Title: The apple of my eyes
Character/s:Arthur, Merlin, OC
Summary: Arthur is decided to propose to Merlin.
Prompt: 81. tmos-pride
Author's Notes:Thanks to the lovely derenai for the beta reading. Part of my "Surprise" series
Arthur looked once again at the silver ring lying in the little wooden box. He had made it forge the day before, in a hurry. If he had, at first, wanted to wait for the baby’s birth before asking Merlin to become his Consort, Gwaine’s visit to Camelot had made him change his mind.
He wanted everybody to know that Merlin was his as much as he was Merlin’s. He wanted to show their love to the world, to share their happiness with the people of Camelot. And if the ceremony would have to wait after the baby’s arrival, he wanted to propose to Merlin as soon as possible.
After a delicious meal with all the things Merlin loved the most, they sat in front of the fire. Merlin nestled in Arthur’s arms, back to front. Arthur gently cradling Merlin’s belly and kissing his hair.
Merlin had seemed quite restless during the day as his back pains were getting worse but Arthur was glad to see him more relaxed. It was the perfect time.
The little wooden box was in Arthur’s pocket but the King checked one last time, feeling relieved when he felt the wood under his fingers.
“There is something I… I wanted to ask…”
Arthur took a deep breath.
Then, as he was ready to talk again, he felt something strange. Merlin’s hand suddenly covered his and Arthur noticed of his lover seemed suddenly tense.
“Merlin? Are you alright?”
“I… I think it… “, Merlin said, breathlessly, “It’s the baby.”
Twelve long and painful hours later, Arthur was sitting on his bed, one arm around Merlin’s shoulder, his other hand gently caressing the baby’s face.
“She’s beautiful, Merlin. Really”
“Yes… I can’t stop looking at her.”
Arthur leaned to kiss Merlin’s temple.
“So, we were wrong… It’s a girl, then,” the King noted with a radiant smile.
Merlin was smiling, too, even if it was a more tired smile.
“Yes… But she’s perfect.”
“She is… And how are you going to name her?”
“How are we going to name her, Arthur,” Merlin said, finally lifting his eyes from his daughter to look at Arthur. “I hoped we could choose together.”
Arthur felt his heart beat faster. Did Merlin know how much that meant for him?
“Oh… Then…. I quite like Elaine or something ending with an A…”
“I’ve thought about Alysa or Alyna…”
“Alyna? That’s beautiful…”
Arthur leaned and looked at the baby girl in Merlin’s arms.
“What do you think? Do you like it?”
The baby wriggled and put her little fist against her face. Arthur supposed it meant “yes”.
“So Alyna, then!”
“Alyna Ygraine Pendragon,” Merlin added, looking at Arthur intently.
“Merlin… You don’t have to… It’ your daughter and…”
Arthur felt lost. He wanted to be like a father for Alyna but now that she was there, with her blue eyes and dark hair, looking some much like Merlin, he wasn’t sure what his place really was.
“Arthur, stop. She’s your daughter, too! I know that… She’s Gwaine’s daughter as much as mine but…. If you hadn’t been here for me, she wouldn’t have been here today… I wasn’t ready to cope alone, Arthur. Without you, I wouldn’t have taken care of myself and… If I had managed to go to the end of my pregnancy I probably would have given her away…”
Emotion was hearable in Merlin’s voice and Arthur gently brushed the tear that was running down his jaw.
“I’m here Merlin… For both of you.”
“I know… You’re her father, too Arthur.”
Arthur nodded and looked at Alyna again. He had never felt more proud of anything in his life.
As he stroked the baby’s face again, he felt the tiny fist clench his finger.
“Arthur? What were you going to ask me?”
“Yesterday, just before I went into labor…”
“Oh… It can wait, Merlin. We had enough emotions for today, don’t you think?”
When Gaius went to watch them, he found the three of them soundly asleep and decided not to disturb the little family.