Ch. 1 – One I do not want.
"Sorry Arthur." Gwen managed to give him an apologetic stare over all the happiness she was feeling, unlike Morgana.
"It seems our baby is a girl."Bloody hell she was basking in joy and rubbing it on her little brother's face.
Arthur was so dumbfounded that he could only grip the table and narrow his eyes at the scene.
"But…I mean didn't you said it was a boy for sure because Gwen was carrying the baby low!" He knew that having a freaking druid for a step sister would come to bite him someday.
"Oh it's just a tale, you should know better than to listen to women rubbish," She said waving her hand dismissively, her eyes dancing with joy.
"N-No way, I DON'T WANT TO MARRY A GUY!" this could not go this way, his dad wouldn't agree with this right?
Wrong. As soon as he heard his father's voice at the head of the table he knew it was true.
"This is a distinguished tradition the Pendragon family has kept for generations, if the eldest of the children has a daughter the younger sibling must marry a male of the druid head family in order to guarantee a male heir."
"Hm but we did think it was a boy, now we'll have to think of a new name," Morgana was only taken from her thoughts by Gwen's apologetic voice.
"Now Morgana…we're still talking about Arthur here," The only quiet one of the bunch seemed to be Mordred but even he had a smug look on his face, letting his older brother know that he was not the one having to marry a guy.
Arthur let his head fall to the dinner table and gave a sigh.
"So we're ignoring laws and everything, is that it?" Arthur couldn't believe he was tied to a freaking tradition in the twenty-first century.
"Arthur." A dark shadow came over Arthur's face resting on the class table "What are you mumbling about prat?"
" Merlin." It was not that he couldn't recognize him by the voice but he lifted his head from the table and looked at the brunet.
"Want some?" a box of chocolate and some green cupcakes were presented to his face.
"Chocolate mint with strawberry filling." Arthur lifted an eyebrow, Merlin's mom was a lovely lady always taking care of others, guess that was the only reason she kept making her son this disgusting – but yet enjoyable to Merlin's exquisite taste- mixtures.
"How do you eat that?" it was just so…nauseating just to look at it.
"Ehh? It's my favorite." As if that was a justification.
"Your tastes are just...blah." He let his head fall back on to the table and when a can of soda came his way he just refused it shaking his head. He had to think.
"Jesus I swear you're just like a little kid." Merlin said and Arthur turned his head on the table to look at him and gave a small smile at the sight of Merlin's dark messy hair and glossy lips from the soda.
They sat in his father's home office, he and his father, all dressed up for the engagement meeting when Uther Pendragon decided that his son should listen one more time what his obligations were.
"Because you're a healthy energetic eighteen-year old…"
At that Arthur looked at his hands on his laps hatefully "completely disregarding the fact that I am a healthy energetic eighteen-year old, that's what you mean..."
"You're old enough to start a family." And that was what Arthur couldn't get, what about college? Having some good education and all that stuff?
"You better pull yourself together Arthur, what will we do if you disappoint your beautiful bride?" Uther said smiling, which was quite disturbing.
"That's what I'm aiming for…" Arthur muttered.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door and one of the maid's voices on the other side announced the other party's arrival.
Arthur squinted his eyes as a male a little bit smaller than him bowed his head at the door in respect, is dark mop of hair falling to his face.
He seemed well dressed and Arthur could see that his hair was brushed but there was still this wildness to it that seemed cutely familiar.
As the man lifted his head Arthur's eyes grew ten times bigger. "This is Merlin Emrys." The maid's solemn voice caused the final bells in the blonds head to ring.
"What the—" Arthur was paralyzed for a second before screaming "MERLIN!"
Uther scolded at his son's insubordinate reaction.
"Cheers." The brunet said from the door, his smile not falling.
Before they knew it they found themselves in another room, this one smaller on the second floor, with a balcony facing the garden, a small table with some tea and biscuits.
"Hey don't these biscuits taste a bit…tasteless?" At any other time Arthur would have snorted at Merlin's stupidity.
"So your part of the druids head family? Since when?"
Merlin looked at him as if he was stupid before answering. "Since I was born."
"But how come I never knew you were an Emrys? I've never seen you do magic either and we've known each other for years."
"Well remember last year when you were certain you had broken your wrist playing footy and then it turned out it was just a sprain? I was the one to see you to the hospital so I helped with the healing process a bit."
Arthur remembered that quite well, he thought he wouldn't be able to play that season for sure.
"As for not knowing I was and Emrys, you just never asked." Merlin couldn't look more dismissive of the matter, he looked stupidly happy.
"Are you ok with it?" Arthur looked at his hands again.
"With what?" the confused look the blond got was the final straw.
"With us getting married! You know we're both guys right? If either one of us goes out with a girl it becomes an affair you know?"
"Poor Arthur, you really like your women, don't you?" Merlin insisted on smiling but he wasn't looking at Arthur anymore.
Arthur ran a hand across his face, exasperated, the ceremony would be held in secret and Merlin had to move in with him but none of it seemed to bother him as it did Arthur.
"Merlin…" Arthur's face crunched in hate as his eyes met Merlin's, "Do you think this is some kind of make believe? You keep smiling like is all fun and games, you don't get it."
At that the brunet tried for another smile but that only pissed his friend off more. "Bloody hell I'm asking you to think seriously about this!"
Arthur got up abruptly his hand slamming on the table making the tea spill all around it, and walked away.
Merlin was left in the empty room. "I guess I should have expected this," He said with a pained sigh, and for the first time that day his smile fell.
It took him a few minutes to pull himself together and go find Arthur but he stopped in his tracks as he heard voices on the bottom of the stairs.
"You can't." It was Gwen's voice, Merlin had met her before, she seemed nice "If you back out now your father will be furious."
"Back out now? I never even had a choice to back out of?" Gwen seemed pained at Arthur's words.
"That may be true, but even so Arthur…"
"Any way I don't want to, at least not with Merlin." Said boy clenched his hand as a sharp pain ran deep in him.
"Anyone but Merlin." but he couldn't fight the tears at Arthur's final words.
He fought a sob but it must have been heard as both Gwen and Arthur looked up.
Before Merlin knew he was running, entering a room and falling by the balcony, tears blinding him from going any further.
It hurt. A lot. It was like all the strength had left him.
"Merlin" Arthur's voice sounded pained behind him.
"R-Really, and I'm the one who doesn't get it…" he said in a little voice
"What do you mean?" Arthur sat behind him.
"Have you tried to ask why the hell I was so happy in the first place?"
"Merlin….you don't under—"
"Of course I understand you prat!" the sudden raise of tone surprised Arthur as Merlin looked at him scolding, only then he caught sight of the tears the brunet was trying to blink away.
"M-Merlin are you cryi-"
"No. You idiotic self centered prat!" He was.
This time Merlin got up and looked at him straight in the eye.
"It made me happy. I had given up since you know…and you like you women so damn much, but with this…" He said gesturing at everything around him, "I would get to just be around you, and I was ok with that."
And then he suddenly downed on Arthur that maybe Merlin liked him, loved him perhaps?
It took one last look at Merlin's sad face, tear wetting his bony cheeks, and his heart ached. He had been the one to cause that.
"I-I was happy." Merlin's last words took Arthur by surprise, tainting his cheek with a light red.
"Merlin." Merlin looked startled, as if waiting for another round of yelling and disagreement, when Arthur leaned in and pressed their lips together.
It was soft and chaste, his thumb caressing a wet cheek slowly, when their lips met.
And when they parted he sure wasn't expecting a "Why?"
"What do you mean why?" the blond looked at the ground embarrassed, and the hand he caressed Merlin's face with, now carded trough his hair.
"But you hate me right?" What the hell?
"I never said that!" This was going the other way really quickly.
"So you don't hate me?" Merlin looked skeptical.
"No you idiot." At that Merlin looked at his trembling hands on his lap, there was something he didn't get.
"Th-then why? Why did you say it could be anyone but me?" Arthur sighed, this was where he was afraid to get to, and it was too soon for this.
"Well, you see, there were times when I thought you were kind of pretty"
"What was that?" Merlin got that confused puppy look and before Arthur knew he was saying it out loud.
"I said there were times when I thought you were kind of pretty."
And it was true, it hadn't been a onetime thing looking at Merlin and suddenly finding himself mesmerized by his skin, or lips, or neck, or eyes….. the point is it wasn't a onetime thing.
At that Merlin looked really surprised, but for Arthur's heart release, his goofy smile had returned.
"S-So..hn this means we'll go on with the ceremony." He said looking shyly at the ground.
"Yeah I guess so." Suddenly Arthur had a lap full of Merlin – he was getting bolder by the minute- but he didn't care, actually he felt like smiling too.
"What's up with you getting all chipper all of a sudden?"
At that moment Arthur wondered if Merlin knew what he was doing because there he sat on his lap as if it was the most normal thing in the world smiling shyly at him his blue eyes radiant and happy.
But Arthur guessed he didn't, so he pulled Merlin closer and kissed him, more passionately than the last.
Letting his tongue trace the brunet's soft lips until they opened giving him entrance letting him reveal on the sweet taste.
There they sat in the middle of the balcony, heads pressed together and smiling.
"Well then let's have a happy life together, Husband." Merlin laughed at his own words, letting his head fall back, missing the look that Arthur threw him.
"This is so messed up" the blond whispered as he found himself smiling even more brightly at the sight of Merlin looking at him with curios eyes.