Word Count: 317
Thanks to issy5209 for the beta!
Arthur hoped the smile on his face wasn’t as fake as it felt. He could do this. He wanted to show Merlin that he was a keeper. But as Merlin sat another odd vegetarian dish in front of him and announced that it was something he discovered on his trip through Asia, Arthur wasn’t sure if he could keep it up any longer.
When he looked up, he met Merlin’s big blue eyes that looked expectantly at him. He knew he didn’t want to mess this up.
“Thanks for cooking for me.”
A slow grin tugged at the corners of Merlin’s beautiful lips before he took the dish from Arthur. When he came back from the kitchen, he sat a plate with a perfectly done steak in front of him.
Arthur looked at him, utterly confused. “Wha…Why…”
Merlin chuckled. “I know you’re not vegetarian.”
“But you are.”
Reaching over the table to put his hand on Arthur’s, Merlin smiled. “That doesn’t mean that you have to give up eating meat.”
“I really like that you tried for me. But I like you for you, not for trying to be something you aren’t.”
Arthur looked from Merlin to the steak and back. “So you don’t mind?”
Merlin shrugged. “Maybe I was hoping to get you to cut back on it after a while. There are a lot of dishes that don’t have to do with my experimental Asian cooking, some you might actually like.” He winked.
After a while? Arthur’s heart was beating faster. “So…you’d still go on a next date with me even if I ate this now?”
Chuckling, Merlin took a sip from his wine glass. “I think I’ll even consider snogging you on the couch later – even if you eat this. Now eat up before it gets cold.”
Arthur beamed and started to eat. This was the best steak he’d ever had!