Title: An Old Knot in the Heart
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur is trying to hide from fans and his bandmates alike when he meets a mysterious man.
Warnings: Brief mentions of alcohol and hints of drugs.
Word Count: 1,376 (:o)
Prompt: #217 Song Prompt: Classic Rock
Author's Notes: I really had a hard time choosing a song because there are too many that I love. For this I went with Magic Man by Heart, because of reasons ;) P.S. I apologize beforehand for any errors found in the post, I'm doing this on my cell using the school's wi-fi.
His back hits the brick wall behind him, supporting him for a bit until Arthur regains control over his body. He slides off little by little, until he's sitting on the pavement, legs outstretched before him. Arthur takes a deep breath closing his eyes, exhaling in exhaustion. The hours have been too long and pass excruciatingly slow. He flexes his fingers relieving the tension accumulated in his muscles from days before, maybe weeks. Inside the venue the party is still going, alcohol flowing around and whatever they've found tonight to delude themselves into a sense of comfort going from table to table. Their loud voices and boisterous laughter mixing together with the dirty bass of the dance music playing for their pleasure. Bodies shaking, rubbing together. The cacophony of sounds caused him a headache and look for the nearest exit.
Arthur is tired of it all. His head drops back as he contemplates ditching the place, going back home—wherever that is—but thinks better of it. Sooner than later his bandmates will find him and then drag him to the next venue so he can pour out his heart in front of thousands. Leon will be there to remind him of his duties. And tomorrow he'll be giving another radio interview, answering the same old questions. There is no point in trying. He never excepted to be so jaded at his age. When they first got together he figured it was about the music, the noise and the sound. Because they wanted and believed in the same things. Perfect harmony.
As it turns out fame comes with the package. They can't be a band without adoring fans and wild parties. Some like Gwaine are mode adept to this scene, he's easygoing always sporting a smile. Meanwhile Arthur has cultivated a more reserved persona. Specially when it comes to stage antics. Which does nothing to stop people from wanting to chat him up.
Once he might've thought he was ready for the applause and devotion, he was proud even arrogant when it came to his music. Not so much these days. There is something missing.
He's thinking about texting Morgana to come rescue him, given nobody messes with her, not even their manager, when the door next to him flies open and someone stumbles outside. Feet stopping right by Arthur's side.
"Oops, sorry mate. Didn't see you there," a voice says. Arthur sighs, ready to battle it out with a drunk for a moment of peace and tell the poor sod to bugger off. He looks to the side to face whoever is intruding on him, opening his mouth with a biting answer ready on the tip of his tongue. He stops and stares, deflates at the sight.
The intruder must be around his age, lean, tall, dressed in the tightest pair of jeans it makes you wonder how he managed to put them on. But what really catches Arthur's attention are his eyes. He has never seen eyes so blue. He feels like the air has been sucked out of his lungs.
"You all right?" He asks. Arthur realizes he's been staring, immediately hiding his face by looking down at the floor. There's a piece of gum stuck there, near his left leg. It's endlessly fascinating.
"Yes," he mumbles, berating himself mentally for even sounding out of breath. "I was trying to hide."
His mouths open in an oh. "Sorry then, I didn't mean to interrupt you. I can go." He nods towards where he came from.
"No. You can stay," Arthur says hurriedly, perplexed by his actions, wondering why he stopped him from walking away. Almost like he wants this stranger's company.
He nods joining Arthur on the pavement. The man's smile is relaxed, his long fingers writing something invisible on the floor between them. "I'm Merlin," he says at length. Arthur's stomach drops, there's a tingle on the back of his neck. When he meets Merlin's gaze again his eyes seem bluer, earnest, searching for something in Arthur's features.
"What?" Arthur asks, eyebrows knitting in confusion. His right hand going to his cheek wiping a smudge that isn't there.
Merlin shakes his head, chuckles. "I thought we might have met before."
Arthur is hit with disappointment, dropping his gaze and snorting. He's being a fool. Letting himself be carried away by a pair of pretty eyes. Of course he is after something, not just a moment of silence. He wants to ask if he wants an autograph or a shag with all the bitterness in the world, instead he goes with, "I did play in front of a crowd minutes ago."
Merlin is undeterred by his scornful tone. "No, that's not it. Everyone here might know your band, your name, but I was thinking maybe we go way back and that I know you quite well. I could be wrong though."
"I'm sure I'd remember if I had seen you before, you seem hard to forget," Arthur answers.
Merlin smiles, pushing hair behind his ear. "Sure about that?"
He hums, goes back to writing on the floor. Arthur wants to reach over and feel him under his fingertips. "Have you ever missed someone so much it physically hurts?"
Arthur blinks, not understanding where Merlin is going with this. "I'm not sure. Possibly. I don't remember."
"You said you'd remember me," Merlin whispers, Arthur has trouble catching every word. He leans in closer, gets a whiff of aftershave and sea salt, a memory of a river floods him, images he's not altogether sure belong to him.
"Nothing. Fancy going home with me?" He catches Arthur off guard with his non sequitur. Merlin's eyes sparkle, hide so many things Arthur can't decipher.
Arthur almost blurts out yes, he's been wanting to run away since their set ended and the first wave of congratulations made it their way. He doesn't though.
"What makes you think I would go with you? I could be in danger, lots of maniacs around these days," Arthur tells him, catching the way Merlin's lips curl up, one of his hands catches Arthur's pulling him closer.
"I thought you might want to be with me," he answers, not faltering, like Merlin is convinced Arthur wants nothing else. Like he knows him.
Heat pools in his stomach, this far Merlin is all Arthur can see, he licks his lips eyes falling on Merlin's. He's being incredibly stupid.
"And what's going to happen if I say yes?"
"Whatever you want Arthur Pendragon." The way Merlin says his name, as if he's been saying it for years makes Arthur's head spin.
Merlin gets up, extending his hand for him to take. Arthur looks between the door leading him back to the party and Merlin, beautiful, mysterious, strange, willing to listen to Arthur. Asking things Arthur doesn't know. Merlin who already feels more familiar than the hundreds of faces clamoring his name. And when was the last time he had someone as beautiful in bed with him?
Arthur takes his hand, pushes himself up to stand face to face with Merlin. "I don't even know what I'm doing."
"We're leaving together and by morning you'll know me completely," Merlin murmurs before he presses their lips together. His eyes shut close, moving his lips and opening his mouth to let Merlin in, to let him taste him, his tongue tracing the inside of his mouth, sending shivers down his spine. Merlin wraps his arms around him, Arthur likes the feeling, wants more. Needs it. Wants the night to last long enough to get lost in Merlin and make his brain stop for once. When they part his forehead lands on Merlin's shoulder, the night breeze is colder but in Merlin's arms there is only warmth.
"I wish I knew what is it about you. I just met you."
"I'm magic," Merlin responds easily much to Arthur's amusement, "Don't fight it Arthur. Do what you feel not what you think. I promise this is only beginning."
Arthur bursts out in laughter, frame shaking against Merlin's who joins him and kisses the side of his neck, holding him like Arthur belongs to him. Something tight he had never noticed before loosens in his chest and he doesn't fight it anymore.