Title: The Email Order Bridegroom, Chapter 8
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Hunith, Morgana, Uther, Gwaine
Summary: Arthur's got a plan to stay in the united States. That plan is Merlin.
Warnings: Plans to defraud Immigration
Word Count: 897
Prompt: 173 Lullaby
Author's Notes: This is a continuation of The Email Order Bridegroom
Hunith looks very smart in a light blue suit Merlin has never seen before. It’s a modern cut and compliments the slight blush to her cheeks. She looks young and happy which settles Merlin’s stomach quite a bit as he’s anxiously approaching his nervous bridegroom.
Arthur, of course, lip biting and hand checking the inner pocket of his suit jacket aside ”You’ve got your ring, right? I’ve got mine here, see?” looks gorgeous. The tuxedo fits him like a glove and they’ve reversed their ties and vests so his vest is red to Merlin’s black. The bright color makes him look even more handsome and commanding than usual.
Gwaine is centered between the trees appearing uncharacteristically grave and trustworthy. Merlin recognizes this gravitas from his murderous role and grins inwardly as he and his mum walk toward them both. “Here Comes the Bride” is running through his head the entire way and it’s making it hard not to laugh.
Hunith takes Merlin’s hand and presents it to Arthur who cradles it like it’s a precious gift and in that instant the slow motion of the moment hits fast forward. There are practiced words repeated and promises made, rings exchanged and suddenly Gwaine says “With the power vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you married. You may seal your vows with a kiss.”
Merlin’s head is already spinning when Arthur leans in for a chaste kiss which is met with applause and a few wolf whistles, one definitely coming from Gwaine, who has dropped character and is back to being himself. As the kiss is ended he immediately claps his hands together announces “Let’s party” and walks off toward the house, obviously in search of alcohol.
Laughing, Arthur grabs Merlin’s hand and they face their audience. “What Gwaine said,” he says with a wide smile. “There’s champagne and snacks inside. Let’s celebrate.”
Merlin can’t stop grinning and every time he looks over at his new husband, Arthur is grinning right back. His mum is there hugging them both and in an instant there’s an impromptu reception line of Arthur’s friends shaking their hands and offering congratulations.
This all goes by in a blur until a gray haired, stern faced man comes over and demands, “Arthur, introduce me to your young man.” Merlin’s stomach drops and he feels like he’s about to be sent to the head master until the man’s face softens and he gathers Arthur up in a hug, “Congratulations, son. I hope you’ll both be as happy as your mother and I were.”
Arthur appears a bit stunned but is smiling warmly. “Thank you, father. I hope so, too.” It seems he may be blinking back tears when he clasps the man’s shoulder, steering him to face Merlin. “Merlin, this is my father, Uther. Father, this is Merlin Emrys, my husband.”
Merlin smiles tentatively and offers his hand. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Pendragon.”
Uther smiles, “Uther, please, you’re family now.” He gives Merlin’s hand a firm shake and and looks around. “Now where is this champagne you spoke of? I think a toast is in order.”
As if by magic, Morgana materializes at his elbow with three flutes which she distributes between them, then hands Uther a knife he uses to tap at his glass, gaining the gathering’s attention.
“Everybody please get a glass for a toast to the happy couple.”
When everyone has a drink in hand Uther turns to Arthur and Merlin. “Here’s to my son and his new husband building a life together that they can both be proud and happy of. A life filled with laughter and love. A life rich in friends and family. A life I hope we can all share through the years.” Uther raises his glass to them both, “Congratulations, you two, enjoy this adventure.”
They raise their glasses before Merlin sips his champagne along with their guests, bubbles dancing merrily across his palate. He hums in appreciation and takes another sip before being introduced to yet another person.
Later, in a lull between well wishers, Merlin catches Arthur’s hand and they exchange another toothy smile. Arthur moves in close and purrs “Have I mentioned you look absolutely devastating in that suit?”
Merlin stands a bit straighter and dimples at him. “Yeah? We obviously should wear tuxedos more often. Want to take up ballroom dancing? Maybe we could be Maitre Ds.”
Arthur gives him a playful shoulder shove and scoffs, “Hardly. Let’s be spies. How many languages do you speak?”
Merlin laughs and squeezes his husband’s hand, “I’ve barely mastered English. I guess I’ll have to be your Q, Mr. Bond.”
Arthur laughs again and pulls Merlin toward the house. “Like I’d trust you with exploding things, Merlin” he says with a smile. “Let’s see if Gwaine has left us anything to eat. I think we’ve earned a couple mini quiches.”
The party flies by in a flurry of new faces (just how many people had Morgana invited anyway?), finger food and furtive glances at his and Arthur’s gold bands glinting in the sun. Merlin closes his eyes, listening to a lullaby of bird song and muted traffic punctuating yet another perfect California day and he wonders what the next three hundred and sixty five days will have in store for him and the man by his side.