Title: Out of reach
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Freya
Summary: Arthur thinks that Merlin is entirely too magical and just that much out of reach. Modern Uni AU.
Warnings: angst, unrequited love (or so they think), pining.
Word Count: 604
Prompt: #197 Unrequited Love
Author's Notes: First time writing for Camelot Drabble. I always missed the sign-up window somehow. Figures that I’d make it in time for one that says that we’d have to write from experience. I did make quite a lot of changes to what had happened, but I really hope that the others involved in this story never find this.
Arthur looked away from his laptop screen towards his window and blinked. It was light out. When did it get light out? Last he remembered, it had been a little past 9 in the night and he had just sat down to work on his thesis. He must have worked all night and hadn’t even realized it. Which was a good thing, he supposed. He got plenty of work done without getting distracted.
A sudden grumble from his stomach reminded him that he hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday. He was dead tired and almost ready to flop onto his bed and sleep for eternity (or for a couple of hours before he had to meet with his advisor), but he decided to go grab at least a piece of toast.
Sluggishly, he dragged himself to the dorm’s shared kitchen. He was almost at the door when a burst of laughter from inside made him stumble to a stop.
He closed his eyes and tried to will the pain away. One would have thought that he was too tired to be jealous, but apparently not. He knew what he would see if he walked into the kitchen now. He knew that laughter. He knew the man that glorious sound belonged to - someone he can’t have, his mind helpfully supplied.
Arthur took a couple of steps forward until he could look into the kitchen through the porthole on the door and he saw him - them. Merlin and a girl, huddled together near the stove. His heart lurched, but he kept looking. It wasn’t an unfamiliar sight, but in the pearly morning light they looked so perfect together, like fairies or elves, pale skinned and dark haired. Whatever Merlin was saying was making the girl blush. Pretty, Arthur thought passingly, but he had eyes only for Merlin, who chose that moment to let out another joyful laugh, head thrown back and sunlight striking the edges of his profile, rimming it in gold. He looked so fragile and beautiful, Arthur feared he might disappear among the gleaming dust motes.
Startled at his own train of thought, Arthur shook his head to clear it. Sleep deprivation, that was all, he thought and as he watched Merlin lean in to kiss the girl’s red cheek, he wanted to turn away and run back to his room. Screw food, he just wanted oblivion. But the need to be closer to Merlin was so overpowering that before he knew it, he was opening the door and stepping into the kitchen.
“You know you can’t keep coming and hiding here whenever Will brings someone over,” Merlin told Freya, a teasing glint in his eyes. “He is going to think that you are as much a player as he is. How is he going to get his head out of his arse and ask you out if he thinks that?”
Freya huffed and elbowed Merlin, which only made him laugh some more as he tried to get the eggs done right.
“You are one to talk,” she muttered, wrestling the spatula from him to flip the egg expertly. “I don’t see you making any move towards Arthur,” she said, looking triumphant when Merlin choked on air and tried to look innocent.
Merlin turned when he felt her still and saw that she was looking towards the door, a weird expression on her face. Slowly he pivoted on the spot just as the door opened and Arthur walked in.
His smile felt forced, but he gave it all he got as he wished a cheerful “Good Morning!” to Arthur, a man he can’t ever have.