kumquatix: Gwen smiling (gwen)
[personal profile] kumquatix
Title: The not so excellent past life regression adventure
Author: Kumquatix
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Gen
Spoilers: The Curse of Cornelius Sigan
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 1400
Summary: Modern AU Gwen and Merlin experiment with guided meditation, and Arthur experiments with experimenting.

Notes: This fic has been remixed into Talking Books and Burning Sticks (The Excellent Adventure Remix) by [archiveofourown.org profile] sophinisba
I recommend reading [personal profile] sophinisba's fic for the wonderful fleshing out with sensual details, world building and characterization!

Jennifer sat up on the futon again. "Merle, you're not a hypnotherapist. I don't think we should be experimenting with this."

Merle gave her the puppy dog eyes. "Please, Jen? It's only guided meditation. You know I'd bring you out of it if you started feeling bad."

Jennifer was not convinced. "You're the one who's having dreams about a past life. I think you should meditate, and I should read from the book."

"There's more to it than just reading from a book! I took a two day course at the Enlightenment Centre, you know that. And I don't think you should try to guide me at least until you know what it feels like for yourself. Anyway, I would just see my dreams again, whether they're true or not. I need you to corroborate the details," Merle said.

'Corroborate', Jennifer thought. Merle was taking this way too seriously, and she was afraid she would end up disappointing him if she didn't see exactly what he had seen in his recurring dreams. Or worse, he would keep pestering her to try again until she did see it.

"Are we doing this or not?" Arthur said. If Merle was too serious, Arthur was having too much fun. He had actually spent an hour finding the perfect CD with alpha-wave music, and bought incense to 'set the mood', and Jennifer had barely managed to dissuade him from getting a black light lamp.

"Yes, okay, we are," Jennifer said. "Sit still, Arthur! And don't stare intensely at me or loom over me like that. And you remember what it looks like when I have a nightmare – it's your job to tell Merle if he needs to bring me out of the trance, okay?"

Arthur actually giggled, like a small child about to do something naughty. "I'm not going to let you have a bad trip!" he assured her.

Jennifer exchanged a look with Merle. They had never told him about going to raves and taking e, and this was why. Arthur thought it was thrillingly transgressive to put rum in hot cocoa after skiing, and the one time she had given him a red bull to drink when he was trying to finish up a paper late at night, he had kept referring obliquely to it every time he talked to his father for months after.

She lay back down, and tried to relax. Strangely, the music and scent of burning sandalwood helped give her something to focus on, and she was able to let Merle's voice just wash soothingly over her and settle deep in her mind. Soon she was drifting in blissful nothingness.

---

When she became aware of herself again, she was in a strange room. She tried to recall how she got here, but the last thing she remembered was hanging out at home with Merle and Arthur.

The room she was in was large, with huge leaded windows, brick walls, and a flagstone floor. There were a few pieces of antique furniture. She was standing in the middle of the room, holding a bouquet of flowers, and she was wearing someone else's clothes.

She heard movement behind her, and turned around. Morgan was here!

"Gódan morgen, Gwen," she said with a smile. Jennifer stared at her. She looked like Morgan, and kind of talked like her too, but there was something off. Her face was slightly wrong, and Morgan never wore her hair like that. Or a renaissance fair costume like that.

"Ic lóce ðu mé blóstmas geboren hæfest. Leóflíc, ic þance þé," the woman who was not Morgan continued.

"I'm sorry, I don't understand Dutch," Jennifer said, trying not to sound angry or defensive. The woman didn't look like someone who would put roofies in her drink and abduct her, though of course you never knew. "Do you speak English?"

The woman looked puzzled. "Guinevere, ic understendee þé ne," she said.

"For god's sake," Jennifer said. "Jennifer. Jennn—ee—fer. And ich don't understandee thee non plus. No wait, that's wrong. Parlez vou français?" Even if the woman did speak French, Jennifer wasn't sure she'd be able to understand her. Maybe she should just grab that fire poker and try to get out of here. Maybe find the police.

Surely the police in the Netherlands spoke English.

She dropped the flowers, and hoisted up the yellow kirtle someone had creepily dressed her in, and made a run for the door.

As soon as she passed through the door opening, she found herself in her own living room on her own futon. Arthur was sitting next to her and shaking her shoulder.

"Ah! Oh, Arthur, thank you for waking me." He put his arms around her, and she snuggled into his embrace gladly. She felt her pulse slowing back down.

"What happened, Jen? You went completely grey," Arthur murmured into her hair.

"I am so sorry," Merle said. "Really very, extremely, sorry."

"Hey, don't worry about it. I've had nightmares before, and this was really nothing special. Come here and give me a hug," she said, and half let go of Arthur so she could extend an arm to Merle.

She squeezed them both as hard as she could, then gave them each a kiss on the cheek.

"Okay, I think we deserve some pizza after that! I can tell you what happened while we eat," she said, and started groping around in Arthur's pocket for his mobile.

Arthur and Merle stared at her with identical worried frowns, and didn't answer.

"What?" she said. "Merle, aren't you curious to know what I saw?"

"You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, Jen," he said seriously.

"We are never experimenting with the alternative again," Arthur said firmly. "Merle, you're staying away from that Enlightenment Centre. Jennifer, don't give in to him if he ever suggests anything like this again."

"I guess I must have really scared you guys," Jennifer said. "I promise you, nothing bad happened. I was just in a strange room with some Dutch woman who looked like Morgan. I don't even know why I got so scared, it was nothing, honestly."

"Do you remember sitting up and talking to us?" Merle asked. "Because you started talking some strange language, and you looked at us like you had no idea who we were."

Weird. She didn't remember that at all. "Pizza, boys," she said firmly. "We can dissect this later."

---

Gwen came back to herself in the corridor outside Morgana's chamber.

"Gwen!" Morgana called behind her, and caught her arm. "Are you all right? What happened?"

"I am unharmed," Gwen assured her. "Don't go into your chambers, I think I sprang a magical trap meant for you. They must have sent me back when they realized they had the wrong person."

"We must go tell Gaius!" Morgana said. "What do you mean, 'sent you back'? Did you go to another place?" she continued, as they hurried along.

Gwen told her all about the strange dark room she had found herself in, with the eerie music and strange smell, and the two men who looked suspiciously like Prince Arthur and Merlin, one of them reciting a magical spell from a book, and the other holding on to her arm with an iron grip.

---

After hours of study, Gaius determined that it must have been a soul transfer spell Gwen had been the victim of. No matter how long they searched they could not find any enchanted object in Morgana's room that could have served as a focus for the spell, but Gwen did discover that her kirtle had a small piece of fabric torn out of the lining.

Gaius was of the opinion that the spell caster must have stolen the fabric when Gwen's clothes were in the laundry with Morgana's. Gwen did not think her kirtle looked like anything a lady would wear, but it was the explanation that made the most sense.

In any case, Morgana ordered her tailor to sew Gwen a new dress, and King Uther put a guard on the laundry room. It turned out to be one of the more popular posts despite the heat and humidity, and Prince Arthur put it to good use as an incentive for good performance.

The laundry maids were well pleased too.

Gwen loved her beautiful new blue dress, and she was not ever magically abducted in the same way again.
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