So... mango22 and I recently got hooked on a Turkish series called Sen Anlat Karadeziz, that may be one of the most beautiful tv shows we've ever watched. So we decided to combine it with another thing that's very dear to our hearts - Mergana, and voila! this AU was born. We've tried our best to keep the Merlin characters as close to their original selves as we could while also trying to fit their SAK counterparts.
Warning: This story contains explicit domestic abuse, and child abuse, so please read with caution. There will also be trigger warnings for any explicitly violent content, although we'll try our best to keep that to a minimum.
The Wyllts were one of the oldest families in Torquay and owners of the largest freight shipping company in the area, Avalon Freight. Founded by Balinor Wyllt, it now belonged to his four sons Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine and Lancelot although was mainly run by the former two.
Balinor and his wife Hunith intially had three sons, with Merlin being the eldest at three years old. However, that title didn’t last very long with a later addition to the family. When the couple's dear friend Ygraine died of a car accident, they adoped her then five-year old son Arthur into their family.
Balinor raised him as his own and Arthur loved the family as his own. His brother's and adoptive mother Hunith meant the world him. He didn't think he could have blessed when he got married to the woman he loved and went on to have a lovely daughter, Kara. Tragedy struck the family, however when Balinor died of a heart attack 8 years ago. In his stead, Hunith's brother and their trusted friend Gaius moved in to handle the business and look after the Wyllt family.
“Come on, move it, everyone! We’re going to be late. Merlin! Where-” Gaius called out, only to find that his nephew was again, nowhere to be seen. Honestly, that boy was going to be the death of him. Aggravaine DeBois himself had invited them over for dinner at his mansion in London. He was the chairman of a substantial freight company in London, and they really needed the collaboration with him to be successful. It had been harder to keep Avalon Freight afloat this year, and a deal with Aggravaine could give them the leverage they so desperately needed.
“Ugh, this boy. Why is he never here when you need him?”
“Because he’s too busy looking after our family business and doing practically every chore around here!” hollered a voice from the kitchen, where Hunith was busy cleaning up.
“Hey, he’s not the only one!” came an indignant shout from upstairs.
“Oh of course, him and Arthur”. Hunith smiled to herself as she put the dishes back in the cupboard.
“Arthur?! The man can’t barely dress himself, honestly, if it weren’t for his wife, he’d be a giant useless lump.” Gwaine muttered pettily.
“Isn’t he already?” Lancelot took the bag from him and made his may to the car outside.
“Yeah, but less so. Gwen’s his only redeeming quality.” Gwaine smirked, knowing that the man in question had heard every bit.
“At least I have one, unlike you two idiots.” The last word was accompanied with a playful smack on Gwaine’s head. Gwaine took the opportunity to grab Arthur in a headlock and the fully grown men started to playfully wrestle like little boys.
Hunith sighed and shook her head, if Merlin were there it wouldn’t have gotten to that. Oh who was she kidding, he’d probably join them and it would be a disaster with the three of them. “Ah, Merlin. Where are you, my son?”
“And if Cenred calls tell him you’re not equipped to discuss anything about the negotiations, and to wait until I come back. Also the order with Mercia Industries has been put on hold, and we have to return the rest of their containers. It’s really delicate material and that man is a nightmare to deal with, so if you’re not sure about being able to handle it then don’t worry, I’ll deal with it when I’m back. And-”
“Merlin, Merlin, Merlin, my boy. Breathe. Just breathe.”
“I’ve been handling this since before you were born, remember? I worked with your father before you. I’ve got everything covered, alright? You go and enjoy your trip with your family, alright? And tell me all about it when you come back!” Geoffrey patted Merlin’s shoulder’s good naturedly and Merlin let out a relieved laugh.
“Alright, then old friend. I'll leave our humble establishment in your capable hands.” Merlin mock bowed before hopping in the van and driving off.
Geoffrey chuckled after him. Humble. Their shipping company worth multi million pounds was anything but. But looking at Merlin no one could ever guess he was responsible for running it. He shook his head. Mad boy.
“Merlin, where have you been? We need to leave in 15 minutes.”
“I’m ready, Gaius! See?” Merlin smiled widely and twirled as if to validate his statement, which would have worked if it weren’t for the fact that his shirt still needed to be buttoned up and he was only wearing one sock.
Gaius looked his nephew up and down, and sighed. “Just hurry up.”
Arthur moved anxiously about the bedroom he shred with his wife, looking for his favourite tie. “Guinevere, have you seen my black tie anywhere, I swear I’d kept it on table, where could it possibly-”
Arthur was dumbfounded when his wife calmly walked over to him and dug out his blasted tie from under the pile of shirts on the ironing table.
“Honestly, Arthur, have you tried using your eyes?”
“I would, but they’re too busy drowning in yours” with that he wrapped his arms around his wife and moved to kiss her neck. They hadn’t realised that the door was wide open until they heard
someone clear their throat from behind them. Arthur and Gwen turned around to find Gaius with his trademark raised eyebrow of disapproval.
“If you both are quite finished, I’d like us to leave today, preferably.”
“We’ll be down in a minute.”Arthur replied, schooling his face to look as serious as he could in that moment, while Gwen ducked her head as a blush crept up her face.
As soon as he was out of earshot, Gwen burst into giggles and Arthur couldn’t help but join her.
Soon enough, the Wyllt family ready to leave and they drove off, headed for London.
The human body is amazing. In extreme cold weather, it acclimatizes and adjusts, so that the chances of survival are higher. Without food and water, it learns how to keep itself going through reserves saved internally.
And in the case of excruciating pain? It tolerates and tolerates until at one point, it can’t tolerate anymore. Until it reaches the last straw.
Morgana’s abuser had tried his hardest to make her reach that point. He had tried to break her in any way he could, by starving her, beating her, psychologically and physically torturing her.
But through it all, she had endured. At first for herself. For the fact that Morgana was nothing if not a survivor.
Then her son, Mordred, came into this world. Alone in that room, she gave birth to him. Without any assistance, any comfort. And once the haze of pain faded away, Morgana looked into his beautiful blue-green eyes, her eyes, and knew she would do anything to protect him.
From that day onwards, she knew she had to make it for the sake of her son.
In this hell, he was her only comfort, her only peace, and her only hope.
Morgana had tried to escape 18 times and failed each time, but she would try again for the 19th time, for him.
From the moment she saw him, she promised Mordred she would give him a better life. And come hell or high water, she would fulfill that promise, one way or another.
But today was not that day. Today Morgana would have to wear makeup, hide her scars, and act like a normal family.
Because her abuser had decided for some godforsaken reason that he would introduce her and Mordred to his business partner, and they would have to pretend they’re one big happy household.
His words rang in her ear. “Hide all your wounds, because if you don’t I’ll give you ones you won’t be able to hide.”
She tried to be brave, to be strong, but she was human being after all. No matter how much pain her body had tolerated, the promise of fresh wounds made it recoil instinctively.
Sometimes it took all the courage in her to not break down and scatter to a thousand pieces.
In those moments she would remember Mordred, picture his smiling face and innocent eyes, and gather herself back together.
For my son, for my son, for my son.
Morgana finished her makeup and inspected herself in the mirror. She had chosen to wear white. The color of purity.
Because despite Aggravaine’s assaults, her heart was clean and free. In her chest there was a place he couldn’t reach, where she was far away from this hell, running by the side of the shore and breathing in the ocean air.
Aggravaine hated it when she wore white, because it was a sign of defiance and he knew it. So she wore it with even more determination. He wanted to kill her spirit and shroud her in black like it was her funeral, but each time she rose above like clouds in a bright blue sky.
She applied a final few touches to make sure every bruise had been covered up perfectly, and then walked outside to find Mordred sitting for her at the door. She kissed her son and together they began walking down the grand spiral staircase.
Anyone else who saw their house from outside would think the inhabitants are so lucky to live in such a beautiful mansion. If only they could peer inside and see the behind the façade.
Aggravaine was waiting for them with his guests at the living room, and as she entered he introduced her. But she only vaguely heard him, for her attention immediately landed on the handsome young man sitting by himself on the sofa chair to her right.
Their gaze locked onto one another and for a moment she forgot herself, her place, and stared back at him. Then reality hit her and she averted her eyes, slightly ashamed for looking so brazenly at the stranger who was their guest.
Merlin’s breath caught in his throat when he saw her.
“Ah, yes, there she is, my darling wife, Morgana.”
Morgana went over to everyone and shook their hands, introducing herself with a bright smile. When she got to Merlin, he couldn’t help but inwardly shiver at the spark that crept up his spine upon touching her hand.
“Merlin. Nice to meet you.”
Merlin didn’t know what to make of her voice when he heard it for the very first time. It was deep, her accent clear and smooth, it suited her. What seemed off, though, her tone. The soft, low volume didn’t seem to fit her image. She stood with her back perfectly straight, had a strong gait and a strong grip, when she shook his hand.
Come here, love, sit.” Merlin didn’t miss the way Agravaine lightly patted the spot beside him on the sofa, nor did he miss the way the wife in question completely ignored him to sit on the chair opposite to him.
Merlin was having a hard time tearing his eyes away. She was, without a doubt the most beautiful thing he’d remembered having seen in his life.
“So, you’re from London, right? Have you seen the Big Ben? How about The Buckingham Palace? Oh and the Shard! I’ve heard it’s the tallest building in all of Europe! Isn’t that right, mommy?” They were all seated on the dining table, having dinner while Kara chatted away excitedly, hoping to make friends with this nice boy from London.
“Yes sweetheart. But give Mordred a chance to answer, don’t overwhelm him with questions.” Gwen lightly chided her daughter.
“Oh right, sorry Mordred. But I bet you must’ve seen all those places a dozen times since you live in London, right?”
Mordred fiddled with his fork as he looked to be at a complete loss of what to say. He looked towards his father who smiled at him but the child seemed to shirk away from his gaze. “Of course, you have, haven’t you Mordred?” Mordred nodded slightly and his gaze went back to his empty plate.
Merlin’s eyebrows furrowed at the exchange. That was odd, really odd. Normally, a child would happily chatter away about something as simple as this. Why did he keep looking at his father, as if asking for permission? And why was Agravaine prompting him? Why did he need to at all?
Mordred got up abruptly, visibly uncomfortable with all the eyes on him, not wanting to say the wrong thing lest he upset his father. Agravaine tried to grab his hand to keep him from leaving but Mordred snatched it off, nearly knocking over a vase in the process.
“Mordred!” Mordred flinched and froze in the spot as his father’s voice boomed across the room. Merlin rose from his seat as if on instinct and wrapped an arm around the boy protectively. A second later Morgana crouched down in front of him and started stroking his face comfortingly, “Shh.. it’s okay, my love. It’s okay, it’s okay. You’ve done nothing wrong, alright? Go to your room, and I’ll be with you in a moment, okay, sweetheart?” Morgana gently whispered to the startled child, who had seemed to calm down slightly at her words.
Merlin, who was still crouched on the ground beside them, swallowed a bile in his throat as he watched Mordred nod hesitantly and rush up to his room with his head bowed.
Sometime after dinner and dessert, when everyone had now moved to the living room, Merlin wandered aimlessly into corridor with the plate in hand, looking around in vain for some sign of a kitchen. Damnit, with a mansion like that, one would think they would maybe invest in making it more navigable.
He nearly bumped into Morgana and narrowly missed staining her lily white dress with the dirty plate. “I’m sorry, I was just wondering where to-”
“It’s fine, I’ll put it away, thank you.” Morgana went to grab the plate from his hands.
It was then that he saw it. The deep, angry red on the back of her hand. It stood out shockingly against her pale skin. He grabbed her wrist on impulse and turned her hand over to examine it. So his mind wasn’t playing tricks on him. That was indeed a bruise, that didn’t look at all to be caused by accident.
Morgana quickly retrieved her hand from him and all but sprinted to the kitchen. Merlin almost followed her when he heard Gaius call him from across the room. For a moment he was torn between an inexplicable urge to follow her, to pry more and wanting to restrain himself from being too invasive. In the end, his rational side won over and he chose to go back to join his family.
Unbeknownst to him, the entire exchange had been witnessed by a dark presence in the shadows.
Mordred tried to come in between them but Morgana pushed him away.
“It’s okay my love, Daddy and I will just have a talk. It’s okay, you go to your room.”
Her seven year old son pleaded with his eyes, knowing it would be anything but a ‘simple talk’.
“Mordred get in your room, now!” Aggravaine’s tone left no space for argument and he obliged reluctantly, glancing back to see his father grab his mum by the hair and drag her inside the master bedroom.
As soon as he shut the door Aggravaine backhanded her. Morgana landed on the bed, her cheek stinging from the blow, a bruise already forming under her left eye.
“You fucking whore…why did you let that man touch your hand?”
She glared back at him and replied with equal venom. “Did I ask him to touch it? Did I willingly give him my hand? He saw the bruise and got curious, I didn’t even-“
She couldn’t finish the sentence as he slapped her once again. Morgana felt the blood on her lower lip, and tried to spit some out.
Aggravaine paced back and forth in front of her, lost in his rage. Suddenly he grabbed her hand and came nose to nose with her.
“This is the hand you allowed him to hold huh? Well now you’ll suffer the consequences for your shameless acts.”
He grabbed a napkin from his pocket and stuffed her mouth with it. Morgana struggled in vain as slowly he brought her hand up to his lips, kissed it, and then gave her a second to feel truly terrified before he broke two of her fingers.
Her scream of pure agony was heard by no one, muffled by the napkin. The guests downstairs continued their dinner unaware, even though one of them could do nothing to abate the restlessness in his heart that had taken root at the sight of a bruised hand.
Little did he know that Morgana was paying the price for his curiosity upstairs.
Morgana tried to move but the pain was too much. Her crying had faded into muffled sobs, but the tears still flowed freely down her bruised cheeks.
Two of her fingers were broken.
He broke them just because another man held her hand. Tomorrow he’ll cut out her tongue if she dares to speak to a stranger. And then the day after, he might just strangle her with his bare hands.
Aggravaine’s temper was getting worse with time. His anger knew no bounds and each day they lived with no guarantee of what might transpire tomorrow.
What kind of a life was this?
She had thought today wouldn’t be the day to escape but it turned out she was wrong. Morgana would wait no longer. She would leave with her son. Broken hand or not, she wouldn’t waste another second.
With herculean effort she got up and began wrapping her fingers with a piece of cloth. She bit on her tongue to prevent any screaming and continued to bandage herself best as she could.
Then she slowly walked over to Mordred’s room. His head perked up as soon as he heard the door opening and then when he saw his mother he ran up to her.
“Mum!” he cried out as he saw her broken hand.
“I’m fine, it’s fine. Mordred, darling, we have to leave okay? Right now, while your father is still occupied with the guests’ downstairs, we have to get out. Can you do that for me?”
Mordred nodded without hesitation. Having attempted to escape a few times before with his mother, he was familiar with the routine. After every failed attempt, his mum would tell him not to lose hope.
We will succeed one day Mordred, I promise. Till then, we keep trying.
So he would try once again for his mum.
Morgana took his hand and quietly led him down the alternative corridor which was connected to the backyard. She knew Aggravaine’s guards would be stationed at the entrance at this time. If she moved quickly, she could manage to evade the few patrolling in the back.
The only plan she had was to reach the guest’s spacious car that she had spotted from the window. It looked like it could fit two people in the trunk, and she had a metal crowbar with which she could pry it open. Once inside, she would wait till they had driven for an hour or two, far away from here, before she would get out with her son.
Neither the Wyllts nor Aggravaine will know where they went.
And hopefully she and her son will never have to see that monster again.
*end trigger warning*
By some miracle they had managed to reach the car unnoticed. Mordred remained still as a statue next to her, not even daring to breathe too loud for fear of being caught.
Her brave son, already suffering so much at such a young age. Tonight it will all end.
Her hand shook as she worked the crowbar to open the trunk. Her broken fingers made it much more difficult, and the pain made her want to yell out in anguish. But she swallowed it down, and went to work.
She could hear footsteps, the guests were leaving.
In her panic she almost dropped the crowbar. They were getting inside the car, soon it would move and Aggravaine would see them. She began to silently cry again, begging, praying that it would open before they got too close.
Finally, it clicked. The sound was sweeter than any music to Morgana’s ears.
The trunk door flew open and Mordred climbed in first, then helped his mum get in.
She shut it from inside and settled in, holding Mordred close to her chest. He hugged her back tightly, breathing in his mother’s scent.
As the car started moving, one thought reverberated through her mind.
We’re free, we’re free, we’re free!
That's all, folks!
(for now, at least)
Please let us know what you think, reviews are writing fuel! :3