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Ring the Bells

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When Eggsy wakes up the first thing he thinks about is how comfortable he is. The mattress is comfortable, the sheets are soft, and the pillow is just the right mixture of firm and plump. His back is pressed against something hard and smooth and he’s wrapped in some sort of cocoon. As he slowly works his way out of sleep, he realizes someone’s arms are wrapped around him tightly. His left hand is clutched within the hands of the person behind him, and as he slowly withdraws it, he sees a gleaming bit of gold on his left ring finger. He looks at the other hands, strong and large with beautiful fingers. A ring gleams on that left hand as well. When Eggsy tries to pull away, the man tightens his embrace and warm lips press against the back of his neck as the body gently thrusts towards him. Eggsy moans but pulls himself away to sit up. He gapes at his bedpartner.

As he stares down at Merlin, he realizes he’s naked from the waist up. So is Eggsy. Eggsy carefully lifts the sheet and is grateful to find they’re both still in their pants. He runs a hand through his hair and tries to remember the night before. They’d finished a fairly difficult mission in Las Vegas in the afternoon, and had gone out for drinks to celebrate. It was rare that Statesman asked for help on their own turf, but Harry had gladly sent Merlin and Eggsy over to take care of some tricky tech removal. After celebrating with drinks, they’d gone for dinner. And had drinks. And then they’d gone to a show. And had drinks. He rubs at his face and gently touches Merlin’s arm. “Merlin.”

“Hmmm?” Merlin’s eyes flutter open and he smiles sleepily. “Hello there.”

God, he’s beautiful, Eggsy thinks. “Hi,” he says out loud.

Merlin stretches and Eggsy wants to weep. “What time is it?”

“Ten.”

“Jesus. Slept the day away.” Merlin slowly sits up and rubs at his face with his left hand. He frowns and studies the ring. “What the bloody hell?” Eggsy slowly holds up his left hand and wiggles it bit. “Fucking Christ!” Merlin gasps. He rolls over and actually tumbles out of bed. “What’s this?” He picks up an empty bottle of champagne and two empty glasses.

“A good time, looks like,” Eggsy says with a shrug. Merlin frowns at him. “Well, on my side, we got…” Eggsy groans as he leans over the edge of the bed. “Just a piece of…” He stares at the certificate as he picks it up. “Hamish Ian McNair and Gary Michael Unwin…” His eyes widen. “Merlin.”

Merlin swipes the marriage certificate from his hand. “Married…state of Nevada…”

“Fuck.” Eggsy’s stomach lurches and he runs for the loo. Champagne and God knows what else come back to haunt him as he leans over the toilet.

When he gets himself together and returns to the bedroom Merlin is dialing his phone. “Sit,” he snaps, and Eggsy obediently sits on the edge of the bed.

Merlin hits the speaker button as the call is answered. “Good afternoon, Merlin. Or is it morning there?”

“Harry, we have a problem.”

“Run out of sunscreen, did you? Wear a hat,” Harry suggests, and Eggsy can hear him grinning.

“No, ye bastard, that is not my problem. Eggsy and I…”

“Oh, I am quite proud of the two of you, by the way. Excellent job getting the tech and planting the virus. Well done.”

“Thank ye. That’s now what I’m calling.”

“Fer fuck’s sake, Haz, we got fuckin’ married last night!” Eggsy blurts out.

“Yes. I know. Congratulations.”

Merlin and Eggsy stare at each other. “I beg your pardon, Harry?”

“You called last evening, woke me from a sound sleep, begging me to see what I could do to make marriage legal for the two of you in the States. I tried to refuse but you were quite insistent…promising me that it was true love and it would last forever.”

“And ye LISTENED to me?” Merlin yells, causing he and Eggsy both to wince.

“No. I listened to Eggsy. He was the more rational of the two of you. He said he understood agents weren’t to marry, but he felt this was something he needed, that would make you both happy. You were in the background swearing at me and telling me to ‘make it so.’ It was only because of Eggsy that I did what I could.”

“What did you do, exactly?”

“I’m not going to bore you with the details.”

“Harry, we were drunk.”

“I know, Merlin, but I also know from experience that you make some of your most rational decisions while intoxicated.”

Eggsy slowly stands up. “So, we’re…we’re MARRIED?”

“Yes. You sent me pictures. Quite charming. Roses do become you, Eggsy. I believe a drag queen might have performed the ceremony.”

“Christ.” Merlin sits down hard on the bed. “Well, we need to have it annulled.”

“Right.” Eggsy stares at his ring.

“I can’t just wave a wand and make it happen, Merlin. It will take time. I was surprised I got things through the proper channels as quickly as I did last night.”

“What are we supposed to do, then?” Merlin growls.

“I will extend your stay in Las Vegas…have a bit of a holiday. A honeymoon, if you will.”

“I hear ye grinning, ye bastard. Quit enjoying this.”

“I’m not the one who’s married. I’ll let you know what I can do. Best wishes.” Harry terminates the call.

“I’m sorry,” Eggsy whispers. “Bet this is my fault somehow.” He sits back down.

“Nae, lad, dinnae take the blame for this. We both did a lot of drinking.” Merlin flips to the photo folder of his phone. “Christ,” he whispers, swiping through photo after photo of them hugging and kissing one another. Eggsy did indeed look good in roses, a wreath of them adorning his hair.

“Wow.” Eggsy sighs. “Well, guess we’re stuck here, then, huh? Together.”

“Together,” Merlin echoes.

Apparently they’re stuck there together in the honeymoon suite of a hotel on the Las Vegas strip, courtesy of management. Harry’s influence knows no bounds, it seems. Eggsy pokes around a bit while Merlin curses a blue streak. Finally Eggsy says, “M’gonna, uh, shower.” He waves towards the bath.

“We need to find a laundry,” Merlin grumbles. “I have a week’s worth of clothing, but we’ve been here about that long.”

Eggsy picks up the directory and flips through it. “They got laundry service…want me ta call an’ have them pick it up?”

“I suppose,” Merlin says.

Eggsy checks his phone. “Supposed to be twenty-nine degrees today…I think most of what ya got is for inside, right? Maybe we should go shopping, get ya something more comfortable?”

“I will be fine.”

“Merlin, jumpers ain’t gonna fuckin’ cut it,” Eggsy says, exasperated. “Look, I’m freaked out about all this, too, all right? Think yer fuckin’ fit an’ brilliant an’ all, but wasn’t lookin’ ta marry ya. We get a free holiday…nothing’s changed about us. I’m still me, yer still you. Let’s just enjoy it, okay? We ain’t spent that much quality time together, might be nice, maybe.” Eggsy blushes and shuts his mouth.

Merlin studies him for a long moment. “Ye are right, lad. I’m sorry for acting like a horse’s arse. I just…I dinnae like it when things are beyond my control.”

“Yeah, I met ya,” Eggsy says with a grin. “Lemme get showered quick and then you can wash up.”

“All right. I’ll look up some things for us to do.”

“Aces.” Eggsy wanders off to the giant shower.

 

Merlin opens his computer but stares at it without seeing it. He turns the ring on his finger. Married. He never thought he’d get married. He’d always wanted to…wanted a home, a partner, children. But that wasn’t in the cards for him. He’d given his life to Kingsman, plus he wanted a male partner and that was frowned upon for most of his life. He’d noticed Eggsy Unwin almost immediately and done his best to hide that interest, but it was getting more and more difficult. Waking up next to him in bed with matching rings on their fingers was like a dream come true…until he officially woke up.

He shakes his head and focuses on searching the internet for things to do. He cannot remember the last actual holiday he’d been on, where he wasn’t secretly working on a mission. Las Vegas is a tourist’s town, even if one doesn’t wish to gamble, and he soon has a list of ideas. Eggsy is surprisingly quick, coming out of the bath in a plush white robe. “Nice,” he says, smoothing his hands over it. “Hey, I’m gonna hafta shop, too. Only got like suits and shite…dress trousers an’ nice shirts. Want something comfy.”

“There are shops just down the street in one of the other hotels,” Merlin says. “After we eat, we could go down there.”

“All right.”

“I made a list of ideas, ye do the same, and we can compare.” Merlin stands and hands over his computer. “Dinnae break it.”

“Christ, Merlin, I ain’t Daisy,” Eggsy says, annoyed. When he’s annoyed he gets an adorable crease in his forehead and Merlin wants to kiss it.

He forces himself to go into the bath and forces himself to step under the cold water and forces himself not to think of Eggsy while he’s in there.

Merlin dries off and dresses in a pair of grey trousers and the lightest shirt he has with him, which happens to be a simple black vest. It’s something he normally wears under a jumper, but Eggsy’s right. No need to give himself heat stroke just because he’s irritated with everything in his life at the moment. “Find anything?”

“Yeah.” Eggsy looks up from the computer and stares at him. He eyes run over the black vest and he swallows hard. Odd. “There’s a place on Fremont Street called SlotZilla…ya zipline out of a giant slot machine!” Eggsy says excitedly. “An’ over in Mandalay Bay there’s like an aquarium ya walk through, thought that might be cool.”

“That does sound interesting, although I will probably just watch ye zipline,” Merlin says. “There’s a Pinball museum…and Hoover Dam.”

“Hoover Dam, yeah, always wanted ta see that,” Eggsy agrees. “There’s an…an atomic testing museum,” he says almost shyly. “Thought ya might like that.”

“I think I would,” Merlin says, pleased. “Thank ye, Eggsy. Did ye see this?” He taps at the computer a bit and slides it toward Eggsy.

“Wow.” Eggsy’s mouth falls open.

“Apparently they have a television show here…they do custom car and motorcycle work, ye can walk through their showroom.”

“That would be aces,” Eggsy whispers.

“Well, we dinnae have to do it all today, so let’s pick a few things.”

“Wait.” Eggsy frowns and the crease reappears. “How we gettin’ all those places? Don’t look like they’re on the Strip.”

“We will get a car and driver.”

“A car and driver.” Eggsy stares at him. “That sounds expensive.”

“Lad, I have thirty years of income from Kingsman collecting dust in a bank in Scotland. Cost will nae be an issue. I dinnae want to hear ye mention money again while we are here. Is that clear?”

“Merlin, I can’t let ya…”

“My husband will nae pay for anything,” Merlin says.

Eggsy blushes and smiles, a shy grin that makes Merlin’s heart flutter.

“All right.”

Chapter Text

TWO
Eggsy studies Merlin in the elevator as they go downstairs to find something to eat. He looks absolutely sinful in the black vest, his shoulders a bit broader than Eggsy’s ever noticed. They find a casual restaurant that serves breakfast all day and slide into a booth. “Why are ye staring at me, lad?” Merlin asks without looking up from the menu.

“I…oh.” Eggsy blushes. “Sorry.”

“Not an answer.”

“Ya look…ya look real good in that vest.” Eggsy hides behind his menu.

“Oh.” Merlin clears his throat. “Well. Thank ye.”

They busy themselves with the menus until the server comes and takes their order. “Why don’t we do the aquarium, the car place an’ the zipline today, an’ we can do the atomic museum an’ Hoover Dam tomorrow?” Eggsy suggests.

“Sounds good.” Merlin pours coffee from the carafe on the table, first into Eggsy’s cup and then into his own. He adds milk and sips at it thoughtfully. “Ye know, I cannae remember the last holiday I was on that was just an actual holiday.”

“Never been on one,” Eggsy adds sugar to his own cup.

“But ye went to Mexico.”

“I was SUPPOSED to go to Mexico,” Eggsy corrected. “Mum got the flu, needed me ta watch Daisy.”

“But…” Merlin blinks at him.

“Yeah…maybe I didn’t tell ya?” Eggsy whispers. Merlin glares at him. “I know. I know, all right? I just…I wanted time with my flower. Knew ya wouldn’t call me in if ya thought I was on holiday.”

“Eggsy,” Merlin says gently. “I…I’m sorry. I’m sorry ye dinnae feel ye can ask for time with your sister, if ye can be spared. Please don’t hesitate to ask again, all right?”

“Thanks.”

“I suppose I forget how young ye are, that ye have nae been an agent forever. Ye are so good at what ye do…I forget ye are not a superhero.”

Eggsy turns red. “Wow…Merlin…thanks.”

“Dinnae tell anyone I said those things, I will deny them,” Merlin says sternly and Eggsy grins.

He then looks down at his hand and realizes he’s never removed the wedding ring. “Do…do ya want me ta take this off? I mean, I know legally we’re married, but we…if it makes ya…”

“Wear it if ye like, lad. I don’t mind. It looks nice on ye,” Merlin says softly. “I’ll keep mine on as well, if ye wish.”

“Whatever.” Eggsy shrugs, but he’s secretly thrilled. He likes the sight of his ring on Merlin’s finger, even if he doesn’t remember putting it there.

They quickly eat their meals and head out into the Vegas heat. “Jesus,” Eggsy gasps. “Know they all like ta talk about the ‘dry heat,’ but fuck me.”

“Aye, lad.” Merlin wipes the sweat from his brow. “Glad the shops are just down the street…don’t think I could walk much more.”

They make their way to the shops and sigh with relief as they return to the air conditioning. “A little pricey,” Eggsy murmurs, checking out the price tag on a pair of shorts. “Don’t wanna pay this much.”

“It’s on me. Pick out what ye want.” Merlin grabs a few more vests and two pair of shorts. “I need different shoes...get what ye need and put it on the pile.”

“Merlin,” Eggsy says helplessly.

“Eggsy,” Merlin says, rolling his eyes. He leaves the store and goes across the plaza to a shoe store.

Eggsy picks out the cheapest things he can find and adds them to Merlin’s large pile. “Father son shopping trip?” The sales girl asks with a grin.

“No,” Eggsy says sternly. “He’s my husband.”

“HE’S your husband? That’s a new one.”

Eggsy silently holds up his left hand and she winces. “Just got married last night.”

“Con-congratulations,” she stammers.

“I found something.” Merlin returns. “Ye will probably need something as well, so I told them to wait for me.” He opens his wallet and pulls out a credit card. “Have everything ye need?”

“Yes, babe.” Eggsy smiles up at Merlin adoringly and watches him blush. “Was just tellin’ this lovely lady here that we got married last night.”

“Yes…yes, we did.” Merlin twirls the ring on his finger. “Last night.” He puts his arm around Eggsy’s waist and kisses the top of his head.

“Well, like I told your…husband, congratulations.” She quickly rings up their purchases and hands them the bags. “Have a nice day.”

“Ye as well. Come along, Eggsy…let’s get this over with. I hate shopping.” Merlin actually takes Eggsy’s hand and leads him out of the store. “Mind telling me what that was all about?”

“Sorry.” Eggsy regretfully pulls his hand away. “Made some stupid comment about ya bein’ my dad, had ta set her straight.”

“Oh.” Merlin looks strangely upset but Eggsy doesn’t push it. “Get what ye like, lad.”

Eggsy quickly picks out a pair of casual shoes and a pair of basic trainers and hands them over to Merlin. Eggsy takes the shoes, Merlin takes the bags of clothes and they quickly get back to their hotel. They drop their purchases in the room, change clothes, and head downstairs to where Merlin has reserved a car and driver. “This feels so weird,” Eggsy says as they slide into the back of the car. “Like we’re royalty or sommat.”

“We are to these people. Do ye nae see how they love the accents? Last night, ye could have had every person sitting at that bar just by saying the fucking alphabet.”

“I don’t remember,” Eggsy says.

“Aye,” Merlin says, frowning. “The one bartender particularly loved your accent. I remember.”

“Aw, Merlin, was ya jealous?” Eggsy coos.

“Of course not. Ye dinnae belong to me.”

Eggsy stares at him. “I…I meant because the bartender was talkin’ ta me an’ not you.”

“Oh, of course. Well, no…I was nae jealous.” Merlin looks out the window.

 

“Are ye sure about this, lad?” Merlin stares at the sign. “Eleven stories up?”

“Superhero style, five blocks,” Eggsy says with a grin. “I am SO fuckin’ sure.” He digs in his pocket.

“I told ye I have it,” Merlin says, putting a hand on his arm.

“Merlin, I can read yer disapproval all over yer face. Ain’t lettin’ ya pay fer this.” Eggsy hands over his credit card and grins. “Besides, just think of all yer gonna inherit if I die…widower’s benefits an’ all.”

“I’d rather have ye here safe on the ground than all the benefits in the world,” Merlin tells him. He realizes what he’s said and clears his throat. “Imagine the hell Harry would put me through.”

“Right.” Eggsy signs the waiver and hands it back to the employee. “All right. See ya on tha other end.”

“See ye on the other end,” Merlin says with a sigh, but he cannot help but smile at the excitement on Eggsy’s face. It makes him even more attractive, and Merlin can only shake his head as he starts his walk to the other end of the zipline.

He’s about halfway there when he hears someone calling his name. He looks up to see Eggsy suspended from the zipline on his stomach, arms out in front of him. “Merlin!” Eggsy says gleefully. “When ya gonna rig somethin’ so we can all fly like this!” He whoops and sails on ahead of Merlin on the line.

Merlin sighs as he watches him soar away. He’s so young, so full of energy and life. Everything about Eggsy draws Merlin in like a moth to a flame. He’s everything Merlin isn’t, and being with him is a blessing and a curse. Merlin remembers bits and pieces from their ‘wedding night,’ but one thing that definitely sticks in his head is the way Eggsy hung on him, adoringly smiling up into his face. He will cherish that memory forever.

When Merlin reaches the end of the line Eggsy is practically bouncing up and down. “So, what did ye think?” Merlin asks, as if he can’t tell.

“Oh, Merlin, that was fuckin’ ACES.” Eggsy takes Merlin’s hand and twines their fingers together. Merlin’s breath catches but Eggsy doesn’t even seem to notice he’s done it. “Ya shoulda done it. It was…ya felt so free, ya know?”

“Like falling from a plane with a parachute?” Merlin gently teases.

“NO,” Eggsy says immediately, and Merlin laughs. Eggsy tilts his head and looks at him, calming down a bit.

“What?”

“Nothin’,” Eggsy says. He looks at their hands and slowly pulls his away. “Sorry.”

“No harm done. Let’s get to the car, and we can go to our next stop.” Merlin allows Eggsy to lead the way.

The car is just down the block, and Eggsy’s cheerful again, going on and on about how it felt to soar through the air. “Wait,” he says suddenly, stopping in front of a corner shop. “Be right back.” Eggsy darts into the store before Merlin can stop him. He comes back out with a snapback and a bottle. The snapback is green and reads “VEGAS” in black letters. “Ya gotta choice,” Eggsy says seriously. “Wear the cap or wear the sunscreen.” He wiggles them both in the air.

“Eggsy…”

“Merlin, sun’s fuckin’ brutal here. Can’t imagine what sunburn on yer head would feel like.” He holds up the cap. “Green’s yer favorite color, right?”

“Yes,” Merlin says slowly, surprised Eggsy’s noticed. He sighs and takes the cap. “Fine.” He jams the cap on his head.

“Good. Takin’ the sunscreen just in case.” Eggsy puts it in a pocket of his shorts as they reach the car.

They comment on the mountains in the distance and the skyline of the Las Vegas Strip as they drive into North Las Vegas, a more industrial part of town. The showroom is almost hidden down an alley, but their driver finds it without a problem. “Do ye feel as if ye should have your bulletproof suit on down here?” Merlin asks as he helps Eggsy out of the car.

“Nah…got you, don’t I?” Eggsy replies with a cheeky grin.

“Aye, lad,” Merlin says seriously. “I will protect ye as ye look at your bloody cars.”

But they’re more then cars. They’re gorgeous hot rods, rebuilt and painted with incredible detail. Glitter and optical illusions and skulls all woven into beautiful paint jobs. Even Merlin is impressed. Eggsy is beside himself. “Look at that, Merlin!” He keeps saying, pointing at the cars. “Look at that paint…look at the way the line of the body just flows.” He gets as close as he can leaning down to look underneath and crows with delight when the hoods are up and he can check out the engines.

“I think maybe your place is nae in the field, lad. Perhaps I should reassign ye to the garage,” Merlin says with a grin.

“Maybe when I retire. You an’ me can work in the garage…I’ll teach ya all ya need ta know,” Eggsy says, throwing a gorgeous smile over his shoulder. “Look, Merlin, this one’s for sale!”

“NO, Eggsy,” Merlin says sternly.

“YES, Merlin?” Eggsy says hopefully.

“I’ll buy ye a shirt in the gift shop. Not a hot rod.”

“Let’s get HARRY a shirt in the gift shop,” Eggsy suggests. “He needs a vest with a skull and a cross on the back.”

“Oh, indeed he does,” Merlin says with a grin.

They return to the car with their purchases, Eggsy falling onto the seat with a smile. “I’m havin’ a real good time today,” he says almost shyly. “I hope you are, too.”

“I am.” Merlin impulsively reaches over and squeezes Eggsy’s left hand, his thumb rubbing over the ring. Eggsy smiles and squeezes back. “Are ye hungry, Eggsy? Maybe we could grab a quick bite before we go to the aquarium.”

“I could eat,” Eggsy agrees, and they go to the food court inside Mandalay Bay. Eggsy insists on paying, informing Merlin that he knows Merlin is ancient and needs sustenance to keep going. He says he won’t have his husband passing out in the middle of an aquarium. Merlin threatens to take all his tech away and hands his credit card over as Eggsy’s sputtering with indignation.

They both enjoy the aquarium, especially the tunnel under the water where sharks and rays swim overhead. “This is gorgeous,” Eggsy sighs. “Wish Daisy could see it.”

“Maybe someday she can.” Merlin puts a hand on the small of Eggsy’s back as other tourists swarm around them. “Sea Life Aquarium in London is nice…I think she would probably enjoy it.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I need to do more stuff like this with her. Get her out in the world a bit.” Eggsy stops in front of a case full of jellyfish and watches them gracefully float around.

“Ye have been protective of her since V-Day,” Merlin realizes.

“Yeah. Mum, too. Even though that threat is gone…it…” Eggsy shakes his head. “Can’t imagine being a parent…worry enough about her as her brother.”

“Ye are a parent to her, Eggsy. From what ye have told me, and what Harry has mentioned, ye have had a hand in raising that little girl. Ye are a good man.”

Eggsy turns red. “Well, uh, thanks, Merlin.”

“Oh, Christ,” Merlin moans dramatically as Eggsy makes a beeline for the gift shop. “There was a luggage store in that shopping plaza this morning…do we need to get ye another bag?”

“Maybe,” Eggsy says defiantly.

Merlin watches with amusement as Eggsy picks up a stuffed shark, stuffed polar bear, stuffed sea turtle, stuffed seahorse. Merlin silently gets a basket and walks behind Eggsy, catching his purchases as he drops them in the basket. Merlin grabs a few things for his staff, including a beautiful angelfish paperweight for his own desk, and a small model of a shark’s mouth and teeth for Harry’s desk. “Maybe investing in another bag is nae a bad idea,” he muses. He notices Eggsy picking out earrings. “Something I should know, lad?” Merlin teases.

“Never had my ears pierced…Dean woulda cut them off,” Eggsy mumbles and Merlin feels horrible.

“I’m…I’m sorry.”

“Nah, it’s fine. These are for Mum…” Eggsy drops two pair in the basket. “An’ these are kinda classy.” He holds up a pair of silver dangling seahorses. “Think Roxy might like ‘em?”

“Aye, but even if she doesn’t, she will be touched ye thought of her,” Merlin says, mentally making a note to order Lancelot to wear them, even if she doesn’t like them.

They get back in the car and make the short drive back up to their hotel. The driver helps them unload their bags, and Merlin waves a bellhop over to bring them up to the room. Once they’re in the suite they just stand and look at each other, suddenly awkward. “Um,” Eggsy rubs the back of his head.

“We could…”

“Swim,” Eggsy blurts out. “Know we don’t got suits or nothin’, but they have a shop downstairs that sells swim stuff…saw it when we checked in.” He rubs the back of his head. “Unless ya don’t like swimmin’, or…” he looks horrified, “…or if ya CAN’T swim. Can ya swim?”

“Of course I can swim, Eggsy,” Merlin snaps. “I WAS in the running to be a Kingsman agent. I wasn’t born behind a desk.”

“Yeah, right. Sorry.”

Merlin sighs. “Nae, lad, I am sorry for snapping at ye. Let’s blame it on the heat. I think swimming sounds like a wonderful idea.” He digs into his bag for the slip-on shoes he wears around hotel rooms. “I saw the swim shop as well.”

Eggsy holds out the sunscreen. “Don’t forget this.”

“Christ,” Merlin says, but he secretly likes the way Eggsy fusses over him.

They go down to the shop and Merlin quickly finds a pair of dark red trunks that come to a little above his knee. “Hey…ain’t these like what Daniel Craig wore in Casino Royale?” Eggsy holds out a pair of tiny swim trunks.

Merlin swallows hard, imaging the small piece of fabric cupping Eggsy’s arse, accentuating the beautiful thighs. “Do ye really want to be associated with that ridiculous piece of garbage, Eggsy? James Bond is nae a believable spy.”

“Just like the movies, that’s all,” Eggsy sulks, slowly putting the trunks back. “I’ll get these.”

“Get what ye like, lad,” Merlin says encouragingly, but Eggsy picks out a pair of dark blue trunks instead.

The store allows them to change after they pay, and they bundle their street clothes into the bag and head out toward the pool. The attendant gives them towels, and they’re actually able to find a few chairs in a corner. They deposit their bags and Merlin turns toward the pool. Eggsy clears his throat. “Merlin.” He digs through the bag and pulls out the sunscreen.

“Hamish,” Merlin says.

Eggsy’s eyes widen. “W-what?”

“My name. It’s on the marriage certificate, ye knew it was my given name.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Ye are my husband, the least ye can do is call me by my name outside the office or a mission,” Merlin says almost shyly. He notices Eggsy unconsciously touch his wedding ring.

“All right.” Eggsy’s smile is blinding. “Hamish.” Merlin takes the sunscreen and applies it to his head, neck, shoulders and torso. He hands it over to Eggsy, who quickly covers himself as well. “Turn around,” Eggsy orders, snapping his fingers. “Now. Ya ain’t goin’ out there with yer back unprotected.”

“Is this how ye talk to your sister?” Merlin says as he obediently turns around.

“Yeah. Be happy yer too fuckin’ big ta go over my knee if ya don’t listen.” They both freeze and Merlin realizes he wasn’t averse to the idea of Eggsy’s hand on his arse.

“I’d like to see ye try,” Merlin finally manages. He closes his eyes and swallows a moan as Eggsy’s hand slides over his back.

“Ya sure are fit,” Eggsy says admiringly.

“I dinnae spend EVERY waking minute behind a computer,” Merlin points out. All too soon Eggsy’s hand pulls away and the sunscreen drops down Merlin’s chest. He catches it just in time.

“Do me?”

The words are innocent but Merlin still winces. He slowly turns around to find Eggsy with his back towards him. Merlin quickly squirts the lotion into his hand and rubs it over the strong muscles of Eggsy’s back. His eyes wander down to the firm backside and he has to look up and away. “There…now ye may run and play, little boy.”

Eggsy snorts. “Little boy my arse.” He looks out at the pool. “A high dive! Always wanted ta do that.”

“Well, go do it, then.” Merlin smiles at him. “I’ll be here in the shallower end, with the old folks.”

“Ya ain’t old, Hamish.”

Merlin rolls his eyes and makes a shooing motion with his hands. Eggsy laughs and heads for the diving board while Merlin slowly walks down the steps into the pool. He stops when the water is up to his underarms and hangs on the side of the pool. Eggsy looks for him and waves, Merlin responding with a nod.

“The young have no fear.” A pair of slender legs unfold themselves as someone sits on the edge of the pool. Merlin looks up at the pretty brunette woman about his own age.

“Aye. As if they dinnae know tomorrow is coming.”

“Ooh, I love your accent. Scottish?”

“Aye.” Merlin smiles at her but keeps an eye on Eggsy.

“I’m Victoria. I’m here on vacation with my sister, Sarah. Sarah!” Victoria waves an arm and another woman comes to sit next to her. “Sarah, this is…”

“Hamish.”

“Hamish. He’s from SCOTLAND.” Victoria raises her eyebrows.

 

Eggsy feels like an idiot waving at Merlin from the diving board line, but he can’t help it. Merlin looks so gorgeous lounging against the side of the pool. His elbows are draped over the edge of the pool, and the wet skin of his chest is gleaming in the sun. Eggsy wishes he could do something, be brave. He wishes he could swim over to Merlin, run his hands up Merlin’s body as he surfaces in front of him. Maybe give him a kiss.

It’s Eggsy’s turn to climb the ladder for the diving board, and Merlin is still watching. As Eggsy walks to the edge of the board, he sees a woman sit down next to Merlin at the water’s edge, and as Eggsy jumps, another woman joins them. He flips in the air and comes up from the water as soon as he can, but Merlin’s not watching. He’s speaking with the two women. It’s obvious from their body language that they’re interested in them, but Merlin seems completely oblivious. Of course he does…because Merlin has no clue how fucking perfect he is.

Eggsy quickly swims out of the deeper water and ducks under the rope. He takes a deep breath and swims over to Merlin. He drags his hands up Merlin’s legs to his hips before popping up in front of him. “Hi,” he says breathlessly.

“Hello, lad,” Merlin says in surprise.

“Did ya see me flip?”

“Nae, I’m sorry,” Merlin says, truly looking disappointed. “Perhaps ye could do it again.”

“Nah, that’s fine.” Eggsy gives an exaggerated pout and Merlin looks confused but guilty.

“It’s our fault,” one of the women says. “We sat down and started talking his ear off.”

“Oh, yes, this is Victoria and…Sarah, was it?” Merlin asks.

“Yes,” she says, obviously pleased that Merlin remembers.

“Gary,” Eggsy says, shaking their hands.

“You don’t sound Scottish,” Victoria comments. “So you’re not his…”

“I’m his husband,” Eggsy announces. He places his back against Merlin’s chest. He reaches for Merlin’s left arm and wraps it around his waist, holding up both their left hands. “As of yesterday.” He doesn’t want to see Merlin’s expression, but is pleased to hear an obvious sigh of relief in his ear.

“Oh, how romantic!” Sarah says, clapping her hands together. “I’ve always wanted to get married in Vegas.”

“It was spur of the moment,” Eggsy tells them. “Nothing we planned.”

“Congratulations,” Victoria says, and she looks quite disappointed. Good.

“Babe. Come swim with me.” Eggsy starts to float on his back, taking Merlin’s hand and tugging him along. “Pleased ta meet ya, ladies.”

“Aye, a pleasure,” Merlin says over his shoulder. He actually sweeps Eggsy into his arms and carries him away, causing Eggsy to let out an embarrassing squeal.

“What tha fuck?” Eggsy says quietly.

“Thought it looked good.” Merlin stops walking when they’re out of earshot. “They just sat down and started talking to me…dinnae know how to get away.”

“They was flirtin’ with ya, wasn’t they?” Eggsy asks with a grin.

“Nae,” Merlin says, but he looks uncomfortable.

“Fuck, Hamish, leave ya alone fer like five minutes an’ women are all over ya.”

Merlin stands and looks at him, still holding him in a bride’s carry. “Ye…ye make it sound like it bothers ye, Eggsy.”

Eggsy bites his bottom lip and is shocked to see Merlin’s eyes go down to his mouth. He licks his lips and Merlin does the same. “Well, didn’t expect ya ta step out on me the day after our wedding.”

Merlin slowly puts him down. “I would never step out on ye, lad, I can promise ye that.” Merlin turns and dives under the water like a dolphin, making Eggsy wonder what just happened.

Chapter Text

THREE

They spend an hour at the pool before lazing around in the chairs a bit and then heading upstairs. It’s simply too hot for either of them to enjoy being outside. Once they get in the room Merlin immediately goes to his computer. “Are…are ya gonna work?”

“I thought I might. Why? Was there something ye needed me for?”

“No,” Eggsy says quickly. “Just…holiday.”

“Kingsman takes no holidays, Galahad,” Merlin says sternly.

“Yeah, I know.” Eggsy points to the bedroom. “I’ll just…change clothes and watch telly in there.”

“Ye can stay out here.”

“Nah, don’t wanna bother ya.” Eggsy goes into the bedroom and pulls out a pair of shorts and a tee. He goes into the bath to change, and when he returns, Merlin is changed as well but staring at the bed. “What’s wrong?”

“I just…”

Eggsy catches on immediately. “I’ll sleep on the sofa.”

“Ye will nae do any such thing.”

“Yes, I will. Yer old, Merlin, yer back ain’t…”

“Ye keep speaking of me as if I am ten minutes from the grave,” Merlin snaps. “We can share a bed, we are grown adults. And I thought I told ye to call me Hamish!”

Eggsy blinks at him. Merlin looks anxious, angry, and embarrassed, a mix Eggsy’s never seen before. “I…I’m sorry. That sounds fine, an’ yeah…Hamish.”

“I’m sorry, lad.” Merlin sighs. “I’ve been fighting a hangover headache all day, an’ the heat does nae agree with me.”

“Ye shoulda said somethin’!” Eggsy goes to his bag and rummages through it. “Here’s something fer yer head.” He hands Merlin a bottle of pills. He goes to the fridge in the corner, which is stocked with bottles of water. “Here. Somethin’ cool ta drink. Crank up the air-con in the living room. Know what? I’ll do it.” Eggsy brushes past him and goes to adjust the thermostat.

“Eggsy, ye dinnae have to fuss over me,” Merlin says almost shyly.

“Yeah, I do. We’re friends, ain’t we? Plus we’re married.” Eggsy winks at him and Merlin seems to relax a bit.

“Aye.” Merlin sits down at the table with his computer and the bottle of water. “Thank ye.”

“Course.” Eggsy hesitates and briefly kisses the top of Merlin’s head before going back to the bedroom to watch television.

Eggsy flops onto the bed and groans. WHY does Merlin have to be so gorgeous, so sexy, so brilliant? WHY couldn’t Eggsy be taller or smarter or better?

 

Merlin frowns at his computer. Something isn’t right but he can’t put his finger on it. He’s been poking through some files for two hours and something isn’t meshing. He stands up and stretches, deciding to take a break from the computer and find out what Eggsy’s been doing.

“HAMISH!” Eggsy bellows from the bedroom. “Come quick!”

Merlin hurries into the bedroom. “What’s wrong, lad?”

Eggsy points at the television. He’s leaning against the headboard with three pillows behind him. Three more are still on the other side of the bed; American hotels seem to have a thing about pillows. “It’s the show! The cars!”

Merlin smiles at the joy on Eggsy’s face. “The place we went today?”

Eggsy nods and pats the bed. “C’mere an’ watch with me. Take a break.”

“Ye read my mind.” Merlin toes off his shoes and climbs onto the bed. “Christ, I’m tired. Ye have worn me out, Eggsy.”

“An’ we didn’t even fuck or nothin’.” Eggsy claps a hand over his mouth. “Jesus, I’m sorry. That…yeah.”

“I assure ye if we had, ye would not be walking correctly today.” Merlin arranges the pillows.

“I’ll…remember that,” Eggsy says weakly, his face bright red.

Merlin lays down and starts to doze, coming in and out as Eggsy occasionally comments about the cars or the paint. He rolls over and snuggles down into the soft pillows, his backside pressed against Eggsy’s hip. He feels Eggsy stiffen and relax next to him, and Merlin smiles sleepily. He could get used to this.

He’s not sure how long he’s been dozing before he feels a gentle hand on his arm. “Hamish? Hamish.”

“Mmm?” Merlin scoots back a bit, pressing into Eggsy’s warmth.

“Uh, goin’ on dinner,” Eggsy whispers. He pats Merlin’s arm. “Thinkin’ ya don’t wanna sleep all evening, or ya won’t sleep tonight.”

“Mm…right.” Merlin realizes he’s pretty much snuggled himself right up next to Eggsy. He rolls onto his stomach and rubs his face. “Right. Thank ye.”

“Course.”

When Merlin rolls onto his other side to look up at Eggsy, he’s smiling down fondly at him. Merlin wants nothing more than to capture the pink lips in a kiss, pull him down to lay on top of him, feel the weight of the muscular body against his. Instead he says, “Where would ye like to go for dinner?”

“Could we just stay here?” Eggsy suggests. “I’m as knackered as you are, an’ I don’t feel like goin’ out into all that crazy. We could order room service.”

“That sounds incredible.” Merlin pulls himself off the bed, stretches and yawns. “Sorry I fell asleep.”

“Bruv, it’s fine. Think we both needed some rest after…after last night.” Eggsy turns pink. “Wish I remembered more.”

“I dinnae…I dinnae think anything happened. Here, I mean.” Merlin is just as flustered as he motions to the bed. “I think we…we just slept.”

“Yeah.” Eggsy gets up as well. “Let’s find that room service menu.”

The food takes about thirty minutes and when it arrives Eggsy’s face lights up. They watch the attendant unload the cart onto the dining table, and Eggsy eagerly thanks him, handing him a tip. He sits down at the table and actually rubs his hands together. “Ye like room service,” Merlin says in amusement.

Eggsy blushes. “Uh, yeah.” He busies himself putting condiments on his burger.

“I’m sorry, lad, I dinnae mean to embarrass ye.” Merlin sits down as well.

“It’s just…I know I’ve had room service dozens of times on missions, but it just…it never gets old. Ya make a call an’ food appears. Whatever ya want.” Eggsy sighs. “Ate rice a lot of nights, sometimes nothin’ at all, so Mum had enough. Especially when she was pregnant. Dean wasn’t…wasn’t the best provider.”

“I’m sorry, Eggsy, that Kingsman let ye down.” For the first time Merlin can appreciate Harry’s constant guilt about Eggsy.

“No, Hamish.” Eggsy reaches over and puts a hand on Merlin’s arm. “Ain’t Kingsman’s fault. We had that medal, didn’t we? Mum coulda called it in at any time, but soon she didn’t care…or forgot. An’ I…I didn’t wanna give up somethin’ that belonged to my da.” Eggsy reaches up to where the medallion used to hang around his neck, as if remembering its weight. “Knew in the back of my mind that we could got some sort of help with it, but I wasn’t ready ta let it go.”

“Have ye ever been to the Kingsman archives, Eggsy?” Merlin suddenly remembers something. Eggsy shakes his head. “There are reports from your father’s time in training…probably even photos. I will make sure ye have access to anything ye wish to look at.”

Eggsy’s eyes grow huge. “Thank…thank ya, Hamish. That would be fuckin’ aces.”

“Ye are welcome.” Merlin looks down at his food.

They eat silently for a moment, and then Eggsy says, “Do…do ya got family, Hamish? Never mention them.” He makes a face. “Guess they’s my in-laws now, huh?”

Merlin chuckles. “Mam would love ye. Da is gruff but he likes a man who works hard, and I dinnae know anyone who works as hard as ye do. They are still alive and kicking in Scotland. I have one brother, Craig, older than I. He is married with two children.”

“When I was little I wanted a brother,” Eggsy says wistfully.

“Trust me, lad, ye really dinnae want a brother, especially a big brother.” Merlin rolls his eyes. “Craig made my life hell growing up. Still does, actually.”

“How?”

“Well, first of all, he still has the most gorgeous head of brown hair,” Merlin says and Eggsy laughs. “Our parents love us equally…I have always known that. But I’ve also always known that I could never live up to him. I got better grades, but he was popular, athletic. He married his university sweetheart, had a boy and a girl. He has a good job, one my mother can brag about. And I…I am none of that.”

“Hamish,” Eggsy says indignantly. “What tha fuck? You are amazing! Yer brilliant an’ brave an’…Christ. We couldn’t do our jobs without ya…I know I feel safer when yer in my ear.”

“I appreciate that, lad, but unfortunately I cannae tell my family any of that. They think I’m a computer nerd who works for a tailor.” Merlin pokes at his food. It’s something that’s always been difficult, although he understands the need for discretion.

“Hamish.” Something in Eggsy’s voice makes Merlin put his fork down. “Just remember…every time ya get me home safe, or Percival, or Roxy…it’s cuz we’re doin’ somethin’ ta make the world safer fer your niece an’ nephew. Ya got the best job there is. Know ya can’t tell them…got that lecture from Harry on the night of our twenty-four hours together. But just remember it’s fer them…the kids.” Eggsy sighs. “Every time I leave for a mission an’ say goodbye ta Daisy, I know it might be the last time I see her. But whatever I’m goin’ out ta do? I do it fer her. I tell myself that every time I walk away from her. I tell myself it’s for her, an’ it makes it a tiny bit easier.”

Merlin looks at him for a long moment. “I dinnae think I am the only brilliant one around here.”

Eggsy blushes. “Dunno about brilliant. I just…think about things sometimes.”

“I need to learn to listen to ye more, Eggsy.” Merlin smiles at him and Eggsy actually blushes more.

They finish their food and sit on opposite ends of the sofa in the living room. Eggsy flips through channels on the telly but they don’t really pay attention, simply chatting the hours away. Merlin finds out more about Eggsy than he ever thought possible. He’s always thought of Eggsy as a puppy…an adorable puppy that he wants to do very un-puppy like things to, but a puppy just the same. He’s always seen Eggsy as a shadow of Harry, a smaller copy trying so much to be like the original. But now he sees that the current Galahad is a wonderful person in his own right, and not a lesser copy of their Arthur.

If anything…Merlin falls harder.

 

“Guess I’m gonna turn in,” Eggsy says around ten. He doesn’t want to. He wants to stay on that sofa forever, just talking with Merlin, looking at him, watching him smile and laugh. This is a Merlin he never sees at HQ. He realizes why. THAT is Merlin, their quartermaster, their core. THIS is Hamish, a warm and brilliant man who is more human than Eggsy ever thought possible. “Gotta busy day of tourist stuff planned tomorrow, don’t we?”

“Aye. I think I will go to bed as well.”

Eggsy goes into the loo to do his evening business while Merlin turns off the television and the lights. Eggsy comes out and changes into pajama bottoms and a vest as Merlin digs through his bag. He looks concerned. “Everything all right?”

“I…I normally sleep shirtless,” Merlin mumbles, pajama bottoms in hand. “I tend to run warm. Is that…is that a problem?”

“Course not.” Eggsy crawls under the cover and rolls onto his side, his back to Merlin’s part of the bed. He simply lays there as Merlin finishes and returns to the bedroom.

“I left a light on in there, just in case we need it in the middle of the night.” Merlin crawls into bed and Eggsy slams his eyes shut. He will not think about Merlin laying next to him. He will NOT make it a big deal. He hears the nightstand lamp turn off and feels Merlin settle in. A hand briefly brushes over his shoulder. “Good night, lad.”

“Night, Hamish.”

It’s going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

Merlin snuggles down under the covers, the pillow he’s holding warm and soft against his chest. “Mmm,” he hums quietly, snuffling a bit as something tickles his nose.

“Exactly,” a sleepy voice says as the pillow burrows closer.

Merlin’s eyes fly open. He looks down and sees Eggsy’s hair. Eggsy’s pressed against him, one leg between Merlin’s and his arm thrown around Merlin’s waist. His cheek is against Merlin’s heart, and he can feel Eggsy’s soft breaths puffing out over his skin. He closes his eyes and swallows a groan. He wants to freeze time, stay in this moment forever. But he knows that soon his body will respond to the gorgeous man next to him, and that’s not a discussion he’s ready to have. “Good morning, lad,” Merlin says, hoping this will pull Eggsy fully into wakefulness.

“Morning,” Eggsy mumbles. Merlin feels him stiffen. “Fuck.” Eggsy disentangles himself from Merlin’s arms and legs and rolls away. “Jesus, m’sorry.” He rubs at his face. “I’m, uh, I’m a bit of a cuddler. I’m really sorry.”

“No need to apologize, Eggsy.” Merlin gives him a kind smile. “I would expect newlyweds to waken this way…wouldn’t you?”

“Right.” Eggsy looks relieved, although still embarrassed. “I’m still sorry. Yer right, though…ya run fuckin’ hot.”

“Yes. I apologize.”

“Not like ya can help it.” Eggsy rolls over to glance at the clock. “Nine. Looks like we should get movin’…have some breakfast an’ then start yer day of nerding out.”

Merlin gets out of bed and tosses the covers over Eggsy’s head. “Ye make fun, but I bet ye end the day having learned something.”

“That yer a science geek?” Eggsy pulls the covers down below his chin and peeks over them with a laugh. “Knew that already, bruv.”

“Just for that cheek, Galahad, ye will go second in the shower.”

“Oi!” Merlin hears Eggsy yell as he enters the bath and closes the door behind him.

When he comes out twenty minutes later he finds Eggsy at the dining table, eating cold chips and scrolling through his phone. “Ye couldn’t wait to eat, lad?”

“I’m hungry now,” Eggsy almost whines. “Plus chips are good hot or cold. Was lookin’ up somethin’ fer us ta do tonight.” A wicked grin crosses his face. “Ya trust me?”

“With my life,” Merlin says faintly.

“Good.” Eggsy finds his wallet and pulls out his credit card. “Gonna get us tickets fer eight o’clock, all right? Gotta go off tha Strip, though.”

“Well, then, we need to be back early today, because I would like to take ye out for dinner.” Something in his voice must sound different, because Eggsy stops what he’s doing to stare at him.

“Take me out for dinner?”

“Aye. A real dinner, suit required.”

“I, uh, okay.” Eggsy turns pink. “Sounds nice.”

“Finish up there and get moving, Galahad,” Merlin says in his HQ voice.

“Yes, sir,” Eggsy automatically responds, and it’s Merlin’s turn to blush a bit.

 

“I can’t imagine this.” Eggsy shakes his head. “Ya had ta do drills in school?”

“Aye. Duck and cover, hide under the desk…like it would have made a difference.” Merlin wanders through the exhibit shaking his head. “In my opinion the threat is much worse now…because ye dinnae know what’s coming until it’s too late.”

“It’s why we do what we do,” Eggsy observes. “Try ta eliminate as many of the bastards as we can before they do somethin’ stupid.”

Merlin bestows one of his beautiful smiles. “Exactly.”

Eggsy hangs back a bit, allowing Merlin to continue on his own. Eggsy had expected some sort of lecture as soon as they arrived at the Atomic Testing Museum, but Merlin’s been strangely quiet. He comments now and then on things they’re looking at, but otherwise he keeps his thoughts to himself. The museum isn’t too bad, although Eggsy feels that some of it could be updated a bit. But then again, he hadn’t really lived through the Cold War. Merlin had.

“Bored yet?”

Eggsy startles. “Nah. This is interesting, kinda. That simulated bomb blast was insane, wasn’t it?”

“Aye.” Merlin stops to peer into a case. “I wonder what I’d do if Kingsman ever asked me to work on some sort of weapon like this.”

Eggsy blinks at him. “That why ya been so quiet?”

“Mmm.” Merlin removes his glasses and cleans them on his shirt. “I think I’ve seen enough here. Hoover Dam?”

“YES, Hamish,” Eggsy says eagerly.

It’s a thirty minute drive to Hoover Dam, and Merlin spends most of it staring out the window. “I’m sorry,” he says finally, turning to look at Eggsy. “I suppose I have nae been the best company.”

“Don’t apologize,” Eggsy says immediately. “Weren’t like I was the best company at breakfast.”

“I dinnae know where you put all that food,” Merlin says, finally smiling. “Your metabolism is exemplary.”

“Oi, not just that, I put in lots of time in the gym!” Eggsy says defensively. “Work my arse off.”

“I know ye do, lad. I’ve seen ye run the course.” Merlin clears his throat and looks back out the window again.

“Hey.” Eggsy touches Merlin’s hand. “I know ya wouldn’t ever go all mad scientist on us. Ya ain’t just binary code an’ like, computer language or whatever. Yer a human bein’ with a heart. If Harry EVER asked ya ta devise some sorta death ray or sommat, ya wouldn’t just do it.”

“A death ray?” But Merlin’s smiling again, which was Eggsy’s aim. “I appreciate the faith ye have in me.”

“Trust ya with my life, right?”

They arrive at Hoover Dam and purchase their tickets for the tour. They have about twenty minutes to wait and wander around outside, admiring the sculptures and artwork. “Did ye see this, Eggsy?” Merlin calls Eggsy over to a large cement marker.

“A dog,” Eggsy says in surprise. “The Hoover Dam construction crew’s mascot was found as a puppy by workers at the construction camp. The dog traveled to and from the damsite with them and spent his days visiting the many work areas,” he reads. “On February 21, 1941, the life of this devoted animal came to an end when a truck under which he was sleeping rolled over him. The grave below was completed by workers later that same day.” Eggsy sighs. “Fuck.”

“I’m sorry, lad. I only saw the dog, dinnae see it was such a sad tale.” Merlin actually puts his arm around Eggsy’s shoulders.

“It’s all right. Always had a soft spot fer animals, as ya well know.” Eggsy briefly lays his head on Merlin’s shoulder before moving away.

He gets the lecture he expected as soon as they start the tour. “Spectacular,” Merlin keeps murmuring as they follow the guide and the rest of their group. “Bloody spectacular.”

“Don’t hold back, Hamish,” Eggsy whispers. “Tell me what ya really think.”

Merlin glares at him. “Five years. They completed this in five years, in the nineteen-thirties. And they dinnae just have to build this. They needed to build more road to get here. More railroad tracks. Power lines. Spectacular.”

“It is pretty cool,” Eggsy agrees.

“Pretty cool,” Merlin snorts.

“Didn’t James Bond come here in “Goldeneye” or something?” Eggsy asks with a grin.

“I am nae dignifying that with a response,” Merlin says haughtily.

After they finish the tour they go to the top of the dam and look down into Lake Meade for a while. “Pretty,” Eggsy observes.

“Aye, but sad. Look at those lines of light brown on the rock…the water level is going down,” Merlin points out. “Dinnae allow me to get started on…”

“I won’t,” Eggsy interrupts. “Don’t even wanna know what ya ain’t supposed ta get started on.”

Merlin laughs. “Come along, lad. I know ye are itching to get into the gift shop.”

“For Daisy,” Eggsy says, although he buys himself a small stuffed dog along with a basket full of other things. When Merlin’s not looking, he picks up a book about the dam as well as a beautiful painting and makes arrangements to have it shipped back home. They will make beautiful additions to Merlin’s office.

 

“Fuck.” Eggsy stares at Merlin as he exits the bedroom. They’d decided since Merlin had gotten into the bath first that morning, Eggsy would be able to shower first that evening. Eggsy’s sitting in a chair scrolling through his phone, legs carefully arranged as to not wrinkle his suit. Merlin rolls his eyes. Harry is a ridiculous influence on the boy.

“Is something wrong?” Merlin looks down at his blue suit, smoothing his blue and grey tie. He doesn’t wear suits often; he feels as if he’s pretending to be an agent. But he’d been telling the truth when he’d said he wanted to take Eggsy out for a nice dinner. The restaurant is just in their casino, but it’s an expensive steakhouse and Merlin wants to give Eggsy an enjoyable evening.

“No.” Eggsy slowly stands up, the cut of the grey suit accentuating his thighs. “Ya…ya look…wow.”

“Surely ye have seen me in a suit before.”

Eggsy slowly shakes his head. “Nope. Can’t say I have.” There is such awe and admiration in his gaze that Merlin blushes. Surely he’s simply admiring the handiwork of the men in the shop.

“Well, I’m glad I will nae embarrass ye then.” Merlin manages. He finds his wallet and sticks it in his jacket. “Shall we go down?”

They enter the lift and Eggsy’s eyes are still on Merlin, even if it’s through their reflection on the shining walls of the lift car. Merlin’s never felt so naked in his life…or so admired. He stumbles on his way out of the lift, Eggsy’s strong hands grabbing him by the arms. Merlin apologizes but grins behind Eggsy’s back.

“We’re eating here?” Eggsy murmurs. Merlin nods as he gives his name at the podium. They’re led to a booth in the corner and Eggsy slides onto his seat. His picks up his menu and his eyes widen. “No. Absolutely not. Ain’t no way I’m lettin’ ya buy me dinner here!”

“I’m sorry, ye act as if ye have a choice lad.”

“I’ll pay for my own.”

“Will ye?” Merlin pulls a wallet out of his coat and Eggsy’s eyes widen further. “Ye are nae the only one with quick fingers, lad.”

“The stumble in the lift. Christ, Merlin.” Eggsy looks even more impressed.

“I knew ye would whine about paying. Keep quiet and look at your menu,” Merlin orders.

“Yes, sir,” Eggsy says obediently and Merlin shivers.

The waiter comes and they each order a beer. “What looks good to ye, lad?”

“Everything,” Eggsy says. “I like tryin’ new things.”

“Will ye allow me to order? I think by now I know what ye like, after watching ye eat on missions.”

“Sure.” Eggsy immediately closes his menu and hands it over.

The waiter returns with their drinks. “We’ll start with Oysters Rockefeller,” Merlin tells him. “Then we will share the porterhouse for two…done medium, with a side of the lobster mac and cheese.” He hands over the menus with a smile.

“That sounds fuckin’ ACES,” Eggsy hisses as soon as the waiter leaves.

“I figured you’d approve.” Merlin sips at his beer. “So…what do ye have in store for me after dinner?”

Eggsy’s grin spreads from ear to ear. “No way. Not tellin’ ya. You’ll find out when we get there.”

“Is it illegal?”

“No, surprisingly.”

“Will ye get me into trouble?”

“Absolutely not,” Eggsy promises. “Let’s just say this dinner is the only classy part of our evening.”

“Christ,” Merlin moans and Eggsy laughs quietly.

Conversation flows easily as they wait for their appetizers. When the oysters come Eggsy almost squeals with delight, and Merlin can barely eat. He simply watches Eggsy, watches the way he gives everything he enjoys all of his attention. Merlin also looks at the other diners, especially the women. They eye Eggsy with admiration, and Merlin frowns. None of that. He folds his hands under his chin, making sure to place his left hand forward so his wedding ring gleams in the dim light.

“Ain’t ya gonna eat any?” Eggsy asks, realizing he’s eaten four of the six by himself. “I’m sorry.”

“Nae, lad. I ordered them for ye. I remember when ye were on the mission in New York, and ye ordered a dozen and inhaled them on the spot.”

“I do like them,” Eggsy agrees. He pushes the final two toward Merlin. “Yer gonna need yer strength for later,” he says with a wink. Merlin stares at him. “I’m kidding, Hamish. Ain’t gonna hurt ya, promise.”

The steak comes and even Merlin is impressed by its size. Some of the weight is due to the bone, but it’s still a large cut of steak. The waiter gives them two plates and asks if they want anything else. “Anything else, lad?”

“No,” Eggsy almost whispers. “I think I might die right here. This looks fuckin’ fantastic.”

“Aye,” Merlin says with a grin. He cuts the steak and serves half to Eggsy before spooning a large portion of the mac and cheese onto his plate as well.

Eggsy tastes that first. “Fuck ME,” he moans, an orgasmic look on his face. “Ya gotta try this, Hamish.”

“I will,” Merlin says faintly. He simply watches Eggsy for a moment, loving the way he savors each bite.

When he finally cuts into his own food, he sees why Eggsy reacted in that manner. The steak is perfect, and the lobster macaroni and cheese is creamy and rich. “I don’t think I can eat anywhere else ever again,” Eggsy moans. “Tell me we can move here…you can get an IT job at a casino. I’ll build fuckin’ roads, don’t care.”

“I dinnae think those jobs will allow us many opportunities to eat here,” Merlin says with a grin.

“I’ll eat bread and water the rest of the time,” Eggsy says.

They manage to finish most of the meal, packaging up the mac and cheese to reheat in the room later. “Dessert?” The waiter asks.

“I’m so full,” Eggsy groans.

“The warm apple cobbler, crème brulee, and two coffees,” Merlin says, ignoring him.

“I so hate you,” Eggsy growls.

But he manages to eat almost the entire cobbler and three bites of Merlin’s crème brulee. Merlin smiles his thanks at the waiter as he signs the receipt and makes sure to leave a decent tip. “Now that I’ve wined and dined ye, perhaps ye will tell me where we’re going.”

“C’mon, bruv, ya really think I’m that easy?” Eggsy checks his watch. “Got time ta run up an’ change clothes quick. Casual will do for this.”

They go up in the lift and hurry into the suite. “How casual?”

“Jeans an’ a button-up, if ya want,” Eggsy says, yanking an orange vest out of his bag.

“You’re wearing a vest.”

“Didn’t think ya wanted to go that casual,” Eggsy says with a shrug.

Merlin rolls his eyes and busies himself digging through his own clothing. By the time he has something, Eggsy is tugging on his trainers. Merlin quickly changes into a tight black vest and jeans, making sure to carefully hang up his suit. “Ready?” He slides his feet into his shoes.

“An’ Harry says I’m full of surprises,” Eggsy murmurs, staring at Merlin’s chest. “Uh, yeah. Ready.” They find their car and driver and slide into the backseat. “Erotic Heritage Museum, please.”

Merlin stares at him. “Tell me ye are joking, lad.”

“Nope.” Eggsy gives him an innocent smile.

“I would think that most museums are closed now.”

“They are.” Eggsy settles back against the seat. “This one ain’t.”

Merlin cannot think of anything else to say. Eggsy wasn’t kidding when he said the dinner would be the classy part of the evening. The car finally pulls up in front of the museum. “Thank ye,” Merlin says absently to the driver. “We will call a cab to go back. Have a nice night.”

“Thank you. You as well, sir.”

Eggsy leads him to the box office. “Two tickets reserved under Unwin?” He shows his phone and the man scans the code.

“Have a good night, gents.”

Merlin doesn’t move. “Puppetry of the Penis.”

“Yes.” Eggsy starts to laugh.

“Ye are taking me to a show called Puppetry of the PENIS?” Merlin hisses.

Eggsy’s smile fades. “Uh, yeah. Watched some videos online, thought it looked funny. Blokes stand on stage and do, like, origami. With their junk.” Eggsy looks petrified. “Ya know what? We’ll go. Dunno what I was thinking. Stupid shite, that’s what I was thinking.”

“This is fucking SPECTACULAR!” Merlin exclaims.

“Really?”

“Yes!” Merlin says. “I mean it. I never heard of such a thing. This sounds incredible.” And he does mean it. Leave it to Eggsy to find something like this.

“Yeah?” Eggsy’s smile returns.

“Yes. Let’s find our seats,” Merlin says eagerly. Eggsy bounces through the lobby toward the showroom.

 

“I was right. That was bloody spectacular!” Merlin crows as they get in a cab. He gives the name of their hotel.

“I haven’t laughed that hard in forever,” Eggsy says. His stomach actually hurts from laughing.

“I just wonder how they find out they can DO something like this. Dunno about ye, lad, but I never played with my cock just to see what shape I could maneuver it into.”

Eggsy refuses to allow himself to go there. Just hearing Merlin say the word ‘cock’ has his own dick jumping to attention. “Yeah, I was thinkin’ that, too.” He yawns. “Must be getting’ old, if I’m yawnin’ already.”

“Yes. You’re ancient,” Merlin says wryly.

“So, uh, how much longer we gonna be here?” Eggsy asks shyly. He hates to hear the answer; he doesn’t want this time with Merlin to end.

“Well, I texted Harry earlier…he said he will allow us to come home the day after tomorrow. ALLOW us to come home. Like we cannae jump on a bloody plane and fly commercial.”

“I don’t mind staying here that long,” Eggsy says. “Do you?”

“Of course not.” Merlin smiles at him. “I’m enjoying my holiday.”

“Me, too.”

They return to the suite and Eggsy wearily changes into his pajama bottoms and vest. He’s not sure if it’s exhaustion from laughing, or the enormous dinner they’d shared earlier, but he is truly tired. “I will sit out here, lad, so I dinnae disturb ye,” Merlin says. “I want to go on the computer a bit.”

“You…you could bring it into bed. I don’t mind,” Eggsy tells him. “Used ta be a light sleeper. With Dean, ya had ta be ready ta jump up an’ defend yourself…or hide…at a moment’s notice. I’m better now…when I know I’m safe, I sleep like the dead.”

“All right,” Merlin says, seeming pleased that Eggsy has asked him to come into bed with him.

Eggsy gets himself situated in bed, soon lulled into a stupor by the sound of Merlin’s fingers flying over the keys. “Hamish?”

“Yes, lad?” Merlin frowns at the screen.

“Ya ever wanna get married? Like before?”

Merlin sighs. “Yes and no. I wanted what everyone wants, I suppose, a partner to share my life with. But in our line of work, ye know it isn’t easy.”

“Yeah,” Eggsy mumbles. He’s had a few shags when he’s horny, but nothing more than a consensual one-night-stand. He knows he cannot ever tell someone the truth about what he does for a living. “Didya want kids?”

“Nae,” Merlin says. “I dinnae think I would be very good with them. I am not…it is nae easy for me to express my emotions.”

“I think ya’d be a good Da,” Eggsy protests. “Yer smart, an’ caring. Ya gotta good heart.”

“Thank ye, lad.” Merlin blushes a bit. “Go to sleep before ye make my head swell any further.”

“Night, Hamish,” Eggsy says with a grin, turning onto his side.

“Sweet dreams, Eggsy.”

 

Merlin works for the next three hours, finally figuring out what he wants to see. He breaks into the video feed from Harry’s home the night of their wedding. He watches Harry take the call, hears Eggsy drunkenly begging for Harry to do something so he and Merlin can marry in the States. Harry promises he will do what he can, but instead of actually DOING something, he lays back in his bed with his hands behind his head. He seems to be counting. He then comes back on the line and tells them he’s pulled the appropriate strings, made some calls, and it is officially legal. They can marry in Las Vegas and it will be official.

Merlin hears Eggsy shriek with delight, followed by his own slurred voice thanking Harry and offering him whatever favor he might need in the future before the calls is ended. Harry chuckles, hangs up his phone, and rolls back over.

Merlin stares at the screen, rewinds it, and watches it again. He then looks at Eggsy sleeping blissfully beside him. He stares at Eggsy for a long moment, sighs, and goes back to the computer. After another hour of research, he realizes it’s true. They were never legally married.

He’s shocked at how much the thought bothers him.

Chapter Text

FIVE

Eggsy yawns and stretches, smiling as he rolls over to look at Merlin. He’s shocked to see Merlin pacing by the bed instead of curled up next to him. “Hamish?” Eggsy says groggily, rubbing his eyes. “Everything all right?”

“Yes. Well, no, but yes. We are fine, Kingsman is fine, your family is fine.” Merlin sighs and sits down on the edge of the bed. “It is nae a big deal, really. A relief, if ye think about it.”

“Hamish, I just woke up. Don’t talk in circles before I’ve had at least two cups of coffee,” Eggsy tells him. He goes to the loo, pisses, and gets a drink of water. He comes back into the bedroom to find Merlin still sitting on the bed. “Please.”

“All right. I’ve been working, as you saw…doing some research through the Kingsman computers.”

“Because it’s what ya do, even on holiday,” Eggsy teases. Merlin doesn’t smile. “Holy fuck, Hamish, just spit it out already.”

“We are nae married,” Merlin blurts out.

Eggsy stares at him. “What?” He whispers.

“Apparently Harry was playing a joke on us. I saw the feed from his home when he took the call. He pretended to do something, contact people…but in reality he did absolutely nothing.”

“So the marriage certificate…the ceremony…”

“All fake. It really happened, but it is nae legal since we are nae American citizens. I checked that as well.”

“Oh.” Eggsy clenches his hands into fists to stop them from shaking. It’s not real. None of it is real.

“I thought…I thought ye might be happy about it, lad,” Merlin says gently. “Now ye are no longer bound to an old man like me.”

“Yeah, right, happy, I mean, I’m free or whatever, right?” Eggsy hears the sob in his voice and Merlin’s eyes widen. “Shouldn’t be shocked, yer probably glad ta get rid of me. Everyone always is.”

“Eggsy,” Merlin says in astonishment, slowly sitting down.

“Ain’t no one ever wants me permanently…Mum loves me, but I know she was probably happy ta see tha back of me when I went into Kingsman…one less thing ta worry about. Didn’t need to think about keepin’ Dean off my back cuz I was gone. My Da…” Eggsy blinks hard. “Know he didn’t mean ta leave me, but he did. Knew if he got into Kingsman there was a chance he’d never come home. And it happened.”

“He loved ye. Believe me, Eggsy.”

“I know.” Eggsy sniffs and wipes at his face. “But yeah, yer right, for the best, huh?”

“Eggsy,” Merlin says helplessly. “I’m sorry…I figured…I figured ye would be relieved.”

“Why?” Eggsy blurts out, sad and frustrated. “Why would I be relieved ta find out that the bloke I’ve fancied fer fuckin’ MONTHS is well rid of me?”

“What?” Merlin whispers, sitting down hard on the bed again.

“Yeah. This week has been fuckin’ heaven ta me, Hamish. Gettin’ ta spend time with ya doin’ just regular stuff, laughin’ an’ talkin’. Learned so much about ya. Already thought you was incredible, but now I know it fer sure. Wakin’ up next to ya…fuck.” Eggsy shakes his head. “Wakin’ up in yer fuckin’ ARMS. I know this was a trial fer you, puttin’ up with me like this, thinkin’ we was married, but for me? It was a dream come true.”

“Eggsy, I don’t…”

“Know it weren’t tha same for you.” Eggsy shrugs. “Like I said, no one ever wants long term with me. Longest relationship I ever had, before Kingsman was three months. Three months before she kicked me to the curb for someone with more potential. Besides, I know this weren’t real for you. But I…I was pretendin’ it was.”

“Eggsy…”

“I’m sorry. I’ll just…I’m gonna pack. Maybe I can…”

“For fuck’s sake, lad, will ye shut up!” Merlin roars and Eggsy’s mouth slams shut. “Stop. For a moment.” Eggsy takes a few deep breaths. “What are ye saying? Are ye saying ye…ye have feelings for me?”

“That’s putting it mildly,” Eggsy mumbles.

He watches Merlin unconsciously twirl the ring around his finger. “I’ve loved these days together,” Merlin says quietly. “Because they allowed me to pretend…to live the fantasy. It was nae a trial, I assure ye.” Eggsy’s heart stops beating. “Ye were not the only one wishing this was real.”

“Hamish…”

“I have been watching ye for so long, Eggsy…watching from afar. I knew ye could never want me, never see me as anything other than your friend, the voice in your ear. I was drunk the night of the ceremony, but I assure ye…my feelings were real.” Merlin chuckles a bit. “Perhaps not wanting to wed, but wanting to be with ye, spend time with ye.”

Eggsy slowly approaches the bed, shaking his head as if to clear it. He can’t be hearing this. It can’t be true. “Hamish,” he whispers. His hand shakes a bit as he cups Merlin’s cheek. “If yer sayin’ what I think ya are…we are two of the stupidest people on the planet.”

“Aye.” Merlin slowly stands. “And apparently it took a wedding for us to realize it.”

 

Merlin’s legs tremble as he stands and looks down at Eggsy. Eggsy frowns, shakes his head, and puts his hands on Merlin’s shoulders. Merlin waits for a kiss but instead is pushed back down into a seated position on the edge of the bed. He looks up at Eggsy in confusion but relaxes as Eggsy straddles his legs, knees on the mattress. “Hamish,” Eggsy whispers.

Merlin’s thankful that he’s sitting down when Eggsy’s lips first meet his. Eggsy cradles Merlin’s head in his hands, thumbs trailing along Merlin’s jaw as they kiss. Eggsy settles down onto Merlin’s lap and sighs. Eggsy’s lips are tender and soft, brushing over Merlin’s own mouth again and again before he finally sits back to look him in the eye. “Ye really mean it,” Merlin says, unable to keep the awe from his voice. “Ye have wanted…”

“Oh, Christ, have I wanted,” Eggsy says before going back for another kiss. Merlin’s hands slide up and down Eggsy’s back as the kisses get a bit more passionate. He feels Eggsy’s tongue tentatively seek entrance into his mouth, and Merlin happily allows it. “How long?” Eggsy demands as soon as they come up for air.

“I have wanted ye since the drowning test. I saw your body and yearned,” Merlin admits. “I realized I cared for ye when we lost Harry, when we watched him die. I heard ye scream and wanted to comfort ye in the worst way…but I couldn’t. Not yet.”

“All that time?” Eggsy whispers. He kisses Merlin’s forehead, his nose, his chin.

“Aye…I was basically your boss for so long. I couldn’t do anything then, and I dinnae think ye wanted me to.”

“Oh, Hamish. I wanted ya so much. Loved spending time with ya, even loved it when you was yellin’ at me.” Eggsy snickers and buries his face in Merlin’s shoulder. “Meant you was payin’ attention to me.”

“Like I could help paying attention to ye.” Merlin can’t believe this is happening. He never got this, never got what he wanted, what he pined for. He kisses the tender spot where Eggsy’s neck meets his shoulder and earns a moan. “Oh, ye like that?” Merlin flicks his tongue over that spot before biting down a bit. The moan gets louder. “I will remember that.” He kisses Eggsy on the mouth again before sliding his lips down the soft throat to the other side.

“Fuck, Hamish,” Eggsy begs, rocking a bit on his lap. “God.” His hand palms the back of Merlin’s head, holding him in place.

Merlin’s hands settle on Eggsy’s backside as he moves his head up to kiss him again. He feels Eggsy’s hands wander over his bare back and he sighs. “Eggsy,” he whispers. Eggsy’s tongue slides down to his shoulder and he bites down hard. Merlin responds with a growl and Eggsy snickers against his skin.

“Can’t believe this,” he hears Eggsy murmur. “Can’t.”

Merlin pulls back so he can put a finger under Eggsy’s chin. “Believe it.” He gives Eggsy a very sweet, very tender kiss.

“Fuck ME,” Eggsy whispers in disbelief, one hand at the back of Merlin’s head.

“I would love nothing more, lad, but…I think we can both agree that’s moving a little fast.” Merlin hates saying the words but knows he means them. “I would like to lay ye out here, learn your body.”

“Stop talking about it if we ain’t gonna do it,” Eggsy groans, but he stands up. “Yer right. Besides…dunno about you, but I didn’t bring any supplies or nothin’…didn’t see the mission takin’ this kinda turn.” He takes Merlin by the hand and pulls him up as well. “How would ya feel about a shower?” He kisses Merlin’s fingers.

“That ye need one? Aye, I agree,” Merlin teases.

“Wanker.” Eggsy looks up at Merlin adoringly and suddenly there isn’t enough oxygen in the room. “I meant shower with me. Izzat movin’ too fast?” Eggsy looks concerned, and almost ashamed. Merlin realizes what he’s thinking about.

“Lad, anything ye had to do in your past…that’s in your past. That is not here with us right now,” Merlin tells him. “I willnae ever judge you for that. I never have.” Eggsy nods, his cheeks pink. “And I think a shower sounds wonderful.”

He follows Eggsy into the en suite, realizing he would probably follow Eggsy anywhere. He turns on the water and gets it to a good temperature while Eggsy undresses. Merlin turns around to find Eggsy fidgeting behind him. He can’t help it. His eyes wander up from Eggsy’s feet, over the beautiful thighs. He drinks in the tight abdominal muscles and slight dusting of chest hair. Merlin finally allows his gaze to settle between Eggsy’s legs. He’s hard, of course; to be expected from a young man in his twenties. His cock is thick, thicker than Merlin’s, and Merlin’s mouth and hands twitch with want. “Take a picture, it’ll last longer,” Eggsy says with a nervous grin.

“I wish I could. I would make it my wallpaper on every computer I own.” Merlin kisses him, allowing his hands to wander down to the gorgeous arse. “Fuck, lad, ye are a temptation.” His thumb gently grazes down to ghost over Eggsy’s entrance and Eggsy whines. “Into the shower with ye.”

“Not without you.” Eggsy pushes at Merlin’s pajama bottoms, helping them puddle on the floor at Merlin’s feet. He kneels there for a moment, hands sliding up Merlin’s legs as his eyes slowly move upward. “Fuck, yer gorgeous.”

“I have chicken legs,” Merlin blurts out.

“Perfect.” Eggsy’s hands slowly slide up Merlin’s thighs to rest on his hips. Merlin is only half-hard, but Eggsy doesn’t seem to mind. He stares at Merlin’s cock and licks his lips.

“Shower,” Merlin says hoarsely.

Eggsy gives him a sly grin and gets to his feet. He enters the large stall first, sighing as the hot water hits his skin. “Mmm, this is perfect.”

“I like hot showers.”

“Me, too.” Eggsy tilts his head back to wet his hair and Merlin feels as if he’s watching his own personal porn movie. The water slides down Eggsy’s body and Merlin wants to lick it away. Instead he grabs shower gel and a flannel and waits for Eggsy to open his eyes.

“May I?” Merlin asks. Eggsy nods and turns around.

Merlin works the flannel over the strong back, one hand placed on Eggsy’s shoulder to keep him balanced. As he kneels to wash the back of Eggsy’s legs, he cannot help himself. He leans in and bites one delectable arsecheek. Eggsy laughs and squirms out of reach. “Perv.”

“Oh, lad, ye have no idea the thoughts I’ve had about you.” Merlin stands and presses himself against Eggsy’s back. Eggsy moans and wiggles a bit, one arm coming up to wrap around Merlin. “I was nae joking when I said that when I have ye, ye will not be walking right.”

“I can’t wait.” Eggsy turns around in his arms and kisses him.

Merlin smiles as Eggsy wriggles and writhes in his embrace. It’s like holding a baby dolphin, enthusiastic and eager. “Let me shampoo your hair.”

Eggsy moans as Merlin’s fingers work across his head. “Fuck, love that…”

“I cannae wait to pamper ye every chance I get,” Merlin says. There will be many things to work out, discussions to be had about Kingsman and proper behavior. But right now, none of that matters. He can be as romantic as he wants, as sappy as he wants. His boy is right here, naked in front of him, happy to be with him, and that’s all Merlin wants to focus on.

“What should we do today?” Eggsy asks suddenly. “Last day in Vegas.”

“I dinnae think we should spend too much time here in the room,” Merlin admits. “It will be hard for me to behave.”

“Behaving is no fun,” Eggsy says with an exaggerated pout as he washes the suds from his hair.

“Christ, ye are beautiful,” Merlin blurts out.

Eggsy turns red, even in the heat of the shower. “No…no one’s ever called me that before.”

“Ye are.” Merlin kisses him.

They finally manage to finish in the shower and get out. “We could hang by the pool again,” Eggsy suggests as he brushes his teeth. “Gotta behave in public.”

“I would nae mind seeing you in those swim trunks again,” Merlin admits.

Eggsy grins and stands on tiptoe to kiss him. “Perv.”

 

Eggsy cannot remember a better day. They have pastries and coffee delivered to the room and eat breakfast wrapped in the soft dressing gowns provided by the hotel. Instead of sitting at the table, they cuddle on the sofa and watch television. Eggsy actually pinches himself at one point; he must be dreaming. There’s no way this has fallen into his lap so easily after YEARS of pining.

Merlin rents one of the cabanas by the pool and they’re able to stay out of the hot sun but still jump in and out of the pool. He talks Merlin into going off the high dive, and as Merlin waits his turn in line, body tall and slender, Eggsy’s mouth actually waters. That is HIS now. Someday he will get to touch that beautiful man any way he wants. Not today, but someday.

The cabana is also semi-private, so Eggsy can lean over and kiss Merlin whenever the urge hits him. And the urge hits quite often. “Jesus, lad,” Merlin says with a grin as Eggsy almost tumbles onto his lap. “Warn a man.”

“Do I gotta warn ya when I wanna kiss ya?” Eggsy asks.

“Never.” Merlin runs a hand through Eggsy’s hair. “I dinnae want to go back.”

“I know,” Eggsy sighs. He moves to sit on his own chair.

“Eggsy,” Merlin says.

“I know that voice. Means I’m gonna get a lecture.” Eggsy rolls his eyes. “Hoped all the snogging would make that never happen again.”

“I will always lecture ye if ye deserve it,” Merlin says sternly.

“Yer fuckin’ sexy when yer bossy,” Eggsy murmurs, leaning over and kissing him again.

“Dinnae try to distract me,” Merlin says, his cheeks pink. Eggsy chuckles and takes a bite of his sandwich. “About going home…before this goes any further, we need to discuss behavior at work.”

“Lemme stop ya first.” Eggsy chews and swallows. “Ya said before this goes any further. How…how far do ya want it ta go?”

“I don’t want to jinx things,” Merlin says, taking Eggsy’s left hand and kissing the ring that still sits on his finger. “But I have no finish line planned.”

Eggsy smiles and dips his head, sure that his heart is in his eyes. “Yeah…that’s how I feel, too.”

“Good,” Merlin says, obviously pleased. “But as for work…”

“Merlin, gonna ask that ya trust me. Know that this is new fer us, but…I’m an adult. I can be mature about this. Not gonna jump ya every time I see ya in the halls at HQ. Me an’ Harry have a special relationship, not romantic or nothin’, but we’re closer than Arthur an’ most of his knights…but it don’t make us behave any different at work.”

“True,” Merlin says. “I’m sorry, lad, if I made it sound like I dinnae think ye are mature enough to behave appropriately. I just…” He rubs a hand over his face. “I have wanted this for so long, but I never thought any further than this…the declaration of feelings. I am nervous, I suppose. I want us to do our jobs as best we can, but dinnae want our relationship to affect our work.”

“Or our work to affect our relationship,” Eggsy adds. “Might…might not be able to have ya in my ear anymore,” he realizes. Merlin gives him an odd look. “Want ya in my ear all tha time. But…if I’m goin’ in to a dangerous situation, don’t like knowin’ ya might be watchin’.”

“I understand,” Merlin says quietly. “But we will cross that bridge when we come to it. We must talk with Harry about it as well. As Arthur, his input is required, although this is all new, as far as I can tell. I dinnae know if any other situation quite like this.”

“We’re trendsetters,” Eggsy says with a grin.

“Aye.” Merlin grins back and leans in to kiss him. “And speaking of Harry…”

“Yeah?”

“How good an actor are ye, my lad?”

Chapter Text

SIX

“Arthur.”

“Oh, Merlin. You’re back.” Harry smiles as Merlin’s face appears on his computer screen. “So good to see you. I managed to keep your people in line while you were gone.”

Merlin snorts. “I think it’s the other way around. My people are trained to handle ye, Harry, although not as well as I handle ye.”

“Whatever.” Harry rolls his eye.

“Dinnae do that, it is nae good for ye,” Merlin orders. “Doctor said…”

“I know quite well what the doctor said,” Harry snaps. “I believe we should have a meeting.”

“Aye…there is much I wish to discuss with ye. Could ye come down to my office at nine? I want to get started.”

“Of course. Good to have you back.” Harry pauses. “Did…did you have a nice holiday with Eggsy?”

“I did, actually. It got off to an awkward start, but I believe we worked things out. See ye at nine.” Merlin terminates the call.

Harry smiles with satisfaction. His plan worked…of course. Merlin and Eggsy were driving him crazy before the mission to Las Vegas. They tiptoed around in circles for months, each pining for the other so ridiculously that Harry thought he was living in a soap opera. The mission was a real one, requiring both Galahad and their tech guru. It didn’t require a fake wedding, of course, but Harry had nothing to do with that initially. He just moved it along a bit. Eventually he’d break the news to them, and they’d all have a good laugh. Maybe they’d finally get their head out of their collective arses and go on a date.

At 8:55 he makes himself a cup of tea and wanders down to Merlin’s office. He’s surprised to see the door ajar. When he pokes his head in what he sees surprises him even more, almost causing him to drop his cup.

Eggsy is seated on the corner of Merlin’s desk, Merlin standing between his knees. Merlin’s tie is tugged free from his jumper and wrapped around Eggsy’s hand, and Eggsy gently uses it to pull Merlin in for a kiss. Merlin’s hands are stroking up and down the outside of Eggsy’s thighs, and Harry is shocked to hear his best friend growl as Eggsy bites Merlin’s bottom lip between his teeth and tugs on it. Harry straights up, takes a deep breath, and clears his throat as he knocks on the door.

“Oh. Beg your pardon, Arthur.” Merlin takes one step back and retrieves his tie from Eggsy’s grasp. He makes an attempt to tuck it back in but Eggsy bats his hands away.

“I got it, babe. My fault yer…rumpled.” Eggsy gives him a cheeky grin as he neatly puts the tie back in place. “There. Perfect.”

“Thank ye, lad.” Merlin actually kisses Eggsy’s nose before allowing him to slide off the desk.

“Hey, Haz,” Eggsy says. “Tea, babe?”

“Please.” Merlin sits down behind his desk. “Have a seat, Arthur.”

“Thank you.” Harry just barely manages to make it to the chair. Eggsy hands Merlin a cup of tea and smiles down at him adoringly, leaning against the side of his chair. “You…you said you had something you wished to discuss with me?”

“Everything that happened in my absence, of course…but this is more important.” Merlin takes Eggsy’s hand and kisses it, and for the first time Harry realizes they’re still wearing the wedding rings.

“All right…”

“Ye said ye would work on getting our marriage annulled.”

“Yes,” Harry says, swallowing hard. “About that…”

“Ya don’t need to,” Eggsy interrupts.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Ya don’t gotta annul it. We…” Eggsy blushes and Merlin looks enraptured.

“We wish to stay married,” Merlin says.

Harry barely manages to get the teacup onto Merlin’s desk. “You what?”

“We wish to stay married,” Merlin repeats. “The marriage may have originally been a drunken lark, but after the time we spent together on holiday…we realized it was what we truly wanted.”

“Yeah.” Eggsy’s smile is blinding. “Realized we been arse over tits in love with each other all along, didn’t we? Marriage is sorta fast an’ all, but…we known each other for a while, an’ been through everything together.”

“I’ll be putting through paperwork for a moving company to retrieve Eggsy’s things later this week,” Merlin continues. Harry can’t believe what he’s hearing. “He’ll move in with me, I have more room.”

“Let me get this straight.” Harry counts to five. “You got married in Vegas…while drunk…and now you wish to STAY married?” Eggsy nods happily. “Oh fuck. Fucking buggering HELL.”

“I expected ye to be surprised, Harry, but…that’s a fair number of expletives. Even for you,” Merlin says quietly. The smile starts to fade from Eggsy’s face. Harry sees his hand clench Merlin’s.

“Somethin’ wrong, Haz? Thought ya’d be happy…happy that yer two best friends found…found love.”

“I am. I mean, of course I am, but…marriage? Are you sure?”

“I have never been more sure of anything in my life, Harry,” Merlin says. “For years I’ve been so lonely, but now…I’m not alone any longer.”

“Oh, babe,” Eggsy says, tears actually filling his eyes. “That’s one hundred percent correct. Ya got me now.” Eggsy leans down and kisses him.

“Jesus.” Harry rubs at his forehead. “I have…I have some news for you. I thought it would be good news, but…but perhaps not.”

“What’s goin’ on, Haz?”

“You’re not married.”

They look at him, look at each other, and burst out laughing. “That’s a good one, ‘arry,” Eggsy says with a grin.

“The marriage wasn’t legal.”

Eggsy stops smiling. “But…but ya said ya pulled strings.”

“And that it would be very difficult to get an annulment,” Merlin adds.

“I know. I lied to you.” Eggsy’s face falls and Harry feels horrible. “The two of you have been dancing around each other for months now. It’s been driving me quite mad. When you called me, drunk and begging to get married, I figured I would indulge you…and perhaps you would finally get your heads out of your arses and talk about your feelings. I guess…I guess it worked better than I thought.”

“So…so ya lied to us…just cuz ya wanted us ta talk about our feelings?” Eggsy whispers. Harry slowly nods. Eggsy turns to Merlin. “Guess ya don’t want me no more, right? Ya only told me about yer feelings cuz ya thought we was married.”

“Eggsy,” Merlin says gently.

Eggsy shakes his head. “Don’t.” He tugs the ring from his hand and places it on the table. “Better for ya anyway, Merlin. Now you can find someone worthy of ya…yer not chained down to some stupid chav from the estates who used to suck dick for a few quid every night.” Eggsy sniffles and wipes at his nose.

“Eggsy!” Harry gasps.

“Lad, don’t,” Merlin begs.

“No. Appreciate ya giving me this week, Merlin…was the best week of my life. But now ya don’t gotta pretend no more.”

“I was nae pretending!” Merlin almost yells, shooting out of his chair. Eggsy gives him an incredibly sad look and plods out of the office. Merlin turns on Harry. “I hope ye are fucking happy, Harry Hart.”

“I’m so sorry, Merlin. I thought…I thought I was helping things!”

“Yes, ye helped, all right. I had the man of my dreams, and thanks to your fucking matchmaking, he thinks everything I said was a LIE!”

Harry has never seen Merlin this angry. “I’m sorry. I’ll talk to him. I’ll explain.”

“Nae, Harry, leave the lad be.” Merlin leans down into Harry’s face. “And dinnae EVER again take it upon yourself to manipulate us or our feelings in such a manner. Am I quite clear?”

“Yes,” Harry whispers miserably.

“I dinnae know WHAT ye were thinking!”

“I just wanted the two of you to be happy!” Harry protests. “You were both lonely, both thinking that you were never going to be good enough for anyone, all while you were pining over each other. I figured you’d get married, sober up and evaluate the situation, spend some time together, and maybe actually COMMUNICATE.”

“That’s what ye figured?”

“Yes.”

Merlin sighs and sits back down. “Good. Because that is exactly what happened.” Merlin removes his ring and places it with Eggsy’s. “Lad? Ye can come in now,” he calls, and Eggsy hops back into the room. Instead of leaning on Merlin, he pulls a chair up next to him, smiling pleasantly at Harry.

“What the bloody hell is going on?”

“I figured out the truth two days ago,” Merlin tells him. “Went crawling through the system and found the video footage of ye taking our phone call. I hate to tell ye that ye were right, Harry…but ye were right. We were shocked at the marriage, but then we simply enjoyed our holiday together…and finally talked it out.”

“So…” Harry blinks at them. “You are…”

“We are…” Eggsy looks at Merlin. “Does the term boyfriend work for ya? I really don’t like lover.”

“Aye, I would be proud to introduce ye as my boyfriend.” Merlin beams at him. He then turns to Harry. “We will have to discuss things in an official capacity as Arthur, Merlin and Galahad, however.”

“Why? Why did you pull that trick on me?” Harry almost whines.

“As I said, ye manipulated our feelings, Harry. It was nae right and ye know it.”

“I…yes.” Harry hangs his head for a brief moment. “But you are actually together.”

“Yes, but not movin’ in. Ain’t ready for that yet. Ain’t even had a real date.”

“Friday,” Merlin tells Eggsy, who turns pink with pleasure. “I will take ye out for dinner. Maybe a movie.”

“Aces.”

“So…your relationship is because of me.” Harry sits up straighter and grins proudly. “I did the right thing.”

“Hardly,” Merlin snorts.

“When you do get married someday, and I give the toast as the best man, I will most definitely tell this story.”

“Ye think I’ll be having ye as my best man?” Merlin asks.

“If you don’t, he will.” Harry nods at Eggsy.

“We got ya somethin’.” Eggsy digs into one of Merlin’s desk drawers. “A few knickknacks for yer office, but this is the best gift.” He hands Harry a bag. “An’ ya gotta wear it sometime.”

“Absolutely not,” Harry says, opening up the vest. “It has a SKULL on it!”

“Ye made my lad cry,” Merlin says sternly.

“He was faking it!” Harry almost yells.

“And quite well, I might add,” Merlin says, smiling at Eggsy. “Ye said ye could act, lad…I dinnae expect all that.”

“Many hidden talents,” Eggsy murmurs, giving Merlin a wink. “All right, babe, I think we gave Harry a hard enough time. I’m gonna get to my office an’ start doin’ some work.” Eggsy stands up. “Lunch?”

“Of course.” Merlin leans into the hand that briefly caresses his cheek.

“See ya later, Haz.” Eggsy whistles as he leaves the office.

“Ye cannot gloat about this. He was actually quite upset when I figured out the truth…reacted quite similarly to how he did here.”

“But it’s because of me that you are together now,” Harry points out. “Admit it.”

“I admit nothing. And ye will nae be my best man.”

“Just say thank you, Hamish.”

“Thank ye, Harry.”

Chapter Text

SEVEN

“Lad. We’re here.” Merlin gently nudges Eggsy.

“Hmmm?” Eggsy looks up from where he’s been dozing on Merlin’s shoulder. “Already?”

“Ye slept on the jet…how are ye still tired?” Merlin climbs out of the back seat and gives Eggsy his hand to help him out as well.

“One of us just got back from a week in Mumbai,” Eggsy points out, grabbing his bag from the trunk.

“And the other of us was in your ear the entire time,” Merlin reminds him. He thanks the driver and makes arrangements to have the car available when they need it.

Eggsy looks up and seems to notice where they are for the first time. “Ya booked us in the same hotel?”

“The same suite,” Merlin tells him. “It’s our first anniversary. I figured we should come back to where it all started.”

“No drinkin’,” Eggsy says sternly. “God knows what will happen this time…one of us might end up pregnant or sommat.”

“I doubt it,” Merlin says, but he grins at his boyfriend.

“How’d ya get Arthur to agree to us havin’ a holiday at the same time?” Eggsy asks as they go to check in.

“I said, ‘Harry, I’m taking Eggsy on holiday to celebrate our first anniversary. I will make the proper arrangements with my people. Dinnae bother us.’ Sometimes ye just need to take the upper hand with him.”

“I gotta try that!”

“Nae, lad,” Merlin says, chuckling. “Ye forget, I have over twenty years of experience with him. Ye are still Galahad. I’m his best mate.”

“Fuck,” Eggsy mumbles, but he holds Merlin’s hand as Merlin speaks with the clerk.

They go up to the suite and let themselves in. “Just as nice as I remembered,” Merlin says, looking out the wide windows onto the Strip.

“This time will be better, though.” Strong arms wrap around him from behind. “Won’t be worryin’ about lettin’ slip how much I like ya…hope ya know by now.”

“Aye, lad. I do.” Merlin turns in the embrace. “What would ye like to do first?”

“Take a shower,” Eggsy says, smiling slyly as he pushes at Merlin’s shirt.

“We just got here…have nae even unpacked yet!”

“That shower is huge.” Eggsy steps back and slowly pulls his own shirt off. Merlin swallows hard. He will never get tired of seeing that gorgeous body revealed. “Last time I wanted ta do naughty things to ya in that shower, but we was ‘behaving.’” He makes air quotes. “Don’t gotta behave now, do I?”

“Nae,” Merlin says, watching Eggsy slide his jeans and pants down and step out of them. “But just remember, lad…that means I dinnae have to behave either.”

“Planning on it,” Eggsy says over his shoulder as he saunters to the shower. Merlin strips faster than he ever has before.

He stands in the bath and watches Eggsy under the water. The last time he’d dreamt of lapping the drops of water from Eggsy’s body. He’s done it many times in the last year, but it never gets old. “I could watch ye forever,” Merlin sighs as he gets in the shower.

Eggsy steps aside so Merlin can get under the spray. “You watchin’ is part of my plan.”

“Oh?” Merlin raises his eyebrows.

Eggsy sits down on the bench that spans the back of the shower. “C’mere, gorgeous.”

Merlin obediently steps forward and Eggsy grabs his hips, pulling him even closer. “Fuck,” Merlin gasps as Eggsy takes his cock in his hand and quickly strokes him to hardness.

“Later,” Eggsy murmurs. He kisses Merlin’s hipbones, flicks his tongue into Merlin’s navel. “Love the taste of yer skin.”

“Eggsy,” Merlin almost whines. Strong hands clench his arse as his cock slowly slides into Eggsy’s mouth. He fists his hands in Eggsy’s hair. “Fuck yes.”

Eggsy takes his time teasing Merlin into a frenzy. Merlin is soon gasping for air in the steamy shower stall, one hand flat on the wall to keep himself upright. One of Eggsy’s hands continues to knead at his arse while the other fondles his balls. Eggsy looks up at him with sparkling eyes. “Want ya ta come on me, babe…wanna feel it on my face.”

“Eggsy…lad I’m so close…” Merlin warns.

Eggsy pulls back and strokes Merlin hard and fast. “Come on then…”

Both hands fists in Eggsy’s hair again. “Fuck…Jesus Christ…” Eggsy sticks out his tongue and the white liquid splashes onto his cheeks, his chin, the pink tongue. “Bloody hell,” Merlin says weakly, hands sliding down to Eggsy’s shoulders to keep his balance.

“Perfect…just how I wanted it ta go last year.” Eggsy kisses his way up Merlin’s chest before leaning around him to wash his face clean in the spray.

“Nae.” Merlin grabs him back and licks his own come from Eggsy’s chin before kissing him on the mouth. “Evil naughty boy.”

“Yer the one who’s evil,” Eggsy moans. “Not like I did it in the swimming pool. Or in one of those cabanas…they ARE pretty fuckin’ private,” Eggsy says thoughtfully.

“Absolutely not.” Merlin steps aside to Eggsy can wash his face. “Behave.”

“Yes, sir,” Eggsy says obediently. Merlin’s spent cock twitches. He reaches for Eggsy, hands sliding over the sleek wet body. “Nah, babe, ain’t necessary,” Eggsy says when Merlin’s hand moves between his legs. “Weren’t for me…was for you. Wanted to do it.”

“I love ye.” Merlin kisses his nose. “Such a sweet unselfish lad,” he teases.

“Hardly.” Eggsy rolls his eyes. “Know I’ll get mine later.” He shuts off the water.

“Aye,” Merlin says, watching him dry off.

 

“Gonna enjoy this holiday SO much more than the last time,” Eggsy says as they walk down to their cabana. “Was so worried ya’d see my true feelings, that I’d push ya away.”

“I felt the same,” Merlin says, kissing the top of Eggsy’s head. Normally he prefers minimal public displays of affection, but here, in this place, he feels free. Free to shout his love from the rooftops…or snog his boy in a lift, which he’d just finished doing. “Anything special ye would like to see or do?”

“Nah,” Eggsy says. “We can play it by ear.” He unbuttons his shorts and goes to push them down.

“Eggsy!” Merlin gasps.

“Relax, babe.” Eggsy winks as he pushes the shorts down to reveal a very small pair of blue swim trunks.

“This is why ye got dressed in the bath,” Merlin realizes. “Ye naughty NAUGHTY boy.” He pulls Eggsy into a corner of the cabana and runs his hands over Eggsy’s arse. “Are ye looking to send me to my grave?”

“They’re just swim trunks,” Eggsy says innocently. “Like James Bond. Ya said ya don’t like James Bond.”

“Even I can confess to admiring the beauty that is Daniel Craig in a pair of small swim trunks,” Merlin says. He grabs Eggsy’s arse and squeezes it hard. Eggsy moans. “You, however, put Daniel Craig to shame.”

“Just wanted ta make sure ya paid attention to me by the pool.” Eggsy still wears a mask of innocence. “Lots of good looking blokes out there.”

“None hold a candle to ye, my cheeky boy.”

Eggsy immediately heads for the diving boards and Merlin knows more eyes than his own are on the beautiful young man walking down the pavement. Merlin smiles, rolling his eyes as Eggsy turns and waves to him. The last year has been one of the best in Merlin’s life. They’ve proceeded slowly down the path of a relationship, quite ironic since their relationship started with a fake marriage. They’d had dates in between Eggsy’s missions, and it was two months after their return from Las Vegas before they finally slept together. Merlin found out Eggsy was insatiable in bed…and Eggsy found out that Merlin liked to be just as bossy there as everywhere else, and apparently Eggsy got off on it. Merlin had finally asked Eggsy to move in the month before, realizing that he was at Merlin’s home more than he was at his own flat. He’d been petrified, but Eggsy had lit up like a firework and immediately said yes.

Eggsy takes his time walking out to the edge of the diving board, preening a bit as he realizes Merlin’s watching him. Merlin shakes his head. Harry was such a bad influence. Eggsy does a neat flip into the water and swims under the ropes into the shallower end, flipping his hair back as he surfaces. “Didya see?” He easily swims over to Merlin, who picks him up and wraps the strong legs around his waist.

“Aye. I saw, and so did everyone else, my little tart.” Eggsy snickers. “Ye know ye had the eyes of everyone in the place, right?”

“Doubt it. Pretty sure that old lady over there wasn’t watching…and that mum over there…and those little kids…”

Merlin dunks him under the water and swims away.

 

Eggsy doesn’t make things any easier for him when they have a late lunch in the cabana. He eats his sandwich laying down on one of the lounge chairs, water glistening on his smooth skin. The swim trunks seem to reveal more than they cover, and Merlin’s mouth is actually watering. “I was wondering about something,” he says, sitting properly at the table to eat.

“Hmm?”

“Why do ye hate me so?”

Eggsy’s eyes fly open. “What?”

“Ye prance around in those shorts, flaunt yourself in front of everyone, and I am supposed to sit her and nae touch ye?”

“Oh.” Eggsy grins and closes his eyes again. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Figured we could play a little…maybe everyone looks at us and thinks ya picked me up on a corner somewhere to be yer companion this week.”

“Oh did ye?” Merlin shakes his head. Eggsy never ceases to surprise him, although he’s happy Eggsy feels comfortable enough to joke about being a rentboy. “And ye dinnae think to inform me of your little plan?”

Eggsy shrugs. “Like seein’ the look on yer face.”

“Well, two can play at this game, lad.” Merlin finishes his sandwich and smiles at him. “I plan to get what I’m supposedly paying for.” He’s pleased to see Eggsy squirm.

 

Merlin insists on taking Eggsy for a nice dinner, although nothing that requires a suit and tie. They both wear nice trousers and button-down shirts, although Merlin swears Eggsy’s is a size too small. The dark purple fabric strains across his chest and clings to his biceps in a tantalizing manner. “Ready?” Eggsy clutches his wallet in both hands. “Ain’t gonna pick my pocket, are ya?”

“Nae. Ye may pay if ye like,” Merlin says.

“Nah…my sugar daddy can pay.” Eggsy actually giggles as he stands on tiptoe to give Merlin a kiss.

They go to a Chinese restaurant in Caesars called Beijing Noodle No. 9, and Eggsy actually freezes as they walk in. “Easy, lad,” Merlin says, almost tripping over him.

“Look,” Eggsy whispers, staring at the white and silver walls. “Look at that, Hamish! The walls over there…fish tanks!” He hurries over to peer into the large tanks of golden fish.

“Doesn’t get out much,” Merlin tells the hostess, and she giggles.

They decide to order a few dishes to share, and once the food comes Merlin expertly maneuvers the food from bowl to plate with his chopsticks. “Is there anything ya can’t do?” Eggsy asks with a happy sigh, watching Merlin use the chopsticks as easily as a knife and fork.

“I cannae play basketball,” Merlin tells him. “And I cannae paint. I could never get Harry to file his reports on time. And I cannae get ye to hang up your dirty towels.”

“I love you,” Eggsy says suddenly, and Merlin drops a dumpling.

“What was that for?” Eggsy says it often enough, but having it randomly spoken was a nice surprise.

“Because ya think those things are faults.” Eggsy’s smile is luminous.

They take a nice walk after dinner, enjoying the way the desert air cools once the sun goes down. They stroll hand in hand down the pavement of the Las Vegas Strip, watching the tourists and the performers and making snide comments of judgment in each other’s ears. It’s almost ten when they return to the suite but Merlin’s not tired. He has plans for the rest of the evening.

Eggsy stretches and yawns as they entire the living room. “I think I’ll just…”

“I think ye will just go into the bath and shower once more,” Merlin interrupts in a low voice. Eggsy stops moving. “Ye will clean yourself thoroughly, and then ye will wait for me naked on the bed.”

“Yes, Hamish,” Eggsy murmurs.

Merlin gives him a hard kiss, biting down on his bottom lip. “I’ll be in directly.” As Eggsy turns to walk away Merlin gives him a firm swat on his backside. Eggsy hisses and goes on tiptoe but doesn’t cry out. “That’s my good lad.”

Merlin sits down on the sofa and scrolls through his phone a bit. He hears the shower start and eventually stop, but he doesn’t go into the bedroom. He waits another twenty minutes before slowly strolling out of the living room, unbuttoning his shirt as he goes.

Eggsy is a vision on the bed, beautiful body stretched out on the top cover. His cock is hard already and Merlin smiles. Eggsy’s face turns pink. “Can’t help it…ya use that voice an’ I’m hard immediately.”

“Good,” Merlin purrs. Eggsy’s eyes eagerly wander over Merlin’s body as he takes off his shirt. “Hands and knees, facing away from me.”

“Babe,” Eggsy says unhappily. “Ya know watchin’ ya get naked is one of my favorite parts.”

“I do,” Merlin agrees. He silently twirls a finger in a circle. Eggsy huffs out a sigh but gets into position. “Isn’t that gorgeous,” Merlin murmurs. He hangs up his shirt and takes his time removing his shoes. He can see Eggsy’s hard cock between his legs, his balls curled close to his body. “Absolutely stunning.”

“Hamish,” Eggsy whines, his back arching. “Stop.”

“Stop what? I’m just looking.” He removes his trousers and pants and hangs them up before retrieving lube from his bag. He slowly climbs up on the bed and kneels behind Eggsy.

“NOW we’re talkin’,” Eggsy groans, shoving his arse back toward Merlin.

“I would nae be so sure, lad. Ye were quite naughty today.” Merlin’s hand comes down hard on Eggsy’s backside.

“Ah, fuck!” Eggsy shouts into the pillow.

“Teasing me the way ye did.” Merlin rubs the red spot and spanks it again. “Was that nice?”

“Just…oh fuck, Hamish…just playin’…” Eggsy pushes into Merlin’s touch and tries to get away from it at the same time.

“I told ye I would have ye walking funny, lad…perhaps it will happen again tonight.” Merlin smacks the other cheek.

“Please,” Eggsy begs. “Please, Hamish…”

“Please what, lad?” Hamish spreads him and orbits his hole with his tongue before he can reply.

“Yesssss,” Eggsy hisses, arching his back. “Fuck, yeah, Hamish…”

“No matter how ye prance about, no matter how many eyes are on ye, ye belong to me,” Merlin says, spitting on Eggsy’s entrance and rubbing his finger across it. He presses just his fingertip inside and Eggsy groans.

“Yes…yes babe, only you…”

Merlin coats his fingers with lube and starts to work them inside. “Ye are a naughty boy, lad, but such a treasure…I thank God every day that ye are in my life…so nasty and perfect and beautiful…” Merlin continues to murmur as he opens Eggsy. Eggsy is soon reduced to begging, rocking his hips back onto three of Merlin’s fingers. “Ask me nicely.”

“Please, please, Hamish, fuck me…”

“Such a good boy, such pretty begging,” Merlin coos. He lubes his cock and slowly presses inside. “So tight…”

“Yes, Hamish,” Eggsy whimpers.

Merlin starts slow, working all the way in before slowly pulling all the way out. Eggsy’s body gapes, almost begging Merlin’s cock to come back in. Merlin starts moving faster, grasping Eggsy’s hips and pulling him back to meet each thrust. “Who will ye think of tomorrow when it hurts ye to sit down?”

“You.”

“Who will you think of the next time ye wash your prick…whose hand will ye think of?” Merlin reaches around and starts to stroke him.

“Fuck, you,” Eggsy almost sobs.

“Who do ye belong to, lad?” Merlin can feel his own orgasm pressing from the small of his back. His hips jerk forward, pressing in as far as he can.

“You, Hamish…only you…love ye so much.”

“And I belong to only ye, my Eggsy.” He feels Eggsy’s body start to shudder beneath him.

“Fuck…fuckin’ coming…oh fuck…” Eggsy’s face collapses back down into the pillows with a cry as his body tightens.

“Yes…that’s my boy…” Merlin fucks Eggsy through his orgasm, pumping into him until he too finally comes, hands grasping hard at Eggsy’s waist. He buries his face in Eggsy’s back, kissing his way along Eggsy’s spine. “Christ.” Merlin slowly pulls out and rolls onto his side to face Eggsy. “Are ye all right? Did I hurt ye?”

“No,” comes the muffled response from the pillow. “But I think ya broke my brain.”

Merlin snickers. “Let’s go clean up, and then we can get to bed.”

“Not moving ever again.”

“So ye are fine sleeping in the wet spot?” Merlin stands up.

“Fuck.” Eggsy pulls himself off the bed. His face is red and his hair is plastered to the side of his face. “Yer the devil.”

“Ye just now noticed that?” Merlin asks. He gives Eggsy a gentle kiss. “I love ye.”

“Love you, too.”

They clean up in the bath and Merlin removes the top blanket. They don’t need it anyway; Eggsy always says sleeping with him is like sleeping with a living heater. They put on pajama bottoms and crawl into bed, snuggling and watching television until they drift off to sleep.

 

Eggsy’s eyes slowly flutter open and he rolls over to embrace Merlin. His arms falls onto an empty bed and he frowns. Sunlight is streaming through the windows and he rubs his eyes as he sits up. “Babe?”

“In here, Sleeping Beauty,” Merlin calls from the other room.

Eggsy grins and looks at the clock. Almost half-nine. “Why dontcha get back in here with me?”

“Why don’t ye come out here with me?”

Eggsy yawns, stretches, and gets out of bed. He goes to the loo, pisses and brushes his teeth, and wanders out of the bedroom. “Morning, babe.” He gasps as he looks at the table. There’s a pitcher of orange juice, a pot of coffee, and three covered platters of food, including covered plates in front of two chairs. “Room service!”

“Aye…did ye think I would forget?” Merlin smiles up at him, closing his computer and coming to stand by the table. “Good morning, my love.”

“Mmm.” Eggsy gives him a kiss, wincing a bit as he stands on his toes and arches up.

“Was I right? Are ye a bit sensitive this morning?” Merlin asks with a grin.

“Don’t gotta sound so smug,” Eggsy mutters, rubbing at his arse cheek. “Got a hand of steel, you do.”

“Aye.” Merlin nods at a chair. “Sit down and tuck in, lad.” He pours Eggsy a glass of juice and a cup of coffee.

“Thanks. Hey, I was thinking,” Eggsy begins as he takes the cover from his plate. What he sees makes him forget whatever he was going to say. A tiny blue velvet box is sitting on the plate instead of food. He swallows, mouth suddenly dry. “Hamish?” He squeaks.

He turns to see Merlin on one knee by his chair. Merlin reaches over and takes the box in his hands. “Gary Unwin…” He shakes his head. “Nae, that sounds wrong. Eggsy Unwin…I have admired ye for a long time, respected ye for a long time, but have only really loved ye for the past year or so…yet it feels like forever. Ye feel like ye have always been a part of my life, and I want to ensure ye are a part of the rest of my life. I would…I would be honored…if ye would become my husband.”

Merlin opens the box and holds it out. A beautiful onyx and emerald ring sparkles up at him. “Babe,” Eggsy manages. “It’s beautiful.” He eyes Merlin skeptically. “Ya sure ya ain’t drunk this time? Ain’t got no hidden bottle of scotch ya been sippin’ at while I was sleeping?”

“Nae…this is real. I mean it. No Harry playing tricks, no alcohol.”

Eggsy blinks hard but finally allows the tears to slide down his cheeks. “Yes. Oh CHRIST yes, Hamish.” He throws himself off the chair and into Merlin’s arms, knocking him over. They lay on the ground and kiss, both crying by this point. “I love you. Love you SO much. Can’t believe ya want me forever.”

“Aye, lad, that is a good word. Forever.” Merlin holds him close, kissing the top of his head. “But the ring comes with one condition.”

“Name it,” Eggsy says as Merlin slides the band onto his finger.

“Ye dinnae allow Harry to be your best man.”

“Done.”

 

THE END