Twelve Parcels in Silk

Present the First: Coming of Age

Summary: Where Merlin receives gifts and Arthur likes to wrap presents in silk because he is the king and if he should want to wrap presents in silk then he will and no one is to complain. (Except Merlin because, well, he's Merlin)

Merlin stared at the wrapped parcel in his hands and then tilted his head up to stare at Arthur. King Arthur. Who had just handed him a present. He felt like fainting for surely this was another one of those enchantments that some sorceress (it was always women that targeted Arthur most) put on Arthur. Perhaps the parcel is meant to explode in his face when he opens it and kill them all. Or maybe it had an evil devil in it that will possess him and make him try to kill Arthur. Again.

His king looked nervous (I never get nervous Merlin) and was smiling at him in that awkward way that made him look a little constipated. He looked back down at the present he was holding that was wrapped in red silk (who wraps presents in red silk) tied with gold ribbon and then looked back at Arthur.

"Arthur, you wrapped these in red silk?"

Arthur was looking even worse for wear at his manservant's comment and Merlin just stared him, still trying to process the fact that he had used silk to wrap his gifts. His silence seemed to make Arthur even more nervous and so he decided to be gracious and put his king out of his misery by opening the gift.

He unwrapped the present slowly and knew the moment that he started that Arthur had wrapped the gift himself. The fabric was not wrapped in a particular way (in other words it was a mess) and when he finally got the knot in the ribbon to let go, the fabric fell away and revealed itself to be badly cut with uneven edges. Arthur had wrapped it. Arthur never wraps things. Merlin was shocked.

Then he saw the object that had been wrapped inside the red silk and felt his heart give a jolt. The present wasn't overly expensive or romantic or even that special. It was a pair of brown boots that was sold in the shoe shop owned by Lady Ruth's maid's brother and although it wasn't cheap, it was nowhere near as expensive as Arthur's boots.

But Merlin remembered two Saturdays ago when he had gone to the market with Arthur and had expressed his love for the particular pair of boots, he remembered how Arthur had called him stupid and told him to just buy it for goodness sake and stop ogling it like he wanted to consume it. He had told Arthur about how he couldn't afford it since he had to save his money to buy food in winter for him and Gaius.

He remembered how Arthur had said, "Don't be an idiot Merlin, winter's coming up and your boots look like they're going to fall apart any second now."Merlin had glared at him and then defended his boots in a loud, high pitched voice that attracted a little (a lot) of attention.

He's never complained about how little he gets paid but he shared everything (but his magic) with Arthur and he hadn't known that those few words would start a whole week of Arthur bugging him about his pay. So with his boots was a letter from the Castle Steward stating that he now had a better pay and that his meals would be covered by the castle.

He grinned at the presents and said, "Thank you Arthur, these are great!"

Arthur looked a bit uncomfortable and replied in a small voice, "It isn't much, I didn't really know what you'd want." And looked really, really nervous as if Merlin held the world in his hands and was going to crush it any second now.

But it wasn't about the price or value of the object, Merlin was pleased because Arthur obviously remembered how Merlin had admired the boots and he had obviously thought long and hard about what to get his (friend) manservant. The gifts were personalised and he felt appreciated that Arthur would go and get the things that he specifically liked instead of just ordering a pair of those expensive boots that were fit for a king.

He smiled at Arthur's still nervous expression and went for a hug. He felt Arthur stiffen and he didn't let go until he felt Arthur hug him back. He grinned at the man in front of him and said sincerely, "I love them Arthur, I'm surprised a prat like you even know how to get presents and silk? Really Arthur could you be any more of a dollop-head?"

"How is me using silk making me a dollop-head?"

He made an outrageous expression and smacked Merlin on the arm. Merlin grinned and said merrily, "Well it's my coming of age so whatever I say counts."

Arthur gave him an incredulous look and said warily, "And I suppose if you said the sky was red then it would be true because it is your coming of age today?"

Merlin replied with a simple, "Yes." And then grinned his silly grin at Arthur and laughed.

"Come on then, you royal prat, Gwaine said to meet him at the tavern, apparently coming of age is a drinking occasion."

He reached out and dragged his king out of his room and shouted to Gaius, "We're heading to the tavern, don't wait up!" While Arthur said behind him, "Merlin, Gwaine thinks that every occasion is a drinking occasion."

Merlin would never forget the night Arthur gave him his first present.

(Mostly because Gwaine got everyone so drunk that none of them could even sit up properly for a whole day without feeling like the world will explode.)

This is my first Merlin fanfic and I hope you liked it, I've never written anything like this before so tell me what you think of this and how I should improve :)

I love reviews so please review!