Title: Coffee Talk
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin meets Arthur for coffee.
Word Count: 452
Prompt: 450, Gamer
Author's Notes: I know next to nothing about coffee shops, LOL.
Two days after Merlin and Arthur talked, Merlin received a text from Arthur. Are you available tomorrow at 5 pm for coffee?
Merlin typed back: I am. What place?
Does Great Grinds near the Camelot building work for you?
Great! See you tomorrow at 5.
The next day at five found Merlin waiting in Great Grinds, nursing a cup of his favorite brew. He looked up at the door every time it opened. He knew it was irrational, but he wanted to be prepared for when Arthur walked in.
Finally, after five more door openings, Arthur walked in. He looked even better than his pictures. Merlin gave himself a mental slap. Of course he looked better in real life. Everyone did. He got up and went up to the counter where Arthur was now waiting for his coffee. “Arthur Pendragon?”
Arthur looked up from his phone. “Yes?”
Merlin stuck out his hand. “Merlin Emrys. Great to finally meet you.”
Arthur shook his hand. “Great to meet you too.” He turned to pick up his coffee. “Shall we grab a table?”
“I’ve got one over there.” Merlin pointed to the table and they both walked over and sat down.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Father called a late meeting, probably because he found out I was meeting you.”
“Why would that make a difference?”
“He tracks most of what I do and still hasn’t accepted my coming out.”
“Ouch. That sounds awfully Big Brother-ish to me.”
Arthur nodded. “It is. But he insists on tracking all his children that way. He’s been that way most of our lives.”
“But that’s enough about me. What do you do for a living?”
Merlin grinned. “I’m a professional gamer.”
“Well, I’m a beta-tester for a smaller company. You may have heard of them—Dragon Games?”
Arthur smiled. “Ah yes. I own a few of their games myself.”
“No way! I mean, that’s great. Chances are, I’ve tested them.”
“That sounds like the perfect job.”
“It really is. And I spend most of my free time at the outreach center, which is a good segue into talking about what I do there, if you’re ready?”
“Yes, I believe I am.”
Merlin smiled. “I help LGBTQ+ youth and adults who have been rejected by their loved ones. Sometimes I just lend a listening ear, sometimes I help them find new homes or jobs. Would you be interested in that? I already know your father is openly hostile toward you now.”
“Yes, he is. But my sister is supportive, and I’ve bent her ear many times on my journey. I guess for now, we could just talk?”
“Of course. Where would you like to begin?”