Title: I’ll Come Back When You Call Me
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: When Arthur’s eyes fall on Merlin for the first time, the world quiets.
Word Count: 489
Prompt: #90 New Year
Author's Notes: Sequel to Colors. I know it’s a late entry, but I didn’t have time to write it this weekend. Title from The Call by Regina Spektor.
When Arthur’s eyes fall on Merlin for the first time, the world quiets, it blurs around them and all there is left is the depth of those shocking blue eyes staring at him. It isn’t until Arthur takes his eyes off and looks around—panicked—that Merlin realizes that the world has stopped.
Arthur is staring at him now—confused and a bit scared—and Merlin turns around, heart pounding in his chest, and runs. He’s only half aware of everything starting to move again. Someone’s calling out his name, which is probably just a memory, imagination of his panicked mind, because no one knows his name anymore.
“Your eyes,” Arthur says when they meet for the second time. It’s the morning of New Year’s Day and Merlin was standing in a line in a coffee shop when Arthur approached him.
Merlin raises his eyebrows, hoping to feign nonchalance, but he’s breathing too hard for that, fidgeting too much. So he says: “What about them.”
“They’re—blue, but they were glowing,” Arthur says hesitantly. He seems so earnest, so beautiful. His narrowed eyes a shocking contrast to his golden hair, his lips puckered in a pout. Merlin wants to kiss him, so he takes a step back. He can go one day without coffee. He needs to leave before he does something stupid.
This time, when he rushes out, he’s sure that it was Arthur calling his name.
The third time they meet, Arthur catches Merlin’s wrist and says: “Merlin, Merlin, Merlin,” until Merlin is all but shivering.
It’s Arthur who leaves this time.
The fourth time they meet, they don’t meet at all. Arthur catches his gaze from across the room, and Merlin holds it for a few seconds before breaking contact. He doesn’t wait to see if Arthur is still looking at him.
Merlin doesn’t know why he can’t just confront Arthur, talk to him, and ask him what he knows, what he remembers. He’s been waiting for this for centuries. It shouldn’t be this difficult.
But every time he sees Arthur, his heart is filled with the grief that was pushed down ages ago, not forgotten, not dead, but dormant. It comes out now every time Arthur is around, and makes Merlin want to weep again, the way he did all those centuries ago.
“We need to talk,” Arthur says when they meet for the fifth time, and catches his wrist. Merlin’s heart is already beating frantically, but he doesn’t resist. He has Arthur back now; he can’t waste more time in getting to know him again.
So he nods, says yes, and follows Arthur when he starts to walk away. He’s hit by a sense of déjà vu, and he smiles to himself.
This is exactly how it was all those centuries ago. This is how it’s going to be forever.
Arthur will lead the way, and Merlin will follow.