Character/s:Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine
Summary: Gwaine has had enough of Arthur's moping and has a brilliant solution. Beer. With a surprise twist.
Warnings: Slightly silly. Pre-slash.
Prompt: 103 Bitter
Author's Notes:Late again, I know....
My muse insists that if Gwen was to be a man she/he would be called Glen/Glenn. So that's where Glen comes from. Also unbetad as usual.
Arthur saw him arrive, sauntering past the glass walls of Arthur's office and grinning his world winning smile to Penelope at the desk. Stopping there to chatter for a while before heading for Arthur's door. Penelope sighing besotted in his wake.
Arthur sighed too, not sure if he was happy to see him or not. He had come over every day to talk about micro-brewery of all things, ever since Glen had dumped Arthur for Lance to travel the world and skipping merrily through flower meadows in slow motion and then post it all on facebook and twitter. Not that Arthur had checked. Daily. Nope. #fml
Gwaine's endless stream for information about flavours, techniques and beer types would mainly go in one ear and out the other, but it was a welcomed distraction. Even Arthur had to admit that Gwaine was not only charming but also a genuinely good and decent guy. Definitively not bi. But Arthur wasn't looking for anyone new anyway, despite Gwaine claiming that Arthur was moping and needed to get out of the office once in a while. There was nobody out there for him, Glen had been the only person who had, seemingly, liked Arthur rather than his money.
He had reluctantly agreed to come to the beer tasting. All the local brewers would gather at a pub down town and show off what they had managed to produce. He was also rather curious about Gwain's brew, he had promised Arthur an unforgettable full bodied dark marvel with a good head AND it was free, so why not? He could be supportive. He just hoped he wasn't planning for Arthur to invest or something.
Arthur arrived at the pub as seven. It was packed with people showing of their products, the mood was light and filled with friendly bickering and competitiveness. Gwaine waved to him as he came in. He was talking lively to a tall slender man who was wearing a t-shit which seemed to say 'proud supplier of organically grown goods'. Probably a hippy new-age type. But damned attractive. He shook it off and went over to them.
-Hey Gwaine! Where's that full bodied dark magic you've been bragging about?
-What, him too?
The tall man aimed a pair of amused, glittering blue eyes at him.
-To me he's been rambling on about a rich, bitter blond I'd totally love. I think someone is full of it!
Arthur instantly felt he could like this guy and quick flutter of butterflies took off in Arthur's stomach. Both of them folded their arms across their chest and gave Gwaine a challenging stare. Gwaine laughed out loud and lifted his arms in a disarming fashion.
-I will admit that my brew went belly-up long time ago, but I am a man of my word!
With a triumphant ta daaa! he struck his arms out towards Arthur.
-May I present Arthur Pendragon, one of those hard-working, honest, monogamous guys you claim doesn't exist.
-Arthur, this is Merlin Emrys, my best friend, do gooder and the best man you'll ever meet. His uncle has an organic farm and he has convinced most of us into using organically grown barley and stuff. He's brilliant and you haven't lived until you have tasted his fried chicken. Mm mm mh! Oh there is Greta and her fine... pitchers. Excuse me.
He vanished before either of the two could stop him and they were left mortified and shocked in each other's company. He saw Merlin rub the back of his neck and Arthur desperately tried to think of something to say. A short, pathetic nervous laugh was all he could produce. Merlin's lips twitched.
-So.... Gwaine mentioned you like beer?
Arthur snickers and his cheeks feel warm.
-Yes, but my guide for the evening seems to have vanished.
Merlin' smile made the butterflies tale flight again. He gave a slight bow.
-I apologize for my friend's lack of manners, allow me to be your guide for the evening. If you will follow me? Three steps to your right you will find Bob's brew.
Arthur moved his head a bit and looked at the large banner above the neighbouring table saying “Bob's brew”. He nodded affirmatively.
-I realize I'd be lost without you.
Glen could have his meadows. Arthur left the pub with a phone number and feet that didn't quite seem to touch the ground. Gwaine would be insufferable at work on Monday, but he just might be able to forgive him.