Title: Ripple Effects
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin implied something, Arthur is angry and annoyed.
Warnings: none (ambiguous ending?)
Word Count: 644
Prompt: #53 Pretending
Author's Notes: First Merlin fic (that's been posted)---unbeta'd as it was written in a bit of a rush. I wanted to play around with 2nd POV (and pretty much failed) and just focus on little details. Not sure if I succeeded. Also possibly bittersweet...
“Let's pretend---you and me,” you say shoving me against the wall, the surface rough snagging against my cheap cotton spunned tunic. But I'm oblivious to the pain, the friction because you're pressed up against me. Angry, furious with cornflower blue eyes sparking with intent as you hold me still, one arm sharply pressing across my chest and one hand grabbing my arm, with fingers digging painfully enough to bruise.
“This is what you wanted, wasn't it?” You ask, the words forcefully exhaled past your lips accusing, demanding for something that I don't understand. And for a moment I regret implying to Lord Cador's men what is it that is between us. But that regret is fleeting as I stare back into your eyes, as the warmth of your body spills into mine.
“They were saying-,” I start to say, but you pull back, shaking your head. Inexplicably, the loss of your body pressed against mine is unnerving and embarrassed I look away. I can feel my face flush, but you aren't paying attention as you pace, the movement erratic as you mutter frustrated words to yourself. The sound of your footsteps echo across the empty corridor, loud and heavy.
Suddenly you turn back towards me, eyes intent and I swallow nervously, “Arthur, I'm--” sorry, but I'm not sorry for wanting to protect you even in something as small as this. And from the way you pause, eyes blinking you've reached the same conclusion...if there was one thing that we both understood about each other, it was our mutual stubbornness.
“Do you even realize what you did?” you ask pinching the bridge of your nose as if to ward off a headache.
Your blue eyes catch mine and hold them and briefly an emotion that I don't recognize flickers across before you turn away frowning.
“I don't like this. I wish you hadn't opened your great big mouth and--,” you say, but I interrupt you, “It's not a big deal Arthur. A lot of nobles take advantage--”
Your turn back, blue eyes furious pressing into my space again until I had no where to go as my back meets the wall again.
“You out of all people should know how I feel about that.”
And I do, I do know how you feel about it. Suddenly furious myself, I shove you away, the sudden force causing you to stumble back. The anger in your eyes giving away to shock.
“I know how you feel Arthur, but I couldn't let them speak about you that way.”
“Merlin, I don't care-”
“But I do,” I say or perhaps it is a shout. And there's that emotion in your eyes again, the one that I don't recognize but the one that causes heat to curl low in my belly and spark across my spine and---I look away, my mind refusing to consider what it means.
There's a sadness to your eyes, your lips turn downward and pressed tightly into a thin line when I glance back and I don't understand why. Why would you be sad over something as insignificant as this, but fear of what you would say stops me from asking.
“Fine,” you say softly, a brief pat against my shoulder as you move away. The warmth lingers longer than your hand did, but I can't help but selfishly wish it had been more.
And I feel relief that you are no longer angry as I fall in step with you, side by side as we always are. There is a melancholic furrow to your brow and I can't help but wonder at the feeling of loss. Have I given something up?, I wonder, my heart clenches briefly as I glance at you. It feels as if you had let something go and that perhaps I might have let you. But then you make a joke about Gwaine's latest prank and distracted, it slips from my mind.