Title: Love is Patient
Characters/pairings: Merlin/Arthur, mentions of Merlin/Freya
Summary: As Merlin waits to talk to Arthur, he revisits the events of the past four days that have forever changed his life.
Warnings: strong language, references to sex
Prompt 181: Compromise
A/N: Part five of my reincarnation series Merlin and Arthur Live Again.
It had been four days since Merlin's unexpected meeting with Arthur at the rugby match, three days since he'd decided he wasn't going to uni straight away, two days since Freya had texted and said that if he wasn't going to uni with her they should probably end whatever it was they had, one day since he had decided that, other than his parents, Arthur was still the most important person in his life, and a minute since he had plucked up the courage to call Arthur. As he stood there, hoping Arthur's voice mail didn't come on, yet thinking it might be best if it did, the past four days played in his mind.
His meeting with Arthur: Four years previous, on Merlin's twelfth birthday, his wish when he'd blown out his candles had been to see Arthur again, but by the following year he'd given up on that dream. He'd wallowed in pity for a day or two, had a heart-to-heart with his mother about what he wanted out of life, and accepted that if he wanted to be happy again, he had no choice but to move on. Arthur had been his best friend and they had shared the best times together, but times had changed. Fast-forward four years. Seeing Arthur again had been both wonderful, yet extremely painful. Merlin had often daydreamt about Arthur and him being together again, but the actual meeting had been so much more than he had ever imagined, and no matter how awkward it had been to have Freya there, being back in Arthur's arms had felt so very right. Neither Merlin nor Arthur had known what the future held, but what they had understood at that moment was that there was no turning back.
His decision about uni: School had never been anything that Merlin was good at. He could make things happen with his thoughts and with certain words, but that was easy--he could do those things in his sleep--but Maths, sport, sciences, and the other subjects that one learned in school had always seriously frustrated him and made him feel inadequate and dumb. He had always thought he'd leave school at fifteen. He'd had that plan for years, but he had changed his mind when he and Freya had become serious. She had thought it would be wonderful if they went to uni together, and Merlin had bought into the fantasy and had wanted that dream. He had decided that he and Freya would be together forever and that whatever made her happy would make him happy, but then he had seen Arthur again and suddenly the thought of being saddled with classes and information that Merlin would never be able to properly process seemed overwhelming and completely mad. His parents hadn't been surprised by his decision, but they'd been disappointed and had told their son that they hoped he would take his gap year, then consider going to uni, because he couldn't depend on his magic to make a living. Merlin had agreed, knowing that is what would happen. He just needed a break.
Freya deciding they were finished: Merlin hadn't been expecting this, although, he should have. They had been serious for about a year and had recently progressed from the occasional blow job to having sex every way and everywhere possible. There was no doubt that they were extremely compatible in the sex department, but Merlin had known since the beginning that something was missing, as had Freya. Neither had known what that was, but when Freya had texted last she had said that Merlin had looked at Arthur the way that she had always wished for him to look at her. Merlin had dismissed such nonsense, but when he'd really thought about it, he had to admit to himself that his heart had leapt when he had sensed Arthur's presence and, then, when they had hugged, Merlin had been ridiculously happy. That had to have shown on his face. Still, that was no reason for Freya to have gone all mental and want to end what they had. How was Arthur going to get in the way of him and Freya? Merlin hadn't understood.
Realizing that Arthur was the most important person in his life: An hour after receiving Freya's text, Merlin had gone into the kitchen, where his mother was preparing dinner, and asked her what was wrong with him that would make Freya want to break it off with him when things had been going so well. She had given him a sad smile, shook her head, and told him to sit down. She then told him there was something he needed to understand. Freya was jealous of Arthur, was what she said next, and when Merlin had given her a look of confusion, his mother had sat across from her son and had smiled her motherly smile.
"Do you not see it, Merlin? Has it never crossed your mind that what you and Arthur have is deeper than mere friendship?" Then Merlin's mother reached across the table and took Merlin's hands in hers. "You told me earlier this year that there was something missing in you and Freya's relationship. I didn't say anything then, because it was up to you to figure it out. I think perhaps the events of this past week might have answered what, or who, was missing."
As Merlin listened to unfamiliar music on Arthur's mobile, he finally understood and felt a fool. Of course Freya would be upset. The bloke she had been snogging and having sex with was in love with someone else.
"Merlin?" Arthur's voice said over the mobile, sounding as familiar and soothing as ever. Merlin swallowed. He wanted to say so much. Part of him knew he should be sensible and take things slowly, but the impatient side of him longed to waste no time and tell Arthur he loved him. In the end, he decided to compromise.
"Hey, Arthur. There's another rugby game tomorrow…."