Title: Morgana's Gift
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Arthur goes shopping for an antique pen that Morgana once dreamt about.
Warnings: Written whilst author was intoxicated. Modern!AU
Word Count: 1570 (SORRY!)
Prompt: THANKFUL for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Unbetaed. Also inspired by: Theme: Buyin' it, Sellin' it, Savin' it of tavern_tales
Arthur walked into the marketplace, determined. He loved the smell of old books that surrounded him, but he knew that he couldn't be distracted. He was a man on a mission. He was looking for an antique pen to gift to his sister on her wedding day, and he hadn't been able to find it anywhere.
Ever since Morgana had made a wish on her eighteenth birthday, she'd been disappointed that on one could find it for her. She claimed that she'd had a dream about a long silver shaft with a brocade pattern. She was a superstitious woman and ever since she'd had a dream of holding this pen, she knew she needed to have it.
Arthur, along with Uther, and even Gwen had looked for this particular pen everywhere. Gwen, who was Morgana's best friend, was also an artist, and she'd drawn the image of it based on Morgana's descriptions, so now they were all on this mission.
It'd been ten years since that dream, and now that she was getting married, they all wanted to make sure that someone would find that bloody pen and gift it to Morgana as a present. "Something old and something new," and all that.
As he walked around the fair, he saw a few things that he liked. He too had an interest in antiques but he didn't buy much for himself. Arthur had always wanted to own his own bookshop, especially since his writing career didn't pan out to be much. But, since his father didn't approve of it, Arthur found himself stuck in the office, working in marketing. There was good money there, of course, but he knew, just as Morgana did: money wasn't everything.
Evidently, this bloody antique pen of her dreams, was.
He spotted a small set up in a corner called "Emrys's Unique Gifts," and decided to try his luck there.
"Hi," the shopkeeper said eagerly.
Arthur had a sneaky suspicion that the young man didn't get a lot of business. He was just sitting about reading a book before Arthur had approached him. Everyone else seemed to be trying to engage their customers in or trying to lure them in, at least. This bloke wasn't doing any of that.
"Hi," Arthur said as he gazed over the things that were set out in display.
"Looking for anything in particular?" the man said, and Arthur noticed that he gave Arthur a once-over, trying to assess him. Then his eyes snapped up and met Arthur's. They were bright blue, and so wide that Arthur thought he could get lost in them.
"Yes. An antique pen or sorts. It's for my sister..." Arthur dug through the pockets of his jeans looking for that sketch Gwen had made. "It maybe looks like this."
"Maybe?" the man said, slightly chuckling. "What, did someone dream it up?"
Arthur bit his lower lip and nodded sheepishly. It was true. Morgana had dreamt it up.
"Oh my God. Someone did dream it, didn't they?"
"Yeah, my sister. It's been nearly ten years and we've been looking for it. My father thinks it's an old gypsy's curse and of course thinks it all rubbish but my sister is very adamant about it—"
"I think, I might..." the man suddenly turned around and started to rummage through a box. His arse was up in the air as he dove into the box and Arthur couldn't help himself. The bloke was cute. Really cute and now his arse was up for display and what was he supposed to do? Not look. Of course, he could not look but then what kind of a gay man would he be?
The man had a nice arse. It was all bubbly, and perky, and fit in his trousers quite well. Arthur could just image grabbing it by his hands as he spread those cheeks and— Oh for heaven's sake, Arthur. Snap out of it.
A moment later, the man was turned around and had several different small boxes in his hands. "There's a legend," he said, yanking Arthur out of his ridiculous thoughts, "some ancient quills, and other writing utensils are claimed to be mystical. They once belonged to the old kings and queens of Camelot and it's been said that if you're reincarnated, then you long for these items from your previous life. Maybe your sister used to be a queen or something...and this pen of her dreams was something she'd once owned. Something she'd cherished."
Arthur nodded along as the man spoke. He tried to listen to what he was saying but first of all, the man was just a bit too excited, and second, he had the most perfect mouth. Arthur's eyes kept darting on those lips as the shopkeeper kept licking them.
"So do you think you have it?" Arthur asked, looking away from the man's mouth and at the small boxes he was holding.
"Maybe," the man said and dropped the boxes on the set up table. "Here, hold the drawing." He handed the piece of paper back to Arthur and started to open the boxes.
"Arthur," Arthur said, taking the paper back as their hands briefly brushed and he felt a jolt of something up his spine.
"My name is Arthur." He ran a hand through his hair, suddenly embarrassed. What if the man didn't care?
"Oh. I'm Merlin," the man said. "Merlin Emrys and this is my shop, I guess." He gave a nervous laugh as he stared at Arthur for a few seconds and then looked away.
God, did he feel it too? Arthur couldn't help but wonder. He felt so oddly drawn to Merlin since the moment he'd stopped by the table and now—No, Arthur needed to focus at the task in hand.
As Arthur held out the paper for Merlin, and Merlin started to forage through the items he'd dug out, Arthur watched him. His eyebrows knitted together and he just looked so damn focused. His mouth was slightly parted and Arthur, this time, really couldn't help himself. He was going to die if he didn't stop thinking about kissing those lips. Tasting that mouth. Sucking that tongue.
Oh my God, Morgana. You will be the death of me.
Finally, Merlin stopped his search and took out a small, silvery pen. "I think this is it," he said.
Arthur looked at the small item in Merlin's hands and then compared to the paper. "Holy fucking hell, it is," he said, unaware of how loud he'd been. "Shit, sorry."
Merlin threw his head back and laughed. "Are you joking, that was the best reaction I've ever had from someone about one of my items. I've been collecting these things for ages and I'm so happy that you actually found something that you needed and not buying it just because it looks cute."
Arthur laughed too. "Oh, the pen isn't the cute thing here," he said, realising just how ridiculous he sounded.
Merlin bit his lower lip and then looked away again. "So shall I wrap it up for?"
"Yes, please. How much do I owe you for it?"
Merlin shook his head. "You know what...this is the most fun I've had in a while so it'll be my gift to you. It's for your sister and clearly you were so determined for it so I'd like for you to have it."
"Oh, I can't. I mean, I'd like to buy it from you. You've been the most helpful salesperson ever. You didn't try to sell me something I wasn't looking for. You actually found the thing I've been looking for a decade."
"I wouldn't feel right. Gaius always says that if something is meant to be with someone, you can't put a price on it. I mean, I couldn't sell it to you for a hundred quid and feel good about myself. This item clearly belongs to you, in your family, and I just couldn't—"
"Have dinner with me," Arthur blurted out and he watched as surprise dawned on Merlin's face. "I mean, as a thank you. Let me take you out for dinner or drinks and..." He paused, hoping he didn't sound like a complete tool.
"Sure," Merlin said, almost immediately. Arthur was glad that he wasn't the one who thought that there was an attraction there, and the fact that Merlin was gay. Or at least, bisexual.
"Thursday?" Arthur asked.
"Sounds great," Merlin said and gave Arthur his business card. "That's my mobile number so feel free to..." He paused to shrug, "text me or something." He bit his lower lip again and Arthur just found that to be too adorable. "Sorry, I don't date customers. I don't usually have customers, but still...I mean, this is awkward."
"I don't want to pressure you. If you're not comfortable—"
"No, it's not that. I just... Just call me and whatever." Merlin ran a hand through his hair and some of the strands stood straight up. Arthur smiled to himself seeing how endearing he found it to be.
"Brilliant," Arthur said and he watched Merlin as he wrapped the antique pen in its box and put it all together.
"I hope you sister likes it."
"Thanks, me too."
Arthur walked away a moment later, thankful, that Gwen had decided to tell him to go to the fair. Now, he owed her a great big favour, too.