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 When Time Travel Doesn’t Work Quite Right
By PaBurke
Drabble x7
Fandoms:SGA and Merlin


“We’re too soon. He doesn’t know anything yet.”


“What?! And he isn’t even as smart as I was at his age. I was experimenting and he hasn’t accomplished anything.”

Merlin had been rather entertained at the two men arguing. Then, “What’s going on here?” Arthur arrived.

“Sire,” Merlin interrupted.

“King Arthur?” the soldier guessed.

Arthur looked wary and alarmed. “I am the Crown Prince.”

“My apologies, Sire.” The soldier knew how to make nice. He must have spent some time at court. “We came in search of a great scientist.”

“And all we found was this,” Rodney pointed derisively.


“Gaius is the Court Physician,” Merlin told the men.

Rodney snorted, “Probably some half-wit witchdoctor.”

Merlin protested even as Arthur said, “All magic is forbidden in Camelot.”

“All magic?” the soldier asked mildly. He looked directly at Merlin as if he knew Merlin’s secret. “No exceptions?”

Arthur stepped into the soldier’s line of sight protectively. “No. Do either of you practice magic?”

Rodney huffed. “Don’t be ridiculous. When you are as gifted in the sciences as I am, why waste time with hand-waving flim-flammery?”

The soldier grabbed Rodney’s arm. “We apologize for taking your time, Sire. We should leave now.”


“From what kingdom do you hail?” Arthur demanded.

“I’m John, second son of…”

“Atlantis,” Rodney blurted.

“I am not familiar with it,” said Arthur.

“It’s far away.”

“I wish to hear more. Dine with my father and me.”

“You are too kind, Sir-Sire, but I couldn’t keep Rodney out of the stocks.”

Arthur waved away the protest. “Stocks would teach him to bridle his tongue. Or leave him behind.”

Rodney squawked, John glared and Rodney silenced. “Our traveling companions are waiting in town.”

“Send your servant for them. Merlin, show John of Atlantis to a room to prepare for dinner.”


John of Atlantis arrived to dinner with a beautiful, genteel lady on his arm. “King Uthur, Crown Prince Arthur, may I present Lady Teyla Emmagan of Atlantis.”

Uthur was his charming best and Arthur nettled John, but neither could tease the full truth out of the couple. Morgana and Teyla conversed over weapons training. Watching, Merlin realized that as blunt, rude and coarse as Rodney was, he was also the best chance of learning more of Atlantis.

“I’m surprised that your father let you –a second son- leave for such a journey,” Uthur said.

“My brother, David, is very capable.”


When Merlin saw John’s knight, Atlantis’ son’s journey made more sense. The Atlantis knight was a head taller than most others and he wore a sword down his back that Guinevere wanted to examine. His glare would scare off all but the most foolhardy ruffian. He was protective of all three of his companions. He never seemed to sleep. He was there every time Merlin tried to corner Rodney and chat servant-to-servant.

Uthur and Arthur attempted to hire Ronon of Dex, but his loyalty was unshakable. They then decided that John and Teyla would make good additions to their court.


The polite dance of the Atlantis denizens trying to leave and the Pendragons trying to persuade them continued for two days. Rodney ended up in the stocks only once. Teyla and Morgana sparred to the amusement of the men. Then a messenger from Atlantis arrived, requesting that the guests return home. Lorne of Atlantis was stiff and exceedingly polite, the picture perfect messenger. He was impossible to offend and didn’t irritate the King. He had more knights traveling with him than John.

John said his pleasantries and they left. Arthur had tried to convince them to stay to no avail.


John of Atlantis and his court had been gone for two weeks when Gaius finally found mention of their kingdom. He had been looking in the wrong place; for Atlantis was not recorded in the land tracks but in the magical books.

Atlantis: a city where every citizen was equal and all were skilled at magic.

But Merlin remembered what Rodney had said, ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’

Merlin wondered if Gaius’ book was true, if Atlantis was a magical place or a place filled with technology.

Mostly Merlin wondered if he would ever see them again.

Now with an Epilogue