Summary:Arthur comes home
Author's Notes:Not betaed. Follow "A gaze, a wave, a hand" and ends this series.
When Arthur came home, he was tired after a very busy day at work. Though, as soon as he opened the door, he heard the music coming from Merlin’s studio and smiled. This was now a common occurrence in his life. Coming home to Merlin always made the stress of the day disappear. For two years now, Arthur had enjoyed going to see Merlin in his studio as soon as he came back from work.
Though, when he had first met Merlin, he had never thought the man was an artist. He was just an handsome man he saw nearly each day when riding the bus. A man who was working in a restaurant and smoking outside during his break. Later, Arthur had learned Merlin was only working as a waiter in order to finance his work as a sculptor.
Arthur took off his coat and put his bag on the kitchen’s counter before going to the studio at the back of the house where he knew he’d find Merlin.
Merlin didn’t worked in the restaurant anymore. Arthur was wealthy enough to support him. Of course, at first, Merlin hadn’t accepted that Arthur would support him but he had changed his mind when Arthur had showed him the house he wanted to buy and the room that would become his studio.
On top of that, in the past months, Merlin works started to be recognised after some successful exhibition. He had insisted to repay Arthur by giving him the money he had earned by selling his first sculpture. Arthur had no choice but to accept. Though, he had decided to use this money by planning a small vacation for the two of them. Probably to New Zealand as Merlin had often said it was his lifetime dream to see the places where they filmed the Lord of the Rings.
The door to the studio was ajar. Merlin hated closed doors.He said they stopped the energy from flowing freely and disturbed his inspiration. This was the kind of artist’s idiosyncrasies Arthur has learned to live with. Arthur came in. The sun was pouring in the room through the bay window. Merlin was standing in the door frame leading to the garden, smoking.
The cigarette smell was nearly overwhelming. Arthur hated that smell but he had learned to live with it and Merlin had accepted to smoke only in his studio.
Arthur walked towards Merlin and stopped just behind him.
“Hey.” Merlin answered without moving.
Arthur put his arms around Merlin’s waist and his chin on his shoulder.
“How was your day?” Merlin asked before taking a puff.
“Full of phone calls and boring papers. Yours?”
“Full of clay and spatulas.”
It was a running joke between them. The same questions and the same answers every day.
They stayed like that for a moment, silently admiring their garden, enjoying each other’s presence after a day spent apart.
“Merlin, you should stop, you know.” Arthur finally said after Merlin took another puff.
“Smoking? You know that if I wasn’t smoking we wouldn’t have met?”
It was true. If Merlin hadn’t been spending his break smoking outside of the restaurant, Arthur would never have spotted him. Though, he was more and more afraid of the damage that bad habit could cause.
“Yes I know but now that I have you in my life, I’d like to keep you there for the longest time possible.”
“I’m not planning to leave.”
“I know but that awful thing can kill you and I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
“Are you trying the emotional blackmail?”
“Is it working?” Arthur asked clearly guilty.
Merlin took a last puff and put out his cigarette. He turned to face Arthur and put his arm around his neck.
“I’ll probably need to drink more coffee to compensate, though.”
“Is it a way to ask me to buy you that fancy italian machine?”
Arthur had noticed how entranced Merlin had been when Gwen and Lancelot had showed him their new acquisition. He had asked so many question and moaned so adorably when tasting the coffee.
“Is it working?”
They exchanged a smile and Merlin kissed Arthur.
“Alright, it will be your gift for your first tobacco free month,” Arthur promised.
“It’s a deal.”
And Merlin sealed it with another kiss.
A month later, all the ashtrays of the house had disappeared and there was a shiny new coffee machine in the kitchen and New Zealand guidebooks on the coffee table.