Title: Dogs in the park
Summary: Merlin has a crush on his class mate who’s far out of his league
Word Count: 1047
Prompt: Puppy love
Author's Notes: Sorry, got a tad too long. Thanks, issy5209 for the beta!
“You wanted the dog, Merlin, now go walk her!“
Merlin sighed and knew that his mam was right. He wanted to walk the dog, really, but he also needed to follow what Arthur posted on facebook and the conversation he had with Gwaine on twitter. They were just about to discuss the hot guys in school. He knew his name would never show on that list. They only thought the older blokes were hot. Never him, the ugly nerd-boy.
When Lamia sat down on his foot, Merlin looked at her. “It’s okay, girl, we’ll go for a walk in a minute.” He switched the computer off and reached for his baseball hat.
The dog followed him and wagged her tail excitedly when he took her leash off the hook by the door. “We’ll go to the park, might take a while.”
After letting Lamia take care of her business and then running about, playing fetch, Merlin sat under a tree in the park, his dog sleeping next to him as he checked his smartphone again. Of course, he wasn’t on the list of hot guys. He just wasn’t hot, he wasn’t even average. When all the other blokes in his class started to grow and show muscles in the right places, all his body had ever done was grow.
He reached over and petted Lamia’s side when she moved in her sleep, chasing dream rabbits or something. The only reason he had wanted a dog was that Arthur loved dogs. But instead of getting a cute baby Labrador or a golden retriever, his mam had decided they could only afford a dog from the local pound and had lectured him that it was better to give a dog from there a forever home than make breeders produce even more dogs they only wanted to make money off. So he had ended up with one of the most ugly mongrels that had been there, but she had looked so lost and lonely that Merlin bonded with her right away.
They just fit together. Odd, ugly, outcasts. Just like Arthur and his retriever were a perfect match. Popular and golden, loved by everyone.
Merlin leaned his head back against the tree and closed his eyes. He hated that he was close to tears now. He didn’t want to, but he liked Arthur. A lot more than he would ever admit because if he did, everyone would laugh at him. They were right, too, someone like Arthur Pendragon would never even look his way.
He startled when he felt a cold dog-nose in his face. He must have fallen asleep.
“Cut that out, Max! You can’t just try to make friends with everyone…oh, hi Merlin!”
Merlin blinked up from where he had stared at the golden retriever who seemed to have adopted him already as he heard the familiar voice. “A…Arthur?” Arthur Pendragon knew his name! Well, of course he did, they were in the same class.
“I didn’t know you came here.” Arthur just stood there and looked at him, making Merlin feel uncomfortable. He’d fallen asleep, had he drooled on himself or something?
Lamia had jumped up and first eyed the new dog but then decided he was friendly enough, so she wanted to play with him.
“Lamia, don’t. I’m sure Arthur doesn’t like it.”
“Why wouldn’t I? If they want to play, let them.”
Merlin’s heart was beating a bit faster. “Okay.”
Arthur just sat down next to Merlin’s feet. “I didn’t know you came here. I didn’t even know you have a dog.”
“She’s only been with us for a few months now. She’s no beauty but she’s a good dog who deserves a forever home!” Merlin felt the need to defend Lamia.
Plucking at some blades of grass, Arthur looked over. “You rescued her? That’s cool, father wouldn’t let me get a dog from the pound, said we needed something with a pedigree.” He shrugged and then laughed. “So we got Max, who has a pedigree as long as the Queen’s, but is stupid like a loaf of bread.”
“Don’t say that about your dog!” Merlin grinned anyway.
“I didn’t say he’s not nice, but he just doesn’t understand what you want from him. He’s a year old now and he is too dumb to follow the most simple commands. Even the people at dog school said he’s not the brightest they’ve ever had.”
“Maybe Lamia can teach him a few things?” Merlin looked over to where the dogs were running about, having fun. He couldn’t believe it. This was the longest conversation he’s ever had with Arthur. Usually, they didn’t say more than ‘hi’ before one of Arthur’s friends interrupted them. “She seems to like him.”
“Which is great. I wouldn’t want her to attack when I come over.”
Merlin’s head shot around. “Over?” He must have misunderstood that. Arthur sure didn’t mean…
“To ask you…” Arthur looked away and started to stutter. “Maybe I should do it here, so nobody can…I wanted to ask you if you’d like to come along to the movies or something sometime.”
The blood was rushing in Merlin’s ears. “You…you and the guys want me to join you for the movies?”
“No, not the guys.” Arthur looked at Merlin again and swallowed nervously. “Just me.”
“Like…” Merlin thought he still must be dreaming, this couldn’t happen. “Like…two blokes going to see a movie.”
Arthur groaned. “You’re an idiot, Merlin. Not like that. Like…a date?”
For a moment, Merlin stared. “But I’m nowhere on your list of hottest blokes in school.” Damn, why had he said that? He blushed deeply after revealing that he was stalking Arthur there. The list was not even two hours old.
Arthur laughed and he scooted closer. “You haven’t seen the new list?”
“Which one?” Okay, he hadn’t chased Arthur away with that, but now he was utterly confused.
“The one titled ‘Guys I’d like to date because they are gorgeous and cute and have the best smiles’.”
“Err…” No, he hadn’t seen that list. It must be new.
Arthur pulled his mobile out of his pocket, scrolled through a few things and then held it out to Merlin.
A huge smile spread over Merlin’s face. The list only had one name. His.