Merlin was ever so slightly frustrated today.
Things had been going well, up until a patient coded who was supposed to only be at the hospital for a week, but one of his nurses prescribed him the wrong medicine and threw him straight off the road to recovery and into the ICU. After that, the vending machine in the doctor’s lounge quit working, followed by his nurse who also quit working (as in, up and left because she got a better job offer from their competitor, thanks very much, Sefa), and finally he lost his stethoscope which was honestly quite terrible of him because the damn thing wasn't cheap and it had his name on it and everything.
So when his pager beeps for what must be the fortieth time today, he snatches up his phone and snaps, “What?!” to the person on the other end.
A shaky voice answers him. “Sir–”
“What?” he says again, pushing open the door to the lounge.
“Is this Doctor Pendragon?”
“Yes, Gilli, this is Merlin Pendragon, as always. What do you need?”
“Um. There's someone at the reception desk here to see you. He’s kind of demanding.”
Merlin whacks into the doorframe to the inner lounge and immediately spins back around, his head whirling for more than one reason. “Who is it?” he asks, already throwing his white coat on someone’s desk and his clipboard on another and – oh, there's his stethoscope, but it hardly matters now, because – “Is it Arthur?”
“Sir, he asked me to keep his name private–”
“Bugger off, Gilli, I know it’s Arthur, hand him the damn phone and tell him to stop being such a prat–”
He aggressively smashes the down button in the elevator and listens to Gilli conversing with someone whose voice is much too rich and posh-sounding, even over the phone, that it can't be anyone but Arthur.
Merlin trips over a potted plant and almost sprawls down the last flight of stairs in the lobby before coming to a stop at the reception desk. He slams his phone down on the desk, thrilling a little when Gilli jumps, having been on the other end of the call, and watches as he hurries to end it.
“Where's my husband.” he demands through gritted teeth.
Gilli’s eyes go wide and he opens his mouth to answer, when suddenly Merlin feels arms wrap around him from behind and he’s being hoisted up into the air.
“You prat!” He shrieks, hitting anything he can reach of Arthur, which includes his wonderfully soft hair and the perfectly fitting suit jacket. “You were meant to be gone for a week more and you couldn't just call me to let me know like a sane person–”
He’s unceremoniously deposited onto a couch and Arthur immediately smothers him, pressing rapid kisses all over his face. “I missed you too,” he says, his deep, rumbling voice instantly soothing all of Merlin’s grating nerves.
“Prat,” Merlin whines again, as Arthur sits up and pulls him into a proper hug this time. “I missed you. Two months is far too long.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” He pulls away to stare into Merlin’s eyes, who melts at seeing the blue depths of them for the first time in months. Arthur beams, knowing Merlin’s love of his eyes, and kisses him again, much gentler than before.
“Did you at least have a good trip? You and your fancy mates enjoy America?”
Arthur makes a face and Merlin snorts. “My business partners and I did enjoy America, but only the nicer bits. I will say, though, New York has a lot of restaurants you’d enjoy. I think I’d like to take you some time.”
“Really?” Merlin says, lighting up at the prospect of trying new food. “We could make it an anniversary trip.”
“That sounds perfect, my love.”
Merlin can't help but blush at the pet name and he leans in for another kiss, which Arthur eagerly grants him. “I leave in half an hour. Want to go grab us takeout and meet me at the front door?”
“Sounds perfect.” Arthur grins and laces his fingers through Merlin’s, and then brings his hand up for a kiss which has Merlin flustered and blushing like when they first started dating. “I missed you.”
Merlin stands up quickly and pushes Arthur back when he tries to follow him, huffing a laugh at the confusion on his face. “God, you irritating prat, I have to work. Get out of here before I jump you in a hospital.”
Arthur lets out a deep laugh and snags one last kiss from Merlin before obeying and turning to leave. “I love you!” he calls over his shoulder and Merlin grins.
“Don't forget the extra sweet chili sauce, darling!” he says in return and Arthur is chuckling to himself as he struts through the automatic glass doors.
Merlin whirls around and Gilli’s spinny chair creaks as he leans back in it, away from his desk. “Shut. The hell up, Gilli.” he tells him, and stalks away.
But Gilli, the idiot that he is, just grins. “I think it’s cute, Doc.”
“Shut up,” Merlin says again, and hurries back upstairs, momentarily floored by the sudden realization that Arthur is home for good, that tomorrow is Saturday and he has the day off, that he won't have to go home to an empty house anymore and wait till Arthur can call from his fancy hotel in America.
He’s beaming by the time he gets back upstairs and the nurses give him wary looks, but he couldn't care less because Arthur.
Oh, and where the hell was his stethoscope again?