“Can I help you with something?” Eggsy asked cooly, his voice probably more brusque than it should have been, but he was tired as fuck and if Merlin wanted to take offense, he could shove it.
“You refused pain meds.” Merlin’s voice was quiet, but in an authoritative sort of way.
Eggsy sighed internally; sighing for real hurt too much.
“Eggsy.” Merlin’s voice was stern. “You didn’t take the paracetamol, did you.” There wasn’t a question in Merlin’s voice.
Eggsy considered lying, then gave a half-shrug, biting his lip when it hurt. “Not a big fan of pills.”
Merlin’s brow creased, like he was trying to puzzle Eggsy out. “They could have given you a shot -”
“Not a big fan of needles, either.” Which wasn’t entirely the truth. But hell if he was going to tell Merlin that.
It felt wrong, deep in Eggsy’s bones. He should have been out doing more, not sitting with his muscles cramping in a room that wasn’t his. Merlin should have been out doing more. Harry was dead, Harry was gone, and the world had gone to hell with it. The wrongness twisted his stomach and his mouth was dry. Part of him wanted to hit Merlin, and part of him wanted to kiss him. He didn’t want to be treated so nicely, not after having murdered hundreds of people.
Did saving thousands more counterbalance that? Did it make it okay? Harry had said that Kingsman condoned the taking of one life to save another. But what when it was hundreds or thousands of lives? How could that not weigh on his conscience?
“Do you ever get used t’it?” Eggsy managed, not looking up from the floor. He’d stopped any pretense of working on his muscles (fuck his arms hurt), but he didn’t want to look at Merlin when they were talking about stuff either.
Merlin’s hands paused on his calf, before his fingers started gently working on a knot on his thigh. The pain flared hard and sharp, before Merlin’s fingers smoothed it away. “Not really,” Merlin said finally. He wasn’t looking at Eggsy either.
Everything changed in an instant.
Merlin was sitting there in his lab, supervising Lancelot’s mission, listening to Eggsy’s feed as Guinevere guided him through whatever he was doing. It was a recon mission, nothing dangerous. It was a conflict of interest for Merlin to handle his missions, now, but that didn’t stop him from listening in.
The first beep was innocuous, a vague alert. It meant a trap had been triggered, movement had been detected, but nothing was dangerous. Yet. He leaned forward, checking through Lancelot’s screens and pausing when he saw nothing.
Then the beeping got louder. Higher pitched. Merlin’s heart was starting to beat faster. He hacked into Guinevere’s computer, copying the feed to his computer. The beeps were faster, practically shrieking alarm. Guinevere was speaking too fast for Merlin to follow, because his brain had temporarily shut down. Three of the cameras revealed different heavily-armed security teams heading into the building. The building where just Eggsy was, where no backup could reach him. This time there were no implants that Merlin could activate. Nothing he could do but watch.