Title: An evening in
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur,
Summary: There was nothing romantic about it. Somehow, that was okay.
Word Count: 999
Author's Notes: Quickest I've had an idea for a while.
Arthur yawned long and loud as he walked down the street, avoiding the puddles and hoping the rain held off until he was at least safely in the flat and away from the elements. It had been a long day. Hell, it had been a long week and somehow knowing it was the weekend did little to improve his spirits. The chances were he was going to have to return to the office tomorrow and he hated cutting into the precious time he had with Merlin. Both of them had high level jobs and it was getting easier and easier for days to pass without them having a proper conversation. Neither blamed the other – they were both guilty of not saying no to their respective jobs. But Arthur was getting tired of not seeing his partner and feeling like he was living alone despite having another body beside him in the bed.
There were no lights on when he turned the key and pushed open the door. Arthur sighed. Clearly Merlin was working late again. It was hardly the first time this week. Nor the second or third in fact. Shaking his head to hide his disappointment, Arthur hung up his coat and moved through the flat without bothering to turn on any of the lights. He didn’t see why he should when he was the only one in although he knew it increased the chances of just falling asleep as soon as he sat on the sofa.
But as he lowered himself onto it, sleep was the furthest thing from his mind. The sofa moved. More than that, it let out an indignant yelp as Arthur let his weight rest on it and he shot up faster than he thought he was capable of moving on a good day, let alone one where he was exhausted.
“Merlin?!” He exclaimed, fumbling for the lamp. He almost knocked it on the floor before his fingers found the switch, but eventually the flat was bathed in a soft light. Sure enough, looking as if he had been asleep, Merlin blinked up at him. “I didn’t know you were home.”
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“There were no lights on!” Arthur exclaimed. Merlin swung his legs off the sofa and Arthur tentatively sat down, not being sure if it was suddenly going to move again or not. When all remained still, he sank back and instantly sighed in relief, feeling the tiredness truly sink into him now he knew he was home.
“You didn’t put any on either, love,” Merlin muttered, a teasing smile playing on tired lips. Arthur opened his mouth for a comeback, and realised he didn’t have one. Merlin’s fingers slipped through his and the man curled up, his head resting on Arthur’s lap. Before he knew what he was doing, Arthur’s fingers were toying with strands of his hair, eventually running his fingers through it properly. Neither of them said anything and Arthur felt his breathing even, matching it in time with Merlin’s. As more of Merlin’s weight rested against him, Arthur knew he was going to have to move before he fell asleep. He wriggled and Merlin obliging sat up with a huff of annoyance.
"I need to change,” Arthur said softly, leaning over and kissing him. “How about you find the take-away menus while I do?”
He knew full well that neither of them were up for cooking in their current state of exhaustion. He had a quick shower and felt slightly revived as he walked back into the lounge just as Merlin hung up the phone. Arthur didn’t need to ask; Merlin knew his tastes almost better than he did. He pulled his partner close, kissing him deeply as he walked them back towards the sofa and fell down onto it.
“They said twenty minutes,” Merlin murmured between kisses, his hand slipping under Arthur’s t-shirt and his fingers splayed over his stomach, gently stroking. In response, Arthur found he was doing the same to Merlin’s back as he pulled him down on top of him.
“Time for me to start showing you how much I’ve been missing you then,” he breathed. Never had he thought they would actually have an evening together that they hadn’t organised weeks in advance. It felt like far too long since he had last held Merlin against him and Arthur moaned, his body shifting as he tried to get the man closer. Merlin had settled between his legs but far from feeling turned on, Arthur just felt comfortable and sleepy. Merlin was kissing his neck and Arthur caught hold of his chin, tilting his head up to kiss him properly.
“I love you,” he whispered, sincerity in his voice. “I wasn’t sure the last time I told you that.”
“I love you too,” Merlin said, leaning up so that he could rub his nose against Arthur’s. “But I’m really not sure the springs in this sofa are going to be able to take us having sex on it.”
“The bedroom then?”
“In a moment.” Merlin was sounding how Arthur was feeling. Somehow, he knew what was going to happen before Merlin suddenly sagged against him, his breath tickling Arthur’s neck as he slowly succumbed to sleep again. Arthur chuckled, kissing his temple and combing his fingers through the man’s hair again. He would give it a moment, then move so that he could answer the door when their food arrived.
Eighteen minutes later, the doorbell woke both men up from the deep sleep they had fallen into wrapped up in each other. It took them a further five minutes to untangle themselves and stumble to the door, eyes and limbs heavy with sleep.
As they ended up sitting on the floor eating straight out of the cartons, Arthur couldn’t help but feel this was as romantic as it was going to get for them that evening. Somehow, he didn’t really care. Merlin leaning on him made it perfect.