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How not to attack Harry Hart

Chapter Text

“This is just fuckin’ sad.”

 

“Yes, it is,” Roxy agreed. 

 

Eggsy was getting that gleam in his eye that Roxy was beginning to recognise as -

 

No Eggsy.”

 

“C’mon, he’s just been sittin’ there alone for forty fuckin’ minutes!  What if they’re already in the restaurant, waitin’ to attack-“

 

She interrupted him with a hard shove to the shoulder.  “This is supposed to be recon, Eggsy.  Do you understand what that means?”

 

Eggsy stayed silent for the moment, merely crossing his arms and valiantly suppressing a pout. He pointedly avoids looking her in the eye.  “You at least have a cover with him.  You get to play his niece while he makes you tea and shit.”

 

Roxy narrowed her eyes.  “Well Eggsy, correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall you saying,” she adopted her best (though not actually very good) impression of her friend, “‘fuck no Merlin, I ain’t pretendin’ to be his fuckin’ nephew, the lying would do my head in and be weird as shit’.”

 

“I don’t fuckin’ know, that was four fuckin’ months ago!  How was I to know-”

 

“You wouldn't have known, Eggsy,” she interrupted, “That it would be four months and that he still wouldn't remember anything and that he would also be the centre of what appears to be far too many violent, but random, events.”

 

He slumped over, seemingly defeated.  “I know, I know.  Fucker’s not even Galahad no more and he still attracts danger.”  He scrubbed at his eyes, looking tired.  “Your impression of me is shit, by the way.”

 

“Noted.”

 

Eggsy leaned forward, mashing his face against the dashboard of his car.  “I know I can’t really make out his face or nothin’, but he looks pretty damn lonely Rox.”

 

Roxy sighed, glancing at the time.  It had nearly been an hour.  She sighed.  “This is against my better judgement but –“

 

Eggsy immediately perked up.  “But?”

 

“But I think you should go in.  I’ll be on the lookout for anything strange outside, you handle the inside.   Alright?”

 

Eggsy positively beamed and moved to leave the vehicle.  “You’re fuckin’ aces Rox-e-lot.”

 

---

 

It had been forty minutes and Harry had somehow filled up on complimentary bread, waiting for someone that more than likely was not going to show up.

 

He sighed and pretended to look busy by looking at his mobile phone, refreshing his texts for what was surely the millionth time.  He opened up the “new message” screen, as if to send yet another seemingly important but assuredly fake message. 

 

Akwjteofiwjgfokagjvpoawigjdkasfgjaoegrjioaewpgjaokjfeoiew, he tapped out on his phone with feigned purpose.

 

From out the corner of his eye he could see his waiter standing nearby.  He could tell that he was tossing up whether or not to offer him more bread or perhaps another Guinness to accompany the empty glass in his hand.

 

Tjwok5tpkesajgkoerprqtresgjdslkgjlkrew0ojklgndfslkk, he continued to write.  He pointedly added a full stop to the end of his gibberish (because even gibberish needed punctuation), before placing his phone down and signalling for the waiter to approach him.  This is the last time I go on a blind date, he thought.

 

His waiter looked a mix of sheepish and sympathetic and Harry hoped he didn't look as pathetic as he was beginning to feel.  Harry gave his best indifferent smile.

 

“I’d like to order an entree now, if that’s alrigh – “

 

“Sorry babe,” a hurried voice interrupted and before Harry could even blink, the voice was suddenly whispering in his ear - “Whoever stood you up is a fuckin’ idiot.”  And then the figure straightened up and continued on in a deliberately normal seeming manner.  “Swear down, it rains just a tiny bit and s’like everybody forgets how the fuck to drive.” 

 

Harry had no idea of who the young man was. 

 

The young man before him looked impeccable in his bespoke navy suit and crisp white shirt.  He sported thick-rimmed tortoiseshell wayfarer glasses, which rather complimented his green-blue eyes.  His hair was that pleasant colour in-between brown and blond.

 

The words unfairly handsome sprung to Harry's mind.

 

He openly stared at him, at a loss for words for how to respond.  Did I know him from before? 

 

"I know it's no excuse," the younger man said abruptly, as he took the seat across from Harry.  With a tilt of his head, he fixed Harry with a look.  A look that Harry was beginning to interpret as just go with it, bruv. 

 

Harry frowned, unsure why his thoughts assumed the man would end his sentences with 'bruv.'

 

"I'll do all the washing for a week, I promise,” the stranger added.

 

Harry paused.  It wasn’t every day that a perfect stranger pretended to live with him AND offer to do his laundry.  Unless that’s what I used to do before I forgot everything.  "A month," Harry found himself re-negotiating with a confidence that belied his confusion.

 

"Alright," the man replied with a well-timed grumble, "A month it is."  He shrugged to the waiter.  “It’s a wonder that he stays with me, isn’t it?”

 

"You're very lucky that he waited for you," the waiter said blatantly, handing over another menu, "My girlfriend wouldn't have waited that long."

 

Harry's eyebrows rose, feeling an unfounded need to rise to the stranger's defence.  Good lord, I must be lonely if I’m defending strangers.  He shook his head.  Just play along.  “You hear that?  'Lucky', that's what you are.”

 

The younger man lowered the menu to look Harry in the eye.  "The luckiest,” he responded, with a certainty Harry felt himself believing.  He lifted the menu back up to read over it.  “You didn’t fill up on bread again, did you babe?”

 

“I’ll come back in a few minutes,” the waiter said before taking his leave.

 

“M’name’s Eggsy,” the stranger mumbled, not looking up from his menu.

 

The statement was not nearly as helpful as Harry hoped it would be.  “I’m Harry.”

Chapter Text

Merlin’s voice echoed throughout the Bluetooth function of the Kingsman cab.  “So did his date show up?”

 

“Negative,” Roxy replied with a shake of her head, “Though our dearest new Galahad has stepped in.”

 

There was a pause.  “Was there any danger?”

 

“Perhaps, if you count the soul-crushing embarrassment of being stood up as dangerous.”  She had meant for that to come out as sarcastic, but it didn’t reflect in her tone. 

 

“This was supposed to be recon,” Merlin said with a sigh that more than likely accompanied him rubbing his bald head with both hands.

 

“Well we’ve tried near-everything to jog his memory, so why not introduce him to Eggs– “ she stopped, a tall figure catching her keen eyes.

 

“Lancelot, report.”

 

She trained her glasses on the figure exiting what she had assumed was an empty vehicle parked on the side road.  “Black Ford F-Series, Sedan, license plate OHV4008.  Vehicle’s been stationary for over an hour.  No one has exited or entered the vehicle until just now.  Suspect appears to be male and wearing a large dark jacket with the collar turned up and a snapback – I can’t get a good look at his face at all.”  Roxy touched the tiny buttons on the side of her glasses to do a quick scan.  “The glasses haven’t picked up any weapons on him though.”

 

She could hear Merlin’s faint tapping over the call.  “The vehicle is registered to civilian Alexander Warwick.  No criminal history on Warwick, car hasn’t been reported stolen either.  Could be nothing.”

 

“I’ll stay on the lookout.”

 

“Good call.”

 

---

 

An awkward silence loomed before the pair after the waiter had left and taken their order.

 

They both spoke at the same time.

 

“I do apologise, but did we know – “

 

“I just saw you was waitin’ and I just couldn’t – “

 

They both stared at each other.  Eggsy cleared his throat.  “Sorry bruv, you go first.”

 

So he does say ‘bruv.’  Harry cleared his throat, carefully ready to gauge for his reaction.  “Do we know each other?”

 

Eggsy’s eyes drifted ever so slightly upwards at the pink scar on Harry’s temple, before feigning interest in his menu again.  “Yeah, bruv.  We were friends.”

 

Were?  Harry gave a single nod.  He could work with ‘were.’  “I do apologise then.  Unfortunately a knock to the head is all it takes to forget a good portion of living.”

 

“S’not your fault.”

 

Given Eggsy’s sudden interest in his menu, Harry doubted that for some reason.  He pushed the thought away.  “How did we meet?”

 

---

 

In hindsight, Eggsy should have thought this through.  How the fuck do I explain this?  There was no easy way to say, Funny story that, my dad saved your life and died in the process and you showed up to give me mum the bad news and then something about a snow globe and a medallion and then ‘Oxfords not brogues’ - fast forward over a decade and you got me outta jail and lo’ and behold, you introduce me to the spy life.

 

Fuck, my life got complicated.

 

“Uh,” he started not-so-intelligently, nearly crushing the menu between his fingers, “Well-“

 

“That’s alright, we don’t have to talk about it,” Harry interjected gently, picking up his own menu and graciously changing the subject.  “I was thinking of ordering the chicken arrabbiata.”

 

“Oh right.  That sounds nice,” he replied. 

 

The words, Message from Lancelot flashed through Eggsy’s Kingsman issued glasses.  He lifted the menu higher, to give Harry the impression he was still working out what to order.

 

Male in dark coat and hat entering restaurant.  Be on alert.

 

Eggsy casually averted his gaze to the restaurant door and spotted him instantly – the man was being led to a table for one.  His glasses ran a quick scan.  Unbranded clothing, nothing notable.  Younger, maybe between the ages of 18-24.

 

Harry cleared his throat, snapping Eggsy out of his scan.  “Sorry bruv, just can’t decide what to order,” he covered.

 

“Of course, though…”  Harry’s hesitation was enough to make Eggsy look back up at him expectantly.

 

“What is it?”

 

“It may be easier to decide if your menu were the right way up.”

 

Eggsy blinked, before quickly glancing down at the menu in his hands.  He had been holding it upside down.

 

Message from Lancelot

 

DORK

Chapter Text

Harry hadn’t meant to embarrass the younger man, but he couldn’t help but note that his dinner companion’s face had turned a rather appealing shade of red.  He somehow stifled his laughter and instead opted for a sympathetic smile.  “I’m sure it happens all the time.”

 

Eggsy spun his menu the right side up, looking like he very much wanted the floor to swallow him whole.  “I’m pretty sure it fuckin’ doesn’t,” he mumbled, dropping the menu onto the table.

 

“Perhaps I can order for you?”  Harry suggested, in a hope that he would become less embarrassed.  “Do you have any allergies?”

 

Eggsy had shoved his hands in his pockets and looked to be slowly disappearing under the table.  “No allergies.”

 

There was something strangely familiar about the way Eggsy slouched further into his chair across from him.  Could we have done this before?  Harry mentally shook his head, signalling for the waiter.

 

---

 

With Harry temporarily distracted with ordering, Eggsy jumped at the opportunity to further inspect the potential suspect.  Suspect either doesn’t know what size to wear, or he’s in the shittiest disguise ever.  Doesn’t seem to be looking over this way though.  Not even busying himself with a phone, even though he’s eating alone. 

 

Message from Lancelot

 

He exited a vehicle registered to Alexander Warwick.  That is not him.  Merlin running background.

 

Even more suspicious then.  What could he want with Harry?

 

Eggsy looked back at Harry, vaguely listening to his conversation with the waiter regarding which beer to drink.  Harry looked good, healthy.  So far from the dying man he had visited in the hospital a year ago.  His eyes flickered back up to the uneven puckered skin above Harry’s left brow and then away again, hating the way his heart suddenly hurt.  He’s alive.  He’s fine.  He’s literally sittin’ right there.  Eggsy let out a breath he didn’t realise he was holding.

 

“You needn’t still be embarrassed,” Harry finally said, as the waiter left.  “Your mishap was endearing, if anything.”

 

Eggsy laughed in spite of himself.  ‘Yeah, alright.”  He straightened himself up in his seat again.  “So, what do you get up to nowadays?”

 

“Very little, I’m afraid,” Harry replied.  “I work at the National Bank as a translator most days.  Mostly helping new migrants create bank accounts and the like.”

 

Eggsy already knew this from the last four months of recon, but he nodded as though it were new to him.  Christ, I really am a creepy wanker.  “So how many languages do you know?”

 

Harry paused.  “I can confirm at least five,” he eventually said, before pointing to the scar on his head, “Though I can never really be sure.” 

 

Eggsy let out a low whistle.  “Five’s pretty impressive though.”

 

“I’m not sure it is.”  Harry shrugged.  “And you?  What is it that you do?”

 

“I’m a tailor on Savile Row.”  It was an easy lie.  One that he was used to telling.

 

“My niece is also a tailor.  Would you know a Roxanne Morton?”

 

“I should hope so,” he replied with a small laugh, “She’s my best mate.”

 

“Small world then,” Harry said with a bemused smile.

 

Eggsy leaned forward, as if to tell Harry a secret.  “Just between you and me, bruv, I’m the better tailor.”

 

Message from Lancelot

 

Fuck off

 

---

 

Roxy shook her head.  “Last time I help you out, Galahad,” she muttered under her breath.  “Merlin, update?”

 

“Facial recognition has ID’ed the young man as Robert Warwick, 19 year old son of Alexander Warwick.  No criminal history.  Looks like he’s just borrowed his father’s car for the night.”

 

Roxy frowned.  “All while wearing a giant coat and a baseball cap.”

 

“And on top of that, he waited in his vehicle for over an hour, only to eat in a restaurant alone,” Merlin added.

 

“Do you think the blind date might have been a set up to get Harry alone?”

 

“I can’t know for sure, but it’s definitely not something we can overlook.”

 

“That’s suspicious enough for me,” she said, reaching into the glove compartment for a tracking device.  “I’m tracking the car.”

 

---

 

Eggsy cut into his chicken kiev.

 

Message from Lancelot

 

Tracking device placed on vehicle.  Suspect is Robert Warwick, son of Alexander Warwick.

 

He looked over at Robert as he chewed at his meal.  Robert sat several tables behind Harry.  He was alone and appeared to be moving his meal around his plate, not actually eating any of it.  Pretty rare for someone his age to not be looking at his phone.  Not even eating.  Must not be waiting for anyone either.

 

“Do you know them?”  Harry asked.

 

Eggsy paused mid-chew, before swallowing loudly.  “Know who?”

 

“The person behind me,” Harry clarified. 

 

Fuck, am I just bad at this or is Harry just observant as fuck?  Eggsy continued to cut into his meal.  “Sorry bruv, he and I just got the same hat, is all.”

 

He could tell Harry was confused, as he stared at Eggsy’s pristine suit.  “Really.”  It wasn’t a question.

 

“I only dress like this at work, a’right?”  Eggsy pretended sound indignant.  “And bruv, you’ve no idea how ace I would look in that hat.”

 

---

 

Harry could see Eggsy wearing an oversized snapback.

 

A sharp pain in his head suddenly shocked him into silence, the harsh pain causing him to drop his fork loudly against his plate.  He ran his hand over the scar over his brow, feeling as though it was on fire.  He blinked rapidly, seeing spots.

 

“Shit, you right there?”  Eggsy stood, leaning over the table, his face suddenly very close to his.  He sounded panicked.  “Fuck, you don’t have some kinda hat related trauma I don’t fuckin’ know about, right?”

 

Harry grimaced, the pain subsiding.  “I apologise, it must just be a side effect from my head injury.”

 

“Fuck, that’s some Harry Potter shit, here, drink some water,” Eggsy said, clumsily pouring a glass of water and handing it over.

 

Harry gave a slight nod and sipped at the water.  “Thank you.  And no, I don’t believe I’ve sustained a hat related trauma.”

 

Eggsy snorted, falling back into his seat.  “Sorry, wasn’t thinkin’ straight.”  He gestured for a waiter to approach them.  “A’right bruv, we’re gonna get these in take away containers and I’m takin’ you home.”

 

There were no more spots and the pain was gone, just a strange numb feeling in his skull.  “I think I’m alright.”

 

“Not good enough for me, bruv, either you’re a 100% or you’re not.”

 

The waiter handed Eggsy several plastic take away containers and proceeded to spoon all their leftover food into it.  “Alright Haz, you sit here, I’ll go settle this bill.”

 

Harry opened his mouth to protest, only to be quickly shut down.

 

“No arguments bruv,” was the only fleeting answer he received before Eggsy made his way to the pay counter.

 

“Your boyfriend sure is bossy,” the waiter said as he closed up the take away containers and neatly placed them into a plastic bag.  The waiter smiled, handing the back over to Harry.  “Make sure he does the laundry for the month.  He did promise.”

 

---

 

Eggsy quickly paid for the meal with his Kingsman issued credit card and looked over to Robert, who still hadn’t moved.  He still hadn’t eaten any of his food.  And now that Eggsy had left the table, he could see Robert boring his eyes into the back of Harry’s head.  So you are watching him, you sneaky fuck.

Chapter Text

Eggsy was leading Harry by the arm out of the restaurant, walking quicker than what people would consider normal.  They were standing so close that Harry could feel Eggsy’s warmth permeate through his clothing.

 

“I’m alright,” Harry pointed out again.

 

It didn’t slow down the pace in the slightest.  “I know.”

 

“So hovering is normal for you?”

 

“Maybe.  Okay, yes,” Eggsy admitted.  “Be a gentleman and just pretend you find it endearing, yeah?”

 

Harry gave a one-shouldered shrug.  “I do find it endearing.”

 

“That’s the spirit.”  Eggsy looked around and then, oddly, looked behind them.

 

“Did you forget something?”  He stared pointedly at the younger man.  “Like a hat perhaps?”

 

That captured his attention.  “Hey, the guy was really wearin’ a fuckin’ great hat, a’right?  We got a bond now, sharing that hat.  He’s my bruv.  My bruv-in-arms.  My –“  Eggsy had quite obviously ran out of things add, far sooner than he expected to.  “Oh fuck it, let’s just find you a cab.”

 

Harry couldn’t help but be a little suspicious.  “Eggsy, if I didn’t know better, I would think that you were trying to get away from someone.”

 

Eggsy scoffed.  “Haz, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were a paranoid wanker.”

 

---

 

Fuck, why does Harry have to be a paranoid wanker who happens to be fuckin right?

 

“Oh thank fuck, here’s a cab.”

 

Eggsy released Harry’s arm to open the cab door.

 

“Excuse me!” 

 

A body brushed between the small gap between himself and Harry, literally pushing them apart in one very quick force.

 

It was Robert Warwick.

 

Eggsy stared, trying to think of a legitimate Merlin-passable-reason he could use to knock the young man out for shoving Harry Hart.  Nothing came to mind quick enough, so he stifled his rage with a hard look.  “What d’you think you doin, mate?”

 

“I-sorry, I’m in a hurry, I really need to get somewhere,” Robert said in a rush, already ducking his head into the cab, half-already sitting down. 

 

Harry, somewhat startled, simply stood aside.  “Of course.  No harm done.  Come on, Eggsy.”

 

Eggsy slammed the cab door closed with far too much strength than necessary.  The loud slam was temporarily satisfying, though he would have been more satisfied driving his fist through the nose of that punk-ass-

 

“This night just gets stranger and stranger,” Harry said, interrupting Eggsy’s violent reverie. 

 

“What a rude fuckin’ wanker.” 

 

The cab drove away.

 

Message from Lancelot

 

I’m tailing him.  Share a cab with Harry.  ;)

 

Eggsy quickly looked Harry up and down to check for any injuries.  No visible signs of pain.  “You right?  He didn’t knock your head?”

 

“No, I fortunately ducked when I saw that hideous thing atop his head.”

 

Eggsy pretended to feel riled up, though his overall tone turned out more well-natured than he intended.  “Why you gotta be like that, bruv?”

 

Harry simply smiled.  “Are you also alright?”

 

The concern made Eggsy’s heart flutter terribly.  Oh no you fuckin’ don’t, heart.  You fuckin’ keep your shit together.

 

“Eggsy?”  Harry sounded worried.

 

“Yeah Haz, I’m fine.”

 

“Excellent,” Harry replied in a noticeably less worried tone.  “Though in other news, it seems that that young man has absconded with my wallet.”

Chapter Text

Eggsy had emptied the contents of his pockets into the middle back seat of the cab, going through his belongings to ensure nothing else had been stolen. So far everything had been accounted for. It seemed that the man before had only managed to steal Harry's wallet and nothing else.

 

Harry hung up his cell phone with a sigh. "That's the last of my cards cancelled and I've re-applied for a new driver's license. I should be able to get it printed first thing tomorrow."

 

"Yeah, get onto that quick." Eggsy grinned cheekily. "With a face as young as yours, no one's ever gonna let you buy a beer." He shoved all his belonging back into his pockets.

 

"You're right," Harry replied with a laugh. "My priorities would be terribly lacking if I didn't put that onto the very top of my to-do-list."

 

Eggsy playfully nudged the older man with his elbow. "'Ey, what good are fake boyfriends for if not for remindin' you of the important things in life?"

 

Harry gave a small shrug in agreement, before sighing again. "Applying for another security pass tomorrow at work is going to be a small bureaucratic nightmare."

 

Eggsy straightened slightly, as though he were on alert. "The wanker stole your work security pass as well?"

 

"Yes, my pass was in my wallet. I've already informed security to cancel it, so there should be no issues." Harry peered out the window. "Ah, this would be my stop."

 

"Right, lemme walk you to the door," Eggsy replied before letting the cab driver know to not go anywhere.

 

---

 

Eggsy and Harry both stood at the outside of Harry's front door, where Eggsy desperately tried hard not to fidget.

 

"So..." he began awkwardly.

 

Harry seemed to take pity on him and instead responded intelligently with, "Thank you for tonight, Eggsy."

 

"No need to thank me, guv," he replied with a bashfulness he didn't care to admit to.

 

"Yes, well, it's not every night that I'm saved from a night of crippling loneliness," Harry replied with a straight face and a tone that could be interpreted as both sad and a joke.

 

Fuck, if he's being sad, I'm gonna straight up hug the fuck out of him. He shoved his hands deep into his pockets, hoping that Harry was just joking. "Fuck, bit dramatic innit?"

 

"I like to think that I've always had a flair for the dramatic," Harry replied with a grin.

 

Oh thank fuck, he's joking. "Shit, you can say that again." Fuckin' startin' bar fights, gettin' shot in the head, bein' in fuckin' comas for most of the year, gettin' robbed, gettin' stood up on dates - fuck you and your dramatics Harry Hart.

 

"Eggsy, if you can pardon a dramatic old man, but I couldn’t help but notice you say we were friends back at dinner - " Eggsy made a start to say something, but Harry held up a hand to stop him. "There's no need to explain things, unless you wish to."

 

Where was this going?  "Uh, a'right."

 

"I just wanted to say that I do hope we can be friends again."

 

Fuck, he's just so fuckin sincere. Fuckin fuck.

 

"We are friends, Haz." Eggsy tilted his head and did his best to look smug. "Bit hard not to be after pretending to be your boyfriend for the past two hours."

 

"Ah yes," Harry laughed. "You were a bit eager, offering to do my washing and be my boyfriend, all without having even bought me dinner."

 

"Well," Eggsy placed his right hand over his heart, "Consider this my solemn resignation from my fake-boyfriend duties and hereby promoting myself to your friend."

 

"I don't suppose friends do other friends laundry for a month?"

 

Fuckin' smug fucker, Eggsy thought with no actual heat. "Fuck no, that's only for fake boyfriends."

 

"Then I do not accept your resignation," Harry replied with a shit-eating grin.

 

Eggsy shoved at him half-heartedly. "Fuck off, yes you do."

 

Harry's grin faded into an honest-to-god smile, one that would put leading men in those romantic movies his mum watches to shame.

 

Eggsy felt his heart pick up the pace. Heart, you better be motherfuckin' still before I eat all the bacon and put an end to your embarrassin’ fuckin' ass.

 

"Anyhow, go on, your cab is waiting," Harry pointed out.

 

Eggsy's heart did slow at that. "Right. Right, I better make a move. Let's catch up soon, yeah?"

 

"Of course," said Harry with a polite nod. "Good night, Eggsy."

 

"'Night, Haz."

 

---

 

Eggsy was flipping through some mission details at his desk when Roxy walked in. He placed the manila folder down. “Got anything from tailing Robert Warwick?”

 

She shook her head and sat herself down atop Eggsy’s desk. “Nothing interesting at all. The cab took him straight back to his home.”

 

Eggsy glanced over to his monitor, looking for any updates on the tracking device she had placed on Robert Warwick’s vehicle earlier. “The car’s not moved either. The fuck was he tryin’ to do?”

 

Roxy crossed her arms. “So far it just seems like a very complicated ploy to get Harry’s wallet.”

 

“That or he’s just a real shit thief,” Eggsy said with a frustrated sigh. “He did manage to get Haz’s work security pass.”

 

Roxy considered the idea. “A bank heist then?”

 

“The pass won’t work though, Haz cancelled it with security over the phone.”

 

“Maybe he’s just a shit bank thief then.”

 

Eggsy laughed. “Fuck, when did villain standards take such a drop?”

 

“Who knows?” she said with shrug and a laugh. “So how did your date go?”

 

Eggsy debated the merits of pushing her off his desk, before deciding that he valued his life. “Fuck off Rox, it wasn’t a date.”

 

“It definitely wasn’t recon, Mr Upside-Down-Menu,” she joked.

 

Eggsy sank into his chair, covering his face with his hands. “Fuckin’ shut up.”

 

“But he found it endearing,” she teased.

 

“Rox-e-lot, if I wasn’t so afraid of you driving one of your pointy shoes through my shin, I’d actually kick your ass,” he grumbled.

 

She laughed, “Alright, alright, I’ll stop. So nothing else happened?”

 

Eggsy straightened up. “Actually, now that you mention it, I'm wondering if his head’s been hurtin’ him again.”

 

Roxy frowned. “I don’t think I’ve noticed.”

 

“Swear down Rox, he looked like he had taken a fuckin’ hammer to the head at dinner. Like it was some legit Harry Potter’s thunderbolt scar is hurtin' him because the dark lord is comin’ shit.” Eggsy frowned, thinking back. “All because I brought up how fuckin’ ace I look in hats.”

 

Rox was silent for the moment, before carefully responding with, “Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

 

Eggsy really didn't want to get his hopes up, instead opting for humour. "That the parallels between Harry Hart and Harry Potter are eerie as fuck?"

 

Roxy side-stepped the joke completely. "That he could remember you?”

 

Eggsy sighed, feeling resigned to wallow about in budding false hope. “Maybe he does.”

 

They were both quiet for the moment.

 

Roxy broke the silence first. “That or he really hates those hats.”

 

“There is nothin' wrong with my fuckin' hats!"


Chapter Text

Eggsy was looking at him, so sadly.  Apologetically, even.

 

He wasn’t wearing the impeccable, bespoke suit he had seen him in last, nor the glasses.  Today he was sporting a black tracksuit top zipped closed, with parallel grey stripes running vertically against the arms.  Atop his head was a black baseball cap.  He looked so young.

 

“Eggsy, are you alright?”

 

It was a stupid question.  The answer was obviously no.

 

“I’m so sorry, Harry.”

 

---

 

Harry opened his eyes.  His room was still pitch black, save for his digital clock which read 4:48AM.  His head throbbed with a pulsating pain and he closed his eyes back shut.  He rolled onto his side and fell back asleep.

 

---

 

When Harry re-woke, it was to the sound of someone busying themselves in his kitchen.  He sincerely hoped it was his niece, he would have hated to have been robbed yet again.  His clock now read 8:36AM.  He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, donned his red robe and walked down the stairs.  

 

“Good morning, Uncle Harry.  Tea?”

 

Harry smiled at his niece.  “Good morning, Roxy.  And yes, thank you.  Can I interest you in some breakfast?”

 

Having breakfast on Sunday morning’s had become a bit of a ritual between Roxanne and Harry.  Assuming she wasn’t away travelling for work, Harry knew to look forward to her company.  They weren’t able to catch up last Sunday with Roxy abroad.  He watched her methodically make tea for two, gracefully placing the teacups onto their saucers and onto the serving tray.  

 

“Breakfast would be lovely,” she replied.

 

He made himself useful, whipping up a quick batch of pancakes as Roxanne set the table, before Harry plated the pancakes for serving.

 

Roxy sat herself at the table and reached for the jam.  “So Eggsy tells me that you two had dinner last Tuesday night.”

 

Harry cut into his pancake.  “Yes, we did.  I had a lovely night.”

 

“Oh?”  She raised a delicate eyebrow.  “Eggsy tells me that you were stood up by your date, had your head injury trouble you and then you were robbed."

 

Harry paused, holding his skewered pancake inches away from his mouth.  “As I said, a lovely night.”  He took a bite.

 

Uncle Harry.”

 

“You needn’t be worried,” he replied after chewing down his food.  “Apart from all that, I really did have a lovely night.  Eggsy makes for excellent company.”

 

Roxy rolled her eyes, “Don’t let him catch you saying that, it’ll go straight to his head and then he won’t be able to fit into any of his hideous hats anymore.”

 

HIs mind flashed back to the dream he had so quickly forgotten.  “I’m so sorry, Harry.”  He blinked rapidly.

 

Roxy placed her hand on his forearm, watching his face carefully.  “Are you alright?”

 

Harry nodded slowly.  His head wasn’t in pain, like it was earlier that morning.  He felt confused.  Though I’m confused as to why I’m confused to begin with.  “I think so.  My head’s been troubling me somewhat.”

 

“When?”

 

His niece could be terrifyingly direct sometimes.  “Twelve days ago.  And just again this morning.”

 

“I’ll have you booked in for a CT scan then.”

 

“There’s no need, I can book my own - “

 

She cut him short.  “I insist.”

 

She left no room for argument, so he conceded.  “Alright.  Thank you.”

 

They both returned to their meals and fell into a temporary affable silence.

 

“So who put you up to your blind date anyway?”  Roxy asked.  “I don’t believe you ever told me.”

 

“I didn’t?  Just an old co-worker from the bank.”  He added more maple syrup to his pancake.  “I’m not sure I’ve mentioned him.  Does the name Alexander Warwick ring any bells?  He resigned about three weeks ago.”

 

Roxy paused.  “No, it doesn’t ring any bells.  Either way, you should give him a piece of your mind for setting you up on such a terrible date.”

 

“As I said, I really did have a lovely night regardless.”  He took a sip of tea.  “Would you know if Eggsy is still in London?”

 

Roxy shook her head.  “He’s still on assignment.  From memory, he’s scheduled to arrive home next Thursday.”

 

---

 

He stared out the plane window.  His last mission had ended rather colourfully and he was avoiding looking at all Kingsman correspondence, of which the majority would be Merlin cursing him six ways from Sunday.  He thinks he might have bruised a rib or two and split his bottom lip from a lucky punch.  Only one building had exploded though, so Eggsy could only hope that Merlin would forgive him eventually.  All up, a resounding fuckin’ success.  

 

He fiddled with the Kingsman tablet in his hands, staring at the blank screen and dreading having to write up his mission report.  He switched it on and quickly scanned over his messages, avoiding any messages from Merlin that was written entirely in capital letters.

 

He selected an email from Roxy, reading through her last update with Harry.  It had been sixteen days since he had last seen Harry.  Not that I’m fuckin’ countin’, that would be fuckin’ embarrassing.  

 

Based on Roxy’s message, Harry had gone in for a CT scan and was at least in the clear, physically.  Roxy was chalking it up to potential mental trauma and he was now booked in to see a disguised Kingsman psychologist.  He continued reading.

 

Hm, so Alexander Warwick used to work with Harry at the bank.  Why set him up on a fake blind date?  All for a banking security pass that he would have had, if he still worked there?  Eggsy shook his head.  What the actual fuck?

 

He reached the end of Roxy’s report, suddenly unable to move past the last sentence she had written.  He re-read six times.  Eggsy fought (and failed) to conceal an excitable grin.

 

By the way, Harry thinks you make for excellent company - call him when you’re back in town.

 

He stared back out his window.  "Fuck yeah."

Chapter Text

Haz, back in town - dinner?

 

Delete.  Boring.

 

You still like Guinness, right?  Found a pub that stocks a bunch of other dry stouts - you in?

 

Delete.  Too detailed - can't explain how I would know he liked dry stouts.

 

Interested in catching up over a pint?  We can watch the game?

 

Delete.  It not even football season.

 

You free for dinner this week?  I take my friend duties a lot more seriously than my fake-boyfriend duties.

 

Delete.  Too fuckin' mushy.

 

Eggsy sank into his chair, holding his phone with both hands, his phone directly over his face.  The fuck, since when is textin’ so fuckin’ hard?  It’s not even a date - it’s just a fuckin’ catch up - get your fuckin’ shit together.

 

“Eggsy-”

 

The abrupt sound of Roxy’s voice startled him so much that he dropped his phone on his face.  “Ow - fuck - Jesus Rox, don’t just fuckin’ ninja your way in here.”

 

She stood at the doorway with her hand still on the door knob, a tablet in the other, all while staring at him incredulously.  “Are you still trying to text Harry?”

 

Eggsy sat up indignantly.  “No!  Okay, yes.”

 

She shook her head, rolled her eyes and said nothing.

 

“I can feel you judgin’ me, you lousy fuckin’ friend.”  Eggsy tossed his phone onto his desk and gestured to her tablet.  “New mission?”

 

Roxy made a move towards his desk and handed the tablet over.  “New information, actually.”

 

Eggsy quickly scanned through the details, somewhat confused.  “What new information?  This all looks the same to me.”  He narrowed his eyes at Roxy.  “You didn’t rig your tablet to jump scare me again, did you?”

 

“I only did that once!”

 

“One time fuckin’ too many - I fuckin’ spilt my coffee all over Percival!  Fuckin’ Percival who’s the type to fuckin’ lull me into a false sense of security before riggin’ my fuckin’ home to explode.”

 

Roxy slapped him across the arm.  “Stop distracting me - my point was to do with the tracking device I placed on the Warwick vehicle.”

 

Eggsy looked back to the tablet.  “This says it hasn’t moved since Haz’s blind date.”

 

“Exactly - they’ve not even reported it as being stolen.  It’s been nearly three weeks!”

 

Eggsy frowned.  “That is weird.”

 

“What’s weirder is that I haven’t been able to find Alexander or Robert Warwick since.  They’ve gone off-grid.”  She sat on Eggsy desk, taking her tablet back.  “I’ve gone through their credit cards, checked to see if they had been making any any big purchases.  I’ve even checked to see if they had booked any flights - there’s nothing.”

 

“What about missing person records?  Surely Mrs. Warwick would notice both her husband and son missing.”

 

“Mrs. Warwick doesn’t exist.”

 

“Shit, so basically we’ve got nothing to go with.”  Eggsy sighed.  “The fuck does any of this have to do with Harry anyway?”

 

Roxy shrugged.  “At this point, nothing.  Anyway, I'll keep you posted.”  She slid Eggsy’s phone towards him.  “Now, I’m not leaving until you text Harry.”

 

Eggsy grumbled.  “I don’t fuckin’ know what to write.”

 

Eggsy’s phone vibrated and the young knights both looked down at it.

 

Hello Eggsy.  I hope you don't mind Roxy giving me your number.  Hope you are well.  Would you be free for dinner this Saturday?

 

“Well then,” Roxy said with a laugh, “That was easy.  Text him back.”

 

Eggsy was too busy reading the message over and over and over and over, until Roxy snatched the phone from him.  “Hey, give that back!”  He tried reaching over, but was stopped with Roxy’s stiletto threatening to press against his ribcage.

 

She looked at him threateningly, holding his phone out of reach.  “Don’t make me kick you.”

 

“I got fuckin’ bruised ribs, you wouldn’t fuckin’ dare!”

 

She stared at him pointedly.  “Really?”

 

“Okay, you would.  Fuck you Rox, why are we friends?”

 

He watched her tap a message into his phone, before she handed his phone back.

 

Sure Haz.  Where and what time?

 

“I could've done that myself,” Eggsy said with a slight whine.  

 

“You could have also texted Harry two hours ago.”

 

“Shut up, Rox.”

 

"God, I can't decide if I find your pining adorable or irritating.  

 

"Shut up, Rox."

 

Eggsy’s phone buzzed again.


The Black Prince - 8PM if convenient.

Chapter Text

Navy blue wool tie?  Or mid-tone blue wool tie?  

 

Eggsy held up both ties against his red and white chequered button down and groaned.  “Fuck no, this looks fuckin’ terrible.”

 

He tossed both ties onto the ever-growing pile of ‘failed’ outfits on his bed, before pulling off the chequered button down and also tossing it into the pile.  Clad in only his boxer shorts and socks, he glanced at his watch, the time reading as 6:56PM.  “Fuck, too late to buy anything.”

 

He slumped down face first into the pile, temporarily forgetting about his bruised ribs.  He regretted the action immediately.  “Ow-Fuckin’ fuck nuggets!”

 

His phone buzzed and he answered it, not glancing at the caller ID.  “‘lo?”

 

The caller cut straight to the point.  “Have you finally settled on an outfit?”

 

Eggsy grumbled.  “Hi Roxy.  And nope.”

 

“Christ Eggsy, you’re worse than the girls I went to secondary school with.”  He could tell that she was trying not to laugh at him.  He was undecided on whether to be mildly annoyed or not.  “Just wear one of your Fred Perry polos and some chino pants,” she said.  “And bring a coat, it’ll be cold out tonight.”

 

“Yeah, yeah, a’right, mum.”

 

“Also, I think navy blue wool tie would have gone wonderfully with your red and white chequered shirt.”

 

Eggsy snapped to attention.  “Jesus fuck Rox, you been hidin’ cameras in my room or what?”

 

---

 

“Haz!”

 

Harry turned in his seat to see Eggsy entering the pub.  He stood and extended his hand out with a smile.  “Good evening, Eggsy.”

 

“‘Evening guv,” Eggsy replied, firmly shaking his hand, before sitting down across from him.

 

“I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve taken the liberty of ordering you a drink.”

 

“Don’t mind at all,” the younger man replied, picking up the pint of Guinness.  “Cheers mate.”

 

“Welcome back home,” Harry added with a clink of his glass and then a sensible gulp of beer.

 

Eggsy placed his beer back down on the coaster and glanced about the pub.  “So the Black Prince, eh?  Not exactly posh, innit?”

 

Harry shrugged.  “Perhaps not.  The name had sparked in my memory not long ago, so I decided to try and find it.”

 

“Yeah?”  Eggsy looked intrigued, carefully leaning in closer with his arms against the table.  “You been rememberin’ stuff?”

 

“Not as much as I would hope.”  Harry glanced about the pub, somewhat disappointed that there was nothing particularly distinctive about it.  It was just a standard run-of-the-mill London pub.

 

Eggsy looked unsure of what to say in the moment and Harry wondered what it was that he did to have made his dinner companion so uncomfortable.  He opened his mouth to change the subject to the cold weather outside.

 

“You know, I know a thing or two about this place,” Eggsy said instead.

 

“What do you know?”  Harry asked maybe a touch too excitedly for his liking.

 

Eggsy tapped his fingers against his pint glass.  “This end of town used to be run by an old gang.  This pub used to be where all the goons used to meet.”

 

“Used to?”  Harry echoed.

 

Eggsy grinned.  “Yeah, before they all got their asses handed to them.”

 

Harry nodded.  “So they were apprehended by the police?”

 

“Sumthin’ like that,” he replied.  “Heard they got taught some fuckin’ manners by this beast of a bloke.”

 

Harry laughed.  “Well, ‘manners maketh man’ after all.”  He paused.  “Is that a quote or did I just say something brilliant?”

 

Eggsy chuckled, shaking his head.  “Nah mate, it’s a Horman quote or sumthin.”

 

“Damn and here I was about to applaud how intelligent I am.”

 

“You do a’right, I reckon the glasses keep you lookin’ smart.”

 

Harry pulled off his glasses, giving them a brief look.  “And here I was thinking that they just made me look old.”

 

“That too.”

 

Harry placed his glasses back on.  “Well we can’t all be young and beautiful now, can we?”

 

“Dunno, I do a’right.”

 

“Good lord, my niece was right - you really do have an ego the size of Mars.”  Harry reached for the menus propped up against the napkin holders, handing one to Eggsy.  “Let me know if you need help working out if your menu is upside down or not. “

 

“Fuck off, Haz.”

 

---

 

Dinner was an altogether pleasant experience, though Eggsy expected that waiting in a grocery line queue would have been a pleasant experience, so long as it was with Harry.

 

Fuck you brain, you’re meant to be the fuckin’ sensible one - you can’t fuckin’ let me down now.

 

“What on earth happened to you anyway?”

 

Eggsy raised his eyebrows.  “Hm?”

 

Harry gestured vaguely to his split lip.  “I’m relatively sure you didn’t have that before.  I could be wrong though, I have sustained a head injury.”

 

“Oh this.”  Fuck, think of sumthin.  “I was sizin’ up a client - rich fucker ended up bein’ ticklish as fuck.  Nearly laid me the fuck out.”  Fuckin’ nailed it.

 

“Did he also kick you in the chest?”

 

Eggsy stared.  You observant motherfucker.  “How’d you know?”

 

Harry shrugged.  “You usually move your arms around when you talk.  You look like you still want to, but can’t.”

 

Eggsy squashed his internal giddy feelings that Harry even noticed a detail like that about him.  “Fuck, those glasses really do make you smarter.”

 

“I suppose - “

 

A pint glass abruptly shattered to the floor, the noise so loud that all other patrons in the pub fell temporarily quiet.  A barman quickly made his way over to the mess, carefully sweeping the mess away.

 

“Sounds like someone needs to take a cab home,” Eggsy finally said, before looking back at Harry.

 

Harry’s expression was completely blank.    

 

Eggsy reached for his friend’s arm and squeezed.  “Haz, you right?  Haz!”

 

Harry blinked, his eyes slowly focusing in on Eggsy.  “I’m sorry, what was it you asked?”

 

Eggsy released his arm.  “Just asked if you were alright, though I s’ppose you’ve sorta answered that in a roundabout way.”

 

“I’m alright.”

 

“Sure ya are.”

 

“I apologise Eggsy.”  Harry looked over to the barman sweeping away the glass.  “I think the last time I was here, something similar happened.”

 

Well, not quite.  You threw a beer glass.  Into someone’s forehead.  With a fuckin’ umbrella.  Fuckin’ nutter.

 

“Do you remember anything else?”

 

Harry shook his head and absent-mindedly rubbed at the scar over his brow.  “I just wish I could remember more.”

 

“I’m sure you’ll get there, bruv.”  Eggsy said, before mentally cringing at just how lacking that response was.  

 

Harry didn’t seem to mind.  “Yes, I’m sure you’re right,” he replied.  “Shall we make a move?  It’s getting quite late.”

 

---

 

After some mild arguing and Harry threatening to poke him hard in the ribs (which by the way, why the fuck do people keep threatening to do that?  Mean motherfuckers!), Eggsy conceded to allowing Harry to pay for dinner.  Harry merely replied, “You can get the next dinner” and Eggsy had to resist the urge to High-5 himself because Harry Hart is going to have dinner with me again.

 

Harry was making his way over, when he paused to stare at pub door.

 

Eggsy, hands in his pockets, turned to look over what Harry was looking at.

 

“Three locks,” Harry observed.

 

‘Course.  How else are you going to make ‘manners maketh man’ sound epic as fuck if not by coupling it with well-timed door locking?  “What about it?”

 

Harry squinted, as though trying to check it for further detail.  “I’m not sure.”

 

Eggsy let him observe for a few extra minutes.  When he was sure that Harry wasn’t going to remember anything any time soon, he nudged him with his elbow.  “C’mon Haz, no need to have a fuckin’ aneurysm over it.  You’ll get there.”

 

Harry gave a silent nod and opened the door.

 

---

 

They had shared a cab again, with Eggsy insisting that the cab drop Harry off at his house first again.  The car ride had been an uncomfortably silent one, all the way up to Eggsy walking Harry back to his front door.

 

“Your head hurtin’ you or what, Haz?”

 

Harry shook his head.  “Yes, though not in the way you think.”

 

“Ah,” Eggsy fidgeted, “Lot on your mind then?”

 

“I do apologise Eggsy, I did have a wonderful night.”

 

“Ya know, that’s the second time you’ve apologised to me tonight.”

 

Harry seemed to carefully consider this before asking, “Did I not apologise… before?”

 

Ah fuck, dug myself right into a fuckin’ hole.  Don’t be honest.  “Not really, no.”  Jesus, fuckin’ work with me brain-to-mouth-filter!

 

Harry seemed ready to apologise again, but he had stopped himself.  He stared at the pavement instead.  “Would you prefer I didn’t?” he asked in a small voice.

 

“I don’t fuckin’ know Haz, just do what you think you need to, a’right?”  When the older man didn’t look up at him, Eggsy shoved at him.  Harry finally looked up.  

 

He looked terribly confused and upset.  It made Eggsy want to punch a wall.

 

“Christ Haz, d’you want a fuckin’ hug or what?”

 

Harry didn’t move and Eggsy made an executive decision.

 

“Just fuckin’ come ‘ere, you amnesiac fucker,” he said, pulling the older man towards him.

 

Harry seemed to freeze.  “Aren’t your ribs-?”

 

“Yes, so fuckin’ appreciate this, a’right?”


The pain in Eggsy’s ribs was god-awful.  He pretended that it was all to do with the hug and not at all to do with the way his heart threatened to beat out of his rib cage.

Chapter Text

Eggsy was looking at him with sheer disgust.  Maybe even angrily.  

 

He was wearing the black tracksuit top with the zip closed, parallel grey stripes on the arms and a black baseball cap again.

 

Eggsy’s eyes narrowed at him.  “Fuckin’ freak.”

 

---

 

Harry woke, the light from his bedroom window filtering through.  He stared at his ceiling with an overwhelming sense of guilt that he didn’t understand.  No headache at least, he mentally noted.  He glanced over to his clock.  It was Sunday, 8:16AM.  He could hear shuffling in his downstairs kitchen.

 

Roxy’s early, he thought as he got out of bed to pull on his red robe.  

 

It had been slightly over three weeks since he had last seen his niece, though she had texted him on the Friday to let him know she had arrived home.  He walked down the stairs, rubbing at his eyes.  “Good morning, Roxy.”

 

The shuffling in the kitchen had stopped and Roxy said nothing.

 

Harry frowned, reaching the last step of the stairs.  “Roxy?”  He stepped into his kitchen.  Everything was as he had left it last night, barring the unwashed teacup and saucer he had left in the sink.  The teacup was lying on it’s side.  He picked the teacup up.  He was so sure that he had placed it -

 

He heard a familiar clicking sound.

 

“Harry.”

 

Harry quickly turned around, teacup still in hand, his eyes first falling at the small handgun levelled with his chest before looking up.  “Alexander?  What on earth - “

 

“Harry, I need your keys.”  To say that Alexander looked uncomfortable was an understatement.

 

“What are you talking ab - ?”

 

“You know damn well what I’m talking about!”

 

Harry did know.  The only key of significance that Harry currently possessed was the key that led to the entrance of the bank vault, though not to the actual bank vault itself.  Harry shook his head slightly, careful to not make any sudden movements.  “You know I can’t give that to you.”

 

“You don’t understand!”  His old-coworker explained, clearly distraught.  

 

“What don’t I understand?” he asked gently.

 

“It’s my kid, Harry.  They took him,”  Alexander looked like he was barely holding it together.  

 

“Who’s ‘they’?”

 

Alexander pressed the barrel of the gun against Harry’s chest.  

 

Wrong thing to ask, apparently.  

 

“Just tell me where the key is.”  Harry felt the gun shaking in his old co-worker’s hand.  “Please, Harry.”

 

They both heard a key slide into the front door.

 

Alexander looked towards the door. “Who-?”

 

Harry smashed the teacup hard against Alexander’s temple, completely shattering it.  His old co-worker dropped limply to the floor, the gun falling usefully out of his hand.  

 

Roxy entered the kitchen.  “Are you alright?  I thought I heard glass - “  She stopped, looking down once at the unconscious body on the kitchen floor and then back up at Harry.

 

Harry stared at his niece sheepishly.  “I’m afraid we may have to postpone breakfast for the moment.  I’ve had a rather eventful morning.”

 

---

 

“That’s all I can recall,” Harry confirmed to the police officer Roxy had called.

 

The police officer tapped the last of his notes on a rather fancy looking tablet.  Harry wasn’t sure why, but there was something about it - he just wanted to yank it right out of the police officer’s hands.

 

“More than enough,” the police officer assured him, a light Scottish tinge in his accent.  He made a gesture to Roxy.  “Is she your daughter?”

 

“Niece,”  Harry clarified.

 

“I suggest she stay with you for a bit.  You may feel a bit of shock after the adrenaline wears off.”

 

Harry nodded, though he felt fine.  He wasn’t even sure if he had experienced the adrenaline in the first place.

 

“You take care of yourself, Mr Hart.”

 

Harry frowned at the police officer’s sincere tone, but shook it off.  “Same to you, officer.”

 

---

 

Eggsy let out a low wolf-whistle, as he walked into Merlin’s office.  “Lookin’ good, Merlin.”

 

“Feeling stupid, Eggsy,” the Scot replied, taking off the police custodian helmet.

 

“Seriously, do you just have a whole department dedicated to makin’ you costumes?  First the pilot uniform, now the police uniform - honestly, if Kingsman ever goes tits up, you could probably make some decent coin by strippin’ them costumes off for parties.  There’s surely gotta be a market out there for that shit -”

 

“Eggsy, just shut up,” Merlin snapped, pushing the edge of his tablet against Eggsy’s chest.

 

Eggsy grimaced.  “Motherfucker, why does everybody go straight for the ribs?”  He took the tablet, rubbing at his mostly-healed rib cage, glancing at the photos on the screen.  “This Haz’s house?”

 

“Yes, he was attacked earlier this morning.”

 

Eggsy froze.  “What.”

 

“He’s completely unhurt.”

 

Eggsy felt his heart start beating again.  “Fuckin’ hell Merlin, fuckin’ lead with that next time!”  

 

“Lancelot administered an amnesia dart on Alexander," Merlin continued.  "A tracking device has also been placed.  I’ve requested that Lancelot stay with Harry, should he try and attack again.”

 

---

 

Harry fluffed the guest bedroom pillow for the third time.  “I assure you, I am completely fine.”

 

Roxy placed her overnight bag at the foot of the bed.  “You heard what the police office said, Uncle Harry.”

 

“I’m a boring old man, Roxy.  There’s appallingly little here to keep you entertained.”

 

“You literally knocked a man unconscious in your pyjamas just this morning."

 

---

 

Harry was right.  There really is nothing to do.  No TV, no wireless internet.  Lots of books though.

 

“Uncle Harry!”  She called, from the guest bedroom.

 

She could hear him jogging up the stairs, before opening her guest bedroom door expectantly.

 

“Would you mind terribly if I invited Eggsy over?”

 

Harry seemed surprised, but eventually shook his head.  “No, of course not.  Be my guest.”

 

She pulled out her phone.  “Lovely, thank you, Uncle Harry.”

 

She waited for Harry to descend back down the stairs before dialling.

 

“Eggsy?”

 

“‘Ello Rox-e-lot.”


“Come over to Harry’s.  Bring pizza.”

Chapter Text

Harry opened his front door.

 

“Special delivery,” Eggsy greeted, handing Harry four large pizza boxes.

 

“Thank you Eggsy,” Harry replied, taking the boxes and stepping aside to let Eggsy in.  He shut the door behind him, incredulous at the size pizza could be bought nowadays.  Also, just how much food do young people require these days?  “You didn’t have to bring dinner.”

 

The younger man shrugged.  “Hey, you said I could get the next one, remember?”

 

Harry admittedly had.  “Please make yourself at home.”  He placed the pizza boxes down onto the coffee table.  “You look well - have your bruised ribs all healed up?”

 

Eggsy sat himself down onto a sofa.  “Mostly, yeah.  But don’t fuckin’ poke at them, I’ve had enough of that this month.”

 

“Good evening, Eggsy,” Roxy called out, as she walked down the stairs.

 

“‘Evenin’ Rox,” he called out.

 

Roxy sat herself down in the armchair near Eggsy.  “You won’t believe what happened to Uncle Harry this morning.”

 

“Roxy, please - “ Harry started.

 

“I let myself in like I usually do on Sunday morning’s and I walk into the kitchen and Uncle Harry’s just standing there with a man lying unconscious on the floor, next to a gun.”

 

Harry groaned, rubbing at his temples.  

 

Eggsy’s eyes looked like they were going to bug out of his head.  “Holy SHIT Haz!  D’you fuckin’ deck him or what?”

 

“He took him out with a teacup,” Roxy replied with a sheer layer of pride over her tone.

 

“Fuck, that’s fuckin’ badass.”

 

“I somehow doubt that,” Harry grumbled under his breath.  “I have a saucer with no teacup now.”

 

Eggsy laughed.  “You’ve got some fucked up priorities, mate.”

 

Harry narrowed his eyes at the young man.  “Why did I let you in my house again?”

 

“Because I brought pizza, bruv.  You can’t say no to pizza.”

 

Harry grumbled incoherently under his breath and made his way into the kitchen to get plates and glasses.

 

---

 

Eggsy glanced around Harry’s house.  The walls were completely bare and while the house was pristinely maintained, it looked really fuckin’ sad.  He leaned in to whisper to Roxy.  “Don’t s’ppose he has a dead stuffed dog in the loo?”

 

Roxy raised an eyebrow.  “No, but he has a dead stuffed cat in the kitchen.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Of course not!”

 

Harry re-entered the living space, handing out plates and placing the drinking glasses down.

 

Roxy opened up her tablet.  “So I was thinking that we watch a movie.”

 

Eggsy was heaping his plate with pizza and considered making some kind of pizza tower.  “Sure, it’s been awhile.”

 

“What do you two typically watch?”  Harry asked.

 

“Rom-com’s,” Roxy and Eggsy answered simultaneously.  

 

Harry stared.  “I must admit to being surprised by this.”

 

Eggsy shrugged.  “See all sorts with the job, you know.  Never seen romantic shit happen in real life though.”

 

Roxy smirked.  “Eggsy’s actually just a diehard romantic, Uncle Harry.”

 

“Fuck off Rox, last time I fuckin’ buy you pizza.”

 

---

 

They end up watching ‘When Harry met Sally’, all three sitting cramped together in a sofa made comfortably for two, with Roxy and Harry pressed against each arm rest and Eggsy wedged in the middle.  Roxy’s tablet is propped up against the empty pizza boxes.

 

To Harry’s surprise, Roxy and Eggsy actually manage to finish all the pizza.  Good lord, just how many carbs do these two need?

 

The film is now at the scene where it’s New Year’s Eve and the character, Harry, has given a heartfelt declaration of love to the female lead, Sally.

 

He looks over at the younger people in his house and both look positively enamoured by the film.

 

Harry can’t help but notice the way Eggsy mouths along with the script at some parts, in a startlingly in-sync way.

 

You see? That is just like you, Harry. You say things like that, and you make it impossible for me to hate you!

 

Harry tries hard not to smile.  It’s quite unfairly endearing.

 

---

 

Eggsy may actually kill Roxy for making him sit next to Harry on a tiny sofa.  It’ll take years of planning, but I will get you for this Lancelot.  Also, seriously Rox, fuckin’ choosing a film where the leading man is also called Harry?  When he’s not wolfing down slices of pizza, he spends the film sitting rigidly still and keeping his hand firmly planted on his knees.    

 

He had actually already seen the film once, twice - twelve, but fuck counting.  He likes the movie and so what if I know nearly the whole thing word for word.

 

The film ends and the three of them awkwardly try and get off the couch simultaneously with varied success.

 

“Well I better get a move on, we’ve all got work tomorrow morning,” Eggsy says.

 

Rox stifles a yawn, gathering up the empty pizza boxes and plates.  “Good night, Eggsy.”

 

“‘Night Rox, see you in the morning.”

 

Eggsy quickly dials for a cab home as Harry walks him to the front door.

 

“Are you sure your ribs aren’t bothering you?”  Harry asks.

 

Eggsy shakes his head.  “Pretty sure they’re not, why?”

 

Harry shrugs.  “You stayed bizarrely still for the film.  You’ve no idea how strange it is to watch someone laugh and not move.  It was actually mildly terrifying.”

 

“Fuck off, how was I s’pposed to move when I’m stuck between Roxy’s pointy elbow and you and your fuckin’ frame?”

 

“Are you implying that I’m overweight?”  Harry asks, the very picture of mock-offended.  “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I just watched you inhale three boxes of pizza.”

 

“Fuck off.”  

 

They fell quiet for the moment, before Eggsy's motherhenning gets the better of him and asks, “So, you sure you’re a’right?  I mean, gettin’ pickpocketed is one thing, but someone legit just fuckin’ broke into your home.  Like, with a fuckin’ gun.  That’s just fuckin’ freaky.”

 

---

 

Fuckin’ freak’, Harry’s mind decided to echo in Eggsy’s voice.  He did his best to ignore it.  “I’m alright.”  

 

Eggsy looked dubious.  

 

“Honestly Eggsy, I am.”  He clarified again.  “Or at least I will be, once I’ve sorted out what mess this has created at work.”

 

“Fuck Harry, you really are just taking this all in your stride, aren’t you?”

 

“Yes.  Though I really am devastated by the loss of my teacup.”

 

Eggsy laughed and Harry instantly felt better.  “God, you’re a fuckin’ strange wanker.  Anyway, my cab’s here.”  Eggsy gave Harry’s shoulder a squeeze.  “Don’t fuckin’ get robbed in the meantime, yeah?”

 

Harry smiled.  “I’ll do my best.  And make sure to duck the next time a ticklish client attempts to kick you.”

 

---

 

Over a week had passed and work had been hectic, with security measures being renewed and upgraded.  Harry pulled off his glasses and rubbed at his eyes wearily as he made his way back home.  

 

As he placed the key into his front door, he felt his shoe brush against a box.  He frowned, putting his glasses back on and picking up the box.  He entered his house, inspecting the box for any clues as to where it came from, before opening it.

 

He laughed.


A teacup.  

Chapter Text

Merlin dumped a shoebox sized box onto Eggsy's desk with a loud slam.

 

“I need you to place parking tickets on the Warwick vehicle.”

 

Eggsy opened the box, pulling out several realistic looking parking tickets.  “There’s a fuckin’ thousand in here!  Want me to papier mache the car while I’m there too?”

 

“I don’t fuckin’ care what you do with them - “

 

Eggsy did his best impression of Roxy and raised an eyebrow.

 

Merlin paused.  “Forget I said that, just go place parking tickets on the vehicle later today.”

 

Eggsy shrugged.  “A’right, guv.”

 

---

 

Eggsy may have also placed fake parking tickets on the vehicle’s of a few (three-hundred and six, but who’s fuckin’ countin’) rude wankers, who’s fine money would be going to some very reputable charities, but that’s neither here nor there.

 

---

 

A week passes when Merlin drops a heavy metal object onto Eggsy’s desk.

 

“Bruv, seriously, you’re starting to fuckin’ scratch my desk with all this shit.”

 

“Do you know how to install a metal clamp onto a tyre?”

 

Eggsy honestly had to think about that one, reaching into the depths of his troubled youth.  “I know how to take a metal clamp off a tyre?”

 

“Good, I’m sure you you’ll work it out then.”

 

---

 

Eggsy spends a freezing night underneath the Warwick vehicle far longer than he cares to admit while trying to install this stupid mother-fucking orange metal bullshit - this fuckin’ should be easier to put on but fuckin’ fucker -

 

He eventually calls Roxy who shows up, only to give him a strange look.  

 

“Please fuckin’ tell me that you’re perplexed as fuck.”

 

She shakes her head and rotates the metal clamp 180 degrees.  “You’ve been holding it upside down.”

 

Eggsy gapes.

 

Roxy is silent.

 

“I’m good at other things,” he eventually says, his face bright red with embarrassment.

 

“I know,” she says too quickly.

 

---

 

Another week passes and Merlin drops a set of keys onto Eggsy’s desk.

 

Yes Merlin, fuckin’ finally, what fuckin’ beauty do I get to drive this time?”

 

“You’ll see.”

 

---

 

A fuckin’ tow truck.  

 

Eggsy was practically screaming into the phone wedged between his shoulder and his ear.  

 

He was wearing giant mechanic overalls, with sleeves and pant legs rolled up four to five times because apparently Merlin also owns a mechanic costume and is also a stupidly tall asshole.  

 

He drove at a snail’s pace.  “Do you have any idea of how fuckin’ hard it is to drive a fuckin tow truck in fuckin peak hour London?”

 

“No,” Merlin replied dryly, “Please feel free to regale me with this story.”

 

“Oh, I’ll fuckin’ tell you alright-”

 

“Oh, how fascinating.  Do let me know when you reach headquarters with the vehicle.  Godspeed Galahad.”

 

Eggsy stared at the phone in his hand.  “Did you seriously just fuckin’ hang up on - “

 

“Oh, and Galahad?”

 

Eggsy placed the phone back against his ear.  “Fuckin what Merlin?”

 

“The wheels of a vehicle are the side that goes down - just in case you have trouble distinguishing which is the right way up.”

 

“Fuckin’ Rox, I’m going to fuckin kill her when - “

 

Merlin hung up properly this time.

 

Eggsy was going to find Merlin’s costumes and sell them on eBay when he got back.  

 

---

 

It takes entirely too long, but Eggsy finally gets to the Warwick vehicle.  If he kisses the pavement and does a bit of a dance, fuckin’ sue me.  

 

He glances through the driver’s seat of the window, inspecting the latch of the door.  He takes note of the handbrake that he needs to put down in order to move it onto the tow truck, while causing the least amount of damage to the Warwick vehicle.  He makes quick work of breaking into the driver’s door and before he’s even able to hot-wire the car, the small navigation screen on the dashboard lights up.

 

Eggsy frowns.  That makes no fuckin’ sense.  The navigational screen is mostly dark, the only lights coming from the flashing red numbers counting down.

 

23 Hours.  59 Minutes.  57 Seconds.

 

23 Hours.  59 Minutes.  56 Seconds.

 

23 Hours.  59 Minutes.  55 Seconds.

 

“Oh for fuck’s sake.”

 

---

 

“Merlin!”

 

“For the last fucking time Galahad, I am not telling you where I hide all my costumes!”

 

“Fuckin’ not now, a’right?”  Eggsy pulled on his glasses, quickly tapping the small buttons on the side to record his view.  “What the fuck am I lookin’ at here?”

 

He listens to the definitive tapping over the call and waits.

 

“The bad news is that it’s definitely a bomb.”

 

“Fuck.  A’right, and the good news?”

 

“It’s a small bomb.”

 

If Harry’s memory ever returns, Eggsy’s going to ask him how he’s refrained from murdering Merlin in his sleep.  “Are you takin’ the fuckin’ piss right now?”

 

“Very much so.  But only because I can shut it down wirelessly.”

 

“Christ, well thank fuck for that.”

 

The clock on the navigational screen freezes at 23 Hours, 57 Minutes, 23 Seconds and Eggsy breathes a sigh of relief.

 

“Check the car for bugs, Galahad.  Bring the car straight to headquarters if you don’t find anything.”

 

---

 

Eggsy steps into Merlin’s office, still clad in his mechanic's overalls.

 

“Lookin good, Eggsy.”

 

“Feelin’ pissed, Merlin,” he replies easily.  “Your minions find anything yet?”

 

“They’re stripping it back now, but they’ve gathered that the bomb would have only just exploded the vehicle.”  He shows Eggsy the schematics on his tablet.  “It would have made a loud noise and maybe set off the car alarms of the other vehicles within a 0.4 kilometre radius.  Collateral damage would have been surprisingly minimal, with potential second degree burns and temporarily deaf civilians, at its worst.”

 

Roxy entered the room.  “I hear you found a bomb, Galah - “  She stopped short and stared at Eggsy’s enormous coveralls.

 

Eggsy flashed her a dangerous look, one that said I fuckin’ dare you to ask.

 

Roxy took the hint.  “Right, I definitely don’t want to know.”

 

Eggsy crossed his arms.  “So did I fuckin’ set the timer off when I opened the car?  Or does someone out there have a detonator?”

 

“At this point, it looks like the timer was set off when you opened the front door,” Merlin replied.

 

Eggsy’s heart sank.  He didn’t mind when things exploded.  He actually rather enjoyed it, if no one civilians were around.  But this was fuckin’ peak hour London.  Fuck.  “So I almost fuckin’ set off a bomb in London.”  He groaned.  “I should’ve fuckin’ scanned the car before I -”

 

He felt Roxy squeeze his arm.  “I placed a tracker on the car and didn't scan it either.  Live and learn, Eggsy.”

 

He thought of how disappointed Harry had looked when he failed the final Lancelot trial and the room suddenly felt stifling.  "A'right, just call me if there's an update.  I just need some air."

Chapter Text

Eggsy’s phone buzzed and he considered ignoring it.  He didn’t think he could handle a pep talk right now.  Just fuckin’ check it, ya meatball.  Could be important.



He sighed and looked at his phone.

 

It was a photograph of a teacup atop a saucer.

 

His phone buzzed and a text came through.

 

If you are on your lunch-break, please feel free to come over for tea and scones.  Satisfaction guaran-tea’d.



Oh fuck, that’s a terrible fuckin’ joke.  And yet Eggsy found himself laughing, his bad mood lifting slightly.  He sent a text back.  Dunno, Haz.  I’m not the type to steep on the first date.

 

Good lord, where’s your sense of youthful proprie-tea?

 

Eggsy’s thumbs hovered over the phone’s keyboard, as he racked his brain for another pun.  Harry beat him to the next text.

 

I actually know very few tea-related puns and would very much like to stop.  

 

Thank fuck.  See you in ten, Haz.

 

---

 

Harry handed Eggsy a cup of tea.  “Thank you for the teacup, Eggsy.”

 

Eggsy shrugged.  “It was either buy the fuckin’ thing or listen to you whine about it for the next century.”

 

Harry laughed.  “Another century?  I almost feel that living half a century has been enough for me.”

 

Eggsy’s foul mood returned with a vengeance.  He narrowed his eyes at Harry.  “You better not actually fuckin’ mean that.”

 

Harry was clearly caught-off guard and Eggsy immediately regretted it.  He shook his head.  “Sorry, Haz, just had a shitty morning.”

 

Harry gave him a sympathetic smile.  “I had gathered that judging by your attire.”

 

Eggsy frowned and looked down.  “Motherfucker.”  He had forgotten to take off the enormous mechanic overalls.

 

Harry, ever-the-gentleman, tried to follow up with a compliment.  “You look good in grey.”

 

Eggsy groaned, pressing his head against Harry’s dining table.  “Fuckin fuck this day.”  Eggsy wondered if he could somehow melt into the table if he tried hard enough.

 

He could hear Harry take a sip of his tea.  “Car troubles, I gather?”

 

“I’m not talking about it,” he grumbled into the table.

 

“Alright,” Harry replied gently.

 

“Different subject, bruv.  Anything, please.”

 

“Work’s been quite hectic on my end of town,” Harry tried.  “They’re completing massive security upgrades to the bank given my…”

 

Eggsy looked up.  “... given a crazed fuckin’ gun-toting ex-security guard broke into your home?”

 

“I prefer to call it my ‘teacup altercation’.”

 

“Are you fuckin’ serious?”

 

Harry ignored him and continued on.  “With less customers coming in, there hasn’t been much use in being there.”  

 

“Fuckin’ ‘teacup altercation’?”  He repeated incredulously.  

 

He gestured to the tea and scones between them.  “Hence why I have invited you for tea and scones.”

 

“You’re seriously telling people you had a ‘teacup altercation’?”

 

Harry sighed and drank more tea.

 

“Jesus Christ, Haz, swear down, you better not be fuckin’ painstakingly puttin’ that smashed teacup back together piece by piece.”

 

“Of course not.”

 

“Well thank fuck for that.”

 

“The police officer had to confiscate the teacup for evidence, so I couldn’t.”

 

Eggsy shook his head.  “God, you’re a weird fuckin’ unit.”

 

Harry just smiled and pushed a scone towards him.  “Just eat something.”

 

---

 

Eggsy must have actually felt better after the tea and scones, as he promptly began apologising.  “I’m sorry I snapped at ya before, Haz.”

 

Harry had a strange feeling that he couldn’t stay mad at Eggsy if he tried.  “It’s alright.”

 

“What was it you said about work again?  Security changes, was it?”

 

“Yes.  Ongoing security upgrades all month.”  Harry shrugged.  “The new security team has told us that they’re nearly completely done at least.”  He frowned.  “Though…”

 

“What?”

 

Harry shook his head.  “It’s probably nothing.  Just me being a ‘paranoid old wanker’, as you would put it.”

 

“‘Ey, you know I don’t mean it in a bad way, mate.  You’re the good sort of paranoid old wanker.”

 

Harry tilted his head.  “Thank you, I think.  But it was just an odd bit of phrasing I overheard.”

 

“Odd how?”

 

“Is ‘twenty-four hours to go’ a common saying?”  

 

Eggsy considered it.  “Not that I fuckin’ know of.”

 

Harry poured himself some more tea.  “Well, I’ve heard them say it at least twice.  The head security guard answers by saying ‘no’.”  He took a sip of tea.  “I assume it has to do with their performance milestones.”  

 

Eggsy looked dubious and glanced down at his watch, suddenly surprised.  “Ah shit Haz, I better get back to work.”

 

“Yes, of course.  Thank you for joining me for tea.”

 

“And I really am fuckin’ sorry ‘bout my attitude before.”

 

“It’s alright Eggsy.  I’m sure whatever it is that happened this morning is not as bad as you think it.”

 

“You don’t know that,” Eggsy replied, shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot.  “I’d reckon you’d never fuckin’ forgive me if you found out.”

 

Harry frowned.  “I imagine I would be mad initially, if it were really as bad as you purport.  But I would always forgive you, Eggsy.”

 

Eggsy’s expression had changed and Harry was suddenly unsure if he had said the wrong thing.  He panicked, trying to work out where to fix the conversation.  But then Eggsy shot him a wide smile and a wink.  “Good to fuckin’ know, bruv.”

 

---

 

“Galahad?”

 

“Merlin, I’m gonna be doin’ some recon at the National Bank.  Think I have a lead.”

 

“Very well.  I’m sending Lancelot with you, given your propensity to forget what recon means."

 

Eggsy shrugged.  "Fair call."

Chapter Text

Roxy dropped herself into the passenger seat next to Eggsy.  “I don’t see why you don’t just take the overalls off.”

 

“And expose my Greek-god-esque body to the likes of all of fuckin’ London?”  Eggsy scoffed.  He leaned his arm against the armrest of the car.  “C’mon Rox, I’m clearly the type to be savin’ myself for marriage.”

 

“Marriage to Harry Hart, you mean.”

 

“Fuck off, Roxy.”

 

Roxy rolled her eyes. “Good to have you back.  Sulking really didn’t suit you.”

 

“Yeah.”  He nudged her with his elbow.  “Sorry ‘bout before, mate.”

 

“Don’t worry about it.”  Roxy peered out of the car window, just able to see the National Bank in the distance.  “So what’s the lead we’re investigating?”

 

“So Haz invited me over for tea and scones and he said that - “

 

“Wait, he didn’t invite me over for tea and scones,” she interrupted indignantly.

 

“Didn’t you tell him you were in France this week for work?"

 

She grumbled.  “Maybe.”

 

“What, d’you want him to fuckin’ Skype you a scone?”

 

“They’re very good scones Eggsy!”

 

Eggsy stared at his friend for a long time.  “You should know that I’m judgin’ you so fuckin hard right now.”

 

“You are literally wearing Merlin’s costume mechanic overalls.”

 

“Fuck you, I looking fuckin’ ace in grey.”

 

Roxy crossed her arms, valiantly trying for professionalism.  “Just tell me about the lead.”

 

“Leads,”  Eggsy corrected.  “I think it’s the bank’s new security team.”

 

Roxy glances up at him expectantly.  “How many are we talking?”

 

“I’m thinkin’ a team of five, though my guess is that two participants are pretty unwilling.”

 

“Alexander and Robert Warwick,” she filled in.

 

"Yep, that's my guess, if they're holdin' the son hostage."

 

"And the other three?"

 

“One is callin’ the shots.  And they’re speaking in some kinda code.  Haz overhead them say it twice.”

 

“Say what?”

 

“‘Twenty-four hours to go.’  Separate days, different times.”

 

Roxy furrowed her brow.  “Strange.”

 

“Head wanker so far has said ‘no’ to both times though, so whatever the fuck their plan is, it hasn’t gone down yet.”

 

Eggsy’s phone buzzed and he placed it on loud speaker.  “Got anything good, Merlin?”

 

“The team -”

 

“Your minions,” Eggsy corrected.

 

“The team has stripped the car back,” Merlin repeated over the phone.  “Breaking into the car shouldn’t have triggered the bomb, so I’d bet that we’re dealing with amateurs.”

 

“What was supposed to trigger it?”  Roxy asked.

 

“A detonator.  Whoever it is would have to be close by though.  Probably no more than a hundred metres away.”  Merlin sent through the photos of the bomb.  

 

“And twenty-four hours to run away, I’m guessing.”  Roxy added.

 

Eggsy thought back to where the Warwick vehicle was previously situated and then the location of the bank.  Both are pretty fuckin’ far apart.  Maybe a thirty minute drive.  Not like the explosion would even affect the fuckin’ bank anyway.  What's the link here?  “And they’ve definitely not tried to detonate it yet?”

 

“Correct,” Merlin confirmed.  “I’m sending Percival to plant a dummy vehicle back where you found it.  No sense in letting them think we know.”

 

“But we still don’t fuckin’ know.”

 

“Yes, but they don’t know that.”

 

Eggsy sighed.  They needed more information.  “How do you feel about breakin’ into a bank tonight, Lancelot?”

 

“Surprisingly excited, Galahad.”

 

---

 

Eggsy and Roxy had successfully planted five hundred and seventy-six bugs inside National Bank last night.  They now had eyes and ears everywhere, barring the actual bank vault itself.

 

“We could have gotten into the vault if we had a tiny bit of C4,” Eggsy suggested as he handed Roxy a cup of coffee.

 

“Thank you.  Unfortunately, I don’t just keep a casual stash of C4 in my pockets, Eggsy.”

 

Eggsy shrugged.  “Fuckin' missed opportunity, if you ask me.”

 

They both huddled together at the desk, watching from the multiple screens Merlin’s Minions had installed around 4AM that morning.  Bank employees entered the building, completely unaware of being watched.

 

Eggsy reaches for his own coffee cup. "Pretty fuckin' riveting stuff so far."

 

Roxy groaned.  “It’s going to be a long day, Galahad.”

 

---

 

Twenty minutes of live footage passes by. Feels like fuckin’ two hours, Jesus fuck, I’m not made for recon - when Harry walks into frame and Eggsy is suddenly very distracted at seeing Harry at six different angles.  He tilts his head, unknowingly moving closer to the screen.  Huh.  Maybe I am made for recon.

 

“Do I need to leave you and the six Harry’s alone?”

 

“Fuck off Rox,” he replies, even though his answer is a solid maybe.

 

They watch Harry stand perfectly still at the bank entrance from cameras 3, 7, 14, 21, 29 and 52.  He remains still in all of them for a full ten seconds.  

 

“Minions! I think the screen is broke - “

 

Harry turned his head slightly.

 

“Nevermind!  Please continue minion-ing!”

 

Roxy frowned.  “What is he doing?”

 

“Fucked if I know, Rox.  He’s always been a bit of a strange wanker.”

 

Harry glances up above him and stares directly into camera 14.  

 

And then 7.  

 

Then 52, 21, 29 and finally camera 3.

 

Roxy, without looking away from the screens, reaches over and shuts Eggsy’s open mouth.

Chapter Text

“He just -”

 

“Yep.’

 

“He saw them-”

 

“Yep.”

 

“He found-”

 

“Yep.”

 

“Fuck, that’s a little hot, innit?”

 

Roxy stared over at her friend, who suddenly seemed to realise what he had said.  

 

He turned quite red.  “I mean, fuck, it’s hot in here.  Fuckin’ monitors, it’s making it hot as fuck in here.”  He tugged at his collar.  “We should get the minions to look into that.”

 

“Sure, Eggsy.”

 

---

 

Harry touched the sides of his glasses, intending to do a scan with -  He stopped himself.  What am I doing?  He shook his head and pretended to push up his glasses instead.  

 

He made his way over to his desk and tries to forget what he just saw.  Stop being so paranoid.  Of course there are cameras everywhere, there’s a new security team.  He sits at his desk and pulls out his diary, scanning over his appointments, pretending to be interested.

 

He’s not interested in the slightest.

 

He makes the mistake of looking away from his notes just once and sure enough, he finds another camera.  He spots another two over the desks of his co-workers and another wedged inside a desk lamp.  It’s fine.  Just leave it.  Security is just doing their job.

 

But Harry couldn’t help but feel uneasy.  He sighed and reached for his travel tea flask, when he accidentally knocked his desk monitor.

 

The monitor made a strange rattling sound.  

 

Probably just a screw loose, he justified as he turned his monitor around to investigate

 

He borrowed some computer-safe screwdrivers from IT Help desk and promptly removed the back casing of his monitor.

 

A small, clear plastic ball rolled out.  He caught it just before it rolled off his table.  He stared at it closely.  A microphone?  He could hear the IT help desk technician approaching him.  Harry dropped the small microphone into his tea and managed to hear a faint electrical fizzling sound, before quickly shutting up the back of his monitor and handing the screwdrivers back to the technician.  

 

“Did you find what was wrong?”  The technician asked.

 

“Yes, just a loose screw, as I predicted,” Harry replied as he placed the lid over his travel tea flask.  

 

---

 

Merlin looked up from one of his three monitors.  “Aren’t you two supposed to be going through the live National Bank footage?”

 

Eggsy shrugged, “Eh, we got some minions on it.”

 

Merlin raised an eyebrow.

 

“Harry fell out of frame and Eggsy got bored,” Roxy explained.

 

“Of course.”

 

“Fuck both of you.”

 

Merlin sighed.  “Any updates?”

 

“Nothing on the National Bank front,” Roxy replied.  “Though Harry’s managed to find at least twelve cameras.”

 

Merlin’s eyebrows raised.  “Really?”

 

“Yes.  Though he hasn’t raised this as an issue to his co-workers, or anyone really.”

 

Merlin considered this.  “I suppose that’s a reasonable move, perhaps - “

 

A technician popped their head through the doorway.  “Merlin?”

 

“Yes minion?”  Merlin replied before realising god fucking dammit Eggsy, you and your stupid fucking nicknames.

 

“Uh, did you just call me a-?”

 

“Fuckin’ told you I’d get him to fuckin’ say it!” Eggsy exclaimed, holding out his hand.

 

Roxy sighed and slapped a ten pound note into his palm.

 

Merlin coughed loudly.  “What was it that you wanted to say?” he asked the minion-god-fucking-dammit.

 

“One of the microphones has gone dead,” the technician replied.

 

Eggsy and Roxy gave each other a look.

 

Merlin’s phone began to ring.  He glanced at the caller ID.

 

Phone call from Harry Hart.

 

---

 

“Thank you for coming to meet me, Constable Strong.”

 

The constable sat across from him.  “You can call me Mark.  I’m technically off-duty.”

 

Harry nodded.  “Of course.  Thank you for meeting me on your day off then.”

 

The waiter approached them, notepad in hand, ready to scribble an order when - “Oh hey, I remember you!  You’re the one whose boyfriend arrived super late that one time.”

 

Harry felt himself go red.  “Yes, that was me.”

 

“Did he actually do your laundry for a month?”

 

“He did,” Harry lied.

 

“Nice.  You two still together?”

 

“We are,” he lied again.  “He makes me very happy,” he added, wanting to add at least a tiny bit of honesty.

 

“That’s great, I told my girlfriend about you two.  She reckons you two sound cute together.”

 

“Oh.  Thank you.”  He tried desperately to change to subject.  “May we order tea?”

 

“Yeah, yeah,” the waiter looked back to his notepad.  “What was it you were after?”

 

“An earl grey and a Scottish breakfast tea - the Taylors of Harrogate blend, if you have it,” Harry replied.

 

“Sure, I'm pretty sure we do.  I’ll be back in a moment.”  With that, the waiter took his leave.

 

Mark gave Harry a strange look.

 

“The laundry he was speaking about,” Harry tried to explain, “You see, I had a blind date but then my date never arrived, so this younger gentleman took pity on the whole situation and - look, nevermind, that’s not the reason I called and it’s actually just a very long and confusing story.”

 

“You ordered my tea for me,” Mark said, looking surprised.

 

Harry blinked, slowly realising.  “Oh.”  He raised his hand to try and get the waiter’s attention.  “I apologise, I had not meant to.”

 

“It’s fine.  I enjoy Scottish breakfast tea.  The Taylors of Harrogate blend is my actually my favourite.”

 

“Oh,” Harry replied dumbly.  “Lucky guess, I suppose.”

 

“Yes, lucky guess,” Mark echoed.  

 

“Right, anyway, I found something,” he said, handing Mark his handkerchief.  It was slightly damp with tea in one spot.

 

“DNA from the break in?”  Mark questioned, putting on a pair of surgical gloves and opening up the handkerchief.  He stopped, seeing the small round plastic object.  He picked it up between his thumb and index finger, inspecting it carefully.  “What is this?”

 

“I was rather hoping you would be the one telling me,” Harry replied.  “Have you ever seen anything like it?”

 

“Not on the police force.”

 

Harry frowned at the odd choice of words.  “What about outside the police force then?”

 

Mark paused a little too long for Harry’s liking.  “Wouldn’t know.”  He placed the small plastic object back into the handkerchief and then into a plastic ziplock bag.

 

“Could you have someone on your team look at it?”

 

Mark nodded, removing his gloves.  “Of course.  Where did you find it?”

 

Harry gave Mark a long look, unsure of how a truthful answer would pan out.  God, I must sound insane.  “It doesn’t matter,” he said eventually.  “Will you let me know when you find out what it is?”

 

“I will.”  Mark closed the ziplock bag shut and placed it into his briefcase.  “What do you think it is?”

 

Oh god, this will make me sound even more insane.  Harry shrugged and tried to laugh casually.  “I had thought it was some kind of microphone.”

 

To his surprise, Mark didn’t laugh with him.  “Do you think you are being monitored, Harry?”

 

“Here’s your tea, gents,” the waiter cut in, placing down two teapots and two teacups.  “Earl grey and Scottish breakfast.  Enjoy!”

 

Harry thanked the waiter and poured himself his tea as the waiter walked away.  “It sounds preposterous.  Me, being monitored, that is.”

 

Mark shrugged as he poured his own tea.  “Stranger things have happened, I suppose.  Are you worried for your own safety?”

 

“No,” he replied easily.  “My niece and boyfriend on the other hand…”  He drifted off temporarily.  “Is there anything you can do to ensure they’re kept well out of - well - whatever this could be?”

 

“I can do my best to ensure they’re kept out of harm’s way, if that’s what you mean.”

 

“Yes, that would make me feel immensely better,” Harry said with a sip of his tea.

 

“You should know that my best has it’s limits, however.”

 

Harry shook his head, finding himself disagreeing.  “I’m sure that you’ll work your magic one way or another, Constable.”

 

Mark fell quiet as they finished the rest of their tea.  


Harry paid for the tea and left the waiter a tip, all while wondering what on earth it was that he said.

Chapter Text

“Harry thinks it’s a microphone,” Merlin said, placing one of the clear microphones onto Eggsy’s desk.

 

Eggsy looked away from the live National Bank footage.  “Yeah, well, he’d be fuckin’ right.”

 

“It was microphone 201,” Roxy added, still watching the monitors.  “I’m surprised he found that one, I had hidden it inside his computer monitor.”

 

“Ah, well he refused to tell me where he found it.”  Merlin crossed his arms.  “Secretive bastard.”

 

“Like I said, he’s a fuckin’ paranoid wanker,” Eggsy replied.

 

“How worried is he?”  Roxy asked.

 

“About you two?  Immensely.”

 

Us?”  Eggsy and Roxy asked in unison, with Roxy even looking away from the monitors temporarily.

 

Merlin shrugged.  “He's asked me to keep you both out of harm’s way.”

 

The young Knights spoke over each other.

 

"That's incredibly thoughtful."

 

"What a fuckin' sweet motherfucker."

 

Merlin fell quiet.

 

Eggsy narrowed his eyes at the Scot.  “A’right you, spit it out.”

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“You’re getting that pinchy look in your face,” Eggsy elaborated.  “Kinda like JB’s face when I catch him chewing my left shoe.”

 

Merlin felt personally affronted.  “I do not look anything like your -”

 

“Nope, don’t give me that repressed upperclass bullshit you rich fuckers all seem to have - “

 

Hey!”  Roxy interjected.

 

“- Spit it out, Merlin.  What the fuck’s the matter with you?”

 

“If you must know,” Merlin began, rolling his eyes, “Harry ordered my tea for me.”

 

Eggsy blinked. "If that's the sorta shit that keeps you up at night, no wonder you fuckin' lost your hair."

 

“No Eggsy, Harry ordered my favourite tea for me, without me having told him what it was.”

 

Eggsy was admittedly still very confused.  “So the problem here is that he's thoughtful as shit?"

 

“The problem here is that Harry is beginning to remember.”

 

“Which is… good?”

 

Not good.”  Merlin shook his head.  "Harry thinks the idea of anyone monitoring him is ‘preposterous’.  But we're the ones monitoring him. We're the ones who have been lying to him for nearly a year.  And he only thinks it’s preposterous because we're the last people he'd expect to be monitoring and lying to him.”  He sighed, the unpleasant weight of guilt suddenly suffocating.  “What will you do when he remembers that?”

 

---

 

“Merlin has a point,” Roxy said to Eggsy, as he drove her back to her apartment.

 

“That we’re basically asshole liars?”

 

She chuckled without humour.  “Yes.  Basically.”  She propped her elbow against the car armrest, resting her chin in the palm of her hand, “I’m pretending to be his niece, Eggsy.  To a man who doesn’t actually have a family.”  She stared out the car window with a sigh.  “I suppose I’ve never considered how cruel it was.”

 

Eggsy blindly tried to place his hand on her shoulder, without taking his eyes off the road.  He slaps her arm instead and Roxy considers putting his head through the windshield.  She doesn’t.  For now.  

 

“C’mon Rox,” says Eggsy, “Sulking doesn’t suit you either.  Haz fuckin’ adores you, ‘cause you’re cute as fuck.  Almost as fuckin’ cute as me.”

 

“Yes, I’m sure my cuteness will get me by,” she replied sarcastically.

 

Eggsy shrugged.  “I don’t fuckin’ know what to tell you!  Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.  No sense fuckin’ worrying about it until it happens, a’right?  How ‘bout I drive us to Haz’s instead?  We can watch another rom-com.”

 

Roxy shook her head.  “I’m still in France, remember?  I’m supposedly back in London tomorrow.”

 

“Say you cut your trip short then.”

 

“It’s fine, really.  I’ll see him for Sunday breakfast.”

 

Eggsy sighed.  “A’right, suit yourself.”

 

They sit in silence up until Eggsy pulls up to the curb of her apartment.  He put the car in Park and looked over.  “Don’t be so hard on yourself, Roxy.  We’re both pretending.”

 

She gave him a small smile.  “Yes, I know.  I'll try not to dwell on it.”  She flashed her friend a wink.  “At least I’m not pretending to not being in love.”

 

“There’s my Rox-e-lot!  But also, fuck you.”

 

---

 

Harry opened his door.  “Eggsy?”  He stepped aside to let the younger man in.  “What a pleasant surprise.”

 

“I’m actually here with ulterior motives,” Eggsy replied, uncharacteristically seriously.

 

Harry closed and locked the door behind him.  “Whatever’s the matter?”

 

“It’s Rox.”

 

Harry immediately panicked, thinking back to bank and the unusual number of cameras and microphones.  “Is she alright?  Where is she?”

 

“She’s on her way home.”

 

Harry was two steps away from shaking Eggsy.  “And?”

 

“And she really wants some fuckin' scones.”

 

A wave of relief washed over Harry.  “Has anyone ever told you that you’re a little shit, Eggsy?”

 

“Me?”  Eggsy scoffed.  “I had to listen to Rox harp on about your fuckin’ scones for hours Haz!”  He attempted (and failed) to impersonate Roxy.  “‘They’re very good scones, Eggsy!’  Fuckin’ excrutiating.”

 

“Your impression of my niece is terrible.”

 

“Fuck you, Haz,” he replied.  The younger man nudged Harry with his elbow.  “Teach me how to make ‘em?”

 

---

 

“No Eggsy, you need to sift the flour twice.”

 

“Oh my god Haz, this is so fuckin’ boring.”

 

“Just run it through the sieve again!”

 

“Fuck that, isn’t there machines for this shit?”

 

Harry sighed, taking the sieve off Eggsy to sift the flour again himself.

 

Eggsy leaned his hip against the kitchen counter to look up at Harry and his stupidly fuckin’ handsome face.  “So, get up to much today?”

 

“Just work.  And I had lunch at that restaurant where we met.”

 

Eggsy was beginning to cotton on as to why Roxy felt so bad before.  Way too many fake memories.  “Lunch menu any good?”

 

“Nothing too particularly special,” Harry replied.  “Oh actually, I was served by the same waiter from all the way back when we met.”

 

That’s not how we met, Haz.  “Really?  He remember you?”

 

“Yes.  He remembered the both of us.”

 

Eggsy laughed.  “It was my beautiful fuckin’ face, wasn’t it?”

 

“Perhaps.”  Harry reached for the butter.   “Though I may have demoted you back to fake boyfriend again.”

 

Eggsy let out an exaggerated gasp.  “Haz, how could you!”  

 

“Combine the butter and the flour and I’ll consider re-negotiating.”

 

He sighed.  “Fuckin’ fiiine.”

 

---

 

They both stared at the scones silently baking away in the oven.

 

“Hey, you know how you said you’d always forgive me?”  Eggsy asked.

 

“You near-scared the daylights out of me, thinking that something happened to my niece before - but yes, I forgive you.”

 

Eggsy didn’t respond and Harry frowned to look over at the younger man.  “Is that not what you were referring to?”

 

Eggsy couldn’t look at him.  “I’m asking if you’ll always forgive me.”

 

Alright, Harry thought, Now I’m worried all over again.  “Eggsy, is everything alright?”

 

“Would you?”  He reiterated, watching the scones slowly rise inside the oven.  “You can change your mind, it’s fine.”

 

Harry sighed, pulling his arm over Eggsy’s shoulders and pulling him close in a half-hug.  “Yes Eggsy.  We’re friends.  You make me happy.  I’ll always forgive you.  Alright?”  Harry could feel some of the tension bleed away.  

 

“A’right.”

 

Harry was suddenly reluctant to let go.  He wondered if he had overstepped in some way.

 

“Haz?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“D’you just get flour all over my suit?”

 

Harry looked over.  “I have.”

 

“Oh.  Well fuck you.”

 

Chapter Text

A small white box dropped with a gentle thud, straight onto Roxy’s lap.  She looked up from the National Bank live footage.  “Good morning to you too, Eggsy.”

 

Eggsy gave her a cheeky smile and sipped at his coffee mug.  “Mornin’ Rox.”  He took a seat next to hers, looking over the footage.  “Anything good?”

 

“Not at all.  For a place that physically stores millions in cash, banks are actually quite boring.”  She inspected the box with some suspicion.  It was slightly warm.  “And what is this?”

 

“Special delivery.”

 

She gave him a long look, wondering if she had done anything particularly bad recently to warrant potential vengeful payback.

 

Eggsy rolled his eyes.  “Just fuckin’ open it.”

 

She did, trying very hard not to recoil at the potential terror it held when -

 

“Scones!”  She exclaimed a tad too excitedly for her liking.

 

“Fuckin’ homemade Haz scones, re-heated in the microwave by yours fuckin’ truly.”

 

She picked up a scone, inspecting it.  “Did you take a bite out of this one?”

 

“Oh yeah, give that here, got fuckin’ hungry on my way over,” he said as she handed the scone over.

 

The rest of the scones however, looked perfect.  “Thank you, Eggsy.”

 

Eggsy shrugged.  “Don’t mention it, Rox.”  He sat next to her, chewing at his scone.  “Seriously, no interesting footage at all?”

 

“Is this your subtle way of asking if Harry’s showed up at work or not?”

 

“Fuck you, Rox.”

 

She waited.

 

“But has he?”  Eggsy asked eventually.

 

She shook her head, picking up a warm scone.  “No, not yet.”

 

“Damn, fucker’s always late, isn’t he?”

 

As if on queue, Harry entered the bank alongside an older gentleman.  Roxy didn’t recognise the other man, but he was bespectacled, balding where he wasn't red-headed and grey, and carrying a briefcase.  They both appeared to merely be exchanging pleasantries, before shaking hands and parting ways.  

 

“Who’s that?" Roxy asked. "I don't think I've seen him before."

 

"Not a fuckin' clue," Eggsy replied.

 

---

 

Eggsy had to wonder if Harry even enjoyed the civilian life. S'ppose he don't know any different at the moment though. Eggsy had to admit that Harry seemed content enough, though it was miles away from the life he last had. He didn't think he could go back to the civilian life himself. He didn't think he could handle the boredom.

 

He watched Harry make a cup of tea in the kitchen, watching him add a teaspoon of sugar to his cup. Are you bored, Haz?

 

"Did you see that?" Roxy asked.

 

Eggsy frowned. "See what?"

 

"He took the bug you hid under the sugar," Roxy replied.

 

"Fuckin' quick motherfucker." He had meant to sound frustrated, but what he really felt  was a quiet suppressed awe. 

 

"Why would he steal another bug? He's already given the one he found to Merlin for 'investigation.'"

 

"Has Merlin confirmed what it was to Haz yet?"

 

Roxy shook her head. "No, he's still trying to work out how to best position the story. Harry's already too suspicious."

 

"Fuckin' paranoid wanker."

 

Harry, onscreen, made his way back to his desk with his tea before abruptly bumping into a nearby security technician. Harry began to apologise profusely, apparently making sure he hadn't spilt any tea on the other man. The security technician, though mildly annoyed, seemed fine and waved him off. Harry walked back to his desk, looking somewhat embarrassed by the whole situation.

 

"Bit clumsy of Harry." Roxy said.

 

Eggsy tilted his head. "Bit unlike him, you fuckin' mean."

 

Roxy took note. "Well, he's removed microphone 177."

 

"Wait a fuckin' minute," Eggsy started, half his scone protruding from his mouth as he pointed at one of the monitors, "Microphone 177 is on the move."

 

"Of course it is," Roxy replies, "Harry took it."

 

Eggsy shook his head, the scone precariously balancing in his mouth.  He spoke around it. "Haz is sittin' at his fuckin' desk, microphone 177 can't be moving."

 

Roxy leaned closer. "You're right, it seems to be following..."

 

They both stared at the security technician Harry had bumped into, before quickly scanning the rest of the cameras.

 

Harry was staring directly at the camera again. He winked.

 

"Motherfuck-"

 

Roxy pushed the rest of Eggsy's scone into his mouth before it could fall to the floor.

 

---

 

"Good morning, Roxy," said Harry as he prepared their ritual Sunday morning breakfast.

 

Roxy hung her coat up at the coat rack near the front door. "Good morning, Uncle Harry."

 

"Did your scones reach you safe and sound?"

 

"All but one, Eggsy was unable to restrain himself."

 

Harry chuckled. "Of course. How was France?"

 

"Quite pleasant, though I'd say you make better pastries than some bakeries over there."

 

"Don't let the French hear you saying that, they'll have your head!"

 

Roxy shrugged, "I'm sure I could handle myself."

 

"I don't doubt that at all, for some reason." Harry paused, considering that for a moment. Why don't I doubt that?

 

"You should probably flip that pancake before it burns," Roxy interjected.

 

Harry mentally shook himself and flipped the pancake over. "Apologies. Would you mind setting the table?"

 

"Of course," she said, reaching for the cutlery drawer. "Did you keep yourself out of trouble while I was away?"

 

"Of course."

 

"That includes robberies and any attempts of, Uncle Harry."

 

He laughed, adding a pancake to a plate. "No robberies, I assure you."

 

"Alright," she responded, in a tone that would suggest that she didn't believe him. "How has work been?"

 

"Hectic," he replied. "The new security team at work has been a bit zealous in their pursuit of safety." He plated the remaining pancakes and sat down.

 

"Oh, how so?" She helped herself to a cup of tea and took a sip.

 

"They've installed five hundred and seventy-six bugs for one."

 

Roxy promptly choked on her tea.

 

---

 

"He's found ALL the bugs."

 

"He even actually fuckin' bugged one of our suspects!”

 

“He’s even getting the police involved!  Well, I mean, you know what I mean.”

 

“And the motherfucker had the fuckin’ balls to wink!”

 

Merlin cleared his throat to quiet down the younger knights.  “Alright, alright, stop barging into my office to yell at me when it’s supposed to be the other way around.”

 

Roxy glanced at Eggsy and then back at Merlin, crossing her arms.  “We’re just not too sure what to do, Merlin.  We hadn’t anticipated that Harry - “ She trailed off.

 

“That he’d still act like a fuckin’ spy,” Eggsy finished.  

 

The Scot sighed, pulling off his glasses and rubbing at his temples.  “Aye, I know.  I hadn’t expected it either, given the memory loss.”

 

“So what the fuck should we do?”

 

Merlin took in a deep breath.  “I think it’s time that we tell him the truth.”

 

A minion popped their head through the doorway.  “Excuse me, Sir?”

 

Merlin put his glasses back on.  “What is it, minion?”  Wait, did I?  Oh fuck it.

 

“The security technician bugged by Civilian Harry Hart has quoted the phrase ‘twenty-four hours to go.’”

 

“Did anyone respond to the statement?”  Roxy asked.

 

“Yes, they’ve responded with an affirmative, Lancelot,” the minion responded.

 

Eggsy and Roxy looked at each other, both alarmed.

 

“Well that can’t be fuckin’ good,” Eggsy said.

 

Another minion appeared at the doorway, behind Minion 1, clearing her throat.  “Excuse me, Sirs and Madam, but Percival has informed me the Warwick vehicle bomb has been detonated as of 10:04AM.”

 

“Giving it twenty-four hours to go,” Eggsy echoed, already beginning to move.  “Fuck, we gotta go Lancelot.”


“Right behind you, Galahad.”

Chapter Text

Harry was sure that the security guards would have checked the footage by now. He was surprised he hadn't caught their attention as yet. He smiled politely at the strange little group, nodding to them in acknowledgement.

 

"Good morning," he said while thinking, I know you're up to something, you suspicious tossers.

 

His phone buzzed in his pocket and he pulled it out to read the message. It was from Roxy.

 

Coffee? Now?

 

Harry frowned. It was unlike Roxy to not contact him at least a day early. He quickly glanced over his appointments before texting her back.

 

Where?

 

Out front.

 

Very unlike Roxy indeed, he thought, giving a quick glance around the bank, before exiting.

 

He spotted Roxy almost immediately with Eggsy standing beside her. They both looked as though they had ran a block to get there, judging by their slightly ruffled suits. His worries suddenly kicked in. If something terrible were to happen, this is the last place I would want either of them.

 

He gave them a smile as he approached them. "Good morning. This is a surprise."

 

"Oh, you think this is fuckin’ surprising? Just wait until you fuckin’ hear about -”

 

Roxy elbowed Eggsy in the side, drowning out his colourful motherfucking ow Rox with her own polite, "Good Morning, Uncle Harry."

 

Eggsy grumbled, rubbing at his side. "'Mornin' Haz."

 

There was a momentary silence before they all immediately spoke.

 

"We need to talk," they all said in unison.

 

They all paused.

 

What would they need to speak to me about?

 

Harry cleared his throat. "There is a cafe nearby. We can talk there."

 

At least this gets you further away from the bank.

 

Roxy and Eggsy glanced at each other. They both look worried. And even a tad...

 

Harry tilted his head to the side.

 

Guilty?

 

---

 

Eggsy gripped at his coffee cup. He had thought that telling the truth would be easy, but apparently fuckin' not. He tapped at the sides of his cup and looked to Roxy, before taking a large gulp of caffeine. This is a stupid fuckin' thing to do while sober.

 

Roxy was apparently finding something incredibly fascinating inside her coffee mug.  Fuck, if she’s worried, that makes me at least ten times more fuckin’ worried.  Fuck.

 

Harry sipped at his coffee calmly, like there wasn’t a fuckin’ bomb and bank heist and fuckin’ amnesia to fuckin’ deal with.  Fuckin' composed motherfucker.

 

Harry lowered his coffee. "Is this the part where you two ask for my blessing in your marriage?"

 

Eggsy near spat out his coffee and tried not to choke.  "What!"

 

"No!" Roxy exclaimed, alarmed and patting Eggsy firmly on the back, "No! Just no!"

 

"Christ, what the actual fuck, mate?"

 

Harry shrugged. "My apologies then."

 

Eggsy couldn't help but notice that Harry didn't look the slightest bit apologetic.

 

Smug motherfucker.

 

"Whatever's the matter then?" Harry asked.

 

Roxy spoke quietly, careful not to alert the other cafe patrons. She took in a deep breath.  "We have information that a minor car bomb is scheduled to go off tomorrow at 10:04AM."

 

If Harry was stunned, Eggsy would never have guessed. "Where?" Harry asked nonchalantly.  Like he's asking where the fuckin’ soy milk at the fuckin’ grocery store is.

 

"Outside the restaurant we were at," Eggsy supplied.

 

Harry frowned. "Alright."

 

Eggsy stared at him incredulously. "Okay, you're taking this way too fuckin' well."

 

"I suppose we can only alert the local authorities and be done with it.  They ought to be able to set up an evacuation plan in less than twenty-four hours.”  Harry looked at both of them pointedly.  “But that’s not what you wanted to talk about, is it?”

 

Just fuckin' do it, Eggsy.  Just fuckin' say it.

 

"Yer a Spy 'Arry," Eggsy suddenly blurted out, unintentionally doing a truly terrible impression of a certain famous literary half-giant.

 

Roxy looked at him, her face beyond unimpressed.   "Fucking really, Eggsy? Really?"

 

"The parallels are just too fuckin' uncanny, a'right?"

Chapter Text

“I’m asking if you’ll always forgive me.”

 

“I’ll always forgive you.  Alright?”  

 

“A’right.”

 

Eggsy sounded like he was trying not to to hyperventilate.  “Oh fuck, I fuckin’ broke him.”

 

“Are you alright?”  Roxy asked.

 

“Yeah, yeah, just gotta fuckin' breathe slower,” Eggsy replied.

 

“Not you, I was asking Harry.”

 

'Harry', not 'Uncle Harry.' He was getting a bit tired of being confused all the time.  “I suppose my lack of surprise at the news is somewhat reassuring.”

 

"S'not a yes," Eggsy muttered under his breath.

 

"No, it's not," Harry replied pointedly. He glanced around the cafe, waiting for a few more people to leave before speaking. "Constable Strong was investigating the robbery in my home. We could inform him of the situation."

 

Roxy and Eggsy exchanged a glance.

 

"About 'Constable Strong,'" Roxy began slowly.

 

"You should know first off that I fuckin' told him it was a fuckin' stupid name-"

 

Harry raised a hand and tried to suppress a sigh. "Anyone else I should know about?"

 

Roxy shook her head guiltily. "Just the three of us."

 

"We all admit to bein' fuckin' wankers," Eggsy added.

 

"I'll sort that mess out later," Harry said, feeling slightly too annoyed to care for their stories and excuses. He ignored the brief but terrified look in Eggsy's eyes and pretended it didn't bother him. "You must have told me this for a reason."

 

Roxy watched him carefully. "What do you think is going to happen?"

 

"What use is my opinion to you on this?" He countered. "Former life or not, I still don't remember much."

 

"Because I planted this," Roxy placed a small, clear, but slightly tea-stained object onto the table.  "And you shouldn't have been able to find it." Harry immediately recognised it as the bug he had given to 'Constable Strong.' "I know you don't remember, but your old instincts have given you away. We need to know how far they've taken you."

 

So the bugs weren't planted by the security technicians, Harry thought to himself. They were planted by 'family' and 'friends', who are in actuality, spies. Wonderful.

 

"So then," Roxy said with no other preamble. "A car bomb, exactly one suburb from here. Why?"

 

Harry glanced back and forth at the two, before downing the rest of his coffee.  He placed the cup back down gently. "It's a distraction. The car bomb would occupy the attention of the local police, ambulances and firemen. Given the delicacy surrounding any sort of bombing, neighbouring suburbs will typically lend their own emergency forces. Top that with news crews and the general populace and traffic would come to a standstill." Harry shrugged. "It's not the best plan, but it would certainly distract from the in-progress bank robbery, one suburb down."

 

There was a momentary silence and Harry wondered if his imagination had interpreted everything incorrectly. He feigned indifference and waited.

 

Eggsy let out a low whistle and looked over at Roxy. "That was pretty fuckin' cool."

 

Roxy gave a small nod in agreement. "Very impressive."

 

Harry felt a strange sense of pride, but chose to ignore it. "I would suggest disabling the car bomb as soon as possible."

 

"Already sorted, bruv. We got Percy to plant a dummy vehicle and a dud bomb in its place. No bomb is going off tomorrow," said Eggsy.

 

Harry had a thought. "I don't suppose any of this had to do with the day you were dressed as a mechanic?"

 

Eggsy seemed to shrink in his seat, guiltily. "Maybe. Okay, yes."

 

Harry nodded. "And Percy? Short for Percival?"

 

"It is," said Roxy. "Does the name sound familiar?"

 

Harry thought hard. "It does, though I'm not sure as to why." He rubbed at the side of his head, his recent memories piecing together differently now. Eggsy's broken ribs, Roxy's constant travelling, knowing Constable Strong's tea order, his own lack of surprise at a home invasion -

 

Eggsy snapped his fingers between Harry's eyes. ""Ey, none of that now. No fuckin' bottling your mental shit up. We’re right fuckin’ here if you want to talk.  And you should, given our fucked up industry."

 

Harry blinked. "Right, the ever-so honest industry of 'tailoring.'"

 

---

 

Okay, I probably deserved that.

 

"Tou-fuckin-che, Haz." Eggsy leaned back into his chair. "You don't have to talk to us, but you gotta go to therapy for this shit, a'right?"

 

Harry gave a slight nod.  “That sounds sensible.”

 

He still looks so fuckin’ calm, Eggsy thought.  He wasn’t entirely sure how Harry was going to take the news, though the words remarkably well were coming to mind now.  “This has all been surprisingly undramatic for a man who fuckin’ revels in dramatic flair.”

 

Harry shrugged.  “I’m sure I’ll make up for it later.”

 

"Or you could just fuckin' not."

 

Harry shook his head, clearing his throat as he stood up.  “Well this has all been rather enlightening, but I do have a job to go back to.”

 

Roxy raised her eyebrows.  “You’re going back to work?”

 

“What else am I supposed to do?”

 

It was a good question, one that neither Eggsy or Roxy had an answer to.  But Harry was beginning to move away and Eggsy couldn’t have that.  He stood and grabbed onto Harry’s forearm before he could walk too far.  “Wait, just fuckin’ wait, Haz.”

 

Harry turned around and Eggsy released his arm.  He took a step closer to speak in a hushed whisper. “We literally just fuckin’ said that there’s gonna be a fuckin’ bank heist tomorrow and you’re going back to work?  Are you fuckin’ insane?”

 

“I don’t know,” Harry replied, his calm demeanour fading away slightly.  “Was I?  Is that something you would actually know?  I suppose I have no real way of confirming if you knew me before all this.”

 

“Just fuckin’ shut up, Haz, just,” Eggsy took in a deep breath.  “Just don’t go to work tomorrow, a’right?  It’ll probably be fuckin’ dangerous, so just don’t go to work.”

 

“I’m sure you won’t let it come to that.”

 

Eggsy blinked.  “What?”

 

Harry gave him a hard look.  “You’ll stop the bank heist before it happens.  And something tells me that both you and Roxy are excellent at what you do.”  He tilted his head.  “You certainly fooled me.”

 

And with that, Harry left.  Eggsy stood still in a stunned silence.

 

“Should I shoot him with an amnesia dart?”  Roxy eventually asked.

 

Eggsy mentally shook himself.  “No, fuck it, let’s get back to HQ.  We got a lot of shit to do.”

 

Chapter Text

"How did it go?" Merlin asked.

 

The young knights spoke over each other

 

"Alright, all things considered," said Roxy.

 

"Tremendously fuckin' awful," said Eggsy.

 

Merlin raised an eyebrow. "Well, at least I know which of the two of you is the optimist."

 

Roxy shrugged and Eggsy grumbled incoherently under his breath.

 

"What was that, Galahad?"

 

"I said 'let's just stop this fuckin' bank heist from happening,'" Eggsy replied.

 

Roxy shook her head. "He actually said, 'Harry's a fuckin' mental wanker, fuckin' can't get him to stay the fuck home for fuckin' shit.'"

 

"Fuck you, Roxy." Eggsy paused. "Your impression of me has gotten better though."

 

"Why thank you," she replied dryly.

 

"You're fuckin' welcome," he replied. "C'mon, let's go through the fuckin' footage and stop this fuckin' heist."

 

---

 

Roxy typed busily at her computer. "Do you think it's strange that we haven't been able to detect any weapons?"

 

"I was just about to fuckin' say that," Eggsy replied. "Who the fuck does a bank heist with no weapons?"

 

Roxy picked up the report Merlin's Minions had left on her desk, quickly flicking through their list of suspects. "They're all legally security guards. I suppose the only weapons we'll be seeing are their standard issue firearms. Probably tasers as well."

 

Eggsy nodded. "Easy enough to deal with then." He reached for his own Merlin Minion made report. "What about the bank vault though?" He looked up at the screen, watching the team of four security technicians. "I haven't seen them plant any explosives anywhere yet."

 

"I suppose we'll need to plan for them taking employee hostages then. They'll need three keys in order to access the vault 'normally.'"

 

"Right, so Haz's got the key that leads to the bank vault. So that's one key down."

 

"Then the bank manager has the other, which makes two."

 

Eggsy sighed. "And the final key floats amongst the bank tellers randomly. We won't fuckin' know who that'll be until tomorrow morning."

 

"I don't like the risk either, but we can only plan with what we have," Roxy reasoned. She glanced over a map of the area. She pointed at a building near to the bank. "I'm thinking of setting up a sniper point here. Can't hurt." She paused. "I mean, apart from the obvious - but you know what I mean."

 

"Better to be safe than sorry," Eggsy agreed. "You want me up there?"

 

Roxy shook her head. "I'll go, you stay on ground."

 

"A'right."

 

They both fell into a silence, drafting plan after plan.

 

---

 

Eggsy was adding a few extra details to another one of his bank heist drafts when a minion entered the room. "'Ey minion."

 

The minion gave him a look. "We have names, you know."

 

Eggsy shrugged. "Fair enough. What's your name?"

 

"Beezeow."

 

Eggsy stared at him for a moment too long. "I'm sorry, what was that?"

 

"Beezeow."

 

"Alright, Bee... Zeow," Eggsy repeated slowly. "What do you have for me?"

 

Beezeow handed a file over. "We caught this on CCTV twenty minutes ago. Looks like your suspects have stolen four dead bodies from the medical university's morgue."

 

Eggsy looked over the file quickly. "That's fuckin' rank. Thanks Beez."

 

The minion left and Eggsy handed the file over to Roxy, who took it without looking up from her work.

 

"Why would they steal dead bodies?" Eggsy asked.

 

"I have no idea, Galahad." She glanced over the file. "That minion was absolutely trolling you, by the way."

 

"Fuckin' knew it."

 

"No you didn't."

 

"Fuck off, Lancelot."

 

---

 

They had drafted twenty-two different plans when Roxy asked, "Are you alright, Eggsy?"

 

"Fuckin' dandy," he replied, not looking up from his notes. "And you?"

 

"Wonderful," she replied.

 

She waited.

 

And sure enough, Eggsy eventually sighed and rubbed his eyes. "Actually, I take back what I said, I feel like fuckin' shit."

 

"Thank goodness for that, I was worried that I was the only one," she said, moving her chair away from her computer.

 

"You know I asked him, Haz, I mean, if he'd always forgive me."

 

Roxy raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

 

"I know, fuckin' dick move. But the amnesiac fucker said he would, 'always', he said." Eggsy laughed to himself. "Fuckin' bet he wishes he could take that back now."

 

She reached out and placed her hand on his arm. "Like you said before, we've all been utter wankers. And in Harry's defence, he has every right to be angry."

 

"I know, I fuckin' know." Eggsy fiddled with the pen on his desk. "I just can't believe he's going to fuckin' work tomorrow."

 

"That doesn't surprise me, actually."

 

He looked up at her. "Why the fuck not?"

 

Roxy shrugged. "He might have been a spy before all this, a damned great one at that, but that's all long and gone now, isn't it? What place does he have within Kingsman now?"

 

Eggsy was silent for a moment. "He can be the official Kingsman scone maker."

 

Roxy laughed in spite of the situation. "Of course! It would do excellent for morale."

 

"Exactly. I'm fuckin' writing up a business case to Merlin.  And he's bound to have a fuckin' chef outfit somewhere."

 

"Where does he get all these outfits anyhow?"

 

"I have no fuckin' clue Rox."

 

"Do you think he sews them himself?"

 

"I fuckin' hope he does," he replied with a laugh.

 

Her own smile faded as she watched her friend suddenly descend into his chair, his face becoming serious again. "Fuck Rox, I'm so fuckin' worried about him."

 

"I am too." She looked back at their plans. "Let's just get this right."

 

---

 

It was 10AM and Harry was trying very hard to not look at his watch again. He walked straight into the bank manager instead. "Good lord, I am so sorry."

 

The bank manager thankfully laughed it off. "Good morning to you too, Harry."

 

Harry smiled, somewhat embarrassed. "Good morning. Are you alright?"

 

She straightened herself up. "Perfectly fine, I assure you. I've just come around to tell everyone to go home early."

 

Harry raised his eyebrows. "Oh? Why's that?"

 

"The security technicians have spotted something wrong with the vault." She lowered her voice to a whisper. "They think Alexander Warwick tampered with it before he resigned."

 

"I see. Will you be heading off soon yourself?"

 

She nodded. "As soon as everyone is out, yes."

 

"Would you like any help in telling people?" Harry offered.

 

"Has anyone ever told you that you're a perfect gentleman, Harry?" She slapped his arm playfully. "How on earth are you single?"

 

"By adamantly refusing to ever be happy, of course," he said with a wry smile. "You ought to give it a go, the loneliness can be profoundly crippling."

 

She shook her head. "You're a strange one, Harry."

 

"I do try. I'll inform the next floor."

 

---

 

Eggsy pulled his cap lower over his eyes. "The fuck is going on in there, Merlin?"

 

"The bank manager has instructed that all employees go home for the day," Merlin replied through Eggsy's unassuming white earphones.

 

Eggsy watched another swarm of bank employees exit the building. "Bit convenient, innit?"

 

"A bit."

 

He pretended to look at his phone. "Less civilians to worry about at least. Anything else I should be watching for?"

 

"The suspects were spotted wheeling large metal cases into the building this morning."

 

"How large?"

 

"Human-sized."

 

Eggsy winced. "Morgue bodies?"

 

"Possibly."

 

"Fuckin' rank."

 

"Aye."

 

Eggsy resisted the urge to look up. "How you doin' up there, Lancelot?"

 

"Fine," she answered. "The infrared scope can see through quite a lot of the building. I can see five adult figures inside. Merlin's assured me that these bullets can pierce right through brick wall."

 

"Really? Fuckin' nice. Merlin always gives you all the cool shit."

 

"Lancelot does as she's told, unlike someone I know," Merlin said pointedly.

 

Eggsy pouted. "Christ, you blow up seventeen buildings one time and it fucks you over for life."

 

Another batch of employees left.

 

"I've counted one hundred and ninety-four employees to have exited. That everyone?"

 

"Should be one hundred and ninety-five," Merlin replied.

 

Eggsy felt the ground rumble.  He looked at the glassed entrance to the bank. "The ground just shook."

 

The bank entrance lights suddenly went red. Eggsy could hear heavy mechanical bolts slide into place. "Merlin, the bank's gone into lockdown. Is the roof compromised at all?"

 

"No, it's still a viable entrance. Make a move, Galahad."

 

Eggsy ran to the side of the building, quickly glancing around before scaling the side of the bank. "Are they in the vault yet?"

 

"Yes, but I've no eyes inside there."

 

Eggsy pulled himself up onto a ledge, before jumping up onto a higher one. "Fuckin' told you, Lancelot. We could've gotten bugs in the vault with a bit of C4." He jumped again, getting closer to the top.

 

"And this is yet another reason Merlin won't give you nice things," she replied in his ear piece. "You've got some unstable looking limestone above you, by the way."

 

Eggsy avoided the limestone, reaching for another part of the building instead. "Thanks Lancelot."

 

"Not to worry, Galahad."

 

Eggsy had reached the bank roof. He dusted his hands as he jogged to the stairs. The building shook. "The fuck was that?"

 

"I'd say another very minor explosive. It sounds like they're using smaller bombs to open the vault.  It'll take a bit longer, but it'll cause less noise," Merlin answered.

 

"Where are they?"

 

"Basement three."

 

"Good, they won't hear this then." Eggsy kicked the locked stairwell door open. He began to jog down the stairs. "Have their cameras moved?"

 

"No, still only on the third floor and down."

 

"A'right, gives me time then."

 

Eggsy reached the fourth floor. "Hey, you mentioned one employee didn't get out before. What floor are they on? I'll move them to the roof."

 

He listened to Merlin tap at his keyboard. The Scot eventually scoffed.

 

"What, Merlin?"

 

"Hazard a guess at who fuckin' stayed behind."

 

Eggsy felt his heart drop. "Please tell me you're takin' the fuckin' piss."

 

"Sadly no."

 

Eggsy sighed and reached over to push open the fourth floor door. It was locked. "Help me out here, Merl-"

 

The door clicked open.

 

Eggsy blinked. "That was fuckin' fast."

 

"I didn't open it," Merlin replied.

 

Eggsy pulled out his gun and kicked the door open. He aimed.

 

Harry raised his hands. "Hello Eggsy."

 

Eggsy lowered his gun and Harry lowered his hands. "Haz, I have half a mind to fuckin' kill you."

 

"Only half? I'd say my odds are quite good then," he replied.

 

Fuckin' smooth motherfucker. "What the fuck you think you're doin?  All employees are supposed to be outta here."

 

Harry held up a keycard pass.  “I thought you might want this.  They’re in basement three."

 

"You couldn't have given this to me yesterday?"

 

Harry shrugged. "I had to steal it from my boss first."

 

Eggsy stared.  “Right then.”  He paused.  “I probably shouldn’t find that charming.”

 

He handed the keycard over.  “Probably not, no.”

 

“Are you two gonna kiss or what?”  Roxy suddenly hissed in his ear piece.  

 

“Fuck off,” Eggsy replied automatically.

 

Harry nodded.  “Right then, I’ll stay out of your way.”

 

“Wait, not you, I meant - wait - fuck - just take this,” Eggsy handed him one of his handguns.  “You just have to - “

 

Harry pointed the gun downwards, quickly unloading it to check the magazine, chamber and barrel before reloading it.  

 

“Uh, yeah, that,” Eggsy said dumbly.

 

Harry appeared similarly confused.  “That was odd.”

 

And just a little fuckin' hot.  “Just fuckin’ head to the roof, I’ll meet you there in a sec, a’right?”  Eggsy poked Harry square in the ribs.  “And don’t do anything fuckin’ stupid while you’re there.”

Chapter Text

Roxy re-adjusted herself on her stomach, moving her sniper into a slightly better position when a shadow suddenly loomed over her. She frowned. "Merlin, are there any scheduled helicopter flights within the area today?"

 

"Negative, Lancelot," he answered.

 

"It seems I may have a new target then."

 

"Don't tell me -"

 

"That they've picked a helicopter as their mode of escape?"  

 

Merlin sighed. "I said don't tell me."

 

"Well too bad. Shall I change targets?"

 

“No need.”  She listened to him type away on his computer. "I can't risk jamming their equipment while it's still in air. Focus on being support for Galahad until it lands."

 

"Yes sir."

 

---

 

“Merlin?”

 

“Yes Galahad?”

 

“Haz on his way to the roof?”

 

“Affirmative.”

 

“Does he look like he might do something stupid?”

 

Merlin paused.  “Negative, though that may change when the helicopter lands.”

 

Eggsy used Harry's stolen access pass to enter the elevator, swiping for basement three.  “Sorry bruv, I thought you just said 'helicopter.' Can you repeat that for me?" He jumped up against the elevator's side railing to make quick work of the locked ceiling hatch as the elevator began to descend.

 

"You have two minutes and forty-one seconds until the elevator reaches basement three. Also, I did say helicopter."

 

Eggsy barely stopped himself from falling off the railing because the thought of Harry vs Helicopter was not fucking on.

 

He found his grip and focused on picking the elevator ceiling lock instead. "So Haz is heading to the roof," he re-confirmed as the door popped open, "And a fuckin' helicopter is going to be there?" He pulled himself through the hatch, before crouching down low on the moving elevator roof.

 

“Affirmative.”

 

"Fuckin' not affirmative." Eggsy glanced about the outer elevator mechanism, trying to gauge whether it would be worth rigging any of the structural cables.  "I sent him to the fuckin' roof so he'd be safe."

 

"You'll be in basement three in fifty-eight seconds." Merlin paused. "And Harry will be safe. As soon as the helicopter lands, I'll jam their equipment."

 

Eggsy braced himself for the slow impact of the stopping elevator. "And if the pilot is armed?"

 

"Then Lancelot can intervene. Your main objective is to stop the bank heist, Galahad.  When you've stopped the heist, you can worry about Harry."

 

Eggsy suppressed the urge to grumble incoherently under his breath.

 

"Someone's approaching the elevator," Merlin said abruptly. "Wait."

 

The elevator stopped. Eggsy waited for the sound of the elevator door to open.

 

"Now!"

 

Eggsy jumped down from the ceiling hatch, landing directly behind one of the security technicians. He wrapped his arm around the man's neck and waited. With very little struggle, the man passed out and Eggsy let go. "Fair call, Merlin.  I'm just really fuckin' worried about him, a'right?" He dragged the body out of the elevator.

 

"There's a supply closet to your left."

 

Eggsy propped the unconscious man against the various cleaning products, shifting a vacuum cleaner aside to make room. "And I just still feel like utter shit 'cause he's still mad at us, ya know?" He closed the supply closet door shut before the body could topple out.

 

"Behind you!"

 

Eggsy turned and fired an amnesia dart in-between the eyes of another security technician. He heard a body drop. "But not proper mad, just mildly mad in that fuckin' repressed English gentleman way."

 

"There's a relatively dark corner up ahead, drag the other body there."

 

Eggsy sighed, dragging the security technician by his ankle into the dark corner. "Also, don't you reckon it's seriously fuckin' concerning that we tell him that he's a spy and he immediately puts himself in fuckin' danger literally the next day?"

 

"Galahad, this really isn't the time," Merlin muttered with a long-suffering sigh. "Bank heist first, remember?"

 

Eggsy grumbled, knocking another security technician out with the butt of his handgun.  “Fuckin' fine."

 

"You can pour your feelings out to Lancelot later," Merlin suggested.

 

"Or he can save us both the trouble and pour his feelings out to Harry," Roxy quipped in his earpiece.

 

"Fuck both of you." Eggsy paused, suddenly feeling queasy as he approached a truly awful smell. "Fuck, it reeks in here."

 

"The stolen morgue bodies?" Merlin asked.

 

"Fuckin' hope so. If this smell is from something living, I'll have to shoot it on principle." Eggsy approached the bank vault slowly. The security technicians had hooked up explosives all along the walls. He spotted one security technician kneeling to add another set of explosives to the wall.

 

He approached him quietly, before hitting him hard against the head.

 

The body dropped cold.  And more confusingly to Eggsy, dead.

 

"What the fuck?" Eggsy inspected the body closer. The man was dressed like the other security technicians, but he didn't recognise his face from the reports. "Who the fuck is this?"

 

"It seems that you have found one of the four stolen morgue bodies," said Merlin.

 

Eggsy glanced at the security technician uniform and then at the explosives. "Huh. They were gonna steal the money and blow this place up. They dressed up some dead bodies in their uniforms to make it look like they died in the explosion."

 

“Yes and they would have gotten away with it too, if weren’t for you meddling kids,” Merlin replied sarcastically.  

 

Eggsy rolled his eyes.  “Lancelot, do you recognise that reference?”

 

“Not in the slightest, Galahad,” Roxy replied.

 

Youths,” Merlin muttered with sheer disdain.  "There's one more security technician up ahead.  See if you can get a confession.”

 

Eggsy could see him.  He approached him slowly, deliberately taking the safety off his handgun slowly, but loudly.

 

The figure froze and turned around, grabbing for his own weapon much too late.  

 

Alexander Warwick.

 

Eggsy was two metres away, though he knew his aim wouldn’t fail him.  Alexander Warwick was getting a bullet between the eyes if he tried anything funny.

 

The former bank security guard seemed to understand this.  He lowered his own gun to the floor slowly and raised his hands.  Alexander seemed tired.  He shook his head.  “I told them this idea wouldn’t work.”

 

“Why help them then?”  Eggsy asked.

 

Alexander shrugged.  “They took my son.  They said they would drop him off on the roof when they saw the money.”

 

---

 

Harry had learned that his own security pass couldn’t work on elevators when the bank was in lockdown.  He had also learned that he very much despised climbing stairs after walking up the eleventh flight.

 

He continued to trudge upwards, occasionally staring at the handgun that fit strangely comfortably in his hand.  

 

SIG-Sauer P220, short recoil, locked breech semi-automatic pistol, his brain supplied helpfully.

 

Harry shook his head.  Whatever that means.

 

He eventually reached the top of the stairs.  Hand on the door to exit, he paused at the strangely familiar noise coming from outside.  The noise was consistent and apparently coming closer with every second.

 

A helicopter?

 

Harry looked around the staircase.  Eggsy didn’t mention anything about a helicopter.   He wasn’t willing to take any chances in thinking that the helicopter might be ‘friendly.’  Good lord, I really do hope that my paranoia is to do with all that spy business and not just my nature.  He spotted a cigarette that someone must have dropped while trying to head out for a sneaky smoke on the roof.  He picked it up.  Perfect.

 

He checked that the safety was still switched on his handgun and placed it in the inside of his suit jacket.  This would probably be easier with shoulder holsters.  He shrugged the thought away and pushed the door open, holding the cigarette between two fingers.

 

He just managed to see the helicopter make a landing.  

 

---

 

Roxy was worried.  “Merlin, I see at least two people armed on that helicopter.”

 

“I’m jamming it now.  Change targets, Lancelot.”

 

“Changing targets.”

 

“Make it quick,” Merlin replied, as she heard him pressing each key on his keyboard with more vehemence than he typically would.

 

“As quick as I can be with a sniper rifle, you mean,” she muttered, needing to re-adjust her positioning completely.  She began to re-align her scope, slowly finding her target with the helicopter pilot.  “Correction, there are three armed men on the helicopter and one hostage.  I believe it’s Robert Warwick.”

 

Merlin was quiet for the moment as he weighed up their priorities.  “Hold your fire for now, Lancelot.  We can’t risk you shooting through the helicopter and damaging it.  We’ll need each man to exit the helicopter first.  Wait for my signal.”

 

“Yes Sir,” she replied quietly.  “And Harry?”

 

“Ideally, he goes back inside and hides in the bank.”    

 

Roxy was dubious at best.  “But realistically?”

 

“Realistically, he does something profoundly stupid as he typically does when I’m unable to communicate with him.”  Merlin made a frustrated noise.  “Christ Harry, I fuckin’ had hair before you came along.”

 

---

 

Two very obviously armed men marched towards Harry.  One gave him a very confused look, while the other looked incredibly angry.  The pilot remained in his seat.

 

Harry had the cigarette halfway to his lips, when he paused as they approached closer to him.  He raised his hands slightly in a show of surrender.    “If this is what I think it is, then you ought to know that this is a very extreme way to get people to quit smoking.”  

 

The confused man looked at the angry one and it was all the distraction Harry needed.  He pulled out his handgun and hit the confused man hard in the temple with the base of the gun.  

 

The confused man crumpled to the ground, as Harry flicked the cigarette into the eye of the angry man.  The man clutched at his eye, as Harry grabbed onto his shoulders to drive his knee into the angry man’s chin.  

 

He moved quickly to aim the gun at the pilot, just as the other man fell to the pavement.

 

And that’s when shots began to fire.

 

Harry ran, faster than he thought could after climbing up an ungodly amount of stairs, before hiding behind the small concrete structure that gave access to the staircase he had originated from.  He glanced around.  Not much cover.  Probably bad.  Harry pressed his back to the wall, listening to the blind fire of the helicopter pilot.  

 

---

 

Alexander was handcuffed and walking up the stairs, followed by Eggsy who was cursing the fact that the security pass didn’t work on the elevators while the bank was in lockdown.

 

“It was a security precaution,” Alexander pointed out.  “Back when I was guard, we thought it best that the elevator worked to go down into the vault, but not work on it’s way up.  Harder to carry the money out that way.”

 

“Yeah, well it fuckin’ sucks to be us right now, a’right?”

 

“Galahad, there’s been a development,” Merlin said through his earpiece.

 

Eggsy lumbered up the stairs.  “Good news?”

 

“Good news, Harry knocked out two potentially very bad men.  Bad news, he’s being shot at.”

 

Eggsy practically shoved Alexander up the stairs, leaping up the stairs two at a time with a burst of energy.  “God-fucking-dammit, Haz, how does dangerous shit keep finding you?”

 

---

 

“Galahad is on his way.  He should be able to take care of the pilot.  Might take a shot or two when he opens the stairwell door, but the suit can take it.”  Merlin pushed up his glasses.  “Lancelot, I need you to pack up and meet Galahad and Harry on the bank roof.”

 

He could hear the frown in her voice.  “Sir?”

 

“I need someone to fly them out and you’re the only one with your pilot license who doesn’t crash or explode things, nor do you have amnesia.”

 

“Fair call, packing up now, Merlin.”

 

---

 

Given how many bullets Harry had heard go by, he was now willing to bet that the pilot had several guns and was potentially not going to run out of ammo any time soon.  I’m going to have to take some risks, it seems.

 

He made his way away from the wall furthest from the pilot, pressing himself close to the adjacent wall.  The pilot seemed to be firing blindly, which helped the situation somewhat.

 

It was then that he could hear the faint sound of -

 

“-Jesus fucking christ Haz, you’re a fuckin’ shit, I may actually kill you when I find your stupidly dimpled smiley face and then maybe apologise for all the lies and shit, but fuck, you stole somethin’ for me which is apparently the way to my stupid fuckin’ heart-”

 

Harry found himself smiling at the faint but familiar voice despite the terrible situation.

 

The pilot finally seemed to be re-loading and Harry mentally shook himself for being distracted.  He peered his head around the wall adjacent to the stairwell door where he could hear Eggsy approaching.  

 

Harry watched the door re-open and his heart suddenly seemed to slow down.  The pilot had re-loaded his gun and was now aiming it at the open door.

 

He moved on instinct and blocked the open door with his body.

 

Pilot has a short caliber round, 4 metres, his brain supplied.  The suit can handle it.

 

The sudden burning in his chest suggested otherwise.

 

Harry ignored it, lifting the safety off his gun and pulled the trigger.  With a crude sense of satisfaction, he watched it drive straight into the pilot’s forehead.  

 

The pilot was dead.  The bank heist was over.

 

Mission successful then, he thought, feeling less confused than he had in nearly a year.  Paperwork might be a bit awful, his brain thought to add.

 

The burning in his chest suddenly spread and Harry finally glanced down. A bright red was slowly spreading across his no longer white shirt. A perfectly neat bullet-shaped hole had burrowed itself through his navy tie and into his chest.

 

Eggsy was suddenly in front of him, his eyes wide.

 

"Shame, I liked this tie," he said to Eggsy before falling over.

Chapter Text

“Shit!  Fuckin’ shit,  Harry. What the fuck were you thinking!"

 

Harry had never seen Eggsy look so terrified.  He could feel Eggsy press hard against the gunshot wound in his chest with both hands.  The pain was so excruciating that Harry tried to pry Eggsy’s hands away.  

 

Eggsy pressed on, “Just fuckin’ stay still, Harry,” and Harry settled on just gripping onto Eggsy’s hand.

 

“You called me Harry,” he said through gritted teeth.

 

“So fucking what?”  Eggsy replied angrily, though he could feel the younger man’s hands shaking underneath his.

 

“You never call me Harry,” he replied weakly.

 

“I’ll call you whatever the fuck you want, just stay the fuck awake and quit fucking bleeding everywhere.”

 

Harry was trying to stay awake.  He really was.  Don’t close... eyes…

 

“Harry!”  Eggsy pressed impossibly harder, the pain jolting him awake.  “Harry, you stupidly broad-shouldered idiot, you should have just fuckin' let him shoot me."

 

What an utterly ludicrous thing to say, Harry thought idly.

 

Eggsy sounded beyond distressed. "I would have been alright, swear down."

 

It took awhile but Harry eventually came up with a response.  “I wouldn't have been alright with that." His eyes felt heavy. "Not at all."

 

"Galahad, we have to move him onto the helicopter. Here, I'll help."

 

The voice sounded an awful lot like his niece.

 

Well, she’s not really my niece, is she?

 

Harry felt the pressure alleviate from his chest.  Before he knew it he was suddenly wondering how on earth he had gotten inside the helicopter.  

 

He stared up at Eggsy.  “Galahad," he said, confused as to why that sounded so familiar. "Is that you?”  

 

He thought he could hear Eggsy’s choked sob.  Wrong thing to say, it seems.  He tried to reach for Eggsy’s hand.  He tried to smile.

 

“Galahad suits you,” Harry managed to say before passing out.

 

---

 

Roxy looked over at her friend as he sat in the Kingsman Infirmary waiting area, his elbows resting against his knees and his hands clasped together.  He looked exhausted.

 

“I’m getting him another Kingsman suit,” he said, not looking up at her.  “And when he gets better, I’m going to fucking shoot him for being such a fucking idiot.”

 

She sat next to him.  They both stared out at the swinging emergency room doors.  “He was trying to save you.”

 

“I would have been fine!”  He shouted angrily, looking at her.

 

“Yes, but he didn’t know that,” she said gently.

 

Her soothing voice seemed to rile him up even more.  “He would have fuckin’ knew if we had just been honest with him from the fuckin’ start!” She almost expected him to throw something, but he didn't. "Fuck, how did any of us think that this was a good fuckin' idea!"

 

She stared at him impassively.  “Well, hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?  It is what it is, Eggsy.”

 

Eggsy’s face fell, his anger melting away into guilt, then sadness.  “Yeah, it is.”  He sighed, looking back at the emergency room doors.  “Sorry I yelled at you, Rox.”

 

“It’s alright,” she replied, too concerned to really be mad.

 

“Christ, how the fuck is this even happening?" He asked miserably. "He’s a civilian.  You’d think that’d make him safer.”

 

Roxy shrugged.  “I suppose even the great Harry Hart can’t be good at everything.”

 

Eggsy chuckled.  “Yeah, only Harry would be utter shite at being a civilian.”

 

“At least he makes wonderful scones.”

 

He laughed.  “Fuck, you really are obsessed, aren’t you?”

 

“They’re excellent scones, Eggsy.”

 

“Whatever makes you happy, Rox-e-lot.”

 

She leaned her head against Eggsy's shoulder, fatigue setting in. "You going to be alright, Eggsy?"

 

"I'll be a whole lot fuckin' better when he wakes up." He leaned his cheek on top of her head. "How you feeling?"

 

The words flew out of her mouth before she had a chance to think. "I feel like my uncle just got shot." She paused. "I feel like shit, in other words."

 

"Well that makes three of us."

 

Roxy glanced up at Merlin, who looked as exhausted as the both of them, but was valiantly still typing away on his tablet.

 

"What's happening to the Warwick's?" She asked.

 

"They're going into witness protection services. The Warwick's were legally confirmed dead as of today. They'll have new names and new lives now." He took a seat next to Eggsy, still typing away.

 

"And the security technicians?" Eggsy asked.

 

"All going to prison." Merlin typed a final note and placed his tablet down. He pulled off his glasses to rub the bridge of his nose. "You two heard from the doctor?"

 

"Nothing as yet," Roxy replied.

 

Merlin put his glasses back on and crossed his arms. "He'll pull through. Harry's always had trouble with staying dead."

 

---

 

Oh for fuck’s sake, Harry thought through the substantial pain.  Not this tripe again.  He opened his eyes slowly, the bright white of the room slowly coming into focus.  He could see a blurry figure to his side.  

 

“You’re awake much earlier than expected,” a voice answered.

 

Harry tried to focus in on the figure.  “I’ve a strange feeling that I spend too much of my time passed out.”

 

“Thought you’d break that habit today then, have you?”

 

Harry would have shrugged if he could.  

 

“Can you tell me your name?”

 

“Harry Hart,” he replied.

 

“And what do you remember?”

 

Harry did pause at that.  He didn’t know this person.  He didn’t even know where he was.  “Who are you?”  He asked instead.

 

“I’m Doctor Brunswick.  Head surgeon for Kingsman,” she replied.

 

Is that where I am?  At ‘Kingsman’?  “Why would the head surgeon from a place I’ve never heard of operate on me?”

 

“Because your friends requested that I do,” she said, nonplussed at what surely was a strange question.  

 

“And who would my ‘friends’ be?”

 

“Galahad, Lancelot and Merlin, of course,” she replied, as though it were a perfectly ordinary sentence.

 

“Of course,” Harry repeated slowly.

 

He watched the doctor fiddle with a medical contraption to this left.  “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much pain are you in?”

 

Harry wanted to say 11.  “I’m fine,” he said instead.

 

The doctor shrugged.  “I don’t believe you in the slightest, but suit yourself.”  She glanced at what was probably his medical chart.  “You’ve lost quite a lot of blood.  I’ll be back a bit later to arrange for another transfusion.”  And with that, she left.

 

---

 

Doctor Brunswick cleared her throat. "Well isn't this a sweet picture?"

 

Eggsy blinked his eyes awake, the side of his face wet with drool. He stared at the wet patch in Roxy's hair. "Oh shit."  

 

He couldn't see Roxy's face. The tone in her voice suggested that he might be spending his afternoon digging a shallow grave for himself. "Did you just drool in my hair, Eggsy?"

 

"No," he lied immediately.

 

She gave him a sharp look and he immediately backtracked.  "A'right, maybe, but it's been a shit day."

 

She rolled her eyes and to his utter amazement, she let it go.

 

Eggsy looked to his other side, only to be greeted by a passed out Merlin, whose long body was draped over six of the waiting room chairs. He slapped the Scot hard on the shoulder. "Wake up, Sleeping Baldy!"

 

"Fuck off, Eggsy," Merlin muttered as he sat up slowly, just barely awake.

 

The doctor cleared her throat again and Eggsy suddenly remembered why he was awake in the first place.

 

"G’morning, doc," he greeted.

 

"Good evening, Galahad."

 

Eggsy blinked. Fuck, how long were we out for? "How's Harry?"

 

"Awake," she answered with a smile. "He's been awake for a little while, actually."

 

"How is he?" Roxy asked carefully.

 

“Remarkably paranoid,” replied the doctor.

 

Merlin snorted.  “So he’s fine then.”

 

“Actually, he’s in a lot of pain.”  Doctor Brunswick glanced over her notes.  “He doesn’t seem to recognise where he is and I believe he’s refusing medication on that basis.  Perhaps you three can persuade him?”

 

 

Chapter Text

“You go in,” said Roxy.

 

Eggsy blanched.  “Fuck off Rox, we all go in.”

 

“He was shot literally this morning.  Don’t you think the three of us will be a bit overwhelming?”  Roxy pointed out.

 

“Fair call, I volunteer Merlin as tribute.”

 

Merlin bristled.  “Wait, why do I have to go in?”

 

“You’ve known him longer,” said Roxy.

 

You pretended to be his niece, you go in,” Merlin replied with a snap.

 

Roxy snapped back.  “You’re his best friend.”

 

“Alright,” Merlin conceded temporarily.  “But Eggsy’s the one ass over tits for him - “

 

“Fuck you!”  Eggsy exclaimed.

 

“Excellent point, Eggsy should do it,” Roxy said with a nod.  “You can confess your undying love while you’re there.”

 

“Fuck both of you!”

 

“It may be too late to be pointing this out - “ Harry’s voice suddenly interrupted.

 

Eggsy, Merlin and Roxy froze, staring at the door to Harry’s hospital room.

 

“But I can actually hear you all from here.”

 

Roxy and Merlin gave each other a single look, before briskly walking away.

 

“You’re absolutely right Roxy, the three of us would be far too overwhelming.  All the best, Eggsy,” said Merlin with a fleeting pat on Eggsy’s shoulder.

 

“Yes, I’m sure you’ll be fine,” Roxy added with a smile and a thumbs up.

 

“Wait, where the fuck do you guys think you’re -”

 

The Kingsman infirmary doors swung shut.

 

“-going.”  Eggsy finished lamely.  He stared at the doors.  “Are they fuckin’ serious?”

 

“I imagine so,” Harry answered for him after a beat.  

 

Eggsy felt his face grow hot.  Ah fuck, now what do I do?  He bit down his embarrassment and stepped inside the hospital room.

 

---

 

Eggsy stood at the foot of the hospital bed, his posture slouched and his hands shoved deep in his pockets.

 

“Are you alright?”  Harry asked eventually.

 

“Shouldn’t I be the one askin’ that?  Since you was the one that was shot and all.”

 

“I’m fine,” he replied.

 

Eggsy scoffed.  “Fuckin’ liar.”

 

Harry wanted to sigh, but he had a feeling that it would hurt terribly.  “Have a seat, if you like.”

 

He watched the younger man slump into the chair by his bedside.  He looked far more tired than Harry would have liked.  “Doc say’s you won’t take anything for the pain,” Eggsy mumbled.

 

“I’ve had a rather interesting past two days.  It turns out that I was a spy in a former life - a spy that was being spied on, of all the inane things,” Harry deadpanned.  “So you’ll have to excuse me when I say that I’m struggling to trust people at present.”

 

“‘S’all very valid points,” Eggsy muttered.  “But you should still fuckin’ take something for the pain. The only dangerous thing in here is the shitty food, I promise."

 

"Alright.”

 

Eggsy looked surprised, as though he were expecting more of an argument.  He made a move to leave.  "A'right, I'll go get the nurse -"

 

"Wait,” Harry said before he could think.  “Please stay.”

 

Eggsy sat back down, despite looking like he very much wanted to run away.

 

“Only if you want to,” Harry re-clarified.

 

Eggsy fidgeted uncomfortably.  “I’m stayin.’”

 

Harry tried to take in a deep breath, before gesturing to the scar above is his eye.  “What happened to me?”

 

"You were on a mission in Kentucky investigating a lead on Richmond Valentine," Eggsy stated slowly and calmly, speaking with none of his usual rough charm.  He sounded as though he were reading a report. "You were shot in the head and pronounced dead. In the chaos after the V-day attacks, we were unable to find your body for three months. We eventually held a funeral for you."

 

What an entirely perverse situation.  "Was it a lovely service?" Harry asked.

 

"Fuckin' really, Haz?  That’s your worry here?" Eggsy interjected.

 

"Just curious."

 

"Yes, it was fuckin' lovely service," Eggsy replied with an eyeroll. "The pianist played Candle in the Wind by Elton John. Merlin might have even shed a tear once or twice."

 

"I despise that song."

 

"That's what Merlin said," Eggsy replied with a shrug. "I think he expected you to come back to life out of spite. But, as it turns out, you were in a fuckin’ coma in a hospital in St Louis.  Roxy ended up finding you on accident.  She had to pretend to be your niece so that she could take you back to London."

 

"So she's not my real niece.”

 

"Don't be too fuckin' hard on her, Haz. She was just trying to get you back home.”

 

Harry swallowed.  “And who is Merlin?”

 

“You’d know him as ‘Constable Strong,’” Eggsy clarified.  “You’ve been friends for ages.”

 

That would leave Roxy as Lancelot then.  I don't seem to have a family either.  “And you?”

 

Eggsy frowned.  “What about me?”

 

“Galahad, was it?”

 

"M'name's Gary technically," he mumbled. "But don't you ever call me that, 'cause I fuckin' hate it."  He shook his head.  "Besides, you've always called me Eggsy."

 

Harry thought back to the restaurant, when Eggsy had first had dinner with him after he had been stood up on his blind date.  It feels like such a long time ago now.  “How did we actually meet, Eggsy?”

 

Eggsy reached for a pendant around his neck that Harry never noticed he wore.  The younger man pressed the pendant into Harry’s hand for inspection.

 

The letter ‘K’ on it’s side.  ‘Kingsman’, I suppose.  He glanced at the date and phone number engraved on the back, unsure of the significance of it.

 

“You gave that to me back when I was a kid,” Eggsy explained.  “My dad had died on mission and you told me that if I ever needed help, I could call that number.  I just had to say ‘oxfords, not brogues’ to the person on the other line and that would be it.”

 

Harry nodded slowly.  “Words to live by.”

 

Eggsy gave him an odd look, before continuing. “About two years ago, I stole the car of my step-dad's fuckwit friend and joy-rided it through half of South London.”  He laughed without humour.  “Fuckin’ crashed it and wound up in jail.  So I called you.”  He looked to the ground.  “And you fuckin’ bailed me out somehow.”

 

Harry frowned.  “And I introduced you to this life?”

 

“That, you did, bruv.  Fuckin’ changed it forever.”

 

“For the better?”

 

He looked up at that.  “‘Course,” Eggsy replied with all the certainty in the world.

 

Harry wasn’t sure how to feel about that.  He currently had a bullet shaped hole stitched shut in his chest that was meant for Eggsy.  

 

“‘Ey, none of that now.”

 

Harry blinked.  “None of what?”

 

“That fuckin’ weird repressed guilty shit,” Eggsy muttered.  “I fuckin’ love this life, Haz.  Fucked if I know at how I’m ever gonna repay you.”

 

Harry handed the pendant back.  “You don’t owe me anything.”

 

“You literally took a bullet for me this morning.”

 

Harry paused.  “Perhaps you can actually do my laundry for a month then.”

 

Eggsy laughed and the heavy situation suddenly felt much more tolerable.  “Maybe I fuckin’ should.”

 

Doctor Brunswick entered the room.  “How is my patient now, Galahad?”

 

“He’s using emotional blackmail to get me to do his laundry, Doc.”

 

She raised an eyebrow at Harry, who shrugged nonchalantly.  The doctor fiddled with the medical contraption to his side.  “Sounds as though he’s well on the road to recovery.”

 

“Got Haz to agree to take something for the pain now too,” Eggsy added.

 

“Even better,” the doctor replied.  She changed the IV over.  “I’ll let this work it’s course and check up on you later.”

 

Harry immediately felt drowsy, the pain in his chest suddenly lifting as Doctor Brunswick exited the room.  He tried to stay awake.  He looked over to Eggsy, his eyes suddenly bleary.  “You’ve stopped calling me Harry again,” he managed to say before falling asleep.

 

---

 

Eggsy watched Harry’s chest go up and down for a solid five minutes.  He looked at the bandages peeking out from under the collar of the hospital gown and then up at the scar above his eye and sighed.  

 

“Everyone told me that you wouldn’t be the same when you woke up, you know," he confessed to the silent room.  "So I told myself that you weren’t Harry anymore.  Not the Harry Hart I knew.  It was just a dumb fuckin’ way to create distance, I think.”

 

He stood up to re-adjust Harry’s blankets.  “But I’ve realised that it doesn’t matter.  I liked the old you and I like the new you.  I just like you, I think.”

 

He paused and took in a deep breath.  “Yeah, I just really, really fuckin’ like you, Harry.”

 

Eggsy leaned his arms against the railing of the bed.  “Might just have to woo the fuck out of you when you get better.”

Chapter Text

Harry blinked slowly, trying to get his bearings.  The hospital room slowly came into focus.  His entire torso ached.

 

“Good morning, Harry.”

 

Harry’s throat felt like sandpaper.  “Good morning, Roxy,” he tried.  He cringed.  He sounded like death.

 

She handed him a paper cup of water with a straw, which he took gratefully.  She fiddled with the side of his bed to raise it into a sitting position.  “How are you feeling?”  She asked.

 

He sipped at the water.  “Like I should never sleep again.”

 

She laughed.  “Well, you’ve been out for five days.”

 

Harry frowned.  “What?”

 

“You were beginning to give us all quite the scare,” she said as she sat by his bedside.  “But apart from that, you’ve been doing swimmingly.”

 

“I apologise then.  I’ll do my best to avoid getting shot in the future.”

 

Roxy raised an eyebrow.  “You’re not quite doing the best on that front.”

 

“When you have amnesia, there’s a first time for everything, Roxy.”  Harry placed the cup of water onto the nearby side table.  “So it would seem that you are not actually my niece.”

 

“No,” she replied simply.

 

“Do I have any family?”

 

“No.”

 

“Do I have anyone outside of this organisation?”

 

“No.  Well, not that I know of.”  Roxy’s voice had gotten noticeably smaller and smaller with each ‘no’, her face with all the facial markers of apologetic guilt.  “Though you and I weren’t exactly close before, so I’m not sure.”

 

A nurse walks in and deposits two plastic tubs of yoghurt on Harry’s wheelable food tray, before walking away.  

 

Harry took in a deep breath. "It's alright, you know.”

 

Roxy looked confused.  “What is?”

 

"You've done your duty.  You needn't stay with me now."

 

“Harry - “

 

Harry was tired, in more ways than one.  She was too young to be spending time with an old man like him.  “Lancelot,” he tried instead.

 

She fell quiet.

 

He used the most polite and sincere smile that he could muster.  He could only hope he looked respectful.  “Please don’t feel obligated to keep me company.  I don’t think I’ve ever been one for pity.”

 

Roxy’s eyes widened.  “Is that why you think I’m here?”

 

Harry tilted his head.  “Why else?”

 

She frowned.  She even looked borderline angry.  “Twelve months ago, Merlin requested that I check up on you once a month, Harry.”

 

He sighed.  “You don’t need to explain yourself to me.”

 

She ignored him.  “That’s twelve visits, in twelve months Harry.  And yet, we’ve had a total of thirty-nine Sunday breakfasts together.”

 

Harry gave her a long look, suddenly unsure of what to say.

 

Roxy placed her hand over his.  “I’m here today because it’s Sunday, Harry.  I’d very much like to have breakfast with a dear friend.”

 

Harry pulled his hand away from hers.  

 

Roxy looked temporarily dejected until he handed her one of the small tubs of yoghurt.  She took it, confused.  He lifted the other the other yoghurt tub into the air, in a toast.  “To breakfast forty then.”

 

She grinned as they tapped yoghurt containers.  “To breakfast forty, Harry.”

 

They both lowered their yoghurts down.

 

Roxy stared at hers.  “I don’t actually like yoghurt.”

 

“I despise it myself.  Be a dear and steal us something with pancakes, would you?”

 

---

 

“Why Eggsy, you shouldn’t have.”

 

Eggsy rolled his eyes at Merlin, putting the large bouquet of flowers aside.  “They’re not for fuckin’ you.”

 

“Oh dear, my feelings may never recover,” he replied, not looking away from his tablet.  

 

“I’m about to go visit Harry, if you wanna come with?”

 

Merlin looked up at that.  He raised his eyebrows.  “Finally going to confess your undying love to a conscious Harry, are we?”

 

Eggsy went bright red.  “Fuck off.”  He glanced down at the bouquet.  “D’you think he’ll like them?”

 

Merlin glanced over the bouquet.  “Are those chrysanthemums in there?”

 

Eggsy narrowed his eyes at him.  “D’you just fuckin’ insult my mum?

 

“No Eggsy,” Merlin said with a sigh.  “Just take the pink flowers out.  Harry’s allergic.”

 

“Really?  Fuck, that would have backfired.”  He began pulling out all the pink flowers, dropping them in a heap all over Merlin’s desk.  “There ya are mate, you get flowers after all.”

 

“Secondhand flowers; my absolute favourite.”

 

Eggsy plucked out the last of the chrysanthemums.  “So…”

 

Merlin brushed away some errant petals that fell on his tablet.  “What Eggsy?”  

 

“Why haven’t you visited Harry?”

 

Merlin blinked.  “What?”

 

“I mean, aren’t you his oldest friend and all?  You even know his fuckin’ allergies.”  Eggsy shrugged.  “Bit weird that you haven’t come round, is all.”

 

When Merlin didn’t speak, Eggsy dropped the rest of the flowers on his desk.  

 

“Anyway, you don’t have to tell me.  But you really should visit.”  Eggsy dusted his hands.  “I think I might just go for balloons, seems safer.”

 

---

 

Merlin stared at the obnoxiously huge set of balloons planted in the corner of Harry’s hospital room.  Christ Eggsy, why not just spell it out in the sky?  

 

“Merlin, was it?”

 

Merlin froze, not expecting Harry to be awake.  He gripped tightly onto his tablet.  “Aye.”

 

“I hear I have you to thank for the utter shite music at my funeral.”

 

“Well, you were dead,” Merlin replied, “And it seems that I was rather mad at you for it.”

 

Harry sat up carefully.  “Would you like to sit down?”

 

Merlin tapped at the sides of his tablet nervously, before sitting himself down on a nearby chair.  

 

“I apologise, this must be difficult for you,” said Harry after a long silence.

 

Merlin sighed.  “No, it’s fine.  It’s just a bit strange.”

 

“Am I much different from before?”  

 

“Your recklessness certainly hasn’t changed,” he replied with a pointed look at Harry’s bandaged chest.  “You remind me of when we were both just recruits, actually.”  He shrugged.  “I suppose that makes sense, given that you don’t remember your thirty year spy career.”

 

Harry’s eyes widened.  “We’ve been friends for that long?”

 

“Aye.”

 

Harry frowned.  “I wish I could remember.”

 

“It can’t be helped, Harry.”  Merlin turned on his tablet to distract himself with some work.  “I’ll adjust to the change eventually, I’m sure.”  

 

He glanced over some new reports in his Inbox when his tablet was forcibly yanked from his hands.  Merlin blinked and looked up.

 

Harry was nonchalantly re-arranging all his meticulously labeled folders without a care in the world.  “I would apologise for this,” said Harry, “But truthfully I’ve been wanting to take your tablet away from you for awhile.”

 

The abrupt sound of laughter that escaped Merlin took him by utter surprise.  

Chapter Text

Eggsy entered Harry's hospital room with his backpack slung over one shoulder. "So Harry, I was thinkin' that you and l should -"

 

Eggsy froze, as Harry was half sat on his bed with only one arm through the sleeve of a white button down, leaving a terribly appealing part of his partially bandaged chest exposed.

 

"Have buttons always been this utterly exhausting?”  Harry asked casually, apparently completely unaware of Eggsy’s sudden inability to think.  

 

“And the sleeves, Eggsy! There are two of them!" Harry sighed, obviously frustrated as he tiredly tried to slip his other arm into the other sleeve.  “I was just tired of wearing that damned hospital gown all the time and Roxy was kind enough to bring me back some of my clothes - but my damned chest makes it so difficult to move.”

 

Eggsy nodded dumbly.  

 

“Thank goodness you didn’t walk in on me attempting to put on these pants,” Harry continued, as he finally managed to put on the other sleeve, “It took an unholy amount of time, though you might have perhaps gotten a good laugh out of it.”

 

Eggsy’s brain had been valiantly trying to go back online, but had decided then to completely short-circuit.  Okay, fuck.  Just… fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck, fuck, fuck.

 

Harry tilted his head, his fingers resting against the bottom buttons of his undone shirt.  “Is everything alright?  Did something happen?”

 

Oh fuck, he’s looking at me with concerned eyes and an open fuckin’ shirt.  Fuckin’ spectacular.

 

“Eggsy?”  Harry now looked even more worried.

 

Eggsy shook his head.  “Sorry mate, think I’m just tired.”

 

The older man gave him an odd look, one that suggested that he did not believe him in the slightest, but Harry was first and foremost a gentleman - and a gentleman never pried.  “Alright then.”

 

The words flew out of Eggsy mouth before he had a chance to think.  “D’you want help with that?  The buttons, I mean.”

 

Harry raised his eyebrows and Eggsy immediately thought to retract his offer, when Harry dropped his hands to rest against the bed.  “Thank you Eggsy, that would be helpful.”

 

Fuck.  

 

“Right then,” he replied as he stepped towards Harry.  He ignored the way that they were a similar height with Harry leaning against the hospital bed.  He did up a button, before catching a small glimpse of Harry’s chest.

 

It was covered in scars.  "Fuck Harry, what've you done to yourself?"

 

"I haven't the slightest clue,” he replied.  “I'm inclined to believe that I wasn't a very good spy."

 

Eggsy shook his head and did up another button.  "No, you were a fuckin' ace spy.”  He did up another button.  “But shit, Merlin wasn't kidding when he said you was reckless.  You look like a fuckin’ road map underneath this.”

 

“I think it builds character,” Harry replied nonchalantly.

 

“I think you’re the reason Merlin went fuckin’ bald.”

 

Eggsy had three more buttons to go when Harry abruptly put a hand over both of his, effectively stopping him.

 

Don’t look into his eyes, don’t look into his eyes, don’t look into his eyes.

 

Eggsy glanced up into Harry’s eyes.

 

God-fucking-dammit.

 

"I think I've decided to start a one man vendetta against buttons,” said Harry.

 

"'I ain’t fuckin’ undoing all these buttons,” Eggsy managed to reply.

 

Harry looked like he would have chuckled if his chest weren’t so heavily bandaged.  “I don’t expect you to, but you don’t have to do up the rest of them.  Roxy didn’t pack a tie, so there’s no sense in buttoning the rest, don’t you think?”  Harry let go of his hands and Eggsy immediately shoved them into his pockets.

 

“Would you mind passing me my cardigan?”  Harry asked.

 

Eggsy took a large step back and turned about the room to look for it.  He spotted an overnight bag in the corner and reached over to pull a cardigan out.  He looked back over to Harry.  “This it?”

 

Harry was absent-mindedly rubbing at his bandaged chest with a wince.

 

Eggsy panicked.  “Fuck, did I fuckin’ hurt you?”

 

Harry seemed startled.  “No, nothing of the sort,” he replied a bit too quickly.

 

Eggsy narrowed his eyes at him.  “Are you fuckin’ sure?”

 

“Yes,” he replied.  “The cardigan, if you please?”

 

“A’right, here, fuckin’ turn around first,” Eggsy said as he helped Harry pull his arms through the cardigan.  “There ya go, ya fuckin’ princess.”

 

Harry turned around.  “Well, I admittedly do feel very pretty now.”

 

Eggsy scoffed.  “‘Course you fuckin’ do.”

 

Harry leaned back against the bed, half-sitting on it.  “What was it you came in for?  You were saying something before I interrupted you.”

 

Eggsy blinked several times before remembering.  He placed his backpack down, pulling out his tablet.  Right, I'm fuckin' tryin' to woo you.  “You up for a movie?”

 

“That would be lovely.  What did you have in mind?”

 

“I was thinkin’ ‘My Fair Lady.’  Best to catch you up on the classics, yeah?”

 

---

 

To Harry’s surprise, Eggsy had fallen asleep halfway through Act II.

 

He gently pulled a blanket over the younger man, moving slowly to not wake him.  I’ll wake him when the movie is over, he thought to himself as he averted his gaze back to the film.  

 

He absent-mindedly rubbed at his bandaged chest again, feeling his heart beat too hard and too fast.  He glanced over at Eggsy and knew why.  

 

Harry sighed, willing his heart to slow down.  “Oh for fuck’s sake, that’s enough out of you.”

 

Chapter Text

"Eggsy, wake up."

 

There was a hand on his shoulder and someone was shaking him very gently. He blinked his eyes awake, before rubbing at them. “Haz, what’re you doin’ in my room?”

 

Harry chuckled in the dim lighting. “You're in my room, actually,”

 

“Really? Fuckin’ score!” Eggsy stretched and suppressed a yawn. “How the fuck did I manage that?”

 

“Well, you fell asleep halfway through the second act of ‘My Fair Lady’ in a plastic hospital chair.’”

 

Reality set in.  Goddammit, I’m still in the fuckin’ woo-ing process.  Eggsy cleared his throat.  “Sorry for falling asleep, mate.”

 

“Not to worry,” Harry replied as he turned a lamp on.

 

Eggsy squinted as his eyes adjusted to the sudden bright light.  “Did you like it?”

 

Harry leaned himself against the hospital bed.  “Very much so.”

 

“Cool.”  Shit, he’s just fuckin’ smiling at me.  You and your stupid fuckin’ face.

 

"Oh, and thank you for the balloons, Eggsy,” said Harry as he gestured to the helium-filled balloons covering an entire wall of his hospital room.  "Wherever did you find kidney shaped balloons?"

 

Eggsy blinked.  Kidney shaped balloons?  "World's full of weird shit, Haz," he said instead to cover his confusion.  "Anyway, I best be heading off. I imagine you require your beauty sleep."

 

"Of course,” Harry replied with a nod as he walked Eggsy to the door, “Thank you for dropping by."

 

"Any time, Harry."

 

"Good night, Eggsy.  Thank you again for the kidney-balloons."

 

"'Night, Haz." Eggsy shoved his hands in his pockets.  The door closed shut and Eggsy stared at it momentarily.  He considered hitting his head against the door.  

 

They're fuckin' heart-shaped balloons, Harry.

 

---

 

“How’s the woo-ing going?”  Roxy asked as she and Eggsy walked towards Harry’s hospital room.

 

Eggsy narrowed his eyes at Roxy.  “Who told you I was woo-ing anyone?”

 

“Oh, I don’t know,” Roxy replied with a shrug, “I suppose the fifty inflatable heart-shaped balloons in Harry’s hospital room was not at all a dead give away.”

 

“It was forty-eight balloons,” Eggsy muttered under his breath.

 

Roxy feigned shock.  “Oh Eggsy, those two additional balloons make all the difference - how will Harry know it's true love now?"

 

“Fuck off, Rox.”  He paused.  “Does it really?”

 

Of course not.

 

"Well Harry thinks I got him forty-eight fuckin’ kidney-shaped balloons anyway, so the woo-ing is going tremendously fuckin' awful." Eggsy sighed. "Maybe I should get more balloons."

 

"No Eggsy, any more balloons and he won't be able to move around his room."

 

“Alright, but I’m runnin’ out of ideas of what we can do in a hospital room, especially when Haz should just be in fuckin’ bed all the time.  He shouldn't even be fuckin’ walking."

 

“All very valid points, but I’m sure you’ll think of something,” Roxy replied gently as she pushed open Harry’s hospital room door.  “Good morning, Ha-”

 

Harry was nowhere to be found.

 

Roxy and Eggsy stood at the doorway dumbfounded.  

 

"I’m gonna re-assess what you said about no more extra balloons," Eggsy said after a pause.

 

Roxy tilted her head at the balloons on the far-side of the wall. "You know, at second glance, they really do look like kidneys.”

 

---

 

Harry’s walk to Merlin’s office was exhausting.  “Push that chair over, would you?”

 

Merlin answered an email on his tablet from his well-cushioned desk chair.  “Do it yourself, you lazy prick.”

 

“I would, but I was shot three weeks ago and the walk here may actually kill me."

 

“And whose fucking fault would that be?”  He replied, though he pushed a chair over anyway.  “What are you even doing out of bed?”

 

Harry sat down.  “I requested that Doctor Brunswick run an echocardiogram to check the health of my heart.”

 

Merlin archived an email.  “If your next sentence involves the words ‘I’m dying’, I may actually kill you myself.”

 

“No, it’s far worse than that.”

 

That got Merlin’s attention.  He lowered his tablet to look over at his old friend.  “What do you mean?”

 

Harry looked positively miserable.  “I’m perfectly healthy.”

 

Merlin paused.  “I suppose I can also see the tragedy in that.”

 

“Be serious,” Harry replied frustratedly, “I currently have quite the problem on my hands."

 

Merlin went back to his work.  “Don’t be modest, you have multiple problems.”

 

“I’m beginning to struggle to believe that we ever really were friends,” Harry muttered under his breath.  

 

“Of course we’re friends,” Merlin replied with a shrug, “I’m just a friend who will never forgive you for having to plan your bloody funeral.”

 

Harry rolled his eyes.  “Christ, I only died once, let it go.”

 

“Never.”

 

“Fine,” said Harry before snatching Merlin’s tablet away.

 

“Give that back!”   

 

Harry held it just out of reach.   “I need you to answer a question honestly without you looking at this bloody thing.”

 

Merlin wondered if it would be in poor taste to hit a relatively badly wounded man.  Maybe when he’s better.  He narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms.  “Fine.  What do you want to know?”

 

Harry looked momentarily conflicted, before he blurted out, “Was I ever a good person to date?”

 

Merlin gave him a long look.  “Absolutely not.  Now give back my tablet.”

 

To Merlin’s complete and utter surprise, Harry immediately returned his tablet with no fuss, no sass and no witty comeback.  Merlin accepted it back awkwardly, suddenly sensing that this may not have been the best time to joke.

 

“Of course, it would be a terrible idea,” Harry replied dejectedly.

 

“That’s never stopped you before.”  Merlin placed his tablet down on the table.  “Harry, did you really come to my office to have a serious talk about feelings?”

 

Harry looked like he wanted the floor to swallow him whole.  “Perhaps.”

 

Merlin desperately tried not to laugh.  “Good lord Harry, you must have it bad.”

 

Harry threw Merlin’s tablet across the room.

 

---

 

Roxy approached Doctor Brunswick.  “Good morning, Doctor Brunswick.  I don’t suppose you’ve seen Harry?”

 

The doctor glanced up from her clipboard.  “Huh.  I suppose I should have known that he wouldn’t return to his room after his echocardiogram.”

 

Eggsy frowned.  “What the fuck is an echocardiogram?”

 

“A method to test for heart disease,” Roxy answered.  

 

Eggsy looked livid.  “I fuckin’ knew there was something wrong, that lying fuckin’ bastard!”

 

The doctor tucked her clipboard under her arm.  “He was just experiencing some irregular heart beating.”

 

“And?”  Roxy asked.

 

“And he’s probably fuckin’ dyin’, knowing my fuckin’ luck,” Eggsy said despondently.

 

“He’s perfectly fine, actually,” Doctor Brunswick replied calmly.  “He’d be in terrifically good health if he didn’t have a hole in his chest, in fact.”

 

Roxy raised an eyebrow.  “Then why the irregular heart beat?”

 

The doctor shrugged.  “Perhaps you should ask Galahad.  I’d say the forty-eight balloons may have a thing or two to do with it.”

 

Eggsy actually sounded hopeful.  “Really?”

 

“I’d have personally gone for fifty to cover my bases though.”


“God, everyone’s a fuckin’ comedian.”

Chapter Text

 

“Whoa, what the fuck happened to your tablet?”

 

Merlin glared harshly into the far distance, seemingly glaring daggers at his stationery cabinet.

 

Eggsy blinked.  “You know, on second thoughts, I really don't want to fuckin’ know.”

 

“Smart.”

 

“Anyway,” Eggsy said flippantly, “You seen Haz?”

 

Merlin frowned. “He's not in his room?”

 

“Nah, Doctor Brunswick saw him last.” Eggsy shrugged. “About an hour ago, I think it was.”

 

“He can't have gone far, he has a hole in his chest after all,” Merlin replied as he stood to help Eggsy find Harry.

 

“You’d think that’d stop him,” said Eggsy with a laugh.

 

Merlin chuckled as he escorted Eggsy out of his office. “You’d think that, wouldn't you?”

 

Harry waited an extra five minutes before stepping out of Merlin’s cramped stationery cabinet to walk back to his room.

 

---

 

Harry was going to have to thank Merlin for distracting Eggsy long enough for him to return to his room.  He supposed he could allow Merlin some minimal tablet use while in his presence.

 

“And where have you been?”

 

Harry probably looked like a deer caught in the headlights.  “Good afternoon, Roxy,” he said as he stepped into his hospital room.

 

Roxy crossed her arms, unimpressed.  “Where have you been?”  She asked again.

 

“I had an echocardiogram,” he replied, feeling strangely chastised by the younger woman.  It was a strangely familiar feeling.  Did I get in trouble that often?

 

She raised an eyebrow.  “And afterwards?”

 

“I went for a walk.”

 

She stared at him pointedly.  “You shouldn’t be - “

 

“I know,” he replied, cutting her off.  “I apologise.”

 

Roxy shook her head.  “I have work to do, I’ll drop by and see you again later tonight.”

 

“I look forward to it.”

 

“I certainly hope you’re not hiding from someone,” she said as she made her way to exit the room.

 

“Of course not.”

 

“Your sleeve is covered in blue pen, by the way,” she said as she reached the doorway.  “Stationery cabinets are terribly cramped, don’t you think?”

 

---

 

Harry sat on the side of his bed, his feet comfortably on the ground as he inspected the blue pen marks all over his sleeve.

 

Rubbing alcohol will get that right out, his brain supplied helpfully.  He reached for the rubbing alcohol from the hospital bedside table and dripped a few drops on a spot.

 

His hospital room door opened.

 

“There you fuckin’ are,” said Eggsy.

 

“Good afternoon, Eggsy,” Harry replied.

 

“‘Afternoon,” the younger man replied as he walked in.  “Where you fuckin’ been?”

 

Harry sighed, feeling a bit tired of all the mother-henning.  “I needed some air,” he replied shortly.

 

Eggsy narrowed his eyes at that, but let it go.  “Fair enough. So how you feeling?”

 

“Alright, I think.”  Harry rubbed at the blue spot with his thumb distractedly.

 

“Yeah?”  Harry felt a side of his bed dip, as Eggsy sat down with his hands in his pockets.  Eggsy pulled himself onto the bed, his feet dangling from the sides.  “And is that hole in your chest treating you ‘alright’?”

 

He could feel Eggsy scrutinising him.  He didn’t look up.  “As well as it can be.”

 

“Oh good,” the younger man said with a nod.  “Great even.  And how's your heart?”

 

Harry paused, far longer than he knew he should have. “It's fine.”

 

“Really?”  Eggsy asked with mock-disbelief.  “Would you say that your heartbeat is beating regular enough for you?”

 

Harry could feel his face heat.  Well that’s me fucked then.  He stopped fussing over the blue spot on his sleeve. “Does doctor-patient confidentiality not exist here?”

 

“It did until you went missing from your room because ‘you needed air’, then all bets were off.”

 

“Right.”

 

“You shouldn't be walking around, Haz. You're still injured as fuck.”

 

Harry picked at some imaginary lint from the pristine hospital bedspread.  “I know, I’ve been told multiple times.”

 

“Then maybe you should fuckin’ listen.”  Eggsy pushed at his shoulder very gently to get his attention.  Harry glanced up at the younger man.  “And I was worried,” Eggsy added.

 

“Then I apologise,” Harry replied before looking away.

 

“S’fine.”

 

They were both silent for a moment.  The air felt tense.  Harry could feel the situation beginning to escalate into something that could only end in dreadful embarrassment on his part.

 

“I'd like to take you out on a date, Harry.”

 

That was not at all what he had expected.

 

Harry must have looked confused, as Eggsy seemed to feel the need to clarify.  “Like the proper romantic kind,” he added with a shrug.  “The kind where I walk you to your front door afterwards and end up kissing you.”

 

Harry honestly considered it.

 

No.  Be fair to him.  

 

He somehow managed to shake his head, despite really not wanting to.  “Eggsy, don't you think that -”

 

Eggsy raised a hand and Harry fell quiet. "I know what you're gonna say,” he said with an eye roll.  “You're gonna say that we can't date because you're old and have amnesia."

 

That was not entirely what he was about to say.  Harry couldn’t help but feel mildly affronted.  “I'm not that old,” he replied defensively.

 

Eggsy looked surprised.  “Oh. Well, you're right,” he said quickly, immediately backtracking.  “You're not.”

 

Harry frowned.  “But you've brought it up now and now I can't stop thinking about how old I am.”

 

“Oh my god Harry,” Eggsy muttered as he covered his face, suddenly embarrassed, “This went to shit way fuckin’ quicker than I thought it would - it’s like I even fuckin’ care how old you are anyway.”

 

“There’s that word again.  ‘Old.’” Harry replied glumly.  "And I think you do, given that you brought it up in the first place.”

 

“Harry-”

 

“I honestly was only going to bring up the amnesia,” he interrupted, “But perhaps you do raise an excellent point about my age -”

 

“Fuckin’ shut up, Harry, you’re not-”

 

“Do amnesiacs my age even live full lives?”  Harry interrupted again.  He rubbed at the scar above his brow.  “Perhaps I can acquire a cat so I don’t have to die alone and devoid of all happiness.”

 

“Christ, don’t be so fuckin’ dramatic,”  Eggsy muttered frustratedly.

 

“What in hell are you doing liking old amnesiacs anyway?”  Harry countered.  “That’s an incredibly specific thing to want in someone.”

 

“It’s not that at all, Haz -

 

“And surely you would want someone who could recollect their lives further than the past year,” he couldn’t help but add.  “As well as someone much younger.”

 

“Yeah, well fuck it all, because I just want-”  

 

Harry shook his head again.  “No, don’t finish that sentence.  I think that you should consider that -”

 

Eggsy yelled directly over him.  

 

“I’m always gonna fuckin’ like you, Harry!”

 

Harry stared, dumbfounded and speechless.

 

Eggsy shut his eyes tightly, obviously annoyed.  “You’re a fuckin’ old, scone-making, spy-introducing, bullet-taking, paranoid, amnesiac wanker, you know that? And if you feel like dyin’ alone, then fuckin’ fine, but I'm still gonna like you.”  He opened his eyes and sighed, staring at the hospital floor.  “Because I'm always just gonna fuckin’ like you.”

 

Harry had nothing intelligent to say.  “And what if I actually acquire a cat?” He asked stupidly.

 

“Well, I would obviously fuckin’ draw the line at cats.”

 

Harry suddenly couldn't help himself. This situation was utterly ridiculous. He tried not to smile. He barely managed to stifle a giggle. “God, you make me laugh Eggsy.”

 

“And you make me so fuckin’ happy, Harry,” Eggsy replied with the small beginnings of a smile.  

 

Harry took in a deep breath.  “Alright then.”

 

“Hm?”

 

“Alright to the dating,” he replied.  “The proper romantic kind, as you so put it.”

 

Eggsy positively beamed.  “Shut up, really?”

 

Harry nodded.  “When I’m better.”

 

So you can change your mind.

 

Fuck yeah,” Eggsy exclaimed with a slight fist pump to himself.  “Fuckin’ knew that forty-eight balloons would win you over.”

 

Harry went back to fussing over the blue pen on his sleeve.  “Nothing quite like forty-eight hovering kidneys to bring people together.”

 

“Oh my god Haz, you dense fucker, they’re heart balloons for fuck’s sake.”

Chapter Text

Over a month had passed and Eggsy hadn’t changed his mind in the slightest about dating him.  Not once did he give any indication of being less interested.  By the time Harry was discharged from the Kingsman infirmary with a relatively clean bill of health, his room had become more balloon than bedroom (which apparently were all heart-shaped, though Harry honestly still couldn’t see it).  

 

Harry had tried to explain to Eggsy that he no longer had to persist in this courting process - or ‘woo-ing’ process, as the younger man chose to call it, to which Eggsy just shrugged and said, “Just makin’ sure you know I’m still keen.”

 

Harry had to admit to being perplexed by this entire situation.  

 

Merlin told Harry he was being an idiot.

 

Merlin had to create a new budget for tablet repairs afterwards.

 

---

 

Roxy poured Harry a cup of tea.  “Nervous about your first official date tonight?”

 

“Not at all,” he replied before thanking her.

 

She placed the pot down and waited.  She stared at the older man pointedly, an eyebrow raised.

 

Harry took a sip.  “Perhaps a little.”

 

Roxy couldn’t help but chuckle.  “You’ve nothing to be worried about, this is Eggsy we’re talking about.  He’s been looking forward to this dinner for nearly two months.”

 

“Well that certainly makes this situation less daunting.”

 

She squeezed at his forearm comfortingly.  “Harry, you two will be fine.  Truthfully, I had forgotten you two weren’t dating.”

 

Harry glanced at the time.  “When does Eggsy return again?”

 

Roxy released his arm to look at her own watch.  “He should be wrapping up around 4PM.  Assuming he and Merlin argue over the location of Merlin’s many outfits, he should be out of the office by 5PM.  Which gives him two hours to agonise over what to wear before he waits for you at the restaurant at 7:30.”

 

Harry frowned.  “Dinner is at 8.”

 

Roxy rolled her eyes and smiled.  “Like I said, Harry, you’ve nothing to worry about.”

 

---

 

It was 8:15 and Harry was very worried.  He stared at his phone and refreshed his texts for what was probably the millionth time.  He sent another text to Eggsy only to get no response.  He tried Roxy and Merlin, but to no avail.

 

“He’s late again?”

 

Harry nearly dropped his phone as he glanced up at the familiar waiter.  “I’m sorry, what was that?”

 

“Your boyfriend,” the waiter clarified, “He’s late again?”

 

Harry tried not to fidget uncomfortably.  He tried not to stare at his phone.  “It would seem so.”

 

The waiter shook his head.  “You ought to get him to do all the housework for a month.”

 

Harry gave a fake chuckle.  “I ought to indeed.”

 

The waiter shrugged.  “Get you a Guinness?”

 

“Thank you, that would be lovely.”

 

The waiter left and Harry looked back at his phone.  He dialled Eggsy’s number.  Pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up -

 

The restaurant door suddenly opened to reveal a very dishevelled looking Eggsy, who valiantly looked like he was trying not to stumble as he walked.  “Oh my god, Haz, I am so sorry,” the young man started, “You wouldn’t fuckin’ believe the day I’ve had.”

 

Harry immediately stood up to help guide him into a chair and gave him a quick cursory glance.  Bloodied knuckles, back half of shirt untucked, no glasses but a small cut on his cheek under his left eye.  “I think I should take you home.”

 

Eggsy all but fell into his seat.  “Abso-fucking-lutely not.”

 

“You don’t look well.”

 

“Well that’s just fuckin’ rude.”

 

“Eggsy,” Harry tried again.

 

No Harry, it’s been two fuckin’ months, we’re having this dinner-date together if it kills me.”

 

Harry blinked.  “But it won’t actually kill you, right?”

 

Eggsy rolled his eyes.  “No, Harry.  Dinner isn’t gonna kill me, not unless you have plans to stab me with a steak knife.”

 

“The night is young,” he replied dryly.

 

“Something to fuckin’ look forward to then.”

 

Harry found himself unable to sit down, merely hovering awkwardly over Eggsy with a worry that he couldn’t shake.

 

Eggsy took his hand and gave it a squeeze.  “I ran all the way here and I might’ve fucked up my knuckles slightly, but otherwise I’m fine, a’right?”

 

“And your face?”

 

Eggsy frowned.  “My face is fuckin’ beautiful.”

 

Harry nearly reached out to touch his cheek.  He stopped himself and handed Eggsy his handkerchief instead.  “You’ve a cut under your eye.”

 

Eggsy’s eyes widened as he took the handkerchief and let go of Harry’s hand.  “Fuckin’ serious?  Christ, my poor fuckin’ face, who’ll date me now?”

 

Harry was silent as he watched Eggsy dab at the cut with his handkerchief.

 

Eggsy paused.  “This is where you sit down and say, ‘I will’, Harry.”

 

Harry reluctantly did sit down, but didn’t say anything.  

 

The waiter returned with Harry’s pint of Guinness and took one glance at Eggsy before wisely deciding to say nothing.  He left them two menus before walking away.

 

Eggsy picked up a menu with one hand and continued to press the handkerchief to his face with the other.  “D’you change your mind about us or what?”

 

Harry felt his eyebrows raise.  “Excuse me?”

 

“S’fine,” Eggsy said with a shrug.  “You’re allowed to change your mind.”

 

“No, not at all,” Harry said before he could think.  “I had just thought that in time you would have realised -”

 

“Nope, you’re not finishing that sentence,” he interrupted, not even looking up from his menu.  “I’ve literally always been keen as fuck, Haz.”

 

Harry stared across the table at the unfairly attractive young man sitting across from him, with a menu and his handkerchief pressed to his cheek and came to a realisation.  

 

“I know,” he replied simply.

 

Eggsy looked up, seemingly unimpressed.  “Oh really?  What finally gave it away?”

 

Harry smiled and pulled the menu out of Eggsy’s hands.  He turned it the right way up before handing it back.

 

Eggsy flushed bright red.

 

“Shall I order for the both of us?”

 

“Please fuckin’ do.”

 

---

 

Harry had insisted on walking Eggsy right to his front door which had somewhat foiled Eggsy’s original kissing plans.

 

They were both standing outside of Eggsy’s front door, when Eggsy leaned in forward.  

 

Harry froze. “What are you doing?”

 

Eggsy also froze.  “I'm about to fuckin’ kiss you.”

 

He watched Harry blink twice, before he attempted to hide how utterly confused he was.  “Right,” said Harry as he cleared his throat, “I knew that.”

 

Eggsy ran his hands down Harry’s arms, before holding the older man’s hands in his.  “Why the fuck are you shaking?”

 

“I don't know,” he replied, staring down at their entwined fingers.  “Nerves, I think.  I probably shouldn’t have said no to that third pint of guinness.”

 

Eggsy tried not to laugh.  He failed.  “Jesus Haz, it's not like you've not been fuckin’ kissed before.”

 

Eggsy could feel Harry’s hands burning in his.  If it wasn’t so dark, he would have guessed that Harry had turned a delightful shade of red.  “Yes, laugh at the amnesiac who can’t remember if he was any good at this,” Harry deadpanned.

 

“S’alright,” Eggsy replied quietly, pulling Harry closer towards him, “I’m pretty fuckin’ good at this.”

 

Harry was staring at his lips with half-lidded eyes.  He was only an inch away.  “You really do have an ego the size of Mars.”

 

Eggsy ignored the jibe and closed the gap between them, figuring that a short and simple kiss would be the best way to ease Harry back into things.  Harry’s lips were warm and surprisingly soft and Eggsy felt tingly all over.  Right, easy does it then, he thought as he pulled away.

 

He didn’t at all expect Harry to pull him closer, two warm hands suddenly on either side of his waist, small circles being traced gently and oh-so-distractingly as Harry deepened the kiss.

 

So much for short and simp-

 

Harry was using tongue and Eggsy’s brain had gone offline.

 

Harry moved forward and Eggsy’s back was abruptly pressed against his front door.  He grabbed uselessly at the lapels of Harry’s coat, suddenly not trusting his knees to not give out on him.  Harry idly sucked on his bottom lip before pulling back, a look of surprise on his face.

 

Harry blinked.  “I've remembered something.”

 

Eggsy was at a loss.  “What?” he asked dumbly.

 

“I’m also pretty fucking good at this.”

 

Eggsy couldn’t help but laugh.  He smoothed out the wrinkles he had created on his coat.  “Maybe your ego and my ego can be friends then.”

 

---

 

Eggsy opened his front door.

 

“Special delivery,” Roxy greeted as she handed Eggsy six pizza boxes.

 

“Thanks Rox, you’re fuckin’ aces.”

 

“Good lord, how the bloody hell do you two eat so much?”  Harry asked from the kitchen.

 

Merlin was busy making himself comfortable on a sofa made to fit four people.  He somehow managed to take up the entire space.  His tablet was balanced against his legs and stomach.  “It’s those youths of today, Harry.  Fuckin’ incorrigible beasts.”

 

Eggsy rolled his eyes, placing the pizza boxes down onto the coffee table.  “Fuckin’ move yourself and all your fuckin’ long limbs over, Merlin.”

 

Merlin didn’t move a muscle.

 

Eggsy sighed.  “Harry.

 

Harry entered the living room and swiped away Merlin’s tablet and tossed it over to Roxy, who caught it effortlessly.

 

Merlin finally sat up.  “This could be considered bullying in some workplaces.”

 

Roxy placed the tablet in her bag.  “Good thing we aren’t at work then, hm?”

 

Harry went back into the kitchen briefly, only to return with a plate of warm scones.  

 

Roxy all but squealed in delight as she sat in an armchair.  “Thank you, Harry.”

 

Harry handed her the entire plate.  “Any time, Roxy.”

 

Merlin sighed and moved himself off the sofa and onto the armchair opposite Roxy.  “So what are we watching?”

 

Eggsy sat himself down on the sofa.  “Pretty Woman.”

 

“I hear it’s a classic,” said Harry as he sat himself next to Eggsy.  He wrapped an arm around the younger man and pulled him close for a quick kiss.

 

Roxy rolled her eyes.  “Christ, you two are nauseatingly adorable.”

 

Eggsy glared at her half-heartedly.  “Why did I let you in my home again?”

 

“Because I brought pizza,” she replied.

 

“And you can’t say no to pizza,” Roxy, Merlin and Harry replied in unison.

 

“Let’s just watch the fuckin’ movie,” Eggsy said as he reached for the remote to hit ‘play.’  “But also, seriously, fuck you guys.”