Warnings: none. Oh, wait, sappiness and fluff, probably?
Word Count: 964
Prompt: wake up
Summary: Merlin watches Arthur sleep
Notes: Sorry, once again not beta’d. Somehow I wanted to write something completely different, but then this ran away with me....
Merlin loved these early hours of the morning. He was awake since the first rays of sun had tickled his nose. It still felt a bit odd to wake up in Arthur’s house, even though he’d done it a million times before. Now, he it was his home, too. He still felt his knee giving him grief from climbing all the stairs when he was moving out of his old apartment and Arthur still wore the bandage on his arm where a box of books had fallen, caught him and left a nasty scratch. A scratch that wouldn’t actually require a bandage, a plaster would do. But since Merlin had put it on him, called the scratch a battle wound and thanked him with a kiss for saving the fair maiden – in this case him, the box would have hit him in the back if Arthur hadn’t stopped it – Arthur wore it proudly.
Arthur. Merlin looked over and his heart did that funny little thing it always did when he had time to really look at him. He still didn’t know how he could ever be so lucky to get together with this man. Others would say he was after the money, but Merlin couldn’t care less about that. Of course it was nice not having to worry about how to pay the next repair of the car or go on toast or rice for a week because the utility company wanted its money. He would never be with someone for those reasons, though.
His friends had claimed that Arthur was no good for him, the pompous arse who made grown men cry in negotiations or didn't care if his decisions made people in other companies lose their jobs. That was only one side of Arthur, one Merlin had already started to work on. His friends just didn’t know the other side of Arthur yet. The caring side, the man behind the walls he had to build around himself since when he was little. He would make them see the way Arthur treaded those he really cared about. He didn’t have many real friends but he was fiercely loyal to everyone he considered a friend and did anything he could to keep harm away from them, even though they sometimes didn’t even know.
If Percy knew that the ‘investor’ in his newly opened gym was actually Arthur, he might not have been too delighted. Gwaine had no idea that the rate at which his elderly mother lived in a nursing home wasn’t even half of what they usually charged there and Gwen and Lance would never find out that the charity organization they got most of the medical supplies for their youngest son from what actually founded and sponsored by Arthur for that very reason. Only Leon knew that the rent for his new place - that he needed because his old landlord had changed his mind and didn’t allow dogs anymore - was ridiculously low and had figured out that one of Arthur’s real estate companies was involved in this.
Arthur never said a word and just helped when help was needed. That wasn’t limited to his friends, though. When Carson from Sales had that accident and was afraid to get fired because it took him more than six month to recover, Arthur had kept the papers on his desk and simply ‘forgot’ about them until the man was back. He also hired the temp permanently who had done an outstanding job replacing Carson during that time. And then there was that time when Cynthia from the mail room had finally managed to safe up her pennies to get her first own car only to get it wrecked by hooligans not only two weeks later, miraculously one of the brand new small company cars was for sale at a price no dealer could have ever matched and the memo with the offer, that also offered a 0% interest loan, only showed up at the bulletin board in the mail room.
Merlin had to admit that there were moments he thought Arthur could be a bit more understanding and caring or at least show it, but he knew about his upbringing, too. Understanding and caring was regarded as weakness and under no circumstances whatsoever, you showed weakness.
Yet, he knew that Arthur cared. Sometimes he surprised him with things he had mentioned weeks before or just knew what Merlin needed. When he had come back with a long list of antique books he intended to try to get his hands on, the ones that he had especially marked were delivered about a month later. Arthur came back, just telling Merlin to get dressed properly and not too much later, he found himself in the seat of a theatre where they were about to see the latest comedy or some play Merlin had talked about ages ago. There were times, Merlin didn’t have to say anything or that Arthur got him things he hadn’t even known he wanted himself; like that little tart with fresh raspberries he had brought the week before or the shoulder rub he gave him once in a while when Merlin was emerged in his books way too late.
Merlin knew that Arthur wasn’t who the world thought he was. And he loved the man behind that façade with all of his heart. It was still a bit strange to know that this huge house was his home now and that this wasn’t a short-term arrangement. Merlin knew he would do anything to make Arthur happy.
Smiling, he watched as Arthur took a deep breath, rolled onto his back, stretched, then rolled back onto his side and opened his eyes. He loved the sleepy smile on Arthur’s face and the way his hair stuck up from the back of his head.
“Morning,” he whispered.