Title: The Email Order Bridegroom, Chapter 47
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has a plan to stay in the United States. That plan is Merlin
Warnings: Boys being happy and in love
Word Count: 771
Prompt: 236, Separation
Author's Notes: After a month of suspense, we're back to The Email Order Bridegroom, which starts here.
After the champagne, swimming and sex, Arthur and Merlin drift into a nap only to wake, starving, hours later.
The kitchen cabinets are bare so they hop into the convertible and cruise over to Ralphs for staples and snacks. Arthur goes rogue en route, taking Merlin on a short celebrity homes tour.
“That was Marilyn Monroe’s bungalow just before she died,” he says pointing out a pretty Spanish tiled stairway leading up to a cast iron gate shaded by a black and white striped awning. Merlin takes a picture to send to his mum, then snaps a candid of Arthur.
“I missed this dorky fanboy side of you,” he says with a smile.
After a short drive, Arthur stops again. “Here’s where Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned.” He’s pointing toward a mod 1960’s home perched on a small incline.
“Mum loves Elvis,” Merlin says, taking another picture. “That wall looks like our fireplace,” he notes with a grin.
“Robert Alexander, the builder, and his dad built over two thousand homes in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley between 1955 and 1965,” Arthur says, smiling for a moment, then his face falls. “He built this one for his family. They all died in a small plane crash on the way to Los Angeles in '65.”
“That’s tragic,” Merlin says, taking Arthur’s hand.
“Yeah,” Arthur says softly. “It’s a really cool mid-century house. We should take a tour,” he finishes after a beat, pulling Merlin toward the car.
“I’d like that,” Merlin answers.
A few minutes later, there’s another stop. This time they’re in front of a windowless façade with a closed white gate covered in musical notes guarding its center entrance.
“Liberace had three places here but this is where he lived in the late 60’s.” The home’s decorative columns and replica Greek statues speak to the previous owner's over the top taste.
“Wow. This doesn’t speak to me at all,” Merlin laughs. “Oh, look, the mailbox is a little grand piano,” he says grinning. “Here, take a picture of me standing by it for mum.” As he's striking a pose, his stomach growls loudly. “And then we’re getting something to eat, dork.”
Arthur laughs and takes the shot.
They spend the rest of the weekend relaxing, just enjoying one another’s company. “I feel like I’m storing up time with you before things get crazy,” Arthur admits, pulling Merlin closer on the couch. “I’ve gotten used to having you around.”
Merlin snuggles in, “Me, too. It’s going to take some adjusting to.” He turns, looking serious. “I might take some adjusting to.”
“Really? In what way?”
Merlin gives him a small grin, “I’ve been told I can be a standoffish jerk when I’m working.”
“Standoffish I can believe, but you a jerk? I don’t think so,” Arthur says with an answering grin.
“I do get extremely focused and single minded when I’m preparing for a role, so I can see how that could be off putting,” Merlin says. “It’s part of my process,” he explains, air quoting the word. He rolls his eyes. “Wow, doesn’t that sound dickish?”
“As you should already realize, I have a soft spot for people in the arts and if that’s what it takes to do your job well, I’m okay with it, Arthur says.
“You have a soft spot for celebrities in the arts,” Merlin laughs. “There’s a big difference.”
“I totally fanboy you, so to me you’re a celebrity,” Arthur answers. “Also, if you’re being a dick, I’ll call you on it. Or, no, I’ll make Morgana call you on it. You’ll listen to her.”
“I’m going to have to find a balance between work Merlin and husband Merlin.”
“I’ll be happy to help with that,” Arthur promises, leaning in for a light kiss. “Really, really happy.
“I feel better already,” Merlin says, turning back to face the television. “So, what are we watching?”
Arthur holds up the DVD case, “I hope you’ll find Behind the Candelabra an acceptable choice.”
“Acceptable? More like perfect,” Merlin laughs.
Arthur hits PLAY.
Merlin puts the last of the luggage in the trunk before doing a walk through of the house. He’s checking that nothing’s been left behind but also lingering to look at the beautiful view one last time.
Arthur was right about things feeling like they’re about to get crazy and it’s putting him on edge. Unfortunately, this weekend is probably the last few days off he’s going to have for quite a while. He wishes they could put the world on hold until he’s ready for it.
Arthur’s arms circle his waist as he joins Merlin by the pool.
“Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon and next time we’ll stay longer,” Arthur promises. Merlin is already looking forward to it but before that happens, the real world is waiting.