Summary: It’s been the coldest, snowiest winter day in 50 years and Merlin and Morgana are stuck with their children in a cabin. How will they manage to stay warm and still celebrate Christmas Day?
Warnings: Slight swearing.
Word Count: 1,249
Author's Notes: Merry Christmas gilli_ann! I hope you enjoy this story and that it does your prompt some justice. Many thanks to schweet_heart for giving this a once over and making really great suggestions. Lastly, thanks to camelot_drabble for running this festival!
Disclaimer:Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons.
Merlin stirs as he hears his wife yell for him. He had been hoping for five more minutes of sleep before the five hour drive back to Camelot, where they were going to spend Christmas Eve at Morgana’s family home (or rather, castle but Merlin hates thinking about how much money her father has, or the fact that he’s a Duke) for the first time. But alas, it appears his wife is ready to go.
Pulling the blankets back, he gets up slowly, grabbing his robe and slipping on his red and green elf slippers—a gift from his wife’s half-brother, Arthur, last year that he hated, but after hearing how much Morgana loved them he’d changed his mind. That and because when he had seen his wife later that night in a sexy elf outfit, he’d felt like the luckiest man on earth.
Opening their bedroom door, he enters the hallway then walks into the lounge room, where Ollie and Ella are already sitting on the sofa, eating their breakfast. On the television, the news anchor is warning people to stay in their houses and not drive due to extremely cold weather. Meanwhile, his wife is looking out of the window with a scowl on her face.
Before he can say anything, Ella blurts out excitedly, “Daddy, We’re snowed in!” and he knows that his daughter is overjoyed with the prospect of more time staying at the cabin, where they can play in the snow for hours. Merlin can blame her. Although the kids had been looking forward to seeing her grandfather for the first time, Merlin and Morgana weren’t exactly thrilled with the prospect of spending Christmas with Morgana’s father.
His wife had had a major falling out with her father after he refused to accept her life choices (including her choice of career and husband) and hasn’t seen him in over ten years. Morgana tried countless times to reconcile with him, but alas to no avail. Her father was stubborn, and eventually Morgana gave up trying. Merlin hated knowing how much pain not having her father in her life was causing Morgana and couldn’t understand how a father could do such a thing to their daughter.
Walking towards the window, Merlin wraps his arms around his wife, snuggles his face between her long raven hair and shoulder, and chuckles. “I guess that means we can’t make it to your father’s then!”
Snorting, his wife turns her head. “While I’m not averse to the idea of avoiding my father, now I’m not so sure it’s a good thing,” Morgana admits, looking quite conflicted. “You know in the past he hasn’t exactly made an effort to get to know the kids, and now he has changed his tune.”
Merlin nods his head in agreement. It’s true. Despite Morgana sending a letter to her father (he doesn’t like emails or mobile phones – he’s very much old fashioned) to inform him of Ollie’s birth ten years ago, she hadn’t hear a word from him. Nothing.
And when she wrote to him five years later to let him know that Ella was born, they’d received no response again. Uther simply wasn’t interested, and they decided to not waste their energy trying to see if he wanted to be involved in his grandchildren’s lives.
Then, ten weeks ago, they had received a letter from Uther asking them to visit him for Christmas. He wanted to apologise for the long feud between them and to meet his grandchildren. At first, both Merlin and Morgana were angry to hear from Uther after ten years of silence. But then Ollie and Ella found the letter from their grandfather and told them—begged them—to let them meet him. So they had relented.
“Well,” Merlin begins as he watches the snow falling out the window, “they are saying that it’s not safe to leave the house, let alone be driving. So I think we have no choice but to stay here for Christmas.”
A few second pass, and Morgana nods her head. “You’re right. We’ll just have to ring him and let him know we can’t make it.”
“Exactly,” Merlin agrees, then adds, “Plus, I’m sure we can still have a good Christmas!” No sooner had he finished telling her this when the lights, TV and the rest of the appliances went off.
“Fuck,” they both mutter, and the kids laugh, before telling their parents off for swearing. Apparently, they hadn’t said it quietly enough, and their kids had super hearing.
After checking the fuse box, Merlin realises that it’s likely the weather that has caused the blackout. His wife confirms this after she digs out the battery-powered radio from amongst the messy cupboard in the hallway. Turns out that the snowstorm is the worst Camelot has had in 50 years. The authorities inform everyone that they are working hard to return the power, but it is likely to take up to twelve hours to fix due to the continuing dangerous weather.
This means that, until it’s fixed, they are stuck at the cabin. At first Morgana is worried, but Merlin is very good at making things fun when it all goes terribly wrong. He even manages to make the task of cutting up firewood for the fireplace quite the entertainment.
“Daddy, you’re doing that wrong!” Ella informs Merlin, laughing as he once again misses the wood he’s trying to cut up. Looking over, he can see his wife and son laughing too.
“Right,” Merlin says, walking over to his wife. “Since you find this so amusing, why don’t you have a go?”
“Fine, then,” she says, smiling before grabbing the axe from him and suggesting he help Ella make a Olaf snowman instead. Which he does.
A few seconds later, Merlin watches as his wife breaks the piece of wood in half perfectly. Surprised at her success, he asks her how she did it.
“I was in Girl Scouts,” she explains before axing another piece in half and then another, leaving her husband impressed.
Merlin, Morgana and the kids are huddled around the fireplace. After cutting up the firewood, Morgana once again impressed her husband and kids by getting the fire started. And having found the old rack for cooking over the fireplace, she’s making them all scrambled eggs for lunch.
Then she hears the kids in the pantry and asks them what they are doing.
“Getting marshmallows, Mum,” Ollie tells her, “We wanna make some s’mores!”
“But I’m making your lunch.”
“Please, Mummy,” Ella pleads, sticking her bottom lip down in a way that usually makes her parents give in to her.
“Alright,” Morgana gives in. “But only because it’s Christmas.” Merlin smirks at his wife for giving in so easily. Usually, he’s the one that caves first, while Morgana is the hold-out.
“Yay!” Ella says, before she and Ollie start placing the marshmallows on skewers and holding them over the fire.
Merlin imagines that Christmas for Morgana growing was much grander than this. Living in a castle and being the daughter of a duke meant she had everything in the world. Yet, looking over at his wife, who is smiling as she prepares their lunch and makes sure the kids don’t burn themselves making s’mores, he knows that she is happy just being with her family. It doesn’t matter that they are stuck in the cabin, or that there’s no power. She’s warm, safe, and with the people she loves the most.