Title: Like a Fine Wine (4)
Pairing/s: Implied Gwaine/Percival.
Character/s: Arthur, Gwaine
Summary: When Arthur looked up, it was to find Gwaine staring at him in open disbelief. “All that fuss, and the only thing you did was get his number?” He shook his head. “Mate, you really need to up your game.”
[ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | AO3 ]
Word Count: 1000w
Prompt: 329 Random Dialogue 4 ("Did you enjoy yourself last night?")
Author's Notes: I love how so may of us have added to ongoing fics this week XD
“So, did you enjoy yourself last night?” Gwaine asked, coming into the kitchen wearing nothing but his boxers. He waggled his eyebrows at Arthur, scratching his belly as he opened the fridge. “I saw you and your mystery guy take off together. Did he finally remove that stick from your arse and replace it with something more interesting?”
Arthur, who had been about to swallow a bite of toast, choked on it instead, spraying crumbs all over the table.
“We didn’t take off together,” he said, once he could speak. “I took off. He followed me.”
Gwaine waved a hand. “Semantics,” he said dismissively. “My point is, did he stay the night, or has he left already? I was hoping for the chance to meet him properly, if you know what I mean.”
He gave a pointed leer, and Arthur bristled.
“He’s not here,” he said, turning back to his breakfast so that Gwaine couldn’t read his expression. “And for your information, he never has been. We exchanged our details outside the pub last night and went our separate ways.”
“You did what?” When Arthur looked up, it was to find Gwaine staring at him in open disbelief. “All that fuss, and the only thing you did was get his number?” He shook his head. “Mate, you really need to up your game.”
Arthur decided not to dignify that comment with a response. Truth be told, he did kind of regret not inviting Merlin home with him—he'd been hoping they would hit it off all evening, but the discovery of their historical doppelgängers had kind of spoiled the mood. And…well. There was something about Merlin, something about the too-big ears and guileless blue eyes that made Arthur want to protect him. At the very least, he didn’t want to inflict Gwaine on him until he was sure it wasn’t going to scare the man off.
“It was a timing thing,” he said vaguely, gulping down the remainder of his coffee and leaving the rest of his toast on his plate. He knew Gwaine would scarf it down in seconds as soon as he left the table—he was better than a dog that way. “Anyway, I don’t see why you care—you and that bartender seemed to be getting quite well acquainted when I left.”
A brief frown flitted across Gwaine’s face, before it was replaced by his usual grin as he took a carton of eggs from the fridge. “His name’s Percival,” he said, breaking a couple into a bowl. “And he’s a giant. Like, in more ways than one.” The grin broadened into an outright smirk. “I hear he and mystery guy are old friends, as a matter of fact.”
“Are they?” Arthur said with interest. Merlin hadn’t mentioned that the night before. “So, does that mean you actually spoke to him for more than five seconds before you shagged? I’m impressed.”
“Har de har har.” To Arthur’s surprise, Gwaine seemed to have become uncharacteristically engrossed in his breakfast, pouring the eggs into a saucepan and setting it on the stove to heat with intent concentration. Arthur knew for a fact that this was not a manoeuvre which required much thought, having managed it plenty of times while grossly hungover, but Gwaine’s lips were pursed, and when he next spoke, there was an oddly distracted note in his voice. “We got chatting, that’s all. He’s a nice guy.”
“Okay,” Arthur said slowly, studying him. Gwaine was avoiding his gaze, still fixated on his eggs, and after a moment Arthur got up and dumped his coffee cup in the sink. His flatmate’s strange mood was the least of his problems right now. “Well, I’ve got a few errands to run this morning, so I’m going to head out. You two crazy kids have fun, now.”
“Sir, yes, sir,” Gwaine said, saluting him with the spatula. Bits of scrambled eggs flew all over the kitchen, and Arthur had to duck to get out of the line of fire. “Tell your ‘errand’ that Percival and I said hi.”
“Will do,” Arthur said, rolling his eyes. “I’m sure my father will be delighted to discuss Percival’s gigantic dick the next time you meet.”
He opened the door, grinning, to leave a spluttering Gwaine behind him.
As always, Arthur’s parents were surprised to see him—surprised, but pleased.
“Your mother’s baking,” his father said, ushering Arthur inside. “No doubt she’ll try to claim credit for expecting company before she even knew you were here.”
“She's still into that psychic stuff, then?” Arthur said, amused, as he toed off his boots and hung his coat up in the hall. His father merely snorted in reply, which Arthur took to mean his guess had been correct. “Well, if it makes her happy.”
He was pretty sure his father rolled his eyes, but when the two of them went into the kitchen, he didn’t object when Anne gave Arthur a hug and exclaimed that she must have had a sixth sense that he was coming. “I’m making your favourite,” she added, pushing him into a chair and going to fetch a plate. “Sit, let me get you a slice.”
Arthur let her fuss over him, happy for the excuse to put off what he had come to say a while longer; besides, he relished any opportunity to sample his mothers’ baking. His father sat down opposite, watching the exchange with a thoughtful expression, and Arthur could tell he knew that something was up.
“Well?” he said, once Arthur had made a solid start on his steaming shortcake. “What’s wrong? Don’t try to tell me this is a social visit; not this early on a Saturday morning.”
“It’s not.” Arthur put his fork down and sat back, trying to figure out the best way to phrase what he’d come to say. At last, he took a deep breath. “I need to ask you guys some questions,” he said, looking his father straight in the eye, “about my birth parents.”