Pairing/s: past Merlin/Freya, Merlin/Arthur
Summary: Gwaine lets Arthur in on a secret and Arthur finally decides to act.
Word Count: 802
Author's Notes: Thanks to my beta, issy5209.
Disclaimer:Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons.
Arthur was tapping his finger on the glass of champagne and pointedly not watching Merlin flirt with that girl from HR, Ferrera or Freya or whatever her name was. Arthur had heard they had broken up over Christmas, but maybe not. It was probably just an office rumour, like the fact that Merlin was bisexual.
Arthur's luck was never that good.
Gwaine was smirking, leaning against the wall next to Arthur. "You know they broke up, right?"
Arthur turned his head sharply and glared. "What are you talking about?"
"Merlin and Freya?" Gwaine asked. "They're done."
Arthur tried to look confused. "Why bring them up?"
"Uh, because you've done nothing but watch them?" Gwaine pointed out. "Seriously, I was the one that Freya mistakenly called, drunk at three in the morning because she couldn't understand why Merlin refused to let her go on some swingers weekend."
Arthur raised his eyebrows. A swingers weekend? If Arthur had Merlin in his bed, there would never be time or want for anyone else. "Well. She's always been a..."
"Free spirit?" Gwaine offered. Arthur nodded, unable to think of the right word. Gwaine shrugged. "I dunno, a swingers weekend? Sounds like a lot of fun."
Arthur narrowed his eyes. "I suppose that's why you didn't hang up on her when she called?"
Gwaine smirked and winked. "Might've been, yeah. What's wrong with a bit of fun?"
Arthur ignored that--to each their own, but Arthur was the monogamous sort--and snuck a glance at Merlin again. Freya had left and Merlin looked upset. "Why were they flirting though?"
Gwaine shot Arthur an amused look, one that said I knew you were looking. "Dunno. Why don't you go over and ask?"
Arthur scoffed. "It's not any of my business."
"Then go for gossip's sake," Gwaine told him. "Be the first to know for once."
Arthur opened his mouth to refuse again, but Gwaine gave him a pointed look. Arthur sighed. "You just want me to distract Merlin so you can go flirt with Freya without worrying about Merlin's hurt feelings."
Gwaine looked too innocent and nodded toward Merlin. Arthur shook his head and left his wall perch, weaving between the crowd of his coworkers. When he finally made it to the bar where Merlin was sitting, the countdown had begun.
"Merlin," Arthur said with a nod of his head.
Merlin beamed. "Arthur!"
In the background, everyone began chanting. "10...9..."
Arthur swallowed hard. "Sorry. I didn't realize it was so close. Did you want to go find Freya?"
Merlin frowned. "Freya? Oh, for the first kiss. No, we broke up."
Arthur pushed down the butterflies that erupted in his stomach. He licked his lips. "Well...I...I'm sorry to hear that."
Merlin frowned. "Oh?"
Arthur waved his hands, feeling wrong footed. "Ah...you two seemed happy is all."
2...1! Happy New Year!
People cheered. Arthur swallowed hard and half smiled, nervous. "Well. Happy New Year, Merlin."
Merlin bit his lip. "Actually, Arthur--"
Merlin muttered something that sounded like 'oh, sod it', but Arthur forgot it as Merlin leaned forward and kissed Arthur. A half hearted peck that left Arthur feeling more empty than happy. Merlin swore as he pulled back. "That was bad, wasn't it? You're going to fire me, aren't you?"
Arthur blinked and cleared his throat. He put his glass down on the bar and put his hands on Merlin's cheek. "I won't as long as I get a proper new year's kiss."
Merlin's eyes widened as Arthur now leaned in and properly showed Merlin how to kiss someone into the new year. And if this was any indication of how their new year was going to go, well, Arthur wasn’t going to complain.
"Wow," Merlin breathed as the kiss ended. "Can we do that again? But with more tongues and in private?"
Arthur chuckled. "Don't waste any time, do you?"
Merlin blushed. "Sorry. It's just...sorry."
Arthur hummed thoughtfully. "There could be more, but...I don't want to step on any toes."
"What do you mean?"
"You and Freya--it looked like you two were flirting before I came over."
Merlin scoffed. "That was her flirting and me trying to be polite. We have broken up, Arthur. But she doesn't seem to understand that. She was trying to make up with me and said we could both go to that stupid retreat or whatever it is, together, since it seemed like I didn't want her to go by herself." Merlin frowned. "She actually said that it sounded like I was jealous that she was going and I wasn't. Like I want to be a swinger."
Arthur licked his lips. "So. My place or yours?"
"Yours...for tonight," Merlin corrected. "We'll talk about the future after, shall we?"
Arthur grinned and kissed Merlin again.