Title: Watching Him Teach
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine
Summary: Gwaine is stepping up to take matter into his own hands
Word Count: 830
Prompt: Balter for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: This is PART four of "Watching Him Dance" Series. I haven't updated in a while.
Part one: Watching Him Dance
Part two: Buying Him A Drink
Part three: Luck Let A Gentleman See
Arthur watched…gaped, really at the instruction and the crowd. More the instructor than the crowd.
The group was baltering around to the elegant music that Merlin and his partner were struggling to teach the moves to. Arthur knew the basic concept of ballroom dancing but he had never dared interject himself in such notions unless he was at a wedding.
The last time he’d dabbled in ballroom dancing was at his father’s wedding to his stepmother. That marriage had lasted all of 15 months, he remembered.
“Are you going to dance?” Gwaine asked.
Arthur scoffed at his friend’s question and didn’t even bother answer him. He thought about saying how he didn’t really have a partner, but he knew that at that moment Gwaine would offer himself up as one and Arthur wasn’t about to do that.
“No, thanks,” he said, simply. “Why are you doing this to me?” he added after a few beats.
“You know what.”
“Suppose I want you to say it,” Gwaine said, finishing the last of his drink and gesturing the barkeep for a refill.
“You know that I was eyeing that bloke a few weeks ago at your birthday party. You offered to introduce him to me and I said no. And now this—”
“What about the part when you anonymously bought him a drink?” Gwaine raised his eyebrows and Arthur sighed. “Morgause told me.”
“Of course she did.”
“She thinks you should maybe buy him a drink face-to-face.”
Arthur shook his head and was about to pay his bill and leave when the unthinkable happened.
Arthur’s eyes widened at the voice he’d heard and he didn’t dare turn around. It couldn’t be! Arthur hadn’t heard Merlin’s voice so it wasn’t like he’d recognised it, but still, who else could it have been?
Anybody else in the world. Please let it be anyone else in the entire world!
“Merlin!” Gwaine bellowed, as if he was so shocked, that bloody wanker.
“Please don’t tell me you’re stalking Gwen again!” Arthur heard Merlin say.
“No, I’m not. Not tonight anyway,” Gwaine answered, and Arthur was sure he’d winked. It was so Gwaine that Arthur did not need to look at his best friend to know that about him. “This is my friend Arthur, and we’re just out here to get a drink or two. I’d forgotten that you teach a class here on Thursdays.”
Arthur looked up at Merlin when Gwaine had just so conveniently brought him into the conversation.
“Hi,” Arthur said.
“Oh. I’ve seen you before,” Merlin said and raised an eyebrow. He was reluctant for a moment, then he offered his hand to Arthur.
Arthur shook his hand quickly and then hastily retreated it. It was as if his hand would burn with the feel of Merlin’s skin. He was about to respond to Merlin’s comment about looking familiar, when Merlin spoke again.
“At Avalon. You were there at Gwaine’s birthday party, right?”
“Right,” Arthur said nodding. He placed a few bills on the counter under his empty Scotch glass and abruptly stood up. “I have to go—”
The music ended and Merlin looked toward the crowd and locked eyes with Gwen, the woman Arthur had seen the first night at the club.
“Me too!” Merlin said and all but ran back to the front of the crowd to take a hold of the microphone again. He started to chat the crowd up and another lesson was about to get started.
“Why are you leaving?” Gwaine demanded.
Arthur was about to answer when Gwaine spoke again. “Sit down.”
“Arthur, I swear on my father’s grave. If you do not stay, I will tell him that you bought him drinks at the club and that you gape at him any chance you get.”
Arthur glowered at his friend but didn’t dare counter the threat. He knew Gwaine and he was sure that Gwaine would do as he was told. He scowled some more but sat down on the stood and ordered a glass of water.
It was as if he wasn’t able to stop himself, of course, he wasn’t able to stop himself, and Arthur’s gaze consistently returned towards Merlin. He watched as Merlin moved from couple to couple, repositioning their arms, neck, chin, teaching them how to get better.
He watched as Merlin smiled that smile Arthur had noticed from the first night, and with the ease he moved about the floor. He was a God!
Arthur was so screwed.
The lesson was finally over, and Gwaine turned to look at Arthur. “So?”
“So, can I leave now?” Arthur said.
“Hey, you’re still here!” Merlin said as he approached them. He looked sweaty and tired and Arthur tried not to glare at the sweat trickling down from Merlin’s chin to his neck and under the collar…
“So, Arthur,” Merlin said yanking Arthur out of his thoughts. He looked up dazed at Merlin. “Can I buy you a drink?”
READ PART FIVE