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Nine Weddings and a Funeral

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~ Wedding One: Gwen and Lance ~

Merlin really fucking hated weddings.

He looked over at the familiar blond head that was a row ahead and across the aisle from him.

“Oh my God, stop staring at Arthur,” Elena said as she shoved her sharp elbow into Merlin’s side.

“Oh my God, stop taking the lord’s name in vain in a church.” Merlin snapped back as he rubbed his side and knocked his shoulder against Elena’s.

“I’m pretty sure God and Jesus would be quite happy with me using their name in vain over you thinking about cock in church.”

“I’m not thinking about Arthur’s cock.”

“Not yet, but I’m sure you were getting around to it.”

“Shut up and watch Gwen and Lance get married.”

“Boring. I’d much rather sit here and speculate about your love life.”

“I haven’t got a love life. And certainly not with Arthur.”

“I know, and it’s really rather sad. And pathetic, especially considering the setting.”

Merlin rolled his eyes. “Weddings are the worst. Everyone aside from the people getting married feels pathetic. Either you’re tragically alone or you’re with a person that you don’t love nearly as much as the people getting married. Weddings are Satan’s work. I’m surprised the church recognizes them.”

Elena laughed and earned a peevish look from one of Gwen’s elderly aunts that was sitting next to them.

“I love the rants you go on to avoid talking about your stupid - and pathetic - crush on Arthur.”

“I haven’t got a crush on Arthur.”

“You have had since university. I’ve been on the receiving end of several drunken rants about Arthur’s perfect arse.”

“Don’t say arse in church.”

“Arse. Arse arse arse.”

Merlin gave Elena an annoyed look and turned his attention back to Gwen and Lance, where it ought to have been to begin with. It was just that Arthur was so very pretty. And blond. And shiny. And also an arsehole.

Yes, definitely an arsehole too.

A complete and total arsehole for waltzing in and out of Merlin’s life without a single clue as to the havoc he was wreaking. Clearly the work of a first class arsehole.

As Merlin tried to stay focused on the ceremony he noticed Elena leaning past him to stare in Arthur’s direction.

“Now who’s staring?”

“I’m not staring at Arthur, I’m staring at his date’s gorgeous rack.”

Merlin told Elena to stop being a deviant in church and pushed her back against the pew so she was no longer leaning over him and drooling on his lap. Like he needed a wet patch on the front of his trousers. If he was going to go through that embarrassment he’d rather it be of his own doing.

Not that he could blame Elena for staring. Arthur’s date was pretty spectacular, if you went for the whole doe-eyed, milky white bosom look - which Elena clearly did, and Arthur too by the look of it. Merlin wondered if Arthur could feel the laser beam of Merlin’s stare boring through the back of his head as he leaned over and whispered something to Miss Milky White Tits. Merlin scowled when she leaned into Arthur’s shoulder and pressed her mouth against his jacket sleeve to hide her laughter.

“Don’t worry, love,” Elena said as she patted Merlin on the knee, “she’s one of my tribe.”

Merlin looked over at McBoobs and back to Elena. “You sure?”


“If you’re only saying that so that when I get drunk I go over and proposition Arthur later on tonight I’m going to kick you in the vagina.”

“Hopefully by that time my vagina will be busy.”

“Elena. Gross.”

“You’re the one who brought my vagina into it.”

“Shut up,” Merlin said. “Don’t say vagina in church.”

Thankfully the organ started playing some bastardization of what Merlin hoped wasn’t a Celine Dion song, but with Gwen you never knew, and it covered up Elena sing-songing out the word, ‘vagina’ far more loudly than she needed to.

Merlin couldn’t wait to get drunk.


“Abandoned by your date as well, I see.”

Merlin jumped at the voice and nearly spilled his champagne down the front of himself.


Ugh. Smooth.

“Our dates?” Arthur repeated. “Off shagging one another?”

“What?” Merlin looked around and saw that, yes, Elena and Mithian were no longer clinging to each other with octopus arms out on the dance floor. “Huh, when’d that happen?”

“I think while you were collecting all the champagne bottles from the other tables to hoard like a drunken lech at this one,” Arthur said cheerfully as he sat down and snagged the half empty bottle closest to him to refill his own glass. “Cheers.”

Merlin clinked his glass against Arthur’s and muttered a return, ‘cheers.’

“And in our room too.” Arthur continued on with his story as Merlin stared at him with a look he was sure could only be classified as half-witted. “Mith stumbled over to me and told me if I knew what was good for me I’d spend the night on a couch down in the lobby. When she started going on about her plans to faceplant herself between Elena’s thighs I walked away.”

“Clever boy.” Merlin nodded.

“So now I’m without a home. I’m like a sad, sad puppy,” Arthur said as he leaned back in his chair and let his legs sprawl open, the right one coming to rest against the outside of Merlin’s thigh.

Merlin was embarrassingly close to coming right then.

“Well if there are lesbian things being done in your room apparently mine is free then.”

“I suppose it is.”

Merlin didn’t know if Arthur was drunk, coming down with a case of the wedding maudlins, or in search of a cliched wedding fuck, but he wasn’t going to let himself be the last fucking bridesmaid at the table tonight. He got up and started grabbing champagne bottles.

“Grab those two over there,” Merlin said as he pointed to the bottles on Arthur’s left. He was quite proud of himself for not adding that the contents of said bottles would probably taste fucking spectacular sucked off Arthur’s nipples.

“Aye aye, Ahab.” Arthur said as he grabbed a bottle and then nearly knocked himself in the head with it when he went to salute Merlin.

Drunk it was then.

Whatever. Merlin wasn’t going to be choosy.

“Come on then Moby Dick, get a move on,” Merlin said as he grabbed Arthur by his jacket and pulled him along.


The champagne bottles clattered to the floor as Arthur shoved Merlin up against the wall of his room. Merlin vaguely wondered if all their lovely champagne was soaking into the hotel carpet but then Arthur’s hands were up his shirt and his mind lost every last ounce of coherency it had left. Which wasn’t a lot, granted.

“I’ve always thought you had a gorgeous mouth.” Arthur muttered the words against said mouth and Merlin’s knees just about gave out.

“Yeah. Well. Gorgeous everything.” Merlin managed to get out as he waved his hand at Arthur.

Merlin felt Arthur smile against his lips and he knew it was a smug smile, absolutely knew it, yet somehow it was the fucking sexiest thing Merlin could imagine. He’d always had a thing for Arthur’s confidence, his complete and total awareness in every situation. He doubted Arthur had ever blurted out, ‘ buggering cock!’ in the middle of a job interview, or got a case of the nervous giggles every time he bought a box of condoms even though he was twenty-five fucking years old and should be cooler than that by now.

“We’re doing this, right?” Arthur asked. “You’re good?”

“Oh God, I’m more than good.”

Merlin yanked Arthur’s jacket from his shoulders and down his arms in an effort to prove just how good he was with the whole situation. Arthur just laughed and pulled his arms from the sleeves so he could tug at his tie as Merlin got to work on the buttons of his shirt. Once Merlin got Arthur’s shirt off of him Arthur pulled him in for a kiss. It was messy and sloppy and Merlin was pretty sure when he attempted to bite Arthur’s bottom lip it came off more zombie attack than sexy kinky, but he was fine with that cos Arthur just muttered something about Merlin being a disaster and went back to kissing him.

Merlin was hoping it would all lead to a movie montage of them taking each others clothes off in a very sexy, musically enhanced way, but really, what they managed was an entirely graceless fumble of limbs waving about and smacking faces, and a great deal of stumbling over errant trouser legs. Merlin couldn’t complain though because the result was Arthur naked and on his back in the middle of Merlin’s bed, so all’s well that ends well and all that rot.

Arthur tugged at Merlin’s wrist to pull him down on top of him and Merlin gasped at the full on contact of bare skin. The entire length of Arthur, from head to toe, all sprawled and warm beneath him. He wasn’t too proud to start rutting up against him, grinding his cock into Arthur’s thick, gorgeous thigh and letting his nipples brush across the coarse hair of Arthur’s chest. He was like Merlin’s very own sensory toy, all tantalizing textures and sensations. Merlin felt bloody electrified by him.

Arthur grabbed at Merlin’s waist - his fingers digging into him and his hold just a touch shy of painful and so delicious - as he forced his thigh between Merlin’s legs and pushed against Merlin’s cock even more. Merlin moaned at the pressure and tightened the hold he had on Arthur’s jaw to turn his face into a kiss.

After that everything devolved in Merlin’s mind into a mass of body parts and heat - mouths, hands, thighs, his fingers around Arthur’s dick, hot and hard and already dripping wet - everything overwhelming and throwing him onto the shaky edge of coming any second but wanting it to never stop.

Merlin centered his left hand on Arthur’s chest and pushed himself upright, away from Arthur’s mouth, so he could ride out the pressure that was simmering low in his gut and pulling his balls tight. He straddled Arthur’s thigh, riding it until he felt himself come hot and fast all over Arthur’s hip. He shuddered as he hunched over and tried to draw in breath when he saw Arthur move his hand over his hip and push his fingers through the wetness.

“Oh God.” Merlin gasped, then laughed. “You slut.”

Arthur laughed low and deep in his throat. “Shut up and get me off already.”

Merlin laughed again and sped up his stroking as Arthur bucked up his hips in response. It wasn’t too many strokes later that Arthur splattered himself with his own release. Merlin slowed down his strokes, but didn’t stop, as he watched the flush of pink work itself down Arthur’s neck and chest.

“You look bloody fantastic with come all over you.”

Arthur huffed out a laugh and rubbed his hand over his stomach. “You know how to turn a bloke’s head don’t you, Merlin?”

“Obviously.” Merlin nodded at the mess on Arthur’s stomach and hip. “Worked with you, didn’t it?”

Arthur rolled his eyes and turned to the side to unseat Merlin into a sprawl next to him.

“I’m glad you had a room to spare,” Arthur said.

“Well I’m glad we have two very selfish, very horny friends.”

Arthur laughed and said, “Go lesbians!” as he held his hand up in the air for Merlin to high-five. It was a stupid gesture, totally ridiculous and idiotic, but Merlin couldn’t stop himself from grinning like a fool and returning his very messy high-five.

Merlin really fucking loved weddings.


~ Wedding Two: Elena and Mithian ~

Merlin could feel Arthur’s stare as he stood beside Elena and tried to stay focused on the ceremony so he could hand over the ring at the proper time, but fucking Arthur. Fucking Arthur. Every time he looked in his direction Arthur’d make some sort of ridiculous face or filthy gesture and it was all Merlin could do to keep from snorting. He suspected Elena probably wouldn’t mind, but thought Mithian might not be as snort happy.

He hadn’t seen Arthur since Gwen and Lance’s wedding, not until the night before at Elena and Mithian’s wedding dinner. Yeah, there had been a few texts - mostly of the perverted kind - but that was it. Merlin hadn’t seen him at any pub nights or dinner parties and he was a bit embarrassed to say he missed him.

Not like they were together or anything, or even like they saw much of each other before the whole rub-off-in-Merlin’s-hotel-room incident. Hell, they’d always flitted in and out of each others lives with a randomness that irked Merlin so it wasn’t like he could be angry with Arthur, exactly. But yeah, he kind of was. If he was being honest, he’d been hoping for a series of phone calls chronicling Arthur’s deep, dire need for Merlin and his cock. Unfortunately those calls never came.

So there he was, six months later, still thinking about one stupid, drunken night. He was so fucking pathetic. Elena was right.

Not like he’d tell her that though.


“Trust the lesbians to get things moving and not waste time.”

Merlin rolled his eyes as Arthur dropped down beside him at the table.

“Do you ever move your tiny arse away from tables at weddings?”

“No. What would hold all my drinks? I’ve only got two hands.”

Arthur eyed the collection of champagne bottles Merlin had once again gathered around himself and slapped a hand onto his shoulder.

“You’ve got a problem, mate.”

“Yeah. Weddings.” Merlin leaned forward and grabbed his glass.

“But this one’s nice. All out in nature and laid back. Elena and Mith did good. And you were the prettiest bridesmaid of all.”

“I was the only bridesmaid.” Merlin scowled.

“Still the prettiest.”

Merlin shoved Arthur away. “Fuck off.”

Arthur smiled and helped himself to one of Merlin’s bottles of champagne, then sat back with Merlin to watch Elena and Mithian dancing. Nearly everyone else had left but they were still in their own little love bubble and were swaying slowly together.

“They’re both gorgeous today,” Arthur absently said a few minutes later and Merlin hummed his agreement.

Elena had never looked so stunning and he’d told her so that morning. She had been so excited, so fucking in love and ready to start the rest of her life with Mithian that it would’ve made Merlin vomit if he hadn’t been so happy for her.

“Too bad about the lack of hotel rooms though -.” Arthur’s voice trailed off and Merlin shifted in his chair. Just the bloody thought of hotel rooms connected with Arthur made him half hard. “Guess we’ll have to figure something else out.”

“Holy fuck.” Merlin nearly shouted when Arthur’s fingers gripped his cock through his trousers. He bit his lip to keep from saying anything else as Arthur’s hand slowly moved up and down the length of him.

“Nice long tablecloths,” Arthur casually mentioned.

Merlin had no idea what Arthur was on about until he disappeared under the table and the backs of Merlin’s knees were grabbed and pulled forward so he slid down in his chair. Merlin’s eyes probably popped out of his head when he felt Arthur’s fingers tug his zip down. He grabbed the tablecloth in both hands and frantically looked around as Arthur pulled his cock out of his trousers.

Merlin was fairly certain he kneed Arthur in the side of his head when he felt Arthur’s mouth close around his dick and his legs jerked in response.

“Arthur, oh my God.”

The only indication that Arthur had heard him was the feel of him making a humming noise against Merlin’s cock. Merlin just clutched at the tablecloth and hoped his face didn’t give anything away. But when Arthur nosed at his balls he let out a little whimper, not even caring that one of Elena’s work mates was giving him strange looks from two tables over. What did she expect, staying so late at a wedding - long past the time when everyone was drunk and ridiculous and with zero inhibitions?

Arthur’s fingers were kneading at the insides of his thighs and Merlin wished he could’ve somehow managed to get his trousers down around his ankles without getting arrested for indecent exposure just so he could feel Arthur’s fingers on his bare skin. Merlin remembered those fingers of his. He loved those fingers.

One particular flick of Arthur’s tongue had Merlin gasping out his name and reaching under the table to tangle his fingers up in Arthur’s hair. He couldn’t stand not touching him any longer. His hair was thick but baby fine and just as he’d remembered it. He wished he could see Arthur, see his mouth sucking his cock, but it was probably best he couldn’t otherwise he’d have come embarrassingly quickly. He was close enough as is, he didn’t need any help pushing him over the edge.

Arthur’s fingers were on Merlin’s balls, his mouth hot and wet, and Merlin was all but shaking. He was halfway panicked someone would see them, would realize what they were doing, and halfway turned on as fuck by it all. He wasn’t vanilla by any means, but he’d never gotten a blow job with a friend’s elderly relatives chattering away three tables over.

Fucking hell. Arthur’d be insufferably smug about it all too.

Merlin tightened his grip on Arthur’s hair, tried to pull his head back to hint that he was about to come any second. Arthur’s lips slid down his cock and disappeared. Merlin wanted to cry at the loss, but Arthur’s hand was there a half a second later, taking over and pulling an orgasm out of him he had to bite his lip to keep himself from shouting out.

He slumped back in his seat as Arthur tucked him back into his underwear and zipped up his trousers. He glared at Arthur’s blond head as it popped out from underneath the tablecloth.

“Arsehole,” he whispered.

“Don’t say you didn’t like it.” Arthur’s mouth was close to his ear then and his breath ghosting over Merlin’s skin made him shiver. Arthur dragged a kiss along the curve of Merlin’s jaw and kissed him, slow, deep, and Merlin loved the filthy taste of him.

“Fuck off.” Merlin smiled against Arthur’s lips.

Arthur pulled back and winked at Merlin. “See you at Elyan and Viv’s wedding.”

Merlin had to clutch at the tablecloth again to keep from grabbing hold of Arthur’s jacket and pulling him back down into the chair beside him. Instead he watched him walk over to Elena and Mithian to say his goodbyes.

It was going to be a long couple of months.


~ Wedding Three: Elyan and Vivian ~

“Are you and Arthur going to fuck again?”

“Jesus, Gwaine, shut up.”

“Just asking. He keeps looking over at you.”

“Because he’s bored. Weddings are boring.”

Elyan’s great aunt something-or-other shushed the two of them but Gwaine just smiled at her and winked. She huffed and sat back in her seat and Gwaine went back to talking.

“I see Morgana deigned to show up,” Gwaine said as he looked over at Arthur and his sister.

“She always shows up, what are you on about?”

“She wasn’t at El and Mithian’s wedding.”

“Because she was in Thailand. Bit of a drive, that.”

Gwaine apparently chose to ignore Merlin because he started bitching about Morgana and calling her an old cow.

“Just because she won’t sleep with you doesn’t make her a cow.”

“It does in my book. Who wouldn’t want to sleep with me? You want to sleep with me.”

“In what desecrated, wasteland of a universe?”

“This one, clearly. Too bad Arthur’s here, I thought I might at least get a blowie but I’m sure his dick will have the honor today.”

“Like I’d touch your dick with a ten foot pole, let alone my mouth.”

“Don’t act like I haven’t seen you put worse things in your mouth than my dick.”

“Not exactly a shining recommendation for your dick though, is it?”

“Whatever.” Gwaine mumbled and went back to staring daggers at Morgana.

Merlin desperately hoped the two of them would shag soon and get it over with. The sexual tension was bordering on psychotic at this point. He figured they at least ought to fuck for the sake of humanity. Or their friends’ sanity. Either or.


“Please tell Gwaine to stop looking at my sister like he can see through her clothes. It’s disturbing.”

“Yeah, well, try listening to him talk about her, then you’ll know the true meaning of disturbing.”

Arthur leaned against the bar and looked Merlin in the eye. “Am I going to have to get a restraining order of some kind on her behalf?”

“Hardly, she’s just as bad.”


“You brought it up.”

“And sorry I am at that.”

“Yeah. Well.” Merlin shrugged and looked out at the dance floor only to witness Percy doing the worst chicken dance in the history of weddings.

“That man has no rhythm whatsoever. Thank God there are no small children near him.”

Merlin laughed. “Poor Percy.”

“Poor Leon more like. I just hope Leon tops otherwise he’s one sad, sexually frustrated man.”

“I’m not having this conversation.”

“Seriously, Merlin, can you imagine those arrhythmic hips humping away at you? Look at what he’s doing now.” Arthur sounded appalled. “I think he’s having a seizure.”

“He’s adorable. A man that hot looking that crap on the dance floor gives me hope for humanity.”

“If you insist. But obviously Leon likes it too so who am I to judge?”

“Just right.” Merlin agreed.

“How about you?” Arthur asked. “Are you as rhythmically impaired at Perce?”

“I like to think that I can hold my own - or at least not look like I need medical attention.”

“Good. Dance with me then.”

Merlin was sort of shocked by the request but slipped his hand into the one Arthur offered and followed him onto the dance floor. Thankfully the chicken dance had ended while they were fondly mocking Percy and there were better tunes being spun by the rather embarrassing DJ.

Merlin expected a typical slow dance, and a fight as to who was going to lead, but Arthur just pulled him into his arms and held him against his chest as they slowly swayed to the music - which thankfully wasn’t Celine Dion as Elyan had much better taste in music than his sister.

Arthur was warm and smelled of cedarwood, and what Merlin was sure was his ridiculous blondness - surely blondness had a smell - or maybe that was just Arthur alone. Merlin tucked his nose against the bare skin of Arthur’s neck and held him tightly.

“Remember the last time we danced? Well, the only time we danced?” Arthur asked.

“We’ve never danced.”

Arthur made a noise of disagreement. “Last year of university, at Lance and Gwen’s place. You were so pissed you could barely stand and you came up to me and told me I was to dance with you because I was pretty and suitable for dance.”

Merlin pulled back and scowled at Arthur. “I never said that.”

“You did. We slow danced to Poker Face, which you insisted was the perfect slow dance song as Lady Gaga was your queen, and you spent the entire dance standing on my feet - which hurt, I’d like you to know, you’re fatter than you look - because you said the floor was full of bugs.”


Arthur shrugged. “If it helps you sleep at night.”

“Your version of reality is troubling.”

Arthur’s hand slipped up under the back of Merlin’s jacket and the heat of his palm burned through Merlin’s thin dress shirt. Arthur and his lovely, lovely hands.

Arthur pressed his mouth against Merlin’s jaw. “Still my favorite dance though,” he said quietly.

Merlin closed his eyes and wished he could remember the dance. He didn’t doubt he said all those stupid things to Arthur, embarrassingly stupid things, that was what Merlin was like when he was pissed - never a dull moment there, or a coherent moment for that matter - but it sounded sort of perfect just the same.

“And you saved me from all those bugs.”

“I did at that.” Arthur agreed. “Must be your hero.”

Merlin smiled against Arthur’s neck. “Must be.”


It wasn’t the most auspicious of endings for the night - Merlin and Arthur ended up on the floor in the cloakroom, Merlin in Arthur’s lap as they ground out two messy orgasms and two ruined pairs of trousers - but Arthur kissed him goodbye and his lips lingered like they didn’t want to part from Merlin’s.

“See you next month? At Will and Freya’s?” Merlin asked.

Arthur smiled, and it was blinding.

“I’ve never been so glad all of our stupid friends are suddenly becoming so settled and domesticated.”

“It’s like a wedding plague.”

Arthur leaned in and kissed Merlin one last time. “We better watch ourselves so we don’t catch it too.”

And then he was gone, and Merlin was left wondering stupid, pointless thoughts while an embarrassingly bright spark of hope burned a hole in the center of his chest.


~ Wedding Four: Freya and Will ~

“You could at least try to act like you’re paying attention and attempting to be my best man, not making googly eyes at Pendragon.”

“I am paying attention. You’re the one that should have your eyes trained on the back of the church and not on your best man. I dunno, Will, kinda gay.”

“Shut it. I’m nervous, a’right? I’m probably gonna fuckin’ swear in front of the fuckin’ priest and Freya’ll fuckin’ kill me.”

“You’re off to a smashing start.”

“Fuck you.”

“How could you be nervous? You’re marrying Freya; a woman who actually loves you, despite you being, well, you.”

“Your love and support are always top notch, M. It’s like you kissed every fuckin’ branch of the complement tree.”

Merlin laughed and gave Will’s arm a shove. “You’ll be fine. This is the best thing that ever happened to you, just remember that.”

“Yeah, I know it is. I’m getting the best girl in the world, so I’d appreciate it if you paid attention to her and not the arsefuck sitting in the fourth pew.”

Merlin was about to protest but he lost every bit of Will’s attention when the organ started up and the doors at the back of the church opened because the moment Freya walked through them Will’s entire world narrowed down to her.

Merlin fucking hated weddings but he couldn’t help but grin, and store up Will’s besotted face to use against him at a later date.


“Will called me an arsefuck, didn’t he?”

“What, do you read lips or something?”

Merlin twisted around to look at Arthur who was standing behind him and shoveling an obscene amount of food onto his plate. Trust Will to want a grazing table of food at his wedding. There was a time at university when Merlin was convinced Will had worms, he never ever stopped eating. Merlin had had to hide food from Will otherwise he’d have had none himself and gotten even skinnier than he already was.

“As it so happens, I do.”

“I doubt that very much.”

“Like it’s hard to read the words ‘arse’ and ‘fuck’ coming from someone’s mouth as he points at you. Was Will aware he was in a church, or has he his mind set on hell?”

“Could be either, you just never know with Will.”

“Fuck me this shrimp is good.”

“Are you eating your food as you go?”

“How else am I going to clear room on my plate?”

“By sitting down like a normal person and eating, thus producing a clear plate.”

“Then I’d have to make a second trip, this is much more efficient.”

“And gross.”

“You’re very delicate, Merlin, aren’t you? I’ve always thought so. Very dainty.”

“I’m dainty because I’m not a disgusting pig? You’ve a very limited view on daintiness.”

Arthur looked at him and pointed a finger at his face. “Well, you’re very pretty too. And all spindly, with your legs and all.”

“Spindly with my legs and all?” Merlin rolled his eyes. “It’s a wonder you ever get shagged, what with pick-up lines like that.”

“Well I was thinking more coltish but then I figured that sounded a bit weird.”

“So you went with spindly? You thought that was a better option?”

“Yes.” Arthur was looking at him like he was wondering how on earth Merlin wasn’t comprehending that spindly was obviously the best word choice.

“It’s a good thing you’re pretty as well because there’s not a lot churning up above, is there? Rather a dim bulb.”

“Ah, now that was a lovely thing to say.” Arthur smiled at Merlin. “I should take lessons from you. Based on this incandescent moment we’re having I can only assume you’ve wooed several rugby teams worth of men into your bed.”

“Wouldn’t you like to know.” Merlin really wished he hadn’t sounded as waspish to Arthur’s ears as he sounded to his own.

“As a matter of fact, I would. I’d love to hear about it, in filthy filthy detail. I’d like a demonstration as well.”

Merlin tried not to drop his plate of food on the floor as he processed what he hoped Arthur was saying to him.

“I’ve got a room,” Merlin said. “Very spacious. Probably quite good for practicing rugby moves.”

Arthur laughed. “You’ve never played rugby before in your life, have you?”

“I could have done.”

“By practicing rugby moves?”


Arthur’s smile was fond, and he took both their plates in his hands.

“It seems I’m not hungry after all. I seem to be dying to practice rugby moves instead.”

“As well you should.”

Arthur laughed at Merlin’s smugness and it was enough to get a short bark of laughter out of Merlin as well as he set their plates down on an empty table and pushed Merlin toward the exit.


Arthur had his hand on the back of Merlin’s suit jacket as they stood in front of Merlin’s hotel room door. Arthur’s fingers had held on tightly as they’d left the reception and Merlin had led him in the proper direction. It felt like Arthur needed to anchor himself to Merlin and Merlin felt the same, felt grounded at the touch, as if he was firmly where he ought to be - where he ought to stay.

“You weren’t lying about the room,” Arthur said once they were inside. “We could do a great deal of rugby moves in here.”

“Will splurged, said it was my best man gift. Although I’d much rather he’d bought me something useful, like another Halo 3 to replace the one he threw against the wall in a fit of bitter rage. Or maybe a guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar.”

“So Halo 3 or a guitar are the keys to your heart. Good to know.”

“Both those things plus a puppy. I’ve always wanted a dog.”

“You strike a hard bargain.”

“Well, we’re talking about my heart here. It’s not nearly as slutty as my cock. It takes more to woo it than a whispered, ’Let’s go rub one off in the cloakroom, eh?’.”

Arthur smiled to himself and nodded. “One of my best lines.”

“I’m the luckiest girl in the world.”

Arthur’s responding laugh was low, quiet, and Merlin expected some smartarse remark to go along with it but Arthur only walked over to him and kissed him. Softly. A kiss that was barely there and felt painfully important, somehow.

Arthur’s hand cupped the side of Merlin’s head, his fingers tangling up in Merlin’s hair before he dragged them slowly along Merlin’s jaw.

“Don’t you feel as if this were a long time coming?” Arthur asked quietly as he moved even closer to Merlin, their chests pressing together and Arthur so close Merlin had to twist his fingers into the fabric of Arthur’s shirt at his sides.

Merlin, who had been waiting for Arthur since he was twenty, wanted to shout out, ’fuck yes!’ but only nodded instead, his forehead coming to rest at Arthur’s temple.

Arthur moved his hand to Merlin’s neck to gently hold him in place as he kissed him again. The kiss was filled with intent and Merlin’s insides dropped in anticipation. He wanted the entire night with Arthur. None of the cloakroom scramblings or under-the-table blow jobs set to take three years off of Merlin’s life. Just Arthur and himself, an enormous bed, and the rest of the night.

Arthur tugged at the buttons of Merlin’s shirt. “All of this needs to come off, if you wouldn’t mind.”

Merlin felt the tips of his ears heat up and he knew he was a goner, that a blush was fast working its way over his face and down his neck. He’d never been a pretty blusher, he always got all blotchy and spotted, but somehow he didn’t seem to mind. All he wanted was to rid Arthur of his clothes as well so he absently nodded in agreement to Arthur’s statement and started pulling Arthur’s shirt out of his trousers.

Arthur laughed a bit when they got themselves tangled up in their shoes and trouser legs.

“Haven’t you always wished you were the sort who could do this and make it look sexy?” he asked Merlin, who had opted for sitting down on the floor so he could take off his shoes without falling over. “I mean there are people that can, surely, like they can very sexily undo the knot in their shoes without falling on their arses? I’d like to be one of them.”

“Sexy knot untying, a very lofty goal, Arthur.”

“Well, you know, always aim high and all of that.”

Merlin laughed as Arthur took both his hands and yanked him to his feet with a less than flattering grunt, but by then Arthur’s shirt was hanging open and his belt was undone and there was just too much skin he had to touch to be bothered coming up with a disparaging comment.

Merlin slipped his arms inside Arthur’s open shirt and around his waist. He pressed a kiss to the side of Arthur’s neck and stayed there, just taking a moment to soak up the heat of Arthur’s skin and the smell of him, hoping to God that it would somehow seep into his own skin and stay there permanently. He’d always loved the way Arthur smelled. It was one of the things he could always conjure up in his mind when he thought about the times Arthur would slump against him when he was pissed at some party or was just being overly touchy as he tended to be sometimes. All those brief moments that he’d ridiculously stored away and made into silly little treasures.

Arthur whispered his name just then and Merlin’s heart wrapped around the sound; just another little treasure to add to the rest.

By the time they were on the bed and Arthur’s mouth pressed against the back of his neck telling him he wanted him to beg, to come undone, to forget everything else but Arthur as he kept Merlin pressed down onto the bed on his stomach, Arthur’s fingers fucking in and out of him and breaking him into pieces, all those little treasures threatened to spill out. All Merlin could do was say Arthur’s name over and over again to keep himself from saying things he didn’t want told.

When Arthur finally pushed inside him it was a million times worse. Merlin felt surrounded by Arthur, overwhelmed and on the edge, and he wanted to say again and again that Arthur was perfect and that he should be his and that it would be okay if they let themselves drown.

Merlin pressed his face into the pillow, Arthur’s breath hot on the back of his neck, his arms tucked up at his sides where Arthur had laced their fingers together and held him tightly, clamped to him so Merlin could barely move. Merlin was so painfully hard he wanted to weep, but all he could do was move his hips with Arthur’s, push his arse up onto Arthur’s cock, so he could thrust his own cock against the mattress. Arthur was heavy on Merlin’s back, his chest hair prickling and brushing against Merlin’s bare skin and it was driving him mad.

Merlin knew he was whimpering as he fucked himself back on Arthur and pushed his cock against the bed, but he didn’t care. He didn’t fucking care. And Arthur only held him more tightly, tucked both of their arms up underneath Merlin’s chest, and Merlin felt he’d never be able to come back down again. That he’d always be teetering on the edge of this all consuming desire for Arthur, this fucking maddening ache for him.

Just when he thought he wouldn’t be able to hold himself together for another second, Arthur let go of one of his hands to reach down to Merlin’s cock. He just palmed it at first, and Merlin ground down onto it, needy and desperate until he wrapped his fingers around him and told Merlin to fuck him, fuck his hand. So many filthy words poured out of Arthur’s mouth that Merlin had to push and twist against Arthur so he could reach his free hand back to tangle in Arthur’s hair and pull his mouth down to Merlin’s own. The angle was awkward and the kiss was a sloppy mess but Merlin had to have Arthur’s mouth, had to, and every filthy word it said.

Merlin came biting Arthur’s bottom lip, spilling onto his hand that kept stroking him and prolonging every shiver of sensation Merlin couldn’t control. Merlin moved his face away from Arthur, pulled the hand that was still trapped under his chest holding his own and kissed the palm. He pressed his lips tight against the surprisingly callused skin of Arthur’s hand and whispered into it all the things he didn’t want to say aloud. Arthur kept fucking him and he’d never felt so exhausted with want and the feeling that even the brush of Arthur’s breath against his skin was too much to bear. He wanted to push Arthur away so he could maybe grasp at feeling normal again, to be able to breathe and not feel the strange certainty that he’d never be able to feel quite real again. But when Arthur gripped Merlin’s hip as he fucked into him - a last few quick, hard thrusts before coming, his fingers digging into Merlin’s skin - Merlin knew he’d never be able to push Arthur away. Not in a thousand years of trying.

Arthur didn’t say anything to Merlin as he cleaned the both of them up then crawled back into bed, back into Merlin’s arms with a sweetness and vulnerability that made Merlin hold him far more tightly than he should have. Arthur didn’t seem to mind though because he didn’t pull away.

They didn’t say much in the morning either as they ordered every breakfast thing on the room service menu plus chocolate cake because for some reason Arthur needed chocolate cake. Arthur did text him from the lobby, though, and said wasn’t it perfect that Leon and Percy’s wedding was only two weeks away?

Before Merlin could stop himself he texted Arthur back.

wish there was a wedding every day.

Merlin thought he’d maybe made a mistake when Arthur didn’t text him back right away but when one did come through he laughed and felt stupidly light-hearted.

maybe even 2 a day.


~ Wedding Five: Leon and Percy ~

“So I’m going to sit where you’re sitting and you’re going to sit where I was sitting. Up you go.”

Merlin looked up to see Morgana staring down at him expectantly, hands on her hips.

“Oh no you’re not,” Gwaine said as he grabbed Merlin’s arm and held him in his seat. “I’m not spending an entire wedding ceremony strapped to your side. Merlin’s staying where he is.”

“I’m not exactly looking forward to suffocating from the combined stench of your cologne and hair products but I’m willing to risk it for my brother’s sake. Come on then, Merlin.”

Morgana grabbed his other arm and Merlin felt a bit like a toy being fought over by two horrid, spoilt children. Merlin knew he was in for it when Gwaine tightened his hold on Merlin’s arm as he smiled with dripping false sweetness at Morgana.

“Merlin really should stay here, there’s only his seat available after all and where would your tits sit?”

Merlin looked up at Morgana and before he could stop himself his eyes zeroed in on the tits in question, which were displayed to their utmost in a strappy deep blue frock. A terrifyingly satisfied smile spread across Morgana’s face.

“Oh I’m sure we could make room for them,” she said as she leaned in closer.

Morgana had basically shoved her tits into Merlin’s face to put them on full display for Gwaine, who was pretty much on the verge of becoming comatose at their nearness. Instead of getting his head devoured by Morgana’s man-eating tits, Merlin yanked his arms away from the both of them as he ducked for cover and nearly ran across the aisle to where Arthur was sitting and laughing at them. The prick.

“God. Those two,” Merlin said as he sat down next to Arthur and yanked on his jacket.

“They’ll be married with nine kids in no time.”

“What? Are you mentally unbalanced? They loathe each other.”

Arthur leaned past Merlin to look at Morgana, who was still leaning over Gwaine and taunting him with her tits, and Gwaine, who was still arguing with her but was now arguing more with her tits than with Morgana herself if the path of his gaze was anything to go by.

“Nah, that’s just an elaborate and vomit-inducing display of foreplay.”

Merlin scowled. “Oh God, no. Shut up.”

“Yeah, well she’s my sister. Imagine my therapy bills.”

“I’d almost feel sorry for you if I didn’t already know you deserve whatever therapy bills come your way.”

“Your blatant heartlessness only adds to my self-esteem issues.”

“God. I only wish you had self-esteem issues, it’d at least make you seem more human and less perfect.”

Merlin realized what he’d blurted out when Arthur looked at him with a bit of a shit-eating grin, but when he saw the way Merlin’s eyes had widened at the shock of what he let slip out Arthur’s grin turned into a fond smile instead.

“Maybe I can skip this week’s therapy session,” Arthur said as he took Merlin’s hand in his. “I seem to be feeling just fine at the moment.”

“Idiot.” Merlin mumbled under his breath and Arthur laughed loudly.

“Or maybe not.”


Merlin ran his finger between Arthur’s eyebrows and down the bridge of his nose. Arthur opened his eyes and smiled when Merlin’s finger poked at his lips.

“You can’t just leave well enough alone, can you?” Arthur’s voice was hoarse, grumbly from sleep and Merlin remembered the way it sounded when he was begging Merlin to fuck him harder.

“You’ve been sleeping for ages.”

“And what have you been doing? Watching me? Creepy, Merlin.”

“Your snoring woke me up.”

Arthur raised an eyebrow. “Likely story.”

Merlin just smiled and rolled onto his back, dragging Arthur’s arm with him so it settled across his waist. Arthur started to slowly drag his fingers up Merlin’s side and down to his hip.

“I can’t believe you got a hotel room,” Merlin said.

“Figured it was my turn.”

“But don’t you live like three tube stops away?”


“Four. Whatever. No need for a hotel room, really.”

Arthur didn’t answer right away, but Merlin soon felt Arthur’s lips on his bare shoulder and Merlin wrapped both of his arms around Arthur’s draped arm.

“I dunno.” Arthur’s voice was muffled against Merlin’s shoulder. “I thought there was.”

Merlin turned to look at Arthur but all he could see was the top of his head since he’d pressed his face between Merlin’s shoulder and his pillow. When Arthur ventured a peek up at Merlin to see why he wasn’t answering him Merlin saw a brief hint of vulnerability over what he’d done.

“No. No, you’re right.” Merlin assured him. “Four tube stops, ugh, so not happening when you’re well and truly sloshed.”

Arthur was good enough not to point out the fact that neither one of them had had even a whiff of a drink the entire wedding. He just went back to sleep, his breath ghosting along Merlin’s shoulder.


~ Wedding Six: Morgause and Cenred ~

“So, you know the bride? Or was it the groom?” Merlin asked as he looked around at the room full of rather strange, and frankly terrifying, people.

“Neither, really. I suppose the bride if I have to pick one.”

“If you have to pick one? What the hell are you doing inviting me to a wedding you yourself weren’t invited to?”

“I was invited.” Arthur insisted. “Well, by proxy anyway.”

“By whose proxy?”


“But she’s sitting right over there. I can see her glaring at us right now.” Merlin pointed at Morgana. “Hm. No. Maybe it’s just confusion. I think she’s confused.”

“She’s fine. Stop pointing.” Arthur grabbed Merlin’s finger and held his hand on his leg.

“But how can we be her by proxies if she’s here? By proxies, is that right? By proxies -.”

“Stop saying, ‘by proxies’.”

“Well it doesn’t sound right. And what are we doing here anyway?”

Arthur was steadfastly looking forward like staring at the long-haired bloke who was apparently the groom was the most fascinating and important thing he’d ever done. There was a pained expression on his face and Merlin was tempted to ask if he had an upset tummy.

“If you must know I saw Morgana’s invitation lying about because her flat is essentially a pigsty and I figured, who loves a wedding more than Merlin? So I invited you. You should actually be impressed by my thoughtfulness rather than obnoxiously questioning everything I do.”

“I actually hate weddings, you know.”

“You do not.”

“Yes, I do. They’re the worst things in the world. Well, maybe aside from a trip to the dentist. Or dog shows. I really really hate dog shows. The poodles are creepy little bastards.”

“Dog shows, Merlin? Only you.”

“I said what I said.”

“You really hate weddings though?”

“I really do.”


Arthur seemed to slump in his seat and Merlin wanted to laugh at the pouty lip that was starting to show up. It took everything in him to resist the urge to poke it with his finger.

“I missed you too,” Merlin said with a smile.

Arthur sat up at that and looked at Merlin solely to roll his eyes at him.

“I hardly missed you. Honestly, Merlin. Such a sap.”

Merlin smiled even wider and propped his chin on Arthur’s shoulder.

“You did get a room though, didn’t you? It’s an awfully long train ride. There’s even an exchange.”

“Terrible thing, exchanges. Likely to miss them when you’re tired and drunk.”


Merlin tried not to be too obvious as he grabbed Arthur’s hand and started to drag him back up the aisle and out of the church the moment Arthur reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a key card with the dopiest grin of pride Merlin had ever seen.


~ Wedding Seven: Bernard and Tilly. Maybe. ~

Merlin hadn’t even bothered pretending that he knew the names of the people getting married when he’d texted Arthur the time and place. He’d had relatives in from out of town and when he picked them up at the hotel for a bit of sightseeing he saw the calendar of events outside one of the reception rooms. His eyes zeroed in on the word, ‘wedding’ and his fingers just moved of their own accord, texting Arthur and telling him where he needed to be that coming Saturday.

“So, this would be the wedding of --?”

“Bernard and Tilly?”

“You don’t sound terribly sure of that, Merlin.”

“No, I’m sure.”

“And they’re what? Friends? Relatives?”


“Named Bernard and Tilly.”

“Yes. Exactly. Distant distant relatives.”

“They’re both relatives though? Should we be worried for the state of Bernie and Tilly’s future offspring?”

“What? No. No! That’s disgusting, Arthur. They’re not related to each other.”

“Just to you.”

“Yes, just to me.”

“Hm. Makes total sense.”

Merlin gave Arthur a disgruntled look as he grabbed at the sleeve of his jacket and dragged him toward the lifts, bypassing the wedding entirely.

“We’re in room 478.”

Arthur just laughed.


~ Wedding Eight: Morgana and Gwaine ~

“See, what did I tell you?”

“You told me nothing.”

Merlin batted Arthur’s hand away when he tried to straighten his tie for him.

“Hands off. Shouldn’t you be back with the rest of the bridesmaids?”

“Christ, like Morgana would let me back there even if I’d want to risk damage to my balls.”

Merlin looked over at Gwaine who looked rather the opposite of what Merlin had expected him to look. He was smiling and laughing and slapping everyone on the shoulder like he’d just won the lotto. Merlin was horribly confused.

“They’re being awfully rash about this, aren’t they?” Merlin whispered to Arthur. “They bloody well hate each other, is this some sort of bet?”

“Tell me you’re joking, Merlin.”

“Why would I be joking?”

“You really are the dimmest bulb I know.” Arthur shook his head.

“I’m dim because I fear for my friend’s life. Morgana loathes him, she’ll likely slit his throat in his sleep.”

“Does that look like a man about to lie down with the devil?” Arthur asked as he pointed over at Gwaine, who was in the process of giving Percy a hug and trying to lift him up as well.

“Not exactly, no. But Jesus fucking Christ, They can’t even get through a conversation without threatening each other with bodily harm, how are they getting married?”

“Maybe because they’ve been fucking since university and have been dating for the past two years?”

Merlin opened his mouth to say something but the words kind of died on his tongue.

“Nice look there,” Arthur said.

“They have not.”

“Where have you been?”

“Since when? I mean that they’ve been fucking?”

“Since my twenty-first birthday, which I might add was pretty much the worst birthday present ever.”

“She told you about it?”

“Of course she did. You’ve met Morgana, right?”

Merlin sat down on the nearest chair. “I feel like my entire life has been a lie.”

Arthur laughed, a loud wonderfully obnoxious bark of a laugh and Merlin grinned up at him.

“You really didn’t know?” Arthur asked.

“Not about the birthday fucking, no, but I did have my suspicions about the dating nonsense. Gwaine isn’t very clever with the excuses. You know one time I showed up at his flat and Morgana was over. When she answered the door wearing only knickers and his t-shirt he told me she was there because she was stretching out all of his t-shirts for him -- with her tits, mind, this was an important part of the story to him -- on account of the fact he’d been working out more lately and they no longer fit him properly.”

“Ah, yes, that’s my future brother-in-law, the Mensa member.”

“I mean she was basically drowning in his shirt and that’s what he thought of as a logical excuse.”

“They’ll have simple but pretty babies.”

Merlin laughed at the look on Arthur’s face and took his hand in his own.

“Just goes to show it takes all kinds.”

“All kinds to what?”

“To get married. Keep up, Arthur.”

“If they can do it there’s hope for us all.”

Arthur smiled at Merlin and it was so incredibly dear he wanted to freeze the moment in time.


Merlin couldn’t get enough of Arthur; couldn’t kiss him enough, couldn’t touch him enough, couldn’t sink down into him slow enough, deep enough. He felt like the night was their last. After tonight there were no more weddings, unless another one of their friends decided to spring a wedding on them out of the blue like Morgana and Gwaine had, claiming it was a weekend in the country and shocking the shit out of them all when it turned out to be a wedding instead. There was none of that left, all of their friends were properly matched up and married and sinking fast into boring old-married-couple territory.

Unless Merlin could find another Bernie and Tilly this was it, they were out of excuses.

Merlin didn’t want to be out of excuses.

Arthur dragged his thumb across Merlin’s bottom lip and Merlin wanted to weep at the look of him; Arthur beneath him, surrounding him, and looking like he’d never seen anything as brilliant as Merlin.

Maybe. Oh god, maybe.

Merlin kissed Arthur’s thumb then pulled it into his mouth just to hear Arthur gasp and say his name, somehow shocked by him. Merlin wanted to tell Arthur there was so much more he could shock him with, that there was no end to the things he wanted to do to him.

Arthur pushed his thumb further into Merlin’s mouth and Merlin circled his tongue around the silver ring Arthur always wore that Merlin had told him made him look like a douchebag but secretly made him hard when he so much as thought about it wrapped around Arthur’s thumb.

Merlin pulled his mouth off Arthur’s thumb so he could lean down and kiss him. He’d been trying to stave off his orgasm for as long as possible but he was aching with it, the hot drag of it settling deep down in his gut, his balls tight, and everything so fucking heavy he felt like drowning. Pulled down into Arthur’s gravity.

Merlin lowered his chest onto Arthur’s, felt the trapped heat and hardness of Arthur’s cock between them, and grabbed at Arthur’s hips, down his thighs, trying to force Arthur’s legs more tightly around his own hips. He wanted Arthur to pull him down, pull him in, but he couldn’t stop kissing Arthur’s mouth to tell him so. Like some fucking miracle though Arthur wrapped himself around Merlin like he’d wanted him to do; his heels digging into the backs of Merlin’s thighs, his arms around Merlin’s back, fingers sinking into his skin.

“Don’t, Merlin. Not yet.” Arthur mouthed against Merlin’s lips.

“ - can’t.”

Merlin wanted to know how on earth Arthur expected him not to come with Arthur wrapped around him like he was. Stupid, selfish bastard, and God, Merlin loved him so damn much.

“Merlin, please. Fuck - .”

“You’re killing me, Pendragon,” Merlin said into the shell of Arthur’s ear and he smiled at the gasped laughter that huffed out of Arthur’s mouth.

“You’re being totally unreasonable.” Merlin could feel Arthur’s smile against his cheek. “Just do what I say.”

“Selfish, demanding arsehole - .” Merlin punctuated each word with a sharp thrust of his hips.

“But you still love me.”

Arthur was breathless and nearly fucked out, but Merlin still heard him and hoped the words weren’t said in a rush of delirium because he buried himself deep inside Arthur and whispered in his ear.

“Yes, I do.”

“Merlin - .”

Merlin lost what little breath he had left when Arthur tightened his hold on him, fingers digging into him, and lips mouthing at the curve of his jaw as he felt Arthur come, hot and wet on his stomach and Arthur’s body shuddering beneath his own. Merlin’s name over and over again on Arthur’s lips.

“I do. I love you.” Merlin said again, fully and out loud, as everything in him let go. Yes, he was fucking terrified, but that didn’t seem to matter so much just then.

Merlin felt Arthur’s breath ghost against his neck, his breaths shallow, ragged. Merlin wanted him to say something, anything really, so that the last thing hanging between them wasn’t his, ’I love you.’

Arthur’s hand started stroking the side of Merlin’s face, making him pull back a bit so he could look down at him. Arthur licked his lips and nodded, like he was maybe steeling himself up to say something to Merlin in return.

“Me too,” he finally said, a smile growing on his face. “Hold on though, let me think about it.”

Merlin punched him on the arm. “You’re such a dick. I take it back.”

Merlin rolled off of Arthur and managed to get the condom off before he had to punch Arthur again when he started laughing.

“Ow, oh God. No. Don’t,” Arthur said as he rubbed at his side when Merlin punched him there too. “Don’t take it back.”

“Then stop being a dick.”

Arthur grabbed Merlin’s hands before he could punch him again and rolled him onto his back, his hands held above his head.

“I love you. Even though you’re a bit of a stroppy bastard.”

“Nice, Arthur. Very romantic.”

Arthur looked down at him, his face changing from teasing to something that made Merlin’s stomach drop. He let go of Merlin’s hands and ran his fingers along Merlin’s jaw and down his neck.

“I loved you first.” Arthur’s voice was suddenly serious and Merlin could hardly take it.

“Liar,” Merlin whispered.

“Three days before we met at Elyan’s party I saw you talking to Lance. The two of you were outside Sutcliff Hall and you laughed. You laughed and you sounded like a knob and I fell in love. I told Lance to invite you to Elyan’s so I could try to make you laugh like that again.”

“You never said. Nothing ever happened between us - .” Merlin was at a loss for words.

“I was going to say something. I was going to kiss you that first night but do you remember how we talked all night long and then I just left?”

“Do I remember it? Of course I fucking do, it was basically the best night of my life and then you up and ruined it by doing nothing. I was so sure you’d -. I was so sure.”

“You weren’t wrong, but I was nineteen and stupid and not prepared for you in any way. You seemed really huge to me that night, like life-changing huge, and I didn’t know what to do with you. I wasn’t ready for you.”

“So you walked away.”

“I stayed in your life.”

“Yeah, great. We were friends, here and there, but you do know I was stupidly in love with you the whole time.”



“Do you think we’d be here now if we’d gotten together then? Be honest. Think about what you feel about me right now, the way it burns, and tell me you would’ve been ready for that at nineteen.”

Merlin knew the truth of Arthur’s words and was contemplating being a stubborn arse about it and denying everything he said, but he knew he couldn’t. They would’ve crashed and burned at nineteen and then where would they be now? Certainly not with one another, not on the brink of something so perfect, so right.

“I wasn’t ready.” Merlin conceded.

“Neither one of us were, but I wanted to be. So badly.”

“And now you are?” Merlin asked. “You’re ready for me?”

Arthur smiled at him, held his face in his hands and kissed him.

“I am. I’m ready.”


~ Funeral One: Arthur’s Manwhoring Ways Arthur’s Fear of Commitment ~

“Morgana, this is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done.”

“Shut up, Arthur, I’m right in the middle of your eulogy.”

“And it’s so moving.” Merlin pretended to wipe away a tear.

“You’re all terrible people and I hate every last one of you.”

Every one of Merlin and Arthur’s friends that had come back for an actual weekend in the country, sans a Morgana surprise wedding, were huddled around a stick cross with the words, ’Arthur’s Manwhoring Ways’ scribbled across it in biro that Morgana had shoved into the dirt at an awkward angle and were pretending to cry, blow their noses, and make a general embarrassment out of themselves. Arthur was appalled. Merlin was amused.

“I wasn’t a manwhore. Not even close.” Arthur kept on. “I dated like eight people in six years, how is that considered manwhore territory? You’re completely illogical.”

“His fear of commitment was legendary.” Morgana continued on as if Arthur wasn’t ranting over her voice. “Some might have called it ridiculous, others the emotionally stunted actions of a manchild, but to all of us it was simply Arthur - emphasis on the simple - .”

“I’m a manchild? You’re the ones holding a funeral for my fear of commitment. I think you all need to reexamine your life choices.”

“Shhh,” Merlin hushed Arthur as he smashed a finger against Arthur’s lips.

“I can still call the estate agent and tell her we’re not taking the flat because you’re an arsehole that I’m seriously considering packing off to an asylum.”

Merlin opened his mouth to say something but Elena chose that moment to blow her nose really loudly and he started laughing instead.

“It’s just all so very beautiful,” Elena said. like it was completely normal.

Arthur was going to tell Elena she was an idiot but by then Morgana was passing around the shot glasses and whisky she’d brought to toast the death of Arthur’s inner manchild. Everyone made toasts that increased in stupidity the longer they went on until finally Leon made a toast to Merlin.

“And to Merlin for finally snagging a mutual key to their mutual flat, an action never before seen by the known world. Embrace your key, Merlin. Love it for it shall be the last vestige of commitment you’ll get from Arthur for a long, long, long, long - “

“Yeah, okay, enough with the ‘long’s.” Arthur butted in.

“ - long, long time.” Leon finished.

Merlin happily toasted along with Leon and the rest of them.

“Well done, Leon,” Merlin said as he raised his glass to him. “And trust me, I’m heeding your advice. I’ll cling to the crumbs of commitment Arthur deigns to toss my way.”

“God yes, Merlin, cling like you’ve never clung before,” Morgana said. “It’ll be a cold day in hell before you get Arthur down the aisle.”

“Oh, I know,” Merlin said as he looked at Arthur and smiled so fondly, so achingly, foolishly happy, that the two of them were surprised no one noticed. “Arthur absolutely loathes weddings.”

“With all of my heart.” Arthur readily, happily, agreed.


Three Days Earlier:
~ Wedding Nine: Merlin and Arthur ~

Merlin was about ready to yell down the hallway that Arthur had best get up off his fat arse and help him with the pile of boxes that were still sitting just inside their flat door when he heard something fall to floor and Arthur curse. He walked out of their bedroom and to the lounge to see what was going on and could barely stop himself from laughing when he saw what Arthur was doing.

“What the hell, Arthur - ,” Merlin started to ask.

Arthur was standing by the built-ins that housed all of his leather bound first edition snore-fests and ridiculously posh, overpriced, utterly useless objets d’art putting several of Merlin’s action figures into sexually suggestive positions.

“Iron Man fell,” Arthur said in answer to Merlin’s implied question. “You’d think he’d be more stable being made out of iron and all.”

“Or plastic?” Merlin suggested.

“You know what I mean. It’s not my fault your toys don’t make sense.”

“They’re not toys - .”

“They’re action figures, yes I know that too, Merlin. Somehow you’re operating under the assumption that the more times you say, ‘action figure’ the less stupid you’ll make them.”

Merlin ignored Arthur’s long-held grudge against his action figures to ask him what he was doing.

“What’s all this, then?” Merlin waved his hand around at the display in front of him.

“Well obviously Iron Man and Captain America are fucking, I did pay attention to the movie you know.”

Merlin could only nod.

“And that word doc you left open on your computer. Honestly, Merlin, you ought to find better things to do with your time.”

Merlin watched as Arthur bent over Captain America and shoved Iron Man up behind him, then pointed at Hawkeye and Black Widow.

“And those two are just hot together, obviously. I have no idea where to put your Spiderman though because Tobey Maguire is just not attractive and I don’t understand the Andrew Garfield thing either so I’m at a loss here -.”

While Arthur was muttering on Merlin came to the rather amazing conclusion that Arthur was actually as perfect as he’d always built him up to be in his mind, that even though Arthur mocked his things and claimed, very loudly, that Merlin was quite possibly twelve he’d always make room amongst his things for Merlin’s anyway. And somehow, in the end, those horribly clashing mish-mashed things looked liked they’d always been together, were always meant to be side-by-side.

The moment was so small, yet so overwhelming it nearly pounded itself out of Merlin’s chest.

“Marry me.” Merlin blurted out.

Arthur stopped making faces at Spiderman to turn to Merlin.

“Marry me.” Merlin repeated in case Arthur hadn’t heard the first time, and to make sure he had actually said it out loud.

Arthur blinked and looked confused for a split second before his face broke out into what Merlin was sure would be his favorite smile of all time.



“Yes.” Arthur laughed. “Let’s get married.”

“What the hell, right?” Merlin knew he was a bit nonsensical and possibly more than a bit manic when he started grabbing his keys and wallet.

Arthur kept laughing. “Exactly. What the hell?”

“Where’d we put our bags?” Merlin asked as he looked at the boxes scattered around them.

“Our bags?”

“Well we need to pack something, we won’t get there and back in one day, obviously,” Merlin said over his shoulder as he headed off towards their bedroom and Arthur followed him.

“There and back?”


“Scotland? Right now? Right now?”

“Yes, right now,” Merlin said as he turned back to look at Arthur while clutching a pile of their underwear in his arms.

“Just like that?”

“Yes, just like that.”

“You’re insane.”

“On the contrary,” Merlin said as he pulled a bag he’d found from the back of the closet and started shoving underwear into it. “I’m the opposite of insane. Insane would be planning a wedding for months and months with the aid of all of our friends, and Morgana. This way it’s you, me, and Scotland.”

“Just you and me,” Arthur repeated.

“And Scotland.”

“And Scotland. And no wedding that will suck our souls from our bodies.”

Merlin walked over to Arthur and wrapped his arms around him. “Just you and me. And zero soul sucking.”

Arthur wrapped his arms around Merlin’s waist and stood holding him for a while before stepping back and going to their mess of drawers to start pulling out clothes to pack. Merlin smiled and went to the loo to grab toothbrushes.

“I’m wearing tracksuit bottoms and your Firefly t-shirt,” Arthur said in amused disbelief.

“And you look perfect. Better than a wedding suit any day.”

“You’re a freak.”

Merlin laughed and grabbed Arthur’s wrist to pull him toward the door. He stopped before opening it though and looked back at Arthur.

“Are you ready for me?”

Arthur smiled. “Without a doubt.”