Title: The muse
Word Count: 535
Summary: Arthur seems stuck in his creative process. Merlin is more than happy to get the creative juices flowing again.
Notes: Not beta’d.
Merlin entered the pool house quietly. Each time he had looked out of his window of the mansion, he had seen Arthur standing in front of the easel, frowning at the canvas. He knew that Arthur did this sometimes. There were days, he added many colours to a painting and others, where he waited for the painting to ‘speak to him’. This could take an hour or more, but Merlin knew that it was going on too long right now. He needed to get Arthur’s attention away from painting, so he could look at his work with fresh eyes once he returned.
He didn’t understand much about painting. Merlin just liked nice colour combinations and the feeling that came with looking at Arthur’s paintings. The business world had hated him when he convinced Arthur to follow his passion, the art world was thrilled. Merlin was just happy as Arthur was a lot more relaxed than in his old life. He was no VanGogh or Picasso, but just the other week, he had shipped a piece to a gallery in New York and Merlin kept his fingers crossed that some art lover would like it enough to buy it.
Passing the rack where Arthur’s latest pieces were stored to dry and cure, Merlin smiled at the by now familiar smells of the place. There were paint brushes on one of the shelves, cleaned and waiting to dry and jars with liquids that he didn’t know, some jars held paints that Arthur mixed for a project, others were dirty, yet more empty.
The acrylics that had run off the canvas and dripped onto the floor had already dried and Arthur was still looking at his work as if it would give him the answer to a question he hadn’t even asked. Maybe that was the way Arthur was working, Merlin didn’t know, but it was time to get him out of this state. Carefully, he stepped next to him, trying to make his presence known without startling Arthur. “Hey,” he whispered.
Arthur turned his head and threw him a bewildered look, before he sighed.
“No, it doesn’t. Something is missing.”
The corners of Merlin’s mouth pulled into a small smile. “Maybe I was missing?”
“Merlin, I’m trying to work.”
Slipping his arm around Arthur’s waist, Merlin pressed close. “You’re working too hard.”
“You know that I have this exhibition coming up in June. I need to have more pieces to show.”
“And that’s exactly what’s not working.” Merlin pressed a kiss on Arthur’s shoulder.
“What do you mean?”
“Pressuring yourself never got you to be creative.” His fingers found their way underneath Arthur’s shirt, gently caressing the warm skin there.
“You’re distracting me.”
“That’s what I had in mind, yes.”
“Merlin, I…” Arthur never got any further as Merlin pulled him into a kiss.
Later, Merlin lounged on the old leather couch, one arm behind his head, and didn’t bother to cover up. He was a bit sore as Arthur hadn’t been too gentle, but he didn’t mind. Arthur stood at his canvas in nothing but jeans and his white paint-stained shirt, unbuttoned, and worked frantically.
Merlin smiled. His job as a muse was done for now.