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Distant Echoes

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When Arthur finally returned to the living world, more than a millennium had already passed. He was reborn into a loving family, grew up in a small town, and generally had an average childhood.

He didn't remember his past life. He didn't know magic existed. He didn't even know he was affected by said magic, until he was much older. Most importantly though, he didn't know Merlin still wandered the earth – waiting for his return. Merlin, on the other hand, didn't know Arthur was back either.

Nonetheless, ancient magic connected them and would make sure they met in the long run...

Arthur was eleven years old when he first had one of those strange dreams. Or at least, this year's dream was the first one he could remember. Years later Arthur had no doubt he had them all along, all his life.

This particular day he was on a trip with his dad and older brother. They had an amazing day of climbing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Arthur loved it, and was almost sad when they had to drive back home.

In the evening Arthur’s mother greeted them with a warm smile and home-made pizza. Her cooking wasn’t always the best, but her pizza was to die for!

There hadn’t even been anything special about the day, no birthday, no holiday. Just a random day, turning into the perfect day for Arthur.

As exciting and fun as the day had been, Arthur was downright exhausted when he finally fell into his bed. Accordingly, he was asleep within seconds.

Divider Lake Avalon

The sky was pitch black, no stars or moon visible due to a thick layer of clouds. The wind blew through nearby trees and the tall grass surrounding him. There was a lake just a few feet ahead of him. Only the small waves made it visible in the darkness, but Arthur would have known it was there anyway.

Behind him, he could hear a car driving by. In the short moment during which the headlights illuminated his surroundings, he noticed a person sitting right at the lakeside. Arthur was startled for a second, but then curiosity struck and he walked closer, until he stood right next to the person.

"What are you doing here?" Arthur asked, but got no reply. The man – as he saw now – had his eyes closed, brows furrowed and stray tears streaming down his face.

Arthur stepped back in surprise, and a sudden wave of emotions hit him.

He felt scared, and thoughts of his life being on the line – no, someone else’s life? - flooded his mind. Cold shivers were running down his spine. Arthur felt the sudden need to cry out, but at the same time he had an unbearable lump in his throat holding him back.

All at once, the emotions switched and a deep feeling of betrayal and threat overwhelmed him. Who...? But again, the emotions switched - this time to an all-pervasive sadness. He was going to miss someone? Was he regretting something...? Arthur couldn’t help actual tears forming in his eyes.

All through that, he had this ever-growing warmth taking hold of him. Like a small, gentle tickle to his stomach, that made him want to burst out smiling. What was this feeling? Was it... happiness? No, it felt different. But what was it?

Arthur wasn’t sure how long it took for the strange mash of emotions to fade, but when it did they still stayed at the back of his mind, making him uneasy.

Slowly, he stood up straighter – when had he crumpled in on himself in the first place? – and walked in front of the man. He wanted – no needed – to see his face properly. Arthur had no idea why, just that it was what he needed to do. He ended up standing in the shallow water but it felt neither cold nor wet. He only knew it was there because he saw the waves breaking around his ankles.

When Arthur looked back at the man's face he had opened his eyes and was looking straight at Arthur. Despite the darkness, his eyes were a brilliant blue, and shining brightly. At the same time, they held such a depth of emotions – Arthur had never seen anything like them. Were those his emotions Arthur was able to feel, albeit distantly by now?

Arthur felt uneasy, and he wasn’t sure if the man could even see him, despite looking straight at him. It had seemed like he couldn't hear him either, or was he actually ignoring Arthur?

The man was still silently crying, and with a sad smile on his face he suddenly whispered a single word: "Arthur..."

Arthur was so startled he stepped back too quickly, and tumbled backwards into the water. The last thing he saw before going under, was an island in the middle of the lake with a strange, angular tower on it. The tower was glowing in every colour Arthur knew, and more.

Chapter 1Cover Illustration

Gasping for air, Arthur sat up in his bed. It took him a few seconds to recognise his room. Still breathing heavily, he turned on the bedside lamp and looked at his posters, the scattered clothes on the floor, and the unfinished homework on his desk.

He gulped. His heartbeat was slowing down, finally, but he didn't feel like going back to sleep. That... dream – was it even a dream? – had felt so real and surreal at the same time. What were all those emotions he could suddenly feel? And the strange man. Why was he just sitting there, in the middle of the night of all things? Why was he so sad? Why had he said Arthur's name? He didn’t understand. But the only reasonable explanation was that it was a dream, right?

Arthur was scared and didn't want to be alone, so he got up on unsteady legs and stepped into the corridor. There were voices and a faint light drifting up from downstairs. Arthur rushed over to the staircase. He almost fell down in his hurry, but caught himself on the handrails.

His parents must have heard the ruckus, for his dad stepped into the corridor and turned on the light just when Arthur reached the ground floor.

"Arthur, what-?" he started to ask but stopped when he saw his son’s expression. Arthur looked up at his dad with big, watery eyes, and held out his arms. Without another word he hugged Arthur tightly, picked him up, and walked back into the living room.

When Arthur had calmed down enough to explain to his parents what had happened, they assured him it had only been a nightmare. There was nothing to be afraid of, they said. And Arthur believed them. They were his parents, after all. They knew these kind of things.

Still, when he got back to his room to try to go back to sleep, he couldn’t quite bring himself to turn off the lights. He never had been overly afraid of the dark, and he knew he was supposed to be a big boy, but right now he didn’t care. He left the bedside light on throughout the rest of the night.

Arthur still felt slightly uneasy, even with the light illuminating his room, but after a while the exhaustion of the day got the better of him.

Over the next year, Arthur never truly forgot the strange dream, or the sad man. He actually thought about it a lot, but couldn't remember ever seeing that lake, the tower or the man anytime before in his life.

He did talk to his parents about it a few more times, but they quickly discarded it as "just a dream", or Arthur "reading too much into it". When he told his older brother Henry about the dream, he was rather confused Arthur had bothered to put so much thought into it, too. But he was willing to listen to his concerns and questions at least.

They had always been close, always got along, and had always been there for each other. Arthur was happy he could count on Henry now too. Only, when Arthur kept asking the same questions over and over again, his brother got annoyed. But Arthur didn’t hold it against him and tried to bring it up less – although he was never able to completely shut up about it.

Arthur had to admit, he was annoyed at himself for being so intrigued by this dream. At the same time, though, he couldn’t ignore the stubborn voice in the back of his mind that told him it was important. That he was right to be curious. That it was something important to him!

He just never could explain what made it so important.

In September, when Arthur started secondary school, he struggled between homework, footie practice, and trying to spend time with his friends. It was a good distraction, but even then he sometimes lay awake late at night, thinking about the dream.

By the time about a year had passed, he was almost convinced there was nothing more to it, that his parents had been right all along. But then it happened again.

This time it had been a normal school day, including an exhausting practice in the afternoon. Arthur had been sitting in his room doing homework until late in the evening, and was just happy to finally get some sleep.

He hadn’t expected that kind of dream to happen again, although he couldn’t deny he was hoping for it. Nevertheless, his day had been downright exhausting, and not in the good way. Thus he drifted off almost instantly.

Divider Peru

Arthur had to blink a few times against the bright light. Instinctively, he held his hand over his eyes to block the sunlight while looking around. He stood on a steep mountainside, a cliff rising behind him, and only a small walkway ahead of him it dropped down further. Below, he could make out wide, grassy hills, rivers, and in the far distance, small, tan buildings. The sun was low, dragging long shadows, and the sky cloudless. Arthur had never seen a landscape as beautiful.

Gaping, he took a step forward and looked down the cliff. A few feet below he saw another walkway, even smaller than the one he was standing on.

Suddenly, Arthur noticed a group of cloaked figures to his right. They stood a small distance uphill on Arthur’s walkway, and formed a half-circle facing the sun.

Arthur couldn’t see what they were doing exactly, but one of them caught his attention. A man to the outer left with dark hair, a wide, colourful poncho, and a hideous old backpack. The man walked forward and then knelt down right at the centre of the circle.

He was now almost completely concealed by some of the cloaked figures. Curious, Arthur walked closer to get a better look at him.

"What are you doing?" he asked when he was right next to them. They didn’t react. Arthur frowned, not liking to be ignored, although he still wasn’t sure if the people in these dreams could hear him at all.

The whole group was focused on the man in the middle, silently watching what he was doing. Arthur finally took a closer look at him too – and his heart skipped a beat. It was the man he had seen in his dream before! Arthur would recognise his face, especially his eyes, anywhere.

"It’s you!" he exclaimed, but still nobody reacted to him.

The man was looking at the ground in front of him. His hand touched the earth, slowly moving from left to right over the dusty walkway. Arthur didn’t understand what he was doing, but everyone else watched in apparent suspense.

The sun was about to set, and just when it hit the horizon, the man looked up abruptly. Just like last time, he looked straight at Arthur, but only for a split second before he closed his eyes and mumbled a few words, too quiet for Arthur to understand. Then he stood up, dusted off his knees, and started talking.

Arthur couldn’t understand a word. He didn’t even know what language the man was speaking. Probably Spanish, or something similar, Arthur guessed. He really wanted to know what was going on. In an attempt to catch the man’s attention he waved his arms over his head and asked: "What are you talking about?"

Still, no reaction. The man just continued talking, while a few other people nodded at him silently.

Arthur walked closer to the man, waving his hands right in front of his face, but still nothing. "Why are you ignoring me? Or can you actually not see me?" he asked in annoyance, and tried to grab the man’s arm – only to grab right through him, and stumble. Arthur shouted out in surprise and squeezed his eyes shut.

Divider Peru

When he opened his eyes again, all he saw was the dark ceiling of his room.

It didn’t take him as long to calm down as last time, but the shock of moving right through someone else in his dream lingered for a long time. It was a very unpleasant feeling. Cold, almost freezing, and at the same time burning hot. There had been no resistance whatsoever, which just made it all the more awkward for Arthur.

When Arthur felt ready to get up, he didn’t bother to look for his parents like last time. He simply turned on his bedside lamp and glanced at his alarm clock. It read 11:07 pm – about an hour had passed since he had gone to bed.

Arthur quickly scrambled out of bed and walked over to his brother’s room just across the corridor. The room was dark, but Arthur didn’t care. He needed to talk to Henry about the dream as long as the memory was still fresh.

"I had another dream!" Arthur exclaimed in a loud whisper, and turned on his brother’s bedside lamp. He sat down on the bed, not caring about Henry startling awake and giving him a confused look.

"It was very different from the last one though. This time it was day, well, sunset, and there was this huuuge mountain—" Arthur made a wide gesture with his arms "— and there were other people this time too! And then—"

"Arthur!" Henry interrupted him, "It’s the middle of the night. What the heck?"

Arthur felt guilty for waking him up, but he didn’t budge. "I know, I’m sorry! But I have to tell you now, or I might forget half of it!"

His brother groaned in annoyance and turned his back on Arthur. "I’m too tired. Just... write it down or something. We can talk later."

"But—" Arthur started, but then thought about it. "Actually that’s a great idea! Thanks!" He gave his brother a quick hug – and got another annoyed grunt in return – before turning off the light and sprinting back to his own room.

There he sat down at his desk and searched for an empty notebook he could use. When he finally had one, he started to quickly write down everything that had happened in the dream, and made small sketches of the general landscape and the strange man.

Only when he was sure he had included every last detail, did Arthur discard his notebook and lie back down. He lay there, staring at the ceiling for a long time, going through the dream over and over again. Who was that man? What had he been doing? What had he said?

Arthur would make sure to pay more attention to learning other languages in the future. After all, the dream had happened again, although after a long time. He was certain it would continue to happen.

Grabbing his alarm clock again, Arthur checked the date. Hadn’t the dream last year been at the same date? Arthur couldn’t be sure, but he got up and wrote the date on a sticky note and pinned it to the wall behind his desk. If there was a chance the date was somewhat related to these dreams, he would find out by next year.

Although, Arthur had to admit to himself, he didn’t like the idea of waiting for another year to find out. As strange and confusing as his dreams were, Arthur was excited to find out more. He wanted to know who the man was, why he dreamed about him, and most of all: was he actually real?

The dream certainly felt very real to Arthur, but then again, a lot of dreams did that, right? One way or another, Arthur would have to wait to get some answers.

Henry was still cross with him the next morning, but mostly for show. He wanted to make sure Arthur wouldn’t wake him like that again, Arthur knew.

In the evening they sat down on Arthur’s bed and talked about the new dream. Arthur had his notebook in hand, and sometimes added new notes, questions, and things he wanted to pay attention to next time. He was absolutely sure there was going to be a next time.

Henry, on the other hand, grew more and more weary about the whole topic, especially with Arthur’s never-ending interest in it.

"I’m not saying you shouldn’t think about it at all," he said, "but don’t you think you’re a bit too... obsessed with these dreams?"

"I’m not obsessed!" Arthur argued and pouted at him. "You would be curious about it too, if it had happened to you."

Henry sighed but didn’t argue further. "Just... don’t let it distract you from school and stuff, okay?" When Arthur dutifully nodded in return, he gave him a small smile, and a nod for Arthur to continue.

It was obvious Henry didn’t think the dreams meant anything, but that didn’t matter to Arthur. Arthur was just grateful that he tried, and was there for him, and vowed to himself he would do the same for his brother whenever he needed his help.

Arthur also tried to tell their parents, but they only scowled in concern, and gave each other worried looks. Arthur didn’t like that, so he shut up about it quickly.

On the following weekend, Arthur met with his best friend and told him about the dreams. He had told him last time too, but his friend hadn’t shown much concern – he always changed the topic or straight up asked to talk about something more interesting.

Arthur considered the new dream rather interesting, but sadly his friend didn’t. He listened anyway, but with a sceptical look on his face and only responding with things like "Riiight..." and "If you think so."

In return, Arthur’s excitement was lessened quite a lot, but he tried not to let it get to him. It was becoming more and more obvious that he was the only one who truly cared about his cool and exciting dreams. He wished the others would understand how amazing the experience was, even if it was slightly scary.

The reluctant reactions he got from everyone made Arthur reluctant to tell anyone else about his dreams. The weird looks he got from his parents had made him especially uncomfortable. It was almost like they thought he wasn’t in his right mind. Arthur obviously didn’t want people to think that about him. He was fine, those dreams were strange, and maybe unnatural, but that didn’t make Arthur a weirdo... right?

Somewhere Arthur knew his parents were just worried about him. Worried that he read so much into his dreams. But he couldn’t help it. He just had to find out who that man was, and what those dreams meant!

In the end, however, all Arthur could do was wait and hope for another dream.

Chapter 1 Mini Illustration

The following year passed unbearably slowly. Even though school and practice filled more and more of his schedule, Arthur felt like time wasn’t passing fast enough. He did, however, spend his free time as often as possible on research. Arthur tried to find out where he had been in his dreams, maybe even find information about the man. Sadly he didn’t find anything useful, although certainly not for lack of trying.

He was a well known guest in the City Library, and even travelled with his brother to the next bigger town and scoped out their libraries. He did some online research too, but it was all for nothing.

Well, not completely for nothing. He found out a lot about how to do research correctly, and had a lot of fun with it. Arthur also got a lot of new ideas about what kind of information on his dreams could help him, like figuring out the time and date. He hadn’t even considered until this point that when exactly those dreams happened could be interesting to know. Not to mention that they might have happened for real somewhere, sometime.

Arthur still didn’t think that was very likely, but he definitely wanted the dreams to be real. After all, how amazing would it be to see some kind of visions in his dreams?

When he told his brother, and his best friend they both laughed about the idea, and tried to give Arthur ridiculous superhero names. Arthur only laughed with them, and suggested they could be his sidekicks.

Besides the continued research, their small family grew over the year, in a way. Henry introduced his first girlfriend to their parents only a few months before Arthur suspected the next dream was due to happen. The girl was nice and Arthur got along with her well enough. He couldn’t help being a bit envious of their connection though. He wasn’t interested in Henry’s girlfriend, but rather craved the kind of bond they had, and their shared happiness. Arthur hoped he would be perfectly happy like that too, soon.

On top of that, Henry had less time for Arthur now, and he had to do the research mostly by himself. He rarely dared to bring up the topic around his friend, no matter how much he craved to talk about it.

Arthur did, however, tell his friend a lot of the things he found out in his research, especially when he had read up on some cool knights, big battles, or other things that he knew his friend would like to hear about.

When the day of Arthur’s dream finally rolled around, he skipped footy practice and went straight home after school. He hurried to finish his homework, ate dinner with his family and went straight to bed afterwards. He couldn’t fall asleep though – he was just too nervous.

Arthur didn’t know how long he lay there in the dark, waiting for sleep to finally take him. He could hear his brother and his girlfriend walk through the hall, giggling at each other.

He turned around every few minutes to find a more comfortable position, but no matter what he tried, he just couldn’t fall asleep.

At some point, Arthur got up and got himself some hot tea with honey, hoping it would help to calm him down.

It didn’t.

He started to play silly games on his old Gameboy when just lying in bed got too boring, and so it was almost midnight by the time he finally drifted off.

Divider Tokyo

The morning light shone on Arthur’s face, the air was cold, and Arthur couldn’t help a bright smile spreading over his face. He stood in a small alley, high buildings on each side. Ahead he saw a busy street, with masses of people walking by.

Arthur looked around himself, searching for the man. It didn’t take him long to spot him. He was in the same alley as Arthur, walking towards him. His gaze was lowered, his posture was slouched, and his hands gripped the straps of his backpack loosely.

"Hello, can you hear me?" Arthur asked loudly. Just like before, he didn’t get a reply. When the man walked on straight at Arthur, Arthur stepped aside quickly – he really didn’t want to repeat the experience from last time. He then fell into step next to the man, taking a closer look at his face.

His eyes were only half open and the bags under them were so prominent, he looked like he hadn’t slept in days. He mumbled something to himself, but Arthur couldn’t understand what. They were nearing the road and it was getting more and more noisy.

The man suddenly stopped, only to throw his head back and yawn wide. Then he pulled a mobile phone out from his jeans pocket and frowned at the screen.

"Check-out time is in less than an hour?" he asked no one in particular followed by an exhausted sigh. "I’ll have to pull another all-nighter then. Bloody fantastic..."

He stayed where he was for another long moment, pressing the buttons on his phone in astonishing speed. He must be very used to typing on his phone. Arthur could only guess, since he didn’t use his own phone much. His parents had only given him one for emergencies and insisted he paid for any extra texting or calling by himself. Accordingly, he didn’t do it; not much at least.

Arthur gave the man another once-over. He didn’t look like he had been out partying or something of the sort. His clothes were well worn – a simple shirt and jeans. But what had he been doing all night then? And apparently multiple nights?

Suddenly Arthur got the idea to get a look at the man’s phone, to possibly get new information from the message he was typing. But just when Arthur peered around him and leant in closer, he put it back into his pocket and continued walking towards the busy street. Arthur only barely moved back fast enough to not go through him again.

"You’re really not making this easy on me," Arthur complained more to himself than anything else. "Why am I even dreaming about you, if not to find out more about you? If you are real that is... But you are real, right?"

They walked onto the busy street, and it got more and more difficult for Arthur not to walk through anybody. It felt strange, even hurt him in a way. Arthur tried to prevent it, but with so many people walking around them, he couldn’t avoid it all together.

Arthur had trouble not losing track of the man in the masses, too. He was really good at pushing his way through the people, almost magically so. After a while Arthur lost sight of him completely. Having no other choice, he took a deep breath, ignored everyone else and pushed onwards to catch up to the man. It felt horrible – and had someone just pushed a bike through him? – but at least he was back next to the man.

Abruptly, he turned left and walked into another, smaller, less busy street. Arthur breathed out in relief , only to gasp and almost stumble back in the next moment. Ahead of them at the end of the street he could see a familiar building.

"Is that the Tokyo Tower? Are we in Tokyo?!" Arthur squeaked and turned around. Now that he wasn’t distracted by people walking through him he noticed all the bright advertisement boards with Japanese writing on them – not that Arthur could read anything, but he knew enough to recognise the symbols. Arthur now also noticed that most of the people were Asian, that they were talking in a language he couldn’t understand, and how had he not noticed any of that sooner?

Henry’s girlfriend had introduced some interesting cartoons – anime – to him and Arthur. That was where Arthur had learned about Tokyo and its famous tower, as well as what the writing looked like.

He couldn’t tell the difference between Japanese and Chinese writing though, and made a mental note to do some research on Asian culture and languages in the future.

Turning back around, Arthur couldn’t see the man anymore. He cursed and ran down the street, looking left and right. But he had no luck. Instead he suddenly felt a weird resistance, keeping him from walking on. Arthur didn’t know what it meant, and kept pushing forward. Only when he noticed the dream around him began to blur, and sounds began to fade did Arthur stop.

But it was too late. He had walked too far away from the man, and the dream ended.

Divider Tokyo

Arthur sighed in annoyance and hid his face in his hands for a long moment. He had failed to find out anything about the man again. And he had been so close, too! He could have just looked at his phone, or followed him to his hotel room or whatever. Now he would have to wait another year!

Well, at least now he had proof these dreams happened on a yearly basis. He lowered his hands and got up. He wouldn’t go to his brother’s room again – especially not since his girlfriend was over – but he would add to his notes.

The notebook from last year laid ready on his desk, as well as a printed map with time zones on it. He would first check up on that one.

It was almost one in the morning where Arthur lived and he guessed it was sometime in the morning in his dream. According to the map, it would be close to ten in the morning in Tokyo right now. This could be the exact time Arthur had seen in his dream. Arthur couldn’t be sure if it was a coincidence or not, though.

He couldn’t remember last year’s exact time he went to bed and woke up, but since he didn’t know the location from that dream either, it didn’t matter much. Arthur would just have to try to find out more in the future. He didn’t look forward to waiting another year, and he felt even less like sleeping.

In the end, he spent another two hours taking notes from the dream, writing lists of things to look up, and adding sketches of the mysterious man. Arthur surely wasn’t the best at drawing, but he liked the result anyway. With the memory of his face still fresh, it was a much better drawing than he had managed before. Maybe if he kept practising he would be able to show a decent sketch of him to others, one day.

This year, Arthur didn’t even bother telling his parents about his dream. There was just no need to make them worry about nothing.

Henry was busy with his girlfriend, and Arthur wasn’t comfortable with telling her about it. He didn’t have many chances to talk to his brother, and slowly Arthur had to realise that this wasn’t going to change anytime soon.

His best friend didn’t even bother to fake any interest. He was busy with potential girlfriends and, as he called it, "actual real life." Arthur was disappointed about this development, but not surprised. No one had actually believed him. Even his best friend, and brother had only listened because they were his friends. Maybe even out of pity.

Arthur was just glad he had never told anyone else about it. He was already concerned that his family thought him there was something wrong with him – he didn’t want to know what other people would think or do.

He decided to not tell anyone about his dreams from now on, unless they were really close to him. He wasn’t even sure if he would tell his future girlfriend. Would she think less of him for having those dreams? For reading so much into them? Frankly, Arthur didn’t want to risk it.

A few years passed without Arthur ever seeing anything helpful in his dreams. He never found out where the man was, and could only guess what time of day it was.

One time they were in a dense forest, in the middle of the night. They were walking slowly among the trees, never even close to an actual path, as far as Arthur could tell. At some point the man sat down and made a small campfire – in record time. Arthur had no idea where the wood came from, or how it started burning so quickly, but it had been dark, and Arthur hadn’t been attentive, so he brushed it off as unimportant.

Another time he woke up to a barely-lit cave. That had been the strangest dream so far. There had been weird hooded people again, and it took Arthur a long time to figure out which of them was the man he knew. In hindsight, it should have been obvious. For some reason he was always the centre of attention, the one person sticking out. In this case, there had been some arguing going on between the hooded people, almost escalating to a fight. When suddenly a small earthquake shook them all, everyone looked at the dark haired man. He had his hand raised, and a stern look on his face. Apparently that was all those people needed to listen to him and – Arthur wasn’t sure he had seen correctly – bow to him.

In yet another dream they had been in a crammed shop. Arthur had no idea what most of the things on the shelves were, but the man was visibly excited to be there. Arthur could almost feel it. At one point he picked up a sword replica – it had to be a replica, right? – and examined it with a small smile on his face. "Arthur would love this," he mused. Arthur protested, and pouted in return. He wasn’t that fond of swords.

Nevertheless, every time the man was somewhere else, and nobody could hear, see, or touch Arthur.

Additionally, Arthur had done some experimenting on touching things and people. Apparently, he could touch some things, like the ground, and walls, and even chairs. But he couldn’t move them. Any already-moving objects, however, went right through him. Someone on a motorbike had driven right through him at one point – something Arthur hoped would never happen again.

But then again, there was that time a tree branch hit him right in the face while they were walking through that dense forest.

In the end, Arthur wasn’t all that sure about what "rules" applied to him in his dreams, except that he had to stay close to the man. He had tried to walk away from him once – only to verify his theory about this rule – and quickly sprinted closer again when the dream had started to fade.

As for Arthur’s non-dream-related life, a lot changed over the years. Arthur had only been 13 when the dream in Tokyo happened, and school work, including his GCSEs, and later A-levels, quickly became his main focus. He’d always enjoyed doing research, and studying – at least when the subject was interesting enough – wasn’t hard for him. But only when he had decided on a university and subject did Arthur seriously sit down and study hard.

Besides all that, he never stopped playing on the local football team. Over the years his teammates became Arthur’s closest friends. Not close enough to share his mysterious dreams with them – Arthur wasn’t sure he would ever tell anyone else about them – but he still spent most of his free time with them. Even more so after Henry moved out to go to university.

Arthur was 16 at that point, and his brother was still his closest friend, and only confidant to talk about his dreams. It was hard to separate, for both of them, but they did their best to stay in contact by texting, or talking on the phone. Over time, it became less regular and they weren’t as close as they used to be, but considering the distance, they did well.

If anything, Arthur was closer to his brother than their parents by the time Arthur graduated, although Henry lived in another town. Not that Arthur had a big falling out with them or anything. It was just that they never really understood him, despite trying their best. And the older Arthur got, the more obvious it became to him that that would probably never change.

Not to mention that his parents never supported Arthur’s research. They didn’t like that it was all that he did. That he barely brought friends home, never mind a girlfriend. They didn’t understand that he simply hung out with everyone at school and practice, and that it was enough for him.

Of course, there had been girls he had been interested in, as well as boys – Arthur knew better than to tell his parents about that little detail though. But nothing ever came from said interest. Either it wasn’t mutual, or Arthur didn’t bother to do anything about it in the first place. For the most part, he just couldn’t bring himself to spend even less time on his research than he already did just to be in a relationship. It never seemed worth it to him. Almost like he knew there was something – someone – better waiting for him.

Also, over the next few years, Arthur and his best friend drifted further and further apart. They still talked, but they just weren’t best friends anymore. While Arthur got closer to some of his footie mates, his friend, in contrast, befriended another group of their classmates. By the time they graduated, Arthur felt like he barely knew his former best friend anymore.

It was a strange feeling. They had grown up together, lived in the same street all their lives, and used to talk about everything. But now he barely knew this young man anymore, or he Arthur in return.

With some of his footie mates, on the other hand, he was such close friends they even planned to go to the same university. Some others wanted to go into professional sports, but Arthur and his closest friends were aiming for Cambridge.

After spending years researching for his dreams, Arthur knew a lot about it and enjoyed it. Not to mention that he was very good at it. Arthur might not find much on the matter of his vision-like dreams, but considering the small amount of information he got to work with, he found out a lot. Accordingly, he decided to make research his profession.

He investigated a lot of potential degrees and courses he could take, naturally. But in the end, the Archaeology programme at Cambridge was the one he liked best.

Arthur actually choose to go with Archaeology instead of History or something similar because of the potential to go outside, to do field work and not just read old, dusty books. After all, besides all the research he did over the years, Arthur had always enjoyed going outside and playing football with his friends, taking a run through the nearby woods, or simply sitting outside while reading.

Frankly, Arthur didn’t want to end up with a job consisting of sitting in an office for the rest of his life – so he was going to do his best not to.

He shared a flat with two of his former footie mates. His friends studied different subjects but that just made living together and talking about their studies all the more interesting. They also often went out together, kicked a football lazily in the nearby park, or simply watched telly together.

All in all, Arthur grew up great, had a good time with his friends, and got into the uni and courses he wanted to do. The only thing he didn’t make any progress with was finding out more about his dreams and the strange man he always met in them.

To be fair, he also slowly lost interest in it over the years – especially after starting university. He was still happy to have the dreams, and wrote everything down about them. However, he didn’t wait impatiently for them anymore, or spent all year thinking about them. At some point, his uni research had simply become more important to him – and for the most part, Arthur was happy with that development.

By the time Arthur was 21, and in the middle of writing his bachelor thesis, he didn’t even think about the dream day coming up. He had been so busy with finishing his thesis on time, he hadn’t thought of anything else for weeks. That particular night, he had finally finished the rough draft. For once, he had a chance to relax, and wanted to spend the evening in bed, surfing the internet, and doing nothing. But his exhaustion got the better of him and he was asleep before it was even eight in the evening.

Divider Sochi

Arthur could hear the sea, the sound of waves calmly rolling over a beach. There were voices in the distance, but too quiet for him to understand them clearly. Opening his eyes, Arthur could see he was sitting on a small balcony overlooking the nearby sea. It was too dark to say were they were exactly, but he wasn’t sure he still wanted to know.

Next to him sat the man, nursing a colourful drink. He looked out over the sea, unblinking and deep in thought. Arthur sighed. "Well, hello again. Where are we this time?" he asked despite knowing he wouldn’t get a reply.

Arthur didn’t even wait for any reaction. He just got up and walked on into the adjoining room. It was a dark hotel room, the same backpack the man had been travelling with for years now lying on the floor, and a few clothes scattered over the bed. Arthur noticed a couple of hotel brochures on the desk, so he walked closer and bent over to look at them.

The texts were in Russian and Arthur couldn’t read a thing. But the photos on the brochure seemed somewhat familiar. Arthur knew he had seen this city on TV sometime recently... He looked over the other flyers in the hope of finding an English one, but had no luck.

Reluctantly he stepped back out onto the balcony. "Nice room. But you really should get yourself a new bag," Arthur commented as he sat down again. "It looks like it’s going to fall apart any second. Actually, it already looked like that ten years ago." He tried to push over the almost empty cocktail glass – in vain. "Ten years. I can’t believe it’s been that long already..."

Arthur was quiet for a long moment.

"It’s kind of strange... you don’t look a day older since then," he stated. "How old are you anyway?"

Even knowing that he wouldn’t receive an answer didn’t lessen the disappointment.

The man was playing games on his phone, looking up every now and then. He was probably waiting for something, or someone. Arthur wasn’t as curious as he used to be, but still kept glancing at the phone screen just in case. It was his best chance for any new information to pop up.

At the same time, he couldn’t help glancing at the man’s face every so often. Despite the fact he had to be at least 15 years older than Arthur, he looked like he was in his mid twenties. The older Arthur got, the less he could deny the man was attractive, in a way. Not that Arthur was interested in him in that way! No this was merely Arthur noticing and acknowledging the fact this man was actually good looking. And that he really should stop thinking about it.

Just then the phone started ringing, but the caller ID only read "unknown". The man picked up instantly, and started to whisper in Russian - apparently not even waiting for the other person to say anything. He also barely paused, and after only a minute, he hung up again.

The man huffed out in annoyance, a slight pout on his face, and complained about whoever called him in a low grumble. Arthur had never seen him like that, and couldn’t help laughing out aloud. For some reason, it made Arthur happy to see him with an annoyed frown on his face, while pouting at the same time. There was something familiar about it.

The man suddenly turned towards him and stared straight at his face. Then he looked around frantically, his eyebrows drawn together unhappily. After a moment he just shook his head. "I’m imagining things again. Great..."

Arthur had watched him wide eyed until now. Had he really heard Arthur laughing? So far, he had never noticed him. Was it even possible? Then again, this were just Arthur’s dreams. There was no proof it was really happening. So, everything was possible, right?

A loud knock from the door startled them both. The man got up and opened the door, Arthur following close behind. On the other side stood a man in a long coat, the hood drawn low over his face. His hands were clasped in front of him and he bowed slightly.

"It is time, Emrys."

"Okay," was the instant reply, "I’ve prepared everything. Where is she?" He walked back into the room, grabbed his bag and the keys, and readily followed the other man.

Arthur had no idea what was going on. The things and places he had seen in these dreams before had always been strange. But never had he had the chance to actually get behind anything. Maybe this time would be different. He could only hope.

And, had the newcomer just called the man Emrys? Was that his name? Emrys? Arthur had tried to find out just anything and now – just like that – he had a name? He couldn’t believe it! And somehow the name "Emrys" sounded so familiar to him. Arthur had heard or read it before, he just couldn’t remember where.

While Arthur tried to comprehend this new information, the three of them exited the hotel and crossed the street, walking down onto the beach. They kept walking towards a group of people, all of them clothed similarly to the stranger who had led them here. Arthur used the chance to look around at the city, but he still couldn’t remember where he had seen it before.

The people stood in a circle, surrounding something or someone. They blocked the view too much and it was way too dark down at the beach – no street lights reached them. It was a miracle Arthur hadn’t stumbled over anything on their sprint down here.

Emrys stepped through the circle and knelt down. Arthur couldn’t see him anymore and was considering to walk closer and get a better look. He could technically walk through people, after all. But over the years, he had tried to do that a few times, and for whatever reason, it felt worse and worse. Now that it seemed like the man – Emrys – had heard him laugh, Arthur really wasn’t keen to try walking through anyone again.

Instead he stood outside the circle, close enough to look over someone’s shoulder. There wasn’t much to see though. Everything was covered in shadows, and Emrys’ movement – was he searching for something in his backpack? – was only vaguely visible.

Arthur could make out another person kneeling next to Emrys, but he couldn’t tell what they looked like, or what they were doing.

Suddenly, everyone started to spread their arms out to both sides and then they slowly took a step back. Arthur quickly stepped back too, almost stumbling over the uneven ground. He looked behind himself, while taking another step back for good measure.

When he turned back around to see what’s going on, Emrys had stood up, his hands outstretched downwards, and in front of him sat the other person, slouched, and their head lowered.

It was a surreal picture. Arthur wasn’t sure what to make of it, but just then Emrys knelt down, put his hand on the person’s shoulder and said something in Russian. There were audible gasps, when she replied in a quiet voice.

One of the women from the circle took an uncertain step forward. Emrys nodded and smiled at her reassuringly. The women threw herself at the girl and hugged her tightly. Emrys only barely managed to pull back in time so he wouldn’t get hit by her arm, but he just smiled more broadly.

Arthur had no clue what had just happened, but apparently everyone was happy to see the girl was fine? It was still pretty dark, and now that everyone moved around freely, instead of standing in a circle, it was even more difficult to follow what was happening.

Trying to keep his focus on Emrys, Arthur stepped around some people to stand next to him. He was just zipping up his backpack, and lifting it over one shoulder. Then he waved at everyone and said goodbye, and although some of the people wanted to thank him more – or at least that’s what Arthur guessed was going on – Emrys only shook his head and brushed it off casually, while politely but quickly retreating.

Arthur followed him back to the hotel, not sure what to make of everything that happened in the past few minutes.

"I have no idea what just happened, mate, but it looked cool. What did you do? Some kind of... exorcism? Some weird cult thing? Magic?" Arthur laughed about the mere idea. "Those dreams are getting weirder and weirder..."

Just when they exited the beach area, Arthur noticed a big advertisement board, and suddenly he knew why this city seemed somewhat familiar. This was Sochi – the Winter Olympics had been held here just last year!

When he turned around to tell the man, everything started to spin. His surroundings got blurry, it was dark and bright at the same time, and Arthur had to close his eyes against it.

Divider Sochi

When he opened his eyes again, he was back in his bed. His laptop lay next to his face, but had shut down by now. A quick glance at his phone told Arthur that it was almost eleven in the evening. Never before had he been so long in one of those dreams. Maybe it cut him off because he was there too long? Because he found out too much...?

Nevertheless, Arthur was happy about all the new information. He had found out more in tonight’s dream than in any of his dreams in the past five years. He had a name! And a location!

Arthur quickly turned his laptop back on and opened a new document to take notes. By now he had a special files for his research. He had digitised everything a few years ago, scanned all the drawings, and made sure to reorganise it all. Now it was easy for him to find any information he had gathered so far, as well as add new details.

After he finished writing down everything, he leant back against the headboard and took a deep breath. Arthur hadn’t been that into his dreams in years. It was equally exhilarating and scary. He could understand now why everyone used to be so concerned about him, when he got all excited about these dreams.

The most pressing question of the moment, however, was: should he try to fly to Sochi and find this man, Emrys? Was it even worth it? After all, in the end this could have been nothing but a strange dream. But what if it wasn’t? What if it was real? What if...?

Arthur sighed and shook his head. There was no point getting into this right now. He still had a thesis to finalise. He still had at least another month before he went into summer break and could even consider a trip like that. Until then, he decided, he wouldn’t think about it at all.

Accordingly, despite trying very hard not to get too distracted over the following weeks, he wasn’t always successful.

About two weeks after the dream, Arthur actually bought plane tickets and applied for a visa. He would leave right after turning his thesis in, and then stay in Sochi for a week and a half. The tickets were the cheapest he could get, and still were rather expensive. Not to mention the extra money he had to spend on the visa. Arthur really hoped it would be worth it.

Although, in some way even finding out there was no Emrys and these dreams were just that – dreams – would still be worth it. At least then Arthur would know, and hopefully could ignore them a bit easier.

If Arthur was honest with himself though, he would be way happier to find out Emrys was real. That those dreams meant something. Something more. That he wasn’t slowly losing his mind.

By the time he finally was ready to leave for Sochi, Arthur was getting very nervous. One of his flatmates had dropped him off at the airport. Arthur had chosen to travel alone. None of his friends knew about his dreams after all, and it would have been too difficult to hide why he was there – explaining it was certainly not an option either. He would have liked the company, if only to have someone to talk to and calm his nerves. Maybe next time – if there was a next time, that is.

Arthur spent the whole flight fidgeting with his mobile, looking through the notes he had on it, or the drawings he had of Emrys.

Since the name Emrys seemed vaguely familiar, Arthur had done some research on the man. But his time had been too limited to find out much. It was a name that came up in documents from the last millennium and beyond. But Arthur hadn’t had time to look into it, or associate it with anyone living in this century.

Once he was back home, he would spend some more time looking into it – probably independent from the outcome of this trip.

It was almost midnight by the time Arthur reached his hotel in Sochi – not the same one he had seen Emrys in. That hotel had been too expensive, but Arthur knew where it was and would go check it out the next day.

Arthur’s hotel was on the outskirts of the city, but he still could see the sea and the beach from his hotel room. In the dark of the night, it looked exactly the same as the view he remembered from his dream. Arthur couldn’t help his excitement, and he was still overly nervous. For a brief moment, he considered starting his investigation right away, but travelling all day had been very exhausting. He decided to try and get at least some sleep. Naturally, he barely slept at all.

The next day was very sunny and warm. Arthur walked into the city centre, always staying close to the beach. He was still very tired, and by now not all too motivated to do anything useful. But he always was on the lookout for Emrys. He would look for the people he had seen at the beach too, but he hadn’t seen any of their faces. The hoods, and the night, had covered them almost completely.

Around noon, he found Emrys’ hotel. He walked inside and looked around. There was a woman behind the counter, greeting him in a friendly voice: "Welcome to Hotel Santorini. How can I help you?" Arthur still didn’t understand much Russian though.

"Uhm, do you speak English?" he tried and gave her a sheepish look. The woman didn’t seem impressed. She replied with a shake of her head. "Only Russian."

Arthur sighed. He didn’t want to be rude, but with being preoccupied by his thesis he simply hadn’t had time to learn a new language. Also, he was almost fluent in Spanish and Latin by now, wasn’t that enough?

He shook his head and pulled out his phone, opened the best drawing he had of Emrys and showed it to the woman. Arthur then pointed at her, and then at the image on the screen. He tried to make a questioning gesture, but really, how do you do that?

The woman didn’t give the image much thought anyway. She raised her hands in a dismissive gesture and shook her head. She then continued to talk in Russian, but Arthur wasn’t paying much attention anymore. Instead, he took a step back and waved his hand in goodbye before leaving the hotel.

He spent the rest of the day and the next two in pretty much the same manner. He tried to ask for Emrys in nearby restaurants, and shops, and even spoke to random tourists at the beach. But either they didn’t speak English, or didn’t know Emrys.

On his fourth day in Sochi, he decided to do something else – actually be on holiday for once. The city was rather pretty after all, and it was wonderful to just lie in the warm sun at the beach.

That was where he met a tourist group from Dublin. A bunch of nice people, and most importantly, a few of them were reasonably fluent in Russian. After hanging out with them for two days, Arthur decided to ask them for help. He simply told them it was an old friend of his he was looking for. Someone he had lost contact with years ago, and now wanted to find again.

They believed him of course. And why wouldn’t they? It was something you heard of all the time.

So he sent them a few of the sketches and they went around asking for Emrys, with Arthur in tow. At first there didn’t seemed to be any progress. Arthur couldn’t downright propose to go to a specific hotel – it would be too suspicious – but they went to a lot of the shops in the area, and suddenly someone actually recognised Emrys.

It was a young woman working in a small bakery. She told them that about a month ago, Emrys had been here, having his breakfast in the shop every morning for about two weeks. She remembered him, because of his kind smile and chattiness.

Arthur barely managed to hold in his excitement. Someone actually had seen him! And even around the right time! That couldn’t be a coincidence, right?

To be safe they asked around a bit more over the next few days. The group from Dublin got super excited about the whole investigation part, and had fun exploring the city in this unique way.

They split up into smaller groups, and suddenly, the night before Arthur had to fly home, he had a bunch of new friends, a lot of information about where Emrys had been, and at least a dozen people confirming his existence – one of them a receptionist from Emrys’ hotel.

Arthur spent his last evening in Sochi with his new friends, celebrating their successful detective game, as they’d come to call it. Arthur had never been all that much into parties – always being too caught up with his research. But he enjoyed himself quite a lot that night, and the whole week he had spent with these people was more than worth it. Even if he hadn’t found out anything about Emrys, he’d have been happy he was here.

It was rather disappointing to have to go back home though. Arthur was probably not going to meet any of them ever again. He was sure he would miss them a lot.

After he had settled back into his everyday life, and had to fully focus on university and his postgraduate studies once more, he didn’t have much time left to miss anyone, however. Every free minute he got was spent on researching Emrys, and soon enough he was barely in contact with his newfound friends.

On top of that, what information he could gather about Emrys was absolutely confusing. Someone in the ninth century talked about an Emrys, praising him as a wise old man. Another source declared him a mystic legend, who had never truly existed. And then there were some documents from the 16th and 17th centuries that simply stated Emrys had lived in this or that town.

All in all, Arthur wasn’t sure what to make of it. He couldn’t find any relation to a family name, and no one ever mentioned an additional first name. Arthur could only guess that maybe Emrys was more of a title. Maybe inherited in a certain family or profession?

What was most confusing though, were the old photographs and paintings he found. There were a few with an Emrys on them that looked old, with a long white beard and similar hair, but there were also a few photographs of a younger Emrys. An Emrys that looked the same as the one Arthur saw in his dreams. Not just similar like father and son could look. No. Exactly the same.

Arthur had no clue how that was even possible.

On top of that, his dreams in the following years were absolutely unhelpful, again. The next time, he watched Emrys cook dinner and quietly sing along to some music on the radio. It was rather hot inside the room, and bright sunlight illuminated the kitchen. The door was closed, giving Arthur no chance for further exploration. The window was wide open though, and whenever the heat got almost unbearable, a convenient cool gust of wind blew through the room. Sadly, there was not much to see outside, only forests and fields. Arthur still spent a lot of time looking outside, even if only so he wouldn’t stare at Emrys instead.

No matter how much he tried to deny it, ever since he first noticed his attraction towards Emrys, he couldn’t help thinking about him. He felt bad for it every time he reminded himself of how much older Emrys must be, but then again it’s not like anyone - especially Emrys - would ever know, right?

In the dream after that it was night and all he could tell was that Emrys was somewhere in the UK, according to the programme running on the telly in the background. It was even the same programme Arthur had fallen asleep to. He wasn’t too mad about just sitting next to Emrys and watching telly together. Like always, Arthur just talked to him, and at some point it seemed like Emrys had heard him again. When Arthur turned to face him, though, Emrys just shook his head and took a sip from his steaming fresh cuppa – and when had he gotten that anyway?

Arthur was getting more and more desperate to finally meet Emrys outside of his dreams, and talk to him. He wanted to ask him all the questions he had – and get them answered for once.

Besides the non-existent progress in regards to his dreams, Arthur passed his MPhil in Medieval Archaeology with excellence. He started his PhD studies and quickly enjoyed the combination of tutoring undergraduate students and working on his own thesis and research.

Somehow, besides his studies, he had managed to end up in a relationship, too.

His girlfriend wasn’t interested in research, or archaeology for that matter, but she worked a lot too, and was accordingly understanding about Arthur not having much time for a relationship. She probably was even less inclined to do much else beside her work. It was a miracle they had found time to meet in the first place, really.

All in all, Arthur’s life was going well. The only drawback was the non-existing progress regarding his dreams and the mysterious Emrys. Therefore, Arthur decided shortly before his 24th birthday, he would take off a whole month right after the next dream. He would then do anything he could to find Emrys, travel to wherever he was, and hopefully find him.

And if he couldn’t find him – well then – that would probably be the last time he wasted so much time on the subject. Arthur felt like he had spent all his life chasing after a ghost. It was time to live. Hopefully by finally getting his answers and finding some kind of closure.

At the day of the dream, Arthur had been working till late to finish grading some coursework, and was accordingly knackered when he came home. His girlfriend was already home and sat in their living room, probably working on her laptop instead of relaxing. She greeted him briefly with a kiss to his cheek before continuing to work.

Arthur was more than fine with that, though. Usually he would have preferred the company – silently working on their separate projects, or watching telly together – but he was too knackered at the moment. He simply got a quick snack from the fridge before preparing for bed. His head hurt and he wasn’t very keen on having to be attentive in his dream too, but he had little choice.

When he finally lay down and cuddled into the sheets, he sighed contently. Within seconds, he was drifting off, entering another vision.

Divider Hotel Room

He opened his eyes to a small, dark room. The curtains were closed and barely any light got in from the windows. It took Arthur a few minutes to adjust to the darkness enough to see anything at all. Then he spotted the familiar backpack on the floor next to a bed. On the bed was Emrys, rolled up in a blanket, and fast asleep.

Arthur let out a frustrated sigh. "Of bloody course now would be the time you’d choose to catch up on some sleep," he grumbled. Then he walked through the small room, trying to find anything that would help him figure out where he was. There were a few papers spread over the small desk, but it was too dark to actually read anything. There was no clock, no hotel brochures, not even any food wrappings laying on the floor to at least know in which country they were.

After scoping through the room three times, Arthur gave up and sat down at the foot of the bed, hiding his face in his hands. He sat there, his head hanging, for a long moment.

"So I’ve got nothing," he finally stated. He took another deep breath to calm down. It didn’t help. "What am I going to do now?! I took a whole bloody month off to travel after you and track you down! There’s just no way I can find you with so little information!"

Arthur got up again and walked around the bed to stand right in front of Emrys’ face. He tried to touch his arm, his cheek – trying to wake him up somehow – but like always, his hand just went right through him.

Arthur took a look around the room again, making another frustrated noise, before simply sitting down right next to Emrys. "Great, just great," he murmured, pulling his hands over his face once again.

"Can I at least wake up now? I’ve had enough of those idiotic dreams!" Arthur knew no one could hear him, but complaining out loud felt a lot better than just keeping it to himself. He let out another sigh, more resigned than frustrated by now. What was he going to do?

Was he really supposed to just sit here, and wait for his dream to be over? Not only could that take forever , he had nothing to do, was already having a headache, and nothing to distract him from any of this madness. And he was supposed to just sit and wait? Not bloody likely!

Since they were in a closed room, he wouldn’t even be able to put enough distance between them to snap himself out of the dream, and Arthur didn’t know any other option to forcefully end these dreams.

After contemplating his choices for another moment, he just threw his hands up, and shook his head. He decided to do the only reasonable thing he could think off. He went to the other side of the bed and lay down. The bed wasn’t too big, but Arthur didn’t care. He was tired, even in his dream, and he didn’t want to just sit around doing nothing. So he might as well go back to sleep.

It took him a little bit of effort to figure out how to lie comfortably on the sheets while not touching Emrys. The experience of going through another person hadn’t gotten any less uncomfortable over the years.

"You better not roll over while I’m still here," Arthur grumbled, and closed his eyes.

A lot of time passed until he could actually fall asleep, despite his tiredness. He was so annoyed he hadn’t found out more, and kept contemplating getting up and taking another look around. At the same time, he was too stubborn, and angry at Emrys – although it technically wasn’t his fault. For once he had no trouble cutting off any attraction he felt towards Emrys, not giving it a single thought the whole time.

Arthur drifted off, lying on his back, with his arms crossed over his chest. Just before he was completely asleep, not fully aware of where he was at that point, he felt someone shift next to him. A light touch to his shoulder, followed by them shifting closer. "Arthur...?" a tired voice asked. But Arthur was already too far gone, fully asleep just a moment later.

Divider Hotel Room

It was late morning by the time Arthur woke up. His girlfriend had already gotten up; most likely she was at the gym or took a run in the park like every saturday morning.

Arthur didn’t know if he had stayed asleep inside his dream, or simply didn’t wake up after it ended – although that had never happened before. He didn’t care much though, or at least that’s what he kept telling himself.

The longer he was awake, the more his mood dropped. He had counted too much on this dream, and somewhere deep down, he knew it was his own fault. But at the time, Arthur didn’t care about being reasonable.

He was angry at those dreams, and at Emrys. He was frustrated that he didn’t get his answers once again. And most of all, he was just done with the whole vision-like dream deal.

Frankly, he didn’t want to waste any more time on them, ever again.

Nodding to himself, Arthur got up and walked over to his desk in the living area. Without giving it another thought he deleted all his notes, all the information he had gathered about his dreams and Emrys.

It didn’t make him feel any better, no matter what he tried to tell himself. Neither did it help that he now had a whole month off, and no idea what to do with his time.

Maybe it would have helped if Arthur had remembered the last bit of the dream, and that Emrys had actually touched him, and talked to him. But Arthur didn’t remember, nor did he want to remember anything about Emrys at the moment.

All Arthur wanted from now on was forget about it, and live a normal, happy life. So that’s what he decided to do.