Pairing: Merlin/Arthur, kind of
Word count: 479
Prompt: It's not what it looks like
Summary: Arthur catches Merlin in the kitchen again. At 2:30 in the morning.
Author’s notes: Not beta’d. And I'm late. I know. There was so much going on this week that I simply...I could say forgot, but that's not quite true. I just didn't have any mojo left. So yay for writing today, forgive me for being late.
"It's not what it looks like!"
Merlin looked at him with a wide-eyed deer-caught-in-headlight look when he came into the kitchen at 2:30 to find out what the noise was about. He sighed.
"I think it's exactly what it looks like."
Merlin batted his eyelashes and tried to smile all innocently. "What does it look like?"
"It looks like you couldn't sleep and went to make a mess of the kitchen to keep busy." Arthur leaned against the doorframe and looked at Merlin. The dark shadows underneath his eyes gave him away. His roommate was suffering from insomnia again, like in the past three weeks. If he missed him rummaging in the kitchen, the smell of something baked lingered in the air in the morning and there were always fresh cookies around.
"Sorry if I woke you up." Merlin didn't even deny it.
"Merlin," Arthur sighed. "You don't have to apologize for waking me up. I just want you to get some sleep. And you sure won't get that when you're baking cookies in the middle of the night."
Merlin looked so exhausted, the way he stood there with hanging shoulders, an oven glove dangling from his hand, a teatowel stuffed into the waistband of his sweatpants as makeshift apron, that Arthur wanted to wrap his arms around him and tell him that everything would be alright. As he had no idea about what was wrong in the first place, that would have been a lie.
The mobile on the counter announced it was time to take the baked goods out of the oven and Merlin sprung into action again. The smell of freshly-baked cookies filled the kitchen and Arthur had to admit that this wasn't the worst thing that could happen when Merlin was suffering from insomnia.
"You're done, go to bed."
Merlin shook his head. "I have to clean the kitchen first."
Chuckling, Arthur reached for Merlin's arm. "As if you ever cleaned up the kitchen. Leave it like it is, we'll do it in the morning."
"I'm not going to bed." Merlin whispered as he didn't look at Arthur.
"Why not? What's wrong?"
Alright, he didn't want to tell him. Yet. "How about...we'll see if there are any old movies on and...eat the cookies you made last night?" He had another three hours of sleep if he went back to bed now, but this was more important. Either Merlin would talk or he would fall asleep. Arthur didn't care much which it was. He just couldn't leave him alone.
They had just gotten comfortable on the couch, sharing a blanket, rearranging the pillows and the movie was on for about five minutes when Arthur felt Merlin's head against his shoulder. If it took the TV running and him being around, he would do so until Merlin had gotten over his insomnia.