Title: The Lactose Theorem
Rating: PG-13? I dunno.
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: And this, kids, is why you need milk.
Word Count: 531
Author's Notes: I'm sorry for the title, I truly am. Part of the A Good Fever series universe. Boys just started university.
He absently heard Arthur's bedroom door open and Arthur padding to the kitchen, opening the refrigerator. His Arthur-radar registered his current location, and he stopped paying attention then. That was until Arthur started yelling.
"Goddamn it!" Merlin heard, followed by retching and spitting. Merlin turned and stretched his neck as far as it would go, trying to see what was going on.
"What happened?" he asked, mildly alarmed. They had rented an apartment together just off campus instead of living in the dorms, and Arthur was taking a little more time than usual to become what Merlin referred to as “house-trained”. The thought made Merlin chuckle again.
Soon enough, Arthur came bounding into the living room holding what Merlin recognized to be the milk box.
"Why in the world is the milk sour?!" Arthur demanded when he located his roommate.
Merlin raised his eyebrow, faintly amused. "Because you forgot to throw it out and get a new one before the expiry date?" he replied and went to turn back to his TV show.
"And that's another thing!" Arthur yelled again, pulling Merlin’s attention back, apparently not finished. "Why do I always have to get the milk?"
Merlin was annoyed now. Arthur had been a little short with him lately, and Merlin had always been willing to play his punching bag when the going got tough, but this time around it was testing his limits. He stood up to match Arthur.
"Because, you goose, I am lactose intolerant, remember?"
"That's...pfft...that's convenient!" Arthur did not back down.
"What's your problem?"
Arthur seemed to struggle for words, and Merlin took the chance to step back and take him in. Arthur was breathing heavy, his face already red. This worried him a little. The two of them bantered often, had bantered all their life in fact, but this seemed to be different.
Merlin thought back to the events of the last few days to try and pinpoint the problem, and paused. So that was it.
Arthur had just opened his mouth to speak again, but Merlin interrupted.
"I knew you were not okay with me coming out."
That seemed to knock out Arthur's wind, thereby confirming Merlin's theory. He couldn't believe it.
"Are you serious?" he asked, striding around the couch to stand directly in front of Arthur, a little angry now. "What, are you homophobic or something? I didn't ask you to do anything about it, Arthur. This is who I am, and if you can't accept that then to hell with you!"
"That is not the problem at all!" Arthur said readily and with surprising intensity, causing Merlin to blink. He narrowed his eyes at him.
“Then what? You’ve been yelling at me for days and frankly, I’m tired of it. So swallow it or spit it out Pendragon, ‘cause I’m not taking any of th—“
Merlin was cut off by a set of lips suddenly crashing against his mouth. By the time he could comprehend what was happening, or even close his mouth to fit said lips against his own better, they were gone.
“That,” was all Arthur said, before he fled out of the apartment, leaving Merlin standing there, shocked.