Title: Written in the Moon, part 4
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Uther, Valiant, Godwyn
Summary: In which two old friends have a little chat
Word Count: 1000
Prompt: My shot
Author's Notes: I'm too lazy to link all the previous parts on CD, but here they are on ao3.
The second the two of them exited the storage room, Merlin yanked his arm out of Arthur's grasp.
“You utter clotpole!” he yelled, then stomped as hard as he could on Arthur's super-shiny fancy shoes. Merlin knew that his sneakers were soft and would hardly make an impact, but it was the thought that counted.
“What was that for?” Arthur sounded genuinely puzzled, like he couldn't understand why Merlin might be upset about mooning the king during the most important conversation of his life.
“Are you serious? You conveniently forget to let me pull my trousers up and hush me like a disobedient child when I complain, and you ask me what was that for? You are such a prat!” And Merlin stomped down on Arthur's shoe again.
When he spoke, Arthur sounded aggrieved. “If you hadn't noticed, Merlin, I just gave up my crown for you…”
“Which I would never have asked of you! Did you even think to ask my opinion on the matter? Noooo, can't ask Merlin anything. Merlin's an idiot! Merlin can't be trusted with his own—”
“Really, Arthur? This is what you're giving up a kingdom for?” Uther had emerged from the closet, closely followed by Valiant. Valiant leered at Merlin as if he were still naked, and it was starting to creep him out. Actually, a lot of the guards in the hallway waiting for Uther were looking at him the same way. Great.
Arthur turned to his father. “Yes. I am not throwing away my shot at love. You had your chance, and maybe it didn't go so well. I would have hoped that my existence might have brought you some comfort, but I see I was misguided. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't have a chance with my own soulmate.”
Merlin really felt for Arthur right then. Merlin had always had his mother's complete devotion. Although she could be irritating when in overprotective mother hen mode, Merlin knew that he was the center of her universe.
He had asked her about his father, sometimes, and she would get a sad look in her eyes. The day Merlin had turned eighteen, she had shown him the name written across her hipbone. It read “Balinor Emrys” in the perfect letters of the soul marks.
“I want you to know that although I never talk about him, I loved your father very much. He was the second best thing that ever happened to me. Never forget, my darling, that you are the first.”
So yes, Merlin had been lucky. He still wasn't ready to forgive Arthur for that mooning incident, but his heart ached for him. It made him want to snuggle up and hold him all night. Or maybe forever.
Merlin was trying to figure out the best way to get to the permanent cuddling when a new voice echoed through the corridor.
“What is the meaning of this, Uther? The wedding should have started twenty minutes ago! My Elena is a nervous wreck!”
Lord Godwyn, king of Gawant, was striding towards them. The guards stepped aside to let him pass.
Uther immediately smoothed his facial expression from furious to mildly irritated. Merlin was impressed. That must be a useful skill for a king. Merlin had a distressing tendency to broadcast every last emotion all over his face. Right now he was trying to send Arthur an “I'm still furious with you” look, but he was fairly sure that what his face actually said was, “I adore you and want to jump into your bed and never get out ever again.”
“I'm so sorry, old friend,” Uther said, startling Merlin out of his quickly escalating daydream of what he'd like to be doing in Arthur's bed. “We've had a . . . minor hiccup.”
Arthur exploded with indignation. “You call the fact that you knew I had a soulmate and hid it from me my whole life a minor hiccup?”
Godwyn looked perturbed. “Is this true, Uther? The boy has a soulmate? You would have my Elena marry someone whose heart is permanently bonded to another?”
“Come, Godwyn. You know the soul marks mean little. They're just a bit of foolish nonsense about love. Love is a frivolity that we cannot afford. Besides, my Arthur would never stray. He's much too honorable for such a thing. You needn’t worry.”
Arthur was incensed. Merlin was too. If anyone got to call him “my Arthur”, it was clearly Merlin. After all, it was his arse that had Arthur's name written on it.
“You dare to claim me, after what you've done? You are no father of mine.” Arthur's normally confident voice cracked.
Uther seethed. “I already told you, Arthur, if you don't go through with this wedding, I will disinherit you—”
“No. You won't.” Godwyn’s voice was strong and left no room for contradiction. “It was wrong of you to try to pawn him off on my Elena. She deserves better than to marry someone who is emotionally compromised. And if you disinherit him for doing what's right, I'm going to have to seriously reconsider our friendship.”
Uther looked like he had swallowed a toad. If Merlin could have done a little happy dance without drawing attention to himself, he would have been boogying up and down the hallway. Never in his wildest dreams would he have imagined he would see the day that someone would have the guts to tell Uther off. He felt giddy with delight.
Giddy and reckless.
“So, we're agreed that Arthur isn't marrying Elena or being disinherited? Great! Perhaps someone should alert the guests. Arthur and I have some important business to attend to, seeing as how we were so rudely interrupted before.”
Godwyn and Uther both looked at him as if he were a giant insect that had just splatted on a windshield. But no one stopped him when he grabbed Arthur’s arm, pulled him into the closet, and slammed the door behind them. Merlin had a perfectly imperfect kiss to finish.