Summary: Arthur and Merlin do the family rounds on their first Christmas together.
Word Count: 1,632
Author's Notes: I think I managed to cover just about everything… except chimeysweeps. I would have needed at least another 1000 words for that (sorry!). I was afraid it was a mash when I first gave it to my beta creative_person but she assured me it was all okay. So, I hope it is to your liking and brings a smile to your face. Merry Christmas and a hope you a have Happy New Year!!!
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.
The snow had been falling for the past week. Merlin kept insisting Arthur wear the dorkiest pair of red fluffy earmuffs he had ever laid eyes on.
“You don’t want to get frostbite, do you?”
Arthur couldn’t really argue with that logic, so he didn’t try. He just glared at Merlin, grabbed the earmuffs, shoved them over his ears and walked out the front door. It was bad enough his car had broken down two days before Christmas and he had to catch the bus to his office. Why did Merlin have to make him wear the stupid earmuffs?
As he turned the corner, Arthur raised his hand to the fluffy disc that was covering his right ear and removed it, along with its pair.
While he was waiting for the bus, he thumbed the red fur. It reminded him of Merlin’s hair; the way he had toiled with the ends of the dark strands at the back of his partner’s neck. The roar of the bus’ engine, screech of its brakes and clunk of its door told Arthur it had arrived. He stepped up onto it and sat down but part of him was still back in bed, playing with Merlin’s hair.
Arthur couldn’t wait to get back to Merlin that night after his long day in the office. It was going to be the last night they had alone for a while since they were staying at each of their family’s houses over the Christmas and New Years break.
His father called him on the bus ride home to discuss their impending visit.
“No, Father. Why should we?”
“You may upset some of the other guests.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. We both know you are the only one that objects to my relationship with Merlin. Everyone else encourages it.”
“Arthur, I am your Father and you will—”
“Do as I’m told?” Arthur said cutting him off. He could tell his Father was annoyed. He always resorted to pulling rank when he knew he didn’t have a leg to stand on.
This was another one of Uther’s favourite questions and even though Arthur had told him the answer many times before he continued to ask. Maybe he hoped the answer would change, but it never did.
“I love him. You can’t change that Father. We are happy. Why can’t you be happy for us? Everyone else is.”
Uther sighed on the other end of the phone. “I will see you tomorrow night. Come early so you can greet the guests as they arrive.”
“Okay. We’ll be there.” Before Uther could protest Arthur ended the call.
It wasn’t long before the bus pulled up around the corner from his home. Arthur knocked on the door and, even through the earmuffs covering his ears, heard Merlin running down the corridor from the back room to open it.
Not even spending the night before Christmas with Uther’s business associates and
Arthur’s sister, Morgana, could spoil Merlin’s excitement for the next day. Arthur had made him wear a suit and tie. He liked to avoid them as much as he could, but Arthur had assured him that he looked absolutely stunning.
The music started and a few couples had already found their way to the dance floor. Merlin wanted to dance but Arthur hadn’t seemed to have noticed the music or subtle nudges or dropped hints in the conversation they were having with Leon, Gwaine and their girlfriends.
When he heard the start of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, Merlin couldn’t take it anymore. He grabbed Arthur’s arm and started dragging him towards the dance floor, calling behind him, “Excuse us.”
“Merlin, I was talking,” Arthur protested weakly.
“And I want to dance.”
They had reached the dance floor and Merlin had started to move his hip and arms. He knew Arthur couldn’t resist him. He watched as Arthur’s smile widened, shook his head and then moved closer and started dancing with him.
The next song was a slower one and Merlin pulled Arthur close. Silver bells, silver bells, its Christmas time in the city. Arthur led as they waltzed around the dance floor together. They continued to dance for a few more numbers, by which time their friends had also arrived on the dance floor.
Arthur caught his father’s gaze at one stage while they were enjoying the music. He didn’t look pleased but Arthur wasn’t going to spoil Merlin’s night just because his father hadn’t woken up to which century they were living in.
Surprisingly, Arthur was the first to wake on Christmas morning. He left Merlin to sleep a little longer and headed for the kitchen to fetch breakfast.
The family cook had left a stack of pancakes in the fridge. Arthur contemplated eating them cold, but the ice cream wouldn’t be as good. He heated them in the microwave, while he gathered the ice cream, jam and maple syrup.
When the pancakes were satisfactorily hot, he took everything up to his room, placed the food on the table on his balcony and then went to wake his sleeping beauty.
He lowered his lips on to Merlin’s and kissed them lightly. When he didn’t stir, Arthur flicked his tongue across Merlin’s mouth. A smile formed but his eyes didn’t open. Arthur gently placed a kiss on each of Merlin’s eyelids. This made Merlin’s smile widened and then Arthur found himself being pulled down on top of his supposedly sleeping partner. His lips were encompassed by Merlin’s and a wet tongue was searching for entry into his mouth. He parted his lips slightly and the tongue pushed it, opening it further. It slid over his teeth and the roof of his mouth before tangling with his own tongue. The tongues retreated and then it was only lips. Hungry lips were gliding over each other as hands found hair and bare skin.
The passion continued to grow, hands wandering further until they both finally had to break away for air. Eyes opened and they stared into each other’s blue irises.
Merlin blinked and Arthur then remembered the reason he had come to wake his sleeping beauty up. “Pancakes are on the balcony.”
“Mmm,” Merlin murmured, moving his hands across Arthur’s back, down his side and to his stomach, playing with the soft hair that grew there.
“They’ll be cold if we don’t hurry.” Merlin shrugged. “The ice cream will melt.”
“And we can’t have that now, can we?” Merlin said a little mockingly. He gave Arthur’s stomach a little push to say that if the man moved he would follow.
Christmas lunch was at Merlin’s mother’s house and Hunith didn’t disappoint.
They were spoilt for choice with turkey, chicken, beef, lamb, pork, numerous roast vegetables, stuffing and sauces. His uncle Gaius had even made wassail to wash it all down with.
But the best thing about spending Christmas with Merlin’s family was the warm and loving atmosphere. Arthur always felt more at home here than he did with his own family. They were so laid back and loving.
They ate, drank and talked all afternoon and into the early hours of the evening.
After Merlin’s other extended family left, Gaius was the first to retire to his bed. Hunith stoked the fire and offered Arthur and Merlin tea.
“Yes, thanks Mum.”
The snow was falling on the already white garden at the front of Hunith’s house. It was quite a nice neighbourhood to live in Arthur decided as he watched the snowflakes land on the rose bushes.
“Arthur,” Merlin said softly. Arthur turned his head towards his voice.
Merlin was sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace, with half a blanket on his lap. He had pulled the other half of the blanket up and was patting the place beside him on the couch. Arthur took the hint and went to sit down beside him.
Merlin dropped the blanket across his lap and then proceeded to wrap his arms around Arthur’s torso, curl his feet up on the couch and lean his head on Arthur’s shoulder, snuggling into his neck so that his hair tickled Arthur’s jaw.
Hunith walked back into the room carrying a tray with a teapot, milk, two cups and a plate of cookies. She smiled at seeing her son so content with the man of his dreams. She placed the tray on the small table beside the couch and said, “I’ll leave you boys to it. I’m going to head to bed.”
“Thanks Mum,” Merlin said without looking up.
Arthur gave her a smile and said “Thank you, Hunith,” over the top of Merlin’s head.
Hunith mouthed, “You’re welcome,” then walked out of the room and up the stairs.
“Do you want me to pour the tea?” asked Arthur. Merlin hummed what Arthur took as a yes into his neck.
Arthur rose and surprisingly, Merlin didn’t protest.
They sat and drank their tea. Merlin dipped the cookies into his cup. Arthur kept his cookies dry.
Neither of them spoke as they drank and ate. Merlin watched the flames burning in the fireplace and Arthur watched Merlin.
Although he was sure Merlin already knew, what Arthur had told his father more times than he could remember, he had not actually said to Merlin. The words played over and over in his head as his eyes roamed Merlin’s features.
He was gorgeous. Everything about him was utterly gorgeous.
“Yes, Arthur,” Merlin said turning to face him.
“I love you.”
The smile spread across Merlin’s face and he lunged at Arthur. He pulled him in to a tight embrace and then pulled back to capture his lips in a passionate kiss, reminiscent of that morning.
“I love you too, Arthur.”