Title: A Complete Misunderstanding
Pairing/s: Lancelot/Gwen, Arthur/Merlin
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Gwen
Summary: Arthur was going to admit his feelings. So was Merlin. Neither of them do.
Word Count: 1000
Prompt: Missed Chances
Author's Notes: Hope you enjoy.
As Camelot’s finest warrior and future King, nerves were not a sensation Arthur was familiar with.
He told himself it was Merlin’s bad cooking that was making his stomach roll.
He blamed it on the unseasonably warm weather that made his palms sweat, despite lacking any moisture at all in his mouth. His tongue darted over dry lips subconsciously and his stride was more of a shuffle than his usual swagger.
But he didn’t blame it on nerves, because the Crown Prince of Camelot did not feel nerves, let alone admit to them.
He had thought long and hard about what he was doing and decided it was the best course of action, the only option left open to him. Merlin had to know how he was feeling.
That didn’t stop him from trying to turn and bolt back to his own chambers multiple times as he moved towards Gaius’ rooms. He hoped beyond hope the physician was out on his rounds, as Arthur knew this was going to be awkward enough as it was.
He wasn’t sure when his fond exasperation towards his servant had turned into respect. He had absolutely no idea when that respect had morphed into something much deeper. It was easy to blame it on lust and lust alone when he pictured Merlin’s face as he took himself in hand each night. But he knew it wasn’t.
It made him want to protect Merlin from the world. His own thoughts were unnerving him and Arthur knew he had to do something.
Finally, Gaius’ door came into view. Arthur swallowed hard and lifted his hand to knock. Then he thought better of it and inched the door open silently. If Gaius was present, then no one would have to know he was ever here.
But the physician wasn’t there and Arthur opened the door a little wider. As he did so, Merlin’s door also opened and Arthur froze.
His servant, however, didn’t notice him. He was too busy looking over his shoulder, laughing. He turned back and Arthur saw the care-free and happy expression on his face.
Then he saw Lancelot following Merlin down the stairs, also laughing.
Arthur didn’t hang around to wait and see any more.
Merlin swallowed hard. He clenched his hand into a fist to hide the trembles and tried to calm his racing heart.
Lancelot had told him in no uncertain terms that he had to tell Arthur how he was feeling. He said hiding his emotions wouldn’t get him anywhere; his own experiences with Gwen had taught him that much. But now Lancelot had found happiness, it was clear he was fed up of Merlin moping and doing nothing about it.
Merlin didn’t think that was fair; he was hardly moping. Admittedly, he had been in a bad mood when Lancelot had stopped by earlier that evening. Arthur had insulted him again and didn’t seem to realise how much his flippant words hurt. But when Merlin had poured out his woes and fears, Lancelot had rather patiently told him that he had to do something.
The knight had regained his optimism and positive outlook on life since being reunited with Gwen. His kind spirit had soon lifted Merlin’s mood and by the time Lancelot had declared he needed to leave because duty called, Merlin had been laughing.
His own improved mood made him decide it was time to tell Arthur how he felt.
Staring at the door in front of him, Merlin lifted a hand to knock. Then he thought better of it – he never knocked and had no intention of starting now. He pushed open the door, and froze at the sight that greeted him.
Gwen had her hand on Arthur’s arm. Although Merlin couldn’t see either of their expressions clearly, he saw their close proximity to each other. As Gwen lent up and kissed Arthur’s cheek, a strangled noise escaped Merlin.
He couldn’t believe Gwen would do that to Lancelot. But any anger or hurt he might feel for his friends was overshadowed by his own anger at himself. He should have never come here.
It was obvious Arthur didn’t feel the same way about him, not if the soft expression on his face was anything to go by. Now, Merlin had to come up with some plausible explanation about why he was framed in the prince’s doorway with a shattered expression on his face.
“Merlin?” Gwen’s voice held no trace of guilt, no hint of regret. It was that, more than anything, that made Merlin do the only thing he could think of: he bolted.
“Merlin was moping again today,” Lancelot said, placing his armour to one side and sitting down at the small table with a sigh of relief.
“So was Arthur,” Gwen commented. She perched next to him. “He’s so lost; so unable to express his feelings. It’s tearing him up.”
“I told Merlin that he needed to say something.”
“I told Arthur the same.”
They smiled at each other across the table. Then Gwen’s hands flew to her mouth in horror and she stared, wide-eyed.
“What is it?”
“Merin came by Arthur’s chambers tonight. He saw that I was there. If the look on his face is anything to go by, he completely misread the entire situation.”
Lancelot sighed. “And I finally managed to get him smiling again earlier.”
If anything, Gwen looked more horrified.
“That was you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Arthur said he saw Merlin with someone earlier today, someone who made him smile in a way he hadn’t seen for a long time.”
This time, the pair of them stared at each other in disbelief.
“They were both going to admit their feelings, weren’t they?” Lancelot said slowly. Gwen nodded.
“And now both think they have missed their chance.”
“Right,” Lancelot said. He stood up and drew Gwen to her feet. “This calls for an intervention.”
Desperate to see her two friends happy, Gwen could do nothing but agree.