Title: Shoe Box Memories
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin finds a shoe box of memories when he's packing.
Warnings: ModernAu with Magic
Word Count: 989
Author's Notes: Ties in with my kidfic series (Masterlist found here) but can be read separately. And yay the use of clipart!
Merlin finds the box stacked under the bed when he and Arthur are moving out of their apartment and into their first house. At first he thinks it’s a simple shoebox, and he’s about to toss it out, when he notices a bright orange string hanging out over the one side. Out of curiosity he opens the box.
The first thing he notices is a paper crown he had made Arthur for his birthday when they were children.
Beneath it was a broken wristwatch.
“Of course it’s not your fault,” the teenaged Merlin yelled. “It’s never your fault because your Arthur fucking Pendragon.”
“It just broke,” Arthur complained. “Sophia wanted ...”
“Don’t talk to me about Sophia!” Merlin made to storm away, but Arthur grabbed his arm to stop him. “Let go of me.”
“No, it’s a stupid model airplane Merlin,” Arthur said, his grip tightening the more Merlin pulled.
“Are you seriously going to be this lame over something so stupid as a -”
“If you don’t let go, I will use my magic,” Merlin threatened, pulsing his magic out, strong enough to break Arthur’s wristwatch.
Shuffling through the other papers and photographs, Merlin then saw a first place home-made ribbon.
“It was the best,” Merlin commiserated, barely eight years old and sitting beside Arthur and his farm made out of Popsicle sticks.
“I know,” Arthur groaned. “And of course stupid Morgana had to get it. I told you she was evil.”
“Do you think this was part of their plan to bring down the knights?” Merlin asked, their group of friends were known as the knights, and the evil ones (Morgana, Morgause and Mordred) often plotted their downfall.
“Obviously,” Arthur said, and then glanced down at the model farm. “I guess I can just throw this out. It’s garbage now.”
“No it’s not,” Merlin tried to say, but Arthur wasn’t listening.
Merlin snuck back over that night, with a first place ribbon he had made and got the abandoned farm from beside the trashcans. He left the barn and ribbon on Arthur’s front porch.
Tucked between several photographs was a bookmark.
Both were completely naked, intertwined on Arthur’s small single bed in his dorm room. Merlin nuzzled Arthur’s shoulder lazily.
“So ... what’s my present?” Arthur asked, absently stroking Merlin hair.
“Mmmm ... you were good, but I might need a second round before I decide you’re worth a present,” Merlin muttered, causing Arthur to laugh.
“Don’t tease,” Arthur hit his shoulder. “I’ve got yours.”
“You got me a present?”
“Of course,” Arthur said, sitting up, despite Merlin’s protest, to reach over to his desk. Sure enough, there was a small bag.
“It’s not much,” Arthur said defensively, blushing slightly as Merlin took it. There was no tissue paper or card, inside the bag was a single book. It was the newest one by his favourite author.
“Thanks,” Merlin said, still slightly confused what he had done to deserve getting a present. It was only when he flipped it open and read the inscription that Merlin felt his stomach drop.
Merlin, Happy One Year Anniversary, and to many more! Love, Arthur
“You forgot didn’t you?” Arthur asked, slightly peeved.
“Of course not,” Merlin lied, grabbing his backpack. “It’s right in here.”
Shuffling through the papers and text books, Merlin found a bookmark he had been using for his Literature course.
“Here. Happy Anniversary Arthur!”
The program for a theatre production was peeking out from beneath the wristwatch.
“We’ll be caught,” six year old Merlin whispered.
“Not if you stop talking,” Arthur whispered back, as they inch their way past the distracted man who seemed to be checking to make sure people had tickets. Arthur simply grabbed Merlin’s hand, and once they were past him, they ran as fast as they could to find seats at the very back, hiding on the floor until the play started.
“Why are we even doing this?” Merlin asked.
“Dad said people take people they like on dates to the theatre,” Arthur explained. “I like you, so I’m taking you to the theatre. So stop asking stupid questions.”
Merlin couldn’t help but laugh when he saw a detention slip at the very bottom of the box.
“What’s the matter Merlin?” Valiant taunted, as he pushed Merlin against the locker. “Realized you’re so ugly that no girl would want to go out with you? Or that you’re such a freak with your stupid little powers not even Pendragon is hanging out with you these days?”
“Leave me alone Valiant,” Merlin tried to walk away, but Valiant wasn’t about to let him. It took all of his energy to keep his magic in check, he would be facing expulsion if he was caught doing magic in the hallways.
“He said to leave him alone.”
Merlin stared wide-eyed as Arthur rounded the corner, red-faced and shaking with anger. Valiant made the first move, throwing a punch toward Arthur. Unfortunately, the teacher only saw Arthur punch Valiant in the nose.
As Arthur clutched the detention slip, Merlin fussed over the bruise forming where Valiant’s fist had hit his cheek.
“You didn’t need to do that,” Merlin said quietly. “I know we aren’t exactly friends anymore.”
“Merlin,” Arthur sighed.
“I mean, you’ve been avoiding me.”
“Which is fine, that happens to friends, right? They drift apart even if you can’t figure out why.”
“Merlin!” Arthur pressed his lips against Merlin’s. It was gentle and tentative, and Merlin was frozen in shock.
“I’m sorry I was an ass, I just needed to sort that out,” Arthur said, looking away awkwardly. “Not that you feel the same way ...”
Merlin was about to argue that Arthur could sometimes be really thick, but instead he kissed him again.
Putting everything back in the box, Merlin smiled softly. That night, when Arthur came home, he planned to tease the hell out of him for being the sentimental one.