Summary: Prompt: "Merlin and Arthur open their presents from each other, some really sweet, some a bit more inappropriate/not suitable for family audiences."
Warnings: Language, copious amounts of fluff.
Word Count: 1374 (Oops. Thanks to the mods for extending the word count for this exchange.)
Author's Notes: I hope I didn't go too overboard on the fluffiness, and I also hope that me giving this an AU setting is okay as well - thanks for the wonderful prompt, weepingwillow9, I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer:Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons.
"You're so smart, Merlin," Arthur gasped as a pair of eager lips assaulted his neck on a cold Christmas morning.
Merlin put a halt to his efforts and glanced up at his lover, his eyes crinkled with mirth. "Wait. I should document this moment in time for posterity, what did you just say?"
Arthur rolled his eyes but grinned in spite of himself. "I know, I know. I'm just saying that you were right, it was a great idea to spend this Christmas together here instead of at father's house." He reached out, his fingertips running through Merlin's sleep-mussed hair as he pulled Merlin down for a kiss. "Best Christmas morning ever," he whispered into Merlin's lips, Merlin flipping them suddenly, eager to feel Arthur's body atop his own.
"I couldn't help it," Merlin admitted, wrapping his arms around Arthur's warm back, "Last year Uther woke us up at six in the morning to open presents! I wanted you all to myself for at least a couple of hours this morning."
"And by that you actually mean 'I wanted to fuck you silly before sunrise', right?"
Merlin nodded, eyes wide and serious. "Yes. How'd that work for you?" He giggled when Arthur slapped his arm playfully.
"It worked. It worked so well that I'm not sure what I'm going to say when father asks me later at Christmas dinner why I'm walking bowlegged."
Merlin's laughter filled the small bedroom, Arthur's joining in soon thereafter. It really had been the most perfect of mornings, the lights on the small tree at Arthur's bedside had illuminated them both beautifully during their early morning lovemaking. The scent of sugar cookies was still present in the air, courtesy of the sugar cookie scented candle Arthur had bought after Merlin's attempts at baking resulted in burnt cookies rather than edible ones.
The first sunbeams of the morning were now forcing their way through the window, making the snow that had collected outside overnight shine like glitter.
Arthur couldn't remember when he'd been this happy.
"Okay, I'm giving you your gifts, I can't wait any longer," Merlin announced, turning onto his side and reaching for something under the bed, Arthur turning to rummage through his bedside table in much the same manner. They'd decided on two gifts for each other this year, and no more, opting instead to sponsor two local underprivileged children for the holiday. Spoiling two little ones who might not otherwise have a Christmas was something that appealed to them both.
"You go first," Arthur ordered, practically bouncing on the bed in excitement as he presented Merlin with two parcels, wrapped in blue and silver paper. "Hurry, dammit."
"Bossy," Merlin shot back, handing Arthur two parcels of his own, his wrapped in white and gold paper. Arthur took his gifts but left them on his lap, crossing his arms and staring at Merlin expectantly. "Okay, okay," Merlin laughed.
Arthur bit his lip in anticipation as Merlin unwrapped a long slender box, his elegant fingers taking their time. Paper now removed and tossed aside, he pried the box open and his mouth fell open. Merlin looked at Arthur, then back down at the box, then back at Arthur again. "Arthur. It's... it's gorgeous." He picked up the silver bracelet to inspect it further. It was thin, but elegant, and upon further inspection Merlin noticed an inscription on the lone silver plate in the center, which read on the front:
and on the back:
"I don't even know what to say. I love it. I love you," Merlin said, determined not to shed any tears. "How did I get so lucky," he whispered, his eyes meeting Arthur's as he moved in for a kiss. "Thank you. How are you even real?"
"I'm the lucky one," Arthur replied into their kiss, reaching for the bracelet. Merlin's shaking hands relinquished it and allowed Arthur to put it on Merlin's wrist. Arthur kissed it, and the inside of Merlin's wrist, softly. "And I love you. Now open your other one, hurry. I'm getting antsy!"
Merlin was still staring at the bracelet on his wrist but managed to come back to reality long enough to open his other gift. This time, however, he grinned and giggled quietly at what he saw inside this particular box.
The corset was black leather, adorned with silver on the outer edges. It was, and Merlin had to marvel at Arthur's foresight in this manner, also crotchless. Merlin picked it up and held it up to his bare chest as he cocked one eye at Arthur, who couldn't stop smiling. "You like?"
"Oh yes, I like. I like it a lot."
"You're filthy," Merlin replied, "I love it. I'll show you tonight just how much I love it, if you like." They kissed again, Merlin shoving his gifts into Arthur's bare lap. "Your turn now, go!"
Arthur opted to go for the smaller box first, tearing the paper off of it with the gusto of a five year old. Merlin tried to maintain a neutral expression but lost it as soon as he saw Arthur's reaction to what was in the box. Arthur stared at him, incredulous, as he spoke.
"You... it's..." Arthur's mouth was stuck in an 'o' position as he stared at the item inside the box he'd just opened. "Merlin Emrys, you dirty little fuck," he purred as he daintily picked up the cock ring and twirled it between his fingers.
"Well, I know you love to accessorize," Merlin said, a cheeky lilt to his voice. "And this is one accessory that I get to benefit from as well. Now, the other one, go, go!"
With a laugh, Arthur did as he was told, opening the second gift. "Merlin," he whispered as he opened the box. "Merlin, you... you made this, didn't you?"
"Gaius let me into his woodworking shop and gave me free reign for the day."
The jewelry box was fashioned out of cherry, and stained a deep, dark red. The box wasn't very big, but it was big enough to hold Arthur's beloved silver thumb ring, as well as another piece of jewelry that while not worn very often, was even more precious to Arthur.
The gold charm bracelet had been his late mother's, and had been given to him by Uther two years ago as a Christmas gift. There were only three charms on it, a star, a cross, and a heart - Uther had lost Ygraine before he could present her with any more charms.
Arthur stared at the lone piece of jewelry in the box, a gold charm shaped like a lightning bolt, and he had to blink back a lone tear. He picked it up and his heart did a million little flips as he turned it over in his hand.
Merlin flushed a bit, his words coming softly. "It's not fancy, but you know me, I didn't have a lot of money. You deserve better, fuck, you deserve the best, I know but-"
Arthur silenced him with a kiss, pulling back to caress Merlin's cheek. "Hush. I fucking adore it, Merlin. And, I already have the best, I have you-"
"I know rings are traditional but I wanted to do something different,” Merlin continued, linking his fingers through Arthur’s own. “I decided long ago that when I asked you to marry me I wanted it to be special.” Merlin studied Arthur’s face nervously as the blond let Merlin’s words sink in.
Arthur's head snapped up with a gasp; his eyes met Merlin's own. Merlin squeezed his hand as Arthur kept looking from the charm in his free hand back to Merlin's face, over and over, his mouth finally opening in surprise. He didn't try to blink back his tears this time as he nodded happily, a massive grin manifesting on his lips.
"Yes! Yes, I will marry you, Merlin," he whispered shakily, Merlin's face lighting up. He tackled Arthur, Arthur yelping in surprise, the two of them hugging each other tightly. Merlin kissed Arthur's cheek and looked into his eyes.
"Can I keep the cock ring in the jewelry box too?"