Characters: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Arthur was lying to him about all those trips to the office, Merlin was sure of it.
Warnings: The fluff is back!
Word Count: 701
Prompt: #12, Confessions
Author Notes: Nice to be back with something more cheerful. For those wanting more to "Time's running out," it is being written.
Merlin paced up and down, the phone clutched in one hand whilst he tried to hold back tears. He just didn’t understand it, why would Arthur lie to him about where he was? Numerous thoughts flickered through his head, each betrayal worse than the other. Why hadn’t his love just admitted what he was doing, confessed what he was really up to rather than leading Merlin on? Hearing the door open, he sniffed and lifted his chin, determined to look Arthur in the eye rather than being crushed by the weight of the lies.
“Where have you been?” The sharp tone in his voice made Arthur stop for long enough to blink at his partner of three years. He had only ever heard Merlin truly angry three times in that time span, yet the note in his voice now made him realise the other man was close to losing his temper.
“I told you...”
“You told me you were going to work. Yet you forgot your coffee, Arthur. Everyone knows what a bear you are without it, so I thought I would surprise you. I made up a flask and I took it in.”
“Imagine my surprise when they said you weren’t there, that it was a Saturday, for heaven’s sake.”
“Merlin, please, I can explain...” Arthur moved forward, resting his hands on Merlin’s shoulders, only to have them shrugged off immediately. Merlin pushed him away, not wanting to melt into Arthur’s embrace and listen to his soothing voice telling him it was all going to be okay. It might have been alright if this was the first time it had happened. But Gwen’s reaction had shown it clearly wasn’t.
“So I said I had told you the same thing the first time they had called you in, a month ago. Yet how you had put them first like normal and gone in every damn week. And guess what she said? She had worked overtime for the last two months, and yet you had never shown up on a Saturday.”
Merlin sniffed, resuming the pacing he had spent all afternoon doing whilst Arthur stood there rather helplessly. Merlin didn’t even notice the way the other man’s hand was beginning to drift into his coat pocket, clearly searching for something.
“So what is it, Arthur? Another man? Fuck, another woman? Maybe just both? Have you taken to heart what your father has told you all this time about me and decided that you are going to leave after all? Damnit, Arthur, just tell me! What is it?”
Merlin had spent all afternoon working up into this rant, believing that the man he was hopelessly in love with had been cheating on him, betraying him in the worst possible way. So although he was asking Arthur for an answer, he wasn’t going to stay quiet long enough to listen to it, not when he had been preparing this speech for so long. But Arthur didn’t try and say anything, he just pulled out his hand again.
Merlin’s words died in his throat.
“Yes, oh.” There was a hint of a smirk on Arthur’s face as he offered his palm out to Merlin. The man withdrew, his eyes uncertain as he glanced between the golden band resting in Arthur’s hand and then back up to the face he knew and loved so well.
“There was a problem with the sizing, then the finish wasn’t right. Wasn’t perfect, not the way I wanted it to be for you. God, Merlin, you truly thought I would do something like that to you?”
“But... what was I supposed to think, I found out you were lying to me.”
“I didn’t want to, trust me, love. But it would ruin the moment otherwise. Guess that has been ruined anyway, so marry me, Merlin?”
Arthur didn’t even have time to blink before he had his arms full of Merlin, lips pressing frantically against his.
“You utter prat.”
“Is that a yes?”
“What do you think?” In between the flurry of clothes coming off, heated kisses and wandering hands, the golden band was somehow slipped onto Merlin’s finger.
He was never going to doubt Arthur again.