Title: Flowers and Coffee
Summary: Merlin has to make a decission
Warnings: none, I think
Word Count: 944
Author's Notes: Thanks to issy5209 for the beta.
The next in the ‘Merlin’s weekend at the convention’ series.
“Stop moping, Merlin,“ Gwen opened the window and let some fresh air into Merlin’s room.
“’m not moping.” It came muffled from between the pillows where Merlin’s face was buried.
“Yes, you are.” She sat down on the bed and put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “He calls every hour, Merlin. Just talk to him.”
“What’s there to say?” Merlin turned around and scrambled up, hugging a pillow to his chest. “I was just a little distraction, read too much into it and got dumped. And the world keeps turning.”
Sighing, Gwen gave him a long look. “Just that your world doesn’t keep turning. You like him. You don’t know him very well, but you like him. And you would love to get to know him better. Don’t even tell me otherwise. If you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t be sighing like a love-sick manatee.”
“Manatees do sigh?”
“I have no idea, but that’s not the point. Why are you so scared, Merlin? You guys had a rough start, but that doesn’t mean it will all end in disaster!”
“It already did, didn’t it? I mean…,” Merlin hugged the pillow harder and didn’t look at Gwen, “…he was really great, I mean…like…not just taking what he wanted, he…I don’t know…Gwen, he ordered breakfast and fed me!”
“And then he made a mistake which he is trying to correct for a week now. Give him a second chance. If not for you or him, do it for me!” Gwen jumped up.
Merlin threw her a sideways look. “For you?”
“Yes, for me. It’s driving me crazy that I have to be your secretary and lie to him about you not being home all the time, which definitely takes away from the time I could spend with Lance!” She crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“You like him.” Merlin sighed.
“And you like Arthur. So go, meet him, talk to him, see where it leads. No need to jump onto the next best flat surface and shag , no need for long-term commitment. Just…date?”
Merlin stayed silent. He wanted to see Arthur again, but he couldn’t get over the way Arthur had treated him.
“He’s really sorry. You should have heard some of the things he called himself; ‘Idiot’ being one of the nicer ones.” She sat down next to Merlin again. “Do you really think he would keep trying to talk to you for a week if he didn’t care?”
It all sounded so logical when Gwen said it. But Merlin couldn’t help being scared. He had been treated not nice by guys before, but it had never hurt as much as the morning in the lobby of the hotel. But if it hurt so much, didn’t that mean he cared, too? He sighed, utterly confused.
“I tell you what, honey,” Gwen got up. “Today’s the day. I’m sure Arthur will call again in the next thirty minutes. Either, you’ll tell him to shove off for good or you’ll go out for a coffee with him, so you can talk and work things out. What will it be?” She looked at him expectantly.
“I guess I’ll take a shower first.” Merlin scrambled up. “Then I’ll tell you, okay?”
Gwen sighed, but let him be.
As he came out of his room again, freshly showered, in jeans and a t-shirt, Merlin was just on the way to the kitchen to make a tea, when the doorbell rang.
“Could you get that? You’re closer to the door!” Gwen chimed from her room.
Running a hand through his hair, Merlin opened and was face with Arthur. Not the glamorous Arthur he’d met at the convention. Not the everybody’s-darling-Arthur with the infectious smile. But with an Arthur whose hair was all over the place and whose face showed dark circles underneath his eyes. Nevertheless, Merlin’s heart was beating faster.
“Errr…hi…what are you doing here?” Merlin bit his lower lip. He hadn’t meant to sound so hostile.
Arthur held out a small bunch of flowers and then chuckled without humor. “Looks ridiculous, doesn’t it? This looked a lot better in my mind.” He sighed. “I’m sorry, Merlin. I really am. I’m an arse, I should have never treated you that way, that is unforgivable. I don’t even know why I did it. Probably because I was too scared to admit that after one night, I felt something between us that was too big for the short time we’ve spent together. I panicked. Which is no excuse, I know.” Arthur hung his head.
Merlin gaped. He didn’t know what to say. Yes, it was unforgivable what Arthur had done. Yes, he was an arse. But…Arthur had felt that, too? Merlin blinked and slowly took the flowers. He’d never gotten flowers from anyone before. Not that he was a girl who needed flowers, but it was a nice gesture anyway. And…
“Okay, I understand.” Arthur turned, a picture of misery.
“No.” Merlin didn’t know what to say, but he knew he didn’t want Arthur to leave.
Arthur looked up.
“There’s a coffee shop around the corner. I haven’t had breakfast yet.” In fact, Gwen hadn’t managed to make him eat for a few days now. He didn’t move and still stood there with the flowers in his hands.
“Would you even consider an absolute idiot accompanying you?” A little hopeful smile showed on Arthur’s face.
Merlin nodded, set the flowers aside for Gwen to find a vase for, grabbed his keys and hoodie and walked down the corridor side by side with Arthur. He didn’t know where this day would end, but he already felt better just from having Arthur around.