Title: Blindingly Obvious
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Morgana
Summary: It was obvious to everyone but them.
Word Count: 1000
Author's Notes: Hope you enjoy.
“Uh-oh,” Arthur said. He twisted around as the door opened, a flurry of cool air whipping around the café he was in. “It’s the Grinch.”
Merlin snorted with laughter, then caught Arthur’s eye and dissolved into giggles. Arthur also laughed. Merlin was the only one who laughed at him – with him – like that anymore. Arthur supposed that was what happened when you spend most of your time with the same person. Especially when that person was your best friend and had been through the best and worst times in your life with you.
While Merlin was distracted by Morgana and Leon coming over to join them, Arthur slipped an arm around Merlin’s shoulder so he could swipe his finger through the cream on the man’s drink without him noticing.
“Arthur!” Morgana exclaimed, sounding scandalised. Merlin glanced at her, then looked at Arthur and scowled when he saw Arthur sucking his finger. He looked to his drink, then back at Arthur, who shrugged and smiled innocently around his finger. Merlin rolled his eyes, shook his head and stuck his own finger into the cream.
“You two,” Morgana said. Her voice was an exasperated sigh and Arthur frowned. She looked on the verge of saying more until she caught his eye and realised that this was neither the time nor the place. Arthur couldn’t help but get annoyed. She was insisting his friendship with Merlin should be something more than that, that it was clear they were both feeling it. Arthur knew precisely what he was feeling and did not need his harpy of a sister interfering.
Merlin nudged him in the ribs and tilted his head. Arthur shook his own head, smiled and tried to reach for the drink again. Words weren’t needed; Merlin knew something was troubling him and Arthur had made it clear he didn’t want to talk about it. Not here and now, at least. Besides, what was he supposed to tell Merlin? That Morgana – and everyone else by the way she spoke about it – thought they were in love with each other and neither of them knew it?
This time, Merlin was ready for him and moved the drink out of the way. Arthur let it go – and was relieved that Morgana did the same thing. The rest of the catch-up was friendly and playful, just the way it should be at this time of year. As the sky darkened, Merlin suddenly gasped and sprung to his feet.
“I haven’t got anything for Mum!” He exclaimed, dashing from the shop.
Arthur counted to three, then picked up Merlin’s forgotten scarf and held his arm out behind him. Seconds later, he felt Merlin snatch it from him even as he turned and hurried out of the shop again. Arthur fondly shook his head, then realised that Morgana was watching him.
“What?” He demanded, knowing he was sounding rude but not prepared to put up with her.
“Nothing,” Morgana said. To Arthur’s surprise, she sounded sad. What made it worse was that he knew she was sad for him.
Arthur had no idea what the hot, powerful feeling surging through his body was. He liked it, and he didn’t. It made him feel out of control, made him want to storm over there and…
He shook his head. Why did it matter to him who Merlin danced with? There had never been any problems, not when Merlin had confessed to being gay and Arthur had realised he was bi. They had got through it, mercilessly teasing each other but not letting anyone else say a word. Arthur had never cared who Merlin got with, just as Merlin never cared who he was with.
But that didn’t explain why the first thing that went through his mind when he had seen Merlin dressed for the club was that his friend had suddenly become hot. Arthur covered it up with an insult and blamed it on the drink that Gwaine had forced down his neck earlier that night.
Now though… Now, Arthur knew it was no alcohol making him feel this surge of jealousy. It was the man’s hands groping Merlin’s arse, how closely pressed together, the way the man leant forward to whisper something in Merlin’s ear.
“Arthur? Are you alright?” Morgana sounded a mixture of concerned and annoyed and Arthur realised she was trying to pass him a drink. Had no doubt been trying for the entire time he had been staring at Merlin.
“Ye-no.” Arthur had no idea what made him change his mind. Morgana would gloat for forever if she realised. But he couldn’t keep this feeling to himself – he wasn’t sure whether he was about to cry or punch someone. Morgana shifted until she could follow his eye-line and her hand rested lightly on Arthur’s arm.
“Oh sweetheart,” she murmured softly. “You really had no idea, did you?”
“Was it really that obvious?” Arthur didn’t understand; how could his sister know what he was feeling long before he had realised? It wasn’t right or fair!
“Yes. Only because I know he feels the same. You can see it in his eyes, in both of you.”
“What do I do?”
“I think,” Morgana said, “you should go over there.”
Arthur made to protest but she hushed him.
“You should go over there and make it as obvious to him as it is to me how you feel.”
Arthur had never listened to his sister his entire life. It was a long-running joke in the family – Morgana asked him to do something, he did the opposite. But this time, Arthur nodded. He took a swig of his drink, thrust it at Morgana and stalked across the dancefloor.
“Is there a problem, mate?” The man growled as Arthur pushed him away from Merlin.
“Yes,” Arthur said. Merlin looked like he was about to protest so Arthur did the only thing he could think of. Snaking a hand around Merlin’s neck, he pulled him closer and kissed him deeply.