Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Hunith
Summary: Summer is over, autumn is here. This can mean only one thing, right?
Word Count: 479
Prompt: #86 Autumn
Author's Notes: -
It was seven thirty on an autumn morning. The nice kind of autumn anyway – when the summer still hung in the air, the trees were decked in red and gold and the world wasn't yet drowning in misery.
And yet here Merlin was, staring morosely into his bowl of cereal.
"Hurry up," said Hunith. She was trying to tie her hair, drink her coffee and read the newspaper all at the same time, so her voice came out absent-minded.
When Merlin shrugged in response she raised her eyes to look at him.
"I thought you were excited to go back to school?" she said.
"I am," Merlin replied gravely.
She sighed at him and planted a kiss on his forehead.
"It will be fine," she said. "Get going though, or you'll be late."
He let himself bask in the warm glow of motherly love for a minute or two before giving up on his breakfast and heading out. The bus was rounding the corner and so it was his rotten luck that he had to jog like mad to catch it.
The school building was just as he remembered it – huge, ancient, and thoroughly uninviting. Merlin made his way across the parking lot, half-dreading and half-wishing—
He spun around, mouth stretching into a grin.
Arthur looked even more radiant than usual. His skin was tanned, no doubt from spending his holiday somewhere sunny and warm, while Merlin was busy hefting boxes in the local grocery store. But first and foremost he seemed so genuinely happy that Merlin melted inside.
"Missed you," Merlin mumbled, while Arthur laughed at him and pulled him into a hug. And fuck, his grip was strong and he smelled incredible.
Merlin extracted himself from his embrace before he did something creepy, like try to sniff his best friend.
"Of course you did," Arthur huffed. "Admit it Emrys, your life is incredibly boring when I'm not here."
"Wow. Are you actually even more of an ass? How is that possible?"
"Nobody was nagging at me for the past two months. Blissful, blissful months."
"And it shows," said Merlin, unable to stop smiling.
Moments later Arthur was telling him a long and complicated story of how awesome his summer was, and Merlin found himself too charmed to care about much else. But soon there were other people, all of them vying for Arthur's attention – his footie mates, girls he flirted with and girls who aggressively flirted at him, a few posh people – and Merlin stumbled back.
That was it. Arthur was simply more handsome, more popular, more out-going, more well-off. Decidedly more heterosexual. And if he wanted to survive the next few months, Merlin would have to get over his stupid crush.
Arthur didn't even need to reach out and pull him back in to convince Merlin that it wasn't possible.