Title: Forget Me Not
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Everyday Merlin waits for Arthur to come back home.
Word Count: 727
Prompt: #193 Remembrance
Author's Notes: I'm sorry for the late post but I've been having internet issues.
His tea is already cold, his attention is placed outside the crystal windows where he can see Leon and Gwaine laughing openly with a levity himself hasn't felt for a while. What catches most of Merlin's attention are the little touches they share, a hand on a shoulder squeezing softly, the graze of their fingers against each other, a kiss placed against Gwaine's jaw, every caress seems to come easy, like it's part of their nature and then you realize they mean something with every touch and every kiss. They're talking with their bodies.
Merlin can't help but feel envy inside of him rising. He exhales. Takes his attention back at the task at hand, a wreath of woodland flowers he was deftly putting together. Gwen is out making a flower delivery run and he's been left to fill the emptiness of the shop with his thoughts, which lately take a dark turn and leave him just as cold as the tea he had long forgotten.
He considers going back to the coffee shop across the street where his friends are still talking animatedly by the looks of it, but he wouldn't be able to handle the adoration they don't care to hide from their patrons. Even if he sat outside in one of the tables they'd sooner or later would come to talk to him and then he'd be reminded of the person who's missing.
The one he's waiting to walk through the door and embrace him and never let go again.
He sighs once more, and lately that's all he's been doing. Sighing, looking at the window lost in his thoughts. Pieces of images and sounds unlocked from his memories.
He arranges the last of the bluebells on the wreath and puts it aside on the table next to a vase of white carnations. There's a mess of flowers around and he's behind schedule with the online orders, his focus and usually meticulous work are lacking. At home he's no better.
But he feels like he's missing a limb, like he can't breathe because he's drowning.
Arthur has been away from home for months, he's off somewhere aboard a research ship in a remote part of the world navigating cold waters. He has only managed to call a couple of times, not enough to give Merlin peace of mind. He doesn't know how he's doing or where exactly he's now. Merlin can't name a region and say Arthur is there with conviction, imagine him with eyes closed enjoying the breeze of the sea. What he does know is that his bed is cold every night and Arthur's absence follows him around. The empty spaces are carved out of nothingness. Silence has becomes louder.
Gwen and Morgana have told him he should sleep or he's going to get sick, but even if he tries and drinks relaxing beverages he ends up tossing and turning the entire night. Thinking of Arthur and his smile, and all his infuriating ways Merlin secretly loves.
Merlin starts on another arrangement, trying to pick the right flowers to create a harmonious look, but he gets distracted by the sunflower in his hand. He remembers how Arthur had pushed him against the wall grinning and laughing, his warm breath hitting Merlin's skin, their lips meeting halfway, until Merlin's arms and legs had wrapped around Arthur and the room seemed warmer. They broke a vase of sunflowers and were showered by daffodils on their way down to the floor, and Merlin had felt drunk, high on Arthur and on his hands roaming his body and the feel of him all over.
"I'll be back, remember me," Arthur had whispered against his burning skin, and Merlin nodded dizzily, fingers running through Arthur's hair. Once they were less desperate, and breathless they settled among the mess of sheets Merlin kept conveniently around. Arthur had placed a daisy behind Merlin's ear, and kissed his chest before they drifted off to sleep with limbs tangled and tired lips.
That was the last night they spent together. The next morning Merlin woke up by himself with a promise and a heavy heart.
Merlin thinks of that night everyday and checks the calendar counting down the days left before he comes back.
Before Arthur makes it back home and he'll no longer have to see the morning rise alone.