Summary: Arthur gives Merlin a present
Warnings: schmoop and fluff
Word Count: about 420
Author's Notes: I wanted to play with a geeky Merlin who felt unappreciated. This is a one-shot from my Third Time’s the Charm ‘verse. Thanks to kleinefee92 for handholding and a bit of beta help:)
"Arthur, I'm home!" Merlin took his earbuds out to listen for a reply.
A distant voice came back, "I'll be there in a minute."
A small beagle, tail wagging ferociously, greeted Merlin with licks. "Hey there, boy. You had a good day?"
Merlin set his bag down and hung his coat on the rack. Only then did he notice the shiny package on the table. Shit. He'd forgetten their anniversary. At that moment, Arthur walked out, still dressed for the office.
"Oh, did you just get home? I thought you'd have been home much earlier."
"Yeah. My father called an emergency meeting two seconds before I had meant to leave."
Merlin reached out to pull Arthur into his embrace. "Hard day then?"
"Mmmm. It's forgotten, with you in my arms." He tenderly kissed Merlin who happily kissed him back.
Someone's stomach growled and Merlin reluctantly pulled back. "Dinner?"
"Yes. I've made reservations at the French restaurant down the street." Arthur glanced at his watch. "Shit. Grab your coat. It's later than I thought."
The walk down to the restaurant was pleasant with the usual chit chat about their day and Merlin sharing a tune he'd found. Dinner was fine, nothing special, but Merlin was distracted by thoughts of the shiny present on the table at home and the fact that he'd forgotten about their anniversary completely.
On the walk home, Merlin was uncharacteristically quiet.
"Everything okay, Merlin." Arthur put a hand on Merlin's waist, pulling him in close and they walked, awkwardly, for a few paces until they fell in together.
Merlin leaned his head on the other man's shoulder, sighing. "It's just that, I, um, forgot our anniversary."
"Oh, Merlin. It's ok. Are you worried that you didn't get me a present?"
Merlin stopped walking, faced Arthur and nodded.
Arthur pulled Merlin to him and put their foreheads together. "You numbskull. I don't expect or need a present from you. I know that you love me."
Mollified, Merlin took Arthur's hand.
When they got home, Arthur said, " I know you don't get any recognition for your work and I'm the one in the spotlight, but you are the wind beneath my wings. You are my superhero."
Merlin opened up the package.
"No one else knows your super powers, but I do."
Merlin’s eyes got bright with tears and he leaned in to kiss Arthur softly, unable to put his feelings into words.