Title: Be My Hideaway
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Freya
Summary: Arthur Pendragon is part of Camelot University's rowing team, always pushing himself to be better, giving everything for his team. From outside his life looks ideal. But looks can be deceiving. Merlin Emrys, an art student and sports aficionado finds inspiration in him.
Word Count: 575
Prompt: #288: Thankful-unpredictable
Author's Notes: I'm callling this part 3b because I still consider it part of chapter 3. Previous parts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
"It's lovely here, isn't it?" Freya pointed out. Merlin teared his gaze from Arthur, and looked around instead.
The campsite was charming, its bright green grass, tunnels of trees, bike trails and nearby lake made it seem like the idyllic place to spend your weekend. Enjoying nature and relaxing. "It really is," he agreed, making sure Freya understood he meant the landscape, and not--well, some people.
Freya made a disbelieving sound. "You're impossible."
"I'm not sure I know what you mean," he said turning on his heels and went inside the tent he had pitched for them. It didn't susprise him when Freya followed him in, she sat on her on top of her sleeping bag crossing her legs.
The unimpressed look she gave him had him wanting to ignore her, but in the small tent it was impossible.
"I'm not talking about it," he said in the end. Not saying anything would've been worst.
"I'm not asking you. You've made it clear you won't say a word about last night."
And Merlin wouldn't, somehow he didn't want to share what Arthur had said. Not even to his best friend. "Sorry," he apologized.
"Don't be. I get it, or I'm trying to," she said. Merlin didn't miss her frown. "But you could at least tell me why you're not out there with him."
Merlin shrugged. "I wasn't expecting him to invite me here, or for us to actually come. This is strange, isn't it? I mean this is not my usual Saturday. "
"Is that so bad?" Freya asked reaching to hold his hand. "You can finally stare at Arthur for hours on end. It thought you'd be crawling out of your skin with excitement. "
Merlin laughed shaking his head. "I hadn't thought about it like that."
"You can always count on me to show you a different and better perpective."
He tugged on her hand to pull her in for a hug, his face buried on her hair. He mumbled, "What would I do without you?"
"Mope around all day," she answered easily.
"What's going on here?!"
Merlin and Freya jumped apart at the loud voice. Gwaine was half inside the tent, a grin on his face. Merlin could see Arthur behind him, peering in. An unreadable expression on his face.
Freya was the first one to react, she pushed Gwaine's head out and the rest of him with it. She got out, making sure to send her best you're coming too face before she did.
Outside the sky was getting darker, soon they'd be able to see all the stars they were missing when they were in the city. Merlin felt a presence, another body standing next to him, closer then he'd ever thought.
"Sorry if we interrupted anything," Arthur said.
"Don't be. It was just best friend stuff," he explained. Freya was a few steps away, already engaged in conversation with Gwen.
"Best friend stuff?" Arthur wondered raising an eyebrow. Slowly, Merlin saw how his lips formed an amused smile. "Merlin, were you having a heart to heart?"
"Oh, you git," Merlin said playfully shoving Arthur and made him break in laughter.
"We were actually talking about how conceited rowers are," Merlin told him sweetly.
"Lies. All lies. We're very affable people."
"Sure. Keep telling yourself that. I wouldn't want you to lose any sleep."
Arthur snorted and somehow they ended up stading close, face to face, grinning stupidly at each other.