EAD Snippet ~ Counterbalance Beginning

Title: Counterbalance
Fandom: Kingsman
Pairings: Eventual Mycroft Holmes/Eggsy
Summary:Written in the Skin Soulmate AU. Yes, another. I’m a sappy fuck, okay?

 

Fucking fuck! Fucking Rotti and his fucking timing. Could he have chosen a worse time to fuck off like a twat than when he’s behind the wheel of the getaway car for a heist? Seriously?

Eggsy lingers in the shadow of the townhouse hoping a yellow Subaru will suddenly appear.

It doesn’t.

Something else does. Someone, rather. A man. Strolling along in a nice suit with a fucking brolly and a hat and everything. Casual as could be. Like he isn’t the second most out of place thing on this particular street at this time of night.

“Come along, Eggsy.” The man says as he gets within range. Impulsively and because he’s not sure what else to do in this weird as fuck situation, he joins the man. Together they walk sedately around the corner and right up to a black luxury SUV. There are no clear makers marks on the vehicle but it has the suggestion of being a Land Rover but there’s also something very Mercedes about it and yet it’s also Beamer-ish. A custom car designed to confuse witnesses? Is that a thing?

The back door opens as they approach and Eggsy watches another man lean back in his backward facing seat to allow Eggsy and Brolly ingress.

“In you get,” Brolly instructs him when he hesitates. Jesus, he’s about to get murdered. As if he can read Eggsy’s mind, Brolly speaks up again. “We were friends of your father. We won’t harm a hair on your head.”

With a hard swallow Eggsy gets in.

Once the door closes behind Brolly the car pulls away from the curb headed god knows where.

“My name is Harry Hart.” Brolly says. “That is my soulmate Ashley Greer. Call him Merlin, everyone does.”

Eggsy shoots Ashley –Jesus– a sympathetic look. “Gary Unwin. Call me Eggsy.”

“Eggsy.” Merlin greets with a warm and shockingly sexy Scottish burl. “Did you get Lord Cromwell’s personal laptop?”

“I might have.” Eggsy clutches the laptop bag full of goodies closer for all the good that would do him. “Could be his wife’s.” Either way it looked fucking expensive.

Harry and Merlin exchange a look. “How much do you want for it? As is.”

“What’s it worth to you?”

Merlin raises a single eyebrow at him. “Eight thousand.”

“Pounds?” He asks just to be completely clear. Could be worth eight thousands fucking jelly beans and fuck all that.

“Aye,” the man nods.

“Fifteen.” Eggsy counters just to try it.

“Ten and another five if it’s his, not hers.”

“The ten up front, no checks.”

Merlin nods once. They shake on it but Eggsy doesn’t take out the computer to hand it over. Father’s friend or not upfront means upfront.

The two elder men settle in, for a quiet car ride probably but Eggsy’s nerves are too strung out for that so he tries to pin down exactly how these… fine gentlemen knew his father.

“So, was you in the Army?” Because Harry Hart screams officer material while Merlin looks like that Sergeant Major that kicks your ass until you thank him for it. Generally at some point years down the line after something he hammered into you saved your fool life. “Like an officer?”

“Not quite.” Hart answers dryly. Merlin serves his soul mate a tiniest of frowns and not-quite-sighs.

“So where was you posted? Iraq or something?”

“Sorry, Eggsy. Classified.” This time Merlin snorts outright and rolls his eyes, turning to look out the car window.

“After my dad died a man gave me and my mom a medal.” Eggsy tries a different way. Maybe without a question mark on the end? “Mum said his name was Harry something.”

“I did give you that medal.” Hart sighs. “Your father saved my life. Our lives.”

No question marks works. “Tell me.”

“The day your father died I missed something and, if it weren’t for his courage, my mistake would have cost the lives of every man present. So, I owe him.”

“That why you did whatever you did tonight? To pay back my dad.”

“We are doing this tonight to give you the opportunity to fulfill your father’s legacy. This will not affect the favor due yourself or your mother.” They pull up in front of a posh fucking house so clean and white it practically glows in the fucking dark.

“We’ll discuss this inside.” Merlin tells them as he opens the back door again.

-*-*-*-*-

Harry watches his Candidate-to-be count out the tenth band of 20 pound notes Merlin had handed the boy.

“Forty-eight. Forty-nine. Fifty. Alright, bruv.” Eggsy drops the last bundle of bills into the laptop bag and pulls out the device.

Merlin practically snatches it from the boy’s grasp and exits the room with an already distracted “I’ll leave you to it, then.”

Once they are alone Harry stares at the lad, unsure where to begin. He’s been planning this moment for 17 years, since the very moment he saw the name written on the boy’s right wrist, but somehow -now that the moment is here- he’s at a loss.

This Eggsy is nothing like any of the Eggsy’s he’s imagined. Not a professional athlete. Not a seasoned Marine. Not a triple doctorate super secret mastermind. He’s a small time thief with a genius intellect that’s never been caught much less convicted. And judging by the size of his take he’s stealing just enough to feed his family and maybe pay people off. Just enough to keep them safe and fed for a few months until he can do it again.

“So,” Eggsy starts a little nervously, manfully ignoring Harry’s rude stare like an actual gentleman. “You said something about my father’s legacy?”

“Your father died trying to get into the service of something greater than himself. Trying to join my,” Harry hesitates. “Company. There is now an open position, the first one since you have become old enough to try for it, and it is the exact one your father was working towards when he died. I would like to offer you as my candidate to fill the position. ”

“What’s your company?”

“Kingsman.”

“The tailors?” Eggsy asks, incredulous.

“Officially.”

The lad raises a saucy eyebrow. “And unofficially?”

“I’m offering you the chance to become a Kingsman Agent.” Harry can almost hear calculations worthy of his soulmate going on between Eggsy’s ears.

“Like a spy?”

“Of sorts. Interested?”

The boy grins.

-*-*-*-*-

Two days later Eggsy is standing on the lawn of a huge fucking mansion in a pink and green onesie between a posh bird and a second-born twat.

Harry’s soulmate -codename, not just nickname, Merlin- is on the verandah one level above the group of candidates. In front of them is a pyramid of cages. Puppy cages. Now, Eggsy might not be a world class super spy yet but even he can see where this is going. Before Merlin gets around to telling them. Especially once he spots the little black pup with a beard not that different from the one Harry has stuffed in his loo. It’s bigger, already about the size of the adult Harry had obviously had for many years, and solid black rather than black and tan but the hair looks to be about the same texture so Eggsy figures he’ll take that one.

If something similar is good enough for an actual sitting Kingsman -the top ranked knight in the Service according to the twat-that-brags- then that’s good enough for his candidate.

Personally he would prefer one of the two little bulldogs in the pile but, well, it’s not really about that, is it? This isn’t a leisure dog, it’s a work dog. And the way both of the bulldogs are shaking is worrisome. Are they nervous? Are they sick? Is there actually something wrong with them or are they just cold?

Eggsy isn’t sure, he’s never had a dog at all but his decision is made and he’s ready to move forward the moment Merlin orders them to “Pick a puppy.”

He and the posh bird, Roxy, are the first two the break formation. She does for the dog right below his and together they move off to the grass to get to know their new companions.

“You’re a little queen, you are.” She’s telling her dog in a gentle voice. “I’ll name you after the most powerful one in history, Cleopatra. What do you think? Cleo? There’s my girl! Cleo.”

“A poodle?” He asks because, seriously? Naming a poodle after an Egyptian? Shouldn’t she be a French queen?

“What?” She says, defensively. “They’re gun dogs. Oldest working breed. Easy to train.”

He opens his mouth to explain that that wasn’t his objection at all but she cuts him off.

“A Schnauzer? And a Giant by the looks of,” Roxy checks. “Her.”

“So that’s what this is.”

The look she gives him is amused but unimpressed. “It’s a guard dog. Originally used on farms and with livestock. The breed was eventually branched out to cities, was used to guard production sites until it became popular as a military and police dog during the World Wars.”

He nods, impressed by her knowledge but not really curious enough to ask.

Instead he holds up the puppy and looks in her eyes. “What do you think, Elizabeth. We can go with Liza for short.” Because he feels like a Liza. Here. In this fancy fucking house. Surrounded by these posh fucking people.

Liza Doolittle, that is.

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