Title: 5 times Merlin fell even deeper in love and 1 time he learned he was not the only one. Part 6b. Percy's stray
Pairing/s: (pre) Merlin/Percival, Percival/Mordred
Character/s: Merlin, Percival, Mordred
Summary: Merlin tries to get his head around what happened at the prom. Then he gets an invite to Percy's home and things get worse.
Word Count: ~950
Prompt:#254 HAM4CAM-YOULL BE BACK
Author's Notes: No beta. No brain, No time to write at all!!!! If this hangs together, it's a freaking miracle.
Follow up to Four beddings and a funeral
Merlin’s eyebrows rose upwards in surprise. First appearances were often misleading, but Creepy Guy didn’t seem any better at second glance either.
Merlin forced a smile, meeting the man’s stare with all the neutrality he could master.
“I’m flattered you went to this trouble, really, you should have come over and said hello at the prom.”
Yeah, perhaps he could try a bit harder. He reached out his hand towards the stranger.
ldquo;I am Merlin, which I am sure you gathered from reading Percy’s texts.”
Merlin was only human after all. Creepy Guy’s eyes narrowed. He had to remove his hands from Percy’s body and move out in the hallway to grasp Merlin’s hand. Merlin counted that as a minor victory, if only for his own sanity. He paid the price in form of a bone crushing hand shake.
“Mordred,” the hand crusher said, smirking at Merlin’s attempt to not squirm. He then stepped back to the side of the front door. Percy seemed very unimpressed with the whole thing. Thankfully he had started buttoning up his shirt while Mordred’s hands were gone, taking good time in doing so. Merlin might be reading too much into it, but it seemed both the flat and Percy’s body had been closed off. Passive aggressive redressing. That's a first.
“You’ve been messing with my phone, Mo?”
Creepy Guy Mordred – Merlin was not letting go of that description yet – shrugged. “No need to be upset, babe, you still have the same key pattern you’ve had for years, I didn’t think you’d mind. Thought it would be a nice surprise. You haven’t seen him in what, days? No texts, no nothing. It’s been eating at you, haven’t it?”
Merlin had been texting. Him standing here now, with a folder nobody wanted, was proof of at least one text not arriving where it should have. Had Mordred deliberately deleted Merlin’s texts from Percy’s phone? Whatever for?
“You have no right to do that."
“We had a deal!” Mordred growled. “Now you're making me mad, throwing away this thing we had. For what?”
“Yeah, we HAD an arrangement, which you broke five fucking days after you got back. And now you're back again pretending things will be different this time around, but instead you keep info from me and message my friends, pretending to be me, pretending you're doing me a favour!”
“Friends! Yeah, right!” Mordred had dropped the innocent act now. “It's all over the internet how good friends you are. You know you belong to me. This is just a sad cry for help. Hell, he's just a skinny, faint copy of me! It's so obvious, anyone can see-”
“GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!”
Mordred wasn't the only one that jumped at the sudden burst of genuine fury from Percival. Percival ducked inside the flat and re-emerged to throw a set of shoes and a jacket at Mordred's face. Mordred seemed genuinely shocked, gasping like a fish on land before anger took over again.
“You'll regret this! You'll be back, soon, you'll see!”
He snorted at Merlin in passing, worthy of a thoroughbred, as he ran down the stairs with his things in his hands. Percy fumed, towering in the door frame.
Merlin threw worried glances between the running figure, Percy, and the neighbour peeking through an partly open door.
A doors slammed shut somewhere beneath them, and Percy simply broke. He stumbled inside and sank to the floor. Merlin glared at the neighbour who promptly closed the door. Seemed this was the type who watched rather than called the police when there was trouble. Merlin went inside quietly, closing the door behind him and making sure it was locked.
“I tried to make it work." Percy mumbled. "I thought that if he really had changed, if he was like before, it would be worth a shot.”
He didn't meet Merlin's eyes, which was just as well, Merlin didn't know how to act or where to look.
“I don't know what to say, Percy. But you can’t save all the strays.”
Percy laughed, a humourless, dry laugh. He was a miserable sight. Merlin wanted to make him smile, to see those eyes sparkle again, but what jokes or dumb story did he have that would fit now?
"I'll go make some tea."
Great, he had turned into his mom. Tea fixes everything. Sure.
A dangerous hiss made him stop in his tracks. He looked over at the angry cat, who was staring wild eyed and lethal at him. He must have caught her off guard. He huffed in her direction and made a point out of staying out of her way. She sure used a lot of energy to keep the humans of the house away from her. From her perspective it must seem like her continuous effort to present herself as a furry ball of death and mayhem was what was making the humans behave and kept her kittens alive. She could have had a comfy life. She could be purring her days away, curled up on the sofa with Percy.
While Merlin was filling the kettle and overthinking the reasons the cat had to be hostile, Percy silently came in and joined him. Merlin's train of thought went on. You didn’t need to use this much energy to chase people away unless they actually were a threat. There wasn’t any need to stand your ground and mark your territory unless you thought someone might take it from you. If your territory was likely to forget that it belonged to you, and referred to you as “just an ex” even if you had just left a large land claim on it. Not it, Merlin's brain amended. Him. Claiming Percy.