Title: This is a Complete Let Down (Except It Really Isn't)
Fandom(s): Merlin (BBC)
Pairing(s): Established Arthur/Merlin.
Word Count: 573
Summary: Merlin was expecting it to be a big deal. Apparently, it really, really isn't.
Warnings: Coarse language, sexual references, a kind of sappy ending.
Notes: This is what I want to happen in the reveal. Absolutely no fricking question. It can vary, but I want Arthur to already know. HE HAS TO KNOOOOOOW.
Also, dude, I've been writing so much lately. The past few days, I must have written almost 5000 words. My word-drought is over! :D
Merlin was kind of expecting a great reveal—a Great Reveal, even. Not necessarily in front of a mass of people whose lives he'd just saved in a really, really spectacular way (though he wouldn't have complained, if he was honest; he wasn't being fussy about this). It's just that—well. After keeping a secret like his for the length of time he had, he'd kind of been expecting a reaction.
Arthur, because he is extraordinarily good at not doing what Merlin is expecting especially in a subconscious and mean-spirited way, is a disappointment. Because, right, Merlin goes storming into his chambers physically unable to lie anymore because it hurts to lie to Arthur and it sucks to have to rein in his magic in the middle of mind-blowing orgasms, okay? And he spent almost twelve hours he could have been sleeping or working or wandering around aimlessly sitting on his bed and going insane trying to decide if he was about to do something Very, Very Stupid or Very, Very Wise to the point where maybe, just maybe, that mental affliction rumour going around was starting to feel true—and, and Arthur gives him, gives him what?
Oh, whatever, Merlin, already knew that. Meant to be a secret, was it? Nice work there, idiot.
Nothing! What the hell. Merlin humiliated himself repeatedly trying to explain away conveniently falling branches and random concussions and suddenly, unexplainably very dead beasts while Arthur probably laughed himself sick.
So Merlin feels pretty damn justified when he yells, "You knew?"
And Arthur just says, "You weren't exactly subtle, Merlin," like it's no big deal.
Yeah, okay, so Merlin knows that this isn't actually a bad way for The Reveal to go. Arthur won't treat him any differently (he'd actually been prepared to start missing the patronising insults and slanders to his mental capacity) and Arthur certainly isn't running for Uther shrieking, "Magic user! Magic user in the castle!" But it's the principle of it:
"You never said anything!"
Arthur shrugs. "I was waiting for you to tell me."
Oh. It's...kind of hard to argue with that.
"I wanted to," Merlin says, because he did and always has, and Arthur nods.
"Of course, I was angry at first," Arthur continues. He rises from his chair and moves to stand before Merlin. "But I understand why you didn't. You didn't want to force me to choose between you and my father. It was...surprisingly noble of you."
That is a very good reason for Merlin to have not told Arthur and kind of not at all the real one, which is much more that hiding it had become a habit and that Arthur is ridiculously unpredictable when he is angry, so Merlin shrugs absently and says, "Er. Yes."
Then Arthur moves back to his dinner (which Merlin had forgotten to bring him) and props his feet in front of the fire (which Merlin certainly hadn't kindled) and says something scathing about Merlin's mental health (again) and smiles the smile that makes whatever he said kind of true temporarily.
Later, Arthur will fuck him against the table and various objects will soar around the room and Arthur will say, "Huh. What else can you do with that magic of yours then?" But for now Merlin sits by his feet and polishes his boots and feels like an enormous weight has been lifted from his heart in the best way possible.