Title: Eyes on the prize
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: The test is over, now for a bigger test: Daring to talk to Merlin.
Prompt: #106 Sweet
1: I thought I knew you,
2: More than one direction to choose,
3: Watch and learn,
4: You and I
5: Truth or dare
6: Fruit salad and chemistry
7: Ignorance was bliss
8: The Test
Arthur handed in his papers, turned his back and immediately started to feel a bit queasy.
Perhaps it was the jelly babies he had inhaled or the Redbull that caused it. Or maybe it was because he had always scuffed at his father's lectures about hard work and dedication. He had gotten by so far and thought then he could do really great in everything if an when he just bothered. And now that he was bothering with all his might, he did not feel great at all.
And as if to add to the gelatinous state of his stomach, there was Merlin waiting for him. He was just as inconspicuous as before, sitting with a view to Arthur's class room door and a book in his lap in a sea of people going to and from and nowhere. So he might not be waiting for Arthur at all. He could just be reading. Get a grip, Arthur!
He contemplated leaving in the opposite direction. Oh the sweet temptation of postponing. But Merlin had a prize for him. That had to mean something. He couldn’t leave without finding out, even if it was just a joke. Damn it, fixing things was hard!
He placed himself nonchalant and cool (hopefully) next to Merlin. Public display of non-hostility. Nobody seemed to care.
Merlin seemed rather lost in his book, but he raised an eyebrow and looked up.
-Hey, how did it go?
-Great! Good! Horrible! I don’t know! I thought I did ok, but now I don’t know.
Merlin smiled a half smile at that and closed his book.
-I’m sure you did fine. As long as you did better than you have before and your father doesn't demand his money back, I call this a victory. Here, for being a good tutee.
He held out the Tesco bag wrapped mystery. Arthur eyed it with distrust.
-Is tutee even a word?
-Dunno. Take it.
-I don't deserve a prize.
Merlin shrugged, still holding the enticing object towards Arthur
-Pity gift, then. I got it for you, I certainly don't want it.
Arthur felt indignation rise, he leaned back and crossed his arms. He had hoped it was something... nice.
-Well now I bloody well don't want it!
-Ok, then you can't have it.
Arthur yanked it from Merlin’s hand. It was light and boxy. He peeked inside and threw his head back laughing. A white plastic One Direction lunch box.
And that was when Valiant decided to turn up.