Title: What Once Was Yours
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur doesn't really put much faith in his dreams being anything more than that. But being kidnapped in the midst of a museum robbery quickly changes things.
Word Count: 997
Author's Notes: Yes, I know, I am really, really, really past the deadline now, but this idea wouldn't leave me alone. TECHNICALLY IT WAS WRITTEN BEFORE 9, DOES THAT COUNT? :x
Like most children, Arthur knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up, and often spent his young days slaying imaginary foes and rescuing damsels-in-distress. Unfortunately, as he eased into adulthood, he soon discovered that "knight in shining armor" was not a viable career in the modern economy. Although he had resigned himself to this fact, that still didn't stop the dreams he had late at night, filled with kings, sorcerers, and battles of old.
Then again, his subconscious escapades could be partially blamed on his job as well. While working as a security guard at a museum was hardly glamorous, he liked it well enough for the chance to immerse himself in past cultures. Especially when it came to the exhibit of his famous namesake.
Somewhat of an amateur history buff (thanks in part to hearing the tour guides' spiel enough times to recite it word for word), Arthur knew the whole bit about the Camelot and the “Knights of the Round Table” was as likely as him being the “Once and Future King”. Still, as he dealt with the humdrum of everyday life, he often let his mind wander freely and pretend once more.
As he lectured people not to touch anything, he imagined him addressing the court about duties and honor. Instead of the greasy meatball sub he wolfed down on his measly lunch break, he wished it was a bountiful feast that lasted with no end in sight. And when he sat in front of the case that contained a crown that supposedly came from the time period in question (the golden gleam shining through tarnish and age), he could sometimes see himself be the one who wore it.
It was a ridiculous pastime and he knew it, which was why the majority of his daydreaming was done when no one was around. Often after the museum closed, he would often conduct his own private tour in pretense of looking out for possible problems. That's what he was doing that Sunday night, even though the security was so tight that no one even dared--
A noise behind him caused Arthur to snap out his reverie, directing his flashlight to cut through the darkness. His eyes scanned the room for anything out of place, and was about to chalk it up as nothing when he heard someone curse in a voice that sounded oddly familiar.
Arthur whirled around to confront the intruder, only to see a blast of bright light before everything went dark.
"C'mon prat, wake up already."
With a groan, Arthur opened his eyes, and went to rub at his aching head. Only to find his hands bound to the chair he was propped in. "...What the hell?!"
"Yeah, I figured you'd be pissed," said the voice from earlier, and Arthur blinked in confusion when a young man emerged from the safety in the shadows. He was dressed head to toe in clothing the same shade as his raven-colored hair, and his blue eyes gazed down at Arthur with anxious sympathy. "Sorry, I didn't want to knock you out, but you left me no choice."
Now that Arthur was more coherent, he became more aware of his surroundings and noticed they were no longer in the museum. If he had to hazard a guess, he would say they were in a motel room, which made him wonder how the other man had managed to cart his unconscious body around. "Who are you?! What do you want?!"
A pained look flashed across the man's expression, and he ran a hand through his hair nervously. "...Guess you don’t recognize me," he sighed sadly before digging through the rucksack on the edge of his bed. "And the truth is, I just planned on taking this."
Even though he had never seen it outside protective glass, Arthur recognized the object in the man's hands immediately. "...You stole the crown?! How did you get past the alarm system?!”
“The same way I got you here, even with you drooling in your sleep.” The man twiddled his fingers in a way that supposedly meant something. “Though I didn’t expect to find you there. How could you be around it every day and not realize it was yours, Arthur?”
“…Look, I don’t know if this is some sort of fucked up joke.” Arthur inwardly wondered how the guy knew his name. “But if you let me go and return the crown, I’ll have all charges dropped against you.”
Sighing again, the man shook his head. “Just once, Arthur, after all the times we’ve done this, could you just be reasonable?”
How could Arthur be reasonable when he had been kidnapped? He suddenly began to shout, hoping someone could hear and call the police. “…HEY! SOMEBODY--”
Before he could even finish, Arthur felt lips press firmly against his as the crown was unceremoniously plopped on his head.
As a torrent of memories flooded his brain, things went black again.
The next time he opened his eyes, it was like Arthur was seeing clearly for the first time. And the man he saw, he wanted to simultaneously kiss and strangle, though he was leaning towards the latter at the moment. “…Merlin, untie me already!”
The smile that spread across Merlin’s features was as blinding as the light from before, and there were tears in his eyes as he chuckled, “Actually, I kind of like you this way…”
“Fine.” The bonds were magically released with a snap of a finger, and soon Arthur had Merlin pinned to the bed, causing Merlin to snort.. “Oh, so I can’t tie you up, but you can hold me down. That seems fair.”
“Shut up, Merlin,” Arthur growled, not willing to admit how much he had missed him. “…You didn’t get to steal my sword too, did you?”
Merlin huffed. “There’s just no pleasing you some times, is there?”
Arthur leaned down, nibbling at Merlin‘s ear as he whispered, “I wouldn’t say that…”