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Cause the Whisky Ain't Workin No More

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It wasn't fair he thought , as he poured himself yet another tumbler full of gin.

He didn't know what to expect when he came back. He did however believe that the one thing he could count on would be Merlin.

He would always have Merlin.

Except he didn't. He had lost him. Apparently six months is more than enough time for your best friend ( no, don't do that he's more than that) and your protege ( yet again, quit lying to yourself old man) to fuck off and forget about you for good.

Neither one had said as much out loud, but he knew they were just humoring him. Placating their poor,pathetic, ex-lover. Just stringing him along to humiliate him.

Well he wouldn't let them. Harry was far to proud for that.

He knows that Merlin couldn't possibly really be that sick,he had told the man as much before he left.He's certain that he is just avoiding sending Harry packing so that he and Eggsy can keep shacking up in his home.

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Harry isn't coping well, Eggsy knows it, so does Merlin. That's why instead of staying with him in the med bay like he wants, while Merlin is still under “quarantine from a viral threat “ (better known as the flu)  Eggsy is slowly making his way upstairs in their home, to Harry's office.

He hears the telltale sound of an empty shaker and braces himself before entering.

Harry looks rough and disheveled. He's down to his shirtsleeves which he has rolled up on his arms, his tie hangs loose around the unbuttoned collar. He looks at Eggsy and the boy wants to run, wants to hide himself away and never come out. He remembers that hollowness from Dean's eyes and it sends him right back to that dingy hellhole of a flat.

Eggsy knew something had to give. Harry had to quit doing his damndest to pickle himself from the inside out. He snapped himself out of it. Eggsy wasn't that scared little boy anymore. He was a Kingsman goddamnit and somewhere underneath all that shit,so is Harry.

“ Harry, I figure that if you're going to continue to wallow in self pity, I may as well join you.”Eggsy said sitting on the love seat next to Harry.

Harry said nothing, choosing instead to glare intently at his nearly empty glass.

“What is it Harry? What the hell happened that made you think you've got the fucking right to treat Merlin like that huh? I don't give a royal fuck what you do or say to me , but he fucking deserves better and you know it.” Eggsy says as he finishes with his rather calm but angry outburst.

If looks could kill Eggsy is pretty sure that the one Harry is shooting at him,would kill him ten times over if Harry had his way.

“ You moved on.” Harry hisses out through his strong clenched jaw.

“ Awfully quick wasn't it Darling , couldn't have cared too much about me. And honestly, of all the people. My best friend,my lover, My Merlin ( yes ,his Merlin). You are nothing more than a common gutter snipe rentboy,still riding the coattails of your betters.” Harry was out for blood at this point.

If he couldn't be happy he would settle for making everyone else as miserable as himself. “ Your father would have been so disappointed.”

Eggsy sits there for a moment in shock.

But the moment that Harry's words sank in. He jumped to his feet and slapped Harry so hard his glasses fell off.

As Eggsy exited the house he heard the sound of breaking glass and couldn't bring himself to care.

He had never seen that side of Harry before and he planned on never seeing it again.

He doesn't know who the fuck that is or where the fuck all that hatred came from. He knows from personal experience that Harry will feel horrible in the morning and he will try to make it right. But Eggsy knows he has to talk to Merlin and he has to tell him now.

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Merlin looks a bit sheepish after Eggsy explains why he is back in the med bay with him instead of at home with Harry.

Near the end Eggsy starts to cry as merlin gently pulls him into his embrace.

“I saw the same look in his eyes that Dean used to get. I was so scared Merlin, I just how the fuck can he be so mean?” Eggsy asked though the words were broken up amongst the little sobs that heaved from the boy's chest.

“It's not yer fault lad,it's mine.If I had just put my foot down before.” Merlin mentally chastised himself as Eggsy looked at him with a sad confusion. “He only hid it so well because of how much I hid it for him.”

Merlin let out a sigh so full of emotion, that Eggsy felt he had probably been holding in for a decade.

“ I would run interference, I'd keep him home with me waiting on him hand and foot just to keep him safe. I'd wake him every morning and carry him into bed every night.

“Why did you hide it? Why did you hide it from even me? I thought we was a team, but now I have no fucking clue what is good or bad or right or wrong.”

Merlin reached out and turned the boy's face so that he could look him in the eyes.

“ I hid it because I Love him, I hid it because I was ashamed,because I blamed myself for his problems almost more than he blamed me for them. He had a way of making me question my self worth  and my mind like no one else. I had gotten so good at the lying and covering everything up, that I was terrified that everyone would hate me for being so weak and untrustworthy. At least if he was letting me take care of him he maintained  his proper upbringing as a functioning alcoholic, rather than becoming a full blown drunk. “

Merlin then sat quietly for a moment before continuing.

“Runs in his family, generations of men who seem perfect on the outside, but things are different behind closed doors. One should always take caution when opening doors. They are generally closed for a reason.”

Eggsy looks as if he is going to say something but Merlin raises a had to quiet him.

“ It had been my life for so long that I was too afraid to change. Everyday was the same. The good moments became fewer and fewer in number until they just became swallowed up by the hurt.”

He doesn't want to go back to that. He may very well still take Harry back, but not like that, not anymore.

“ Eggsy,I can't do it anymore and I don't want to. I want to be happy,like I have been,with you.”

That was all it took.

No more Eggsy swore to himself. No more hiding or lying so that Harry can continue slowly killing himself with their help.

Someday in the future he may be able to forgive him, to look at him once again with the same amount of love that he once held for Harry.

But if Harry fucking Hart thinks that he can ever hurt his ( and yes he was his now Harry) Merlin ever again, well Eggsy will put a bullet in his head without even looking. And unlike Valentine Eggsy will make sure it sticks.

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Harry comes to slumped against the wall in his office,  sitting in a mess of glass and blood. He realises he must have broken his tumbler, but does not remember doing so. He gathers his glasses from the floor and heads to the bathroom to clean his wounds. He looks in the mirror spotting the purple bruise across his cheek . He runs his tongue over the crack in his lip causing the wound to reopen. He doesn't remember getting hit at all.

He slides on his glasses and notices he has two awaiting messages.

One from Merlin and one from Eggsy.

They had each sent recordings of last night's conversation,  unbeknownst to the other.

So Harry watched somewhat soberly  through Merlin’s eyes as Eggsy cried in fear of him, even comparing him to his shithead ex stepfather. It broke his heart how he realized he had killed any future with Eggsy before it had even had a chance to start.

And then came the footage of Merlin, the man who had been his constant companion for over a decade, telling Eggsy how much he had done to try and save Harry from himself.

He had been cruel and he did not deserve the love that he had been given over the years. He felt sick when he thought of how the man he had claimed to love had become more of a shell than a persson, after so many years of pain and hurt inflicted by his own two hands.

He had never meant to hurt anyone but himself.

When Eggsy and Merlin return home the next day,the only acknowledgement of Harry leaving is the note he left on the table next to the front door.

“I'm sorry. If I can fix this,all of this, I will. I love you,both of you,but I known that is not enough anymore.If I find that I cannot fix this, you will not hear from me again.Please do not look for me.

My Darlings, just please let me try and fix this.

Love,

   Your Harry”

Chapter Text

Merlin looked over at the bright green numbers telling him it was 1am. He looked back down at his book and marked the page setting it aside on the table.He stood and carefully got out of bed turning on the bedside lamp and placing glasses next to it.

He's recorded this in the past, because he had hoped that faced with the evidence rather that just his own recollections that Eggsy would seek help.

He didn't, instead saying that he would just work on it himself.

Merlin doubted it would be,but he hoped that since it had been such an easy,low key day, it would continue to be an easy night.

Merlin and Eggsy had indeed moved in together a few months before Harry's tumultuous return. They had also continued to do so after his departure.

The first night they had spent together after V-day,they had wrapped themselves around one another simply thankful to be alive.

Suddenly Merlin was abruptly awoken when Eggsy attempted to strangle him.

His vision cleared to reveal a still very much asleep Eggsy, straddling him and constricting is airway. He had tried to talk Eggsy awake which had only upset the boy more. Merlin was able to toss him off and quickly jumped out of the bed.Eggsy merely rolled out of the bed and headed to the bathroom,moaning and mumbling the whole time.

Merlin had to rush around the bed in order to keep him from crashing into the wardrobe. He watched as Eggsy maneuvered with minimal assistance,the boy was so lost in his mind.

When he finished he returned to bed and after a few dreamily odd words, he would be dead to the world yet again.

Every night at home had been the same. For some reason Eggsy's night terrors and sleepwalking luckily only happened at home.Some nights were better than others. Which is why Merlin had learned a routine. Eggsy awoke between 1 and 1:30am every day. Merlin would stay awake keeping watch over the  man he was so grateful for.

He loved Eggsy he truly did. Besides,you can't blame someone for what they do in their sleep right?

Every night is different. Some nights the cruel and toxic words seep into the room spoken at him,but not truly about him. At least that lie is the easiest to swallow.

Some nights Merlin sits on the floor next to the bed with a deep aching pain in his chest, unable to remember exactly how to breathe. The entirety of his world stretched taut like a violin string ready to snap.

Some nights there are endless streams of silent tears and some nights he snaps back in anger. Some nights he just can't, and some nights he yells and tries to wake Eggsy.

It never works. Some nights end in bruises,holes in the wall, or broken glass.Spilled drinks and bloodied toes, angry words and pure lies.Eggsy swears he never remembers a thing.At this point Merlin doesn't know. He wants to believe, he really does, but the more time that passes the more things slip into the daylight.

Some nights Merlin isn't fast enough to get out of the way and he ends up worse for the wear .Some nights all it takes is a simple go back to sleep love, and Eggsy drifts back into an easy slumber. Merlin really hopes tonight will be a better night than the last,he doesn't want to think about covering bruises  before work tomorrow.