Title: With the Help of My Friends
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gwen
Summary: Arthur doesn't understand why he cares about Merlin, while Merlin doesn't understand why Arthur won't notice him.
Warnings: Oblivious boys.
Word Count: 574
Prompt: #195 Friendship
Author's Notes: Part four of Lab Coats & Scrubs which can be found here.
Arthur doesn't move. He's petrified behind the wheel and he's still parked outside Merlin's flat. He isn't even aware of how much time has passed because he doesn't dare to look at the clock. He doesn't want to feel sillier than he already does. There is something wrong with him.
He must be sick.
His chest feels constricted, like not enough air has passed through his lungs. His palms are sweaty, and he keeps on reliving the minutes he spent in the presence of Mercy Hospital's clumsiest nurse.
Yes, there is something not right with him.
He entertains the possibility of Merlin being the culprit of this strange malady he's suffering from. But that can't be.
Arthur hasn't forgotten the first time he stumbled upon Merlin, those bright blue eyes were wild and he managed to fall on Arthur because he didn't notice the sign which clearly prevented people from walking on the WET FLOOR. But obviously Merlin wasn't all people, he happened to be accident prone and Arthur suspected he might become a fixture on the emergency room as much as the hospital's patients. He wasn't too far off.
What he didn't saw coming was how brilliant Merlin was going to be at his job. The care and effort he put. How truly nice he was to the patients, he had a bedside manner Arthur didn't. Where he was cold and straight to the point, Merlin was all warmth and a helping hand.
Sometimes, Merlin even calls him out on it, turning the entire conversation into a full fledged argument. Merlin has the peculiar ability of riling him up.
Soon his friends started joking about his obvious care and interest for the new nurse, but he always says it wasn't something of importance. That it was normal professional curiosity.
Gwaine always told him it was bullshit, but Arthur gladly ignored him.
He's a doctor, specializing in the heart but is completely oblivious to the wanderings of his own.
Arthur finally sets in motion with one last glance towards the place where Merlin had disappeared and drives away.
It takes Merlin all of five minutes between climbing the stairs, getting inside his flat and grabbing the phone, before he's gushing to Gwen what went on in Arthur's car.
Disappointment comes off of him in waves.
"Um, did you even try to engage him?" Gwen's sweet tone asks from the other end of the line.
"How? He's not the easiest person to get through." Merlin sighs, dropping down on the sofa.
"Oh, yes. Tell me about it. He's legendary in the nurses station."
Merlin snorts. He's noticed. Five months in the hospital and counting, and he's seen how Doctor Pendragon is a legend in the making of Camelot's Mercy.
The ceiling looks impossibly intriguing at that moment, and he remains silent, thinking about Arthur and how he went and put his eyes in the one guy who doesn't seem to notice he's right there. Walking the same corridors on a daily basis. It's discouraging.
"Oh, sorry. I got sidetracked," he apologizes to Gwen.
"By your knight in shinning armor?"
"Come on, let's met up for dinner and we'll keep on complaining and praising Arthur all at the same time," Gwen says.
Merlin smiles, her proposition is better that wallowing in self-pity and wanting to rip Arthur's head off.
"All right. Let's."
He does get by with the help of his friends.