Character/s:Merlin, Arthur, Percival
Summary: It's New Year's Eve and Merlin reflects on what has changed in five years
Prompt:90. New Year
Author's Notes:Thanks to derenai for the beta
Merlin looks around. The lounge is still bearing its Christmas decorations.
New Year at the Pendragon’s Mansion is somewhat a tradition for their little group of friends. It has started five year before, during their first year at university.
Of course, along the years, they have changed and grew up. Apart from Gwen who is still studying to become a pediatrician, they all have a job now and are settling down.
They have also welcomed new people in their group. Percival, first, who joined Camelot University during their second year. Elena, who has been Elyan’s girlfriend for
two years but stayed after their break-up. And, of course, the passing girlfriends and boyfriends who never came more than once.
Their relationships have also evolved along the years. Merlin looks at Morgana and Leon, talking with Elyan. Leon has his arm gently put around Morgana’s waist. It’s still strange to see them together after years of nearly ignoring each other. On the other side of the room, Lancelot and Gwen are discussing their projects for the New
Year. There is only friendship between them now. After dating for three years, they realized they are more brother and sister than lovers. And Lancelot is now dating a girl named Vivian that can’t be there for the New Year as she is travelling all around the world with some NGO.
In the end, Merlin reflects, what has probably changed the most since their first year at Camelot University is probably himself.
He remembers their first New Year’s Eve dinner. He was a little shy and quite impressed by the Pendragon’s wealth. Morgana had become best friend with Gwen, Merlin’s childhood friend, and that’s how he ended being invited, too. And there was Arthur… During the first months, Arthur and he simply ignored each other. Even if Merlin had a crush on him since the first day. But that wasn’t unusual. After all he was a gay boy, arriving at the University. Basically he had a crush on anything walking on two legs and having a dick.
That crush, though, lasted more than the others and the next year, Merlin was still infatuated. Strangely, Arthur and he became friends. It was a special relationship, based on banter and teasing. And he drove Merlin crazy. Even more when, a little before midnight, Arthur cornered him on the balcony where he kissed him with the cheers of their friends resonating on the other side of the door. They ended in one of the guest room where Merlin woke up alone and confused the next day.
That confusion lasted for year, with Arthur never acknowledging what had happened during that night even if Merlin knew he hadn’t been drunk.
Though, during their next New Year’s Eve dinner, Merlin found himself in Arthur’s arms again. He knew he shouldn’t have but he was unable to resist and this time, when he woke up, he was still curled in Arthur’s arms.
Arthur asked Merlin to go out with him but not to tell their friends just yet. Of course, Merlin agreed. What he didn’t knew at that moment was that Arthur wasn’t planning to tell their friends ever.
He discovered that a year later when, after pleading Arthur to go to their dinner as a couple, Arthur got angry and finally told Merlin that there was no way his friends would know he was gay.
Merlin spent half of the evening being miserable till Arthur took him apart and apologized, promising they would talk about that later.
Just after midnight, they went out on the balcony and shared a kiss, hidden.
And then, everything went amiss. Arthur was pressed by his father to find a suitable fiancée and distanced himself from Merlin. It took months for Merlin to finally understand what was going on. When he talked to Arthur about this, Arthur always found a way to escape.
Merlin broke up with him during the summer only to end in his arms again by the New Year, like a miserable tradition.
Two months and a lot of nights together later, Arthur announced his engagement to Mithian, the daughter of one of his father’s associate. It was the final blow for Merlin who finally understood he had just deluded himself for years.
That’s when Percival took a more important place in Merlin’s life. At first it was a simple coincidence. He was there when Merlin learned, from Morgana, that Arthur was engaged. He was the one who followed Merlin to the bathroom and find him on the floor, crying. He took him in his arms and didn’t let go till Merlin stopped crying.
That night, Percival stayed at Merlin’s flat, listening to his story, cuddling when the tears came back, making tea in between and ordering them pizzas.
After that, he never really left. Merlin and he spent more and more time together. Percival was always very calm and often stayed in the background. Merlin realized he didn’t really know him but he wanted to.
“Are you okay?”
Percival’s voice rises Merlin from his thoughts.
“Yeah… I was just thinking about all the things that have changed in the past five years.”
“Changed for the best I hope?” Percival asks with his beautiful shy smile that Merlin grew to love in the past months.
Merlin nuzzles Percival neck and relaxes when the strong arms circle him, making him feel loved like he has never been before.
“And I’m sure this year will be even better!” Merlin adds.
“I’m looking forward to it!”
Merlin smiles thinking about their projects for the year to come. They have decided to go house hunting to find a place to live together. And when they will be settled, they plan on adopting a dog. Percival has also booked them some holiday for the next summer. He still doesn’t want to tell Merlin where they are going but Merlin is sure he will be persuasive enough to make his boyfriend spill it out.
Merlin leans against his boyfriend and kisses him softly.