Author's note: I am so sorry for this delay! I know it's been almost a year since I've uploaded but I have to be honest with you guys. I hit writer's block; I had no desire to work on this story and I just couldn't find the inspiration for a while. I didn't want to half-ass a chapter because that's not fair to you guys. I don't know when the next update will be, but I promise that I'm not quitting this story. As for my other Merlin stories, I don't know when they'll be updated either. My winter break is just about done in a few days before next term begins but I'll see what I can do. Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far! You guys are the real miracles!
Warnings: None for this chapter
Disclaimer: I own nothing but minor OCs. Merlin and its characters do not belong to me
I can fake a smile,
I can force a laugh,
I can dance and play the part,
If that's what you ask,
Give you all I am
The world is an unkind place, Morgana knows this.
She's known this since she was a little girl. Visiting her step-father's grave with her mother and sister, wondering why she didn't know who her own father was. It was always a hush-hush subject in her family; Morgause patiently explaining that it was a touchy subject for their mother, who worked hard to take care of their small family.
Then there was Arthur. The blonde haired boy on the playground who fascinated and irritated her to no end. Her brother. The father of her son. It seemed as though the universe decided her life was already difficult enough, so why not add a baby to the mix? And why not make it her brother's child?
She could remember the day Mordred was born. Her mother had been the one with her, and she could remember gripping her hand so tightly she thought the bones would break. She barely even registered the doctor speaking to her; the nurses hovering around. She could only think of the pain; so unbearable she didn't think she could ever get the baby out of her. There was only her crying, her mother speaking to her calmly and the doctor trying to get her to push harder.
And then he was there. The pain had subsided gradually and she heard the screaming sounds of her child. She felt anger the second the nurses took the baby away; almost ready to demand to have her child in her arms. Then they placed the babe in her arms, telling her she had a son. He cried, but the moment he was placed in her arms, the cries became quieter.
A few hours later, a little bit after her son had been fed, Arthur came to visit. They didn't speak, but he took him in his arms and for a moment, she thought he saw a genuine smile grow on his face.
She pulled herself out of that memory, setting Mordred back in his crib. She'd finally gotten him to settle down, the boy unusually fussy that night. Her thoughts drifted to the situation at hand and once again, the white hot fury returned. She had never seen Arthur cry before; and she had never anticipated him and Merlin together.
Oh God, Merlin. Her hands gripped the crib tightly, knuckles turning stark white. Why hadn't she seen it? She had always prided herself on being perceptive, but how had she not sensed something wasn't right? Was it that Merlin was so good at lying? How well did she truly know her bastard of a father? She felt a few angry tears slip down her face. This should have never happened to Merlin. He never should have been subjected to that kind of torment.
Had Uther done this to other people as well?
"Morgana? Are you alright?"
She wiped her eyes quickly, turning around to see her mother standing in the doorway. Her black hair, almost always up in a ponytail, hung loosely around her shoulders. Her eyes were red rimmed and glassy as though she had been crying.
"Mum," she took a step forward, more tears slipping down her eyes. "Why are you crying?"
Her mother stepped forward quickly, wrapping her arms around her in a tight embrace. She felt a few tears slip onto her shoulder. Her mother's shoulders shook gently as she pulled back slightly with a watery smile on her face. "It's time I told you everything."
"How come he didn't say anything? We're his friends!"
"No Percy, why? I want to kick Uther's ass so hard, no, he should have his dick cut off!"
The shaggy haired teen stopped pacing, looking at his boyfriend with enraged dark brown eyes. Percival sighed, standing up to wrap his arms around the slightly shorter male. "Getting angry isn't going to change anything," he spoke calmly; reassuringly as Gwaine practically shook in his embrace. "We're going to be there for Merlin. For Arthur, too."
"And what if the court doesn't do anything about that bastard?" Gwaine was uncharacteristically quietly, voice barely above a whisper. "I can't…not sit by and not do anything."
"Well, we can't exactly bribe the court. Even we're not that rich," he felt his lips quirk up slightly, and he took his boyfriend by the face, eyes meeting. "But we're going to be there. Standing by our friends every step of the way. Uther will never touch Merlin again. Not if we have anything to say about it."
He felt a bit of relief when Gwaine nodded. "I will chop of his hand before he touches him."
"And I won't stop you. As long as it's not in public."
"This is completely wrong! I want to strangle that guy!"
Mithian broke the pensive look on her face, gray eyes turning upwards to see her girlfriend storming across her room, spouting the first things that came to her mind. It's raining outside, and the steady sound of rain plinking the window is almost calming. Yet the darkness that swims around in her mind is restless; prying her attention away from the problems at hand.
She's probably the smartest girl in the school. No, she is the smartest in the school. Perfect GPA, an honor role student, and not to mention the student body president. She'd always prided herself on her intelligence and now, she didn't know what to think. For the first time in her life, she felt completely stupid.
Merlin had been abused all these months; raped in his own room. She ground her teeth, fists subconsciously tightening. Why didn't he tell them? It angered and hurt her beyond belief that all this had been happening and he never said anything. Though the real thing that bothered her was that she never realized what had been happening. She never could see past his calm, yet happy façade. If she had just had the slightest inkling; the slightest idea that something bad was happening to him…
"It's not fair."
The sound of Elena's voice pulled her out of her thoughts. No longer was the blonde pacing the room, rather she was on the floor, curling her knees to her chest. Sadness now replacing the anger that had been present only a few moments ago. She removed herself from the chair, treading slowly over to her girlfriend.
"It's not fair," as she wrapped an arm around Elena, bringing her body closer to hers, she could feel the warm fresh tears. Elena's eyes were glassy, with tears slipping down her tears. "Why would he do that to him, Mithy? What did Merlin do to deserve that?"
"He did nothing to deserve it!" she reassured her, though her own steady tone was now starting to waver. "That monster took what wasn't his!"
"He raped him! Repeatedly! And we sat there the whole time thinking nothing was wrong!" the anger had returned to Elena, an angry tone she knew the girl used when describing herself. "How…how did we not know? Were we really so blind?"
"How could we have known?" she responded gently, the same uneasiness and rage Elena was feeling now coursing through her. "Sometimes people are really good at hiding stuff they don't want people to know about."
"It still isn't fair!"
She agreed. And for the first time in her life once more, the future had turned to mist.
He hadn't ever seen Freya cry this much.
All he could do was hold her, barely being able to conceal his anger. Normally Will was able to hold his anger in control, but now, he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to. He wrapped his arms tighter around Freya and for a moment, he felt a few tears of his own sting at his eyes.
The time he snapped at Merlin for being short with his girlfriend…how could he not have realized that his friend was suffering as well?
"We have to be there for him," Freya had calmed down now, lifting her hands to wipe at her eyes. Her beautiful eyes, red and glassy, shone in the dim light of his room. "I can't…I can't sit by and let him be alone."
"Mithian said the same thing," he glanced at his phone, receiving a very lengthy message from his friend earlier. "That bastard, he'll get what's coming to him."
"The media, can you believe what they're saying about Merlin?" she sounded completely disgusted, soft anger in her dark blue orbs. "Boys can't be raped? That he's making things up! And I know, not all of them are saying that, but the ones that are, they just make me so…" she huffed, taking in a deep breath to calm down. "He's been hurt, Will. There are scars there that none of us will completely be able to relate to."
He immediately thought of Vivian. She was still the talk of the school; though Merlin was being talked about more as of late. For months, it had been whispered around as gossip that she tried to commit suicide. Then someone on the news leaked her father had been raping her for years and she'd been pregnant twice. He shuddered at the reminder. "He was really good at hiding," he muttered, not sure if she heard him. "But he could have told us! We would have tried to help!"
"It's not that easy," she sighed once more, turning her face up to look at him. "He must have been so scared; so ashamed even though it's not his fault. I was like that at one point. When my parents," she paused briefly, eyes becoming watery once more. "After what they did for me, I was scared. I was ashamed; I felt that my entire existence didn't even deserve to exist. So in a sense, I understand what he must be feeling."
He only wrapped his arms around her even tighter. He could still picture her in the hospital now; so pale and scared at the thought of going home later than usual. That her parents would be angry with her; that the stability of her family rested solely on her shoulders. Even when they didn't give a single thought to her or her wellbeing.
He could only hope that Merlin didn't feel like he was all alone in this awful situation.
Kilgharrah Wentworth had seen many cases in his life. Too many scenarios, too many outcomes, and way too many people still left scarred. For a long time, he pondered if any of his wins had actually done anyone any good.
Snorting, he poured more scotch into his cup; taking a long well deserved sip.
If there was anyone in the world he hated more than anything, it was Uther Pendragon. A long time ago, it had just been a case of simple dislike, but now his blood boiled in his veins at the very mention or sight of the man. This wouldn't be the first time Uther Pendragon was accused of rape, but this time, he would put that bastard away. He was, and this was not him bragging, the best lawyer in Great Britain.
All he needed to do was get the boy Merlin to tell him what happened so their case could take off.
Of course, he had to remember that his neck was pretty injured and it would be a while before anything could be done. The boy could write down what happened, but how would one describe in written words the atrocities that Uther had committed? It was all over the news; when the police came to arrest him and pictures were everywhere of Merlin practically dying on his bed with his pants around his ankles.
"Aithusa," he called, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Aithusa!"
He waited patiently, though it was waning, as the said person poked their head in. She was popping her gum again, something he found to be incredibly annoying and unprofessional, but alas young people these days. "What?" she asked, popping her gum and looking at him with those piercing blue eyes. "What do you need, Uncle?"
Aithusa had only recently become a paralegal and since she was young, he promised her parents he would look after her. So far, she was doing a fantastic job. A very determined, yet rebellious, young woman with a very bright future. If only she would stop popping her gum in that very irritating manner. "I need you to get Pendragon on the phone."
"Arthur," he responded, clearing his throat to correct his mistake. "To ask him if Merlin has said anything."
"I believe he still has that brace on," she commented, taking the scotch glass away from him to drink out of it. "But he should be getting it off today, I believe."
"Good. Get him on the phone."
"Whatever you say," she picked up the phone on his desk, punching in the numbers with pale fingers and pushing a strand of loose white-blond hair from her face. Just as he was pouring himself more to drink, she snatched the bottle away. "No more for you! Unless you're going to share."
He only grumbled and pulled out another glass, pouring some for her and taking his own glass back. "That man got Aredian as his Director of Public Prosecutions. Out of all the people, he gets that crafty bastard!" he practically stomped around his desk, under the cool gaze of his niece. "Now it's going to be even harder to prosecute him! Uther is one thing, but Aredian? He has the entire court in his pocket, I tell you that!"
"Calm down before you have a heart attack," Aithusa rolled her eyes, but even she looked troubled at the prospect of Aredian. Almost no one won their case when Aredian was the DPP. She set down her glass, walking quietly across the wooden floor board to stand near him, hand resting on his shoulder. "There's a lot of evidence against Uther. He raped a boy who's still in high school; there's no way he can walk out of that unscathed. We can win this; Aredian's going to have a hard time getting him out of this. Remember, this is Crown Court case. He can't offer him a plea bargain."
He let out a sigh, bowing his head down once to stare at the off orange liquid color in his drink. "You're right, I suppose."
"Damn right I am."
He opened his mouth to reprimand her, but a knock on the door quickly silence him. Aithusa moved towards it quickly, almost jumping back in surprise. "Mrs. Le Fey, what are you doing here?"
In stepped a woman dressed entirely in black, as though she had just arrived from a funeral. Her black curls were pinned back into a bun, dark brown eyes red rimmed from crying. She stood in the center of the room, ignoring the surprised looks on both their faces. "Mrs. Le Fey, this is surprising," he hadn't ever spoken to the woman much before, despite her being a very well-known figure in society. "Is there something I can help you with?"
"I'm sorry; I know it's late," she said quietly. Her eyes stared into his intently, giving the clear sign she had an agenda to finish. "But there's something I should do. No, something I need to do that I should have done a long time ago."
"And that is?"
"I want to testify against Uther Pendragon."
But I'm only human,
And I bleed when I fall down,
I'm only human,
And I crash and I break down,
Your words in my head; knives in my heart,
You build me up and then I fall apart,
'Cause I'm only human
~Human by Christina Perri~
Well, review please! Sorry if the song didn't entirely match the chapter, but I couldn't think of a better one.