Title: An afternoon in the park
Summary: They want to spend a nice relaxed afternoon but then a serious topic comes up
Word Count: 647
Author's Notes: Sorry, not beta’d, there’s just so much going on atm, I didn’t get around to write this sooner.
Also matches my ‘established relationship’ square at merlin_writers tropes bingo.
Merlin got up when a pregnant woman entered the tube and she smiled at him gratefully as she sank into the seat. “Thank you.”
A short while later, they were in the park, Arthur leaning against a tree, Merlin’s head in his lap, both of them enjoying the warm summer day, the breeze that had finally set in making the temperatures bearable.
“Hmmm?” Merlin didn’t open his eyes.
“You’ve been quiet since we left the tube.”
Merlin opened an eye. “Mark your calendars! For once you’re unhappy with me NOT babbling.”
Arthur didn’t smile. “It’s always a bad sign when you don’t talk. What’s bothering you?”
Shaking his head slightly, Merlin closed his eyes again. “Nothing. I’m just being silly.”
“Merlin, look at me.” Arthur played with some strands of Merlin’s hair.
For a while, Merlin didn’t react, but then took a deep breath and sat up, turning, so he faced Arthur. “That woman…”
“Woman?” Arthur frowned.
“The pregnant one on the train…,” Merlin took a deep breath, “It’s not important.”
It took Arthur a moment but then he blinked. “You want kids.”
“Well, some day.” Of course Arthur wanted children, but they weren’t together for too long and…
“You don’t.” Merlin turned away and his shoulders slumped.
“I didn’t say I don’t want children. I just…I never really gave it much thought. I never thought I’d find someone that I like enough to stay with in the first place, and this is so new…”
“We’re together for three years already.” Merlin plucked at some blades of grass.
Arthur sighed. “I’m just not sure if I’m ready to be a father.”
“Gwaine wasn’t either.” Merlin sighed, too.
“That was an accident.”
“But he’s a wonderful father for his little girl, even though she wasn’t planned or the result of a loving relationship.”
“True.” Arthur couldn’t deny that Gwaine had changed a lot since his baby girl had been born a year ago.
“And look at Leon and Mithian…”
Arthur nodded. Their little boy was adorable but Leon had always been a mother hen. “Merlin, I’m not saying I don’t want children. I’m honoured that you want them with me. I just…never really thought about it.”
Merlin was about to scramble up, but Arthur grabbed his wrist and pulled him into his lap.
“Look at me, Merlin. I love you. But this came a bit out of the blue. And knowing you, I know it’s not something that was triggered just by seeing a pregnant woman on the tube, it must have been in that cute head of yours for a while now.”
Merlin didn’t look at him.
“Give me a bit of time. We’re only thirty, we still have a bit of time.”
“You’re thirty, I’m only twenty-eight.”
Arthur chuckled and pressed a kiss on Merlin’s cheek. “Thanks for pointing that out.”
“I’m just being silly.” Merlin leaned his head against Arthur’s shoulder. “It’s probably the heat of the last days that ate away my last functioning brain cells.”
“Hey.” Arthur pulled back a bit and looked at Merlin. “This is important for you, don’t make fun of it. I just wished you’d have addressed the topic as soon as it became so important for you.”
Merlin nodded and snuggled against Arthur. “Sorry, I didn’t want to spoil this day.”
“You didn’t. And you know, I have an idea.”
“Mark your calendars again. Arthur has an idea.” That earned Merlin a poke into his side which made him squirm and giggle. “Okay, what’s your idea?”
“How about…how about we offer our babysitting services to Gwaine and Elena and Leon and Mithy? So we can get a bit of practice while we look into the adoption procedures so we know what we have to do?”
Slowly, a wide beam made its way onto Merlin’s face before he leaned in to kiss Arthur softly.