Title: Merlin's Worries, Arthur's Distractions
Characters/pairings: Merlin/Arthur, Leon/Percival, Gwen, Hunith
Summary: Magic has been spotted in Ealdor and Merlin needs a distraction.
Warnings: sexual situations
Prompt 184: Infinite
A/N: Part nine of my reincarnation series Merlin and Arthur Live Again. I want to thank Lucy, who asked if I would write about Arthur's past relationships. If there are any other things anyone wants me to write about, please let me know, and, if it fits in, I'll do it.
"Last week, a local female citizen of Ealdor, population fifty-seven, was arrested. Details are sketchy, but it is believed that this female attempted to perform magic. While sorcery is not illegal, a new law went into effect last month requiring magics to register. This person was not registered, hence the detainment. We will continue to follow this story and keep you abreast of the latest developments. Jo-"
Merlin had heard enough; he turned off the telly and turned to see his mother's reaction, and, just as expected, her face was pale and she was staring at him, a look of abject terror on her face. Merlin attempted a smile. "It's okay, Mum, you know I'm careful. No one here knows about me."
"If you're found out, Merlin, they'll take you away from us. They won't listen to reason. The-"
Merlin had stood as she began speaking, walked to her, knelt, and taken her hands in his. "Mum, don't do this. There's no reason why anyone should suspect anything. None of the neighbors know. The only ones who ever knew were Arthur and his mother. You'll remember that they purposely did not tell Mr. Pendragon. There is nothing at all to worry about. I promise," Merlin said, hoping he sounded much more confident than he felt. The truth was he'd heard about the girl's arrest a few days earlier and had been on heightened alert since, thinking that at any second someone would come arrest him and take him away.
His mother nodded, but continued to look worried. "It's your father's work, Merlin. I fear his dealings will come back to you. He travels so much and we don't know what all he does, but we do know what he uses to do it. If he's caught, then you know they'll want to question and exploit you."
"Yeah, I know, but we can't worry about that," Merlin said, knowing that he had no other choice but to sound and act as if this didn't bother him. The last thing he wanted was for his mother to worry herself to death over this, and there was no doubt that she would do that very thing. Merlin knew that Hunith Emrys's life was her son. "It'll be okay." He kissed her on the forehead.
Thirty minutes later he received a text from Arthur:
Hey, Merlin. I know we talked for two hours earlier, but I just saw the news and figured you needed a distraction. Are you busy?
Merlin: No, I'm not busy. You know you can text or call anytime, and yes, distract me, please.
Arthur: Remember the two guys we went out with Saturday night?
Merlin: Yeah, really big blokes :-)
Arthur: Yeah, well, today Leon called and told me Percy and he are together.
Merlin: But I thought Leon was with your former girlfriend, Gwen.
Arthur: Yeah, they were, but she caught Percy and him together this morning and told Leon she never wanted to see him again and that she should have stayed with me, that I knew how to treat a lady.
Merlin: And does she know that you'd rather treat a bloke these days?
Arthur: She didn't, but she does now.
Merlin: And how did that go down?
Arthur: She called me just before I texted you and asked me if I wanted to meet her for drinks. She didn't go into any detail about what happened but told me she and Leon were finished and that she regretted ending things with me last year.
Arthur: I told her I was with someone else.
Arthur: She asked me who.
Merlin: You're enjoying this, aren't you?
Merlin: So, did you tell her who?
Arthur: I told her it was someone who didn't live in Camelot. Her single word reply: Merlin.
Merlin: And what did you say to that?
Arthur: I told her yes, it was you and that I was flattered and I respected her and thought fondly of our time together, but that my heart now belonged to you and I hoped she and I could still be friends.
Merlin: It works for Freya and me.
Arthur: You can be friends with anyone, Merlin. I don't make friends at all easily. My dad takes great pride in reminding me daily how much of a failure I am when it comes to being social.
Merlin: I'll never badmouth your father because hell hath no fury like me when someone speaks ill of either of my parents, but I so wish he could understand you like I do, Arthur.
Arthur: Me too, Merlin, but back to Gwen. She said yes, that she wants to be friends and that she wants to meet you properly, not just in passing. Then she asked me when we were moving in together. I had to set her straight and tell her that just because we are two men who are together, it doesn't mean we have to live together. I told her I plan to finish uni and you're about to begin and that we are in no hurry to become domestic, that we have the rest of our lives to do that. But I did tell her that when it happens she'll be the first to know.
Merlin: I look forward to that day :-) and Gwen sounds a lot like Freya.
Merlin was about to add to the text when his mother knocked on his door. "Come in, Mum," he said, before finishing the text:
Mum wants to talk so I've got to go. Talk to you tomorrow.
Arthur: Have a good night, Merlin.
Merlin: You, too, Arthur.
Merlin's mother walked into his room. "Your father just called."
"And?" asked a frantic Merlin, his breathing erratic.
"He wanted to tell me he accepted another job today; it has nothing to do with magic and the pay is substantially more. You can go to Avalon. Your opportunities are infinite, Merlin."