Title: Like An Almost Dream
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur.
Summary: The first time they met, Merlin is interested in one thing.
Word Count: 555
Prompt: #84: Interest
Author's Notes: Set during season 1. Sorry I didn’t have a lot of time to write and edit this but I did my best.
The first time they meet, the only thing Merlin was interested in was saving the poor guy who was suffering for the amusement of a few street rats. So he calls out for them to stop.
The second time they meet, Merlin is interested in defeating him (even humiliating him if he could) and he succeeds—mostly. When he looks at Merlin, eyes squinted and calls him brave, Merlin notices how the Prince’s hair are more sun-kissed than they have any right to be, and quickly looks away. He does not want to be interested in that.
The third time they meet, they don’t meet at all. Merlin throws himself at Arthur, pulls him away and saves his life. Arthur looks at him for a second and Merlin turns away. He’s already begun to notice things, and now he has to always see him, notice things that a man shouldn’t notice in another man, let alone a Prince. How unfortunate (and yet, somehow it isn’t. It isn’t unfortunate at all).
They keep meeting after that. Merlin works and Arthur does his princely duties. Arthur mocks Merlin, Merlin retorts with a sarcastic comment. Sometimes, Arthur responds, sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes they’re sad, sometimes happy, or desperate, or angry or any other emotions human feel. And life goes on. Merlin still notices things in the little moments. He notices how Arthur’s eyes are more vibrant when he’s happy, or excited, or angry. He notices how Arthur’s foot twitches sometimes when he sleeps. He notices how Arthur pouts when he’s thinking. He notices a lot of things as those little moments combine to make a day, and a week, and a month and then—months.
And that’s how life is until one day; Merlin realizes that they’ve become friends. More yet, he realizes that he loves Arthur. Not in a friendly way, either. He pretends to be sick that day, lies in his bed and thinks. He shouldn’t be feeling this—this thing for Arthur. He’s the Prince, the future King. Merlin is a mere servant. Merlin is a man. And so is Arthur. But Merlin still can’t help but want. Merlin wonders how such a pure feeling can ever be considered wrong.
He’s fussing with the knot on Arthur’s cape, biting his lip, frowning because he can’t use magic with Arthur right there. He’ll see. But Arthur has to go. He’ll be late. Damn it!
There’s suddenly soft pressure on his lips and the knot is out of sight. He tries to move, but there’s a hand in his hair and that’s when he realizes that Arthur is kissing him. And it’s so unreal it’s almost like a dream—almost. It’s over in a heartbeat, before he could react, before he could press himself to Arthur and kiss back. Arthur has already secured the knot before Merlin recovers.
Merlin just stares at him, even after Arthur has left for the ceremony. He’s the Prince’s manservant. He needs to be there to make sure his goblet doesn’t run dry. He’ll go in just a few minutes, after he’s gained enough control over his legs, when he’s sure he won’t fall due to wobbly legs. He’ll go. But for now, his lips are still tingling, and there’s warmth spreading in his belly as he watches the closed chamber door.