Title: How Can They Not
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin is nervous for his introduction as the new court sorcerer.
Word Count: 405
Prompt: #220 - Insecurity
Author's Notes: Unbeta’d.
In everyone of his dreams about this day Merlin had never envisaged that his final hurdle to recognition would be his own fragile nerves.
His fingers tugged at the cuffs of his sleeves, creasing and pulling, messing up the precise fitting of his new formal outfit. His eyes were glued to the crack underneath the door in front of him, subconsciously tracking the way the light that shone through shifted as people moved on the other side.
His clothes felt stiff and rough, his skin used to the way new weave felt, having only previously worn clothes that were soft with age and wear. If he had had any choice in the matter, Merlin would still be wearing his normal clothes, after all, what you wear holds no bearing on a person's skills.
Behind him Merlin heard footsteps, he twitched, wanting to look round, to see who it was, but also not wanting to betray himself to whoever it was. The sudden warmth of someone standing close, so close, barely centimeters away, had Merlin finally break his stillness.
He turned his head, just until he caught the blond of Arthur’s hair from the corner of his eye. Merlin bit at this lower lip, words on the tip of his tongue. But he refrained.
There was a press of fingers to the edge of Merlin’s hand, and without a thought Merlin turned the limb, sliding his fingers between Arthur’s and squeezing.
He drew strength from the answering squeeze, allowing some of the building tension in his shoulders to dissipate.
“You’ll do wonderfully.” Arthur’s voice was low, the words whispered into Merlin’s ear. He had to work to suppress a shiver of desire.
Arthur hummed, leaning in even closer, so Merlin had to struggle not to spin and face him, especially when Arthur then pressed a closed mouth kiss to the side of his neck.
“Don’t make me repeat myself, Merlin.”
Merlin let his eyes drop closed for a moment, trying to compose and steady himself.
“But what if- what if…” He couldn’t find the right words to explain how he felt.
“Merlin.” Arthur’s voice had taken on the commanding tone it normally held when he was issuing orders. “They’ll love you. How can they not?” He pressed another kiss to Merlin’s neck, and this time Merlin made no effort to hide his shiver, or the accompanying groan of enjoyment.
“You made me love you.”