Hello everyone, last chapter (should be studying for exams really :S...hehe good luck to that, even made covers for some of my other Mergana fics, not this one though since my Photoshop skills are horrible. Anyone who wants to make one I would really appreciate it :D). Ready yourself for the Oocness, fluff and extreme behaviour.
Summer Rain - Part Three
Song played: Grapevine Fires by Death Cab for Cutie
The joy of Morgana's life like most mothers, were her children. Did we mention that Morgana had three beautiful children? She could remember a time when she thought she would never have a trio of dark haired children. Then again, how many women did really think about the pains of child birth? Planning for a baby was even worst...not that the Emrys couple planned their first child (and that is something they would never tell them though she was sure her eldest figured it out already).
"Are you feeling well 'Gana?" asked a concerned Merlin from the other side of the bathroom door.
Morgana was making hideous retching sounds, currently emptying the contents of stomach into the toilet bowl. Merlin opened the door and saw his wife, her skin was of a ghastly pallor and was covered in a sheen of sweat.
She threw up the last of her breakfast into toilet before standing up looking somewhat relieved and pleased with herself.
"Does it look like I am alright?" she snapped as she flushed the toilet. Her husband flinched at the angry tone.
"Do you need to see the doctor? I'll call in absent to take you," Merlin suggested nervously, scared of her suddenly changing temperament.
"I'll see the doctor before I go to the butchers today," replied Morgana suddenly all sweet, "Now shoo! Arthur's going to get you to polish his shoes if you are late." She pushed him out the door and to the front door whilst collecting the lunch which she pre-made for him from the kitchen.
"Love you 'Gana," mumbled Merlin into Morgana's lips as he kissed her.
"Love you too!" she calls out, watching him reverse the Aston Martin out of the driveway.
Morgana sits on the couch contemplating. She doesn't know what to feel, neither herself nor Merlin had planned for children yet.
"Merlin dear," she says softly.
"Yes 'Gana." Merlin puts the record down to play, a tune by Debussy floats out of the player instead of the usual jazz.
Merlin sits next to Morgana and she reaches out for his hand, taking it into hers. She looks into his sapphire eyes, and holds onto his gaze. Her gaze seems anxious.
"I uh uh," she stutters, not able to form words.
"Are you alright 'Gana? You seem troubled. What did the doctor say?"
"I am perfectly healthy apparently. But I have other news."
"News?" Merlin's brows furrow.
She doesn't take that as a good sign. "Actually it's nothing, don't worry." Tears were already forming in the corner of her eyes. She's been so emotional lately.
Merlin grips onto her hand more tightly, now feeling horrible that he's upset her for no apparent reason. He's always been a sucker for crying girls. "Don't cry Morgana," he pleads, "Just tell me what has been troubling you."
Morgana's jade eyes soften, Merlin was always such a sweet and caring person. "Merlin."
He looks at her angelic face in anticipation.
There she's done it. She's told him. Now she waits for his reaction.
Merlin is stunned. Just as stunned as Morgana when she found out that she was carrying his child. But instead of being worried his mouth splits into a wide smile before laughing with joy. His eyes glittering as he embraces Morgana in a fierce hug, sweeping her off the couch and twirling her around the lounge room.
"We are going to be parents. Dear Lord I am going to be a father!" he announces between his gleeful laughs and kisses that his plants on her face.
Morgana joins in the mirth, feeling stupid that she was so worried.
"I HATE YOU MERLIN EMRYS!" screams out Morgana when another contraction begins, a wave of pain courses through her body.
Merlin winces. His hand no longer has feeling in it. Morgana holds onto it so tightly he reckon his blood flow has stopped. He says some reassuring words and supports her since that was all he could really do. He feels absolutely useless (he shouldn't even be here but screw tradition) while watching his sweat covered wife be rattled with birthing pains.
"I don't care if it would all over soon!" she hisses to him between contractions.
"Oh I can see the baby's head," calls out the midwife.
Morgana ignores her. "If I go through this again Merlin Emrys, I am going slap those delectable, high cheek bones to yonder that our great-grand children will wonder what happened to great-grand dad Merlinnnn," she grits out the last syllable, another wave of contractions begin and then stop.
"Congratulations Mr and Mrs Emrys. You have a healthy and beautiful baby boy," announces the nurse over a crying voice.
Morgana looks up and she sees the nurse with her baby, already swaddled in a blanket and whimpering.
"Do you want to hold him?"
Morgana's arms are already open wide as the nurse passes her baby boy to her. She cradles her child who immediately becomes silent, making a mumbling sound.
"My dear little Balinor," she coos, a smile gracing her face, "Our dear little Balinor Merlin. Isn't he beautiful?"
Merlin looks a Morgana and then at his baby. He can see that it is definitely their child, nothing more beautiful can come from their marriage. Balinor had his parents dark hair and Merlin's nose already. And then Merlin's breath hitches, Balinor opens his little eyes for a bit and Morgana's brilliant green hues shine in them.
"Yes, he is beautiful. Perfect just like his mother," he grins and embraces both his wife and child.
"Perfect just like his mother and father," she emphasises.
"Thank you for saving me Mr. Tintin. You're my hero!" squeals out Balinor as Mr. Teddy hi-fives his Tintin action figure (which Merlin got him as a present when he traveled to Europe as a journalist). He makes his two toys dance around in circles before making them disappear to their secret lair, an old picnic basket, as Mr. Teddy becomes Mr. Tintin's new sidekick.
Merlin watches his four year old son plays with his toys on the carpeted floor of his study, absolutely entertained by young Balinor's imagination. Though anything was a lot more interesting than editing today's stock market results. From what Merlin could see, the American market wasn't faring well but was still manageable. It was just boring figures and the alien language of businessmen.
BAM! The door slams open and a wild looking Morgana, who looks beatific in a worn floral dress in these financially troubled times is stomping towards him.
He opens his mouth to say something but Morgana beats him to it, literally. She slaps him hard on the face and he is left dazed, mouth still open for this reason and unable to say anything.
Morgana turns around and kneels down so she is the same height as her son. Poor little Balinor is confused with why his Mummy just hit his Daddy. But Morgana quickly senses his confusion and says with a motherly voice, "C'mon Balinor let us go to the kitchen and make some apple crumble and leave Daddy alone because he has been a naughty boy and needs to sit in the naughty corner."
Balinor is easily bribed and soothed by his Mummy's suggestion and leaves his toys in their secret hideout before grabbing his Mummy's hand.
Merlin watches his wife and son exit his study in confusion, his face still stinging from the slap. He has been a naughty boy? And needs to sit in the naughty corner?
Then it suddenly dawns on him.
"If I go through this again Merlin Emrys, I am going slap those delectable, high cheek bones to yonder that our great-grand children will wonder what happened to great-grand dad Merlinnnn."
Merlin stands up and rushes after his family. This family is going to get even bigger.
Merlin came into the waiting room his face flushed and beatific. "We have twins," he grins to his mother and son who were reading and playing with toys respectfully.
Hunith stands and claps before embracing her son. She is so proud of him. "What are their names?"
"Our daughter's name is Eva, she was born first, the first new life and then her twin brother ten minutes later is little Ciarán, his hair if it is possible, is darker than Morgana's and mine!" he smiles.
"Do you want to go see Mummy and your new little sister and brother Balinor?" asks Merlin, kneeling down at eye level to his first born son.
He stays silent, not looking into his father's piercing blue eyes. He fidgets with his hands behind his back.
"What's wrong Balinor?" Merlin is concerned, having never seen his son so shy. Usually he is loud and boisterous in his own very charismatic way.
"Nothing," he mumbles.
Merlin tips his son's head so he can look into those brilliant green eyes, so much like his mother. He puts his other hand on his shoulder and asks again, "What's wrong Balinor? You can tell Daddy anything."
Balinor is defeated by his Daddy's worried look. "I don't want to see the babies."
Merlin is befuddled. "How come you don't want to see you new little sister and brother Balinor?"
"Because I don't want to see the babies I will hate and I don't want to hate them," he murmurs so quietly that only his father can hear him. Merlin is utterly bewildered by the reason, not only because it seems so negative but it seems so mature.
"Why do you think you will hate your new brother and sister?"
"Because you and Mummy will love them more and forget me. And I don't want to take their love away too," he explains.
Merlin is amazed by his son's excuse. Amazed at its innocence and truthfulness, but also at its wisdom. He hugs Balinor tightly and strokes his son's head.
"Don't ever think that Balinor. Daddy and Mummy would love you just like we love you now. We will love your new sister and brother just as much since Mummy and Daddy has plenty of love to share."
He ends the embrace and looks at his son again. Balinor smiles meekly. Merlin returns the smile, "Are you ready to see you new sister and brother?"
Balinor nods silently and takes his Daddy's hand to follow him to the room his Mummy is in.
Hunith witnesses the whole entire exchange between father and son, her heart swelling at the sight. She is so proud of them both.
Balinor could see his Mummy propped up on a white pillow and snuggled in clean, white linens while holding two bundles. Her hair is all messy but he still thinks his Mummy is the most prettyful Mummy in the world.
Morgana sees her son Balinor, Merlin and Hunith. She's smile brightly at them, eyes shining. Merlin pushes Balinor forward to his Mother, who encourages him by calling Balinor over.
"Hi sweetie," she greets, "Did you have fun with Nana Hunith, Mr. Teddy and Mr. Tintin ?" she smiles.
"Yes," he grins and then remembers why he is here, "Can I see my new sister and brother please?"
Morgana's smile grows wider, she feared her son's reaction, hearing some nasty stories of other people's children from other ladies while at the hairdressers. "Merlin could you put Balinor on the bed so he see his new siblings?"
Merlin lifts Balinor and places him near Morgana's lap. Hunith too flutters over to see her new grandchildren, already enchanted by the new additions but not mentioning it until Balinor's opinion comes first.
Balinor leans over and peers at the two bundles his Mummy is cradling. He sees two very pink and wrinkly little beings swathed in blankets. They remind him when his neighbour Mrs. Smith's cat had kittens and the were all furless and pink. Balinor wrinkles his nose at the sight of his news sibling.
Morgana brings one baby closer to Balinor and introduces, "This is your little sister Eva. Since you are the big brother you always have to protect your little sister."
Balinor instinctually reaches for Eva's tiny hand and then gasps when the little fingers wrap around his pinky.
Morgana brings her other child to Balinor, "This is your little brother Ciarán. He will probably follow you around everywhere so you would have to teach him everything you know."
Balinor takes Ciarán's hand with his free and is amazed that the babe's finger wraps around his finger too.
"My new little sister and brother," his states breathlessly.
The adults are overjoyed by the sight between the three siblings.
Morgana steps out of the bus, thanking the driver. On the pavement she can feel the heat radiate in waves off the concrete. She herself feels her ivory skin beginning to scorch. Morgana walks a couple of blocks toward her home, burning herself in the sun and sweat rising through the ugly, itchy uniform. It takes another ten minutes of walking to reach her house. She observes the parched, yellow lawns and the darkening of the sky, big steely clouds forming above her. It might rain soon but the weather remained, hot, humid and muggy.
When she finally reaches her home (it was a nice upper-middle class house, but underneath rich facade the Emrys family like every other family in the neighbourhood were having financial problems) Morgana rushes inside, savouring the slightly cooler atmosphere. She walks to the kitchen, picking up various toys and objects strewn over the floor and places them back to where they belong. All the meanwhile she sees how bare her house seems, not because her family isn't home (Merlin probably still at work [he hasn't been home for over three days], Balinor just finishing his job at the post office and picking up his younger twin siblings from school), but the emptiness of material goods.
Just fifteen years ago, this house was full of worldly goods and luxurious items. Then the stock market crashed in America, Wall Street, they call it. Apparently millions upon millions of dollars (Morgana isn't sure what it is in pounds, having not been to the U.S.A in nearly seventeen years) just wiped off. That was the beginning of they now called The Great Depression.
However, luckily she still had a house to live in, food on the table and kids who could go to school since Merlin and her, with their combined salary (never had the day arrived she thought be working in a textiles factory) pay for their fees. She had heard horrible stories from friends of friends who lost everything, like Valiant and Elaine Hunt who were mega wealthy back in the day, having shares in all major European and American banks and then BOOM! It disappears over night. Now she hears that they moved out of their mansion with their five children, unable to maintain the massive home anymore since they can no longer hire maintenance workers and she hears that they struggle putting food in their bellies and relying on the useless welfare system. She would help them but Merlin and herself are deep troubles too.
In a world like today it's everyone for themselves it seems.
Morgana finds herself in her room to change out of the horrible uniform and into a old, worn cotton dress. A dress that was once probably brightly coloured and detailed but after many years of washing and mending it is thinned at the hems and the colours faded. She places her uniform in her wardrobe and sees a familiar black and white dress, with intricate beading and roping. On the same coat hanger it is a familiar black, silk bow tie too. The items of clothing both her and her husband Merlin wore when they first met at the The Green Knight Bar all those years ago. She smiles at the memories.
Morgana hears the front door open and some heavy footsteps entering. She goes down stairs and sees a disheveled and unkempt Merlin flop himself on the couch before opening a bottle of some alcohol, pouring it into a tumbler and downing it in a single swig.
Merlin's never been a drinker, but as of late, he and the bottle have been taking off as best friends. He places the glass on the coffee table, which acts as an alcohol table recently and turns his head around to see his wife.
"'Gana," he mumbles almost incoherently, not even standing up to give her his usual peck on the lips.
She looks at him closely, wrinkles forming around his eyes, making him look older than his early forties, and dark shadows give him a haunted appearance.
"Merlin," she greets, "Welcome home honey."
"Probably not our home any longer though."
She gasps and then reaches for his hands for his eyes are starting to fill with tears.
"What's wrong?" It is a redundant question but she asks it anyway.
"Arthur nearly fired me."
Morgana is blank. Her half-brother nearly fires his brother in-law. Is he insane? She tells him that.
"No he isn't. I think," Merlin pauses, "The Camelot Herald isn't faring well, it hasn't for over five years. Arthur has been pumping his own personal finances to keep the company afloat and still printing. But people don't have money to pay for papers anymore when they can buy a radio player once and tune into the the right station for their dose of the news and entertainment. Because of that he's been slowly dismissing workers over the years. Today he's just sacked twenty people. People I have worked with for over a decade, people I have formed friendships, people who now hate me because I still have a job." Merlin breaks down, sobbing into his hands, tears leaking through the crevices.
Morgana looks on hopelessly, she hugs her husband dearly to comfort him.
"It's alright Merlin," she says, "There was nothing you could do, we have to try our best with what we have."
He looks at her, "I feel hopeless. Absolutely rotten."
"Maybe so, but we have to take care of ourselves first before others now in these tough times. Maybe you should lay off the brew."
"But that sounds so heartless."
"Well life's not fair is it?"
"No, I suppose not. But what are we supposed to do?"
"Not wallow in our own grief, would be a start, and quitting the brew," retorts Morgana, beginning to get tired of Merlin's pessimism.
The front door opens and in comes Balinor, who is now a young man, tall and lanky like his father when he was fifteen, except for the green eyes, with his younger twin siblings Eva and Ciarán, running around in their grey school uniforms covered in grass stains and dirt.
"Afternoon Mum," greets Balinor to Morgana, "Dad," he nodded to his father's direction.
The younger two come screaming in, "MUMMYYY! DADDYYY!" They leap onto their father's lap and cling onto their mother's leg. Even at ten years of age they still act like they were five. "Guess what we did today?" in unison they holler out.
Merlin doesn't even glance at the twins nor his older son, Morgana's comments are still ringing in his head.
Morgana quickly senses the unease and rectifies the situation. "Sweetie pies, Daddy's tired at the moment. Why don't you change out of your uniform and ask Balinor to each get you an ice-block from the kitchen and enjoy it outside in the backyard."
The twins' eyes widen in delight, they only get ice-blocks on special occasions and today they get one for free.
Morgana looks at Balinor and he nods in response, sensing the distress in his mother. He is old enough to realise the financial problems in the world and the deteriorating state of his father.
"C'mon you little squirts, lets get you changed and those ice blocks are waiting for us before we play a game of football in the back yard." Balinor reaches for their hands and they follow him upstairs.
Merlin remained quiet until he said, "I'm not wallowing in grief. I'm concerned for others."
"Well you should be concerned for our family too Merlin," reprimanded Morgana, "You haven't been home for three days and you barely greeted me much less even paid attention to your children!" Raising her voice slightly.
"Really? What's with that tone Morgana? Are you patronising me?" his mood takes a sudden swing for the worst. He only calls her Morgana nowadays when he is serious, something that has been happening more often.
"What's with my tone you ask? What's with your attitude Mr. Emrys? Ignoring your children like that!"
"I did not dismiss them. I'm just tired." Merlin reaches for the bottle but Morgana quickly snatches it away from him.
"That's no excuse for rude behaviour. The drinking has got to stop too," she declares and begins to walk away with the bottle.
He stands up immediately and grabs her wrist, "Rude behaviour? Taking away someone's possessions without asking is rude if you ask me."
Merlin begins to take the bottle out of her hands but Morgana clutches onto it tightly. With his other hand he tries to pry her fingers from the bottle, yet Morgana holds onto it determinedly.
"Let go of it Morgana," orders Merlin.
"No! This has got to stop!"
"Why should I?" Beginning to use excessive force on her hands.
"Cause it has changed you! All this stress, these problems. What happened to us and the children?" she pleas, tears starting to stream down her face. Morgana is a strong willed woman, not giving in even if her fingers are beginning to numb.
Merlin doesn't hear her and wrenches the bottle out of her hands, bruising her knuckles and in the process hits her head with the bottle's bottom edge.
"Ahhh!" Morgana's bruised hand flies to her forehead and feels a wet, sticky sensation trickling onto her palm. She looks at her palm and sees crimson blood.
His blue eyes widen, shocked to see what he has caused, what he has done to his beautiful, loving wife. However, before he could act Morgana gives him a cold glare and slaps him hard on his face, smearing blood across his cheek. She storms out of the room and towards the backyard. Leaving Merlin alone in disbelief and in a state of shock in the living room.
She manages to stumble her way to the backyard, tears flowing freely down her cheeks. She was stunned beyond reason, forgetting about her bleeding forehead. She slides down on the porch steps, leaning against a post. Morgana watches her children play, obviously finished with their ice-blocks and most likely oblivious to the events happening inside. That is only the younger two. She knows the Balinor is at that age where everything doesn't seem so simple anymore, luckily for her and Merlin he seems to have some form of innate wisdom.
Balinor looks up towards her and his mouth gapes open, realising the blood on his mother's forehead. He makes his way to his mother but she nods him off, seeing that Ciarán has begun teasing Eva and she retaliating ferociously. Balinor is confounded but obeys her nonetheless and attempts to separate the two.
Morgana feels a few drops of water on her face and she looks up toward the sky. It has turned dark and grey but the heavens have finally opened, the soothing rain at last has come to bring relief from the heat wave.
Morgana lets her children play in the rain, not worrying about dirtying their clothes until she hears footsteps from behind and then Merlin sitting down beside her. In one hand he has a bowl of water, ripples forming from the raindrops and a towel, and the other the first aid kit. He places the kit and bowl down and then wets the edge of the towel in the water. Morgana looks at him and sees his eyes are full of regret and concern. She allows Merlin to tip her head and with the wet towel, gently clean the wound.
"I'm so sorry 'Gana," he murmurs, almost whispers. "I'm so sorry for this, I didn't know what came over me. I'm so sorry."
Morgana lets him finish cleaning the wound and applies a bandage over it before replying, "It's alright, you are really stressed at the moment. We have our bad days sometimes."
"No its not alright 'Gana. It's not alright," he repeats, "I emptied the brew in the sink and won't touch the stuff ever again. I love you and the kids too much to let this or anything else to ruin our lives." He strokes her cheeks, wiping away the trails of tears that were left and but soon were replaced with raindrops.
"I love you too Merlin. I love our family."
She pulls him into an embrace and reaches for a kiss. But Merlin pulls away from her and stands up since the twins have ganged up on their brother, pelting him with mud. The rain began to fall heavily. Morgana watches Merlin separate the trio and begin telling them off about the importance of clean clothes, show his clothes as an example. Except that the twins seem to have other ideas and tackle their father to the ground, covering his wet yet pristine outfit with mud.
Morgana laughs at the humourous sight, and laughs even harder when she sees Balinor try pull the twins off Merlin but fails miserably when he slips in the mud and joins the mud party. Morgana then sees her husband look at her with a mischievous glint in his eyes and struggles free from their children. He makes his way toward her and then she realises his plan.
"No Merlin. No, no, no." She stands up and starts backing off to the back of the porch.
Merlin is grinning like a crazy man, added to the effect that mud is splotched across his face. He reaches for her hands, his mud covered ones dirtying them immediately. And pulls her into the rain, she hardly giving any resistance, allowing herself to be drenched in the rain.
"You're not getting away from this one Mrs. Emrys," he smiles.
Morgana pouts in response.
His smile grows wider. "I love you too 'Gana."
Merlin pulls Morgana into a passionate kiss, the rain mingling the mud on his face onto hers and then washing it off.
"It's going to be alright 'Gana. I know it's going to be alright."
1938, the end of The Great Depression appears to be within sight. Arthur Pendragon of Camelot Herald and Vivian Star of Star News shake hands on their new found partnership, forming the Albion Press. This ensures the rehiring of all the previous employees and the beginning of a brighter future.
Thanks for staying with me for so long. Hope you enjoyed it, wasn't as hurt/comfort as I liked, but majorly Ooc (I almost want to cry or laugh for mutilating the characters, I always wanted to see a story with Merlin the one at fault, seriously the guy is too caring). I wanted to have a bit more regarding about Morgana finding out that she was pregnant (depression or something...oh dear I feel another plot bunny coming). And now back to studying...or continuing Remembering, for those of you who follow that I'm ¾ through the next chapter and is currently planning the rest of the story to the end.