Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: It's the height of summer, and far too hot
Word Count: 549
Prompt: Hunk du Jour
Author's Notes: Again, a bit succinct because bad mood and ill, sorry guys!
It’s a hot day.
Well, actually, that’s an understatement. It’s hot and it’s been dry for weeks, the ground cracking under it. The dust kicks up into the air whenever anyone so much as moves. Every day they get closer to a drought. Every day the orders are issued to use less and less water.
Frying food instead of boiling it.
Using the beer and wine in the stores as a substitute for drinking water.
After a particularly hard, hot day of training, it would appear that Arthur has had enough. Sweat soaks his underjacket, smelling of dried sweat from days back.
“Merlin,” he says, storming into his room. Merlin starts from where he’s making the bed.
“I’m going to the lake. And you’re coming with me.”
Merlin drops the covers. He’s tired, and hot, and Arthur can deal with it when they get back because Merlin’s not putting up a fight just for a few minutes to finish the job, not when it’s this hot. He just heads straight to the stables like an almost dutiful servant to prepare the horses.
When they reach the lake, the level’s low, but enough. Arthur dismounts, strips, and goes down to the water, walking straight into it and sighing with the coolness of it. He leaves Merlin to deal with the horses, which he does, barely even looking round to watch Arthur. When he’s finished, though, and he allows himself to turn, Arthur’s gone.
Merlin panics for a brief moment, running towards the water, before the ripples appear and Arthur surfaces, water dripping from every angle, every downwards pointing plane of his body.
Merlin gasps, and he freezes where he stands. Arthur looks up and sees him and smiles.
“Well, are you coming in?”
He swims away, further into the lake, averting his eyes. Merlin undresses automatically, then walks into the lake, swimming out and steering clear of Arthur. When he loses sight of Arthur he relaxes a little, just floating in the water.
But then something’s tugging on his wrist and he flails, panicking. He’s almost, almost about to lash out at it with magic, but then there’s Arthur’s voice.
“Merlin, it’s only me.”
He’s standing up in the water, and Merlin must have floated closer to the shore because it reaches only just above his hips. Merlin stands too, and tries not to look, tries not to show what he feels about so much nakedness and so much beauty, glistening in the too-hot sun.
“It’s too hot for this game we play,” Arthur tells him, and he leans in to kiss Merlin.
Merlin goes taut and still. But Arthur just keeps kissing him, for a moment longer, lips brushing slowly against his, and he lets out a little plaintive sound, still unable to move.
Arthur draws back.
“Have I misread this?” he asks, starting to move away.
But Merlin can’t let that happen, can’t let him go, and he all but jumps on Arthur, winds his arms around him, and holds him there, kissing him back, finally.
He pulls away for air, and looks over Arthur, how flushed he is, how close he is.
“I think it might be too hot for this as well.”
Arthur shakes his head and smiles.
“It’s never too hot for this.”