Title: Merry and Bright
Character/s: Arthur, Gwaine, Merlin, Morgana
Summary: Gwaine knows how to throw a party
Word Count: 721
Prompt: 139, Introduction
Author's Notes: The mental image of Merlin in an elf outfit will never fail to make me smile.
Arthur groaned as he looked around the gaudily decorated offices, taking in the bearded brunette Santa holding court from a red and gold foil wrapped office chair/throne in the middle of the room, patting his lap and loudly inviting all takers to have a seat and tell Santa if you’ve been naughty or nice.
“Who thought it would be a good idea to let Gwaine be in charge of the company Christmas party?”
“Gwaine did,” Morgana laughed, heading toward a well stocked bar manned by a cute boy wearing a scandalously short green tunic over red and white striped leggings. Arthur followed in her wake, nodding at partying employees. This looked like an evening that would require alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.
The bells on the bartender’s jaunty hat jingled merrily as he shook and poured a pink drink into a glass and handed it off to Gwen, Arthur’s PA. She smiled her thanks and moved over to give Morgana and Arthur room.
“Can I interest you in a Passionate Pendragon, the party’s signature cocktail,” the bartender asked with a grin. He lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper, “It’s actually a Cosmo, but Gwaine rechristened it for the occasion.”
“Of course he did,” Morgana said dryly. “I’d love one. Arthur?”
Arthur was so busy staring into the bartender’s twinkling blue eyes, he missed the question. Morgana elbowed him sharply. “What was that for?” he hissed, rubbing at his aching ribs.
“Stop eye fucking the elf, Arthur.”
The bartender blushed and his now pink cheeks were just as pretty as his eyes. Arthur blushed, too, and requested a scotch and soda. Drinks in hand, he and Morgana were soon mingling with their employees.
They made the rounds, thanking everyone for another successful year at Pendragon Publishing and wishing one and all a very happy holiday.
Arthur found his eyes straying toward the bartender time and time again and after a last flurry of greetings, Arthur finally drained his drink and headed back to the bar, almost running into Gwaine who seemed on a quest of his own.
They both came to a halt a few feet away from the bar, Gwaine throwing a companionable arm over Arthur’s shoulders. “He’s cute, yeah?” Gwaine opened, head nodding toward the bartender busily putting together a complicated cocktail. “Name’s Merlin. He bartends at my local. He’s single and studying to be a doctor.”
Arthur cocked his head to look Gwaine in the eye. “And I need all this information, why?”
“You can’t stop staring, mate. He’s a good guy, you’re a good guy, maybe you could be good together.” Gwaine pushed his Santa hat to one side and gave Arthur a small grin, gesturing toward the bar with his empty glass. “Let me get a refill then go talk to him. Say Santa sent you.” He unhooked his arm and sauntered toward the bar.
Gwaine and the bartender, Merlin Arthur amended, exchanged a few words and Merlin looked up, giving Arthur a quick glance before putting together a lethal concoction of three different liquors and a splash of soda for Gwaine who took a deep drink and headed a bit unsteadily back to his "throne."
Arthur waited a few seconds before heading in. “Another scotch and soda, please.” The drink was quickly put together and pressed into Arthur's hand but instead of pulling away Arthur leaned in and whispered, “Santa sent me.”
A confused look crossed Merlin’s face and Arthur reared back, continuing a bit defensively, “Gwaine told me to say that.”
The bartender, Merlin, laughed, “Gwaine’s a bit pissed. I have a feeling he’ll be passed out under a conference table come morning.”
“He said you know him and now I see it’s true.” Arthur offered his hand, “I’m Arthur Pendragon.”
Merlin’s slim hand was surprisingly strong. “I’m Merlin.”
The shake turned into a bit of awkward hand holding as Arthur racked his brain for a conversation starter more suave than want to see what a passionate Pendragon really is?
He was drawing a total blank until Morgana joined them and interjected “What this tongue tied muppet wants to say is can I buy you dinner, Elf?”
To Arthur's immense relief Merlin gave a nod, bright eyes shining and bells ringing merrily. This was looking to be a very happy Christmas, indeed.