Title: More Than This
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Uther, Morgana, Mithian
Summary: Arthur has a talk with his father.
Warnings: Modern!AU. Angst.
Word Count: 1055
Prompt: "Promotion" for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Part 16 of the "divorce!fic"
1. All too familiar 2. Leaving the past in the past 3. That Familiar Feeling 4. We laugh and we cry (And we break) 5. Busy was always better. 6. The need to stop the hurt 7. Despite our estrangement 8. And you would smile, and that would be enough 9. We Have To Win 10. The Calm Before The Storm 11. A Glimpse 12. The First Time 13. Risking It All 14. Comfort 15. Decisions
Arthur was right. When he woke up the next morning in his hotel room, he'd been alone. Perhaps it was too much to ask that Merlin would have waited for him, but he'd known this going in. He'd made it sound casual, and Merlin had treated it like that.
Maybe they could continue like this, he thought. Just keep it casual. He had a lot to deal with in his life, and going back to a relationship—if that was even possible—with Merlin wasn't something he needed to add on his plate.
If anything, he needed to get things off his plate.
The news of offering Mithian a promotion didn't sit well with Uther. After two missed calls, four text messages, and two calendar invites for a meeting, Arthur finally decided to call his father back.
"You're not in any position to promote employees," Uther said to him the moment Arthur had entered through the door to his father's office.
"She's on my team, and honestly, can single-handedly deal with any catastrophe that's thrown our way. She deserved this promotion more than anything."
Uther eyed him carefully, and Arthur wondered if he'd even have a chance to submit his resignation. With the way his father was looking at him, he was all but ready to getting sacked. It would have been a relief, anyway. Arthur hated confrontations.
Explained a lot to why he never really pursued Merlin after he'd left him. As strong as he'd looked on the outside, Arthur barely fought his battles. He had others to do that for him.
But that was all about to change now, wasn't it?
"My developing strategist tells me that if I undermine this promotion, it'll only look bad for the company," Uther said, looking away from Arthur, yet his anger hadn't dissipated. "You're lucky I don't sack the both of you. If it were anyone else, I'd think you'd planned this to stab me in the back."
"For what?" Arthur asked in disbelief, we work for Pendragon industries, and keeping her happy would only ensure that your company does well. That she won't steal your secrets and go and trade them in with your competition."
"She wouldn't dare," Uther said, scoffing. As if no one in this world could defy him. Uther Pendragon. King of Camelot.
Arthur rolled his eyes. "There's something I wish to discuss with you," he said.
"I'm not approving another holiday for you. You've been lacking at work enough. I cannot believe you didn't take the opportunity to go to California to expand—"
"It's not a holiday," Arthur said, losing his patience. He wasn't going to sit there and get scolded for another thirty minutes only to inform his father that he was leaving—to face his wrath again.
God, didn't this man get tired of always having a hissy fit?
"Well, what is it? I've another meeting with—"
"Here," Arthur said, throwing an envelope on Uther's desk. "I've already submitted my copy to the Human Resources director. Just to make it official."
"Official what?" Uther asked; he didn't even glance on the envelope as he'd not taken his eyes off Arthur.
"I'm leaving," Arthur said. When Uther still didn't react, Arthur added, "the company."
"Don't be ridiculous, Arthur. I'm sure this is all his doing. Now that he's back in touch with you."
Arthur closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. "This has nothing to do with him."
"Oh doesn't it? Morgana told me you'd started to see him again. I had hoped that after all this time, you'd learned your lesson. Moved on to someone worth the status of our family."
Arthur knew telling Morgana had been a mistake, but if he'd not had the talk with Morgana in the first place, he wouldn't have found out the truth. About the things she'd said to Merlin, about the things his father had done to keep them apart.
"I haven't been happy for a long time, Father. You know this, and you had to have known that this was coming. I can't continue here—"
"I hope you know that you can't use the family money to start your own business. To become my competition," Uther said, finally looking down at the envelope Arthur had placed in front of him, and opening the letter. He scoffed again as he read the content.
"The last thing I want to do is continue doing what I was doing here. And as for the family money..." Arthur shook his head. "You can keep it."
He had enough savings to last him a few years. Everything he'd earned at Pendragon Industries, Arthur had saved. He'd been good about doing that thanks to Merlin, and his flat was paid for by the money his mother had left him. His father didn't own him, and even if he wanted to put a freeze on Arthur's severance package—he could. Arthur had expected that. After ten years of service, all employees had an exit package saved for them if they'd left the company on good terms. Arthur offering an official resignation letter, giving enough notice to leave the job, and leaving his team in good hands was all part of a "good exit strategy." But he was sure that his father could complicate things for him.
He wouldn't have expected otherwise.
Arthur walked out of his father's office before Uther had a chance to truly rail it down on him. He was in a decent enough mood and didn't want his father to ruin his day.
He was certain that after an hour, he'd start getting phone calls and text messages from Morgana demanding answers. So he figured that the best thing he could do was shut his phone off. But before he did that, Arthur sent out a message. To Merlin.
Arthur: Hey, going to shut my mobile off because of...reasons. I'll be at the room again tonight. Stop by if you want. Eight o'clock.
He didn't wait for a reply. Arthur turned his mobile off and headed home. He decided to pack an overnight bag as he hated using the hotel toothbrush and paste, and went to dinner at his favourite sushi place.
One night with Merlin wasn't enough. Arthur definitely wanted a repeat. And if he knew Merlin, Merlin felt the same.
READ PART 17 HERE