Summary: Arthur said they needed to talk and Merlin doesn’t take it well
Word Count: 968
Prompt: We need to talk
Author's Notes: Sorry, once again not beta’d.
„And when I come home, Merlin, we need to talk…“
Merlin felt his body go numb as he heard that Arthur was called away.
Arthur had hung up on him. Not in his lifetime had the thought that the moment would come where Arthur ‘needed to talk’. Something was wrong and Merlin couldn’t figure out what it was.
They were a dream team, everybody knew it. Who cared that he wasn’t as tidy as Arthur or that Arthur still didn’t know better than just making plans with the footie team or his other friends without asking Merlin if he wanted to come along.
Most nights, he wanted to come along anyway. The endless footie-talk was boring, but the guys were alright and he wanted to spend time with Arthur. Once in a while, Arthur noticed that he overdid it and swept Merlin away for a romantic weekend where they either just stayed in bed in a luxurious hotel or had fun exploring their surroundings.
What had happened that Arthur ‘needed to talk’ now? Merlin knew he had spent a lot of time on trips lately where he was documenting the different styles of magic that still existed in an attempt to get an overview and to be able to offer better help to those who came to him. He knew he had been sleeping a lot after he had caught that virus or whatever it had been but he was fine now. He had even made breakfast on the weekend and managed to clean the windows of their place.
Merlin couldn’t concentrate on anything. He was supposed to hand in his report about the last trip in two days, but now he just sat there, the blinking cursor on his screen mocking him, his thoughts miles away. Why did Arthur want to talk? What had gone wrong? Jumping up as he thought he was suffocating, Merlin went to the balcony and stood in the icy cold February day for a long moment before he had calmed down a bit. Arthur hadn’t shown any signs that something didn’t go to his liking. Then again, Arthur wasn’t big on words anyway. In his job, yes, Arthur could talk about projects for hours and hours and it was all thrilling and exciting, but when it came to them he was more a man of actions. If he didn’t like something, he would just have done another thing to make this right, right? What if he had just gone and found another partner? Probably because he thought Merlin was boring?
Looking into the mirror, Merlin saw all the reasons why someone like Arthur would go look for someone else. Even though he was tall and his shoulders had broadened due to a lot of work-outs, he was still slightly on the gangly side and his ears had always been a constant reason for being mocked as were his teeth that were slightly off centre and his almost too full lips.
Merlin slumped into a chair. What would he do? Where would he live if Arthur dumped him tonight? These past five years had been the best time of his life and Merlin doubted he would survive without Arthur. Nothing made sense without him.
Not even moving when he heard the key being turned in the front door, Merlin felt a part of himself dying.
“Merlin? Merlin, where are you?”
Merlin didn’t answer. He just hoped that Arthur would be gentle and just tell him right to the face that it was over and not make a big deal out of it.
“There you are! Why are you sitting in the dark?”
Arthur was oddly cheerful and Merlin felt sick to the stomach. So this was it, the moment that would end his life.
Blinking against the brightness of the light as Arthur switched on the lamp next to the dresser, Merlin sniffed.
“What’s wrong?” Arthur was next to him in an instant. “Why are you crying? What happened?”
Merlin couldn’t stand Arthur’s gaze and turned his head away. “Nothing.” Everything. Everything was wrong.
Arthur sighed but didn’t move. He carefully reached over and wiped the tears off Merlin’s cheek. “What is it? Have you been reading a sad book? Watching a sad movie?”
Merlin shook his head. He couldn’t speak. Arthur’s gesture was so gentle and thinking that he would probably never do that again made Merlin’s heart shatter all the more.
“Oh God, Merlin, is something wrong with your mom?”
Hearing the gasp and the urgency in Arthur’s voice made Merlin look up. “No, not with her.”
“Who? Who is it? Gaius? One of our friends? Tell me!”
Merlin ran the back of his hand across his mouth. “Us. There has to be something wrong with us and I can’t figure out what it is and how to fix it.”
Arthur blinked. “With us? Why? What makes you think that?”
“You…” Merlin tried to hold back a sob. “You said we need to talk.”
Staring at Merlin for a moment, Arthur then started to chuckle. “Oh, come here, you silly man, you.” He reached out and pulled Merlin close.
This was all it took for Merlin to finally fall apart. He cried on Arthur’s shoulders. “Whatever it is, I’ll change it. Don’t leave me!” He whispered.
“I’m not going to leave you. You’re stuck with me forever.”
“But…” Merlin still sobbed. “Why do we need to talk?”
Arthur pulled back a bit and looked at Merlin. “I got called away for a meeting before I could finish the sentence.” He smiled carefully at Merlin. “What I wanted to say was: We need to talk about what we’re going to do for Valentine’s this year. I had a few ideas but I wanted to hear your opinion before just booking something.”