Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Arthur and Merlin face their first tabloid-invented royal scandal.
Word Count: 250
Prompt: 455 Friction
Author's Notes: Modern royal AU
'Friction with father!' the headline screamed. 'Prince Arthur falls out with the king over fiancé's shady past!'
Arthur sighed, tilting the screen so Merlin could see it. "Our honeymoon with the press is already over. Your brothers-in-arms are concocting scandals."
Merlin shook his head. "Don't call the writers at that rag journalists, Arthur. They wouldn't know what the word means."
"I know. Unfortunately people read it, and too many believe it."
"Exactly what sort of shady past have they invented for me?" Merlin scanned the story, looking at the pictures — King Uther frowning, Merlin himself bare-chested and grinning in the sun, Arthur with his head bowed.
"It's barely even hearsay, of course, but they're implying orgies and drug-use during your time in India."
"Not very original. And entirely untrue."
Arthur reached for him, placing a quick kiss on Merlin's lips. "Welcome to the wild world of the tabloids' royal coverage. We did know this would happen."
"And King Uther knew it too, I hope. You're - we're - not in trouble?"
"Father always ignores this sort of drivel. No worries."
"Then it's all good." His arms firmly around Arthur's waist, Merlin moved as close as he could, spreading his legs, pulling Arthur in between them. "Forget all silly stories. We've got better things to do."
"Mmmmm," Arthur hummed. "Yes."
"Now let me show you -" rolling his hips, finding a rhythm, Merlin emphasized each word with a small push forward "- some proper, genuine, verifiable friction."
Arthur's breathless laugh was lost between Merlin's lips.