Title: Syncopated Hearts Part 11
Summary: Arthur gets jealous and becomes his own worst enemy.
Prompt: 372 Bingo Round 1, 5x01/02: Arthur’s Bane
Arthur sat in the dressing room staring at the vase of flowers on the dressing table. He looked up when the door opened.
"Hello." Gwen smiled as she walked into the room. She noticed that Arthur had put the vase back on the dressing table. "Did you get things sorted?"
Arthur shrugged. "I tried but I have no idea if Father will pay attention since it came from me." He stood. "I should get out of your way."
"I have a few minutes." Gwen tilted her head and gave him a soft look. "Want to talk about it?"
"No. I suppose you will be walking out with the bartender from now on." Arthur looked at the floor. "I hope he makes you happy."
"He doesn't. It was just a one time thing." Gwen reached out and touched Arthur's arm. "He isnt what I'm looking for."
"I hope you find it." Arthur moved past her and went through the door. He rounded the corner and ran into Elyan.
"Slow down mate." Elyan grabbed Arthur by the shoulder. "You know who it is she wants. You need to speak up or you're going to blow it."
Arthur took a breath. "Elyan, I am a penniless bass player in a jazz group. What can I offer her?"
"Your heart is all she wants." Elyan looked at the dressing room door. "So stop wearing yours on your sleeve and tell her how you feel. Merlin says you are in some kind of trouble. Tell her before something happens to keep you from telling her at all."
"Merlin should have never said anything." Arthur started to mpve past him but Elyan hung onto his shoulder.
Elyan squeezed Arthur's shoulder. "He's worried for you and Morgana. I think he still has feelings for her. I'm worried for Gwen. She will be devastated if something happens to you."
"Maybe it's best if I don't say anything right now. It'll only make matters worse. I have to go set up." Arthur looked at Elyans hand on his shoulder.
Elyan let go and nodded. "We aren't finished with this discussion, Arthur."
Arthur just kept walking.
Elyan knocked on the dressing room door. "I suppose you heard all of that."
Gwen opened the door. "Yes. I'm not giving up on him, Elyan. He'll see sense."
"Before Cenred kills him? Or you?" Elyan sighed. "Sometimes, he just doesn't know what's best for himself."
"Not yet but I have faith in him." Gwen smiled and shut the door.
"He's gonna need all your faith if what Merlin says is even remotely true. We all might." Elyan leaned against the wall and waited on Gwen to get ready for the first set.
At the bar, Merlin was sitting with two cups of coffee in front of him. He pushed one over to Arthur when he sat down. "I had Lance put a little something in it for you."
"Hemlock?" Arthur sniffed the cup and smelled whiskey. "What about the 'no booze while we're playing' rule?"
"Just this once. You look like you could use it." Merlin tapped his fingers nervously. "Did you get a response?"
"No. He probably didn't even read it." Arthur took a small sip. "He might think I want to be forgiven."
"Arthur, how much do you really know about your father's business dealings?"
"Basically nothing." Arthur took another sip. "If he's involved with Cenred, it can't be above board. He wouldn't want to involve me or Morgana."
"But he did involve Morgana. That's what worries me." Merlin took a drink of his coffee.
"Me too." Arthur looked into his cup. "Me too."