Title: Light Under the Shadows
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has something to say.
Word Count: 201
Prompt: #210 Shadows
Author's Notes: I thought that "shadows" as a prompt would cause me to make something that fell between dark, dangerous, and depressing, and there certainly were a lot of ideas along those lines. However, I wanted something happy -- especially because of what I wrote last week. I almost made a fairy tale, but this realistic scene knocked harder. Not sure that I made Arthur's thoughts come across as strongly as I wanted, though. Let me know what you think!
“I want you to know something,” Arthur says seriously.
Arthur and Merlin sit side by side on the flat top of a large boulder. They sit facing the creek that is flowing slowly past their toes a full two meters below. There is an unfolded blue bandana lying flat under their sandwich wrappers and a couple of as-of-yet uneaten apples in the thin space between their bodies. Their backpacks lay fully zipped on the hot, un-shaded half of the rock behind them.
Arthur looks at Merlin’s dappled profile. The still branches of the trees above them cast uneven streaks of shadow across Merlin’s body down to his knees. When they first sat down, Arthur insisted on taking the less-shaded side of the boulder so that Merlin wouldn’t burn.
Merlin looks away from the shining surface of the water and straight into Arthur’s eyes. Merlin’s head is tilted to one side, and his eyes are bright. He smiles. “What’s that?” he asks.
Arthur stares silently back at Merlin for the span of a few breaths while he gathers around him the depth of feeling he intends to put into his response. Then he replies, “This is the happiest I’ve ever been.”