Character/s:Arthur, Merlin, Morgana
Summary:Will Arthur be foolish enough to follow his heart?
Word Count: 1388
Author's Notes: Thanks to derenai for the beta reading!
Spending his Saturday evening watching over a bunch of teenagers wasn’t really Arthur’s dream night. But when, three months ago, Morgana had asked their father if she could organize a big party for her eighteenth birthday, Uther had agreed with the only condition that an adult kept an eye on them. And, of course, he had asked Arthur who hadn’t been able to refuse.
Arthur looked around the living room which had been redecorated in a gloomy and Goth club. Morgana had managed to convince their father to spend a tremendous amount of money for this party.
Around twenty people were dancing to the thumping rhythm of the bands Morgana loved so much. Some other where drinking or eating around the buffet set in the adjacent room. Everyone one was wearing black clothes. Arthur spotted his sister dancing in the middle of his friends. She was wearing a black dress made of torn fabric and lace. Next to her, her best friend was swinging slowly, eyes closed, visibly lost in the music.
Merlin was Morgana’s friend since childhood. Arthur had never really understood why. Apart from their recent bond over gothic clothing and music, they didn’t have anything in common. Merlin was a shy boy when Morgana was outgoing and loved to be the center of attention. Merlin loved to stay at home to read or draw. Morgana spent most of her days outside, partying with friends.
Suddenly, Merlin opened his eyes and looked directly at Arthur. The blues irises were glowing with the lights. The black eye-liner only made them even more enthralling.
Arthur shook his head and looked elsewhere. It was not the first time he had found Merlin attractive. Since the boy had grown out of childhood, Arthur had often found himself watching Merlin and liking what he was looking at. He knew he shouldn’t think about a teen like that, that he shouldn’t want to kiss her little sister’s best friend, that he shouldn’t want to undress a guy ten years younger… But he couldn’t help it. And, in the last two years, it had only gotten worse.
And there were these strange flashbacks… This sens of déjà-vu. Sometimes, Merlin would smile, laugh or just say something and Arthur would swear he had already seen or heard it. As he was now living in his own flat he didn’t see Merlin that much. But the boy seemed to always be there when he went to his father’s mansion. Each time, Arthur would try to avoid him. He would always fail. It was as if an invisible magnet was drawing him to Merlin.
A too familiar voice drew him from his thoughts.
“You don’t seem to enjoy yourself,” He noted.
“It’s not really a party for old men like me,” Arthur joked.
“You’re not that old.”
Merlin’s tone was serious as he looked intently at Arthur.
Silence lingered between them. They were still looking at each other. Arthur noticed the faint trace of red lipstick on Merlin’s jaw, where Morgana had kissed him earlier when she had thanked him for the bracelet he had offered her.
“Arthur? Do you want to –“
Merlin was interrupted by Gwaine, another friend of Morgana.
“Merlin! You’re here! We’re looking for you!” he shouted, clearly drunk.
And without letting him time to protest, he dragged Merlin away.
Merlin threw a sad glance toward Arthur.
Arthur sighed. He was relieved. If Gwaine hadn’t come, he knew he would have agreed to anything Merlin could have asked. It was frightening how weak he was when Merlin was around. Arthur went to the bar and took another drink. He needed to calm down.
Later as some of the guests were starting to leave, Morgana came to him.
Arthur nodded. Even if, sometimes, his relationship with Morgana was quite tense, he was glad that she had the birthday party she wanted. She seemed happy.
“Arthur… He likes you, you know.”
“What are you talking about?” Arthur asked even if he could guess what was coming next.
“Merlin… He likes you.”
And with that, Morgana disappeared in the hall to say goodbye to her friends.
Arthur was taken aback. Did his sister just give him her blessing to woo her best friend? Her eighteen years old best friend?
Arthur rapidly dismissed the thought. Whatever he was feeling for Merlin, he was not fool enough to act on it!
The next week, after too many sleepless nights, Arthur was exhausted. He couldn’t stop thinking about what Morgana told him. Merlin liked him… If he wanted, he could be with the boy now… Kissing him… Letting his hands roam on the too pale skin… Discovering if his hair were as soft as they looked…
Arthur groaned. He was doomed.
He was 28… 29 in two months. Living alone in a too big flat. He hadn’t had a serious relationship since he broke up with Vivian a year ago. He hadn’t slept with anybody after the debacle of trying to sleep with his best friend. Leon was still awkward around him even six month after.
And now he was pondering the possibility of inviting an eighteen-year-old guy for a date.
He closed his eyes and for a moment, he let his imagination wander. What if he called Merlin? He could invite him for dinner in his favorite Thai restaurant. Merlin was vegetarian. He would love it. After that they could go for a walk in a park. Then, he would take him home and give him a kiss outside his house. Then send him a message as soon as he would be back home, telling him he was already missing him.
Arthur continued to imagine other dates. Or Merlin living with him. How he would let him redecorate the impersonal flat. How he would cook for Merlin. How they would settle in a welcome routine. Merlin going to Uni, Arthur working, spending the evening together, cuddling in the couch.
It wasn’t the first time thoughts like this crossed his mind. It was probably too soon to imagine this but it felt so right. And once again, Arthur felt this strange sense of déjà-vu. It was like Merlin and he had already shared a life together, like they had known each other before. Arthur knew it was impossible but the feeling was too intense to dismiss.
And it was that feeling that, in the end, convinced him to act.
He knew it was foolish. But for now, he had always done what was expected from him. As a teen he had dated Mithian, the most popular girl at school. They had split up when they had gone to different Universities. He had studied management, like his father, to take the lead of Pendragon Inc. after him. Then he had dated Vivian for six years. She was the daughter of one of Uther’s biggest rival. It would have been the perfect marriage, uniting the two companies as well as them. But, two months before the wedding, she had left him for another man. A guy she had met during a working trip in Italy.
Arthur was realizing that following his reason hadn’t really made him a happy man. Perhaps it was time to follow his heart?
He took his phone and called his sister. Of course, she squealed when he asked for Merlin number. He hanged up as soon as he had saved it on his phone.
He was slightly shaking when he typed the message. What if it was just a game for Merlin? What if Morgana was making fun of him? What if he was the only one in this?
“Would like to go out tonight? Arthur.”
When he hit send, Arthur felt dizzy.
But when his phone rung and he saw Merlin’s name flashing on the screen, he nearly fainted.
“Yeah… So… Hum…”
“I… Can I go get you at 8?”
“Yeah… Ok… I…”
When Arthur finally kissed Merlin that night, he felt like he had found the meaning of his life. Merlin smiled then and Arthur knew it had already seen that smile before.
“It’s strange, you know,” Merlin said, still a little breathless after the kisses. “But sometimes I have this strange feeling… Like I know you… From before…”
Arthur smiled, too.