Title: The Email Order Bridegroom, Chapter 37
Rating: PG-13, this part
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has a plan to stay in the United States. That plan is Merlin.
Warnings: Fluff and domesticity
Word Count: 949
Prompt: 217, Distractions
Author's Notes: This is a continuation of The Email Order Bridegroom, which starts here.
Arthur’s alarm blares much too early on Monday morning and keeps blaring until Merlin rolls on top of him to slap it off. Arthur doesn’t move so he stays draped over his still snoring husband.
When Merlin had teased him about the snoring early on Arthur had declared with certainty, ”Lies, I don’t snore, Merlin.” A few days later Merlin had grinned, held up his iPhone and played a video of Arthur, face half buried in Merlin’s pillow. He’d turned up the volume so Arthur could hear his contented little piggy snuffling. Merlin thinks it's cute. Arthur still denies it ever happened.
After a few seconds of bearing Merlin’s dead weight, Arthur finally cracks one eye open.
“M’up,” he says blearily, ineffectually trying to get out from under Merlin.
“You’re nowhere near up. C’mon, you’ve got a site meeting at seven thirty and it’s all the way in Long Beach.” He rolls off Arthur, heading to the bathroom. “I’ll make you a latte and a couple breakfast burritos to go but you need to get rolling if you’re going to get there on time.” Arthur groans but when Merlin emerges from the bathroom Arthur is pawing through the closet so he goes to put together breakfast.
Arthur’s showered and dressed in no time and Merlin hands him a thermal to go cup and two warm foil wrapped egg and bacon burritos.
“You’re the best husband ever,” Arthur says with a smile as he leans in for a light kiss. “I’ll call if I’m going to be late, dear.”
Merlin laughs and gives him a push. “Shut it, dear, and drive carefully.”
“I always do,” he promises with another kiss and heads out.
Merlin looks at the clock on the stove. Bed to door in fifteen minutes is a new record and depending on the traffic Arthur’s in pretty good shape for arriving on time. “Go Team Pendragon,” he says to the empty kitchen then pulls his To Do list off the refrigerator, smiling as he goes over all the husbandly duties in store for him this morning:
Some time over the weekend Arthur had added a few things:
Laundry I’m almost out of socks! I can’t wear sandals to work. Morgana would never let me hear the end of it and Uther would worry I’m becoming a hippie.
Groceries I finished the Oreos Arthur had scrawled along with NO KALE!!!!!
Sex shop is a new chore written in Arthur’s hand. His Buy yourself something pretty, sweetheart. makes Merlin laugh and he immediately texts Arthur.
6:21 AM Merlin: I’m buying you something pretty. Be afraid. Very afraid!
His phone immediately buzzes.
6:21 AM Arthur: NO CLOWN ANYTHING FROM THE SEX SHOP!!!!! CLOWNS ARE NOT PRETTY!!!!!
It buzzes as he’s reading. Arthur again.
6:22 AM Arthur: No gimp masks either. They freak me out.
It buzzes again.
6:22 AM Arthur: Forget it. We’re going to the sex shop together. No sex shopping alone!
Merlin can’t stop laughing.
One good thing about getting up early is that Merlin has finished the grocery shopping, mopped the kitchen floor and washed and folded all the laundry and it’s not even ten o’clock yet.
He settles onto the couch to read over the play again but his mind is hopping around so he flips on the television. The news is still all about Orlando. Funerals and gun control and anti-gay protests and hate and hurt push out any positive messages being voiced so Merlin flies past infomercials and Murder She Wrote, The Brady Bunch and MacGyver reruns. The DVR is loaded with shows and movies Arthur wants to watch, too, so he finally turns it off and pours himself a glass of orange juice and goes into the backyard to read his book.
Ten minutes later Merlin gives up and dresses for a run to hopefully clear his head.
It had been scorching hot all weekend and this morning is warm but not as brutal. Merlin still starts his run at a slower than usual pace, testing if he’s up for the near ninety degrees the Weather Channel promised. He decides to run in the neighborhood so he can refill his water bottle if necessary and increases his pace.
“I’m going to have to join a bloody gym,” Merlin grumbles into the phone.
Gwaine laughs, “Yeah, we’re not wired for this relentless sunshine are we?”
“No we are not. I emptied my water bottle three times this morning and I probably should have reapplied sun block half an hour in. I’m going to have to get one of those stupid camelbacks to run through the summer.” Merlin has been home for half an hour and he still hasn’t stopped sweating.
“Poor widdle Merlin and his first world pwoblems,” Gwaine baby talks. “After your run I bet you’re starving. Go get cleaned up and I’ll take you out to lunch. I haven’t been to that Israeli place you and Arthur keep raving about.”
The thought of Ta-eem’s falafel plate and fava bean hummus perks Merlin right up. “Thanks Gwaine, that sounds great.” I’ll be ready in half an hour."
He texts Arthur as soon as Gwaine rings off.
11:12 AM Merlin Gwaine’s taking me to Ta-eem in a bit. Want me to pick you up anything? smiley face
11:13 AM Arthur Why am I the only person with a job? Wait, what time are you going?
11:14 AM Merlin: Half an hour.
11:15 AM Arthur: I’m close enough to meet you there kissy face Grab an extra seat.
11:15 AM Merlin: Yay! Surprise lunch with the husband! See you there. kissy face
Smiling, Merlin moves off to shower, stripping off his sweat drenched clothing along the way.