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.
Mr. and Mrs. Le Fey were having an animated discussion with Uther Pendragon, Gaius and Hunith on the different merits of raising children, and how that transitioned into spoiling one's grandchildren. They were all seated at the outdoor table, candles flickering on the tabletop, everyone with a glass of wine in their hands as they spoke back and forth. Mr. and Mrs. Le Fey were in agreement with Uther that you had to be firm with your children while making it hard for your children to be firm with the grandchildren...while Gaius and Hunith were more of the mind that you should be close and friends of both children and grandchildren. From where she leaned with her hip against the table, Nimueh took a sip of her chardonnay and replied that while she didn't have kids of her own, if she had, she'd have been of a similar mind to Gauis and Hunith. Uther, of course, took issue with her not siding with him, and that led into another debate in which Nimueh pointed out that Uther and Arthur weren't exactly the Partridge Family, and Uther called her cheeky, fastidious, and other sorts of insults that she merely grinned at.
Morgana and Gwen were standing by one of the tiki torches, talking to Vivian and her fiance, Gwaine. Both happy couples were sharing the details of their upcoming events. Vivian and Gwaine were getting married after a whirlwind romance in which the known ladies man had finally wooed the reluctant and wary blonde. Morgana and Gwen were beginning the paperwork to adopt a little boy named Elyan whom they'd been visiting at a local orphanage.
John was standing by the refreshments, having an apparently deep debate with Mordred, whom was giving him his opinion on John's newest book. The boy obviously wasn't impressed with something, and was letting the older man know it categorically. John was taking the youths criticism apparently well, nodding at certain parts and asking questions about others.
Edwin was talking on the phone, seeming quite oblivious to the intrigued glances he was getting from Will, who was over in the other corner nursing a beer.
Lancelot, and another Knight named Percy, were in deep conversation about only the gods knew what, but there were a lot of swinging arms movements and laughs.
Merlin smiled, watching his family and friends, before a series of high-pitched squeals made him turn to see Arthur chasing the girls around the lawn.
Shaking his head in amusement as the girls finally turned on Arthur and jumped on him, dragging him to the ground with them, laughs victorious, Merlin went towards the table where the parents were at, refilling their glasses and listening to the conversation.
"Now that their leader has fallen, and his second in command, Morgause, is locked up for good, Sigan's men stationed all around are surrendering themselves." Uther commented, giving Merlin a little nod before returning his attention to the others. "There are a few, of course, who are trying to become the next Cornelius Sigan and rise to power, but they don't have half the power or charisma he did. The Knights of the New Order will quickly decimate the little rebellion still left and hopefully we'll have a couple of years of peace before the next little cockroach with dreams of power begins giving us trouble."
"At least by that time Mordred and the girls will be stronger, able to handle their powers more, and be able to protect themselves better." Mrs. Le Fey announced, staring at her grandchildren tenderly. Like her husband, she hadn't had a relationship with young Mordred and now were trying to build one slowly with the wary boy. "If someone else rises to power, they're going to want to either get rid of them for their power, or make the kids join them."
"Not going to have much success on either front." Nimueh sneered, sending the kids a glance over the rim of her glass. "They handled themselves better when captured by Sigan then many trained Knights or Sages would have. They used the powers they could, their brain, and they refused to be intimidated despite the odds against them." She took a sip before twirling her glass slowly, eyeing on the kids. "They're going to be forces to reckon with when they're adults."
"Good thing they have Merlin and Arthur to keep them on the straight and narrow." Hunith replied, leaning her head against Gaius' shoulder. She had finally met young Mordred and his father, and she'd given the blonde man a kiss and a hug, welcoming him into the family...before leaving him so she could better know her 'new' grandchild. Of course, Mordred, who was usually cold and wary and distrustful (something he displayed obviously with the Le Fey's ) was immediately won over by Hunith's ability to shower people with love and kindness.
"Thanks my boy." Gaius smiled at Merlin after his adopted son refilled his glass.
Sending his father a smile, Merlin left the half empty bottle of wine on the table and turned in time to see that Will had finally gotten the courage to go talk to Edwin (who'd finally gotten off his phone).
Feeling a hand in his, he looked down and smiled at Mordred. "Having fun?"
The boy nodded, giving the adults at the table a raised eyebrow before returning his attention to Merlin. "Mr. Hurt says he's going to add a character named Morx into the next story, and that he's basing him off of me."
"That's kinda cool." Merlin smiled as they walked away from the table, leaving the adults to talk. "Who exactly are you going to be?"
"I think I'm going to start off antagonistic, especially with Armand, but Mr. Hurt says that he's planning on later transitioning me into a reluctant ally and anti-hero figure." Mordred replied after a moment's thought, tilting his head up at Merlin. "I think, from what Mr. Hurt commented, that I'm somehow related to Myrrdin, or from a similar tribe or something."
"So Morx is an elf." Merlin realized.
"I think he's a mixed breed, since Mr. Hurt said that he has two sisters who don't have powers, and they're the reason why he later becomes a reluctant ally. So I'm guessing they're human, so it's probably Morx's father who is an elf. Or something. I don't know." He shrugged, not really caring about the technicalities. "How do you feel about Leon Knight?"
Merlin blinked, a little thrown by the change of topic. "The little boy who has a crush on Sophia?"
"No. Leon's kinda tiny, has big glasses, and is a total pushover." The seven year old shook his head.
Merlin blinked. "The little boy who has a crush on Sophia."
"He does not have a crush on Sophia." Mordred rolled his eyes. "If he did I wouldn't really be mentioning this to you because Sophia can take care of herself. And, to be truthful, if he has a crush on that miscreant he'd deserve anything that she did to him."
"But he always takes her constant abuse." Merlin was completely confused. "Why would he do this if it wasn't for the fact that he liked her?"
"Because he likes Freya, and whenever Sophia does something to him he goes to Freya bawling for comfort." Mordred replied. "It's cunning in a very deceptive way, and while I would usually admire such subtle yet effective tactics, I have to look out for my big sister."
Merlin smiled down at Mordred, ruffling his hair affectionately. "I'll talk to her if it makes you feel any better."
The boy folded his arms over his chest, nodding, expression a pout and yet a blush on his cheeks. "And I'll talk to him."
"No bullying." Merlin warned.
"He's older than me, I doubt he has reasons to fear me." Mordred replied unconvincingly due to his smirk, as he walked away from Merlin and towards his sisters, who were at the refreshment stand stocking up on cupcakes.
Feeling arms going around him from behind, Merlin smiled, hugging the arms around him and leaning back into that warm, muscled body. "Wondered where you were."
"Just watching you and my son bond." Arthur pressed a kiss to the curve of Merlin's neck. "That boy loves you more than anyone else, you realize that, right?"
"I don't know, he seems to be very fond of ma." Merlin grinned brightly, pleased.
"That's because Hunith is just...wow." Arthur nibbled on the shell of Merlin's ear. "I can see where you and Gwen got that...that...I don't know to call it. But its a sort of glow...but its emotional...I don't know how to explain it any better than that. Which is sad."
Merlin chuckled, shaking his head. "Changing the subject, Mordred was having a very serious talk with me about Leon."
"Leon Knight?" Arthur asked. "The little geek who is masochistic for Sophia?"
"Well, according to our son, the only reason Leon lets himself be Sophia's punching bag is because he knows Freya will fuss over him afterwards." Merlin replied.
Arthur went still. "What?"
Apparently Mordred wasn't the only one overly protective of Freya.
"I'm going to have a little talk to that boy next time I pick the kids up from school." Arthur decided. "See what his intentions are."
"Arthur, he's only nine." Merlin turned in his lover's arms, linking his fingers behind Arthur's neck.
Arthur was pouting. "I thought I'd have two or three years before this would become an issue."
"It's not an issue." Merlin laughed.
"This is Freya we're talking about!" Arthur made a face. "Sophia was one issue-you have to worry for the sake and health of the boy in her case. But Frey? She's so sweet and naive and innocent and don't want any little boy taking advantage of that."
Merlin pressed an adoring kiss to those lips.
Arthur blinked, train of thought completely disrupted, before his hands slowly travelled to Merlin's hips and he grinned. "That's cheating."
Nodding because he knew, Merlin curled his fingers in those golden locks and brought his lips to Arthur's once more.
Arthur opened his mouth to the kiss, pulling Merlin hard against him so he could feel how indecent the kiss was making him.
Merlin pulled away, face blushing. "Behave. We have guests."
Arthur's grin was utterly perverted. "Who are all occupied and won't notice if we...slip away...for some bonding of our own."
"I think you mean boning." Merlin couldn't keep the chuckle from his lips.
"I can't believe you said boning." Arthur chuckled, darkly amused. "How high school of you, Merlin."
Blushing darker, Merlin mock glared up at his lover. "Shut up."
"Make me." The blonde pressed his hips into Merlin's, his lips parting in a hiss as he felt how affected Merlin was as well.
Merlin's grip on Arthur's shirt tightened, his voice breathless. "Arthur..."
"Five minutes." The blonde begged.
"If you're only going to last five minutes it's not worth it." Merlin snorted.
Arthur gave him a half scandalized/half terribly amused look. "Your arse is gonna regret that one!"
"My arse?" Merlin raised an eyebrow challengingly.
Arthur's grin was infectious as his fingers threaded through Merlin's and he quickly led him into their home.
Neither noticed the three children watching them, and grinning brightly.
"Well, troops," Sophia announced, cupcake in hand. "This mission can be considered an all-round success."
Freya smiled dreamily towards the house. "It's so sweet."
Mordred rolled his eyes. "You are such a girl."
"Oh please Mor, as if you're not jumping up and down deep down inside because things worked out." Freya turned to him, smiling. "Our parents are together, and we're a real family now."
The young boy was forced to give a little smile at that, nodding. "Okay, so maybe deep down inside I am kinda thrilled...but knowing those two we're going to have a job on our hands making sure they or someone else doesn't screw this up for us."
"True! True!" Sophia agreed, thrusting her cupcake in the air for emphasis. "So this meeting was convened to discuss the next part of my evil, master plan."
"There was a second phase?" Mordred raised an eyebrow.
"Of course there was." Sophia scoffed. "I'm a Bigger Picture kinda girl, you know."
Freya pouted. "Why are we only hearing about this second phase now?"
"Because I wanted you two concentrating on the battle plans for the phase we were engaged in at the time." Sophia replied as if this should be obvious. "We've gotten them together, and for that we all deserve a good pat on our back. But we need to cement this, make it more official, and the next part of my plan involves the hands-fasting."
"Hands-fasting?" Mordred made a face. "What's that?"
Freya, on the other hand, knew perfectly well what her twin was referring to, and she hugged herself, smiling sillily. "I love this plan so far."
"I thought you would." Sophia preened.
"Really you guys...what's a hands-fasting?" Mordred frowned, looking from one sister to the other, not liking to be left in the dark.
"It's a magical marriage." Freya explained, sighing in a romantic fashion.
Mordred snorted. "Marriage? Really?"
"Yes, really." Freya nodded. "Think about it! It'd make it doubly official! I love it!"
"Not to burst your bubbles or anything," the youngest sibling looked up at his two older sisters. "But we just basically got them together, don't you think it's a little premature to be considering a wedding?"
"Don't worry." Sophia grinned evilly. "I have a plan