Title: A Princely Encounter
Summary: Many times, arguments are wholly preventable. This one between Merlin and Arthur need not have ever happened, but it did, and Merlin feels responsible. But is it his fault?
Warnings: language, explicit sex, and a brief mention of past physical abuse (not between Arthur and Merlin)
Prompt 268: Argument
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
“I didn’t know,” Merlin half-shouted, half-cried from the other side of the door, alternately knocking and ringing the doorbell, pleading with his eyes and voice for Arthur to listen to him. “You must believe me. I didn’t know.” The tears that Merlin had willed away finally broke forth and prevented him from saying anything further. He turned around and slid down the door, inconsolable. He’d ruined everything, hadn’t he? The best thing to happen to him in… well, forever, and he’d buggered it up. In the span of ten hours, he’d proved everyone right.
He was an idiot.
He’d met Arthur ten hours ago, had the best sex of his life nine hours ago, spent an hour in the shower being sucked and sucking Arthur dry seven hours ago, been told that he was someone Arthur wanted to get to know better six hours ago, and he’d been yelled at and had his mobile ripped out of his hands and thrown against the wall five hours ago.
“What have I done?” Merlin said through his sobs, wiping his nose on his shirtsleeve, and looking up when the door across the hall opened. The last thing he needed was for someone to see him like this. Not that it mattered, though. Not really. No one here knew who he was, did they?
“Dear, he left about an hour ago,” said the kind-looking little old lady. “And not that it’s any of my business, love, but he looked as miserable as you do. I’m sure whatever the two of you had a row about will be put to rights as soon as he returns. He’s lucky to have you. I am quite sure you, unlike the others before you, would be able to keep him grounded.” With a grin, she stepped back into her flat. Merlin stared at the closed door, mouth wide open. She obviously knew who Arthur was.
Merlin sighed. He wished he’d been so lucky.
Embarrassed, he looked around and wondered if there were any other people standing on the other sides of their doors, checking to see why some bloke was stood outside a door, acting a fool.
Thinking he’d made enough of a fool of himself for one day, Merlin got to his feet and began the short trek to the lifts. Perhaps if he hurried he could still meet up with Freya at the library and get some studying in. His mind wasn’t exactly on academia and he doubted it would be anytime soon, but he needed to get his mind off of Arthur, and spending the afternoon with Freya beat sitting at home, moping.
No sooner had he pushed the down button when the lift opposite opened and out walked Arthur, looking about as put together as Merlin suspected he was. He seemed startled to see Merlin, but then he shrugged his shoulders and looked nonplussed.
It just about killed Merlin.
He’d really messed up. Royally fucked up.
Not that Arthur was blameless, however. There’d been no need for him to take Merlin’s mobile and throw it against the wall, no matter how upset he had been. Had he just told Merlin from the beginning, none of this would have happened.
Merlin looked down at his mobile, thankful it still worked.
“Why couldn’t you have listened to me this morning instead of storming out and slamming the door like a silly two-year-old?” Arthur asked, hurt oozing out of his voice. “Had you listened to me you wouldn’t have had to come back here this afternoon. You would have never left,” he added, his bottom lip sticking out.
“Sorry,” Merlin said as he shook his head, although he really didn’t think he was the only one who needed to apologize. “I know that’s not going to make a difference, but I am.” Merlin stuck his hands in his jean pockets and pivoted, ready to walk away.
“So you’re going to walk away again, are you? That’s rich, Merlin. Just walk away when things get too hot.” Arthur’s voice was now low, almost so low that Merlin couldn’t hear what he said.
Merlin knew he should probably turn around and face Arthur like a man, but he couldn’t.
“I didn’t mean to throw your phone and almost break it earlier, Merlin, but you were going to post that picture we’d taken and I panicked. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you who I was. I thought you knew.”
At this, Merlin did turn around. “Well, I didn’t,” he said in what he hoped was a firm voice. “And I have already apologized, but what did you expect me to do? Would you have hung around had the guy you’d just fucked into the mattress taken your mobile and flung it across the room? Would you, Arthur? Because as much as I like you, I am not going to put up with that shit from anyone. My mate’s mother was in an abusive relationship and I’ll be damned if I end up in one as well.” At this, Merlin felt the tears return, but he allowed them to fall. He felt so very alone. He had opened himself up the night before—something he rarely did—and now he felt such the fool. He’d messed up, just like he always did. When he heard the familiar ding, he turned around, to get into the lift.
“Please don’t go, Merlin. Please. I was wrong to do what I did. I’m not even going to try to justify it, even if that picture would have opened up the rumour mill. You’re right. I should have told you. Now, will you please come back with me so we can talk? I really like you and don’t want to lose you.”
Merlin nearly stepped into the lift, but he didn’t. He slowly turned around, but he made sure he was glaring. If he was going to be friends or more with Arthur Pendragon, heir to the throne of Camelot, he wasn’t going to make it easy.