Title: There’s a storm front coming
Summary: Merlin doesn’t really know how to react when Arthur calls
Word Count: 725
Author's Notes: The next part of the ‘Merlin’s weekend at the convention’.
The morning after
Thanks, as always, to issy5209
Title shamelessly stolen from Billy Joel.
While Gwen babbled on about the weekend and pointed out all the exciting and fun things they’d done, Merlin sat in the passengers‘ seat, looking out the window but not really seeing the landscape passing by. The wind was bending the trees and the big black clouds that moved in felt very appropriate to Merlin’s mood.
“And that show we saw the trailers for, the one with the detective and the demon…Merlin, we gotta watch that when it’s on.”
Merlin was too deep in thought. What had happened this weekend? They’d gone to their favorite convention, to have fun, meet their favorite actors and his deepest secret wishes had been fulfilled. But only because he had acted like a slut. He didn’t deserve any better than to be used and then tossed aside, he’d brought it upon himself. It was his own fault.
“Merlin? Merlin! My mobile!”
Blinking, Merlin turned and only then noticed that Gwen’s mobile was ringing with the theme song of their favorite TV show. “It’s ringing.”
“Yes, Captain Obvious. I’m driving, would you answer it?”
Merlin took the call and blinked again. Now he was hearing voices, this would not end well.
“Gwen? Hi! This is Arthur, you know…Lance’s friend. Can I talk to Merlin?”
Arthur. Lance’s friend Arthur. The Arthur who had fucked him over. “No.” Merlin disconnected the call.
“Who was it?” Gwen was still concentrating on traffic which was getting thicker by the minute.
“Wrong number,” Merlin murmured as the phone rang again.
“Very persistent for a wrong number. Answer it, it might be important!”
Rolling his eyes – every call was important to Gwen – he did what he was told. “Yeah?”
“Merlin? Merlin is that you? Let me explain.”
“No need to explain anything.” Again, Merlin hung up.
“Merlin Emrys, if you don’t tell me right away what this is about, I’ll stop the car immediately and you’ll walk home!” Gwen glared at him.
“It’s him. Trying to reach me through you.” Merlin looked outside again. What was that all about? Arthur couldn’t even say hi in the lobby but now used their friends to explain something that was so crystal clear that it didn’t need an explanation?
“Will you answer that phone now, Merlin?” Gwen started tapping her fingers on the steering wheel impatiently as the device rang again. “And don’t you dare hang up! Hear him out! Maybe he had valid reasons to act like that?”
Taking a deep breath, Merlin answered the phone again. Part of him never wanted to deal with Arthur Pendragon again, the other part longed to hear his voice. “Yeah?”
“Merlin, just give me a minute to explain! There were paparazzi around. If I even said hi to you, you would be in the tabloids tomorrow because I wouldn’t have been able to not kiss you. I’m sorry for ignoring you, but it was for the best.”
Merlin just snorted. The best. Yeah. Arthur got the best, he got a cheap fuck and that was all there was to it.
“I need to see you.”
“Why? Wasn’t three times enough? Are you horny again? Go find another willing fanboy, there must be thousands around.” Merlin saw no need to keep the bitterness out of his voice and ignored the shocked looks Gwen threw him.
“You might not believe that now, but I’ve never done that before. You’re different, Merlin, I can’t believe the connection we have. I need to see you again.”
Merlin’s heart was beating and he was utterly confused. Arthur had ignored him to protect him from public exposure? He wanted to see him again? What for? Another shag in an anonymous hotel room? To use him again and then claim to protect him from the paparazzi by totally ignoring him? Not for a single second Merlin believed that he was different, there must be dozens like him. Picked up by Arthur Pendragon at a convention, willing fanboys who were deliriously happy that the big star chose them, to be thoroughly fucked and then cast aside.
“You’re right. I don’t believe you.” Merlin hung up again and switched the phone off.
As the wind picked up and wiped leaves across the motorway, the rain poured down and paralyzed traffic almost completely, Merlin turned his face towards the side window, so Gwen wouldn’t see the tear rolling down his cheek.