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[personal profile] tourdefierce
Title: You Are Something (I'm Good At)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] tourdefierce
Rating: Rish
Warnings: Extreme fluff, so many feelings, domesticness, language, sexy times (although it's rather muted)
Word Count: 6K
Summary: Modern (American) AU: Arthur's fairly sure he's in love with Merlin (who has a no underwear rule on the sofa), Morgana yells a lot (but it's because she loves a lot) and everyone gets a happy ending.
Author's Notes: A tremendous thank you to [livejournal.com profile] agenttrojie who showed up on my flist this week and is already offering to beta my fic. She's pretty much amazing and lovely and I owe her tons of cupcakes for this fic. A big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tracy7307, who helped calm my fear of posting fluff and caught all the typos that I put back into the fic while editing. The title is inspired by Tegan and Sara. As for the rest, you can blame [livejournal.com profile] samsamtastic for this because she's amazing and I love her a lot. She asked for "zebras & cupcakes" and I wrote this, magically (because we're meant to be together forever), this fic has a lot of her favorite things. Sam, I adore you and I hope you like this. Thank you for being one of the most amazing people I've ever met.



Arthur’s desk phone rings, shrilling, reminding him that yes, he most certainly should leave his father’s company and start his own, if only for this reason alone.

(He swears that Leon makes the ringer as annoying as possible just as a reminder that he's waiting for Arthur to make his move because he wants a better desk.)

“Leon,” Arthur hollers, angrily clicking at his email and slamming pencils into their holder on his desk. “I thought I told you to hold all calls?”

Leon’s face appears in his doorway. It’s carefully neutral and that’s the reason Arthur sings his praises to any and all who will listen - Leon puts up with his shit.

“It’s Morgana,” Leon says, before returning to answering phone calls and diverting disasters.

Arthur considers not answering it. She’s an evil woman and whatever she’s called about will lead to both of them screaming at each other. This is what happens to all the relationships that involve love in his life.

Not anymore, he reminds himself with a private smile.

Yes. Well.

He picks up the phone. “What can I do for you, Morgana?”

“Dad’s maids just called,” she says, sounding suspiciously delighted. “They were trying to get in contact with Dad, but they have my cell number on file by mistake.”

Arthur glares at his email, seeing that Lancelot is trying to quit again to move to a non-profit. This is what his life is like, surrounded by people much better than he is, with him at the center, trying to make sure no one ruins their lives in an effort to be noble. He’s going to end up spending another million dollars setting up a non-profit section of his new firm, just to keep Lance and Gwen off his back.

“Why does this concern me?”

There is a pause and Morgana barely has the decency to turn her head away from the phone as she yells, “I swear to fucking God, Morgause, if you burn the muffins I will fire you. I will fucking fire your gorgeous ass.”

Arthur contains his snort. Morgana might be a meddling bitch, but her life running her own bakery with her clearly dysfunctional set of friends never ceases to make him laugh. The number of times he’s stopped by after work to say hello, only to find Morgana and a member of her staff having a screaming argument about cake-pans and raspberry danishes is actually astronomical. She’s a mess. It’s comforting to know that it’s a family trait.

“It concerns you, Arthur-dearest,” she drawls sweetly, “because imagine their surprise when they opened the door to your apartment this morning to find a barely-dressed man in your kitchen.”

Fuck.

Shit.”

This was not good. Not good at all. He was supposed to be at work! He'd left before Arthur, failing to be anything but obnoxiously loud at 4am while he dressed and rushed out to make it to the coffee shop before 5am. He was supposed to be at work this morning, so what was he doing home when the maids arrived?

“Yes. Now, would you like to explain to me why you have a kept twink in your apartment?”

Arthur bristles. “He’s not a twink, nor is he—this is absolutely none of your business,” he settles on. And it isn’t. This isn’t Morgana’s business or his father’s. This is all Arthur’s, the one spot in his life that is completely devoid of anything but soft pleasure that Arthur’s finally allowed himself. Coming home to someone, knowing that they’ll be there and expect nothing but him—not a new client deal or a job opportunity or his coattails to ride to the top—no, coming home to someone who only expects Arthur to be Arthur is something he’s not ready to give up yet.

Possibly not ever.

“You’ll leave this alone,” Arthur growls into the phone. “This isn’t a game.”

Morgana whistles. “Oo, you’ve pulled out your lawyer tone on me. I’m cowering in fear.”

“Morgana—”

“The maids were very afraid but they said he was very nice, even offered to help them and made coffee as an apology,” Morgana teases, as if telling him what the daily special is on her oven menu. “Now, what I want to know, is which escort service has such nice male prostitutes?”

“He’s not a prostitute!”

Not that he doesn’t look a bit like one, but he eats twice his weight in take-out and never gains a single ounce. He looks more like a student than a prostitute, but that doesn’t stop him from blinking beneath the sooty fan of his eyelashes and making lewd and completely shameless comments to Arthur whenever he damn well pleases. Arthur doesn’t mind.

“Arthur—”

“I’m not talking about this.”

“Arthur! You’re being rude,” she says, obviously starting to get pissed that Arthur’s not playing her game.

“Stay out of this,” Arthur replies. He feels a little desperate now and he knows it will cost him a little bit of honesty. “This, this—you don’t get to do this with him, you can declare open season on everything else, but not on him.”

“Arthur, I didn’t mean...” She pauses and Arthur can see her in his mind’s eye, looking soft and apologetic, dipping her finger into whichever cake batter she's making and blinking like she can’t quite figure this out. “You really like him.”

“When I said we aren’t speaking about this, I meant it.”

“You do! You’ve fallen in love!”

She’s squealing now. He holds the phone away as she shouts, “You guys! My big brother has fallen in love!” A chorus of awws and clapping meets his ear because Morgana has announced it to the entirety of her bakery. It’s 8:30am and as much as Arthur loathes her existence the majority of the time, Morgana is an excellent baker—which means that her shop is full and the line is out the door.

“Stop saying that,” he sighs into the phone. But he’s thinking about the twisting way his stomach gets when he leaves the office, the way he can go home and not have to worry about going out to the pub, or the constant search for someone to spend the night with —if only for just one night. Arthur thinks about how, just last weekend, he had lain in the soft morning light of Sunday and thought, I’m glad I don’t have to go looking anymore. I’m glad I have you.

“I want to meet him.”

Arthur blinks out of his fantasy and feels horror wash over him. “Morgana, no. Absolutely not. No. No,” he says. This is not to be borne. It will not.

“You can’t keep him to yourself forever! I deserve to meet him. If he’s got you this cow-eyed and defensive, and fuck, if he’s nice to the cleaning service and not a prostitute—which I’m still skeptical about—then he’s too good for you. Or he's a robot. I must save him from you.”

“Morgana, I’m not ready,” Arthur growls out, a blush coming up his cheeks. Goddammit. “It’s just—”

This time, when Morgana laughs, it’s softer still. “You don’t want to scare him away because he actually is too good for you? My my, big-bad-Pendragon is growing up.”

Arthur exhales harshly. He thinks about his options and concedes that something has to give.

“I’ll make you a deal.”

“I’m listening,” she says. “It better be good.”

“If you give me the week—”

“A week!”

“—then I’ll invite you around for brunch on Sunday, to meet him and torture me,” he finishes before he loses his resolve. He can do this. It’s just Morgana.

“Hmm,” she says, tone amused. “Provided I don’t tell Father?”

Arthur sighs. “I’m not going to dictate what you tell Father. I would ask that you respect my privacy,” he growls the last word out before calming himself. He can see Leon making him a cup of coffee and that soothes a little of his frustration, even if it’s nowhere near as good as the kind made in his pot at home. “I’m months away from starting my own firm, Morgana. I don’t want to screw that up just because I couldn’t keep this secret for just a few more months. I’m not ashamed of him, but ...”

“Are you sure?”

She sounds so disappointed in him, like she wants to believe him but he's not making it easy. He knows, he knows alright? His record isn’t that great, but this is real. This is different. It feels different anyway, and he’s determined to find out what that means. He wants this. He really does.

“I’m not ashamed of this,” Arthur says firmly. “I’m just cautious. He’s...”

God. He’s everything Arthur didn’t know he wanted. He’s clumsy, too skinny, and nothing like what Arthur would have dreamt about finding in his wildest dreams, because there’s simply something about him....

“—he’s lovely, obviously, and you love the fuck out of him,” Morgana finishes for him. “Well, alright, I’ll bite. Brunch on Sunday and I’ll keep my trap shut, because I must say, you’ve got me intrigued.”

She hangs up before Arthur can say anything more.

The thing is, Arthur knows that Sunday will go fine. Morgana will bring too many pastries and be endlessly charmed. But Arthur’s selfish;,he wants to keep this for himself for just a little bit longer. Knowing that this is all for him, that this is for no one else, is kind of perfect. He knows it’s because if this is only his secret, then he can live without anything more than slow kisses and waking up everyday hoping that he’ll have someone to come home to. If it’s not just his anymore, then he knows he’ll need more—that he’ll need a reassurance.

He hates asking.

“Arthur?”

Arthur looks up. It’s Leon with his blessed cup of coffee.

“Thank you,” he says, taking the cup and inhaling as much as he can. “Now, what’s on the agenda for the rest of the day?”

<3<3<3


It ends up being a pretty productive day.

He gets in one argument with his father but since Uther is in Tokyo,, Arthur feigns a bad connection and gets out of it before it ruins his day. Most of his cases are going well, and he gets a few to settle with stern emails and one threatening phone call. Leon manages to fit in a meeting at 6:30pm that feels more malicious than it is. It’s just Arthur, putting the groundwork out for the new firm. It’s just a few of them, no more than ten of his closest associates and not just from his father’s firm—there are people from Mercia and Cendred & Nimueh's firms as well.

“I’m not trying to steal you away,” Arthur says to the table of men and women. “I don’t plan on opening a corporate firm. It’s going to be smaller, more exclusive—nothing that will make you famous and I want you to know that. Lance has agreed to run the pro-bono side of things, working mostly with charities and underrepresented clients.”

Lance nods, blushing at being acknowledged.

Arthur continues. “You’re all great lawyers and if you want to continue on your current paths, you’ll all be very wealthy lawyers,” he says with a smile. “But each one of you has a place on my staff, if you want it. I’m offering it to you now, so you can think about it. I won’t be putting in my resignation until June.”

“Giving you two months,” Lances gently says, “to figure out if you want out of corporate law and into something a little bit more human.”

They all laugh, breaking the tension in the room. With the announcement out of the way, the meeting quickly turns into a social hour and Arthur barely gets out of there by eight.

He drives himself home, thinking too much about his conversation with Morgana and how this might change everything he’s been holding so dearly for the past eight months.

<3<3<3


He puts down his briefcase and shrugs out of his suit jacket as soon as he closes the door. His shoes come off next and he’s loosening his tie, undoing the first two buttons of his shirt before he takes another step.

“Merlin?”

The kitchen is dim but there are lights in the living room. Arthur goes, looking around to see anything that would give him a clue as to why Merlin was here all day instead of at work.

The TV is muted, a horrible reality show playing out something terribly dramatic, while Merlin holds court with no less than fifteen Chinese take-out containers. Merlin is not in his usual attire, t-shirt and jeans with too many holes to be decent. Instead, he’s wearing a shirt from Arthur’s dresser and well, not much else. Arthur doesn’t think he’s even wearing underwear.

“Am I interrupting something?”

Merlin practically chokes on his Chow Mein.

“Arthur!” Merlin scrambles, trying to put down the food carton and do a ton of other things at the same time.

Arthur holds out his hands and comes to sit down on the arm of the couch. “What’s this? Are we feeding an army? Are there six other people hiding in the bathroom?”

Merlin blushes, cheeks pink and Arthur wants nothing more than to lean over and kiss him, soy sauce breath and all — except, Merlin looks miserable and anxious.

“No,” he sighs, looking defeated. “I just... today was absolutely fucked.”

“Yeah?”

Merlin’s eyes are wide, like he’s afraid Arthur might yell at him and so Arthur just waves his hand, trying to get a move on with whatever is troubling Merlin because Christ, it’s starting to worry him.

“The coffee shop is shutting down,” Merlin says. “Starbucks bought the building and upped the rent so astronomically that Gaius decided to call it quits and retire. It just, I mean, I don’t want to be a barista for the rest of my life but I fucking loved that place, y'know?”

“I’m sorry,” Arthur replies because what else can he say? “Is Gaius alright?”

Merlin waves his hand. “He thinks it’s for the best. Says he’s too old to be running a business that opens at 5:15 in the morning.”

“Fair point.”

“I know,” Merlin sighs, petulant and far too adorable by halves. “It just sucks, being taken over by the man and letting Starbucks—Starbucks, the worst coffee in the whole damn world—of all the people to give into, it had to be them!”

Arthur can resist no longer, sliding down on the arm of the couch and pulling Merlin to him. He goes willingly, curling into Arthur’s chest and hiding his face as he sighs. Arthur strokes him, tracing listless patterns into the familiar span of Merlin’s back.

Merlin mumbles.

“What was that?”

Merlin pulls away, looking tragic, like someone accidentally ran over his dog. “That’s not the worst of it.”

“It’s not?”

“No. You’re being so lovely,” Merlin says, twisting up his face. “But you’re going to be so fucking mad at me.”

As much as they argue, over stupid things and important ones as well, Arthur’s never really been as angry as he wants to be. It’s hard to be angry at Merlin, not when it’s this new, when it feels like this could be the start of something really amazing if they wanted it. So anyway, Arthur feels relatively skeptical that the look on Merlin’s face could predict Arthur’s horrid feelings.

“I just,” Merlin starts before stopping and rubbing his face, putting a little distance between them but not fully moving out of the circle of Arthur’s arms. “I just felt so rotten afterward that I came here instead of my apartment. I know I shouldn’t have, I know it, but it smells like you here and I hate my apartment when you’re not there and, fuck, I’m sorry. I’m a twat and now I’ve ruined everything, you’re going to yell and I’m going to get defensive and say something stupid and then you’re going to kick me out, because you’re a dick when you’re mad, even though I’m not wearing any underwear and this is your favorite shirt.”

Wow.

“Um,” Arthur starts, a little overwhelmed. “I gave you a key,” he says, slowly. “I expected you to use it, Merlin.”

“I know but the maids came in and they saw me, like really saw me, and they told your father. You’re going to get fired for being a homo and we’re going to be fighting, so I won’t even get to reap the benefits of you being out and I’ll miss your cock and your stupid face,” Merlin says all in one go. Then adds, “What about your father? Oh God, is he going to kill me? Did he put a hit out on my life?”

Oh. Yes. About that. “They called my sister by accident,” Arthur says carefully. “Did you really think...” he waves his hand in the air, “all that would happen?”

Merlin shrugs, flush on his cheeks. “Yes? You’ve been working so hard,” Merlin whispers. “I didn’t mean to ruin it just because I had a bad day and wanted to be somewhere that felt like home.”

In this moment, Merlin looks so small and vulnerable. He’s not, Arthur knows this—knows that Merlin is probably the strongest person he knows, but in this moment, he knows that he could destroy Merlin, could rage and yell and holler and make all his nightmares come true. It would be easy. It would be so easy to run away because the truth of the matter is, Merlin is terrifying. Arthur gets to be himself, yes, but also, Merlin expects it. He gets angry when Arthur comes home wearing one of his many facades. Merlin’s tenacious and he doesn’t deny himself anything. He desires and loves openly. It’s Arthur's favorite part of him and yet because of that, Arthur knows all of Merlin’s weakspots. He could use them against him. He could make everything hurt.

Arthur breathes deep, looking at Merlin’s scrunched-up face and his wild eyes. He’s so damn beautiful.

“I like it when you’re here,” Arthur finds himself saying. He takes Merlin’s hands in his own and forces himself to take a deep breath. “I gave you that key because I would rather you be here than anywhere else and I’m—I like it better when you’re here than when you’re not. I’m better when you’re here. Do you understand?”

“I know you want to keep us a secret,” Merlin says, eyes too wide and apologetic. “I’m sorry I screwed it up.”

Arthur shakes his head. “It doesn’t matter. Even if my father had found out, which he didn’t, I wouldn’t have—” Arthur shakes his head again, squeezing Merlin’s hands. “I wouldn’t have given you up. Yes, it would have made things more difficult, sped up my time-line—”

“Control freak.”

“—but I could never, Merlin, I could never give you up,” he finishes on, holding Merlin’s gaze and trying to communicate as much as he can because this, this talking about things is decidedly scary. Arthur doesn’t like it. He’s used to manly grunts and stilted conversation across formal dining halls with his father and anything more, anything like Merlin, stripped bare and willing to fight for him is almost too much.

“So you’re not kicking me out?”

Arthur shakes his head.

“And you’re not mad?”

Arthur pulls at Merlin’s hands until Merlin comes closer, moving into Arthur’s lap with ease. This is better, feeling Merlin next to him, knowing the weight of him—it feels less earth-shattering.

“I’m selfish,” is what Arthur says into Merlin’s hair, inhaling the scent of Merlin but also of Arthur’s flat, his shampoo and his laundry soap. “It was selfish to ask you to keep this all to yourself for eight months, but I just wanted something of my own.”

“Oh, Arthur,” Merlin mumbles, humbled and awed and Arthur just squeezes him tight.

Arthur feels ridiculous, like he might cry or something equally insane, so he just pets Merlin because that seems to make them both feel better. He strokes his back and rubs at the base of his neck, stroking into his hair so he can keep Merlin’s face tucked up into his neck.

This is probably the time.

Arthur pulls him closer, shifting so that Merlin’s fully in his lap and his bare legs are wrapped around Arthur’s waist. He smoothes and rubs at Merlin until he relaxes in Arthur’s lap, so pliant and trusting.

“It’s just that,” Arthur starts, making sure that Merlin’s still nuzzling into his skin and not able to look at him. It’s much easier to do this when Merlin’s big, stupid blue eyes aren't looking at him. “I wanted this for myself because I think I might love you and I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s so much easier here, when it’s just you in my house being you and no one else to ruin it. I just wanted to keep that for as long as I could because I think I might be in love with you and I’m fairly sure that’s a big deal—for me.”

“Oh, Arthur,” Merlin says, his lips moving over Arthur’s skin, making him sigh in pleasure, despite the ridiculous emotional exorcism that just happened. “Oh, Arthur,” he says again, pulling away from Arthur’s neck and kissing his chin, the corner of his mouth, before kissing Arthur’s lips. It’s chaste and wonderfully real because Merlin tastes strongly of Chinese food and the lip balm that he adores.

“You ridiculous man,” he says again but Arthur pays him little attention, choosing to focus on the little kittenish kisses Merlin’s giving him instead. He simply opens his mouth, lets Merlin nibble on his bottom lip and suck too hard on the top one until they’re both thrusting their tongues in each other’s mouth like inexperienced teenagers.

Merlin’s cock, which has been just sitting around exposed this entire time because Merlin strongly disapproves of underwear on the sofa, starts to harden. Arthur sucks on Merlin’s tongue, watching as he rocks in Arthur’s lap and grinds their erections together.

“Arthur,” Merlin gasps and Arthur wraps his hand around him, just to watch him moan, head thrown back as he thrusts into the circle of Arthur’s hand. “Come on,” he says, when his head tilts back up. “You too.”

They struggle to get Arthur out of his trousers, the act made harder by the fact that Merlin refuses to move back or stop kissing. Eventually, Arthur can hold both their dicks together, Merlin writhing and bucking in his lap. They kiss, panting and moaning into each other’s mouths, too lazy and hot with pleasure to do much more than press together until they both come.

“Bed?” Arthur asks, after Merlin has collapsed, their cocks sticky and a little sore between them.

Merlin groans, shaking his head and pointing to the myriad of Chinese boxes around the table. “I’m hungry. You interrupted the eating of my feelings.”

Arthur looks at the food enough to feed an army and laughs. It feels good, with Merlin laughing on his chest too, and they eat. They use chopsticks and fight over the last piece of broccoli, all while wearing nothing but the sticky remnants of their pleasure and dried sweat. It’s disgusting and wonderful and Arthur licks soy-sauce off the corner of Merlin’s mouth and they argue over what to watch on TV.

They end up watching The Jersey Shore instead of anything Arthur wants because they can’t find the remote and they’re too lazy to move much, although Merlin makes a victory motion with his chopsticks that makes Arthur think that this was the plan all the while. One episode blends into another, but Arthur doesn’t mind, because they spend most of their time making out and rubbing against each other in a manner that means, yeah, they’ll get there but there’s no hurry. Eventually, Merlin digs underneath the sofa for a condom and barely stretches himself before he sits on Arthur’s cock and sucks a purple bruise on Arthur’s neck that won’t be covered by any collar Arthur owns.

He rides Arthur with such slow, reckless abandon that Arthur has to smother his cries in Merlin’s shoulder as he bounces on Arthur’s lap. It takes longer, this time, but Merlin kisses his face and whispers things that Arthur had never dared dream of, until they both come. Arthur can’t help himself, bucking up in pleasure as Merlin’s own cock jerks, streaking come on both their chests as Merlin cries out Arthur’s name and squeezes their hands together just as hard as he clenches around Arthur’s cock.

When they finally stagger their way to bed, Arthur can’t help but play with Merlin’s stretched-out hole. He fingers the furled rim, dipping his fingers in and out, thinking about how, someday, Merlin will be dripping with come and not just condom-lube. It’s enough of a thought to get his dick twitching, trying valiantly to get hard again, because who wouldn’t with Merlin stretched out on top of him, letting him play all he wants?

“You could always tell me that you love me again,” Merlin says, eyes glinting with mischief. “But you have to do it in that tone.”

“I do not have a tone.”

Merlin giggles. “Oh, you do, it’s your I’m extremely terrible with my feelings because all I feel is manly-manpain due to excruciating repression tone. It’s a great one. Always get me hard,” he teases, flicking Arthur’s nipple.

“I take it all back,” Arthur replies, failing to repress his smile, slipping one finger out of Merlin so that there’s only one stroking inside of him. “I hate you. You’re a nuisance.”

Merlin smiles and it’s blinding, too wide for his face and generally makes his ears look larger, but it’s lovely. Just, really lovely.

“I love you too,” Merlin says,. “I really do.”

Arthur flushes, feeling embarrassed, but Merlin pays him no mind. He flops down, bony elbows and knees poking Arthur in tender places, as he settles on Arthur’s chest, sprawled like a starfish. Arthur fingers him until the lube dries up. After that, he rubs his fingers all over the rim and listens to the way Merlin sighs in soft pleasure. It’s intimate and perfect and going absolutely nowhere.

“You know, as great as this all is, I’m still unemployed.”

Arthur snorts. “Yes, well, at least you won’t be paying rent on your totally shit apartment anymore.”

“Oi,” Merlin, “first of all, my apartment isn’t shit and second, what makes you think I’m moving in, Pendragon?”

Arthur feels awkward for all of two seconds before he scoffs. “Now you’re just being petty and difficult. You haven’t spent one night there since last October.”

“So.”

“So obviously, after my cunning display of, what did you call it? Oh yes, my manly-manpain,” Arthur says, deadpan. “Of course you’ll be moving in with me, you stupid twat.”

“Well. Fine. But I’m paying rent.”

“Don’t be silly.”

“Arthur—” he whines and bites at Arthur’s nipple.

Arthur smacks his ass, hands retreating from Merlin’s crease and resting on the span of his narrow hips. “Fine, you can pay for groceries,” Arthur concedes. “Although, not until you get a job.”

“Been thinking of going back to school,” Merlin says after a few moments. Arthur runs his fingers up and down the length of Merlin’s arm, loving the way goosebumps rise in his wake. “Maybe teaching high school literature. Also, I want to get a kitten and name it something witty.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, and I want that zebra-couch from Ikea. But one thing at a time, yes?”

Arthur nods, it’s getting late and he’s exhausted—too exhausted to think about Merlin wanting a kitten or that seriously ugly couch at Ikea. Tomorrow is Wednesday and he has too much to do with the new company, while simultaneously keeping up his own work at his father’s, not to mention brunch ... Oh yes.

“Listen, I might have scheduled a job interview for you,” Arthur says. Merlin squints up at him from his chest, not bothering to move his head.

“What are you talking about?”

Arthur feels himself blush for the seventieth time tonight. He shrugs. “My sister. The maid service called her instead of my father.”

“And?”

Merlin looks expectant and isn’t giving anything else away.

“And she wants to meet you,” Arthur continues cautiously. “If you have plans this Sunday, for brunch, I can tell her—”

“No, no. I’m perfectly free.”

“I thought so.”

Merlin purrs against his chest, looking terribly smug, and Arthur rolls his eyes, fingers going to play with Merlin’s ears because he likes it and they’re incredibly soft.

“What’s that got to do with a job?”

“Hmm?”

Merlin nudges his head into Arthur’s hand. “Meeting Morgana, what’s that got to do with a job?”

“Oh, yes, she owns a bakery. You might be able to get to work the coffee machine,” he says idly. As much as he loathes the idea of Morgana spending any time with Merlin, and tainting him, he knows that Merlin will like it—getting to see that part of Arthur—and if this is going to be real, then they both might as well get used to Morgana in their lives. Heinous thing that she is.

“Which bakery?” He’s sleepy and content now, smiling into Arthur’s skin and placing lackadaisical kisses whenever he feels like it. It’s lovely to watch and Arthur feels his chest swell a little with contentment.

“Bitch Bakes, just around the corner from—”

Merlin’s head pops right up, eyes bright and wide, awake. “Your sister owns that place? Christ, Arthur! That’s the best place in town for anything sweet and delicious and fucking hell, have you tasted her cupcakes? It’s like going to this place where your body means nothing and you’re like, floating on moist, spongy cake and bathing in frosting.”

“You are disturbing,” Arthur states.

Merlin gapes. “Bitch Bakes, Arthur. Your sister is a dessert genius!”

“So I’ve been told.”

“Oh my god,” Merlin mutters, mouth wide. “What if she hates me? I mean, it might be okay if she hated me and that was it, she’s your sister and all—so that would suck—but if she hates me and I can never go in and get those delicious apricot croissants or those little donuts from New Orleans—”

“Beignets.”

“That’s it,” he says, eyes panicked. “We have to break up.”

Arthur arches an eyebrow. “We have to break up because Morgana might hate you and deny you sweets?”

Merlin nods furiously.

“Right,” Arthur says, pulling him down and forcing him to lay his head back down. “We’ll do that later.”

Merlin resists for a minute, before he smothers his face in Arthur’s chest. Arthur can hardly imagine how anyone could breathe like that but Merlin loves it. Arthur’s been woken up more than once by Merlin’s sleep-grumpy face pushing him onto his back and then collapsing on top of him. For some reason, Merlin enjoys sleeping this way more and who is Arthur to complain? (Well, he does complain, but it’s only for show and really, Merlin is very bony.)

“Yeah,” Merlin mumbles, nose pressing into his chest as he looks for a comfortable position. He finds one with his face pressed to Arthur’s armpit, hands curled up on Arthur’s chest and his legs tangled, rather impossibly, with Arthur’s legs. “We’ll deal with it all later. Maybe never.”

Arthur listens to Merlin drop off into sleep. He makes a few snuffling noises before his mouth drops open and he starts to lightly snore. It’s pathetically endearing.

Arthur thinks about how the last eight months of his life were wonderful—how Merlin, little Merlin who loves books and children and talking with his mouth full, might possibly be the best thing that ever happened to him. He thinks about how nice it will be to have all of Merlin’s things here, living with Arthur’s things, and how they’ll do laundry and fight over whose socks are whose because all their things will mix together and they'll forget who they belong to. He thinks about watching Merlin make coffee in the morning, using the espresso machine like it’s a chemistry set and the foamer like it’s a sculpting tool—he gets grumpy and upset when it all goes wrong, but tastes far better than any coffee Arthur’s ever had before. He thinks about how Merlin will wear too many scarves, leaving them tucked all around the apartment and how he will tease Merlin about his endless crush on Stanley Tucci or how he moons over Kevin Spacey’s GQ spread.

He thinks about all the fights they’ll inevitably have, big screaming arguments where Merlin throws crockery and Arthur says things just to make Merlin cry, just so Merlin will make a low comment about his father, because Merlin’s too good of a person to hit where he knows it will hurt the most. He thinks about how they’ll make up and Arthur will DVR Real Housewives of Atlanta and promise all the blowjobs in the world, all the manly-man-feelings he wants, if only Merlin will just speak to him again. He thinks about joint cellphone bills and grocery aisle arguments over crunchy or creamy peanut butter and holidays spent between the Pendragons' and Merlin’s mum’s house, where they’re exhausted and sometimes miserable but always together. He thinks about going to work and coming home to Merlin’s soft lips and his perfect belly button and making sure he kisses every single inch of him so that he knows how idiotically perfect they are for each other.

He thinks about all the time that they have now—all the time they’ll make for each other—and he falls asleep smiling, thinking of tomorrow and the day after next.


Photobucket
<3<3<3 Done <3<3<3
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Date: 2011-06-17 01:13 pm (UTC)
venivincere: (Default)
From: [personal profile] venivincere
This, bb, rocked my morning like nobody's business. Arthur, for all his manly-man exterior, is just so filled with the intensity of his feeling. I love how you have them fit together in this. I love MORGANA OWNING A BAKERY and her awesome!bitch qualities. This is an awesome sweet-tart fic with a side helping of honey-like yearning. I love it. :-*

Date: 2011-06-17 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Good morning, love! I'm so glad that you're off to a good start and that it's all my doing! ; ) Arthur has SO MANY FEELINGS. I'm pretty sure that he got all of Uther's feelings rolled up inside of him until he's just... well, he's repressed, okay? Lol. I'm really happy you liked this so much because I was dreadfully nervous that I'd done the whole fluff bit wrong, ya know?

ANYWAY! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it and that you stopped by to comment. ♥

Date: 2011-06-17 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prplhez8.livejournal.com
OMG - I know this obviously isn't for me but OMG such wonderfulness on a friday AND rainbow sprinkled cupcakes....SO MUCH LOVE!!!!!

They're so soft and cuddly and smishy in this and I adore every bit of it!!!

Date: 2011-06-17 05:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Lol! Hey, everybody needs some ridiculous fluff on a friday morning and there is ALWAYS a need for cupcakes. Always!

♥ I'm so glad you liked it, darling. I was very nervous to post it since it's not really in my genre. Thank you for reading and commenting.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] prplhez8.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-06-17 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-06-17 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] universaldogma.livejournal.com
Ahhhh, this is brilliant! :D I want to try something from Morgana's bakery. *_*

Also, you should know I had a kitty on my lap, and had been lovely and purry while I read this. ♥ ♥ ♥

Date: 2011-06-17 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
GOD. PERFECT. KITTIES AND FLUFF AND FIC.

The only thing that would make this better if you had a warm muffin or a cupcake.

Godo morning love! I'm glad you liked this.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] universaldogma.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-06-17 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-06-17 01:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kylezy.livejournal.com
I want to bathe in this fic. Oh gosh, it's just the sweetest, most perfect happy-making thing <333

Date: 2011-06-17 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Well, now I'm picturing you naked. That was your plan wasn't it? You sassy thing, you.

♥ Thanks for reading and commenting, love. I'm pleased you enjoyed it.

Date: 2011-06-17 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sabriel75.livejournal.com
When you write; I want all the words.

Such a precious, endearing Arthur here who loves and loves with all his heart and fights to be noble even when he wants and wants Merlin all to himself because he just fucking loves the boy that much.

Date: 2011-06-17 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
I want you... all the time. : )

I've got this habit of writing an Arthur that has so many ridiculous feelings that just explodes everywhere. I'm so pleased you liked this silly version of them.

I adore you. Thank for you commenting.

Date: 2011-06-17 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marguerite-26.livejournal.com
SQUEE!!!! *grabby hands*

BUT I AM SHOWING DISCIPLINE AND BETAING FIRST!!!

This shall be my reward for finishing. :DDDD

Date: 2011-06-17 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
I'm so proud of your restraint!

Don't rush yourself my love! : )

Date: 2011-06-17 02:03 pm (UTC)
ext_19057: (Random: sexy meeeen)
From: [identity profile] slowdead.livejournal.com
OH MY GOD I LOVE IT.

CUPCAKES. AND KITTENS. ALL THE GOOD THINGS IN THE WOOOOORLD.

Date: 2011-06-17 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
SOMUCHFLUFF. DID YOU MAKE IT? ARE YOU GETTING A TOOTHACHE.

♥ You're all the good things in the world.

Date: 2011-06-17 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wanderhomeagain.livejournal.com
Oh I love how domestic Arthur is and wants everything to be. I love love love how everything is falling into place for him professionally and personally.

*cuddles this fic omg*

Date: 2011-06-17 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Arthur, apparently, has just as large a domestic!kink as I do. Oops. : )

♥ I'm so glad you enjoyed the ridiculous fluff here.

Date: 2011-06-17 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Come away with me.

Date: 2011-06-17 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarahyyy.livejournal.com
Image (http://s1203.photobucket.com/albums/bb381/picspam_ac/gifs/?action=view&current=wef.gif)

SO MANY FEELINGS OF MANLY-MANPAIN. ♥ You make me want to roll around in this fic and never go back to reality. 8D

Also Morgana's bakery sounds like such a badass place. =D I HAVE A LOT OF LOVE FOR HER.

Date: 2011-06-17 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
LOOK AT THAT GIF. I WANT TO GOBBLE YOU UP. No, really. Get inside me.

Dude, every time I write Arthur, he just has ~so many feelings. It's actually super scary. hehe. Don't go back to reality. Don't. Just stay here and eat cupcakes and pastries for the rest of your life. Do it.

♥ I have lots of love for you.

Date: 2011-06-17 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eldee.livejournal.com
Awww. So sweet and wonderful, Arthur with all his manly man feelings. ♥

Date: 2011-06-17 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
♥ HE HAS SO MANY FEELINGS, BB. SO MANY.

Thanks for reading, my love.

Date: 2011-06-17 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gomusing.livejournal.com
Lovely as ever. I love how dedicated and in love Arthur is with Merlin. How much he dreams of his own perfect relationship and how damn adorable Merlin is. The fluff killed me along with Bitch Bakes lol, that's so Morgana.

Date: 2011-06-17 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Thank you! It's nerve wracking writing this straight fluff! ♥

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Date: 2011-06-17 04:36 pm (UTC)
tama_abi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tama_abi
I have hearts in my eyes. Seriously, this is the fluffiest heaven I ever read ! You are a genius, my lady. I read this on mt cellphone in Pierrefonds, can you believe that ?

Date: 2011-06-17 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Where eyes would your hearts be? ; )

You're dedicated. I appreciate that. Have fun at Pierrefonds!

Date: 2011-06-17 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tahariel.livejournal.com
Aww, this is so lovely and domestic and sweet, and the dialogue really pops. I totally love it, awesome job :)

Quick note: you wrote talking with his mouth open - did you mean 'eating with his mouth open' or 'talking with his mouth full'?

Date: 2011-06-17 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
♥ I'm glad you liked it, love.

Thank you! It's all fixed love.

Date: 2011-06-17 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tracy7307.livejournal.com
BB. You KNOW how much I love this! I adore Arthur when he's like this; doing what's right, even though it might mean emotional exorcisms [love that ;)] and striking out on his own. Your Morgana is one loving, scary bitch and I fucking adore her.

I revel in this fic's domestic bliss. The details add up to a realistic picture of what domestic love looks like, and I fucking adore it. Not to mention it's super fucking hot as well ;) Nicely done ♥

Date: 2011-06-17 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
LOL! I'm so glad you liked his ~emotional exorcisms better. ; ) You're adorable. Never change. I love you and I'm so glad you offered to help because I'd be lost without your help.

God. We all have a pretty hardcore domestic!kink, don't we? lol. I'm really glad you liked all the little details. ♥

Thanks, bb!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] tracy7307.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-06-17 07:06 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-06-17 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wldcatsprstr-14.livejournal.com
Lovely. Arthur/Manly ManPain are like my OTP so this was just perfect. Merlin and his fear of Morgana's sweets-denying powers made me giggle.

Date: 2011-06-18 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
He is remarkably well suited for his manpain, isn't he?

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thank you.

Date: 2011-06-17 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] twistoftate.livejournal.com
So much love for this story! And you!! There are feelings, and cupcakes, and kittens, and feelings, and snarky-yet-loving Morgana, and more feelings!!! *happy sigh* Thanks so much for sharing :)

Date: 2011-06-18 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm so pleased you loved this silly thing. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. ♥

Date: 2011-06-17 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sighnomore.livejournal.com
*happy sigh* I LOVED it <3

Date: 2011-06-18 09:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-17 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] archaeologist-d.livejournal.com
This was adorable. I loved the reason Arthur wanted to keep Merlin a secret. Loved how Merlin was so worried and they are both so in love. Great job.

Date: 2011-06-18 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Thank you.

Arthur is very greedy but I don't honestly blame him. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Date: 2011-06-17 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gnrbu.livejournal.com
This is even sweeter than Morgana's cupcakes. ♥

Date: 2011-06-18 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
I highly doubt that. ; ) But thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Date: 2011-06-17 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyfeisoverrated.livejournal.com
This is amazing. And so very very good. This totally made my day. I normally never comment but I just had to tell you how much I adore your fic. Every single one is delightful.

Date: 2011-06-18 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm so glad it made your day, as Fridays should be delightful. ♥ Thank you for delurking and letting me know that you enjoyed this, I really appreciate it.

Date: 2011-06-17 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] midoriyue.livejournal.com
Loved it. First fic I've read of yours, sure it won't be the last. :)

Date: 2011-06-18 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Thank you! I appreciate it, although, I don't think any of my other fics are nearly as fluffy as this. ♥

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

Date: 2011-06-17 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xthursdaynextx.livejournal.com
That was so sweet. I think the rainbow cupcake picture at the end summed up the whole story :)

Date: 2011-06-18 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Thank you! Does it? I find that rainbow cupcakes are truly the answer to all things.

Date: 2011-06-17 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cas74.livejournal.com
I loved this so much! If this is what fluff is like when you write it then I think you should write it A LOT! It was sweet and intimate and hot and funny and just perfect! I loved this line,
You’re going to get fired for being a homo and we’re going to be fighting, so I won’t even get to reap the benefits of you being out and I’ll miss your cock and your stupid face,
Poor Merlin thinking Arthur and his cock and stupid face are going to kick him out, lol. I love how Merlin expresses his man feeling :)

The only problem is that now I want to read what happens when Morgana and Merlin meet and I want Merlin to go work at Bitch Bakes and yeah...you've got my imagination going.
Edited Date: 2011-06-17 08:13 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-18 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Thank you! You know, writing this was kind of a stressful experience and so I don't know how much fluff I'll be writing in the future but I'm very pleased that you enjoyed it. ♥

Ha! You know that Morgana makes far too many lewd comments and her and Merlin just adore each other--while Arthur angsts in the corner about how he wasn't held enough as a child. ; )

Thank you for reading and comment. I appreciate it.

Date: 2011-06-17 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luisadeza.livejournal.com
Oh gosh, this is possibly the best mix of adorable and intense and sexy ever. ♥

And now I want all the delicious things Morgana is baking. This town needs late night bakeries.

Date: 2011-06-18 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourdefierce.livejournal.com
Thank you! You know, I never feel like I'm very balanced so I'm very pleased that you enjoyed it that way.

♥ My town has a bakery open until 1am, so I don't know what other people do without it. ; )
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