Title: Sweet nothings...or not
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Arthur's baking for the first time, but he has forgotten a key ingredient. Merlin fixes it for him
Word Count: ~650
Author's Notes: I really should be doing something else right now but I couldn't resist. Also, I want to dedicate this to a good friend. LJ tells me it's your birthday soon so, Happy Birthday, aeris444! Wish you all the happiness. :) Hope you like this.
Merlin stepped further into the flat more cautiously than how he had entered, in case Arthur was asleep, which had usually been the case these past months if he wasn't in the living room. Ever since he had been back about 8 months ago, Arthur had mostly been wary of the outside world and tended to remain inside. Merlin tiptoed over into the bedroom and went to open the door, but he noticed a movement from the corner of his eye and turned to look.
Arthur was at the kitchen table, bending over something. He paused for a moment to take in the rear view before snapping himself out of it and approaching him.
"Hello there," he called out, causing the other man to jump comically and turn around, obviously trying to keep something from view. "What are you doing, sire?" Merlin asked nevertheless, now amused.
"Merlin, I-- you're back early," Arthur wasn't quite meeting his eye.
"I am? I hadn’t noticed," Merlin chuckled at the King's antics, causing him to narrow his eyes at Merlin.
"Shut up, Merlin," Arthur snapped at him, before sighing. "Well if you must know, I was just trying to..." he trailed off, shook his head mostly at himself and moved aside, revealing what looked like a perfectly round chocolate cake.
Merlin's eyes went round. "You went out and bought a cake?" he asked, looking at Arthur in awe.
"No actually..." Arthur pointed at the counter, and now that Merlin noticed, it looked like someone had waged a war in the kitchen. There were eggshells, flour and dirty vessels all over the place, even on the ceiling, Merlin noticed amusedly, and Arthur himself was a mess, although he seemed to have cleaned his face and hands.
"You...baked?" Merlin asked, a bit apprehensive but mostly so very proud of his friend. Merlin loved to bake, and Arthur had helped him the last few times. But venturing into baking on his own was impressive indeed.
"I just, I remembered that your birthday was usually sometime in the spring and, umm, I wasn't sure of the date but I just, I thought..."
Arthur's embarrassed tomato-red face was matched by Merlin's soppy one of disbelief and wonder and it was a while before Merlin could produce words again.
“I… Thank you,” he said. He hesitated for a second but shook his head and stepped forward and a moment later Arthur blinked as he found himself with an arm full of Merlin.
“Okay, that’s enough of you being a girl, Merlin,” Arthur said awkwardly when Merlin gave no hint of wanting to let go. “Aren’t you going to eat it?”
“Yes, yes, okay,” Merlin stepped away to go find the knife. He cut a piece and popped it into his mouth, chewing slowly.
“Well?” Arthur asked impatiently when Merlin hadn’t spoken for a whole minute.
“It’s good,” Merlin replied. “Just one suggestion though. Next time, have a small taste of the batter before putting it in the oven, yeah?” he smiled gently at Arthur.
Arthur frowned before cutting himself a slice and putting it in his mouth, only to spit it out again in disgust. “It’s… it’s… salty!”
Merlin patted him on his back as Arthur stared at the cake in horror. He had used the salt instead of the sugar. “It’s ruined. Never again am I going to do anything like this,” he moaned.
Merlin laughed. “But it is not ruined. You forget, sire. I have magic.”
He held out his hand and his eyes flashed golden. “There,” he said. “I’ve fixed it.”
Arthur looked at him for a second before shaking his head, not able to keep a smile off his face. He cut a big chunk out and put it on a plate before offering it to Merlin.
“Happy birthday,” he said simply, and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Merlin smiled at him. “Thank you for the best birthday ever.”