Title: At Last
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Finally, Merlin gave in to the temptation he’d felt for practically his whole life; he leaned forward and kissed the man that had long since held all his love and devotion.
Warnings: Spoilers thru 5x13
Word Count: 494
Prompt: #52 ~ At Last
Author's Notes: Sorry this is so late! Got called in to work and then had to work late on top of it. Thanks, and Happy Birthday, Camelot Drabble!
Calf deep in sacred waters, Merlin gazed upon Arthur’s beloved face. Even though Merlin felt that he had no more tears to cry, two hot, salty rivulets slid down his cheeks and his breath hitched. Merlin tentatively slid the pad of one finger down the familiar aquiline nose before ghosting his touch across a pale cheekbone. Then his hand slipped into the silky golden hair at Arthur’s nape and fingered at it as if trying to memorize the exact texture.
Merlin’s other hand rested against the silent, still chest as he leaned into the boat. He tucked his head into the crook of Arthur’s neck and rested his forehead against the cool skin. With a pained gasp, Merlin inhaled, letting Arthur’s unique scent fill his nostrils.
“Oh, Arthur…” he whispered, stricken, the movement barely brushing his skin against the curve of his king’s jaw. Pulling back, Merlin contemplated the bow of Arthur’s mouth for a yearning, aching moment. Finally, Merlin gave in to the temptation he’d felt for practically his whole life; he leaned forward and kissed the man that had long since held all his love and devotion.
As their lips parted, Merlin leaned his forehead against Arthur’s, mirroring a moment from eons past…and then a tiny puff of air wafted against Merlin’s cheek. One heartbeat fluttered against the palm Merlin had braced against the chainmail-covered chest…and then another, and another.
Startled, Merlin raised his head and found himself staring into beloved deep blue eyes, and he felt trapped, falling immediately under their spell. The silent moment grew and grew inside of Merlin until it burst out in a half-sob, half-laugh.
One corner of Arthur’s mouth crooked in a bemused smile as he lifted one gloved hand to cradle Merlin’s cheek, his thumb absently disturbing the wet streaks it found there.
And then that voice, that beloved warm, rich, golden voice spoke in a language long-since forgotten by everyone but Merlin. “Hello again, old friend,” Arthur said, as the warmth of life flooded his cheeks and lips, making them rosy once more. “I’ve missed you.”
More tears cascaded across Merlin’s pale skin as the sharp pain-pleasure of having Arthur back lanced through him. “I’ve missed you, too,” Merlin admitted, his voice thick with emotion.
Arthur’s eyes lowered to study the plump cupid’s bow of Merlin’s lips. “Idiot,” he breathed, although the term now held nothing but fondness.
Merlin’s face blossomed into a wide, brilliant smile. “Prat,” he huffed back, the impish gleam in his eyes he reserved only for his king returning after a centuries-long absence.
Arthur’s eyes twinkled, and then sobered. Threading his fingers through ebony hair, he lightly tugged Merlin’s head toward him. “Merlin,” Arthur breathed, and all his unspoken grief, loss, love, and hope intermingled in those two syllables in the seconds before his lips touched Merlin’s.
It was like a promise and a prayer, sacred and holy, full of benediction and absolution; two halves truly made whole…at last.