Title:Roll to Me
Summary:Merlin takes Arthur roller skating, but it doesn't go according to plan.
Author's Notes:This is just silly fun. This is my first time trying this, since I'm new-ish to this whole writing thing. (I hope I've done the story and posting correctly.)
Arthur had been back from the dead for five days when Merlin decided to take him roller skating. Merlin wouldn't admit it, but his primary motivation was to see the mighty Arthur Pendragon fall on his bum.
The first day Arthur was back, Merlin had been in utter shock. The second day had been filled with conversation, which mostly went like this:
“No, I'm sorry.”
“Well, I'm more sorry.”
“Don't be such a prat.”
The third day, Merlin introduced Arthur to technology. By the fourth day, Arthur knew more about it than Merlin did. The dollophead always had to be the best at everything, of course. But Merlin had a plan.
So the fifth day, they went roller skating. By then Arthur was showing him how to edit selfies—because jeez, Merlin, don't you know how to get rid of red eye? It’s not nearly as attractive on you as the gold!—and Merlin was ready for a bit of comeuppance.
Arthur was dubious. “How fun can it be to go around in endless circles?”
“You'll see.” Merlin was hoping Arthur’d see from the floor, where he would have crashed, perhaps bruising his tailbone in the process. Then Merlin could mock Arthur about Arthur's sore little bottom for a change.
When they arrived at the rink, they rented skates and put them on. Then came the moment Merlin had been waiting for: the time when Arthur would stand up and fall right over. Only—he didn't.
But that's okay. Arthur hadn't actually moved anywhere yet. There was still plenty of time for him to humiliate himself.
Arthur rolled slowly towards the skating floor. No crash yet. Merlin would be patient.
A tiny girl with pigtails sailed by.
“You're gonna let a preschooler beat you round the floor?”
Merlin could see the determination in Arthur's face. Without warning, Arthur pushed off and sped away. There was no wobble or hesitation. Of course not. Why would there be? This was Arthur Pendragon, taught to kill since birth. Why would a little thing like roller skates slow him down?
Merlin watched, shaking his head in despair. Arthur was going to be even more insufferable than usual. Merlin wondered if it was too late to send him back to Avalon. The Sidhe probably had a no exchanges, no returns policy. Damn.
While Merlin hurried to catch up, he brooded about the unfairness of the universe. So maybe he wasn't really looking where he was going. But it certainly wasn't his fault that Arthur ran him over when Merlin veered right in front of him. The resulting crash was spectacular. Arthur fell on top of Merlin and they slid across the floor till they slammed into a carpeted wall.
Merlin groaned. “Ow!” Arthur was still lying on him. “Get off me, you heavy lout!”
Arthur took his time moving. “Are you calling me fat, Merlin?”
“I wouldn't be sad if you'd had fewer donuts at breakfast.”
“And who was the one in a frenzy for donuts?”
“Well, maybe you didn't need to eat so many of them!”
Arthur was taking a ridiculously long time to get up. Skaters sailed by, gaping. Perhaps Arthur liked making a spectacle of himself. Either that, or he liked lying all over Merlin. Merlin shook his head clear of that thought real fast. It was not till an employee came by that Arthur popped up. Merlin blushed as he stood, embarrassed by the scene they had made.
“You guys okay?” the employee asked.
Merlin smiled at him. “Yeah, we're fine. Arthur here just doesn't know how to avoid collisions yet.”
Arthur grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and squeezed. “I was not the one who cut right in front of someone else with absolutely no warning, Merlin.”
“You should be prepared for any eventuality, Arthur.”
“Like the eventuality that even death doesn't change the fact that I'll always be saddled with a clumsy idiot of a manservant?”
“Exactly! You should have known what to expect!”
The employee cleared his throat, clearly bemused. “Well, er, it's time for the couples skate now, so…”
Arthur grabbed Merlin's hand and they skated off together as a soppy love song played. Merlin was on high alert for shenanigans, figuring Arthur would want revenge for the crash. But nothing happened. They skated side by side, holding hands. It was surprisingly peaceful.
“This going-in-circles lark isn't as stupid as I thought it'd be,” Arthur said.
“I'm glad it gets your royal stamp of approval.”
“I'm not sure I'd go that far….”
“Come on, you know you love it.”
Arthur mumbled something under his breath.
“What was that? I couldn't hear you over the music.”
“Come with me and I'll tell you.” Arthur pulled him to a dark corner by the arcade.
“What's so important that you had to drag me all the way over here?”
It was hard to tell in the near-dark, but Arthur looked flushed.
“I just wanted to say. I do like skating. But — there's something I'd like even more.”
Then Arthur leaned forward and kissed him. Arthur's lips were dry and warm and tasted like donuts. Merlin's brain had a hard time processing it. Arthur pulled back, a look of uncertainty on his face, clear even in the murk.
Merlin's brain jumped into high-gear. Arthur was kissing him. Arthur was kissing him, but stopped because Merlin wasn't responding. Arthur was right: Merlin really could be an idiot sometimes.
He reached out with his hands and placed them on Arthur’s cheeks. He looked carefully into Arthur's eyes one more time, just to make sure. All he saw there was hope and love. So Merlin kissed him back with the pent-up desire of centuries of wanting.
As it turns out, Merlin never did manage to prove that Arthur Pendragon was not, in fact, the best at everything. But since Arthur's skills included phenomenal kissing (among other things!), Merlin decided that that was okay with him.