Title: Making Him Dinner
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Kara
Summary: Arthur takes his assistant's advice and decides to come clean to Merlin. Except, Merlin is being his annoying self.
Word Count: 860
Prompt: anticipation for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Unbetaed. Continuation of the "Reluctant" Series. 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 Part seven: Just Being Friends Part eight: Non-Dates, Part nine: Expressions, Part ten: Unkept Promises, Part eleven: That Wicked Grin Part twelve: Falling (For Him)
Making Him Dinner
It'd been three days since Arthur had heard from Merlin. Since the night that Merlin had promised Arthur that he was going to make Arthur fall for him. Then, he'd left and then there was no word from him.
Sure, he could have messaged Merlin, instead. He could have asked him out to dinner or coffee as friends, but he'd refrained. Maybe Merlin didn't really mean it and it'd only do good for Arthur to get it out of his system. No use pining over a bloke that wasn't going to follow through.
Arthur thought about popping over at Avalon and seeing if Merlin was there, but he avoided that place like the plague since he found out that the bartender had told Gwaine about how Arthur had bought Merlin that beer about a month ago. What if she was there and then Merlin would find out about Arthur's secret crush on him—and that would just be completely humiliating.
Arthur really had just brought himself into a fine mess.
Eventually, Merlin messaged him. Sorry, work's been really crazy lately. One of the dance-instructors up and quit and we've had to shuffle our shifts around. Drinks tonight?
Arthur waited for thirty minutes before he was going to respond back to Merlin. At first, he busied himself with all the paperwork on his desk, then, he'd actually forgotten. By the time he was ready to reply to Merlin, he'd received another two messages.
The first one was from Gwaine: Arthur, it's Sophie's birthday and we're all going to the Thirsty. You best be there or I'll have Morgana come and get you.
The second one was from Merlin: Change of plans. Everyone's going to the Thirsty tonight for some girl's birthday. You're coming, right?
Arthur sighed and shook his head. He put his phone away again. His assistant, Kara, smiled at him and when he caught her gaze, she quickly looked away.
"What is it?"
Kara shook her head first, then looked like she was ready to speak. "You've been different lately."
"You check your mobile more. Are you dating someone?"
Arthur shook his head. "No, just made a new friend who likes to—"
"Do you like him?"
Arthur shrugged. "I don't know—I just—"
"It's been over two years, Arthur," Kara said. She'd been there when his world had fallen apart nearly three years ago and the year it took for him to get everything back on track again.
When Arthur didn't say anything, she continued. "You can't live your life because you keep anticipating for the other shoe to drop. I know how hard it's been for you, but..."
"I like him," Arthur said, finally. At least he'd finally admitted it out loud to someone, even if it was just his assistant who kept all his secrets. "A lot."
"Good, then you should tell him."
"He knows that I like him. Trust me, he gets off on it," Arthur said, rolling his eyes.
"No." Kara's face was firm and now he knew that she meant business. "Tell him about what happened to you."
Arthur opened his mouth to say something when his office phone rang. "Pendragon Industries. This is Arthur."
"Oh, you sound so bossy. I should call you at work all the time!"
"Merlin." Arthur rolled his eyes at Kara who just giggled lightly and walked away.
"Did you get my message?"
"How did you get my work number?"
"So..." Merlin drawled. "Are you going to the Thirsty tonight or do you want to—"
"If I don't go, Gwaine will have my head," Arthur answered.
"Oh that's good..." Merlin said and then paused for a few moments. Arthur waited until he'd speak again, which Arthur knew, he would. "I mean, good that you're coming, not that Gwaine will have your head—"
"I know, I'm pushing you again."
Arthur sighed. "Merlin."
Arthur couldn't help but smile since he could imagine the look on Merlin's face. That whole I know I talk too much, I'll shut up now, face. "Do you want to stop by for dinner before going to the Thirsty?"
"Like a date?"
"Can I bring a date?"
Arthur groaned and ran his hand through his hair. "Merlin."
"Alright. Why at your place and not—"
"You know what, forget it." Arthur had no idea why he'd listened to Kara in the first place. "I'll see you later—"
"No, Arthur. Wait!" Merlin nearly screamed into the phone and Arthur was forced to move the receiver away from his ear. "Sorry, I was just joking around. Forgot who I was talking to."
"What does that mean?"
"Nothing. It doesn't mean anything. I'm sorry. I've just been having a rough couple of days and I've clearly pissed you off when I was just trying to—" Merlin stopped talking abruptly and he said something that wasn't clear for Arthur to hear. He figured that Merlin was probably talking to someone at his job.
"Okay, sorry!" Merlin said when his voice returned to normal. "So...dinner."
"And you want to talk?"
"Will there be kissing?"
Arthur laughed. "Maybe."
PART 14: Working With Him