Sometimes, people ask Merlin how long he and Arthur have been dating.
“Twenty one years,” he’d tell them.
“Wow,” they’d say, “that’s a really long time.”
Merlin just nods.
Then there’s the inevitable silence as they do some frantic calculations.
“Wait- how old are you?”
Merlin just goes back to his food.
“But - that means you started dating when you – you couldn’t have been older than, what?”
“Three,” Arthur says. Usually at his point in the conversation he’d start stealing Merlin’s fries. Merlin would let him, but glare a lot, because that’s what Merlin does. “We got married behind the church.”
“Wait, hold on, you’re married?”
“Nah,” Merlin says, “I don’t think those kinds of marriages are valid.”
“You know, with plastic rings, without witnesses, that stuff. Also, we weren’t of legal age, obviously.”
“We were three,” Arthur repeats, “and Merlin was wearing half a chocolate cake.”
“Was not. And if you hadn’t stolen my plate that wouldn’t–”
“But,” they’d say, a little desperate now, “I know, that’s a childhood thing, but that’s not actual dating. I mean, you guys had other relationships, right?”
Merlin stares, then. “No, why would I?”
Arthur always gets a bit angry at this part. “Merlin was my boyfriend from that day on. What, you think my ceremony was lacking somehow?”
“Wait no, I didn’t mean -”
“Because I got him flowers-”
“Dandelions, he got me dandelion, also roses, they pricked him, he still has a scar there-”
“And there was music-”
“Mum was making more cake, she always sings then-”
“And the cake, obviously.”
“Obviously,” their listener echoes. “And you never broke up? Dated someone else? Had crushes on other people?”
They both just shake their heads. Merlin spies Arthur’s abandoned hot cocoa. It has marshmallows on. Arthur, the heathen, doesn’t even like marshmallows.
“You’re not drinking that, are you?” He’s already grabbing it as he says it.
“Sure, go ahead, take everything I own, strip me down to my last shirt.”
Merlin smirks. “I intend to.”
At this point, the listener is usually defeated by their long, lingering looks and makes a run for it before they can witness some kissing. Or worse.
They probably didn’t get it, but it’s fine. After all, no one but Merlin and Arthur need to.
Sam and Dean had just wrapped up a hunt and were on their way back to you. Dean couldn’t wait to get back to you, practically running to the car. Sam stopped and looked at him like he was crazy. How often did Dean run when a monster wasn’t chasing him? Never.
“Dude, what is going on with you?” Sam looked at his brother incredulously.
“I just - I’m happy, Sammy. For the first time in a long damn time, I’m actually happy. I’ve got a good job, I get to ride around the country with my brother, my best friend, and I’ve got an amazing girl waitin’ for me back home. Whaaaaat?!” He smiled as Sam scoffed.
“You really love her Dean.” Sam chuckled and shook his head.
“Yeah, I do.” Dean smiled, looking at his feet.
“Have you told her that yet?” Sam raised his eyebrows expectantly, knowingly.
“You know I haven’t… I can’t.” Shaking his head, Dean opened the door of the Impala and climbed inside.
Sam just shook his head and lowered himself into the passenger seat, both of them shutting the door simultaneously.
“Luuuucy, I’m hooome!” Dean called throughout the bunker.
“Dean!” You squealed and ran into his arms.
“Hey princess.” He smiled and bent to kiss you.
“Missed you.” You bit your lip and looked up at him.
“Missed you too. Hey, can we talk?” He wrapped his arms around your waist.
Furrowing your brow, you nodded and led him into another room, away from Sam.
“What’s going on, D?” You sat in one of the library chairs.
“Nothing, I just want to talk.” He rocked back and forth on his heels, his eyes not meeting yours.
“Dean.” You chided.
“I - I want to say something, but I can’t remember the last time I said it and actually meant it…” He trailed off.
“Just say it, Dean.” You stood and walked to him, hooking your thumbs into his belt loops and pulling him closer to you.
“I… You know I care about you so, so much.” He looked down at you.
“Yeah?” You looked at him suspiciously.
“I love you.” He blurted, surprising both you and himself.
“Dean…” You teared up, but hesitated, curious as to if he actually meant it.
“I really love you.” He answered your unspoken question.
“I love you too.” You confessed, having wanted to say it for a long time, but never knowing the right time to do so.
To all nonbinary people who are worried about telling other people their gender for fear of being ridiculed: it’s okay. You don’t need to tell people or even come out at all in order to be valid. Of course you don’t deserve to be ridiculed because of your identity, and of course any people that do that are awful and wrong. But that doesn’t mean you have to take a stand and declare your gender in potentially upsetting and/or dangerous situations. Your gender doesn’t have to be a political stance.