Title: Surprise Flowers
Word count: 773
Summary: It was Merlin's turn for the weekly grocery run.
Author’s notes: Not beta’d. Sorry for being late.
It was odd that Arthur worked from home so much. Usually, he wanted to be in control and had the weird idea that he could be more in control if he was present at the company. As he had sent everybody into telework, it made no sense to be at the office, so he had started using his office on the ground floor of the house a lot more.
He had also found out pretty quickly, that he had hired good employees who took their jobs seriously and worked hard – sometimes even harder – from home, so over the past weeks, Merlin had seen him relax and do other things during work hours. Arthur didn't slack off, he just noticed that he could let go a little bit and that his people turned to him when they needed him. When they didn't, things were running smoothly.
Arthur had filled the time with rediscovering his passion for baking and when Merlin came back from his weekly trip to get their groceries, he was greeted with the sight of Arthur's behind sticking out from where he had bent down to check on whatever goodies he had put in the oven before.
„Hey.“ Merlin hoisted big bags onto the counter top.
„You're back! Didn't hear you coming in. What did you get us?“
Usually, grocery shopping wasn't a big deal, but in times like these, a trip to the store was the highlight of the week. They hated being outside and amongst people more than necessary and had limited themselves to one food-run per week. Unless the one going out had forgotten some essentials, then they had to leave the house again.
„Ah, just the usual. Got the bread you like...“
„I can bake bread!“
„I know you can and it always tastes great, but just in case I brought some of your favorite.“ Merlin smiled. It wasn't as if the one loaf Arthur made lasted them the entire week. He went on listing the things he bought, pulled out of the bags and put on the counter for Arthur to inspect. „I have another bag in the car.“
He left it to Arthur to store the groceries away, which was something he did with a lot more passion lately, and went outside to get the last bag and the bunch of flowers he had brought.
„Flowers?“ Arthur threw him a look.
They weren't big on flowers and only had some arrangements when they were entertaining and they usually had them made and brought to the house. Merlin didn't even know what he had grabbed the bunch of supermarket-flowers that were on display close to the check-out. He'd probably been the victim of good product-placement and the nagging feeling that he had to grab everything as quickly as possible to go back to social distancing and isolation.
„Yeah,“ he shrugged. „They were there, they looked like a bit of fresh colour in the ever-same days, so they ended up in my cart. Shoot me.“
„They were only 2.99, don't sweat it. If you don't like them, throw them out. I'm going to change and take a shower to wash off what might probably still stick to me from outside.“
That was a bit of an overreaction as far as Arthur was concerned, Merlin knew, but he couldn't help it.
So he missed the grin on Arthur's face when he mentioned how cheap the flowers had been.
When he came back, the groceries were stored away, the smell of freshly baked muffins greeted him and he found Arthur, who had discarded the dish towel and taken care of the flour on his face, standing by the coffee table, smiling down at the lovingly arranged flowers in a vase, lifting one of the blossoms up to his face, inhaling the scent. He wrapped his arms around him from behind and nuzzled into Arthur's neck when Arthur leant back into him.
„You were right.“
„Hear, hear.“ Merlin grinned and playfully nipped the soft skin on Arthur's neck. „So the flowers weren't such a bad idea?“
„No, they weren't. We should get flowers delivered to the house every week.“
„That's not the same, we would know that they were coming and what they would look like and it wouldn't be a surprise.“
„How about...we surprise our friends with deliveries?“
„Oh! Good idea. Gwen sure would love that and Mithy, too.“ Merlin let go of Arthur and turned to find the laptop.
„And Percy, don't forget Percy.“
„How could I?“
The next half hour was spent looking at flower arrangements online and ordering nice ones for all their friends.