Title: The Hiding Of Secrets
Summary: Merlin meets with his father to get answers to questions and finds out more than he wanted to know.
Word Count: 876
Modern Camelot (Modern AU Series 1) is here on AO3.
The earlier prompts for King Of Britain (Modern AU Series 2) are on AO3
The Hiding Of Secrets
Merlin walked to the door of the restaurant and took a deep breath before he opened it. He was dreading this meeting. He walked in and looked around. He saw his father sitting at a table all alone. He took another breath before walking over to the table.
“Merlin, I wasn’t sure you would come.” Balinor waved his hand at the empty chair on the other side of the table. “Sit we have quite a bit to talk about.”
Merlin looked at the chair as if he was deciding what to do. He finally sat down and looked at his father. “I just want to know one thing. Where have you been hiding since you left my mother pregnant and all alone?”
Balinor looked at the table. “Merlin I didn’t …”
“Save your excuses. I want to know where you have been and why are you here now. Is it because I am the Royal Advisor to Arthur? Is this some scheme you have?”
“I was in New York. I left because I was in trouble with the law. I never knew she was pregnant until years later. I tried to see you but she wouldn’t let me. She said that you were better off without me.”
“Why are you here now? Do you think I will fix your legal problems?” Merlin said.
“No. The statute of limitations have passed.” Balinor said. “I wanted to see you. I wanted to make peace with you and maybe be a grandfather to your son.”
“What makes you think I want to make peace with you?” Merlin said.
“You are here.” Balinor said.
“Morgana is the only reason I am here. She said I should at least hear what you had to say. She had a troubled relationship with her father. He died before they could clear the air. She didn’t want the same thing to happen to me.”
“Then I must thank that beautiful wife of yours.” Balinor smiled. “She is a very spirited one, that Morgana of yours. I bet Hunith hates her.”
“They have tension but it’s not why we are here.” Merlin said. “Tell me why you were hiding from your only son all his life. That is why we are here, after all.”
“I tried to kill your late father in law.” Balinor said. “Uther Pendragon was at the top of a list given to me to eliminate. I was working for a man who was into all sorts of illegal dealings. He wanted Uther killed because he stood in the way of the project that he was trying to get going.”
“I remember Arthur telling me his father was injured in some attack shortly after he was born. That was why Uther had the limp on the right side.” Merlin said.
“Actually, Uther was out for the evening with Arthur’s mother at the time I made my move.” Balinor said. “I had been in the military and I was a good marksman. That was why they wanted me to do the job. I was aiming for his heart through his back and the sight was off on the rifle they gave me to do the hit. He was hit lower and he managed to pull through.”
“You shot a man in front of his wife?” Merlin said. “Arthur said they had been out to celebrate his birth. You were going to leave a woman with two small children alone because someone wanted a building project to go through. What were you thinking?”
“I wasn’t.” Balinor admitted. “They held a large debt over my head and they told me that they would hurt your mother. I had no choice.”
“You could have gone to the authorities instead.” Merlin said.
“They would have killed your mother, boy. I couldn’t take that chance.” Balinor said with a flash of anger.
“Does my mother know what you were into back then?” Merlin asked
“No, at least I don’t think so.” Balinor said.
“Look, you make peace with my mother and then we will see.” Merlin looked at his father. “You realize I will be talking to Morgana and Arthur about what you said.”
Balinor nodded. “If you want me to speak to them I will.”
“Arthur may want to talk to you.” Merlin said. “Just promise me you won’t go back into hiding before we get this all cleared up.”
“I promise.” Balinor said.
Merlin stood up and started to leave. Balinor grabbed his arm. “Merlin, I am truly sorry.”
Merlin looked at his father and pulled his arm away and left the restaurant.
Later that evening, Merlin sat in the rocking chair in Devon’s room as he watched his son sleep.
Morgana quietly opened the door. She saw him sitting there. “Why are you hiding here in the dark?”
“I needed to think.” Merlin whispered.
Morgana walked over and took his hand and pulled him to his feet. “Come to bed, Merlin.”
Merlin let her lead him to their bedroom. He looked back at his sleeping son one last time as he closed the door.
In the morning, Merlin would have to tell Arthur what his father said. He was dreading that conversation but he knew that Arthur needed to know before he told Morgana.