I received this prompt by 2spookypup on tumblr: "Hey. You should do a little winter-y merthur one. Like, its cold so they cuddle and then adorable little kisses. You should do that." So here it is!

"I hate winter."

"I know."

"No, I mean, I really hate winter."

Merlin grins cheerfully, unperturbed, as he unwraps his red wool scarf. He's bundled up in thick layers and his blue pea coat, red hat, scarf and gloves and new snow boots. It doesn't usually snow so much in England but they're having more snow than they have done in almost twenty years and with it horribly low temperatures. Snow sticks to Merlin's eyelashes and the tuft of dark hair sticking out beneath his hat and his nose is bright red from the cold.

Arthur thinks he's never seen anything more beautiful than Merlin Emerson.

Arthur is equally wrapped up in thick layers and he stamps snow off his boots. He knew as soon as Merlin woke him up at what should be an illegal time of the morning what his partner had planned. It's a routine Merlin's had since he was a kid and insists on every winter; early morning walks in the local park in the fresh, untouched snow.

Merlin loves winter; he loves the snow, always insists on snowball fights and making snowpeople ("snowpeople, Arthur, not just men! I call this one 'Susan'") and snow angels, loves going for walks in freezing temperatures; gets all excited like a puppy over Christmas and traditions like visiting family, baking, going carolling and getting up early for present swapping; adores wrapping up warm under a blanket just the two of them with hot chocolate and winter movies and lazy days in bed spent making love as snow falls outside.

Arthur? He hates winter. He always has done. He's always been a summer person with long days, sunshine (or as much as you get in England), day trips to the beach and picnics in the park. He likes sunlight and warmth. But he loves Merlin and he loves doing all those winter things with Merlin, adores the sparkle in Merlin's blue eyes and the excited, happy grin that lights up his whole face as he watches the first snowflakes fall outside the window of their small apartment, so he indulges his partner and puts up with the cold and the walks in the snow with a fond smile on his face (even when Merlin teases that there's a sappy romantic underneath the prattish exterior).

"You said that last year," Merlin points out, hanging up his coat and kicking off his boots. He laughs when Arthur frowns at the haphazard treatment and stacks them neatly on the shoe rack next to his own. "And the year before. And the year before that."

"I'll say it next year too," Arthur sulks. "I hate winter."

"Oh, go sit your grumpy arse down," Merlin shakes his head. His large ears are vibrant red from the cold and Arthur thinks it's adorable. "I'll make us some hot chocolate."

Arthur captures him in a quick kiss before he can escape to the kitchen, bumping their icy cold noses together as their lips warm up. Merlin hums contentedly and then suddenly sticks his cold hands underneath Arthur's shirt, pressing them flat to his stomach. Arthur yelps and jumps back at the freezing touch and Merlin laughs.


Merlin laughs again and darts off before Arthur can retaliate. He chases after him, round the sofa until he catches him around the middle and presses his cold hand to the back of his neck.

"Okay, okay!" he squeals, wriggling to get free. "I'm sorry!"

Arthur smiles and presses a kiss just behind his ear before releasing him. Merlin walks around the small flat, turning up the heaters and checking the windows are shut tight before heading into the kitchenette.

There's a stack of Christmas DVD's next to their TV that weren't there last night. Arthur suspects he knows the plans for the day. He has work tomorrow and needs to finish up a spreadsheet and he knows for a fact that Merlin needs to finish his painting by the end of the week if he wants full payment by the art collector who commissioned this particular series of portraits but, right now, still cold from their walk and listening to Merlin hum some obnoxious pop tune under his breath, he can think of no better way to spend the day than snuggling under a blanket with Merlin and watching movies. Merlin will say the lines along with the actors and laugh way too loud at the cheesy jokes; will press his cold feet to Arthur's leg and get up to pee too frequently, but it sounds perfect.

He grabs the stack of blankets from their place in the airing cupboard and sets up a fort of pillows and blankets on the sofa. Merlin returns with two mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows and a plate of the delicious chocolate chip cookies Hunith had baked for them.

They climb underneath the barriers of blankets and shift until Arthur's leaning against the arm of the sofa, one leg stretched out on it and the other on the floor, with Merlin nestled between them, back to his chest and legs wrapped around one of Arthur's, warming his foot between his own. Arthur wraps his arms around Merlin's middle and presses his nose to his neck as the first film starts to play, one he's seen a thousand times so he doesn't bother to pay attention, instead focusing on the snow still falling outside, the warm body against his own and the delighted look on Merlin's face as he cuddles him, slurping hot chocolate.

"All it takes is hot chocolate and cuddles to soften you up," Merlin teases halfway through the movie.

Arthur presses a kiss to Merlin's neck, right where he's ticklish, in retaliation, but Merlin simply tilts his head back to capture Arthur's lips with his own. He tastes of sticky chocolate and cookies and Arthur hums slightly, stroking his fingers across his ribs and stomach as they swap lazy, sweet kisses.

"I still hate winter," Arthur grumbles against his lips.

Merlin smiles, nuzzling at his jaw. "We met during the winter, do you remember? It had just started to snow and you came barging into the bookshop I was in just to get away from it. You were acting like a complete prat but when you asked I gave you my number anyway."

Arthur does remember. His first meeting with Merlin is branded in his memory forever; walking into that small bookshop to avoid the snow and seeing bewildered blue eyes, large ears and a goofy smile from the only other customer there. He had been a bit of a twat, actually, since he'd been in a bad mood thanks to the cold weather, but Merlin had still flirted with him and agreed to go on a date.

"Hmm," he acknowledges, nuzzling into Merlin's neck. "Maybe winter isn't so bad after all."

I have a tumblr: lokisinmydivision

Feel free to send me a prompt for Teen Wolf, Merlin or Sherlock with any pairing from the show, or, hey, just come say hi :)