Title: I wanna be your friend
Rating: PG/ Pre-slash
Pairing/s: Arthur/ Merlin
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Morgana (mentions)
Summary: The blond stranger was just an arse, certainly not a friend. Until he's no longer a stranger, and seems to want to be a friend. Merlin's not so sure about this "friends" business with the lead singer of the band he's helping with.
Word Count: 1200 ( sightly over, hope that's ok?)
Prompt: 62. Undeniable
Author's Notes: First drabble, first merlin writing (nervous!) Massive thanks for the quick beta go to issy5209 .
I wanna be your friend
..."That was my mistake, because I could never have a friend who's such an arse as you!"
Merlin glared at up from the floor where he was frantically gathering the mountain of notes he'd dropped when SOMEBODY walked directly into him. The sheets of music were starting to wrinkle from water leaking from his bottle, and he groaned thinking he wouldn't have time to reprint them before band practice.
The man standing above him huffed, "Speak for yourself! You're the one with eyes glued to the floor who came barreling into me; then you have the gall to call me friend and tell me to be careful!" Well, it was all fine for blondie to stand there righteously and look offended, he didn't seem to have come out any worse for wear in the exchange. Nothing dropped, no liquids spilled, and not a blond (and shiny) hair out of place.
" Well, then, STRANGER, you should STILL look where you're going!" Merlin snatched up the last of the sodden sheets, sprang to his feet and scrunched his face before stalking off. He could hear the muttered "Whatever!..." behind him as he tried to find the practice room. Was it Room 26-4-8? Or was that 26-8-4? Did that mean level 8, room 4 or.. .Hmm, maybe not, as level 8 seemed to be the roof top. Although the rehearsals for this band “Pennies” he was playing for was no doubt happening, it was unlikely they would practice on the roof on a freezing October afternoon.
By the time Merlin hurtled into room 8, the rest of the band was already warming up. "Sorry, sorry!" he gasped at Morgana, the first face he saw." Got a little lost, but I'm here now, and..." That's when he registered the other face that had turned around at his voice. Uh-oh. Well, that meant blondie wasn't exactly a stranger then. " I see you've met my brother Arthur already?" Morgana said above the din of her drumming drills. "Er," Merlin swallowed. Blondie- Arthur- made a face at Merlin, then rolled his eyes, shrugged his shoulders and turned back to fiddling with his mic. Great, just great that he'd locked horns with the lead singer already, and was going into rehearsal with half of his music in wet strips. Thank goodness he was only covering Lancelot on the guitars for this one performance.
" You guys all part of the same group?" From the till, the chirpy girl at the Students' Union shop beamed at Arthur and Merlin who were standing as far away as possible from each other. Of course she would ask this. Because Arthur and Merlin were wearing matching Pennies t-shirts for their gig that night, forced on them by Morgana on pain of death.
Because, as it turned out, Lancelot was away for the whole semester, not just a week as Morgana had said, because they wanted to make sure Merlin could "fit in" before asking him to take over Lancelot. Apparently, Merlin did. Did "fit in". Even though Arthur barely spoke a word to him, and that first rehearsal was a disaster.
Right now, Arthur was doing the not-speaking-a-word -to-him thing again, as Merlin grunted at the shop girl, grabbed his purchase and fled.
"Both of you have such a similar style, and such chemistry, its undeniable ! That acoustic duet really showed it! Playing together a long time does that to you, eh?" Gilli's friendly greeting for Merlin ended with this cryptic comment. Merlin spluttered into his drink where the band had been settling down for a well-deserved drink during their break. Him and Arthur? Chemistry? More like they were playing it up for the performance, and anyway, once the music got going, it was easy to lose yourself in it.
Next to Merlin, Arthur raised a brow - had he heard? He must have, for he leaned over and smirked, " Chemistry, yes, FRIEND?".
" Stop that, you prat! You're the one who said you weren't my friend!"
" Well, Mer-lin, that was before you were part of our band!"
" I'm just a sub. You were right, we're not friends."
" What? Now he says he doesn't want to be friends! But haven't you heard, we have such great chemistry!"
Merlin blushed. The bar atmosphere, the drinks and coming off a set were all making him high and unguarded and he was starting to feel light- headed. In his outfit for the gig, Arthur looked very nice indeed- quite delicious, in fact. Red suited him. Royal blue did too. They brought out Arthur's blue eyes.
As if sensing Merlin's mood, Arthur pressed further," What's the matter? Too good to be my friend?". He started humming a tune which Merlin puzzledly tried to place, before giving up and gathering his thoughts.
"Arthur, no, it's just... Well, we just play together, alright, it doesn't mean we're friends!!" Merlin sighed. "It's just an act, just the music and the dramatics of it." Arthur pressed his lips together at that, and he turned away. "Arthur," Merlin continued - wait, was he feeling bad? What for? "Sorry about bumping into you that time, I mean, when I called you friend, it was just a term? I didn't mean anything by it. A figure of speech, yeah? No big deal?" Arthur lips thinned even more, and he slipped off his chair towards the direction of the bar.
" Merlin, he likes you." Merlin jumped; he hadn't even heard Morgana come up on his other side.
"Hey, Morg. Yeah, what was that friend thing all about? We're just playing some songs together, that's all right? No need to be so serious about it. Is he still pissed off because I bumped into him that day before rehearsals?"
" All I can say is, my brother doesn't make friends easily, so of he says that F word to you, it's not a small thing to him. Give him some credit, won't you, and hear him out. You might be surprised."
" Geez, you make it sound like a marriage proposal! Ok, ok, he wants to think we're friends, then I'll go along with it." Morgana gave him a smile just as Arthur returned with more drinks. He looked less grim than before, although still a little forced. Merlin cleared his throat, looked down, and mumbled," I guess no harm in seeing if we could be friends."
"What? Did you say something?"
Arthur lit up with a smile, and jostled Merlin's side to pass him a drink. Merlin bumped him back and between the two of them, they sloshed liquid onto Merlin. Merlin mock-sighed, " Hey, friend, look where you're going with that drink!"
Arthur twinkled back at him, "Well, I can't help it if I have such clumsy friends."
" I am NOT clumsy! This only ever happens with you!"
" Well, it must be the chemistry then." Arthur started humming again. Merlin finally placed the old Beatles song and started singing along, changing the lyrics as they sang, " I wanna be your fri- end, I wanna be your fri-end!"
With apologies to the Beatles for taking liberties with the chorus of " I wanna hold your hand"