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Drabbles: Back in the Good Old Days

 Back In the Good Old Days
By PaBurke
Beta-Challenge: Neal Caffrey is a descendant of Merlin


“You’re doing it wrong.”

Neal Caffrey’s fingers tightened around the paintbrush and he stopped, careful not to let the brush drag on the canvas. His visitor hadn’t warned that he was about, but then Merlin never did.

Neal ‘ignored’ the specter as he cleaned the paintbrush; he’d be too upset to paint when Merlin finally left.

Merlin was grinning at him. Nothing Neal could do would compare to the political games of his youth. He wore the appearance of a teen boy with black hair and blue eyes. Sometimes, Merlin appeared middle-aged and other times, he looked ancient.

“Merlin,” Neal said.

“Grandson,” the ghost replied in exactly the same tone.

Neal tried not to react. As much as he yearned to know his parents, he was ambivalent about being haunted by his great-great-(etc)-grandfather. At least Merlin didn’t mind his profession –he had accomplished a number of cons and forgeries as well.

“Well?” Merlin prompted, “Why are you doing such a horrible job safe-keeping Arthur’s descendant?”

They had argued this many times. “Did you miss the part where Peter carries a gun and I don’t?”

Merlin huffed. “Arthur carried a sword and I didn’t. That didn’t stop me from protecting him.”


The Old Ways Are Best


They’re being chased in a museum, after hours. Peter lost his gun when they were captured. Neal managed to pick their handcuffs’ locks (he’ll tease Peter about that later). Peter picked the lock on the door and they were trying to escape. Peter kept his eye out for some sort of weapon, most likely a knife or a gun. Neal knew this museum well and no such weapons were nearby.

So Peter picked up a sword and was scary good with it.

Merlin whispered in Neal’s ear. “Can you get him to Chicago? I’ve got a sword waiting for him.”


How We Militarized Back Then


Neal Caffrey dreamt and couldn’t wake up. Merlin was there and told him he was in a dream. Arthur held a sword on a stranger and a not-Peter. A girl tried to change the dream landscape, but Merlin stopped her.

Arthur questioned the strangers until they admitted that they were hired to find the location of several of Neal’s hidden art pieces. Merlin figured out a way to wake Neal up.

This time when Peter stood over him asking if he was alright, Neal knew this was reality. Peter held a gun on the strangers that had walked Neal’s dream.