Title: Band Aids Included
Character/s: as above
Summary: Merlin dreams in splashes of colours
Word Count: 1150
Author's Notes: This drabble jumped the fence and multiplied without my permission.
Merlin dreams in shades and spectrums.
When he wakes up, he can’t recall anything about his dream other than the colours he’d seen. There was never any plot or experiences in them, just colours bleeding into each other.
He can identify nightmares by their stark lonely splashes of black and white. Pleasant dreams are kaleidoscopes of prisms.
And then there’s that one dream that comes to him at least three times a year.
Red. No, wait. It’s not quite that. Scarlet? Not that too.
Crimson. That’s it. Everything is crimson and he should feel something negative, shouldn’t he? Its blood and gore and pain and danger.
At least that’s what the online dream dictionaries say.
It’s odd, or maybe Merlin himself is a bit weird, but he feels comfort in those dreams. A sense of wholeness and dare he mention, happiness.
In his waking hours, he’d constantly be on the lookout for that exact shade, hoping it was a sign for something better.
Unfortunately for Merlin, the shade happened to be the tie around the neck of a man he’d just spilt his pint on.
Merlin wanted to apologise. He wanted to offer to pay for the dry cleaning or buy the man another drink. His brain had sent the words to his tongue.
“Are you my sign?”
The man frowned. “That you’re mentally unstable?” He looked down at his beer-soaked shirt and nodded. “Most definitely.”
Merlin watched the man as he pushed past Merlin to another table in the pub.
Maybe he was wrong about the colour of the tie. Maybe it was more mauve than crimson. Maybe he was just simply a lonely person looking for something that didn’t exist.
That night he dreamt in splashes of gold, smudges of crimson and sparks of periwinkle.
Surely more clues towards what he’s seeking.
There were gold threads running through the crimson tie this time, held back with a gold tie pin. He hadn’t spilt any beer on it this time, thank the deities, but he had stepped on the toes of clearly expensive Italian leather shoes.
The periwinkle eyes flashed dangerously.
“You’re really making me regret coming here,” the man groused as he leaned on a nearby barstool.
“At least there’s no dry cleaning bill this time,” Merlin tried to smile. He suspected he looked deranged.
“There may be an amputation bill, though.”
“I’ll be happy to kiss it better.”
Merlin’s mind made a very loud needle-on-a-record screech as he realised what he said.
The man leaned closer and stared into Merlin’s eyes for a few tense moments before pulling back.
“Just as I suspected. Nothing going on up there. Only empty space, but I swear a goldfish swam past the back of your eyes.”
“There’s no need to be a wanker.”
“I’m sorry, but who just propositioned who a few seconds ago.”
“Call it a Freudian slip?”
The man snorted. “Freud has been proven to be a hack and a quack. Now please go as far away from me as you can before I need a trip to A&E.”
That night Merlin dreamt in harsh lines of black, white and surprisingly, purple.
“You’re wearing purple socks.”
It was two weeks after the toe stepping incident and Merlin had made an effort to be aware of the feet nearest to his as he navigated the tight path to the bar. He recognised the shoes and noticed the socks.
Unfortunately, he’d done it out loud.
The man sighed.
“Yes, well done. Don’t move until I’ve made it to my table very far from here. You’re an accident waiting to happen.”
Merlin snorted. “I’ll have you know I’m only clumsy around you.” No, wait, he hadn’t meant to say that. He’d meant to make some witty retort about the man being a magnet for trouble. Right?
The man smirked.
“So what you’re saying is I have some sort of effect on your hand-eye coordination?”
Merlin huffed. “Hardly.”
The man rounded on Merlin, forcing him to step back and into the bar counter. His blue eyes reminded Merlin of the icebergs he’d seen on Blue Planet and a delicious chill ran down his spine.
“Merlin, would you like to prove me wrong?”
Merlin choked in disbelief. “I’m sorry, but I just want to check - are you flirting with me? Because I don’t want to make any assumptions as to what you’re actually saying and I’m rather shite at reading innuendo or subtext-.”
The man rolled his eyes. “You really are a lot of work, Merlin. Yes, I’m flirting with you.”
“Oh. Well, uh…”
“You want to stomp on my name too now?” Arthur leaned in closer.
“No, just...I should stop talking. So, the flirting. That was going to lead to what, exactly?”
Arthur pursed his lips for a moment. “Hopefully a few orgasms with no bodily harm to either of us.”
“I’m not really a one-night stand type.”
“You’re really making me work for this, aren’t you?”
“We can drop it right now, if I’m too much effort for you.”
Arthur’s eyes raked over Merlin’s face, taking in every detail. “I don’t know,” he mused. “There’s something about you that makes the work feel like it’s worth it.”
Merlin pushed his hips lightly against Arthur’s. “I don’t measure my worth based on other people’s opinions, but-”
The kiss Arthur gave him did very little for his coordination and Merlin was glad he had the bar to hold him up as his knees seemed to have forgotten how to work. He grabbed the nearest sturdy surface which happened to Arthur’s shoulders and quickly remembered how this whole kissing business worked. He leaned into the kiss and ran his tongue along Arthur’s lower lip before nipping it softly.
The men broke their kiss and Merlin turned to the voice behind him. A bemused Freya stood behind the bar.
“Listen, I don’t want to be the arsehole here, but as much I enjoy watching you two snog, I need you to move this somewhere private before you launch into a live sex show in front of everyone.”
Arthur simply smirked while Merlin stuttered out a string of apologies.
“Come on Merlin. Let’s go test your theory back at mine.” Something in the look Merlin gave Arthur gave him pause. “Unless...sorry. That was a bit too much, wasn’t it? We can, I mean, dinner? First? You want to eat? I could eat. How do you feel about kebabs?”
Merlin smiled and silenced him with a soft kiss. “Sex now, kebabs after?”
Arthur simply nodded with a smile.
As it turned out, Merlin’s hand-eye coordination was flawless when it came to eliciting orgasms from Arthur, which he enjoyed so much, he decided that having Merlin in his life was worth all the near misses and accidental bruises.
His new favourite colour was crimson.