Pairing/s: A/M (still pre-slash but we're almost there!)
Character/s: Arthur, Gwaine, Merlin
Summary: Gwaine explains to Arthur that he really does 'have' Merlin.
Word Count: 563
Author's Notes: Part of the 'A Good Fever' series but makes enough sense as a stand-alone. Boys are 17-18 yrs old.
"You're damn lucky to have him, you know?"
Arthur looked up from his struggle with the bicycle lock to see Gwaine standing behind him.
"Are you speaking to me?" he asked, pulling his 'arrogant posh boy' look on, as Merlin called it.
"You're lucky to have him," Gwaine repeated. "Merlin, I mean."
"I don’t 'have' him, Gwaine. He's a person. I thought we had been over this already, years ago," Arthur stated, turning back to his bicycle. The key was stuck and he tried to pull it out.
"Oh yeah? Wanna bet? I'll call him, and then you call him, and we'll see who he goes to."
"Jesus Gwaine, he's not a dog!" Arthur said looking up again, alarmed. "What's wrong with you?"
Gwaine only chuckled, and dramatically moved aside to reveal Merlin coming towards them. He waved when he saw Gwaine and Arthur watching him, looking mildly surprised.
"Since when do you both hang out?" he asked amusedly when he got within hearing range. Arthur rolled his eyes.
"We don't," he said, pulling his key out finally and putting it in his pocket before turning again.
"I just came over to invite him to the victory party tonight at my place," Gwaine said. Arthur gave him a look that showed how unimpressed he was with the lie. Gwaine only grinned at him and turned back to Merlin. "Party would be incomplete without the highest goal scorer of the match, but he says he can't make it.”
“Uh Gwaine? The match was yesterday, remember? We all went to the party after that last night,” Merlin said. Arthur snorted softly. Despite what he said earlier, his curiosity to see the outcome of this silly exercise had piqued.
“ It was a big match, Merlin, you simple thing. We need another party!” Gwaine exclaimed. He pointed at Arthur, “Anyway, it’s his loss. You're coming though, right Merlin?"
Merlin looked at Arthur, looking contemplative. "The test?"
Arthur blinked. He hadn’t even been thinking about his math test. "Ye—Yeah. Umm, the math test. You know how father gets..." he invented wildly.
Merlin winced sympathetically. He turned back to Gwaine. "Sorry man, I promised Arthur I'd help him study. He's kind of shit at math."
Arthur gaped at him but Gwaine looked like he had just received the response he had expected.
“Uh, Merlin,” Arthur said slowly, “It’s fine if you want to go. I mean, we can study together tomo—“
“Yeah right, you’ll get nowhere without me there. It’s fine, Arthur,” Merlin said brightly. “Besides, I don’t want to be hungover for Prof. Gaius’s morning class tomorrow. No offense, Gwaine,” he added.
“None taken,” Gwaine said, looking at Arthur more than Merlin.
“I’ll go grab my math notes then,” Merlin turned back towards the school building. “Two minutes!” he called back before breaking into a jog.
Arthur dreaded the smug comments Gwaine was sure to dole out, but he found him looking rather melancholic instead.
“Like I said, Arthur,” Gwaine said, still looking at Merlin’s disappearing form, “You’re pretty lucky.” He turned to look at Arthur again. “Don’t you dare go break his heart because you’re a posh bastard who thinks feelings are stupid.”
“Oi! He’s my best friend. Why would I break his heart?”
But Gwaine only raised his eyebrow at him before walking away shaking his head, leaving Arthur more confused than ever.