Pairing/s: Not really
Character/s: Merlin, Lance, Percy, Leon, Gwaine, Gwen, OMC
Summary: The guys come over to help Merlin with some painting
Word Count: 1184 (never repentant if it is needed)
Author's Notes: No. 10 in my Choices series http://archiveofourown.org/series/310104
P.S. Yes, I know the title sucks but I couldn't think of anything else
Merlin held the phone to his ear with his shoulder while he filled the sippie cup. “How’s Geoffrey?”
“He’s fine though his gout’s been acting up again.”
Merlin sighed, “You need to stop feeding him so much sausage and cawl.”
Hunith gushed, “Oh sweetheart, you worry about us too much. We’re thinking about going to see Gaius.”
Merlin shook his head and smiled, “You should definitely go see Gaius. It’ll do you good to get out of town for a bit.”
“That’s what I was thinking. And we could visit Dragoon.” She heard the sharp intake. “You need to get over this Merlin, he’s your grandfather.”
Merlin handed Tyr the cup, keeping a pleasant look on his face. “He lied to us, for years.”
Hunith sighed, “He’s just a lonely old man who has made his fair share of mistakes.”
Merlin tried not to sound dismissive. “Whatever Mum. I have to go. Tyr needs a cleanup.”
Hunith understood that bringing up his grandfather would just turn Merlin off. “Ok Cariad, I love you both. Give Tyr a kiss for me.”
Merlin did his best to sound happy. “I will. Love you too Mum. Give Geoffrey my best.”
“I will, bye bye.” Hunith hung up before he could say another word.
Merlin turned to the baby sitting in the highchair. “Well little man, did you enjoy your snack?” The baby merely stared at him with big blue eyes, sippie cup wedged firmly in his mouth. The doorbell at the side door rang. “I’ll just get that. You stay right here.”
Merlin went from the finished kitchen through the raw dining room through the mostly finished living room into the stairwell landing to the side door. He stood for a moment admiring Lance’s profile through the glass door. There had been a time long ago when he had harbored a five minute crush for his best friend. And he wouldn’t deny that he still thought of Lance as an extraordinarily handsome man. He opened the door, the screen door and stepped aside, “Hey Lance.”
“Hey Merlin.” Lance entered holding up two cans of light green paint. “Percy and Gwaine will be here in about 10 minutes.”
“Excellent. Tyr just needs a quick cleanup. I will just leave the door open for the others.” Merlin turned to head back to the kitchen. “You can leave those in the dining room.”
“Gwen, Morgana and Leon will be here before long as well.” Lance set the cans down as they passed through the dining room.
As soon as he entered the kitchen, Merlin removed the tray from Tyr’s highchair and moved to set it by the sink. “So how are you?”
Lance smiled at Tyr. “Hey Little Man.” He then turned his attention to Merlin and his question. “All is well. Starting renovations on the new homeless shelter.”
Merlin took a wet washcloth to Tyr, cleaning his hands and face. “That’s good. We could really use it.”
Lance poked around the kitchen for a moment before he spoke. “So I talked to Arthur earlier this week.”
Merlin schooled his features as he picked Tyr up and moved toward the changing station he had created in a closet off the kitchen. He hadn’t given much thought to Arthur, too busy with his new job, new house and new baby. He had been a little shocked to see him at the wedding but otherwise whatever feelings he had had for the man, good or bad, seemed so long ago and far away. Lance, however, didn’t mention things like this just to make casual conversation. In fact, he, and most of his friends, had gone out of their way not to mention Arthur. It did peak his curiosity but not enough to ask questions. He simply said “Ok” as he laid the baby down to change him.
Lance had thought hard about how much he wanted to tell and decided that there were some things best left unsaid. “He was at Morgana’s hamster funeral on Thursday and just learned that you had moved back.”
Somehow Merlin thought one of his friends would have mentioned it but now that he thought of how careful they seemed to be with him. “Hamster funeral?” He glanced for second at Lance trying to figure out what response he had expected.
Lance licked his lips and laughed nervously. “You know Morgana.” He simply couldn’t tell what Merlin was thinking. “He learned about it through some of Morgana’s land agent friends. He asked about you, wanted to see you.”
Merlin didn’t say anything, not sure what to think, letting the act of dealing with Tyr be a bit of cover. He had had an initial worry that he would run into Arthur but other than that moment at the wedding he had been a bit relieved he hadn’t run into him. Lance continued, “I told him I would speak to you.” He stopped not sure what else to say.
Merlin finished strapping a pair of shoes onto Tyr’s feet and picked him up. He stepped out of the closet into the kitchen and stood there for a moment, thinking. Lance shifted nervously on his feet. “I’m sorry I brought it up..”
Merlin interrupted him. “It’s ok. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I think it a bit unfair that you are caught in the middle.” He stopped as he heard the side door open and Gwaine shout through the house. “Hey, it’s just us.”
Percy was the first into the kitchen. “Merlin, Lance.” He nodded at each of them and then put his hands out. “I’ve come to see Little Big Man.”
Tyr giggled as Merlin gave him a kiss and handed him over to Percy who pulled him into his arms and walked off with him babbling nonsense. Gwaine just shook his head and smirked, “Got any beer?”
Merlin moved to block the fridge. “Not until the painting is finished.”
Gwaine said in a false miff, “Killjoy.”
“Nope, I just want the paint neatly on the walls,” Merlin smirked.
“Fine, I’ll go set things up,” Gwaine groused.
Gwen chose that moment to appear. She gave Lance a quick kiss. “Morgana’s in the car with the girls.”
Merlin moved to pick up a diaper bag from the closet and hand it to Gwen. “Percy has him. I just gave him a snack and changed him.”
Gwen smiled, “Maybe I will just take him too.” She laughed as she left.
Leon stuck his head in, “Are we doing this?”
“Yeah, just give us a sec,” Merlin responded before he turned to face Lance. “Look, I know you and the others have been protecting me and I thank you for that.”
Lance blushed slightly, “What are friends for.”
Merlin smiled brightly at him, “We were bound to run into each other eventually. It could be good this way. Just let me think about it.”
Lance nodded, “Of course.” A loud banging sound came from the dining room. “I think we better get in there before Gwaine destroys the house.” Merlin laughed and followed him out of the kitchen.