Title: The picnic
Summary: Merlin takes the new car for a ride
Word Count: 881
Author's Notes: Thanks, issy5209 for the beta!
Merlin stood and stared. „Arthur…“
“Isn’t she a beauty? And she’s all yours!” Arthur dangled the keys to the sports car in front of Merlin’s face.
Reaching absent-mindedly for the key, Merlin still just looked at the car. There was no question, it was a fine piece of craftsmanship and the finish was shining in the few rays of light that touched it. But… “A sports car?” That so wasn’t him.
“Yes, Merlin. I thought it was about time that you drove a car matching your status.”
“My status.” Merlin blinked.
“Gone are the times you were the poor boy from a remote little town. You’re my husband now and you know what comes with all of this.”
Merlin swallowed. Of course, he had known that he had to get rid of some habits and he thought he was already rather good at not gasping in shock when he saw the prices on clothes and shoes or when the restaurants Arthur took him to didn’t even show prices on the menu.
Arthur wrapped his arms around his waist and kissed his neck. “Give her a try. She’s not your old Knight, but I’m sure you two will become friends quickly.”
They both got into the car and Merlin almost jumped at the sound of the motor when he turned the key. Carefully he manoeuvred the expensive car, which was a lot longer than the little compact he was used to, out of the garage, down the driveway to the street. As soon as they were on the motorway, he couldn’t resist using the accelerator, a small smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
Arthur gave a few directions like ‘down here’ and ‘turn left’ and all of a sudden they found themselves on a small parking lot at the shore. Arthur jumped out of the car and took a picnic basket out of the back that Merlin hadn’t even noticed being there. “Would you bring the blanket?”
A while later, they sat on their blanket, having their picnic.
“So,” Arthur started, his mouth full of a bite of muffin. “What do you think?”
“I think you went out of your way to make this happen. Thank you, it’s a very nice gesture.”
“I don’t mean the picnic, I meant the car. Isn’t she a dream?”
Merlin didn’t know what to say. The car was fantastic and it was fun to take it for a ride, but…
“Okay, thought so.” Arthur smiled.
Arthur smiled? What did that mean now? How could he tell him that it was a great car but not great for him?
“How about, we’ll go see the car dealer tomorrow and you can pick the car you like?”
Merlin blinked. “It’s…it’s a great car and…it’s fun but…I just don’t think it’s very practical for my job. You know I have to go on dirt roads and forest tracks and rough terrain, I doubt I would get very far with this one.”
Arthur leaned over and pressed a kiss on Merlin’s lips. “Don’t worry. I thought you could keep it for when you have to go into town for meetings and presentations; I know you need something different for the bigger part of your job.”
“If I go to presentations driving a sports car, our sponsors won’t cough up more money, thinking I’d spend it on toys and such.” At least that was what it would feel like if he did that.
Arthur nodded. “I understand.” In his job it was important to show off, to make it clear who had the most money and who had the say in the projects, but he knew that Merlin’s world was different. “What did you have in mind? And don’t tell me you want a compact again. More than once you got stuck on dirt roads with this little box of yours.”
“Well,” Merlin huffed out a chuckle remembering all the times the Knight had to be rescued from such situations, “I thought…maybe…a small SUV? Something that is a bit higher and has 4-wheel-drive? So I could get to the places faster and won’t get stuck? And yet, nothing too big to keep it agile?
“Sounds reasonable to me. We’ll go look at them tomorrow.”
Merlin threw Arthur a sideways look. “You’re not angry because…” He gestured over his shoulder with his thumb to where the red sports car waited for them.
Arthur shook his head. “I thought it would be fun for a day or two.” He grinned. “Don’t tell you didn’t have fun tweaking the speed limit just a bit on the motorway…but I understand your reasons.”
“Can we give it back?”
“Don’t worry about it.”
When Merlin saw the grin on Arthur’s face turn into a smirk, he knew they would keep the sports car but he didn’t say anything and just moved a little closer to Arthur so he could lean against him as they watched the sun set. When it got too cold to sit there, they packed the left-overs and took the blanket.
Merlin noticed that Arthur started to fidget as they neared the car, so he dug the keys out of his pocket. “Wanna take her home?”
“Hell, yes!” Arthur grabbed the key and started the engine before Merlin was even done laughing.