Title: Finally Inevitable
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: It had been too much to hope for.
Word Count: 674
Prompt: 166, inevitable
Author's Notes: Also written for the AO3 collection, Let's Get Legally Gay Married.
The party was still going on outside in the streets. Merlin hated that Arthur lived in a neighborhood full of people who liked a good party; he was usually the person yelling at them to quiet down, turn in for the night.
Arthur would laugh and pull Merlin away from the window or door, calling him an old man.
(That Merlin was had no place in that argument, no matter what Arthur might say.)
Tonight, Merlin didn't mind so much.
After all, he and Arthur weren't sleeping.
Merlin suspected they wouldn't be any time soon.
"I don't know if I want to tell Gwen and Morgana," Arthur whispered into the scant inches of space between them on the bed.
Merlin played with Arthur's fingers. Arthur smiled and played along. They were both feeling a little...giddy.
"We could call them after?" Merlin offered.
Arthur sighed, but he was smiling too much for the sigh to be full of anything but joy. So much joy.
Their friends had all said the decision was inevitable, but Merlin and Arthur...it was what they had needed so desperately. Merlin's visa was running out at the end of the year; being married would stall it, give them time to keep Merlin here, with Arthur.
Not that they didn't want to go back to England. It might be nice, but all their friends were here. They both had jobs here, jobs they loved. Arthur as a police officer and Merlin in his little occult shop. Their home, a house, rang with ancient power and had been where Arthur remembered who he had been, ages ago. Where, for the first time, they could kiss without fear, without the pressure of duty. It was the kiss Merlin had been dreaming of for so many centuries.
It didn't matter that their friends had said the decision had been inevitable. It had been just too much to hope for.
It wouldn't fix everything; Arthur could loose his job for it. Merlin's shop might be robbed.
But it could fix this, make it so Merlin could stay here. Arthur would follow him to England, but that would mean leaving here, their little sphere of life and love and peace. A place that didn't feel like their old life in Camelot. It had been good, but this was better.
"Maybe the day after?" Arthur said. "We could send out a notice on Facebook?"
Merlin scoffed. "Morgana would know somehow, know as soon as we register, and then--"
"Yeah," Arthur growled.
Merlin sighed. "We'll just send them a text tonight and they can meet us there."
Arthur pouted. "I...want it to be just us. For a little bit."
Merlin smiled and shifted his head over, leaning his forehead against Arthur's. "Tell Gwen. Tell her we're going to apply tomorrow and we'll allow them to throw a party somewhere later, but that we want a day for us. She'll keep the rest at bay."
Arthur breathed deep and securely laced their fingers together. He brought their hands up and kissed Merlin's knuckles. "Do you...I mean, I never--"
"I didn't either."
"So do you--"
"No. No, Arthur. You don't have to say it. I know."
"You always did."
Merlin swallowed hard and squeezed Arthur's hand. Without needing to say a word, the metal appeared between their hands.
Arthur gasped and pulled his palm away from Merlin's. The rings fell onto the bed, shining in the moonlight. "I thought they had been lost."
"I left yours with you when I put you in the lake. Mine was later stolen. Don't ask. But then I found them, both of them, in my pocket."
Arthur licked his lips. "I'm glad. I...would not want this unless we had them."
Merlin closed his eyes. "You've always been my husband. Always."
"Husband. Yes. Merlin--"
"I know, Arthur. I know."
"And tomor--later today. Later! A handful of hours."
"I'm probably not going to sleep."
"We could start our honeymoon early?"
"No, no. Just...hold me?"
"I never let go."