Title: Hot Baths and Shoulder Kisses.
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur.
Summary: Merlin carries out his plans.
Word Count: 293
Prompt: #85: Relief.
Author's Notes: Sequel to Kisses and Picnic Baskets. I know the name is really silly, just like the first one, but I'm not always good at giving titles to things.
Arthur has been insufferable all day.
He’d been tense, and sullen. Merlin had thought of just going ahead and talking to him, but Arthur needed some time. The heavy set of his tense shoulders was enough for Merlin to keep his distance.
Arthur had paced around a bit, glared at every poor sod that was unlucky enough to come in his path, and then locked himself in his chambers. After a while, he’d decided to go out into the storm and train his knights.
Merlin had stayed under a roof when Arthur had trained his knights. The rain made the ground slippery and made practice difficult, but Arthur didn’t seem to mind; neither did most of his knights. Merlin had just squirmed uncomfortably when Leon had asked if something happened between them.
By the end of the day, when Merlin is drawing Arthur’s bath, Arthur is pacing again.
“Your bath is ready, my Lord,” Merlin says softly, and Arthur head snaps up. Merlin smiles and Arthur looks away. He goes behind the screen to undress. Merlin doesn’t really get the logic behind that, because after a minute, Arthur walks out, completely naked and steps into the tub.
Arthur is still tense a few minutes later, but he’s leaning back against the tub. Merlin takes a few steps forward and places tentative hands on Arthur’s shoulders. Arthur tenses up more, which Merlin didn’t think was possible, but doesn’t ask Merlin to take his hands off. Merlin presses his fingers and starts massaging.
When Merlin leans down to press a soft kiss to Arthur’s shoulder, he feels the tension run out of Arthur’s shoulders. Arthur sags back, apparently relieved but doesn’t say anything else. Merlin smiles against Arthur’s shoulder, and feels Arthur relax further.