Summary:Merlin scares Arthur a little more than he intends to.
Prompt:#327: Why did you scream like that?
Author's Notes:Not beta'd.
Merlin laughs, taking off the elephant mask.
“What is wrong with you?” Arthur demands, running a hand through his hair.
“Why did you scream like that?” Merlin asks in response, replacing the mask on the shelf beside them.
“Because you came out of nowhere,” Arthur answers, “wearing an elephant mask. I think my reaction was perfectly reasonable, given the circumstances.”
“Uh-huh,” Merlin says disbelievingly, crossing his arm and leaning against the shelf now. He curiously watches Arthur reshelve cat ears.
When Arthur can't take the scrutiny any longer, he stops shelving and turns to Merlin, snapping, “What?”
“Nothing, just,” he says, then stops and shrugs.
“What?” Arthur pushes.
“Arthur,” Merlin says, voice patronizingly even. “I need you to be honest with me.”
Arthur rolls his eyes. “Okay.”
Merlin nods, and finally inquires, “Arthur, are you afraid of elephants?”
The tips of Arthur’s ears heat up as he turns back to the shelf and resumes his business with the cat ears. “No.”
“May I remind you,” says Merlin, leaning forward and stopping Arthur's motions by gently holding his wrists with one hand. “You promised to be honest.”
“I am being honest,” Arthur lies.
“Okay then,” Merlin says, and leans back. Arthur doesn't resume shelfing; he just stares and waits for Merlin’s next move. After a moment, Merlin finally makes it, stating, “So I suppose it won't be a problem that I’m planning on going on Safari and riding an elephant on our honeymoon.”
Arthur grits his teeth. It's a bluff, he knows it is, so he says, “Perfectly fine.”
“And that I'd like to go to the zoo this weekend,” Merlin continues, “just to see the elephants?”
“That sounds--lovely,” Arthur replies, voice strained.
“And that I was actually thinking of having an elephant at our wedding, because I just love them so much--”
“Too far!” Arthur declares. “Too far, and you know it.”
Merlin throws his head back, letting out a huge guffaw. “Is it?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Oh, I'm sorry, love.” Merlin moves so he's standing behind Arthur and wraps his arms around him. “I didn't mean to upset you.”
“To be fair, you did promise to be honest.”
“Some promises are meant to be broken.”
Merlin chuckles against the back of his neck. Laying a kiss there, he murmurs, “I was just kidding. You know that, right?”
Arthur sighs. “I know.”
“Why are you so afraid of them?”
“I don't know,” Arthur says, honestly. “They're big?”
“So are giraffes.”
“I don't know, I just am!”
“All right, all right,” Merlin soothes him, pressing more kisses to the back of his neck. “That's fine. It’s fine. I promise no elephant honeymoons or weddings.”
Arthur smiles and murmurs, “Thank you.” He doesn't comment on the fact that he and Merlin are not, in fact, engaged.