Title: Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary:Arthur is still trying to pursue Merlin, but Merlin's will is stronger than it seems
Word Count: 600
Prompt: Fool on camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: This is PART SIX of "Merlin and Arthur at work" Part One: Uther's Assistant. Part Two: The Vice President. Part Three: The Party Invitation. Part Four: Uther and Arthur, Part Five: Flashback
“I never did call you, did I?”
Merlin looked up from his drink when he heard Arthur’s voice. He hadn’t noticed Arthur arrive to the party, and was slightly annoyed by the fact that he was caught off-guard.
“Call me? For what?” Merlin asked, unsure of what Arthur was referring to. Arthur never called him, unless it was for a favour—something that Merlin was all too familiar with.
“When I asked you for your number,” Arthur said, waving at the bartender who immediately poured him a drink.
“That was—“” Merlin hesitated for a moment, “—a very long time ago.”
“And somehow that day is still fresh in my memory,” Arthur answered.
Merlin didn’t really understand what Arthur was doing. Why was he talking to him about the first time they’d talked when Arthur had asked for his number? Merlin had been so stupid thinking that Arthur wanted to go out with him, meet him for a drink, or something else... He was just some closeted bloke who played Merlin for a fool.
“Where’s your date?” Merlin asked, hoping to change the subject. He knew what Arthur was doing, or he’d had an idea at least. Maybe Arthur thought that he tried to go down memory lane with Merlin then he’d probably give Arthur some slack and be willing to do—whatever it was that Arthur wanted.
“I cancelled it.”
“Why do you think?”
Merlin raised an eyebrow and took a sip of his drink. “I have no idea,” he said, and started to walk away from the bar and from Arthur. He had barely taken two steps and Arthur pulled on his arm. “Please unhand me, Mr Pendragon.” Merlin’s voice was sharp but low.
“I just want to talk. I just—”
“Just what?” Merlin snapped. “Tell me how you were in the closet and didn’t want people to get the wrong idea. Continued to ask me for help in your homework when you really didn’t need it? Then realised that I’d be willing to just do it for you and allowed me to do so. That after all this time you’ve actually changed and you are hoping that I’d see all of this and give you a second chance?”
Merlin yanked his arm out of Arthur’s grip and glanced around the room. They hadn’t attracted any attention towards themselves yet, so he sighed with relief. When he looked back at Arthur, Arthur only seemed puzzled and lost.
“So you really just hate me,” Arthur said, and finished the last of his drink. He took a step back from Merlin and turned to face the bar. He nearly slammed his glass on the counter as the bartender poured him another.
Merlin’s stomach twisted just a bit, and he wanted to go after Arthur and talk to him. Do something, explain to him how he really felt, or just say that it wasn’t so easy. But he didn’t, he stood there for an extra few seconds and walked away. No he didn’t hate Arthur. If he’d hated him, then he wouldn’t have agreed to go on that date in the first place.
He just didn’t know how to—trust him. Trust himself. What if Arthur was going to go back to being the bloke that took Merlin for granted, and toyed with his feelings? Merlin didn’t put past himself for being the fool to fall for it all over again.
Everybody’s somebody’s fool, and everybody’s somebody’s play thing… How could he be an exception to the rule? He was sure, Arthur would once again play him for the fool.