Summary: It looked natural. It looked perfect.
Word Count: 909
Amnesty Post Prompt: Prompt 5, Crown
Author's Notes: I'm loving doing some of the ones that I missed first time around!
“Merlin, what on earth are you doing?”
Even after all of these years, Gaius still found his ward to come out with something that made his head spin. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Merlin was practically in the cupboard rather than in Arthur’s chambers where he should have been. Considering the way the King was bellowing for his Court Sorcerer, Merlin had been hiding for a considerable length of time.
“And, pray tell me, why?” Merlin gave Gaius a long suffering look even as he climbed out again. For someone his height, folding himself into a cupboard can’t have been a comfortable task.
“Have you seen what he wants me to wear?”
“Yes. Very appropriate too. All the Court Sorcerers used to wear them back in the day, and when one takes into account your relationship with Arthur anyway,” Gaius paused, just to see Merlin blush. Sometimes, he was still the naïve innocent boy that had stumbled into his chambers all those years ago, and if commenting on the whirlwind of a love affair that had eventually settled into something stable that he shared with their king was what brought it back out again, then so be it.
“Don’t you think it is fitting?”
“I think its hideous. Well, the actual thing isn’t, but the idea… I mean, I’m just me, Gaius! Just me!”
“Well, just you, can you please go and calm the king down before he breaks something?”
“I’ll break him.” Merlin muttered venomously under his breath, but Gaius simply rolled his eyes. It was impossible for Merlin to stay mad at Arthur for long these days. In all honesty, there weren’t many things that could make them truly mad at each other, not now the issue of keeping secrets had been dealt with. Merlin stomped from the room, but Gaius knew that he was indeed on his way to the king. It didn’t matter that Merlin was now the most powerful warlock throughout the Five Kingdoms and recognised as such, he still seemed to do what his mentor told him to.
For his part, Merlin was highly considering making a run for it. Gaius would never know, he could just say that he hadn’t been able to find the prat. Although if Arthur was truly in the mood that Gaius had said he was in, it was going to be rather hard at making that lie convincing. As King, Arthur had a presence about him. As an angry king, you couldn’t miss him if you tried. Realising that he wasn’t going to be escaping and so should just get it over and done with, Merlin softly let himself into Arthur’s chambers.
The King was still present, the damn object clutched in his hand. He whirled around at the door opening and a beaming smile spread over his face as he clearly thought that Merlin had reconsidered. That simply wasn’t fair, Arthur knew what that smile did to him, and Merlin forced himself to blink a few times to keep his brain working.
“Look, Arthur, I really don’t think…”
“No, you don’t, you need to leave the thinking to me. Just come here already, won’t you?” Merlin really didn’t feel like he had a choice. It didn’t matter what he wanted, his magic was still enjoying being recognised. Merlin might not want the power, but the magic did and it was that which was forcing his feet to begin to walk forward.
“Arthur, I…please, can we just find something a little less, elaborate? I don’t deserve all of this!
“You mean as my Court Sorcerer, High Advisor and lover you don’t think you deserve this?”
“Merlin.” If Merlin could only just about resist Arthur’s smile, he had no chance against the pout that had slipped onto the King’s face. Merlin sighed, closing the distance between the, and looking into Arthur’s eyes.
“I just don’t want lots of fuss.”
“Nothing is too fussy for you.” Merlin felt his knees go weak even as he cursed Arthur for being such a romantic. The King took advantage of his momentary distracted to nudge Merlin into a seat before shifting the object still in his hand into a better grip. Merlin closed his eyes, inwardly groaning as Arthur placed the crown on his head. It wasn’t so much a crown, more of a band, similar to the ones Arthur had worn as a prince. But rather than gold, it was jet black, diamonds studded around it and making Merlin terrified to so much as move his head. Arthur sucked in a sharp breath.
“It looks stupid, doesn’t it? I knew it, I just knew… let me take it off, Arthur…”
“It’s perfect.” Arthur’s awe-struck voice made Merlin blink. He stood up before anyone could stop him and strode to the small mirror on Arthur’s wall. He was about to protest when he truly caught sight of his own reflection. Then it was his turn to blink, not being sure who was looking back at him.
He looked like he had been born into this. The crown looked natural.
“Merlin…” Arthur’s breathy voice came directly behind him and Merlin stepped aside. Just as he made to turn from the mirror, he paused. Their reflections were showing side by side, and Merlin felt his jaw drop. The way the pair of them looked…
It was as if the two sides had truly come together as a whole.