Title: All Right
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, Lance/Gwen, Gwaine/Percy
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Lance, Gwen, Gwaine, Percy, Leon
Summary: The gang is at a pub, and Arthur is too drunk to keep his mouth shut.
Word Count: 995
Prompt: secret relationship
Author's Notes: Written for the bingo challenge!
Arthur was having an unbelievably good time. His friends were incredible. His boyfriend was incredible. His whole life was incredible.
The whisky was especially incredible.
He was out with his friends at their usual pub, celebrating someone's promotion or birthday—he couldn't remember, but it didn't matter. What mattered was that he was in his favourite overlarge round booth, surrounded by his favourite people.
Leon was to his right—steady, sure, reliable.
Next to Leon was Gwaine, who Arthur was pretty sure was the one who'd been promoted. Or maybe it was his birthday. Or his anniversary with Percy, who was on his other side.
It was a wonder he'd managed to nab someone as patient as Percy. Percy was the strong, silent type—emphasis on the 'strong' part. But he was also a softie. He was always there when Gwaine needed, and Gwaine, being the dramatic type, tended to need a lot.
Across from Percy was Lance, who really put Leon to shame in the steady, sure, and reliable department. No one really deserved him, but here he was, anyway.
Well, maybe Gwen deserved him. She was sitting next to him, curled up in the booth and leaning into him. She loved him, and he loved her, and it was a little disgusting, to be honest.
Next to Gwen, nestled between her and Arthur's left side, was Merlin.
Merlin was easily Arthur's favourite person in the booth. He was punchy and cheeky and loyal and protective and perfect. He had perfect hair and perfect cheekbones and perfect ears. He had perfect everything, and that was why Arthur was finding it hard not to snog him right then and there.
But he couldn't.
Because no one knew they were a thing.
And they were a thing. They were everything. Merlin was everything to Arthur, and nights like tonight only emphasised that. He couldn't take his eyes off Merlin, couldn't keep his thoughts away from Merlin, couldn't stop himself from giving Merlin's thigh a squeeze under the table.
Merlin shot him a brief glance—half acknowledgement, half warning. Arthur chose to focus on the acknowledgement part. The warning was old news. And nothing Arthur needed to reminded about.
It was his decision. His hesitation. His rule.
One day, he'd get over himself and come out to his friends and reveal his perfect relationship with Merlin. One day, he'd overcome his demons and his upbringing and his father's words echoing in his ears.
Soon, he had been promising Merlin. Not that Merlin was pressuring him. It was just that, on nights like this, Arthur could see the strain on Merlin's face. Maybe Merlin wanted Arthur to be able to squeeze his thigh under the table without worrying about who might see. Maybe Merlin wanted to be able to lean into Arthur the way Gwen was leaning into Lance. Or the opposite. Maybe Merlin wanted Arthur leaning into him.
Arthur wanted that.
He knew he'd had enough whisky that he could do it and pass it off as sloppy, drunken affection.
He could still think about it, though. And give Merlin's thigh another squeeze.
Merlin didn't glance at him this time. He shifted away slightly, signalling to Arthur to stop before they got caught.
Arthur took another sip of whisky and tried to tune back into the conversation.
"All this sexual tension could blow up a whole building," Gwaine was saying. "Poor Merlin here hasn't gotten laid in a decade."
The rest of their friends laughed. Merlin pouted, and Arthur wanted to kiss it away. He had such a pretty pout. And Arthur didn't like it when he was sad.
"I get laid," Merlin said.
Gwaine snorted. "Merlin," he said, "you haven't even talked about sex in so long, I'd be surprised if you hadn't forgotten how to do it."
Everyone roared with laughter. Even Arthur chuckled, but then he saw the look on Merlin's face.
"Merlin's good at sex," Arthur said, and the laughter continued. "Best sex I've ever had."
Someone snorted, someone hiccupped, and then the laughing died.
"What?" Arthur asked. He glanced around and could see everyone staring at him. Everyone except Merlin, who was stiff as a board and staring down at the table.
"I had some really good sex the other day," Lance said, and Gwen smacked his arm.
Arthur took a long swig of whisky, and when he looked around again, no one was staring at him anymore.
They were still looking, though. Between glances at whoever was speaking, between drinks and bites and rounds of laughter, eyes were flickering his way.
Arthur swirled his whisky, wondering what the problem was. Everyone else was always talking about their sex lives. Why shouldn't he be allowed in on all the fun?
Because they're not supposed to know, Arthur remembered.
His stomach clenched, and he looked down at his whisky. How much had he just said? It had only just happened, but he already could barely remember it. He was getting sloppy. He had already gotten sloppy. He had just blurted out that he was having sex with Merlin.
Arthur slipped under the table and crawled across the floor, dragging himself back to his feet when he reached the other end and only barely managing to miss hitting his head on his way up.
"Need air," he muttered before heading out of the pub.
What had he just done?
He was having a hard time wrapping his head around it. Every time he closed in on a realisation, it slipped away in a fog of whisky.
Arthur looked up and saw Merlin standing next to him.
"I got us an Uber," he said.
"I'm sorry," Arthur whispered.
"It's all right." Merlin put a hand on Arthur's back, and Arthur turned and fell into a hug. "You're all right."
Arthur buried his face in Merlin's neck and held on tight, knowing that if he still had Merlin, it was true.