Title: Never Say Goodbye
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: The date never ended
Word Count: 761
Author's Notes: So guys, this might have to be the end of our lovely boys, because I think I'm going to have to stop posting while back at uni (it's second year, I really need to focus). It's been amazing, and I've loved every prompt, and thank you all for being part of this with me! (In case I don't come back for a while)
When Arthur wakes it’s to a cold bed and sunlight streaming in through the curtains. He can hear water running, which is odd, until he remembers about Merlin, and about last night.
The thought of having to say goodbye to Merlin makes something tighten in his chest, something very much like dread, but he dismisses it as best he can. He has his rule, after all. Never more than one date.
Except that the date never really ended. They haven’t said goodbye yet, haven’t parted ways. It’s a flimsy loophole, Arthur knows, but it’s all he needs.
The bathroom door opens, letting in a draught of air that cuts through the steam of the shower. Merlin chooses to ignore it. He has no objection to company, after all, and if that’s what Arthur has in mind then he can only see it going well.
He steps into the spray to wet his hair, listening to the sound of the door closing and the shower door opening through the sound of the water. Two soft thuds later and when Merlin lifts his head again he’s faced with the sight of Arthur.
“What a pleasant surprise.”
Arthur hums, stepping in close to kiss him.
“Is it really a surprise?”
Merlin laughs, happy. He has Arthur, beautiful and so much more; kind and genuine, in ways he’d never expected, had taken too long to see, and Arthur wants to be with him. He’s not seeing the error of his ways and kicking Merlin out of the apartment. He’s not cold and distant. He’s standing under hot water with Merlin, kissing him, and the moment is perfect.
“I suppose not. Come here, I’m sure you got in for a reason.”
Arthur pulls back, and for a moment Merlin panics. Before he notices Arthur’s gaze, taking him all in, wide-eyed like he can’t quite believe it. It makes Merlin forget to breathe for a second, knowing that someone looks at him like that.
“As much as I’d love to demonstrate my shower sex prowess,” Arthur says, “I am starving, and you look half starved too. We’re going to get clean, and we’re going to brunch.”
“Brunch? Do I not get any say in this?”
Arthur’s gaze travels south, and Merlin presses him closer to hide, but that only serves to make it more obvious. He’s half hard already, just from a kiss and Arthur’s nakedness.
“Oh, baby,” Arthur purrs, clearly teasing, “I think we can get away with just one hand job.”
All Merlin’s objectivity on the situation goes to hell at that moment, because Arthur takes hold of both their cocks, and Merlin is certain he’s never felt so good.
Arthur takes him to a little café down the road. It’s a two minute walk, and they do the best bacon sandwiches Arthur has ever known. They’re both of them tired, so there’s little conversation, but they can’t help but sneak glances at each other. That is, until the bacon arrives.
“This is amazing,” Merlin tells him with a sound that Arthur can say with some certainty is orgasmic, “Where did you find this place? Can I keep the chef? Please?”
“It’s one of those places you just stumble on.”
“No, I never stumble on anything as good as this.”
Arthur laughs, and looks at him.
The moment stretches. The sun’s behind Merlin, and it all but silhouettes him, but still his eyes seem to shine clear and blue and his smile, it’s almost blinding. It’s like an electric shock, where even Arthur’s heart seems to pause, and all he can think is this. Even though it’s too soon, and it’s too new, this.
He brushes it off, and Merlin doesn’t seem to notice, caught up in his sandwich. Which is good, because Arthur is certain it would ruin everything if he knew. Come to mention it, it would ruin everything if anyone knew.
“Listen, Arthur,” Merlin starts, “I have to-”
Arthur’s hand is covering his mouth before he has a chance to say another word. Merlin can’t leave. They can’t say goodbye. Because there’s the rule, and Arthur can never break it. Only one date. Ever.
“No, no, don’t say it. If you say it, this ends. So don’t. Let’s go to the park, instead. Go for a walk. Buy a fucking kite.”
It’s touch and go, and Arthur thinks he’s going to say no, but Merlin’s eyes light up and he takes Arthur’s hand from his mouth to give it a squeeze.
“The park it is, then.”