Title: Company picnic
Word count: 633
Summary: Merlin gets himself involved in the stupid games
Author’s notes: Not beta’d. Yay! What else is new? Sorry for the delay. It’s been a few rough days.
Merlin gritted his teeth and leaned all his weight in. Before he came here, he had sworn he wouldn’t get involved in any of the stupid games, just have a soda and then leave as soon as possible. Somehow, though, he had gotten involved in the tug-of-war at the company’s annual picnic.
Sweat trickled down his back and he mobilized his last energy reserves but it didn’t help, the other team had the big, muscular guys, so they clearly had an advantage. When it was decided, Merlin felt that the guys behind him let go of the rope and so did he – a moment too late. The rope slid through his hands. Damn, that burned!
Examining the damage, Merlin shrugged. He would get a drink first and maybe, if he could cool his hands on the glass, it wouldn’t be so bad.
Merlin looked up from where he stood with his glass of lemonade. Oh dear! There he stood, the only reason why he had thought participating in the tug-of-war would be a good idea. In all of his blond glory. The boss’ son. Arthur. Arthur, who was so far out of his league that they could as well live on different planets. Arthur, who had never spoken to him. Arthur, who probably didn’t even know that he was working there, too. “Err…thanks…congrats.”
As he almost rolled his eyes about his stammering, Arthur just grinned and wiped the sweat off his forehead with the sleeve of his t-shirt before he looked at Merlin’s hand.
“Are you alright?”
“I saw that you kind of…missed the moment where you should have let go of the rope. “
Merlin turned one of his hands up. “It’s not so bad.”
Arthur took it and examined the damage. “Not so bad? Show me the other one.”
Through all the shivers that ran down his spine, Merlin almost missed the demand but then set down his empty glass and held out the other hand.
“Come on.” Arthur gestured with his head and turned to go.
“The first aid tent. Someone needs to look at this.”
Merlin was too baffled to object and followed Arthur. Someone in a white polo shirt with a little embroidered red cross cleaned his palms, put some salve on them and wrapped bandages around them.
It didn’t take long and they stood in front of the tent again.
“Err…thank you.” Merlin looked at his bandaged hands and felt stupid.
“Don’t mention it.” Arthur smiled. “You’re Merlin from the creatives team, aren’t you?”
He…he knew his name? Wow. Merlin nodded. “Merlin Emrys, with the two bandaged hands.”
“I’ve heard great things about you.”
For the first time Merlin looked Arthur straight in the eyes. “You did?”
“Yes, but today’s our day off. Let’s not talk shop.”
As Arthur still hovered close-by, Merlin took a deep breath. “What do you want to talk about?” His heart was hammering in his chest.
“Well, first of all…are you hungry? You know what? You go and find us seats at one of the tables and I go and find us some food and drink and…I’m sure we’ll find something to talk about.” Arthur grinned one of his trademark grins.
“I…I can get food for myself.” Gnaaah, Merlin, what a stupid thing to say.
Arthur laughed. “I know you can, but it probably hurts when you carry it, so you reserve our seats and I will deliver the food.”
Obviously there was no space for protest as Arthur already turned towards the buffet, so Merlin shrugged and went for the seats at a fairly empty picnic table.
Arthur had picked out the most delicious things and they talked all through having their food and two refills of their drinks.
Maybe company picnics weren’t so bad after all.