Title: Working With Him
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Uther, Kara, Gwaine
Summary:Arthur's plans with Merlin are ruined, but Merlin comes to the rescue.
Word Count: 950
Prompt: Letters for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Part 14 of the "reluctant" series. You can read it from PART ONE (ON LJ) or on (ao3)
Arthur's father had impeccable timing. Impeccable timing of always coming in at the wrong time. Arthur had told Merlin to stop by his flat so they could have dinner and then maybe, maybe, Arthur would start to open up to the man. The man he liked to kiss. A lot.
Unfortunately for Arthur, Uther Pendragon demanded his undivided attention today, of all the days. Maybe the man could sense that Arthur was trying to get himself to be happy again and Uther could just not have that.
Knowing Uther. Yes, actually.
"Arthur, I need you to go through these letters of references tonight and I need your decision by the morning." Uther walked into Arthur's office and all but threw a file folder on his desk.
"The letters of what--"
"For the next Assistant VP in Accounting," Uther gritted through his teeth. "I swear boy, where has head been?"
"Here, Father," Arthur said, straightening up. "I just didn't realise that we were interviewing so quickly."
"Well, I'd like to get this done before the New Year," Uther said.
Funny, I'd like to get laid before the New Year. "Right, then. So you need them by tomorrow morning?"
"Yes! What, have you got plans with your wretch--" Uther gave Arthur a once over. "Arthur, I don't have to remind you that--"
"No, Father, you don't," Arthur said. He turned away from Uther and called his Assistant over the phone. "Kara, I need your assistance with the--with something."
"Right away, Arthur," Kara said over the phone and came rushing into Arthur's office.
"Can you please call..." he wrote Merlin's name and number down on a piece of paper and handed it to Kara. "...that I will not be able to make our appointment. I've been held up at work."
Uther grabbed the piece of paper from Kara's hand and read it over. "Who is Merlin Emrys?"
"A friend," Arthur said. "We had a dinner meeting set up for tonight." Arthur's heart was pounding away and he wasn't sure how much more information his father was going to demand of him.
"If he's just a friend then you don't need to make any formalities," Uther said and crumbled the piece of paper, throwing it in the rubbish bin. "Your secretary has better things to do."
"My assistant is here to assist me, Father," Arthur said.
Uther glowered at Arthur for a full minute and then strode out of the office. Arthur looked at Kara who seemed to be shaking. If this was happening to anyone else, it would have been funny, but seeing Kara shaken up like that, Arthur did not find the situation funny, at all.
Kara reached into the bin and gathered the piece of paper Uther had thrown away. "I'll just do this now," she said, and scurried out the door.
Arthur huffed and got to work. He opened the first CV and the letter of reference to read through it. He didn't understand why the Human Resources department wasn't going through this, instead of him. But everyone knew, whatever Uther wanted, Uther got.
An hour into the entire ordeal, making notes and collecting things in "Accept" and "Reject" pile, Arthur's office phone rang.
"Pendragon Industries. This is Arthur."
"You have your secretary call and cancel on Merlin?" Gwaine was almost shouting into the phone.
Arthur sighed. "Assistant." Seriously.
"Whatever!" Gwaine snarled. "You couldn't just call and cancel on the bloke that you asked to make dinner for?"
"How did you even--" Arthur shook his head. "Do you two tell each other everything? Do you braid each other's hair too and have sleep overs? What the fuck, Gwaine, I thought you were my best friend!"
"I am. That's why I've sent him to your office."
"You what?" Arthur stood up off his chair and was shouting just as loudly as Gwaine had been.
Arthur looked up towards the door where the sound had come from. Merlin, in all his shaggy hair, blue-eyed glory was standing there.
"Well, Gwaine, thanks for the head's up." Arthur slammed the phone into the receiver and ran a hand through his hair.
"I'm sorry to interrupt but Gwaine insisted that I stop by and pick you up for-- Wow that's a lot of paper," Merlin said, looking around Arthur's desk.
Arthur sagged into his chair. "Yes. I really do have work, you know."
"Oh, I know. Kara was very nice to me on the phone," Merlin said, grinning and seeing his face made Arthur smile. All of a sudden everything he was feeling, the disappointment, the fatigue, the stress was out the window. That was surprisingly pleasant and a bit weird.
"Anything I can do to help?" Merlin asked, taking his bag off his shoulder and placing it next to Arthur's desk.
"I don't know do you anything about hiring an Assistant Vice President for the Accounting Department at a Fortune 500 company?"
Merlin laughed. "No. But I can read through bullshit so if you hand me some CVs, I might be able to help."
"Really?" Arthur's eyes widened.
"Yes. Really." Merlin plopped himself on the chair across from Arthur and Arthur handed him a stack of papers from his "Accept" pile.
Merlin started to read through them and was mostly laughing. "No. No. No.... Yeah, right. Ha. That's a lie!" he said as he began his screening process.
"Coffee?" Kara asked, walking into Arthur's office and holding two cups from Avalon café. "Thanks, Kara. This is--"
"Oh, we met," Merlin said grinning at Kara and she blushed slightly.
Arthur shook his head and returned to his un-sifted-through pile. It was going to be a long evening, and he was glad that Merlin was there.
READ THE NEXT PART: Coming With Him