Title: Perfect Birthday
Characters: George, OCs, Gwaine
Summary: George is trying to find the right present for his lover.
Word Count: around 830
Prompt: 336, black cat
Author's note: Each of the OCs are people I made for my Stocks AU. Also, I just didn't feel like writing something scary for this prompt. If anyone thinks this should be PG, let me know. :)
George was baffled. He knew he wanted to find the perfect gift for his lover’s birthday, but he just hadn’t found it yet. This was his third trip through the main marketplace and he was just as lost as he had been the two times he'd also gone through the lower town market. So far, nothing in particular had jumped out at him. George had decided that if he didn’t find something this time, then he was going to give in to desperation and ask Nick for an idea.
George wandered past the knife-seller’s stall. A new whetstone would be a properly practical gift for Havard, but it would also be absolutely boring. The guard never wore jewelry or carried much coin at one time. He said it would tempt the idiots he arrested to attack him. George just didn’t want to give Havard a practical gift. The last gift he gave him was a new sheath for his favorite dagger. Of course, that had led to enough bawdy jokes from Nick and Sir Gwaine when they celebrated Havard’s birthday at the Rising Sun, that even Havard lost his patience and whapped Nick upside the head as he dragged George out of the tavern.
George shook his head at the memory. Falling in love with a guard had never been something he’d planned for. He loved his plans. He loved doing things deliberately. This confusion over a gift for the man who'd set his whole life on it's axis, then made it right again was quite unsettling. As he walked down the street, his eyes were drawn to the woodcarver’s stall. Jem hadn’t been here the last few times.
“Ah, George. I haven’t seen you in months. Been busy up at the citadel, have you?” Jem was an older man who’d lived in Camelot for decades, old enough that his wrinkles seemed to have grown wrinkles.
“Jem,” he nodded back. “It has been a while. How is your family?” As he talked to the woodcutter, he looked at the pieces displayed in the stall. Tucked in among the forest animals was a tiny cat, curled up as if it were sleeping. George reached for it, inspecting it carefully. He smiled inside. This was it. This was the perfect gift. Now for the haggling.
He wrapped the little carving in a scrap of fine linen and left it on their table for Havard to open when he ate his dinner that night. Night shift guard duty was not Havard’s favorite, but at least it meant that the other guards tended to forget about his birthday and didn’t make a fuss about it, which suited the quiet guard just nicely. George wouldn’t see him until the next day thanks to his own work in the citadel and left him to his sleep.
He faced his duties that day with a light heart, eager to see Havard the next day. He took his lunch with the other servants, laughing at the mild teasing they sent his way. It wasn’t often that he ate with them, but it had happened more frequently lately. After lunch, he was replacing the linens the laundresses had washed earlier when he heard the door to the storage room open and close again. He started to turn to see who was there and was stopped by a gentle hand on his cheek. His eyes met Havard’s and he could only smile as he leaned into his warm touch.
“You’re supposed to be on your way to the guardhouse soon.”
“I know. I have time for this.” Havard turned George the rest of the way to face him and leaned in, gently kissing his lover. “Thank you for the gift, George. I can’t believe you remembered.”
“Of course, I remembered. You told me about that little black cat you had as a kid the night we first got together. I remember everything about that night.” George kissed Havard back. “Happy birthday.” The two men stood holding each other lightly, happy just to be with each other.
“I have to go, I just wanted to thank you right away. If I’m late, Nick will make sure I’m on stocks duty for a month, just to be an arse.”
George grinned, “Then I guess you should go.” He didn’t let go of Havard, and Havard still held onto him.
“Fuck it, it’s worth it.” Havard leaned in and started kissing George again.
Neither heard the door open or close again quickly. Twenty minutes later, a very flushed, yet relaxed Havard left the store room in a mild daze. George collected himself, finished his task, and left the room with a sheet that needed to be cleaned again. He fully intended to take care of tha himself.
When he closed the door, he happened to glance the opposite direction from the one that led to the guardhouse. Sir Gwaine leaned against the wall, trimming his nails with a small knife. When he saw George was looking his way, he grinned and winked, “Need a new sheet for my bed. I’ll just get that now that Havard’s had his birthday present."