Title: Set Life
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Mordred
Summary: Merlin is embarrassed, Arthur is amused. There's teasing involved.
Warnings: embarrassing moment,
Word Count: 948
Prompt: 326: dialogue "I've been checking you out"
Author's Notes: Inspired by a few embarrassing moments I have had on set (different words, but same sort of mistake). Also just to clarify, a lav is a small microphone hidden on an actor, AD stands for assistant director aka the one who's running things on set and uhhh I think that's it for set terms? If I missed one that needs explaining, let me know :)
“I’ve been checking you out.” Mordred said under his breath, looking down at his lap. Merlin paused, fingers frozen in the act of reaching for Mordred’s tie.
“I’m—uh—,” Merlin stumbled over his words, not quite sure if he had heard Mordred correctly. “I’m sorry what?”
Mordred looked up from his seat on the barstool, brows knit. “What?”
In his periphery, Merlin spied Gwaine behind the bar, pulling out the hair spray from his kit to calm Kara’s locks. “Spraying,” Gwaine called before misting her hair and taming the wisps with sure fingers. Vivan was beside him, blotting oil from Kara’s forehead.
“You, uh—?” Merlin didn’t know what to say to Mordred. He had only ever been hit once by an actor but never so bluntly. By anyone, for that matter.
Mordred’s confused frown turned into annoyance. “Uh, no.” He held up his sides and shook them with obvious judgement. “It’s my line. In the scene,” Mordred finished.
Merlin’s face heat up. He laughed, awkward and embarrassed. “Oh, uh, of course it is.” He busied himself, tugging on Mordred’s tie until it sat straight then quickly hightailed it off the set and back to the safety of the sound monitor with burning cheeks and a hurried, “Costume clear!”
Gwaine was not far behind, stashing the hair spray into his back pocket and grabbing his kit bag with his own call of, “hair clear.”
Vivan followed. “Makeup clear!”
Merlin ducked behind the sound cart only to be confronted with Arthur sitting in his chair, headphones on, silently laughing.
As if he wasn’t embarrassed enough. Curse Arthur and his stupid lavs and his stupid headphones and his stupid face.
Merlin groaned as he fell into his set chair next to Arthur's. “Not a word.”
“I should have recorded that,” Arthur said looking over at Merlin, still chuckling as he pushed one earpiece of his headphones off his ear. “Would have made excellent blackmail material.”
“He was just talking aloud,” Merlin said, leaning back and crossing his arms with a huff. “How was I supposed to know?”
Arthur smirked, leaning back in his chair and flipping out his own folded and creased sides in an exaggerated fashion. Merlin tried not to find his teasing attractive. Tried and failed miserably.
“If you read your sides—”
“Oi!” Merlin shot forward, lightly smacking Arthur’s arm. “I do read them! Every day! I just don’t memorize every fucking line.”
George’s voice cut through then, echoing in Merlin’s earpiece as it broadcast over the walkie. “Quiet on set!” With the first AD’s command, chatter in the room devolved into a quiet hum of last whispered words.
Merlin shifted his set kit around his waist so it sat more comfortably on his thigh before leaning forward to better watch the built-in monitors on Arthur’s sound cart.
“Roll camera,” George continued, “roll sound.” Arthur hit the record button, illuminating it in red as he fiddled with a few knobs and dials. The green dot at the bottom of the dual monitors on his cart turned red just a few seconds later as camera followed suit.
“Cameras set?”Geroge asked.
“Background action,” George shouted, voice carrying across the bar. The extras began milling about, pantomiming conversation, drinking out of glasses, and putting on the ruse of a full boisterous bar.
Agravaine spoke up then from his director’s chair, leaning toward the monitors before him. “Action Kara. And…” Agravaine paused, waiting until Kara had served the extra at the end of the bar. “....Mordred!”
Merlin watched the scene play out on Arthur’s monitors, focusing on the movements, the folds and fallings of the costumes with all his attention, double checking that every piece on Mordred and Kara was in place and sitting right as they brought the scene to life. He ignored the way his cheeks flared up as Mordred said his line, and he definitely ignored Arthur’s smirking glance. God, just bury him now.
“Cut!” Agravaine shouted, immediately getting up from his chair and approaching the actors to have a chat. Merlin leaned back in his own chair, content to wait and see if they’d be going for another take.
“What would you have done?” Merlin looked at Arthur curiously, unsure what he meant. “If he had hit on you,” Arthur clarified.
“Oh god,” Merlin groaned. “Avoid him. Which would be impossible, clearly.” He gestured to their surroundings, his job.
“I doubt that. You’d be swooning. The way you blushed,” Arthur grinned, teasing Merlin with an elbow to the ribs. Merlin could feel that very heat creeping up his neck and cheeks once more, this time for a different reason. “You like him.”
Merlin mimicked gagging, adding exaggerated sound effects and gestures. “Nope, absolutely not. You should see the way he leaves his trailer at the end of each day. Our clothes strewn about the couch with the crumbs and half eaten plates of food on every surface. No, been there, done that,” he said with a huff. Valiant’s haughty, arrogant face flashed to the forefront of his mind. He pushed the memory aside. “Actors are the worst.”
Arthur slid his headphones off his head to settle them comfortably around his neck. He leaned over, eyes dancing. “Oh, this I have to hear.”
“We got it,” George’s voice cut in over walkie as him and Agravaine finished their discussion with the actors. “Moving on!”
The set let out a breath as everyone flew into motion to prepare for the next scene.
“Sorry,” Merlin said with a sly grin and a wink at Arthur before he leapt to his feet, “duty calls.”
Merlin folded his chair in a single practiced movement and dashed after Gwaine and Vivan to head back to basecamp, unaware of Arthur’s eyes following him out.