Pairing/s:Merlin/Arthur (primary), Gwen/Lancelot (secondary)
Character/s:Merlin, Arthur, Gwen
Summary:Arthur joins Merlin's acting class.
Author's Notes:Not beta'd.
When the blond guy walks into Merlin’s acting class studio, Merlin’s heart rate shoots up. He looks over at Gwen, who is still preoccupied with rehashing the details of her last date with Lance, and mostly tunes her out as they stretch. Most of his focus goes to the stranger, who is taking his water bottle out of his messenger bag before setting it down in the corner. Then, he starts stretching, obviously trying not to bring too much attention to himself. Watching the way his body moves, Merlin loses his breath.
“Why don’t you go talk to him?” Gwen suggests, cutting into Merlin’s thoughts.
Looking down at his leg while leaning over it from his seat on the ground, Merlin tries hedging, “I don’t know what you’re—”
“You haven’t been listening to me ever since he came in,” Gwen cuts him off affectionately. “Go on, talk to him. We’ll get coffee afterwards and I’ll tell you all about my date and you’ll actually listen to me.”
Merlin smiles gratefully at her. “Deal.” With that, he rises from his spot on the floor and ambles over to the stranger, doing his best to appear casual.
“Hi,” Merlin greets, holding out a hand. “I’m Merlin.”
The newcomer, who had been stretching his arm over his head, looks at the hand suspiciously before shaking it, saying, “Arthur.”
“Pleasure to meet you,” Merlin says, breaking the handshake. “You’re new here, right?”
“Yeah, this is my first class.”
“What brings you to this one?”
“I had a friend who took it before,” Arthur explains. “He’s doing pretty well now, so. ‘Thought it’d be a good idea.”
“Who was your friend?” inquires Merlin.
“Oh yeah, I know him!” Merlin exclaims. “Yeah, he was here for a few weeks when I started. Then, he got that big film gig, right?”
“Yeah, that’s him,” Arthur confirms.
“Nice, nice.” Merlin nods. He looks Arthur up and down, trying to place him. “Sorry, have—have we met before? I feel like I know you from somewhere.”
“I just moved out here,” Arthur answers, “so probably not. But—I get that feeling too.”
“Huh.” Merlin stays there, considering the man before him who is a stranger but feels so much like he isn’t at the same time. Arthur regards him in the same way. “I—can’t quite put my finger on it.”
Arthur sucks in a breath at that, and Merlin freezes. The earth just shifted.
“Everyone, let’s circle up!” the instructor’s voice calls, and both Merlin and Arthur snap out of it.
“Well, um—nice meeting you,” Merlin says, and Arthur nods.
“Yeah, I—look forward to working with you,” Arthur replies.
Merlin nods, and returns to Gwen to stand next to her in the circle. Arthur stands across from him, and Merlin can’t stop staring. Can’t stop wondering.
Arthur meets his gaze, grins, and winks at him. Merlin tenses and looks down.
He has a feeling he’ll be wondering for a long time.