Pairing/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: It wasn't the heavens they had been born under, but they at least had each other.
Word Count: 499
Prompt: 114, hiraeth
Author's Notes: Also covers the prompt 'meteor shower' for my cotton candy bingo card.
Merlin finds Arthur on the top of their apartment building. It's cold, even for December, and he's shivering as he's climbing the stairs. Arthur--in only his sweatpants and a blanket--must be colder. Merlin subtly casts a spell to deter their neighbors from coming up and then a small localized heating spell. Arthur doesn't move.
Above them, even with the light pollution, a meteor shower streaks across the sky.
They're silent, watching it pass by. It's been years since Merlin watched one. There's been other things to do and places to be (without Arthur to protect, Merlin found lots of things to do, people to help and places to defend). And now, with Arthur back, trying to find out what's about to break. There could be no other reason for Arthur to come back. (Well, Merlin could hope that it was only for Arthur to live a life, wholly and completely and without burden.)
Arthur sighed as it ended and hung his head. "I remember watching one of these when I was boy. My father--he took me up on the ramparts and said they had been a regular occurrence since I had been born. An omen, he said. They were so clear. Now..."
Merlin bit his lip. "I could--there's a spell. We could see it, from your memory."
Arthur half smiled. "Always a solution, eh, Merlin?"
Merlin blushed and shrugged. "I just want you to be happy, Arthur."
"I am happy, Merlin," Arthur told him. "I am. Just...not all the time. And we can't be happy all the time, right?" He smiled and grabbed Merlin's hand. "It's okay."
Merlin looked away. "I'm sorry."
"Hey, now, none of that," Arthur growled. He pulled Merlin closer, until there was no more room between them. Merlin breathed deep--Arthur still smelled the same as he had back in Camelot. Of woods and stone and cotton, sweat and power and magic. It was familiar and comforting. He laid his head on Arthur's shoulder and Arthur wrapped his arms around his shoulders. "I love that you want to make me happy and comfortable, Merlin, but that's not your responsibility."
Merlin sighed. "And what am I supposed to do? That's my destiny, Arthur. You and your health and happiness."
Arthur lifted Merlin's head and kissed his forehead. "It may be your destiny, but have you ever thought that the way to do it is to just let things be and let me love you?"
Merlin blushed. "I...I don't..."
"Just shut up, Merlin," Arthur whispered. He kissed him, softly. "The meteor shower is over. Let's go in, yeah? I want to prove to you how much I love you."
Merlin smiled and looked up at the heavens. It wasn't the heavens he had been born under and it wasn't the one he and Arthur had fought under; they both might miss it at times, as one does one's home, but at least they had each other. Merlin returned Arthur's kiss. "Let's."