Title: This time...
Rating: PG -13
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur Pendragon
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur Pendragon
Summary: Merlin has waited for Arthur a long, long time. Arthur is finally reincarnated and he promises that this time, things will be different. This is the second part of this story where Arthur and Merlin are getting married.
Word Count: 801 words
Prompt: Wedding, Prompt #419 bingo round 2
Merlin stood in front of the mirror and looked at himself. He had been young many times in his long, immortal life. His face wasn't always the same and neither was his body. But this face and this body were what Arthur knew and remembered. So when Merlin realised that Arthur had been born again at long last, he chose the face and the body that Arthur had once loved.
Arthur had been born again not to serve his country or to save the world, at least not this time. This time, he'd come into the world for a very personal reason. Back in Camelot, he had often dreamt of giving up his role as king once Albion was whole and peace had been restored and the golden age begun...he had dreamed of giving it all up and going away with Merlin, going to a place where there would be no judgement, no expectation, no duty to the people. Just him and Merlin together as they were always meant to be.
He'd loved Merlin deeply, but he'd been unable to acknowledge it or to claim him as his soulmate. So he'd settled for a queen. Gwen had made a wonderful queen, but much as she tried, she couldn't make a particularly good wife and Arthur made an even worse husband. They had loved each other when they'd got married, but their hearts and souls had never belonged to each other. So Gwen had taken up with Lancelot and Arthur had pined for Merlin.
Arthur's dying thought had been gratitude that he'd been granted the privilege of dying in Merlin's arms, that it had been just the two of them, so there had been no pretence to maintain. They hadn't been master and servant or even a king and his sorcerer. They had just been them, just Arthur and Merlin together one last time.
And now Arthur was back in a new life and a new time, a world in which he could marry a man for love and claim him openly. He could now, finally, give Merlin the place in his life, his heart and his bed that had always been his.
He went looking for his husband-to-be and he found him standing in front of a mirror, looking every bit as boyish and beautiful as he had when Arthur had first laid eyes on him, all those centuries ago.
There was a lump in his throat as he looked at his beloved, this incredibly powerful man, with his giant heart and unflinching loyalty who had loved him through everything and who'd waited centuries for him. Arthur didn't think he deserved that kind of loyalty and devotion. He knew that he didn't deserve Merlin, but Merlin had chosen him, so he was going to do everything in his power to make Merlin happy.
He went up to Merlin now and he put his arms around him. "I love you," he said as he watched him in the mirror. Merlin smiled that ridiculously sweet smile of his and said,"I love you too."
"Are you ready to marry me, then?"
"Is that even a question?"
Arthur smiled. "Let's go."
Arthur had planned a quiet wedding in the country with just a few family and friends. He would have liked something a bit more lavish and elaborate, but Merlin had wanted a simple wedding, so simple it was going to be. Arthur had made sure that every little detail about the wedding was the way Merlin wanted it.
"I'm not actually the bride you know," Merlin had protested at one point, arguing that Arthur should also get a few things he wanted.
"I know that."
"Then why do you insist that this entire wedding has to be about what I want?"
"Merlin," Arthur had said, "in our last lifetime together, everything was about me, everything you did was for me. So this time around, it seems only fair that I put you first. I took so much from you and I gave you so little in return. I didn't even tell you that I love you until I was dying. I can't tell you how much I hate myself for that. I was a terrible soulmate to have. I have this one lifetime to make it up to you. Please let me."
Merlin was overcome. All he'd ever known was aching and wanting and pining. To have everything he'd ever wanted just handed to him like this was more than he could bear.
"You see..." he said. "This, right here, this is why I love you." Merlin put his hands on Arthur's face and kissed him softly.
They walked out into the garden, holding hands. A few minutes later they were married, Arthur and Merlin, together as they were always meant to be...