Title: Midnight talks. (mpreg 21/?)
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Word Count: ~1005
Author's Notes: This chapter refuses to play nice. Then I noticed I was waaaaay over the word limit anyway, so I'll try to battle with the rest later. You may spot left overs from trying to make this fit into last week's prompt.
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
Nineteen: Happy thoughts
Twenty: Don’t worry about a thing
It was late at night when Arthur woke up from some rustling in his room. The curtains where open, letting in enough moonlight to reveal Merlin moving about clearly trying to be quiet. It took a few seconds before Arthur's groggy brain reached the conclusion that Merlin was about to settle down in the large chair. His raspy night voice seemed loud in the room.
“What are you doing all the way over there?”
“Oh. I didn't mean to wake you. I just... didn't want to go home.”
Arthur felt a bit hurt, but also knew it wasn't quite fair to Merlin. Clearly things weren't going too well with Mordred.
“You can wake me any time.”
Merlin laughed softly.
“You say that now...”
“Then now is a good time to come to bed.”
Arthur moved to make space while Merlin annoyingly folded his clothes and put them somewhere before Arthur could greedily pull him close and settle down. Arthur tugged at Merlin's t-shirt and complained.
“Too much clothes...”
“Patience. Don't want the morning staff to be greeted by the sight of my pale bum in the air. I have to work with these people you know.”
Arthur thought that would be a good way to start the day, but decided it was their loss. His hands found their way underneath the t-shirt anyway. He would have liked to tease him more, but there was a tone of sadness in Merlin's voice and Arthur felt guilty. He remembered how he had been jealous of Mordred for taking Arthur's place in Merlin's life. But Arthur knew better now and was not quite as wrecked as he had been. Merlin had finally made a friend who was magic like him, and now Mordred might be gone for good.
“Merl, I'm so sorry about all this.”
“Not your fault, love.” Merlin said.
“Clara is a rebel without a clue, and I’ve been training you in social competence for years since it’s clear that your family is having some trouble in that area… Just... tell me you don't have more family members sneaking about with more clever schemes.”
“No, not that I know of. It's just father, Morgana and uncle Agravaine.”
Merlin lifted his head to look at Arthur.
“What? Uncle who?”
“Uncle Agravaine”, Arthur repeated clearly in case he had been mumbling.
“You have an uncle? You have never mentioned an uncle.”
“Of course I have! My mother's older brother. Me, father and Morgana spent Christmas with him. Well. Once. He travels a lot.”
Merlin blinks, half expecting Arthur to say he was joking.
“In all the years we've known each other you have only mentioned Chris, who died while serving in the army. Never Aggra-something.”
Arthur laughed now, this was absurd.
“Why would I talk about uncle Christopher and never mention Agravaine?”
Merlin shook his head.
“That’s what I am wondering too.”
“Oh come on, he plays golf with my father once a year. He's got that lodge with all the hunting trophies in the Alps, you know.”
Merlin drops his head down with a groan before Arthur can reply.
“Whatever. If he tries something too I'm gonna kill 'im.”
Arthur barks a brief laugh. He knows it's just frustration and exhaustion talking, and this was not something worth wasting energy on. Strange that Merlin doesn't remember uncle Agravaine, though. It's not like Arthur just made him up as a plot twist. They stay silent together for a while, but it seems neither can find the calm they need to get to sleep.
“At least we're gaining sympathy points out there.”
Now it's Arthur's turn to be confused.
“Out there in the real world.”
Merlin moves to lie on his back so they can look at each other.
“Well... first it was only Uther's behaviour they were fussing over, with all sorts of theories. Then Cara opened her big mouth, so the NIMUEH discussion flared up again and Uther was getting support. Then Mordred's horrid movie of me went viral... Maybe that might cheer him up a bit... and Gaius' theory flies off the shelves, so at least it's getting a bit more balanced.
The familiar feeling of letting everybody down returned.
“So everybody hates us...”
“Oh they love you, it’s me they don’t like. Evil sorcerer and all. BUT! Before you get all worked up about that, remember that I am quite used to having things and accusations thrown at me. And I have a cunning plan. Or not. I'm not sure. Wanted to talk to you about it first.”
“And then we'll ride into the sunset together and live happily ever after?”
“Yes, but you shouldn't ride in your condition and I never saw the point in leaving when the sun goes down and you know it will be dark in like minutes.”
Arthur laughed, feeling a bit better.
“So what is your plan?”
Merlin found it a bit peculiar to leave the hospital and know that the waiting horde of news crews, protesters and protesters protesting the protesters protests would have thrown themselves over him if he hadn't been disguised.
He had barely made it back and had hoped for a little bit of rest when the screen indicated an incoming call. He planted himself down in the sofa, pressed accept and threw his tired feet up on the coffee table. At least he could be seated comfortably, even if the face that came to view on the large television screen promised an uncomfortable conversation. Uther was as well-dressed as ever and his office was pristine. Throw in a flag or two and he could step in for the PM or the Queen in a minutes notice. His face twitched nearly unnoticeable as Merlin appeared on his screen, making Merlin feel a bit amused. It wasn’t every day Uther had a conference call with a shabby student apartment, so at least this was new to them both.
“Merlin. Good evening. You wanted to discuss something. Is this about Arthur?”