Title: In the Bushes
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin.
Summary: Arthur blames Merlin for becoming an expert at stalking. His khakis suffer the consequences of his escapades.
Warnings: Pining!Arthur? Language.
Word Count: 874
Prompt: #63 -- Hiding
Author's Notes: This is so bad I can't even. I'm so sorry. (Late as usual aww yiss)
When Arthur remembers this in the future, he will always say that it’s all Merlin’s fault.
Because really, why in Earth would he be stalking him if it wasn’t for his damn existence?
Alright, maybe Merlin wasn’t really responsible for the way he made Arthur feel, but still. It was becoming rather terrifying how he already had his day scheduled to find him in all the right places—at school and outside of it, which wasn’t really good, if someone asked him. Not only because he was Arthur bloody Pendragon but because he was hiding in places and acting like a stupid thirteen year old girl with a stupid crush on a stupid boy!
He was now scolding himself for wearing khakis on Merlin’s dog-walk day, or rather, cursing at his brain for presetting that he would go to the park like last week, because if that had been the case, Arthur could’ve used the damn newspaper he bought before he made his way to Elyan’s house (where Merlin always took Elyan’s sister—Gwen—‘s puppy and went to pick up the rest of the dogs from there and when the hell did he become so obsessed, God), where he had a perfect hiding spot, mind you, right in front of the building, behind the broken net beside the tiny alley—he tried hiding in the alley once but he felt something padding his foot and ever since then he avoids it completely.
But no. Merlin decided to go to the left.
And Arthur knows where he’s going, of course he knows, he knows everything there is to know about Merlin and his whereabouts—not that he’s about to admit it, not even when he’s hiding in the bushes of the bloody park, and not any park, but that damn jungle-like tangle of undergrowth and sort-of trees and bloody quicksand (even if no one believes him) (well, he has only told Morgana) with his goddamned khakis and suede loafers buried and muddied and Merlin isn’t even worth it.
He keeps telling himself that even as he watches the way Merlin’s laughter lifts up the place, and loses himself on the sharp angles and cute wrinkles that twist his face in that dorky adorable way of his, and the way he plays with the dogs, and how he stretches himself—and Arthur tries really hard not to think of other things while that happens—and the way he blabbers to the dogs as if they could understand him, and there’s something wet on his hand, oh God, is something eating him—
“Alan? Alan!” Merlin calls from where he’s sitting in the middle of the mini jungle, and Arthur dares see what exactly is licking him.
“Alan!” Merlin stood up. Oh, crap, oh, fuck. Arthur pushed the dog aside but he surprisingly didn’t move (considering he pushed him with his manly force), instead just panting and waving his tail cheerfully at him.
“Go away!” Arthur hisses, looking frantically over the little hole between the leaves to see Merlin’s frame moving towards him.
“Alan? Are you in there?” Merlin’s tone is so sweet, though. Arthur wants to die.
And then the fucking dog barks.
“Shut up!” Arthur shrieks—in a manly way, of course—and pushes the dog away again, but Alan jumps over him instead, knocking him down, completely ruining his khakis and what was left of his dignity.
“There you are!” Merlin coos, taking the dog off from him and patting it in the head. Arthur is in such shock he dares not move, hoping that maybe he could pretend to be a bush and Merlin would believe it. “I’m so sorry,” Merlin starts, looking from the dog at him, and all plans for camouflage are gone. “Wait, Arthur? What are you doing here?”
“I was, um, just going for a walk, and, you know, I got lost?” He stood up and did his best to fix his clothes and make himself a little presentable. He tries to smile but it’s a little wobbly.
“Right,” Merlin raises an eyebrow and his lips—his stupid lips—quirk in that bloody irresistible smile of his. “Were you spying on me?”
“What?” his tone was awfully high. “I wasn’t spying you,” he sputters, heat coloring his cheeks. “I told you, I got lost—“
“On a park that no everyone knows about and that has a specific road to walk-by?” The asshole is enjoying it, there’s no doubt about that.
Arthur rolls his eyes.
“You wish I would be spying you, don’t you, Merlin? So hopeful, even after I give you a perfect reasonable…er, reason, to be here in the exact same moment as you, without it being stalking or some stupid delusional thing you might think in that little head of yours—“
“You’re so hopeless,” Merlin laughs, patting his arm, Alan barking his agreement and sniffing at his muddied khakis. “Is such a pity you weren’t spying on me, I might have considered going for a coffee after I leave the dogs,” and then the asshole turns around and walks away, leaving an openmouthed blonde staring at him.
“Oh, you wish!” he calls out. “Merlin! Merlin? Were you being serious? Wait, hold on!”