Title: Casillero del Diablo
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Only Arthur Pendragon could get lucky at his Father's wake with the demon that technically killed him.
Warnings: Referenced character death, drinking and emotional hurt/comfort.
Word Count: 886
Prompt: #101: Lucky
Author's Notes: This is written as a prequel to my Merlin Reverse Bang fic (yet to be posted), because the idea wouldn't let me go but I can't make it work with the timeline of the main fic.
Arthur was glad there was a free bar. He'd not exactly got on with his father, and he'd known this funeral was coming for ten years, but he still needed a glass of something. Or a bottle.
He spotted a figure lingering in a corner of their grand receiving room and made it a bottle. He'd had one stashed behind the bar especially. Arthur hadn't been sure Merlin would come, given that he was the one that put Uther in his grave but on the other hand, Arthur supposed it was his duty, a work outing almost. Merlin wasn't truly a killer and Arthur didn't begrudge him his job, after all, it had been Uther that had summoned Hell. Merlin was only the demon that had answered.
The bottle of wine Arthur retrieved was called Casillero del Diablo. It was a long running joke that only he seemed to appreciate. He passed the buffet as he walked towards Merlin, picking up a slice of Devil's Food Cake that he'd ordered especially from the caterers. It was all part of the joke, see. Uther had only died because he'd sold his soul years ago to Hell, via Merlin. Arthur had been there at the time, barely understanding it because he was a kid but Merlin had become an odd fixture of his life and of Pendragon Industries, the company that Uther had sold his soul for. The only way he didn't go mad thinking that it was all real, Heaven and Hell and angels and demons, was to think of it as some great series of games, puns and ironic statements. He'd decided as it was his father's wake, his soul having been reclaimed by Hell, he'd get creative with his wit. And the menu.
"Cake?" Arthur said, catching Merlin's attention.
"What?" Merlin said, glancing at him sideways then looking down at the cake. "Oh. No. Thank you."
"Glass of wine then?" Arthur tried again. He held the bottle up so Merlin couldn't miss the label.
"The Devil’s Cellar? Really?" Merlin said, rolling his eyes. "I suppose I can't refuse that, Satan might get offended and I could lose my job."
Arthur steered them over to a table, grabbing two glasses that he hoped hadn't been used yet while he actively ignored the table’s other occupants, vultures dressed up as family. All they cared about was money. Well, they were in for a shock. He was getting it all and he didn't even want it. God, he needed that drink.
He poured a glass for Merlin and then one for himself, the cake sitting between them unmentioned.
"This is the weirdest wake I've ever been to," Merlin admitted. “I can’t tell who’s miserable and who’s glad.”
"I imagine that's saying something," Arthur said, trying to imagine funerals in Hell. Merlin never wore anything but black normally. It wasn’t too hard to imagine him leading a procession of sorts.
"Not really, I don't usually attend them. It's not required," Merlin shrugged, picking up the glass and taking a sip, the light hitting it, making its red hue seem almost sinister which in itself was comical. He was sat at his father's funeral drinking blood red wine with a devil. Nobody would believe him if he told them.
"Why attend his then?" Arthur asked, nodding to the stern portrait of Uther that hung on the opposite wall. There were at least three different paintings like that around the house and another at the office, Arthur was sure Uther had thought he was a king or something. "It wasn't like you were friends."
"I don't know, consider me a compassionate demon," Merlin said, taking another sip of wine. Arthur's was still untouched. "I was more concerned with the people he leaves behind."
Arthur looked him in the eyes, trying to work out if he meant him. It seemed Merlin had always been in his life but he never seemed to notice Arthur. Which had greatly pained him when he was a teenager going through a crush on the mysterious, tall, dark, demon but he'd thought he'd grown out of that. Well, almost. He was still trying to flirt, what with the wine and cake, but he'd given up thinking it was anything other him amusing himself.
"So," Merlin said and Arthur thought he was changing the topic but apparently not. "Are you alright?"
Arthur laughed, earning himself a few glares from those pretending they cared about Uther. "I just inherited billions and I'm drowning my sorrows with a demon, what do you think?"
"I think you weren't ready to lose him," Merlin observed, setting his glass down. "No child is ever ready to lose a parent."
"I'm fine, really," Arthur said, deciding that making himself look vulnerable to a demon wasn't his best idea. “I just need to keep drinking, keep eating cake and find myself someone here who isn’t related to me to comfort me on my loss.”
Merlin raised an eyebrow, pushing Arthur’s full glass towards him. “Isn’t that what I’m doing?”
Arthur shrugged and took a large gulp of wine to fortify his courage in his bad decision making. He stood, picking up his glass and the bottle, smiling triumphantly when Merlin followed his lead. He gestured to the table, muttering, “Bring the cake,” under his breath.