Warnings/Spoilers: None that I'm aware of
Summary: Thing is, Arthur hasn't the faintest idea how one would go about courting a sorcerer
Notes: Written for ras_elased as part of thisissirius's Create-a-Thing Day. I cleaned it up some, but it's not been beta-read on account of my poor beta-reader having a real life, so the pointing-out of typos would be very welcome.
The Thing with the Serenading
Thing is, Arthur hasn't the faintest idea how one would go about courting a sorcerer – and a clueless, idiot one at that – but the art of serenading has a long and noble history, and while Arthur personally doesn't see the appeal, there has to be a reason that nonsense is so popular.
So he liberates Morgana's lyre, tries to coax some tones out of it that he might string together to a melody that will bring tears to Merlin's eyes, and finally… breaks its stupid neck in frustration, hurls the remnants into a corner and stomps off to kill something, already bellowing for Merlin to bring his hunting gear.
The stupid git is practically tone-deaf, anyway.
The Idiot Manservant Who Can't Appreciate Royal Gifts
Merlin always seems stupidly happy when Gwen brings him a flower - not that there's anything between Merlin and Gwen; Arthur would know, not that he'd care, but he'd know - so while Arthur isn't generally known for striving to be as others are, perhaps she has the right idea.
So he considers Merlin's inexplicable fondness for garish colours and puts together a small bouquet. In this, he includes several purple anemones, a carnation of the same colour, some earth-scented lavender and, on a whim, a handful of small, yellowish blossoms he picked from a lime. He means to hand the flowers to Merlin with an air of generosity, but remembers just in time that a prince can hardly be seen handing flowers to his manservant, so he leaves them at Merlin's door. He will accept Merlin's baffled gratitude later that day, when Merlin no doubt will tell Arthur everything about his secret admirer.
Or not. In the language of flowers, Arthur learns from the whispering kitchen maids he happens upon behind the stable, apparently he told Merlin that he - Merlin, that is - is an unreliable, untrustworthy pervert, but Arthur would bonk him anyway.
Well. Best leave it an anonymous gift, then.
The Royal Gifts That Don't Appreciate Being Gifted Away
So when Arthur bought that magic book, he assumed it was, you know, a book about magic. Not... this.
"It ate Geoffrey!" Lady Monmouth shrills and promptly faints, leaving the assembled court to stare at her and then at the book that hovers in the doorway behind her, blood-stained pages rustling in a threatening manner.
Then there is shouting and screaming and some bloody brilliant swordsmanship, if Arthur dare say so himself, and Merlin flicking his wrist this way and that and pretending he isn't magicking the book into shreds.
Arthur counts that one as half success. After all, they did get to spend some time together, so clearly there were some elements of courtship involved. Then again, one might say there are some elements of courtship involved in the way Gwen flutters around Merlin to clean up his paper cuts. Not that Arthur is watching.
Alright. Perhaps not such a success, after all.
The Thing No One is Talking About, Ever
There are times in a man's life when he has to resort to desperate measures to finally take what - who - is rightfully his.
Arthur's Ode to Merlin reads like this:
Your skin is softer than a rabbit's fur
And your lips as red as
Turns out that there are measures no man could ever be desperate enough to employ.
Sharing a Bed
It's a remarkable coincidence, truly. Merlin is picking up Arthur's clothing from the floor next to the bed, taking a step to the left as he tidies up. Arthur is pulling his favourite shirt from its place on the top shelf of the closet, taking two steps back and half-turning as he prepares to finish getting dressed.
The two of them collide and land on the bed in a heap of warm limbs and different items of clothing, Merlin half-trapped beneath Arthur's body. Arthur is surprised to find that suddenly, his cheeks feel quite warm and his heart knocks against his breastbone as if he's just taken the castle steps two at a time, all the way up to Gaius's chambers.
Merlin's eyes are a little amused and a little curious and a lot right there, and it's much easier than Arthur anticipated to simply lean down and bring their mouths together for a kiss. A bloody brilliant kiss, if he dare say so himself, and from the small noises Merlin is making, it would appear that he is in agreement.
There, Arthur thinks in satisfaction as the laces of his breeches begin to undo themselves. Who's to say he doesn't know how to court a sorcerer?