Title: New Beginnings
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: It really is the morning after the night before...
Word Count: 1047
Author's Notes: Written for camelot_drabble prompt 179 - 'New Beginnings', and also fills the 'Stranded' square of my merlin_writers trope bingo (that's 24/25 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.
This is chapter 2 of the ninth part of the 'Impressions' series, which can all be found on A03 here.
(To confuse matters, Chapter 1 of the ninth part, Leaving Las Vegas, is the 'drabble' I didn't finish in time for last week's CD deadline, and if you're following the series you will need to read that one first. This one is chapter 2 on that same link for A03.)
Monday morning looked pretty good as far as Arthur could see. Everything was golden.
That was partly due to the sunlight streaming in through the half-open curtains, bathing everything in a warm glow. But it was also due to the warmth from Merlin’s naked body sprawled across Arthur’s, which as far as Arthur was concerned made everything golden, permanently.
For a few minutes he just lay there, watching Merlin sleep and listening to the little snuffling noises he made, feeling the warm huff of his lover’s breath on his neck. He could see that ring still on Merlin’s thumb. If Arthur had his way, that was never coming off (except maybe briefly for a proper ceremony where they were both sober). Merlin was his now, and he was never going to give him up.
He shifted slightly, trying not to wake Merlin up but needing to get into a more comfortable position because his left arm was starting to go to sleep under Merlin’s weight.
“Uh…” Merlin grunted, lifting his head and blinking blearily awake. His hair was sticking up at odd angles. It was adorable. He looked around at Arthur, and gave a sleepy, slightly shy smile. “Hi…”
“Hi yourself,” Arthur drew him back down into a kiss. “Mmmm…”
Merlin kissed him back enthusiastically, dispelling any concerns Arthur might have had that this was just a one-off. Merlin was just perfect. He wondered why he’d ever thought this was a bad idea. He didn’t want to say that Morgana had been right, but… yeah, best not to say it. She was going to be unbearable.
Merlin broke away, and pushed him back gently. “Two minutes,” he promised, scrambling out of bed and heading for the en suite.
Arthur watched him go, admiring the long, lean angles of his lover’s body as he moved across the room, then lay back, waiting.
They’d made the twin beds into one when they’d got back the previous night. The sheets were the wrong size, but apart from that the beds had fitted together just as easily as Arthur had expected. Nearly as well as he and Merlin fit together. All the same, he thought he’d tell the hotel there was a mistake and they should have had a double room. Or at least have bigger sheets.
He’d do that later. Merlin was coming out of the bathroom and climbing back into bed, snuggling up to Arthur. They had all day, and all night. Maybe they wouldn’t leave the hotel room.
“You didn’t really want to go hiking off down into the canyon, did you?” he asked hopefully. “Seems a waste of a day when we could be… well, staying in here.”
Merlin laughed, and pushed at him playfully. “We should see the sights.”
“Oh,” Arthur rolled him over onto his back, pinning him down and straddling him when he started to wriggle. “I’ll show you some sights…”
Arthur had secretly dreaded Tuesday morning.
Waking up with Merlin was as perfect as the first time. The little holiday was turning into a new start for them both, and Arthur didn’t want it to end. But Tuesday was the day that they had to head back to Vegas, return the hire car and get to the airport.
The hotel wake-up call rang at 7.30 exactly, and the operator cheerily informed him that it was indeed 7.30 and this was his call. There was probably something wrong with people who were that cheery early in the morning, he thought. He wondered if the hotel room service would stretch to making him a decent coffee.
They hadn’t made it down into the canyon. It wasn’t that they hadn’t left the hotel room at all. No, there had been a brief trip out for at least 30 minutes, but they hadn’t got any further than one of the gift shops before they’d turned round and gone back to their room. Arthur felt vaguely guilty as he knew Merlin had wanted to walk the canyon. Perhaps he’d take him back there again for a proper holiday?
He sat up and switched on his phone. It had been off most of the previous day as Morgana had been sending annoying texts, but he thought he’d better check in case of flight delays. A delay would be quite good. Another night in the hotel…
There were an alarming number messages from Morgana on his phone, and as Merlin turned his on, Arthur could hear the tell-tale bleeps from that as well. He started to play the answerphone messages.
“Arthur, I hope you’re on your way.”
“Arthur, it’s 4.30, the plane leaves in less than an hour.”
“Arthur, ring me!”
“Where the hell are you?”
“Arthur, you’ve got ten minutes!”
“Dammit, Arthur, they won’t hold the plane.”
“Well I hope you two have been having bloody good sex, because you’re going to have to find your own way home!”
Merlin looked up from his own phone, worried. “Gwen says we’ve missed the plane. How? It wasn’t supposed to go until this afternoon, you said.”
Morgana had said it was the afternoon, he knew she had. He checked back to the original message. “Morgana said it was 5.20 out of Vegas. It’s only 8.40 now.”
Merlin snatched the phone out of his hand. “Let me see. 5.20… not 17.20, Arthur! 5.20 in the morning. Ugh! This is why it’s me who organises your diary!”
Well that was stupid. “Who books a flight at that sort of time?”
“That would be Gwen. Shortage of empty leg flights from Vegas, she was saying. I didn’t realise it meant we were flying home in the middle of the night!” Merlin sat down on the edge of the bed. “Now what do we do? We’re stranded.”
They were. Stranded in a top holiday destination, with no problem paying the hotel bill for a few more days because Arthur was hardly short of money. There were worse situations to be in.
Arthur shrugged, unconcerned. “We’ll find a commercial flight. Maybe in a week’s time. I haven’t taken any holiday in months.”
Perhaps they could take that hike down into the canyon after all. He gazed at Merlin, perched on the end of the bed, and reached for him.
Tomorrow. They’d do the walk tomorrow.