Title: White Rocks forever
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Uther
Summary: They had a summer they will never forget
Word Count: 941
Prompt: 301 heartbroken
The street was loud and busy. Mostly business people in their suits on the way back to work after lunch. Merlin had looked down at his phone for just a moment. The collision knocked him back a step or two, just far enough to get a look at his fellow pedestrian. He had opened his mouth to apologize but was struck speechless for a second as he stared at the other man. He was tall with wheat blonde hair, broad shoulders and blue eyes. “Arthur?”
“I’m sorry. Have we met?” The blonde man’s voice was posh and formal. His face a mask of politeness, neutral with a public smile.
“It’s me, Merlin,” he said with a mix of excitement and worry, a gentle smile on his face.
Arthur looked down adjusting his suit to cover the flash of recognition and want that he feared he couldn’t keep off his face. There was no possible way in this world or the next that he could ever forget Merlin.
Merlin hooted and pumped his fists in the air as he ran out of the surf. He jumped on Arthur in his excitement as he shouted, “YEAH!”
Arthur had laughed and spun him around before dropping him to his feet and kissing him soundly.
Merlin didn’t hesitate to wrap his arms around Arthur and kiss him back.
“I believe you have mistaken me for someone else,” Arthur replied. The person I used to be instead of the coward I am now.
“Whiterocks beach. Summer 2014. We surfed together for like 2 months.” He knew it was the same face, same sky blue eyes. He was older, of course. His skin wasn’t that sun kissed tan anymore and his hair had darkened a bit, but it was him.
“It sounds like it was a great summer,” Arthur said with as much truth as he could insert.
“It was the best.” Merlin took a tentative step closer. “I sent you a couple of emails.”
“What is the meaning of this Arthur?” Uther spoke harshly as held a photo of Arthur and Merlin kissing on the beach.
“He’s a friend I met at the beach.” Arthur swallowed hard.
“You are to never see or speak to him again, are we clear?” Uther declared as he ripped the photo into two pieces.
“But Father..” Arthur had started to protest.
Uther, red face and practically foaming at the mouth, got into Arthur’s face. “No son of mine will be gay. If you continue with this I will disinherit you and make it so that no one will ever employ you. I will also make life hell for your...friend as well.”
Arthur didn’t say a word believing everything his father had said.
Arthur cast an eye over his shoulder at an older man, stern and as stiff as they come, approaching. “Perhaps your friend wasn’t able to respond.”
As the older man appeared at Arthur’s side he looked over at Merlin. The look of recognition was clear as he tightened his jaw and glared. “Arthur, you are to quit speaking to this man. We have a meeting to attend.” He walked away with a sneer on his face.
“Yes, Father,” he said flatly. He looked down, embarrassed and hurt. As he turned back to Merlin, he gave him a wistful smile. “I’m sorry I wasn’t the person you were looking for,” he said in a way he hoped expressed all his regret and heartbreak. His once bright eyes now looked flat.
Merlin grabbed Arthur’s hand as they approached the cliff overlooking the whole strand. “I wish we could stay here forever.”
Arthur squeezed his hand, “Where would we live?”
“We could be beach bums. Find a cave. Learn to fish and forage for berries.” As Merlin laughed, Arthur couldn’t help but notice the way the skin around his eyes crinkled.
“I thought you wanted to be a Maths Professor?”
Merlin turned to look Arthur in the eye. “I can teach the birds. They will be the smartest birds in all the world and people will flock to see them and pay us big money.”
Arthur kissed him on the end of his nose. “And they can call you Professor Birdbrain.”
“Hey.” Merlin chased Arthur a short ways along the cliff till he tripped. As soon as Arthur hit the ground, Merlin was on top of him, tickling him anywhere he could reach.
Arthur easily pulled him off into the grass beside him. He smiled at him as he caressed his cheek. “And I could be your assistant, Mr. Egghead.”
Merlin giggled. “You could wear a little egg costume.”
“Anything for Professor Birdbrain.” Arthur leaned forward and kissed him.
Merlin had believed him. Every word. Every touch. Every gesture. He had felt it to his core and given back all he had. But that was a long time and a broken heart ago. He got the message loud and clear. The rejection was a bit like a knife to the old wound on his heart but he understood. “I’m sorry too.”
“I’ll email you when I get home. I promise.” Arthur had smiled at him, his blue eyes bright with affection. “I don’t want to be without you.”
Arthur held out his hand. “I hope you find him.”
Merlin took Arthur’s hand and shook it. He palmed the card he felt there. “I hope so too.” He stood for a moment watching Arthur walk into the building. As soon as he was out of sight, Merlin looked down at the card. It was worn and dog-eared and written on one side in fading ink was an email address: whiterocksforever@gmail.