A/N; This is a very early Christmas Special for you guys! It's my gift for all your support and reviews you've been giving me. I love them very much! I wish you a very early Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday~. I hope you have a lovely celebration and receive and give lots of gifts. Stay safe, as well. Lots of love from Cleo. :)
Drops of snowflakes danced in the winter breeze as the city of Camelot was covered in a white blanket. All across the area were children outside dressed with layers of clothing and in each household, a small fire brew calmly. The sky was still bright, lit up from the sun, and the cold breeze blew softly and gently as it made its way into that small corners of the city. Winter was here and the holiday spirit seemed to flow in hearts of Camelot's people. Decorations upon decorations cloaked streets and tables were filled with food and colour. Smiles and laughter overflowed the place as the holiday preparations were finishing off.
Rugged up in plenty of clothes, Merlin's cheeks blushed lightly at the icy touch of Winter. Clouds of white floated gently around his face with every breath as Merlin kicked the small amount of snow at his feet. The freezing weather was getting to him slowly and all Merlin wanted to do was sit by the warm light of a fire. Standing outside Arthur's chambers was not how he wanted to spend the day but he had no choice. Arthur hadn't let him enter his room during the whole week and told him to take the week off. And Arthur never gave Merlin a day off let alone a whole week off. Merlin needed to know what going on, even if that meant getting frostbite standing outside in the cold because a particular prince wouldn't let him into his chambers. During the whole week, Arthur hadn't even taken a step outside his room. He had locked himself in and no one could get him out. He didn't even listen to the calls Merlin had yelled to him from outside the room. Arthur had confined himself to is chambers and nobody knew why. And Merlin hated that. He hated how Arthur kept secrets from him. He hated how Arthur was so selfish as to keep himself in his room because that was one whole week, seven whole days or 168 hours where Merlin couldn't see Arthur. That was one week Merlin couldn't see Arthur's smile, hear his laughter and that was one week of precious time Merlin could have spent with the prince. Merlin hated that. He felt like breaking those stupid wooden doors down. He felt like smashing them open and burning down that barrier. But he couldn't. Not when he promised Arthur he wouldn't and Merlin wasn't someone to break a promise, especially if it was one he and Arthur made. Giving a tired sigh, Merlin decided that force wasn't the best answer. Merlin took another glance at the wall between him and Arthur and decided that waiting would be the best answer to his dilemma. Even if it meant one more day of torture. Walking away slowly from the room, Merlin took in the freezing air and chose to stay in his room for warmth. He couldn't stand in the cold for another minute. Not when he had spent six days doing so in front of Arthur's chambers.
- - - - -
Arthur made the finishing touches to the large present in front of him. The white box was simply decorated with a giant bow tied neatly around it, gleaming lightly in the strip of sunlight that shone on it. A large smile landed on Arthur's face as he admired his work. He was quite proud of his creation. He thought it was pretty good. Hugging the box tightly to his chest, Arthur couldn't help but think that all his hard work was worth it. Just imagining the smile Merlin would have made Arthur's heart flutter as his grip on the white box tightened with eagerness. Standing up from his position on the cold floor, Arthur unlocked his doors for the first time in seven days. His smile got wider as he remembered all of Merlin's struggles to get him to open the door. He remembered when Merlin banged on his door loudly, screamed out his name from the other side and even resorted to climbing up to the window. Luckily, Arthur threw a rock at him before Merlin had the chance to touch the window. He pitied Merlin a bit as he saw him fall but then realised Merlin wasn't really the athletic type and had only managed to climb what looked like half a metre. Arthur chuckled to himself as he remembered Merlin's attempts. He was actually quite glad Merlin cared so much. Making his way to Merlin's room with the gift box in his hand, Arthur hurriedly dashed down the corridors and wished in his heart that Merlin would be pleased with his gift. Suddenly, a voice made its way into Arthur's ears, stopping him in his tracks.
"Arthur?" the voice called in the empty hallway. Arthur recognised that beautiful voice as it echoed around him. Arthur turned around to see his manservant, shocked and surprised with wide blue eyes. "You...You're...You came out of your room!" Merlin cried out in shock running towards the prince.
Arthur replied with a small smile and handed out the box with his two hands to Merlin. "Here, this is for you." Arthur informed him, hoping that Merlin would like it. ...But Merlin didn't take the gift. Instead, Merlin grabbed one of Arthur's hands causing Arthur to balance his present in the other. A small pang hit Arthur's heart as the thought of Merlin rejecting his gift ran through his body.
Merlin carefully examined the hand he held, looking at each part with extreme interest. Merlin hadn't seen anything like it. Arthur's hands looked...scared? There were scratches of every type. Long, short, thin and wide. They all engraved themselves into Arthur's skin and his hands looked over worked. Arthur's hands were dried and battered. Small bruises covered the coarse skin and bandages were wrapped around some fingers. "What...What did you do Arthur?" Merlin gasped out at the sight.
A large grin escaped Arthur's lips. Merlin was so worried about him – he loved that. Taking back his hand, Arthur handed Merlin the white box again. "Merlin, open it. You'll see what I did." Arthur told him almost too cheerfully, enthusiasm running deep in his eyes.
Taking the box with caution, Merlin gave Arthur a confused look. He really didn't understand Arthur sometimes. He did as he was told however, unwrapping the red bow slowly. Arthur always had something planned. Merlin opened the present box with great care, still curious of what was inside. And then, that..that was when his heart stopped and his mouth gaped wide open. Arthur loved Merlin's reactions – they always looked exaggerated.
"Do you like it? It's for you. I especially made it so it's filled with love and care. Every stitch." Arthur asked Merlin, nudging him slightly.
Merlin looked down at the contents of the box. There lay a red neckerchief, deep crimson and so amazingly beautiful. Merlin's heart started to beat rapidly in his chest. Arthur was...Arthur was just so...It was just so Arthur to do something like this. Looking up, Merlin saw a pair of blue eyes staring down at him, eager for an answer. Merlin shone Arthur a genuine smile. "Arthur, I love it." Merlin simply replied, still in awe at the gift. "...Is this what-"
"Is this what I've been doing all week? Well of course. I made it from scratch." Arthur grinned as he gave Merlin a small kiss on the forehead. "Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas. I love you, Merlin." he whispered in Merlin's ear, his warm breath tingling Merlin's cold skin.
Merlin kissed Arthur softly back. "I love you too." a light voice danced around Arthur. "Merry Christmas, Arthur. You silly prince."
Merlin grabbed onto Arthur's hand with his free one. There, they stood in each other's embrace, sharing their warmth and love and watching the snow fall gently outside. This was the best holiday to Merlin. Even in this cold Winter, he was still warm. Because now, Arthur was beside him.