Title: Truth seekers (mpreg 17/?)
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin, Morgana/Gwaine
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Uther, Mordred, Morgana, Gwaine
Summary: Uther has very little time to make a very important decision, and Morgana too sees the video on the news.
Warnings: mpreg, illness, angst.
Word Count: ~1000
Author's Notes: I'm not entirely happy, but I've been stuck in this chapter for ages and glad these last two prompts made me pull through.
Uggh, LJ's being all glitchy...
One:But I don't know any lullabies
Two:Moving on without you 1/2
Three:Moving on without you 2/2
Five:While you slept
Nine: Restless sleeper
Eleven: Nearly normal
Tweleve: All that haunts us
Thirteen: Bucket, oh bucket
Fourteen:Hello little one
“I hear you are studying medicine”, Uther says like he had not been aware of Merlin's ambition and dream for years. He makes his face and posture as unreadable as possible. He has years of training, after all.There's a twitch in Arthur's eye, one Uther is sure he would have hidden far better if he was not weakened. He's sure he appears rude or condescending. It doesn't matters. His son’s life is at stake. That little bundle he had been handed years ago, new to the world and loudly demanding his attention. It’s seeing him grow strong and healthy that makes the guilt and pain of Ygraine’s death bearable. But it's a balancing act. He has lost his temper once, and not one person in this room will forgive him if he does so again. Instead he observes.
He sees Merlin, how he holds his hands, how he replies, what he chooses to say and what he doesn't say. He sees the exchange of looks between the two, and how Mordred plays on his phone seemingly unbothered.
Uther knows a lot from this alone. Whatever Merlin's true motives are, Mordred has Merlin’s back. There is no need for words or looks between them, leaving Merlin free to focus on the Pendragons. It is an interesting observation in this shaky truce. He absorbs it all, leaving all options open. He cannot afford to lose his son.
Merlin opts for showing his polite and friendly bedside manners. He smiles and appears non-hostile, but definitely not yielding.
“Yes, I do study medicine. I’m in my first year of MagiMed.”
Merlin is aware of the trap, not falling in by losing his temper – that had been Uther’s error – or resolve to spitting sarcastic venom. Uther can respect that in an adversary, Merlin is no fool.
“And you see yourself making a career from this.”
Merlin’s lips quirk a bit, slightly amused perhaps. This was familiar territory for both, on opposite sides of the legalizing of Magic.
“I hope so. I have taken a special interest in diagnostics. The magic element in people can make them react differently to conventional medicine. Some cases which have been seen as immune or non-responsive to treatment may benefit from magical aid. ”
Uther offered no more than a grunt as comment. Under normal circumstances he might have interfered more in Merlin’s speech. But the look Arthur was sending Merlin echoed Ygraine. He needed a short moment to process it. That’s all.
“.. I believe, in time, MagiMed clinics and MagiMed staff will be available to the whole country, not just in a few open-minded cities and counties as it is now. I am sure you can see the benefit of having formally educated personnel providing diagnosis and prescribing medication, rather than just any ‘magic Mike’ off the streets. ”
“And while will you be while you wait for your Utopia to come true?”
He hit a nerve there.
“Camelot and Ealdor might as well be on different planets. And who knows where I end up working? I don’t mind being on the front-line for what I believe in, but Camelot is years away from accepting magic. I can’t spend my life with my head bowed, pretending to be ashamed of who I am. That is why we never… we didn’t think it was meant to be.”
“Merlin’s going to be the best doctor ever. I’m not sure the company will have me now…”
Arthur’s voice was shaky, but his faith in Merlin was clearly not.
Uther huffs at their indecisiveness.
Perhaps this may not be as bad as Uther had feared, but it was certainly far from reassuring. While he had yet to find proof that Merlin was a knowing part of a cruel plot, he was shocked that there seemed to be no planning involved at all! If it were true that Merlin had been unaware of this until Uther had arrived, that still left several hours of which should have been used to plan ahead. Such dilly-dally might be expected from Merlin, but not from a Pendragon.
“We are a modern company, son. We do not fire people for getting pregnant. We have a fine system in order for leave of absence during pregnancies or adoptions. The workers’ unions have worked hard for this. Why shouldn’t you benefit from it as well?”
He took his smartphone out and started tapping.
“I will have George send over the personnel handbook and ask him to procure the necessary information. Is there no signal in this building?”
Morgana might have done her best to cut all ties to Uther’s side of the family, but gossip will always reach her. She had cursed Uther many a time for trying to dictate what she said, how she acted, who she should spend time with and whom to love. She cursed him for succeeding in impregnating her mother yet passing on the inability to have children to her. And most of all she cursed him for not supporting her trying so-called “alternative” methods for conceiving. He never saw any difference between the skilled, honourable people she had met and the butchers he had sacrificed his wife to.
The grainy video of Uther charging into the hospital like a raging bull had barely ended before Morgana was on the case. And unlike Uther, Morgana had connections within those walls. As she waited for the phone to be answered, she glanced over at her husband Gwaine. He looked at her with concern, but was leaned casually against the wall. Not crowding her, not blocking her, not telling her what to do. He was just there.
She hated not knowing. She hated to be kept out of the loop. There had been far too much of that in the past. In Gwaine she had found a rebel soul like herself, one who understood most everything she threw at him and never turned his back to the parts he didn’t understand. He gave her strength.