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Ties That Bind 13/? 
10th-Jun-2010 02:36 pm
Title: Ties That Bind
Fandom: Merlin (bbc)
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Rating: T
Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin.
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.

Waking up, Merlin knew something was wrong.

Eyes narrowing, he hesitated getting out of bed, but he knew that whatever it was that was wrong needed to be confronted, not avoided. With a sigh he got out of bed and bathed, slipping into a t-shirt and comfortable jeans before easing his way out of the room, still trying to figure out what it was he was sensing. The raven haired man walked silently down the long corridor, wondering why he couldn't hear the saturday morning cartoons blaring in the living room right about now. That was what a usual saturday morning entailed, and this was enough to give him the reassurance that something was going on. The magic inside of him was churning, as if working hard, and it bothered him. The last time his magic had reacted this way was when someone of lesser power had tried to hex him. The magic inside of him had filtered out the weak spell.

But it'd felt a lot like this.

Merlin's eyes narrowed.

Someone had tried to put a spell on him.

His first thought went to Cornelius Sigan or one of his minions, but then he quickly shook that concern off.

This magic was way too weak for that.

This was amateur magic.

His eyes narrowed.

This was child's magic.

Suddenly, it all fell into place.

His kids had tried to put a spell on him.

That was why they weren't in front of the telly watching their cartoons.

They were waiting to see the results of their spell.

But what spell? Why would they want to cast one on me?

Merlin brought a hand to his forehead.

Why do I have the feeling that this was all Sophia's doing?

The weary father snuck into his daughter's room and was surprised to find them sleeping. Performing the spell had obviously worn them out, as they were unused to having their powers tapped into to perform the magic. He felt concern but knew they were going to be okay, so he took the opportunity to sneak through their things, finally finding a large spell book he was sure he'd forbidden Morgana to give the girls for their birthday. The man sighed as he sat down on the edge of his redheaded daughter's bed, and flipped through the tome.

The spells were harmless enough.

They consisted of mostly minor things like glamour or luck or love or...

He paused when he saw the page that had been bookmarked.


The man closed his eyes tightly.

They couldn't have...

But as he opened his eyes and forced himself to go over the ingredients and what else was needed, he grew more and more convinced that this was the spell that'd been used.

Especially since Sophia had written little notes on the side of the pages, referring to 'daddy' and 'papa'...as two separate people.

Merlin closed his eyes once more.

His daughter had cast a lust spell on his and Arthur.

Morgana will be hearing from me very soon.

Thank the gods the children's powers were too weak to really have any grand effect.

Merlin grew horrified of what would have happened had the spell taken over.

One did not cast spells of this nature over other people.

This was messing with their free will.

Messing with the balance of magic itself.

Merlin stood and held the book tightly, looking at his daughters.

In sleep they looked angelic, Freya hugging her unicorn plushie, and Sophia hugging her gryphon plushie.

Merlin sighed.

He had no doubt that Mordred had been in on this too.

What was he going to do about this?

THIS was why he hadn't wanted magic to be a part of his children's education or life!

Magic gave people the feeling that they were gods, that they could accomplish anything, have anything, with only a couple of chants and a ritual.

It was that sort of mentality that made people like Cornelius Sigan.

And he refused for his children to start down that road.

To try and bewitch him and Arthur to...

Merlin paused in horror.


What if the magic had worked on him?

Feeling a little queasy, the warlock left the room in search of the blonde.


"Don't you think you're being a little harsh?" Nimueh asked blandly as she sat at his desk, painting her nails.

Uther, who'd frozen in the doorway when he'd seen her there, glared at her. "He got in a fight with the man he was supposed to protect."

"Your son's a prat, just like you're an asshole." Nimueh didn't even look up from her nails. "You can't really blame Will for fighting with him. I can quite understand. I want to bash in your head at least twice daily."

He glared at her. "Is that any way to speak to your superiors?"

She grinned, finally looking up at him. "Not really."

Sighing, not sure he could put up with this, Uther stormed to the desk, and after realizing that she wasn't going to move from his large, comfy chair, he sent her a glare and sat down on the much less comfortable one visitors were supposed to sit on. "I should fire you."

"Then who would have the balls to tell you when you're being utterly bastardy?" Nimueh asked curiously, blowing on her nails.

Uther just sighed and tried to get comfortable in his seat.

He couldn't.

Nimueh continued to blow on her nails.

Uther sighed, very put upon. "I'm not utterly bastardy."

"You have your days." She murmured, wriggling her fingers in front of her. "But you're not here to discuss your bastardy ways."

"No." He agreed. "I'm here because it's my office and I want to sit down in my comfortable chair. We've had a long night last night, with Sigan's men attacking. Lancelot is still with the men scouting for any that may have escaped."

Nimueh looked up at him finally. "It doesn't make any sense really, his latest hit."

"Since when have Sigan ever made sense?" Uther wanted to know. "First he slaughters the whole Emrys family, and now he shows interest in Merlin?"

"Merlin's powerful."

"Merlin is obviously more intelligent than he looks." Uther replied. "He's enamored with my son, it shows he's smarter than to side with Sigan."

"Merlin and Arthur share a soul, Uther. They're both enamored." Nimueh raised an eyebrow. "And anyway, it will happen. It's their destiny, isn't it?"

"Yes, destiny." Uther sighed. "Quite a bothersome thing it is."

"I know." Nimueh rolled her eyes. "I was raised with the knowledge that my destiny was to serve you if you remember right. Of course, during my training I was naive enough to think this would be an honor, not a condemning."

Uther snorted. "Any other master would have whipped you by now. I've done good by you."

"I'm sure telling yourself that helps you sleep better at night." She snarked before making a face. "What are we going to do about Morgana? She's researching the curse."

"So have countless disgruntled females before who haven't been able to conform to the way things are and to the male superiority."

Nimueh narrowed her eyes.

Uther raised an eyebrow.

The female took in a deep breath. "You know, if she breaks the curse, the first one I'm hexing is you."

"I should have you whipped for that."

"Yes you should."

They glared at each other.

Finally, Uther sighed. "What on earth did I ever do to deserve having you as an underling?"

Nimueh just smirked.


Arthur had gotten up early because he was pissed off at himself.

He'd completely failed last night.

He didn't fail at anything.

It was inconceivable.

So he'd gotten up early and decided on his game plan. He was going to talk to Merlin and he was going to lay everything down straight and then Merlin was just going to have to realize that this was where everything had been leading to from the moment he'd first seen those damned bodyguards trying to kidnap Mordred for Sigan. Yes, Arthur was sure that this was where it had all been leading, there were too many ties that bound them together, Morgause, their children, their friendship, their families, their souls. There were too many things for it to just be a coincidence.

Arthur-Arthur had always known he could swing both ways, he'd known it since he was young, but he'd also known how his father would disapprove of him more than he already did. He'd known that the boys would taunt him, alienate him, knew that the word faggot would be thrown around, and knew that school was his only refuge. There was no way that he would have put it all in jeopardy, not for a boy, especially not when Arthur liked girls too. So he'd scored with any girl he could, rejected in the worst possible ways any of the boys who asked him out, and he became a legend in school. His refuge remained intact.

But then graduation had come and the whole thing with his father had happened, and he was on the street, and then he was modeling...and it was interesting to realize just how accepted that sort of lifestyle was in the fashion business. He'd experimented, he'd liked, but he still hadn't had the courage to have a relationship with another man. And then Morgause had come along and the rest was history.

Then after Morgause he'd felt very disconnected, from everyone, even his own son. He hadn't been able to feel comfortable enough, trust anyone else...

...until Merlin.

And that should have made warning bells go off in the blonde's head.

Without even realizing it he'd opened up in ways he never had. He smiled, he laughed, he joked and he teased. He didn't really recognize himself anymore.

And he liked it.

He liked the person he was when around Merlin, and Arthur couldn't think of a time in his life when he could actually say that with total honesty.

He loved living here with Merlin, loved their children, their home, their life.

He was actually anxious to get home at the end of the day.

He'd never experienced that before Merlin.

Like love.

Arthur took in a deep breath, very nervous.

Then again, he'd been feeling a little sick ever since he'd woken up...so that was probably what was making his stomach feel so weird.

Hearing footsteps he looked up and stood immediately when Merlin appeared in the kitchen. "Merlin."

Merlin froze, as if...scared...before eyeing him suspiciously. "Arthur."

Arthur frowned slightly.

This was not the reaction he was used to receiving early in the morning. "You okay?"

"I am." Merlin nodded slowly. "How about you?"

"A little sick to my stomach," Once again Arthur wasn't filtering what he said. This was becoming a terrible habit where Merlin was concerned.

"Like a little cramp in the base of your stomach?" Merlin wanted to know.

"Yeah." Arthur was surprised at how well that explained it.

Merlin blinked. "You're filtering it out."

"Excuse me?" Arthur frowned, getting more and more confused.

"Just one question." Merlin cleared his throat. "You don't want to...I don't know...jump me right about now, do you?"

Arthur's eyes widened.

Merlin was psychic.

He---he knew all along!

He---the bastard!

He'd known how Arthur felt and he'd still gone for Vivian "Huge Knockers" Melrose?

"To be honest, I feel more like killing you right about now than jumping you."

Merlin blinked. "I'm confused, but relieved."

Arthur shook his head.

This wasn't going at all like he'd planned. "Look, Merlin..."

"Our kids performed a lust spell on us last night."

And like that, all the words he'd practiced flew out the window.


Merlin sighed, coming towards him and sitting down on the sofa Arthur had just stood up from, placing a large tome on the coffee table. "They performed a lust spell from this book on us. It didn't work though, it was too weak to have any affect on me and my magic is filtering it out of me, which makes me feel a little sick and I have a small cramp at the base of my stomach."

Arthur sat down, frowning. "But I don't have any magic to filter it out."

"I think its our life essence." Merlin cleared his throat. "It's seeing us as one, so it's filtering it out of you as well using my magic...which is...really...our magic combined in the end, isn't it?"

Arthur couldn't believe it, and shook his head. "I-." He sighed. "Why do I feel Sophia's behind the spell?"

Merlin snorted. "The three of them are."

"Princess Freya too?" Arthur frowned, before blinking. "Wait. You said lust spell, not love spell."

Merlin nodded slowly.

"Why would they-? Oh." Arthur was going to kill them.

He really was.


Maybe not kill them.

But they were so horribly grounded!

"I think I might be in love with you."

Arthur froze, turning slowly to look at Merlin. "What?"

"I think I might have always been." Merlin's face was nervous, ridiculously so, as he refused to look at Arthur. "I just didn't notice it, my experience with men is very limited and..."

"You've had experience with men before?" Arthur's eyes narrowed, as that dark, ugly sense of possessiveness and jealousy he felt whenever Merlin spoke about anyone else in his life reared its head once more.

Merlin looked nearly terrified. "It was only that time with Will and-."

"Will?" Arthur snarled, standing. "I'm going to kill him! I'm going to-!"

For a moment Merlin seemed utterly lost, and then his eyes widened. "Not that Will! A different one! A childhood friend!"

"Oh." It still didn't make the darkness any better, only left him more frustrated since he didn't have anyone to beat up for touching Merlin.

Merlin gulped. "I---I know that you detest homosexuals, Lancelot told me about how you'd turned down Will and I-."

Arthur turned towards Merlin, frowning. "Lancelot did what?" His eyes narrowed. "I don't want him in our house again, do I make that clear, Merlin?"

"Excuse me?" Merlin gasped, standing. "Why would-?"

"He obviously likes you Merlin!" Arthur snapped. "And I won't let him near you!"

Merlin paused. "I'm...confused. You had no problem with me going out on that date yesterday."

Arthur snorted. "You're oblivious, Merlin. You've always been oblivious. And I was trying to be the better man. And, to be truthful? I didn't think you'd hit it off with whoever the chit was. Of course I didn't realize at the time that it was Huge Knockers Melrose."

Merlin looked up at him curiously. "Are you...jealous?"

Arthur glared at him before looking away. "Of course not."

He missed the amused expression growing on Merlin's face.

"So the thought of me might being in love with you doesn't bother you?"

"Of course it does!" He snapped, turning to the lithe male. "There's a might there! I don't feel a might in my feelings for you!"

He then froze, realizing what he'd just said.


He was supposed to be all smooth and sweep this idiot off his feet and-.

Merlin made an odd sort of sound in his throat, before shaking his head. "Are you telling me you love me?"

Arthur took in a deep breath. "Something along those lines."

Merlin chuckled. "You're such a prat. Even in this circumstance."

Arthur frowned.

That wasn't a good reaction, was it?

But then Merlin took in a deep breath and reached over, placing his hand on Arthur's.

Arthur froze, looking at that hand, before smirking, and tightening his grip. "I knew her knockers didn't have the power to sway you away from my charm."

Merlin rolled his eyes and looked away, but his hand remained there. "We're going to have to talk later about how this changes things...and where we go from here...but for right now, we need to talk about those kids and what sort of punishment we're going to give them."


Those kids deserved a reward!

And yet Arthur just nodded, and caressed the skin of Merlin's hand with his thumb.

They sat in silence, not even really looking at each other, but their hands were joined, and small smiles lit their faces.


Morgana screamed as she jolted up in bed, eyes wide, skin paler than usual, sweat dotting her brow. She panted, looking around her, disoriented.

"Baby?" Gwen awoke, like she always did when Morgana had a nightmare, and sat up as she rubbed her girlfriend's back soothingly. "What's wrong? What did you see?"

"I don't know." The dark haired beauty whispered breathlessly, turning to her lover and reaching for her hand and the comfort only Gwen could give her. "But it was bad."
10th-Jun-2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha. I love your writing, seriously. I laughed the moment Merlin realized what had happened. It still managed to get them together, though. Cute. (:
10th-Jun-2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
Yep, the children's planned worked....but not in the way they'd anticipated it to :D
10th-Jun-2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Yay!!!! I got my steak, potatoes and corn drizzled with butter and, and a piece of chocolate cake for desert to boot! Can't wait for the next meal, maybe something hardy and deep....like stew :)
10th-Jun-2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
hahahahahahahahahaha! Well, I feel better now knowing you were more satisfied with this one ;)
10th-Jun-2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I hope the kids will get grounded for some time. I love how Merlin voiced my thoughts on the subject - such charm would go against the right of having free will.

However, I like the fact that they worked it out in the end. :D
10th-Jun-2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yep, free will is very important, since when you take that away from someone you take away the balance...and screw everything up in the process :(
10th-Jun-2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
I love this story, Mordred and the girls are adorable matchmakers. I really liked how Arthur and Merlin finally got together, these last two chapters were full of unexpected developments (or at least unexpected for me jeje). I hope you continue writing more of this!
10th-Jun-2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! Somehow this was the only way I could picture Merlin and Arthur finally talking to each other about their feelings.
(Deleted comment)
10th-Jun-2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
hahaha! It's a pg-13 story so it *had* to not work, sorry! lol
Oh, you probably *will* see more Lancelot-induced-jealousy!
10th-Jun-2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
I loved the kids trying to get their fathers together. I really liked that Vivian was actually nice about the whole thing and made him realize what he felt. Well done.
10th-Jun-2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, I wanted Vivian (like many of the villainesses' in my story) to not be dislikable, but on the contrary. And Viv...she ended up being a slashloving girl! lol
10th-Jun-2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Holy crap. Can we all give a big, fat finally? Ha ha, I feel like I've been waiting forever for these two to get together. The whole chapter was awesome. Especially enjoyed the scenes where Merlin found out what the kids did, and where he and Arthur (FINALLY) confessed. Cannot wait for the next chapter.
10th-Jun-2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, you can! :) after so long they deserve the finally!
10th-Jun-2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
YAY I' am glad that they are together now.
10th-Jun-2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Me too. I'd put it off for far too long!
10th-Jun-2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
I've just bltzed the whole story and it's awesome. So, so good - I love the interplay of the old legends with the modern day stuff (John Hurt appearing may have been one of my favourite points). I also adore the denial going on between Merlin and Arthur and this chapter was so, so cute!

Great, great fic! Some of the best writing I've read in a long while =D
11th-Jun-2010 12:07 am (UTC)
I'm so happy that you've enjoyed it and hopefully you'll continue enjoying :D
10th-Jun-2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
aww. so glad you updated! and finally they're getting together! i love the combination of romance and suspense in your story. and vivian's shipping them. that's totes awesome!
11th-Jun-2010 12:07 am (UTC)
Yep, Vivian's a Slash Girl too!
11th-Jun-2010 01:12 am (UTC)
This was just wonderful!

I am very proud of Merlin for not only admitting his feelings for Arthur but for telling Arthur outright that he is in love with him :):)

And I can also understand Merlin's anger at Morgana for giving the girls a spell book--I know it's amusing to watch them try and manipulate their dads but it's still wrong and a gross misuse of power.

I am now officially worried about Morgana's dream--I fear badness is coming,
11th-Jun-2010 01:35 am (UTC)
Glad you like! Morgana didn't give them anything big, but she thought the glamour and such would be enough to give Merlin a headache. lol
11th-Jun-2010 03:15 am (UTC)
So with the lust spell not working as planned, maybe the kids won't be punished too harshly. Still, it was an irresponsible thing for them to do. :( I like that the spell filtered out even for Arthur (thanks to Merlin's magic inside him ♥).

I'm glad that Merlin and Arthur are together now though! :) *cheers* Morgana's bad dream is making me anxious...Morgana's visions are never good. Good cliffhanger though. :) Well, ok, *evil* cliffhanger because now I'm a bit impatient for the next chapter, but I'll do my best to wait patiently...;)
11th-Jun-2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, Morgana's vision....*clears throat*

Arthur probably would want to pat the kids on the back while Merlin's not watching!
11th-Jun-2010 03:21 am (UTC)
just read it till here in one go. I am in love with this. It is quite brilliant and I adore that you added the poem in as well.
11th-Jun-2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm so glad that you liked it. And when I read the poem I couldn't leave it out ;)
11th-Jun-2010 03:39 am (UTC)

I'm still loving this like hell. ^_^
11th-Jun-2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
Oh---the Almighty Squeee!
Thank you!
11th-Jun-2010 04:28 am (UTC)
Really liking this two chapters at once thing.

I also really like that they are finally together. Yay! :)
11th-Jun-2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
*grins* I'm glad you did! I'd just had so much inspiration for some reason.
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