Title: Powerless (part 1)
Characters: Merlin, Gwaine (& off-screen Morgana, Gwen, Elyan, Arthur)
Summary: Merlin wonders who could be outside his door in this weather.
Word Count: 682
Prompt #288 "unpredictable" + thankful month
Author's Notes: Hey all. I know it says part 1, but it should really say part one-half. I won't be putting part 2 on here because it doesn't fit the theme by itself. No worries, though, because it's already written. You'll find it on the ao3 post tomorrow. FYI the slash is all in the second part.
The doorbell rings in a drawn-out but urgent cry.
Merlin wonders who could be outside his door in this weather.
He looks at the clock. It’s half past one in the morning.
Who would be outside his door at this hour?
The doorbell rings again in a short burst, and then whoever is out there knocks frantically.
Merlin puts his laptop down on the carpeted floor and gets up off the couch. Around his shoulders he wraps the blanket he has generously gotten out from under and walks in double-socked feet down the wooden stairs and across the cold tile entryway. He leans up against the door to look out the peep hole.
Someone with dark hair hanging in front of their face is looking down at their shoes, but Merlin can’t see who it is.
The person on the other side of Merlin’s door pulls their hand out from under their arm to knock again. When they look up at the door, Merlin sees who it is.
Merlin unlocks the door and pulls it open quickly.
“Gwaine! What are you doing out there? Get inside!” Merlin grabs Gwaine’s jacket sleeve and pulls him over the threshold. He shuts the door, but the air in the entryway is still frigid.
“Thanks a lot, Merlin. I thought I would freeze before I ever saw another person again,” Gwaine says.
“Let’s get your wet clothes off. I have a heated blanket with your name on it upstairs,” Merlin says.
“I don’t think I can do the clasps on anything. My fingers are frozen through,” Gwaine says.
“Give me your hands,” Merlin says as he reaches out his own. Gwaine offers his hands to Merlin. Merlin puts Gwaine’s hands palm to palm, then puts his own hands around Gwaine’s. His eyes glow gold, and heat from his hands slowly warms Gwaine’s hands.
“Tingly,” Gwaine says. He flexes his fingers. “I will never get over how cool it is that you can do magic.”
“I don’t do magic, Gwaine. I have magic,” Merlin says as he starts unbuttoning Gwaine’s too-light pea coat for him. “Having magic is more about the care of a living, incorporeal, and extremely influential being than it is about doing tricks because I decided they sounded like fun,” Merlin explains, not for the first time.
“I feel like you’re trying to tell me something right now about my life choices, but for the life of me I’m going to choose not to listen,” Gwaine counters. As he pulls his arms out of the coat and throws it over the stair railing, he adds a smile and a wink to ensure Merlin won’t keep lecturing on the responsibilities of having magic.
Merlin restrains himself from rolling his eyes, but only barely. Again, he asks, “So why were you outside just now?”
Gwaine crouches down to take off his boot. “I had a craving for the special at The Hawk’s Brow.” He pauses in tugging off his second boot to look up at Merlin with a very serious expression on his face. “It’s Tuesday, and that means Caelia’s cranberry pie. It’s to die for, Merlin!”
“And you nearly did die for it! You couldn’t have waited until it wasn’t freezing outside anymore to get some pie?” Merlin asks.
“Damn unpredictable weather,” Gwaine gripes. “Can I borrow some sweats?”
“The weather channel and the radio have been warning about this snow storm since last week!” Merlin shouts.
“Ah, you know I don’t pay attention to that stuff,” Gwaine replies. He tugs at the legs of his wet jeans. “I prefer to make my own weather predictions! And this one was damn unpredictable.”
“It always snows this time of year!” Merlin exclaims. He then grabs both of Gwaine’s pant legs and pulls hard enough to get the wet parts off.
“Didn’t you promise me warmth upstairs? Why are we arguing on this cold tile?” Gwaine asks as he sits in his boxers on the cold tile floor of Merlin’s entryway.
Merlin’s eyes narrow in warning, but he leads the way up the stairs without further delay.