Title: Broken Bonds
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Morgana, Uther
Summary: Morgana is determined to repair the broken bonds between father and son.
Word Count: 965
Prompt: #56 Reunion
Author's Notes: Thank you to inspired_being for improving the ending significantly. I've added onto the 'verse from 'Once In A Blue Moon' from last week's prompt. However, I struggled this week with too much to say, so I ended up posting a filler piece on AO3 here, called the 'The Harpy.' It fits in between last week's drabble 'Once In A Blue Moon' (on AO3 here) and this week's work 'Broken Bronds' posted here.
A stunning, raven-haired beauty strides confidently into the waiting room. The clicking of Morgana's pumps echoes loudly in the silent room.
"So who's Merlin?" Morgana demands, as she glances 'round the room.
"That's me. I'm Merlin." A lanky lad with a pale face and dark hair unfolds himself from the chair and offers his hand to shake.
"Morgana Pendragon. What's the latest on Arthur?"
"They won't tell me much as I'm not family. They did say they were going to operate, but I've not heard anything since." Merlin's voice wavers with frustration and concern
"I'll find out." It only takes a few minutes, some shouting and a mention of the Ygraine Pendragon Cancer Foundation before Morgana has a hospital administrator ushering Merlin and her into a private waiting room. A doctor arrives shortly thereafter to answer their questions.
"The major problem is the punctured lung from the broken ribs. He's now in the recovery room after having surgery to repair the lung and should be awake soon. The secondary issue is the possible concussion, which we will assess once he is conscious again."
Morgana directs her piercing green-eyed glare towards the administrator, as she states, "We will be able to see him immediately after he awakes, correct?"
"Of course, Ms. Pendragon," the administrator murmurs.
While Merlin and Morgana are waiting, she explains, "It took some convincing, but our father, Uther, should be here soon."
"Why doesn't Arthur want him here?"
"They had a falling out and Father says he is dis-inheriting Arthur, so he won't get a share of the family business when Father retires. They haven't spoken to each other in the past six months."
"What was the disagreement about?"
"It started when Arthur came out. Uther didn't accept it and berated Arthur for his "lifestyle" decisions. Arthur, of course, said it wasn't a choice--it was who he was-- and the argument escalated rapidly from there."
That explains a lot about Arthur's secretive nature--a coming out gone badly will do that to a bloke. "How did you convince Uther to come tonight?" Merlin asked.
"I threatened to never speak to him again, told him he would have no family left if he didn't come."
Without realizing he is saying it aloud, Merlin mutters, "Arthur was right...you can be vicious."
Morgana's laugh rings out, reassuring Merlin she isn't offended. "Oh yes, he doesn't call me a harpy for nothing."
"Arthur, so good to see you fully awake. We were so worried." Morgana gushes as she bends over to kiss Arthur on the head, like he is five years' old again.
Merlin comes closer to stand beside the bed, the worry still showing on his face. "How are you feeling, Arthur?"
"My chest hurts and I have a monster of a headache, thanks to you slamming me into the pavement."
Merlin’s face brightens with that cheeky grin of his so Arthur knows not to take him seriously. "Sure, next time a speeding van is aiming straight for you, I'll do nothing and let it kill you outright."
Just as Merlin speaks, the door opens and Uther Pendragon strides into the room. He is wearing a tuxedo and a scowling expression. Spotting his daughter, he growls, "Morgana, what is this about?" At the same time, Arthur turns to Merlin and forcefully whispers. "I told you not to call him!"
Merlin quickly denies culpability, pointing at Morgana. "It was The Harpy, er, I mean Morgana. I told her you didn't want him here."
"I think it is about time the two of you faced each other again," Morgana explains, as she glances at Arthur and Uther in turn. "Arthur was nearly killed tonight. How would you both have felt if your last words to the other were ones of hate?"
Uther's expression turns mulish and Arthur suddenly finds the ring on his left index finger most interesting.
Uther clears his throat. "Arthur, are you alright then?"
"I will be. Just a punctured lung and a knock on the head."
"Just to be clear...I still don't condone your lifestyle."
Arthur sighs. How many times does this need repeating? "I'm not asking you to do that, just accept me for who I am. You don't need to march in any parades for me, just stop expecting me to date women and marry one. Because I won't be doing either."
Uther rolls his eyes and they settle on Merlin. "Aren't you going to introduce me to your...lover, then?" he spits out.
Merlin wishes he could be invisible and not be a part of this argument. He shakes his head negatively, "We're just friends."
Arthur contradicts him. "No, Merlin. It's time for truthfulness. We are dating...or we would be, if that van hadn't interrupted our first date. I'm not ashamed to admit I hope we do become lovers."
Merlin’s ears turn a delicious shade of red as Arthur continues with the introductions. "Father, I'd like to introduce Merlin Emrys. Merlin, this is my father, Uther Pendragon. Father, I expect you to treat Merlin with courtesy and respect."
Morgana prompts Uther, "That won't be so difficult, will it? How about you invite Merlin and Arthur to the family dinner next month? It would be nice to have Arthur attend again."
Uther looks at his daughter for a moment, shakes his head and says, "I know when to concede defeat. Arthur, Merlin, consider yourselves invited."
Not a particularly welcoming invitation, but an invitation all the same. "Thank you, sir. Schedules permitting, we'll be there." Merlin looks at Arthur to make sure he hasn’t said the wrong thing. The small grin on Arthur’s tired and weary face is all Merlin needs for reassurance that his acceptance on their behalf is a promising first step toward a reunion of father and son.