Summary: Two times Arthur expresses his feelings via post-it notes and one time he doesn’t. Modern AU.
Word Count: 1100 words
Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin.
The first argument Merlin and Arthur had was about toothpaste. Well, not their first ever argument, not nearly, but the first since they had started sharing a flat. Arthur had come back from work feeling tired and bleary-eyed. He hated his job but Uther had personally given it to him and he couldn’t decline.
Merlin’s legs were on the arm of the sofa and he was faced towards the television. Never Mind the Buzzcocks was on and Merlin laughed when Simon Amstell and John Barrowman had a gay-off. Arthur couldn’t help but roll his eyes – he had preferred the previous host and thought Amstell was a bit of an arse.
“I’m home,” Arthur said softly.
Merlin looked up and smiled, brightening up Arthur’s mood slightly. “Hey, how was work?”
“Long,” Arthur said. “The air conditioning gave out so it was boiling all day.”
Merlin frowned. “Sorry.”
Arthur waved him off. “What’ve you been doing today?”
“Not much,” he said. “I had lunch with Gwen at the new Chinese place. And I’ve been watching this,” he pointed to the television. “There’s a marathon.” Arthur envied Merlin for his day off; Arthur got weekends off but that was about it. “Would you like to watch it with me?”
“No, I’m going to go to bed.”
“Care for me to join you?”
Arthur shook his head. “No, it’s fine. I’ll probably just read a little.”
Merlin nodded and turned his attention back to the television. A few moments later, he heard the bathroom cabinet slam close and a red-faced Arthur stepped back into the living room. “Where’s the toothpaste?” He demanded.
“I’m sorry?” Merlin asked.
“This morning I asked that you get toothpaste because we had run out.”
Merlin looked at Arthur bewildered. “I got it, it’s in the bathroom. Under the sink.”
“I’ve looked there and it’s not. God Merlin, it’s one little thing for you to do. You sit on your arse all day and I ask you to do one thing. One little chore.”
“I got –”
“No, don’t even. I just can’t believe you sometimes.”
He turned around, reminding Merlin very much of a petulant four-year old, and slammed the bedroom door.
Merlin sighed because he knew all too well how Arthur could get but his feelings were hurt. He eventually fell asleep on their sofa. When he had woken up, he knew Arthur had already left because his suitcase, along with the multitudes of paper, was gone.
Merlin sat up, back aching because of the sofa cushions. He went to the bathroom and while he was washing up, he saw a little yellow post-it note on the bathroom mirror.
“What a prat,” he said fondly.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Merlin asked as Arthur dragged him out of the club.
“You were kissing him!” Arthur nearly growled.
“First of all,” Merlin said, finally breaking out of Arthur grasp and folding his arms over his chest. “It’s Gwaine. Not only Gwaine, but a drunk Gwaine. And second, he kissed me on the cheek! My gran kisses me on the cheek!”
Arthur shook his head. “You were dancing with him, Merlin!”
Merlin looked around in disbelief. “Are we suddenly in the nineteen-fifties or something? I promise, he didn’t give me his Lettermen jacket and we’re not going to the school dance together,” he said sarcastically. “We danced. You’ve been dancing with Gwen.”
“How is it different?”
“Because Gwen is engaged to Lancelot and Gwaine is – is a cad!”
Others were starting to stare so Arthur said lower, “He’s had a crush on you ever since he’s met you.”
“And Gwen hasn’t on you?”
There was a pause before Arthur sighed and said, “Let’s just go home.”
But Merlin said, “No, I’m going back into the club to be with my friends. You can go if you want.”
“Merlin…” he started but his boyfriend was already on his way back. He took the long walk back to the car.
Merlin got home about an hour later – Arthur had ruined his good mood and he had become tetchy with his friends.
He opened the bedroom door slowly and saw Arthur wrapped in his blankets, only a tuft of blond hair visible. Merlin moved to the bathroom to brush his teeth when he found another yellow post-it note on the bathroom mirror.
Merlin felt his anger slowly disappear and he moved to go to the bed with Arthur.
They were lounging on the couch. It was an unseasonably cold spring Saturday and they were watching Doctor Who on the television. The Doctor’s companion, Donna – who Merlin personally didn’t care for but Arthur thought she was brilliant – was trying to change the past so she could save the Doctor.
“This episode is meaningful,” Merlin said glibly.
“Is it?” Arthur asked, pulling Merlin closer to his chest.
Merlin nodded. “It’s like the butterfly theory – if you kill one butterfly, it could effect the whole of the future. Donna turned the wrong way on the street and changed everything forever.”
“Ah,” Arthur agreed if only to appease Merlin.
“Just think – if I had never taken over Lancelot’s shift at the restaurant, I would have never had to deal with you.”
“Deal with me?” He said, pretending to be outraged.
“God, you were a prat. I told you we didn’t have any more chicken but you wouldn’t take that for an answer. You nearly bit my head off,” he paused for a moment. “And finally, after the entire tirade, you had the nerve to ask me out.”
“Well, yes. That’s how I got all the boys.”
Merlin laughed softly. Arthur breathed in Merlin’s scent and basked in his warmth.
“I love you,” Arthur blurted out, words barely connected to his mind but he meant it – dear God did he mean it.
Merlin looked up and moved so they were face to face and kissed him. “I love you, too. And finally.”
“Finally?” Arthur asked.
Merlin smiled. “Finally an emotion! And a vocal one at that!”
“What are you talking about, Merlin? I’m plenty emotional.”
Merlin rolled his eyes and moved so he could face the television but kept his body close to Arthur’s. After a pause, he said softly, “But it was well worth the wait.”
Taken from kinkme_merlin: Arthur has issues with expressing emotion and issues with admitting when he's wrong. He deals with everything with notes stuck to the bathroom mirror.
Comments make my heart jump out of my chest.