Beta: Many thanks again to tardisjournal who worked on this despite circumstances and emergencies out of her control
Characters: Malcolm Merlyn, Jack Harkness, Ra's al Ghul
Word Count: 1.997
Spoilers: Set after the finale of season 1 of "Arrow", spoilers for "Torchwood" including season 4
Summary: How could Malcolm Merlyn survive that last fight with Oliver? Because he’s actually the immortal Jack Harkness. Now Malcolm thinks about the mess that is his life. Memories of the past arise – good and bad ones. This chapter shows how everything is actually connected.
Notes: Others have done “Malcolm used to be Jack” before and while reading their works I got inspired to try my hand at it
Link to chapter 1
His phone beeps. He glances at the caller ID. Probably just another press guy who wants a statement about what had happened today. How did they even get his number? Clearly one of his employees is not as loyal towards his boss as he should be. For a moment, Malcolm considers taking the opportunity to tell his version of the story. The people need some perspective. Couldn’t they see that what he had done is only for the best? A fresh new start. Just a few more years, and the city will be blooming and rising. It really is regrettable that he won’t be around to see this.
Holding his broken wrist close to his body, he awkwardly gets out a suitcase and starts to pack up, one-handed, some things he wants to take with him. Other stuff will have to be left behind. Like Rebecca’s ring. Wherever he will be going, he cannot risk being recognized because he carries a sentimental memory of his past. It is a hard decision but one that needs to be made. Maybe one day he will be able to come back for it.
Before he met Rebecca, he had been merely existing, feeling all cold and uncaring. And he figured he would have to live like this for the next ten thousand years or so. Thus he also had become a drinker. Whenever he felt too sorry for himself, only a hypervodka could make him forget for a while, and often it didn’t end at the first one.
But after about 200 years of hopping through space and time, 200 years of mindless fights and mindless sex which had left him all numb, he had found himself back on planet Earth.
Rebecca had been the first to breach his shell after a very long time. She hadn’t asked who he was or where he came from. It was one of her character traits which he so loved and later so hated as it was responsible for her death in the end. Which again proved to him that it was better to not care, because people just didn’t deserve it.
The day he met his wife had been a rainy day in Starling City and lying on the sidewalk, slowly bleeding to death, wasn’t the nicest thing to do. He didn’t even remember how he had received that knife stab to his belly – just some bar fight that had spiraled out of control quickly. He’d searched for a dark corner where he could wait for his life to start anew. He wished he already was over and done with it, because to be honest, it hurt like shit.
And then there suddenly was this woman, looking like an angel in his hazed state. Delirium had set in and it wouldn’t be long now. But she wouldn’t let it happen. She pressed against his wound to stop the blood flow, telling him that an ambulance was on its way. It hurt even more than before and he cried out, trying to shove her hands away. He wanted to tell her that it was okay, that she just should let him die, but he wasn’t able to form coherent words. Then everything had gone black.
He awoke in a white bed in a hospital, still feeling very much like crap. He figured he must have only passed out and so had to take the slow-healing road. He would have to, in fact, regularly re-open his wound, otherwise his quick healing abilities would raise suspicion among the doctors. Oh joy.
Of course, he could have just walked out the door at night, leaving no trail behind, but there was something about this dark-haired woman that fascinated him. He wanted to get to know her better. So, while he was playing the slowly-healing patient, they would often have very long conversations late at night when the other patients were asleep and she had a bit of free time. He found that he looked quite forward to her visits. It did scare him a bit. She made him feel vulnerable.
Originally, he just had wanted to scam Rebecca for her money and be on his way again. Love had come totally unexpectedly and after such a long time without any, he felt that he had been deprived, and for a short while blossomed in it.
The money she had inherited from her father became the foundation for the Merlyn Global Group. Being from the future he knew enough about the economy of the twentieth century to successfully buy and sell stock and build a significant amount of capital. He became a respected member of the society of Starling City, founding a hospital and several other things to help the people in the Glades. It was mainly his wife’s wish, but he went along with everything that made her happy.
And then he became a dad once again and the early years with Tommy and Rebecca held some of his happier memories. He had thought he had found his place in life once again, at least for a little while. Until the day when his family would discover about him not aging and he had to be on the run again.
But before it came to that the peace got destroyed by a single gunshot. His wife got murdered in the Glades for only about hundred dollars, money she would have given happily if she had been asked for it. And while she lay bleeding to death on the sidewalk, people just walked past and ignored her pleas for help.
And Malcolm himself had been too busy with making even more money on that fateful evening. Maybe, if he hadn’t shut down his phone, he would have been able to help his wife in time. He couldn’t stop thinking about that “Maybe”. He could have called an ambulance, hell, he would have hurried to her side in a heartbeat if only he had known. But as it was, he only heard the news when, around Midnight, two police officers came to his office where he still was working. He managed to keep himself together as long as they were there. He refused to take the card with a psychiatrist’s number they offered, as he felt no shrink would be able to help him. Finally they gave up and left and he spent the rest of the night listening to the messages Rebecca had left on his mail box. He listened to her calling his name, crying, saying how much she loved him and Tommy until her voice became weaker and weaker and then there was only silence. He would have happily given all his money to get her back. Only, it was too late.
He was not able to think straight anymore. He would have done everything to get a second chance. While mourning her and grasping at straws he stumbled upon three names – Ablemarch, Costerdane and Frines. These three rich families seemed to work together, doing research in prolonging human life. They hoped at some time in the future even to be able to bring back people from death. It seemed like an idea worth pursuing. Malcolm didn’t allow his wife to be buried. At the reception before her funeral he had only an empty coffin. He explained to all their friends and family that Rebecca’s death had been so violent, it was better everyone kept her in their memories the way they knew her, and therefore he had decided against an open coffin.
The truth was that he had let his wife be frozen in a cryogenic unit where she would be stored until the day it was possible to bring her back. The technology wasn’t very advanced yet, but now the three families promised to do more research, and so Malcolm transferred a huge amount of his money to the account of one of their contacts.
But shortly after doing so he realized that this was not enough to make him feel any better. He had shut himself off from anyone including his own son in his rage and grief, and so some weeks later he left Tommy in the care of his nanny and just fled overnight. He traveled the world restlessly for a while, always on the run, always on the search, not being able to stay anywhere for long because the ghosts of the past accompanied him wherever he went.
Then he found Nanda Parbat, that mythical place he only had heard rumors about before.
It changed his life completely. There was no time left for brooding in between all the training he got there – martial arts, meditating, sword fighting, archery, and countless more – the physical skills he always had had from his former life were refined and reawakened. He also learned how to make his own bow that had the exact length and type of wood, being smooth and yet firm, to become, in effect, another limb. At the Time Agency he had been taught how to use all kinds of complicated technology and weapons, but there was something about the simplicity of a bow and arrow that really fascinated him.
Hunting and surviving in the wilderness became a whole new experience as well. He listened, he compared with what he knew already, and stored away all new information for future usage.
Until his teacher claimed he was not able to do anything more for him.
That day Ra’s al Ghul led Malcolm to the two fields where the monks were raising crops. “These two fields represent the balance of Good and Bad in the world. One field has been left on its own and see what happened: The stalks are small, because the weeds have been allowed to grow uncontrollably. Now see the other field where we ripped out the weeds, as well as the stalks that were small and crooked. The others are growing strong and high and will make a good harvest, the start of a new circle of sowing and harvesting.”
Malcolm understood immediately what the man was trying to say with this metaphor. It was so obvious that he wondered why he hadn’t come to this conclusion much earlier. Rip out the bad to help the good grow. He could do that.
It hadn’t been easy telling Ra’s al Ghul about the death of his wife and the things that troubled him. It had taken a long time and much patience from the other man before Malcolm had been able to open up. Now he felt connected to him in a way he never had felt before. Although Ra’s never said a thing Malcolm sensed that he must have experienced some similar loss in his life.
“The Glades are everywhere,” Ra’s continued, showing Malcolm a bundle of straw. “We are like this bundle of straw. One by one, we can be broken,” and he demonstrated by easily snapping them in half one by one.
“Now try breaking them as a bundle!” Malcolm took the thick bundle of straws and tried to break it, but although he put all of his strength into it, the straws only bent but did not break. Having learned his lesson, he gave them back to Ra’s.
“It’s time for you,” Ra’s said. “Go home and do what you have to do. We will do the same in other places of need. Together we will make it!”
When Malcolm came home, only two years had passed there, but he had been away for much longer. He had turned his own body into the ultimate weapon, and he had a goal now: To get rid of the cancer that had befallen Starling City. So he set to his task with determination, bringing Robert and Frank and others on board with his Undertaking, and using his other personality as the Dark Archer whenever official means were not enough.
Mainly when someone who knew too much had to be taken care of.
>--->>> >--->>> >--->>> >--->>> >--->>> >--->>> >--->>> >--->>> >--->>>
Link to chapter 3
Also posted at FF.net: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9694788/2/
Also posted on AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/970765/chapters/1939723
My other "Arrow" fanfictions:
"Heart in the right place"
How I met my father
Back (Part 1) Back (Part 2)