Title: Under the Stars
Other Characters: Gwaine (mentioned), Uther (mentioned)
Summary: Merlin is going to confess his feelings to someone, Arthur is jealous
Word Count: 990
Prompt: for camelot_drabble #62 Undeniable
Notes: So first time ever writing in the Merlin Universe, be kind! <3
“Why are you all smiles today?” Arthur asked his manservant who had a bit of a skip in his step that morning.
“Oh, no particular reason, sire,” Merlin answered with annoying delight.
“Gwaine tells me you’re in love,” Arthur said raising an eyebrow. Gwaine had told him something similar and a pang of jealousy had encompassed Arthur’s heart. After a few days of mulling it over, he figured it was settled. When Merlin turned to look at him after his statement, his smile had beamed even bigger. The pang of jealousy returned.
“Gwaine’s an arse,” Merlin retorted. “Sorry, sire, I shouldn’t insult your Knights in such a manner.” Merlin bowed his head gently in apology.
“So it’s true then?” Arthur said as he sipped the goblet of freshly squeezed orange juice attempting to hide his expression of disappointment.
“Well, I am … undeniably attracted to someone, yes. But how … this person feels about me is still unknown.” Merlin turned his face away, Arthur figured it must be hard for him to admit his feelings of unrequited love; he was familiar with that sentiment.
“Who is it? Clearly they are blind if they do not love you back!” Arthur stated. His gut was aching with envy. If only Merlin could say that it was him, it was Arthur that he loved.
“I am due to meet ... I mean I am hoping that we’ll have a conversation at nightfall ... after the King’s feast and I can finally know,” Merlin spoke with hesitation. “Do you really mean that, sire? Do you think I am worthy ...?”
“Don’t be stupid, Merlin,” Arthur said, a statement he made quite often. “Where is this meeting?”
“In the North Tower, it’s a full moon tonight so the lighting just had to be perfect; I think it’ll be rather romantic. Don’t you?” Merlin asked. “Say something Arthur, you’re my …” Merlin paused for a moment. “…only friend.”
“I think it’s a beautiful gesture, Merlin. I wish you all the luck.” Arthur stood up abruptly. He felt panicked. He’d always thought of kissing Merlin in the North Tower under the moonlight and now this … person … was going to do it! Arthur didn’t know if Merlin fancied a bloke or a broad, Arthur was more disgusted at the idea of Merlin kissing a woman, but he was resentful nonetheless. “I’ll take my bath, now.” He left the room and hoped that the warm water would sooth his anxieties. It was too late, he’d lost Merlin.
The feast was a bore. Arthur hated politics. He sat at the edge of the table next to his father and pretended to listen to him talking with the King from a nearby land. They were negotiating a trade, but, his eyes were only set on Merlin. He quietly stole glances towards Merlin who was filling up wine goblets for the guests or taking away dirty dishes and tending to everyone’s needs. Everyone’s but Arthur’s!
Arthur excused himself from the dining hall and retreated to his private chambers. He was miserable. It would only be a few hours until Merlin would confess his love to someone and they would only be left as master and servant … as friends.
He didn’t know what possessed him but Arthur had an undeniable urge to go to the North Tower. He wanted to witness this on his own. He wanted to see who the person was that had occupied Merlin’s heart, his smile. Arthur remembered when they first became friends and how Merlin only used to smile like that for him, now someone else had claimed Merlin’s smile, Arthur’s smile!
Arthur crept up to the Tower and hid in the shadows. Moments later he heard someone arriving. It was Merlin. Merlin had a small bouquet of flowers in his hands and Arthur rolled his eyes. Of course, Arthur scoffed. Merlin waited with patience and Arthur watched him. Another half hour later Merlin sighed with disappointment, whoever Merlin was supposed to meet hadn’t shown up.
“So, they are an idiot,” Arthur said emerging from the shadows. He concentrated on his face being grim whilst he danced with satisfaction on the inside.
“Arthur!” Merlin exclaimed, his striking blue eyes widened with shock.
“I came …” Arthur paused. “To see who it was … that you love.” His speech was soft and slowly timed. He only realised after revealing himself that he looked like a stalker. Worse, he could have looked like someone who was waiting to make fun of Merlin. They had a relationship where they constantly teased one another, now Arthur could have looked like he was just waiting for the right moment to torment Merlin again.
“You’ve been waiting up here all this time?” Merlin asked, his eyes searched Arthur’s face for an answer.
“I am sorry, Merlin, I am sorry they didn’t show up,” Arthur said. He meant it. As jealous as he was of this mystery person, he also didn’t want Merlin to feel unloved.
“They did show up,” Merlin said. His smiled returned, the same one that he had on his face this morning, the one that Arthur claimed to be his.
“I don’t understand,” Arthur said. He was stunned by Merlin’s statement. “What are you saying, Merlin?”
“It’s you Arthur, the one I am attracted to, the one I love. I just didn’t know how you felt and I couldn’t admit it to you because if you didn’t feel the same way … I didn’t want our friendship to end.”
“Merlin, are you lying to me?” Arthur asked raising an eyebrow.
“It’s the only truth, the undeniable truth I could ever profess,” Merlin answered before he shortened the distance between the two of them and didn’t hesitate to join their lips immediately.
Arthur kissed him back, and they happily kissed under the stars in the North Tower for the first time that night and for many nights to come.