Title: The Email Order Bridegroom, Chapter 34
Rating: PG, this part
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur Pendragon has a plan to stay in the United States. That plan is Merlin.
Warnings: Unadulterated, ridiculous fluff. And clowns.
Word Count: 534
Author's Notes: This is a continuation of The Email Order Bridegroom which starts here.
“You’re up early,” Arthur says leaning against Merlin for a sleepy kitchen snuggle, nose buried in the back of Merlin’s neck.
Merlin doesn’t relax into him. He’s feeling stiff and out of sorts. “I had a crap night’s sleep. Naked audition dreams were a running theme,” he explains, roughly tamping down the ground coffee and switching on the machine with a loud snap before turning in Arthur’s arms.
“Naked dreams should be fun,” Arthur commiserates.
Merlin grimaces, “In the last one I’d lost my pants and trousers somewhere backstage and the audience was all clowns. Your father kept honking a bike horn while I was trying to perform. It was terrifying.”
Arthur frowns. “Clowns are creepy.”
“I know, right? Why would my brain even go there?” Merlin pulls away. “There’s fruit salad in the fridge. I’m going for a run to try to shake off these nerves.”
“I could stay home and distract you for a while,” Arthur suggests with a hopeful smile.
Merlin stops in the doorway, considering before shaking his head, “Thanks but I’ll be fine.” He gives Arthur a small grin, “Maybe you can distract me when you get home.”
Arthur grins back, “I’ll try to be home before six.”
Merlin had left his phone on the bedside table and when he gets back after his run there are six missed texts. They’re all from Arthur.
7:25 AM Arthur: There is a woman dressed up as a clown driving the Prius next to me. For serious. What the actual fuck, Merlin?
8:12 AM Arthur: I am in a Very Important Meeting and all I can see is Uther in clown face. Thank you very much /sarcasm.
8:17 AM Arthur: George in clown face is also a very disturbing thought.
8:20 AM Arthur: I am screaming on the inside.
8:31 AM Arthur: Father asked how married life is. All I could think about is clowns. He said I look happy. I am! Clowns, Merlin! Clowns! They should be making me unhappy!
8:37 AM Arthur: Morgana told me to stop smiling. I told her to get bent. smiley face I hope you’re feeling better. kissy face
Merlin is laughing when he texts back.
8:42 AM Merlin: I am now. Thank you! kissy face
“Hi honey, I’m home!” Arthur yells from the front door like he does nearly every night.
“In the bedroom!” Merlin shouts back grinning. He hears Arthur drop his keys and briefcase and slip out of his loafers as he’s moving down the hall. It’s routine now but it still gives Merlin a happy shiver that this is their routine. Well, some of this is routine, he thinks with a wicked smile.
Merlin’s checking himself in the mirror when Arthur steps into the room. He watches Arthur’s eyes widen in the reflection and then he bursts out laughing. “Oh hell no!” Arthur protests, smiling.
Merlin’s painted on lips widen grotesquely as he’s laughing, too. “I thought we could conquer our fears together,” he says and then lunges in for a spectacularly messy kiss. When he pulls away Arthur’s face is smeared with white and red grease paint and they’re both grinning maniacally.
“This has to be the weirdest, kinkiest thing this bedroom has ever witnessed. I love it,” Arthur announces, moving in for another kiss. This one knocks Merlin's foam clown nose to the floor.