would hurt their cause. So in the end the name had stayed.
"So… this isn't an infirmary." Arthur gazed away from the painting.
Chloe blinked at the random comment. "Why did you-?" Her eyes widened. "Because of my meteor ability you thought I was the institute's nurse?"
He nodded, unabashed, hands in his sports jacket.
She let out a laugh at that. "No. I'm not." She pulled a blonde strand behind her ear. "Gwen-we have a psychologist with us who helps our kind. It isn't easy to be different, and it isn't easy to open up about it, but she's a sweetheart and she truly cares, which is something that anyone who goes to her counseling sessions realizes the second they meet her and give her half a chance." She cleared her throat. "We're thinking about adding a medical doctor to the staff though, but we haven't actually done so. It's why those we saved from the fight club were taken to the hospital and not brought straight here." She cleared her throat. "My ability is healing, but I can only heal a certain amount and to a certain degree before it takes a toll on me, so it would be better to actually have a medically trained person on the staff to take care of those who need it. I could assist with the more severe cases of course, bringing them from the brinks as I did at the club, but other than that the doctor would nurse them back to help more gradually, naturally."
Arthur nodded silently. "I see. I didn't realize that it hurt you to heal people."
"Some people don't have draw-backs on their mutations-consequences, mine does, though only if I use it on too many people who are severely injured." She shrugged as she looked away. "Doesn't matter because it's worth it."
He continued to watch her in silence before he too looked away. "So if not a nurse, what exactly are you?"
"Me?" She turned her greens on him. "Would you believe me if I said I was PR?"
"Really?" His blues returned to her.
She nodded as a smile curved her lips. "I studied journalism before… things… happened and I took over the Public Relations of Isis." She gazed around her office. "It's not what I imagined myself being, I dreamed of working at the Daily Planet and winning the Pulitzer, but my cousin will have to fulfill that childhood dream for me. This-this is my dream now. Helping people with what I do, and helping the organization that helps those people." Her gaze returned to Arthur and she paused at the intent way he watched her. "What?"
"Nothing." He shook his head. "It's just that everyone I've talked to who works here has this passion about the place." He gave a shrug. "I don't think I've ever felt anythingclose to how you all feel for this place for anything in my entire existence. To be honest, I'm kind of envious."
Chloe didn't know what to say to that.
Clark knocked on the door. "Sorry to interrupt."
Chloe tore her gaze from Arthur to look back at Clark, a small smile on her face. "Hey. What's up?"
Clark's gaze went to Arthur before he cleared his throat and turned to Chloe, worried. The alien obviously wanted to hug and comfort her and was visibly restraining himself from reaching out for her. Her intergalactic best friend was taking the whole "Arthur doesn't remember" situation worse than Chloe was, and she loved him for it. "Uh, Merlin wanted to talk to you about the ad you're going to be putting in the paper for the extra help we'll be needing?"
Chloe blinked in confusion. "He needs to talk to me about this right now? But the advertisement won't come out in a couple of weeks."
Clark shrugged. "He said it was urgent, that you should put certain characteristics in that he didn't think you'd added."
Chloe snorted, a little insulted Merlin thought she'd overlooked something critical. "Oh did he?"
"You're advertising for a job here?" Arthur asked curiously.
Chloe turned to him in surprise. "Yeah."
"We're looking for a live-in security guard." Clark surprised her by blurting that out rapidly. "As you know, we have people staying with us at nights, and we don't like the fact that sometimes we have to leave them alone at nights. We'd like to leave knowing that there's always someone here protecting them."
"More like a guardian than a security guard, but the position being offered is technically that of a security guard." Chloe ran her fingers through her hair. "Percy has been doing the job all on his own so far, but he has a life and we can't expect him to be a slave to this place. It's why we're looking for two or more candidates who can help protect this place and the people who seek refuge in it." She hugged herself. "As you can see, doing what we do, we can get… enemies."
Arthur gazed between them curiously. "What would be the requirements for applying to be a… security guard?"
Chloe froze, eyes wide.
Clark grinned as he moved closer to Arthur and clapped his hand to Arthur's back. "Come with me. I have one of the application forms in the other room with me."
Arthur gave him a small smile, gave Chloe a little nod, and allowed Clark to lead him out of the room.
Chloe stared at the two of them as they left, eyes still ridiculously large, lips parted, heart racing.
What the hell had just happened?!
-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-
If it wasn't that it suited his needs Arthur would've told these people they needed to be more guarded, but he'd merely held his tongue and gratefully accepted the job when Lana Lang, the founder of Isis, accepted his application (before the job had even been advertised in the newspaper) and offered him the position. She'd informed him that they would still advertise the position as they would need at least another 'guardian' for Isis, and he didn't mind, the blonde merely making a mental note to make sure that they screened the next candidate better than they'd screened him.
For now though, he moved his belongings, which really weren't that much, into the room that would be his, and looked around it. It wasn't anything grand, but that didn't bother him because he wasn't used to having grand things anyway. He didn't care for the grandiose. He hadn't come here for a room. To be honest, he wasn't even sure whyhe was here. Now that he was free, now that he wasn't being forced to fight or kill to stay alive he could be anywhere in the world, doing anything he liked, and he couldn't come up with a good excuse as to why exactly he was here in this place doing this. And yet he was here, and he was going to stick this out for however long it took for him to figure it out.
Sensing movement on the opposite side of his door, which was ajar, Arthur stood and went to it, slipping it silently open to see the blonde girl, Chloe, moving down the hallway, her gaze fixed on a chart in her hands.
His gaze rose and fell down her body almost instinctively, and something tightened in his gut hungrily. He was almost sure this was the woman Davis had mentioned while they were in the cell together, the one the EMT was probably infatuated with, and now that he'd met her himself Arthur couldn't blame the guy. She didn't dress flashy like the other women in this place, and didn't wear half the amount of makeup, and her shirts weren't so low-cut-but there was something about this woman…
Arthur licked his lips as he slipped out of his room and followed her silently down the hall, watching her as she entered a room. He waited for a moment before he eased the door open and gazed inside to see her standing over the bed of a little boy who appeared to be unconscious.
"Hey you." Chloe put down the chart and leaned down to brush the boy's dark brown hair from his face, her fingers glowing with her healing power. "How's my favorite patient doing today?"
The boy was pale and unconscious and didn't answer.
Arthur recognized the kid as the telekinetic from the fight club.
"I can't believe those animals would use you." She shook her head as she rested her hand on his forehead, letting her power drain into him. "Don't tell Clark I'm still healing you. I'm supposed to be letting you heal naturally now that you're out of danger."
Arthur leaned his head against the doorframe as he watched her.
"You should be waking up soon." Chloe finally removed her hand from his forehead and sat on the bed next to him as she pulled out a book from her jacket's pocket. "I know they say that people in comas can hear things that go on around them, so I figured you must be lonely and scared right now… But most of all, I figured you must be insanelybored."
He stifled a snort of amusement.
Chloe got comfortable next to the boy as she opened her book. "I'm going to read to you about Harry Potter, another little boy with strange abilities who had to overcome a lot of problems, and who was hurt by people because of those abilities, but who found friends and people who loved him." She paused. "And FYI, I didn't just spoil the book. There's more to it than that."
Arthur bit the inside of his cheek, amusement growing.
"Okay, here we go. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Chapter One: The Boy Who Lived." Chloe licked her lips and cleared her throat before beginning. "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense…"
A smile curved on his lips, Arthur arranged himself in a more comfortable position in the doorway, arms folded over his chest, and watched as the woman read to the boy.