Title: So here we are. (Momo 9)
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur.
Summary: Who will let their defense down first?
Word Count: ~780
Prompt: #83 Commitment
Author's Notes: It's Wednesday... I know... Sorry... ;_; In brighter news: I think the spelling as bit better than the last entry? Hopefully.
The bit about the thunder is based on something a colleague told me from her childhood.
Part 1: Momo
Part 2: Observation
Part 3: Revelation
Part 4: The Hunter
Part 5: The Thief
Part 6: Face to face
Part 7: Retreat and regroup
Part 8: To bare your soul or to sell it
Arthur quickly assessed the situation while Merlin hung up his coat and scarf. The desk and folders were in the bed room. The papers on the lounge table were harmless. If he was here in hopes of stealing information then he would be sadly disappointed. Though… he did not appear to be much of a threat there he stood, grinning amused towards the suddenly ambush of hail crashing against the windows.
Arthur rubbed the back of his head with his hand. This was weird. He gestured towards the sofa.
- Have a seat, if you wish. I would offer tea, but…
Merlin waved away the offer as he found a seat in the sofa end furthest away from Arthur.
- No need to drain the generator on my account. I’ll have a Pepsi if you have one?
Arthur turned to see what the mini fridge had to offer. In the corner of his eyes he saw Merlin reach for a sheet of paper what Arthur knew to be confirmation that his uncle was available to step in for Arthur in a meeting. How predictable. He turned abruptly to catch him in the act.
- Regular or Max?
Merlin glanced up before returning to study the paper with a thoughtful frown.
- Regular please, I’m not a fan of synthetic sugar.
Not quite the guilty look Arthur expected. No bite there then… He filled a glass half full and placed the glass and the bottle in front of Merlin before he sat himself down in the armchair.
- I will admit, he started, gaining Merlin’s full attention. That I don’t know what to make of you. You are… not what you seemed on paper.
- Don’t trust the paper. Trust the writer.
- I did. I do, he quickly corrected.
- Was it your idea to make a house under the table?
Arthur had to think, but…
- Yes, I think it was. I didn’t want her to be scared.
Merlin's face softens, making him seem more present and approachable.
- Morgana still does that when there’s bad weather. Mordred loves the thunder because they would sit together wrapped in blankets and talk and read and sing.
There was a pause before Arthur dared a question of his own, hoping he wasn't too forward.
- When did… Was there a specific moment when you decided that Mordred was your... responsibility?
- He was five. Morgana was pacing like a caged animal, talking about Egypt and sun. He was anxious, his friend Kara had her birthday soon and he had been looking forward to it for a long time. He needed roots and she needed to fly and neither were happy. There was no option really.
He paused before he added, unable to hide the bitter tone:
- And when did you decide that Mordred was your responsibility?
Arthur drew his breath.
- When I heard Morgana had been officially reported missing, not just hiding from us, and that she had a young son who had been put in foster care. There was no option but to put the wheels in motion.
- Foster care. He was home.
Arthur didn't know what to say to that. That was Merlin's opinion. And Mordred's, it seemed. And possibly the correct opinion. Merlin stared darkly out into the room, slowly taking a sip of the glass before putting it down.
- There is one more thing I need to know.
He slid the paper he had been staring at towards Arthur.
- This here. This does not make sense to me.
- Oh? It’s a print out of an e-mail. It's not relevant.
- I mean the signature. This is your mother’s brother Aggravaine, yes? Not someone who happens to have the same name.
- Yes? He is my uncle.
- So, he not only still around, he is working with you. Like your right hand man or something?
- Yes, it is a family business and he is family. What do you mean, still around?
- Is this a joke?
- No? He’s Mordred's great uncle.
The power returned, the lamps and items not feed by the generator flickered back on. Merlin stared at Arthur like he couldn't believe his ears. He stood up, looking stunned.
- I... I have to go now. This was... nice.
He started to make his way to the door, and Arthur's anger flared. He bounced up and blocked Merlin's path.
- Don't you dare leave now! Explain yourself! Why shouldn't uncle 'still be around'?
Merlin eyes narrowed.
- Because it was Aggravaine who suggested that Morgana could leave and start a new life from scratch.