Title: Dare to hope
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, mentions: Valiant, Freya, Will, Gaius, Alice, Gwaine, Percival
Summary: Arthur replies to a text message, and we get little bit of insight into Merlin's side of the story.
Warnings: A bit fluff. Some angst and cruel intentions.
Word Count: ~525
Prompt: #108 Exquisite
Author's Notes: Nearing the end now. Maybe one more entry after this.
After reading some older posts here and finding it hard to find the next part of the story -if any-, I decided to add 'previous' and 'next' links on all the Educating Arthur posts. Also, I had writers block.
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
9: Eyes on the prize
10:Over my head
Arthur rushed down the hall, but after rounding the corner he had no idea where to go.
He looked at his phone again, seeing once more the short message saying “Thank you” and the number search saying it was from Merlin. He started to write a reply, deleted it and wrote again several times before he quickly decided on “Anytime” and sent it before changing his mind.
He deleted the search history and saved the number as “DJ”. Perhaps he was being overly paranoid, but it felt like he had been given a sweet treasure to keep, en exquisite offering of trust. Of course he could have found Merlin's number in many ways, and his father must have had it. It didn't matter. Merlin had given him his number!
Perhaps it was a bit overly paranoid, but Merlin was good at hiding and he simply had to see for himself.
Everybody changed when Val was around. It meant that you never could be certain if the person you talked to would remain the same when you turned your back. Freya had been through some rough times, but after staying with uncle Gaius and aunt Alice she was finally starting to feel safe and free again. Will had helped a lot there, they made a lovely couple and Merlin couldn't be more happy for them. It seemed Val found Freya's shyness amusing, and telling people that she was a big flirt made sure that she were approached by amorous strangers. If Merlin could keep Val away from her then nothing was better. And if he believed that Merlin had a thing for her, Merlin was not going to argue against it. It probably wouldn't last though. The fact that Val knew about Freya and Will had to mean that someone had been at the Green Knight, or heard gossip from someone who had been there. It could have been an innocent conversation which had reached him, it could have been someone saving information in case they needed it.
He sighed and tried to shake it off. They worked hard to keep The Knight a safe and welcoming place. It wouldn't do much good to dwell on this.
He thought of Arthur in the alley. Abandoned, but singing and oblivious to any danger. He thought of Arthur at the Green Knight, first having fun and suddenly withdrawing while the girls grew more intense. He hadn't seen much himself, but Gwaine was at the bar as usual and Percy was by the door and they had been a bit concerned.
He seemed so trusting and unaware of the plots going around him, and still guarded. According to Morgana's numerous mentions of her idiot brother being rather fantastic, and Uther's odd interview branching from Merlin's views on gay marriage (“Um, I hope to have one some day?”) to allergies, it seemed that Arthur was the sane one in his family.
And he thought of Arthur's face as he typed and typed and typed on his phone, and managed to produce one word. He did seem to be the real deal. God, he hoped he was the real deal.