Title: The Game's Afoot
Pairing/s: None. Yet.
Character/s: Arthur, Gwen, Merlin
Summary: Merlin's job description is vague for a reason
Word Count: 673
Prompt: 97, You and I
Author's Notes: I don't know how I got from the prompt to this bit of fluff but I did.
“Gwen’s here to see you,” Merlin announced through the intercom and Arthur had a minor flail. Gwen had been hinting at asking him out for months now and even though Arthur had tried to be polite, she just couldn’t seem to take no thank you for an answer. He needed to let her down less easy, but let her down firmly. He gave his empty office a decisive nod.
“Merlin, please ask her to wait a moment, I have something I need to speak with you about. Get in here.” There was an answering silence. Arthur sighed and hit the intercom button again. “Please get in here.”
“Right-o,” Merlin answered and seconds later the door whooshed open. “What do you need Arthur?”
“I need you to pretend we’re dating so Gwen will stop hitting on me.” He waved Merlin over closer. “Come over here and sit on the corner of the desk and look at me adoringly for a moment.”
Merlin folded his arms across his chest and rolled his eyes. “I’m not doing that, Arthur.” Arthur gave him an exasperated look in return.
“It won’t take a minute and then she’ll stop asking me out for drinks. C’mon, Merlin, be a sport.”
“It’s not my job to be your gay beard so beautiful women will stop throwing themselves at you.”
“Your job description is purposefully vague to make it what I say it is.” Arthur patted his ridiculously large desk again. “Sit. Cow eyes. Now.” Merlin stared back and Arthur sighed, “Please, Merlin.”
“One of these days the politeness will come naturally,” Merlin said with a small grin as he clambered onto the corner of the highly polished desk.
Arthur hit the intercom and asked Gwen to join them.
The door whooshed open again and Gwen entered. “Hey, Arthur, just wanted to ask you if you’d like to join us at the pub after work.”
“No thank you, Gwen. Merlin and I have a thing after work.” Arthur placed a warm hand on Merlin’s knee and gave it a squeeze. Merlin looked more startled than adoring so Arthur squeezed harder making Merlin squirm and nearly fall. Arthur shot up from his chair and grabbed Merlin around the waist before he could hit the floor.
Gwen stood with a puzzled smile on her face. “A thing. With Merlin.”
“Yes. A thing. With Merlin.” Arthur answered brightly. “We’re going clubbing. With men. “ He gave Merlin what he hoped looked like an affectionate shake.
Gwen still looked puzzled. “Okay. Maybe next time.”
Gwen cornered Merlin in the break room forty-five minutes later. “What the heck was that?”
Merlin laughed, “That was the ridiculousness that is my life. Arthur was trying to get you to stop hitting on him.” Gwen spluttered and Merlin held up his hands in a placating motion. “His words, not mine.”
“I was just being friendly. I ask everyone down the pub after work on Fridays. You come every Friday.” She waved her left hand under Merlin’s nose. “Also, has it escaped Arthur Pendragon’s notice that this minion has been engaged for nearly a year?”
Merlin shrugged. “He’s an idiot?”
“And yet he makes five times both our salaries combined,” Gwen sighed, but then beamed at him, eyes twinkling, “Please tell me he’s going to make you keep up this ruse. You both looked ridiculous and I want Morgana to see him play acting at being your boyfriend. She’ll never let him live it down.”
“I have no idea but I was hoping to trick him into actually going clubbing. With men. I think it could be hysterical,” Merlin looked speculative. “He’s not really stupid but if backed into a corner he panics. We’ll have to work out a plan.”
Back in his office, Arthur was smiling to himself. Step one of Plan Seduce Merlin was finally set in motion. Next step was getting his PA to go on a fake date. The end game was hopefully going to be real dating.
This was going to be fun.