Title: Morning Excuses

Summary: Merlin makes a familiar excuse to cover up the real reason why he is in Arthur's room on Christmas morning. Fluffy Merlin/Arthur one-shot. No spoilers.

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin. I don't know who made the legend to begin with but the BBC own a television interpretation of it.

Author's note: Despite not having posted anything in forever, I wanted to do something more as a Christmas present for my best friend, Sands of Patience and knowing how much she loves Merlin and especially reading Merthur fics, I had the bright/mad idea of attempting to write one and posting it for all to enjoy. Originally it was just a thought more than anything and I wasn't really sure if I was going to do anything if I didn't think up an idea good enough. But after a bit of inspiration, here we are and just in time too. So Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays if that's not your thing) to everyone and hope you enjoy it. Feel free to comment.

"Merlin, what are you doing?" Arthur sat up in his bed, looking over the side at the lanky frame of the young man who was currently searching for something under the mattress. With a soft bump and a small "Ow!" he straightened up to face the young prince.

"Err, I was just..." his eyes darted around the room in the hopes of gaining some inspiration. "...looking for woodworms! Yeah, that's all!" His face broke out into a wide grin.

Arthur quirked an eyebrow. "Really?" The word was thick with sarcasm.

Merlin nodded, his innocent smile still plastered on his face.

"Are you sure? I find it rather odd that my servant would be doing such a task so early in the morning. Especially whilst I was still asleep and on today of all days." His eyes sparkled in amusement.

The smile on Merlin's face faltered for a second. "T-t-today sire?"

"Don't tell me that you forgot I gave you the day off for Christmas?"

"Oh, OH! Christmas! Is that today?" Merlin vainly tried to cover his poor excuse and was rambling to get closer to the door for a quick getaway. "Well, merry Christmas then sire, but I've got loads to do. So I'll be seeing you later then..."

"But don't you want your present? Don't look so surprised, I know that's what you were looking for. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole castle already knew as that's what you've been doing for the past week."

The smile finally vanished to be replaced by a sheepish look as Merlin finally realised that he was caught out. "Was I that obvious?"

"Merlin, you've always been a horrible liar and a terrible sneak. I don't think you could keep a secret if your life depended on it. Not that it matters anyway," Arthur put his hands behind his head and leaned back against the headboard, stretching his legs in the process "you wouldn't have been able to find what I'm about to give you anyway."

Merlin's eyes lit up in hope. "So you do have something for me?"

Arthur chuckled. "Of course I do. Come over here."

Merlin crossed the room to stand next to the bed eager but confused. Throughout the conversation Arthur had made no attempt to move off his bed and gave no impression as to where the present was hidden. Maybe it was in the side table or was it was hidden somewhere in the bed itself?

"So...mmf!" Merlin's question was cut short by Arthur's hand forcing the back of his head forward and capturing the young warlock's lips with his own.

For the first few seconds the suddenness of the kiss made Merlin's face redden, eyes widened and eyebrows raised in surprise. Arthur smirked against his lips, clearly enjoying his reaction. Eventually Merlin responded, losing himself to the familiar sensation of soft lips and the taste of rich wine, but it wasn't long before Arthur broke it off.

"Now that that's done, could you leave me to get ready? I must meet with my father and Morgana soon."

"Are you sure you don't need any help? I haven't given you my present yet." The mischievous suggestion and look on Merlin's face was not lost on Arthur.

"Yes, thank you Merlin. I quite sure I don't need any of your help. But I sure once you enjoy your nice day off with Gaius I'll be able to meet you later."

"I won't forget. Thank you Arthur!" Merlin opened the door and made to leave.

"Oh, and Merlin?"

Merlin stopped and looked back at Arthur.

"Get a new excuse. You've used that one before."

Chuckling lightly, Merlin closed the door.