Title: Ties That Bind
Fandom: Merlin (bbc)
Disclaimer: I do not own
Summary: When Merlin saves a young boy from would-be-kidnappers, he unknowingly starts the course of events that lead him to meet the boy's father, Arthur, who has played a painful part in changing Merlin's familiy's life in the past
"Arthur!" Merlin called as he hurried outside after the storming blonde.
To say the least, the talk between father and son hadn't gone well.
"Arthur wait!" The brunet jogged to catch up with the blonde, finally reaching his side and grabbing his arm to stop him. "Arthur!"
Arthur looked away before taking in a deep breath and turning to Merlin. "I can't believe this, Merlin. I just can't---I---it's---."
"It's not safe." Merlin looked around them, feeling a little better when they seemed to be the only ones in the road at that godforsaken time of the morning. "Come on Arthur, we should go back inside."
"I can't, not right now, not with him
there." Arthur sighed, running a hand over his golden hair. "I can't get along with my father on a good day, and now he---he--argh
Merlin stood in silence, watching the many different emotions playing over his face.
"My son, Merlin, my son
." Arthur closed his eyes tightly before taking in a deep breath and opening his eyes. "All of this was happening, and he didn't think it important to tell me? That I had magic when I was born? That my son is being sought after by some sort of Voldemort? That part of my life essence
is in someone else and his is in me? None
of that seemed important details for me to know?!?"
"I know its hard for you to take in, Arthur, but we're all going through the same thing." Merlin sighed, dropping his hold on the blonde's arm. "I found out that my daughters basically have the blood of every house but Sigan in their veins, and if they'd been boys..."
"Boys?" Arthur frowned. "What difference would that make?"
"I used to think that gender didn't make a difference when it came to magic, but apparently while female witches are able to have strong magic in them, only males have the legendary powers." Merlin replied, remembering the story that had infuriated Morgana when she'd found out that evening. "According to your father, the females used to be just as equally powerful as the men, and they wanted equal ruling rights. But you know the olden days, women were always subjugated. There was a war between the women and men, a literal war, and many of the bloodlines were annihilated in it. In the end the males one by a hair, and together they cursed the females to have the most of their powers bound in them, unable to be unleashed. But if these women were to have a male child, the child would have the power the mother couldn't use."
"That's extremely sexist!" Arthur snapped.
"That's what Morgana said...though she added a couple of more colorful words." Merlin sighed. "Your father said that if they weren't siblings, Freya, Sophia and Mordred would have been encouraged to procreate because the children of their bloodlines would have been people of legend or something like that."
that?" Arthur snapped. "They're children! They're not animals to be planning future breeding projects on!"
Merlin nodded in agreement, having felt the same anger when Uther had commented that earlier. He hugged himself against the chill of the morning, gaze going towards the house, thinking of the children sleeping peacefully within.
"Come here you stupid idiot." Arthur grumbled, catching Merlin off guard when he grabbed him and pulled him to him. The blonde opened his coat and wrapped it around the thin man as well. "You came out after me without even grabbing a coat. Seriously, you're so air-headed sometimes."
Merlin was too shocked, and confused as to what to do with his hands as he was encircled in the heat of Arthur's body and coat. Should he leave his hands at his sides, grab onto Arthur's shirt, or what?
"So, this Sigan..." Arthur sighed.
"Sounds like serious business." Merlin replied into Arthur's hair. "And he's got his eye on our families."
"And of course I don't even have a speck of magic in me to be able to protect those I love with." Arthur growled, self-disgust evident. "I was going to be so useless there was even a prophecy about it."
"That's not true." Merlin reacted on instinct, his arms going around Arthur in a comforting hug. "And anyway, you protect your son all the time even without magic, and sometimes...sometimes having magic in these circumstances is best. Like those minions that were looking for me. If I had attacked them I would have been down and out, and you don't have any magic to siphon, so you'd have been able to continue on as if nothing."
Arthur was still, silent.
"Also, magic, it can be easily corrupted." Merlin sighed, lowering his head and effectively resting his forehead against Arthur's shoulder. "Especially mine. I---the reason why I don't like to use my magic is because when was younger I was infected with dark magic, and I turned into someone I---I turned into a completely different person. If it hadn't been for my family---it scares me to think of what I would have done."
Arthur remained silent, but his hands tightened around Merlin slightly.
"I don't ever want to be that person ever again, Arthur, but I can't guarantee that the next time I'm infected I won't turn into that person again."
"You won't." Arthur finally spoke, voice soft and sure.
"You don't know that. None of us do." Merlin replied. "Magic is volatile, Arthur, I've always kinda envied those who don't have any, and I definitely wish that my daughters had been born as Unnaturally Untalented as their mother was."
"Unnaturally Untalented? Is that what being born without magic is called in the magical circles?" Arthur chuckled, amused.
"According to Morgana it was thought that it was impossible for a family with magic as strong in their heritage as their to have a magic-less child, but Morgause proved them wrong." A sigh escaped his lips. "It led to a big controversy, and for a while Mr. Le Fey wasn't even sure that she was his daughter."
"That's somewhat harsh."
"Exactly, but he couldn't believe that someone with his bloodline would be Unnaturally Untalented." Merlin agreed. "Still, when the tests came back Morgause was proved to be his child, and he was forced to admit to it."
"You know, the more I learn about Morgause's family, the more relieved I am that I never met them...that drag queen cyborg excluded of course."
Despite it all Merlin chuckled, smiling into Arthur's shoulder. "Don't tease her so much right now, she's still very touchy after learning about what was done to the female witches."
"Thanks for the heads-up." Arthur chuckled.
There was silence as they just stood like that.
Merlin finally sighed. "We should go back inside."
"Let's just stay out for a little longer." Arthur tightened his hold a little. "I need to cool down. I don't want the kids seeing me like this."
"Okay." Merlin whispered.
Contrary to apparently popular belief, the kids weren't deaf.
So when the whole explosion had happened earlier with Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot and Uther, they'd woken up, and had (of course) used one of Sophia's many different spy holes to listen into the conversation going on between the adults. They knew more than the others would have liked them to, and while they were scared at the thought of this Cornelius Sigan being after them, the three had other, more important things in their minds as they plastered themselves against the window and spied on their fathers outside.
." Mordred pointed out in a shocked tone.
"How sweet." Freya sighed, a happy little grin on her face as she watched their parents.
"I detest the fact that we couldn't hear what they're saying." Sophia pouted, clearly not in a celebrating mood. "How are we supposed to mount a battle plan if we don't know all the details?"
"We'll just make it up as we go I suppose." Mordred replied, moving away from the window and lay down on Freya's bed. "Have a contingency plan just in case."
"Good idea brother Mordred." Sophia agreed before bursting into a large grin. "How amazing is that, by the way? We're actually whole siblings. This is just, perfect."
Freya flopped down on her bed next to Mordred and hugged her unicorn plushie to her heart.
"Attention soldiers!" Sophia grabbed a ruler from her bedside table and slapped it against said table's edge before clasping her hands behind her back and beginning to pace the floor. "The enemy is strong, and cunning, and probably really well armed. And we really look screwed. But we have daddy, and we have Grampy Uther and his minions, and we have Arthur, who'd die to protect us and can be scary when he wants to be despite his utter lack of magic."
Mordred and Freya exchanged looks before returning their attention to the pacing redhead.
"And we have each other." Sophia turned to them, young, freckled face serious. "You heard them. Between the three of us we have some of the strongest magic in us."
"Especially Mordred." Freya raised her hand as if she were in a classroom. "And they did
say he's supposed to be a key figure in what's going to happen."
Sophia raised an eyebrow as she gave her brother a once-over before nodding. "Soldier, you've just volunteered for extra training."
"Note her unique interpretation of the term volunteer
." Mordred snorted, smirking at Freya.
Freya grinned back.
Sophia rolled her eyes at them before taking in a deep breath. "We need to train hard people, the three of us."
Freya made a face. "But I'm just a Seer, and anyway, you heard Grampy Uther. He said that we won't have that strong powers because---."
"Of a curse." Sophia interrupted. "What have you learnt from Aunt Morgana in all these years Freya? Curses can be lifted."
Freya's eyes widened. "But--!"
"No buts." Sophia narrowed her eyes. "If we want to be any good in this war, we're going to have to be on equal ground. And this is the 21st century! We women won our right as equals a long
"That's not what I meant." Freya pouted. "What I'm saying is that other women must have tried to break the curse before us, Soph. What makes you think that we can do something they can't?"
Sophia grinned. "Because they
didn't have the blood of four of the most pure and powerful bloodlines in their veins, Frey. We
do." Her grin grin slightly evil as she rubbed her hands together. "And I
got a plan."