Title: The Email Order Bridegroom, Chapter 36
Rating: G, this part
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has a plan to stay in the United States. That plan is Merlin.
Warnings: Fluff, fluff and more fluff.
Word Count: 718
Prompt: 214 Dancing
Author's Notes: This is a continuation of The Email Order Bridegroom which starts here.
Merlin is flipping through the sheaf of sample Marriage Interview questions he and Arthur will be quizzing each other on later when his phone buzzes early Saturday morning. He’s surprised to see it’s Scrying Talent Management.
“This is Merlin,” he opens.
“Good morning Mr. Pendragon, it’s Morgause Scrying here,” his maybe agent says. “I have good news. Geffen Playhouse has asked you back for a table read. Are you available Thursday at eight thirty? The director and writer think the read through shouldn’t last longer than four or five hours. Bear in mind this isn’t paid work and doesn’t mean you’ve got a role in the production but it’s good experience and exposure.”
“Yeah, I know this doesn’t guarantee anything,” Merlin answers looking through his calendar. “I’m open and jotting down a reminder.”
“Excellent, I’ll give them a call and confirm. Congratulations on getting the call back. That’s half the battle.”
Merlin thanks her and rings off. He wishes Arthur was awake so he could share the news but Arthur hadn’t dragged in until after eleven so it can wait. He gets back to studying the questions and answers he and Arthur have discussed through the last few months.
Where did you meet? That’s an easy lie to remember as they’ve told it often enough that they both almost believe it’s true.
What did the two of you have in common is a bit trickier because on the surface the answer is seemingly very little but dig a bit deeper and there’s a common thread of loss and loneliness as well as ”We’re both hot and fit. That was enough to get us interested. The rest just happened,” Arthur had said with a shrug. He wasn’t wrong.
When did the relationship turn romantic? ”As soon as our eyes met is cheesy, isn’t it,” Arthur asked.
“Totally cheesy but it’s the truth,” Merlin said. “Not to mention you’re totally cheesy so it also rings true to character.
Arthur had given him a sidelong look and grinned, “You should talk. They’ll take one look at you and see how besotted you are and that’ll be the end of the interview. Green stamps of approval all around. Bang, bang, bang.” He’d mimed stamping the interview questions several times to emphasize his point.
“I’ll show you besotted.” Merlin laughed, launching himself across the couch to knock a cackling Arthur to the floor, ending interview preparations with a very satisfactory wrestling match/snog which had landed them back in bed for most of the morning.
Smiling widely at that happy memory, Merlin pushes the papers aside. He thinks maybe it’s not too early to disturb his husband after all.
It’s just past noon by the time they’re showered and starting on the quizzing.
Two hours in Arthur, slumped into the cushions of the couch, snorts in disgust. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: These questions are inane. Seriously, Do you have lamps next to your bed? Who doesn’t have lamps next to their bed?”
“People without electricity? The Amish?” Merlin asks.
“They have oil lamps, Merlin. Candles maybe,” Arthur answers absentmindedly. “Do you have a regular mattress, futon or waterbed?" Arthur straightens up. "A waterbed is still a thing I can have? I thought they only existed in 70’s porn.” He turns to Merlin, eyes wide and shining, “Let’s go waterbed shopping. We can see who gets sea sick first.”
Merlin thinks that actually sounds pretty fun and he’s about to say so when Arthur shakes his head sadly. “No, we need to be adults and finish this quizzing so we can dazzle the interviewer with our knowledge of each other’s shaving cream and deodorant choices. Waterbed seasickness will have to wait,” he says with a pout. “Why is adulting so boooring.”
Merlin laughs and plucks the papers from Arthur’s loose grip. “You have the attention span of a toddler. C’mon, we obviously need to shake things up.” He grabs Arthur’s iPhone off the coffee table, “Emergency dance party to get the blood moving again.” A few seconds later they’re both on their feet shout singing and dancing along with Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” blasting out of the living room speakers.
The dancing and singing helps hit a mental restart button so they get back to the quizzing with renewed energy and smiles on their faces.