1963-11-04 - Post-War Sentiments and Sleeping Potions
Summary: Merlin and Dr. Strange take a walk in Central Park and appreciate the facets of success in light of loss.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange merlin 


Central Park. It seems so calm now. With the Hellmouth closed and restoration on its way, the park can finally regain some semblance of normalcy. There's hardly anyone here this morning, the park is practically deserted at this early hour. The sun has just inched over the horizon, mist still lazily dances throughout the park as dew clings to various flower petals, tree leaves, and shrubbery.

Through the mist, an old man in a pointy hat and robes, with a sword hanging off a belt and a staff in his hand, slowly, gently, strolls through the park, taking in the sights. As he gazes to and fro, a look of longing settles upon his face.


The elder Sorcerer has a specific signature that isn't hard to track. Not far from where the Wizard of Camelot strolls, a Gating spell slowly opens in mid-air.

Out steps the good Doctor himself, dressed not in his battle-leathers, but in daywear and heavy black coat. About his neck, the crimson Cloak masquerading as gold-lined self-colored scarf. The taller man orients himself on the figure, with pointed hat and all, and strides over to him with an unhurried air rarely seen from him.

"Merlin," he calls out, deep voice carrying through the mists and hopefully not startling the other practitioner. Strange's steps can be seen in the grass, where his shoes knock dew from the stems, and the mists of the Park seem to roil slightly in his wake.


His senses alert him to the portal as soon as it opens. Merlin isn't taken aback, in fact he seems rather amused to see the Sorcerer Supreme striding toward him. A little smirk crosses his face. As he waits for the other sorcerer to catchup to him, which should be easy as his pace is not a quick one.

He reaches his hand into the light mist and it begins to take shape. It takes the shape of people, and plays out a scene. A king, a queen, a knight, an arguement. Or so it would seem. "Mister Doctor Strange." He greets the man upon his approach. "I see that sleeping in treats you well!" If this is sleeping in, then you probably don't want to know what waking up early is!


"Sleeping in?" The amused query is followed by a laugh. It's chilly enough that the sound is shown in the misty air. "I might begin to consider you a sadist if 6am is sleeping in." If Merlin looks closely enough, he'll probably notice the shadows beneath Strange's eyes. Nightmares, again - as always.

The good Doctor falls into step beside the older man, his hands stuffed deep into his pockets against the crispness of the morning. No one's out walking the paths, not this early. The Hellmouth's reputation lingers and keeps wanderers from idly passing through this area until near high-noon, when the sunlight is at its brightest and cheeriest.

His steel-blue eyes wander across their surroundings. Nothing is noted by his senses, attuned as they are to disturbances in this reality. It seems that the blight and its effects have truly been erased. "So…Morgan is gone."

A delicate subject to breach with his house-mate. He glances over with an expression of quiet curiosity and a wrinkle of pity between his dark brows.


"A sadist? Ha!" Merlin mumbles. "When nearly a millennium and a half you become, you can talk to me about sadism and the wee hours of the morning, boy!" He chuckles and shakes his head in amusement, casting away the little misty scene he had playing before him. Lifting the bottom part of his robes to show his bare feet, he asks, "By the way, you haven't seen socks randomly appearing about the house, have you? You see, I have a habit of losing socks. Sometimes they just disappear of my feet! I've never quite figured out where they go…but I gathered that their random disappearances have something to do with excess magic. At least, I think that's what it has to do with." He frowns and furrows his brow thoughtfully.

"By the way," He points toward Strange's eyes. "You've been having trouble sleeping. It can be a side effect of magic, and of being the supreme sorcerer of Earth. And it, of course, comes with being worried. If you'd like, I can make you a potion that shall help you sleep a dreamless sleep." The offer is genuine. As much as he might give Strange a difficult time, he doesn't wish the man to suffer.

"Ah, so this is more than just a social visit, hmm?" He sighs. "My apprentice. My dearest apprentice. I failed her, and this is what happened." He shakes his head. "Aye, she is gone…for now." He looks over at Strange and raises an eyebrow.

He raises his free hand again and mutters a few words. A short distance from them, a shimmering image of Morgan appears, wearing royal garb from the era that she and Merlin lived in Camelot. Gazing upon this image he's created, he speaks gently and says, "She's gone for now." He repeats. "I only wish I could have changed her ways." He closes his fist and the image disappears.

"Cherish what you have with Illyana, Mister Doctor Strange. It is a precious thing." He speaks softly, a sigh parting his lips.


Strange watches the illusory image of the Sorceress who attempted to end his world and his life with narrowed eyes. It's hard for him to find much pity for her. For Merlin…he thinks that he understands, though not ever to the extent of the weariness he can hear in the old Wizard's wisdom.

"I will, Myraddin. I'm sorry…for it all," he adds, as if it will help explain the myriad of things he's implying: fate's uncaring hand in Morgan's demise (even if wrought by her own dexterous weaving of her life), any suffering Merlin felt at the moment of his apprentice's passing, even any slight by the hand of the current Sorcerer Supreme. "I can't imagine. I can't."

And he can't. It would all fall into the hands of the trio of gods who grant his powers and they cared not for the end results of their own retribution. It's enough to make a shiver run down his spine. "I wanted you to know…I banished her, along with the Hellmouth. That's all I did."


"She was so, so innocent once upon a time. I knew her when she was but a child! Her laugh, her glee-filled laugh, could be heard throughout the castle." Merlin looks at Strange with a searching gaze. "I imagine you hate her. And in all honesty, I did too, for a time. But hate only has a way of gnawing at you until you are but a shell fueled by the desire for vengeance. 'Tis an ugly thing to realize in one's self. I hope you never have to face such a challenge. But now I have nothing but pity and sympathy for her. And sadness, for what could have been." He pauses and then laughs. "Listen to me, just rambling on!" He shakes his head in amusement.

"I appreciate your words, though, Strange. Her loss, despite her turning, is still not easy." He's quiet for a moment, contemplating the words of the current Sorcerer Supreme. "I don't blame you for her loss, however. You did what needed to be done. I would have done the same in your place."


A humble sort of silence follows as Strange walks alongside Merlin. Their path takes them along an avenue of trees. A breeze whisks through, stirring the mist around them and knocking doubloon-gold leaves to the ground before them. Very few linger on the limbs at this point.

"I hope so," he finally murmurs in a rare moment of uncertainty. He hadn't dealt the killing blow to the Sorceress. Had he denied himself some fateful effect on the future through this? It makes his stomach sick enough to be noticed.

"I hate her for what she did. I hate the effects she had on this reality and for the blood spilled in her name. 'First, do no harm'," and the good Doctor repeats this like a prayer, "and she harmed. But - it's over now. All finished." His chin dips in a deciding nod, as if the words spoken aloud sealed it in his heart. "No reason to linger on it except to pick out learning points for the future."

His gaze rises from the sidewalk before them and over to the old Wizard once more. "Sleeping potion, hmm? Is that how you slept when you held the mantle?"


"'First, do no harm'? 'Primum non nocere'." Merlin requotes back in the original Latin. "She did do harm. Much harm. It's…" He sighs softly. "It's why she was finally imprisoned. What good imprisoning her did in the end." He shakes his head in sadness.

Usheathing his sword, he looks at it for a moment. "This, too, can cause much harm. And this one in particular has hurt many through the years, it pains me to say." Sheathing it again, he says, "Which is why I've not used it on a person in a long time. It's as the Welsh say, 'Segurdod yw clod y cledd'. Or, 'A sword's honour is its idleness'."

"I know I've been hard on you since I've arrived." He gently waps Strange's arm with his staff. "But it's only because I know how strong you need to be to lead in this position." Merlin tells him. "You are worthy of this position. Remember that. And if you make a big enough mistake, you can always call me to clean it up." He laughs heartily.

He nods to the question of the sleeping potion. "Aye. 'Tis how I slept. I know a rather good potion, too, that I could make for you, if you'd like."


A huff of muted pain follow by a laugh even as Strange rubs at the spot on his arm. Careful, Merlin, there's a bruise there! How it got there? …the Sorcerer can't remember.

"I will call you if I need anyone swatted with your staff, how about that?" He's clearly teasing, happy to be beyond the heavy topic of Morgan's banishment. "It's nice to hear that I'm worthy. Reaffirming. But I'm still not calling you in unless absolutely necessary." A wry smirk given to his walking partner now. Hoo, boy, that stubborn confident streak. Maybe it unconsciously echoes the steel in the old Wizard.

The sleeping potion? "Yes, I…" and the good Doctor is interrupted by a yawn and a tired laugh. "Okay, I was going to say that I 'might' need it, but at least give me the recipe. I can make it myself once I'm back at the Sanctum, keep it on hand."


"Not calling me unless absolutely…" Merlin seems aghast. "Don't make me take the title back, young one!" It's hard to tell if he's serious or not when he says that. "I have a very serious question for you now…if I were to find a baby dragon who needed a home, would you let me bring it back to the Sanctum?" It's an important question, don't ya know!

"Well, some of the ingredients for this potion are a little difficult to find. I'd suggest letting me make it for you first, and then we'll see about giving you the recipe, hmm? Perfect! I'll get right on it." Merlin says in a matter of fact tone.


"I'll have you know that the last person to threaten the removal of my mantle is considered a god here on Earth and I laughed at him too," Strange replies with that charming smirk of his. True statement, though, and there was even a temptation of donuts involved. But none were covered in sprinkles or white frosting.

The mention of a dragon - and the Sorcerer is assuming that Merlin means an honest-to-Agamotto dragon - makes him raise an eyebrow and then squint lightly. "You would have to show me where you found it first and we'd go from there." Fair enough? Well, the good Doctor thinks so. After all, Illyana did not get to bring home that Limboan griffin's offspring. Nope. Turns out Momma Bird-Demon-Thing was nearby. That's a story for another time. "I would likely need to use the potion if an adolescent dragon was brought into the Sanctum without my knowing."


"Being considered a god, however, does not equal the knowledge or power to, in fact, carry out said threat. However," Merlin smiles, "I have the wisdom to know that this is not my time. I know my time has long past. I honestly have no want for the position."

Slowing his pace to a stop, he twirls his staff in front of him until a round portal opens up. "Mister Doctor Strange. I shall see you back at the Sanctum. For now, I shall see about some of the more rare ingredients I need for the potion. Until we speak next." And he steps through the portal, with it closing shut almost immediately behind him.


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