Title: Dinner with the Fan (the end)
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gwen, Gwaine
Summary: Merlin and Arthur get to know each other.
Warnings: Fluff, omg.
Word Count: 1K
Prompt: #251: Perfectly Imperfect
Author's Notes: C'est fini! :D This is the last part of Dinner with the Fan, you can find previous parts here: Part 1|Part 2.
He lies awake on his bed listening to the noise outside, Gwen's animated voice and Gwaine's laughter coming through, Merlin pictures them sitting in the living room, whispering, heads bent close so they can figure out what exactly happened in Merlin's night out with Arthur. He hides a smile under his covers, relishing in the fact he shares a secret with Arthur, what they said to each other, the kisses they traded, sweet and imperfect, perfectioned only after they discovered each others mouths and the movements of their bodies. Those things are for no one but themselves.
His friends can speculate until morning comes if they want.
Unable to go to sleep, Merlin takes his mobile from the bedside table and unlocks it. Soon the screen is taken over by a selfie he took of Arthur and himself, in it they're standing in the living room of Arthur's old house, the furniture behind them covered by sheets, Merlin is staring directly at the camera with a grin on his lips he couldn't keep off because Arthur had been pressed against his side, murmuring obnoxious 'facts' about him a magazine printed once, Arthur's face is hidden in Merlin's shoulder, only his blond hair is visible. Merlin knows he was laughing too. He felt hot puffs against his neck, Merlin couldn't help it and he kissed Arthur right then, thinking that if he never saw Arthur again at least he could memorize his lips, his taste, the way he sighed and melted into Merlin like it was that easy. Like he also wanted to commit to memory the moment.
It's hard to believe in just one night he felt closer to Arthur than anyone else he's met, but it happened. He presses his thumb to the small screen. Hopefully Arthur's talent for lying on screen doesn't translate to real life and he calls Merlin like he promised.
Early in the morning Merlin is awakened by the smell of food, he pads into the kitchen minutes later in his pajamas and half asleep, his phone clutched in his left hand. He eyes his friends suspiciously as they merrily work in tandem to put breakfast on the wobbly table Merlin and Gwaine salvaged when Percy's mum got rid of it. He sits down, ignoring the blinking red light signalling he has a new message. His stomach does a funny somersault type thing at the sight.
"You stayed over," Merlin observes as Gwen sits next to him giving him a sunny smile. She nods ignoring Merlin's unvoiced question.
"We stayed up the entire night watching Planet Earth. It seemed logical."
Merlin doesn't buy it, for all that she's sweet, Gwen likes gossip way too much. And Gwaine basically breathes gossip. He ignores them and digs into his food before it gets cold.
They barely make it through breakfast without one of them cracking. They make comments about the weather, their classes and yeah, what was that movie that Gwen wanted to see. Merlin admires their lack of subtlety.
"You're not going to let me live unless I talk," Merlin states.
"No, mate," Gwaine answers smiling too broadly.
Gwen goes as far as pouting. "Please, just give us something. You went out with a movie star. That doesn't happen every day."
She's right. It doesn't. He feels uncomfortable about Arthur being called a movie star, he's much more than that. Merlin's seen him, he's flesh and bone, alive and breathing, just a man who cackled when Merlin almost tripped over a branch as they were making their way back to the car and teased him about it. The man who kissed Merlin until his eyes closed and he could hear his heartbeat in his ears.
Merlin shrugs, stares at them both. "It was nice. Very expensive food. Answered a few questions for an online magazine or something about the contest and Arthur."
"That's it?" Gwen asks obviously disappointed by Merlin's lackluster response.
His phone ringing and buzzing with an incoming call saves him from saying anything else. Merlin blocks the screen before they can see who's calling and retires to his room to speak in private.
Arthur's voice greets him from the other end of the line.
Arthur develops the habit of calling Merlin almost everyday, sometimes at ungodly hours because his free time is limited, but Merlin doesn't mind and once he goes straight to class after they disconnected the call after realizing it was already morning. Talking with Arthur is easy, they talk about work and family, and their plans for the future, about their favorite food and climate change because Merlin believes it's in their hands to do something about it, and some nights they don't even talk, they just breathe and fall asleep as if they were in the same room.
It's two moths before he sees Arthur live again, he was away shooting a new film. He texted Merlin and sent silly pics from the set, and started calling him on Skype because he claimed he needed to approve Merlin's outfit after he mentioned a job interview he had and made Merlin change about three times because he was appalled by what Merlin called fancy clothes. Overnight Arthur carves himself a spot in Merlin's life effortlessly. To Merlin is difficult to remember what it was like before they met.
"What are you doing?" Is the first thing Arthur says when Merlin answers his call.
"Eh," Merlin says scratching his neck, looking around his messy room and the open document in his laptop that's supposed to be an essay. "I'm studying. Doing homework. Usual Tuesday night."
Merlin hears Arthur speak to someone in the background and some fumbling. "Hey, do you think I could come over?"
The question is so unexpected he loses his power of speech, his hands suddenly sweaty. "You don't know where I live." He winces as soon as the words come out.
"But I do, we still have your information from the contest. Your address was part of the form."
"Oh wow, that's a total lack of privacy."
Arthur snorts. "My team needed to know in case you turned out to be a psychopath. So, can I pay you a visit."
Half an hour later Merlin takes a deep, deep breath before he goes to open the door denying his hands are shaking and thanking Leon finally gave Gwaine the opportunity to wine and dine him and sex him up, meaning he has the flat for himself.
After so many weeks of constantly talking it's odd and wonderful and thrilling to see Arthur standing right in front of him. He looks tired but his smile is as brilliant and cheeky as he's seen it countless of times over the laptop's screen and pictures. This close it's almost startling. His hair a bit longer and Merlin wants to run his fingers run through it. Merlin thinks he forgets to breathe for a minute.
"Hi," Merlin says. He swallows. Blinks, begins to smile.
"Hey. I came here from the airport, hope you don't mind." Merlin shakes his head, notices for the first time Arthur's luggage beside him.
They both reach for each other at the same time, and god, kissing Arthur is Merlin's new favorite thing, it's a bit desperate tongues and teeth and wandering hands, and Merlin realizes he's been waiting for this moment, for Arthur to come and literally sweep him off his feet and touches him like he doesn't plan to stop, ever. His presence is intoxicating. They make it as far as the living room floor, and Merlin briefly wonders if they closed the door but it doesn't matter because Arthur is there within his reach, and then they're naked and everything, life, start to make sense and Merlin pulls Arthur closer, closer, and forgets about everything that isn't Arthur.
Arthur doesn't leave for a week.
Merlin does not shriek when someone pulls him by the arm into a secluded area of the campus obscured by tall trees and buildings. He turns around to look at his attacker only to slap him right on the side of his head.
"What the hell was that?" Merlin asks unimpressed by his boyfriend. Arthur holds his hands up to stop Merlin from unleashing his fury. "And what the hell are you wearing?"
Arthur's attire consists of a ridiculous baseball cap he bought when he was in Los Angeles, expensive sunglasses, jeans and a coat Gwen insisted on getting him last Christmas. "I'm going incognito," he answers like Merlin is being an idiot for not realizing it.
"You sure are going to thrown them off," Merlin comments sarcastically."What are you doing here, anyway. I thought we were meeting back at the flat. Gwaine already bought drinks so you two can get smashed, in his own words."
"Yeah, yeah, but something came up," Arthur says in a serious tone.
"What? What happened? Did Morgana find out what we did in her bed?" Merlin's learned it's better to stay clear from an angry Morgana.
"No, but I realized I couldn't wait to see you," Arthur says in a resigned tone. Merlin rolls his eyes but he's breathless from Arthur's confession. Arthur always manages to do that to Merlin. "So, here I am."
"You're just a sap, aren't you, Arthur Pendragon?" Merlin steps closer to Arthur, puts both hands on his chest.
"I'm afraid so, but it's all your fault Merlin Emrys." Arthur's words are spoken inches away from Merlin's lips.
They kiss hidden away from prying eyes and when they part Merlin is satisfied to see the hazy look on Arthur's face, the redness of his lips, the flush on his cheeks. He must look the same. He grabs his hand and pulls him with him. "Come on, we have people waiting for us."
Arthur grins. "Yeah, we wouldn't want to miss the coverage about my secret boyfriend."
Merlin nods, smiles to himself.