Title: Heart-Stopping Envy
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, Gwaine
Summary: Arthur does something unusual
Word Count: 530
Prompt: #69 - Envy for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Took me the whole weekend to come up w/ this entry. I had to use it to Merlin's advantage. Really didn't think the ending was going to be what it is. (Story's not ended yet, of course!). I laughed at the last line, given my username ♥ Read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
The counselling session had been a complete waste. The psychiatrist seemed more interested in Merlin’s family past than anything else and wouldn’t let Merlin ask any questions. He left the office at the end of the day defeated. He was exhausted. Unfortunately, regardless of how tired he had been, sleep didn’t seem to favour him.
Merlin paced up and down the corridors of the Mansion, as though he was looking for something, some new idea, some new plot he could employ. What did Arthur need a psychiatrist for? He didn’t understand and he wanted to know, desperately.
“Merlin?” Arthur called his name as Merlin hadn’t realised he was standing right outside Arthur’s room.
“Oh!” Merlin jumped. “Sorry, I sort of got lost—”
“In your thoughts again?” Arthur said with a smile. That was an odd smile—Merlin hadn’t seen that smile on Arthur’s face since he was a child. Arthur was several years older than Merlin and used to be kind to him, things had taken an odd turn to Arthur’s current hostility and Merlin had never figured out why.
“Yeah, sorry. I’ll just be off then,” Merlin said and began walking away.
“What’s the matter?” Arthur asked, as though he was genuinely concerned.
“Nothing, just, you know—” Merlin didn’t know what to say, he’d been startled by Arthur’s oddly benevolent behaviour.
Arthur laughed. “You haven’t done this in a long time,” he said. “You used to pace up and down the corridors because you wanted to talk to me but didn’t know how.” It was odd to hear Arthur reminisce the past.
It was true. When Merlin first came to live with the Pendragons, Arthur and Merlin had become close. They were, dare Merlin thought, friends. Arthur was sympathetic and a good listener, it was one of the reasons Merlin had fallen so madly in love with Arthur. Then, Arthur grew up, Merlin supposed. He began to bring girls over and didn’t have time for Merlin anymore—that’s really when Merlin’s envy had taken charge—and his determination to never let Arthur have a meaningful relationship had transpired.
“Do you want to come in?” Arthur asked, further shocking Merlin into a stupor.
“Erm…I don’t want to bother you.” Stupid! Of course I want to go in, what’s wrong with me? Merlin immediately cursed himself for denying the one thing he’d yearned for.
Arthur snorted. “Merlin, I don’t have any company tonight, why don’t you come in?” Arthur got out of the way and Merlin walked in. He sat awkwardly on Arthur’s bed as Arthur jumped on and made himself comfortable.
They talked. About nothing in particular—sports, the weather, Arthur’s upcoming job interviews. Merlin became decreasingly nervous and unwound, relaxing against the foot of the bed. Arthur leaned in as though he was about to say something, share a secret, or he could’ve been leaning in to kiss Merlin, Merlin hoped, but the unforeseeable happened. Merlin’s mobile chirped.
“Oh,” Merlin said, looking at who’d just sent the message.
“Who is it?” Arthur asked, curious.
“Your ex-boyfriend?” Merlin glanced up and caught the look that Arthur immediately concealed. Arthur was more than curious, he was green.
Read Part Seven: Self-Esteem