Title: Promise of More
Characters: Arthur, Merlin, mention of OMC
Summary: Arthur is not jealous.
Warnings: Modern AU.
Word Count: 785
Prompt: #21 Promise
Author's Notes: Not sure where this came from. First time posting in here, it was a bit of a challenge and I think I still got a bit wordy!
“Arthur, wait!” Merlin called, ignoring the furious, protesting man sitting on the couch while he hurried after Arthur. He knew he needed to grab Arthur before he shut the door to his bedroom and locked Merlin out.
“Go away,” Arthur ordered, pulling out of Merlin’s reach as he wrenched open his bedroom door.
Merlin got his foot in before Arthur could slam the door in his face. “Ow! Arthur, will you just listen to me?” he demanded, eyes watering from both pain and anger.
Arthur let go of the door and Merlin darted inside before he could change his mind.
Merlin looked Arthur over; taking in his closed off expression and crossed arms. It wasn’t a promising invitation but Merlin knew that if he didn’t get this out now, Arthur wasn’t likely to listen to him later. Before he could speak, however, Arthur asked, his voice dangerously low, “What is he doing here?”
“He just came to get something,” Merlin replied. “If you’d walked in just five minutes later he’d already be gone.” As if on cue, they heard an angry voice call out, “Have a nice life!” before the door to their flat slammed shut.
“You promised you wouldn’t see him again,” Arthur snapped, blue eye like ice.
“No, I promised I wouldn’t go out with him again,” Merlin replied gently, not rising to meet Arthur’s fury. “Giving back his things isn’t going out. I probably won’t see him again now. It’s over. I told you that last night.”
“Matthew was horrible to you; keeping some of his DVDs would have been a small price for him to pay after all of that.” Arthur shook his head as if to rid himself of the thought of Matthew.
“He wasn’t that bad,” Merlin muttered though he knew from the scathing look on Arthur’s face that it was the wrong thing to say.
“I watched for eight months while he treated you like some kind of slave, like you were lucky to have him,” Arthur spat, his face more closed off than ever.
“You liked him in the beginning,” Merlin reminded him, feeling frustrated. His hands were starting to shake from all of the adrenaline and mixed emotions. He clenched them into fists and buried them in his jean pockets.
Arthur shrugged. “That was before he hurt you.”
“It was an accident,” Merlin replied dismissively.
“No it wasn’t,” Arthur snapped. He looked at Merlin appraisingly. “Stop lying to yourself.”
“Well, I ended it, didn’t I?” Merlin said bitterly. He didn’t need Arthur to remind him of Matthew’s cheating.
“After four more months!” Arthur shook his head disgustedly. “You moped, sulked, and even cried over him.”
“Are you jealous?” Merlin demanded.
“Of what?” Arthur asked, eyes narrowed.
“Well, it’s been a long time since you brought anyone home,” Merlin pointed out. “All you did the whole time I was with Matthew was tell me to end it. You don’t want me to be happy.”
Arthur looked as if Merlin had punched him in the gut. “You idiot. How could you think that?”
“I’m right, aren’t I?” Merlin asked, shoulders slumping as he turned to leave Arthur’s bedroom. “It’s not that you care, it’s that you don’t want to be alone. Morgana’s right, your misery really does want company.”
“I care,” Arthur said quietly, his voice begging Merlin to believe him. “Merlin, I promise, I care so much.”
Merlin looked at Arthur searchingly. Arthur never talked about his feelings and the fact that he was admitting to caring for Merlin was a big step. Merlin didn’t think Arthur had ever told his father or half-sister that he loved them let alone cared for them. He swallowed tightly. “So you were jealous?”
“Horribly,” Arthur admitted so quietly that Merlin wouldn’t have been able to hear him if he wasn’t standing so close, “but not because I wanted to make you miserable.”
Merlin nodded and took a step forward. He didn’t bother to think as he grabbed Arthur’s belt loops and pulled him closer. He knew if he thought about it then he and Arthur would laugh it off, pretend like Arthur’s confession hadn’t meant anything and go back to dancing around each other as flatmates with too much unresolved sexual tension.
Arthur didn’t seem to think either as he wrapped his arms around Merlin’s waist and pressed theirs lips together in a kiss that made Merlin feel giddy. The kiss was full of the unspoken words that had hung between them for the last two years, full of the knowledge that they both cared more than they would ever comfortably admit out loud, and full of promises of more to come but most importantly, the possible promise of love.