Title: I Feel You Shiver with Antici...pation
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Today's the day Merlin's been waiting for. Arthur's kind of glad it only comes once a year.
Word Count: 666 (But I swear, it's not evil)
Prompt: 138 Anticipation
Author's Notes: My first ever drabble here! Hooray!
Arthur grunted awake as Merlin’s bony limbs jabbed into him. Merlin took no notice as he scrambled out of bed and ran to the window. Shivering at the sudden loss of warmth, Arthur groaned into his pillow. “Come back to bed. The sun hasn’t even fully come up yet.”
“It’s today, Arthur,” Merlin protested, voice full of awe. He didn’t move from his post.
“And it will still be today in a few hours. Now get your scrawny arse back over here before you freeze to death.”
Reluctantly Merlin returned to the bed, sneaking under the blankets as carefully as possible so as not to let any of the cold air in. He snuggled up close to Arthur, tangling his frozen feet between Arthur’s warm ones. Arthur didn’t have the heart to kick him for it, just dragged him in closer.
“Try to sleep,” he advised. “It’ll come faster that way.”
Merlin huffed into his shoulder. By the time Arthur had fallen back to sleep, he was still awake, craning his head to try to look out the window again.
Merlin was next to useless the entire day. He dropped Arthur’s breakfast –twice- in his haste to get back to their chambers as soon as possible. Arthur’s favourite white tunic was then stained pink from being washed with his bright red cloak, and a hole was nearly worn into his boot from the same spot being scrubbed over and over again.
It was when Merlin sliced a gash down his hand because he was too busy staring outside to focus on polishing Arthur’s sword that the king knew he had to do something.
“Come along, Merlin,” he announced once Merlin had been stitched and bandaged by an unimpressed Gaius. “I’m going to train the knights, and I need you to be there to handle my gear.”
Merlin fairly beamed as he plopped himself down on a bench outside, bundled up in the thick cloak Arthur had insisted he wear (“You’ve already lost half your blood; I don’t need you getting frostbite as well.”). He spent more time watching the sky than his king, but with such a joyful look on his face, Arthur couldn’t bring himself to chastise him for it.
That joyful face grew more and more sullen as the day went on, however. Merlin moped as the sun went down, and Arthur was forced to drag him
back inside and shove him towards the kitchens for his dinner. By the time even Merlin couldn’t hide his yawns anymore, he was practically in tears from disappointment.
“Gaius promised it would be today. He said his bones always knew.”
Arthur tugged him gently away from the dark window and put him to bed, wrapping his arms tight around him. “I’m sure his bones are just a day off. Tomorrow. Just wait for tomorrow.”
Merlin fell asleep quickly, his excited tension from the day leaving him exhausted. Arthur lay beside him, unable to sleep, instead petting Merlin’s dark hair as his lover shoved his cold nose further into Arthur’s chest. Then out of the corner of his eye, Arthur spotted something land on the windowpane.
“Merlin,” he murmured gently into his ear. Merlin snuffled and muttered in his sleep, clinging stubbornly to unconsciousness. “Merlin, love, wake up.”
Merlin’s eyes slowly dragged open. “Hmm? Wazzit?”
Merlin rolled over, and Arthur knew the moment he saw. He bounded out of bed, but this time he took Arthur with him, dragging him to the window. He grinned widely and tossed open the pane, allowing the stiff breeze to travel inside. Along with it came soft flakes of snow, the first of the season. Merlin held out his palm to catch one, shivering as it touched his skin, then leaned closer so he might capture one on his tongue. Arthur smiled softly at his happiness, fetching his cloak from his desk chair to wrap around them both, then stood beside Merlin as they watched the snow fall.