Title: Wherever you are
Word Count: 564
Prompt: I’ll be home for Christmas
Summary: Arthur is getting ready to go to his father’s for dinner and Merlin isn’t back yet
Notes: Not beta’d.
Arthur frowned. Merlin’s plane wouldn’t make it back on time, he just knew it. Why hadn’t he let him do the booking for once? That they had to be apart for most of the holiday season was something that bugged him anyway, even though he understood why it was important to be where Merlin wanted to be at exactly that time of year. Something with winter solstice and the magic of it, he didn’t need to know more.
If only he had let him book the flights, then he would be here already and they could get ready for the Christmas dinner at his father’s. But noooo, Mr. I-know-better had to book the cheapest airlines and the weirdest connections. He had a huge layover at some place and sometimes there was so little time between flights that it was unlikely that he’d catch his connecting flight at all. Last time they’d spoken, Merlin had been in a remote little city in Hungary? Bulgaria?, waiting for the snowfall to slow down so the plane could depart at all.
Merlin never listened. Arthur didn’t even know if the plane was in the air or if it was still grounded, if Merlin was already on a connecting flight into London or still stuck somewhere. And he had to face the dinner without him. Grumpily, Arthur adjusted his tie and once again ran a hand through his hair before he wrapped the scarf around his neck, slipped into his coat and put on the leather gloves. He reached for the paper bag with the presents for the family. As always, they were expensive, but meaningless and Arthur had no doubt, they’d receive things of the same kind back.
There was no use stalling any longer, Merlin wouldn’t show. While he was driving to Camelot Mansion, Arthur was somewhere between worry and anger. He didn’t know where Merlin was, if he was alright and on top of it, he had to do this here alone.
The butler let him in and just as he went to greet his father and sister, a familiar figure stood awkwardly by the huge Christmas tree in the hallway. The shirt he was wearing looked as if he just pulled it out of his backpack and the jacket, which was definitely one of Arthur’s old ones, didn’t really fit, but it was definitely Merlin. A tired-looking, his too-long hair all over the place, a sunburn on his nose and a huge smile on his face.
In a few steps he was in his arms. “Arthur!”
“Merlin!” Arthur didn’t even know what he was feeling. What had been a mix of irritation and concern before made way for a just as confusing mix of relief and joy.
They kissed briefly, as Arthur’s father was coming down the stairs and gave Merlin a disapproving look. Arthur didn’t care. Merlin was back and that was all that counted. Now he could face the dreaded dinner and he couldn’t wait for them to go back.
“There wasn’t enough time to go home, my plane was delayed. So I thought I’d come here right away. Morgana gave me this jacket.” Merlin explained.
“I thought you wouldn’t make it.” Arthur squeezed Merlin’s hand as they walked to the dining room.
“I told you I’d be home for Christmas.”
Arthur shook his head. “This isn’t home.”
“It is. Wherever you are.”