Fandom: Merlin: Modern Day
Warnings: teensy bit of angst.
Summary: Arthur is determined to find out why his best friend has been avoiding him and gets more than he bargained for.
Disclaimer: Not mine, they belong to legend… and the BBC.
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight
Arthur grinned at the pretty waitress in the coffee shop as she placed his latté down in front of him. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” she replied with a flirtatious smile which made him grin. He picked up his beverage and blew on it before taking a sip, wincing at the bitterness and reaching for a packet of sugar from the condiments basket in the middle of the table.
If only the waitress knew what he had been doing this morning, he thought with a smirk. It was kind of sexy having this new secret sex life that was so different and yet so familiar to him. This morning, Merlin, his best friend, had given him a blow job and had enjoyed it so much he had cum himself without even being touched.
Tonight was the Mid Summer’s Eve Ball and though Arthur was playing it cool, as he did with everything in life, it was kind of a big deal. They were going to a ball that would surely be filled with old family friends, work colleagues and, of course, Arthur’s father; and they were going as a couple.
Well Arthur did like to do things in style, including coming out apparently. As he waited for Merlin, who had wanted to buy some new books with the money his mum had sent him for his birthday, Arthur pulled out his new IPad and switched it on.
Trailing along behind Merlin while he spent half an hour flipping through old books wasn’t Arthur’s idea of fun so he had arranged to meet his boyfriend in the coffee shop next door when he was done.
Seeing that a wireless signal had been picked up he opened his internet browser and started to check his emails but stopped when a couple in the corner caught his eye; a gay couple.
Arthur had never been homophobic, he had even beat up an older boy in school who wrote the word DYKE on Morgana’s desk, yet he realized he had never really been around gay men before. He was so used to Morgana and Gwen hanging off each other that he never gave it a second thought, but seeing these two men here together made him think.
One of them looked like someone Arthur would expect to see sat around his conference table at work, with a wife and kids at home while the other man was Merlin’s build with black ringed eyes and blue and pink tuffed hair.
Arthur realized he really didn’t know a lot about the gay community. He didn’t like the feeling of being a novice at anything. Opening a new tab in his internet browser, Arthur went to Google.
What kind of gay are you? he typed in and clicked on the first link which happened to be a questionnaire. At the top were definitions for a wide range of apparent gay types. There were studs, twinks, bears, leather daddies, pigs and so on.
“Good lord,” Arthur murmured, seeing some of the photos that accompanied the titles. He felt like he was about to slip down the rabbit hole; perhaps he should have gone to a pub for a drink instead.
By the time Merlin had chosen his new books and made his way next door to the coffee shop, Arthur was staring intently at his IPad screen and chewing on his thumb nail, something he only ever did in times of extreme concentration. Merlin figured he must have gotten an important work email and went to order himself a cup of green tea. He had butterflies about the ball tonight and was anxious to know what kind of outfit Morgana was going to put him in.
“Hey,” Arthur greeted him with a big smile. He watched as Merlin struggled out of his jacket, his thoughts returning to earlier when they had been tangled up together in bed. It was strange; Arthur had spent the last half an hour looking at photos of all types of different men, each of them attractive in different ways, and none of them appealed to him whatsoever. Yet now here was Merlin with his long neck and nibbleable ears and all Arthur wanted to do was push him against the wall and rut against him until he made Merlin make those breathy desperate sounds he made before he came. He found he had to rearrange his legs to allow for the sudden tightness in his jeans.
“Did you know you’re a twink?” Arthur asked him conversationally.
Merlin, eyes wide and panicked, looked down at the IPad in Arthur’s hands. “Oh God, what have you done?”
Arthur just grinned at him. “I took a questionnaire, then filled it in for you too. I’m a stud by the way, which I think we both new already.”
Merlin shook his head and smiled tightly at the waitress as she placed his tea down in front of him before fluttering her eyelashes at Arthur who smiled back easily. The flirtatious look between them was enough to put Merlin right off his tea. “You aren’t even gay remember?”
Arthur frowned and looked away from the waitress who had moved on to another table. “I’m gay enough. I’m gay for you,” he pointed out.
Merlin huffed out a homourless laugh. “Exactly, Arthur, you’re pretending to be gay for me.”
“No, that’s not what I meant at all, and you know it,” Arthur insisted. “Don’t pull the poor Arthur, I’m so evil for making him suffer through mind blowing blow jobs crap again. I’m a big boy, Merlin, if I didn’t want to be with you then I wouldn’t be with you. I admit in the beginning I didn’t know if it would work but it has.”
Merlin slowly nodded, his eyes glued to the untouched tea in front of him. “Can we just go home please? I want to do some work before tonight.”
With a long sigh, knowing that Merlin’s fears over Arthur’s feelings hadn’t get any better over the last week, Arthur took the last gulp of his latté and pulled out his wallet. “Go and grab us a cab then, I’ll go and pay.”
Merlin nodded again, still not looking at Arthur. He had no idea what he had actually done wrong. They’d had such a nice morning and somehow he had stuffed it up without even realizing it.
He heard the door open and close, signaling Merlin’s departure and waited at the counter for the waitress. “Hi, thanks,” he said as she handed him his bill. He handed it back with his debit card and forced on a smile when she gave it back to him along with a scrap of paper.
“What’s this?” he asked, though he already knew.
“My phone number,” she told him with a flirty smile. “If you call me I might let you take me out some time.”
Arthur smiled again, though this time purely to be polite. He could tell her he had a boyfriend, but he wasn’t sure he felt comfortable enough yet to come out to strangers. He also didn’t want to hurt her feelings so he just took the piece of paper and shoved it into his jeans’ pocket. He wouldn’t call her obviously but at least this way she wouldn’t be embarrassed.
He said goodbye and turned to walk toward to door when he spotted Merlin standing in the doorway, holding it open for him, his eyes looking past Arthur at the waitress. Great, just what he needed, to be in even more trouble without having done anything wrong.
He walked past Merlin and straight over to the cab that Merlin had hailed. If they were going to argue some more he really didn’t want to do it in public. He opened the car door and turned back to Merlin to ask if he wanted to sit in the front or the back.
Merlin was still standing by the coffee shop door and showed no intention of moving. “Actually, it’ll probably be better if I go to Gwen’s.”
Letting the car door slam shut Arthur poked his head in the passenger window. “Give us a second mate,” he said to the driver before going over to Merlin.
“Okay so you saw me take her phone number, and rather than ask me about it or give me a chance to explain, you’re going to run off with your tail between your legs, licking at wounds that are only in your head,” Arthur seethed. He was getting a little sick of Merlin’s insecurities, especially as Arthur hadn’t once given him a reason for them.
Merlin’s facial expression turned from hurt to angry. “You took her phone number, why on earth would you take it if you never planned to call her?”
“So she wouldn’t be embarrassed, you twit. I always take girl’s phone numbers, I’ve even taken a few blokes’ in my time, it’s just easier and kinder than telling them you aren’t interested,” Arthur pointed out.
Merlin shook his head, an angry smile firmly in place. “No, you could have just told her you’re in a relationship, but you didn’t, because deep down you know this isn’t what this is.”
Not really knowing what to say to that Arthur put his hand on Merlin’s shoulder. “Will you just come home so we can talk about this somewhere other than a crowded London high street?”
Merlin seemed to think about it for a moment before shaking his head. “I think a little time apart would be good.”
Arthur wanted to shake him or kiss him or do something to get him to see that the only problem they had was in Merlin’s head but he didn’t know how to get that through to him so instead he just let his hand drop away from Merlin’s shoulder.
“You’ll still come tonight though yeah? You wouldn’t let me suffer through that on my own would you?” he asked with a small and hopeful smile.
Slowly, Merlin nodded again. “Okay, I’ll still come. I can go with the girls and meet you there.”
Knowing it was as good as it was going to get for now Arthur leaned in and kissed Merlin on the cheek. He didn’t want to pull back, he wanted to wrap his arms around the slender man and never let him go, but he knew he had to. Merlin needed some time to think.
As he got in the cab and closed the door he pulled out his phone and text Morgana. He filled her in on what had happened and for the first time in his life asked his big sister for help.