Title: The birthday present
Pairing(s): Arthur/Merlin, Gwaine
Summary: Merlin listens to something he shouldn’t listen to
Merlin knew that he shouldn’t be here, in Arthur’s chambers. Arthur had made it very clear that he didn’t want him around for the rest of the day. But he’d forgotten to put the candy on Arthur’s nightstand, so he had come back to do it before Arthur threw stuff at him in the morning for having forgotten.
But now Arthur and someone else came down the corridor and there was no way Merlin could leave without being seen. So he dove behind the curtain, hoping Arthur would leave right away again and not notice that he was still here.
“Ssssssssssh!” Arthur scolded when the person he was with made a noise.
“But what’s so…” the other whispered.
Gwaine! That was clearly Gwaine! What was Gwaine doing in Arthur’s chambers? And…with Arthur?
“He might be around!”
“You said you sent him away for the afternoon!”
“I did, but you know him!”
Merlin tried to peek around the curtain, but only saw the back of Arthur’s head. So he’d sent him away to have some alone-time with Gwaine! That stung. What a fool he was for thinking he was special for Arthur.
“Come here, help me with this,” Arthur whispered.
Gwaine moved around and then grunted. “Why is this so big?” He sounded breathless.
“You never complained about size, did you?” Arthur’s voice was hoarse.
Merlin heard the rustle of fabric and then something – or someone – dropped onto the bed.
“Right there…yeah…this is good.”
Merlin felt a blush burn high on his cheeks and his ears. He shouldn’t be here, he shouldn’t witness this! Especially since it made him feel all jealous! Arthur was his! And there he was, sending him away, so he could fool around with Gwaine!
“No…no…just a bit…”
The bed creaked.
“Yeah, this is better…yeah…a bit more…just a bit..”
Another loud grunt followed.
Merlin frowned and pouted as he shoved the curtain aside and nearly stumbled over the seam since the tears in his eyes made it hard to see where he was going. But he didn’t care, he just needed to get out.
“Merlin! What are you doing here?”
Sniffing and rubbing the heel of his hand against his eye, Merlin didn’t stop as he headed for the door.
“Merlin, come here! You should be at the smith’s about my new armour!”
“Yeah,” Merlin spat, “about your new armour!” He turned. “It’s more that you sent me away so you could have your way with Gwaine!” That Arthur was cheating on him hurt, but it also hurt that Gwaine, the best friend he’d ever had since he left Ealdor, cheated on him, too. He was losing two people he loved in one afternoon.
“Merlin,” Gwaine was right next to him and reached for his arm, “you got quite the vivid imagination! What did you think we were doing?”
“I know what I heard!” Merlin sniffed again and couldn’t look at either of them.
“Is that so?” Oh, how he hated when Arthur got like that. The prat prince of Prat-a-lot was back.
“Yes, that is so!” He yelled full force at his King, his voice choked by the tears that were rolling down his face.
“If you think so, take a good look. What do you think that is over there?”
Sniffling, Merlin turned and blinked a couple of times when he saw a huge…thing…on Arthur’s bed, wrapped up in a cloth, tied with a red bow. “I don’t know. And I don’t want to know what exactly you wanted to do with it.” He knew Arthur could be kinky, but he didn’t want to know what he did with Gwaine.
And then he rubbed the back of his head when Arthur slapped him.
Merlin didn’t move.
“I said: Open it.”
“But Sire…” Gwaine tried to intervene.
Arthur glared at Gwaine now, too. “He had to snoop about, now he has to live with it.” He gave Merlin a shove.
Slowly nearing the bed, Merlin’s mind raced. What was this? And what would happen once he’d unwrapped the….it looked like a present.
“What are you waiting for?”
Merlin tugged at the bow and the cloth fell away. He blinked. In the middle of the cloth lay a beautiful new saddle. It didn’t make sense at all. If Arthur and Gwaine were into this odd stuff, why had they wrapped it up in the first place?
While he stared at the saddle, he felt Arthur wrap an arm around his shoulder.
“A day early, but happy birthday, love.”
His brain was still trying to process what had happened, when Arthur leaned close and whispered “But I like the way you’re thinking. We could leave it here for a while. And if you want to, we can invite Gwaine for a little early celebration, what do you think?”