AU – Arthur returns



“Merlin?” Arthur asks.  He’s standing knee-deep in ice cold water and he wishes someone would tell him why.  Or hand him some clothes.  That would also be helpful.

Merlin doesn’t say a word.  He’s standing on the shore. He’s dry and he’s wearing clothes; Arthur is vaguely disgruntled by that.  It would be more than vaguely, if he were less confused.

Merlin,” Arthur repeats, taking a step forward.  His legs feel shaky, colt-like, as though they don’t belong to him.

Merlin’s ridiculous face is split into a ridiculous smile, and it just gets wider the closer Arthur comes to him.

“Please tell me what’s going on,” Arthur says when they’re close enough to do more than shout.  He sounds more pleading, less commanding than he wanted to.

“You’re exactly the same,” Merlin murmurs to himself then flings himself at Arthur.

Arthur catches him automatically, wondering if Merlin has noticed that Arthur’s wet, that Arthur’s naked.  Merlin is very warm and very familiar, so Arthur doesn’t push him away.

“Why would I not be?” Arthur asks.  He doesn’t know why his voice is pitched so quietly, why he’s speaking into Merlin’s hair. Perhaps it’s because Merlin smells excellent; nothing like he should, but very fresh and very clean.

“No reason,” Merlin says and clutches him closer.  

There’s a sudden roar of sound, coming from above.  Arthur tries to throw them both to the ground but Merlin holds firm.

“Look up,” he says softly, finally settling himself back on the ground and stepping back.

Arthur looks up. There is a large, metal bird flying above their heads.  Its wings glow gold and silver in the light, blade-like wings spinning in inexplicable circles above its back.

“What on earth is that?” Arthur demands, hands tightening where he has apparently left them on Merlin’s shoulders.

Merlin tips his head back and grins.  ”Yeah,” he says as the bird drifts further away, continuing on its course.  ”There are a few things we need to talk about.”


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East Coast Gazette has a terrible editorial focus and tends to use a lot of ALL CAPS but TOTALLY NOT BECAUSE OF HARRY POTTER. Stories in progress as well as snapshots will be listed in the "box full of snapshots" below, website archive for stories and assorted tomfoolery is glitterati.

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