Summary: Arthur had never much liked the way Merlin was described to him.
Word Count: 465
Prompt: Prompt 34 Devotion
Author's Notes: Humph. Not sure about this one. It's a Modern AU. Thank you so much to endlesscharadefor looking it over for me!
Arthur had never much liked the way Merlin was described to him. “He’s devoted to you,” his friends often remarked. “He’d do anything for you.”
Arthur thought that was all well and good but it was usually said whenever he’d made a mess of things. Almost as though Merlin’s love, loyalty, and yes, devotion, were something Arthur hadn’t quite earned. Something he didn’t deserve.
He found it infuriating.
Today was no different.
“You do know,” Arthur said through clenched teeth as Will glowered at him and snarled disgustedly that Merlin was devoted to him, “Merlin isn’t some besotted, silly child; he is perfectly capable of making his own decisions.”
“He makes them because you ask him to,” Will argued vehemently. “I’m his friend and I never see him anymore.”
“I’ve never told him not to spend time with you,” Arthur rebutted, trying to keep his tone neutral when he really just wanted to ask Will to go away.
“He’s like a lovesick animal!” Will exploded. “You really don’t deserve him.”
“Oh hell,” Arthur muttered, turning away and motioning for Will to take a seat as he went into the kitchen to make tea as an excuse to get away from Will. “He’ll be back soon; you can work it out with him.”
“It’s not him I’m angry with,” Will snapped, following Arthur into the kitchen. He sighed angrily. “Look, just tell him I came by.”
“Yeah,” Arthur said. “Sure.”
Arthur finished making his tea and went to sit on the couch, waiting for Merlin to get back. When he finally returned, Arthur said, “Will came by.”
Merlin winced. “I ran into him.”
Arthur nodded. “He hates me.”
Arthur snorted. “You should spend time with your friends.”
“Is that an order?” Merlin looked amused and flopped down on the couch next to Arthur.
“Suggestion,” Arthur retorted, elbowing Merlin in the ribs.
“Will’s the only friend of mine that isn’t also one of yours,” Merlin said after a few moments. “It’s not that I don’t want to see him.”
“I know.” Arthur sighed. “He loves you.”
Merlin smirked. “He didn’t say the same about you.”
Arthur rolled his eyes. “Oh, I know what he thinks about me.”
“Controlling, manipulative, spoilt,” Merlin listed, ticking them off on his fingers.
“He thinks you’re devoted to me,” Arthur interrupted.
“I am,” Merlin said simply.
“Like a lovesick puppy.”
Merlin made a face. “Maybe not that bad.”
Arthur laughed. “I am too.”
“Devoted to yourself?” Merlin asked, eyes dancing with mischief. “I always knew you were a conceited arse.”
“You idiot,” Arthur said, more fondly than he’d like to admit. “That’s not what I meant.”
Merlin smiled and pulled Arthur in for a kiss, mumbling, “I know,” against his lips before crawling into Arthur’s lap and showing him how much.