Title: All The Kisses
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: All this time waiting; Merlin would make sure that Arthur was justly punished: by witholding all those centuries of missed kisses.
Word Count: 696
Prompt: Prompt 200: amnesty post 2 (I chose prompt 020: kissing)
Author's Notes: No beta; please excuse the mess.
Merlin took a deep breath, looking out across the water. The sun was almost set; another year gone. There was still no sign of Arthur, but Merlin, battered by so many long years and so many wars, was beginning to wonder if the prophecy had been wrong. That Arthur would never return.
And really, with so much time having passed, would Arthur be able to lead anyone anymore? He could rally men, Merlin was sure, but to know how to navigate the new battlefields, the technology, the new tactics? And diplomacy had changed in so small of ways that Arthur may not be able to find his way around a meeting. And that was all assuming that he would be held up as a symbol of hope and kept away from the negotiating tables and battlefields.
Merlin closed his eyes and felt a tear leak out of his eye. It all seemed so... hopeless. Here he was, waiting out the years for Arthur to return, but it seemed as though he'd be waiting until the end of time. Cruel.
Something warm touched his face. He jumped up and stumbled back, chest heaving. No one knew this lake was here -- no one. Chest heaving, he looked up.
Arthur raised his eyebrows. "Merlin?"
"A-arthur?" Merlin swallowed and tried to calm his heart. "You're... here?"
Arthur watched Merlin walk closer with disbelief. He looked the same as he had the day that Merlin had put him on the lake. He felt solid, but his wounds were healed. Merlin studied Arthur's face as Arthur looked around them, eyes squinting. "Where are we? Are those buildings?"
Merlin took a deep, almost choking breath that turned into a giggle. "You're really here. You really did come back. Oh, shit. What does that mean? I mean if you didn't come back for world war two, whatever is coming is going to be mmph!"
Arthur's lips were firm and insistance, quieting Merlin's thoughts. Arthur bit Merlin's lip and pulled away. "I don't give a fuck, Merlin, what's coming. Just tell me that Morgana is dead and... well, I'd ask if my kingdom is secure, but that's rather pointless I'm guessing. I mean, we are in the future or something like that, right?"
Merlin narrowed his eyes. "You're taking this rather well. It is the future, but I'd thought you'd last remember me revealing my magic to you."
Arthur frowned, looking off into the distance. "I died. It's all... I felt the passage of time, knowing that I was dead, but could do nothing about it. Other people came as time went by, people in different clothing, speaking new words or languages I didn't know." He refocused, eyes bright as he looked at Merlin. "And then I was being pulled back here."
Merlin nodded. "Well. There's a lot to catch up on and there is a prophecy. It was said that you'd come back when England needed you."
"Which you said meant nothing good?" Arthur asked.
"I'll explain when we get to my flat," Merlin told him. "Come on."
Arthur grabbed Merlin's arm. "But... Merlin, what about the others? Gwen? My knights? Our friends?"
Merlin shrugged. "I don't know. The prophecy only mentioned you. I've been... well, I never died. I watched everyone else... ah." He took a deep breath.
"I don't know. I've never understood much of anything."
Arthur grinned. "Well, that hasn't changed at least." He licked his lips. "Could we, I mean, can we be together now? Without worry?"
Merlin half smiled. "The future of humanity could be at stake and all you want to know is whether we can be partners?"
"I figure that whatever is going to happen can wait for some kissing."
"Come here, idiot. I want all the kisses you've been saving for me."
Merlin hummed happily. Arthur was right; tomorrow could wait. There were a lot of kisses to give. A couple centuries worth. Merlin would give Arthur only a few now, though; the rest would have be spread out throughout the rest of their years together. After all, the prat had to be punished somehow for making Merlin wait this long.