Title: What You Seek is Seeking You (The Mansion, Part 11)
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, Merlin/Gwaine, Arthur/Lance, Arthur/OFC
Summary: Arthur is confessing something, Merlin thinks he's having him on.
Warnings: Adult language.
Word Count: 785
Prompt: #73--Attraction for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: So we finally see Arthur's side of the story. Read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Merlin’s breath hitched when he saw Arthur standing at his door, his hand raised as though he was just about to knock.
“Arthur!” Merlin exclaimed. “I—uh—”
“Can we talk?” Arthur asked. Merlin looked into Arthur’s eyes and saw a sort of sincerity he hadn’t seen in a while. It was the thing that had initially attracted Merlin to Arthur…before Arthur had become so mean.
“I’m not sure there’s something to talk about,” Merlin said. “Can you just forget whatever Gwaine said?”
“I can’t,” Arthur replied, stubborn as he was. “Maybe I should have told you that I knew about you and Gwaine and how he treated you. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so mean—”
“Maybe you should have done a lot of things, Arthur.” Merlin sighed and moved out of the way, he really didn’t wish to have an argument with him in the hallway. He allowed Arthur to enter his room. Merlin had no claim to the property; he was an orphan that was being granted shelter in the Mansion. Arthur and Uther owned the house; he could simply enter whenever he wished it.
“Still, I’d really rather not talk about…” Merlin paused. He was unsure of what to say. “I am grateful, I had no idea why Gwaine had broken it off with me and now I know I have you to thank.”
“I probably should have told you right away,” Arthur said, he was standing awkwardly in Merlin’s room until Merlin gestured for him to sit.
“Why did you…why did you protect me?” Merlin said. “You hate me. I mean these past few years, you’ve never said a kind word, and you never even looked at me.”
“Merlin, I don’t hate you.” Arthur was picking at the fabric of the comforter on Merlin’s bed. He didn’t look up to make eye-contact. Everything about Arthur in that moment, Merlin thought, was so unlike him. Arthur was usually confident, assertive, energetic…this looked like a man concealing something.
“Why are you seeing a therapist, Arthur?” Merlin asked. He figured that he might as well get things out in the open. Of all the things Merlin had learned about Arthur, his trips to the psychiatrist’s office had intrigued Merlin the most. He supposed if Arthur insisted on being in his company, especially when Merlin wished to be alone, he needed some answers.
“How do you—?”
“Do you really need to ask?”
Arthur chuckled; Merlin figured Arthur was well aware of Merlin’s perceptive techniques by now. “I needed to work out some issues,” Arthur said.
Merlin interrupted Arthur immediately. “What kind of issues?” He was too impatient for his own good.
“Merlin, I’m several years older than you…” Arthur paused and looked at Merlin who didn’t dare interrupt, he simply nodded. “In the beginning it was fun, we were friends, we just to joke around—but then I began to attend University and you were still in school.” Merlin was confused, he simply stared at Arthur perplexed, he didn’t understand the point.
Arthur sighed and leaned back into the bed. “I sought counselling because I need to talk out my—”
“Your concerns, regarding what?”
“Regarding my attraction towards you.”
“Regarding your attraction?” Merlin scoffed. “Are you fucking—”
“I’m not,” Arthur said, sounding resolved. “Merlin you were fifteen then.”
“Fifteen? Arthur, you’re trying to tell me that you’ve fancied me for nearly four years?” Merlin felt the ground under him move. Could this be true? Arthur was an arse to Merlin because of his attraction.
“If this is some kind of a cruel joke, Arthur…”
“It’s not. Merlin, I promise. I was jealous when I knew you were dating Gwaine, but when I found out he was hurting you—I nearly well killed him. That’s when I started seeking counselling. I couldn’t deal with…” Arthur paused again and Merlin simply took a seat on the chair across from him. “When I first realised I was drawn to you…I couldn’t cope with the realisation of being gay. That’s when I—”
“Started fucking women like it was going out of style,” Merlin said, coldly.
Arthur simply nodded. “For a while I simply concentrated at my coursework, then I had these dreams—”
“Dreams?” Merlin raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, with you and Lance.” Arthur was looking down at the fabric again. Merlin snickered.
“Let me get this straightened out,” Merlin said. “You wanted to fuck me, so you fucked girls. Then I began fucking Gwaine and you were all but ready to beat him. Then you had a fucking threesome dream with me and Lancelot? So naturally, you fucked him…without me.”
“Now you know why I went to therapy.” (READ PART 12)