Title: Again…and again…and again
Word Count: 703
Summary: Merlin has a plan
Notes: Not beta’d.
Merlin was nervous. He was actually more nervous than the first time. Then again, the first time, Arthur had known what was going on and fully agreed. Looking down at his ring, Merlin smiled. Of course, Arthur had agreed. They had both been standing there, exchanged the rings, signed the papers and that had been it.
Twenty years ago, it had been all new and exciting. Same-sex couples couldn’t just get married, they had to enter a registered partnership. Since it didn’t really have the same official meaning, they hadn’t made a big deal about it. It had come up in a conversation over dinner one night and they had just agreed to do it. As a means of security for the other, in case something happened to one of them. Or whatever weird logical reasons they had. It had never made a difference to Merlin. The moment Arthur put the ring on his finger, he had been married.
Of course they didn’t only have good times. There was that time where Arthur worked long hours so often that Merlin had suspected there was someone else and when one of Morgana’s boys had been so sick…that had taken its toll on them all. The time Merlin had been in that accident and needed assistance in everything he did for months on end wasn’t the best of times either. They had always pulled through, though. They quarrelled, they fought, but in the end, they were still there.
Merlin knew that Arthur wasn’t too happy with them just signing some papers. Even though he didn’t seem to be the romantic type, Merlin knew Arthur would have loved a big ceremony with all their friends; and if it was just to show to the world that he was his.
Yet, he felt very nervous now. It had seemed like such a good idea. It was Arthur’s 50th birthday and when he first had the idea, it had sounded a bit ridiculous. The longer he thought about it, the more convinced he was to go through with it. He had managed to talk Arthur into having a big party in an environment that required more than just old jeans and a t-shirt and then started his preparations.
Checking again if everyone was in place – since they were all in on it, all their guests were dressed to the nines - and everything was set up, the woman who would do the ceremony was there, the chairs in place, the flower arrangements had arrived last minute and Gwaine and Leon waited as their best men, Merlin waited for Arthur by the door.
Morgana’s kids – who were in their early twenties now – kidnapped Arthur the moment he got out of his car. They would make sure Arthur’s tie would be exchanged for a bowtie and that there would be a flower that matched Merlin’s at his lapel.
Taking a deep breath, Merlin wiped his sweaty hands on the pants of his suit and then the door opened.
“What’s that all about?” Arthur laughed and was talking to Sean and Justin and then stopped in his tracks when he saw the assembled crowd and Merlin waiting for him. “What…Merlin?”
Merlin huffed out a nervous chuckled. “Arthur.”
The room fell silent.
“I know that just signing some papers was never really enough for you. I know that you would have preferred a ceremony and all our friends witnessing.”
Arthur blinked and looked around. Merlin could see on his face that it slowly dawned on him what was about to come.
Taking Arthur’s hand, Merlin continued. “We might both be a bit older, a bit greyer,” he waited for the chuckles around them to die down. “But I still love you like on the day we first met. This is a special birthday and you know I wish you just the best in life.” Slowly, he got down on one knee. “So…Arthur Pendragon, would you marry me…again?”
Arthur looked at him disbelievingly, then reached for his hand to pull him up as he laughed that full-body laugh that Merlin loved so much, full force, head bent back. He wrapped his arms around Merlin and in between kisses, he whispered. “Again…and again…and again…”