Title: Spring Spirit
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Merlin's so cold in Arthur's big old house. If only Arthur would help him warm up.
Word Count: 871
Author's Notes: Written for camelot_drabble prompt 162 - spring. Also for merlin_writers trope bingo square 'bed-sharing (that's 2/25 done. )
Disclaimer:Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons.
Read here on A03
“Explain to me again why you live in such an old house,” Merlin complained. He had wrapped himself in the two duvets Arthur had given him, and was still shivering under them.
“It’s been in the family for centuries. Pendragon Manor. I can’t sell it, father would turn in his grave.” Arthur opened up a closet and pulled out another duvet. “Here, this should be enough.” He flung it over Merlin.
“Perhaps if you hadn’t stripped all your clothes off just now…”
Merlin ignored that. After all, Arthur was being ridiculously noble and a guy had to try whatever he could, right? “This is the guest room,” he whined. “Surely it should have heating?”
“It takes a while to warm up. The system’s a bit ancient.”
Merlin snuggled further into the covers, grumbling. “The bed’s uncomfortable too. All lumpy. Ow!”
“Now what?” Arthur asked.
He sounded a little weary, Merlin thought. Still, that served him right for being all honourable and gentlemanly and making his brand new boyfriend sleep in the guest room!
“Something jabbed into me! I think it’s a spring! Arthur, how old is this bed?”
It was a four-poster. He was fairly confident the answer would be very old indeed.
“Queen Anne slept in it.”
“Gross! You’d better have washed the sheets since then!”
Arthur just rolled his eyes. “I’ll get some pliers.”
As soon as he was gone, Merlin whipped off one of the duvets and hid it under the bed, then pushed the rest of them to one side so that there was no chance of him warming up. As soon as he heard Arthur returning he pulled them back over him.
“Still freezing! I think I should share your bed instead. Or you should sleep in this one with me. I trust you!”
Arthur sighed, and pushed back the covers. Merlin helpfully threw them off completely. “Where’s this broken spring?”
Merlin pointed. There really was a little point of metal showing through the mattress. To his disappointment, Arthur pulled it out with the pliers and patted the mattress reassuringly.
“There. All safe now.”
Merlin pouted at him. “Still cold.”
Arthur considerately picked up the covers and threw them over him.
“And this room’s probably haunted. I’m sure Queen Anne’s shade came through when you were out getting the pliers.”
“Yes.” Arthur pulled the duvet out from under the bed and replaced it over the others. “Look what I found! She’s obviously a poltergeist.”
“You can’t leave me alone in here. It’s rude to abandon a guest.”
To his dismay, Merlin did indeed watch Arthur leave the bedroom. It was not the way he’d envisaged the evening ending. He’d been so clever, making out his car wouldn’t start, persuading Arthur to let him stay. But he hadn’t envisaged Arthur having some ridiculous sense of chivalry, some stupid ideas about not sleeping together until they’d been dating for at least a month. Makes it more special, he’d said. Merlin was pretty sure they could make it very special indeed, without wasting time waiting for however many weeks.
It wasn’t looking very hopeful. Merlin hadn’t completely given up yet, he decided to wait a little longer then creep along to Arthur’s room and try again. Though it was a huge house and he had no idea where Arthur’s room was.
Also, there were lots of funny creaks and groans, and he really, really wished he hadn’t mentioned the ghost. Worse, there was a sound outside the window. And another one in the corridor. And then the door to his room slowly opened again.
Merlin yelled, loudly. And Arthur, coming back in, did pause for a moment in the doorway.
“I was scared,” Merlin explained. “I thought it was Queen Anne again.”
“You really are a baby,” Arthur told him, putting the warm cocoa he’d thoughtfully brought along for Merlin down on the bedside table.
“I always get frightened sleeping alone in a strange place,” Merlin said as guilelessly as he could. He widened his eyes, trying to look pleading. It must have worked as Arthur rolled his eyes, then sat down on the edge of the bed.
“I suppose I’ll have to stay after all.”
Merlin beamed at him happily, and snuggled up close as soon as Arthur had shed most of his clothes and got into bed beside him.
“Mmmm… You’re nice and warm.”
“No funny business,” Arthur warned, but Merlin noticed he wasn’t moving away.
Merlin wriggled about, hearing Arthur’s breathing hitch a little as he did so. The bed really was quite uncomfortable, but he didn’t really care now Arthur was there.
“You should get a new mattress in here,” he advised. “That spring is probably just the start of it. It’s falling to bits.”
“Maybe,” Arthur said. “Go to sleep, Merlin.” But he didn’t sound very sleepy.
Merlin fidgeted a bit more. Arthur was very warm, very close.
“And now there’s another one, poking me in the back!”
Arthur moved up against him, his breath warm on Merlin’s neck as he pressed a loving kiss to his throat, his arm pulling Merlin possessively close. Merlin could almost taste his victory. He could certainly feel it.
“That’s not a spring, Merlin…”