Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: There's a masked ball, a night off for Merlin, and sadly no fairy godmothers or glass slippers
Word Count: 666
Author's Notes: Yay for slight Cinderella references! This is because I'm tired and needed some fluff to write
Their masks are beautifully painted, their clothes rich and sparkling in the candlelight. Merlin presses himself into the wall and wonders what exactly he’s doing there.
Arthur had given him the night off because, as he said, we need competent servants for the masquerade, Merlin, the guests won’t want wine spilt down their best clothes. So Merlin had gone to the ball. To begin with it had been just to spite Arthur, or at least that’s what he told himself, to show him that he could be graceful and all of that. And then at the end of the night he’d reveal himself to Arthur, and he’d be surprised, and he wouldn’t tease him again.
But then Merlin got to thinking about what he could do when he wasn’t a servant. It started off innocent, order others around, drink as much as he wanted, eat the guests’ food… and then he started thinking about Arthur and it all got tangled up, thoughts of dancing with Arthur, kissing him, holding him-
It was all the prat’s fault for being so overbearing that he was all Merlin could think of. That was it.
Anyway, Merlin had scoured his magic book, and there had only really been one option for a spell. A glamour, that he could put on a borrowed set of Arthur’s clothes to make them seem even more extravagant. Gilded thread, jewels, that sort of thing. The glamour wouldn’t change the perception of touch, which was why it had to be Arthur’s clothes. And it wouldn’t last long, only a few hours. Merlin would have to leave by midnight.
He wove the spell as late as possible and changed immediately, scattering a bit of magic like starlight through his hair and holding his mask resolutely to his face.
He’d managed to make it through the dinner without serious faux pas. But now he’s watching Arthur dance with some Lord’s eight-year-old daughter, and his heart is catching at his beauty, at his kindness, his chivalry, and he doesn’t know what to do.
Arthur, it would seem, does. Merlin turns around for just a few moments to have his cup refilled, because he really needs the wine to deal with Arthur, but then he’s there, at his shoulder, smiling with his ridiculously pretty shininess. Merlin hones in on him like a magpie.
“You’ve been watching me for the past three dances.”
Merlin starts, then catches himself and smiles a little.
“Maybe I’m just trying to work out if the rumours are true.”
“What rumours?” Arthur is immediately on guard, and Merlin laughs at that. He can’t resist a little jibe.
“That the crown prince is a bit of a prat,” he tells Arthur, lowering his voice dramatically.
There’s a flash of recognition in Arthur’s eyes, before a slow smile blossoms over his face.
“Perhaps you should find out for yourself,” he says, and he takes Merlin’s wrist to pull him out to dance.
They dance far too close for Merlin’s comfort. Arthur’s fingers stay wrapped around his wrist, and it’s comforting in a way, but restricting too. Merlin watches Arthur, watches his smooth movements and the smile in the corners of his lips and the way his eyes flash out from behind the mask and he needs. He moves automatically, gasps when Arthur’s eyes follow the lines of his hips. When the music ends there’s a tug at his wrist and Merlin goes with it, because he has to.
They stand outside on the battlements, and Merlin’s waiting for a reprimand or something painful, but Arthur just stands there watching him. Slowly, very slowly, he reaches out for Merlin’s mask and takes it off. Merlin watches him as he removes his own, then leans in, hands on the stone either side of Merlin, careful. Arthur kisses Merlin there, shyly at first, then with a little more intent as Merlin sighs into it, wraps his arms around Arthur, lets Arthur inch his fingers along the wall to Merlin’s hips.