Character/s: Arthur, Morgana, Merlin, mentions of Gwen and Gwaine
Summary: Arthur really had not meant to be cruel.
Word Count: 997
Prompt: Prompt #259 Artist Appreciation: Posh Pendragons in High School AU
Author's Notes: Inspired by the very talented 16th-of-a-twigg's art. Find her work at http://16th-of-a-twigg.tumblr.com
“Well, what am I supposed to do now?” grumbled Arthur, as Morgana took yet another selfie.
“I don’t know, Arthur. Maybe you could practice thinking before you speak?” Morgana fluffed her hair again, then spared Arthur a quick glance. She was not about to admit it yet, but her heart softened a bit at his misery.
“It’s too late. I can’t possibly make this better,” said Arthur.
“Well, who is being a drama queen now,” Morgana chided, though her tone was not lacking in sympathy. “It can’t possibly be as bad as you think it is.”
Arthur groaned. “Morgana, my bag caught on his coat and ripped a huge hole in it. When he got upset, I made fun of his ratty clothing, and asked if he didn’t have anything better to wear.” Arthur banged his head against the desk. “I told him I did him a favor…helping him let go of his dearly beloved old coat to make way for something decent.”
“Arthur, how could you?”
“I’m so stupid. Gwaine was trying to get me to shut up, but I had no idea what his wild gesticulations were about. I had no idea he couldn’t afford better clothing. I assumed he didn’t care about clothes. I know I can be a jerk, but I never intended to be cruel.”
“You really like him?” cooed Morgana.
“Leave off me—please Morgana, I feel bad enough.”
“C’mon, Arthur, let’s go,” said Morgana, grabbing Arthur by the hand.
“We are going to get Merlin a new coat to replace the one you ruined. He can’t be more offended than he already is, because when you damage something that belongs to someone else, that is what you are supposed to do. At least not if you present it properly.”
Morgana led the way to her car, “I’ll drive. I think I know the perfect place to find something nice for him.”
Arthur’s mood lifted as soon as he felt some possibility of making things better. He began to think about what he would say to Merlin when he gave him the new coat. They looked through racks of coats, searching for something similar to Merlin’s old coat, thinking that might offend him least.
“Morgana, come look at this. Isn’t it perfect?”
“Umm, you know that’s nothing like his old coat,” she replied.
“Yeah,” said Arthur, holding the coat in front of him, “but look at it—can’t you imagine how good he’ll look in this? He looks amazing in any kind of blue, and this navy is really nice.”
Arthur looked up from the coat to see what Morgana thought of the coat, and caught her grinning indulgently.
“Well, Arthur, if Merlin could hear you right now, he’d never be able to resist. You’ve got it bad, baby brother. And, yes, that coat is just perfect.”
Morgana and Arthur headed back to school. Arthur carefully avoided the wing which housed the classes he had skipped to go shopping. Knowing that both Merlin and Gwen worked on the school newspaper every day after school, he settled down on the window seat nearby and took out the notecard he'd picked up. He had just finished writing when the newspaper kids started exiting the office. As Merlin stepped into the doorway, Arthur approached, apprehensive.
“Merlin, can I talk to you for a minute.”
Merlin scowled, but Gwen pushed Merlin towards Arthur, “Go on then, give him a minute.”
Merlin followed Arthur back to the end of the hallway. His scowl relaxed a bit as he noticed that Arthur seemed tentative. “What’s up, Arthur?”
Arthur looked at him helplessly, picked up the bag he had left on the windowseat, pulled the note out of his pocket, and thrust everything into Merlin’s arms. “Read it, please.”
Merlin opened the note and began to read, “Dear…”
“NO! Not aloud, please! Ugh!”
“Okay, okay,” said Merlin, continuing on silently.
I am so sorry about ruining your coat, and the stupid joke I made. I’ve been told I have a tendency to be an idiot when I’m embarrassed, and I felt bad about being so clumsy. I hope you will allow me to pay my debt for the damage by replacing your coat. I was looking for a similar coat, but when I saw this, I couldn’t help but picture how perfect this would look on you. You always look amazing in blue, and this color seemed just right. If it doesn’t fit, or you want to exchange it for a different coat or size, the card is in the bag, but I’m hoping you don’t, because I would really love to see you in this one.
Merlin took a deep breath and looked up to smile at Arthur, but Arthur had turned and was staring steadfastly out the window. Merlin put the note in his pocket, took out the coat, and carefully put it on. It felt absolutely lovely. The fabric was soft and warm, and the color was his favorite blue. He walked towards the window to place a gentle hand on Arthur’s shoulder.
“Hey, what do you think?” he said gently.
Arthur turned, swallowing hard as he looked Merlin up and down. “I think you’re, I mean it’s the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen,” said Arthur, turning bright red, but unwilling to look away.
“Hmm,” answered Merlin, “You know the feeling is mutual, don’t you?”
“Umm, yeah, really,” said Merlin, slowly moving into Arthur’s space until Arthur was backed against the wall. “So, can I kiss you?”
Speechless, Arthur nodded his head.
Merlin placed one hand on the wall and the other in Arthur’s hair, drawing him in for a kiss.
At length, Arthur pulled away, laying his head on Merlin’s shoulder, running his hands up the soft navy blue wool, “Friends?” he asked smiling into the fabric.
“Friends,” murmured Merlin.