Title: Teacher of the Year
Word count: 898
Prompt: Bingo Card - first fight
Summary: Arthur ignores an important moment in Merlin's life and Merlin doesn't take it well
Author’s notes: Not beta’d. And I think I have a bingo! Didn't know that this month would get so hectic in RL that I'd barely manage to write. So I'm happy that I at least managed four drabbles and make one bingo. This bingo card thing is fun, though. I hope we'll do it again.
Merlin stared at the suit. He didn't know what to feel. It was so unfair! What did Arthur want with him if he didn't accept him the way he was? They had never been fighting like this. Squabbling, yes, bantering, a lot, but this was a full-grown fight and Merlin was hurt and angry in equal measure.
It had all started innocently enough. Merlin had been on the patio, typing away for his latest essay to be published in 'Witches Weekly' soon when his mobile beeped. It had been a message from Arthur to come to the bedroom as soon as he could.
Smiling, Merlin finished typing the sentence, saved his work, closed the laptop and then got up to make his way to the bedroom. Maybe Arthur would already be naked? Just waiting for him? Merlin loved it when Arthur came home so horny that he started shedding his clothes the moment the door had closed behind him.
He found Arthur in the bedroom, looking proudly at a suit that wasn't his size.
"Look, what I got for you!"
Merlin blinked. He didn't like suits and he only wore them on special ocassions when it couldn't be avoided. "For me?"
"Yes! Isn't it fantastic? Frank knows that you will be coming over tonight, so he can fit it to you and you have it tomorrow morning."
Merlin knew Frank, Arthur's to-go-to-taylor for everything, but he didn't like the man with the fake French accent and the attitude that anything less than his hand-made things was rags. "Arthur, I already have a suit."
"You can't be wearing that old thing to my father's dinner party tomorrow. All the important people will be there and you need to look good."
Merlin didn't say anything. Arthur was so excited, but...He took a deep breath. "Arthur, I can't go to a dinner party tomorrow."
"Why not? It's only twice a year, we are expected there."
Merlin frowned. "Because there's the award ceremony tomorrow."
"Award ceremony?" Arthur blinked as if he'd never heard of that before.
"Arthur, I'll be awarded Teacher of the Year, you know that." Did Arthur really pay that little attention to his career?
"Yes, and I've told you about it weeks ago." He had been so excited about the nomination and beamed for days when they sent him the message that he had been selected. How could Arthur have missed that?
"Oh, you're a great teacher, you'll get that again next year." Arthur had gone on babbling about how important for his career the dinner party was and who would attend.
The fight that had followed was ugly. There had been screaming and accusations and in the end, Arthur had stormed out of the house and Merlin was fighting the tears.
What was he going to do now? Did Arthur really know him so little? And did he respect him so little that he thought the Teacher of the Year wasn't a big thing? It was for him! And he would go there. Screw Arthur and his snobbish dinner parties at his even more snobbish father's house!
Merlin collected a few things, decidedly NOT taking the suit that had started this whole thing and left before Arthur was back.
Now he was sitting on Mithian's couch, once in a while sobbing and Mithy had offered to rip Arthur's nuts off a few times.
The next evening, Mithy had managed to get him into the old suit he brought, done his hair and drove him to the assembly hall of the school.
"Go, you're going to be fantastic."
"Mithy, I can't speak in front of these people now."
"You can." With that, she basically shoved him out of the car.
Merlin felt miserable. He should have been over the top and beaming all around, shaking hands and introducing Arthur to his co-workers. He had been looking forward to all this for weeks. And now he was alone, probably forever and his accomplishment meant nothing if he couldn't share it with Arthur. Then there were moments he didn't even want to share it with Arthur. Arthur was a prick and he didn't deserve to be part of this.
When he was called on stage to accept the award that came with a huge-ass ugly plaque and the enormous price money of 500 pounds, Merlin took a deep breath. This was his moment, he deserved this and he was really proud that his students had suggested him and written long essays about why he should be awarded with this. He plastered a smile on his face as he climbed the few stairs to the stage. He could do this. He could do this for them.
The plague - damn, this was heavy - in left am, he stepped up to the microphone and let his eyes wander over the assembled faculty and students, family members and friends, Merlin noticed that the seat that should have been empty, the one that he had reserved for Arthur, was occupied. He blinked. The man sitting there looked a lot like Arthur. All blond and in a suit that was way too expensive for this environment, an uncertain, but excited look on his face.
It felt like the weight of the world fell off his shoulders and the smile turned into a genuine beam as he took another breath and started his well-rehearsed little speech.