Title: Liking A Boy
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Will
Summary: Merlin finds out something interesting.
Warnings: ModernAU. Angst.
Word Count: 900
Prompt: "Do you like me" for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Unbetaed. Final part of the kid-fic-series: MAKING NEW FRIENDS
1. MAKING NEW FRIENDS. 2. THEIR FIRST FIGHT. 3. FRIENDS IN SECRET
"Hey, Merlin," Arthur said as he and Merlin had the consoles of the Nintendo gripped in their hands. Merlin was trying to maneuver around Arthur's car on the screen.
"Yeah?" Merlin said, almost getting ahead as he narrowly escaped the blue car on his left.
"Do you like me?"
"What?" Merlin nearly dropped the console on the floor. "What?" His heart sank into his stomach, and he was at a loss for words. How was he supposed--what would he even say--he didn't think about that. Not for a long time. For God's sake, Merlin thought if he just stayed friends with Arthur in secret, that would be enough. No one would have to know.
"Like how Gwen likes me. You know? Do you?" Arthur asked, calm as a cucumber. His eyes were fixed on the screen and he hadn't looked at Merlin for even one second.
Merlin placed the console next to Arthur on the sofa and left the room.
He went into his kitchen and poured himself a glass of water. He tried to think about everything else in the world but what Arthur had just asked him. Sure, he liked hanging out with Arthur. Making him laugh made Merlin happy but it didn't mean he liked him. Not like that! He felt the same way about Gwaine too, but somehow he knew whatever he felt for Arthur was nothing like Gwaine. If anything, the way Gwaine talked about Morgana was how Merlin felt about Arthur.
He concentrated on the game on the Nintendo. He liked the way the cars moved left and right and he wondered if he could draw designs like that for his own game. He'd been drawing in his notebook for days now, and if his mum got him books on video game designs, he could really learn how to do that by himself.
Merlin's thoughts had only managed to distract him a little bit because Arthur came looking for him in the kitchen.
"I'm tired, Arthur. I think you should go home now."
"Wait," Arthur said, pulling on Merlin's arm. "Come on, it was just a question."
"Why would you even ask me that?" Merlin said trying to sound disgusted. "Boys don't like other boys, Arthur."
"That's not true," Arthur said quietly. "My mum's brother lives with another man. Mum says they're like practically married, but since my father doesn't like them, they don't come around the house."
"Well, good for them," Merlin sneered. "I don't like you, Arthur. We're just friends. Besides--"
"I like you," Arthur said simply.
"What?" Merlin said again, his resolve melting.
Arthur came close towards him, and Merlin took a step back.
"Don't be afraid, I won't do anything you don't want," Arthur said.
"What do you want?" Merlin spat, but he stopped moving.
Arthur kept stepping closer and closer until he leaned in and kissed Merlin on the cheek. "I like you too, but we can't tell anyone. Is that okay?"
Merlin looked at Arthur confused. If he didn't want them to tell anyone, then why did he tell Merlin? He opened his mouth to say something but then the doorbell rang, before the front door started to open.
Merlin stepped away from Arthur and went to see who it was. Only one person rang the doorbell before he opened the door. Just as he'd thought, Will was standing by the door, grinning at Merlin.
"What is he doing here?" Will asked, sounding cross.
"We were just playing--" Merlin began to say when Arthur cut him off with, "I was just leaving. See you later, Merlin."
Will went to a different school than Merlin and Gwaine. Merlin's mum had wanted Merlin to go a school closer to her work so she'd switched flats so he could go to the new school. Gwaine had stubbornly followed him, but Will's parents didn't want Will to change school so he'd stayed back. Now, every once in a while, Will simply showed up at Merlin's flat to see him. Usually, it was okay, but ever since Merlin had become friends in secret with Arthur, Will seemed to hate him. Merlin had no idea why.
"I can't believe you're still friends with him," Will said, plopping himself on the sofa.
Merlin shrugged and sat next to him, their knees touching. "He's nice to me."
"I'm nice to you," Will said.
Merlin rolled his eyes. "Yeah, when you're not busy insulting me or Gwaine. Anyway, anything good happen at school?" Merlin missed his old school, no matter how much fun the new one was, and with Gwaine there, things didn't seem too different. Besides, there was Arthur to consider too. But he missed seeing Kara, and Will, and Sophie.
"A new boy started last week. I think...I think I like him," Will said in a casual tone; clearly he didn't think it was totally weird to like a boy.
"You do? You like a boy?"
"Yeah," Will said, defensively. "Nothing wrong with liking a boy, I think. My mum says love is love. But you know, I don't love him...I just like looking at him. And like playing rugby--"
"You're such a girl," Merlin teased, throwing a pillow at Will, still he was relieved at least his best friend would have been okay when Merlin, in the future, would tell the world that he liked a boy.