Title: The Waiting
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin, Merlin/Percival
Character/s: Merlin, Percival
Summary:For months Merlin has been waiting for Arthur, expecting something that might never happen but maybe his doubts are what's standing in the way.
Word Count: 610
Prompt: #199 For an Hour
Author's Notes: Part 8 of Lab Coats & Scrubs. You can find it right here or here on AO3.
"I like it here. It's calm," Percy says, slumping back against the wooden backrest of the bench.
Above them the wind rises and shakes the trees, birds sing and circle around. The sun is almost down painting the sky orange and Merlin doesn't feel like going home. Not yet.
The idea of coming here to this secluded part of the woods, far from the path of runners and pet owners was his. He needed to run away from his own life and his thoughts. When he had taken the job at Mercy Hospital he had been excited for a new beginning, a part of him still is, but it's been harder than he thought at first.
New house, new friends, new job. Everything so unfamiliar for the first few weeks it hurt to go back to his empty flat.
"I did missed you Merlin."
Percy's words take him by surprise not for the first time. Since they went out for dinner on Valentine's Percy has been by his side, bringing a bit of his past with him. It's comforting. But he doesn't want to fall into the easiness of their friendship. One day Percy is going to leave again, and he's going to miss him even more. He's the oldest friend he has.
"Me too. I had missed our talks. "
Merlin rolls his eyes, giving Percy a gentle shove. "Yes, just that."
"I get it. Now you're all about Arthur."
"I should've never told you about him."
"How could you not? You can't hide you're constantly thinking about someone."
He nods. Merlin is well aware he can't no longer hide or deny the fact Arthur Pendragon makes him lose his mind in more ways than one. He smiles and stares at Percy's calm profile. Since he first stumbled upon the bench, the view and the shade of the trees he's been coming back this spot to think and unwind. It even occurred to him that one day he could bring Arthur and maybe he'd hold his hand and silence would be enough.
But alas, Percy is the one sitting next to him enjoying the view. Although it's not that bad.
"What?" Percy asks noticing his gaze.
"How did you find me?"
"I still know your mother and Facebook did the rest."
He crosses his arms, wondering why the last time he spoke to his mother she forgot to mention she was the one to give Percy his new address. Percy puts one hand on his shoulder and the warmth of his touch spreads through him. Merlin isn't quite sure who leans in first but then their lips are touching.
The kiss is soft, familiar, and yet foreign. Like they're almost strangers and it's all wrong.
They break apart, Percy licks his lips and shakes his head. Merlin narrows his eyes.
Merlin is the first to burst into laughter, Percy following him. Something inside him untightens, the world looks clearer.
"We definitely made the right choice," Percy says, "We're better friends than we'll ever be a couple."
Merlin nods. A lot. Truer words have never been spoken.
"Maybe you should stop thinking about it and actually go after the doctor," Percy prompts.
"I'm not sure. He..."
Just the thought of facing Arthur and laying it all before him makes him nervous. He can hear clearly the restless beating of his heart.
"Just do it or you'll regret it forever. You'll never know what'll happen."
For all he knows Percy might be right. If he confronts Arthur and leaves his fears behind things could turn up for the best.
He has a decision to make.