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I Could Murder for a Cup of Coffee

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Roxy stared at the laughing barista in horror. She did a quick sweep of the coffee shop assessing how much of a clean up they would have to do after her boss killed the young man. Oh shit, her boss was standing so still, and had that look on his face. She slowly began to reach for the gun at her back. The barest flick of her boss's wrist stayed her hand.

The barista was still giggling. "Merlin." He shook his head. "Mate I get all sorts of bullshit names to write on cups, but that there is aces innit?" He giggled again. "Merlin, your drink will be up in a minute." 

"Thank ye."

And that started another waves of giggles. Merlin just arched a brow. 

"Well seriously, none of the major versions of the story were Scottish were they? Welsh, English, Irish, French, but not the Scots." The barista was working away at the machine.

"Ye seem to know a bit. English major at college perhaps?" Merlin asked.

"Nah, Sword in the Stone was always my fav Disney money yeah? The wizard's duel in it so cool. Looked up a bunch of stuff once I was older. Didn't go to college." Eggsy drew a wand shooting sparks into the foam and handed it over. "And here." He gave a huge cookie. "For being a good sport about me laughing. Have a good day - Merlin." The guy snorted another laugh and went to the next customer.

Merlin very carefully put a lid on his cup and headed out to the car. He slid in and took a sip of coffee and hummed in pleasure. Roxy looked at her boss. "Find out everything you can on the lad."

"Yes sir."

"Good." Merlin sat back and ate the very large cookie.

No one had laughed at him like that in 30 years. It was intriguing.

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

Within a day Merlin knew just about everything there was to know about one Gary "Eggsy" Unwin.

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

Eggsy watched Merlin walk into the shop, this time with a guard about the same age. He didn't know much, but he had only realized to late that the pretty girl with him last time had been reaching for a gun. The only thing he could think to do at the time was stick with the laughing, play it out and hope for the best.

He got lucky. And now he was back and Eggsy was trying to quickly figure out how to respond.

The guy got to the front of the counter and smiled. For a scary bastard he was hot as hell.

"What can I do for you today sir?" Eggsy asked politely. The shop was pretty empty. The first morning wave had passed and it wasn't yet break time. There were only three other people in the place. 

Merlin nodded to the man with him and the man walked over to the tables. Within a minute they were all out the door and Harry had turned the lock and put up the back in 15 sign. He stayed a good distance away.

Eggsy swallowed but looked the guy right in the eye.

"I'll have a latte, with an extra shot. My friend there will have an americano. His name for the cup is Galahad." Merlin waited.

And Eggsy couldn't stop the panicked laugh that came out of his mouth. "Oh you are shitting me. Who was the girl then?"

"Lancelot." Merlin's voice was dry as Eggsy's giggles rolled over him.

"Fuck me. Tell me you sing songs from Camelot in your spare time. Or at least Holy Grail." Eggsy felt himself calm a little. "Your drinks will be right up."

Merlin moved with him so that he was standing by the machine while he worked. "You know lad, your name is Eggsy, I'm not sure you have a leg to stand on."

"Didn't tell you my name and lost the tag a long time ago." Eggsy said, first drink done.

"No you didn't." was all Merlin replied.

Eggsy looked at him. "You planning on killing me?"

"Nae." Merlin said.

"Cool then. Order's up Merlin." He grabbed another cookie. "I make these myself you know."

"The first one I had was very tasty."

"Did you share with Lancelot?" Eggsy asked.

"Nae, ye gave it to me lad."

Eggsy shook his head. "That's a little rude with such a big cookie." He looked past Merlin, "Hey Galahad your coffee is ready and you can have a cookie on the house. Your boss lost free cookie privileges for kicking my customers out and trying to scare me."

Harry came over to the counter. "Thank you." He picked up his coffee and cookie and shot a smug look at Merlin. He took a bite. "mmm, my compliments."

Eggsy grinned. Merlin scowled but Eggsy paid it no mind. "I work Tuesday through Saturday mornings until 11:30. Now open the damn door a queue is forming." Eggsy went back to by the cash register and waited. Merlin and Harry left, opening the place back up.

They got into the car.

"Give me my cookie." Merlin said snatching the remains out of Harry's hands.

"Shall I begin to prepare the usual assortment of gifts?" Harry asked. He knew when his friend was infatuated. There was a routine to it. The boys usually lasted 2 to 8 months. One once lasted a whole year. "He seems the sort to like a tacky watch, maybe a skateboard? He's fairly young." Harry added just to watch Merlin's face.

"How did the date with Percival go?" Merlin replied. Harry flushed a little and shut up.

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

Percival walked into the office just as Harry snapped the neck of the mole as Merlin sat behind his desk. Percival ignored the body and placed a box on the table.

"His exact words were 'tell that flash bastard that it's a stupid gift, who buys someone a watch like that when they've had 3 minutes of conversation.' He then added, please don't kill me. And winked." Percival looked at his boss. "I like him. He gave me a cookie." Percival turned and left, smiling and brushing his hand against Harry's as he went. Harry grinned like a besotted 14 year old.

Merlin stared at the box on his desk. He had never had anyone turn down a 2,000 pound watch before.

Harry started to laugh. "Oh just get rid of the body will you?" Merlin grumbled.

Harry dragged the corpse out of the office.

From then on the Merlin's Knights were regulars at the coffee shop. Eggsy started to bake a batch of cookies just for them.

They brought along the gifts that Merlin sent, but they were always rejected. And Merlin's people were having way too much fun with it.

Merlin had been up all night, dealing with a problem with a drug shipment in from the Ukraine. He had gone personally with Harry and Lancelot to explain that the bonus of underage girls was not a trade he dealt in. After they killed the guys, collected the drugs and got the girls to shelter with an anonymous call to the proper authorities to get them aid it was 5am.

Harry and Lancelot were yawning, but Merlin was wired. "You know the coffee shop doesn't open until 7 but Eggsy is there at 5:30 to prep and bake the cookies."

Merlin didn't respond, but he didn't need to.

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

Eggsy had just pulled the first batch of cookies out of the oven and slid the second in, when he heard the bell at the door ring. He knew he had never unlocked the front door, having come in the back. He grabbed the cricket bat from beside the fridge and went out into the shop.

And there stood Merlin.

Eggsy sighed and put the bat down. "Well it's a dramatic entrance at least. Latte?" He asked approaching the machine.

"Thank ye."

Eggsy made the drink. "Hang on have to check on the cookies." He pulled the second batch out and shifted them to the cooling rack. He grabbed a couple from the first batch and brought them along. He made himself a drink and sat at one of the high top tables. He gestured and Merlin sat as well. They ate the cookies, Eggsy staring at the box, Merlin had with him.

He wiped his hands clean. "So what's this one then?"

"Open it lad and see." Merlin pushed the box forward.

Eggsy opened it and stared at the very old book of Arthurian Legends. He pushed it back. "Nope."

Merlin's jaw dropped. "Oh come on!" He threw up his hands. "I delivered it myself. It's not a generic gift, shows I've actually been thinking of ye."

Eggsy laughed at the look on the man's face. He decided to take pity on him. "Yeah that 50 Shades of Grey bullshit ruined giving the fancy book as a gift."

Merlin looked at him, "I wouldn't know, I've managed to avoid that whole thing."

"Good plan." Eggsy said.

"So met most of the knight's by now, haven't met an Arthur though." Eggsy was looking at his coffee cup. "Is there one?"

"There had been."

"Had been." Eggsy repeated. He looked at Merlin.

"I killed him." Merlin said calmly. He waited.

"So you're a proper villain then." 

"I have a few rules, we all did, but he had compromised those rules and most of the knights agreed that they didn't want to work for him anymore. I killed him and they became my knights."

"Wot the rules then?"

"No kids, only recreational drugs, and everyone gets one second chance." Merlin looked at him.

"How many guys my age you gone through? With the gifts, betting you like to be called Daddy."

Merlin sighed. "You know what usually happens to people who mouth off like you do?"

"Nope, and I really don't want to know. Had enough run ins to know plausible deniability is a good thing."

"Your record doesn't exist anymore." Merlin said.

Eggsy smiled. "Now see that? That's a good gift."

"Can I take ye to dinner then?" Merlin asked.

"Not tonight. I have to watch my little sister. Thought I'd take her to the movie in the park." Eggsy grabbed their cups. "Thanks for stopping by." 

Merlin took the hint and got up to leave. 

"Hold on." Eggsy ran to the kitchen and came back with a dozen cookies. "For your guys."

Merlin thanked him and left.

That night at the park Eggsy wished he could be surprised when he saw Lancelot and Kay standing by a cordoned off area that was loaded with blankets and pillows pretty much all of the disney princess costumes ever created. Daisy lost her mind diving into it.

"Son, please go on a damn date with him. I was sent to the disney store. No man should have to endure that." Daisy toddled over and gave Kay and Lancelot crowns. Eggsy watched as they put them on.

Eggsy and Daisy had an amazing time and he made sure that Daisy shared all the clothes with other kids, it was too much for just her. At the end he was carrying her and a large bag and wondering how he'd manage home, when Lancelot directed him to a car that was waiting that even had the right size booster seat.

The car pulled up to their building and Eggsy handed a piece of paper to Lancelot.

"Figure he already has it, but it's the principle of it." 

Roxy looked at the number. "He's never worked this hard to impress anyone. Usually the boy caves after the first or second gift and then they are gone a few months later."

Eggsy froze a little. She shook her head. "Not gone gone, just gone. We don't kill exes that'd be very tacky."

"And you gangsters are all about class." Eggsy snorted.

"I'm Roxy." She said with a grin. She really liked this one. 

"Yeah, great. Tell him to call or text or somefing." Eggsy grabbed Daisy and all the gear and headed inside.

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

Two weeks later Merlin was putting on a brand new suit for his first date with Eggsy. He had made a reservation at a nice restaurant, and come up with what he thought was a good gift. Harry had been laughing at how seriously he had been taking this.

They arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes early, Merlin settling in at his corner booth and Harry one table over.

Twenty minutes later Merlin was trying to act casual. And when Eggsy was 30 minutes late he sent a quick text.

Harry shot him a look of sympathy. 

At forty five minutes late. Merlin stood and Harry fell into step beside him.

"I'm sure there is a good reason Merlin." Harry said softly as they left.

Merlin didn't respond, just sent one last text.

 

Eggsy heard the ding of his phone, but ignored it to place the ice bag over his mum's cheek. Only when it was in place did he look.

Message received. Merlin.

Eggsy put his phone back in his pocket and plastered a smile on his face.

"Don't worry mum. Proud of you, Jamal and I will go get some of your and Daisy's stuff tomorrow. You'll crash in my room, I'll kip on the couch." They looked to where Daisy had finally fallen asleep in her torn Anna costume. The flat Jamal and Eggsy shared was a little grotty, but it didn't have Dean Baker in it.

Michelle sniffled. "I never thought he'd harm her. His kid innit? Who does takes a swing at their three year old kid, just 'cause they're fussing?" Michelle looked at her son. "Had to get it together, had to run." Only then did she notice that Eggsy was in his nice trousers, his good trainers, hair combed all nice. "Oh baby, did you have plans tonight?" Michelle looked so sad.

"Hey said don't worry, no big deal. I can reschedule." He hugged his mum. "All that matters is you and Daisy are safe."

 

Eggsy admitted to himself that he held out a little hope, but not a single of Merlin's knights stopped in that week.

Eggsy stopped making the extra cookies.

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

It was actually a month before he ran into any of them. Eggsy was at the women's community centre playing with Daisy while his mum saw her counselor. Michelle had stood firm and stayed gone from Dean and she was looking into job training and getting help for years of abuse. Eggsy was reading a story to half a dozen kids.

Roxy came in, she had a bunch of clothes to donate and saw Eggsy wearing a cape and dramatically acting out the book to the joy of the kids. She was still made as hell at him for standing up her boss, but the scene was pretty cute. Eggsy finished the story and a volunteer came over with juice and cookies for the kids.

Eggsy walked over to her. "Hey Rox."

"Mr. Unwin." Roxy said coldly. 

Eggsy winced. "Don't worry, I get it yeah?" He rubbed the back of his neck. "I just miss all of you. Got used to yer faces." He very much didn't look at her. "How's Merlin?"

"None of your concern." Roxy was ready to walk away but Daisy came running over and Michelle followed smiling.

"Eggsy, I have an interview. It's just sweeping and cleaning at a salon, but they said if I do well, might be able to do some training, learn how to do nails and makeup."

Eggsy grinned and kissed her cheek. "That's great mum. You've always been great at doing your own nails. Proud of you." It might be silly but Eggsy tried to tell her that every day.

Michelle looked at the girl beside Eggsy. Well dressed and about his age. And they clearly knew each other. And there was a coldness between them. Michelle knew that Eggsy had been bummed about whatever he had missed that night, even if he didn't say anything, and she was determined to fix it.

"Hi I'm Michelle, Eggsy's mum."

"Roxanne Morton. A pleasure." Roxy said perfunctory in tone and handshake.

"I bet you're the date he don't talk about, ain't you?" Michelle nodded.

"Mum. Hush, I told you it's nothing." Eggsy said, as he tried to hurry them out.

But you don't hurry a mum. Michelle dug in her feet. "Look you should cut my son a break. He really didn't want to miss the date, but I showed up on his doorstep, bruised up and with his little sister. Finally realized had to get away from my man. But he was going to make it, had his nice trousers on and everything." Michelle was being so earnest. "Give him another chance yeah? My Eggsy's a good lad. Almost was a Marine, you know. Would have finished if I hadn't needed help when I was pregnant."

Roxy stared at Eggsy. 

Eggsy grabbed Daisy, mumbled a goodbye and ran.

Michelle smiled and followed her kids, pleased she had fixed it.

Roxy dropped her box off and hurried back to her car. She hoped that Merlin was still at the office.

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

Eggsy sat in the back room at the coffee shop already prepped for the morning. Without making cookies for the knights, he had spare time. So he was just reading twitter and mucking about when he heard the door open. He didn't even bother grabbing the bat. He just walked out and looked at Merlin.

He could see that it was Harry standing out front. The guard gave him a wave. Eggsy smiled a little.

"Latte?" Eggsy asked, "We have a new flavour syrup in, mixes caramel and vanilla, pretty tasty." Eggsy started to make it, focusing on the machine.

"I'm sorry." Merlin said.

Eggsy shrugged, "Wot for? I'm the asshole who bailed and never explained why."

"I wouldn't have given you a chance." Merlin moved closer to where Eggsy was. "Harry said -"

"Harry?" Eggsy asked.

Merlin pointed back to the door. "Galahad." Eggsy nodded. "He said that you would have had a reason, that you wouldn't just not show. I thought you were proving a point or something."

Eggsy glared at him. "I wouldn't do that." He thumped the cup on the counter. "That'll be 4.55"

Merlin handed over a five pound note. "I am sorry lad. I thought it was your way of telling me to bugger off, that I never got the hint with the gifts and you figured this would be the way. I was wrong. Are your mother and sister okay?"

Eggsy sighed internally. Of course he had to ask after them. "Yeah they've moved in with mum's sister. A tight fit but better than crashing at me and Jamal's flat. Worried Dean will try to convince her to come back. But think mum's trying hard."

Merlin picked up his coffee. "I am glad. And I'm sure it will be fine. Eggsy, again, I offer my apologies. Have a good day."

Merlin went to the door.

"You said you give everyone one second chance." Eggsy called after him.

"I do. It's only fair."

"I suppose it is. So you can take me for lunch when my shift is done today. 11:30." 

"Well I guess I'll see you then." 

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

3 months later

Merlin set the dining room table, with exquisite china, and hand blown wine glasses. There were candles and soft jazz playing. Harry came in from the kitchen and saw Merlin fretting.

"Oh for, little much arch seduction isn't it?"

Merlin glowered at him. "I want it to be perfect."

"He's a 25 year old boy who's been gagging for you for two months now, for him perfect would be you opening the door naked and saying hey fancy a fuck."

"Is that what you did with Percival?" 

Merlin stared at him in horror as Harry refused to make eye contact. "Ye did, ye actually did." He had no idea how he felt about that. "And it worked?"

"Have you seen my body? Of course it did." Harry looked at his best friend, "But your plan will work too. The food is warming in the oven. Eyes and ears are off the place, but Roxy and Bors are right next door and Percival and I are two floors down. Panic buttons are on and in the usual places."

"You worry too much."

"I don't like those rumblings from the south end. They are trying to gain territory and not being gentlemen about it. Actually breaking legs."

"We'll deal with them soon enough." Merlin reassured him.

Harry moved to the door. Condoms and lube are stocked in your night table, fun stuff cleaned and in the box below the bed. Have fun with your boy." Harry left his boss alone.

Merlin fussed with the table some more, checked on the food, checked his reflection. He could admit he was a little nervous. It wasn't that Eggsy was younger than his usual sort, Merlin had a type. But he had never waited this long to bed one of them. Usually by this point Merlin was getting bored and wondering what would be a decent exit gift for the current one.

But Eggsy never bored him. He was sharp and sarcastic and oh he made Merlin smile. He always had cookies for the knights, made chicken soup for Percival one time when he had a cold. Bought Harry a scarf, because he just thought he'd like it. He and Roxy had become fast friends. A bunch of his knights had suggested that he'd be in trouble if Eggsy left any time soon. Merlin didn't want him to leave. Hence the taking it slow, dinners, lunches, going to the pub.

Eggsy had insisted on small gifts only, which frustrated Merlin, but he also liked the challenge. Blu-ray copy of Sword in the Stone, winning a teddy bear at that street fair they had stumbled upon, the only spoiling he could get in was if it was for Eggsy's mum or sister. Eggsy had tackle hugged him when Merlin had just happened to have a spa day package for Michelle Unwin and Daisy now owned every Peppa Pig toy ever created. It was all positively romantic. Roxy had joked that since being with Eggsy Merlin had committed 8% less murder.

He wondered if he was getting too soft. 

Before he could think about that too much, there was a knock at the door. Only Merlin and a couple of his knights had the ability to get the elevator up to the top floor, which meant Eggsy was here. Merlin took a breath and opened the door.

And saw a bunch of roses. And then saw Eggsy. "Here, mum said I should bring something nice first time at a fella's house."

Merlin smiled at how awkward Eggsy looked. He took the bouquet. "Thank ye lad, they are lovely. Come in."

Eggsy followed Merlin through the flat, whistling a little at all the space, the view, the books, and the - "Holy Shit!!!" He yelled as he saw the entertainment wall.

Merlin lost his shadow as Eggsy looked at the set up. Merlin went to the kitchen and fetched a vase and carefully put the flowers in. He was feeling sentimental enough to bring it to his bedroom. Eggsy was still staring at all the consoles and the giant screen.

Merlin went and plated dinner. And then went to fetch Eggsy. "Later you can play."

Eggsy looked at Merlin, and smiled. "Later I'm rather hoping to be busy."

Merlin hoped that they would eat quickly.

Within an hour they were done, dishes put in the kitchen.

"So lad, would which room would ye like to play in next?" Merlin tried his charming smile. It had once made a fellow boss start to weep in terror. Eggsy just grinned back.

"Bedroom."

Merlin lead the way.

Eggsy was sure it was a nice room, but all he could look at was the giant bed, with comforter pulled back. There were even candles in the room, and the flowers he had brought. It was sweet. And so unneeded.

Eggsy turned and pulled Merlin down for a hard kiss. "Oh Daddy, you do know how to treat a boy right." He felt Merlin tense under him a little bit. He pulled away and winked, "Totally called it. You do like to be called daddy."

"Cheeky little -" Merlin picked up Eggsy and tossed him on the bed. Eggsy sat up a little and watched as Merlin undressed. It was a hell of a view. All coiled muscle, long limbs, long cock.

"Oh Daddy." Eggsy repeated this time not so cheekily.

"Darling lad, I'm going to wreck you." Merlin said as he climbed onto the bed. "Ye okay with that?"

"Sir, yes sir." Eggsy said as Merlin pulled his jeans and pants down. "Tell me you have supplies, because I didn't bring nofing." 

"Of course." Merlin said, wrapping a hand around Eggsy's cock. "I also had a full mock up done last month I'm clean."

"Me too." Eggsy groaned as Merlin's hand twisted as it pulled. "Right you're good at that."

"I'm been having sex longer than you've been alive. Gives you a chance to learn a few things."

"Okay, really starting to appreciate the benefits of an older man. So long as you wrap it up when you fuck me, we're all good then." Eggsy said as he struggled to get his shirt off. But he had difficulty remembering how to work buttons.

"Good, then I can do this." Merlin bent down and licked a stripe up Eggsy's cock.

Eggsy was gone. "Fuck Daddy, more." He completely stopped caring about getting his shirt off.

He got his wish. Merlin sucked his cock hard, bobbing his head up and down, arm across Eggsy's hips to keep him in place. When he pulled his head up, he pressed his tongue hard against the slit, humming in pleasure a little at the taste of precome.

He kept it up for a couple minutes before Eggsy said, "Merlin, babe, want the first time I come to be with you actually fucking me."

Merlin pulled off and crawled up the bed and kissed Eggsy thoroughly. He leaned over and open the drawer to grab the lube. "Turn over lad." Merlin said.

"Yes Daddy." Eggsy rolled onto his stomach, head pillowed on his arms. 

Merlin began to slowly prep him, watching as Eggsy wiggled about. "Ye don't actually have to call me that." His long fingers brushed Eggsy's prostate.

Eggsy moaned. "I don't know, think I might find it hot." Eggsy pushed against the hand. "A little more." And Merlin added a third finger.

"Another time, I'll want to watch you come like this, watching you get yourself off on my fingers would be a delight." Merlin tore open the condom he had grabbed. "Are ye ready lad?"

"Fuck yes Daddy." Eggsy pushed up on his knees a bit and Merlin lined up and slowly slid into Eggsy. He gave him a moment and a couple small thrusts, before digging his fingers into Eggsy's hips and fucking him hard. 

Eggsy was dying from the sensation, it was so much, what he had been waiting for since their second date, when Merlin had taken him bloody dancing. Eggsy pushed the rest of himself up a bit, braced his hands on the head board and just took everything that Merlin was giving him.

Eggsy didn't even realize how close he was until Merlin moved a hand from his hip to his cock and then Eggsy was almost blacking out from the pleasure. He collapsed back down and it wasn't long before he felt Merlin freeze behind him, and groan. Merlin pulled out and collapsed beside him.

They both lay there, exhausted pleased. Merlin pulled the condom off and drew Eggsy in, only realizing then, they had never actually gotten his shirt off. He laughed a little and undid the buttons, tugged it off his arms.

"Are ye okay lad?" Merlin finally asked.

There was a mumble against his chest, and Eggsy hugging him tighter.

"What was that?" He asked running his hand through Eggsy's hair.

"Good sex. sleep now. Daddy."

"You're going to be trouble aren't ye?" Merlin didn't sound like he had a problem with that.

Eggsy snuggled in tighter.

Merlin slept in and woke to shouts coming from the living room. He grabbed a gun and went down the hallway naked, aiming as he turned the corner only to see Harry and Eggsy yelling and trash talking as they played Mortal Kombat. Percival was eating a breakfast sandwich. They all turned and looked at him. Merlin refused to be embarrassed. 

Eggsy tossed his controller to Percival. "Right boys, going to be a little busy. Have fun. Percival kick his ass." Eggsy walked over to Merlin. "Morning Daddy." He batted his eyes and grinned. Merlin tossed him over his shoulder and headed for the shower.

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

"I don't need a guard Merlin. I work in a coffee shop."

"it will make me worry less."

"Harry sit down, you looming is scaring customers. Here I made your favourite cookie. Now sit."

"Harry you will remain vigilant even in the face of snicker doodles."

"Come on Roxy, just go shopping or somefing, I don't need a guard."

"Roxy if you go shopping, I will not put in that good word for you with Amelia."

"Merlin, did you buy the coffee shop?"

"It needed better management."

"Merlin, did you buy the salon my mum sweeps floors at?"

"I buy lots of things."

"Merlin, why am I signed up for baking classes at the culinary school? I mean I think it will be cool, but maybe consult with me about my own schedule first?"

"You have a talent for baking, I want you to be able to explore your talents."

"We get tested again, I'll ride you bareback Daddy."

"I'll book us appointments."

"Oh Daddy, please. Please Daddy, more. Just more of that."

"Whatever you want."

"Merlin, I realize that you are excited to meet Daisy for the first time, but that stuffed animal is bigger than she is. So are the other four you bought."

"She'll get bigger."

"Merlin, you've got red on you."

"I'm sorry, I'll clean up better when I am to see you."

"Merlin, I want to know you are safe, but I don't want to know what you do."

"Alright."

"Merlin, not asking you to change, but I just can't be a part of it, yeah? Because Roxy said she'd love to work with me, we've been sparring and running around town, but I can't do what you do."

"I wouldn't ask you to."

"Merlin, mum wants us over for dinner."

"......."

"Merlin, why are two drawers empty?"

"You needed space."

"Merlin, just agree to be Harry's best man already. Think of the bachelor party."

"I will, eventually, but it's fun to watch him get pissy."

"Okay, so maybe this vacation was a good idea. The water is so pretty. And the house is gorgeous."

"And the beach is private. Race you to the water."

"Merlin it seems that Dean got caught by the law, he's facing 10 years."

"Always nice when the law serves the well being of the community."

"I like this movie, like cuddling with you."

"I like cuddling with you as well."

"Do you like it Daddy?"

"Aye lad, you look lovely all tied up like that. I must remember to send Kay a thank you gift."

"I'm not saying I love you first."

"I think that statement would imply that you do love me, and have in fact said it first. But if it helps ye, I love you lad."

"Merlin, did you overspend on my birthday, because this is kind of a big party, and that's a large pile of gifts."

"You set too small a budget."

"Do you like your birthday gift? It seems silly perhaps, but it's old and cool and shit, I buggered this up. Shouldn't have listened to Percival. Should have listened to Harry's horrible ideas."

"Nae lad, the pocket watch is beautiful. I am quite thrilled with it."

"Merlin what are we doing?"

"The elevator is palm coded, I need to register you into the system so that you can come and go at will."

"Merlin am I yours?"

"Only as far as I am yours."

"Merlin, I'm so sorry. I'm really sorry. I just...you scare me sometimes and you don't come home and I worry. I didn't mean to yell like that. Please can I have my one second chance?"

"Oh lad, come here. I'm sorry too. So sorry you were scared. Sorry for how I yelled as well. Don't ye know, ye can have as many second chances as ye need?"

"Merlin, are you asking me to move in?"

"Aye lad. If ye want."

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

"Jamal, you sure I ain't leaving you in the lurch?" Eggsy asked as he packed another box.

"Bruv, you're letting me keep all the furniture, and gave me four months of your half of the rent in one go. And believe me I ain't asking where a barista got that kind of money. But point is no lurch. Happy for you moving in with that scary fucker."

"He ain't that scary." Eggsy protested as he threw clothes into a garbage bag.

"Yeah, to you maybe. I know you said he's in property management, but come on, how many blokes who own a couple buildings have that many guards who happen to be packing?" Jamal asked.

Eggsy looked at him. "Like the yanks used to say before they got their heads on right - don't ask don't tell."

"Got it. But you'll be safe with him yeah? 'Cause if not, don't care how scary that little girl you hang with is, I'll kick your fella's arse." 

Eggsy pulled Jamal into a hard hug. "Love ya mate."

"Yeah, yeah. So how we hauling all this stuff anyways?" They looked at the dozen boxes and bags around them.

And of course that is when there was a knock. They opened the door to see to men in jumpsuits and one had a clipboard. "Mr. Unwin?"

"Yeah?" Eggsy said.

"We've been hired by Mr. Grier to assist with your move. Do you need help packing? Or can we start to move the stuff down to the van?" He gestured down and they saw a nondescript van, with a logo on the side. 

"Only got a few more clothes to pack, so yeah, you can start hauling."

It was quick work and within half an hour it was all ready. "Excellent we also have a car along with the van, to take you to your new home."

Eggsy gave Jamal a quick pat and headed down. Jamal heard them drive off.

A few minutes later there was a knock. Jamal laughed. "Eggsy mate what'd you forget?"

There was that pretty girl with a few big men behind her. "We're here to help Eggsy."

"But he already left with the movers your boss hired."

Roxy said, "Oops, must have gotten our wires crossed. Thanks Jamal."

She and the men behind her left quickly. Once she heard the door close she turned to the men. "Let's move. Merlin is going to be pissed."

He hadn't hired any movers.

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

 Eggsy came to when a bucket of water was thrown at his face. He tried to jump up, but realized that he was tied to a chair. "Wot the fuck is going on here?"

The lights turned on and there were goons at the door, and a guy only a little older than Eggsy, holding an empty bucket. "Wakey wakey eggy."

"Eggsy." Eggsy enunciated clearly. "Who're you then?"

"Charlie Hesketh." He paused.

"Yeah bruv that don't mean shit to me. But you clearly got a death wish." 

"Chester King was my uncle." The guy paused again.

"Are you like waiting for some dramatic music to start playing or somefing? Because these pauses where you wait for me to react all scared, or nervous, or shocked. It ain't going to happen."

"Ah, maybe you know his code name. Arthur."

"Ah." Eggsy said deadpan. "Merlin killed him." 

Charlie hit Eggsy. "You say that like it's no big deal."

"Well to me it ain't. Didn't know the bloke, but if Merlin and Galahad and Lancelot all say he was shite, well then he probably was." Eggsy looked at the guy, "Besides weren't this like 2, 3 years ago?"

"It takes time to build enough power to take on the Kingsman." Charlie pulled up a chair. "Do you think Merlin is a good man? Do you think what that you can redeem him with your innocent soul and turn him from a life of crime. You can't be that stupid."

Eggsy laughed. "No. I know what he is, who he is. I know he's a proper bad guy and will end up dead one day by a cop or an idiot like yerself. But that day prolly ain't today, so I'm going to enjoy the ride yeah?"

"Jesus, how much do you cost him a week? That earnestness can't come cheap."

"Oh just fuck right off? Look he's coming for me and he's going to fuck all of you up hard for this, so how bout we just cut all the fucking dramatics."

Charlie stood. "Oh he's not coming for you. Did you know two of his previous boys were taken and he didn't even send out one person for them. His toys are nothing more than a fuck and maybe an alibi. He probably doesn't even remember their names. But if you help us out, tell us about where he lives, his security, his people, maybe you walk away."

"I ain't telling you shit. I ain't never grassed before, and I sure as fuck ain't going to grass on him."

"We'll see." Charlie turned to one of the men at the door. "Alive and in one piece." He left the room, the sound of fists and screams echoing behind him.

A few hours later, Charlie returned to the room. "Oh that looks like it hurts." Eggsy's face was a mess, bloody, broken nose. His shoulder was clearly dislocated and who knew how many bruises and cuts.

Charlie gave him some water and wiped some of the blood on his face away. "Well, are you ready to be a little more friendly?"

"Fuck off." Eggsy's voice was slurred, his breathing laboured.

"He's not coming, I told you. He's a gangster, not a knight in shining armour."

"Course he ain't." Eggsy looked at Charlie, spit blood at him, "Wizards don't wear fucking armour."

Charlie hit Eggsy across the face, his ring splitting Eggsy's cheek.

There was a knock at the door. Charlie swore and opened it. "What I said to leave me alone!"

"My apologies. It seems though we need to have a conversation." Merlin smiled and threw a hard punch that knocked Charlie on his ass. He stepped over Charlie and walked to Eggsy. He crouched down. "Oh lad, I am so sorry. But I am here now." He untied Eggsy's arms. "Forgive me." He quickly snapped his shoulder back into place. Merlin turned and saw Roxy with her foot on Charlie's throat, gun in hand. Harry was walking into the room, smoothing his hair and wiping his hands off. "All the men in the building have been seen to." His face fell at the sight of Eggsy.

"Oh come on bruv, I ain't that bad." Eggsy coughed a little and spit - a tooth came out. "Okay maybe I'm that bad."

Merlin carefully passed Eggsy over to Harry. Harry swept him up in a princess hold. "Percival is an excellent medic. We'll take you home."

Harry started to leave the room. Eggsy protested a little, "Merlin."

"I'll meet you at home lad, there are just a few things I have to see to first."

"No red on you." Eggsy said.

"You won't see a drop." Merlin reassured him. He leaned over and gave him a gentle kiss. "Take care of my boy, Galahad."

"Of course Merlin." Merlin could hear Harry quietly talking to Eggsy as they left.

Merlin bent down and Roxy took her foot of Charlie. She moved over to the door and stood guard.

"You know, I give everyone in my employment one second chance." Merlin pulled a cutthroat razor out of his pocket. "But then ye are not in my employment. Ye were dead the second ye took him, but touching him, oh that was a mistake."

Roxy was very careful to not look down while Merlin worked. It took quite awhile for Charlie to die.

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

Merlin was very careful to wash every drop off his skin before he walked into the flat. Percival and Harry were sitting on the sofa having some tea.

"He's having a bath." Percival said standing. "Dislocated shoulder, a couple broken fingers, a broken nose, a cracked rib or two and just countless bruises and minor cuts. He will be fine."

"Thank ye." Merlin said. 

"Do you want us to stay?" Harry asked.

Merlin was about to dismiss them, but thought about it. "Aye, just in case he has problems in the night."

"Yes sir." Percival said, settling back beside Harry.

Merlin walked slowly down the hall to the bath. He knocked quietly on the door. "Eggsy lad, may I come in?"

There was a long pause. "Yeah."

Merlin walked in and saw Eggsy soaking in the tub, splinted fingers carefully kept out of the water. 

"Don't suppose you know what happened to all my stuff?" Eggsy asked.

"They had the van there, all your stuff is safe." Merlin reassured him. He sat on the ground and kissed those splinted fingers. "I'm sorry lad. I'm so sorry this happened to you."

"Has this really happened to two other of your boys toys, only you let them die?" Eggsy kept staring at the ceiling.

"One, you know ye are not a toy. Two, of a sort. One of them betrayed me to another group and they thought I didn't know, tried to make leverage, I let him die yes."

"And the other?"

"I was working my way up, thought I had to prove how tough I was, so yes, I let him be killed, to prove something to Arthur. I've always figured Arthur was actually behind it." Merlin picked up a wash cloth. "May I lad?"

"Yeah okay." Eggsy said rolling his head to look at Merlin.

He watched Merlin's face as Merlin very gently and carefully washed Eggsy, getting the last of the grime and blood off. He ran a finger gently over Eggsy's lip. "Your things, where would you like me to take them?"

"Wot do you mean?" Eggsy looked confused.

Merlin smiled sadly. "I'd be happy to pay for a flat for you, or you could go back to Jamal, or -"

"Do you not want me here then?" Eggsy asked.

"Oh lad, I want nothing more." Merlin cupped his cheek, just grazing the butterfly bandages. "But I did not think ye would want to stay. Not after this."

"I'm scared yeah, not going to lie." Eggsy rolled back to staring at the ceiling. "But way I figure it, walking away now, what I lose, that matters more than the scared. Not losing you, not losing us." He smiled a little, "Besides figure after this you are going super overprotective on me. Like crazy popemobile levels of protection."

"New cameras and a panic room have already been ordered for the coffee shop." Merlin admitted. Eggsy laughed and winced as it hurt.

"I love you Eggsy and will do my best to keep you safe."

"I know you will. Imagine it will drive me mental." Eggsy started to move. "Help me out yeah?" 

Merlin pulled the plug and helped Eggsy stand. He lifted him out of the tub and wrapped a towel around him, patting him dry gently. He pulled Eggsy into a careful hug.

"Are you okay?" Merlin asked.

"Oh fuck no. I got my ass beat but good, I got kidnapped, and got a thorough reminder of what it is you actually do." Eggsy returned the hug. "I'm not going to be okay for awhile."

"Whatever you need is yours. Anything, everything." Merlin said fiercely.

"Just don't let go yeah?" This time it was Merlin who swept Eggsy up. "Oh much nicer than Harry. Do I get a kiss, feel like I should get a nice romantic kiss." Merlin placed him gently on the bed and leaned over and gave him a soft kiss. "Mmmm, proper movie moment there." Eggsy held out the splinted hand. "Come in here, yeah?"

Merlin stripped down and climbed into bed and touched Eggsy's fingers with the tip of his. "I will keep you safe lad."

"Not what I want." Eggsy whispered.

"I'll keep you loved, worshipped, as happy as I can."

"See that there, that's the better answer. You are such a sap. It's a wonder that the cops and other criminals are scared of you. You big softie." Eggsy teased.

"Indeed. My status as a softie, does indeed threaten my criminal empire. Whatever shall I do? Luckily I know a pretty decent barista, he'll support me in the lean times ahead."

"New owners at the shop, gave us all a wage hike, I could totally support us in a life style that you are not even remotely accustomed too."

"Well there we go then. Harry and Roxy will get jobs at the shop, and Percival and I will be house husbands."

"Please tell me that wasn't just a proposal there."

"Nae, lad." Merlin smiled, "Just perhaps a hope for the future. Now you should rest, your body needs sleep."

"Okay." Eggsy tried to find a comfortable position. "Just so you know future hopes, I like those."

"I'll keep it in mind. Now sleep Eggsy. I'll keep watch over you."

Merlin watched as Eggsy drifted off. He kept watch all night long.

The first thing Eggsy saw when he woke up was Merlin looking at him.

"Softie." He whispered.

Merlin just smiled.