Title: Just An Everyday Office Romance
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has never seen his birthday as something worth celebrating
Word Count: 333
Author's Notes: There may be more of this. I think they're cute.
Arthur barely realises when his birthday comes round. It’s the annual card-with-cheque from his father arriving two days early that gives it away.
He’s never really seen it as some huge occasion to celebrate. There were never any parties; just a plain cake, a few candles if he was lucky. Later, at boarding school, his friends made a big thing of it; cake at dinner, midnight feasts. But it was more of an excuse for fun, really. And then, at Uni, it was a night out and an awful hangover.
Now, there’s nothing special about his birthday. It’s just another day. So he doesn’t mention it, doesn’t try to do anything to celebrate, goes into his office with his usual Friday tie ready for his meetings. He doesn’t expect anything.
Except there’s a clearly homemade red-iced cupcake on his desk when he gets in, and he decides that Gwen must be holding the baking competition and he saves it for lunch.
Except that when lunchtime comes there’s Merlin, sitting on his desk, about to launch into speech when he notices the still uneaten cake.
“You haven’t eaten it,” he says, a slight pout to his lips.
“I was saving it for lunch.”
“Oh,” Merlin says, and he’s smiling again. “Talking about lunch, I was wondering, and you don’t have to say yes but I wondered if you wanted to go out for lunch? Just me and you.”
“That would be nice,” Arthur says, slowly, taking his time to picture it. Him and Merlin in a little Italian place, so perfect, but so just-short of what he wants.
“No, Arthur, I think you misunderstand.” Merlin blushes bright red, but he goes on, “I meant this as a date.”
Arthur smiles like the sun breaking through the clouds, slowly but blindingly.
“Well, that would be even nicer.”
“Happy Birthday, Arthur,” Merlin says, watching him almost shyly. And for the first time, Arthur decides that there might be something worth celebrating about his birthday after all.