Pairing/s: Potential Merlin/Arthur
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: He didn't have time for a prat of a roommate!
Word Count: 1000
Prompt: Writer's Choice
Author's Notes: Enjoy!
Merlin sat on the bed and gave a small bounce. It squeaked. He quickly stopped and stood up. He couldn’t afford to break the bed on the first day in dorms. He could hear the sound of students moving in around him, but they felt distant. His mum had already left. She had a shift to get back to and Merlin was well aware it was because of him she was working overtime as it was. He wasn’t going to act like a child and whine that he wanted her to stay.
He did want her though. This was a whole new stage of his life and he wished they had had longer to say goodbye. The journey was a long one and popping home for the weekend was out of the question; it was too far.
“Pull yourself together,” Merlin scolded himself. He looked around him at the bags that he hadn’t yet unpacked. The other half of the room was bare and Merlin knew he would feel a lot better when he found out who his roommate was. Wondering if the notice board would at least give him a name, Merlin walked to the door.
It swung open violently before he could touch it, bouncing off the wall. Merlin caught it before it could bounce back again. It meant his arm made a barrier across the door, stopping whoever this intruder was before they could enter. Then Merlin realised there was a set of keys in the door. This intruder could get in…
“Don’t just stand there. Get out of the way or help, will you?” The voice was posh and annoyed. Merlin frowned as a head stuck out behind a pile of boxes. He was blond, blue-eyed, gorgeous and exactly Merlin’s type. Merlin scowled deeper.
“Here.” The word was the only warning that Merlin got before the boxes were shoved into his arms. He stumbled back into the room, gritting his teeth at the weight. He hoped there wasn’t much more to come; the room was hardly big enough for two people as it was. He backed up and dumped the boxes on the bed, turning to the door in order to confront his new roommate.
Only his mouth dropped open as he watched the blond stagger in with a television that barely fitted through the doorway.
“Where are you going to put that?”
“Over-,” the guy turned. He stopped and stared. He was looking straight at Merlin’s bed and seemed horrified.
A much older man appeared in the doorway.
“Do you really have to shout, Arthur? What is the problem?”
“Why is there a second bed in here?”
The father turned to Merlin. He put out his hand and Merlin felt like he was in a dream as he shook it.
“Merlin Emrys, I assume?”
Merlin mutely nodded.
“What is he doing here?”
“He is your roommate, Arthur.”
“You told me I could live on my own.” The boy balanced the television on his bed and looked at his father. Merlin could tell this was someone who was used to getting his own way and he folded his arms across his chest. He had not worked this hard or saved for this long to be chucked out by some rich brat on his first day.
“I told you I would think about it. Your behaviour over the summer changed my mind. I contacted the board. Mr Emrys’ record is exemplary. He will keep you on track.”
“You’ve given me a babysitter?”
Merlin barely heard Arthur’s anger. He sat down numbly on his bed. This would only happen to him. But then he forced himself to think. No one was making him do this. The father could wish he would be an influence on his son all he liked. But Merlin had his own life to live and that was precisely what he was going to do. Will and Gwen were only in the next building. All he had to do was spend time with them and he would be able to avoid the furious look Arthur was sending his way on a regular basis.
Merlin looked down again. He wished that look didn’t make the blond look so hot though. Not wanting to leave until he found out what was going on, Merlin quietly began to unpack the rest of his belongings. He wasn’t sure if he would have space left if he let Arthur finish unpacking first. He tried not to listen to the conversation – although argument would have been more precise – happening behind him, but the volume meant it was impossible.
He learnt more about Arthur in those few moments than he ever wanted to know. But it also made him thank anything and everything for the relationship he had with his mother. He could hear the anger in Arthur’s voice. But he could also hear the upset and pain. The father’s retorts made it clear he didn’t think much of his son, even if he had got into the best university in the country. Arthur might be spoilt, but he wasn’t stupid.
The slamming off the door made Merlin look around. The father had gone.
“What?” Arthur said harshly. Merlin shrugged and turned his back. If Arthur wasn’t going to be civil to him, then he wasn’t going to be polite back.
It didn’t take him long to finish. He watched Arthur out of the corner of his eye. There were designer clothes and expensive gadgets everywhere. But then Merlin saw something in the bottom of a box. It was half-hidden under some bedding and Merlin wondered if Arthur was hiding it from his father; that the man wouldn’t approve.
But Merlin smiled as he turned back. He wondered if the father had looked into him as much as he had pretended. This was something he could help Arthur embrace. If Arthur had the Star Wars boxset with him, it confirmed what Merlin had already thought.
The blond really was his type.