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The Crime of a Stolen Heart

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Morning is quick to come, and he’s woken out of a sound sleep with a babbling Daisy on his chest.

“Good morning, my love,” he whispers. “You sleep good?” he asks her.

She nods her head, and pats her tummy. Words have been slow to come to her, but Eggsy was working on that, as much as he could.

“Words, babe,” he reminds her gently.

“Hungy,” she manages.

Eggsy sighs at the mispronunciation, but she’s a bit better. “I know, Dais. I brought something for you.” He sits up, and works the straps off of his shoulders - he just now realizes he slept with the backpack on - to open the pack and grab a jar of mashed bananas.

Thank Christ he brought a spoon, too. Eggsy works to feed her and he’s just done when someone knocks on the door.

It is the same small woman, who peaks her head around, with a tray in hand and it has actual fucking food on it. Eggsy could cry. There is scrambled eggs, toast and even a cuppa.

“You are an angel,” Eggsy claims, and ends up feeding most of the egg to Daisy; she needs it more than him.

She is watching him, Eggsy can feel her eyes on his person as he shovels down what’s left of the meal.

“You never told me your name,” she accuses, after a few minutes have gone by and Eggsy drains his tea.

“Eggsy,” he supplies.

She scrunches her face. “Eggy?” she wonders.

Eggsy laughs and shakes his head. “Nah, Eggsy,” he corrects her with a chuckle.

She’s extending her hand forward and as he takes it says, “I’m Roxanne, but call me Roxy.”

“Roxy.” He nods and settles an antsy Daisy better on his lap. “Is there a loo we can use? I need to take a leak and wash her up a bit.” He’s not too enthused about washing her in a sink, but not expecting anything better than that.

What he’s not expecting is to be led to a full size bath, just one door next to his, and Roxy provides plush towels.

“I don’t have clothes for you, but you can at least get cleaned.” She points to the blood that’s dried to his cheek from last night when Dean backhanded him, and Eggsy almost forgot it was even there.

He gives her a genuine smile, because she’s been the most welcoming since he arrived last night, and to be fair he just sprung up here with the assumption that he and Daisy would be granted shelter here. Eggsy is lucky they were.

“My boss will want to see you around 10. It’s 8:30, so take your time,” she encourages, and closes the door behind her to give them privacy.

Eggsy gets Daisy out of her clothes and into a warm bath. There are too many expensive soaps, and he’s not sure which to use for her hair, but this is not concerning to Daisy who is romping around the tub chasing bubbles. It’s not something they have access to back home, and he’s sure she’s going to cause herself to get dizzy and fall over with the way she’s dancing in circles to catch the flying suds.

“Come on, babe,” he coaxes her to sit still, and manages to rinse the shampoo out of her hair. He’s successful at avoiding soap and water in her eyes, a screaming Daisy isn’t what he needs right now.

He doesn’t do more than give himself a quick wash up, gets the dry blood off of him, dirt and grime from being soaked down with rain yesterday. Eggsy is aware he doesn’t smell the best, but what can you do, especially when the last time you had money to wash your clothes was a month ago. He made due with the tub at the flat, but they never came clean like in a machine. Eggsy shrugs back into his clothes, as Daisy quietly plays with a towel, and he goes to comb his fingers through her hair and get it up into a ponytail for now.

“All clean,” he tells Daisy. Who is now in the baby pink romper he took with him, as quick as he could, on his way out. “Ready?” he asks, and scoops her into his arms.

“Hurt, Egg.” She pats his injury, and her bright blue eyes literally tear up.

He takes her tiny hand and kisses the palm. “I’m okay,” Eggsy promises, and at least that’s true.

They head back to the room they were given for the night and wait. Daisy, at least, is amused by her stuffie and he’s mindlessly scrolling through his phone. A part of him isn’t sure why Dean hasn’t tried to make contact with him this way, and it’s a little disconcerting to say the least.

He’s lost in messaging Jamal and Ryan, to let them know that he’s okay, and Daisy is good. They always were ones to worry about them, and even shelter them a few times, but it wasn’t going to do this time. There was too much going on, Eggsy really wishes that he hasn’t seen what he has, but unfortunately that is his life.

A knock on the door pulls him from his thoughts, and so he’s left to deal with now and not what went on last night.

“Eggsy?” Roxy pops her head around the door, and waves him to follow her.

He takes Daisy, and the pack that contains the few belongings they actually have, to walk behind Roxy. Because he’s not running through the place, and scared for his and Daisy’s life, he can actually take in the space.

Just beyond his little sleeping quarters there is a sitting area, brown leather chairs, a fireplace, dark wood coffee table and end tables with a bookcase in the corner. The walls are all wood paneled, in a similar color to the furniture with beige curtains, which are thick enough to keep out light and wandering eyes - Eggsy assumes - easily hiding this place. It is all hardwood floors, with elegant area rugs littering the floor, and it’s all warm and inviting if he’s being honest.

The bar is made of the same wood, it’s like the walls and structure are one. It was well stocked, but of course it would be, with the most expensive liquors, alcohols and draft beers Eggsy has ever seen. He’s lucky he can name a few, and a lot are in other languages he cannot pronounce.

“This way,” Roxy says, pulling him from his observation and shows him up a staircase. She knocks on a mahogany door, and waits for a gruff ‘come in’ before entering.

It is a large space, almost as large as the first floor. Another billiard table, bookcases and seating area, but what pulls his attention is the oversized table. It isn’t a desk, it’s an actual table you would see in a film or some shit at a law firm. It’s long, has 10 chairs and there is someone sitting at the head. An older man, in his late 40’s - Eggsy would have to guess - and the most striking thing about him is his bald head, and perhaps his sharp, angular features or the way he’s staring at Eggsy like he’s the biggest inconvenience in his life.

“Thank ye, Lancelot. That will be all,” bald man says in a clipped tone, he’s got glasses on as well, not the same shape as the other blokes or Roxy for that matter. The tips come to a point, almost like a horn, but they are just as black and thick as the rest. “Please, sit,” he says. His Scottish burr wrapping around Eggsy like a poisonous gas, but there’s something attractive about how deep and low it is.

Eggsy sits two chairs away from him, and finally notices the two men in the room, one flanking each side of this man. He’s in a suit, as well, and it’s different from the rest. Eggsy assumes to differentiate between staff, and whoever he is. Eggsy has no fucking clue what this place is.

The man leans forward, his elbows on the polished glass-top table as he begins to speak. “I understand you came to us last night, and a few men followed you here. My men were able to trace them back and they are involved with Dean Baker, but they were looking for you, and the girl.” His hazel eyes fall on Daisy like she’s an insect that will infect them all.

“He’s my stepdad,” Eggsy supplies, as he instinctively tightens his hold on Daisy.

He claps his hands together, forefingers meet one another and he presses them to his mouth before he points to him, and says, “You had the medal. One that is only given to members -” he stops when the man, the taller, thinner one, clears his throat and starts to whisper something.

It’s the same bloke who had him by the collar, and up over the bar; Eggsy recalls.

“Are you undermining me, Percival? Are you trying to suggest we go against what this was built on? Protecting our own?” His tone is cool. Eggsy finds himself shivering in response.

“No, sir,” Percival replies, but it’s clear - at least to Eggsy - that he’s fighting the urge to argue further.

“Anyway,” he sighs. “You are in possession of one.” He’s sizing him up with his eyes. “How did ye come to hold one?” he’s curious, above all else. He tilts his head to the side, just a minute thing but it speaks volumes in the quiet room.

Eggsy swallows the lump forming in his throat. “My Dad, Lee Unwin. Mum got it years ago. I was just a kid, and she always told me if I needed help to come here and say ‘oxfords not brogues’. Some shit about a favor owed to us. And...last night my step dad went mental. Drunk off his arse, like that’s anything new, and I needed to leave. My mum...well she ain’t here anymore. I’ll just say that.” He doesn’t go into more detail, not in front of Daisy and he sure as shit does not want to relive that right now.

This man takes a long pull of air in through his nostrils, and exhales loudly. “Aye,” he agrees, like this information is going to disrupt his existence. He leans back in his chair, and rubs his temples as if he’s just got a headache. A few moments pass, before he focuses on Eggsy and then his eyes fall back to Daisy.

“I will provide ye shelter. That is until we figure out what to do with you, but children do not belong here, and I will not put my establishment and men in jeopardy housing Dean’s kid.”

Eggsy immediately straightens in his char. He isn’t going to allow Daisy to go back to that psycho.

“She’s mine,” he lies quickly. “Daisy is my daughter.” He looks at him, and watches how he visibly deflates with exhaustion.

His jaw tightens, and he smooths the lapels of his grey suit jacket, tightens and straightens the pink and navy blue striped tie, that doesn’t need fixing, before he says, “Alright then. Because Dean and his men are looking for you, you will not be permitted to leave here alone, and if you have anywhere to go Lancelot will take you,” he explains, as he dials a number into a phone on the desk and shortly Roxy is coming through the door.

“Sir,” she says.

“Lancelot, please take Eggsy and his daughter to the estate. It seems there is a debt we owe this young man and his family.” He looks like he wants to say more, but refrains from doing so. “Lancelot can explain more to you, and our resources are at your disposal. I will see to it that Percival and Bors get supplies you need for your bairn.” He motions to the men behind him, and ignores Percival, who growls under his breath.

“Come on, Eggsy,” Roxy says.

Eggsy is at the door, and they are already whispering to one another. “Hey,” he calls, and gets everyone's attention. “You know my name, what’s yours?”

Percival and Bors stiffen, Eggsy can see them reaching for the guns they are packing. The guns Eggsy took note of, as soon as he ran into this joint.

The bald man smiles, but it never touches his eyes. “Merlin,” he supplies and then waves them off in dismissal.

---

Merlin can feel his headache rage, he’s not only having to deal with one of Harry’s fuck ups, but it includes a child. He snaps his fingers, and Bors is quick to fetch him tablets for his head, and water to wash it down. He’s not sure who he wants to kill more, Chester King or Harry fucking Hart, but the old man is dead. Which is why he’s in this fucking shit-show. He can kill Harry then.

“I would say the lad is calling bullshit, but I remember Lee.” He’s not happy about this, and everything having to do with their current situation can fuck off.

“Sir,” Percival says, and Merlin waves his hand around. “Sorry, Merlin,” he corrects. Merlin really hates the formalities, but in front of strangers and meetings it is necessary. He also hates this fucking suit, and feels like he’s playing at something he’s not. “How do we know he’s not part of Valentine’s men? Just coming to finish the job?” Percival worries.

“Aye. I know. I thought of that. I’m still wondering how the fuck he held onto that medal all these years.” He’s really wishing he was in front of his computer, and just fucking about with surveillance tapes. “Find out all there is to know about Eggsy Unwin,” he instructs.

Percival groans. “Is this before or after we go around playing personal shopper for his kid?” he wonders sarcastically.

“Before, after. I don’t fucking know. You are second, appoint someone to do the goddamn job, but get it done and make sure that shipment goes out to Columbia by tonight like it’s scheduled. We are not shirking on our fucking business for a young man and his child,” he grumbles, and lays his head on the cool glass of the table. It is oddly soothing, and helps the throbbing behind his eyes - that hasn’t gone away since last night, when Percival came busting into his personal room with this horseshit.

Merlin almost wishes he had dealt with it then, but he was just fresh off of a job, and he was in desperate need of sleep. He can sense them hovering. That is annoying.

“Go on with ye. I will be fine and do not need people up my arse, like Chester did all day.”

He’s grateful when they leave him alone to sulk. Not that Merlin makes it a point to pity his own life, but this is just a fucking disaster and he already was up to his eyeballs in the bullshit King had left when he got a stroke and fucked off. Their relations with other gangs has been shaky due to Chester King fucking over agreements. That was never good, and Merlin was left to try and patch them up so that they could continue to use borders, and other means to get their supplies in and out of London.

“I didn’t ask for this garbage,” he mumbles under his breath, and to no one but himself.

Merlin gathers himself to stand and makes sure his suit and tie are presentable, before he heads out of the club and to the cab waiting for him out front.

The trip to The Royal London Hospital is quick, they aren’t but a 10 minutes drive away and that’s with bad traffic. He knows his way around the halls, to the elevators, presses number 3 and the medical staff recognize him easily.

He gives them a smile, and wave in greeting, they’ve been nothing but the best, and nods to his men who flank the door.

“Tristan, Lamorak,” he says, and goes through.

It’s quiet, as it always is, when he takes a seat to the left of the bed, and looks at the hand laying there. It is un-moving, it never does more than sit there and he wishes it would do something, anything.

Merlin looks up, and wants to smother the man in this bed with a pillow. He also notices he needs a shave, maybe he can have Tristan do that. The man never enjoys facial hair, why make him deal with it now? Because Merlin is sure he’ll hear about it when the bastard wakes up, if he wakes up.

He pokes the man’s chest. “Ye are a right prick for getting yourself shot.” Merlin pokes him again. “You better wake the fuck up and take this position. I don’t want to be Arthur. Chester always made sure to groom you, his Galahad. The chosen one,” he sneers, but smiles anyway.

“Only you would get shot in the eye, end up in a coma, and leave me to deal with a fuck up you made 17 years ago, Harry.” Still, Harry lay un-moving, not giving Merlin shit back; he hates it. Merlin sighs to himself and leans back in the chair, as he watches machines breathe for Harry.