Title: Trouble Stirrer
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Freya is a...batter stirrer
Word Count: 950
Author's Notes: I was going for 100 words and then 4 pages happened..
Arthur wasn’t a big fan of Christmas. He would bah-humbug around the office like Scrooge until the week after New Years, scowling at the decorations and staring down anyone who played Christmas tunes at their desk until they turned it off.
The office would try to delay putting their decorations up until the night before, just to avoid the embodiment of Grinchness that was Arthur. They would mutter around the coffee station about wishing he’d take a holiday over the...holidays then drop their heads in resignation as Arthur didn’t take holidays at all.
The one thing Arthur couldn’t ruin about their holiday was Freya’s Festive Cookies. They had a secret distribution system that would impress the French Resistance.
No one offered Arthur a festive cookie and Arthur maintains a criminal record free life.
That is until one fateful day.
Arthur stormed into his office, muttering some choice words about his father, outsourcing and seeing Thanos’ side of the argument.
His tirade was cut short by a single cookie sitting on his desk where he swore he’d left the pile of project budgets he had to work through. The cookie was innocuous on its own there taking up half of the saucer it sat on.
“Satan delivers gifts to dyslexic kids”
The writing was in blue icing on a white icing background.
Arthur frowned. What on earth did that- oh, wait. He snorted in amusement and looked around.
No clues as to who had left him the cookie. If he could find a competent assistant, he’d ask them, but that was a battle for next year.
It carried on like that for the next week and over the Christmas break.
Every day a new cookie with a different message.
“My heating bill is so high, I want coal as a gift.”
“Rudolph is a transexual reindeer”
“Santa has out-sourced his workshop to China.”
It was New Year’s Eve and Arthur was the only one at the office, which did not surprise him.
What did surprise him was two cookies on his desk.
“Get kissed this New Years Eve.”
“Merlin is on the roof.”
Now, Arthur didn’t know who the hell Merlin was or why he’d want him to kiss him. Arthur doesn’t go around just giving out kisses like their on sale. His kisses were for people important to him. Whom he cared about.
Certainly not weirdos named Merlin skulking on rooftops like they’re Batman or something.
But his curiosity was piqued. Was Merlin the cookie monster?
Arthur made his way up to the roof, only to find the roof access door was closed and someone was banging on it from the other side.
“Freya, I swear to god, open this door or I’ll …. I’ll… I don’t know what, but it won’t be pleasant. Come on, Freya, it’s cold as fuck out here. If I die of hyperthermia, I will haunt you.”
With a sigh, Arthur pushed the self-lock latch and the door swung open.
“Oomph, fuck. Ow.”
The wind bit at Arthur’s nose as he stepped onto the roof. Sprawled at his feet was a man with black hair and a scowl on his face. He was rubbing at his forehead.
“The roof is off-limits to employees,” Arthur said, which, in hindsight was not the best way to make a first impression.
“I’m well aware of that, mate.” Merlin pushed himself to his feet. “People like to play pranks and it seems today my number was up.”
Arthur felt like he had been part of this prank on Merlin, or, well, he assumed this was Merlin.
“So, tell me…”
“Oh, right, Merlin. That’s...I am. Merlin.”
Arthur tried hard not to roll his eyes. “Right, so, Merlin, how were you lured up here?”
Merlin looked around nervously and scratched the back of his head. “It’s stupid, really. Uh, thanks for opening the door. Have a good new year and all that.” He stepped around Arthur and practically threw himself through the roof access door.
“Wait, Merlin!” Arthur followed and caught up to him at the elevator.
Merlin was studying the floor as if it were the answer in a final exam.
“Who’s Freya?” Arthur asked, instead.
“Friend of mine. Thinks she’s funny but actually, she’s just stirring up drama because she’s bored.”
“That’s a bit tactless.”
“Yeah, just a bit.”
The elevator arrived and both men stepped into it.
“Look, thanks again for saving me up there.”
Arthur shrugged. “You’re welcome.”
Merlin turned to him. “You probably have plans for tonight,” he glanced at his watch and winced. “The pubs are going to be a nightmare right now, but can I buy you a drink to say thanks?”
“I don’t really go out.”
“For new years eve?”
“At all, actually.” Arthur chewed the inside of his cheek as the numbers of the elevator slid closer to his floor. “Tell you what, I have a bottle of Glenfiddich in my office. Old enough to vote. I mean, if you’re serious about the drink.”
“Old enough to vote? That’s a pretty impressive whiskey that I must meet.”
Arthur felt himself answering Merlin’s smile with one of his own.
He pressed the button for his floor and when the elevator lurched to a stop, he ushered MErlin out to his office.
A few weeks later, Arthur found out Freya worked in the payroll department and decided to drop in on her.
He slid a card across the desk to her, wearing his “I’m sorry, but I have to fire you” expression to throw the other accountants off the scent.
Inside the card was a simple:
Thank you for the cookies. Merlin liked them too.