Title: In the dark – part 5
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin’s a fan of movies but comedies aren’t always funny. Although he had to admit that Stonehenge going over like a huge set of dominos was pretty classic.
Word Count: 982
Camelot_drabble Prompt: 407: Pining
Author's Notes: none
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
It wasn’t until European Vacation was in full swing, Griswalds knocking over Stonehenge and drive away happily oblivious, that film guy showed up. At first, Merlin was upset, but it was clear they weren’t friends, just voices in the dark, and Merlin tried to put his disappointment aside and enjoy the movie.
It took a while, but Merlin was giggling at the ridiculousness of watching the giant domino effect of stone pillars falling onscreen, when that familiar voice whispered into Merlin’s ear, “Sometimes I feel like that at work.”
It was silly that Merlin’s heart should start to race, but trying not to give anything away, he said, ““Me, too. I had a presentation on Friday, and everything went wrong.”
Film guy handed Merlin a bucket of popcorn and then began to steal from it. “What happened?”
Merlin wanted to facepalm out of embarrassment, but in the dark it didn’t matter. He whispered, “Started with me tripping over my feet. I was carrying in the final mockups for my presentation, and they went flying. Right into my boss’s lap. Which wouldn’t have been so bad, but he was drinking coffee at that moment, and oh god.”
Film guy gave a little snort. “It can’t have been as bad as what the idiots are doing up on screen.” In all its Technicolour glory, the Griswalds were busy destroying Paris, but no, what Merlin had gone through was worse.
“They could make a movie out of it – how to destroy your career in five easy steps.” Merlin shook his head. “The coffee went everywhere, and people were jumping out of the way, banging into each other, knocking over the whiteboard which hit the conference call phone. And someone bumped into the lights and turned them off, and it was a mess.” It took a while before he could calm down. It hurt just to think about it. “What’s worse, the CEO was there. I thought I’d be fired on the spot.”
Film guy let in a sharp breath, then after a while, as the Griswolds knocked over that poor bicyclist for the tenth time in a row, he said, “Must have been embarrassing.”
“He asked my boss if I had some kind of mental affliction, then stormed out of the meeting, grumbling about idiots.” Merlin chomped on several pieces of popcorn, then took a long swallow of his sadly non-alcoholic drink. Maybe later, after film guy disappeared, he’d hit the pub. He deserved it after all the shit he’d had to deal with.
Film guy reached over and grabbed more popcorn. “Sounds like fun. Especially if the CEO usually has a stick up his arse and finds fault with everyone.”
Merlin didn’t turn around, but he said, “He’s like the generic evil movie CEO. I swear they manufacture them at some kind of hard-arse CEO factory. He never lets up, never admits to any weakness. I hear he even treats his son like trash.”
“Maybe his son deserves it,” Film guy whispered.
“I hear the guy’s a prat, but no one should be treated that way, not even hard-arse junior,” Merlin said. “Anyway, my boss said to hide for a while until it blows over. So I’m relegated to the basement for the moment.”
“Glad to hear that you’ve still got a job.” Then film guy starts to laugh. On screen, the Griswalds’ car was stuck in a medieval archway and they couldn’t get out. “This is my favourite scene. It’s just too ridiculous.”
Merlin had to snort a little. “Mine, too. Although Will did that once, so it’s not impossible.”
Film guy said, “Will?”
Merlin hadn’t meant to talk about him, but film guy wasn’t ever going to be Merlin’s new boyfriend so why not. “Will’s my ex. Caught him fucking someone he’d met at the pub. In our bed. Apparently, he’d been trying out the locals for a while. So we’re no longer together.”
“I’m sorry. That’s….” Film guy sounded almost upset.
“Water under the bridge. Not really into getting back into the dating scene. Hence my movie addiction.” Merlin took another long sip of drink. Yes, definitely wanting the pub after the movie, maybe even getting rats-arsed.
“Maybe someday, you’ll find someone. Maybe even at the movies.” Film guy reached over, gave Merlin a little squeeze. And like last time, he didn’t let go, just rested his hand, warm and comforting, on Merlin’s shoulder. His breath was warm against Merlin’s ear. “You never know.”
If Merlin didn’t know better, he’d swear film guy was flirting with him.
Testing the waters, Merlin leaned back a little, let the back of his head rest against film guy’s jaw. And for a second, neither of them moved.
Merlin could have sworn that film guy pressed in, perhaps even ghosted a kiss into Merlin’s hair. But it must have been just his imagination.
Film guy let go, the warmth turning back into the cold of a chilly movie theatre. He said, “Next week, they’re showing No Time to die. James Bond. Lots of explosions. I know how much you love those.”
Merlin let out a little disappointed sigh, then trying to sound enthusiastic, he said, “Dumb and Dumber had the best explosions. Bond isn’t even close.”
“How about we see next week and if you are right, I’ll buy you the biggest box of candy in the theatre.”
Merlin smiled. He did love candy. “It’s a bet. And if I’m wrong?”
“Just don’t be wrong.” Then as the credits rolled, film guy said, “See you next week.” And he was gone.
Merlin sighed. See him next week, the arse said. At this point, ‘seeing’ film guy was just not in the cards. And Merlin had to admit that he was pining, too, wanting to be more than just film buddies.
But the pub was calling him, and for now, that would have to be enough.