Word Count: 396
Prompt: Artist appreciation, high school AU
Notes: Sorry, once again not beta’d.
Arthur didn’t even notice that he was miles away and staring. It had all started as a joke. He had only joined the theatre club because Morgana made him. And, if he were honest, to meet some girls. He never wanted the lead role in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, especially not opposite of Morgana. How could he feign to love her? She was his sister! And pretty nasty and unforgiving when he forgot his lines or couldn’t pretend that she was the love of his life.
When Morgana had broken her ankle at polo practice and was unable to perform – a Juliet with a huge cast and on crutches would have looked a bit too weird - most of the girls wanted to substitute for her. To everyone’s surprise, Mrs. Goldstein had given the role to Merlin. Because he knew the play best and already had the lines memorized. And because the costumes could be changed to his size the easiest. Or something.
Everybody had thought it would be weird, but in Shakespearian times, the characters were usually portrayed by an all-male cast, Arthur remembered that from their trip to the Globe in London. He didn’t care, though. All of a sudden, it was a lot easier to say the lines, now that he didn’t have to swear his undying love to his sister but Merlin, the gangly, funny bloke with the sticking out ears and the blue eyes, who never scolded him for missing his cue or hissed at him for standing in the wrong spot.
They still had about a week before the premier and Arthur knew he should have been nervous. He looked funny in his costume and he still had trouble remembering all his lines. His thoughts, though, were with Merlin. The way Merlin laughed, the way Merlin paced behind the stage, his textbook in hand, the way Merlin looked at him, the way he moved and the way he easily slipped into and out of character. Had he hardly noticed Merlin’s existence before, Arthur saw him everywhere in school now. He loved the shy smile Merlin sent him and couldn’t help but stare.
Just as he did now. Merlin had gotten his Juliet-wig and modelled it for everyone in the classroom, drawing lots of giggles and cheers from their class mates.
Arthur didn’t laugh. He had never seen anyone more beautiful.