Title: Ties That Bind
Fandom: Merlin (bbc)
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.
"I don't know what it was, Mer, but it was bad." Morgana was obviously shaken by whatever it was she'd Seen. Her skin was pale, she was trembling, sweating, and there was a haunted expression in her usually lovely eyes.
By her side sat Gwen, just as pale as her girlfriend, rubbing Morgana's back and yet looking up worriedly at her brother. "You should have seen her when she woke up Merlin. I've seen her have some bad ones, but this was the worst. She was so disoriented and terrified. She'd soaked the sheets through with her sweat and her heart was racing so erratically I was scared she'd have a heart attack."
"Freya's been Seeing things she cant remember too." Merlin sighed, sitting down next to Arthur. They hadn't had much time to themselves since discovering each other's feelings that morning, but he knew that this was more important. Something was obviously going down, or going to go down soon. It could have something to do with Sigan, and if so they needed to be prepared.
"We should tell Uther." Gwen announced, looking between Morgana and Merlin with worried brown eyes. "They're probably not the only Seers who are having these visions, and maybe the others remember something."
Merlin's gaze went to his daughters room, knowing that they were tired, exhausted, from having cast the spell he was still going to ground them for. He'd always wanted his daughters to have a normal life, despite the blood that ran through his veins, but apparently they were being dragged into this sordid mess no matter what he did.
"I'll call my father." Arthur sighed, standing, placing his hand on Merlin's shoulder before going towards the kitchen so he could speak with Uther in private.
Merlin watched him until he disappeared, worried.
"How's he taking everything?" Gwen asked softly.
"Better than I would have hoped, but its still very hard on him." Merlin turned his attention back on her, expression grim. "At least we know something interesting. Even if that curse had taken root in Arthur, it wouldn't have killed him."
"What curse?" Morgana frowned, worried, before she blinked. "You mean the tag-on curse Sigan placed on Mordred for Arthur?"
Gwen tilted her head to the side, unkept curls framing her face. "Why do you think it wouldn't have killed him? That makes no sense."
"The kids cast a spell on us last night." Merlin felt embarrassed to say this, especially since he couldn't be as annoyed with Morgana as he should be, not when she was like this. "A lust spell."
Gwen's eyes widened and she blushed. "What?"
Morgana smiled a little crookedly, shaking her head. "Obviously Soph's idea."
"So you two...?" Gwen asked, curiously.
"No!" Merlin went red. "They're kids, bloodlines alone, they don't know what they're doing and it wasn't strong enough to get passed my magical barriers. My magic filtered it out of my system, and then it filtered it out of Arthur's, without me telling it to."
"But how?" Gwen blinked.
"They have the same soul, and their magics are mixed." Morgana explained, pulling a strand of dark hair behind her ear. "Merlin's magic doesn't see Arthur as another, but as an extension of Merlin himself."
"That's..." Gwen smiled sweetly. "That's so romantic."
"What did Arthur say when you explained things to him?" Morgana wanted to know, eyebrow raised. "And about the lust spell?"
"He doesn't seem half as annoyed as me about it." Merlin admitted, shaking his head, darkly amused. "If anything, I think he's going to counteract any punishment I dish out."
Gwen blinked. "Why would he be glad that they put a spell on him?"
Morgana, on the other hand, was watching Merlin with the intensity of a predator. "Merlin." Her eyes were narrowed. "Remember our conversations about visiting unexpectedly and tabletops."
Blushing from his ears down, Merlin looked away. "How could I forget?"
Gwen looked between the two of them, frowning. "What are you two talking about?"
"Merlin is with Arthur now." Morgana's expression was less displeased and more amused. "I'm trying to figure out what the lust spell has to do with those two finally telling each other what they felt, but its obviously the reason why Arthur isn't angry about it being cast."
Gwen's eyes widened, turning on her adoptive brother. "Is that true? Are you finally with Arthur?"
"We haven't put a name to what we are." Merlin couldn't look at them, embarrassed. "But we both know that, uh, we, have grow to love, each other."
"He's stammering." Morgana chuckled evilly.
"Isn't it so cute?" Gwen squealed before launching herself at her brother, hugging him tight. "I'm so glad Merlin! You two are so adorable together and your kids love you both and-I'm so happy!"
Merlin chuckled, hugging his sister. "Thanks, Gwen."
Pulling away, she pressed a kiss to his burning cheek and then grinned brightly at her girlfriend, reaching for her hand and threading her fingers through hers. "Do the kids know yet?"
"No." Merlin shook his head. "They're still sleeping. Casting the spell took a toll on them."
"Where's Lancelot and Will?" Morgana asked randomly, looking around the room, noticing for the first time the absence of the two protectors.
"I don't know." Merlin admitted. "Will and Arthur got into a fight and Lancelot escorted Will back to the base. I haven't seen either of them since."
"I hope they're all right." Gwen worried her bottom lip.
Morgana slipped an arm around her girlfriend's waist and pulled her to her in a comforting way.
Gwen rested her head of unruly curls on Morgana's shoulder.
Merlin looked between them, smiling softly, before standing. "I'm going to check on Arthur."
He walked towards the kitchen, finding Arthur leaning over the sink, looking out of the window with a troubled expression on his face. It was obvious that he really wasn't looking at anything, but was trapped in his thoughts.
Merlin wanted to hug him, but felt a little embarrassed.
They'd only just admitted that morning that they were in love with each other, and suddenly Merlin felt a little awkward with the person who'd made him feel most comfortable in his own skin.
Arthur sighed and closed his eyes.
He looked so troubled.
Pushing his embarrassment aside, Merlin's face burnt bright as he hugged Arthur from behind, linking his fingers together as they met at Arthur's stomach.
For a split second Arthur tensed up, and then he relaxed, his hand going to rest on top of Merlin's linked ones. "I could get used to this."
Merlin rested his chin on Arthur's shoulder. "Yeah?"
"Yeah." Arthur nodded, tightening his hold with a sigh. "I talked to my father. He said that Sigan's men have been attacking certain places randomly and have been keeping them busy trying to counteract them. Father doesn't know why he's doing that. He thinks Sigan has a plan that they're not onto yet."
"Or he could be distracting them from whatever else he's actually doing." Merlin mumbled.
Arthur sighed. "That same thought occurred to me."
"Did he know if any other Seer has been having similar experiences as Frey and Morgana?" Merlin asked softly.
"Apparently there are few Seers in the magical community." Arthur mumbled, obviously having been told so by his father during their conversation. "And those that we have, have recently 'gone blind'." Arthur frowned, turning in Merlin's arms so that he was still being held, and yet was now facing Merlin, resting back against the sink. "Can having the Sight turn you blind? Will Freya-?"
Merlin's eyes narrowed. "Uther doesn't mean literally blind. He means that their Sight is gone, or shut off temporarily."
"So every other Seer has had their Sight go black, but Freya and Morgana still have theirs?" Arthur asked, eyes narrowed. "How is that possible?"
"Morgana's family have always had the strongest Seers, and Freya has so many strong bloodlines..." Merlin let go of Arthur and took a step back. "Someone must be casting a spell to blind the Seers so they won't know what's going to happen and stop it. But since Morgana and Freya are so strong they're unable to completely blind them, and yet its still blocking them in the way that they can't remember what they're Seeing."
"Sigan's up to something big." Arthur guessed, face serious. "Is there any way that we can get Morgana and Frey to remember what they're Seeing?"
"If they were stronger, they could filter out of the magic, like I do with the lust spell." Merlin murmured.
"I thought you said that they're from the strongest-."
"The curse, Arthur." Merlin looked up at him. "The curse of the females keeps most of the magic tapped down, remember that."
"I never thought I'd say this, but we need to find a way to help the cross-dressing cyborg to unleash her full magic." Arthur folded his arms over his chest.
There was silence between them.
Merlin looked away.
Arthur reached forwards and curled his finger in the waistband of Merlin's pants, pulling him to him, surprising the taller, thinner man.
Blushing tomato red, Merlin's large blue eyes rested on Arthur's pleased face.
"Hey." Arthur whispered.
"Hi." Merlin gulped.
"I'm going to kiss you now." Arthur let him know.
Merlin couldn't keep the small grin off of his face. "I figured."
Answering grin on his face, Arthur's gaze lowered to Merlin's lips as his hands went to Merlin's hips and he pulled him in closer.
Merlin licked his lips nervously.
A soft groan escaped Arthur's lips as he finally moved and captured Merlin's lips in their first kiss.
It was sweet and soft, not as invading and capturing as Merlin had thought it might be.
Melting into Arthur's embrace, Merlin tried to ignore the feeling in the back of his head that this moment of happiness and respite was only the silence before the storm.