Title: These Things We Say
Summary: It was the worst birthday ever.
Warnings: A bit of angst and family problems I guess.
Word Count: 640
Prompt: #230: Heat of the Moment
Author's Notes: I do not share Arthur's thoughts on Heat of the Moment, although that song has been ruined for me forever thanks to SPN xD
Officially this has become Arthur's worst birthday. He doesn't think anything else could top it, not even if the zombie apocalypse broke out right that second. The empty kitchen was the closest hiding spot he found, as his guests' silence became too much to bear. His grip on the edge of the counter has turned his knuckles white, he counts to ten, to a hundred, counts until he can breathe normally again. He exhales and straightens back up, grabbing the cup he had placed over the cold surface, and proceeds to down what's left of his wine. Its dryness leaving a tingling sensation on his tongue.
He's seriously thinking about opening another bottle of wine, celebrate another year until oblivion comes knocking at his door and erases the last half hour of his life. When he feels arms wrap around him from behind, he body turns looser, and the pounding in his head it's not as bad. When he breathes again the air can pass through his nose easier.
"At least we survived," Merlin says quietly, his chin hooked over Arthur's shoulder. His body mold against Arthur's is what he needed to unwind. To start to forget and focus on better, happier things.
"I do appreciate being alive, now that you mention it -- but you would think...I mean, it is my birthday," Arthur says, he's tired and sad. Not even angry anymore. Merlin's hold on him tightens.
"Morgana meant well, you can't be mad at her for inviting your father. She just wanted to bridge the gap between you and Uther."
"I know and I'm not mad. I get her, I just wanted this day to be special, not filled with family drama. Maybe I should've told him I'm quitting the firm to pursue my silly dreams as he so nicely put it some other time, leave a note on his desk, send an email perhaps," Arthur says, hating the bitterness he can't keep from his tone.
"It's not silly, it's who you are, don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. Not even me. Plus, Uther can't stay angry with you forever," Merlin reasons. "And if you're worried about our friends, I can assure you even Gwaine will keep his mouth shut. I think he stole some of our wine anyway. It should be enough to compensate for the family drama."
"I'm no longer his son, didn't you hear?" Arthur says, appreciating Merlin's efforts, but not being able to get past Uther's words. He covers Merlin's hands with his own, their grip tight and warm on his stomach.
"Nonsense. You are. It was just something said without much thought, stupid words said in the heat of the moment." He can feel Merlin's smile against his neck as he beings humming what has to be the most ridiculous song ever.
"That song is terrible," he says, chuckling and wondering what he would do without Merlin. His smiles comes easy this time.
Arthur turns around to face him, taking in everything about Merlin's features. Every single line and spot he's committed to memory. "I am. It's awful and Asia was a terrible band."
"Well, I like it."
"You would, you have horrible taste," he declares, catching Merlin's lips before he can protest and try to convince him otherwise. Arthur can taste the wine he had earlier and the sweetness of his birthday cake in Merlin's mouth. He licks the taste from Merlin's tongue eagerly. The kiss draining the last bits of his restlessness. Merlin's mouth is red and shinny by the time Arthur's lets him go, and he get the feeling he accomplished something with the way Merlin is looking at him.
If Merlin is there with him maybe Arthur will be able to take on another terrible birthday next year, and deal with an awkward Christmas too.