Fandom: Merlin: Modern Day
Summary: Written for schmoop_bingo. Arthur is determined to find out why his best friend has been avoiding him and gets more than he bargained for.
Prompt: Summer Holiday
Disclaimer: They aren’t mine, they’re... everyone’s I think.
Part One| Part Two| Part Three
There was a very nice, very expensive and very handy hotel in Arthur’s life. He might be a bit of an idiot sometimes but he was in no way stupid. He wouldn’t say he slept around a lot, but he never went short either. It just made sense to him, early on in his man whore career, as Merlin referred to it, that it wouldn’t be wise to bring one night stands back to his home. The women he picked up could be thieves or stalkers, and did Merlin ever love pointing out to him that he was willing to trust them with his body, just not his TV.
The staff hadn’t seen Arthur at this particular hotel since the first night he met Sophia. In a sense, she really was the stalking kind as she had tracked him down at his place of work the following day, but as she had blown him under his desk he had decided to give her a chance, and six months later they were still together.
Merlin had never been in this hotel himself but Arthur had told him many stories of which said hotel was the setting and had pointed it out to him as they had driven past. It wasn’t, however, until the four of them, Arthur, Merlin, Leon and Sophia, were inside and being shown to a table in the hotel’s restaurant that Merlin realised it was the famous Whore Hotel.
While the Maître d' had made a fuss over Arthur and was personally showing them to their table, Merlin grabbed hold of the sleeve of Arthur’s favourite shirt and yanked him back.
“Why on earth have you bought us to The Whore Hotel?”
Arthur snorted at the nickname and straightened out his now wrinkled shirt sleeve. “I’m just looking out for you, mate. It’s familiar territory for me, I know all the exits and who to bribe to fake an emergency phone call.”
Merlin’s mouth dropped open and he turned his back to where Sophia and Leon had been seated and were now looking back at their dates impatiently, in Sophia’s case, and worried, In Leon’s.
“You are unbelievable. I don’t even know how I let you talk me into this double date. How am I supposed to give this guy a go with you and Bitchy Barbie gawping at us all night.”
Arthur smirked at Merlin’s nickname for his girlfriend, which he realised he wasn’t supposed to find funny, and slung his arm around his friend’s shoulders.
“Look, you’re the one who wanted to go on this pointless date, when you know full well that you’re in love with me, which is pretty low, mate. I mean I know he’s boring but he deserves better than that.” Arthur told him casually, making Merlin’s face go red with a mixture of embarrassment and rage.
“You are such a twat,” Merlin spat before shaking off his arm and going over to their table.
“I know,” Arthur murmured sadly to himself, wondering why that wasn’t enough to stop Merlin from loving him.
Taking a steadying breath he went to join the group with a big fake smile and ordered a bottle of wine for the table.
None of them had opted for a starter which Arthur knew from experience was a bad sign on a date; it usually meant that they didn’t want to have to spend more time together than was strictly necessary. The thought made him smile.
“So, Leon,” Arthur said, interrupting the quiet conversation Leon and Merlin had been having on the other side of the table. “What floor do you work on again?”
Leon looked apologetically at Merlin, as though sorry that their conversation had been interrupted. Merlin on the other hand just looked pissed off.
“I’m in accounts, on seven.”
“I see, are you head of the department?” Arthur asked, pushing his crab around his plate. Sophia had checked out of the entire evening back before the wine was served and was currently looking down at her IPhone, giggling every now and then at text messages from her friends.
“Um, no. No I’m not,” Leon answered, looking down at his plate at Arthur’s false sympathetic nod, as though he were supposed to be ashamed of that.
“We can’t all be the boss’ son, can we?” Merlin said quite cruelly. “I think it’s great that you’re good with numbers,” Merlin finished, turning his attention back to Leon.
“Merlin’s useless with numbers. He had to retake his math GCSE during the summer holidays,” Arthur told Leon, making Merlin glare at him even harder.
“Arthur are you purposefully trying to make us both look bad to each other or is your natural twatish ways just too hard to conceal?” Merlin seethed.
Arthur grinned at him. He always did love getting Merlin angry, he just let go and became Merlin concentrate. “Merlin dear, don’t blame your many short comings on me.”
With fire in his eyes, Merlin spitefully turned to Sophia, interrupting her from writing a new text. “Sophia, did you know that this is where Arthur brings all his one night stands? Didn’t you think it weird that he took you to a hotel your first night together instead of back to his? It was so he could slip out the next morning and never have to see you again.”
Everyone’s mouths dropped at the uncharacteristic meanness of Merlin’s words, including Leon who had only just met him. Before Sophia had a chance to turn on Arthur Merlin was up out of his seat and practically running to the men’s room.
Leon automatically stood to go after him but Arthur commanded, in a tone that reminded Leon that Arthur was his boss, to sit down. The blonde, threw his napkin down on his plate and went after Merlin, not sure if he wanted to apologise or shout at him.
He found Merlin in the empty men’s room, standing with head resting against the tiled wall.
“Well that’s just unhygienic, considering where you are,” were the first words out of Arthur’s mouth.
“What is your problem?” Merlin demanded, pushing away from the wall and getting in Arthur’s face. “Do you like seeing me miserable, is that it? Are you such an arsehole that you want to keep me as the love sick puppy you can just abuse whenever you’re bored. Do you really want me to stay heartbroken for the rest of my life?” Merlin shouted in Arthur’s face.
Arthur didn’t flinch at the onslaught; he was too stunned by it. All he could think was that Merlin was his and now he was trying to leave him, which was just ridiculous, but there it was. He didn’t want Merlin to stop loving him because nothing in his entire life had made him feel so special, so worthy. Having Merlin, who was the epitome of all that was good in the world, love him was like winning a prize. It was like redemption.
He didn’t think anymore after that because his body seemed to take over from his mind. He leaned forward quickly and pressed his mouth to Merlin’s, making the younger man gasp and move back quickly.
“What are you doing?” he whispered, his voice fraught with fear.
“I’m kissing you,” Arthur explained calmly, his eyes fixed on Merlin’s plump, girl like lips. Not giving Merlin a chance to respond or react, he leaned in again, this time trapping Merlin with his arms, which he would around his waist.
He pressed his lips hard again Merlin’s, pulling Merlin in so that their bodies were pushed together. It only took a second before he felt Merlin relax and kiss him back. It was a bit like the ride Arthur had gone on at Blackpool that shot you up into the air, propelling you from naught to sixty miles an hour in under a second.
One second it was a brush of lips against lips because Arthur didn’t know what else to do, and the next it was desperate clinging and tongues and teeth and a grinding that had Arthur moaning.
The short spell was broken by the sound of the door opening. They sprang apart so quick that the old man coming in didn’t notice anything. Now standing on opposite sides of the room they just stared at each other, both too stunned to even put it into words. Finally, after what felt like an endless moment, Merlin left and Arthur couldn’t find the strength to go after him.
He had just kissed Merlin. It was utterly insane but it made him laugh. He had just kissed Merlin and quite possibly ruined their friendship. He wasn’t attracted to men; not once in his life had he looked at a man, not even Lance who was seriously hot, and thought yes, I would like a piece of that please.
He didn’t know how to make himself into what Merlin wanted, how to make himself do the things that Merlin wanted, but he did know, without a shadow of a doubt, that losing Merlin was not an option. Merlin was the best thing in his life; Merlin who had wormed his way in and taken over every single aspect of his life.
Finally, when he had reached a decision, he went over to the sink and splashed some cold water in his face before going back out to the restaurant. Merlin and Leon had both left, leaving a seething Sophia behind.
“Look, Soph, I’m sorry but I think we should...” The break up didn’t get a chance to leave his lips as Sophia threw her wine in his face before gathering up her things and storming off.
As he looked down at his favourite shirt, feeling every pair of eyes in the room on him, all he could think was Thank god I ordered white instead or red.