Title: Destiny and Hobnobs
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur (pre-slash)
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: In which Merlin loves Dark Chocolate Hobnobs and Arthur. Not necessarily in that order.
Warnings: excessive Britishness; reference to #PigGate; controversial biscuit opinions; ridiculousness
Word Count: 728
Prompt: New Beginnings
Author's Notes: Many thanks to maja_li for the quick beta! ♥ Any remaining mistakes are my own.
Arthur returns to Merlin on a Tuesday afternoon in late September. It's 2015 and the Prime Minister fucked a pig. Sort of. Maybe. Probably.
Most of Europe is gripped by a major refugee crisis. Donald Trump is seriously, unironically running for President. Nick Grimshaw has replaced Louis Walsh on the X Factor, One Direction have decided to take a year-long "break" next Spring, and there's only two weeks left of the current series of Great British Bake Off.
Merlin's not sure which of these events is the "when Albion's need is greatest Arthur will rise again" one. Maybe it's none of them. Maybe it's all of them (except it's obviously not the X Factor - more Nick Grimshaw can never be a bad thing!). Merlin doesn't care.
He's in the biscuit aisle of his local Tesco, stocking up on Dark Chocolate Hobnobs (other Hobnobs are available, but everyone knows the dark chocolate ones are superior, so who cares). They're on special offer (half price! only 78p a packet!) but the offer ends today so he's really stocking up. His arms are laden with as many packets as he can carry (he didn't think to get a basket because he only popped in for a pint of milk and some broccoli, the whole biscuit aisle thing was an accident - or maybe destiny?) and he's so focused on not dropping any that he's not looking where he's going. All of a sudden he's bodily knocked to the ground by someone running straight into him and his biscuits go flying everywhere, hitting the ground with a disturbing crunch.
"What sort of bloody clotpole are you?!" he's shouting before he can control himself. He's going to have to pick out eight new packets now because these ones will be all broken and everyone knows broken biscuits do not taste the same.
"I'm so sorry," his attacker says, sounding anything but, "but it's not my fault you're a clumsy buffoon with a Hobnob fetish!"
And then Merlin looks up at the oh so familiar man who's speaking with that oh so familiar voice and time seems to stop suddenly. Right there, sitting on the floor of a Tesco Metro surrounded by eight packets of half-broken chocolate biscuits, Merlin has never been so happy. Because looking down on him, with a smirk on his beautiful, perfect face is none other than Arthur Pendragon.
Merlin gapes and Arthur (oh my god Arthur) looks at him like he's got three heads but still reaches out a hand to help Merlin up. Merlin takes his hand and the contact sends a thrill through his entire body. He feels his magic, long gone dormant in this strange new world, explode back to life inside him and he gasps a little as Arthur continues to stare at him like he's touched in the head.
"Are you... are you ok?" Arthur asks, suddenly looking so earnest and worried that Merlin's heart hurts with the familiarity of it.
Merlin smiles, so wide and bright he knows he must look a little deranged but can't bring himself to care. "Fantastic. Never better," he says and means it.
Arthur just continues to stare and Merlin thinks he doesn't remember. It should really panic Merlin more than it does but he feels strangely calm, content. Merlin has loved Arthur for centuries and he loves him now, forever, always. Even if Arthur doesn't remember, even if he never loves Merlin back the way Merlin wants him to. Merlin's not worried. Because this just feels right. Strangely like destiny. Destiny and Hobnobs!
The Dragon liked to talk about destiny a lot. His. Arthur's. Theirs. But maybe he didn't know the truth - that everything, every single thing, that had happened since Merlin first met Arthur, had always been leading them to this. To here. To the biscuit aisle of this Tesco on a Tuesday afternoon in September 2015, surrounded by Dark Chocolate Hobnobs. To this new beginning.
Merlin smiles again, softer this time and holds out his hand to Arthur, his Arthur. "Hi. I'm Merlin."
Arthur smiles back then, a light blush on his cheeks as he takes Merlin's hand in his once more. "Hi Merlin. I'm Arthur."
Merlin shakes the hand of his friend, his king, the only person he has ever loved, and thinks to himself yes, you are.
And destiny begins again.