Title: Coming Home
Pairing/s: background Hunith/Geoffrey; Lance/Gwen
Character/s: Merlin, Tyr, Lance, Hunith, Gwen, Morgana, Geoffrey
Summary: Merlin comes home
Word Count: 921
Author's Notes: Part of my Choices series. http://archiveofourown.org/series/310104
When Merlin, Tyr and Hunith stepped off the plane, four people were waiting for them, Lance, Gwen, Morgana, and Geoffrey. Merlin had known they were supposed to be here and it felt good to see their friendly faces. But as he stood there looking at them he couldn’t help but wonder if he was making a mistake. Yes, he wanted his family and friends to be near but this felt all so bittersweet. It was a compromise, he had to face it, that this was a compromise between what he wanted and what he got.
Lance stepped up to take their bags and Gwen and Morgana both offered to take Tyr. They laughed as they both reached to take him and after a moment figured out someway to share him. Tyr seemed happy with them so the others left them to it.
Geoffrey moved as quickly as his legs would let him to Hunith. It was clear on his face that he had missed her as he kissed her and wrapped her in a warm hug. Geoffrey wasn’t Merlin’s favorite person but he made his mother happy and kept her from being alone. Some 15 years or so ago when he was 9 or maybe 10 and the man had first come around he had had no idea what that meant. All he had understood was that she was happier with him than without. Their love wasn’t big or dramatic, more like a pair of really comfortable old shoes. For a moment he envied them.
Merlin sighed as he watched the others, perhaps a bit jealous that no one was rushing to hug him. Lance put an arm around his shoulders. “I know it wasn’t what you wanted but it’s good to have you home. I have the spare room set up and Morgana has already lined up some places for you to look at.”
Merlin looked at Lance and nodded. He was trying hard not to think of this whole thing as a failure. He could have stayed in the States and made a go of it, but he wanted himself and Tyr to be near his Mum and friends. He was trying his best not to feel like he failed. Compromise, he let the word echo through his mind. “It’s good to be back and thanks, I don’t know what I would do without you,” He smiled at Lance.
Lance returned his smile and nodded. “I do have one favor to ask.”
Merlin looked at him dubiously, “Ok.”
Lance laughed, “It’s not that horrible, I promise. I need you to be my best man.”
Merlin made a face at him, “Morning suit or tux?”
“Morning suit of course.” Lance rubbed his head, “It’s not that bad so you will do it, yes?”
Merlin gave him a dopey smile, “Of course, wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
If Hunith was disappointed that Merlin wasn’t coming back to Ealdor, she kept it to herself. She simply hugged and kissed Merlin and had a little cuddle with Tyr before she climbed in the car with Geoffrey. As Merlin waved them off it occurred to him that he would need at least a three bedroom place, maybe four.
Staying with Lance was easy. He was the ideal roommate, tidy, quiet and a good cook. But Lance’s roommate, Gil, was due to return soon and Merlin felt the need to find his own place. The places that Morgana had lined up for him to look at were ok but nothing that said home. She continued to look and just about the time he had given up hope of finding something before Gil’s return, they saw it. They had taken a wrong turn and ended up on a dead end street. It looked like it had been empty for a bit but he felt drawn. It was an old wooden two story house with a large wrap around porch set on a large lot and surrounded by lots of trees. It took a bit to remove the flower wallpaper and restore the floors, kitchen and bathrooms but once done it was perfect.
Merlin couldn’t get his old job back doing restorations but the Albion Museum was willing to offer him something different, a position in acquisitions assessment. He would start with reading and evaluating reports on available pieces and then make recommendations. In a couple of months he could move up to doing physical assessments when that position opened. In the meantime they would also allow him to work in the labs when they needed an extra hand. It wasn’t exactly what he had trained for but it would open new opportunities for him.
It wasn’t long before Merlin was settled. There were certainly elements of his old life, his friends and this town that he loved, but it was also like it was all new. A new job, a new home, and his son still felt new to him. It was true his year plus in America had changed him, made him a bit wiser and perhaps slightly bitter. He had thought he was an adult before, knew what he wanted, but he had just been a kid playing grown up. And now, he had a new beginning that came with real responsibilities. For the first time in his life he felt like he was really in charge, knew where he stood and what he really wanted. This move still felt like a compromise but from this side it was looking better every day.