Summary: Another weekend at a convention
Warnings: none, I think
Word Count: 1025 (oops)
Author's Notes: Thanks to issy5209 for the beta.
The next (and most likely last) in the ‘Merlin’s weekend at the convention’ series.
Arthur sat down at the table and looked around the room. He took a deep breath, trying to focus on the task before him; three hours of signing his name on various photos, trying to make quick small-talk to fans. It was a part of conventions he loved, but it was very exhausting, too.
When Cynthia, his babysitter - as he called the people the organizers of conventions assigned to him to get him through his schedule safely - briefed him on how the autograph session was run and asked him for the tenth time if he was comfortable or needed anything else, he smiled. “Don’t worry. You’re taking good care of me. If you keep feeding me gummi bears and pretzels, I’ll end up fat.” He winked and smiled as she blushed.
The session began and Arthur talked to his fans, signed photos, leaned over his table for quick snapshots and got up once in a while to hug people as thanks for little presents they brought him. Even though he would be totally drained after this weekend. He enjoyed himself immensely; the direct contact with his audience, he loved hearing the little stories they told him and fed off the positive energy they all radiated. Merlin would scold him for having to detox for a few days as he did every convention.
Merlin. A goofy smile showed on Arthur’s face when he thought about him. Two years ago, at this event, at this exact same hotel, in this exact same room, he’d made his move. Never before had he hoped to get to know a fanboy. Of course he had flirted with many, but none of them had felt worth of even considering taking to his hotel room. Merlin was different. He had felt it at the photo session before, but there hadn’t been enough time to talk. So he was happy when he saw Merlin standing in line, a bit nervous about what to say to him. It had all worked out. Yes, he nearly messed it up big time by totally panicking in the morning. Luckily, Merlin had given him a second chance and they had been together ever since.
Sometimes it hadn’t been easy since Merlin didn’t like being the center of attention. So when the press found out, they all wanted a piece of him, but somehow they’d managed to keep a low profile after that first wave of interest had subsided. They were just too normal to be interesting. After a year, Merlin had moved in with him and he’d never been happier in all of his life.
Since this weekend marked their second anniversary, Arthur planned to go back to their room after the signings, order a nice dinner for them and finally – since they had never spoken about it – ask Merlin to stay with him forever.
Arthur laughed when a nervous girl handed him a hat in the shape of a duck and told him that she’d sewn it herself because…yes, Arthur remembered the duck-incident very well. And he had been more than happy to share that episode with the fans at another convention. In a scene for one of his movies, he had been attacked by a momma duck who only wanted to protect her ducklings. Of course, he put the hat on and posed for a photo with her. “Thank you so much, this is hilarious. I’m going to wear it for the rest of the session here.”
As the next fan – in a fantastic costume that was inspired by one of his roles – stepped up to the table, Arthur noticed Merlin standing in line and smiled. Merlin didn’t come along to every convention. But when he did, he either used the time to get to know the city they were in or just showed his support by sitting in on panels, sitting on a table, dangling his feet during the photo session or popping in on the autograph sessions to bring him some coffee or a treat. That he was standing in line was new. Maybe he remembered the date, too?
Arthur turned his full attention back to the person before him, admired the costume and asked a few questions while signing the DVD cover and then getting up to take a photo with the cosplayer.
Looking up, Arthur’s smile turned soft. He couldn’t help it, Merlin did that to him. “Hello. How are you?”
Merlin smiled back nervously and Arthur decided to play along. If Merlin wanted to reenact their first encounter, he was all for it.
“Fine…a bit nervous, though.”
“Oh, no need to be nervous. Would you want me to sign this?” He pointed to the photo Merlin was holding.
“I…I would like you to…” Merlin held it out and Arthur took it from his hand. It was a photo they’d taken on the set, when Merlin had visited him at work for the first time. They sat on the stairs to the mansion; Merlin sat on the steps behind him and had his arms wrapped around his shoulders.
Arthur swallowed and bit his lower lip when he read what Merlin had written on the photo. Slowly, he pulled the duck hat he was still wearing off his head and without looking up again, he took a pen and wrote a big YES!!! underneath.
Before he could hand the photo back, his mind whirling, Merlin leaned across the table, put a quick kiss on his lips and whispered “Can’t wait to see you upstairs.” He grabbed the photo and rushed out of the room, leaving a baffled Arthur behind.
Of course, the remaining people in his line started to whisper the moment Merlin had kissed him and Cynthia threw him a concerned look. “Do you need a break?”
Arthur took a deep breath before he turned to her, a huge smile on his face. “Nope. Let’s finish this.”
“Are you alright?” She inquired again.
“Never been better.”
What the fans told him and how many more pictures he signed or took with them, Arthur couldn’t tell. He just knew one thing: He’d just been promoted from boyfriend to fiancé.