Title: A good enough reason
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gaius, Uther (Mentioned)
Summary: Welcome to Camelot University where the teachers are hot and students are persistent.
Warnings: AU, Age difference, Teacher: Arthur, Student: Merlin.
Word Count: 700
Prompt: #66 Reasons
Author's Notes: Just wanted to step away from the Mansion universe for a quick drabble.
“Merlin, is there a reason you’re lurking around after class today?” Professor Arthur Pendragon asked; he was Merlin’s Theology and Religion professor. Merlin was the most promising student in class along with the biggest troublemaker. All of Arthur’s colleagues had labelled him as the boy that really gave them a run for their money.
“Professor, I just wanted to discuss next week’s assignment with you,” Merlin answered, his response accompanied with a sly smirk Arthur didn’t like. Here we go… again, Arthur thought.
“You’ve already submitted your assignment and you’re done for the semester,” Arthur replied, continuing his walk out of the classroom, avoiding eye contact with Merlin.
“Exactly, so I was hoping you’d have an answer for me by now for the Faculty meet-and-greet gathering for Friday night.” Merlin smiled again and Arthur stopped walking to look at him. Merlin had only hinted innumerable times about his attraction to the professor and had asked Arthur to be his date for the end-of-the-year get-together. Merlin was invited because he was the Dean’s godson, making everything about Arthur’s professional life, utterly complicated.
“Merlin, I’ve explained to you countless times, you don’t need a date to attend the event, along with the fact that I do not date students,” Arthur replied with conviction. Also, he hated himself for the fact that he found Merlin tremendously attractive and if he hadn’t been his student, he would have had no problem taking him up for his offer.
“I find your reasons not good enough,” Merlin responded with resolution.
“Frankly, that’s not my problem,” Arthur replied with an equal amount of resolve. He knew he was being a bit harsh but he cared about his career more. Arthur had only been teaching at Camelot University for two years. He was the youngest professor in his department and one of the youngest in the entire establishment. He wasn’t ready to give it all up for a mouthy nineteen year old, no matter how beautiful that mouth was.
“I’m transferring,” Merlin called out as Arthur had begun to walk away.
“I’m sorry?” Arthur asked, turning to look at Merlin again.
“Nemeth, I have been accepted there, I will be continuing there in the Fall,” Merlin said. There was something about his tone Arthur couldn’t place. He decided to wait and let Merlin continue. “Everyone thinks…that I was accepted here because of Gaius. They believe that I didn’t work hard enough; they like to see me for who I am related to rather than my marks. No matter how much I try, I seem to always have to prove myself.”
Arthur sighed. If he knew anything, he knew that sentiment. Having had a father who always second guessed everything Arthur ever specified and everyone who overlooked him because of his father’s accomplishments, Arthur could relate to Merlin in that moment.
“Merlin, you’re a gifted student,” Arthur said, attempting to raise Merlin’s self-esteem. “People have nothing better to do than to bring others down with them. I know what a brilliant mind you have along with all your other professors who you tend to keep on their toes.” Arthur smiled softly. “I am sure Nemeth has gained a bright new student in their acceptance of you, and frankly a bit saddened that you won’t be around roaming the halls pestering everyone.” Merlin nodded and Arthur began to take his leave.
“So will you be my date now, given that I will no longer be your student?” Merlin grinned and Arthur glared at him.
“You don’t give up, do you?” Arthur shook his head again. Damn that cheeky smile.
“Not if I can help it. I think it’s a side-effect of having a brilliant mind.”
Arthur sighed again. “Tell you what, I’ll see you at the party and maybe we can get a drink afterwards.”
Merlin grinned. “I’ll take it.” When Arthur began to walk away again, Merlin called out after him. “Make sure to keep your toothbrush on you!”
“Why?” Arthur asked, puzzled.
“You’ll be spending the night, of course.” Arthur laughed at Merlin’s response and walked away. He was quite sure that it was now certainly a possibility. He just needed to see that Nemeth acceptance letter first.