Title: A sky full of stars.
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur.
Word Count: 1k+.
Summary: They go camping together along with the school, and Arthur seizes the opportunity. It's the perfect moment to tell Merlin the way he feels about him.
Prompt: 124 - Excuses.
Theres a sudden, loud buzz that miserably wakes Merlin up.
Groaning, he stretches his hand and pats the ground beside him for his phone, only finding it after he squints his eyes open and catches sight of the blinding light of the screen. He grabs it with sleepy, clumsy hands, and blinking a few times, manages to focus his vision enough to notice he's got an incoming message from. . . Arthur?
Merlin frowns and turns around to look at Arthur's sleeping bag, but the supposed lump of Arthur's body isn't there. He sits up straighter, rubbing at his eyes and opens the message, heart picking up pace with fear of something happening to his best friend.
| 'i'm outside, come out' - From Prat.
He frowns at the thought of going out of the tent and the cocoon of his sleeping bag in the middle of the night, but with another throaty groan, he levels/levers himself up, grabbing his glasses and pulling them messily over his ears and the bridge of his nose. Arthur better have a good excuse for this.
He steps out and shivers. Despite the warm summer night it’s definitely much warmer inside the tent, so he just moves over the grass quickly, peering around the place to find the rest of their classmates peacefully sleeping in their tents, and intending on finding Arthur rather sooner than later.
Lightening the screen of his mobile, Merlin makes his way using it as a lantern. "Arthur?" he calls, getting nervous by seconds as he recedes from the camp, listening to the quiet night and the small little sounds of distant birds and annoying crickets.
"I will bloody strangle you, Arthur, if this is a joke," he says, but when he doesn't get a response he just stops in his tracks and dials Arthur's number.
"Merlin?" Arthur's voice comes after the first ring. "Where the fuck are you?"
"Me?" Merlin says incredulous, stepping over a branch carefully now that he doesn't have the light of the phone to light his way. "What the fuck are you doing sneaking around in the woods at night? I was sleeping, Jesus, Arthur!"
Arthur snorts and Merlin swears he hears the eye-roll. "Get your skinny arse over here, Merlin, I've got to show you something."
Merlin grunts and resists the urge to facepalm. Only Arthur would make him get up at arse in the morning to probably show him the most stupid thing ever. Only him.
"Where is here?"
"Just walk in a straight line, I can hear you nearby."
"Arthur," Merlin whines, batting a mosquito away with an unpleasant hiss and a wild wave of his free hand.
"God, Merlin, really," Arthur says, starting to sound annoyed. "You're a bloody girl. Come on, hurry up, I'm waiting."
"Prat," Merlin whispers.
"Just hang up, you're almost there," Arthur growls before the line goes dead.
Merlin stares down at his mobile and then, muttering a, "right." pushes his glasses up his nose and keeps on walking until he sees a remarkable silhouette; unmistakably Arthur's.
"Bloody finally," Arthur says, sounding nervous and out of breath, as if he's the one who's been waken up and forced to walk into the middle of god knows where. He's wiggling his hands in front of himself, looking at Merlin with a shy smile.
That's the more suspicious thing Merlin has ever seen.
"Um, Arthur?" he says, rubs at his eyes under the glasses, and then places them rightly as he steps closer to Arthur.
Arthur takes a breath, urges him to come forward with an impatient hand. "Just come here, would you?"
Merlin rolls his eyes and does as Arthur says, feeling stupid in his blue pyjamas and with his rumpled bed hair and sleepy face. Even though Arthur was sleeping earlier, too, he seems as golden and flawless as always. Utterly gorgeous.
"Can't we do whatever you want to do in the tent?" Merlin asks, punctuating the last word.
Arthur's jaw clenches and Merlin knows better than to say something else, so he simply waits.
"Do you always have to bloody fuck everything up?" Arthur's voice is definitely irritated now. "I'm trying to do something nice here!" he cries, pointing down to the ground beneath Merlin's feet where— oh. Merlin frowns, watches a blanket spreaded wide as an imitation of a picnic, and a pair of cockes and a pathetic bouquet of wildflowers. There are also a pair of lanterns that — Merlin notes — are the ones providing light around the place.
Merlin glances up at Arthur and a smile creeps up on his lips. "Did you prepare this?"
"No, it was here when I bloody happened to pass by, what d’you think, Merlin?" Arthur crosses his arms over his chest, eyebrows knitted together, bottom lip jutting out.
"But— okay, okay. Why’d you do this, though?" Arthur stares at him with that look Merlin sees constantly on Arthur's face lately; that 'you're more of an idiot than I thought you were' kind of look, and an idea occurs to him. "Oh, you want me to call Gwen, is that it? Did you prepare all of this for her and—"
"Shut up, Merlin!" Arthur says, face red with anger. "God, what on earth are you on about? This is for you, you idiot! This is for you and me. You're the most oblivious person ever, Jesus, Merlin." Arthur literally facepalms.
Merlin raises his eyebrows, not following. "What d'you mean, Arthur?" he asks, because he still hasn't caught on.
"I'm trying to bloody tell you that I fucking fancy you, okay? I've fancied you for bloody years but everything I do— you just never seem to notice any of it."
Arthur is pouting.
This is serious, then.
"Oh," Merlin says cleverly. This is quite the revelation.
Arthur likes him. Him, his nerdy, unpopular, awkward and best friend Merlin. Arthur fucking fancies him and Merlin doesn't know what to do with that piece of information. Merlin has had the most ridiculous crush on Arthur for so long he has learnt to live with it and accepted the fact that Arthur ever considering Merlin something more than a friend would be impossible. And now— now it seems like it's happening and Merlin is so stunned he can't even process the fact that it's coming true.
"So that's it, that's all you have to say; oh."
"What?" Merlin takes a step closer. "No, no, it's just. I wasn't— I just wasn't expecting this, Arthur."
Arthur snorts, shoulders slumped.
Merlin's heart clenches. "But—!" he hurries to say. "I—" He plays with his sleeve. "This isn't a joke, is it?" He needs to make sure.
Arthur's face goes from disappointed to hurt, and Merlin quickly walks closer, almost tripping in his haste to get to Arthur. Arthur catches him by the elbow with a small, fond smile.
"Does it look like I'm joking?" he asks, softly.
Merlin looks around them, down at the ground where Arthur has made an effort to get this to look comfy and nice. "Um, no, actually, no, it doesn't."
"There." Arthur moves forward, unsure.
Merlin's breath catches. This is so odd. This is Arthur and him, but this is Arthur doing something romantic, for him, not like a friend. This is them, but this is not what they normally do. And yet, this is good, so bloody good, so fucking good to be real.
Merlin smiles to himself and then at Arthur, who's looking at him expectantly. "Well?"
"Does this mean I get to kiss you?" Merlin asks, his smile growing into a full grin when Arthur just barks a laugh.
"What do you bloody think, idiot?" he replies, then tugs Merlin closer until their chest are pressed together and their faces almost touching. "And what are you waiting for?"
Merlin smiles and then crashes their mouths together, throwing an arm around Arthur's shoulder and caressing his nape as he lets his tongue explore Arthur's mouth slowly; touching the roof of Arthur's lips first, then brushing against his slightly chapped bottom lip and the row of crooked teeth until it meets Arthur's eager tongue inside.
When he pulls his face back, he looks at Arthur straight in the eye as he licks his lips. “This is really nice, you know,” he whispers, and then lets his gaze travel down to the picnic blanket.
Arthur swallows, avoiding his gaze, neck flushing. “Uh, I— yeah.”
Merlin chuckles, pulling him closer. "But, do you think we could move this to the tent now, though?" he asks, “Away from prying eyes and where you can muffle your noises when I suck you off?”
Arthur groans in response.