Title: Mischief Part 19 – Confrontation
Rating: R for language
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Morgana
Summary: Arthur is miserable without his cat, but he isn’t about to get another one. Morgana wasn't having it.
Word Count: 874
Camelot_drabble Prompt 483: Secret meeting
Author's Notes: unbetaed. I'm really on a roll. Plus it's mini-nanowrimo month.
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Arthur didn’t know how he got through the next few days. Every time he turned around, he expected a little black furball to be at his heels or winding his way around Arthur’s legs to trip him up or grumbling about the horrible tuna Arthur was feeding him. And the nights were worse. No warm body against his, no mouth full of fur when he woke up, no loud purring reminding Arthur that he wasn’t alone.
There were hours and days where he wanted to call Morgana, just to see how Merlin was doing but every time he picked up his phone, he looked at the screensaver and there was that golden-eyed troublemaker staring back at him. He hadn’t had the heart to change it.
Of course, after several days of this, Morgana didn’t call him, just barged in, like the hedge-born harpy she was. She didn’t even say hello, no gentle push, just straight into her tirade. “What the fuck?”
“And hello to you, too.” Arthur was in no mood for another lecture by his sister no less. He just wanted to hide and lick his wounds and try and forget everything. “But is that all you can say to me? You seem very focused on fucking. Perhaps rather than paying attention to my life, you get on with yours.”
“I’ll have you know I have a very active sex life,” she said, looking entirely too smug. “I’ve been out nearly every night this week. Have you?”
“Shit, Morgana, you harlot. Too much information.” Arthur covered his ears a moment for emphasis, then when she sent him a satisfied smile as if she’d won the war and wasn’t above crowing about it, he said, “What do you want? Besides making my life a living hell.”
“He’s pining, Arthur.” Arthur didn’t need to hear Merlin’s name to know who she was talking about. “He went back to his mansion, but he misses you a lot. I can tell.”
In a way, Arthur was glad that Merlin had someplace to go. Not that he’d stay with Arthur, now that he was back to his old life. And a mansion said a lot about Merlin not having to scrounge around for money. He sounded well off and that was good. One less thing to worry about. Not that he was worried, not at all.
Rubbing his forehead, trying to get rid of his growing headache, he said, “He doesn’t know me. I’m just someone who took care of him when he needed it. It’s Stockholm syndrome, or maybe he just liked the tuna I bought. I’m glad, at least, that he can afford his own and not go scrambling around for scraps.” The pain in his chest was growing, too. Missing someone who wasn’t there.
Morgana just stared at him a minute, then looked around, nodding. “I see you haven’t cleaned up since he left. Cat toys everywhere. The throw he always slept on. Even cat hairs on the sofa.”
He hadn’t the heart to put things away, but he wasn’t about to tell her that. “I’ve been busy. I’ll get to it.”
Scowling a little, she didn’t look like she believed him. “He’s lonely, you know, although he doesn’t say anything, but I can see it in his eyes.” She picked up one of Merlin’s favourite toys, a little feathered thing on a string that Arthur would often bounce around and watch Merlin try to catch it in mid-air. He did, too, lots of times. “He misses you and you miss him, too.”
“I miss my cat,” Arthur said, his voice flat.
As she put the toy down, she sighed, a long, disappointed sound that spoke volumes of how much she didn’t want to listen to Arthur whinging. “Look, I don’t want to tell you what to do, but at least see him.”
Arthur shook his head. “I am not going to date some wizard with magical powers.”
“You have a sister with magical powers. I don’t see you excluding me from your life,” she pointed out.
While she had a point, Arthur wasn’t about to give in so easily. “As if I could. You’d just kick the door down.”
“Just see him, okay, for my sake. I’m tired of his sad eyes and fake smile. I’d like to see you both happy.” She put her arm around his shoulder and squeezed a little. “I know I don’t always say it, but I’d like you to laugh once in a damn while. When you had Merlin here, you were almost always grinning and excited about things. Even when he was destroying your silly ships, you’d show me videos of him running around and posting pictures on insta. Now it’s like there’s some black hole living in this flat. I just hope it’s not going to last forever.”
Arthur realised she was right. The flat was colder and more empty than he would have liked. “You aren’t going to let this go, are you?”
She smirked at that. She knew she’d won. “You know me better than that. Of course, I’m not.”
“Fine. I’m free tomorrow after work. He can come then. Talk things through.” He picked up the feather toy and began to turn it over in his hand, then putting it down, he muttered, “Will that satisfy you, you daft cow?”
Morgana just nodded.