I don't own Merlin. It belongs to the BBC.
Summary: Finding out he was being used a heartbroken Merlin moves out of Uni and goes to live with his granddad Dragoon, leaving Arthur behind who didn't really realise what he got until he lost it. Determined to win not only Merlin back but his heart and trust as well Arthur learns it is not just Merlin he has to win over.
This story has twelve chapters. A chapter a day :)
This story is for and dedicated to ForeverCullen as a thank you. I suffer with panic attacks and she always managed to keep me calm by typing to me, keeping me calm. Thank you xx
Warnings: Malexmale. AU
I apologise in advance for any mistakes I may have made :)
Dragoon walked out of his house a cup of hot tea in each hand. "Here you go laddie."
Percival stood up from where he was bent over the car and took his tea, smiling in thanks. "How long you been with Gwaine then?"
"I have known him since I was nineteen; we got together about six months later."
"Who got you out of this dark place if I may ask?"
"Both Gwaine and Arthur. Arthur found me slowly coaxed me until I was talking again, he introduced me to Gwaine when he noticed how I watched him, Arthur explained to Gwaine how I was and it was Gwaine more than Arthur that got me back to who you see today, back to who I used to be."
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to laddie."
"No it's okay." Percival took a deep breath as he leaned against the car. "When I was seventeen I boxed a lot. I come from a poor family; I have three younger sisters and a younger brother. Mum used to cook what she could and share it among my brother and sisters, if they left any then me, mum and dad would eat what they left, but nine times out of ten they would clear their plate."
"I know how that is laddie as I have lived it."
"I went running one day and someone spotted me and asked if I would be interested in boxing. I was going to turn it down but he told me the pay was good and I wanted the money for my family so I accepted. For just over a year I turned my family around, all of us sat down to a meal every night, mum was clever though, over half of what I got in boxing she put away in a bank, she said we managed all this time so we will be fine."
Percival walked over to Dragoon and sat down on the bench beside him. "Dad has a better job now and with the kids being at school mum has a job which fit school hours. Anyway, weeks before my nineteenth I had a match on, the guy I was fighting had never lost a match, there was a lot of money riding on it, three minutes in I swung with my fist. He was dead as soon as he hit the floor, he was twenty one."
"Oh laddie I am sorry."
"I didn't want the money; I gave it to his family. That night I threw my boxing gloves out and I haven't raised my fists since, people say that I wasn't to blame and that what happened can happen as it is a dangerous sport, that doesn't stop me blaming myself though."
Dragoon stood up and clapped the strong man on the shoulder. "You shouldn't blame yourself laddie. What happened was an accident, nothing more, nothing less. The man you fought knew the consequences and the dangers of what could happen when he stepped into the ring just like you did."
Dragoon picked up Percival untouched and cold tea. "I'll make us a fresh one laddie."
Gwaine sat up when his phone rang. "That better be you Percival telling me you are on your way back." Looking at his phone he saw it was Dragoon. "Hello? Is everything alright?"
"I don't think so laddie, Percival has been talking to me, telling me how you met, he has told me everything Gwaine about how he used to box, for the last ten minutes he hasn't moved, he is just sitting staring at nothing."
"Fuck. I'll be there in ten minutes."
Dragoon looked out of his window and saw Gwaine and Arthur get out of the car and hurry over to Percival, he watched as Gwaine sat next to Percival on the bench and Arthur crouched in front of him, he watched Arthur more than Gwaine, watched how he talked to him, a hand at the back of his head, watching as Percival took a breath and nodded, Arthur standing up and pulling Percival up with him, giving him a friendly hug before Gwaine took Percival's hand, placing it over his heart, smiling and saying something to him that had Percival smiling before Gwaine hugged him and kissed him.
Gwaine pulled back from Percival. "Let's get this car done yeah?"
"I finished it just as Dragoon brought my tea out."
"Is Dragoon inside?" Arthur asked.
At Percival's nod, Arthur smiled. "I will let him know his car is done and we will be heading back."
"With no Merlin to hide behind? You're brave aren't you?" Gwaine said, laughing, Percival laughing a little.
"I am only going to tell him his car is done." Arthur said as he walked over to the house.
Gwaine and Percival watched as Dragoon answered the door and after a few seconds Arthur went inside, Dragoon shutting the door behind him.
"Don't look so nervous boy."
"Can you blame me Mister Emrys?"
"No. I asked you in as I watched you out there with Percival; it was my fault as I asked when he was telling me not to judge you as you helped bring him out of a dark place he was in. I asked what dark place and I shouldn't have. Seeing you with him, how you was, got him talking has got me thinking."
"Despite you breaking my grandson's heart, which you are now slowly mending, there is a side to you I refuse to believe in until I saw it just now."
"So you are going to be nice to me now?"
"Don't push it. All I am saying is I will be watching you."
"Whenever I like. You can go now."
Arthur nodded and left the house, walking over to Gwaine and Percival who were waiting by the car. "What was that about mate? I was going to give it another two minutes." Gwaine said.
"He just told me that he saw me with Percival and has seen a side of me he refused to believe in and that he will be watching me." Arthur answered as he got in the car.
"And he will as well. Dragoon can watch you even in Uni and you wouldn't know." Gwaine said.
Merlin came out of class and saw Gwaine leading Percival back to their dorm. Arthur walking with them and stopping to watch them carry on.
"Arthur what's happened?"
"Percival went to fix your granddad's car, he was trying to talk your granddad round about me, saying I got him out of his dark place, your granddad asked and Percival told him about it, he went silent, just stared at nothing, your granddad rang Gwaine and we were there within ten minutes. Your granddad asked me in and told me he watched as we got Percival back. He said he saw a side in me he refused to believe in and that he will be watching me."
"Is he alright?"
Arthur smiled and put his arm around Merlin. "He will be. Sorry." he added when he realised what he done and took his arm back.
"Drop it and you will be."
"Whilst we are just standing then yes."
Arthur laughed and put his arm back around him. "Thank you." he said, kissing him on the cheek.
"You know the saying 'don't try and run before you can walk' Arthur?"
"Yes and sorry, no kissing unless you say or start it and arm around you when we are standing."
Merlin smiled. "Hand holding when walking as well is alright."
"Hand holding whilst walking, arm around you whilst still. Merlin if I asked you for a second date what would you say?"
"I would say ask and find out."
"Merlin will you go on a second date with me?"
"Seven o'clock. I will pick you up."
"It's a date." Merlin smiled, laughing when Arthur thanked him and then kissed him before hurrying back to his dorm, saying he had to get ready for class.
Wednesday afternoon Dragoon opened his door and saw Arthur stood there. "Merlin is not here."
"I know. That is why I am here. I am taking Merlin on our second date on Friday and I need his swimming shorts."
"Why would you want them, I thought you knew Merlin why would you -"
"I promised him long ago that I would teach him to swim, make him unafraid of the water, knowing he will be safe as I will be with him. Please Mister Emrys."
Dragoon sighed and looked at Arthur closely before walking inside, telling Arthur to come in and wait by the door. He came back moments later with Merlin's swimming shorts. "You better not hurt him or force him to do what he doesn't want to do; you take your time with him."
"I will. Thank you."
"So where are we going on Friday?"
Arthur was in his last class of the day on Wednesday when Merlin surprised him by sitting next to him again like he used to be. "You're sitting next to me again."
"That I am. So. Where are you taking me on Friday?"
"You will find out when I take us there."
"Tell me and I will give you a kiss."
"Oh that's not fair."
Merlin laughed. "So tell me."
"Sorry Merlin, no. You want to be wooed and surprised don't you?"
"Then stop asking questions." Arthur said as he put his arm around Merlin.
"You said holding hands when walking and arm around you when still; we are both still so arm stays where it is."
Merlin rolled his eyes but didn't object to Arthur keeping his arm where it was. Merlin looked down and saw Gwaine and Percival walk in, Percival's arm around Gwaine, kissing the side of the brunet's head as they both took their place, a few rows down from them.
"What are we?"
Merlin turned to look at Arthur. "What do you mean?"
"Well Gwaine and Percival are boyfriends and..."
"We Arthur are friends who are in love and taking it slowly by going on dates. I will let you know when I am ready Arthur."
Arthur took his arm back. "Sorry Merlin. I didn't mean to push. I shouldn't have asked."
Merlin picked up the blond's arm and put it back around him again. "You didn't push Arthur. I understand you wanting to know where we stand."
"You said we are two people in love."
"Yes?" Merlin asked, turning to see Arthur with a smug look on his face.
"Who is it that you love then Merlin?"
"A dollophead." he answered, laughing quietly at the look on Arthur's face before paying attention.
When the Professor ended the lesson and left with most of the class following, Merlin stayed where he was and began to write things down, Arthur staying with him, not being able to help but kiss the side of Merlin's head every now and then.
Arthur pressed his lips to Merlin's temple. "Is this okay?"
"I would push you away if it wasn't. But kissing with lips..."
"You choose when and where. I know."
"Oh well doesn't this look... what's the word? Oh yes. Sickening."
Both Arthur and Merlin looked up to see Valiant stood there, Cenred behind him, laughing.
"Watch out, wanker alert." Arthur said quietly to Merlin making him laugh and Valiant snarl. "What do you want Valiant?" he asked.
"I want nothing from you two."
"Then why are you here?"
"I got bored and thought of something to cheer me up and that's lanky here, I always knew he was a freak, but now you, it seems to be catching. We better keep our distances Cenred... Cenred?" when he got no answer from his mate he turned to see Percival stood there with Gwaine.
"Cenred had a sudden urge to go for a run." Percival said. "Might I suggest you do the same?" he asked, cracking his knuckles.
Valiant said nothing but walked away.
"Percival were you going to do something?" Merlin asked.
"No. But me cracking my knuckles makes him think that I was." he said, laughing along with Merlin, Arthur and Gwaine.
"I would love for granddad to meet Valiant." Merlin said, not seeing a certain look Gwaine got with those words.
"What do you want scruffy?" were the first words out of Dragoon's mouth when he saw Gwaine whilst out shopping.
"To give you something that you said you wanted a while ago."
"What are you on about?"
"Remember when you had dinner at Arthur's a few weeks back? You heard that Valiant bullied Merlin? Well he started again today and after Percival got rid of him your grandson said he would love for you to meet him."
"I'd like to meet the bastard as well. Don't know what he looks like though."
Gwaine smirked and took a book out of his bag.
"What's this scruffy?"
"It's a book about Uni, photos of all the students who attend, those who live there and those who don't. Valiant does live there and... That is Valiant." he said, pointing to a picture in the book.
Dragoon hugged him. "Thank you laddie. Not a word to anyone, except Percival, I imagine you don't keep secrets from him."
"Thank you laddie, now back to Uni."
Gwaine had only just walked into his dorm when Percival was on him. "Where have you been?"
"To see Dragoon."
"Merlin said he would love for Dragoon to meet Valiant so..."
"You have shown Dragoon what Valiant looks like haven't you."
"I have. Sorry I guess I didn't think."
"No. But I love you anyway. Besides, I would love to see what Merlin's granddad will do."
What do you think?
Chapter nine up tomorrow :)