Title: We could be great togetherke_smith
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, Gwen/Lancelot
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Mordred, Gwen, Lancelot
Summary: Merlin Emrys is a new bookstore owner whose store Arthur Pendragon, and his six year old son Mordred patrons. After sixteen weeks, one would think that Merlin would have grown the courage to ask Arthur out already!
Warnings: If you're looking for fluff, you've found the right fic.
Word Count: 867
Prompt: 97, You and I
Author's Notes: Thank you merlinsdeheune for the beta.
“'The Enchanted Wood', That's a very good book choice, Mordred.” Merlin said.
Mordred wasn't paying attention, he was too busy looking at a little girl in the corner of the shop who was arguing with her mum.
“Mordred,” Arthur chided, “what do you say?”
Mordred turned away from staring at the girl, Kara - he'd seen her at school - squared his shoulders and turned to Merlin with a shy smile, “Thank you.”
Merlin smiled brighter. Mordred was always such a well mannered, happy little boy. “You should come back on Saturday. We're doing a book reading and you know you're my number one customer. The reading would be much better with you being present..”
Mordred turned to Arthur. “Can I daddy? Will it be alright?”
Arthur smiled, but it was clear that he was thinking of his schedule. “What time will it be?” Arthur directed that question at Merlin.
“7pm, every Saturday.”
Mordred's eyes got bigger, hope shining through.
And who was Arthur to turn down a smile so bright? “Fine. We'll be here. I'm expecting you’ll be the reader for the evening?” Arthur turned back to Merlin with a raised brow.
Merlin smiled just a bit brighter at that, his dimples showing, eyes sparkling. “I wouldn't have it any other way.”
Arthur’s breath hitched from the feeling that he got at the sight of Merlin’s bright smile. “Okay,” his voice turned just a tad hoarse. He cleared his throat. “We'll see you Saturday.” He said, grabbing the bag with the book and the receipt. Gwen must have placed them in the bag when Merlin wasn't paying attention. Arthur shook himself out of his own daze. “Ready Mordred?” He asked.
Mordred, who had been watching the scene intently, to see how it would play out, nodded.
“And what do you say?”
“Goodbye, Mr. Emrys.”
“Merlin, please.” Merlin corrected. He wasn't even thirty yet!
Mordred smiled brighter. “Goodbye, Merlin.”
“Goodbye, Mordred. Uh. Goodbye, Arthur.” Merlin said, while in a haze himself. This must be love.
Arthur smiled. “Goodbye, Merlin.” And just like that, he and Mordred were gone.
Merlin stared at the door for a solid two minutes before he realized Gwen was staring at him. He shook his head before turning fully to her. “What?” He croaked out.
Gwen shook her head. Her curls falling on her face. “You've got it bad, Merlin.”
“I have no idea what you're talking about.” Merlin tried for denial.
Of course Gwen would call him on it. He should have known.
“Bull. You've been all dreamy eyed for Arthur Pendragon for the past sixteen weeks! Ever since he and Mordred became patrons here since the store opening. You've been inviting them to every reading. You've been recommending books to Mordred. Hell, you nearly pushed Mithian out of the way last week when she was going to serve Arthur just to make sure that you made it to the register first! You can't tell me that you don't like him, Merlin. And Lance has seen it too. Why don't you just do us all a favor and ask him out already?!” Gwen said sharply, while still going for encouragement.
Only Gwen could manage to do both.
“Guys like Arthur wouldn't be interested in me, Gwen. You've seen him in his Armani suits. You see what he looks like. Why would he be interested in me?” Merlin said, running a hand through his hair. Frustrated. Because that's the question Merlin has asked himself several times.
Gwen's expression softened. “He would be interested in you, Merlin, because Arthur's not a fool. And look at you. You're no slouch yourself. You are an accomplished book store owner. You have a PhD. And you are well established. Arthur would be an idiot if he didn't see what a great catch you are.”
Merlin didn't have a response to that. If only he could be so sure. It wasn't like he could walk up to Arthur and say, “I think you and I could be great together,” could he? Merlin sighed heavily. If only he could have some signal that Arthur was interested. Something to put him out of his misery. Something to give him room for hope. Just something!
There were five things that happened at every reading, Merlin thought, and this one was no exception:
1.The reading went off without a hitch.
2.Mordred, was front and center sitting on the floor in a circle with the rest of the kids asking all of the good questions and contributing to making the whole experience fun for the other kids.
3.Arthur stood, in the corner with his Starbucks caffe’ misto coffee. Beguiled by the story, listening to the questions, and watching on with a smile.
4.Arthur, at the close of the night, congratulated Merlin on another successful reading before grabbing Mordred who was chatting with his friends, and leaving.
5.And Merlin. Well..Merlin managed to open and close his mouth several times, as he watched Arthur and Mordred walk out the door. The sad part of it all was the fact that Merlin’s opening and closing of his mouth several times was actually his attempt, to ask Arthur out. It never worked according to plan.