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Title: two years, five months, three weeks, four days
Author: burntotears
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Rating: R
Word Count: 6898
Spoilers: Nothing. Its AU.
Disclaimer: © BBC
Companion Piece: four days, three weeks, five months, two years
Translations: Chinese Translation by himawarivy
A/N: Inspired by polychromator's E-mails and Intentions. A huge ball of fluff, so padfut_n_prongs can't say I never write any. :P Also ignore this as an excuse for the author to make obscure pop culture references.

week three.
Merlin never had a boyfriend before. Ok so he’d never had an anything before, but that wasn’t really the issue here. The problem was that Merlin didn’t know what he was supposed to do. In fact, he was entirely unsure as to how he got a boyfriend to begin with. Lancelot—being his friend and also owing Merlin for introducing him to Gwen—was supposed to be helping Merlin figure out what he should do to woo Arthur, seeing as Lancelot was a bloke’s bloke just like the blond. Except, Lancelot was absolutely no help at all and Merlin should have expected that.

“Merlin. Come on. No bloke is going to wear a hat that his boyfriend knitted for him. I don’t care if Arthur likes to take it up the arse, he still isn’t that much of a ponce.”

“Lance! Don’t listen to him, Merlin. I’m sure Arthur would love it if you made him a hat.” Gwen didn’t sound all that enthusiastic about it either, so Merlin decided he shouldn’t give it to Arthur, even if Arthur did favour beanies. Merlin had already finished knitting it though. Maybe he’d leave it at Arthur’s door and not say whom it was from.

In the end, Merlin left it by Arthur’s door with a typed note that said: Because I know you like hats. – M

Arthur wore the hat Merlin made him almost everyday throughout the winter, which Merlin pretended didn’t make him swoon like a mooning schoolgirl.

It did though.

year two, month one.
Dear Mr. Merlin Emrys,

We are pleased to inform you that you have received the position of Professor of English Literature at our Department of English and Creative Writing. Please be available for an orientation program on the 1st of July.

We are excited to see you join our faculty.

“Arthur?” Merlin said quietly, re-reading the letter a second time. Finally he shouted, “Arthur! Come here!”

After a few moments a half naked Arthur walked into the kitchen, scrubbing a towel through his damp hair. “What is it?” he asked. Merlin shoved the letter into Arthur’s wet hand and watched as Arthur’s eyes darted back and forth across the page, a smile creeping at the corner of his lips as he did.

“Oh shit! Oh shit, you got it!” Arthur laughed, tossing the paper on the counter and pulling Merlin to him, kissing him happily.

Merlin stared at him, blissful. “I got it,” Merlin repeated. “Arthur, this is brilliant!”

“I’m happy for you, Emrys. You deserve it.” Merlin tried not to think about how many times he’d applied for such a job and how many times he was turned down because now the pieces were falling into place and he felt truly happy with his life and his partner; in fact he was certain that nothing could ever spoil his new high.

month eleven.
“Does this mean you’re like, Harry Potter or something?” Arthur asked him, looking unabashedly hopeful.

“No, Arthur, I’m not anything like Harry Potter.” Merlin sighed because while he was happy that Arthur was still there, it also meant that he would be answering ridiculous questions like this for a very, very long time.

“Wingardium Leviosa,” Arthur said, mimicking a wand movement.

“Really, Arthur? You’ve got the spells memorised?” Merlin asked and he was genuinely shocked by this.

“Well, y’know, that Tom Felton bloke is really fit. So is the Rupert What’s His Face that plays Ron.”

Merlin smirked. “You really have got a thing for gingers, haven’t you?”

Arthur blushed, probably one of the few times Merlin would see this in his lifetime. “It’s the pale skin and the freckles, I think. You know I like pale skin,” Arthur added with a mischievous grin that made Merlin realise he was not going to finish reading his text for tomorrow’s lesson.

month one.
Merlin took everything too seriously, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it would take him five to ten minutes to answer a text message.

Arthur: B done w/practice at 6. Want 2 get somethin 2 eat?

What a brilliant idea!
Uh, sure, I guess.
Of course I would love to!

Merlin: Sure. See you at six.

And while he was thinking about it, what the hell was he supposed to call his boyfriend anyway? ‘Mate’ sounded too informal but ‘boyfriend’ sounded kind of possessive. After the first few weeks Merlin kept calling him ‘Arthur’ anytime he spoke to him or about him. Arthur had pointed out that it was kind of weird that Merlin would never use a pronoun, so then Merlin spent an entire week calling Arthur ‘you.’

Apparently it wasn’t really that important what they called each other, so long as neither of them minded. These were the sorts of things Merlin always sweated that Arthur shrugged off easily. Almost too easily, in Merlin’s opinion, but he was so eager to please Arthur in every way that he ended up making the blond man nervous most of the time. “Relax, Merlin. All you have to do is be yourself,” Arthur would say.

Merlin would think, But myself is completely bullocks! Which wasn’t true in the least; Merlin had a lot of friends and acquaintances that liked him because he was so nice and approachable. Unfortunately his easygoing personality had never stemmed to the realm of men, who always made Merlin feel like a complete fool. Especially when they were ridiculously good looking like Arthur was.

And Merlin was a master at self-degradation, which apparently really pissed Arthur off. “I wouldn’t date you if you were a complete twat, Merlin, so quit beating yourself up,” Arthur would tell him, sometimes short-tempered, sometimes patiently but always accompanied with a kiss on the lips, making Merlin blush like he had a fever.

Ok so maybe Merlin was a little too picky when it came to meaningless things like pet names, but when his boyfriend was not only really manly but also really fit, it was hard not to worry about things like how many texts were too many in one day or what sorts of gifts were too girly for a bloke to give to another bloke. If Merlin had ever stopped thinking and realised that Arthur was dating him for who he was and not because he had some perfect image of Merlin in his head, his first year dating Arthur probably would have gone a lot smoother.

day one.
Merlin could still remember the first time they met. Arthur had been jogging around a corner in the library of the university, a corner Merlin was on the other side of, and plowed right through the dark haired man. This would not have been so bad if Merlin hadn’t been knocked back, crashing into the stacks and knocking at least twenty books off the shelf before losing his own balance and landing on the ground heavily on his arse.

Arthur could not help but laugh like a loon and Merlin tried to feign anger but ended up smiling sheepishly and flushing when Arthur offered him a hand up.

“I’m Arthur,” the dreamboat said to Merlin, who stood there without speaking for at least three minutes.

“Oh right! Hi. I’m Merlin,” he had finally replied, feeling even more embarrassed.

“Hey uh, would you like to go out sometime?” Arthur asked almost immediately.

Merlin did the stupidest thing any idiot could do—he looked behind him as if the blond were speaking to someone else. To seal his fate as the biggest wanker in the world, he asked, “Me?”

Arthur ran his hand through his hair and chuckled lowly. “Yeah, it’s either you or those books and I don’t read all that often so…”

Merlin had been born determined to make this the most awkward exchange between any two people in the history of the world, because he said, “Oh. I love to read,” and nothing else.

“Erm,” Arthur shifted uncomfortably, after the silence dragged on for minutes, “are you going to answer my question or…?”

“What ques—oh! Uh, yeah! Yeah of course! Of course I would love to go out—yes. The answer is yes.” After the longest yes ever, Merlin was certain Arthur would change his mind about wanting to go out with a lunatic, but Arthur turned out to be a glutton for awkward punishment, which Merlin was amazing at giving him.

month four.
Four months in, Arthur still had not pressured Merlin to have sex with him, which was something Merlin had told him he was a bit weary of doing. Unless Arthur was blind he knew that Merlin really did want to have sex with him, because Merlin had a tendency to get hard when Arthur kissed him for longer than two minutes—completely embarrassing though Arthur usually laughed it off.

One night they got drunk and Arthur asked if Merlin would let him ‘do something’ and Merlin had agreed, not really knowing what ‘do something’ included. When Merlin found out that ‘do something’ meant give him a blowjob, he decided that ‘doing something’ was probably the best ‘something’ they could ever possibly ‘do.’

Merlin found out later that no, this ‘something’ could get even better, and was pleasantly surprised that he was fairly adept at ‘doing things’ to Arthur too.

year one, month eleven.
According to Merlin’s mother, Hunith, it was high time that she met this amazing boyfriend she had heard so much about from her son. And according to Arthur, Merlin was ashamed of him, because the dark haired man repeatedly dodged situations in which his mother would be able to meet the blond. They were both right, to Merlin’s dismay, so he should not have been surprised when Hunith arranged a meeting on her own.

“Mum, it’s a little underhanded for you to do something like this,” Merlin pleaded with her as the three of them sat down to a meal at a restaurant Arthur and Hunith had chosen together.

“Arthur!” Hunith exclaimed, ignoring her son completely and giving the blond a hug like he was a relative she hadn’t seen in ages.

“Hunith,” Arthur replied, hugging her in return. “You are absolutely radiant.” If Merlin did not feel out of his element then, he would have slapped Arthur upside the head for trying to flatter his mother into liking him, because of course it was going to work.

“Oh Arthur, aren’t you a dear,” his mother swooned, already in love with this man she’d only known for a few days. Maybe Merlin hadn’t introduced them yet because he wasn’t particularly fond of having to share Arthur with his mother.

He could tell his mother knew this, because she hung all over the blond like he were her own boyfriend. Entirely undignified and completely deserved, Merlin noted. He would not keep his boyfriend from his mother anymore least he wanted to watch her try and snog Arthur under the mistletoe at Christmas, which she would steep to do if he pulled anything like this again.

month eight.
Merlin really hated fighting, but he knew it would happen sooner or later. They had their share of disagreements, but their first real fight occurred in their eighth month, when Arthur lied to Merlin about a rugby practice and got trashed with his mates and ended up with a girl in his bed when Merlin came to visit him the next morning.

While the actual situation was innocent because Arthur had not done anything with the girl, she had just passed out in his bed and he’d left her there when he fell asleep too, that certainly took a lot of explaining and pleading on Arthur’s part to get Merlin to even listen to him.

In fact, Merlin did not talk to Arthur until five days later and only because Lancelot and Gwen had tricked him and locked Merlin in a cupboard with Arthur and wouldn’t let him out until he at least listened to Arthur’s explanation.

“What excuse could you possibly have that would make this ok, Arthur?” Merlin had his arms crossed and looked dangerously close to beating Arthur over the head with something.

“It’s not an excuse, Merlin, I fucking swear! I lied about the drinking, yeah, and I’m sorry but I didn’t do anything with her!” Arthur had never looked so desperate and exasperated, but Merlin wasn’t going to forgive him just because he looked sorry.

“Why was she in your bed, Arthur?” Merlin had the ‘you can’t explain this away’ tone of voice because he honestly expected that Arthur would, at some point, realise just how much better than Merlin he truly was and drop him like a cheap date. Eight months of cheap dates, but still.

“She passed out there. She was there before I even went to bed. I left her there because I was knackered and there was no one around to help me move her. I swear to God, Merlin, I wouldn’t do that to you. I…” Arthur didn’t finish his statement, but it was the closest he’d ever come to saying the three words Merlin so desperately wanted to hear. Merlin had contained himself from saying it, mostly because he was afraid of scaring Arthur off, but if Arthur really meant it… “I love you,” he did finally say and Merlin felt his anger deflate. He couldn’t let Arthur use that to get on his good side. Not that. It was too important.

“Don’t say that if you don’t mean it, Arthur,” Merlin heard himself whisper. If he spoke any louder he would’ve started crying, he was certain.

“C’mon, you know me, I wouldn’t say anything like that if I didn’t mean it,” Arthur walked over to him and placed both his hands warmly against Merlin’s cheeks. “I mean, you like romantic comedies and pretend not to because you think I’ll make fun of you. You’ve got pale skin and you have weird ears and you’ve got girly lips and you are gangly and awkward and clumsy. You sing when you take a shower and you laugh at the stupidest jokes and—”

“Um, are there any other flaws of mine you’d like to point out or can we just consider this an intimate moment completely ruined?” Merlin got defensive, because why the hell was Arthur ragging on him all of a sudden?

Arthur shook his head and didn’t say anything for a minute or so. Merlin was about to open his mouth, but Arthur kissed him. And ok, Merlin was really brassed off at Arthur, but he would like to ask just who else could resist Arthur’s lips. He kissed back until his brain began to function properly and he pushed Arthur off him weakly, only able to get Arthur to stop kissing him but not move him in any way.

“Merlin, I’m not pointing out your flaws, you idiot. I like all that shite about you. I wouldn’t date you if I didn’t.”

Merlin felt his legs going weak and despite his pathetic attempts to get away, he clung to Arthur’s shoulders for support. “You like me because I’m an idiot?”

Arthur looked thoughtful for a moment. “No, I love you because you’re an idiot. You are sort of my idiot.” Arthur grinned at him, hoping that he had finally gotten himself off the hook.

Merlin wasn’t entirely convinced. “You’re really bad at this, Arthur.”

“Yeah I know, but I was kind of hoping you’d love me despite my shortcomings. We can’t all be as clever and good looking as you, Emrys.”

Merlin shook his head. “Oh just shut up already,” and kissed him, because really, who wouldn’t have? And he’d completely forgotten to say ‘I love you’ back, but Arthur didn’t seem to mind.

month six.
Arthur knocked a mug off the counter when he leaned over it to kiss Merlin. The mug never hit the floor and luckily, it fell off the side where Merlin was standing at so that he had time to wrap his slender fingers around it before Arthur looked over with wide eyes.

“Did you really just catch that?” Arthur asked him.

“Er, yeah, I guess so,” Merlin replied, trying to hide his dishonesty. Arthur wasn’t picking up on it, however, which meant that Merlin had gotten very good at covering his arse about this secret.

“Merlin,” Arthur said with a knowing tone and Merlin wondered if he was more awful at lying than he thought. “If you’ve got reflexes like that, you’ve got to be bloody brilliant at rugby!”

Merlin tried convincing Arthur that, no, he was completely awful at anything that required him to use both his hands and his feet in a relatively graceful manner, but Arthur wouldn’t listen. So Merlin obliged him by going to a rugby practice, only to prove to Arthur that he definitely was crap at anything remotely resembling a sport.

“I just don’t get it. Are you sure you aren’t just nervous?”

Merlin was starting to worry that Arthur was never going to let this go and that meant that sooner or later, Merlin was going to have to reveal the truth and it was not something he looked forward to. “I’m certain that I have been bad at sports all my life, Arthur.”

“Well, there’s no shame in it. You’re good at plenty of other things,” Arthur said half-heartedly, already forgetting the entire situation and allowing Merlin to breathe a sigh of relief.

year one.
Because he was Merlin, he made a huge deal about their one-year anniversary. Arthur knew that it would be a big deal to him and obliged accordingly. For their first stop, Merlin took Arthur to the library and stood him next to the Shakespeare section. For a fleeting moment Merlin was afraid that Arthur forgot about it and that this entire idea was going to take a nosedive for the worst.

“This is where you showed me just how anal you really are,” Arthur said, grinning.

“Anal? I most certainly did nothing of the sort, except maybe by accepting your invitation to go out with you.”

“I didn’t mean that sort of anal, Merlin,” Arthur smirked, bemused.

Merlin flushed lightly. “Then how did you think I was anal?”

“Oh you know, the whole ‘make sure the books are put back in their proper order according to the dewey decimal system, which by the way was created in 1876 by one Melvil Dewey.’ I think it was fairly obvious, mate. You are full of a lot of useless facts, too.”

Merlin’s face lit up, which was probably the opposite reaction Arthur was expecting to get. “You remembered my dewey decimal fact?” This made Merlin ridiculously happy and affectionate, it seemed, because he decided that it would be the perfect place to go down on Arthur in celebration. Arthur didn’t complain—in fact he said he would be sure to remember more of those useless facts if it meant getting this sort of response.

day five.
Their first date was probably the biggest disaster Merlin has ever encountered. And he may have sounded like he was exaggerating, but—ok he was exaggerating.

Arthur took Merlin to some posh restaurant that he was certain you had to reserve about three months ahead to get a table, but Merlin found out quickly that Arthur had had more money as a two year old than Merlin could have scrounged together in a lifetime. This made him even more nervous than before, because really, what sort of rich bloke would date a uni student who had to work just so he could wash his socks?

Merlin was too nervous to notice that Arthur was actually just as nervous as he was. When they sat down, Merlin blurted out, “Is your family in the mob?” Arthur had laughed in response, which did not quell Merlin’s fears that he might not be able to get out of this situation alive if he and Arthur didn’t ‘hit it off.’ Merlin was told later that Uther was a CEO for a very large company and Arthur wasn’t even sure what the company did. Merlin found his own story of growing up in Bristol with a hen-pecking mother and no real friends a pretty sad one in comparison. Arthur acted extremely interested in Merlin’s life even though he was not rich or very coordinated.

Arthur walked Merlin back to his room and gave Merlin a kiss which was probably the best one Merlin had ever had, minus the sweating and the fidgeting and the stepping on Arthur’s foot and the fact that he said ‘thank you’ for it in a voice shriller than his mother’s.

Arthur rang him the next day and Merlin was certain that this bloke had made a huge mistake and he was not going to call him on it. Yet.

year one, month nine.
Merlin tried his hardest to pretend that Lancelot and Guinevere’s engagement wasn’t the biggest slap in the face he’d ever gotten. It wasn’t that Merlin expected to get married to Arthur or anything, but seeing that they could do that and Merlin couldn’t, it really bothered him. Which wasn’t fair because they were his friends and he really was happy for them.

But he couldn’t help breaking down the second he and Arthur got back into their flat after the engagement party. Arthur led him to the sofa and held him while he wailed like a baby, rubbing his back and speaking soothing nonsense into his ear. Merlin quit crying after some time and Arthur started tugging off his tie for him. Merlin looked helplessly at Arthur. “It’s not like I want to get married.” It was a lie.

“I know,” Arthur replied, lying back to him. Merlin sat there, numbly, while Arthur unbuttoned his shirt and tugged it off of him. Merlin opened his mouth but Arthur said, “It’s ok, Merlin,” somehow making Merlin feel better, even though he had no idea what Arthur was even referring to.

Eventually Arthur dragged him to bed, spooning around Merlin’s lanky frame. Arthur was not nearly as tall as Merlin but he was still able to warm the dark haired man everywhere. He felt Arthur breathing into his hair and was calmer, though he still felt desolate. After a few minutes he got restless and turned onto his back, staring at the ceiling. He felt Arthur trace circles on his stomach with his thumb until Merlin placed his hand over the blond’s. Arthur said, quietly, “It doesn’t matter.”

“Why not?” Merlin replied, whispering as though he were afraid of the answer.

“Because we’re already there. I’m here, you’re here, and we aren’t going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere.” Merlin felt Arthur’s lips brush his cheek, almost too softly to be called a kiss.

Merlin looked at him, eyes wide. “Really?” he asked, because he had to have the reassurance.

“Of course,” Arthur answered, and wrapped his arm tightly around Merlin’s waist and kissed him properly this time, now that the dark haired man was facing him.

When Merlin pulled back, he was breathless, but happy. “Ok,” he said finally and they fell asleep shortly after.

month five.
Arthur: What r u wearing?
Merlin: Sleep pants and a jumper. Why?
Arthur: What r u doin?
Merlin: Reading Hans Christian Andersen for my Folk and Fairytale class.
Arthur: Really?
Merlin: Yeah, why?
Arthur: Ive officially deflated thanks to ur inability to be sexy in a txt message
Merlin: You never said you were trying to be sexy, Arthur.
Arthur: Its implied
Merlin: Aren’t you in class anyway?
Arthur: So whats ur point?
Merlin: You’re disgusting is my point.
Arthur: U like me tho
Merlin: Sometimes I forget why.

year one, month two.
Merlin would never have thought that Arthur had the ability to get jealous. But when his friend Will came to visit, Arthur acted the biggest idiot and Merlin was more amused than he should have been.

“Why is he always touching you?” Arthur asked quietly, as not to alert the guest of his investigation.

“He isn’t always touching me, Arthur. He gave me a hug and handed me a mug of tea. Phone the police!” Merlin’s ability to be sarcastic had developed thanks to all the time he spent with Arthur. Arthur did not find that to be very endearing just then.

“He stares at you like you’re a piece of meat,” Arthur practically growled once when Will had gone to the loo.

Merlin looked at Arthur incredulously. “So do you, Arthur.”

“So you admit he wants to fuck you?” Arthur was glaring at the wall, in the general direction of the loo, giving it dirty looks.

“Arthur, Will likes birds. Y’know, the ones with vaginas.” He couldn’t believe he was having this conversation.

“But you’re girly looking,” Arthur responded, almost whining. “He could easily get confused.”

Merlin hit him in the arm. “Cheers. I’ll remember that next time you ask me to shag you. ‘Sorry, Arthur, haven’t got one of those bloke bits because I’m too girly.’”

Arthur was stone serious. “Don’t joke. This is not a laughing matter.”

Will returned in time to hear the last of Arthur’s sentence. “What isn’t?” he asked curious, completely unaware that Arthur was trying to give him the stink eye.

“Arthur’s fear of vaginas,” Merlin smirked, casting an amused glance at Arthur.

Arthur replied, “They are kind of frightening, aren’t they?”

month ten.
“Isn’t this illegal?” Merlin asked, glancing around them warily.

“No,” Arthur replied, grinning madly and scaring Merlin just as much, “my father owns half of this building.”

“Oh well of course he does,” Merlin answered, not feeling reassured. “What are we doing, Arthur, seriously?”

“You’ll see,” Arthur replied as the lift finally lurched to a stop. Arthur tugged Merlin by the wrist toward a door that said roof access.

“Are you going to throw me off the roof?” Merlin asked, joking only a little. Arthur was good at trying to get Merlin to do entirely stupid things, such as streaking through the corridors of their university or trying to beg a quid off a homeless man who smelled like kebab and piss.

“Of course,” Arthur answered, not indulging Merlin in the least. That was really quite rude of him. Before they opened the door to the roof, Arthur covered Merlin’s eyes from behind. “Ok, let’s go.”

“You’re going to make me fall,” was all Merlin could think of saying because he had no idea what Arthur’s plan was and that always meant something frightening.

Merlin allowed Arthur to guide him forward until Arthur removed his hands and said, “Ok, open,” into his ear so softly that Merlin thought he might have imagined it.

Merlin’s eyes drank in a scene he had not had any inkling would be laid out before him so meticulously, much less exactly the way he had always imagined it to look. “You—I—this—” Merlin stuttered out for the first time in quite a few months, though he was beginning to realise that Arthur was never going to stop amazing him in some way or another.

“Happy Birthday, Merlin,” Arthur said simply and tugged him along by the wrist once more toward the table.

“Arthur, you did all this? For me?” Merlin asked stupidly, following Arthur toward the table set for two. Arthur pulled out a chair and had to push Merlin down into it because the dark haired man was still dazed.

“Well, actually I did it for this ginger bloke but as it turns out, he doesn’t fancy fish much so I came to you as my close but second resort. Also it was a huge bonus that it just happened to be your birthday today too.”

Merlin had no reply to Arthur’s lunacy. That was odd considering Merlin had become very vocal about pointing out Arthur’s reoccurring ability to be a mental psychopath. Arthur started pouring Merlin wine from the bottle that was chilled on ice. “Come on, Merlin, eat the food I spent so much time…ordering, will you?” At least Arthur had enough humility to admit that he was rubbish at cooking and wouldn’t have subjected Merlin to a home cooked meal that would have poisoned them both.

“Arthur, how did you—” Merlin started, because this was a fantasy of his that he had told no one, save Gwen, and he knew that Gwen would never have told Arthur for fear of Merlin’s wrath.

“Merlin, you’re entirely transparent. You know that, right? You’ve seen Love Actually fifty times so it is sort of an easy guess, what with you always breaking down into tears at the scene where Jamie learned that other language for Aurelia.”

“You remember their names?” was all that Merlin could seem to come up with.

“I’m not particularly proud of it, but there it is,” Arthur said, smirking foolishly.

Merlin finally seemed to come to. “Arthur, this is amazing. It’s beautiful. Thank you so much,” his voice was raspy but he kept himself from crying like a teenaged girl, though only just. Arthur had set up a candlelight dinner on the roof of some random building, complete with white tablecloth and rose on Merlin’s waiting plate.

Arthur served out their food and they ate with slow and easy conversation until the worst possible thing that could happen, did happen. Merlin remembered every beat of his heart that thumped in his chest while he waited for Arthur to say something.

Arthur knocked the bottle of wine over with his arm as he reached for a breadstick and instinctively, before the bottle could crash to the ground, Merlin’s hand went out, his eyes flashed, and the bottle stopped its decent midway.

“Oh bugger,” Merlin cried out at the look on Arthur’s face and the bottle of wine hit the ground and cracked open, spilling red liquid over the tablecloth and the cement floor. He knew that this would be the last time he would ever see Arthur again. There was no way Arthur was going to react to this in any sort of calm or reserved manner and it’s not as though Merlin should have expected such from him.

“What the fuck?” came Arthur exasperated surprise. The blond jumped away from the table as though it had burst into flames and Merlin just sat there, numbly, pretending that this never happened and Arthur was still sitting across from him, prattling on about football.

“Arthur, it—” Merlin began, the same way he had started when Will had caught him doing something similar. In fact, Will’s reaction was kin to Arthur’s just then. “I don’t really know what it is, I just—” but Merlin never got to finish because Arthur left him there, alone, to consider that maybe he would never be able to have a relationship because of his fucking gift.

year one, month five.
“So how’s about we just move in together,” Arthur said so nonchalant that Merlin gaped at him like a fish, opening and closing his mouth without any sound escaping it.

“Really? That’s it? No wooing, no sexy yet kind of creepy ‘we could shag all the bloody time!’ just, ‘hey, let’s move into the same flat and forgo all romanticism.’”

Arthur gave him the ‘you should know this by now’ look, because truthfully, Merlin should know this by now. “It’s really a waste of space, us staying at each other’s flats when we could just live in the same one and pay half the rent.”

Merlin laughed. “Right, because you actually pay for your own rent, Arthur.”

“That is entirely besides the point, Merlin. We all know that my flat is nicer and cozier and larger than we even need, so you might as well bring all your shit here and be done with it.”

“Oh Arthur, where did you learn to be so sweet?”

“It comes naturally, you know that,” Arthur grinned, tugging Merlin unceremoniously into his lap. Merlin was all legs and arms as he practically fell into Arthur’s waiting arms and he gave Arthur a disapproving look that the blond was all too happy to kiss off his face.

year two, month four.
Merlin tried his hardest not to sob over his mobile phone when Arthur’s voicemail picked up. Oh Arthur, where are you? He felt so lost. He punched furiously against the keypad of his phone, sending Arthur a text message.

Merlin: Where ar e yout? I need to se3you.

After what seemed like forever, but really was only five minutes, Merlin’s phone beeped back to him.

Arthur: Ill b there in 5.

He was true to his word and showed up in just under five minutes and Merlin did not have the mind to consider just how he’d made it that quickly. “What is it?” Arthur asked when he saw Merlin and was already pulling him into a hug before Merlin could sob out a response.

“She had a heart attack,” Merlin finally got out.

Arthur knew whom he referred to and what this meant. “Is she alright?” Arthur asked tentatively, speaking slow and deliberately.

“It doesn’t look good,” Merlin responded and Arthur kissed his forehead.

“C’mon, let’s go,” Arthur pulled him from the flat and toward the car. Arthur was ringing his boss and telling him he would not be back that day and he buckled Merlin into the car as if he couldn’t do it himself.

Merlin was grateful for it. “Do you think she’ll be alright, Arthur?” Merlin asked like a child, not sure if he wanted a truthful answer or not.

“I hope so, love. I really hope so,” Arthur replied as he pulled out of the car park.

She wasn’t ok, but Merlin and Arthur arrived at hospital before she passed away, so Merlin was able to murmur how much he loved and would miss her and Hunith said just how proud she was of her son and his partner and she wished them a life of happiness and prosperity. Arthur held and rocked Merlin for an hour after she died, in a deserted waiting room, kissing Merlin’s hair and forehead and cheek repeatedly and sniffling back his own tears. “I love you,” Arthur said quietly, his voice shaking.

“I love you too,” Merlin barely got out between his tears.

year one, month three.
“Hey Merlin, will you get the crisps from the kitchen?” Arthur asked, stretched out across the sofa watching a match on the telly.

Merlin was propped up on his laptop on the desk in the corner, not anywhere near the kitchen. “Arthur, I’m working and you are closer to the kitchen than I am.” Merlin didn’t even look up.

“Y’know what I mean. Use your magic hands,” Arthur gave a crazed wave with his right hand, looking as though he were pantomiming a show tune.

Merlin sighed. “You are so pathetic,” he replied, but did as Arthur asked; only he dropped the bag on the top of Arthur’s head.

Arthur grinned stupidly, not phased by the half-hearted attack. “You love me,” the blond said and threw a crisp at Merlin, which bounced off Merlin’s face and landed on his keyboard.

“Sometimes,” Merlin replied simply, knowing Arthur’s face was twisting in mock hurt but not looking up to see it. He popped the piece of fried potato into his mouth.

Arthur was in a playful mood so he rolled off the sofa onto the floor and shuffled toward Merlin on his knees until he was resting a hand on Merlin’s thigh warmly. “You don’t mean that, do you?” Arthur was batting his eyelashes and looking up at Merlin’s face with a protruded bottom lip.

Merlin laughed when he looked down at him. “I mean every word, Pendragon.” Merlin tried to keep a straight face as Arthur’s hand moved slowly up his leg toward his completely unaroused cock, only to feel himself grow hard under Arthur’s light touch. Damn him.

Arthur grunted then, because he saw Merlin’s eyes flash gold and Merlin smirked at the reaction. Arthur hummed low in his chest, firmly grabbing a hold of Merlin through his trousers. “I told you not to do that, Emrys,” Arthur almost growled, but Merlin knew fairly well that it made Arthur weak in the knees and exploited that fact accordingly. “You won’t get away with this,” Arthur said a moment later, rubbing his thumb slowly in a circle around the head of Merlin’s penis. Even through the material of his trousers, it made Merlin’s eyes close and lips part.

Merlin was out of his chair soon after, knocking Arthur over, pinning him beneath his pale limbs and ravishing the blond’s mouth and neck.

“I thought you were working, Merlin,” Arthur panted smugly when they pulled apart. Arthur had his hands cupped around Merlin’s arse and he bucked his hips up and grinded himself against Merlin.

Merlin hooked his hands beneath Arthur’s shirt and tugged it up to reveal his chest and sucked at Arthur’s left nipple, eliciting a pleasant moan from him. Merlin ground his hips just as Arthur had. Merlin had planned on replying, but Arthur slipped a hand beneath his pants and his cold fingers cupped Merlin’s backside before probing their way deeper and Merlin forgot how to speak.

year two, month six.
Merlin had not ever expected that Arthur would introduce him to his father. In fact, Merlin wasn’t entirely sure that Arthur had told his father that he swung the way of men, but apparently Uther Pendragon was aware and had asked Arthur to bring Merlin round for dinner.

Merlin had met Arthur’s half-sister, Morgana, a few times before, but she seemed more formal and stuffy this time, as though being around Uther made her more proper. This did nothing to calm Merlin, who felt like the jester in a king’s court. He didn’t fit into this Pendragon family in the least bit, yet here Arthur was, pushing him into his father’s dining room, feeling like a trapped animal.

The atmosphere was so heavy in the room Merlin expected that Uther would punch Merlin in the face just because he could and in some ways, Merlin hoped he would just do it already. “You’re making me nervous,” he heard Arthur say. “Stop fidgeting.”

Merlin opened his mouth to reply something nasty and fitting, but Uther spoke then, asking them all to take a seat. The cooking staff brought out three separate courses and Merlin found himself talking to Uther about Edgar Allan Poe over soup and salad. Merlin decided that it was not quite as excruciating as he would have expected, but he still felt his shoulders sag when Uther finally left the room.

Arthur grinned at him. “See, it wasn’t so bad,” he kissed Merlin on the mouth lightly. “You worry too much.”

Merlin looked so annoyed that it must have made Arthur uncomfortable because he shifted back and forth. “You’re lucky I like you, because I would not have done that for anyone else, no matter how rich the bloke was.”

With such a serious look, Merlin was not surprised when Arthur seemed taken aback. “Are you saying you’re with me for my money, Merlin?” he asked finally.

“Oh absolutely,” Merlin replied. “I mean, you didn’t think it was for your impeccable wit and charm, did you?”

“Listen you cheeky little—” Arthur didn’t get to finish, because Morgana walked in, grinning ear to ear.

“He approves,” Morgana said and Arthur suddenly looked more relaxed and content and Merlin finally realised that this had been Uther’s test to see if Merlin was worthy of his son.

Merlin fell down into a chair. “I can’t believe you didn’t warn me, Arthur. What if I had spit crackers all over his Armani suit and he threw me down the lift shaft?” Merlin apparently was not aware of just how ridiculous that sounded.

“Because if I had told you, you probably would have. Minus the throwing down the lift shaft, because he would have had someone else do it for him,” Arthur said smartly.

“Oh well that’s much better, thank you.”

Arthur said goodbye to Morgana and pushed Merlin toward the exit of his father’s uncommonly large apartment (an entire floor, Merlin figured), looking very smug indeed.

“Why are you so cheerful?” Merlin asked, because really, he should be just as miserable as Merlin felt. It was only fair after what Merlin had just been subjected to.

Arthur’s fingers laced with Merlin’s as they made the decent to the ground floor. “Nothing in particular, just glad that you received the stamp of approval. You do realise it took me sixteen years to get it, yeah?”

Merlin eyed him, disbelieving. “There’s no way your father approved of me in two hours when he took sixteen to approve of you.”

Arthur shook his head, looking quizzical. “Are you really that daft, Merlin?”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“There’s not a person in the world who wouldn’t like you. You’re…Merlin. There’s just something about you.” Arthur spoke in all seriousness and Merlin truly was stunned by it.

“You think I’m the one that’s daft?” There was no way that this was true.

“You honestly have no idea how amazing you are, do you?” Arthur was looking him up and down, because that was supposed to prove the point the blond was trying to make.

“I’m not,” Merlin answered, almost defensively.

“You are,” Arthur replied, and kissed his partner fully on the mouth.


four days, three weeks, five months, two years


( 92 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 29th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Oh, boys . I truly enjoyed this, the fragmented style really worked out well! I loved seeing snapshots of their relationship as they worked through everything together. The little characteristics were wonderful too. Just one question. Can I live in this 'verse? As the fly-on-the-wall, perhaps?
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
Absolutely! I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you stared unabashedly at their cuteness. :D

Glad you liked it!
Jan. 29th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
This was very sweet. I really liked the snapshots plus I liked that Merlin was so worried all the time about why Arthur would want to date him. Great job.
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
Thank you thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. :)
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
This was great! I love their banter and Merlin's initial insecurity. I also liked the mix of email/text/storytelling; I think it worked really well with the way we saw their relationship jumping back and forth in time.

:) Just the kind of fantastic fluff that is absolutely necessary to get through the end of the week!

Jan. 29th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
I agree! Everyone needs a good bit of fluff to fill their weekend!
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
*is now one big ball of fluff* <3 *purrs* more?! =D

I loves you Burn!! X3 o∆O I was so shocked to see my user name up at the top. I need to disbelieve you more often if it gets stories like this! X3 <3
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)
Hehehe. I'm glad I was able to melt you sufficiently!

Well, you never know what comments will make me do. I've had many a comment fuel a piece of writing, that's why its so important to comment! :D

I think next I have to write more of Unsuitable or my wifey will beat me over the head.
(no subject) - padfut_n_prongs - Jan. 29th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - burntotears - Jan. 29th, 2010 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - padfut_n_prongs - Jan. 29th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marryoh - Jan. 29th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
My personal litmus test for a really good fic is whether or not I decide my friend, who is very particular about her fics, should read it. I e-mailed her the link before I took the time to write this comment.

I love Merlin to pieces in this, but I probably love Arthur more, because he loves Merlin. Hopefully, that makes sense.

I like my chocolate chip cookies baked so that once they cool they're crunchy and have a little bit of that overcooked taste. Reading this was like eating quite a few of such cookies with milk and nothing else on my mind but the moment.
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
Oh thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it and I hope she likes it too!

Yeah, I actually do know what you mean. :)

I hope I can write many more delicious cookies for you in the future. <3
Jan. 29th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
This is amazing! Such a cute development of thier relationship, and I love how insecure Merlin is and how Arthur comforts him XDD
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
H/C FTW! I'm glad you liked it and I <3 your icon. :D
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
I truly adore this style of writing, not only because I generally like writing like this, but also because it's appealing. And their relationship is wonderful. And I really appreciate the fact that you didn't take away any of Merlin's magic. Many authors do that.
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
Sad thing is, I almost forgot it! I kept getting to certain points and going 'wtf am I leaving out?' and finally I had to write a note that said "REMEMBER THE MAGIC YOU IDIOT!" because the magic has to stay or I can't see the difference between Merlin/Arthur and Colin/Bradley RPS. And when I was writing it, I actually slipped up and wrote 'Bradley' and was like WTF no no no!

So yeah, I have realised that if I left the magic out, it would've just been B/C RPS cos they really are pretty similar to their characters.
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
I dug this a lot. The jumps forward and back in time reminded me of the film (500) Days of Summer, which I love, so this was an added bonus. The way you built the relationship, the different details, the humor, the variety of emotions - this was absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing.
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Loved that movie was well. JGL is WIN.

You are very welcome and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Oh, how I enjoyed this. Perfect wind down after a stressful day. I had to laugh at the style you chose. That is how I actually learned to write. I would jot things down on large note cards as I thought of them then at some point arrange the cards and I would have a story with very little filling in. I soon learned to just glance at the cards and arrange them in my head, no matter where they fell. I found myself automatically doing that to your story after about three entries. I think it might have taken away from the total experience a bit and I regret that because I love the uniqueness of this piece almost as much as what it says and all the bickering.
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:49 am (UTC)
Oh thanks so much. The style was completely random. It started out as a regular-ish fic, but after like two scenes I was like 'wtf am I going to do with this thing?' and then I kinda read back over what I'd written and how disjointed it was and thought, 'oh I can just make it completely out of order and be able to get out what I want' so then I landed myself with this.

I wrote it out of order, mostly (I did go after moving some pieces into different spots), but I did just like you said. I had it going in order in my head and just made sure I went back over some of the stuff I wanted to re-emphasize (the magic part was one).

It's fun to write stuff out of order when you're putting together a story. Sometimes it gets you better results in the end. This was just supposed to be a fun piece, but I may try something like it again, cos it was loads of fun.

I'm glad you enjoyed the style, cos I was worried people would be kinda 'meh.'
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
Adorable! You've totally made my weekly rec list with this. :D
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Oh yay! Where is your weekly rec list posted? I must check it out, cos I have loved most of the fics you've podcasted, so I'm sure I'd like all your recs! :D
(no subject) - eosrose - Jan. 29th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
That was wonderful! :-)
Jan. 29th, 2010 03:55 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)

This took me like, what, two hours to read? But I enjoyed every second of it!

At first the disjointed way of the scenes went was fine and then midway through my mind shut down and got confused, and then it was like "oh, okay, i'm dumb, i get it now" by the end. And now that I've finished with it, it all settled into the time line in my head and I wouldn't want it any other way.

I love the awkwardness that is Merlin and the utterly accepting that is Arthur. I don't know who I love more!

Each scene was so perfectly done and I looked like :D the entire time while reading this. It was all so sweet and adorable and funny!

When Merlin found out that ‘do something’ meant give him a blowjob, he decided that ‘doing something’ was probably the best ‘something’ they could ever possibly ‘do.’ ommggg this made me laugh so hard. That whole scene did, actually. Yesssss!!

The knitted hat(because omg Merlin KNITTED IT ahaha). THE TOM FELTON! ♥!!! The first date and the mob question, omfg hilarious! How Merlin fails at sexting! The catching of the cup with magic that led to a sad play with rugby practice! AND THE SPOONING AFTER THE ENGAGEMENT YESSSS LOVED IT!!

I just, omg, I loved this. I've spent the last hour collecting my thoughts while being distracted by tv and brothers and husbands and wifeys to write this review. So I'm probably leaving out other little things I liked from it. But honestly, if I tried to highlight everything I liked about it, I'd probably just copy and paste the entire fic into the comment box.

Jan. 29th, 2010 05:06 am (UTC)
Biggest and best comment, FTW!

You probably were easily confused since you were trying to do ten things at once! :)

I had a stupid list at the beginning of the story that was "Merlin likes to knit, and watch romantic movies, and cook and clean" and Arthur's was "likes to play sports, and wank, and act like an idiot" and so on and so forth.

I didn't use half of it, but the knitting had to stay just because. It was pretty hilarious.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Um...wow. All I can say...wow. ♥
Jan. 29th, 2010 05:06 am (UTC)
Wow is good! :D
Jan. 29th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
i wanted to know how they got back together after MerMer's beautiful birthday and stuff!
this was SO GOOD.
*is dead*
Jan. 29th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
It is possible, in some future space, that I might do a companion piece with more tidbits to amuse the masses. And possibly fill in some of the holes that I left open. :)
(no subject) - twisting_fate9 - Jan. 29th, 2010 06:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - burntotears - Jan. 29th, 2010 07:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
Lovely!! ♥
Jan. 29th, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
:D Thanks!
Jan. 29th, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
Beautiful just excellent, there are no words to decribe my utter joy this fic. I just loved the interaction between the two and i especially loved teh way you jumped around showing their relationship at different timeframes right next to eachother.
I especially loved how you showed merlin's heartbreak over his mum's death and about marriage, arthur comforting merlin is one of my favourite things (right after oblivious merlin and you had both in here!) keep up the good work.
Jan. 29th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
Thank you, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the bits and pieces I gave ya! Oblivious Merlin is too much fun, really! He's just so....clueless!
Jan. 29th, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
Lovelovelovelovelovelovelove it.
Jan. 29th, 2010 07:56 am (UTC)
Of course I did! How could I not?! :D

Sad thing is, I have seen this movie a few times and that relationship was my favorite, but I had to look them up to remember their names, so Arthur must have been subjected to this at least 500 times to remember that. Lol

Glad you liked. :D
(no subject) - polychromator - Jan. 29th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - burntotears - Jan. 29th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 29th, 2010 08:19 am (UTC)
Oh this was sweet. Loved the way it built up through all the bits and pieces.
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
:) Glad you enjoyed.
Jan. 29th, 2010 09:18 am (UTC)
Awwwwww. ♥ I woke up and this fic was the first thing to read, and it totally made my morning. ^_______^ So fluffy. ♥ And I loved how you didn't put them in chronicle order.
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
YAY! What a wonderful way to wake up! Happy that you liked it!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
Hehe. It didn't feel quite long enough for me either, but if I didn't put a cap on it, it'd never stop! I really enjoyed their verse so I may do some more, or maybe something similar. We shall see.
Jan. 29th, 2010 09:39 am (UTC)
Omg I don't know what to say. Maybe I LOVE YOU covers it?

Argh!!! I really can't think straight, you've screwed my brain over with epic fluffiness :D

*Sigh* ok I'm not gonna try.
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
Awww thankies! Being overtaken by fluffiness is a great way to go, I think! :D
Jan. 29th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
Oh God. This made me smile, and laugh, and squirm in sympathy, and was altogether outstanding. <333 Loved the shifts through time, great find! And insecure Merlin who doesn't know how amazing he is, is practically illegally adorable. :D
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, thanks very much!

Illegally adorable, what a wonderful phrase! It fits, definitely. He really should be quarantined for his adorableness.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Haha. I would not be entirely surprised if Merlin had written that on some of his notes during class. "Merlin Pendragon!" Bwahahaha
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
This was utterly adorable and just plain fantastic. I adored the style of it - the jumping around in time - it really added to the story and was a lovely change of pace.

Excellent read - definitely going to have to add this one to my memories ;)
Jan. 29th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you so much! I'm so happy you enjoyed it. :D
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