Title: Just Being Friends
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: After Merlin kissed Arthur, Arthur had freaked out. Now Merlin has asked to be "just friends." Arthur isn't sure.
Warnings: Lots of text messaging. Some adult language.
Word Count: 855
Prompt: "Excuses" for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Continuation of the "reluctant" series. Unbetaed.
Part one: Watching Him Dance
Part two: Buying Him A Drink
Part three: Luck Let A Gentleman See
Part four: Watching Him Teach
Part five: Resisting The Charm
Part six: One Quick Drink
Merlin’s tongue swirled around in Arthur’s mouth as he pushed his body into Arthur’s at the same time. They stood outside the Thirsty Scholar making a spectacle of themselves, and even though Arthur was becoming self-conscious, Merlin seemed to not care at all. They only broke apart as a pair of girls walked by them whistling.
“The hot ones are always gay. Isn’t that right?” Arthur heard one of the girls say and he grabbed Merlin by his hips and pushed him back.
“Sorry, I got carried away a bit,” Merlin said, looking not sorry, at all.
Arthur nodded. He didn’t want to say that it was okay. It was most certainly not okay, and he didn’t want to tell Merlin that he did cross the line because he didn’t want Merlin to feel bad. Because—maybe because Arthur wanted Merlin to kiss him like that again—and because it had been a while since he’d been kissed.
“So, do you want to go out again?”
Yes! Why go out again? Just get the cab with me, let me take you home, so you can kiss me like that all night.
“Arthur?” Merlin asked, uncertain.
“Sorry, just got lost in thoughts—” He smiled at Merlin and deliberately took a step back. “Nice to see you, Merlin. I’ll see you around.” Arthur turned to speak to the attendant at the taxi rank and a moment later was inside a car that was taking him home.
Yeah. He’d just left a perfectly decent bloke on the sidewalk. Even though all he wanted to do was grab the man by the waist and pull him into the cab with him.
What are you afraid of? He asked himself. He knew what he was afraid of. He was afraid of getting attached, becoming obsessed, getting hurt. Even though Merlin wouldn’t be like his past mistakes, but Arthur couldn’t just take that chance.
He’d find excuse after excuse to not fall for someone else.
His mobile vibrated and Arthur looked down to check the text message.
Merlin: What are you afraid of?
Arthur looked around. Merlin’d just messaged him what he’d thought. A moment later, he replied: I don’t date.
Merlin: So what? You like to just fuck casually?
Arthur sighed. For a casual shag, he went to the anonymous gay clubs and found someone to take him into the back room. But Merlin was too good for that. He knew it, too.
I couldn’t just have a casual thing with you.
Merlin: Why not?
I’d get addicted and then it’d become a usual thing.
Merlin: And a relationship is just so bad, is it?
Arthur didn’t respond. What was he supposed to say? He wasn’t about to open himself up to this bloke he’d known for such a short time, and not over text messages, anyway. It was better to just end it now. He wasn’t going to write back, ever. The silent treatment would be best.
He was so convinced of his decision and feeling better when the taxi pulled up in front of his flat. He paid the driver and got out of the car. As he entered the apartment, his mobile vibrated again.
Merlin: Wanna be friends?
Arthur chuckled to himself. This Merlin bloke really didn’t give up. He answered this time: Not sure if I can be friends with someone who just starts snogging me in public.
Merlin: What if I promise never to kiss you again?
Arthur replied: Never?
Merlin: Never! I will be friends with you. We’ll go out, have fun, and even when you really want me to, I won’t do it. I’ll have you begging for me to kiss you, and I won’t do it. I promise.
Arthur scowled at the fact that Merlin promised never to kiss him again. As much as he didn’t like the idea of falling for Merlin, Arthur really hated the fact that they’d never kiss again.
Even if I’m begging?
Merlin: Okay, if you’re begging, then I’ll probably do it. Otherwise, I promise to be a gentleman. Most of the time.
Arthur smiled as he undressed and lay under the covers in his bed. He was used to sleeping alone. He had been for over a year now. Except, the idea of having another body next to his wasn’t terribly bad. Not if the body was Merlin’s.
Merlin: You’re a really good kisser, by the way.
Arthur shook his head as he turned the light off and plugged his mobile to charge. Goodnight, Merlin, he replied and rolled away from the phone. He didn’t want to anticipate another message back from Merlin. Even if it was just wishing him a goodnight.
When he woke up the next morning, Arthur checked his messages before heading to shower. He’d managed to have a decent night’s sleep and had thankfully not dreamt about Merlin, or kissing a bloke, or anything else for that matter.
Merlin: The memory of those lips is going to keep me up all night, Pendragon.
Brilliant. Now the memory of Merlin’s lips was going to trek into the shower with Arthur.
READ THE NEXT PART - NON-DATES