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A Suitable Alpha

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Eggsy looked around the red room as Harry sat in his chair explaining some job or other, the truth behind a headline. Eggsy nodded like he were paying attention, but of course he wasn’t. There was still too much adrenaline coursing through his veins from a train bearing down on him. These Kingsman tests were bollocks for that. Drowning, parachutes, trains, it was all too much.

It was awesome.

Harry kept going on, looking so calm, so confident, all Eggsy could think of was wrecking that calm facade. So he didn’t even think, just stalked around the desk and pushed at Harry’s chair. Sat in his lap and scented his neck.

“Mmm, you smell nice.” Eggsy nuzzled some more.

“I should, this is a very nice aftershave.” Harry smiled a little, knowing that wasn’t what Eggsy meant.

“Wanker.” Eggsy muttered. “Smell dark, like over-brewed tea, earth, licorice. I like it.” He moved his hips back and forth a little, digging into Harry's slowly growing erection.

He could hear Harry swallow, “And you smell very nice as well Eggsy.”

Eggsy tilted his neck a little more, and felt Harry's lips brush against him. “Christmas orange.” Harry laughed a little, “You smell like a Christmas orange, and cream.” Eggsy shuddered as Harry licked his neck. Eggsy waited for what always came next. Sure enough Harry took another sniff. “Are you on suppressants?” Harry asked.

“Nah bruv, got a really low cycle, hormones aren't very strong. It's why you have to get that close to smell me. I only have 2 heats a year – maybe. Docs said me having a kid would be hard enough during those heats, completely infertile outside of heat, don't even have that 15% chance some others do.” Eggsy shrugged like it didn't bother him a bit. Waited for Harry to push him away as damaged goods as a few alphas had done before.

“Dear boy, do you think that matters to me?” Harry cupped Eggsy's face. “You are a treasure.” With that Harry pulled Eggsy's face down and kissed him, thoroughly. If Eggsy thought that Harry would be a gentleman in bed he was very much mistaken.

The kiss was hard, almost punishing, but incredible. Eggsy forgot to breathe until Harry pushed him away and had him stand up. Harry was not gentle as he pushed Eggsy's jeans and pants off. He easily picked Eggsy up and sat him on the desk. And stood to kiss Eggsy some more.

Eggsy fumbled with Harry's belt and managed to unzip his trousers and pull his cock through the slit in his boxers.

“Fuck bruv, this what you hiding? Shoulda done you when you pulled me outta the trouble.” Even for an alpha Harry was long and curved just a bit. Eggsy wrapped his hand around Harry and pumped. Harry shivered and went back to destroying Eggsy's mouth.

He moved his hands down to pull Eggsy's legs around his waist, and Harry could admit to himself that he was showing off for the young omega. He cupped his hands around Eggsy's ass and lifted him up. Carried him like that to his bedroom.

The two of them stripped the rest of their clothes off and Eggsy leaned back on his arms and opened his legs, “Wanna have some fun Harry?”

“Why yes, I do believe I do.” Harry said. He lowered himself onto his stomach and hooked Eggsy's legs over his shoulders, and without any other preamble, licked a stripe up Eggsy's cock. “What a perfect mouthful,” Harry said, before he started sucking.

Eggsy moaned deeply. He wanted to rock up into that warm mouth so much, but Harry was holding his hips down hard. He'd have bruises in the morning, he couldn't wait to see them. A few minutes of moans and slurping noises and Harry moved his mouth down to lick at Eggsy's rim.

Harry paused and Eggsy flushed, though from embarrassment and not arousal. Due to his low hormone condition outside his heats he only produced the barest hint of slick. It was a turn off for a lot of alphas, but Harry just licked some more. Eggsy sighed and lost himself back into the sensation of Harry's tongue.

Harry worked his way slowly up Eggsy's body, pausing to bite a nipple. Eggsy giggled a little, very ticklish across his chest. It caused Harry to look down and smile at Eggsy with a great deal of affection. He reached a hand into the drawer of his nightstand and pulled out a small bottle of lube. He put some on his fingers and started to work Eggsy open.

Eggsy had thought Harry as right fit, and a good bloke, but the care he was taking to prep Eggsy, pushed Eggsy past hero worship into a deeper feeling, one that he couldn't easily name. Between his small amount of slick and the lube Eggsy was ready for Harry quick enough.

“Harry please, need you in me alpha.” Eggsy, when turned on enough, always slid into dynamic talk.

Harry had to admit that hearing Eggsy like that, needy, desperate, was a heady feeling. He lined up carefully and rocked his hips, pushed slowly into Eggsy, filling him up. But he didn't go all the way.

Eggsy frowned up at him. “Want all of you Harry, don't mind being stuck, like it. Come on. Please?” Eggsy smiled slowly, and bit his lip a little. Harry groaned at the sight.

He pulled out and rolled them so they were on their sides and Harry was behind Eggsy. Harry slid back in smoothly all the way to the hilt. Eggsy was so hot, a furnace, a tight grasp around him. They both moaned and Harry began to glide in and out, a slow tempo.

But Eggsy was having none of that, he wanted the rough Harry that had kissed him in the office. Eggsy moved his hips hard, pushed at Harry, rocked into him. Harry took the hint and started to pump hard.

Harry could feel his knot starting to grow just as Eggsy started to beg, “Harry touch me please, just fuckin' touch me.”

Harry, being a gentleman, obliged. His hand was able to easy encase Eggsy's small omega cock and just held tightly. Eggsy came with just that warm grip. Harry pumped his hips a few more times, felt his knot fully pop and spiraled into an orgasm.

Eggsy's breath slowed and he came back to awareness to the feeling of Harry fucking Hart wrapped around him, whispering endearments into his ear. Eggsy snuggled into the embrace. He wasn't sure if he had ever been this happy before.

 

***************************************************

“Everything I've done was to repay Lee,” Harry yelled.

“What, including fucking me?” Eggsy screamed. Harry looked ready to punch him, but held himself back.

“I have to go to Kentucky. We'll get this all sorted when I'm back.” Harry was gone so quick, Eggsy never had a chance to say sorry, that he didn't mean it, that he just wanted Harry.

He watched Harry, the man he thought could maybe be his alpha, die.

 

***************************************************

Eggsy had never meant anything in his life how he meant, “I'd rather be with Harry.”

***************************************************

They saved the world, Eggsy thought he should be happier. He just felt so tired.

If Merlin hadn't shut the screens so quickly, he would have seen Eggsy hand the Princess her underwear and watched as she gave him a very sweet kiss. The sort that ends a Disney movie.

 

***************************************************

Eggsy, Merlin, and Roxy slept for 18 hours straight and then went about the business of repairing the damage done to England and the world.

Luckily Chester had acted alone and they had only lost two agents in all the mess. Galahad and Kay.

“Tough shoes to fill.” was all Merlin would say.

Percival was made Arthur, Eggsy was made Galahad. They decided to wait a couple months, for the world to right itself before filling the vacant seats.

Merlin avoided calling Eggsy Galahad, the name still too attached to his best friend. Eggsy hated it too. He asked for a meeting of the round table, requested a different name. They all understood. Eggsy became the new Kay.

Eggsy breathed a little easier.

**************************************************

It was a month after V-day when Eggsy finally had enough of a chance to get his mum out. He beat the shit out of Dean and his goons, and set up mum and Daisy in a nice new Kingsman flat.

He was exhausted, he was always tired right now, but Eggsy carried boxes and set up Daisy's bed. His mum couldn't stop petting him, hugging him.

“You smell different baby.” she kept saying. Daisy wouldn't stop snuggling into him.

“Just was away for so long, you probably just don't remember what I smell like.” Eggsy yawned and unpacked another box.

************************************************

Eggsy fell asleep on the plane home from Rome. He had finished his mission, but couldn't stay awake for longer than a few hours. He thought he had also caught some flu bug, feeling nauseous almost all the time.

The pilot had to wake Eggsy up and it took a lot of work. Eggsy stood and stretched. And bent over and threw up. He grabbed his stomach and moaned at the cramps that rolled through him. He heard the pilot swear before the pain caused him to blackout.

Eggsy woke up in the infirmary the next day. He saw that he had an IV attached to his arm and Merlin sitting in the chair beside him working on his clipboard.

“So what happened, I was drugged right? Some wanker roofied me, yeah?” Eggsy said, throat dry.

Merlin handed him a glass of water and Eggsy sipped gratefully.

“Is there anything you would like to share with me Eggsy?” Merlin asked mildly.

Eggsy was honestly confused. “I don't hate One Direction? I do hate marshmallows?” He had no idea what Merlin was looking for.

Merlin reached to the medical file sitting at the foot of the bed and handed it to Eggsy. Waited.

Eggsy felt dizzy, blank, like his eyes had failed him. It had to be a hallucination, a mistake. But it wasn't. Eggsy was never that lucky.

He was pregnant.

Chapter Text

Eggsy just kept staring at his medical file and ignoring Merlin. No matter how he scrubbed at his eyes, the file didn’t change none. Still said pregnant.

He was about to call out Merlin for the shit joke, but had another bad cramp. He hugged his stomach and Merlin immediately pushed the button for the doctor.

A woman came in, beta, and quickly checked Eggsy’s blood pressure, heart rate, and the IV.

Eggsy looked at her, feeling so lost. “I’m not pregnant.”

She smiled kindly, “the three pregnancy tests and the bloodwork would suggest otherwise.”

“I’m infertile!” Eggsy said. He had come to terms with it years ago, didn’t like it a lot, but had come to terms with it. That’s why this was bullshit. They couldn’t be raising hopes like this for some sort of prank.

The doctor and Merlin both raised their brow at that. “What makes you say that Eggsy?” Merlin asked.

“Docs back at the clinic when I presented late, said I’m infertile or near enough, said I might not even get up the duff on a heat with a well synced alpha. I’m deficient in somfing or other.” Eggsy waved a hand to explain away the medical jargon. He waited for them to confess the truth, explain how this was supposed to be funny.

“Well, you seem the sort to like to defy the odds,” Merlin said, voice dry as a desert. Eggsy searched Merlin’s face, for all those tells that Merlin had drummed into him during training.

“Fuck me, you ain’t joking are ya?” Eggsy sat back against the pillows, stunned.

Merlin didn’t feel it warranted a response. He waited for Eggsy to process the information. He watched as Eggsy’s brain worked through the news. Merlin saw Eggsy’s hand drop to his stomach, a small smile graced the lad’s lips before he went back to a neutral look.

“Eggsy,” Merlin began, “Ye need to stay calm right now.” Merlin looked over to the doctor. “Doctor?”

Eggsy’s gaze shifted sharply from Merlin to the woman.

“Right now my larger concern is keeping you pregnant.” The doctor explained, wanting to make sure that Eggsy understood the tenuous situation. “Your body seems to be rejecting the pregnancy. I’m worried about miscarriage.”

Eggsy had known of the pregnancy for all of 10 minutes. 10 minutes that had had a lot going on, but he knew already that fuck if anything was going to happen to his kid. “What do I do?” Eggsy asked. In that moment Eggsy was prepared for anything, deal with Satan, prayer, voodoo, whatever it took.

Because this was the last part of Harry wasn’t it, Eggsy realized all of a sudden. Eggsy wouldn’t let Harry go. Not now, not ever if he could avoid it. Not like he did before. This piece of Harry was staying right put, thank you very much.

The doctor presented more sensible options that what Eggsy’s brain was suggesting. “Clearly you are off field work, you need very little stress right now. Prenatal vitamins, no alcohol, no smoking, A balanced diet. And,” the doctor tried to think of a way to say it delicately. “Your body senses the lack of a mate mark. It’s an evolutionary throwback – an omega’s body will sometimes miscarry if there isn’t the alpha around to scent and protect, especially with the stresses that a Kingsman body is put under. Do you have an alpha?”

Eggsy paled, “There’s no way to contact the alpha.”

The doctor looked concerned, “Eggsy, without a mate mark, or at least an alpha around to scent you regularly, your body could easy go into shock, it could terminate the pregnancy. We need to get you to 12 weeks, you are currently at 7. If you can’t remember, try to think through your sexual history.”

“Oi! I ain’t some slag,” Eggsy yelled, “I know who the kid’s dad is, but I’m telling you he sure as fuck ain’t an option right now.”

The doctor looked ready to protest some more, but Merlin saw Eggsy’s face and was able to put a few things together.

“Thank you doctor, I’ll be having a talk with Eggsy.” Merlin dismissed her from the room.

Eggsy looked at Merlin, “You want to say something too?” He glared a little. One hand covered his stomach, the other formed a fist.

“I’ll be back within two hours. Try to rest,” was all Merlin said as he walked out of the infirmary.

Eggsy lay back down and moved his hand in soothing circles over his stomach, “Please,” he whispered, “Please stay. Stay with me.” Another small twinge was the response.

Within two hours Merlin was back and Eggsy was immediately greeted by a strong scent.

“Jesus bruv, I thought you were beta.” It was almost overwhelming as the scent rolled into the room.

Merlin smiled, “I wear scent blockers at work, neutralizing deodorant, and the like. I’ve been told I’m too distracting otherwise.”

Merlin sat back down in the chair and Eggsy noticed the box in his hands. Still he ignored it for the moment. “Didn’t know an alpha could smell that strong.”

“I might be projecting my scent a little extra at the moment,” Merlin admitted.“What do you smell?”

Eggsy sniffed again, let the rich scent envelop him. “You smell like a storm, don’t you? All salt and the sea, that smell after it’s been warm and the rain comes down and makes it all clean. Wilder than,” Eggsy paused. Looked away.

“Than Harry.”

“Yeah, wilder than Harry.” Eggsy agreed softly. Eggsy winced as another pain rolled across his stomach. Stay, please stay, Eggsy thought for the millionth time.

Merlin put the box on the bed, “I thought this might help.”

Eggsy opened it and realized that it was Harry’s dirty laundry. At first he thought it was a rather gross gift, weeks old dirty clothes, and then the scent of Harry curled up to him, cut through Merlin. Eggsy sighed and pulled the box up to his nose, practically buried himself in the mess. His stomach immediately calmed. Eggsy breathed in more. His heart rate slowed on the monitor and he had a soft smile on his face.

Eggsy realized that the two scents were sort of combining in his nose, the dark earthy calm of Harry, the wild lightening of Merlin. Eggsy looked at Merlin in confusion.

“Harry and I went through training together. I failed out, he did not.” Merlin took off his glasses, polished them. “We have been, had been, best friends for thirty years, Eggsy. Kipped together on missions, commiserated over fallen comrades, been drunk together more times than I can count.” He looked at Eggsy. “I, like you, would rather we didn’t lose this last piece of him. Hence the laundry.”

“Yeah that’s going to help right now, but that smell is going to fade soon enough. What do we do then?” Eggsy looked scared.

“I talked to the doctor privately, explained that the alpha parent was deceased.” Merlin choked a little on the word but kept going. “I asked if a friendly alpha scent could perhaps impose over the original alpha scent, create a temporary bond to help along the pregnancy.”

“And?” Eggsy didn’t dare get his hopes up, things never worked out for him.

“She said it was possible. Mating was out of the question, it could be too much, but if a compatible scent was found, one that clearly wanted to nurture the pregnancy, it could help stabilize you.”

“That’s why you ditched the scent blockers.”

“Aye lad,” Merlin looked serious, but kind. “Mine and Harry’s scent have mixed a lot over the years. A lot of alphas dislike how strong my scent is but it never bothered Harry, he didn’t have me wear blockers when I visited. I hoped the bairn, and your body would realize I meant it no harm.” Merlin paused, looked away for a minute. Looked back to Eggsy.

“Let me help ye Eggsy, let me help the babe.” Merlin looked earnest, determined.

Eggsy thought about it, “Means we’d have to move in together won’t it? You’d need to be scenting me a lot to keep the hormones or whatsits doin’ their job yeah? I’d have to be around you lots. I’m told I’m annoying.”

“You’re a little shit lad, make no mistake on that.” Merlin grinned a little, “But I’d imagine I’ll survive.”

“And docs sure that this will work?”

“No. Not a 100%.” Merlin admitted. He hated how Eggsy’s face fell.  “Your body could reject it immediately when I scent you properly.”

“Or, it could be fine, could help.”

“Aye.” Merlin, sat patient, it wasn’t his decision, but he hoped he would be accepted.

“Right,” Eggsy nodded and pulled all the laundry up to his face. He rolled over carrying Harry’s clothes with him. He made space behind him for Merlin. “Let’s do this then.”

Merlin carefully climbed on the bed behind Eggsy and wrapped the young omega in his arms. He dropped his nose to the scent gland on Eggsy’s neck and nuzzled. He wrapped Eggsy in his scent and they both held their breath.

For once it seemed luck was on Eggsy’s side. His body was still, calm, soothed by the protective scent of an alpha.

Merlin kept scenting Eggsy, “Christmas orange. It’s nice.” He sniffed a little more, “And anise.”

“That’d be the baby,” Eggsy said quietly. “Never smelled like that before, it’s from Harry isn’t it.”

“It does remind me of him.” Merlin breathed out and tightened his grip on Eggsy a little.

“I miss him so much.” Eggsy said, finally crying over the loss of Harry, the man who could have maybe been his alpha, and the lost father of his baby.

“I miss him too,” Merlin said. “We’ll keep this piece of him safe, won’t we lad?”

“Damn straight,” Eggsy said through his tears. He eventually fell asleep snuggled into the fading scent of Harry in front of him, and the growing scent of Merlin behind him.

 

Chapter Text

Merlin stayed wrapped around Eggsy until the morning. It was an uncomfortable night’s sleep, but worth it for the peace on Eggsy’s face. He left the room briefly at 6am to go have a shower and change clothes.

 He ran into Arthur in the hall, who raised a brow at the strong scent of Merlin.

 Merlin just stared at his boss, offering no apologies or explanation.

 Arthur’s voice was dry, calm. “I assume that you have a good reason that will be explained to me in due time. Are you prepared to handle Lancelot’s mission in Brazil?”

 “No sir, my assistant will be handling the mission. It is mostly recon and leaving bugs, Lancelot has approved working with Elaine and I’m on standby should something go wrong. I am needed elsewhere today and probably for the next few days as well. My staff will be apprised of the situation.”

 “As you will Merlin, I trust your judgement.” Arthur continued down the hall.

 Merlin breathed out, thankful now more than ever that Percival was Arthur and not Chester. The new Arthur had utmost faith and respect for those who worked in the Kingsman, and gave a lot more latitude in day-to-day mechanics of the job. Chester would have spent 20 minutes yelling at Merlin for not wearing blockers and then insisted he handle Lancelot’s mission, even though he really wasn’t needed.

 Merlin realized time was passing and he didn’t want Eggsy to wake alone. He hurried to his wing of the estate and talked to the three supervisors directly below him. He told them that he was considered unavailable for the next 72 hours unless the apocalypse seemed ready to break out.

 His staff, though curious, was loyal, and didn’t ask any questions. Merlin went back to the medical wing and was relieved that Eggsy hadn’t yet gotten up.

 He didn’t crawl all the way back into the bed, just sat on it and petted Eggsy’s hair. The lad looked even younger in sleep. And beautiful.

 Harry had been a lucky bastard to have him. But then Harry had always been the one with luck between the two of them. It didn’t lessen their friendship, didn’t change their affection for each other. It was what it was, Harry just always that little bit better. He became Galahad, went home with a date, had hair. God, Harry had joked so much the day Merlin had come in after shaving the last of it off. But he had also taken him for a drink after and told him he looked strong, fierce, terrifying. Harry always knew what to say.

 And now he had managed to somehow impregnate the seemingly infertile omega. It was a good curtain call, Merlin would give his friend that.

 Merlin bent and lightly nuzzled Eggsy’s neck. The lad shifted and wrapped himself more deeply into Harry’s old clothes. Merlin knew he was a substitute, but it was fine. Being suitable was what was needed now. Merlin was very good at making sure his agent’s needs were met.

 *********************************

 Eggsy finally woke half an hour later. He touched his stomach carefully, tried to feel something.

 “Do ye want me to call the doctor in?” Merlin asked.

 Eggsy looked at the older man. Couldn’t help but compare him to Harry. Merlin was attractive, Eggsy could see that, but so different from Harry.

 Harry had been smooth, all manner-maketh-man and clean pressed suits and casual elegance. Merlin always looked like he was going to beat the shit out of you.

 "How many times do women hold their purses and cross the street when they see you walking towards them?” Eggsy asked without thinking.

 Merlin snorted a little, “More than I’d like.”

 Eggsy smiled at that, “You are a scary looking bugger aren’t ya? First time I meet you, like really meet you, you’re handing me a body bag. Kind of leaves an impression don’t it?”

 “I suppose it does,” Merlin sighed and stood, “I’ll try to make a better impression over the next few months.” He left to get the doctor.

 Shit, bugger and shit, Eggsy thought. He trusted Merlin more than anyone. More than his mum, more than Roxy, and yeah even more than Harry. But he couldn’t lead with that could he? No he had to go with Hey Merlin I get that you’re saving my kid, but you know you look scary as fuck, yeah?

 Eggsy had to explain it to Merlin. He knew what he wanted to say-- how grateful he was, how much he appreciated the help-- but damned if he could find the words.

 Merlin came back in with the doctor, who was wheeling in a machine.

 The doctor stopped the machine by the bed and checked on Eggsy’s vitals.Merlin stayed standing by the door.

 “You look better and your vitals are all improving.” The doctor smiled and handed him a giant bottle of vitamins, “One of the these a day, don’t forget.”

 Eggsy nodded and pulled one out, swallowed it dry.

 “Now you feel up for an ultrasound?” The doctor asked.

 “What really?” Eggsy perked up. “Is there anything to see?”

 “Yes. And it will help confirm how things are doing.” The doctor asked Eggsy to pull up the hospital gown and placed the gel on his stomach. She moved the wand around a bit and then said, “Here we go.”

 She typed on her computer a little, made some notes. “Would you like to see?”

 “Fuck yeah!” Eggsy cheered. She tilted the screen to show him.

 And Eggsy was confused. “Where’s the kid then?”

 The doctor smiled, “See that weird little lump that looks like a jelly baby? That’s it.”

 “Wot? That little thing that looks like a bean?” Eggsy tilted his head. “Merlin get over here.”

 Merlin came along. Looked at the screen.

 “That look fake to you? Maybe it’s an alien.” Eggsy looked up to Merlin. “You think it’s an alien?”

 Merlin rolled his eyes, “I think it’s an embryo. Give it a few more weeks and it will look more like a baby, or at least a different sort of alien.”

 “The placenta looks good, the heartbeat stable. We’re not out of the woods Eggsy, but you’ve got a lot better chance now.” The doctor looked between the two men. “You two will need to stay close over the next few weeks. Make sure that the alpha’s scent is on hand. I’m not recommending full bed rest, but I would suggest limited activity for the next couple of weeks.”

 The doctor wiped off Eggsy’s stomach. “I have some information sheets for you and I’d like to see Eggsy again in three days. But otherwise, you are free to go.”

 The doctor left the men alone.

 It was so quiet.

 “If scent is a concern, it would probably be best if you move into my place for the next while.” Merlin finally said.

 “Yeah, no o’course.” Eggsy quickly replied.

 “We’ll need to tell Arthur something.” Merlin continued. “How much we tell him is up to you.”

 “What do you mean?” Eggsy was a little confused.

 “He’ll need to know your pregnant and that there are complications. He doesn’t need to know that the baby is Harry’s. Not if you want to keep that to yourself.”

 “So what say, some rando knocked me up and is gone?” Eggsy sneered.

 “Or you could say it was me, if that helps.”

 Eggsy was stunned by that. “You’d tell a lie that big to Arthur for me?”

 “If it would help your peace of mind.” Merlin just stared at Eggsy.

 God, Eggsy wished he could understand what Merlin was thinking. What that neutral face meant. Eggsy took a minute to think.

 “Nah, we tell Arthur the absolute truth, makes things easier in the long run. But I don’t want to tell anyone else anything yet. Not until after the 12 weeks the doc said.” Eggsy decided.

 “Very well. If you like I can move your clothes, JB, and anything else you like to my place while you rest a little more.”

 “Sure yeah, that’d help. JB won’t be a problem?” Eggsy asked.

 “A dog that small? I hardly think he’ll be in the way.” Merlin nodded, “I’ll see to moving some of your things. Have a shower, some food and then I’ll collect you and take you to my place.”

 Merlin started to head out, but Eggsy couldn’t leave this coldness between them.

 “Merlin, I’m not scared of you.” Eggsy blurted out. He flushed when Merlin turned and looked at him, “I mean, I am, know you could kill me easy, I seen you with a gun and your hand on the keyboard - you’re proper terrifying. But I’ve never doubted you at my back. I’m glad you’re at my back right now.”

 “Thank ye Eggsy.” Merlin gave him faint smile.

 “Cheers, Merlin.” Eggsy frowned, “Wait, what’s your name? Your name name? I should call you something else, shouldn’t I, if we’re living together?”

 “Alisdair, my name is Alisdair.” Merlin grinned, “When drunk, Harry would call me Dair. Made so many unfortunate truth or dare jokes.”

 “Dair. Wicked.” Eggsy grinned. It was a good fit.

 Merlin tilted his head and left to move Eggsy into his home.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Eggsy had never been so scared to get out of  bed. The doc and Merlin had both said moving around was fine, that he had to get ready to move into Merlin’s place.  Eggsy couldn’t shake the idea that staying still seemed to help, so more staying still had to help.

But he also had to piss, and they had taken the catheter out that morning on his insistence. Right. Up he got. He stood and tightened his knees. Eggsy walked slowly, carefully to the bathroom.

Everything was fine. He finally let out the breath he was holding and got dressed in non hospital clothes, pleased to see some of his favourite sweats in a pile. He didn’t bother getting back into bed, but sat in the comfy chair that was in the corner and picked up the tattered book someone had left behind.

Jane Eyre.

Roxy must have left it at some point. Still, it was what was there, and he cracked it open.

An hour later he was biting a nail and wanting Jane to get out of that horrid school when the door opened.

He expected Merlin. He got Roxy.

Crap. He wasn’t prepared to lie to her yet, needed to work on his story.

Roxy came up to him and hugged him tight. “I heard you collapsed.” She pulled back and looked closely at Eggsy. Took a sniff. Glared a little.

“Whatever lie you are trying to come up with in your head, might as well quit it right now.” She lightly pinched him for emphasis.

“Yeah, all right.” Eggsy sighed, should have known Roxy would figure it out.

“Pregnant?” She asked in a whisper.

Eggsy nodded. Roxy wrapped him in a hug.

“What are we going to do?”

“We, what we? You got a jelly bean growing in you?” Eggsy glowered a little, “Didn’t even look like a real thing, did it? Just some lump of a thing. Better not be an alien.”

“Eggsy, you know whatever you need I’m here.” Roxy cut off the rambling. “Whatever you need.” She emphasized carefully.

Eggsy knew what she was getting at, “Keeping it Rox. I’m supposed to be infertile, I ain’t giving up on what might be my one chance.”

“Right. Okay then.” Roxy nodded, “You’ll move in with me so you have some help and we’ll figure out how long you can still do missions for and --”

“Roxy what are you doing?” Eggsy interrupted.

“Taking care of you.” Roxy looked confused, “The father is dead, you’ll need help.”

“I didn’t say who the da was, did I?” Eggsy replied.

“Oh please, like the father isn’t Harry.” She rolled her eyes, “The way you spoke of him, the awe in your voice, knew you were jumping his bones.”

“It was one time, just before Kentucky. No heat, no rut, just a goddamn miracle weren’t it.” Eggsy looked at Roxy.

“Do you ever get tired of doing the impossible?” Roxy held his hand.

“Do you?” Eggsy shrugged. “Part of the job description, inn’it?”

Eggsy took a breath and looked at his friend, “I’ll need your support yeah? But I don’t need to move in with ye.”

“I have a nice room we can make a nursery.” Roxy protested.

God, Eggsy adored her.

“Nah, it’s just,” Eggsy decided to tell her the full truth, “I got a place.”

“I know you have a decent flat Eggsy,”

Eggsy just kept butting in, “No I’m moving tonight. Got a...roommate.” It was the only word he could think of.

Roxy squinted a little. Pinched Eggsy again. “Tell me.”

“Wot? No, none of your business.”

She just kept pinching until Eggsy gave in.

“Merlin!” Eggsy shouted. “I’m moving in with Merlin.”

Roxy sat back. “Merlin? But why?”

“I’m not mated Roxy, no alpha, dead alpha. Apparently omega bodies can reject pregnancy in those circumstances. Being scented by an alpha can stabilize things. Merlin offered, and it already seems to be working. Have to stay close to him though, move in, hang out, take it easy.”

“But Merlin’s not an alpha.” Roxy protested.

Eggsy couldn’t stop the grin that spread on his face, “Oh yeah he is. Wears blockers at work ‘cause he’s like super alpha all crazy strong scent and such. Smells like the best storm ever, don’t he? Crazy, thick, and wild.”

Roxy smirked a little, “Oooh, like his scent do you?”

“Shut it, he’s keeping my kid alive, keeping Harry’s kid alive.” The smile dropped off Eggsy’s face at the weight of those words.

Roxy gathered him into a hug. “Are you scared?”

Eggsy told her the truth, “Yeah. Terrified. Of lots of things.”

She didn’t try to make it better, or offer cliches; she just hugged him for a good long time.

 

************************

 

It was taking Merlin longer than he had thought it would, which was fine by Eggsy, Jane had just saved Mr. Rochester from the fire.

The door opened, and Eggsy would swear unto his dying day that he didn’t startle.

“I’m sorry lad, you have a large number of shoes that required packing up. Who has that many trainers?” Merlin looked at Eggsy.

“Oh shut it, or I’ll ask how many green and brown sweaters you have in your closet.” Eggsy closed the book and stood up, “All done then?”

“Aye.” Merlin looked at Eggsy’s hands, “Are you enjoying the book?”

“Jane’s the boss, isn’t she?”

“She always was one of my favourite characters.” Merlin smiled happily, “Though looks like I’ll need a new copy soon, that one is falling apart.”

“You a romantic Merlin?” Eggsy asked.

Merlin ignored the question.

“All your clothes are moved, as is JB and his supplies. We can go through for anything else that you want moved.” Merlin held out his hand.

Eggsy went over, Merlin’s fingers brushed his neck.

“Is this acceptable?” Merlin asked. Eggsy just nodded, and Merlin leaned in and scented him again. They stood like that for a few minutes, let Merlin’s alpha scent seep into Eggsy’s pores, into his omega gland. Eggsy let himself relax into the embrace just a little.

“Now then lad, do ye want to deal with Arthur today or tomorrow?” Merlin pressed a soothing hand into Eggsy’s neck.

Eggsy thought about it. He just wanted to get off the estate but also didn’t want this hanging over his head.

“If he’s available, let’s get it over with yeah?” Eggsy decided.

Merlin sent a quick message on his clipboard and received a response almost right away. “He’ll be waiting for us.”

“Right, what’s the worst that can happen?” Eggsy asked.

Merlin just looked at him. “You could poison him.”

Eggsy winced, and they left without another word.

 

**********************

 

They presented the situation to Arthur simply, plainly. Then they waited for the axe to fall. Arthur leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers. To Eggsy it looked like he had been watching too much Sherlock.

“This will leave us down three field agents. This is not a good time in the world for us to be down three agents.” Arthur said.

“Well maybe I can,” Eggsy began, hating that look on Arthur’s face.

“No. Eggsy’s health and the health of the bairn is what matters. You will not risk that or ye can find a new Merlin.” Merlin glared at Arthur, his already thick scent pouring into the room, his posture didn’t seem to change much, but somehow still screamed protection.

Both Eggsy and Arthur stared at Merlin in shock. While he had excellent subordinates, everyone knew that if Merlin walked away, they were all screwed. Eggsy knew that Merlin was scary, commanding, but that had always been directed more at him, training, talking to him over the comms. It had never really been for him before. He didn’t know what to do about that, he didn’t know how he felt about that.

“Merlin,” Arthur began. “Merlin, I was not going to suggest throwing a pregnant omega back into the field. Hold the posturing until the end please.”

Merlin forced himself to back down.

“What I was going to suggest that training for a new Kingsman begin immediately, if we are very lucky two of them will meet our standards. Kay, your medical report here suggests that you require closeness to your suitable alpha replacement. Would helping oversee the training be an effective use of everyone’s time? You’d have a unique eye having just been through the experience.”

“That could work.” Eggsy agreed, “Only we ditch the fucking dog test.”

Arthur smiled a little. “Only if you can come up with a reasonable alternate by the time we are down to the final three.” Arthur looked at the medical document some more. “It seems that the next 5 weeks are crucial to maintaining the pregnancy, so barring emergency, Merlin you can have the next week off. I will expect you both back ready to start the training program in 10 days, that gives you three to catch Kay up on the mechanics of running training.”

Both men agreed easily to the plan.

“Now Kay, do you intend after the successful completion of the pregnancy to keep the baby?”

Eggsy was sure he knew what that question meant, what Arthur thought of Eggsy as a potential parent, more, a parent to Harry Hart’s child. He knew what some of the Kingsman still thought of him, and that was one thing, but this was something else. Eggsy leaned forward in his chair. “Damn fucking right I do. You think you’re going to take me kid away, I’ll kill you just as sure as I killed the last one.” Merlin put a hand on Eggsy’s arm.

Arthur sighed--save him from the dramatics of alphas and omegas. “Kay, I was simply inquiring as to what your plans were. Are you intending to return to field work? How long a leave will you require? Have you thought of nanny services, day care, what will happen if you die in the field?”

“Oh.” Eggsy drew a blank, he hadn’t thought of any of that. He hadn’t really thought about anything beyond keeping the pregnancy going. Plus it had not even been 2 days since he found out. Excuse him for not thinking out the next two years.

Arthur left his chair and came around to the front of the desk.

“Eggsy, do you want to still be a field agent?” It was the first time in the meeting that Arthur had used his name. Eggsy looked at the man and realized that he wasn’t trying nothing, he was just asking questions, sorting out the situation. He had to remember that this Arthur was a different man. He saw the care and concern in Arthur’s face, the earnestness in it.

Eggsy took a breath and told the truth, “Yes.”

“Then we’ll figure it all out. Go home. Rest.”

Merlin tugged Eggsy up and out of the office.

 

*************************

 

Eggsy looked around Merlin’s townhouse. It was actually in the same neighbourhood as Harry’s had been, but inside was very different.

If Eggsy had had to guess, he would have thought austere, controlled. But that was before he had the scent of the alpha in his nose, in his skin. After that his guess would have been greys and blues, strong lines, an edge.

Not something that looked like a taller hobbit hole. It was all warm yellows and rich wood and books. If Harry’s place had been a very weird Victorian museum, this was a library. Leather chairs that you could sink into, blankets all about.

Eggsy sniffed the air. “Is that stew?”

“I thought you might be hungry.” Merlin lead Eggsy into the kitchen. Eggsy ducked around the table to claim a snuggly corner spot on the kitchen bench.

Merlin put a bowl in front of him with some fresh bread.

“Fuck me, don’t tell me you baked this.” It was flaky and buttery and bloody perfect.

“No, there is a lovely bakery just down the way.” Merlin sat in a chair across from Eggsy. “I’m not much of a cook, but anyone can throw stuff into a slow cooker and have something edible come out.”

“Cheers mate.” Eggsy dug in, loving the rich taste. He ate two bowls before declaring himself satisfied.

“Would you care for a shower?” Merlin asked, taking the dishes to the sink, “It’s up the stairs, second door on the left.”

Eggsy went up, saw the well done bathroom and settled into the bath for a long time. Eventually the water began to cool and he pulled out, drying his skin. He suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired.

There was a quiet knock on the door, and Eggsy cracked it open a bit.

“I thought these might help, they are a set of my pajamas. They are washed,” Merlin quickly reassured him, “but still carry a scent of me. The bedroom is just across the way. I put Jane Eyre on the one night table.”

“Thanks, Merlin, you’re the guv.”

“So you’ve said.” Merlin replied dryly, closing the door.

Eggsy laughed to himself a bit, and donned the pajamas. And laughed some more. The sleeves came down to his fingertips and his feet were well covered. He walked out, figuring Merlin would enjoy the laugh.

In the bedroom, Merlin was already swathed in a set of similar pajamas. Eggsy was ready to make a joke about the state of himself when Merlin turned and saw him. Merlin just shook his head a little and then knelt at Eggsy’s feet.

He carefully rolled the hem up, a tidy thing stopping just below Eggsy’s ankles. Eggsy had no idea how to respond to an alpha on his knees. Merlin pushed himself up and Eggsy just sort of held out a hand.

Merlin rolled the cuffs, making them even, perfect.

“Thanks.” Eggsy’s voice was hoarse for some reason. He saw the book on the night table and hurried over and crawled into the bed.

What might be the most comfortable bed in the whole world. Eggsy moaned in bliss as the duvet settled over him and the fluffy yet firm pillow gave a bit below his head.

“Right, never leaving. Just try to turn me over every once in awhile so I don’t get bed sores.” Eggsy thought about reading his book, but that seemed like so much work.

Instead he watched as Merlin climbed into bed and picked up his own book.

“What important book are you reading then?” Eggsy asked sleepily.

“What to Expect When Expecting. I have little practical knowledge of pregnancy.”

“Stop being so fucking perfect, it’s annoying.” Eggsy mumbled as he fell asleep.

“I’ll get right on that.” Merlin replied in a dry tone.

 

*********************

 

A nightmare pulled Eggsy awake a few hours later. He could feel the tears on his face and he wrapped his arms around his stomach.

He calmed when he felt Merlin’s nose against his neck, the weight of the man at his back. Eggsy slowly managed to steady his breathing, relax his shoulders.

Merlin didn’t stop scenting him, rubbing his arm with a warm hand.

“You were screaming for Harry.” Merlin said quietly.

“Dreamt of Kentucky. Dreamt I was there but nothing changed.” Eggsy shuddered, “Dreamt I couldn’t save him, just like always, and couldn’t save the baby either. Useless wasn’t I?”

“You are not useless Eggsy. You are doing everything you can. You will make this happen. I’m quite sure of it.” Merlin started to pull away but Eggsy grabbed his hand, kept him close.

Eggsy felt the alpha’s presence sooth him, and began drifting back to sleep.

“You must love him very much.” Merlin murmured before sleep claimed him again.

Eggsy didn’t correct him. Didn’t know why he didn’t, just that he couldn’t say that he hadn’t loved Harry. That’d be a wrong thing to say wouldn’t it? Eggsy wondered if those angry preachers were right, that a lie of omission was just as bad as a told lie.

But Eggsy couldn’t say those words, not to Harry’s best friend, who was giving up his life for the next several months just to keep the babe alive. What, admit that he didn’t love Harry, and prove that he was the omega slut that Dean had always called him when drunk? Admit that he had jumped the guy’s bones, not from love, but because he seemed well fit and like fun. Yeah he liked Harry, and maybe one day it could have been different, but mostly he wanted to go to bed with someone nice, who would treat him well after.

No better to keep his mouth shut. Eggsy didn’t want Merlin to think bad of him, think like how some of the other Kingsman did. Couldn’t risk what might happen to the baby if that was the case.

Eggsy fretted, rolled everything over in his head, until the scent of Merlin eventually seeped in enough to relax Eggsy back to sleep.

Chapter Text

Eggsy spent the first few days just settling into Merlin’s townhouse. He put things away, poked about at shelves (he swore he wasn’t spying, just you know, curious). He tried to take JB for a walk but Merlin had shooed him away and took the pug out himself.

He spent most of the time just reading, sunk into what were Merlin’s favourite spots, where his scent was strong and so very comforting. Eggsy ate the meals Merlin cooked and insisted that he at least be allowed to do the dishes. He’d watched some movie or t.v. show, shower and go to bed, where Merlin would wrap himself around Eggsy, cover him in that life-saving scent.

Eggsy had never seen Merlin in less than full pajamas. He made a ‘never nude’ joke and Merlin just smiled, said he was the shy sort. Eggsy knew that was bullshit but didn’t call him on it. Instead he organized their clothes to fit side by side and did the laundry while Merlin ran to the office for a couple hours.

Merlin came in and rolled his eyes, “We are going to be having a Kingsman wide seminar on what the word emergency actually means.”

“Your people ran out of coffee again didn’t they?” Eggsy laughed.

“Do my techs have to be such cliches?” Merlin sighed and sank into his spot on the couch. He breathed in and noticed how Eggsy’s scent was drifting into the fibres of the house. Eggsy wasn’t the only one comforted by scent. Merlin wouldn’t say how the place smelled more like a home than ever.

“I can make beans on toast?” Eggsy offered.

“Or we can order pizza and garlic bread.” Merlin replied.

“That works.” Merlin hit a couple buttons on his tablet and his regular was ordered a size up with an additional order of bread. Merlin tilted his head back on the couch and closed his eyes.

“Hey Merlin?”

“Yes?” Merlin didn’t look up.

“I was doing some laundry and I thought of something. How did you have Harry’s clothes, like all unwashed and stuff just laying about? Kind of weird ain’t it?” Eggsy sat in a chair across from Merlin. It had been bugging him ever since he had opened the hamper and got blasted with the mix of his and Merlin’s scents, how they even after a few days had started to entwine. It then made him think of the box that Merlin had presented him.

Merlin sighed a little and lifted his head. Looked at Eggsy. “You remember the chaos when we got back right?”

“Sure.” Eggsy shrugged.

“Well, amidst all the other tasks before me, I had to pack up Harry’s effects, empty the house. I gave the order to a team to just throw everything in boxes and move it to a storage room at the compound. They took me quite at my word and everything was packed up, sealed, and stored. I was supposed to sort it all.” Merlin rubbed a hand over his face. “I couldn’t. To go through and break down what was left of Harry into parts, trash this, recycle that. No. So I just let it alone. Lucky break for you it turned out.”

Eggsy realized that Merlin always had this tone in his voice when he talked about Harry. One that spoke of more than colleagues, more than friends. “Were you two ever..?” Eggsy didn’t know what he was looking for, what the right word might be.

“Lovers? No. Neither of us was attracted to alphas.”

“But the way you talked, you loved him.” Eggsy looked at Merlin, tried to figure it out.

“Aye.” Merlin smiled. “Imagine how, if you both live, you’ll feel about Roxy in 27 years. That is the feeling Harry and I had. A certainty that we would die for each other if it was called for. An absolute trust in the other person. It can’t be quite explained, but yes I loved him, I’d like to think he felt the same. Even if he was a gigantic showy pain in my ass on half his missions.”

The doorbell rang.

Eggsy listened to the cheerful small talk Merlin made with the pizza man, how he asked after the man’s schooling and how his mum was doing. He heard the guy joke with Merlin, saying, “Mr. Finlay you finally got some company? Don’t think your order’s changed in two years.”

“Go on with ye then.” Merlin shooed the guy away.

He brought the pizza into the living room.

“Your last name is Finlay?” Eggsy asked.

“Yes, shall we be lazy and just eat in here off of paper napkins?” Merlin asked.

Eggsy nodded agreeably and Merlin went to get what they needed.

Eggsy hadn’t known about Harry and Merlin’s friendship before he landed in the hospital, hell he hadn’t even known Merlin’s last name until right then.

He was Merlin. Trainer, handler, quartermaster, saviour of Eggsy’s baby. He wasn’t a person, not really.

Only of course he was. And Eggsy had no idea who that person really was.

But he would find out.

*****************************

The next day Merlin explained he wanted to go into the office for a few hours, people were starting to submit information about their candidates for the training that was to start in a week. Merlin intended to start setting up the training space, go over the files. He would bring home lunch if Eggsy would like.

Eggsy told him to bring home thai.

Merlin wasn’t even out the door when Eggsy was texting Roxy to get her butt over to the house.

She was there within half an hour just as the coffee finished perking.

Eggsy poured her a cup with the dash of milk she liked and pulled out a small notebook and pen. It was a pen he’d nicked off Harry’s desk.

“So not just a friendly visit then?” she asked pointedly.

Eggsy rolled his eyes and sat back in what was now his corner of the kitchen bench. “Ugh. Fine, and how are you this morning Roxy?”

She smiled. “I’m doing well thank you for asking. I submitted my file for for my candidate, beat your time on the obstacle course by 1.28 seconds, and got a phone number during my morning grocery jaunt.”

Eggsy wrinkled his nose at her, “Yes, yes you are superior to us mere mortals and one day we will properly worship you as the goddess you are.”

She raised her cup in salute. “How are you feeling?”

“Good, I think. We check in with the doctor in a couple days, just before I start helping Merlin with the training.” Eggsy sipped his one cup of coffee that he was allowed. He was savouring the damn thing.

“Will that be weird to see it from the other side?”

Eggsy shrugged, “Don’t know. Merlin’s going to walk me through a bunch of it when he gets home from the office.”

Roxy looked at him carefully, “Is this already home to you?”

Eggsy decided to ignore the question. He removed the lid from the pen and wrote down a title on the small page.

The List of Merlin

Roxy tilted her head as she read it, “Why?”

“Because I realized I don’t know him. And I should.” Eggsy made a list of numbers down the side.

“Well, he’s about 1 metre --” Roxy began but Eggsy interrupted.

“No, I don’t mean that stuff. Do you know his real name Rox?”

Roxy went to speak and realized she hadn’t a clue.

“Alisdair Finlay.” Eggsy wrote beside the number 1. “Dair to his best friend.”

“Who’s that?” Roxy asked, entranced by the slow beautiful scrawl of Eggsy’s writing.

Beside the number 2 the name Harry Hart appeared. Eggsy added a small heart beside the name. Roxy pretended not to notice that. Eggsy was glad, as he knew she was thinking the wrong thing, but he didn’t want to explain.

Soon a little more was added to the list.

 

smells of a storm, of salt and sea

is friendly with the pizza delivery man

loves books

 

Roxy said, “Loves the colour green. All his clothes involved it at least a little.”

Eggsy added it to the list. They stared at the low amount of filled in lines.

“Are we allowed to add in work stuff?” She asked hopefully.

“No because that’s about Merlin isn’t it? I want to know Alisdair.” Eggsy frowned at his list.

“Then maybe you should change the title.” Roxy suggested.

Eggsy crossed out Merlin and wrote above it Alisdair.

*****************

That afternoon, Eggsy went over the files that had been presented to Merlin for the candidates. There were two women this time, though they were all still upper class snobs from the looks of them.

“They might surprise you.” Merlin said to Eggsy who sneered at the photo of one of the alphas in the pile. “I thought that chip on your shoulder was starting to get smaller.”

Eggsy held up the photo, “Tell me this guy is actually going to make it further than the 3rd test. His face screams I roofied two people last night.”

Merlin smirked a little, “Our job is to remain neutral and do the testing. If we play favourites we skew the results.”

“Bullshit. You totally played favourites.”

“No, you think that now, at the time you swore I hated you.” Merlin sat back. “Do I think that he’ll make it far? No. Do I think he is presented as a candidate and I will afford him the respect that offer has created? Yes. Until such time he proves himself as the wanker he is and I can kick him out with a joyful sneer.” Merlin winked at Eggsy and handed him the next file.

Later, when Merlin was showering after taking JB for an absurdly long walk where they both came home covered in mud, Eggsy added two quick notes to his book.

 

Likes JB

Has a very nice wink

*****************

The next day Merlin said that they were going to take care of the best part of the training exercises. Eggsy was so curious about what it would be that made Merlin grin like that (he made a mental note to add nice grin to the list). The answer was the RSPCA.

They had a huge van with them and took a tour of the building and Merlin selected 12 dogs. He explained to Eggsy that they always had a variety of dogs. “What they choose and how they treat their dog is a great indicator of their personality and capabilities.”

Merlin couldn’t resist and crouched and rubbed the German Shepherd between the ears. And then the tummy of the Collie who had rolled over. Soon all dozen dogs had had some affection before they were caged and put into the van.

As they were driving to the estate, Eggsy asked, “So do all the people keep their dogs if they wash out?”

“Some do, some don’t.” Before Eggsy could ask Merlin explained. “We find homes for the ones left behind. Some become therapy dogs, others are brought to the children of support staff, but all find a place.” Merlin had such a happy look on his face.

“No way did you pass the dog test.” Eggsy said.

“I did actually. Well sort of.”

“Huh?”

Merlin had a grimace on his face, “You were given the test wrong.” He admitted. Eggsy was stunned. “Chester deliberately set up a circumstance where you would fail.” Merlin took his eyes off the road for a second. “Tell me, if I had you in a room and handed ye a gun and told you to trust me and shoot JB, would you have done it?”

Eggsy thought about it. “Nah, Merlin, I couldn’t have.”

“Very well. But still you were given the test wrong.” Merlin turned onto the estate road. “Anyways, I could feel they were blanks in the gun, but I still shot the dog. When the Merlin at the time started to say very good, I may have pistol whipped him.”

Eggsy started to laugh. It devolved into a giggle. Merlin loved that sound, wondered if he would ever make the lad laugh like that again.

“So Harry would have passed too, what happened then?”

“The Arthur said I failed and Harry was made Galahad. As I was about to leave the estate, the Merlin approached me and said if I wanted it in three years I could have his job. And now here we are.” Merlin pulled into the driveway.

Eggsy watched him unload the nervous dogs and have a gentle word for each.

 

Loves all dogs

Ballsy


*************************************

The doctor was pleased with how Eggsy was looking and feeling. A week seemed to have already made a difference and she encouraged them to continue what they were doing. A few more weeks and they would be out of the woods.

They went out to dinner that night to celebrate. It was a nicer place than Eggsy usually went to, but not quite posh.

Merlin ordered them sparkling grape juice. Eggsy tried to explain that Merlin could have a drink if he wanted, but Merlin just shook his head. They ordered and Merlin held his glass aloft.

“Cheers Eggsy.” Merlin had that soft smile on his face.

“Cheers.” Eggsy took a swing of the juice. It wasn’t actually have bad. He looked at the bottle.

“The trick is to buy a sparkling grape juice actually made by a winery.” Merlin explained.

They sat in companionable silence for a time. Eggsy had never actually been with someone content with quiet, who also didn’t pull out their phone or fidget. It seemed Merlin was just happy to sit there with him.

Their appetizers arrived and Eggsy couldn’t stop the moan that came out.

Merlin grinned. “I thought you might enjoy that.”

Eggsy just rolled his eyes and stuffed more food into his mouth.

That night knows his shit when it comes to food was added to the list.

*************************************

That weekend just before the training was supposed to begin, Eggsy had his mum and Daisy over. Merlin offered to be away and Eggsy turned that down flat. No way was he sending the guy out of his own home. Besides, he sort of needed Merlin to cook. He wanted to impress his mum a little.

Merlin made a quiche for brunch as well as some adorable little fairy cakes for dessert. Daisy would flip over the pink frosting and little sugar flowers. Eggsy secretly flipped over the sugar dog on a cupcake for him.

Eggsy set the dining room table all nice and proper and opened the door. Daisy came toddling at him, legs growing more and more steady under her. Eggsy spun her around in the air, loving her giggle. He wondered what his baby’s laugh would sound like. He pulled Daisy onto his hip and couldn’t stop his hand from brushing his stomach. He hoped his mum didn’t notice.

He lead his mum into the dining room where Merlin was just putting out the food.

“Mum, this is --” Shit, Eggsy thought, which name do I use.

“Alisdair Finlay. How do you do ma’am?” Merlin took of the oven mitt and held out a hand.

Michelle shook it briefly and took in the man’s alpha scent. The room was quiet for a minute, awkward until Daisy yelled ‘Foo!”

It broke the ice. Eggsy strapped her into the booster seat he’d bought for her and put a small plate with a little bit of the quiche and a bunch of cheerios in front of her.

Michelle took a place and Eggsy served her a plate. Michelle would never get used to the posh manners that Eggsy had taken on since the job at the tailors started. They all made small talk and Michelle complimented the food.

Daisy squealed and clapped when Merlin presented her with her cupcake. Michelle was impressed and asked what bakery they came from.

Eggsy wasn’t aware of the note of pride in his voice when he said Merlin made them. But Michelle and Merlin were.

“Right.” Michelle stood. “Well I know you didn’t do this, so while Daisy just finishes smearing pink on her face, you and I will do the dishes Eggsy.” Both men knew an order when they heard one.

“I’ll look after the bairn.” Merlin said easily. He moved to beside Daisy.

Eggsy and Michelle gathered the plates and went to the kitchen. Eggsy filled the sink with water and poured in some soap. He had just put the plates in when Michelle yanked him closer and sniffed his scent gland.

“He’s not the father.”

“Mum.” Eggsy winced a little.

“I told you, you smelled different. How far along are you?” Michelle crossed her arms and stared Eggsy down.

“Around 8 weeks and a couple days I guess.”

“You guess?”

“Well no, I know the exact day I got knocked up, but you’re my mum, didn’t think ya’d want details.” Eggsy pouted a little.

“True.” Michelle sighed and pulled her boy into her arms. “What about the father.”

Eggsy went with an excuse that he and Merlin had come up with. It was an easy one really and close enough to the truth. “V-day.” It was all had to be said.

Michelle’s eyes were sad and she smoothed Eggsy’s hair. “Oh baby, I’m so sorry.” She pulled him back into a hug. “What’s with this guy then?”

“I needed an alpha, for medical reasons. We work together, he was actually my trainer. He agreed to help me out for right now.”

“But there’s nothing going on.” Michelle let Eggsy go and started on the dishes. She pushed Eggsy to a chair.

“No Mum, he’s just helping me out, making everything okay.” Eggsy insisted. “He’s just the sort to look out for people you know. Watches out for me and Rox. He’s good at taking care of details and the like.”

Michelle wondered if Eggsy knew what his face looked like when talking about the man.

“I’ll take you at your word then. He is a fair bit older than you.” Michelle added as a cautionary statement.

Eggsy snorted. “I think he might be older than you actually.”

“Oh joy.” Michelle said dryly.

They both heard Daisy squeal and ran for the door. They weren’t in the dining room anymore and they followed the sound of Daisy’s shouts. Eggsy already had a small palm blade in hand when the burst through the door into the garden.

Where they saw Merlin spinning Daisy in the air. She was shrieking with laughter and JB was jumping around Merlin’s feet. Merlin crumpled to the ground, in a controlled fall and held Daisy as she danced on his stomach and raised her hands in joy, in victory. JB licked at both of them. Merlin sprung up and tackled Daisy, tickling her ribs. He then pulled them both up. His shirt had liberal streaks of frosting and grass on it.

Daisy was a mess. A happy happy mess.

“Come along you monkey we need to get you cleaned up.” Michelle held out her hand and Daisy stumbled over still giggling.

Michelle looked at the smile on her boy’s face as he looked at the older man. She’d messed up a lot over the years, she knew that, but she had done what she could when she could. She knew she couldn’t make up for all her mistakes, knew that Eggsy had suffered more than his fair share because of her choices. She was trying to do better for Daisy now and for Eggsy too. She’d be keeping her eye on the situation.

As they left, she pulled Merlin aside. “I’ll be watching you.” She said to the man.

“As is your right.” was all he said. “You and Daisy are welcome anytime.”

That night they were drinking tea and reading in the living room and Merlin said to Eggsy, “I like your family.” It was simple, sincere.

Good with kids was added to the list.

*******************************

The candidates would arrive the next day and Merlin and Eggsy were devising a game plan. Merlin asked what Eggsy wanted to wear, what he’d be most comfortable in.

“My chav gear yeah?” Eggsy asked.

“Are you asking or saying?” Merlin replied.

“Saying. I greet them and the agents as they get off the train yeah? See how they react to me being the one to check them off. You watch the feed through the glasses, see what initial read you get on them. We can compare notes while waiting for the room to flood.”

Merlin sat back and thought about it. “Do we say that you are a fellow knight?”

“Nah, not right away, let’s see if they can put it all together.” Eggsy clued into something, “Shit I didn’t submit anyone.”

“Those who train don’t submit, it would be an unfair advantage.”

“Oh, sure, that makes sense.” Eggsy was happy he hadn’t screwed up.

“Now Amelia will be there again as our ‘victim’. You’ll be able to not react to her, correct?” Merlin asked.

“Not a problem.” Eggsy knew that sort of lie would be as easy as pie for him. He reached once more for some of the papers and knocked his cup of tea all over Merlin. “Shit, shit, sorry man.”

Merlin waved Eggsy’s concern off. “It wasn’t hot lad.” But it had been almost a full cup. Merlin stood and undid the buttons of his shirt, pulled it off. He noticed that the tea had seeped through to his vest and tugged it up and off.

He looked down to find Eggsy staring at his arms, his chest. Merlin waited for the reaction. He wondered which way Eggsy would go.

“Um, did you know you were covered in tattoos?” Eggsy finally asked. He didn’t know where to look.

Merlin looked down at his torso, held out his arms. “Oh my god, where did these come from? What foul creature did this to me? I’m ruined.”

Eggsy gave him a two fingered salute and Merlin laughed. “Yes Eggsy I know I’m covered in tattoos. Got my first one at 15, quite illegally and never looked back.” He turned around. Waited.

“Holy fucking shit, look at your back.” Eggsy blurted out.

Merlin felt a finger trace some of the celtic knots that surrounded the dragon that ran down his spine. It was the barest of touches, but it pulled deep at Merlin.

“Fuck.” Eggsy breathed out slowly as he pulled his hand away. “Didn’t expect all of this under there. This why you been wearing those stupid pajamas.”

“Aye. I tend not to take my shirt off a lot, people tend to find it a little excessive. I honestly prefer just to sleep in pajama bottoms.”

“It wouldn’t bother me none.” Eggsy managed to say.

“Fair enough then.” Merlin looked at Eggsy. “I’ll just run and get a top so we can finish our conversation.”

While he was gone Eggsy added a new note to his list. One he hadn’t ever thought he’d add.

 

Hot as Fuck

 

That night Merlin came to bed in just the pajama bottoms. Eggsy couldn’t take his eyes off the alpha’s torso. He finally was noticing how toned he was under all that ink. He looked at the lines that disappeared down into the pajamas, the ones that cut just over hip bones.

“Didn’t that hurt?” Eggsy asked, staring.

“Like you wouldn’t believe.” Merlin said. He crawled into bed and Eggsy automatically went into his arms.

They both stilled at how much more intimate the embrace felt, without that added layer. Eggsy shifted about more than usual, tried to get comfortable. Unsure why he was so restless.

“I can put a shirt on.” Merlin finally said.

Eggsy gripped the man’s arms that were around him tight.. “No.” He breathed in that wild scent that was just that little bit clearer with the barrier. “No. Alisdair, this is good.”

“Okay.” Merlin stayed spooned around Eggsy.

Eggsy realized what he wanted. He turned in Merlin’s arms and pushed at the older alpha a bit so that Merlin was on his back. Eggsy rested his head on Merlin’s shoulder and threw a leg over Merlin’s hips. Merlin’s arm came around him, fingers just brushing at Eggsy’s scent gland.

Eggsy sighed in contentment and drifted off.

Merlin made sure to wait until Eggsy was asleep before quietly saying “I like the way you say my name.” He tilted his neck and dropped a small kiss on Eggsy’s head.

The next morning before they left Eggsy added another note to his list.

 

Can’t tell when I’m really truly asleep

 

Chapter Text

Eggsy stood there and waited for the first of the candidates to arrive. He was wearing his glasses and knew that Merlin was also watching. He was in his snapback, chav track suit and his winged trainers. It had been awhile since he had worn it and now - now if felt more of a costume than his Kingsman clothes did.

The shoes were still aces though.

Arthur was unsurprisingly first with his candidate. Arthur smiled at Eggsy, at the clothes he was wearing. His candidate tried to keep a neutral face, but Eggsy saw a little bit of surprise. It beat the sneer he was expecting.

“I’m -” the candidate began.

“Yeah don’t really care for intros bruv, youse is Arthur’s that’s all I’s need for now.” God Eggsy was laying the accent thick. It was all Arthur could do not to snort. “Door’s down there yeah? Shoo.”

Eggsy kept the act up for all 12 of the candidates. The nicest reactions were neutral or surprise. There were definitely a few who sneered or looked down their nose. One laughed and said “Really?” And one, one took a good sniff of the air. An alpha. He had growled a little, but with a nudge from his sponsor had gone down the hallway.

“You saw that right?” Eggsy said quietly.

“Aye lad,” Merlin said into his ear.

“He’s the one who looked like he’d roofie a date. And he was able to smell I’m pregnant. Shouldn’t be able to tell yet, not unless you really know me.” He made Eggsy nervous. The alpha had smelled bitter, unpleasant to Eggsy.

“We’ll keep an eye.” He could hear Merlin hitting his keyboard. “Everyone is settling into the room. Questions and posturing have already begun. Want to join me for the body bag lecture?”

“Nah, I’ll go to the office, want to watch it through your eyes, see how they react to you in comparison.”

“Very good.” Merlin left the office and met Eggsy midway down the hall. Merlin lay a gentle hand on Eggsy’s neck. Eggsy sighed in relief, happy to get that horrid alpha scent out of his nose, get Merlin’s scent around him.

Every day Eggsy grew more and more fond of Merlin’s scent.

He listened to Merlin give the same speech as last year and watched through Merlin’s eyes as he gazed at the group. They stood more at attention for Merlin,though a couple still looked cocky and that one alpha was trying to posture, look stronger and bigger than Merlin.

Eggsy realized they’d be smelling Merlin’s strong alpha scent. His group had thought him a beta and had much less of the posturing that a couple of the candidates were currently trying out. Merlin just ignored it,finished his body bag speech and left the room.

Merlin joined Eggsy in the office and held open his arms. Eggsy snuggled in, and they sat on the large sofa that Merlin had put in the room.

“We definitely have to watch the one guy.”

“Told you he’d be a problem. He’s Caradoc’s pick right?”

“Aye and you know he’s a good man. I think this is the nephew of a classman. It’s often how candidates are chosen.” Merlin dragged his fingers over Eggsy’s scent gland. “Be careful around him lad.”

“You don’t think I can take him?” Eggsy was a little insulted.

“You could definitely take him - if you weren’t under strict medical orders to take care of your body in a specific manner. I don’t think beating the shit out of an alpha counts.”

Eggsy grumbled a little, but wrapped a hand around his flat stomach. Merlin was right, no fighting or strenuous activity was at the top of the list the doctor had given him. And he had to make it through three and a half more weeks before the doctor would ease up on the rules, before they were out of the woods.. Eggsy buried himself into Merlin.

Eggsy elected to stay in his chav gear for the next few days of testing. Amelia had ‘died’ again and they had a lovely tea before she was back off to Germany. No one had been eliminated yet, although there was one candidate struggling with the obstacle course.

When Eggsy gave an order they all complied, some with obvious reluctance and the one alpha with a leer. Whenever possible, the candidate stood close  to Eggsy, or gave him a lewd glance, always ending with his eyes on Eggsy’s belly. Eggsy tried his best not to react. Eggsy knew that Merlin’s scent was all over him but that didn’t seem to scare off the alpha.

Eggsy was unsurprised when the guy picked the pitbull as his dog.

“I want cameras on him at all times. He touches that dog he’s out.” Eggsy said, going into Merlin’s office after the dog choosing.

“Agreed. That is a sweet dog, and will remain so if we have any say in it.” But the alpha didn’t harm the dog. He was more aggressive in his training than others, but never abusive.

A beta washed out on obstacle course test four days later.

************************

Eggsy went for a slow walk on the estate. He needed some fresh air and quiet after hours of watching the candidates run the course. . He hadn’t really thought about how stressful the training was for Merlin. When he had been going through it, it seemed like  the man popped up like magic just to torture them. But there was hours of monitoring and planning on top of Merlin’s other duties as quartermaster.

“How do you do all this?” Eggsy had asked, watching feed of the candidates sparring in the gym while Merlin guided Tristan through a mission.

Merlin held a up a finger and Eggsy waited. Finally he said, “Because it is the job, lad. But I admit that having your assistance has been a great boon to me.”

Eggsy tried not to be too pleased with the compliment.

He kept walking, lost in thoughts of Merlin, but that didn’t excuse not noticing that bitter scent until it was on top of him, pushing him into a tree.

“Well, well. Hello there.” The alpha sniffed at Eggsy’s neck. Eggsy thought of half a dozen moves he could do to get out, but there was a better than average chance he’d end up hit or on the ground.He couldn’t take that chance.

“It’s good to know bruv, that you don’t want to be here. This will immediately wash you out.” Eggsy’s voice was steady. He knew it had to be.

“Why are you even here?” The alpha’s voice grated on Eggsy’s ears, and Eggsy was choking on his scent. “You aren’t a gentleman. Bet you’re just some omega whore they keep around to pleasure them. You going to be our reward? Is that it.” The man’s hand dropped to Eggsy’s belly. “I like pregnant omegas, they always smell so pretty.” Eggsy could barely contain a shudder as the alpha licked his scent gland. “You smell like that Merlin fellow, but no mark. He the father, or don’t you know who the father is? Perhaps it’s just his month with you before they pass you around again.”

“You have no idea who you’re messing with. And trust me, whatever you are thinking of doing, ain’t going to be worth the trouble you’re going to bring down on yourself.”

“What I’m thinking, omega bitch, is that you have a pretty mouth. Now how about you get to work.” The alpha’s hand pressed hard on Eggsy’s belly. “Or…”

He didn’t need to finish the sentence.

*******************************

Merlin breathed in relief. The mission that had gone sideways in Brazil was finally sorted and Bedivere was out with only superficial injuries. He stretched and looked at the clock. Realized that Eggsy had been gone for three hours. He decided to go hunt him down, see if he wanted food.

Only Eggsy came into the room just then, damp from a shower.

“Get that sweaty on your walk lad?” Merlin paused as Eggsy flinched. Merlin got closer, but Eggsy stepped away. “What’s wrong Eggsy?”

“Nothing.” Eggsy swiped his mouth, there had been a little toothpaste in the corner. He clung to his belly.

“Is it the bairn, are you having cramps again?” Merlin took another step closer.

“No, babe is fine.”

“But you aren’t.” Merlin was just few inches away. Caught the smallest hint of another alpha’s scent on Eggsy. He couldn’t stop the growl that came out.

Eggsy wished he didn’t whimper. He waited for Merlin to do something. To yell, call him names, even hit him. He didn’t expect the hug,to be swept up into the alpha’s arms. Merlin put them both on the couch and wrapped them in a blanket. He rocked Eggsy and kept scenting his neck.

Eggsy just let go. He went limp in Merlin’s arms, he didn’t cry, couldn’t, but just let the sadness seep out of him. His scent was distressed, that couldn’t be helped.

“Do ye need to go to medical?” Merlin asked after a time.

“Not the first time I’ve sucked an alpha loser off to keep someone I loved safe,” Eggsy replied. He tried to laugh. “For an alpha he was actually on the small side.”

Merlin just bundled up Eggsy tighter, buried his nose in the lad’s neck.

“Shouldn’t you be mad at me?” Eggsy asked in a small voice.

“Why?”

“Because of what I did.”

“You didn’t do anything. You were forced.”

“I didn’t say no.”

Merlin pulled him back a little. “You didn’t say yes. You made a choice that you had to, to protect your bairn. That doesn’t mean you were willing or that it was true consent. You did nothing wrong Eggsy.” Merlin settled Eggsy back in and worked to remove all traces of the scent of that other alpha from Eggsy.

Two hours later, Eggsy was calmer, not better, but at least soothed. Merlin’s computer beeped, and he was able to extricate himself from the omega to go and check it. He typed quickly and then returned to Eggsy. He stripped off his sweater and pulled it onto Eggsy. He smiled to himself as Eggsy curled into it and lifted the neckline so it covered his nose.

“Arthur needs to see me, I shouldn’t be more than an hour. I also have some of Harry’s laundry still sealed away. Do ye need it?”

Eggsy answer was muffled by the wool but Merlin still heard, “Nah just want you.” Merlin refused to read anything into it. He placed one last caress on Eggsy’s scent gland and headed out.

*************************

Merlin was surprised to see Caradoc was also in the office. As was the alpha who had raped his Eggsy.

He stayed calm for now. Merlin nodded his head to his boss. “Arthur. Eggsy needs me right now, why have I been called?”

“My candidate has lodged a formal complaint.” Caradoc’s voice was stiff. He didn’t want to be here, doing this, but protocol was protocol.

“Oh he has, has he?” Merlin sat and crossed his legs. “And what have I done then?”

The candidate decided to answer for himself. He managed to sound regretful, as if he truly didn’t want to be doing this. “Nothing sir. Your training has been incredible, I’ve been learning so much.” He didn’t realize that his false earnestness was patently obvious to everyone in the room. “It is just that assistant of yours? I’m afraid he approached me, tried to exchange favours for sex.”

“I see,” was all Merlin said.

The alpha kept running his mouth about Eggsy just trying to latch onto a young alpha, riding coattails, and how he hated to expose him like this, knew that it would affect Merlin since they were obviously in a relationship. Merlin tuned most of it out. Finally the boy ran out of breath.

“Thank ye for bringing this to us. I would suggest now that you go back to your dorm and try to act normal. Do not speak of what you told us. The three of us have a lot to talk about.”

The alpha headed to the door. He paused and turned one last sad gaze onto the room. “I really am sorry to have to have told you about this.”

Arthur made sure to lock the door after the candidate was gone. “Well. Is there any way I can convince you not to actually kill him?”

“He forced Eggsy to perform oral sex under duress of harming Eggsy’s pregnancy.”

Caradoc growled, “I’ll hold your coat.” Caradoc didn’t even know Eggsy that well, but he was always a protective sort and had five children of his own.

Arthur thought about it for a moment and thought about the reports he had been giving for the training in general. “You said that you’ve been dealing with more blowback from the candidates than usual. Is it because of Eggsy?”

Merlin thought about it, “In part. Several really haven’t figured out who Eggsy might be, why he’s there. Only one of the candidates really listens to Eggsy. I don’t like that they aren’t looking below the surface at all. Also, this is the first group where I have not presented as beta. That has lead to some...challenging behaviour. They want to show me they are ‘top dog’ in a way they don’t when I’m not carrying around my scent.”

Arthur grinned. He had a plan.

**************************

Eggsy had no idea why Merlin asked him to change into his Kingsman suit. But he did as Merlin asked, tying his shoes and smoothing his hair.

Merlin stood before him and adjusted his tie. “Ready for a bit of a show?”

“What’s going on Merlin?”

Merlin’s face was hard. “Justice.”

Oh fuck, Eggsy thought. It got worse when Arthur and Caradoc walked into the room.

“Turn on the feed.” Arthur said.

“Yes sir.” Merlin agreed and they watched footage from the candidate’s room where, sure enough, the alpha was bragging about getting rid of that omega chav. And how dumb the Kingsman were, not even seeing his lie. And then he called Eggsy a slut and talked about how he looked on his knees.

Merlin turned off the feed, touched Eggsy’s neck.“ Sir?” He asked, keeping a hand on Eggsy.

“Oh yes. It is time.” Arthur looked at Eggsy. “I am so sorry lad. The Kingsman stand beside you and whatever you need - it is yours.”

Caradoc nodded. “I also apologize Kay. And wish to congratulate you on your pregnancy. I have a beautiful antique crib and rocking chair. I would love to gift them to you.”

Eggsy was confused. The few times he had ended up on Smith Street, Dean had talked about Eggsy just like that alpha fuck had. His mom wouldn’t look him in the eye for a few days. This support, this care, was just unknown to him.

“We walk.” Arthur said. And all four went to the training room.

 

Every candidate snapped to attention when the agents walked in.

“Good evening. I am Arthur.” If possible their spines stiffened even more. “This is Agent Caradoc, Agent Kay, and Merlin.” Several of the candidates couldn’t stop their reaction at the news that Eggsy was a member of the table. “One of you came to us with a complaint of Agent Kay abusing his authority over you. I would like to make clear that the Kingsman have full faith in Agent Kay. He more than proved himself the day he defeated Valentine and saved the world.” A few of the people who had treated Eggsy poorly paled. But the alpha kept the sneer on his face.

Caradoc stepped forward. “I ask that my candidate withdraw himself from this process of his own volition.”

The alpha stepped forward and laughed. “What? Over some omega slut who managed to suck his way onto the table? He wasn’t even that good.”

Merlin looked at Arthur who nodded.

He stepped into the middle of the room. “No, no. You have something to say how about you come here. Whisper it in my ear.”

Eggsy flinched at the tone in Merlin’s voice, and how aggressive his scent was becoming. The rest of the room could smell it, and a few of the other candidates backed away. But the alpha came forward, either not noticing, or not caring.

The young alpha got up into Merlin’s face, “You aren’t so tough. Can’t even keep your omega in his proper place.” The alpha might have been about to say more, but Merlin’s headbutt broke his nose.

Eggsy watched, stunned. He had seen Harry fight -- the video from the church was violent, bloody, but elegant. He had seen other agents fight with all their years of training, never even creasing their suits.

Merlin didn’t fight like that. He fought like a thug, a street rat. It was all raw punches, kicks, teeth. It was messy, ugly, and he just broke apart the young alpha. For every hit the candidate landed, Merlin had three in return.

Eggsy watched as the alpha fell to the ground and curled into a ball. Merlin just started to kick his kidneys. Eggsy turned to Arthur and Caradoc who were calmly watching. They seemed ready to let Merlin beat the guy to death.

Eggsy heard a whimper from one of the candidates.

Right. This was done. He walked over and wrapped his arms around Merlin’s waist. “Alisdair.” He whispered. Merlin immediately stood down. “Dair, I think you have proved your point.”

Merlin allowed Eggsy to pull him away from the prone form on the ground. Caradoc stepped forward. “He is still alive.” He said after checking for a pulse.

“He will be taken to an ER in the city and left there.” Arthur shot a dart into his neck. “With no memory of the last week. And several ounces of narcotics left in his pockets.” He glared at the candidates. “I am disappointed in this group of candidates as a whole. Only a few of you didn’t treat Eggsy poorly, didn’t try to show off to Merlin. If you can’t look beyond your own nose then what good are you to me as agents? Go put on your packs and run the obstacle course. Twice.”

The candidates all ran out the door.

“Merlin, I understand it’s been awhile since you had a dog.” Arthur said. “Congratulations on your new puppy.”

Merlin didn’t really register the words, his blood still up.

“Eggsy, clean up your alpha.” Arthur suggested. He and Caradoc left and Eggsy followed them, dragging Merlin in his wake. He didn’t really hear how Arthur called Merlin his.

Eggsy went to the bedroom that they had used a few times on the estate. He lead Merlin into the bathroom and started to clean up his knuckles.

Merlin winced, finally coming back to himself a bit. “I’m sorry lad. I didn’t mean for you to see me get like that.”

“Where’d you learn to fight like that?” Eggsy blew on Merlin’s knuckles to ease the sting of the antiseptic.

“Ran with a gang in my teens in Glasgow.” Merlin smiled that terrifying grin of his. “I was a bit of an enforcer.”

“I bet.” Eggsy finished cleaning his hands, put a few band aids in place. “You didn’t have to do that for me.”

“You would have done it yourself if you had medical clearance.” Merlin said easily. He moved his fingers a little. “Well, at least I didn’t break any of them.”

Eggsy just stared at the alpha. He lay a very gentle kiss on the lip that had been split in the fight. “No one has stood for me like that before.”

Merlin looked at Eggsy, “You deserve better. You deserve everything.”

“Sure, because of the baby. Because it’s Harry’s baby.” Eggsy tried to step away.

“Nae, lad.” Merlin looked him dead in the eye. “Because you are you.”

“Oh.” Eggsy had no real response for that. All he could do was kiss Merlin again.

Chapter Text

Eggsy woke up, terrified.

12 weeks.

They were seeing the doctor today. Merlin had held him tight all night long. He had pushed himself down the bed a little, curled his taller body around Eggsy so that he could keep his nose pressed against the omega’s nape the whole night through.

Eggsy extracted himself from Merlin, who grumbled at the loss of the omega before rolling over and burrowing into the blankets. He went to the bathroom and turned the shower on, taking a quick leak while waiting for the water to warm.

Since the kiss in the loo, Merlin had become more affectionate. They hadn’t kissed again, but Eggsy felt a shift in Merlin’s touches. Where before Eggsy felt that Merlin touched him out of duty, now there was this layer stripped away and Merlin was just…

A cuddle fiend.

In the kitchen he’d wrapped around Eggsy as Eggsy learned to cook. In the living room he’d haul Eggsy’s feet into his lap and just hold an ankle as he read. There had been hand holding as they walked their dogs, or an arm slung over Eggsy’s shoulders.

And he laughed. Merlin loved to be teased by Eggsy. The first time Eggsy had poked fun and rubbed Merlin’s head for luck, he waited for a yell, a punch. After Merlin got over the shock, he had dissolved into giggles. Eggsy never thought Merlin would ever giggle. But every time Eggsy cracked a joke, or they had Daisy over and played princess, or watched JB try to show the new pitbull who was boss, Merlin just would have this little giggle.

Eggsy thought if he died with that laugh in his ear, it would be a good way to go.

Eggsy snapped back to himself and realized he had been in the shower for an awful long time. He stepped out and dried off. He went to the bedroom and saw that Merlin had laid out his favourite jeans and a comfy sweatshirt. Eggsy pulled on the clothes and wondered for how much longer the jeans would fit. He made his way down to the kitchen where he saw three glasses of water.

“Need to drink that all in the next thirty minutes, we see the doctor in 90 and you need a full bladder according to the email she sent us.”

“Ugh. Pregnancy is weird.” Eggsy sat and started to pound back the water.

“At least ye never had morning sickness, that’s something.” Merlin put a bowl of porridge in front of him.

Eggsy pouted. Merlin added a few chocolate chips. There was the giggle.

And a kiss on the top of his head. Eggsy stopped breathing for a second, but Merlin didn’t seem to realize what he had done.

They finished their meal in companionable silence.

 

 

Eggsy was doing the have-to-pee dance and Merlin was trying not to laugh at him.

“At least we aren’t at a hospital where ye might have a delay.” Merlin shut up after Eggsy glared at him.

The doctor called them in and did her first scans, then let Eggsy run to the bathroom. He came back looking much happier.

“Okay then, would you like to see?” She asked.

“Fuck yeah!” Eggsy cheered. The doctor moved her monitor and Eggsy saw.the ultrasound.

It no longer looked like a bean.

Eggsy stared and stared. “Merlin, did it just wave at me?” Eggsy couldn’t stop himself from waving back.

“Aye, lad, seems so.” Merlin was also looking at the screen with awe. It was so little.

The doctor pointed out a few things. “The placenta looks good, growth is progressing well. I’d say you are out of the worst of it Eggsy.”

Eggsy didn’t care about decorum as he yelled in joy.

The doctor smiled. “I would prefer that you two continue what you’ve been doing with the scenting just to make sure that everything continues on this path. The goal is now to get you as close to 40 weeks as we can. I’m going to authorize light exercise and you can be apart for a few hours at a go, so long as you are still spending a good portion of the day together. Now would you like a few printouts to take?”

“A dozen should cover it.” Eggsy said grinning, still staring at the little monitor.

Once Eggsy was cleaned up and clutching the photos they had to go back to work. They were down three more candidates and right now they were working on gun training.

“Go on lad, show them how to do it.” Merlin said with a grin. He went back to the office and watched Eggsy work with the candidates, making notes on the couple who were still not as respectful to Eggsy as Merlin felt they should be. He noted the few who were weaker on weapons and watched as Eggsy helped them. He then saw Eggsy take the time to show off a little.

After that he was talking to the candidates, building a camaraderie that Merlin seldom had ever done. But that was fine -- it gave Merlin a chance to do a quick thing.

Eggsy returned to the office and sat at his desk all energized from his time on the range. He could see something was different and it took him a minute to place it. There were two of the sonogram photos where it looked like the baby was waving, now framed and beside his monitor.

Eggsy turned to Merlin but he was busy talking to Lancelot who was in China, so he let it be. He looked at the photos more than his computer screen.

A few hours later Merlin looked over to where Eggsy was playing games on his computer. “Shall we go out to dinner to celebrate successfully reaching 12 weeks? I could make a reservation at this beautiful little French Bistro, or perhaps this nice Moroccan restaurant, or -”

“Or the chip shop around the corner from home?” Eggsy asked hopefully.

“Or we could go to the chip shop.” Merlin agreed with a bit of a sigh. So much for taking Eggsy somewhere nice.

“You can buy me an extra piece of fish, a fancy fish.” Eggsy said. He grinned when Merlin laughed at that.

They made their way to the shop that they went to most Thursdays. Their regular girl noticed the bounce in Eggsy’s step.

“You look like you are in a good mood today.” She said after taking their order. “To go or stay today guys?”

“Stay I think.” Merlin said and Eggsy nodded.

“Here look!” Eggsy couldn’t contain himself any longer. He had no intention of making a specific announcement at work, a bunch already knew and the rest would figure it out. But dammit he was ready to shout it from the rooftops now. “Here’s my sprocket. 12 weeks today!” Eggsy had no idea why sprocket had popped out of his mouth, not baby or wee one, or a million other things. But sprocket felt like the right nickname for his kid.

Merlin grabbed napkins and went to one of the booths and began to clear it off a bit, while the girl cooed over the photo.

“No wonder you are in such a good mood! I’m totally sneaking you extra fries.” She winked. “You two are such a nice couple, I mean the way he always looks at you, I wish I had that. What are you two hoping for boy or girl?”

“Looks at me?” Eggsy looked over to where Merlin was setting out the plastic forks carefully on the paper napkins.

“Oh you know, like you hung the moon.” The girl giggled a little. “Usually older alphas have this smug look when they have an omega like you - that oh yeah look how awesome I am jackass look. But him, he looks...ugh what... humbled. That’s it. He looks humbled that you chose him, he seems in awe of you. Bet he’s been taking such good care of you, looks like the protective sort of alpha.”

“Yeah he is.” Eggsy said.

“Don’t worry about waiting - I’ll bring it over to you once it’s done.”

Eggsy wandered over to the table and sat.

“Ye okay there Eggsy?” Merlin was concerned about the blank look on Eggsy’s face.

“Wot?” Eggsy blinked. “Oh sure, she just asked what I was hoping for - boy or girl. Been so worried about keeping the sprocket alive, didn’t think about that.”

Merlin leaned back, “And now?”

“I think I’m supposed to say as long as it’s healthy that’s all that matters right?” Eggsy asked.

“That is what seems to be the common answer.” Merlin watched the girl come over with their fish and chips. And a candle that had clearly been in the bathroom. She lit it and smiled at them.

“Congrats again you two. You are going to be such great dads.”

They ate in silence for a few minutes.

“A girl. With Harry’s curls. I saw an old pic of him in a file, a little girl with his curls and eyes. That’d be nice wouldn’t it?” Eggsy said finally.

Merlin smiled a little sadly. “Aye lad, that would be nice indeed.”

“Yeah it would.” Eggsy mowed through his food. “Thanks for the frame by the way, the pics look aces. Sprocket’s already killing it.”

“I thought ye would like it.”

“You want one of the photos for your desk or somfing?” Eggsy asked with a mouth full of food.

“I hacked the files and have a wallet sized photo already in place.” Merlin said dryly.

Eggsy choked on a chip and Merlin giggled at his face.

“Wanker.” Eggsy threw a chip at him. “You don’t get one now.”

They finished their meal, talking about plans for the weekend, maybe taking Daisy out. On their walk home, Merlin slung his arm around Eggsy’s shoulders.

**************************************

Eggsy and Merlin didn’t talk about the gifts that started to show up.

Eggsy woke up to a framed sonogram photo on his bedside table. If he mentioned a hankering for food, it was in the house that night.

There was a copy of every princess movie ever made in the house for Daisy’s visits. New lotion in the bathroom that was supposed to help stop stretch marks.

Dress socks with skulls on them.

Nothing was ever wrapped or in a bag, they just appeared as if they had always been there. He would come out of the bedroom in the new socks, or sit and read a new horror novel that had to have been bought for him since Merlin didn’t read that stuff, but Merlin never commented. Eggsy could only catch him glancing at the items a time or two. But he’d have this smile on his face. This pleased little grin.

A couple weeks of this and Eggsy was confused.

He and Roxy went to lunch and he told her about everything, the extra affection, the little gifts, and how he had no idea what was going on.

“Come on Eggsy, it’s not that hard.” Roxy said laughing at him.

“Sure it is.” Eggsy pouted at her. “It don’t make sense.”

Roxy realized he wasn’t joking.

“Eggsy, he’s courting you.”

“No he ain’t.” Eggsy protested.

“Yes, Eggsy he is.” Roxy said firmly.

“No.” Eggsy protested. “Courting is all flash yeah. Like you don’t do it sly like this. You have to show it up to everyone, so that everyone can see you’re an alpha who can provide for the omega. Or like a production - singing at the pub in front of your friends, a flash trip, that sort of thing.”

“That’s how some might sure.” Roxy agreed. “But some prefer a quieter method. Think about Merlin, would he really be the type to give you flowers in front of the candidates, hand you lavish gifts in front of the other agents?”

“No, no that’s not him.” Eggsy agreed.

“Eggsy.” Roxy had wondered if she should tell him. When she had found out about what happened to Eggsy she went on a bit of a hunt. But looking at Eggsy’s face, seeing how confused he was, Roxy thought maybe telling him about what she had found, would help him out a bit. “Eggsy the alpha who hurt you. There is no record of him, anywhere. It’s like he never existed.”

“Arthur said he was to be dropped off at the hospital.”

“He was, and then poof. Just gone. No trace anywhere.”

“And how you know that?” Eggsy looked at her, felt his heart melt a bit. “Did you go for a piece yourself?”

“Maybe. But there is no piece to be found.” They both thought about the implications of that. Eggsy let it go, he couldn’t think about what that meant, not right now.

“So what do I do?” Eggsy asked as they finished off the last spring rolls.

“Well the question you need to answer Eggsy is this - do you want to be courted by Merlin?”

Eggsy looked a little lost. “I dunno. Didn’t think anyone would ever want me, not bonded like. Certainly not when I’m up the duff with another alpha’s babe. We never even talked about what happens when sprocket gets here. He’s given up so much for me, can’t ask him to be a Da on top of that. Not when the chances are I could never give him a kid of his own.”

“Oh Eggsy, do you really think he would care about that?” Roxy asked.

Eggsy didn’t have an answer.

“Don’t worry about that right now. What you need to figure out is do you want a relationship, a real relationship with Merlin. Because if you don’t, you need to stop it now, before his heart is broken. Maybe before your heart is broken.”

“Rox.” Eggsy said.

She came around the table and hugged him. “See this, this is why I give the whole love forever thing a pass.”

They sat there and cracked open their fortune cookies.

Eggsy stared at his: Your shoes will make you happy today.

Well that was useless. His shoes made him happy every day.

**************************************

A week later and Eggsy still had no answers. But he had a craving for pizza. So Merlin called in their order, with the extra pepperoni and pineapple that Eggsy wanted, and tossed his wallet to Eggsy.

“I’ll have a quick shower then. Get the day off me.” A candidate had failed out of gun training, which meant it was just about time for the Halo jump, prepping that was always a lot of work and Merlin was tired.

“Sure guv.” Eggsy said, not looking up from his game on his phone. He felt Merlin’s fingers brush his neck. He wanted to lean into the touch but it was already gone.

20 minutes later the food arrived and Eggsy greeted the guy. The chatted for a minute and Eggsy handed over the cash. He was closing up the wallet when he realized something.

There was a photo of the sonogram there.

Merlin hadn’t been joking.

“Your pizza Eggsy.” The guy said.

“Oh right thanks.” Eggsy brought it to the kitchen and went upstairs.. “Your wallet is on your table,” he called out to Merlin.

“Thanks.” Merlin said coming out wearing a towel. Eggsy looked at him, the tattoos, the coiled muscles, how damn strong he was. He was so fit and gorgeous. Eggsy wanted to lick him, he realized. Just devour the alpha.

Eggsy blushed and bolted for the stairs, wondering just where that idea had come from. He ate quickly, not really talking to Merlin. He then went to finish the book he was in the middle of.

Merlin came in and automatically pulled Eggsy’s feet into his lap. Eggsy tried not to react too much to his touch.

Crap, Eggsy thought that night in bed when Merlin wrapped his arms around Eggsy, scented his nape. He wondered what he was going to do.

*************************

The next day Eggsy lightly jogged a simplified obstacle course and felt amazing. He went to the showers and scrubbed down. He noticed that his stomach was just starting to soften, curve a little.

“Hello sprocket.” He said quietly.

Eggsy went to his locker to get dressed and saw the new Adidas sitting at the bottom, a pair he had lusted after in the shop window one day when they were walking the dogs.

Of course they fit perfectly.

Eggsy went to the office where Merlin was typing away, trying to break some code. Eggsy looked at the photos on his desk. Thought about the photo in Merlin’s wallet, and how Merlin had been making him feel recently.

“Merlin.” Eggsy said softly. He stayed near the door.

“Hmmm.” Merlin was only a little bit paying attention, so focused on his computer screen.

“Merlin are you courting me?” Eggsy asked, terrified that he maybe had it wrong.

There was a pause in the typing before he began again.

“Nae lad, they are just little gifts to make you smile, to make ye happy.” He finally said.

“That’s sort of the definition of a courting present, innit?” Eggsy asked, still hovering by the door.

Merlin refused to look away from the screen. “I know you could never be mine.”

 

Oh.

 

Oh.

 

Eggsy had been so focused on himself, his feelings through all this, he hadn’t really been thinking about Merlin. He had wondered why Merlin would want him, and hadn’t realized that Merlin would be wondering why Eggsy would want him. Roxy had been right, he could easily break the alpha’s heart.

He didn’t want to.

“Alisdair. I maybe could be.” Eggsy said before walking out of the room.

Merlin wasn’t able to type for five minutes.

***************************

Merlin got home a couple hours after Eggsy that night. Eggsy was already reading in bed when he got in. Merlin had a quick shower and toweled off, threw on his pajama bottoms.

He crawled into bed, and froze as Eggsy moved his leg so that they were touching.

It was the first time Eggsy had initiated contact.

Merlin let out a breath and pulled open his table to grab his own book.

But it wasn’t what he had been reading.

Instead there was a copy of Jane Eyre. A new copy. An old copy. Not a first edition or anything, but just a beautiful hardback with a lovely drawing of Thornefield Hall on the front.

He pulled it out and opened it carefully. He settled into the comforting words and tried not to think about what the book meant.

That it was a courting gift.

That maybe indeed, there was a chance that Eggsy could be his.

Chapter Text

“Falkirk.” Eggsy stared at the pitbull, who had grown so much in the last few weeks. He then looked up to Merlin who was smiling proudly. “Weeks. It takes you weeks to think of a better name for the dog than what that fuckhead gave him and you come up with Falkirk.”

“Aye.” Merlin still looked pleased with himself. He pet Falkirk’s head and the dog leaned into him, joyous at his master’s pets.

“Falkirk.”

“It’s a city that I have fond memories of. It seemed to suit him.” Merlin was as close to a pout as Eggsy had seen him.

“You thought about just naming him Dog didn’t you?” Eggsy said looking at Merlin.

It took Merlin a little too long to answer. “Nae. I wouldn’t have done that.” He finally said, turning just a little red.

“Oh god. You did. You thought about calling him Dog. You were going to name him Dog.” Eggsy had to sit down he was laughing so hard. Merlin and Falkirk just stood there waiting for the fit to stop.

“It’s not that funny.” Merlin grumbled as Eggsy wound down. He thought the name Falkirk quite suited the dog.

“It really, really is Dair.” Eggsy stood up. “I’m making tea. You want?”

“Yes, please.” Merlin said.

Eggsy nudged Merlin as he walked by, an affectionate push. “See if I let your name our kid. Falkirk.” He was still laughing at he left the room.

Falkirk whined when his master didn’t move.

“Sorry boy.” Merlin said. Eggsy’s comment had been a one two punch to the gut.

He still wasn’t used to Eggsy calling him by his given name but he was doing that more and more at home. Harry had always said it with a smirk and a wink - usually when they were about to get in trouble. But Eggsy, said it with an honest smile, and a great deal of affection.

And then to follow it up by saying ‘our’ kid. Merlin knew it was a slip of the tongue, just a throw away sentence. The lad would have no idea how often Merlin wished the bairn was his, that he could even call it his. He didn’t want to pretend that Harry wasn’t the biological father. He just wanted...he wanted to be a Da.

He looked at the sonogram photo in his wallet at least twice a day. He had started a college fund and had a box of baby books already accumulated, including a count to 10 Jane Eyre book. He kept pregnancy and baby forums up on his computer while watching the dwindling number of recruits. He had already researched cribs and had a bunch bookmarked.

But he never mentioned any of this. Because while Eggsy had let him begin a courting process, while he thought they were moving towards a real relationship, that didn’t mean Eggsy would stay after the bairn was born, didn’t mean that it would work out. Merlin had learned long ago not to expect the fates to favour him.

Merlin hoped though. Oh, how he hoped.

Eggsy came back in with tea and some biscuits, and they settled in with their books Eggsy automatically threw his feet onto Merlin’s lap, but instead of sitting up, he lay flat down. And Merlin realized something.

“Ye are starting to show.” Merlin looked at the small swell of stomach. Just the barest of curves, but he could see it.

“Yup, going to have to get new clothes soon. Been looking. Do you know how much maternity clothes for men still blow?” Eggsy didn’t look up from his book.

“Going to live in tracksuits are ye?” Merlin asked.

“Prolly, but I want to look nice occasionally too. I dunno, I’ll figure out.” Eggsy snuggled into the couch more.

 

The next day Merlin was discussing pregnancy wear with the tailors at the front shop. And a few days later Eggsy had several new custom made items placed into his closet. Merlin left in the morning before Eggsy was aware of the additions to his wardrobe.

Eggsy didn’t say anything directly, but wore the a pair of the trousers and new shirt. They sat in the office, eating sandwiches.

“Looking good, Eggsy.” Merlin said quietly.

He watched Eggsy duck a little away -- the lad really didn’t know how to handle a compliment. But Merlin was hoping he’d get used to them eventually.

“So what’s on the docket with the recruits, got to admit I didn’t expect this many to still be sticking around. Good for Arthur though, two of these might make the cut.”

“Indeed they’ve come along better than I expected. But it is time for us to start being a little more rigorous with them.”

“Like we haven’t been doing that?”

“I was thinking they should spar with Lancelot.” Merlin grinned. “The one lasts the shortest time is out.”

“That’s just cold, man. She’ll destroy them.”

“Aye, but they are all a little weaker at hand to hand than they should be. This is a group that seems to want to rely on weapons or tech. They need to be able to rely on themselves. For the five that survive we do a week of intensive hand to hand training, before the next elimination task.”

Eggsy thought about it. “Yeah, that actually sounds smart. And a couple of the alphas will underestimate her.”

“Only a couple? Which is the one you think won’t?”

“Phillip. He’s careful, seems best at assessing people.” Eggsy said. “I’m thinking he makes the final three. Only one I would put money on right now.”

“I would add Clara to that myself. She needs to think around corners better, but she’s the fastest learner of them.”

Eggsy nodded in agreement.

He packed up their leftovers. “You know you don’t have to keep doing all this you know.” Eggsy gestured to the new clothes. “I gave the return gift, that means you can just go at it, yeah? Don’t need to keep impressing me.”

Merlin was disappointed. “If ye don’t like the gifts, I can stop.”

Eggsy bit his lip. “No!” Merlin watched him close his eyes, collect his thoughts. “I like them. I like how much thought you put into them. But it’s just, why do you keep at it?”

Merlin was a little confused. “Why wouldn’t I keep at it, as you say?”

“Because I’ve said yes. Seems like a waste of your money.” Eggsy shrugged.

Merlin realized somewhere along the way they missed out on having a very important conversation. He and Eggsy were apparently not quite on the same page here.

He did some quick thinking. “Six candidates left. Roxy fights 3 in a day. 2 days for that and then a week of training. After that we allow a 48 hour break. During that break you and I will go on a proper date and have a conversation about what we think is happening here. Do that work for you, Eggsy?”

“Sure, guv. Sounds like a plan.”

“Would you prefer I not give you any more gifts until then?”

Eggsy looked a little relieved. “That’d be aces. I like the gifts, but I don’t feel like I could ever give you enough in return.”

Merlin sighed a little. “I don’t give them out of any expectations other than to see you smile. Ye have a gorgeous smile.”

“So do you. I like when you giggle.” Eggsy blurted out, the words slurring together. It was the first compliment Eggsy had given Merlin. Merlin felt his shoulders straighten a little, but stopped himself from full out preening.

They set about creating an order for the candidates and Eggsy shot an email to Roxy to see if she would be okay with the plan. They set it for the day after tomorrow. Merlin was the one who went to tell the candidates and came back pleased with how terrified they had looked at the prospect.

Merlin saw that he had a message waiting from Caradoc. He opened it and realized the agent was going to need some guidance. He looked over to where Eggsy was looking over the candidate files.

“Eggsy, Caradoc is going live on his mission. It is a party at an estate in Vienna. We have the floorplans. He is just looking to plant bugs, gather some intel if he can, maybe break into the office safe. Would ye like to be in his ear?”

He watched Eggsy’s eyes go wide.

“You sure Merlin?” Eggsy asked nerves in his voice.

“Ye have been working with me for weeks now, I know ye’ve been paying attention. You are ready for this.” Merlin looked at Eggsy and walked over, he pressed his hand into Eggsy’s neck, ran his nose along the omega’s cheek, his alpha scent soothing him. “You can do this Kay.” Merlin said, deliberately using the code name.

“Okay. Right. Saved the world. I can do this.” Eggsy pulled up files on his computer, and turned on his computer, put an ear bud in. “Caradoc, this is Kay. Are you fine with me being in your ear?” There was a pause. “Okay then, let’s do this.”

3 hours later it was done. Eggsy carefully signed off with Caradoc, and typed up a few quick notes.

Merlin had stopped pretending to be doing his own work an hour ago and just watched Eggsy. He moved a lot more than Merlin, fingers always twitching, foot tapping, but anytime Caradoc needed something, Eggsy was able to figure it out and get it for him.

Merlin watched Eggsy pull out the ear bud and stand. Merlin stood as well moving over a bit ready to congratulate Eggsy on a job well done, but before he could say anything he had arms full of omega.

Eggsy was holding him tight, laughing.

And then Eggsy’s mouth was on Merlin’s. It was a hard kiss, fueled by adrenaline. Before Merlin could even respond to it, Eggsy was pulling away, still laughing.

“Goddamn, that was almost as good as the real thing yeah? Got Caradoc through it, even got into the safe. Kicked fucking ass.” Eggsy was giddy. “Okay I need chocolate - I totally get a reward piece of chocolate for that.”

“Aye lad, ye do at that.” Merlin reached into his desk and threw a flake bar at Eggsy. He had tried to buy him these fancy truffles and Eggsy liked them, but he liked the stuff from Tesco’s best.

“Very cool.” Eggsy said, chomping through the chocolate.

“Ye are.” Merlin said. Eggsy just rolled his eyes.

*****************************

They had both been right, Phillip and Clara both survived fighting Roxy, and one of the Alphas was out.

Eggsy couldn’t participate in the next week’s training as much as he would have liked, but he was able to pinpoint when people weren’t using their bodies as well as they could. And he enjoyed watching Merlin train them hard.

Merlin enjoyed how Eggsy rubbed his shoulders before bed.

On the last day of the training, while Eggsy was on the comms again,  Merlin informed the five candidates that they would be having a 48 hour break and were free to enjoy the estate at will.

They cheered.

Merlin walked back to an empty office; , Eggsy must have finished his work. He made a call to confirm the reservations he made for the next day.

It wasn’t long before Eggsy came running in. “Water!” He yelled, and Merlin tossed him a bottle.

Merlin was worried about the look on Eggsy’s face. “Eggsy what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, just ran into Doc. She said that at 19 weeks I should have an ultrasound to check a few things out. And maybe find out Sprocket’s sex. She offered to do it next week, but I ain’t delaying. So have to do the chug water thing.” And Eggsy drained the bottle. Merlin passed him another.

“May I-” Merlin began to ask.

“Duh, I ain’t going in there without you.” Eggsy said. “You need an updated photo for your wallet anyways.”

“Ah.” Merlin decided to be busy on his computer.

“I had thought you had been joking about already having a photo. Who hacks into medical files instead of just asking for a pic?”

“I didn’t want to impose.” Merlin explained.

“Merlin.” Eggsy walked over, pulled out Merlin’s chair and spun it. He took advantage of their position and leaned over Merlin. Merlin could smell that beautiful mix of orange and anise that was blooming stronger out of Eggsy’s every week. Merlin breathed deeply. And almost missed when Eggsy said, “Merlin, impose.” There was a kiss on Merlin’s head and Eggsy was gone.

90 minutes later, Eggsy was laid out on the medical bed. The doctor was looking at the screen a lot and making her notes, taking all her measurements.

Merlin smiled as Eggsy began to tap his fingers in excitement. He held out his hand and smiled as Eggsy gripped him tight.

“Well Mr. Unwin, at the moment, I would consider your status as textbook.”

“Really?” Eggsy asked.

“Yes. Really.” The doctor smiled. “Everything is strong and in place, the fetus’s measurements are all on point for 19 weeks. I want you to keep doing what you are doing, but I think you might want to start working on the nursery, the middle of the pregnancy goes quickly.”

Merlin forced back a smile as Eggsy tried to act so nonchalant. “And any ideas of what colours I might be interested in rolling with?”

The doctor laughed a little. “Well as you can see here,” She moved the screen so they could see. “Oh it was clear just a moment ago.”

Merlin watched as the fetus rolled over a little more.

“Tell me the little shit didn’t just moon me. Merlin, tell me sprocket didn’t just fucking moon me.” Eggsy looked at Merlin. “Did my kid just troll me?”

And Merlin couldn’t stop laughing. “Aye. Did ye expect less? The bairn’s fathers are both cheeky bastards.”

“I’m not that bad!” Eggsy protested. He kept looking at the screen. “Come on sprocket, please. Please.” Eggsy poked at his stomach a little. But the fetus seemed to just moon him even more.

Merlin couldn’t resist and put his hand on the soft swell. He leaned down. “Ah, sweet bairn, cut your Daddy a little slack, ye will have plenty of time to make him suffer once ye are out.”

It was all Merlin could do to not kiss that skin.

“Holy shit.” Eggsy said.

Merlin looked up and watched as the fetus rolled back over.

“Well, it seems your daughter likes her alpha papa’s voice.” The doctor said. She winced. “Forgive me.”

But neither man paid attention to her or her slip. The were looking at the monitor.

“Daughter.” Eggsy said on a whisper. “My girl.”

“It seems you got your wish, lad.” Merlin said.

“Yeah, I’m never lucky like that.”

"Well if I may say so, it seems your luck is definitely taking a turn Mr. Unwin. This type of scent therapy doesn’t work this effectively for many people. You were fortunate to find such a suitable alpha to help you.”

“Merlin’s the guv.” Eggsy said, like that was enough. “Going to go with need 2 dozen copies this time.”

Eggsy cleaned himself off. “We’re celebrating this right? My girl, my little girl.” Eggsy couldn’t stop touching his stomach.

“Tomorrow night, remember, I made a reservation. This time ye are letting me take you to a nice restaurant. A proper courting date.” Merlin said sternly. But then he smiled. “But we can go to the chip shop tonight if ye like.”

“Nah, can we go see Mum and Dais?” Eggsy asked. “Want to share this with them.”

“Of course.” Merlin agreed easily.

They went to see Michelle and Daisy. Michelle got weepy over the ultrasound, Daisy didn’t care. All she cared about was the new stuffed animal Merlin brought her.

“I thought you cut gifts out.” Eggsy whispered as Daisy hugged the toy.

“Aye, to you. Spoiling the wee lass, well that’s not you, now is it?” Merlin smirked. “Michelle, I happen to know someone who works on Coronation Street and arranged an on set tour for you and two friends.”

Michelle gasped and pulled Merlin into an excited hug.

Merlin just smiled when Eggsy flipped him off. He wondered if Eggsy had realized that Merlin had said no gifts until their date. Merlin had a few things planned for the date.

********************************

Eggsy was nervous. He didn’t know why, it was just a date. No big deal, he had had a bunch of them.

But he was just staring at his wardrobe. He had been for the last 20 minutes.

Merlin had left at noon, saying he needed to take care of a few things before their dinner at 6:30. He had assured Eggsy that he didn’t have to make his own way to the restaurant, that a car would be arranged and Merlin would meet him there.

He had told him to dress nice, but be comfortable. Eggsy had no idea what that meant.

He called Roxy. “Rox what does nice but comfortable mean?”

There was silence. Eggsy huffed out a sigh. “Hello Roxy, how are you doing?”

“Very well thank you. And yourself?”

“Freaking out a bit.” Eggsy admitted. “I’m going on a date with Merlin tonight, and he said dress nice but comfortable. I don’t know what that means.”

“Hmmm, do you have black trousers?”

“Yeah, that have a chalk pinstripe.”

“That’s good.” Roxy said. “Wear those with a shirt shirt and maybe a tie that is black, or maybe with a bit of red. Simple, classic.”

“Okay. Okay. Good yeah.” Eggsy was still nervous though. “He said we need to have a proper date and talk about all of this courting stuff.”

Eggsy pulled the phone away from his ear as Roxy squealed. “So, that was loud.”

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. He said that, really?” Roxy asked.

“Yeah I sort of mentioned that he didn’t need to keep giving me courting gifts. I gave my return one. So it’s all done yeah, he don’t need to flash anymore, I’m a sealed deal.” Eggsy explained. Wondered when the people around him got dumb.

“Eggsy, have you researched traditional courting at all?” Roxy asked.

“Yes?” He replied. Again there was just silence. “No.”

“He’s going to keep giving you gifts. He’s trying to prove that he can take care of you, that he will support you, that he understands you. He’s showing how much he values you.”

“Oh.” Eggsy’s tummy felt funny and he didn’t think he could blame sprocket. “And why you so excited about the date?”

“Because if he’s playing this by the book, this is his presentation date.”

“I don’t know what that means.” Eggsy was getting impatient.

“It means that he’s going to make himself look as good as possible. He’s going to dress up, try to look like a fit alpha.”

Eggsy snorted. “Have you seen him? He’s fit as fuck.”

“Eggsy.” Roxy was also getting impatient. “He’s going to present to you why he would be a good alpha for you to be with. This is where he talks about your future together, where he outlines his hopes and plans. He’ll probably have a super nice gift, one that cost a fair bit. This is where you make a commitment Eggsy, if that is what you want.”

“Oh fuck.” Eggsy sat on the bed. “It’s all of that?”

“Maybe? I mean it might just be a nice date, but he’s been giving you the courting gifts for a few weeks now. And you responded with your own. Has there been more affection?”

Eggsy thought about it. “Yeah. Yeah there has been.”

“He won’t expect an answer then and there. He’ll give you all the time you need. Just don’t reject the gift outright Eggsy.” Roxy paused. “I know you, you might say no because it’s too much and you think you don’t deserve it. But if you reject it then and there, you reject him. Permanently Eggsy.”

“Cause I needed more pressure.” Eggsy said.

“Is it so wrong to be romanced Eggsy?” Roxy asked quietly. “Is it so wrong that he is doing all of this for you?”

“Yes, because he’s Merlin and he can do better than me.”

“Oh Eggsy, I don’t think for him that there is better than you. Good luck.” Roxy hung up.

Eggsy looked at his clothes. Wore what Roxy suggested.

At 6:10, the door rang, and there was a driver with a Bentley. “Mr. Finlay asked me to pick you up and take you to dinner.”

“Sure bruv. Let me just feed the dogs and lock up.” Eggsy put out food and gave the dogs a good pet. “We’ll be back later. Kirk take care of JB, JB take care of Kirk.” Eggsy went out the door and got in the gorgeous car.

They pulled up to a set of doors.

“The fucking Savoy?” Eggsy said.

“Indeed sir.” The man opened his door. “There will be a gentleman just inside who will direct you as to where to go. Just give your name.”

Eggsy walked in, still gobsmacked. There was a man in a suit and name tag standing a few feet inside. “Um, I’m Eggsy Unwin, the driver said to talk to someone.”

“Yes sir. If you will come with me please. Mr. Finlay is waiting.” Eggsy followed the man, only they didn’t go where Eggsy could smell food. Instead they went to a bank of elevators, where the man needed a key just to open the elevator. They rode up in silence and walked down a hallway. There weren’t a lot of doors in the hall. They stopped and the man handed him a key. “Please enjoy your stay sir.”

Eggsy took a breath and opened the door.

***************************

Merlin stood in the sitting room by the small table that had been set up, food being kept warm on serving trays. He adjusted his tie and wish he felt as comfortable in formal clothes as Harry had been. It felt like a costume, but it was important to dress well.

He heard the door open and straightened his shoulders even more. He knew his already strong scent was projecting even more and his heart was racing.

Eggsy came in. He looked amazing. “Eggsy you look -”

“No.” Eggsy said just shaking his head. “No.”

Merlin could feel his heart cracking. He looked down at himself, at the room. “What did I do wrong?”

“You are in a fucking tux!” Eggsy gestured. “This is the goddamn Savoy.”

“It’s an evening suit, more than a proper tux.” Merlin said. “And I was going to have us down in the restaurant but I thought privacy for this conversation would be better. I am sorry I misunderstood and misstepped. I’ll call the car.” Merlin’s voice was stiff.

“Do you even know how fucking gorgeous you look right now?” Eggsy was almost yelling. “I mean come on! What are you doing looking so bloody perfect, doing all this for me? I’m just a bloke who got a bit lucky job wise. A cheap omega who got knocked up after a one night stand with a gent who I thought was fit.”

Merlin had stepped away from the phone. “Ye loved Harry.”

“No I didn’t Dair, not a whit.” Eggsy said. Merlin actually staggered under the weight of those words. “I could have, one day I could have, probably would have. But it was awe, hero worship, and frankly being horny after being confined for months with the other candidates. We thought each other fit, liked each other and had a shag. But I got knocked up, and he got dead.”

“Eggsy,” Merlin stepped a little closer. “Ye don’t have to downplay your feelings for him. I am okay with you still loving him.”

“Alisdair, I know I didn’t love him, because he never made me feel a fifth of what I do when you give me that fucking giggle of yours.”

“Oh,” was all Merlin could come up with.

“Oh.” Eggsy agreed. Eggsy paced the room a little, clearly trying to collect his thoughts. Merlin saw him glance at the door a couple times, like he was planning to bolt.

“Do you hate me for not loving him?” Eggsy asked. His scent had been yo-yoing since he had walked into the room, and near as Merlin could tell now their was just a scent of defeat.

“Why would I hate ye for that Eggsy?” Merlin asked. He wanted to wrap the lad in a hug but didn’t dare step closer. He knew his own scent could too easily overwhelm the omega.

“Because he was your best friend. Because you would want better for him. Because I never told you the truth whenever you mentioned me loving him.”

Merlin thought his response through carefully and said simply. “I doubt I could ever hate you. And certainly never for the truth of your heart.”

Merlin felt his shoulders relax as Eggsy stopped looking at the door.

“Yeah?” Eggsy asked stepping a little closer.

“Aye.” Merlin agreed.

He watched Eggsy close his eyes and take a few calming breaths. Merlin breathed in and realized that Eggsy was smelling calmer, more at peace.

“Okay, so tonight is a big deal yeah?” Eggsy asked, clearly wanted to move on.

“Yes.” Merlin replied.

“Well then, I guess you should feed me you gorgeous bastard and then you can do your little talk thing.” The tone was a little more shaky than Eggsy might have liked, but Merlin understood the sentiment.

Merlin tried to collect his thoughts, bring back the evening to what he had originally planned. He pulled out Eggsy’s chair and lifted the lid off the food. He moved around the small table and sat at his place. They dug into the food, not talking, Merlin enjoying Eggsy’s groans of pleasure at the taste.

They finished, and Merlin covered the dishes and pushed the table out into the hall. Merlin held out a hand and Eggsy took it. They sat on the couch.

“Ye know your rant when ye came in has sort of destroyed everything I was planning to say.” Merlin had to admit.

“What were you going to say?”

“I was going to talk about how I could never replace Harry or compare, but hope that maybe you could give me a small corner of your heart. I could be very satisfied with that.”

“I think it might be time for you and I to set aside the ghost of Harry.” Eggsy said. Merlin just looked at him. “I want sprocket to know about him, know who her biological alpha was. But for you and I, we need to stop putting him in between us.”

Merlin let out a breath. He knew he had been holding too tight to the memory of Harry. That maybe he had been using him a little to hold back. Eggsy was right. Any hint of nerves that were in Merlin’s scent left, and the alpha just smelled like hope. Like love.

Merlin reached to the table with his free hand and grabbed his clipboard. He endured Eggsy’s laugh a little bit.

“I am not the best at romance Eggsy. I’m Scottish and grew up poor. So I tend to be practical when it comes to these sorts of things.” Merlin handed Eggsy the first sheet. “My finances.”

He watched Eggsy glance over the numbers. “There are a lot of zeros here, Dair.”

“Aye, I’ve been smart with my money. I can take care of ye and the wee bairn. I know ye pull a good salary on your own, but ye would have full access. I’ve already started a college fund and if you agree to be my omega, my will shall be changed leaving you everything, with a trust for the lass.”

Merlin handed him another piece of paper. “A full medical report on myself. I am in good health. I know I am older than ye, a fair bit, but I like to think that I’ll be able to keep up with ye for a while yet.”

“I’ve seen you fight Merlin, I know you are fit.” Eggsy put the pages down.

Merlin was about to hand him more.

“No Dair, just talk to me.” Eggsy took the clipboard and put it down. “Tell me what you want. Tell me what you hope for us.”

Merlin looked at Eggsy’s beautiful eyes. He leaned in a little and Eggsy tilted his head. Merlin breathed in that beautiful scent.

“I want to be yours.” Merlin said into his neck. He felt Eggsy jerk back.

“That’s not how it works, guv. I become yours remember I’m the omega here?” Eggsy said.

“Aye, and I know it is old fashioned, but I believe that the alpha exists to serve the omega. I want to be yours, to protect you, offer you shelter, to worship you.” Merlin explained carefully.

“I want you to stay. Please stay. Please stay with me. I want ye in my bed, in my life. Forever if that is possible. I want to be one of the first to hold the bairn, I want to trip over baby toys. I want to deal with 2am crying and teach her to walk.”

“I might not be able to have another child.”

“I dinnae care.” Merlin said. “If I can have ye, if I can have the bairn here, I’ll be happy.”

Merlin looked at Eggsy, “Lad, I want to claim you. I want to mark ye as soon as we medically can.” He reached back to the table and handed a couple pages to Eggsy. “A gift for you to prove my sincerity and wishes for our future.”

Eggsy was a little scared to look. At first he didn’t understand. He flipped through the pages. “It’s a nursery.”

“Aye, it’s the space across from our bedroom, the spare room. It is close but still gives us our space.”

It was full plans, bookmarked furniture, painting samples, sketches. “It is a fully planned out nursery.”

“If ye accept I can make a phone call. We stay here for the next two nights so the paint smell doesn’t bother ye and when we get home, the nursery will be fully ready. Caradoc will lead the designers I hired to do the room and look after the dogs.”

“It’s not pink.” Eggsy said.

“Did ye want pink, I am sure the team could come up with something quickly.” Merlin was sweating a little. Eggsy was not reacting in any of the ways he had expected.

“No.” Eggsy looked at the design - it was a magical forest, a mural of trees and a distant castle, fairy lights strung across the ceiling. A dark wood crib, with matching chair and change table. “It’s perfect. It’s fucking perfect Alisdair. Our girl will love this room.”

Merlin realized that this time it wasn’t a slip of the tongue, that Eggsy meant to call the bairn theirs.

“I promise to take care of you and the bairn, to love ye and support ye. I’ll be in your ear on missions, and keep ye safe. Bring ye home to us. I promise that when ye are home, I will adore ye, worship ye. Let me be yours Eggsy, let me have ye.”

“This is has all been romantic and beautiful but ummm, I have to ask, do you ummm.” Eggsy flushed a little. “Would you want to, you know? Please tell me you know.”

It took a moment for Merlin to catch on. His grin was wicked and he wrapped his fingers hard around Eggsy’s neck, pressing firmly against his scent gland. He pulled Eggsy in and lay his lips across Eggsy’s. It was a slow kiss, but firm and deep. When he pulled away, he let his teeth linger over Eggsy’s lower lip, tugging with just a bit of pressure. “Oh Eggsy, do I want to do very naughty things to ye. When I say worship, I mean every goddamn inch of ye. I want to kiss and lick ye all over, I want to watch ye ride my cock, until ye are wrecked, until we are both lost. I want to fall asleep locked into ye and when we wake up do it all over again.”

“Okay then.” Merlin watched Eggsy swallow and realized there was an extra scent in the air, that Eggsy’s body had released some slick at the speech. Merlin groaned --  Eggsy smelled even more delightful.

Merlin’s alpha scent grew stronger in response, wrapped around the omega. They just sat there, close, breathing each other in.

“I’m not perfect.” Eggsy said.

“God, I know that.” Merlin agreed. “My desire for ye doesn’t make me completely blind. But it doesn’t make me want ye any less.”

“Roxy said I could have all the time I wanted to think over your proposal.”

“Ye can. We can pack up and go home and ye can take as long as ye need. I’ll not push you Eggsy.”

Eggsy stood and walked over to the door, looking at the bedroom that had a view of the river. “This room is amazing, Dair. Seems like a waste to leave.” He came back to the table. “Even if I’m not quite ready for sex yet.”

“I don’t mind.” Merlin said. He could always wank in the shower if he had to.

“But maybe you call Caradoc and tell those designers to get to work. And then we make out a little before snuggling in that bed.”

“Eggsy, are ye sure?” Merlin asked. His heart was in his throat.

“Merlin I accept you as my alpha and after the pregnancy I will want you to claim me, to bite and mark me. Forever.”

Merlin stood and moved over to Eggsy. Eggsy looked ready to be ravished, but Merlin kissed him gently. “I will take good care of ye Eggsy. I will take such care of ye and the bairn.”

“I will do the same.” Eggsy promised. “Make the damn call. I’m going to go bounce on the bed.” Eggsy walked into the bedroom.

Merlin called Caradoc and asked him to begin work on the nursery. Merlin hung up in the middle of the man’s cheers.

Merlin went to where his omega, his promised omega, was waiting.

Chapter Text

It had taken another few weeks, but they were down to three candidates. The train test was scheduled to take place in two days time, so Arthur called a meeting with Eggsy and Merlin.

“Gentleman, this is your last chance to offer an alternate to the dog test.” Arthur sat across from them and just watched. Merlin clearly had nothing, but Eggsy’s fingers were restless over the swell of his stomach. “Kay? Do you have something?”

Eggsy bit his lip and made sure to not look at Merlin. “Yeah?”

“Kay.” Arthur said.

“I do, only don’t think either of you will clear it.” Eggsy admitted.

Arthur leaned back in his chair. “Well, now I am intrigued. What is your idea?”

“They shoot me.” Eggsy said plainly. Arthur raised a brow.

“Nae!” Merlin growled out. His scent was screaming, a mix of protection and blank anger.

“Merlin, I’m fine, it’s okay, it’s just a suggestion, we’ll drop it.” Eggsy said soothingly. Ever since they had agreed to bond, and Eggsy’s pregnancy became increasingly obvious, Merlin had grown more protective.

And hovery.

And fussy.

Eggsy still felt bad for the company that made the crib and delivered it two days late. But not that bad; Merlin had scared the delivery men so bad that the manager gave them a  gift card that scored them a bassinet for the living room.

Still, Eggsy occasionally had  to remind Merlin that he could in fact take care of himself. He didn’t need his prenatal vitamin handed to him, he didn’t need the temperature in the house adjusted, and no Merlin didn’t have to go beat up the gent who had winked at him when they were walking in the park.

But he liked the extra attention at other times. Merlin rubbing lotion onto his every growing stomach. The way he checked and rechecked the nursery for any safety flaws.

The way he now slept naked so that Eggsy could feel the whole of the alpha against him.

He definitely liked that part.

The shared showers were nice too. It was considerate of Merlin, making sure he didn’t fall.

They still hadn’t had sex yet, not all the way, but there had been plenty of kisses and touches. Eggsy was eager for more, but also was enjoying this slow experience. He had always just hopped into bed wham bam thank you ma’am . And that was fun and cool, but Eggsy was understanding what Merlin had meant by worship.

He liked it.It made him feel valued. Precious.So he put up with the extra blankets and the overwhelming alpha scent that seeped off Merlin.

He was getting good at soothing the man. And sure enough a few murmurs and Merlin was calming back down.

“Contain yourself Merlin.” Arthur said. “He is just talking out an idea. One I would like to hear more about.”

Merlin started to grumble but a look from Eggsy stopped him.

“So the dog test is about lots of things at once yeah? Trust, loyalty, the ability to do the job to the end. But they shoot me you get something extra. You get them having to go against base primal instinct. I mean seriously, who can shoot a pregnant omega in cold blood? You get them to pull the trigger on me - you know they can handle anything.”

“No.” Merlin said.

“Possibly.” Arthur replied.

“You cannae be serious.” Merlin looked at him aghast.

“Kay isn’t wrong. To shoot a pregnant omega is a difficult task. Almost impossible. But how would you even get them to do it?”

“Lie to them. Not like we haven’t done it before. We sequester each of them alone before we start, have their sponsor look very troubled as they do it. They are then brought to a room, maybe fake it up as your office or somfing Arthur, me tied in a chair. Merlin and you would have to do a fair bit of acting, show them ‘proof’ that I have been betraying you, that I was using my omega wiles on Merlin to get in close and been selling you out to the highest bidder. Their final test is to kill me for betraying all of you. Maybe even have Merlin storm out, say as much as he loathes me now, he can’t see them pull the trigger.”

“No.” Arthur said slowly, thoughtfully. “Merlin would stay.”

“Sir?” Merlin asked.

Arthur was looking at Eggsy carefully. “The problem with this test is that it could only be run this time. Not like we can just drag a pregnant omega in when we need one.”

“No sir, this would be a one off.”

“Because it isn’t just a test just for them is it?” Arthur replied.

“No, it isn’t.” Eggsy looked at Merlin. “I’m sorry, but it is also a test for you.”

Merlin was lost. Regret and comfort were both pouring out of Eggsy. Merlin closed his eyes and tried to think it all through logically. And finally he came to a conclusion.

“You want to go back into the field.” Merlin said as he opened his eyes.

“I do.”

“It was silly I suppose to think working with me might be enough to make you happy.” Merlin said. “You had said from the get go that you would want to go back out, I just thought maybe -” He didn’t finish the sentence but there was a hint of sorrow in his scent.

Eggsy touched Merlin’s cheek, let the alpha nuzzle just a little. “It’s been aces, helping you, learning what you do, and all I can ever think is how useful what I’ve learned will be in the field. I’m not going to rush back, you best believe I want a good bit of time off with sprocket, not going to miss those first few months, but I do want to go back out.”

“And you are worried how I’ll handle you being in the field.”

“I know a lot of your protectiveness is because of the pregnancy, and I know you said you are okay with it, but we need to know if you can handle me being in danger and guide me through, stay in control.”

“But I’ll know this test is fake.” Merlin said.

“It still will put your omega in harm’s way, put a baby in harm’s way. Even with the foreknowledge, you’ll still react. Kay has a good point.” Arthur looked between the two of them. “We take every precaution, blanks, a good bit of distance. Kay wears a vest, perhaps even one of his charming hats that has been modded to protect him. This is a clever idea Kay. You think in interesting ways, it is to our benefit.”

“Thank you sir.”

“I don’t like this.” Merlin said, looking at the two.

“Is that the Kingsman or Alisdair talking?” Arthur asked.

Merlin nodded in acknowledgement. “I admit it is a sound plan, but every care will be taken, checked twice. Thrice.”

“Agreed.” Arthur said. “We’ll work on doctoring up some files. Do you think all three remaining candidates will pass the test?”

“I think there is a good chance aye.” Merlin said. “Phillip and Clara for sure. Rhys is a bit of an x-factor, but he has been this whole time.”

“Too much an x-factor for the table?” Arthur asked.

Eggsy thought about it. “Maybe? I admit I’m real curious how he handles the tracks. Don’t think he’ll sell out, but how he responds otherwise could tell us a lot.”

“Fair enough.” Percival’s phone rang. He checked the number, his face going hard then blank. “Gentleman, I need to take this. Get everything ready.”

“Sir.” They both said and left.

 

They were quiet as they walked down the hall but when Eggsy would have turned to go to the office, Merlin pulled him in another direction to a spare bedroom. Once they had the door closed, Merlin had Eggsy in a hard embrace, scenting him thoroughly.

“I hate this plan.” Merlin said as he nuzzled Eggsy.

“I know, kind of why we need to go through with it.” Eggsy said. He wrapped his arms around Merlin’s waist and snuggled in. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you this before.”

“Nae, I would have tried to talk ye out of it, and you aren’t wrong. It is a good test, for them and for me.” Merlin couldn’t help himself and just barely grazed his teeth over Eggsy’s neck. Eggsy shivered but pulled away a little.

“Dair.” Eggsy admonished.

“I know, I know.” Eggsy was surprised when Merlin dropped to his knees and scented his belly. “15 weeks or so until I get to meet you wee one. I am getting anxious for that. I promise I’ll keep you safe during your Daddy’s madcap idea.”

Eggsy could feel his sprocket move around as she always did when Merlin got close. “You got a fan in here you know.” Merlin had yet to be able to feel it, but he liked knowing that she responded to him. “We need to get to work on this Merlin. I had started a little, but turns out I’m shite with photoshop.” Eggsy rubbed Merlin’s head.

Merlin lay a kiss against the belly and stood. “Aye. We have a couple days before the train test, much to be done.”

Merlin kissed Eggsy, softly at first and then harder. His hands pulled Eggsy in as close as they could. “My hunger grows for ye lad.”

“Soon.” Eggsy said.

“Aye, soon.” Merlin let go and they went back to work.




The three candidates were sent out on the seduction test. Merlin and Eggsy were watching them on the monitors when Arthur joined them. They started to stand but he waved them down.

“I admit, I am curious to watch their responses.” Arthur said. “I am trying to be more hands on than my predecessor was. I don’t want to forget what the job truly entails.”

“Right so they’ve just started drinking their champagne. We’ve got them dosed in a sequence. Phillip, then Clara, then Rhys for the tracks.” Eggsy explained.

“They are at least doing slightly better at flirting than the last candidate group.” Merlin said, looking at Eggsy.

Eggsy shrugged, “”Sorry got focused on how rank the champagne tasted.”

“Was it that you had never had champagne before, or could you taste the drug?” Arthur asked.

“Both.” Eggsy said. “Had had bubbly sure, but never the real deal. And I know what a roofie tastes like well enough.” Both older men were quiet, Merlin rubbing Eggsy’s neck soothingly. “They are all posh though, should be able to notice the taste is wrong.”

“You’ll find when focused on a mission some easily forget to be observant to the seeming little things. They are distracted, don’t notice the taste until too late. It is a big part of the continued training after a candidate is accepted to the table.”

“Didn’t for me.” Eggsy said.

“You have other flaws in the field, but observation isn’t one of them.” Merlin replied. “And then you were removed from the table. When we are getting you back in shape for the table, we will work on your few gaps.” Merlin adjusted his cameras. “And there we go, they are all knocked out. Our men will collect them.”

The three made small talk while the candidates were brought in and Phillip tied to the tracks. Eggsy showed off photos of the nursery, chatted about the pregnancy.

“So you two are planning to bond after the babe is born? You are settled into a committed and long term relationship?”

There was something in Arthur’s voice, but neither man could figure out what it was.

“Aye. There are no regulations against it.” Merlin said.

“No, there is just some paperwork you need to sign off on.” Arthur said. “I don’t have a problem, I just like all the ducks in a row so to speak.” Arthur looked at the screen. “Here we go.”

Phillip was clearly scared but didn’t give anything up, just as they expected. Bedievere untied him and cleared him from the space.

Clara surprised them. She just started laughing, an actual giggle fit. “Cliched much? Seriously twirl your mustache there pal.” She was still giggling when she was dropped into the safe space.

“Oh I like her.” Arthur said.

“Indeed.” Merlin said with a grin. “I have been rooting for the lass, I will admit, she has a wiley brain, thirsty for information. If she doesn’t pass the final test, we’re bringing her into my department.” They watched as Gawaine lead her away.

And then Rhys was tied to the tracks. He gave the man false information, just started spewing his mouth off, but not a bit of it was true. It was a unique response.

“See x-factor.” Eggsy said. “Didn’t think anyone in that situation would have the wherewithal to lie like that.”

Arthur steepled his fingers as Lancelot untied the man. “He reminds me a little of the previous Lancelot.”

“Oh Jesus, aye.” Merlin slapped his head. He had been trying to figure out what it was about the lad, but this solidified it. “Right, they’ll all be brought in shortly. Arthur we should look in serious conference, Eggsy get gone.”

Eggsy gave them both a wave and jogged out the door.

When the candidates were brought in, it looked like Arthur and Merlin were fighting, but they quickly quieted.

Merlin gave his standard speech and watched them taken away.

Arthur looked at Merlin. “It is good to see you happy Alisdair.”

Merlin smiled a little. “Thank ye.”

“You love him very much.”

“I do.” Merlin’s smile only grew.

“Take care of each other well.” Arthur nodded and left.

Merlin went to the kitchen where Eggsy was eating a late night snack. “We have 24 hours lad, whatever shall we do?”

Eggsy let out a yawn. “Sleep?”

Merlin laughed. “Sleep it is.” He and Eggsy headed home, Eggsy well asleep by the time they reached the door. Merlin unbuckled him carefully and carried him into the house. Eggsy drifted a little awake and sort of helped Merlin strip him down. Merlin reached for Eggsy’s pajama bottoms but Eggsy shook his head.

“Clothes feel itchy. Naked. Naked is good.” Eggsy mumbled as he snuggled into the bed. Merlin raised a brow, Eggsy never slept naked, but if that was what the lad wished, Merlin wouldn’t fuss.

Merlin went to the bathroom and came back a few minutes later, nude as well and sank into the bed. Eggsy was immediately plastered against him.

“You feel a little warm, are ye alright lad?” Merlin asked.

“Fine.” Eggsy said. “More snuggles. Less talking.”

“Want to flip so I can spoon ye? Maximum snuggles.”

Eggsy snorted a little. “That’s a good band name. No like this. Sprocket wants to snuggle you too.”

“Oh, did our lass tell ye that?”

“Sure she did. In a dream. A pretty perfect princess dream.”

“Bet you ten pounds our girl will bring the garda to our door by the time she’s 9.” Merlin said.

“You’re on.” Eggsy fell asleep, lips pressed against Merlin’s skin.



In the morning they woke, Merlin’s erection pressed against Eggsy’s belly, and his scent surrounded the omega.

“Strong this morning.” Eggsy murmured.

“Aye.” Merlin said. “You just smell so sweet lad, just want to lick you up. Can I?”

Eggsy thought about it, really thought about it. “Not quite ready for that much, but you could touch me?”

“Where?” Merlin asked eager.

“Anywhere. Everywhere.” Eggsy said.

“Mmmmm.” Merlin kissed Eggsy and let his hands wander, over Eggsy’s arms, around his back, one reaching down to cup Eggsy’s ass. He kissed Eggsy’s neck and collarbone and lay a gentle lick against a nipple.

Eggsy hissed. “Okay maybe not everywhere. Goddamn has pregnancy made those sensitive.”

“Sorry leannan ” Merlin said softly moving away.

“Wot’s that then? That word?” Eggsy asked.

“Beloved, or babe, baby.” Merlin admitted.

“I like it.” Eggsy said. He pulled up Merlin for a kiss. “Now how about you get those fingers moving again.”

“As you like.” Merlin agreed. He lingered over Eggsy’s belly, before reaching down to touch Eggsy’s cock. Average for an omega, perfect. Eggsy was hard and was moaning soon, each pull of Merlin’s hand making him ache.

“More.” Eggsy said. Merlin was happy to oblige and sped up his hand. “No.” Eggsy said. “I mean.” He hesitated.

Leannan , whatever you want is yours.” Merlin said.

“I want your fingers in me.” Eggsy said. “I’m so slick, just want to feel you push into me a bit.”

“Oh.” Merlin’s breath was rough and his arousal and scent spiked. It was the first time Eggsy had asked for that. Merlin’s hand left Eggsy’s cock and moved down. One finger traced the skin and slipped in the amount of slick that was there.

“So wet.” Merlin said, a little confused. Eggsy’s hormone imbalance meant that he only produced a little slick. Pregnancy meant there would be a little more, but this was more than Merlin had expected. He could not resist and brought the finger up to his mouth and licked. “Oh lad, you taste so good. I could happily drown on the taste.”

“Less poetry, more touching.” Eggsy said as he reached for his alpha’s cock. He just held it, squeezed, which he knew drove Merlin crazy. Eggsy took a chance and moved his fingers away to wet them with his slick before he went back to pump Merlin’s hard length.

That was all it took to get Merlin back to work. He pushed a finger into Eggsy, swearing at the tight wet feel of his omega. He timed his thrusts to Eggsy’s touch on his cock and soon enough they were both coming.

They lingered in bed for a bit before showering together. Merlin got out first to go get some food going. Eggsy laughed when he stepped out and saw his prenatal vitamin sitting on the counter.

Eggsy was still feeling snuggly so he ate his toast in Merlin’s lap.

“I’m guessing ye want an easy day today, maybe read, watch a couple movies?” Merlin asked the snuggly omega. “Ye still feel a little warm.”

“It’s nothing.” Eggsy dismissed. “But a snuggle buggle day sounds great. Realized that the 24 hours is more like 36 innit?”

“Aye, the final test will start at 7 tomorrow morning.” Merlin said. “We need to be at the office at 5:30”

Eggsy groaned -- that meant a 4:30 wake up. “Definitely a snuggle day then.”

“I’ll fire up the TV. Pew Pew, or La la la?” Merlin asked. He giggled as Eggsy flipped him off.

“One time, one, when I’m punchy because we been up for 30 hours and I forget genre names and you never let me forget it.”

Merlin just waited.

“Not saying it.” Eggsy said.

Merlin kept waiting.

“Pew Pew.” Eggsy said. “But funny Pew Pew.”

“Galaxy Quest?” Merlin suggested.

“Aces.” Eggsy agreed.

They spent the whole day cuddling and watching space operas. They went to bed early and when the alarm went off, Eggsy threw a knife at the clock.

*****************************

It was Arthur who had to tie Eggsy to the chair. Merlin just couldn’t do it. And he checked the ropes after, that they were tight enough for the show but loose over the baby.

“I’m fine.” Eggsy reassured Merlin, for the fifth time. “All your precautions are in place. We have planned this. It’s going to be okay.” But Merlin’s smell was so strong, that scent of storm a veritable hurricane of worry, fear, protectiveness.

Eggsy’s own scent tried to offer comfort, relief.

It was making the room almost rank. While Arthur didn’t enjoy it, it would lend credence to their story. “Gentleman, Clara is up first. Are we ready?”

Merlin gave Eggsy a quick kiss before pulling away. They heard the knock and Clara walked in to see Merlin hit the tied up Eggsy. “I trusted ye lad, we all trusted ye. Why would ye do this?”

“I ain’t talkin’” Eggsy said.

“We don’t need you to talk, we have enough evidence.” Arthur said. “Candidate, it seems that Agent Kay has been playing us all for fools and has been selling us out for months.”

“Fuck off.” Eggsy said.

“And did I mean nothing to ye lad?” Merlin asked a quiver in his voice.

“For an oldie you weren’t too bad in bed.” Eggsy shrugged. “I mean sure I’ve had loads better, but you weren’t completely useless. And all those codes you gave me were right handy and profitable.”

Clara gasped. She liked Eggsy, he had provided great advice to them. “Eggsy wouldn’t.”

Eggsy winked. “Ah, fanks darlin. Aren’t you just sweet, maybe you help break me out, we can have some fun? More fun than these ancient geezers would give you.”

“Clara. This will be your final test. A Kingsman sometimes has to perform brutal actions to aid the world. We don’t kill except to save. Killing this betrayer will save countless lives. If he were to sell all his knowledge, governments would topple.”

“Nah, she ain’t got what it takes to kill me.” Eggsy laughed.

Clara didn’t hide the tears falling down her cheeks as she took the gun from Arthur. “God forgive me.” She said as she pulled the trigger. Clara gasped as nothing happened. She went to pull the trigger again but Arthur easily disarmed her.

Merlin went over and untied Eggsy, scenting him, comforting himself. It was all he could do not to run over and tackle the candidate for daring to point a weapon at his Eggsy, his omega.

“Eggsy.” Merlin buried his nose in Eggsy’s neck. Eggsy’s scent was still spiking, sweeter than ever. It just kept making Merlin hungry. So hungry.

“What’s going on?” Clara shouted.

“Your final test. And you passed. Eggsy suggested that anyone who could shoot a pregnant omega, could do what comes along with this job. Welcome to the table.” Arthur held out his hand.

Clara looked at Eggsy. “You didn’t betray them?”

“Never could, never would. Would sooner tear out my own heart.”

“That was cold.”

“Aye, but sometimes this job requires ice in your heart.” Merlin said.

Clara looked at the three men. She then accepted Arthur’s handshake. “Thank you sir. I’ll take the job, but I won’t freeze my heart to do so.”

“I understand. Your sponsor is waiting for you past that door. You’ll be sequestered until the end.” Clara gave Eggsy a quick hug before exiting the room.

“She’ll be a grand asset to the table.” Merlin said, hand in the small of Eggsy’s back.

“Yes, I think so.” Arthur said. “Do you need time Kay?”

“Just some water.” Merlin quickly brought over a glass. 30 minutes later they were ready for Rhys.

They started the same as with Clara, but Rhys showed no reaction.

“No, I won’t shoot him.” Rhys finally said.

“He has betrayed us, the Kingsman, potentially unleashed ruin on the world.” Arthur’s voice was hard.

“No he didn’t.” Rhys said. “Not him. I’d sooner believe it of one of you. This is just a test, he didn’t do shit. All your tests are bait and switch, this isn’t any different.”

“So you’ll not shoot him then?” Arthur asked.

“No, it’s all fake.” Rhys said, voice sure.

“Shoot him or ye fail.” Merlin said.

“Then I fail. Tired of this, the patterns are obvious and boring me now. This stopped being interesting a month ago.” Rhys shrugged.

Eggsy grinned. “Tell me we’re offering him a job in Merlin’s division. We ain’t letting him go to waste.”

“Aye. I thought I wanted Clara, but nae, I want him, Arthur. I want him on codes and analysis.”

“Agreed. We don’t let quality go to waste.” Arthur looked at Rhys. “We do sometimes take a little longer than we should to realize where people belong. But we rectify that when we can. Would you like to be trained by Merlin, for his division?”

Rhys grinned. “Why yes, that sounds acceptable.” Rhys shook Arthur and Merlin’s hand and winked at Eggsy.

Merlin couldn’t stop the growl and took a step forward. Rhys quickly held up his hands in peace and bolted from the room.

“Merlin can you handle the last candidate?” Arthur asked. “Point blank you keep it together or you will never act as handler for Eggsy.”

Merlin took a few deep breaths, let the scent of Eggsy into his head, into his body. It seemed even sweeter than before. He looked over and realized that Eggsy was sweating a little.

“Just the nerves of it all.” Merlin untied Eggsy and pulled him up.

Eggsy gasped at the feeling of Merlin’s touch. The skin to skin was killing him, he needed more. He could stop himself and tipped up to nip at Merlin’s lip. “Alpha.” He breathed out.

Leannan. ” Merlin’s voice was low, burr rough. He leaned in for more.

“Gentleman, one more candidate and then you can get your love on. Until then we are in the middle of a rather important job.” Arthur reminded them. He went over and opened a window, hoping that some fresh air might help them gain some control.

Eggsy paced a little, shook out his limbs before getting back in the chair. He was tied up again and Phillip was brought in.  He stayed calm, as blank as possible. He never said a word, and shot when Arthur handed him the gun.

Only after when he realized Eggsy was fine, did he collapse and gasp for air.

“Oh god, oh god, oh god.” Phillip said. Merlin went over but a small growl from Eggsy stopped him from touching Phillip. He looked at Eggsy who was flushed by this point. He moved quickly to untie the lad.

Arthur spoke quietly to Phillip reassuring him that collapsing after the fact was perfectly acceptable to react after the mission was done, but that he bore himself well, and was welcome to sit at the table. Phillip shook Arthur’s hand and left. Arthur turned in time to see Eggsy collapse into Merlin’s arms, moaning.

Merlin pulled his lad into his arms and hurried to the door. Arthur moved ahead of him, opening the way and calling medical to alert them. The doctor was waiting when they arrived. She kicked Arthur out and when she tried with Merlin, his growl and scent stopped her. Merlin was the strongest scented alpha that she had encountered and now she was just about choking on it. She watched though as Eggsy went to turn into it even more, his own scent rising to meet it. His eyes opened and he looked around the room.

She began to get an idea of what was happening.

“Has there been any abnormal behaviour in the last few days? Any drastic changes to routine?”

Merlin thought about it and explained the extra cuddles, how warm Eggsy felt, and with a bit of a blush their increased sexual activity.

He then mentioned what they had been doing this morning and the doctor threw up her hands. “And you didn’t think to consult with me on that decision, didn’t think that maybe something that would potentially play havoc with a pregnant omega’s hormones was something that I should maybe monitor?”

Merlin paled. Eggsy had been doing so well, they had honestly not thought about it. He held Eggsy’s hand tightly. “Doctor?” Merlin’s voice was perhaps the smallest it had ever sounded. Eggsy whimpered at the distress coming off his alpha. The doctor watched as they fed off each other, scents just spiraling in a mix of worry and comfort, with a specific underlying scent to it all.

“What is happening is that you have triggered a pregnancy heat.” The doctor said. Both men stared at her in confusion.

“Wot’s that?” Eggsy asked.

“Some people due to the hormones of pregnancy will have a small heat. It can be triggered by an increase in sexual activity, or strong emotions, changes in circumstances. Basically you two did everything you could to bring this on, without even knowing it.”

“Heats don’t feel like this.” Eggsy complained. “Never felt this hot, like I want to jump out of my skin and wear his.” He paused. “Okay that sounded really gross but you get my idea.”

“Indeed.” The doctor said dryly. “What you are experiencing Eggsy is closer to a typical heat. With your hormone imbalance, you always had a soft heat, this is a full blown one.” She looked at them. “He’s too far into the cycle to suppress it and I don’t like those medications with pregnancy anyways. He can ride it out here with medical observation to ensure the safety of the fetus. We have what he needs to get through.”

“No.” Both Merlin and Eggsy said.

“I want him.” Eggsy said, clutching Merlin tight.

“Eggsy with how your pregnancy began I need you available for monitoring.”

“If he stayed on the estate and you could perform regular checks, would that work?” Merlin asked. Now that their worry was fading, he could smell Eggsy’s heat, that extra sweet that had been growing over the last few days. That scent that had been making him so hungry.

“An option.” The doctor agreed. “You absolutely cannot bite him Alisdair, it could put the pregnancy at too much risk. If you don’t think you can do that, you need to get gone and soon.”

“I’ll nae put him or my babe in danger. I can see him through without bonding.”

“Your word.” The doctor insisted.

“Ye have it.” Merlin said.

“Are we done with all this, because this is really, really starting to hurt. And honestly, it’s all I can do to not just put my ass in the air and beg Dair to fuck me right here and now.” Eggsy was biting his lip hard.

“Alright. Go to one of the bedrooms. In two hours I will check on Eggsy and the fetus’s vitals and bring snacks and drinks. I will do so at regular intervals. This should be about three days I’m guessing.” Before the doctor even finished Merlin had swept Eggsy up again and stormed past Arthur in the hall.

One whiff and Arthur didn’t need to ask the doctor what was happening. He nodded politely and went to his office.

He thought about Merlin and Eggsy and their relationship. It was solid, they were looking to the future, but the next week would further help cement that closeness, even if they couldn’t yet bond.

Arthur picked up his phone. He spoke to a few people before being transferred to Ector. “How is he, Ector?” Arthur asked.

“Better, awake for a few hours at a go, walking to the bathroom attached to his room on his own, as doc said, ready for transfer on your word.”

“One more week.” Arthur said. “You are granted leave to bring Agent Galahad home to the estate in one week’s time.”

“Yes sir. Glad to be bringing Harry finally home, I must say.” Ector said cheerfully.

Arthur said a brief goodbye and hung up. He prayed he had done the right thing.

Chapter Text

Merlin moved fast and soon had them in a bedroom in the east wing, at the end of the hall. It was a section of rooms rarely used, mostly for storage. He tried not to think about how he picked a room next to where all of Harry’s stuff was still stashed. Merlin pushed Harry out of his mind -- Eggsy had been right that he had no place between them anymore.

Eggsy was twisting in his arms, unsettled, restless. “You ever been with an omega in proper heat, Dair?” He asked.

Merlin put him down and pulled the comforter back.

“Aye. A long time ago.” Merlin thought about it, “Dozen years or so?”

“And you didn’t bite them.” Eggsy said. “I mean clearly you didn’t.”

“Nae, it was sex, really good sex.” Eggsy growled his adorable possessive omega growl, and Merlin smiled at it. “Sorry lad.” Merlin dropped a quick kiss on Eggsy’s nose. “But they never smelled truly compatible, there was an off note. So we had a few days of sex and both moved on. Since then mostly been with betas, and no one until you for the last year.”

“This hurts, it feels all weird, and hot and wrong, and just...not what I’m used to.” Eggsy said tugging at his shirt.

“Well first step is to get you free. Let me leanan ?” Merlin asked, and Eggsy nodded.

Merlin gently pulled Eggsy’s clothes off, careful of the omega’s sensitive skin. “Go sit on the bed, and I’ll be right back.” Eggsy moved over but whimpered. Merlin paused and ran his hands through Eggsy’s hair. “Just to the washroom, right through that door. I promise I’ll not leave ye.” Eggsy still looked concerned. “I’ll talk the whole time.” Merlin promised.

“I admit that I have a powerful urge to bite ye, darling boy.” Merlin said as he walked to the bedroom. “I will do my best not to, but perhaps we avoid things that might test my control.” He found a decorative pitcher and filled it with tepid water and grabbed some towels and a glass. “I will not harm the bairn, but we are dealing with instinct here.”

Eggsy saw him at stand in the door. “What do you suggest?”

“No presenting. No me behind you, where it would be too easy to be distracted and want to claim.”

Eggsy pouted a little, because the smell of Merlin, that storm raging around him, made Eggsy desperate to get on his knees, a feeling he had always scoffed at. He better understood why some omegas went mental during their heats.

Merlin put the glass on the table and poured a bit of water onto one of the towels. He gently ran it over Eggsy’s face and neck. Eggsy almost purred at the feeling. Merlin worked his way down Eggsy, until even his pinky toe had a wipe down.

Eggsy laughed a little. “Tickles.”

Merlin smiled and picked up Eggsy’s foot and kissed his toes, just to make him laugh again. He kissed his ankle bone. “You have small ankles, wonder how they hold you up with everything ye do.” He brushed his teeth against the knob of bone before kissing his way up to Eggsy’s knees. “You have to be careful of these you know, knees blow out easier than ye think.”

“Is this the right conversation for now?” Eggsy asked. He had such an itch under his skin, couldn’t stop moving on the bed and worst of all it was getting sticky under him. In the last few moments it felt like he had produced enough slick to equal everything he had ever had before combined. “How do omega’s put up with this?” He asked.

“I’d imagine they are used to it.” Merlin said. He rested his head on Eggsy’s thigh. “Oh lad, your thighs are a fucking work of art, one of my favourite things about ye.”

“I always thought I had a nice bum.” Eggsy replied.

“Aye, you do at that, but these thighs, thick, strong. They hold you up, let you do all the incredible things ye do.” Merlin grazed his teeth against one.

Eggsy pushed at Merlin’s forehead. “Dair, teeth.”

“But ye are so tasty.” Merlin absolutely wasn’t pouting.

“Awww big scary alpha pouting?”

“Not pouting.” Merlin’s lip pushed out just a little more.

“Alpha.” Eggsy gave his tiny growl. “Behave or I’ll take measures.”

Merlin quirked a brow, intrigued, but he nodded. “Not even a graze.” He lay a gentle kiss on the thigh where his teeth had been. “Now leanan rest yourself down.” He pushed at Eggsy’s stomach and Eggsy leaned back on his elbows.

“Before too much instinct takes over, is there anything you don’t want?”

“Don’t call me anything…” Eggsy could not find what he was looking for.

“I understand.” Merlin said. He wasn’t the sort to call a lover dubious or degrading words and couldn’t even imagine to do so with Eggsy.

“Also, I don’t want to..” Eggsy swallowed. “I don’t want to suck your cock.” Worry and distress poured off him.

“Oh Eggsy, ye never have to if ye dinnae want.” Merlin reassured. Eggsy had done so well since the incident, and Merlin would never push.

“Maybe one day.” Eggsy said. “That’s it though.”

“Well then, I best make ye feel good, you are looking a little restless.” Merlin winked and then kissed the tip of Eggsy’s cock. Eggsy dropped all the way back on the bed and moaned. Merlin licked and sucked at Eggsy, his head bobbing up and down. “Ye are so perfect lad.” Merlin said as he pulled off. He buried his head into the joint between hip and pelvis and breathed in. “Mine.” Merlin growled.

“Yeah, fuck yeah. All yours Dair. Or I would be if you got on with it.” Eggsy said. “Come on Dair, more.”

“Going to be pushy are ye?” Merlin was just fine with that. He pushed Eggsy’s thighs apart more and scooted him the extra couple inches to the edge of the bed.

Eggsy’s ass dragged through the slick that had pooled under him. “We are going to burn through so many sheets.”

“Stop thinking Eggsy.” Merlin said.

“Can’t. Brain is just...can’t stop it.”

“I can.” And Merlin began to lick up the slick around Eggsy’s hole.

Eggsy couldn’t form words, only a shout.

Merlin was dying, Eggsy tasted so good, so perfect, like he was meant for Merlin. He moaned and kept licking Eggsy up, pressed his tongue hard against Eggsy’s hole, pushed in just a little. Eggsy’s hips were writhing, the young omega pressed to him.

“Alpha, oh god, alpha need you. More, it’s starting to hurt so much, please, need to be filled. Alpha, alpha, alpha .” Eggsy begged.

“Shhh, omega.” Merlin blinked, cleared his head a little; he didn’t want to reduce Eggsy to status, not even in this moment where biology was in charge. “Shh, Eggsy, leanan I have you, I will give you what you need. I will take care of ye always, with my heart, with my head, with my body.”

Merlin stood and got on the bed and lay down. “Come here, Eggsy.” He moved Eggsy around so that he was astride Merlin. Merlin pushed a couple fingers into Eggsy, the slick and heat having him opened up a fair bit already. Still he took a few moments to stretch Eggsy and to relish the feel of him.

Eggsy moved Merlin’s hand away and pushed back until he felt the thick alpha cock against his ass. He lifted himself up a little, and Merlin wrapped his fingers around Eggsy’s hips. “Last chance lad.” Merlin was struggling hard not to lose himself to the smell of his omega.

Eggsy just smiled, then lined up and sank down onto Merlin. Both men moaned and Merlin’s hands clenched hard on Eggsy. There would be bruises, and Eggsy wanted them.

“Feels good, Dair, so fucking thick aren’t you? Always thought alphas were about length, and you got that too, but the thick, oh god, so perfect, mine, fucking made for my body aren’t you?” It seemed that being filled actually brought clarity to Eggsy’s mind.

But Merlin was losing his. “That’s great, lad. Now how about ye move?”

Eggsy smirked. “Wot, like this?” Eggsy pushed up with those perfect thighs and then brought himself down hard. Merlin moaned, his head tipped back in pleasure. Eggsy set up a brutal pace, fast, hard, until he felt the burn in his thighs. He needed more, just more of Merlin. He could feel the knot starting to form and pushed himself down more so that the swell was inside him.

“Oh holy fuck.” He said as it grew inside him, locked Merlin into him. He rocked his hips back and forth. “Touch my cock, Dair, please.” Merlin managed to pry one of his hands off of Eggsy’s hip to wrap it around that sweet omega cock.

“Going to come on me lad, mark me as yours?” Merlin asked burr heavy in his voice. The alpha’s scent was thick, choking the air in the room. Eggsy loved it.

“Yeah I am.” Eggsy said. It took only a few tugs and Eggsy was arching his back and coming onto Merlin. His body was a vice around Merlin’s cock and Merlin followed his over the edge.

Merlin didn’t think he had ever come as hard as he had there. “Mine, mine, mine.” He just kept saying over and over. He couldn’t stop himself. “Let me bite you, claim ye, please Eggsy, leanan I need to know you are mine.”

Eggsy was breathing hard, hands braced on Merlin’s shoulders. “Dair, Dair, my alpha. I am yours, we are yours, but you can’t not now, not yet. One day, one day you and I will be in bed and you can sink your teeth into me, and it will be amazing. But for now, now you just have to take my word that I am yours. Forever. Please Dair, just take my word. You can’t hurt sprocket.” Eggsy was pleading. “Alpha, please, control.”

Merlin hated the worry that was pouring off his omega, when it should just be contentment. He pulled Eggsy closer, as much as his stomach would allow. He kissed Eggsy, gently, not a hint of teeth or tongue. “I’m sorry.”

Merlin twisted so they were laying side by side. The movement had Eggsy clamping down on the knot more, and Merlin shuddered in a mix of pain and pleasure, more come pulled out of him. He carded his fingers through Eggsy’s hair.

“How do ye feel?”

“Good, only had an alpha for one heat before and it wasn’t...I don’t want to talk about it.” Eggsy said. Merlin kissed him some more. “This though, felt good, really good, but can already tell won’t be enough, going to need lots more from you.”

“That’s fine. That’s more than fine.” Merlin sniffed as the worry faded out of Eggsy and it was just heat and contentment. “I’ll be better, I promise.” He touched Eggsy’s belly. “How is sprocket?”

“Fine, think sleeping, which is good, don’t know what I’d do if I felt her moving around at the wrong time.” Eggsy said. “Can we be quiet for a bit?”

“Aye.” Merlin agreed and held Eggsy close until they were able to separate 30 minutes later.

They both went to the bathroom and Merlin gave Eggsy some water, wiped him down again. They snuggled and kissed and talked quietly. Eggsy could feel the restlessness starting again when there was a knock at the door.

Merlin growled at the intrusion into his space.

“Doctor, remember?” Eggsy said, his hand soothed at Merlin’s neck.

“Aye.” Merlin didn’t care about his nudity and opened the door. The doctor knew she shouldn’t respond, nudity was nothing, but Merlin was attractive and already starting to be aroused again, by Eggsy’s rising scent.

“I’ll be quick.” She reassured him. She had a box with her. “Juice, snacks, baby wipes, a couple of other things.” She handed the box to Merlin and he took a quick look inside. He had a thought but it wasn’t in the box.

He leaned closer to the doctor and whispered in her ear. She flushed a little at the alpha’s proximity, but Eggsy’s possessive growl reminded her of her job. “Of course Alisdair, I’ll fetch that right away after I check on Eggsy. I’ll just knock and leave it at the door.”

“Thank ye doctor.” Merlin stepped away and went to be by Eggsy.

The doctor checked all of Eggsy’s vitals, asked a few questions, but everything seemed in order. “I think we are good, but I’ll check again tonight once more and then again in the morning.”

Eggsy nodded at her but was already reaching for his alpha. She hurried out of the room to get what Merlin had asked for.

They made love again in the same position and it was good, but Eggsy was frowning. “I need to feel closer to you.” He said finally when Merlin had unknotted again. “I want more skin contact.”

“I know. I know ye need it, but too close and I may bite ye.” Merlin explained. “We cannae harm the bairn.”

Eggsy felt weepy. “Need you alpha.”

There was a knock and the door, and steps that hurried away. Merlin smiled. “And there is our solution. Drink some juice.” Merlin walked over and opened the door, brought the small box back in. He sat in the comfy wingback chair by the window. He held out his hand and Eggsy came over. Merlin settled Eggsy into his lap, and Eggsy snuggled in. “How do you feel?”

“Aside from needing you closer? Good I guess, not sure how people survive 3-5 days of this. I usually am all done within 36 hours or so.” Eggsy snuggled in even more. He moved so that his legs were on either side of Merlin’s hips. “This is good, could we do it here, like this?”

Merlin kissed Eggsy’s neck, his shoulder. He could feel the shoulder sag beneath his mouth.

“Oh, guess it makes you to close yeah?” Eggsy was sad.

“Open the box leanan .” Merlin suggested. Eggsy reached over, opened it, looked at the strap and was a little confused. “A dental block is too easy spit out, too easy for me to trip up. And I will nae break your faith in me and my control. So -” Merlin smiled.

“So you had the doc bring you a gag. A proper full on mouth gag.” Eggsy looked at it. “Jesus the buckle even has a lock.” His eyes swam a little as he looked at his alpha. “Dair, this is…”

“What we need.” Merlin said simply. “Now how about we have a tepid bath and then a snack and then see how well that works.”

It turned out to work very well.

 

The doctor did indeed check on Eggsy once more that night and then again in the morning. Merlin was asleep, exhausted from satisfying his omega. Eggsy felt a little proud that he had worn out the alpha like that.

“If I may say so, you are very lucky.” The doctor whispered as she packed away her supplies.

“I know.” Eggsy whispered back.

She said that everything seemed to be going well and that Eggsy should call if there were any problems, but otherwise she would check again the next morning. After the door closed behind her and Eggsy returned to bed, Merlin pulled him in close.

“Nae I am the lucky one.” He said sleepily into Eggsy’s shoulder. “Well not completely lucky, the gag tastes like foot.”

Eggsy snorted a little.

“How are ye feeling Eggsy?” Merlin asked.

“Better than yesterday, but feel like we’ll be ramping up soon. Got a little bit though, I want to eat a bit, sprocket’s been kicking at me. You want to go shower? Was thinking maybe since we have the gag, we could actually...you know go traditional?” Eggsy wiggled his brows.

Merlin’s grinned flashed across his face, but it was not his giggly friendly grin, but his possessive scary bastard grin. “Oh yes.” He heaved himself out of the bed and went to get a little bit cleaned up.

Eggsy took the chance to change the sheets and eat a protein bar and take his vitamin. He thought about presenting himself to Merlin, and just the thought had slick start to drip out of him. And then an idea flashed through his mind. A brilliant idea. He heard the water shut off and moved fast.

A few minutes later Merlin opened the bathroom door, and felt his knees weaken. He had to brace himself against the doorjamb. There was Eggsy, his beautiful omega, on the bed, shoulders down, ass up. “Jesus, Eggsy, ye will give a man my age a heart attack.”

Eggsy laughed. “Just get over here and give me what I need.”

“Aye.” Merlin crossed the room in just a couple long steps and without really paying attention buckled the gag on. And realized that the mouth part had been soaked with some of Eggsy’s slick. The taste filled Merlin’s mouth and he whimpered.

“You like?” Eggsy asked, lifting up a little to look at him.

Merlin nodded helplessly, not really wanting to swallow, not wanting the taste to fade.

Eggsy pushed his ass up a little more, spread his legs, in part to make room for his stomach. “Alpha, Merlin, Alisdair , take me.”

Merlin nodded, senses utterly lost in the scent and look of Eggsy. He was hard and aching from nothing more than that. He climbed on the bed behind Eggsy and pressed a finger into the omega watched his hole clench around the digit. He pulled out his finger, watched as Eggsy swayed back trying to get full again. Merlin didn’t tease, didn’t wait, just pushed his aching length into Eggsy, watched his cock push into that stunning ass.

He tapped a finger against Eggsy’s hip, hoped the lad knew what he was asking.

“Yeah, babe, yeah just go to town, you won’t hurt anything confirmed with the doc. Just fucking take me as hard as you need, as you want. As I want. Wreck me alpha.”

The gag didn’t smother the alpha’s growl one bit as he took the words to heart and started to pound into Eggsy hard. Merlin broke a sweat, which just released even more of his already strong scent into the room.

Eggsy couldn’t stop babbling. “Babe, fill me up so good, so much, want to just be full of your come, want to feel your knot in me, feels so good. Hate that I put this off so long. Ain’t ever had as good as you, not ever, never would be better than you. Alpha, just please, give me everything. Give me all of you, everything you got. I’ll give you the same back. Just don’t fucking stop Dair.” Eggsy was begging. He shouted when he felt Merlin’s knot push into him, didn’t know if he would ever quite get used to the feel of that, the intensity of it. He had knots before, but this, this was different. “Fucking soulmate, perfect match alpha for me aren’t you?” Eggsy breathed out. “Fuck if I don’t love you.”

And that sentence was enough to trigger them both, had them coming hard enough that Eggsy blacked out on the pleasure for a moment.

When he came to, it was them laying on their sides, Merlin spooned around him, speaking in soft whispers, promises, wishes, just perfect bits of nonsense, his hand resting over the bump of Eggsy’s stomach.

“Okay, so remind me when this is done to get you a thank you card for best sex ever. I feel you deserve a thank you card.” Eggsy said.

“I would need to give ye a thank you card in return for that trick with the gag.” Merlin replied. He had taken it off a few minutes before, once the haze of knotting and lust had passed enough that he knew he wouldn’t bite.

“Yeah, thought that was a nice little trick.” Eggsy was grinning, linked his fingers with Merlin’s on his stomach. He could feel sprocket doing her rolls. “Hey there sprocket, really hope you don’t understand what your dads are doing right now.”

He laughed as there was a strong kick. He twisted his head a little, meaning to kiss Merlin, but paused.

“Dair?” Eggsy asked. He couldn’t quite explain the expression on Merlin’s face. But then he was slammed with a wave of the alpha’s scent.

Joy. That was all joy.

“Hello sprocket.” Merlin’s voice was thick, heavy. “It is very much my pleasure to feel you.” Another kick and Merlin’s hand pressed back. “Oh my bonnie lass, been waiting for that.”

Eggsy gave Merlin a kiss. “Know it isn’t official until the bite, but you know you are my mate, right?”

“Aye.” Merlin agreed. “My mate. My leanan . My everything.”

It was another two days of sex and scenting, conversations, and sleep. But Eggsy seemed to be over his heat. They were having a last shower together and talking about seeing the dogs, being at home. They were anxious to be in their own space.

“So in the down time when I could think I started a list of names for sprocket in my head. And as much as I teased you about being crap at naming things you could add to it too.” Eggsy said before he purred at the feel of Merlin washing his hair.

“Hmmm I’ll think on it.” Merlin said.

“Come on, I know you already got a couple don’t you?” Eggsy nudged Merlin’s ribs. He watched as Merlin flushed a little. “Ha I knew it. Spill.”

Merlin mumbled a little and Eggsy poked him again.

“Bridget, Lexi, Winnifred.” He waited for Eggsy to laugh but there was just a soft smile on his face.

“Yeah those are good. I have Cordelia, Alice, and Gemma.”

Merlin returned Eggsy’s smile. “Those are fine names.”

“We’ll give them all a try, see what suits, though we may not figure it out until we actually meet sprocket.” Eggsy said. They finished in the shower and dried off.

They dressed in the fresh clothes that had been dropped off and aired out the room, bundling the sheets into the bags that had also been provided. They walked hand in hand down to medical where the doctor gave Eggsy one last check, but everything looked good.

“Now, let’s hope there aren’t any more surprises in store for this pregnancy.” She said. “Go on you two, I bet you are starving.” They were just about out the door when she called after them. “Arthur wants to see both of you as soon as you are ready.”

“We’ll go see him after we’ve had some food.” Merlin replied. They walked to the kitchen and saw a couple of agents sitting at a table, the excitement was palpable between them.

Eggsy leaned on the counter as Merlin opened a can of soup. The two others came up to them.

“Can you believe the news? Just insane isn’t it?” Caradoc said.

“Sure, but somehow not surprising is it?” the other agent said.

They all turned as Arthur strode into the room. He looked at Merlin and Eggsy, concern and regret on his face.

“Who would have thought it, Galahad surviving a bullet to the head. Man is the luckiest S.O.B. the good Lord ever created.” Caradoc said on a laugh.

Eggsy watched as Merlin grabbed the soup pot and threw it against the wall with enough force to dent the drywall. Eggsy wrapped a hand carefully around his stomach, tried to process the words Caradoc had said. The two agents looked at Arthur, who gave them a signal, and they ran.

“He’ll be home in 3 days.” Arthur said quietly.

“I guess we know what you wanted to talk about.” Eggsy laugh was empty.

Merlin didn’t say a word, just stared at the mess he made as it dripped down the wall.

Eggsy felt sprocket kick. “Shhh, it’s alright.” He said quietly. Not even born and he was already lying to his little girl. He knew that this was going to be anything but alright.

Chapter Text

“Clean up the mess and then please join me in the office.” Arthur said, voice stern but with a thread of sympathy. “I’ll offer news and explanation.” He turned and left them. Eggsy stared at the soup still dripping down the wall.

He stared at it until his sight line was broken by Merlin. Merlin tilted Eggsy’s head up.

“Mine.” He growled. His scent was pouring out, possessive, angry, demanding.

But also sad. Scared.

“Yours.” Eggsy agreed softly. “Let’s clean this up yeah?”

“You need to eat.” Merlin said. “Arthur can wait a little.”

“Don’t think I could choke anything down right now Dair, not until we know exactly what is going on.” Eggsy looked at Merlin. “How? Just how?”

“Because he’s fucking Harry Hart.” Merlin said.

Eggsy laughed, a little manic. “Fucking Harry Hart is what started all this mess.”

Leanan , don’t.” Merlin begged quietly. “Let us see what comes to pass.”

“Yeah, sure. Let’s clean up and see what’s what then.” Eggsy grabbed the dish scrub and went over the wall.

Twenty minutes later they were knocking on Arthur’s door. He let them in and they all settled into an awkward silence.

Finally Arthur began. “Harry is alive.”

Merlin snorted, “Aye we figured that out well enough. Now how about you explain to us, sir , why ye have kept this from us for months. Why did ye keep it a secret when Harry alive could have been vital for Eggsy’s health? Why would you endanger one agent for the protection of another? I am your Quartermaster, why wasn’t I informed that Harry Hart was alive?” Merlin took a breath, his scent pouring off of him, increasingly angry. He was ready to keep going, but Arthur held up a hand.

“I haven’t know the whole time, I promise you.” Merlin deflated a little at Arthur’s words.

Merlin looked at the man. “Still, beyond Eggsy’s health, it is my job to be informed of something like this. Do ye not trust me to do my job Arthur?”

“No, I trust you very much, implicitly. Please allow me to explain.” When Merlin and Eggsy nodded Arthur continued, “Harry was shot in the head at close range. From his camera feed it was reasonable for us to believe he was dead. And then we were all dealing with the immediate threat and the fallout. By the time we checked to recover the body, there was nothing to be found. We assumed with all the emergency cremations that were occurring, that he was gone.” Arthur’s face was sad, He had been in Sri Lanka during V-Day. The results had been horrific and he had stayed an extra week, to assist in recovery and disposal. He still had regular nightmares.

“Seventeen weeks after he was shot, Harry Hart, registered as a John Doe in a hospital in Kentucky woke up. He was in and out for the next 10 days and only at that point was he able to provide a name to the hospital. He gave an alias, one which when entered into their system sent a flag to ours.”

“As well it should - I designed those systems. Which is why I fail to understand how I wasn’t informed.” Merlin’s voice was hard, his eyes never left Arthur.

“You were doing field training that week, and because you were out all day, you were spending your nights scenting Eggsy to ensure the safety of the pregnancy. When the system flared, it couldn’t be guaranteed that it was Harry, that it wasn’t a trap. You second in command came to me personally with the information and I decided to keep it quiet until the situation could be properly assessed.”

Eggsy was staring out the window. “Ector’s been gone almost 8 weeks, long term search and analysis.”

“Yes.” Arthur looked at Eggsy, but Eggsy just kept his eyes on the window. “Ector went to investigate. It wasn’t a trick, or a trap, it really was Harry and he was alive. After that the priority was moving Harry to the American secure lodgings in Washington. That took an additional week to arrange.”

“Why not tell us then and why could he come home? We got the best medical wing of anyone anywhere.” Eggsy replied. His hand was rubbing circles on his stomach. “I mean, they kept Sprocket going, they could have helped Harry.”

“We do indeed have some of the best medical people available Eggsy.” Arthur agreed. “But -”

“But he was unfit to travel.” Merlin said. “Ye wouldn’t have left him in America, not if he could be brought back. Which means that he couldn’t.”

Arthur closed his eyes and took a breath. “That is correct.” He opened his eyes. “He was finally given medical clearance to return home, right when your heat hit. I didn’t tell you before that, because there were surgeries and infections and until four weeks ago, we weren’t sure that he would make it.”

“So why not tell us then?” Merlin asked.

“Because he wasn’t out of the woods completely, because my job as Arthur has to come first, and I had many things to see to, you had many things to see to. And by that point you the pregnancy was well safe and Harry’s scent would not help any more than yours was.”

When Arthur looked at the two of them, there was a smile, a little remorseful, sad. “I never had the connection you and Harry did, Alisdair, but I have known you almost as long. Forgive me for using medical concerns as a good excuse to  allow you to come out ahead for once.”

“Jonathan.” Merlin’s scent shifted dramatically, anger gone, replaced with something that Eggsy could not define.

“I believe I mentioned it was nice to see you happy. Telling you would have done nothing but perhaps build a wall between the two of you that you had just managed to tear down.” Arthur looked at them. “Take the rest of the day off, tomorrow as well if you need it. Harry will be back that night.”

“You said surgeries and infections. And that’s a fucking long coma. What’s wrong with Harry?” Eggsy asked.

Arthur handed them a file. “Read it when you feel up to it. Go home.”

Merlin and Eggsy left the office, but Eggsy didn’t turn towards the train.

“Where are you going?” Merlin asked. He felt adrift and wanted to go home and cuddle his omega.

“Medical. I’m going to want to see Harry, but need to know if re-introducing his scent could cause Sprocket any harm.” Eggsy set a brisk pace. “Because if there’s even a chance, we’re going to Scotland or Italy or I don’t know where to keep my baby safe.”

“Our baby. His baby.” Merlin said.

“Yeah, guess she’s gonna have a lot of daddies innit she? Bet she’s going to love being a teenager.” Eggsy snarked.

They made their way to the doctor and Eggsy asked his questions.

“I...don’t know. I’ve been researching since Arthur informed me, when not preparing for Harry’s arrival and there aren’t a lot of case studies on this.” She admitted. “I will continue to do my research and will let you know what I find out. You are just about 26 weeks Eggsy. The closer we get you to 40 weeks the better. And right now, until I have more information, can consult with a few other doctors - I am going to recommend that you not be here for Harry’s arrival.”

“Got it Doc, you’ll tell Arthur that I’ll stay at home for a week, do paperwork, help the new guys learn about the job.”

“I also have an online baby planning program that you could have. It goes over birth, and the first few weeks after. I was going to give it to you at 30 weeks, but since you’ll have time.”

“Thanks.” Eggsy said. They left and made their way home.

“You need food Eggsy.” Merlin said. “Something.”

“Not hungry.” Eggsy replied.

Leanan .”

“Not fucking hungry Merlin. I want a shower and I want my pajamas and then I want to know what the fuck made Arthur so sad that he had to just hand us the damn file instead of telling us.” Eggsy shouted.

“Of course.” Merlin started to head to the living room.

“Oi! Shower now, we read it together after. Okay?” Eggsy said.

Merlin smiled just a little. “Okay.”

They spent so long in the shower Eggsy was sure all his muscle mass had washed down the drain. He whimpered and made puppy eyes, and Merlin just rolled his eyes and carried Eggsy to the bedroom. He rubbed lotion on his stomach and dressed Eggsy in pajamas.

“Your pajamas.” Eggsy said.

“What will I wear then?” Merlin asked.

“Sweats or your pants, either is fine by me. No shirt, want skin snuggles.” Merlin laughed a little and dressed Eggsy in Merlin’s pajamas carefully rolling the cuffs and donning a pair of sweats.

They went down to the living room and Eggsy settled into his corner of the couch. Merlin left him and went to make tea, returning with a pot and a plate of snacks. Eggsy made sure to pick up a couple crackers, just to appease his alpha. He smiled as Merlin nudged the plate a little closer to him and took a slice of cheese as well.

“So start reading.” Eggsy said, looking at the file. “Give us the highlights.”

Merlin stared at the folder and didn’t want to open it. “I cannae.”

“Dair?” Eggsy asked.

“I came to peace with it. It took a long time, longer than I wanted to ever say, to pack him away. Hell, I really haven’t, his stuff has nae been sorted. And he’ll be back. I open that file, it’s real and everything changes, my life, our life we’re building it all changes.” Merlin looked at Eggsy. “I just…”

Eggsy could smell the worry, the fear pouring out of Merlin and he crawled into the alpha’s lap and scented him, soothed him. “And despite everything we’ve said and done. After everything we’ve become, you’re still worried I’ll take one look at the amazing Harry Hart and realize that it is him I truly love and that you were in fact just a handy replacement and I’ll go to him and him and me and Sprocket will live a perfect happy ever after life and we’ll invite you over for Sunday supper where you’ll pretend to be happy for us and then go home with a broken heart over what was almost yours?” The words came out in a spill, crashing into each other.

“Yes.” Merlin replied, so softly that Eggsy could barely hear it. Merlin’s head dropped onto Eggsy’s shoulder. He waited for his omega to walk away or to comfort him.

He didn’t expect the extremely vicious ear pinch. “Ow!” Merlin said as Eggsy pulled his head up by the ear. “Ow, ow, ow. What the hell?” But Eggsy kept pulling up until Merlin was sitting all the way up and his head arched back a little.

And then without asking, without any discussion, Eggsy dropped his head and sank his teeth into Merlin’s skin -- hard.

Merlin shouted at the pain. “What in the actual fuck Eggsy?” But Eggsy just sank his teeth in again, and then again. And Merlin realized that Eggsy was biting at the crux, that Eggsy was trying to leave a claim mark.

Omega claim marks on Alphas were rare, because they weren’t strong marks -- they faded, or never truly left an imprint in the first place. This would not last as it was not done in heat or rut, at the same time that the omega was also claimed.

But Eggsy was certainly doing his best to make an impression. Merlin winced as there was a last clamp down and then soothing kisses around the claim mark. Merlin got the hint though.

Leanan .”

“No.” Eggsy said with his little growl. His scent was pissed off, righteous. “No you don’t get to think stupid thoughts, or try to be a bullshit noble martyr or some such. Wot, you think just because I say I am yours that you can just hand me off, because you might think it’s the right thing? Fuck that, because the other half of that is that you are fucking mine and if you even think of going anywhere, trust me Harry will have company in the medical wing. Am I clear Alisdair?”

Merlin felt a hard kick against the hand that was braced on Eggsy’s stomach -- it seemed that Sprocket was weighing in her opinion as well.

“Aye, Eggsy, perfectly clear. I am yours.” Merlin’s smile was small but perfect.

“Goddamn right.” Eggsy said. He poked the bite mark for good measure, pleased when Merlin winced. He then lay a gentle kiss on the bite. “Sorry I was a little rough.”

Merlin smirked, “Well it’s a good thing that I don’t mind a little rough.” He pulled Eggsy down a little to feel his erection.

Eggsy snorted a little, but rolled his hips, enjoyed the feel of Merlin’s erection. He sighed though, “Can’t put it off Dair, we need to read the file.”

“No we don’t.” Merlin replied.

“Are we five now? Burying our heads won’t work.”

“Might?” Merlin asked. “Come on, a little bit of fun, put in a nice mellow mood to read what is in there.”

“It might not be that bad.” Eggsy said, then winced. “So that was a dumb thing to say, but Dair let’s just be done with it.”

“Aye.” Merlin sighed and reached around Eggsy to pick up the file. Eggsy shifted on his lap so that they could both easily read.

It was a lot of medical language and Eggsy didn’t understand some of it, or more could not understand how all the words fit together. There were photos, x-rays, brain scans, and pages of information. He knew that none of it looked good, but Merlin was smelling sadder and sadder.

"Done reading?” Merlin asked, voice so heavy, aching.

“I guess. It looked like a lot, but not sure how it all fits together.” Eggsy said. Merlin put the papers back on the table and pulled Eggsy in close. Eggsy curled into a ball in Merlin’s lap and Merlin rest his head atop Eggsy.

“How simple do you want it?” Merlin asked, voice thick.

Oh he’s trying not to cry , Eggsy realized. He tightened his grip on Merlin.

“Pretty simple.” Eggsy said.

“Harry Hart will never sit at the table again. No amount of surgery or therapy will make him fit to sit as Galahad.”

“Oh.” Eggsy had no idea how to feel about that.

“Aye.”

“Maybe make it a little more complex for me?” Eggsy asked after a moment.

“Harry Hart was shot in the head. Now our glasses are stronger than average but not strong enough to withstand a close range bullet. He was on the ground for forty minutes before help arrived. In that time he had a stroke, since the bullet cut off blood flow to parts of his brain. The first responders did their jobs and did them well, but a lot of damage was done before they arrived. He had two brain surgeries while in the coma, the first to deal with the initial damage and the second to deal with bleeding and swelling in the brain.”

“That doesn’t sound good.” Eggsy said. “That sounds the opposite of good.”

“He is currently suffering gaps in his memories, though is not having trouble forming new ones. Some minor speech problems that should be ameliorated with therapy. His mobility has been affected. His left arm is paralyzed, recovery uncertain. His legs are functioning but he will tire easily, need a cane at the very least. He is currently using a wheelchair, barring small walks to the bathroom and the like. He is missing his left eye and there is facial scarring.”

Eggsy held Merlin tight. “He’s coming home though Merlin. He’s alive and he’s coming home where we can see him and help him and figure all this out. We’ll figure all this out.”

“Why am I taking this worse than you? Ye are the one who is carrying his bairn.” Merlin said.

Eggsy just shrugged. “I saw him, what?-- A  dozen times total, and one of those involved us shagging. He was an almost-was, Merlin, I’ve told you he didn’t have my heart. But he had yours, twenty plus years of friendship and working together. And you are a bloody alpha, which means you’ll get a little freaked out over encroachment on your territory.”

“Aye.” Merlin agreed. “He’ll be happy at least that all his damn butterflies are safe.”

“Okay, since I have the chance what the hell was up with those things anyways?” Eggsy asked.

Merlin snorted. “Not a damn clue, just knew he loved them.”

“Weird. Seriously weird.” Eggsy looked at Merlin. “So, still need a snuggle?”

“I thought we were snuggling.” Merlin replied.

“Horizontal snuggling.” Eggsy wiggled his brows.

“Maybe in a little while, lad. I just need to think for a bit.” Merlin admitted. “Alone.” He added.

“Sure, it’s early and I have some energy. I’ll take the dogs for a nice walk, pick up some take-away. You just do whatever thinking you need to.” Eggsy kissed Merlin and tried to hop off his lap. He may have needed a little extra push.

Merlin stayed on the couch, thoughts racing. ut as always, they came back to fucking Harry Hart .

 

******************

 

Arthur and Merlin stood on the edge of the tarmac and watched the plane touch down. Arthur had managed to ensure that most of the staff and agents stayed away until Harry was settled.

“Ready Merlin?” Arthur asked as the plane doors opened.

“Not even a little.” Merlin replied, back ramrod straight, fists clenched on his clipboard. He didn’t need it for any work, but having something to hold was a comfort.

They watched as Ector came out first carrying a collapsed wheelchair that he set up at the base of the steps. He then turned and walked back up. And there was Harry Hart.

“God, he’ll have hated that they made him travel in a tracksuit.” Merlin said. “We’ll be hearing about that for weeks.” Ector in front and a nurse behind helped Harry navigate the steps, left arm just dangling, not aiding his progress down. Still he made it to the chair with only a minimum of assistance. But it was clear he was thankful he didn’t have to walk much more. Ector pushed him over to where Arthur and Merlin were standing.

“Galahad, we welcome you home.” Arthur said formally.

“Ye look like shit.” Was what Merlin came up with. Arthur hit him.

“You smell.” Was Harry’s reply.

Arthur sighed. “A little decorum for this momentous occasion would be appreciated.”

“No.” Both Merlin and Harry replied. The two alphas smiled at each other. Merlin looked at the scars, the eye patch, the growing back hair. He took it all in.

“For a dead man, I suppose ye don’t look as bad as you could.” Merlin admitted. He shooed Ector away, put his clipboard in Harry’s lap and started to push the chair into the estate.

“Still prettier than you.” The words were slow to come out, a little slurred, but clear enough. Arthur walked beside them and they made their way to the medical rooms. Merlin pushed Harry into the room. Harry looked around. “No more hospital beds.”

“We’ll see if the doctor clears you to stay in one of the bedrooms.” Arthur said. “But I will insist on a full checkup and analysis by our own team. And yes, I know that you had one before you left, and they were ours as well. But you will indulge me in this. It is not a request. Now I will leave you be. I trust, Merlin, that you can make him follow orders.” Arthur gave a polite nod and left them alone.

“Ector said Chester died in the events.” Harry said. He stood and slowly shuffled over to the wingback that sat in the room for visitors. He sank into the cushions with a sigh.

“Aye, he sided with Valentine.” Merlin sat on the edge of the hospital bed.

“You stopped him.” Harry looked at Merlin. “Big hero.”

“Only a part of the team.” Merlin said. “I am glad to see you old friend.” Merlin was pleased to know that he truly meant that. Beyond the complications that Harry’s return created, he was happy to see his friend. “I kept all your stuff, it is in storage here.”

“Sentimental sap.” Harry said. He closed his eye and leaned his head back. “I’m so broken.”

“We’ll put you back together.”

“All the king’s men?” Harry asked.

“Indeed.”

Harry took in a deep breath. “You do smell.”

“The new Arthur doesn’t insist that I wear blockers. And while you were gone it was medically necessary for me to not wear them.”

“You smell bit different, though.” Harry said slowly. He breathed in a little more. “Scent of omega on you, just a bit, but not yet claimed.” He opened his eye. His gaze zeroed in on Merlin’s neck where a hint of the bite could just be seen. “You dog.”

Merlin flushed a little. “There is a lot to explain.”

Harry waved a hand. “I have time. The more we talk the more we can delay the medical vultures.”

Merlin put his clipboard beside him. He looked at Harry. “A medical situation arose while you were gone that needed my assistance. That assistance grew a friendship and that became something more. Harry, Eggsy and I are together now, and I fully intend to claim him as mine.”

He waited for Harry to respond.

Harry smiled. “Well, good for you.”

“Really?” Merlin was shocked.


“Of course! Happy for my friend.” Harry replied. “Now tell me all about this Eggsy person. I can’t wait to meet the man.”

Chapter Text

“Eggsy, Harry.” Merlin stared at Harry in shock.

“Yes, you said.” Harry smiled. “I thought I was supposed to be the one with memory problems, Merlin.”

“Eggsy.” Merlin said again, stressing the name. “Do ye not really not remember him?”

“No, sorry.” Harry’s brow furrowed, as he seemed to try to pull a face, a moment, out of his memory. Merlin watched the face, that was both the same and so different. Scars pulled at the skin, but Harry still bit his upper lip as he thought.

“What’s the last thing ye do remember?” Merlin asked.

“Chester telling us about James.” Harry replied. “Ector filled in some of the blanks about what happened since then. It seems two comas in such quick succession did me no favours.” Harry laughed a little.

Merlin tried to figure out what to do. He had not expected this at all. He decided at the moment to let it lie as he could hear the doctor’s footsteps. “I hear the doctor, I’ll tell you more about Eggsy later.”

“Oh boo, I want details.” Harry said.

“Ye need rest. We’ll talk soon.” Merlin said. He was happy when the doctor came in. She looked between the two men and then at Merlin. He shook his head just a little. “Doctor, it seems that his memory is gone from James’s death on. Help me convince him he does indeed owe me fifty pounds.”

Harry threw a pillow at Merlin. They all ignored that he missed. “I owe you no such thing!”

The doctor laughed a little, and nodded at Merlin to indicate she understood what he was trying to get across. “No messing with my patients, Merlin.” She scolded. “Now get out of here.”

Merlin said another goodbye and left them to their exam. He walked steadily through the building, stopped frequently by people who asked if Harry was really back and how he was doing. Merlin kept his answers brief but as positive as possible. Still it took him almost half an hour to reach Arthur’s office. The door was open.

“Come in Merlin, I’ve been waiting for you.” Arthur said. He pointed to the more comfortable sofa off to the side. “How did it go?”

“Great.” Merlin said. He leaned his head back. Arthur winced at the mix of scents coming off the quartermaster.

“That bad?” Arthur asked. He poured a small measure of brandy and gave it to Merlin.

“Permission to speak freely?” Merlin asked.

“It is yours.”

“Jonathan, I have no idea.” Merlin admitted. “He doesn’t remember Eggsy at all. Doesn’t recall choosing him as his candidate, sleeping with him, nothing. All just gone.” Merlin took a sip of the brandy. “He congratulated me on having an almost-mate.”

Arthur didn’t say anything, but did pour himself a drink.

Merlin was a quiet sort, but this silence was killing him. “Do we tell him who Eggsy is, do we not? And more what do I tell Eggsy? No matter that it is medical, Harry not remembering him, not remembering their night together. I...have no idea how to handle this. I prepared for so many worst case scenarios but this one seemed to have slipped by me. I think of everything Jonathan, how did I not think of this?”

“I don’t know.” Arthur said. “Memory trouble was there in his medical file, but I admit I am at a loss. I am unsure how someone forgets Eggsy, he makes such an impression.”

“I’d imagine a bullet is good at that sort of erasure.” Merlin said.

“Alisdair, if you hide this from Eggsy it will come back to bite you in the ass, and not in the fun way that I imagine those neck bites were.” Arthur said.

Merlin laughed a little. “Aye, though the bites were more about proving a point than fun times.”

“Ah, you were prepared to be stupidly noble, figuring Harry would come out on top as usual.” Arthur said.

“Why does everyone think I would do that?” Merlin grumbled.

“Because you regularly do. You give him too much credit, you always have Alisdair. Harry has always been lucky in his friendship with you. You need to realize that you can let yourself come first.”

Merlin looked at Arthur. “When did you get this smart and all seeing?”

“Always have been, you just never noticed. Advantage of being quiet. People don’t notice you seeing them.” Arthur shrugged.

“Jonathan, you are a very good Arthur.” Merlin said simply.

Arthur smiled slightly.

They sat in silence and an hour later there was a knock on the door. The doctor came in at Arthur’s call.

“He is resting. He has a long road to recovery.” The doctor sat across from the men.

“And how much recovery can we expect?” Arthur asked.

“I’ve read all his reports and the opinions of the doctors in America. I’ll want to do my own analysis as well, but in the end I think I’ll agree with them. His speech should return to normal with intense therapy. Mobility will likewise improve with therapy. I believe we can get him to the point where he would need at most a cane for walking, though he will always tire more easily.”

The doctor looked as sad and tired as Merlin and Arthur poured her a medicinal measure of brandy. She knocked it back like a shot without even blinking.

Merlin laughed. “Why haven’t we been partying with ye Doctor?”

“Because you couldn’t keep up with me.” She replied. “His left arm, we may regain some limited functionality with intense therapy, but I don’t think he’ll regain full use. If we can get him to the point of making a fist I will honestly be happy. As for his memories, I doubt they’ll return.” She concluded.

“Could something trigger them?” Arthur asked.

The doctor snorted a little. “What, you mean like seeing that one perfect flower, or if he caught the scent of Eggsy and everything came rushing back to him all at once?”

Arthur blushed a little.

“No, Arthur, his brain was torn up by the bullet. They might still be there, but honestly I think this is our reality. He does not remember the months before Kentucky. He does not remember Eggsy.”

“Do we tell him doctor?” Merlin asked.

“Yes, but not today.” The doctor said. “He would deny it, but he’s fragile from travel and needs more recovery time. Dropping the information that he bred an omega and he can’t remember it, that is not a wise thing to do to an alpha. No matter, there is a chance he would go straight on instinct and seek Eggsy out. That could be detrimental to everyone. A week or two, for him to regain strength and then we see.”

“Thank you doctor.” Arthur said.

“Will telling Eggsy news of this sort affect the pregnancy?” Merlin asked.

“No. Give him lots of scenting, to remind his body that there is an alpha who wants him and the baby, that they are safe and cared for and he should be fine.”

The doctor left and Merlin finished his drink. “If you excuse me Arthur, I have to go tell Eggsy.”

“Good luck. Anything you two need, it is yours.” Arthur said.

Merlin nodded in appreciation and left to go tell Eggsy. This wasn’t going to go well.

*********************************

Merlin called out when he arrived home to find Eggsy sitting in their office going over notes for Clara and James, writing out points for the new agents. He was wearing a shirt of Merlin’s, the larger size functioning well as a maternity top. Eggsy’s glasses were slipping down his nose, making the lad look extra adorable. Merlin  couldn’t stop himself from walking over and picking Eggsy up. Merlin sat himself in Eggsy’s chair and put Eggsy on the desk. He nuzzled Eggsy’s belly, and he laughed when he felt a poke against his face.

“Hello Sprocket.” Merlin said. He got another jab to his face. “I love ye so much lass.” He lay a gentle kiss on Eggsy’s stomach and leaned back in the chair. He picked up Eggsy’s feet and began to rub them, moving his hands up to the ankles that were starting to swell more.

Eggsy looked down at Merlin. “So that bad yeah?”

Merlin shrugged and kept working. “I don’t know.” Merlin pulled up a foot and kissed right where he knew Eggsy was ticklish. “He has memory loss as the file said.”

“Dair, just tell me. Don’t make it worse.” Eggsy said quietly.

Merlin bent his head a little, kept his eyes on Eggsy’s toes. “He doesn’t remember you. His memories seem to end with James’s death. I said your name several times, but nothing. And the doctor doesn’t think they’ll come back, just too much brain trauma.”

The room was heavy in its silence. Merlin stopped rubbing Eggsy’s feet and just held them.

“Nofin?” Eggsy’s accent was thicker than it had been in the last few weeks. “Like Nofin? No memory at all? Not even like a blink or flicker or -”

“Eggsy, he said he was happy for me and wanted to know the details of the man I was with.” Merlin ran his hands up Eggsy’s legs, rested them on his thighs. “The doctor suggests we let Harry settle in, start his therapies and then tell him.”

“Why?” Eggsy asked. “Why we got to tell him anythin’ then? He forgot me, well maybe I should stay forgotten then.” Eggsy used his feet to push Merlin back and get off the table. “Better that way innit?”

“No, Eggsy, it isn’t.” Merlin said. “Despite all the scent therapy we’ve done, your pregnancy still smells of its alpha, its biological alpha. And if Harry were ever to catch even a hint of that scent, without us having explained - his instincts might override his rationality.”

“So he don’t catch a whiff then. I work from home and then he never -”

Merlin interrupted Eggsy. “And when you go back to the field and I have Sprocket with me, what then?”

“Why would he even be at the estate?” Eggsy asked. “No matter what, he ain’t fit for the table anymore. The docs said that.”

“Because he is Harry Hart and a valuable asset to the Kingsman even if he cannae return to the table. I already had thoughts that once his therapy is over, Harry could make great contributions  in my division.” Merlin looked at Eggsy. “Think lad, why would we waste such a valuable asset? Use your brain.” Merlin was frustrated by everything and let it bleed into his words and tone.

“Still we could make it so he never -” Eggsy began, but Merlin cut him off again. Eggsy watched as Merlin rolled his eyes and gestured.

“Never what Eggsy? Comes over? I never see my best friend socially, you never see your former mentor at all? I will not lie to him Eggsy, I will not betray him and our friendship like that. The fact is that he is the alpha of your pregnancy and he deserves a chance to know. And I will certainly not deny him access to his child.” Merlin looked at Eggsy, sure that this would be the end of it.

And in less than a blink Merlin realized what he said wrong, but it was too late.

You won’t deny him access to his child?” Eggsy growled, a hand covering his stomach instinctively. His scent was thick, Merlin wondered if he would choke on the anger of it. He immediately wanted to placate his omega.

Leanan , I didn’t mean...I didn’t mean it like that.” Merlin held out a hand which Eggsy ignored.

“Like what?” Eggsy’s scent continued to rise, but his voice stayed calm.

Merlin kept his mouth shut.

“Like what, Alisdair?” Eggy repeated. “You didn’t mean it to sound like you as alpha had the primary say over my pregnancy and the baby?”

Merlin had no idea how to respond to Eggsy at the moment.

“Because,” Eggsy said slowly as he moved a little closer to Merlin, “I could start screaming and wailing about how it isn’t even your child, how I am not in fact your mate yet. I could say a million things that could make you bleed right now, just destroy you, leave you shattered into a million little bits here on the ground and then I could stomp on them just to really dig it in.” Eggsy was as close as he could get to Merlin, and Merlin tried not to flinch.

“But, that ain’t true, because me and Sprocket are yours and that isn’t going to change because you say something astoundingly thick-headed during a trying moment. You are her Da, you know, in every way but blood, and you absolutely have a say in how we proceed in the giant clusterfuck that has become our life.” Eggsy smiled and Merlin let out a slow breath, only to lose all air as Eggsy pushed him into the wall and put his arm to Merlin’s throat.

“But if you even for a second ever think that you are in charge here to the exclusion of my opinion or needs, if you ever just talk over me like I’m a child or an idiot, if you ever think that your friendship matters more than the fucking family we are building here, there won’t be a fight, there won’t be nasty words. I’ll just kill you and make sure that Sprocket never knows who you are.” Eggsy pressed gently against Merlin’s windpipe. “Suggest even accidentally again that you alphas matter more in this than me, and I’ll remind you why I sit at that goddamn table.” Eggsy stepped back. “I’m going to Mum’s for the night. I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Eggsy left the room without another word, and Merlin did not dare follow him.

******************************

A few hours later Eggsy tucked Daisy in and gave her a good snuggle. She fell asleep her hand resting on “baby tum” as she called it. He kissed her head and reluctantly pulled away. He knew his mum was waiting to talk about why he showed up out of the blue.

He walked through the small but nice flat he had arranged for them and found his mum just finishing up the tea.

“Sit. One little extra cuppa won’t hurt anything.” Michelle said. Eggsy breathed in the scent of her oversteeped PG Tips and smiled. He added some milk and the barest spoon of sugar and waited. And sure enough a flake bar was put beside him with a wink. “Always was your favourite treat.”

Eggsy tore into the chocolate and finished it in a minute. He settled back with his tea and waited. Figured he’d let her get the ball rolling.

“So just the one night?” Michelle finally asked.

“Yeah just the one.” Eggsy agreed.

“You sure?” Michelle pushed a little. “Sometimes going back innit the best idea.”

“He’s not Dean, Mum. He fucked up. and I want to make it clear that it is a road he can’t go down, but he didn’t mean to pull the alpha card, not really.”

“How is starts sometimes.” Michelle said quietly.

“I know. I remember. But this is different.”

“How?” Michelle asked. “How is this so very different? How do I know you ain’t just going to fall into the same patterns I did?”

Eggsy took a breath and explained everything to her. She nodded along and by the end was holding his hand. Eggsy finished his cold tea. “What do I do Mum?”

“What you think is best.” Michelle said simply.

“Is that what you did?” Eggsy asked. He winced, realizing how it would sound.

“No.” Michelle looked at her son. “No, I did what was easiest. Is this the night we finally do this?”

Eggsy took a breath. “Yeah I think it is.”

“Okay, then.” Michelle agreed. “Ask.”

“Why? Why did you stay, why did you let him destroy you, why didn’t you fight for yourself?” Eggsy touched his stomach. “I’m glad Daisy is going to get the you that I almost remember, that she’ll get the Mom I almost had. But I want to know why I wasn’t enough for you to walk away from him. To keep Sprocket safe I would do anything. Why didn’t you?”

Michelle looked at her son. “The day that man came to tell us about your father, there were a few choices I could make. And I chose to run. Oh not actually, but I ran from what I felt, how I hurt, and I just kept running and running and then one day I was just gone, lost and you were grown up.”

“That’s not a reason.” Eggsy said.

“No, I suppose it isn’t, but it is what I have. I was scared, and foolish, and by the time I realized how far gone I was, I had sunk us all. There was no coming back and it was then about just surviving.”

“I brought you back.”

“Yes, you did.” Michelle said. “I can never give you back what you lost, all I can do is not run anymore, and put Daisy before my fear in a way I didn’t manage for you.”

“I run too. Look at the marines, failing my final job test with the Kingsman, running here tonight. Always running.” Eggsy moved his cup in his hands.

Michelle stilled his fingers. “Oh my darling. You forget though, you are Lee’s son. You might run like me, but you never keep running. There is always a point where you stand still and strong. And you’ll do it with this too. Eggsy, I am so damn proud of you, and who you’ve become. You are going to be an amazing mum.”

Eggsy rolled his eyes. “Geez, don’t call me that. So old fashioned.”

“Hey you give birth - you’re a mum, simple as that. But if you like, you are going to be an amazing Da.”

“No, Merlin is Da.” Eggsy smiled a little. “I want to be Daddy.”

“It suits you.” Michelle said. “And who then is Harry Hart?”

“That’s the question innit?” Eggsy replied. “Because fuck if I know.”

“You’re clever, you’ll figure it out.” Michelle stood and leaned over to kiss Eggsy’s head. “I’ll never deserve your forgiveness, but I’ll always work for it.”

“Nothing to forgive Mum.” Eggsy said, leaning into her soft scent.

“Yes there is.” Michelle said. “I’ll be a good gran.”

“Yeah you will.” Eggsy said, very sure of it. “Best ever.”

They tidied the kitchen and then settled Eggsy in and for the first time since he was about 8, Michelle tucked Eggsy in.

***************************

Merlin heard the door open and stayed in the living room. He was sitting in Eggsy’s spot, had been all night, trying to catch as much of the omega’s scent as he could. Merlin could hear Eggsy’s footsteps and looked up when they stopped.

“Eggsy.” Merlin’s voice was raw with nerves.

“Dair.” Eggsy replied calmly. He walked in and sat on a chair across from Merlin.

“Did ye have a good visit with your family?” Merlin asked.

“Yeah, Mum and I talked a few things out a little. Helped me think a few things through.” Eggsy said. “Me saying we could just not tell him was shite. It was running away, because it really hurt that he doesn’t remember me. But I ain’t going to run.”

Merlin looked at his hands. “I did a lot of thinking last night. Of things that Arthur has said, and ye have said, agents in my ear mentioning how happy they are for me, for us.  And still I somehow try to put Harry first. It is just such an ingrained habit to make sure Harry Hart comes out on top. But I am done, I truly am leanan . I promise we as a unit, as a family come first for me. And if ye say we keep it secret, then we keep it secret.” Merlin looked at Eggsy. “I didn’t like being apart from you, I’ve become accustomed to the shape of ye in my bed. But if ye are going back in the field, I’ll have to get used to it.”

Eggsy moved over to beside Merlin. “Hey, I’ve still have to finish the pregnancy, and then I’m looking at 6 months of parental leave and getting fit again. I’ll be in our bed a good while yet. And you can move her bassinet in when I’m gone for company. Though we both know you’ll let the dogs up on the bed the second I am away.”

“I’ll admit nothing.” Merlin buried his face in Eggsy’s neck. “I’m sorry.”

“I know. Me too, threatening to kill you might have been a little excessive.” Eggsy said.

“You were proper terrifying.” Merlin said. “And magnificent.”

“Yeah?” Eggsy asked.

“Aye.” Merlin pulled back a little and kissed Eggsy softly, but soon it was a desperate, hungry kiss. “I was scared and turned on at the same time, a unique combination for me.”

“Oh really?” Eggsy moved even close, nipped a little at the bites on Merlin’s neck. “Want me to scare your some more?”

“Mmmmm very much.” Merlin agreed.

“Go upstairs, promise to right terrify you.” Eggsy said.

Merlin growled a little and his scent was thick with arousal. Eggsy shoved his alpha and watched as Merlin moved quickly. Eggsy gave him a five count before heading after him.

*********************************

That night they ate takeaway and talked about what to do about Harry.

“Doc said a week or two and we could reassess, see if he’s ready to be told, yeah?” Eggsy asked.

“Aye.”

“I have a check up with her in what, 3 weeks? We do that and then tell him together, and we see how it all plays out.” Eggsy took a breath. “And we give him the option to be as involved or not as he wants.”

“And if he wants lots of involvement?” Merlin asked.

“Then we figure it out.”

“And if he wants nothing?”

“Not really a change for our original plans then is it? But at least we’ll know.” Eggsy said.

“I agree. It is a good plan.” Merlin said. “It will have also given the doctor enough time to finish researching what might happen reintroducing Harry’s scent into your life.”

“Yeah. Want Sprocket to bake in there as long as possible.” Eggsy said, rubbing his tummy.

“Aye, the longer Lexi stays cozy in there the better.” They both paused and thought about the name. Merlin sighed, “Alright, I’ll remove it from my list, does nae fit our Sprocket.”

“Sorry babe.” Eggsy said.

But Merlin just shrugged, losing one name off his list was no big deal.

*****************************

18 days later, Eggsy was working on some field reports that Merlin gave him. Merlin didn’t say it was a test, but the sadistic bastard had decided to start getting Eggsy ready for the field again, and that included working on the training he had missed thanks to the whole Valentine situation. So Merlin had him reading and doing analysis of past missions. Eggsy had to say the Kingsman did some crazy ass stuff. He was still trying to figure out how the former Lancelot pulled off the escape from that underground prison when there was a knock at the door.

Eggsy pushed himself up and made his way to the door. He opened it, thinking it was a delivery from Merlin, or perhaps the grocery store.

But of course it wasn’t.

“You know that for spies, the Kingsman are surprisingly horrible at keeping secrets?” Harry asked, a shadow of a smile on his face.

Eggsy just stared at him.

At Harry Hart.

At Harry fucking Hart.

Harry stared back. “You must be Eggsy.”

Eggsy watched as Harry took a deep breath. Eggsy gripped the door tight.


“And that,” Harry glanced at the swell of Eggsy’s stomach, “that would be my baby.”

Chapter Text

“Christ, can’t the universe just cut me a break once?” Eggsy exclaimed to the heavens.

“I seem to be asking the same question.” Harry replied. “I am unsure how much longer I can stand. Perhaps you would be so kind to offer me a seat, and we can discuss the very recent past?”

“Are you even supposed to be up and about yet bruv?” Eggsy asked. Harry’s words had come slowly and he was clearly breathing heavily.

“Indeed not, but any idiot could see that everyone who visited me was struggling to hide something. Arthur and Merlin revealed nothing, but there were whispers, things not being said, and they all pointed me here. So I stole a car.” Harry’s weight was clearly being held up with will and the cane.

Eggsy breathed in the scent of the alpha, something that had fascinated him once, but now felt too tame next to his Dair.

“You got right pissed at me for stealing a Kingsman car once, you know.” Eggsy held the door open wider.

“That is rather the point of this visit. It seems there is a lot I don’t know.” Harry said as he carefully moved forward leaning heavily on the cane. Harry stumbled and Eggsy moved forward to catch him. Harry breathed in deeply.

“So that really is my baby isn’t it?” Harry asked. He looked at Eggsy, at the swell of stomach. But there was nothing on his face, Harry was blank.

“Yeah it is.” Eggsy said, helping him across the threshold. “Let’s get you settled and then have that talk.” The universe seriously owed Eggsy a fucking Ferrari at this point for the way it dicked him around. “Can you make your way to Dair’s couch?”

Harry’s face was stern. “Of course I can. I am perfectly capable of such a short distance.” But he didn’t move. Eggsy looked at him and quietly got under the shoulder opposite of the cane and helped Harry to the living room. Eggsy felt the dead weight of the left arm on his shoulder. It didn’t tighten or move, just lay there. Eggsy felt his heart ache. He sat Harry down and looked at the man.

It really wasn’t the Harry he remembered. Beyond the scars, the missing eye, he looked older, much older, and lost.

“Oh Harry.” Eggsy says, but it seems that is a little too much.

Harry’s jaw tightens. “Mr Unwin, it is considered polite to offer your guests a refreshment, especially when they are clearly in need of it.”

Eggsy nodded. “Course bruv. I’ll get you a cuppa.” Eggsy went to the kitchen and set the kettle on. He pulled out his phone and stared at Merlin’s number. He knew he should contact the alpha, let him know that Harry was here. But then Merlin would rush over and then whatever this was would change.

And Eggsy wanted this conversation to be his. For good or for ill. He hoped he didn’t regret it. “Sprocket do your daddy a favour and be okay and stay put will you?” Eggsy rubbed his stomach and finished putting a tray together. He brought it to the living room, where it looked like Harry was dozing. Eggsy put a tea cup and some biscuits in front of Harry and then sat across the way with his cup.

Harry’s eyes snapped open. “Who are you?”

“I’m Eggsy.”

“That’s not an answer.” Harry replied.

“Sure it is bruv. Just not enough of one for what you are looking for.” Eggsy said. He got up and went to the table by the front door and came with his key chain. And there was the medal that Harry had given him. “You don’t remember me. But maybe you do if you go back far enough. You gave this to me when I was like 7, do you remember that?”

Harry held out the hand that actually worked and Eggsy handed it over. Harry turned it over and over in his fingers. “Lee.” He finally said.

“Yeah, that was my dad.” Eggsy looked at the medal. “I got nabbed by the filth and used that to get out. You put me up as your candidate.”

Harry looked at him. “I put up a petty criminal for candidacy?”

“I’m not a petty criminal.” Eggsy said. “I was fairly good at it actually.”

“Charming.” Harry said. He fumbled his biscuit. “Do you know why I nominated you?”

Eggsy shrugged. “Stick it to Chester King? Because you were impressed with my ability to keep my mouth shut?” Eggsy looked at his hands. “We had a fight. You said everything was to repay my dad, so maybe that is the real reason.”

Harry looked at him. “I fail to see how that leads to us shagging and you getting pregnant.”

“Made the final two didn’t I? We had our 24 hours and we had been a little flirty I guess in our interactions, and you smelled good and were strong and just sitting there confident, relaxed in your shirt sleeves and double holsters and were just hot as fuck.”

“So you seduced me.” Harry said the words like they left a sour taste in his mouth.

“Mutual seduction more like.” Eggsy responded. “We just sort of collided raw passion and all. A biological explosion.”

“I always use protection.” Harry said. “I haven’t had unprotected sex with an omega since I was 17 and an idiot.” He looked at Eggsy’s stomach. “Were you trying to trap me, a backup plan in case you failed out of the Kingsman?”

“Fuck off.” Eggsy said. He lay a hand against his stomach. “Didn’t think I could get pregnant. Got a hormonal imbalance, barely have heats, doc always said outside heat I was infertile.”

“Well isn’t that convenient?” Harry said.

Eggsy glared at him. This wasn’t Harry. “It’s fucking fact, look up my medical records. Give you permission to talk to doc and everything.” Eggsy took a breath. “We liked each other, we had sex. And I thought maybe we would have something more. But I failed the dog test and Rox became Lancelot. You and I fought, a crappy mean fight and then you were dead. I saved the world, joined the table and I found out I was pregnant when Sprocket almost miscarried.”

“What then?” Harry asked casually like Eggsy was relaying the plot of a show, not explaining the man’s own life.

“My body were rejecting the pregnancy due to the lack of alpha, due to the lack of you.”

“So you moved yourself along to another alpha, one who just happens to have money and can make your life at the table a lot easier.”

“Wot the fuck is this Harry? You ain’t no fucking snob - that’s the whole point of you. You beat the ever living shit of some arses for suggesting I was a rent boy and then you pull this shit?”

“Were you?” Harry asked.

“Were I what?”

“A rent boy?” Harry asked a cruel twist to his mouth.

Eggsy looked at him and in a second realized what this was and he backed off his anger a little. This wasn’t bitterness or anger. This was fear. “I did what I had to, to keep my mum and my little sister safe. So yeah, I’ve spent some time on my knees. Ain’t going to make me feel like shite for that Harry, maybe could have once, but Dair got me sorted on those feelings.” Eggsy took a breath. “The doctor suggested a therapy, a compatible alpha, a scent that yours had been around, one that could never mean it harm, and that maybe the presence of that would save Sprocket’s life. Dair volunteered. And Sprocket was safe.” Eggsy looked at Harry. “Did you ever understand how much Dair loved you?”

And there, just for a second Eggsy saw their Harry. Then it was gone.

“What, then, do youexpect from me, since everything has been sorted out so well in my absence?” Harry asked.

Eggsy’s brow furrowed. “Expect? Nothing Harry.” Eggsy looked at him, ready to say more but Harry stood.

“Then nothing is what you shall have. Good day Mr Unwin.” Harry said. He made his way carefully out of the living room.

It took Eggsy a moment to process what just happened. “Wait Harry, I didn’t mean it like that. You need to let me finish.” Eggsy went after him, and almost crashed into him at the open door as Harry paused, seeing Merlin, Arthur, and the Doctor in front of the house. “Huh, thought timing like that only happened in the movies.” Eggsy muttered. If he could have seen Harry’s face, he would have seen a hint of the old Harry smirk, but it was gone in a blink.

“Harry, if you're ignoring of medical advice has caused any harm to my bairn, I will finish what was started in Kentucky.” Merlin’s voice was calm, and so was his scent.  This made the threat all the more deadly. Eggsy watched as Arthur angled himself just a little in between the two men.

“Ah Alisdair, it isn’t quite your bairn, or your omega is it though? But you always did make good use of my cast offs didn’t you?” Harry’s voice was hard, cold.

Eggsy couldn’t stop his flinch and Merlin snarled, ready to attack.

Arthur held a hand. “Harry, that wasn’t very gentlemanly of you. When you are done being scared and in pain, knowing you said that will devastate you. Now, you will leave here and return to the estate.”

Harry opened his mouth.

“That Mr. Hart was not a request but a direct order from your employer. And at the moment I do not care how injured you are, start moving under your own steam, or you’ll move under mine. Do try to retain a shred of dignity in this moment.” Arthur said.

Harry nodded and made his way to the car he stole. Arthur held the door open for him. “Doctor look to Eggsy and then return to the estate to assess how much damage Harry did with this little misguided jaunt.” Arthur put himself in the driver seat and drove away.

“Well Eggsy, who did you piss off in your previous life?” The doctor asked.

Eggsy leaned against the door and laughed a little hysterically. “I have no idea, but I’m really regretting it.”

Merlin hurried over to Eggsy and hugged him tight, could stop rubbing his face against Eggsy’s jaw, neck, and shoulder, overlaying the scent of Harry that lingered.

Sprocket began to kick hard. “You know she didn’t move much while Harry was here. Second you are close though, just goes mental.”

“Fascinating.” The doctor said.

“You’re writing a paper about this aren’t you Doc?” Eggsy asked.

The doctor flushed just a little. “I may have made some preliminary notes.” She admitted.

“That’s cool.” Eggsy said. “Bet you want to check heart and stuff though right?”

The doctor nodded and they went into the house. Eggsy’s blood pressure was fine and Sprocket’s heart beat was of a piece with all earlier readings. The doctor packed up her things. “Any cramping, blood, anything just feels off, you come in. Otherwise though, I do feel it is safe for you to come back to work at the estate if you like. If this didn’t trigger any problems, we should be in the clear.”

“Thank you, I’ll see you out.” Merlin said. He gave Eggsy a look and Eggsy knew that it meant he was to stay put. Eggsy stayed on the bed and waited for Merlin’s return. JB and Falkirk moved closer and gave Eggsy’s toes some licks.

“Thanks boys, always make me feel better you do.” Eggsy said.

“They are very good dogs.” Merlin agreed from the doorway. “Though perhaps they didn’t need to nap while there was a threat present to ye.”

“Harry weren’t no threat.” Eggsy said. He sat up. “How mad are you?”

“At whom? You, Harry, the universe?” Merlin asked.

“All of the above?”

“You should have texted me.” Merlin said. He came over and sat on the bed. “There was a risk to you and the bairn.”

“A minor one.” Eggsy said. “I needed this Merlin. I needed to talk to him without a filter or protection or alpha posturing.” Eggsy sniffled a little and Merlin pulled him into his arms.

“And? Did you get what you needed?” Merlin asked as he rubbed a hand up and down Eggsy’s back.

“No. No that weren’t Harry. That was...Jesus what was that?”

“Ye knew pieces of Harry, Eggsy, glimpses. Some good, some bad, and there are more pieces of both sides to him. And when feeling cornered he is just like any animal - vicious and unyielding.” Merlin said.

Eggsy felt his eyes well. “He said he doesn’t want anything to do with Sprocket.”

“That is his great loss. She is going to be amazing.” Merlin said.

Eggsy began to cry. “He doesn’t hold any of my heart, I swear it, so how did he manage to break it so thoroughly?” His cries grew louder, his scent distraught.

“Because he was the first to see your worth.” Merlin said. “Before even you did. Leanan , the heart has many corners and I don’t mind there is one for him, not when so many of the spots are mine.”

“I want to carve him out.” Eggsy replied.

“No ye don’t, not really.” Merlin said. He kissed Eggsy’s head. “But for now you can board that part up. A nice no trespassing sign, maybe barbed wire.”

Eggsy laughed a little at the image. “Hurts, Dair.”

“Shhh, I have ye.” Merlin said. “I have ye.” For now Merlin would tuck his own hurt away.

************************************

Merlin avoided Harry at the estate for the next few days, not ready to deal with his old friend. Only Arthur called a meeting with the two men to be held in the rooms that Harry had taken over at the estate.

Merlin made sure to arrive a couple minutes late, so that he wouldn’t be alone with Harry.

He knocked on the door and went in. Arthur gave him a look that said he knew exactly what Merlin had been doing.

“Shall we get started?” Arthur asked after Merlin settled. “Harry -”

“Don’t skirt around it.” Harry said. He was tired. He was just always tired. And he hated that Merlin wouldn’t even look at him.

“Very well. You are improving daily, but no amount of physio or psychological therapy will ever put you at the table again. This is our great loss. We have two candidates for the table and if you would like you can look through the files and pick who will take the mantle of Galahad, though they’ll never truly replace you.”

Harry looked at him. He had known him as Percival for so long, and now he was Arthur. Everyone had been agreeing that he was very good at the job. “I met your candidate you know, the one who is Lancelot. Rather formidable woman.”

“She is, and the other new woman to the table is as well.” Arthur said.

“Then I’ll pick her, I rather like the thought of Galahad being a woman.” Harry said.

“Very well. And the other will be Percival.” Arthur said.

“What about the omega’s replacement?” Harry asked.

Merlin’s jaw tightened. “Eggsy is taking a six month leave, and then returning to the table. His code name will be held for him during that time.”

“Why would he come back? He’s got it made now.”

“Because he loves and believes in this job - rather the way his mentor had done.” Merlin said sharply. Harry raised a brow but didn’t say anything else.

“Harry, just because you can no longer sit at the table, doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you within the operation.” Arthur said quietly. “You would be an incredibly valuable asset to Merlin’s team. I think that you could become an amazing handler with some training.”

“Any other options?” Harry asked.

“Instead of a handler, you could go into research and analysis. Or you could retire will full benefits and access to all Kingsman facilities.” Arthur said. “I don’t expect an answer today or even in the next few. You are still busy with your recovery. If you can have an answer within a month it would be appreciated.” Arthur looked at the two men, who were trying very hard to not look at each other. “I will leave you two to talk.” Arthur gave them a polite nod and left the room.

Merlin and Harry looked at each other.

“I would be very happy to have you join my team Harry.” Merlin said.

“Really?” Harry asked.

“Of course.” Merlin said. “Ye are too valuable a mind to give up.”

“Not so sure about it, there are gaps now you know, pockets missing. Just gone.” Harry stared at his left hand, at the limb that barely functioned.

“You are still you.” Merlin said. “I missed you Harry.”

“Did you? Seems you’ve been rather busy.” Harry’s left fingers twitched but otherwise the arm didn’t move, no matter how he tried to will it. His right formed a fist, knuckles white.

“I saved your child’s life.” Merlin said.

“And gained a pretty omega.”

“And gained the fucking love of my life. My future bondmate.” Merlin replied.

“If I hadn’t been shot and had come home right away, do you think he would have even seen you as anything but quartermaster?” Harry asked. “If I had come back, he would have been mine.”

“Probably.” Merlin said not really rising to the bait. “But ye didn’t. And I was medically suitable and I fell in love and so did he. You were so happy for me, before you found out the details.” Merlin looked at Harry. “Why? Just why?”

“Because it seems you have everything Merlin, everything. And I am sitting here with nothing.” Harry looked at him. “I don’t know why I survived, I don’t know why I lived to come back and have everything be less.”

“Different, Harry, not less.” Merlin said.

Harry didn’t respond.

“Harry come home.” Merlin said quietly. “You are here but not. Please let Harry, my Harry come home.” Merlin left the room, not able to bear the sight of his old friend. He kept going even when he heard the shatter of china against the wall.

********************************

Two days later Merlin and Eggsy were sitting in Merlin’s office going over training plans for the new agents, the extra steps that came along after a person reached the table.

Arthur walked and handed Merlin a piece of paper.

“Harry Hart has offered his formal resignation effective immediately. He will only stay on the estate so long as it is medically necessary and he asked that a flat designed for his physical limitations be made ready. He requests that while he is in recovery at the estate that neither you Merlin, nor you Eggsy, approach or make conversation with him.”

Arthur looked at the two men. “I suggest that we improve surveillance on him at all times.” He didn’t call it a suicide watch, though his meaning was clear. “And I am hoping he will accept counselling, though I am doubtful.” He sighed, weight heavy on his shoulders. “I am so sorry. I'll leave you two be." He said quietly and left the room.

Merlin looked at the letter but didn’t really see the words. He wondered at Harry so easy cutting their lives apart like this.

Eggsy climbed into Merlin’s lap. “Hey.”

“Hey.” Merlin replied.

“So how much you been hurting while keeping me afloat?”

“A fair bit.” Merlin admitted.

“Well fuck him, we don’t need him anyway right?” Eggsy said.

“Of course not. Ye and Sprocket are all I need.” Merlin agreed.

“When did you become a horrible liar?” Eggsy asked.

“I dinnae know.” Merlin smiled a little. “I got my best friend back and then I didn’t. And I don’t know what I feel.”

“Yeah, that’s about where I’m at.” Eggsy agreed. “But we’ll figure it out. You and me we’re awful good at figuring things out.”

Merlin nodded and rested his head on Eggsy’s shoulder.

Eggsy kissed his head. Pretended he didn’t feel the tears, didn’t feel Merlin mourning for the friend that was right there and not there at all.

 

Eggsy was going to fix this.

 

He was going to fix all of this.

Chapter Text

Harry stared at the Kingsman doctor. He sat perfectly still, a polite smile on his face and didn't say a word. 

"Is this how it is going to be Harry?" The psychiatrist asks.

Yes, did you expect different. Harry shrugs. "My pension is being held hostage by Arthur and will only be released to me provided I complete a certain number of visits with you. He did not however specify how involved I had to be."

"You always have hated coming to see me." The doctor said as he moved his pen on his page.

A waste of time. "A waste of time." Harry replied.

"It's been a month since you tendered your resignation. Any change of heart?"

Every hour I'm awake, Harry thinks. "Of course not."

"Have you spoken to Merlin or Eggsy?" 

No. "No."

"Do you want to?"

Yes. "I see no point, our lives are on very different paths."

"Eggsy is a good man, you did the Kingsman well by bringing him to us."

Really?  "I fail to see how that matters now."

"Your child will be born soon, what is it 9 weeks?" The doctor asked.

8 you idiot. "I'm sure I don't know."

"They call the babe Sprocket. What do you think of that?"

Absurd and charming. "Absurd."

"She's grown well, had everyone concerned for a time, but all seems well with her." 

A girl, a daughter. "I hadn't been aware of the sex." Harry tried to keep his voice completely neutral.

"You haven't heard the bickering about what to name her that echoes down the hall." The doctor smiled. "Everyone wants to weigh in. First Kingsman baby in a long time Harry. Youngest out there next to this is almost 10, people are excited."

I want to be. "Good for them. I've never been the baby sort."

"Now we both know that's a lie. You've held every baby born to the Kingsman, always give a generous gift."

Babies are why we do this job. "It is what a gentleman does for his colleagues, nothing more."

The doctor looks at him. "Does your internal monologue match what you are saying at all?"

Go fuck yourself. Harry smiles. "Go fuck yourself. There it matches. I do believe we are done for the day."

"Talk to someone, anyone but your medical team today for more than five sentences and I'll tell Arthur to scrap one of our sessions." The doctor said.

Harry nodded and left the room.

He walked down the hall to his room, and sat. The physical therapy was going as well as it could and he could walk longer than before and didn't need a cane at all while in his suite. His speech had returned to normal the quickest, perhaps as a consolation for the memories that seemed guaranteed to not return. He looked at his left arm, he was getting accustomed to the numb weight of it, though there was a little more movement in his fingers. Arthur had said two more weeks, three at the outside, and his new flat would be ready. Harry was pushing his physio hard determined to be gone, to leave this all behind as soon as he could.

But to help with that he needed to make conversation. He sighed and made his way to the library, someone would show up eventually and he'd have a conversation. He could manage small talk.

Sure enough thirty minutes into reading on a tablet, he heard footsteps. He looked up.

It was the girl. Lancelot.

"Good day, Lancelot." Harry said. "How was your mission?"

"Smooth as silk sir." Lancelot replied. "I'll leave you be."

No, don't. "Of course, I am sure you are busy."

"No sir, but you seem to prefer solitary pleasures right now. I didn't want to disturb."

Disturb, please. "I have been given homework to have a conversation." Harry smiles. "It seems I need to practice being in the world again." It was close enough to the truth.

Roxy smiled and sat in the chair next to him. "Lovely weather we are having."

Weather, this is what you have? "Indeed. Though I actually would like some rain. The estate looks lovely in the rain."

"Not so much to me. During training there were 9 days of straight rain. Merlin had us run the obstacle course double those days, said suffering builds character and strength."

No, it doesn't, he just says that to see who will break. "And did it add to your character?"

"Oh dear, no. Eggsy was the last one standing, only one who managed the two days through the rain the whole time." Roxy smiled. "We asked how he did it."

How?  "I sure running from the law gave him advantages in that sort of test."

Roxy glared at him. "No he said he was home alone with his sister and she spiked a fever, he was scared so he packed her up and ran with her in his arms to the hospital. He said after the terror of that, 40 pounds of a pack and rain, were a walk in the park."

Tell me more, fill in some of the gaps. "I'm sure your training was most arduous. Merlin never takes it easy."

"No, proper nightmare. But always a thread of kindness when you look, but I'm sure you know that."

Yes, he always was kind. "I know many things. Do you enjoy being an agent? Any personal plans?"

"I'm not mated and have no interest really." Roxy said. "You can just ask me the questions you want. You don't need to dance around them."

There are too many for you to deal with. "I don't see much dancing in my future." Harry smiled. "Tell me about your latest mission."

Roxy looked at him. "They'll forgive you, welcome you home."

Don't you understand how terrifying that is? "You mission Lancelot."

"Of course sir." Roxy told him the tale of her latest mission and then stood. "I'll leave you be sir. Merlin's in his office if you are looking for company."

I'm not ready, what if he turns away. "Thank you Lancelot but I'm due at my physio."

"Good day sir." Roxy said.

"Good day."

***************************************

Harry was exhausted, the therapy was brutal, but the circulation massage after was tolerable. He was in the hot tub, soothing his muscles 

"Oh shite. Sorry didn't want to disturb your rules." Eggsy said as he walked into the room. "I just need an ace bandage and I'll be gone."

You smell like me, no, she smells like me. "You know that opening line worked the first half dozen times. But you just happen to run into me a great deal."

"Why you make it sound like I have some sort of plan or something." Eggsy said. He went to the cupboard and grabbed a bandage. He winced.

What's wrong, get help. "Are you alright Mr. Unwin?"

"Yeah fine. Sprocket just getting super restless in there." Eggsy pushed at his side and Harry saw his whole stomach move.

Oh, it's real. "Active is she?"

"You have no idea. The minute Merlin enters a room she just goes haywire."

Feels her real alpha. "He must enjoy that."

Eggsy smiled. "Dair is going to be a good Da."

He will, far better than I ever could have. "He is good at many things."

"Glad the physio is helping Harry. Hear you'll be gone from the estate soon enough. Will you miss it?"

You have no idea. "It is just a building."

"Don't know if you heard, we have it down to a couple names."

Tell me. "Oh? For the girl?"

"Yeah. Down to Brigid, Cordelia, and a last minute entry from my sister - Rose."

Penelope. "All lovely names, you and Merlin will have a tough choice." Harry closed his eyes and tilted his head back to signal the conversation was done.

Only it seemed Eggsy wasn't. "When I said I didn't want nothing from you Harry, I meant money. We're fine. It would be wonderful though if Sprocket could know her biological father."

Don't, don't offer. "I'm sure she'll be just fine."

"Harry this isn't you."

I know, but I can't seem to stop. "And what do you know of me?"

"All the stories Dair has told me." Eggsy replied.

Shit, bugger, and shit. "He lied."

"Dair don't lie, not to me." Eggsy looked at him. "Sprocket smells like you. No matter how much she responds to Dair, she smells like you."

I know, I dream of that scent. "That will fade after Merlin scents her a few times. Good day Mr Unwin."

"Until the next time we just happen to run into each other." Eggsy said cheerfully.

***************************************

10 days later, Harry tried not to react as the medical team cheered when he made a loose fist with his left hand. He held it for thirty seconds and then released, fingers shaking.

His therapist massaged his fingers, and wrist. "Harry that's incredible! We had hoped, but we thought it could be a month or more before you did that. How does it feel?"

Exquisite, painful. "Difficult but acceptable."

"It's better than acceptable, it's bloody brilliant. We're going to give you a different squeeze ball, keep doing those exercises and see if you can't do that fist three times a day. We'll see you in three days Harry." 

Harry left and was feeling well enough that he decided to skip his room and go for a walk down to the Kingsman kitchen. "Good day." He said to the two agents having coffee.

"Hey Harry, how you doing?" Caradoc asked.

I wish I knew. "Fine, I made a fist today in therapy." Harry got the kettle going.

"Congratulations, mate." Bedievere cheered. "Knew you'd defy the gloom and doom expectations they had, that you'd recover great."

I'll never recover you daft prick. "Thank you, your support is heartening."

Harry was facing the sink but didn't need to see the new person to know who it was. Their scent had only been growing stronger.

"Hey, Eggsy!" Bedievere said. "You should sit, you look huge. Oh crap. Sorry."

"Nah, bruv, I am huge. I mean I was big but I swear in the last three days I've developed an orbit." Eggsy laughed.

She's running out of space. "Would anyone else like a cuppa?"

"Herbal if it is there." Eggsy said. Harry pulled a box from the shelf. "So Caradoc I hear you are taking my guy away for a couple days next week."

What? "Tea." Harry carried the mug over to where Eggsy was seated, went back for his cup and sat alone at a different table.

"I hate to do it Eggsy, with your pregnancy and with what you medically required." Caradoc said. "Arthur and I tried to figure any way to make sure Merlin didn't have to go."

It's not that hard, don't let him go. "He rarely does field work."

"I know, but he's the one who has actual personal contacts. It relates to your mission in Kyoto five years ago."

Harry nodded in understanding. He and Merlin had joint worked that, and yes if it was connected he would have to be there in person.

"Seriously, we talked it over with medical, and the four days he's going to be gone, should be fine at this stage. Just don't be surprised if you see me wearing his dirty sweaters keep his scent as much as possible." Eggsy grinned. "You guys in on the pool yet?"

"Of course." Bedievere said. "I've got Rose, five weeks from now 7 pounds 4 ounces."

Penelope. "A pool gentleman, really?"

"Hey got to start Sprocket's college fund somehow. 10 pounds into the pot, 5 pounds into the fund."

She'll have a proper account tomorrow. "I would have thought Merlin would have already taken care of that."

"Oh he did, but got my heart set on grad school for my girl." Eggsy rubbed his tummy. "Though the way she's rolling around think she'll be a gymnast like her daddy."

I would steal footage of every meet. "Athletics are always a good thing." Harry finished his tea.

"Harry," Eggsy said. "She's kicking up a storm. Not letting random people touch, but would you like to feel Sprocket?"

Desperately. "Thank you Mr. Unwin, but I'll not invade your personal space."

Eggsy snorted a little. "You invading my personal space is what got me like this in the first place."

Don't laugh, don't laugh. Harry can't stop the smile. "I suppose. Good day Eggsy."

Harry began to walk away.

"You called me Eggsy!" Eggsy yelled after him. "Wearing you down aren't I?"

Harry faltered in his steps just a little.

"We'll get you back yet." Eggsy said.

Harry kept going.

*****************************************

Harry stood at the window and watched Merlin and Eggsy say goodbye to each other. 

"Harry."

"Arthur." Harry saw Merlin take his sweater off and put it on Eggsy, smooth it over the very round stomach. Merlin was scenting Eggsy's neck as much as possible.

"I don't like this but there was little other choice." Arthur said, frowning at the scene.

Of course there was a choice, call off the mission. "The needs of the world matter more than our personal ones."

"Sometimes though we should matter too." Arthur said. "I try to create a better balance between our personal lives and our job."

You care, you are a good Arthur. "From what I have heard, you are well suited to the job you have taken up."

"Thank you Harry." They saw Merlin drop to his knees and scent and talk to the belly. "He loves the babe so, loves Eggsy. I am pleased to see Merlin finally happy."

I am too. "He was always content enough."

"He deserved more for everything he has given us." Arthur replied.

I never saw that, I hate myself for not seeing that. "He does and it seems he now has it."

"Can't you be happy for him Harry?" 

I am, I just can't... "I am pleased that the Kingsman quartermaster is leading a more balanced life." He saw Merlin get on the plane and Eggsy walk back inside.

"I'm sorry Harry but there has been a slight delay a few of the special orders for your place won't be in for another week." Arthur said.

Liar. "Liar."

"Oh no they honestly aren't in, now perhaps someone delayed the paperwork a little, but who can prove such a thing?" Arthur asked. "Forgive me for giving you a little more time to come back to yourself before you disappear from us."

Who would miss me if I disappear? "I will continue my therapies until the place is ready."

Arthur nodded politely and left Harry at the window.

*************************************

Harry was happy. He didn't need the cane anymore to walk through the estate. His could make a fist four times a day and hand general control of his fingers even if the arm was still mostly useless. He found himself wandering a little and ended up in Merlin's office where he found Eggsy curled in a ball on the couch.

Eggsy, the baby. "Is something wrong?"

"Nah bruv. Just trying to surround myself in as much scent as possible. Merlin's two days late. He called yesterday, things have got hot, they hope to be out in another day or two."

He should get his arse home to you. "I am sure he will be back as soon as possible."

Eggsy snorted. "Think he's going to kill everyone in Japan if they take any longer than that. He sounded very frustrated." Eggsy sighed. "Sprocket's missing him. Just feels different in me. Been feeling funny all day actually. Thought maybe being here would help. House was just making me sad that he wasn't there to curl around me."

I'm sorry. "I'm sorry that you are facing difficulties Eggsy."

"Thanks." Eggsy smiled. "She's bouncing around now, sure you don't want a feel? Your girl is a fighter."

Not mine my girl. "She's not really mine though. She's yours and Merlin's."

"She could be though. This girl's been trouble since the day she were made, don't expect that to change after she's born. Another Da in the mix wouldn't be a bad thing." Eggsy pressed his tummy firmly. "Watch this." He pressed hard again.

What the fuck is that? "What the fuck is that?" He watched Eggsy's stomach ripple and bulge.

"She's pressing back." Eggsy grinned. "That's real alien shit right there isn't it? Come on bruv. One feel of your girl, and then I'll leave you alone."

I know what you are doing. "I know what you are doing Eggsy." Harry said.

"Course you do, you aren't stupid." Eggsy replied. "You are the frog in the water. Been cooking you slow, you haven't even really noticed how much you've warmed up and relaxed. Though still haven't gotten you to talk to Merlin, thought I would have made that happen by now."

Cheeky bastard. "You are the clever sort aren't you?"

"Was that almost a compliment Harry?" Eggsy asked.

Cheeky bastard. "It seems so." Harry took a breath. "I owe you an apology. I am sorry for the things I said. I've watched footage of your missions. You belong at the table."

Eggsy's eyes welled a little. "Thank you Harry." His stomach rippled again. "Jesus, been just feeling funny all damn day. Now come feel Sprocket."

One touch, I can allow myself one touch. "Very well." Harry came over and touched Eggsy's stomach, pressed and felt something push back.

Hello. "Hello little girl. Your fathers have taken very good care of you. You are lucky."

The whole stomach tightened under Harry's hand. Eggsy winced. "Fuck."

No, no don't say that, that's not good. "Eggsy?"

"Can you help me get to medical? I don't feel right."

Be fine, you and the baby have to be fine. Please god be fine. "Of course, let us go." Harry helped Eggsy stand.

They made it to medical and the doctor examined Eggsy. "You're in labour." She finally said.

It's too early. "Isn't it a little early."

"Early, but not too dangerous. I'll call the hospital and we'll get you admitted."  The doctor said. "Do you want me to call someone for you Eggsy?"

"Merlin. I want Dair." Eggsy said.

"We can't Eggsy, he went on radio silence this morning."

"Roxy?"

The doctor checked the system. "She's in Barcelona, we can get her back, but probably not in time."

I'll keep you safe, keep the baby safe. I owe that to you, to her, to Merlin. "I can accompany you if you wish."

"Okay. Yeah bruv, okay." Eggsy said. 

The doctor packed a quick bag. "Let's go."

The three made their way to the hospital where Eggsy was admitted.

14 hours later Eggsy was holding his girl. "Hello Sprocket." He looked at Harry, "She's sort of gross looking isn't she?"

She's perfect you moron. "She's perfect you moron."

"Sir!" The nurse was scandalized. "You don't talk to your omega like that."

Does he smell like me? No shut up. "I am not his alpha, I am a friend who assisted while his alpha is away."

"Yeah lady, and he's also the biological alpha of Sprocket so he's allowed to think she's perfect. Just do your job." Eggsy growled a little. The baby whimpered and waved a fist. 

"Yes sir." The nurse replied. "I need to take her to finish cleaning her up."

Eggsy reluctantly handed his girl over. The medical team finished taking care of Eggsy and soon Eggsy and the baby were installed in a room. Eggsy couldn't let go of her.

Harry couldn't stop staring at her.

"Brigid." Eggsy said. "It were Merlin's pick, but she looks like a Brigid don't she. Tough name, strong name, for a strong girl."

Penelope. "It is indeed a good name." Harry looked at him. "Do you have a middle?"

"Nah, none of the other names I liked sit well with Brigid. You have any ideas?"

Yes. "Perhaps." Harry said.

"Well, like pulling teeth with you." Eggsy rolled his eyes.

"I had a sister. She died a long time ago. Penelope." Harry looked at Eggsy. "Her name was Penelope."

Eggsy hummed a little. "Brigid Penelope." He smiled slowly. "Yeah, yeah that's my girl. Hello Brigid."

Hello darling girl. "It will suit I think."

"You want to hold her?" Eggsy asked.

Very much. "Not until after her alpha does. She needs to know her father first, not confuse her with opposing scents."

"But you will want to hold her at some point?"

Yes. "Yes."

"Great." Eggsy said. "Now let's figure out this feeding shit."

***********************************

Harry was asleep in the chair when Merlin came running into the room. 

"Eggsy." Merlin said.

"Yeah babe." Eggsy grinned. "Sprocket couldn't wait. She's the impatient sort." He moved the blanket a little away from her face. "Brigid meet your Da. Dair, here's your Brigid."

"Oh my girl. My beautiful girl. My Brigid." Merlin said, his alpha scent going haywire, with joy. Brigid wailed and squirmed.

"Think she wants you." Eggsy handed the bundle over.

Harry watched Merlin take the girl and run his nose over her cheek. She immediately settled. Merlin held her to his chest and stared at her with awe. "Hello Brigid. I'm sorry I missed you being born."

"Harry took good care of us." Eggsy said.

I kept your family safe Merlin. "It is what a gentleman would do. I'll leave you three be."

"Harry." Merlin looked at his friend. "Harry thank ye."

Of course, dear friend. "It was nothing." 

Harry stood slowly, stiff from the horrid chair. 

"Arthur is downstairs. When he told me what happened, he dinnae trust me to drive over myself."

Smart man. "Smart man. Enjoy your family Dair."

Merlin smiled at Harry. "I will."

Harry left them be. He found Arthur in the lobby. "Ready to go?"

No. "Yes, hospitals are dreadful places."

They settled into the Kingsman car.

"Your flat is all ready for you Harry. I'm sure you are excited." Arthur said.

No, not anymore. "I..." Harry faltered.

Arthur didn't say anything as he drove back to the estate. He pulled into the garage and looked at Harry.

"Harry, would you like to change your mind about your resignation?" Arthur asked.

Yes. "Arthur..."

"Harry, are you ready to properly come home now?" Arthur asked.

Yes. Let me stay, please. Harry took a breath. And then another. "Yes. Arthur, I want to stay."

Arthur smiled and held out his hand. "Welcome home Harry."

Harry held out his hand. "Thank you Arthur."

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Four Months Later

The therapists were all over the moon with Harry's recovery. He took his mental health seriously and worked hard at his physical and emotional recovery. The memories were still gone, but he could walk without the assistance of a cane most days and he could use his left hand and wrist, even if the arm itself remained fairly immobile. He had moved into his own flat two months ago and had taken a job in Merlin's department.

And there in lay the trouble.

Merlin sat in Arthur's office. "It isn't that he's bad at the job, sir." Merlin began.

"But he's not adapting to it well." Arthur concluded.

"No, he thinks too much like an agent. He understands the training I've given him, but in simulations or the couple times I've allowed him to lead as handler, he ends up reverting back to the tunnel vision agents have." Merlin sighed. "He's cost us time and money. I fear that eventually it could cost us more."

"Would a few more months of intensive training change him?" Arthur asked.

"I doubt it, in the end we are asking him to change 3 decades of thinking in just a few months." Merlin's scent was frustrated. He and Harry had been repairing their friendship talking frankly of their past, and they were and are. Harry and Eggsy talked to, of Brigid, of being an agent. Harry had held her several times, but was keeping his distance. Merlin knew he was scared to get too attached and was worried that his face would scare her.

"I would ask that you think of alternate jobs for him. He's just properly returning to being Harry we don't want to lose him."

"Agreed, thank you Arthur."

"Now go home, your family will be expecting you."

Merlin's smile was huge. He never got tired of those words. He drove home and was surprised to hear Brigid before he even got the door open. She wasn't a huge crier, she tended to be too busy analyzing the world around her to cry. Merlin hurried through the house to the living room and saw Eggsy frazzled.

"Leanan what's -" And then he got a proper whiff. "You heat shouldn't be happening yet." He said in shock.

"Yeah, I know guv, but called the doc, she said that cutting out the breastfeeding cycled in my heat. She currently on her third paper about my body." Eggsy rolled his eyes. "Seems heat scent, even as mild as mine is, is driving Brigid insane, won't calm down. You take her, I'm going to have a shower. Roxy will be here soon to take Brigid away for a couple days." Eggsy carefully put Brigid in her alpha's arms and she immediately calmed at the scent of her Da surrounding her. Eggsy ran upstairs hoping a shower would cool his skin.

"Hello my heart." Merlin said. Brigid pursed her lips. "I know that face is for your bottle, but we shall pretend it is because you want a kiss from your Da." Merlin leaned down and nuzzled her, scenting his babe a little more, and giving her a kiss. You could only catch a hint of Harry's scent if you knew what you were looking for. Merlin held her close while he prepared a bottle, talking out his missions as he tended to do when they were alone. "No, I disagree Brigid, I think the problem in Mumbai will come to a head before the one in Johannesburg." She bopped him in the nose. "Very well, say you are right, that means your Daddy's first mission back at the table is likely to be Athens instead of Bolivia, which would be a shorter time away. We can all appreciate that." She ignored her Da in favour of her bottle. "Ye need to pay attention lass, for when ye become Merlin, because my little girl is nae sitting at the table." He kept talking to her as he fed her.

Twenty minutes later Roxy arrived. Eggsy was still in the shower and Merlin was getting anxious to join Eggsy. Join his mate. His soon to be mate.

"Hello Rox." Merlin said as he opened the door. But the second Brigid saw and scented Roxy she started screaming her head off. "Shhh my heart, Sprocket, what is wrong?" But her wails didn't cease. 

"Merlin, she's never reacted like this to me. I see her at least twice a week." Roxy was stunned.

"I know." Brigid was a regular visitor to Merlin's office while Eggsy got back in shape and that meant every agent dropped by at some point. "Brigid, it's Aunt Roxy, look." Merlin moved her closer to Roxy, but her screams intensified. "She'll calm down once she's away from us." Merlin tried to hand her to Roxy, but Brigid's grip on his sweater was incredible. She was barely breathing at this point, she was so lost to her strop. "I'm calling the doctor."

Merlin took her into a different room and called the doctor and explained the situation.

"Crap, you guys have the worst luck." The doctor said.

"I see we've dropped all pretense of professionalism at this point." Merlin's voice was sharp, but he had an omega upstairs waiting to be claimed and a daughter who had lost her damn mind.

"She's gone scent blind."

"i'm sorry?" Merlin asked.

"It's a rare condition as most babies are six months to a year before their omega parent goes into heat again. But Eggsy went early and she's breathed in enough of that parental heat scent that only compatible and familial alpha scents will soothe her. Ummm you need to find..." The doctor winced a little at the irony.

"A suitable alpha correct?" Merlin asked. He laughed a little at how full circle this had come.

"Yes." The doctor said.

"Thank ye doctor." Merlin hung up. "Roxy, I don't want to wind her up again, thank you, but we need an alternate plan than you. I'll take care of it." 

"Are you sure Merlin?" 

"Aye. Go." Merlin said. "Quietly." He waited until he heard the door close and called upstairs, the water turned off a while ago. "Leanan Roxy's car won't fit the car seat, I'm driving Brigid over. Can you be fine for an hour?"

"Yeah Dair, I'm feeling frisky, but not mental. Think this will be a more typical heat for me, not like the pregnancy one." Eggsy called down. "But I'm uh, busy enough, that can't come down to say goodbye if you get my meaning." Merlin did. 

"Back as soon as possible." Merlin grabbed the bags and portable crib that were by the door and loaded them into the car and drove the brief distance to Harry's flat. He rang the buzzer. "Harry. Let me and Brigid in." Merlin said when the light lit. The door buzzed. Merlin took the lift up and Harry already had the door open.

"Is there a problem Merlin?" Harry asked, worried. "Is Eggsy okay?"

"He's gone into his heat early. We intend to bond."

"Uh congratulations. Though I'm not sure why you are sharing that with me" Harry said. Brigid waved a fist, he waved back.

"Roxy was to watch Brigid, but because fate hates all of us, Brigid right now can only handle the scent of protective and familial alphas." Merlin waited for Harry to clue in.

"No." Harry said in horror.

"I have everything ye need and we'll check in when we can."

"I've not been alone with her ever." Harry tried.

"Harry, we will not be good parents to a four month old while Eggsy is in heat, even one as mild as his." Merlin said. "Please Harry."

Harry's eyes were pained. "I can't hold her properly Merlin."

"She doesn't care about proper so long as she can feel your heart.  There is a sling keeps her close but arms free." Merlin looked at Harry. "Harry, Eggsy needs me, and your child needs you."

"I'm terrified." Harry said quietly.

"So was I the first time Eggsy left me with her. Babies are designed to survive new parents. Now take her while I get her things." Harry automatically held out his good arm as Merlin passed him the baby and left.

"You are still so small. Grow, preferably right now, so that your fragility doesn't give me a heart attack." Harry told her. She spit up at him. "Perfect." He tried to think of how to handle it. He went to his kitchen, which had been designed as much as possible for use of one arm, but that arm was full. There was a tea towel on the counter and Harry managed to knee up his left arm onto the counter so his left hand could grasp it. He then made his way to the living room and sat down with Brigid on his thighs. He got her face cleaned up. "That was entirely too much effort. This will never work." He told her. "You just have to suck it up, there are plenty of people who love you and can take care of you in an acceptable manner." Brigid grabbed his finger and put it in her mouth. "Really miss, I'm not good for you." She sucked on his finger. "Stop." She didn't. "Very well, we will endure, but be prepared for a great deal of failure."

"She's four months Harry, rolling over is still freaking her out because she can't roll back yet." Merlin said. "Portable playpen which I will set up. She can sleep in it fine. Done it at the office plenty. She is just starting to eat a little bit of oatmeal and rice cereal, and ye could try very soft avocado. We have the last of Eggsy's milk to cut the formula with. She has a tummy time mat and activity centre and just talk to her, read to her. It should just be two days Harry. You've saved the world, you can do this."

"Brigid matters infinitely more than saving the world Alisdair." Harry said.

"That sentence is why I know you'll be fine." Merlin kissed Brigid. "Be my sweet clever girl and don't give Harry too much trouble, just the right amount. Make him as bald as he did me."

"Go get laid." Harry said. Merlin left and he stared at her.

"As you heard my name is Harry. It is going to be you and I for the next couple of days. I am ill equipped to do this. Be kind." Harry said.

Brigid threw up over both of them.

***************************

Merlin made it home as fast as he could. He made sure to have a shower before going to Eggsy in case the smell of Harry and his place was on him. He scrubbed down quickly and went to the bedroom. Eggsy was on the bed, sweating and slowly working fingers into himself. "A pretty sight if ever I saw one." Merlin said.

Eggsy breathed deeply. "You smell too clean." He pouted a little.

"I'll get dirty soon enough." Merlin replied, the scent of Eggsy filling his nostrils. It was sweet, rich, though not like it was during the heat in the pregnancy, more muted, but still perfect. "May I join ye?" Merlin asked.

"If you don't, I'll put a bullet in you." Eggsy said.

Merlin smiled and crawled onto the bed. He pulled Eggsy's fingers out of his body. "I'll take care of ye. My omega. My Eggsy. My leanan."

"Damn fucking right you will." Eggsy grins. "Got me a good guy for my heat, my mate who's going to claim me, I'm going to relish every second of this."

"I am claiming you am I?" Merlin pressed his fingers into Eggsy, and moaned at the heat of Eggsy's body.

"Dair, you claimed me a long time ago. This? This bite, only sealing it all up. Making official what everyone knows. I'm yours." Eggsy pulled Merlin in for a hard kiss.

Merlin pressed their foreheads together. "In that, Eggsy, you are very much wrong. It is I who am yours."

"Prove it."

"Gladly."

****************************

"Brigid, wherever did you go?" Harry asked in a panic. He heard a noise and dropped to his knees. "How did you get under the coffee table. I left you on your play mat." More gurgles and flailing. He carefully pulled her out and put her back at the mat. "It is time for your oatmeal." Brigid frowned. "Yes I know it is disgusting, but all the forums I read this morning said it was good for you. I added a small bit of banana though." Harry looked at her. "Did that warrant a smile? You are too easily impressed my dear, hold out for the pears that are ripening."

 

Merlin pressed into Eggsy, both of them moaned at the feeling. They had only had sex a handful of times since Brigid had been born, simply too exhausted for more. But this, this was amazing. Merlin moved slowly, he relished the feel of Eggsy. Eggsy was tired of the slow though and growled and bumped back into Merlin. Merlin took the hit and began to move hard and fast. Both swore at the intensity of the feeling. When Eggsy's body froze, orgasm pulling him taut. Merlin sank his teeth into Eggsy's scent gland. He clamped down his teeth as his cock knotted in Eggsy. In his omega.

 

"I am aware you sleep in a beautiful nursery Brigid. Your parents don't practice co-sleeping, so don't try to create some sort of fuss, you are just fine in that contraption." Harry said, even as he rubbed her back for forty minutes. "And I say, doing the reading, I am not personally keen on it either, so you will stay in there." She whimpered as his hand slowed. "But I have a solution." He moved his coffee table and retrieve a sleeping bag and every blanket in the house. He lay down beside the portable crib. "There, you know have company." Harry sang the lullaby his mother used to sing and Brigid fell asleep.

 

They were in the bath on day two when Merlin told Eggsy the truth of where Brigid was. He waited for Eggsy to be upset. But Eggsy just shrugged. "I trust you, you trust him, and he won't harm his daughter none. Worst case he'll have taken her to the estate and had the doctor see to her. I know she's safe and we'll be getting her tomorrow." Eggsy said. "Safer than she would be with us. My heats are mild yeah, but we're distracted enough that a four month old would suffer. No way is Sprocket suffering right now." Eggsy leaned into Merlin. "You did what was best for your family, it's okay Dair, it's okay."

 

"No." Harry stared at Brigid as she sat in the bouncy chair that had been delivered that morning. "Those books are boring and stupid, and feel like Elmo might in fact be a cult leader. This is Narnia. We will read this." Harry said. He read 10 pages to her as she bounced in her chair rapt. "See much better, but it is intense even for a clever girl like yourself. So I will indulge. We will now read about our ABCs." He pulled out the super heroine ABC book that had been delivered that morning with the bouncy chair, and the better play mat, and high chair, and bathing tub, and a few other essentials.

 

Merlin wrapped himself around Eggsy as he waited for his knot to deflate. Eggsy was drifting, mostly asleep and Merlin ran a hand over his heart. "My omega, I'll keep you safe. Here in our home, out their in the field, I will do everything and anything in my power to keep you and our bairn happy and healthy. I am going to fuck up anyone who ever means either of you harm."

"That's romantic." Eggsy said, barely awake.

"You meant to sound sarcastic there, leanan, but it didn't work. I know ye actually find that romantic." Merlin said. "Thank ye for bonding with me. Ye make my life better, more interesting. The two of you, my omega, my baby, it's all I've ever dreamed of, and now it's mine."

"It's doubtful I'll ever get pregnant again." Eggsy said softly, a little sadly.

"Our Brigid is all I need." They heard a bark from outside their door. "Plus Falkirk and JB. It is a good family Eggsy. A strong one." Merlin said. "My omega, I am honoured that you chose me."

"My alpha, I am blessed that you chose me." Eggsy replied. "Oh that sounded weird coming from me. Let me try something else. Dair do I fucking love you. Yup that works better."

"Aye." Merlin pulled Eggsy in as close as he could.

 

Brigid was asleep on Harry's chest. He could feel her tiny body moving up and down. "I know your Da and your Daddy will have already told you this. But I'll say it too. I will fucking destroy anyone who ever comes near you with ill intent. You are safe little one. Harry has you safe, he'll always keep you safe." Harry closed his eyes and drifted off a little. "Papa loves you and will always watch out for you."

******************************

The next morning Eggsy and Merlin came to pick Brigid up. They were smart and didn't comment on all the other stuff that Harry had gotten in, in just two and a half days.

Brigid squealed when she saw her dads. Eggsy picked her up and immediately began scenting her. "Oh baby. Sprocket I swear your grew. How did you grow in 2 days."

"I ordered her to." Harry said. "She also now can roll herself back when she rolls over. And we are on Voyage of the Dawn Treader, do interesting voices or she will be disappointed."

Merlin bit his lip. "So things went well then?"

"We made it through adequately." Harry said. Merlin took the bags down to the car, while Eggsy snuggled Brigid on the couch.

"She looks great bruv, knew she was in safe hands with you."

"Well safe hand." Harry said.

"Did you just joke about your one arm being crap?" Eggsy was stunned.

"No of course not. It was suggested that my sense of humour was blown away by the bullet so you must be mistaken." Harry's voice was dry.

"Well damn. Have to have you babysit more, seems Sprocket brings out the best in you." Eggsy teased.

Harry looked at Brigid, at her perfect little fists. "I actually need to speak to you about that." Harry's voice was hesitant.

"Sure Harry what is it?" Eggsy asked. 

Harry was silent until Merlin walked back in.

"Merlin. I'm utter shite at being a handler and working in your division. I officially tender my resignation. I have a much more interesting job in mind for myself." Harry smiled happily.

 

2 Months Later

Brigid looked at her Daddy in confusion. "This is Daddy's work suit. He goes back to work today." She tilted her head. "Come on tell Daddy's he's handsome." She blew a rasberry. "Well close enough."

"I think ye utterly devastating." Merlin said coming into the room. Brigid giggled in her chair and reached for her Da. "Sorry my girl, ye don't come into work with me today either. I need to get your Daddy back up to speed. He leaves for Athens in five days. Looks like you were right about how all that shook out." Merlin held her close. "Are ye ready Eggsy, we're due at the babysitter's."

"No, not ready." Eggsy said as he looked at his daughter. "I mean I'm ready, I want to be back at work, but fuck I'm not ready."

"I understand." Merlin said. He went over and he and Brigid rubbed into Eggsy, trying to cover his sadness with their scent of calm. "She's going to be safe and we'll pick her up at four on the dot and ye can call and text as much as ye like. They won't mind."

"I know. I know." Eggsy took a deep breath. "I miss work. I miss it so much. I need this for me."

Merlin smiled. "I've missed yelling at ye during a mission, leanan. I imagine I'll yell even more now that ye aren't just an agent."

"Something to look forward to." Eggsy kissed his alpha. Or tried to. Brigid pushed him away, she was very possessive of Merlin. "I'll just kiss him once you're out of sight Sprocket. You wouldn't believe how much I kiss him when you can't see."

"Gaaaa Blaaaaa."

"He's mine too." Eggsy said. He stuck his tongue out at Brigid who giggled and tried to grab it. "Okay, let's go." Eggsy said.

They all got into the car and drove over to the babysitter's flat.

Eggsy steps were heavy as he walked down the hall, carrying his girl. Merlin kept a hand tight on his mating mark, brushing his thumb over it to help centre Eggsy.

Eggsy barely had a chance to knock on the door before it was pulled open. "You are late. I do have a schedule for the day you know."

"Jesus Harry Hart bitching about someone being late, the world is going to end." Merlin said.

"Sorry Harry. I just -" Eggsy squeezed Brigid tight.

Harry smiled. "I know. I'll have my phone on all day and we'll be having lunch she and I at that small park three blocks away from the tailor's at 11:30 if you would like to join us."

Eggsy smiled. "Might do." All three men knew that meant yes. Eggsy gave Brigid a last squeeze and handed her over to Harry. "Otherwise we'll be back at four yeah?"

"Of course. We have a very sensible day of learning the alphabet and playing with puppets ahead of us. Along with the nap schedule you've provided. She will be perfectly safe, Eggsy. I promise." Harry said.

"I know. I know." Eggsy's eyes were just a little wet. "Bye Sprocket be a good girl for your Papa, Da and Daddy will come get you later." Eggsy gave her a last kiss and hurried away down the hall.

Merlin looked at Harry. "Thank ye Harry for this."

"My family needs me." Harry said. He and Merlin knew that he was talking about more than Brigid. Merlin leaned in and bumped his forehead against Harry's. "I have access to every camera in this city. Do not do anything stupid Harry Hart."

"Perish the thought." Harry said. "Alphabets. Puppets. Naps."

Merlin pulled away and kissed Brigid and left them be.

It took ten minutes for Merlin and Eggsy to pull away, Merlin scenting his sad omega and telling him how much he loved him. Harry watched them through the building cameras. "Your dad and daddy love each other very much. I...it makes me happy to see that. You are a very lucky girl Brigid Penelope." He watched the car finally pull away. "Excellent."

Harry pulled out the sport stroller he had purchased. "There, alphabet book and puppets are stored in the bottom. So we didn't lie." Harry carefully put Brigid in the stroller. "Now then Sprocket, shall we see how much trouble you and Papa can get into on our first day together?" Brigid's grin was pure Harry.