Title: Buying Him A Drink
Summary: Arthur returns to the club to see Merlin
Word Count: 625
Prompt: Secret Admirer on camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Unbetaed. PART II to: Watching Him Dance
Arthur returned to the club a few days later.
He wasn’t sure if Merlin, the weird boy with the strange dance moves would be there again, but he felt like trying his luck. Of course, Arthur had told himself that he was going because he needed to get out of the house, and not because he wanted to see Merlin.
Gwaine had offered to “introduce” him to Merlin, but Arthur refused. He wouldn’t know what to say.
When he arrived, the place was emptier than before. Arthur reckoned that the bad weather had forced many people to stay at home. It must have been the seventh snow storm of the month. He shrugged off his coat and hung it on the wall and made his way to the bar.
“Weren’t you here a few days ago?” the bartender asked. She was a pretty girl with long blond hair and almond shaped eyes.
“Yeah, I was here for a friend’s birthday par—”
“Right, Gwaine,” she said and poured Arthur a pint.
“Oh, you know him?” Arthur asked, smiling.
She chuckled and took Arthur’s bill returning with change a few moments later. “I don’t think there’s anyone in this club that doesn’t know Gwaine.” Arthur left her a generous tip. “We love to hate him.”
Arthur nodded. “That seems to be the story of his life,” he said and nodded at her. He turned around and sat at one of the empty stools at the bar.
There he was. Again.
Dancing to yet another ridiculous pop song with a drink in one hand and a woman in another. This time the partner was different. It was still a girl, but with long black hair, and she wore black trousers and a loosely fitted v-neck shirt. It was clear that that girl wasn’t there to impress anyone, but just to have a good time.
Moments later, when Arthur realised he was staring, he turned on his stool and faced the bar again.
“That’s Merlin,” the bartender said.
“I’m aware,” Arthur answered dryly.
It was as though the bartender was able to tell that Arthur didn’t really wish to discuss Merlin, she turned her expression and changed the topic. Sort of. “Do you dance?”
Arthur laughed. “Not if I can help it.” She raised an eyebrow and he realised that it did look pretty ridiculous that he was at a dance club and not just a normal pub, especially if he was claiming that he didn’t dance. “I dance with my friends after a few drinks. Not something I make a habit of doing, but it’s known to happen,” he said and she smiled.
The music changed and Arthur twisted in his seat again. Merlin was still there dancing with someone else now. What was it about him that had Arthur just so intrigued? He finished his drink and looked at the bartender to grab another.
“Is it weird—” he started, the stopped himself.
“Buy him a drink?” she said, smiling, but in a kind sort of way. Was “smitten” written all over his face? “No, it’s not really that weird.”
“Do people do that? A lot?” he asked. “Buy him drinks?”
She shook her head and shrugged at the same time. “Not really. People here are looking for a one-off most of the time and they are a lot more—let’s say—straightforward than that.”
She passed him his second pint and poured a lighter coloured lager. “He usually drinks this,” she said, and took the money from Arthur’s hand. When she returned to give him back the change, he gestured for her to keep it. She smiled appreciatively. “Should I tell him it is from a Secret Admirer?”
Arthur groaned. God, could he be more cliché?
READ PART THREE