Title: The Email Order Bridegroom, Chapter 17
Rating: R at some point
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has a plan to stay in the united States. That plan is Merlin.
Warnings: Fluff and a bit of anxiety
Word Count: 1061
Prompt: Domestic, 186
Author's Notes: This is a continuation of The Email Order Bridegroom which starts here
They’d followed happy hour with a walk around the neighborhood, Merlin pointing out his earlier stops (now closed). Arthur peered into the front window of Whimsic Alley with a pout. “We have to come back this weekend. I want to get you a mystery bag now.”
Merlin bumps shoulders with him, “Way to spoil the surprise.”
“Yours was perfect. I’d like to see if I can pick a bag that’s perfect, too,” he says, taking Merlin’s hand and pulling him further up the street. “I’m in the mood for something sweet. Let’s see if we can find some gelato.” Merlin can’t help smiling as he’s tugged along.
It’s still quite early when they get back home and Arthur begs off relaxing in front of the television to finish up some paperwork he’s brought home. “I need to make sure those fires are well and truly out before I can relax,” he says before taking his briefcase back to the office.
Merlin decides to do the Google searches they’d talked about. His laptop is still on the kitchen table. There are eleven new messages in his inbox, one a response from Elena to his formalwear email:
Merlin: The photos and your specs are just what we’re looking for. We’ve booked the rooftop ballroom at Andaz West Hollywood and are filming from 2 to 9 PM this Sunday. Please arrive at least half an hour early so we can have you sign a contract and get into your formalwear before hair and makeup. The hotel concierge will direct you to the staging area.
If you need to cancel, please call ASAP so I can line up another actor. Looking forward to working with you! Elena Godwin.
Merlin blinks, reads the note and then reads it again. He realizes he’s trembling. Holy shit, he thinks, I may have actually got my first gig in Hollywood. The fierce joy is short lived as he gives himself a mental shake. That seemed way too easy. Maybe serial killer luring a victim to his death easy.
He googles The Andaz, a Hyatt hotel that does, indeed, have a swanky rooftop ballroom. The views of the city skyline are breathtaking. The setting really is perfect for an intimate staged wedding.
Next he looks up Elena Godwin. She has a brief imdb write up and credits as associate casting director on half a dozen short films and casting director of one feature length direct to DVD slasher movie last year. The movie looks formulaic and mediocre but the second lead is a regular on Supernatural so the rating is laughably high. She has two projects listed as in production, including a short.
Merlin is still mistrustful of his good fortune, so he calls Gwaine. “Have you ever heard of a casting director named Elena Godwin?” he blurts out as soon as the phone is answered.
“You do realize that’s like asking a random person from Iceland if they’ve met Björk, right?” Gwaine says with a laugh, “but you’re in luck. I’ve met her at a couple parties. She’s friends with friends. A bit of an airhead but quite sweet. Why’re you asking?”
“She may have just offered me a job as an extra but it all happened so fast and filming’s this Sunday. I’m not sure to trust the email,” Merlin answers.
“Yeah, that does sound dicey but she’s legit. Let me make a few calls and I’ll see if this is a real shoot or some scam to lure pretty young things into prostitution,” Gwaine says and Merlin can practically see his grin through the phone.
“Shut up. According to mum, that totally happens all the time,” Merlin answers though now he’s smiling, too, relieved. Gwaine rings off and Merlin wonders if he should tell Arthur about this new development but decides to hold off until he hears from Gwaine. He googles baby beet recipes instead.
The next morning Merlin actually wakes up before Arthur and is happy to discover that this time it’s Arthur sharing his pillow. He’s grinning as he snaps a picture for evidence that he’s not the only stealth snuggler.
Arthur had fulfilled his promised threat and the cappuccino machine has replaced the regular coffee maker on the kitchen counter. Merlin grinds the coffee beans to a fine powder, tamps enough grounds for a shot of espresso into the filter and pours in the water, readying the machine to brew when Arthur gets up in, he looks at the clock, ten minutes. He pours milk into the metal pitcher by the machine, setting it aside.
Arthur usually has something quick and easy before work but Merlin’s hungry after their light supper so he pulls bread, butter, eggs, cheese and bacon out of the refrigerator and begins preparing an omelet and toast. He’ll leave the bacon to the man that’s going to eat it.
He collects the newspaper and when he gets back Arthur is staring at the cappuccino maker looking woefully caffeine deprived. Merlin sets the newspaper on the table.
“I’m making an omelet. Want me to make enough for you, too?”
“Sounds great,” Arthur says through a yawn.
“Okay, I’ll make you a latte. You can fry up bacon if you want it and, no, I do not want a slice of the gateway meat,” Merlin says with a grin.
Arthur laughs but pulls out two non-stick frying pans and sets two slices of bacon sizzling in one.
He turns on the machine and Arthur’s shot of espresso is quickly dripping into a mid-sized cup. When it’s done, Merlin adjusts the frothing wand to heat and aerate the milk. He hits the milk on the counter a couple times to make the liquid glossy before pouring it deftly into the espresso, finishing with a quick flick of his wrist. He presents it to Arthur with a bow. “Your latte, sire.”
Arthur smiles down at the milky heart Merlin’s created before taking a sip. He looks up at Merlin and amps the smile up a notch, “It’s delicious. Thank you.”
“Now me and then the omelet.” Merlin turns back to the machine and has a double espresso in no time.
A smiling, pink cheeked Arthur is sent off to work with a fresh latte in his travel mug and Merlin thinks getting up early isn’t as awful as he’d imagined.