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Fathers do not have to be blood

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Merlin sat at his computers smiling at the thank you email he had just received from his father for the card and gift he had given the older man, they did not always see eye to eye but they loved one another unconditionally. Father’s day was the first major celebration day since V-Day and had given him a chance to take stock of what had happened. Most of the agents were spending the day with either their fathers or their children, as there was no current active missions.

Leaning back in his chair Merlin sighed, the world had begun to put itself back to rights after V-Day, if there was one good thing to come out of the experience it was that corrupt politicians had been gotten rid of. MI5 and MI6 had worked with the police and Interpol to get the UK back on track, which meant that much of Kingman’s work was coming from overseas, nothing was pressing so Merlin had given the agents the day off.

Merlin was working as the temporary Arthur until Harry was finished with physiotherapy. Harry had been the biggest surprise post V-Day, a call from Kingsman America came in just days after Valentine was taken down. As it turned out Valentine had been a shit shot and clipped the side of Harry’s temple, causing him to bleed and be knocked out but not kill him. Harry was back to British headquarters by the end of the week, though it took another two for him to wake up fully, they found that he had slight nerve damage which took him out of the field. Now almost two months later Harry was reaching the end of his physiotherapy and would soon be crowned Arthur, which meant Merlin could get back to his tech where he is more comfortable.

The alarm shattered the peace of the room and caused Merlin to jerk back to his monitors, from the bullet train Eggsy entered the facility which caused Merlin to raise an eye brow in question. The younger man was supposed to be spending the day with his younger sister, showing her what a good father was. Eggsy continued through HQ to the firing range, chucking his jacket onto a nearby chair, Eggsy picked up one of the experimental guns and began to obliterate the targets.

His behaviour tipped Merlin off that there was something wrong, setting his scanners and sensors onto automatic, Merlin made his way down to the gun range to find out what was wrong with one of his favourite agents.

By the time Merlin made it through the door Eggsy had stopped shooting and was slumped in the chair, on top of his jacket. Merlin picked up another folding chair and sat opposite the younger man.

“So do you want to tell me what you are doing here on a Sunday” Merlin said.

“Not really no.” Came the muffled reply from between Eggsy’s fingers.

“Alright” Merlin told him leaning back to wait until Eggsy was ready to talk. Several minutes passed before the young man lifted his head from his hands.

“I was supposed to take Daisy to the park, spend the day with her so she has as chance to know what a dad’s like. But Mum came in this mornin’ and told me that from now on Father’s day would be girls day for her an’ Daisy. Then she told me that I wouldn’t know ‘ow to be a father to Daisy because I have never had a father. I know she didn’t mean to be nasty and she didn’t mean to hurt me, but she still did.” Eggsy explained whilst looking at his shoes. Merlin’s heart went out to the young man before him and he knew that he had to do something about the situation.

Standing up he moved across to Eggsy then knelt down and took the boy into his arms, at first Eggsy stiffened unused to positive physical affection from men, after a moment he relaxed into the hug.

“How would you like to help me test a couple of gadgets which I need to know work before I send them out with agents?” Merlin suggested and smiled at the hopeful look he got in return.

“I don’t suppose you have an exploding pen like in the old Bond movies?” Eggsy asked looking slightly happier.

“No but I do have one that will use heat seeking darts” Merlin said with a smirk as they walked back to his lab.

They spent the rest of the day testing the new gadgets, including a concentrated laughing gas, new contacts that recorded like the glasses and an invention made for Roxy, high heels with the same retractable blade as the oxfords. Merlin nearly fell off his chair as he watched Eggsy sashay across the room then strike a pose, his laughter died with a choke when Eggsy dared him to do better, not something he could let lie, and proceeded to fall flat on his face.

When it ticked over to half six Eggsy was back to being rather happy go lucky and ready to leave with a smile on his face. What he did just before he got on the bullet surprised Merlin, Eggsy hauled the older man in for a quick hug, then dived into the bullet with a wave. Smiling to himself Merlin went back to his lab to make a phone call to an old friend, Eggsy had mentioned his secret love of Fleetwood Mac, Merlin happened to know they were playing the O2 that week. Fifteen minutes later he had VIP back stage tickets. It was time that Eggsy learned what it meant to have a dad.

*+*+*+*

Three days later Merlin showed up Eggsy’s Kingsman issue house, he had told the younger man to be ready for 4:30 but had not told him where they were going just to dress casually but not to casually. Knocking on the door he was not surprised to see Michelle answer, smiling politely he entered when she offered. As soon as he entered the house barking met his ears as JB jumped up at his legs, reaching down he scratched the Dogs ears and laughed as JB licked his fingers.

Walking into the living room Michelle offered him a seat and a drink, Merlin asked for a water. Michelle placed his water before him, then pinned him with a piercing stare.

“Wot interest does a man your age have in my son.” She said bluntly getting straight to the point. Merlin raised an eyebrow.

“Your son and I work together Madam, I simply wish to spend more time with such a remarkable young man.” Merlin answered hoping she wasn’t going where he thought with her line of enquiry.

“I mean are you just interested in a quick fuck or a relationship” Michelle growled at him, causing Merlin choke on the water he had just swallowed, with his eyes streaming Merlin looked up at Michelle.

“I assure you Madam, my feelings for your son are purely platonic. I actually have a partner and if I even considered cheating on them I would lose several important parts of my anatomy. Eggsy and I ended up spending father’s day together he told me that he did not have a father figure that he remembered, so I decided to do some father son things with him. To tell you the truth I have begun to think of him as son.” Merlin explained to a now smiling Michelle.

“Please call me Michelle. I am sorry for assuming but Eggsy has always been attracted to the type that are no good, I guess he gets that from me. It will be good for him to have a father figure, to be honest I think I may ‘ave accidently hurt him on father’s day.” Michelle explained and Merlin tipped his head in understanding.

Before Michelle could continue Eggsy came wandering into the room.

“You ready to go Merlin” Eggsy asked leaning down to stroke JB.

“Yes, we better get going if we are going to be on time.” Merlin replied, getting up and shaking Michelle’s hand, before following Eggsy out of the house. Eggsy turned to him after slipping into Merlin’s convertible Jaguar XJ.

“You gonna tell me where we are going.” Eggsy asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Nope just sit back and enjoyed he ride.” Was Merlin’s only answer as he roared away from the pavement. Fifty minutes and one hair rising ride later Eggsy was shocked when they arrived in front of the O2 arena. Merlin rolled down his window and spoke to security for a moment before being waved towards the VIP parking area. Reaching into the inside of his jacket Merlin handed Eggsy one of two tickets, before stepping out of the car. Before he could get to the front of the car he was almost bowled over by Eggsy who had decided to hug him.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you” Eggsy chanted, after a moment he got a hold of himself and released to the older man.

“Sorry that was inappropriate wasn’t it?” Eggsy said going red.

“Not at all hugs are always welcome among friends.” Merlin said before leading Eggsy inside the arena. Once they were inside an attendant took them up to the suite that they would be using. Walking inside Eggsy was surprised to see that the other than them, there was no one else in the box, it was also smaller (just five seats) than he had expected. When he raised this observation to Merlin, he laughed and explained.

“About six years back Kingsman rescued the arena owner’s daughter, as a thank you he had this box created for personal use by the agents.” Merlin and Eggsy spent the next hour bantering back and forth before the lights went down.

*+*+*+*

Almost four hours later Merlin made his way back to the car, with Eggsy bouncing happily beside him, they had gotten to meet the band and both received autographs. Eggsy spent the drive back chattering about how good of a time he had had. By the time they reached Eggsy’s home the younger man had talked himself out and was smiling gently. Before he got out of the car Eggsy turned back to the older man.

“Just one question, why didn’t you take Rox that seemed like her type of thing?” Eggsy asked causing Merlin to crease with laughter.

“Because as amazing as my partner is her one flaw is that she hates Fleetwood Mac.” With that Eggsy got out of the car and Merlin drove away.

Later when Eggsy went to bed after telling his mam all about the concert he was looking over his autographs when he noticed that one said ‘Dear Eggsy, I am glad you liked the show, Wish my dad had been as cool as yours.’ With a smile Eggsy wondered if tonight was what it was like to have a dad.

*+*+*+*

The trend of Merlin taking Eggsy places continued, first to the premier of Ant Man at the Odeon, where they got to walk the red carpet as special guests, then meet some of the film’s stars.

However it was not just films and concerts they went to see, Merlin took him, Daisy, Michelle and Roxy to Thorp Park for a weekend. Merlin and Eggsy went on the biggest, fastest rides in the park, whilst Roxy stayed with Michelle and Daisy, saying that unless her life was in danger she did not want to be up a height.

Later that month Merlin took Eggsy fishing which ended with them capsizing small boat they had taken out into the middle of lake and ordering fish and chips.

Eggsy also found out what it was like to have a protective papa bear in his corner. He had not been thinking as nobody was expecting a threat, Eggsy was not on any active missions, plus what he had done since becoming a Kingsman had not pissed anyone off to badly. Which was why he was caught off guard by five masked assailants got a hold of him, knocked him out and bundled him into the back of a white van.

Waking up Eggsy groaned at his splitting head ache, looking around the room he found he was in an old warehouse, tied to a metal chair. Taking stock Eggsy realised he still had on his glasses, which meant he could send a distress signal to Merlin.

“White dove” he mumbled into the empty room, at the burst of red he knew that his signal had been heard loud and clear. It was another fifteen minutes before anyone came into the warehouse, the identity of his captors made Eggsy groan at the irony. Marching across the floor was the man who Eggsy had spent the better part of his life fearing, Dean Anthony Baker.

“Hello Muggsy” Dean said with a cruel smile, before throwing a punch at the younger man breaking his glasses.

“Now my boss ain’t going to be ‘appy about that.” Eggsy said with a sigh acting calmer than he felt. Those words got him a punch to the stomach.

“To be honest, I don’t give a fuck what your boss thinks, ‘specially cos I am gonna be sendin’ you back to him in a box. You see Muggsy I realised that wif you outa the way, your mum will hav’ no choice but to come back to me.” With that he brought his foot down on Eggsy trapped leg causing the bone to break. Biting down on a scream Eggsy began to panic he had no idea how far away help was, or if they would get to him before Dean killed him.

“Don’t worry bout your mum and Daisy, my drugs business is boomin’ they will be fine, so long as they do everythin’ I say.” Bringing his hands down he was about to brake Eggsy’s arm, when a black clad swat team storm into the building. At the head of the team was Merlin eyes wild carrying the same machine gun he had on the plane that day.

The swat team had Deans dog pack subdued within seconds, Merlin however did not stop until he reached Dean, whom he took hold of and slammed into one of the support columns.

“Dean Anthony Baker, you are nothing more, that a small time drugs seller, who enjoys hurting little children and women, making strong people feel defenceless and you would be unable to win in a fair fight. I on the other hand have the power to destroy this country with a push of a button, I could torture you for hours without killing you, then carve my birth name into your body, kill you, and your death would still be ruled an accident. However that is too quick I am going to send you to jail and make sure the other inmates think you are there on child offences, with the things I will convince them of I give you six months to live inside at most. The funny thing is I was willing to let you stay on the outside until you did something truly unforgivable. You hurt my son.” Merlin snarled at him before hitting his head off the beam, allowing the man to crumple to the ground.

Turning around Merlin walked cautiously over to Eggsy who had been untied and was being helped to stand by one of the swat guy. Merlin was slightly worried about what Eggsy would think of him after witnessing him be truly violent. What he was not expecting was for the young man to fall into his arms as soon as he was close enough to touch.

“I knew you would save me, I knew it.” The younger man sobbed into Merlin’s Kevlar vest. After he had calmed down Merlin and one of the swat guys helped Eggsy out of the building and into the waiting ambulance. Once they were outside Eggsy requested that Merlin travel with him to the hospital.

The break was clean but Eggsy was still of duty for four months, his first mission back came just after Christmas and went off without a hitch, Merlin acting as handler (Harry having taken over as Arthur).

Merlin’s next gift came in the way of taking Eggsy to see Chelsea (Eggsy’s team) vs Arsenal (Merlin’s team).

*+*+*+*

Merlin walked through HQ in an attempt to Eggsy and let him know about the news he had just heard from the prison. Dean Baker had been found shanked to death, with bruising on his body that proved he had been the victim of almost daily beatings. Merlin stopped Bors to ask if he had seen their young Galahad, Bors pointed him towards Arthur’s office. That was not a surprise the two men had spent time together ever since Harry’s return. Merlin did not think to knock before entering the office, however he really wished he had.

Harry Hart had his back to the door and had Eggsy pinned to the wall where he was snogging the younger man’s face off, the kiss was being reciprocated if the enthusiastic moans were anything to go by. Merlin quickly cleared his throat, causing the two men to spring apart, looking at the other person in the room Harry when red, whist Eggsy when white as a sheet.

“When you are finished I would like a word with Eggsy please, no need to hurry.” Merlin told them before backing out of the room and heading back to the control centre. Approximately twenty minutes later Eggsy shuffled into the room.

“Let’s hav’ it then, tell me how disgusted you are in me.” Eggsy said trying and failing to act bravely.

“Now why the hell would I tell you that?” Merlin asked shocked that Eggsy would think that.

“Oh I don’t know, maybe because Harry is a man, he is my boss, he is older than me Da would have been, he was my sponsor and let’s not forget your best friend!” Eggsy finished yelling before collapsing back onto the chair behind him.

“Let’s take those points one at a time, I don’t care if you date a man, woman or alien from Pluto. As long as Harry is not coercing you into a relationship it does not matter if he is your boss. Love id a feeling not an age. Him being your sponsor means you have a deep bond, most candidates have a personal connection to their sponsor. I know he is my best friend, which means I know that he is a damn good man. I only have two questions for you okay.” Merlin waited for a nod before he continued.

“Does he make you Happy? Do you love him?” Merlin asked and waited for a response.

“Yes to both questions.” Eggsy answered finally looking up at Merlin.

“Then that is all that matters son” Merlin told him before pulling Eggsy into a tight hug and telling him about Dean.

Later that day after he had made sure Eggsy had gone home Merlin walked to Arthur’s office, knocking on the door he waited for ‘enter’ before walking into the room.

“Arthur permission to speak freely” Merlin said before he was even in the door.

“You do not need permission my old friend you are always free to speak around me” Harry answered with a small smile. Merlin moved across the room and sat before looking at the man before him.

“I am only going to say this once, because I will only need to say it once, you hurt Eggsy and head of this organisation or I will not hesitate to kill you slowly and painfully. Once I am finished there will be no evidence, it will be as if you fell off the face of the earth. You will not hurt my son do I make myself clear.” Merlin laid out in a perfectly calm voice that sent shivers down the strongest man’s spine.

“Crystal” was the curt reply he gained in return.

*+*+*+*

Father’s day 2016 was very like that of 2015, Arthur had given any agent who was not on active duty the day off to spend with their family. Merlin was set to join Roxy for dinner with her family later. Another similarity was the blare of the proximity alarm, telling him someone was getting off the bullet. Eggsy stepped out however unlike the year before he had a spring in his step and a smile on his face, watching him on the security cameras he found that the young man was coming towards where he was. The door opened and a smiling Eggsy stepped in.

“Alright Merlin” Eggsy asked, it was then Merlin noticed the gift bag and card in Eggsy’s hand.

“Fine, not that I do not appreciate your company but what are you doing here?” he asked the younger man.

“It’s father’s day, I’m here to give you a gift and spend the day with my Dad.” Eggsy answered as if Merlin was being deliberately obtuse. At that Eggsy handed the older man his gift and card, opening the gift first he found a 25 year aged single malt whisky. The card was what grabbed him by the heart strings, it said dad and had two pugs playing on the front, reading the inside Merlin let the card flutter onto the desk. Standing up he pulled Eggsy in for an easy, loving hug.

“Thank you son.” He whispered.

“You’re welcome dad.” Was the reply.

On the desk the card lay open inside Eggsy had written… ‘To Dad, Fathers are not blood they are love, you are the best dad I ever could have asked for, Love Eggsy.’