Rating: PG-13, just to be on the safe side
Summary: Arthur gets very frustrated when he goes to the theatre with Merlin
Warnings: Fanboying? Fluff? Are those warnings?
Word Count: 1761
Author's Notes: I hope that’s what you had in mind *bites her nails anxiously* Happy holidays!
tambear13 betaed this, thank you, hon!
Disclaimer:Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons.
Arthur had a hard time keeping the polite smile on his face. Maybe this evening hadn’t been such a good idea after all.
When Gwen had called him to tell him she couldn’t go to London with Merlin to see a musical that starred Merlin’s MOST FAVORITE actor IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD (Merlin’s words, not hers) and suggested he’d go in her place, he’d jumped at the chance. A whole weekend in London, just Merlin and him. What a great opportunity to finally get Merlin to see that he was the right bloke for him. Not that he’d ever mentioned anything like that before, he was Arthur Pendragon, he wasn’t mooning over a friend!
So they had gone and Arthur already wasn’t amused when he saw the shoebox of a hotel room Merlin and Gwen had booked. The bathroom was so tiny that he’d get fits of claustrophobia, he was sure, so he insisted on getting a room in a better hotel, but Merlin wouldn’t have it. So Arthur had taken a deep breath. He could do it, for Merlin, he could, he’d just have to close his eyes and pretend he was at the Savoy.
Never having been to London before, Merlin dragged him through the city for all the sight-seeing he could cramp into the hours they had left and insisted they’d take the tube. Arthur never figured himself anything but fit, but all those damn stairs? Who had built this stupid thing? At the end of the day, he hardly felt his legs anymore and hated the tube with fists. Mind the gap, ha bloody ha! Mind the gazillion steps was more like it! But the sore muscles would pass, this was for Merlin, he could do it, he’d just have to pretend his muscles ached because he’d worked out too hard.
Merlin had refused to go out for dinner before the show (“What if I spread my dinner all over my good shirt and the new tie? No way, Arthur!”), so they’d dressed up for the show and Arthur insisted on taking a cab to the theatre. Merlin made them go early and Arthur hoped it would calm his nervous energy down a bit when they could finally pick their tickets up. So far, he hadn’t even managed yet to just take Merlin’s hand.
Waiting in front of the theatre, Merlin just stood there and looked. Arthur’s heart skipped a beat at the excited look and the happy smile on Merlin’s face. Just as he was about to suggest to have a drink in the bar across the street, the stage door opened and Merlin’s jaw dropped. So this was the bloke, the one that got all Merlin’s attention, the one he was fanboying about for ages. Arthur had to admit that he was good-looking, but hey, he was just an actor, right?
When Merlin didn’t do anything but stare and the man…damn, what was his name again? Colm something or other, right?...looked up and down the street and was about to get inside again, Arthur just went forwards and told him that Merlin was a huge fan and asked if it was okay to take their photo. Maybe this would make Merlin realize that he cared for him?
Colm nodded, shook Merlin’s hand first, then put his arm around his shoulder and smiled for the photo. Merlin stammered out a ‘thank you’ and Colm was gone.
“Yes, Merlin?” Arthur was busy fiddling with the camera, hoping that the pic wasn’t unfocussed or blurry or something other horrible. But it seemed to be a good one. Even though Merlin looked a bit like a deer caught in the headlights.
“I can’t believe this just happened.”
“Believe it, the pic is right here. And you know what we’re going to do now?”
“I think I’ll just sit down here and die of happiness. A photo with Colm…Gwen will kill me!”
Arthur shook his head. “There’s a Jessop’s down the street. If we hurry, you’ll have this pic printed out and can have it signed after the show.”
Merlin stared at him. “Are you serious?”
“Yes, I am. Let’s get moving or it’ll be too late.”
He didn’t know where this idea had come from, but Arthur sure hoped Merlin would love him forever for this. They found the store and had the photo printed out, bought a silver marker in the store next door and hurried back to the theatre just in time for the musical to begin.
Arthur tried not to have too much of a good time. It was just a musical, right? Starring a bloke Merlin was head over heels for. But the music was catchy and he had to admit that this Colm-guy had a great voice and a wonderful timing for comedy. But what Merlin saw in him was a mystery to Arthur. Come on, he was just of average height, okay, fit, but weren’t all of those acting people?, with blue eyes and blond hair, a bit on the longish side.
At the intermission, Arthur went to get champagne for them and bought a program for Merlin, who thanked him, but kept babbling excitedly about Colm and the photo and that he hoped he could get him to sign it later.
As soon as the last curtain call was over, Merlin dashed to get their coats and rushed Arthur out of the theatre to wait around in the cold.
It didn’t take long for the man to show up again and he made time for everyone who waited, signed programs and smiled for more photos until everyone who waited had what they wanted. That was quite nice, Arthur had to give him that.
When Merlin hesitated, Arthur nudged him in the back. “Go, he’s about to leave.”
Merlin stepped forward, held out the photo and asked for an autograph.
Colm flashed him a smile (Arthur was sure that Merlin was weak in the knees now) as he took the pen and then blinked at the photo. “That’s…,” he looked at Merlin and grinned, “that was before the show, right? How did you do that?” He listened to Merlin’s stammered explanation, commented on how clever that was and then asked for Merlin’s name.
Merlin just stared. “I’m…”
“Merlin, he’s Merlin,” Arthur stepped in.
“Nice name!” Colm signed the photo and handed it back.
Merlin managed to stammer out a few sentences about how much he loved the show and how fantastic Colm had been and Arthur nearly threw up. Okay, he wasn’t half bad and seemed to be rather nice, too, but come on Merlin. Stop acting like a school girl.
Colm smiled widely, thanked Merlin for the kind words and then bid them good-bye.
“Can we go now?” Arthur already looked around for a taxi.
“He likes my name.” Merlin still stared down the sidewalk where Colm had vanished in the distance.
“Yes, he does. And he’s already forgotten it, I reckon.”
“Isn’t he the nicest?”
“Yes, Merlin, he is, let’s go.”
There was more gushing and Arthur got grumpier by the second. It definitely hadn’t been a good idea. He’d only fed Merlin’s obsession and by the way Merlin babbled on, Arthur felt the weekend completely going to waste.
All the way back to the hotel that didn’t deserve that name, Merlin pointed out little things (“Did you see the little curls in the nape of his neck?” “Have you noticed that he’s a lefty?” “I wonder where that tiny scar on the bridge of his nose comes from?” and so on) and Arthur had a hard time not to sigh.
They climbed the creaky stairs to their shoebox and Arthur pondered how to survive the night. If Merlin didn’t stop drooling on himself about this actor bloke, he might have to suffocate him with his pillow.
“I can’t believe I really just met Colm fucking Anderson! That I talked to him and that I have this photo!”
“Me neither” Arthur murmured under his breath but as soon as he turned, Merlin pressed him against the door and kissed him.
Whoa, where did that came from all of a sudden? Not that he minded, that was what he’d wanted for ages.
When Merlin slowly drew back and looked at him, Arthur asked “What was that all about?”
“Thank you for doing this for me. I really appreciate it.”
Arthur blinked. “You have an odd way of saying ‘thank you’, Emrys.” Merlin hadn’t moved an inch.
“Maybe I should repeat it then, so you can get used to it, Pendragon?” Tilting his head, Merlin threw him a mischievous look.
A slow smile spread across Arthur’s face. “Maybe you should.”
They kissed again and pieces of clothing found their way to the floor. They stumbled onto one of the ridiculously small beds and finally Arthur pulled back. “Wait…wait a minute.”
Merlin gave him a confused look.
“This…you’re not doing this because you think you have to thank me for the idea with the photo, right?” At least Arthur hoped it. If it was, he wouldn’t go through with it.
Shaking his head with a light chuckle, Merlin smiled. “Nonsense. He’s my favorite actor and I think he does a wonderful job, but I’m fully aware of where reality starts. That you sat through this evening with me and beared my fanboying…Gwen was right.” Merlin wrapped his arms around Arthur’s neck.
“Gwen? What did she say?” That Gwen was suddenly there with them while they were lying on a very small hotel bed on top of each other was a bit disturbing.
“That you like me enough to do this. To not run screaming when I gush over a fantasy figure.”
Arthur looked down at Merlin for a long moment. “A fantasy? He seemed pretty real to me when he was standing in front of us.”
“Oh, you know what I mean.”
Shivers ran down Arthur’s spine when he felt Merlin’s fingers drawing little patterns on his neck.
“You know, he is a real person, but I just like the image of him that I have in my mind. I like my guys real. I mean…like you. You’re real.”
Arthur couldn’t help but smile. “So…this isn’t some kind of thank-you? You…you like me?”
Merlin nodded and pulled him close for a deep kiss.
(And then there was hot sex on a too small hotel bed in which one of them ended up on the floor and the other hit his foot on the heating, but that’s a different story for another time *grins*)