Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin really should pay attention to his spells because the word for snow wasn't anything like arse.
Word Count: 1038
Prompt: 244 Accidental
Author's Notes: none
Disclaimer: I do not own the BBC version of Merlin; It and Shine do. I am very respectfully borrowing them with no intent to profit. No money has changed hands. No copyright infringement is intended.
While the Camelot winds blew through the citadel and snow dams formed along the battlements and the prat refused to train in the dungeons instead of the fresh air, Merlin ignored it all.
He wasn't listening to Arthur anyway, with his nonsensical rants about winter and how much the idiot hated it and was Merlin even paying attention? Which he wasn't.
He was missing his mum. He was remembering the good times with her, hot cocoa and hugs and snow.
In Ealdor, the glistening white would have been a wonderland after the storm passed, with its cold bite and snowballs and laughter, hiding the mud-ugliness until spring. In Camelot, what snow they got was swept aside in the courtyard and Arthur trampled the rest in his endless need to show off.
So Merlin didn't look where he was going. His head was full of a smiling mum and sometimes that of a stupid prat who didn't know how to have fun. Plodding toward the training ground, trailing an insistent bone-idled toad of a prince, as Merlin carried Arthur's ridiculously-high pile of weapons and shields and a mace or two, he couldn't see where he was going. So of course, Merlin tripped.
The insults he could deal with, but when the clotpoll started laughing and didn't even try to help Merlin up, he was done.
Under his breath - because he wasn't that stupid, Merlin muttered, "Besníwe."
It was supposed to be an insult although Merlin did hope that a bit of snow found its way down Arthur's neck for good measure, the arse.
Instead, there was a rumble and then a huge load of snow skidded down the roof and plopped right on top of Arthur.
He looked like a snowman, a chain-mailed, sputtering snowman. As Merlin started to chuckle, thinking that there was justice after all, there was another loud growl, more ominous this time, and then Merlin couldn't see, couldn't breathe for the weight of heavy snow on him.
He didn't know which way was up but he thought that standing might be a good idea but there was too much weight and his vision was greying a bit. He knew that he was in trouble. But everything was muffled and he kept hearing his name but he wanted to lay down again and his head hurt….
A sudden yank and there was Arthur's worried face and he could breathe again as Arthur scooped snow from around Merlin's face. Merlin giggled, obviously not quite right in the head – he must have hit it at some point – and Arthur was pulling him up and slinging him over his shoulder and grumbling as he did so. Prat.
Merlin should have said something but he was still feeling woozy. Plus Arthur's arse was covered in snow, and Merlin, good manservant that he was, started brushing at it because it wouldn't do for Arthur to catch cold, and besides, it was a fine arse and shouldn't be hidden.
"Merlin, are you playing with my bum?" Arthur sounded a little horrified and maybe a bit curious.
Giggling again, Merlin said, "Of course. It's a fine bum, one of the best I've seen. And it deserves only the best." With that, he gave it a little pat and a squeeze.
There was a squeak and Merlin's bum was suddenly feeling a bit pained. Arthur must have hit him but that was okay. Arthur was always man-handling him anyway. "Not now, you idiot," Arthur said.
By the time Merlin finished figuring out whether man-handling was a good thing or not so much, they'd arrived back at Gaius's. Then there was fussing and Merlin was stripped of his sodden clothes and bundled off to bed with Gaius poking and prodding him.
Arthur just stood there, watching him, looking concerned which Merlin supposed was better than annoyed.
When Gaius came back with cocoa and blankets, Arthur took them from him and shooed Gaius away. Handing Merlin the cup, instead of leaving, Arthur tucked the blankets around Merlin.
Sipping on the hot and delicious cocoa, not as good as his mum's but still pretty good, Merlin settled back and let Arthur fuss. It would be so easy to mock him but it was nice, more than nice if truth be told, and it almost made up for the insults and the ridiculous chores and the homesickness for his mum and Ealdor.
"Try and avoid getting buried in snow next time. I may not be there to rescue you."
Merlin sputtered at that. "I was perfectly fine, you arse."
Arthur turned away a moment, trying and failing to hide a smile. "Yes, you were very interested in my arse. All the way back to Gaius's as a matter of fact. Was it because you hit your head?"
Merlin could have said any number of things. He could have denied it, turned it back into banter, buried whatever was going on between them with insults and lies. He could have but warmed by cocoa and tucked-in blankets, instead he said, "Yours is a fine arse. A little plump but with a bit of work…."
Now it was Arthur sputtering. "I am not fat."
Merlin gave a little laugh, then said softly, "No, you aren't."
"Are you sure you are okay?" Arthur lifted his hand, felt around Merlin's hair, then settled his palm against Merlin's cheek.
Putting his cocoa aside, smiling, burying his face deeper into Arthur's hand, Merlin said, "I'm okay now. Sorry about the snow."
Arthur leaned forward, looked into Merlin's eyes a moment, then satisfied with whatever he was looking for, he said, "I'm not." And then Arthur kissed him.
It was wonderful, full of cocoa and warmth and Arthur's own taste. And as Merlin gave back as good as he got, he realized something. That with all the snow and banter and chores, the snark and danger and sweetness that he sometimes glimpsed in Arthur, he was finally home. Ealdor was a lovely memory and he'll always miss his mum but it was in Camelot, in Arthur's arms, that he was where he belonged.
And sometimes, sometimes the wrong word can be just the right one.