Title: Imperfect Family (Part 3 of Perfectly Imperfect)
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Morgana, Uther, Aggravaine
Summary: Arthur's uncle is coming for a visit and Merlin decides to accompany his boyfriend's Family Dinner
Word Count: 972
Prompt: #262 Family Dinner
Merlin was nervous. He once again checked his appearance; he was wearing the nicest clothes he could find in his closet, before ringing the bell of the Pendragon Mansion.
He had been here a million times before, and after all the years of friendship with Arthur even Uther had started to warm to him, as warm as a man as Uther could get. But tonight was different; tonight he was not here as Arthur’s best friend, he was here as Arthur’s boyfriend, or whatever they were now. They still hadn’t discussed their changed relationship status.
The door opened before his mind could wander any further. Arthur’s worried face greeted him.
“Finally, my uncle will be here in a few minutes.” He let Merlin in before taking his coat.
Arthur’s uncle Aggravaine, his dead mother’s brother, was about to visit for the first time in years and nobody in the Pendragon Family knew why he planned on coming. Arthur had been so nervous about all of it; of course he would have never admitted that; Merlin had invited himself over as well, for Arthur’s well being.
“Sorry, I was unsure what to wear;” he signed and spoke at the same time.
“You look perfect no matter you are wearing.” Arthur quickly kissed Merlin before taking his hand and leading him to the living room.
“Hi Merlin,” Morgana greeted him from the sofa she was sitting on. Her green eyes landed on their still connected hands but she didn’t comment at that. Maybe Arthur had told her,
Merlin thought as he sat down with Arthur on the opposite sofa.
“Have you started working on the history assignment yet?” she asked instead.
“I went to the library today to get a book. I plan on,” he was interrupted by the ring of the bell.
“He is here;” Arthur murmured. Letting go of Merlin’s hand he stood up as Morgana left to open the door. Merlin could hear someone walk down the stairs, which he assumed was Uther leaving his study. A few minutes later they all entered the living room, Uther, Morgana and the unknown dark haired man that must be Aggravaine.
“Uncle,” Arthur shook the man’s hand. “This is Merlin.”
“Merlin, what an unusual name;” he said and shook Merlin’s hand as well.
“We should all go to the dining room now,” Uther announced without greeting Merlin.
Sitting down next to Arthur at the big dining table, Merlin started to regret his decision to come here. He had no idea how he could help Arthur or how he should behave with Arthur’s uncle. It felt like the first time he came over for dinner all those years ago.
The first course was served by servants and Merlin was glad for the distraction. The food was delicious as always; Uther only employed the best cook. Still, somehow Arthur always seemed to prefer eating over at Merlin’s. He always ate the food Merlin’s mom made for them like a starving man.
“So where did we stop earlier?” Morgana suddenly asked; breaking the awkward silence.
“Oh right, about the history assignment. Merlin, have you already finished yours?”
Merlin let go of his cutlery and started answering. “I started researching a few things but nothing more than that. I should start writing tomorrow.”
“What are you doing with your hands, young man?” Aggravaine suddenly asked.
“Sorry, I tend to both speak with my voice and my hands most of the time. My hearing isn’t so great.” Merlin truthfully answered and pointed at his hearing aids in case Arthur’s uncle hadn’t seen them before. He stopped minding people being curious about his sign language a long time ago.
“Ah. And how do you know my nephew and niece; if you don’t mind me asking. I was under the impression we were having a family dinner.”
“Merlin is Arthur’s...” Morgana started but Arthur interrupted her.
“He is my boyfriend.”
Merlin’s head spun towards Arthur so fast he was surprised not to feel a snap. Had Arthur really just called him his boyfriend? In front of his whole family?
Looking around he realized that neither Morgana nor Uther seemed surprised by Arthur’s statement; only Aggravaine had a shocked look on his face.
“Merlin has been Arthur’s best friend for years. He pretty much belongs to the family.” Uther said, surprising Merlin even more. In all those years he had barely tolerated Merlin and now he was calling him a part of the family? This dinner was full of surprises.
“Why did you want to come for dinner Aggravaine?” Uther finally asked the question they all had been dying to ask.
After taking a gulp of wine, he was clearly stalling now, he answered.
“I decided to move back here. I want to get to know my niece and nephew better; Arthur and Morgana are the only thing left of my sister; I think it’s time to get to know you all better.”
Morgana and Arthur both had curious looks at their face but Uther; Merlin realized as he looked at the Head of the Pendragon Family, was shocked.
After dinner Arthur and Merlin sneaked out of the room and up to Arthur’s bedroom. Lying on the bed next to each other Merlin tried to make sense of everything happening earlier.
“Did you really just call me your boyfriend in front of your family?” He still couldn’t wrap his head around it.
“I did. I told my father I was gay yesterday. I didn’t tell him about us but he must have guessed it. That’s why he wasn’t more surprised.”
“And why he called me part of the family.”
“Well now you are officially part of our Imperfect Family; it’s too late to leave now.”
“Who said anything about leaving?” Merlin turned towards Arthur and kissed him, a smile spreading across his face.