Eggsy very carefully tied his shoes, adjusted his watch and cuffs, straightened his tie, and slipped on his glasses. He took a long look at himself in the mirror. Despite the gravity of the situation (world in peril and all), he smirked and almost giggled. “Look at you, all posh, gonna save the world.”
He took a deep breath to compose himself. He turned to the door separating him from the rest of the jet. He stopped short when he heard Merlin’s voice, Merlin’s accent thicker then he’d ever heard it.
“I don’t have time to explain it to ye. Please, Da.”
Eggsy opened the door a crack to see Merlin sitting in front of his computer screens. Merlin threw himself back in his seat. He let out an exasperated sigh but also looked to be fighting a smile. “No, I’m not takin’ a pish.”
Eggsy clapped a hand over his mouth to keep from squeaking or laughing.
Merlin sobered. “Yes, it’s that bad,” he said solemnly. “Don’t worry. I’ve already taken care of Fiona and her family. Now, I’m locking down your building and both your weapons lockers.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “No…Look, it’s already done. I’m givin’ ye two minutes before locking both of your flats remotely. You don’t want to be around anyone when this hits.”
Merlin sat forward again and started typing. “No, Da. It has to be separately…Because I know that Gawain and Gareth are alive and well inside of youse two. You’d nea forgive yourselves if you did each other an injury.” He suddenly stopped typing. “I love ye, too, Da. I promise to call when all this is over and tell Victor to get his arse back to his own flat.”
Eggsy had a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach. There was something nice about knowing that Merlin was human. He came out and stood proudly in the suit.
Merlin stopped to look him up and down. “Looking good, Eggsy.”
Eggsy grinned. “Feeling good, Merlin.”
Merlin watched Eggsy bouncing on the balls of his feet. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “How much did you hear?”
“Is Da Gawain or Gareth?”
Merlin shook his head and a small smile slipped through. “Gawain until about fifteen years ago. His good friend Victor was Gareth.”
“Once a Kingsman, always a Kingsman, huh?”
“The body may age but the training and instincts never go away, lad,” Merlin replied dryly. “Now, can we get back to the task at hand?”
Halfway around the world, Jack hung up his phone and looked at Victor standing next to him. “I think we’re humped.”
Victor frowned. “Jack, it cannae be that bad, can it?”
Jack reached into his pocket for his pipe and tobacco. “We both know that it can.”
Victor leaned against the wall. He chewed on his bottom lip. “Still, neither of us has been in the field for almost twenty years now. Surely, we’re better riding any shitstorm out together.”
“Victor, you didn’t hear him. That wasn’t my Alec on the phone. That was Merlin.” Jack shivered. “He tried to hide it but he’s afraid.” He tilted his head towards the door. “Get back to your own flat. I’ll see ye when the shitstorm is over.”
Victor straightened up and held a hand out. “Aye.”
Jack shook Victor’s hand. Then he saw Victor to the door. He noticed Isa peeking at them from the letterslot in her door across the hall. His voice was harder and firmer than it ever was with her. “I know it goes against every instinct you have, ye nosy cow, but lock up and keep your head down.”
“Do ye hear, Isa?” Victor snapped.
“I hear ye,” Isa snapped back.
Jack patted Victor’s shoulder. “Go on.” He managed a half smile. “We’ll go down to the Clansman for a pint when this is all over.”
One end of Victor’s mouth quirked up. “You’re on.”