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.
They'd been trying to get into the compound when the protective barriers had fallen on their own. It'd seemed suspicious, very much like a trap, but Arthur had been the first to surge inside, feeling that connection that led him towards his lover. The others had had no other choice but follow him in, charging, coming upon Sigan's men inside. The fact that the home team seemed chaotic and disorganized, an alarm ringing deafeningly above, proved that they hadn't lowered the protective spells on purpose. That in itself meant that there were people working for them on the inside, and that they had an advantage.
Thankfully, the men that rushed Arthur seemed to be powerless minions, and he didn't have to rely on his whacked and uncontrollable magic to protect himself. That wasn't to say that it didn't act on its own accord more than once when it felt he was in particular disadvantage during certain circumstances, sending his attackers flying back. He knew that, logically, he should stay close to the Knights and such, work their way together to where his connection was leading him, but Arthur's desire to see his family and lover was stronger than common sense.
Leaving the others behind, he pushed on rapidly, as fast as his feet could take him. He dodged attacks and sidestepped blows, slipping around those hurtling themselves at him, using all the many rugby moves he'd learnt while in school to get by them.
Hearing that voice he skidded to a stop, heart racing in his chest as he turned to see Freya struggling against both the Rada'Han around her neck, and the handcuffs trapping her to a metal bar. "Frey."
"Oh thank the gods you're alright." Gwen, who was also handcuffed, breathed in relief.
Sophia and Mordred weren't handcuffed, but they were passed out on the floor next to them, wearing those damned collars.
Arthur raced to Freya and hugged her. "Oh baby, I was so worried about you all." He pressed a kiss to her forehead before hugging her close once more, glancing over her shoulder at Gwen and the kids. "Are you all alright? What happened to them?"
"They used up their energy helping us get to the security room and break the anchor to the protection spells." Gwen replied.
"We might have all this power in us, and have the potential to be the most powerful witches and wizards in our time..." Freya mumbled into his shoulder. "But we're still kids who don't have real control over our powers as yet and it drains us to use them. Soph and Mor used up more than they're used to, and that's why they fainted. But they're going to be fine."
Lancelot and Will had arrived sometime during her little speech, and were working on removing the Rada'Hans and handcuffs.
"Where's Merlin and Morgana?" Arthur pulled away so that Lancelot could free Freya.
"Morgana is fighting Morgause." Gwen replied, picking up the fainted Sophia the same time Will picked up a fainted Mordred.
"And Merlin?" Arthur tried again, eyes narrowing when he notice Gwen flinching.
Freya grabbed his hand. "Sigan transferred his consciousness into papa's body."
"What?" Arthur hissed.
"He's possessing him." Gwen clarified.
"It's what you must have felt." Lancelot turned to Arthur.
The blonde's heart was beating so loudly in terror he could hardly hear anything else. "What does this mean? Is Merlin...what...? I don't...!"
Several lights exploded, the room shaking, walls beginning to crumble around them.
His muscles spasmed, skin rippling and filing with goosebumps, an unholy air erupting from seemingly the floor beneath his feet, causing his clothes and hair to whip all around him. Eyes darkened and the room seemed to correspond, growing darker, more ominous. The sounds of fighting and war around them appeared to be muffled by a deeper, thicker, louder silence that permeated the air.
The magic was feeding off of his emotions, becoming even more schizo than before.
It was only the feeling of Freya's hand in his that brought Arthur back like a kick in the stomach, and he somehow pulled a reign on the godlike powers his body now hosted.
Freya looked up at him, worried.
He smiled down at her, trying to reassure her, before turning to Will and Lancelot. "Get them out of here safely." His gaze went to his fainted son, wishing Mordred was awake so he could be fully sure that his boy was fine. But Arthur had to trust that Mordred was fine otherwise the magic in him right now would react to his fears and anxiety and only the gods knew what it would do if he let himself overfill with the terror of a scared father.
So Arthur tried his best to control himself, no matter how much he didn't want to.
The blonde knew that he himself had been born with power, that some of this was actually his old magic, but he was so relieved that it'd been taken from him. He didn't know how Merlin survived living with this from childhood. With power this great you had to be so careful, hold yourself in tight control, or it had the ability to take over you and make you go insane. Arthur had new respect for his lover, and couldn't wait until this was over so he could transfer the magic back to him.
"Take care of yourself, Arthur." Gwen came to him and hugged him as tightly as she could while holding the fainted Sophia. "And bring them back."
He hugged Merlin's sister tightly. "I will."
She pulled away, rearranging Sophia's weight in her arms.
"What happened to the children?" Uther's voice was booming and ominous as he arrived with Nimueh at his side.
Uther Pendragon mightn't have known the girls long, but he'd grown as incredibly fond of them as he had always been of Mordred, and the look in his eyes as he surveyed the fainted Mordred and Sophia was murderous.
"They overused their powers..." Nimueh sensed. "They're still not used to the way the power drains their bodies. They'll be fine."
Uther pulled Freya into his arms and hugged her. "Thank the gods."
Freya hugged him tightly before they both pulled away.
Lancelot turned to Arthur. "We'll get them to safety."
"Thank you." Arthur smiled thankfully at the other man, watching him, Will, and Gwen hurry away with the children. He turned to hurry after the link that connected him with his lover, when suddenly the cramp in the base of his blared into actual pain, forcing him to his knees in the middle of the hall, hand resting against the wall to try and balance him as he crunched over, the white of the corridor going uncomfortably bright.
"Arthur?" Uther's voice was distorted. "Has someone cursed him?"
Nimueh rested her hand over Arthur's body before shaking her head. "It's the connection he has with Merlin."
Looking up, Arthur clenched his teeth against the pain, actually able to see the magical ties that bound him to Merlin. They were like millions of fine spiderwebs which were woven together and suspended in the air. One end was emerging from out of his chest, his heart to be exact, and the other must end in Merlin's. And every time the stabs of pain shook his body, he could anticipate it because he could see the dark bundles of energy traveling through their ties towards him, and the moment it entered him the pain would hit. And then a bundle of multicolored light would emerge from his chest and travel away..back to Merlin.
"Merlin." Pushing up to his feet, stumbling slightly, Arthur rushed forwards, following the ties.
"You know what I'll never be able to understand?" Morgana sneered as they circled each other, bloody and bruised from having taken out their angers and resentments on each other, and not finished yet.
"Anything that doesn't have to do with you?" Morgause spat out some blood, lips curled in disgust.
"No, you are the one who thinks too much of herself." Morgana replied coldly. "What I'll never understand is why you'd want this so badly."
"Being a little bitch, are we?" The blonde growled. "Rubbing salt in wounds?"
"No, I mean it." Morgana replied, body tense, ready for an attack. "Ever since I was a kid I could See the most terrible things-things no child should ever have to see! You saw how it nearly drove me insane! Why the hell would you have wanted that for yourself? I always wanted to be like you! Able to sleep full nights without jolting awake screaming because you Saw someone you'll never meet murder his wife or drown her child!"
"Oh boohoo, so your powers had one downside! Get over yourself!" Morgause's eyes flashed with intense hatred. "I was pushed to the side, constantly overlooked because of you! If I had a nightmare it was brushed aside because it couldn't possibly be as bad as anything you Saw. If I accomplished something no one noticed because they were always preoccupied with you and everything you did! Nothing I ever did could compete with you and your Sight! Or you and your ability with curses! You have always been mother and father's favorite because you had magic, had power-that you couldn't even appreciate!"
"Appreciate? I hated it!" Morgana exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air. "I wanted to be like you, normal!"
"Oh, I know you wanted to be me, you wanted to take away everything I ever had and you still do!" Morgause accused viciously.
"You're so messed up it isn't even funny." Morgana shook her head.
"You took away my parents, my husband, and my children!" Morgause screamed. "You couldn't just be content with being the apple of our parents' eyes, but the moment I found a man so powerful that they finally started to look at me with something like pride, then you had to get your arse in the middle of it too! You had to insinuate yourself into our lives and then get your claws in his sister so that not even this little thing I could have for myself!"
"I fell in love with Gwen! I don't understand how I have to explain to you that that has nothing to do with you!" Morgana screamed back.
"Bullshit! You always had to feel like you were upstaging me!" Morgause clenched her fists tightly. "You were always there monopolizing everyone's attention! As always! Even Merlin! You and he were always talking about magic and things that I'd never understand, flaunting as always that you'd be able to share something with him that I'd never be able to! I couldn't stand it! Hated you so fucking much for even taking him away from me! I thought having the girls would shift the attention back to me, but no, they display some potential for magic and while at first mom and dad are so proud that their granddaughters could have magic-again it's all about how you could help train them because you are the powered one in the family! You were even going to take away my daughters and make them love you more!"
"You are so full of shit that it's unbearable." Morgana shook her head in disgust. "I have never tried taking anything from you, if anythings I've tried to be close to you! Merlin and I have never been anything other than friends, and my relationship has only been about my mutual love with her. I have never tried taking away your daughters-and even though mom and dad might have said that-you know just as well as I and them that Merlin never had any desire to have the girls trained. He wanted them to live as normal human beings, like you had."
"Merlin adored you, mom and dad loved you, those girls would have worshipped you-but you were too insecure with that chip on your shoulder to even see what was so obvious to everyone!" The lights around her flickered with Morgana's boiling rage. "I didn't take any of those things from you! You let your petty resentment keep us from ever having the sisterly relationship we could have had-and kept you from having any other sort of worth while relationship either! Everything you accuse me of taking away from you-you've abandoned all on your very own so don't blame your faults on me because you can't bring yourself to admit that you've been a selfish little bitch your whole life!"
Morgause screamed and charged Morgana, murder in her eyes.
Morgana moved her left foot in front, bent her knees and lowered her chin. In one motion she brought her body lower, pivoted to her right and brought her elbow back. She then pushed her legs up, re-pivoted, and brought her fist up, hitting Morgause straight in the chin.
The blonde stood for but a second, before collapsing to the ground, unconscious.
"KO." Morgause sneered, wiping at the trickle of blood down her temple from a previous injury. "And without one ounce of magic." She shook her head at her unconscious sister, suddenly filled with sadness. "It's not that great, you know."
Sensing movement, Morgana got into a defensive position again, but then her eyes went wide when she recognized the blonde heading towards her. "Arthur!"
She raced to him and hugged him. "You stupid idiot! How could you have let Morgause kill you?"
Arthur hugged her back, although he flinched at that name and turned to look down at his ex. "Is she dead?"
"No. Just unconscious."
"Pity." Arthur's lip curled.
Nimueh and Uther arrived form where they'd been racing after Uther, Nimueh going to Morgause and magically binding her. "She won't be going anywhere."
"Arthur, you can't go to Merlin." Morgana brought his attention back on her. "Remember the prophecy. If you fight Sigan with magic he's going to kill you! Especially so if he's in Merlin's body! You know you're not going to hurt Merlin! And Sigan knows it too!"
"She's right, Arthur." Uther rested his hand on his son's shoulder. "You should take Morgana to safety. We'll handle Sigan."
"No." Arthur glared at him, shaking his head. "That's not just Sigan. That's Merlin. And I am not going to let you hurt him by trying to fight Sigan."
"There's no other way." Nimueh announced.
"Yes, there is." Arthur replied evenly, eyes following something only he could see. "And I'm going to use it."
That cramp in Sigan's stomach had flared out into outright pain, which kept him from fully concentrating as he made his way down the chaotic hallways. All around him were fights and deaths, as his minions and followers battled the Knights of Order-or of Peace and Justice-or of Lollipops and Candycanes-whatever the hell it was that they were calling themselves now. All he knew was that Uther Pendragon, his age old foe, had finally managed to not only locate, but invade his once hidden and impenetrable compound. And that left Sigan somewhat cranky. And the pain growing in his abdomen wasn't making his mood any better.
Also, this host of his was so disappointing he could cry.
Morgause had painted this picture of godlike power...and they had sensed great power coming from the Emrys home...and yet now that Sigan was in Merlin he couldn't sense any sort of increase to his own powers.
It was...adding to an already frustrating day.
The fact that he'd also nearly died at the hands of the powerless guy...who'd nearly done him in by bashing his head into a wall...really wasn't helping Sigan with his mood or even with his self-confidence now that he thought about it.
Sigan reached out and rested his hand against the symbol on the wall in front of him. He frowned, looking at Merlin's fingers. They were nothing like his fingers.
He didn't like them.
He didn't like anything about this body.
He hadn't wanted this boy's body!
He'd wanted his powers!
And Sigan couldn't find any damned powers in this body!
All he felt was pain.
The world seemed to shake, to twirl dangerously, lights flickering.
He brought a hand to his head, fighting the disorientation.
Turning around, Sigan's eyes widened as they rested upon the last person he would have ever suspected to come face to face with. "You!"
Arthur Pendragon stood behind him in the hallway, the light flickering viciously all around him, some bursting, causing sparks to fly above.
Sigan brought a hand to his chest and grimaced at the jolt in his body at the sight of the blonde before him. It was like electricity was flaring inside of him, alive. There seemed to be a million pins and needles vibrating on the inside of him, prickling mercilessly.
Behind Arthur, Uther and his bitch Nimueh battled with the remainders of Sigan's guards.
"It's over, Sigan." Arthur stepped forwards slowly. "The Compound has fallen, your men are being defeated, and you're all alone. It's over."
"How exactly is it that you're alive?" Sigan hissed, straightening himself, face showing his discomfort as he raised a hand to halt the younger Pendragon's approach. "Morgause stabbed you through the heart." It took the wizard two times to get it to happen, but Merlin's hand finally glowed menacingly with his power. "So how exactly is it that you're here, walking, talking, and ruining the decor of my previously pristine establishment?"
"Mer?" Arthur ignored his little rant, looking at his host. "Love, are you okay?"
Something fluttered inside of Sigan.
It sickened him.
He brought his hand to his heart, sneering at the way it raced.
"Everything's going to be alright." Arthur was still obviously talking to Merlin. "The kids are safe, and so are Morgana and Gwen. Morgana went to safety and to take care of them...and Morgause is out of commission."
Sigan's eyes twitched.
The blonde psycho bitch wasn't going to be running up to kill her ex (again!) any time soon then.
"You're going to be free soon." Arthur promised, moving slowly, carefully towards him.
"And how exactly do you expect to accomplish this?" Sigan sneered, darkly amused. "If I remember right you don't have an ounce of magic, and not only do I have Merlin's, but I have my own as well." He raised his chin, fist glowing brighter as his ribs began to hurt. "And even if I did leave this body, Merlin isn't here anymore. His spirit's dead, passed onto the other realm. He's probably getting his ghost on with JFK right about now."
It felt as if he'd gotten a kick to his arse from the inside.
"Merlin's still there." Arthur replied, coming close enough for Sigan to feel it, the magic.
The wizard's eyes widened in horror, unable to understand it. "How do you have magic?" He didn't wait for Arthur to attack, thrusting his palm out towards Arthur, and yet his magic wouldn't move, as if anchored into his body. "What the devils?" He hissed, looking at his palm before thrusting it out towards Arthur once more, and once more, and once more. And yet nothing happened. His magic wasn't reacting to his commands.
Somehow, Merlin must be keeping it locked inside of his body.
Sigan's eye twitched once more.
This really was a sucky night!
Suddenly Arthur was upon him, using his superior physical power to push him against the wall, pinning him there.
Sigan snarled at him. "Don't you read your prophecies boy? When we fight, I kill you."
"Whoever talked about fighting, Sigan?" Arthur wanted to know, before thrusting his palm flat over Sigan's heart.
The wizard raised an eyebrow, not exactly understanding what was happening.
Was he being propositioned?
If so...handsome though he may be...Pendragon really wasn't his type.
But before he could let the younger man know this, and then maybe reach for his dagger and stab the blonde or something, Cornelius Sigan felt it.
There was heat, and electricity, and magic seeming to emerge from Arthur Pendragon's hand into Sigan's host's heart, and it was filling his body.
It was magic unlike anything he'd ever felt before, more powerful than any he'd ever coveted, and now he had it within him...filling his body with its brightness. His whole body trembled viciously from it, his hands falling to his sides lifelessly. "What...are...you doing?"
Arthur leaned into him and whispered into his ear. "Returning something back to Merlin."
And that was the last thing Sigan heard before suddenly his consciousness exploded in bright light and dissolved into nothingness.
If only for a second, he'd finally gotten a taste of true power.
The first thing Merlin saw, after the blinding bright golden light finally faded enough for him to see once more, was Arthur's face. The younger Pendragon had one arm round his body, holding him tight and secure, the other hand cupping his face. Those blue eyes stared into his own, searchingly at first, and then his lips curled in a smile.
"You're back." Arthur whispered, relief obvious in his voice.
Merlin didn't say anything, he just placed his hand over Arthur's heart.
Arthur lowered his gaze to that hand and then smiled tenderly at Merlin, resting his own hand over his heart as well.
The two just stood there, hands on each other's hearts, staring into each other's eyes.
"Just bloody kiss him already!" Nimueh exclaimed with a roll of her eyes from where she was standing, arms folded over her chest, head leaning against Uther's shoulder.
The two lovers broke out into chuckles before Arthur reached up and cupped Merlin's cheek once more, bringing him into a deep, relieved, loving kiss.