Title: Winter Solstice
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: The longest night of the year deserves the glow of love and magic
Word Count: 350
Prompt: 140 - Letters
Author's Notes: Canon AU
The night was dark, the air at winter solstice cold and quiet.
On his return from the celebrations in the great hall, Arthur stopped under the colonnade facing the courtyard. He gestured for Merlin to do the same.
The king surveyed the snow-covered empty spaces. It was very late. They were alone.
“It's an important time of year,” Arthur said, pensive. “I know that the druids consider these hours magical. But although we celebrate too, in truth this looks the same as any winter night.”
“You're wrong,” Merlin said. “It is special.”
He pointed upwards. “Look!”
Arthur's gaze followed Merlin's direction. Out there in the darkness, golden flakes were appearing, a shower of them, silent as snow. The shimmering specks never touched the ground, but glided on the air and glowed as they moved, forming large sparkling waves, circles and triskelions in the air.
Arthur exclaimed in awe. “This is your doing, isn't it?” he asked, enthralled.
“Yes,” Merlin whispered, his golden eyes turning Arthur's way. “Those are signs of blessing and good fortune for Camelot - and for you. On this night, the runes are extremely powerful.”
“Good fortune for the both of us, I trust,” Arthur smiled. “It's beautiful.”
He stood for a moment in silence, admiring the glittering dance above the deserted courtyard, his breathing forming puffs of white in the frosty air.
“I've never once regretted lifting the ban on magic,” he said at last. “I'm only sorry I waited so long.”
He pulled Merlin close and impulsively kissed his cold cheek, missing the lips in the darkness under the stone arches. Both of them laughed.
“Let's try that again, my esteemed court sorcerer,” Arthur said. “But in a warmer place than this. Let's go to bed.”
One small flick of Merlin's wrist, and the shimmering flakes changed their pace. Fluttering with joy and anticipation, they joined up to form letters, turning into a brightly glowing declaration that reached the very skies for all the world to read:
”I love you!”