“Merlin.” The name drawls from Arthur’s lips in warning. “If you screw this up, I’ll hate you forever.”
“No, I won’t, and no, you won’t,” is Merlin’s reply from behind him as he snatches a pair of scissors off the table. “You could’ve gone to the barber shop for this, but you asked for my help instead, so you’ve got to have at least a marginal amount of confidence in me.”
Arthur snorts. “Correction: I could’ve gone to the barber shop for this, but I have no money. You’re my last resort. I have a job interview tomorrow—”
“So you said about a hundred times—”
“—And I need to look good. So get on with it.” And with that, Arthur tilts his head a bit and closes his eyes, waiting for the snip-snip sounds of scissors chopping away at his hair, and sure enough, they do.
Arthur sort of loses himself a bit in Merlin’s fingers in his hair for a while, to a point where he at first doesn’t notice the panic in Merlin’s voice as he says about five minutes later, “Um…Arthur?”
“Before I hand you this mirror, I want you to know I love you very much.”
Arthur rolls his eyes. “Oh, for God’s sake. All you had to do was trim the bottom. It can’t have turned out too horribly—”
Arthur wears a hat to his job interview the next day, and despite how very annoyed he is, the kind of adorable way Merlin fixes the hat on his head just so before giving him a good-luck kiss makes it hard for him to stay angry very long.