Summary: Merlin is moping and missing his friends. Enter Arthur.
Warnings: Extreme fluff
Word Count: 1,703
Author's Notes: Title taken from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Based on the following prompts: snow, UST, modern setting, snowball fights, puffy coats, fun. I hope you enjoy this story, dear prompter! Happy holidays!
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 was falling heavily outside Merlin’s window, making it difficult to see past the front gate. He could hear his mother and Gaius down in the kitchen, chatting happily as Hunith prepared the turkey for that evening’s dinner. Merlin was very much looking forward to eating said turkey, and usually on Christmas he could be found in the kitchen trying to steal a scrap or two before the bird was ready, but today he had other things on his mind than his mum’s excellent cooking.
It was Merlin’s first Christmas home from Uni, and he was moping. Of course he was thrilled to be home for hols, and to see his mum, Gaius and Will, but he also missed his new friends terribly. Gwen had invited Lance home with her to meet her father, and Freya was off visiting relatives on the continent. Merlin had almost resigned himself to the fact that he wouldn’t see any of them until classes resumed in a month when he’d gotten a text from Arthur.
Father is insisting on a family ski trip this holiday, and I’ve heard Ealdor has a nice enough lodge. Fancy showing me around the countryside, Merlin?
Merlin had been beside himself with excitement at the prospect of spending more time with Arthur, just the two of them. Over the past few months, he’d developed somewhat of a crush on his roommate, not that he would ever tell Arthur how he felt. He truly valued their friendship above all else, and didn’t want anything to spoil it.
Merlin sighed as he checked the time once again. Arthur was late. Merlin was beginning to think that something (Uther) had caused them to change plans, and that he wouldn’t be seeing Arthur after all. Swallowing down his bitter disappointment, Merlin took one more look out the window and froze.
The snow had died down to a light flurry, allowing Merlin to see the car pulling up in front of his house. More importantly, he could see the man getting out of said car. A broad grin stretched across his face as he watched Arthur navigate the slippery walk way up to the door. He was already zipping up his puffy winter coat when he heard the doorbell go off, and he quickly grabbed his hat and mittens and raced downstairs.
“Mum, that’ll be Arthur. I’m showing him around town for a bit. We’ll be back by supper, promise. Bye!”
He was breathless from both the run down the stairs and the yelling when he pulled open the door. He couldn’t control the giddy laughter that bubbled out of him at the sight of Arthur on his doorstep, nor could he stop himself from gripping Arthur in a firm hug. He felt Arthur’s arms wrap around him as well, and his smile grew even wider.
“You know, we did only see each other eleven days ago, Merlin. It hasn’t been that long, you great girl.”
Merlin’s smile didn’t falter as he pulled back to look at Arthur’s face. “Long enough that you were counting the days, prat.”
Merlin couldn’t be sure it wasn’t from the cold, but Arthur’s cheeks had definitely gone a bit pink. It was a decidedly good look on him. Before Merlin could put any more thought into just how good Arthur’s flushed face looked, he gave his friend a slap on the shoulder and steered him right back down the walk, away from the house.
“Come on, then. The turkey won’t be ready for a few hours yet. Let’s go for a walk, yeah? See the sights.”
“I’m fairly certain that I saw the sight on the car ride in.” Arthur raised one brow challengingly, his eyes twinkling. “You were talking about that three-legged cow at the farm down the road, yes? I suppose that’s what you call entertainment out in the country.”
Merlin glared in mock outrage and gave Arthur a shove. “Oh, shove off you dollop-head.”
Arthur’s grin was wicked as he paused to scoop up some snow. “You’re in for it now, Merlin.”
The snowball hit Merlin square in the face.
After a furious snowball fight which left them both soaking wet and smiling goofily, Merlin had magically dried and warmed them, then brought Arthur to all of his favorite places around town. He showed him the park with the little duck pond, the bookshop, and yes, even the farm down the road where Bessy the three-legged cow lived. Merlin couldn’t help it if he found Bessy’s presence calming. He’d often sat under the trees in her pasture as a boy to do his homework while Bessy munched grass nearby. Arthur smirked but didn’t laugh when Merlin told him as much.
When Arthur’s stomach began to grumble, they made their way back to the house and were greeted with the heavenly aroma of roasted turkey as soon as they opened the door. The meal was every bit as tasty as it smelled, and they all had second helpings of everything. Arthur was very polite to both Hunith and Gaius, which made Merlin snort and ask what he’d done with the real Arthur. He received a swift kick in the shin for his trouble.
Merlin was very pleased that Arthur was getting on so well with his mum, but he couldn’t help but feel somewhat uneasy all evening. Hunith and Gaius kept sending him knowing looks whenever he laughed at Arthur’s jokes or was caught staring too long at his friend. He hadn’t told either of them how he felt about Arthur, but apparently they had figured it out all on their own. Merlin just hoped that he wasn’t so obvious that Arthur would discover his secret as well.
Late in the evening, after Gaius had returned home and the dishes from their meal were clean once more, Merlin bade his mum goodnight and led Arthur up to his room. He was slightly nervous, which was absolutely ridiculous. It wasn’t as though anything more exciting than sleep would be happening in his bed tonight, for God’s sake.
Merlin tore his eyes away from his bed, which he was mortified to realize he’d been staring at, and glanced at Arthur. There was an uncharacteristic hesitation in Arthur’s eyes that had Merlin instantly even more on edge, something he hadn’t thought possible a second before. Arthur bit his lip and thrust his arm out to Merlin, a small wrapped package in his hand. Merlin stared at it in silence for a few moments before Arthur huffed.
“Well go on, take it, Merlin. It’s not going to bite.”
Embarrassed, Merlin chuckled halfheartedly and took the present, his face heating with a blush. He really needed to get a hold of himself before he did something stupid. Not daring to look at Arthur, he quickly tore off the red paper of the package and felt something silky slide through his fingers. The material would have fallen to the floor if not for Arthur’s fast reflexes.
“It’s a scarf. I…I just thought you could use another. Give the red one a break once in a while. Here…”
Then Arthur was wrapping the scarf around Merlin’s neck, his long fingers brushing Merlin’s skin and sending his pulse skyrocketing. Merlin closed his eyes and tried desperately to calm down. Arthur was entirely too close; Merlin could even feel Arthur’s breath on his face. Much more of this and Merlin could not be held accountable for his actions. He wanted nothing more than to lean forward and kiss Arthur, and he was so close…
“Merlin.” Merlin opened his eyes and saw Arthur smiling from mere inches away. “Just as I thought. The blue brings out your eyes quite nicely.” Very slowly, Arthur reached up to brush a lock of hair off Merlin’s forehead, a look of pure determination settling over his face. It made Merlin’s breath catch in his throat. “Merlin, can I…?”
Merlin licked his dry lips and saw Arthur’s eyes follow the movement. He wasn’t at all sure that this was really happening; for all he knew, he’d fallen and hit his head during their snowball fight and this was all just a wonderful dream his damaged mind was coming up with. Either way, absolutely nothing could have stopped him from closing the gap between them and kissing Arthur with everything he had.
Arthur responded immediately, his hands cupping Merlin’s face while his tongue forced its way into Merlin’s unresisting mouth. He backed them up until Merlin’s legs buckled and he found himself unceremoniously sprawled on top of his bed, Arthur looming above him. He suddenly had the wild thought that his old bed was going to see some action after all, and before he knew it, he was laughing hysterically.
“Merlin!” Arthur was glaring down at him, an adorable little pout on his face. Merlin couldn’t help but giggle some more at the sight. “What exactly is so funny?”
Merlin took a deep breath to try and clear his head. He was having trouble thinking past the euphoria clouding his mind. “It’s just…I can’t believe this is happening. You and me…this…wait, this is really happening, right? I haven’t hit my head, have I?”
Arthur shook his head with a long-suffering sigh. “I suspect you’ve hit your head far too many times to count, Merlin. It would certainly explain a lot.” He shifted so he was lying between Merlin’s legs, his hands holding Merlin’s wrists down on either side of his head, their faces once again only inches apart. “As for whether or not this is really happening,” he moved to whisper in Merlin’s ear as he ground their hips together, “You tell me.”
The last coherent thought Merlin had as their lips crashed together again was that yes, God yes, this was real.