Title: New ritual
Word count: 461
Prompt: Bingo Card - bedtime rituals
Summary: Merlin wonders why Arthur, his creature of habit, doesn't have a bedtime ritual
Author’s notes: Not beta’d
Merlin smiled. "Nothing."
"Not nothing, you thought something, I could see it on your face, what is it?" Arthur climbed into bed and tried to get comfy.
Merlin folded the towel and took it back to the adjacent bathroom, before he hung his t-shirt neatly on the back of the chair. "I just wondered..."
Arthur looked at him expectantly.
"You have so many rituals and little routines you go through during the day...I've just never seen you do a bedtime ritual." Merlin sat down on the edge of the bed and then scrambled around until he was on his side, facing Arthur.
"Rituals?" Arthur threw him an amused and unbelieving look.
"Come on, you're a creature of habit, if I've ever seen one."
Merlin chuckled and stuffed the pillow a bit more under his head. "For example...the way you put cream in your coffee. Three teaspoons full. Not a drop more or less."
"It's important to always have the right amount of cream in your coffee."
"And how about your cleats before a game?"
"What's wrong with my cleats?" Arthur frowned.
"You always put the right one on first, then the left one and then you go to re-tie the right one."
"Maybe it hadn't felt good and I need to redo it?"
"Every single time?" Merlin grinned. "And the way you put the remote back next to the TV when we're done watching. How you arrange your jersey collection by year..."
"How else should I arrange it?"
"And how you put the exact same snacks and drinks in the exact same spots on the coffee table before you go and get your special football pillow when you get ready to watch a game."
Arthur blinked. "And you hate that." He said flatly.
"No." Merlin shook his head. "It's just little things I've noticed. And aside from your absolute obsession with footie, I find your little rituals quite endearing."
"Yes." Merlin nodded with a wide smile. "I've just wondered why there isn't a bedtime ritual. It doesn't seem like you."
"You want to start reading me a story or something?" Arthur chuckled.
Arthur worried his lower lip. "There was a bedtime ritual once."
"Oh? What did you do?"
"If you absolutely have to know, I wanked and couldn't fall asleep before I came really hard. So there, now you know."
Merlin chuckled. "And why did you stop doing that?"
Reaching over, putting his hand in the back of Merlin's neck and pulling him close, Arthur pressed a kiss on Merlin's lips. "Because I have you now."
Merlin playfully licked at the tip of Arthur's nose. "You have me to bring you off before falling asleep?"
"You want me to...?"
"If you don't mind...."