Title: To bare your soul or to sell it (Momo 8)
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gawin (Gwaine).
Summary: Merlin finishes the folder on Arthur, and there’s a knock on Arthur’s door.
Warnings: A swear word or two.
Word Count: ~860
Prompt: #82 Storm
Author's Notes: Uggh, didn’t have much time to write and I am late to post and…
Part 1: Momo
Part 2: Observation
Part 3: Revelation
Part 4: The Hunter
Part 5: The Thief
Part 6: Face to face
Part 7: Retreat and regroup
After a most pleasing full body kneading, a fine meal and a second read through - all in the comfort of his hotel suite - Arthur found that things were as unclear as before. If he didn’t know any better he might think it was done intentionally to make him rush into… no. Aggravaine must have come across a source which was not entirely trustworthy.
Arthur stood by the large windows looking out at Ealdor City. Dark clouds had gathered and hung low above the buildings, matching his gloomy mood. He wished he could call Gwen. He couldn’t mention his doubts to his father. Uther wanted answers, results and final decisions. Concrete matters. Feelings, buts and maybes were unfinished work in his opinion.
He could call Leon. But as he thought of how to present the issue, he found he already knew what Leon would say.
Merlin had finished the last page. The folder landed on the table with a heavy thud followed by a lighter thud: Merlin’s head against the wooden surface.
That was Gawin's cue to turn his chair around and face Merlin.
- Damn it, Gaw! You know what this means, right?
Gawin smiled softly.
- I think I can make an educated guess. You need a hug?
Merlin let out a shaky breath.
- Yeah I need a hug.
Gawin bounced up immediately and wrapped his arms around the man, holding him firmly until Merlin was ready to let go.
- Thank you.
- Don’t mention it. What are lawyers for if not for hugging?
Merlin snorted a laugh and Gawin gave him a friendly punch in the arm.
- You can do this. And if you leave now you might beat the hail.
- I hope you're right...
Arthur ripped the door open a bit more agitated than he had planned, annoyed at being disturbed. He understood that the hotel had few guest this season, but there was no need to come unannounced! He was busy!
- What do you want?
In the same moment thunder roared and lightning flashed, filling the room behind him in cold white light, drawing Arthur in his bath robe as a cape clad Dracula in silhouette. Merlin might have been less stunned if he knew that he in turn looked like a creature from a Japanese horror movie, white skin and hard shadows.
The following darkness reminded Arthur that he had the floor to himself. Only the small guiding lights by the floor were still lit, leading the way to the exits.
Merlin rolled his eyes at the accusing tone. As if Merlin had control of the weather.
- It’s just a power cut. City wide most likely. The emergency generators should kick in shortly.
Seconds later the lights flickered back on. Merlin almost sighed in relief at Arthur’s appearance. From Dracula to Hugh Hefner-on-a-budget in mere seconds. Bathrobe, pyjamas bottoms and naked feet in hotel slippers. These very human traits, and he needed to focus on that rather than the cold mask. Unless it wasn’t a mask. Talk, Merlin, talk.
- I was hoping we could have a meeting of sorts, on more friendly terms… I didn’t interrupt anything?
- Not at all. I was in fact….
He drew his breath and let his shoulders drop a little bit.
- I did in fact have a similar thought. I didn't expect any visitors. But what about Mordred? If the school…
- He should be fine. The schools have emergency generators too. We often have storms like this one, the kids are used to it.
- Oh. Morgana was scared of the thunder when she was about his age. Not that she would admit it. We would take blankets to the library and make a house under the pool table and pretend we were explorers.
He smiles sadly at the memory, like he had forgotten that Merlin was there. And then there was silence again.
- I honestly did not mean to frighten him.
Another thunder bolt rumbles.
He looks up and finds Merlin staring at him like he is trying to read his mind. Arthur catches himself almost hoping that he could. He simply has no idea how to approach this man, he was a complete mystery. But he did come to talk, it seems. And he doesn't seem to know where to start either.
- So you want to come in here... or the hotel probably has a free meeting room...
- No. No, the suite is fine. I suppose. With the weather and the blackout.
The thunder rumbles ominously once again as Arthur steps aside and lets Merlin in.