Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin and Arthur talk after the pub.
Warnings: Modern!AU. Angst.
Word Count: 800
Prompt: "Schedule" for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Part 22 of the "divorce!fic"
[CATCH UP]Catch up:
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 16. More Than This 17. The Patience Game 18. Part of the truth 19. Dodging Calls, 20. What Arthur Wants, 21. Don't Run Away Again
"So, we'll do this again soon?" Merlin asked Arthur as they stood outside the pub. Gwen and Mithian had already left for the night, no doubt with the belief Arthur and Merlin were going to go home together.
But here they were, planning to meet again. And not planning to go home together.
"Are you trying to act like you still know me?" Arthur asked, amused.
"No, I wouldn't dare," replied Merlin. "I just…I thought maybe you wouldn't be interested in going home with me. Since, the last time you were there, it didn't end up so well, and you ignored me for days. I just think if we take it slow—maybe we'll get somewhere."
Arthur nodded. "Maybe."
"Arthur…" Merlin said in a grave tone before Arthur could say anything else. "I just want you to know my intentions."
"I'd planned on moving on with my life because I'd thought I'd burned all the bridges between us. But, I'm not a person who believes in fate, or destiny, or whatever, but we were set up on a blind date together. After being apart for two years. I'd never in my life thought it'd be you. I should've known it because—the way Gwen was going on about you, I'd thought maybe she had a crush on you. So I should've known. You have the effect on people. You make them love you."
"I can't make anyone do anything," said Arthur.
"That's not true."
"So what's your intention, exactly?"
"I want us to get back together," Merlin said. And they way he said it, it was almost like he was adding: Here. Plain and simple. I've said it. Now take it. Because Arthur knew he couldn't leave it.
"Can I ask one more question?" Artur asked, walking up to the edge of the road where he'd parked his car on the street.
"If you want me so badly—"
"As if you don't want me?" Merlin countered with a smug smile.
"Okay, fine. Whatever," Arthur said rolling his eyes. "We should just be together, because we'd no problems we didn't need to work on. We didn't need to schedule any therapy appointments or couples' counseling because we were just so bloody perfect and that's why you'd left—"
Merlin released an exasperated sigh. "What's your point, Arthur?" There was no venom in Merlin's voice, if anything, he sounded like Arthur's words were hurting him.
"When I saw you at the coffee shop, I'd left, you'd come after me. I mean I went to see Percy and you said you'd known I'd be there. And then you were so angry, and you left, and you told me to have a nice life—"
Merlin laughed which Arthur didn't appreciate. They'd walked up to Arthur's car now. Arthur unlocked the doors and Merlin followed him still. Without an invitation, without any hesitation, Merlin got in the car. Arthur had expected as such, and he was glad for it. He didn't need to offer Merlin a ride home in so many words, he was happy to know there were things about Arthur Merlin could pick up on.
They sat in the car quietly.
"I might've to wait a few more minutes before I drive. Just to make sure I'm sober enough."
"Yeah, sure," Merlin said, nodding. "D'you want a mint?"
They were quiet again.
"So about that night…" Merlin began, "…I was more angry at myself than anything. To say I didn't know what I wanted was the understatement of the year. Every time I thought I'd moved on; I was finally making some progress, there was something about you that'd pull me back in. And then I'd go in this roller coaster of emotions. I hated it. I hated myself. I hated myself for being so successful, finally, and still being so unhappy. And I blamed you."
"Why?" Arthur asked, surprised.
"I don't know. Because I'm crazy, and self-destructive. Because I'm still that poor boy you saw skateboarding around with his friends and hustling people out of their money on stupid bets. Because I never thought I could amount to anything and since you weren't there, that I didn't deserve it?"
"Hmm…" Arthur said, grim.
"Maybe you should schedule an appointment with a therapist. God, Merlin, if you can't make yourself happy. No one can."
Merlin laughed softly. "Maybe I should. Maybe it'll help me stop looking for you in my peripheral vision. Thinking maybe if you're just there—I might just make it."
"Merlin, you did make it," Arthur said. He turned in his seat to look at Merlin; really look at him, and he couldn't help it, as he reached over and threaded his fingers through Merlin's hair. "And I would always be there for you."
READ PART 23 HERE