Title: Stood Up
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Morgana
Summary: Arthur's date didn't go according to plan.
Word Count: 1000
Prompt: Blind Date
Author's Notes: Hope you enjoy!
Arthur tugged his tie nervously. He wore suits day in, day out, and had done since he was sixteen. But this time, here, tonight, in this place with what was coming, he would have preferred his favourite old jeans and a loose t-shirt.
It was all Morgana’s fault. Most things were, but this time, Arthur’s meddlesome sister had gone too far. It was one thing to harp on about Arthur never going out, not having a social life, but it was another thing to set him up on a blind date with her one of her friends. Arthur vividly remembered the last time Morgana had tried to interfere with his love life and knew it would be a long time before anyone forgot Sophia.
Arthur had already ordered a jug of water but could feel the staff sending curious glances his way. It was obvious he was waiting for someone, but Arthur had already been sitting there for nearly an hour and hadn’t ordered anything else. He wondered how long it would be before they threw him out, sympathetic looks and all.
Arthur blinked as a young man slid into the seat opposite him. He was dressed in smart jeans and a casual shirt, but it was his eyes that caught Arthur’s attention. They sparkled, although with mirth or just the joy at being alive, Arthur had no idea. He had never seen such expressive eyes and he blinked.
“And you are-?”
“Merlin.” The man held out his hand. Arthur ignored it.
“And all you can say is hi when you are an hour late?”
Secretly, Arthur was impressed that his sister had actually set him up with a guy. Although Arthur had admitted to liking both, he hadn’t realised that Morgana had even been listening. Neither of them had been sober for that conversation, it was why it had taken place in the first place.
The man winced.
“I’m not who you think I am.”
“If you think an air of mystery will make you forgive you…”
“No, I mean… I’m not your date. Got no idea who you are, actually.”
“What?” Arthur stared at him, lost for words. Merlin shrugged.
“I was passing and I saw the look on your face. I know a stand up when I see one, experienced it more times than I care to admit. So I thought I would come and save you.”
Merlin glanced around. A waitress was approaching, disapproval written all over her face. Arthur smirked, knowing she disapproved of Merlin making him wait. Merlin looked back at him and winked.
“And you would not believe the traffic taking the back streets, there must have been at least three accidents,” he declared loudly. The waitress stopped in her tracks and turned back the way she had come.
Before he could stop himself, Arthur snorted in amusement. Merlin grinned at him.
“I never caught your name.”
He didn’t know why he did it. He should thank the stranger for his assistance (not that he needed any help, thank you very much!), and be on his way. It was clear that Merlin was right – he had been stood up. When he next saw Morgana, he was going to kill her.
But he didn’t stand and leave. He stayed where he was and eventually, the waitress came back, menus tucked under her arm. He had dinner and more than a few drinks with Merlin and when the restaurant chucked them out at closing time, he invited Merlin back to his.
He wasn’t the sort of man to sleep with someone on a first date. But they were having a raging debate over television shows and Arthur was offering coffee and a film marathon before he knew what hit him.
The doorbell ringing at seven am the following morning made Arthur groan as he rolled from his bed. It was a Sunday; who called this early?
But as he stumbled through the flat, he heard Merlin moving in the guest room and he smiled.
“Did I oversleep?” Merlin asked, stumbling from the room. He was topless and for a moment, Arthur admired the view. It had been late and Merlin yawning by the time they had decided to call it a night and Arthur had invited him to stay. After furious blushing on both sides and an explanation that he meant in the spare room, Merlin had finally agreed.
Arthur pulled open the door to find Morgana standing there. He glared and she winced.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, pushing past him into the flat. “I was out with Gwen last night and I saw Vivian in the club and just knew that…Hello. Who are you?”
“Whose Vivian?” Arthur asked, closing the door behind her and ignoring the fact that she was staring at Merlin.
“Your date,” Morgana said distractedly. “Aren’t you going to introduce me?”
“No.” Arthur said flatly, smirking at her. “You’ve tried to interfere with my love-life too often. I can organise my own dates, thanks.”
“I think I did most of the organising,” Merlin said. “Hi, I’m-,”
“Don’t tell her. She’ll stalk you.” Arthur moved to stand next to Merlin. “Please get out of my flat, Morgana. I actually really don’t care that your supposed friend stood me up.”
“No,” Morgana said, “it looks like you did pretty well out of the deal there.”
She turned and left. Merlin looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
“Shut up,” Arthur muttered, trying not to blush. He yawned and moved through to the kitchen. “Tea?”
“Coffee,” Merlin said, following him through. “Let me help.”
And before Arthur knew it, they had spent the day together. Then the following weekend. Then Merlin had a spare key.
He eventually met Vivian. He was out with Merlin and his friends – who had fast become Arthur’s friends – and a blonde was batting her eyelashes at one of Merlin’s friends. A few enquiries later and Arthur had never been so grateful to be stood up.