Title: Closing doors. (Momo 13).
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gawin (Gwaine), Mordred, Gaius, OC.
Summary: Arthur has made his choice and just wants this all to be over.
Word Count: ~900
Prompt: #88 Breathless.
Author's Notes: Final chapter. Thank you all for reading and commenting every week, you've made me so happy! And to think I actually finished a series! I love this community! :D
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
Part 9: So here we are
Part 10: I go la la la
Part 11: Last chance.
Part 12: Arousing supsicion.
The meeting was over quickly, thankfully. The two representatives from social services were happy with the progress. The adoption papers would most likely sail through without a hitch. Mordred was glued to Merlin’s arm, beaming happily in safe distance from Arthur. Arthur’s stone faced legal representative – George or Frank or whatever – said what was needed to be said and together with Gawin they made sure all bases were covered and all signatures were signed where they should.
Arthur hurried through the pleasantries and tried to dodge mr Gaius’ look, a look which seemed to indicated that Arthur had done a great deed to humankind or something. He quickly shook Merlin and Gawin’s hands without actually looking at either of them. Mordred peeked at him from behind Merlin’s back. Finally through with it all, Arthur turned his back and walked away, the elevator at the end of the hall his goal and escape vehicle.
The last thing he had heard was Merlin’s voice saying “Will we see you for Christmas?”, their lives moving on before Arthur had even left the building, with skateboarding almost-uncles and lego building lawyers. Seemed it was his lot in life to be a bump in the road towards happiness for other people. Arthur pushed the button on the wall and put his hands deep in his pockets. He leaned his back against the side wall, making sure he didn’t look back. Inviting the lawyer for Christmas… He nearly laughed. At least someone would be celebrating Christmas this year. He left out a barely audible sigh as the door started closing. Almost over now.
Someone stuck a hand in at the last moment, making the doors open again and Arthur was fully prepared to bite their head off. Was it too much to ask to suffer alone? Seeing who it was didn’t brighten his mood.
- What do you want, Merlin? Come to gloat?
- Yes, Merlin replied surly, this is me throwing myself a parade. Do you ever listen? I said: Will we see you for Christmas?
The man’s face and crossed arms didn’t quite match his words. It sounded like an invitation and looked like a challenge. Arthur blinked.
-I don’t understand.
Merlin’s hand dropped to his sides. His defensive stance mellowed at sight of the absolutely lost man he had cornered in the elevator. This would have been easier if the idiot didn’t remind him so of people he loved, then he could have simply walked away. But somehow the apples from the Pendragon tree keep falling into Merlin’s yard and somehow he can’t make himself throw them out.
- We have room, Merlin said. Me and Momo can sleep in Morgana’s flat and you and Daddy Dearest can stay in ours. I don’t think she would appreciate it being the other way around.
The doors tried to close again, Arthur jumped forward and struck out his arm to keep them opened.
- This is… I still don't understand, he said.
He glanced behind the man, before his eyes returned to Merlin again. Mordred was talking to Gawin. Or was Gawin distracting Mordred, perhaps?
- Don’t get me wrong. I still don’t like you. Quite frankly… But it’s not about me or you. If you truly want to be part of Mordred’s life, then be part of his life as his uncle not a creepy kidnapper. If not then stay. The hell. Away.
Arthur struggled to make sense of this. He probably should feel insulted by being called a creepy kidnapper, but that didn’t matter now. At some point in all this mess Merlin had sat down and given thought to sleeping arrangement in case they were spending Christmas together. At Merlin's place.
- What if Morgana comes back?
- Mothers trumphs everything. It’s not like you have no place to go if we kick you out. And as horrible as it sounds… I don’t know where she is and I don’t think she is coming back. She could be anywhere. Right now she could be climbing Machu Picchu, building schools in Eritrea or battling for human rights in India. She could be right outside my door, wondering where we are. She could be… I can’t plan our lives based on “What if Morgana comes?”
Arthur throat constricted. He dove forward and trapped Merlin in a tight and very one sided hug and whispered a shaky ‘thank you’ into the man’s shoulder. Afterward it was hard to tell which of the two were most shocked but this.
- That’s a yes? Merlin braved to ask once he had caught his breath again.
Arthur coughed into his fist, trying to regain some composure.
- I’ll be there. We. We will be there.
Arthur felt confident that he could speak for his father in this. He might not like the idea at first, but Arthur would talk him into it.
Mercifully the doors started closing again. Merlin’s brain recovered from shock just in time to call out:
- But we are playing by my rules. Not Pendragon rules!
Arthur couldn’t help but smile. No loophole there then. He drove a hard bargain, father would like him. He nodded in agreement.
- M. Ryhs rules!
He continued to smile as the elevator took him down. This could work. They could make this work.
Sometimes loosing feels a lot like winning.
Bonus chapter: Arthur gets a phone call.