Summary:Arthur asks Merlin three questions
Author's Notes:Not beta-ed. Sorry for the mistakes. I am new to live journal and I strongly doubt that I posted this the right way.
The words left his mouth in a breathless rush and a tense silence fell between them. Even the school noises around them appeared somewhat muted to Arthur as he inwardly cringed. He silently cursed himself; what should have been a polite request had come out sounding like an arrogant demand. To make matters worse, Merlin lowered his head and began to study his battered trainers while gnawing at his lower lip, crushing Arthur’s hope to get an answer anytime soon. And Arthur could not even blame him because the way his past self had acted had been simply appalling. Swallowing hard, Arthur crossed his arms; fingernails digging painfully into his biceps, as he prepared himself to deny that he had ever asked that stupid question. But before he could open his mouth Merlin lifted his head and regarded him with a strange look that Arthur could not place.
“ You said we weren’t mates and that we couldn’t be friends. You said that you would never be friends with someone who is such a tosser,“ Merlin stated.
“Hang on, the last bit wasn’t me. You said that!” Arthur spluttered.
Merlin seemed to consider this, his eyes got that far away look they usually only had during math classes. Not that Arthur had watched him or anything… No, that would be creepy!
“Well, what changed? “ Merlin inquired.
“I’ve changed my mind, “he simply stated leaving the true reason “you changed me” left unsaid.
“And about you? “ Arthur wanted to know.
“Yeah, I guess I’ve changed my mind too,” Merlin replied and smiled a brilliant smile that had Arthur blinking against its intensity.
He finally blurted out the request that had been floating around in his head for months and was answered with silence. The question had kept him sleepless for many nights; causing Morgana to observe him with genuine worry in her eyes.
At first he thought Merlin hadn’t heard him, as the television in front of them was turned up to a high volume.
But then Arthur saw that Merlin was looking intently at the place, where their knees nearly touched each other, on the couch.
“Do you mean as mates? “ Merlin asked carefully keeping his voice devoid of any emotion.
Arthur knew that he had been given the chance to take everything back, and for a split second the stern face of his Father flashed across his mind, but he stuck to his decision.
“No, not as mates,” he determinedly stated.
“So a real date? With the holding hands and kissing and stuff?” Merlin asked in a teasing voice.
“Yes, holding hands and kissing would definitely be most welcome,” Arthur cheekily replied, sounding braver as he felt.
Rolling his eyes dramatically, Merlin took Arthur’s hand in his and laced their fingers together. Looking highly pleased with himself Merlin smiled that secret smile of his that never failed to make Arthur’s heart beat a little faster. They continued watching the program, fingers staying entwined throughout it, without actually paying any attention to what was happening on the screen.
Arthur exhaled, smiled hopefully and continued staring into Merlin’s eyes letting the question hang between them. He savoured and equally dreaded the short silence that had followed the most important question he had ever asked.
“You prat,”Merlin declared, tears glittering in his eyes, “you are an absolute prat”. Arthur froze in his kneeling position and began to frantically search his memory for anything he could have said or done wrong. He was the first to admit that he wasn’t the most sensitive person in the world and he was generally rather hopeless when it came to dealing with emotions but had been carefully planning this moment for months. He had asked their closest friends, his sister and Merlin’s mother for their advice and opinions. Merlin reached forward and pried the wide silver ring out of the little velvet box Arthurs finger were clutching.
“I can’t believe you beat me to it again,” Merlin continued, “for once I wanted to be the one who makes the first step and asks the big questions. I had nearly everything planned, you know. Well, I guess that explains why my mum sounded so strange when I phoned her yesterday. “Merlin slipped the ring on his finger admiring it as it sparkled in the candlelight
“So, is this a yes? ”, Arthur asked, trying to certify what his heart already knew to be true. He slowly lifted himself up from his knee to a crouching position carefully balancing his weight on his toes. Tears finally slipping out of Merlin’s eyes he threw himself at Arthur knocking him backwards sending both of them tangled on the floor.
“Yes, the answer is definitely yes! Yes, I do” Merlin whispered breathlessly as he crossed the short distance between their lips, willingly letting the silence claim them again.