Title: The House Guest, part 3
Pairing/s: Arthur/Gwen, past mention of Arthur/Merlin and of Merlin/Will
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine
Summary: Merlin has an unexpected house guest
Word Count: 701
Prompt: 354: All I Ask
Author's Notes: This got a bit longer than I planned. Part One; Part Two
Merlin spent the next three days avoiding Arthur like he had the plague. He was up and out early and back late making straight for his room. He didn’t know if their friendship was over but it hadn’t been much of one lately so he wasn’t sure that it mattered. He knew what he had to do for his own sanity. Plus, he was tired and just wanted to go home and lie about in front of the tele.
It was clear that Arthur had been waiting for him. He had no sooner dropped his keys in the bowl than he appeared in the hall. Merlin said nothing as he stared at him. He had an idea of what he wanted to say in his head and he wasn’t going to let Arthur stop him.
Arthur looked uncertain as they approached each other. His voice was steady as though he had practiced what he wanted to say. “Merlin, I’m sorry. I know I can’t make up for what I did. Is there some way we can fix this?”
Merlin took a moment to put down his briefcase. “You had asked what happened with Will.”
Arthur gave him an odd look clearly wondering where this was going. “You don’t have to tell me.”
Merlin wanted to do anything to change the subject but he had to say this.“Yes, I do .” He took a deep breath. “He left because he said I was hung up on someone else and he was right. I’m hung up on you and, yes, I know how stupid and pathetic that sounds.” Merlin stopped for a moment and scrubbed the lower half his face with his hand. “But that ..thing we had, it was everything I wanted. But you didn’t pick me. You picked her.” He felt his heart hammering hard in his chest but he kept his voice steady. He looked Arthur straight in the eye,“So tell me, Do you love Gwen?”
Arthur blinked in surprise. “Yes, of course.”
“Then all I ask is that you go home Arthur. Apologize. Tell her you love her. Do whatever it takes to get back in her good graces. Just go home.” Merlin felt his voice waiver as he finished speaking. He turned away from Arthur and took his time taking off his coat knowing full well the man was watching him.
Arthur stared at Merlin. He couldn’t help but notice a certain quiet sadness. “Ok. I’ll just pack my things.” He hesitated for a moment he headed back to the guest room to pack.
Merlin took a deep breath and let it out at the same time he closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. He didn’t want to be alone once Arthur left so while Arthur was packing up his stuff he sent a text to Gwaine and waited.
It didn’t take Arthur but fifteen minutes or so to collect his belongings. He shifted the large bag on his shoulder as he looked at Merlin taking note of the way he wrapped his long arms around himself. It made him long to reach out and comfort him but he knew it wouldn’t be well received. Instead he stuck to the thinking Merlin for his hospitality.
Gwaine in the meantime had used his key to slip into Merlin’s apartment. He sat on the small bench in the alcove listening as Arthur said his thanks and goodbye. As Arthur moved to the door, Gwaine stood up and nodded at him. Arthur nodded in return knowing full well that the man was there to clean up his mess. As soon as the door was shut Gwaine headed toward Merlin.
Merlin felt tears come to his eyes. He quickly blinked them back and tried his best to get himself under control. “I don’t know...” Merlin stuttered for a second and could no longer hold back the emotion in his voice. “He doesn’t .. and we’re never going to...” He took a shuddery breath as tears rolled down his face.
Gwaine didn’t say a thing as he moved to pull Merlin into his arms and held him close. He kissed on the top of his head and whispered, “He never deserved you.”