Title: Date Two
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Since Merlin had decided their first date, Arthur picked the second one.
Warnings: Modern!AU. Fluff.
Word Count: ~1000
Prompt: "Spring" for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: All the "art knowledge" posted in this fic is basically somewhat googled from educational sites (for spelling!) and my own little knowledge on the actual pieces (and opinions). No offence is intended, if I got something wrong! Lame title is lame. Chapter FIVE of "The Casual Fling" Read: ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR. I'd also like to add that this story really has little to no angst, so I hope you're in the mood for something cute and fluffy. Betaed by the fabulous archaeologist_d, all the remaining mistakes are mine since I've changed some content to fit the prompt.
Arthur waited until Wednesday before he rang Merlin up. He'd hoped Merlin would have called him instead, but he settled for knowing Merlin had a big decision to make. He was supposed to finalise where he was going to be employed.
When he dialled Merlin's number, it went directly to voicemail.
"Hey, it's Arthur. I know we’re supposed to go out once a week and I figured that would mean Friday again, but I've got a work thing this weekend and I'm going to be out. I wanted to know if you wanted to get together tomorrow instead. Unless, you have other plans. Just um, call. Yeah, it's Arthur. Right. I already said that."
Arthur hung up before he would change his mind and delete the message he was leaving. After their picnic date, he hadn't been able to stop thinking about Merlin. Gwaine hadn't stopped making fun of him and Arthur hated how he found himself thinking about Merlin whenever he had a free moment.
Thirty minutes later, Merlin had sent him a text message. "Sorry, I was in the middle of orientation at the new job when you called. I can't talk right now, but tomorrow sounds great. I'm free after five."
The next evening, Merlin and Arthur met up at Camelot Modern, the museum of modern art. Arthur had been meaning to go since they'd opened a new wing and figured since Merlin had decided their first date, he'd picked the second one.
The museum was open until seven o'clock so Arthur thought an hour and a half was enough time and then after that, they could go out for a quick bite.
He was relatively surprised when Merlin took the lead and held his hand as they walked from gallery to gallery. He found it even more unbelievable that their taste in art couldn't have been more different.
Arthur liked paintings that were more realistic and geometrically appealing whereas Merlin claimed he could stare at abstract art for hours. Arthur got annoyed at Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 4 by Kandinsky, and Merlin rolled his eyes when Arthur talked about the Son of Man.
They both seemed to like Spring by Lawrence Alma-Tadema; the artist represented the Victorian custom of sending children into the country to collect flowers in the mornings in early May and Arthur agreed with Merlin that it depicted so much hope and innocence that adults seemed to lose now, especially in the gloomy Camelot weather. He was pleased with the fact that they had found some common ground.
At the museum shop, Arthur bought Merlin a small postcard book on René Magritte, and Merlin's grin was thanks enough.
Delighted with how fun the first part of the date had been, Arthur asked Merlin if he wanted to continue hanging out. They took a walk to the closest lounge called Avalon. Arthur thought they would end up going to some hole in the wall pub, and instead, they'd ended up at a rather upscale nightclub. He didn't mind, though. Merlin really wanted to check it out and Arthur found himself unable to say no to Merlin.
They found a corner table with a comfortable sofa and Merlin called dibs on it as Arthur made his way to the bar to get a few drinks and place a food order.
"I read about this place in Time Out," Merlin told him. They were sitting next to each other, their thighs touching and Merlin had spoken the words in Arthur's ear.
Arthur shivered as he felt Merlin's hot breath on him and when he turned to face Merlin again, Merlin had captured his lips.
They kissed softly as they sat in the dark corner and Arthur felt as though they were the only two people in the world. It was amazing. Arthur knew he wanted to sleep with Merlin since he'd seen him at Gwen and Lance's party, but he also acknowledged now he'd never felt this way about any other man before. Any other man he would have actually shagged and until this moment, he hadn't even done anything with Merlin beside kiss.
When their food was ready, Arthur went up to the bar to get it and ordered a couple of more beers. He tipped the barman back to help him carry it all out to the spot where he and Merlin were sitting.
They sat side by side and ate as Arthur talked about his work. He liked working at the publishing company but he just couldn't understand why he just never seemed to satisfy his father. He said he'd figured it was because his father was really just disappointed he'd turned out to be gay and that they wouldn't have another Pendragon to carry on the family name.
Arthur rolled his eyes at the idea as Merlin nodded with understanding.
"At least you have a sister," Merlin said. "There will be some Pendragon blood eventually if she decides to procreate. I'm afraid I'm the last of the Emrys there ever will be."
"Don't you think it's ridiculous?" Arthur asked and Merlin looked confused. "There are all these abandoned, orphaned kids in the world and our parents only care about carrying out the genes. If I were the marrying kind, I'd much rather adopt. Even if I were straight."
Merlin nodded. "Me too." He paused briefly before he added, "and I am the marrying kind."
They were quiet again and finished off the food without any more comments on family, blood, or marriage. Arthur knew the more he stayed away from the topic, the better it would be.
"Do you want to dance?" Merlin asked, finishing the last of his drink.
"Here?" Arthur asked, feeling awkward. He wasn't much of a dancer.
"Yeah, there's a dance floor over there and some people are already out there. It won't be totally weird."
Arthur hesitated some more. "I don't know, Mer—"
"Come on," Merlin said standing up, and then dragged Arthur to his feet. He all but pulled Arthur all the way to the dance floor, before he wrapped his arms around Arthur's neck.
Merlin placed a quick kiss on Arthur's lips and started to move to the music. No one else seemed to be paying them any attention, so Arthur relaxed. He hoped he could do this, and that Merlin would be satisfied with just one song.
He was wrong.
READ CHAPTER SIX