Warnings: None I can think of right now
Word Count: 1020
Thanks to issy5209 for the beta!
Notes: I may have wandered very far from the prompt, but it’s in there. Well, blink and you miss it, but…
This was the time of year Arthur hated. When the first warm days indicated spring, he was always in a grumpy mood. While everybody talked about the wonderful weather and what they’d do outside on the weekend, it was time for Arthur to stop all activity and retreat to his place.
It wasn’t that he didn’t like the sun and the warmth, he loved the fresh colors after a long dark winter. But it also meant that his worst enemy was out to play again: Pollen.
And no matter how much money his old man had pumped into the research department of Pendragon Pharmaceuticals, they had yet to come up with something that freed Arthur of his hayfever and the asthma that came with it.
So when everyone went to the park, to barbeques and fairs, Arthur sat at home, reading or watching TV, waiting for autumn. It wasn’t only that he was allergic to one thing, no, his allergies were spread all throughout summer, so when one thing stopped blooming, the next took over. And that pissed Arthur off immensely.
But tonight, for the last time before October, he would go out and try to pull. Hayfever or not, a man was entitled to have a little fun, right?
He been standing around, rather bored, for quite a while in his new jeans and white shirt with the rolled-up sleeves, a bit disappointed that all the good-looking blokes were either idiots or taken, when he saw him. All black hair and blue eyes, broad shoulders and slim hips, like he’d walked out of one of Arthur’s wet dreams.
Arthur made his move and soon they were dancing very close when the DJ decided to grant the romantic ones in the crowd a round of slow dance. The bloke had grinned at him and pressed close as he wrapped his arms around Arthur’s neck.
He found himself nuzzling into the guy’s neck, inhaling his scent. Underneath the sweat he smelled of simple soap, earth, sea, sky and grass. Arthur cleared his throat.
And then coughed. Seriously coughed. He let go of the man to get a bit more room and coughed miserably as he held a hand up in apology. Oh, fuck! This turned into a full-blown asthma attack, he needed air. Still coughing, his lungs stinging, his shoulders shaking with the force of the coughs, Arthur stumbled out of the club. It was a bit better out here, the air was cooler which made it easier to breathe. The next coughing fit shook him as he frantically searched for his emergency asthma spray in all the pockets his jeans provided. Damn! He had been delusional enough to think it wasn’t that bad yet. The spray was on his nightstand where he’d left it.
Leaning his back against the nearest wall, Arthur slid down and just sat on the ground, cursing his hayfever for doing this to him – the bloke had been cute – but happy that the worst coughing seemed to be over.
He was so busy using his breathing and relaxation techniques that he didn’t hear the approaching steps.
When Arthur looked up, his dance partner stood a few meters away. “Yeah, will be, in a second.”
“What’s wrong? I mean, is it something…”
“Allergy asthma,” Arthur still breathed heavy, the asthma tickling, threatening him with the next coughing fit, but maybe concentrating on the bloke would take his mind off of that.
“So…there’s something on me that you’re allergic to?” The man came a bit closer and sat down, too.
“Dunno…maybe you passed some tree or something on your way here…or…I don’t know…you smelled like grass.” Arthur’s wasn’t sure why he told the bloke that and why he had come after him in the first place. What would he want from a sick man like him?
The blue eyes searched his face. “Yeah, I was at the park before I came here. Sorry.”
“No need to be sorry.” Arthur breathed out a little laugh. “Just your luck that you ran into the one with the allergies.”
“Maybe I can help you.”
Oh no! Arthur almost rolled his eyes. Another one with tons of good advice. He’d heard it all before. Ever since they carried him off the football field with his first asthma attack when he was six years old people showered him with well-meant tidbit like “Always wash your hair before you go to bed.” and “Leave your clothes in the bathroom, never undress in your bedroom and never wear the same clothes twice.” As long as nobody really found a way out of this crap, they could just fuck off with their well-meaning.
“I’m Merlin, by the way, and I know that you’re thinking you’ve heard it all before. But I think I can help you.”
“Arthur,” he introduced himself. “And you could help me by getting me to my asthma spray as soon as possible.” The tickling in his throat got too much and another coughing fit took over.
He opened his eyes when he felt Merlin’s hand on his chest, ready to fight it off, desperately trying to explain that he literally needed room to breathe. But then he saw the man’s eyes flash golden and heat radiated from his hand into his chest and for the first time in forever, Arthur found he could breathe properly.
“Will that tide you over until I got you to your emergency spray?” Merlin smiled.
“How…how did you do that?”
“Wanna tell me over a beer at mine?” Arthur really wanted to know. Maybe it was just a trick but he’d never felt better.
Merlin looked at him for a long moment and then nodded slowly. “Not what I had in mind, but I wanted to go home with you the moment I saw you.” He grinned widely, stood up and held a hand out to haul Arthur up. “Taxi’s on you and I promise to rinse my hair as soon as we’re at yours.”
Arthur grinned and thought that this was one asthma attack that might have actually been worth it.