Title: Thank you, Santa
Word count: 915
Prompt: 343: Letter to Santa
Summary: Arthur finds an old letter in the attic
Author’s notes: Not beta’d. I didn't mean for this to get this sappy!
Arthur sighed as he rummaged around the attic. That Jamie was standing at the bottom of the stairs, waiting, only made him grumpier. As they were all trying to put up the tree, Janice, the seven year-old and her teenage brother Jamie had been fighting about whether Santa was real or not, the little one insisting if they only put up cookies and milk Santa would come to their house and the teenager slowly starting to doubt the magic of Christmas altogether. Arthur had felt that Jamie still wanted to believe, though, so he had volunteered him to help with the decorations. Maybe that would help him get him into the right mood.
These were the moments, he doubted Merlin's decission to take in two abandonned magic kids. He was a minority in this house and whenever he tried to be something like an authority, he had to fear some magic being thrown his way that wasn't in his favour. Being born of magic and having spent so many years with Merlin, Arthur had gotten rather good at detecting magic, but it still wasn't nice to show up to work in socks that had turned red and green or to find that his packed lunch had turned into frogs. Percy had a blast when they chased the frogs around his office, but that was a different story.
Now, Arthur was trying to find the Christmas ornaments and to calm down. Of course, Jamie was too old to believe in Santa. He himself had stopped believing in Santa when he was as old as Janice. Then again, Jamie was still a bit naive and really young for his age. If he still wanted to believe in Santa for another year, that was totally fine. There was no reason to disappoint him in telling him there really was no such thing as Santa and that none of the wishes in the letters kids wrote would come true.
Ah, there was the box he was looking for! The one with the old ornaments that he had brought from Camelot Mansion as they had belonged to his mother and father never wanted to put them up anymore. Carefully, he opened the lid. Hmm...this obviously wasn't the box he was looking for as it only held newspaper articles that someone clipped out and that had yellowed over time, some old photos and letters.
Carefully, he pulled the letters out and was surprised to see his own handwriting on the old envelopes. Probably not the handwriting he had today. It was a lot more childish, but seemed to develop from learner's level to a bit more accomplished with each envelope. Arthur swallowed hard. Someone had kept the letters he had written to Santa as a kid.
Sitting down on an old garden chair, he pulled the letter that seemed to be the last one added to the collection, out of the envelope.
I know I'm too old to write to you, but maybe you will listen as I have nobody else who does. I know I have a lot of things. A big house, lots of food and things. I'm just...
Arthur didn't need to read on and he blew out a deep breath as his eyes teared up. This was the last letter a lonely teenage boy who was totally confused had ever written to Santa. He had just started realizing that he liked boys a lot better than girls but didn't know what to do about it, much less how to tell anyone. So he had written to Santa, wishing for someone who liked him. Someone who didn't need to be rich or famous or even great-looking, just someone who took him the way he was, who wanted to spend his time with him, so he wouldn't be alone anymore.
From downstairs, Arthur heard Merlin singing with Janice in the kitchen where they undoubtedly were baking cookies and wiped the tears from his eyes.
He had forgotten that he had written this letter and he had stopped waiting for his wish to come true. And then it suddenly did that one cold December day when Merlin had stumbled into his life. Stumbled was just the right word, too, as he had lost his footing on a patch of ice on the sidewalk and Arthur barely managed to catch him and keep him from his falling.
All of a sudden, he had everything he had ever wished for and more. Despite the way he had been brought up, he didn't care that Merlin wasn't from a rich, prestigious family. Merlin was clever and funny and gorgeous and special with his magic. The most magical thing though, was that Merlin had fallen in love with him and Arthur smiled when he thought about that moment when Merlin declared "You won't get rid of me from now on" about six month into dating.
That had been years ago and they had their ups and downs, but they had never stopped believing in their relationship and after they had moved into their little house, they had taken in the kids.
Carefully, Arthur put the letter back into the envelope and into the space in the box. He got up to finally find the box with the ornaments when he heard the laughter of his little oddly-mixed family. Before he closed the hatch with the ladder to the attic, he smiled at the old plastic Santa they hadn't put up in years.