Summary: Merlin is on his way to Gwaine’s New Year’s Eve party and doesn’t feel like it
Word Count: 556
Author's Notes: Happy New Year, everyone! May it become the best one!
Merlin looked up when someone sat down heavily into the seat next to him on the packed tube. Tall, blond, friendly blue eyes, smiling apologetically at him.
“Sorry ‘bout that.” The man pointed to his backpack.
“Don’t worry about it. It didn’t touch me.” Merlin smiled back, wondering if this bloke was on his way back from work at the time where he was already on the way to Gwaine’s New Year’s Eve party.
“If they didn’t make me, I wouldn’t even go.”
Merlin was pulled out of his reverie by that. “Pardon?”
“New Year’s Eve thing at friends’.” The man explained.
Chuckling, Merlin nodded. “I know what you mean. Same here.”
“Parties aren’t your thing?” The man looked him up and down and for the first time that night, Merlin was happy that he had dressed up a bit. Even though Gwen would have laughed at him calling his neat-jeans-and-burgundy-shirt-combo ‘dressed up’. At least he wasn’t wearing his worn-out runners tonight.
“That’s not it. It’s just…New Year’s Eve is just a number, why do we have to go places and do things we don’t feel like doing just because of that?” Merlin shrugged. “I like a good party, but…” He made a face.
“But not today?” The man smiled. “I feel your pain. And then you have to bring something to drink,” he pointed at his backpack, “and if you’re very unlucky, they even make you bring food.”
“You made food for the party you’re going to?” A man who could cook was always interesting, so Merlin sat up a bit.
Shaking his head, the man laughed a warm laugh that seemed to come from deep out of his chest. “I could avoid that, only more alcohol nobody really needs, there will be enough without this.”
“Sounds a lot like where I’m going.” Merlin laughed with him.
They made small-talk for a while and Merlin didn’t even notice that lots of people had left the train at the last couple of stops. Merlin got up. “The next stop is me. It was nice talking to you and I hope you’ll have fun at the party you don’t want to go to.” He smiled.
“You know,” the man looked up at him. “I’d much rather like to talk to you some more, but if you have to go…”
The train stopped at the tube station and Merlin nodded and stepped off the train, a smile on his face. It would be nice to talk to the man some more, away from any parties. Maybe he should have given him his number? Oh well, nobody ever called him anyway, the man was just being nice.
When he had reached the stairs, Merlin turned his head to get one last look at the stranger. He saw him looking after him and smiled when he noticed that Merlin had turned.
Merlin’s heart was beating a bit faster. Should he just…? It was either another meaningless party or probably getting to know someone he might really like. Or just being late to the meaningless party because he needed to get back from the next station if he misinterpreted the signs now.
Screw the party, screw Gwaine, he wouldn’t even notice that he never showed up.
Seconds before the doors of the carriage closed again, Merlin stepped back onto the train.