Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Someone has been sending Merlin flowers. But who?
Word Count: 999
Prompt: Secret admirer
Author's Notes: Oh I love a bit of fluff...
“More flowers, Merlin?”
Merlin looked around from the counter he was methodically wiping, a grin spreading over his face as he nodded. Arthur raised an eyebrow, clearly amused by the wide smile on his friend’s face.
“And I assume you have found out who they are from?”
“You know I haven’t,” Merlin muttered, refusing to have his mood spoilt just because Arthur was finding the whole thing rather too hilarious for Merlin to be happy with. His best friend was supposed to be pleased for him that someone was taking the time to both choose and pay for the flowers that had been turning up in the café every other day. The delivery man was taking as much delight in it as Merlin, and the owner of the café knew it wasn’t just because of the business that it was giving him. Percival was a nice man; a gentle giant as Merlin had discovered when he had delivered the third bunch. He seemed genuinely excited over the fact his newest customer had a secret admirer and had no idea who.
“Forget-me-nots,” Arthur drawled, his finger reaching out to touch one of the petals. “Now how is that for irony? How can you forget someone when you don’t know who they are?”
“You’re just jealous,” Merlin retorted, slapping Arthur’s hand away as he placed his tray on the counter and felt his face morphing into something soft as he looked at the flowers. Two bunches – this making the third – were still out on the counter. Merlin had felt saddened when the first bunch began to wilt, but when Percival turned up only an hour later with a fresh lot, he knew that just because a bunch had died didn’t mean that this strange romance (for really, Arthur did have a point – how could he fall for someone when he didn’t know who they were) was over.
“What is there to be jealous of, Merlin? You don’t know the guy to thank him.”
“Guy? What makes you so sure it’s a guy? It could be a girl…”
“Everyone knows your gay, Merls.”
“Ahh, but maybe she is so woefully in love with me that has to simply admire from afar? Maybe it is one of my regulars and she comes in just to see my face…”
“Like who? Old Mrs Hodgins?” The deadpan note to Arthur’s voice made Merlin completely crack up as he thought of the old lady that came in for her cup of tea and slice of toast at the same time every day. It was only because they were closed that he even let Arthur get away with insulting his regulars. At that train of thought, he glanced at the door.
“How did you get in here?”
“You hadn’t locked it,” Arthur muttered, a reproaching tone to his voice. Merlin mentally face-palmed before heading towards the door himself. Arthur reached out, his fingers closing gently around Merlin’s wrist as he stopped him from moving further.
“I did it on my way in, I knew your key would be on the hook under the counter,” he murmured, but Merlin found that he was more distracted by the feeling of Arthur’s fingers around his wrist. He could feel his pulse jumping wildly and quickly pulled back, trying to stop himself from flushing.
What the hell was that?
He found out two days later.
He was late for work and in a hurry. He knew he wasn’t needed there, Freya had long ago proven that she was more than adept at opening up on her own. But that wasn’t why Merlin wanted to make sure he was in. It was delivery day if his mysterious man (he knew Arthur had that right as well, although he wouldn’t admit it) kept to schedule. He had had to endure hours of being teased by Arthur when his friend found out that he was going in specially, but Merlin didn’t care. He hoped the delivery would take his mind of the dreams he had been having the last couple of nights.
Ever since Arthur’s hand had closed around his and Merlin had felt his heart jump.
But Merlin in a hurry was never a good scenario and he wasn’t surprised when he felt himself slip over in a puddle and hit the floor, hard.
“Merlin!” The familiar voice made him grimace as Percival hurried out of the shop to aid him. The owner of the shop – Elyan – was busy with a customer but he glanced over. He clearly knew what had been happening.
“I’m okay,” Merlin groaned, accepting the helping hand up and glancing down at himself. He brushed off his trousers. “I’ve got to go, before, you know…”
He shrugged with a grin. It was obvious that he was going to beat Percival there, but he didn’t want to ruin the magic of the moment.
“I don’t think there is any need,” Elyan called and Merlin peered in. The customer had abruptly turned around, although Merlin could see by the angle of his head that he had shot Elyan a glare. There was something very familiar about that back, however…
“Well that’s me out of a job. It was fun while it lasted,” Percival said with a laugh, disappearing into the back. Merlin frowned, until the customer turned slowly around.
It was indeed Arthur.
Holding a bunch of flowers.
More forget-me-nots; the colour matching his eyes perfectly.
“You..?” Merlin didn’t know what to say as Arthur pushed them into his hand and strode out of the shop. Merlin could only stare before hurrying after him.
“Arthur…” He caught Arthur’s arm, spinning him around. To say Arthur looked heartbroken was an understatement.
“Now you know, you can forget,” he whispered sadly and Merlin recalled their conversation from the other day. How Arthur had said you couldn’t forget someone you didn’t know.
“Oh you prat,” Merlin muttered, throwing his arms around the man’s neck – flowers still clutched in one hand – and kissing him.