Title: What the Hell?
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, off screen Morgana
Summary: Arthur and Merlin are idiots.
Word Count: 625
Author's Notes: Watch out for the flying fluff.
Arthur pulled into the deserted parking lot and cut the engine. “We’re here,” he announced as though he wasn’t acting like a total lunatic. Merlin blinked at the sand and sea. Sand and sea that were nowhere near the pub where he and Arthur were supposed to meet their friends some twenty minutes ago.
Arthur popped the trunk and got out of the car like it was the most natural thing in the world to kidnap his best friend and take him to the beach. And, wait, was that a cooler and a blanket? What the hell?
“What the hell?” Merlin asked, getting out of his side of the car. Arthur didn’t answer but headed down a rocky path toward the shimmering ocean.
It was October and the wind was bracing so Merlin buttoned up his suit jacket against the chill and followed thinking how ridiculous two businessmen at the beach must look.
They crested a small dune and it seemed the vista pleased Arthur who dropped the cooler and fluttered the checked blanket into place. He settled facing the ocean, toed off his Oxfords and pulled off his socks. His pale feet looked strangely vulnerable and Merlin had to look away, back to the ocean and some gulls bobbing on the waves.
After a moment, Merlin sat, too, waiting for Arthur to break the awkward silence. He didn’t have to wait long.
“So, I asked Morgana for some advice and, of course, horrible harridan that she is, she told me to bend you over my desk and have my wicked way with you,” he offered. Merlin couldn’t stop the snort of incredulous laughter and Arthur finally met his eyes. “I know, right?”
“Wait, rewind, what was the advice you were looking for?”
Arthur’s eyes went back to the water, taking a few seconds before responding. “I wanted to know how to go about asking my best friend out on a date and she pretty much pointed out that we’ve been dating for years but we were both too stupid to see it. Ridiculous phrases like eye fucking and possessive manhandling were thrown in my face.”
Merlin blinked, mind reeling. “Eye fucking? That’s a thing?”
“Not the point, Merlin,” Arthur answered opening the cooler and pulling out two bottles of lager, uncapping them with the 1D bottle opener on his key ring that Merlin had given him as a joke two Christmases before. Arthur had gifted him with a 1D duvet which they both curled up under every movie night. Every movie night which was nearly every Saturday for the past three years unless they had other plans and then it was switched to Friday.
Arthur went on, “And when I started thinking about it, I realized Morgana might be right.”
Merlin lifted his beer in a toast, “Here’s to never, ever telling her.” Arthur nodded and they clinked their bottles in agreement.
“So, what, is this you asking? Because I didn’t hear a question. I consider kidnapping more of a statement,” Merlin continued.
Arthur rolled his eyes. “Please catch up, Merlin. We’ve been dating. This is us resuming said dating but with overt romance instead of mate-y manhandling and eye fucking. I brought alcohol and there’s a beautiful view and an imminent sunset,” he said pointing at the sky with his raised bottle. “Even you must see this is Dating 101.”
Merlin took a long pull off his beer and pushed the cooler from between them so he could move closer and wrap an arm around Arthur’s broad shoulders. Arthur tucked his bare feet under Merlin’s legs. Snuggling was different but somehow right, too, and there was a giddy, fizzy feeling bubbling under Merlin’s skin as they both leaned in to watch the sun sink over the horizon.