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Where Alphas Fear to Tread

Chapter Text

“But I mean we were subject to Merlin when we were his Betas!” Freya said.
“Because we chose to be! I did not sign up to be Arthur’s and neither did any of you.” Gwen shot back.
A pros and cons list dominated the wall. A shelf floated mischievously in the corner.
“But we have the choice now. And all I’m saying is we have to choose wisely.” Merlin said.
“You guys! We’ve been arguing about this for two hours now. Can’t we take a break?” Gwaine had given up and was on his phone.
“Please, Gwaine it’s been like thirty minutes. And strap yourself in, Gwen can argue for hours and not tire.” Freya said.
“Yea, how can you be so ambivalent?” Gwen turned to Gwaine, “This is our future.”
“I’m not fucking ambivalent! I think we should leave, but keep Arthur close to us. So that if we change our mind, he can take us back. I’ve already made that clear.
“Oh great, so the best way is not to decide? That’s not fair to anyone.” Gwen’s phone rang and she huffed, “Let me take this.”
Freya eyed Merlin, “If you would take a lead, we’d know what to do.”
“I don’t even know what to do. I don’t like the power he has over us but I’d prefer to keep my strength of power.”
“But Gaius warned you against your power!”
Gwen brushed in the room, “Hey, we have to go. Mithian said that there’s trouble at the mall.”
Merlin sprang up, “Magical?”
“Very. She said something about fairies.”
“Alright, let’s go. The mall, you say? Get Arthur?”
He ran out the door, a bit too excitedly if you asked Gwen. Nobody was.

They weren’t fairies. Or, they might have been. But the modern term for ‘fairy’ alludes to a miniature flying creature, exquisite and beautiful. These things were blue, lumpy, and absolutely terrible. Merlin hurriedly clicked through his laptop, trying to identify them.
How they’d gotten into the mall, nobody knew. But they were pilleging the food court, and apparently having a food fight. Everyone had evacuated.
In the chaos, nobody had taken notice of the pack peering in at the carnage.
“Sidhe!” Merlin cried, “They’re sidhe.”
“How does that help us?” Arthur hissed, as he watched one nail another with a pot pie.
“It says they’re not evil, but fierce protectors. Their force is derived from nature.” Merlin slammed his laptop shut, “We’re going to have to relocate them.”
“Okay.” Arthur mulled over his options, “Freya, Leon, go check the pet store. Gwaine, Percy, have Gwen and Lance drive you to the pet store in town. And don’t let in here to fight! They are not well enough. Get as many cages as you can. Large ones, so we can fit them inside. Merlin, research places where we can put them.”

The cages were barely large enough. The blue things flying around were about the size of a medium dog. How they were going to stuff them in, Arthur had not a clue. But his pack was looking at him, waiting for a move, so he grabbed one of the large enclosures and snuck around into a Panda Express. One of them was trying to figure out the oven, and curious snorts emitted from it as it turned the knob. Quick as a flash, Arthur grabbed at it, cringing at the slimy skin as he wrestled to draw it into a cage. It sank its teeth into his arm and Arthur grunted, but didn’t let go. He shoved it in and slammed the door, latching it. The blue thing slammed against the entrance, slobbering at the grating. One down. A couple dozen more to go. He returned to get another cage.
“You’re bleeding.”
“As ever, a master of observation Merlin.”
“Forgive me for caring, prat.”
“Whatever. Is it poisonous?”
“I think you should be okay. Just don’t make a habit of it.”
“I’ll try not to.”

Mithian showed up with an oversized butterfly net and offered her help. He accepted as gracefully as he could while chasing one of them around a table.
Capturing got harder after the first ten were locked away. Mostly because the other Sidhe had noticed them, and began to target them with fast food.
A bunch still floated above them, out of reach, beaning them with cheap Indian food. Gwaine was trying unsuccessfully to reach one, and they pelted him with chicken nuggets.
“I think we can leave the rest.” Merlin remarked, “They’re pack creatures, so the rest should follow us.”
Loading up supernatural creatures into the back of a truck was not easy work. Transporting them was even worse. They spat and slobbered everywhere and Arthur thought of his poor backseat that he’d just cleaned. And above them, a swarm of the angry blue beasts followed them. Arthur only wondered what they would look like to an onlooker.

They arrived at a blue lake. It was far away from the city, hidden by a lush forest. The creatures in the air quieted and began to explore the area.
“Nobody owns this place?” Mithian looked around.
“Government owned.” Merlin said. He was carrying a crate. The creature inside was snorting.
“Wait, what happens when we open that?” Gwaine asked.
“Only one was to find out.” Merlin unlatched the door and stepped backward. The hideous creature shuffled out, looked around, and began splashing in the water.
The other crates appeared to quiet down as well, perhaps sensing they were not in danger.
The pack began to unload and open them, and surprisingly, noone was scratched or bitten in the process.
They continued until all the cars were empty. The Sidhe buzzed around their new home.
“They are content.” Merlin said, smiling. His face glowed and Arthur was happy to see him so pleased.
“We all make a pretty good team, don’t we?” Mithian said.
“Indeed.” Arthur replied.

11:20pm
Merlin: [We’re here to stay.]
Arthur looked at his phone, and smiled.