Title: Simple and Grand
Character/s: Gwaine, Percival, Merlin
Summary: Modern AU. Merlin convinces Gwaine to rethink Percival's gift for their first wedding anniversary.
Word Count: 957
Prompt: #351, "romance"
Author's Notes: None
"You can't be serious."
Gwaine stiffened. Those were the last words he'd expected to hear out of Merlin's mouth when he'd succumbed to his friend's desire to know what Gwaine was giving Percival for their anniversary.
Merlin stared at him in disbelief. "Because they're coupons."
"Yeah. First wedding anniversary is paper. Coupons are perfect."
"They're sex coupons."
"Which happens to be my specialty. Besides, I had them professionally printed and bound. They look fantastic."
"But they're still sex coupons."
"They're fun. Perc will get a kick out of them."
"Doesn't change the fact that they're sex coupons."
"Why do you keep saying it like that? It's not like I'm giving him a set of steak knives."
Merlin shook his head. "It's not the most romantic gift, now is it?"
"One of the coupons is good for a couples massage with the alcohol of his choosing. Explain to me how that isn't romantic."
"Because you do that anyway. Look. This is your very first anniversary as a married couple. That's a big deal. You shouldn't be so glib about his gift."
Gwaine scowled. "Perc likes it when I'm glib."
"Yes, that's one of your many charms," Merlin recited as if by rote. "But so is the element of surprise. Percival might enjoy the coupons now, but when you two are old and gray, he won't remember them. Don't you want this year to be special enough for him to tell all your grandkids about?"
As much as he hated to admit it, Merlin had a point. And Gwaine rather liked the idea of Percival bragging about one of Gwaine's gestures for decades to come.
"Duly noted," he said. "Now I just have to figure something out in the five days I have left that'll beat the coupons."
"I have faith in you."
"Really? You didn't two minutes ago when your needle was stuck on sex coupons."
Merlin didn't respond. He simply sat back with that Cheshire Cat grin of his and let Gwaine stew.
Which was what he did for hours afterward. Nothing he came up with as an alternative to the coupons felt good enough. The problem was, Percival was too easy-going. He found the beauty in both the simple and the grand. He would be happy with whatever Gwaine gave him.
Simple and grand. That was it.
He found a store online to do exactly what he wanted, but he had to pay through the nose to get it shipped in time. The expense was worth it, though. Even Merlin approved when he ran the idea by him.
On the day, Percival sprung his gift to Gwaine at the breakfast table.
Gwaine gawked at the printout he found in the card. "You got us tickets for the UEFA final?"
Percival gave him a shy smile. "You complained about not getting to see the game properly last year, so I thought, why not?"
Because it was bloody expensive, that was why. Thousands of quid apiece, not to mention the travel costs to get to Madrid. Not that Gwaine wasn't grateful, but damn, it was a very good thing he hadn't gone with the sex coupons, after all.
"You get mine tonight," Gwaine announced after he spent the next hour showing Percival exactly how grateful he truly was.
Percival brushed the sweaty hair off Gwaine's forehead before trailing his lips along the path between Gwaine's temple and jaw. "You mean I get more of this?"
Gwaine chuckled. "Always."
Neither could Gwaine. As the day went on, his anxiety ratcheted. What if his gift was too sappy? What if Percival had thought of it himself and then dismissed it as not good enough? What if he should've just tied Percival to their bed and ravished him all day instead of putting himself out on a limb like this?
It was too late to change his mind, though. Onward and upward.
He picked Percival up at work in the limo he'd rented, then hit the privacy window between them and the driver. "Do we have time for this?" Percival said with a laugh when Gwaine straddled his lap.
Gwaine answered him with a kiss.
Ninety minutes, three orgasms, and a bottle of champagne later — that would've used up at least half a dozen coupons right there — they rolled to a stop. Gwaine ensured he was the first one out so he could witness the delight on Percival's face when he saw where they were.
"I can't believe it's taken us this long to get back here," Percival said, his arm around Gwaine's back. Here was the Cock Inn in Sevenoaks, where, at a birthday party for Merlin, Gwaine and Percival had first met. "This is great, thank you."
"Wait, there's more." Gwaine reached inside the limo to pull out a slim, wrapped package. "Here. Happy Anniversary."
He did his best not to fidget as Percival slid his finger under the cello to open his gift. When the paper fell away, it exposed the exposed print Gwaine had ordered.
"It's what the stars looked like that night," Gwaine explained. Beneath the picture was the original date with their names in script. "You gave me the world when you asked me to marry you. I want to give you infinity."
Percival was motionless for long seconds, simply staring at the print. Then, he lifted his shiny gaze to meet Gwaine's. "You already have," he said, his voice rough. He jerked his chin toward the pub. "Did you make a reservation?"
Before Gwaine could finishing saying, "No," Percival grabbed his hand and pulled him back into the limo, slamming the door shut behind them.
They didn't emerge for another forty minutes.
His coupon book wouldn't have lasted the night.