Pairing/s: hinted Merlin/Arthur/Lancelot/Gwaine but equally they could be housemates, Morgana/other
Character/s: Merlin, Morgana
Summary: In which Merlin and Morgana are protective
Warnings: Violence, hinted menage a quatre
Word Count: 648
Author's Notes: It would seem that the word 'burn' does things to me. I'm sorry, you won't understand who Elaine is because she's my OC along with Galahad her son, but you don't need to know her to get this
There’s something about magic that lends itself to computers. A similarity between the understanding you must have of the interconnectedness of things, the way lives and ley-lines and powers interweave to create a complex web of interactions; and the dances of lines of code around each other, the surges of electricity in ones and zeros.
Merlin is a computer programmer. He works on the security of the government’s systems, especially the military. And that’s how he met Arthur, and through him Gwaine. Lance he knew already, Merlin and Arthur bringing the four of them together. Things happened, and here they are. Merlin’s three boys squabbling over the remote, an impromptu wrestling match on the sofa and the living room floor. He watches from the doorway, smiling.
These are his, his men, to keep forever and to never allow to be harmed. Waves of affection crest over him, so hard he can barely stand under the force of it all. He’ll join the play-fight in a moment, but for now…
He watches the three of them and longs for the assurance that they will be safe even when he’s not with them. But Merlin knows that it will never come. There are buses, and illnesses, and fires, before he even goes into the risks from his and Arthur’s work in Military Intelligence.
So Merlin does the only thing he can do. He protects. Wraps them in layers and layers of firewall, like he does at work every day. Whispers words, ancient and yet still resonant, that create loops and logic gates for intentions and morals. Builds up a net of defences that stretches up around them all, locking them in gold. Anyone who tries to touch them, tries to cause harm, will burn.
No, it will be more than that. An incineration; cleaner, more clinical. All trace of their presence removed, instantaneous, so they have no chance to cause hurt before their final breath.
They will regret. They will regret the first heartbeat that led them to that moment. They will regret ever looking on something that is Merlin’s, out of reach to all others. They will burn, and Merlin will watch, content in the knowledge that that which he loves is safe.
Miles away, Morgana watches her girlfriend sleep. Elaine lays on her son’s bed, cradling his tiny head on her chest, a picture book dropped and forgotten on the floor. Her chest rises and falls, dislodging curls of his hair with each inhale. His is just darker than hers, truly brunette next to her almost red brown, long, spread over the covers. Watching her, Morgana thinks of family and home and words she hasn’t associated with herself for years.
She knows the importance of firewalls well. After all, she’s paid to find the loopholes in them. So she knows how to construct one strong enough to keep all intruders out.
And this is what she does, watching Elaine and her child sleep. She draws out her power, and she weaves it around them both, a firewall extending up in a dome around them. All golden light, arcing, sparking like lightning over them. Morgana checks for faults, and checks again.
She’s Seen threats to Elaine. She can’t let them happen. Elaine has given her everything; love, hope, happiness. She’s not something that can be lost.
Morgana’s spell takes the idea of a firewall literally. If anyone tries to hurt Elaine, they will suffer. Their skin will burn, and they will scream. And they will wish they had never been born, to have to go through this hell. There will be no flames, but there will be a chemical heat, the smell of charred flesh in the air. Oh, they’ll live through it, but it won’t be a life. A warning to others that Elaine is not to be touched.
Not to be taken from Morgana. Not ever.