Title:Turniphead in Love, part 5
Rating: G (this part)
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Uther, Gaius, Hunith
Summary: In which Merlin gets a happy belated Valentine's Day.
Word Count: 1078 (sorry, I'm still editing out words but oh no it's the deadline)
Author's Notes: I will try to edit out a few words. But I need to post now because I've run out of time. I'm not sure it's how I want but ugh. Here it is anyway.
“Happy fifth day of Valentine's-mas, Elf-Boy!”
Merlin grumbled and turned over to sleep more.
“Let's have you, lazy daisy!”
Merlin pulled the blankets over his head and tried to block out the annoying voice.
“Up and at ‘em! Don't make me tickle you awake!”
Someone pulled the blankets off Merlin, letting cold air rush in. Merlin tried to bury his head under his pillow, but the pillow abruptly disappeared. There was a short pause, and then bam! The pillow whacked right into the back of his head.
“Arghle!” Merlin spluttered, sitting up and grabbing at the first thing he could reach. It was Kilgharrah, his stuffed dragon. Whispering apologies, he launched it at Arthur's head—of course it was Arthur. Who else could be such a prat?
Arthur caught the dragon ridiculously easily, like always. “I'd congratulate you on not losing control of your magic, but after what you did to the arboretum, Gaius expected it.”
What Merlin did? What did he do? He frowned, trying to wade through the crazy dreams that he'd been having—something about evil girls. (Weren't all girls evil, at least a little bit? They were certainly scary!) And… trees?
“Get up! It's been a week. That's extreme, even by your standards.”
“Stop drooling and get up, or Gaius will make you drink some foul-tasting concoction. I'm doing you a favour. You can thank me later.”
The threat of one of Gaius’ brews got Merlin out of bed. He wobbled embarrassingl, and Arthur offered him an arm to lean on. Merlin felt like a baby deer, but for once Arthur didn't mock him for it.
“Good, good, Gaius is waiting in the sitting room.”
When they entered the room, it was not just Gaius. His mum was there with Morgana and Gwen, but the figure that caught his attention was King Uther. He was chatting amiably with the others and drinking tea. Even so, the sight of him caused Merlin's pulse to race.
When Uther saw him, he stopped what he was saying mid-sentence. Oh dear. That was never a good sign.
“So here's the boy who destroyed my arboretum. Again.”
Sudden memories flooded into Merlin’s head… memories of broken glass, dying trees… What had he done?
His knees grew even more wobbly, and Arthur had to haul him up with an arm around his middle or he would have fallen over.
“Really, Father?” Arthur asked. “I thought we had decided we didn't need to scare the crap out of him anymore.”
Uther laughed jovially. He smiled widely, and the sight calmed Merlin's raging heartbeat.
“But it's so much fun!” Like father, like son, Merlin thought.”And look! He didn't lose control of his magic at all. Well done, boy.” Uther winked at him, and Merlin knew that whatever was happening, he wasn't in trouble.
His mother held her arms out, and Merlin wobbled over to sit with her. She wrapped her arms around him and whispered, “I’m so proud of you, my boy. You saved Arthur—the king is ecstatic.”
He had? Then those memories of sucking the life out of the plants like a vegetarian vampire had been true? Gulp. The king certainly wouldn't be ecstatic about that.
“Hungry?” Gaius asked him.
A servant pressed a cup of tea into his hands. A table had been laid with afternoon tea. Merlin helped himself to many scones and extra helpings of cake. Mum rolled her eyes but didn't stop him.
Afterwards, Arthur placed a stack of envelopes in Merlin's lap. “What are these?” Merlin asked, perplexed.
“Can't have a fifth day of Valentine's-mas tea party without valentines!” Arthur said with a smirk.
“What on earth are you talking about?”
“Since you slept through Valentine's Day, we've had to make do. You really should stop sleeping through all the holidays, Mer. You'll miss out on a lot of fun that way.”
The turniphead had a point.
“Well, open them already!”
So Merlin did. The first was a standard palace envelope. Inside was a bill for £12.3 million for “total destruction of all plant life within two blocks of the palace and the complete annihilation of the arboretum glass”.
It felt like being electrocuted. The shock of reading that number—and knowing he could never pay it—was like a physical blow.
“Look! No loss of control at all!” Uther said, happily. “You were right, Gaius. He really came into his power!”
Merlin barely heard what they said; he could only stare at the paper and panic.
“My dad's just messing with you. Trying to test your magical control. Open the next one, idiot,” Arthur said fondly. Merlin's hands shook, but he did as told. The second contained stiff parchment covered in calligraphy. It read, “For services to the Crown, Merlin Emrys is hereby awarded a medal of honour and the sum total of £20 million.” There was more, but he couldn't read it. His mum was hugging him and Gaius was patting him on the back and Morgana and Gwen were squealing and all was chaos.
Eventually things calmed down, and Arthur hissed at him to open the next envelope. Merlin did, but with some trepidation after the first two. Inside this one was a card that had clearly been homemade. The front contained a hand drawn comic of a wizard blasting a faerie in a lake. Nearby a prince was submerged underwater. Underneath was printed neatly a quotation from one of Arthur's favorite books, “Loving the monsters always ends badly for the human. It's a rule.” Inside the card it merely said, “Thank you.”
“You like it?” Arthur asked. “I thought it would work as the plot of our next comic book.”
Merlin stared at him. “I thought homemade cards weren't your thing?”
Arthur laughed and stuck his arm Merlin's shoulders. “I never said that! I said they weren't Sophia's thing. She's the faerie, by the way. Gaius said that's what she was. Apparently she zapped me with a love spell—”
“Not that she needed to, pretty as she was,” Merlin muttered.
“—and tried to barter my soul into her reacceptance among the Sidhe. But you stopped her! Sounds like a great comic to me!”
Merlin’s heart was glowing. Arthur had made him a valentine. And they were going to keep writing their comics together. So perhaps he had been jealous of a faerie and completely slept through the actual day. This was still the best Valentine's Day ever!