Title: Good Business Practice, IV
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin and Arthur had a talk.
Warnings: Sexual content suggested.
Word Count: 1500 (Hi, you said, "anything you want.")
Prompt: "Anything you want" for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Part four of the story "Good Business Practice." Part one, Part two, Part three. All my thanks for schweet_heart for the beta. All the remaining mistakes are mine.
Merlin walked slowly towards Arthur's bedroom. He'd no idea what he was going to say but he also knew if he didn't do something, Morgana was going to eat him alive.
He knocked on Arthur's door and there was no answer.
"Arthur...?" he whispered and knocked again.
When Arthur said "come in," it was as if it took every ounce of his resolve.
"Hey, can we talk?" Merlin asked, opening the door but remaining in the hall.
"Sure," Arthur replied nonchalantly. He'd removed his suit jacket, cufflinks, his tie, and his shoes. His back was facing Merlin as Arthur returned his things to where they belonged.
Merlin, as always unable to help himself, glanced down at Arthur's arse and really appreciated the way they looked in those trousers. Damn.
"You wanted what...?" Arthur said eventually when he was done hanging things in the closet and turned to face Merlin.
"Right," Merlin said. "Can I come in or do you want to go somewhere—"
"It's fine," Arthur said gesturing with his hands.
Merlin walked into the room and closed the door behind him. Why? He had no idea. Maybe if the door was closed, then Arthur wouldn't kick him out. Sure, that was logical.
"Can you tell me why you're cross with me?" Merlin asked, taking a step into the room.
Arthur sat down on the bed and looked up. He rolled up the sleeves of his shirt while he said, "Why? You're always cross with me."
"I know, but..."
"But?" Arthur asked, sounding so tired as if Merlin were the last person on the planet he wanted to talk to.
"I'm always cross with you, but I don't actually leave. I mean, I sat there while you showered even though I had things to do— and then helped you find clothes to wear— I thought it was just this thing... it's clear I did something to piss you off and I don't want—"
"Why?" Arthur asked.
Merlin was really fucking getting tired of the word why. "Why what?" he snapped.
"You pissed me off and you don't want that. Why?" Arthur asked and Merlin didn't say anything. "Are you afraid you'll be out of a job?"
"My father won't sack you just because you piss me off. I piss him off all the time—"
"I don't care about my job, Arthur."
"That's not true."
"Okay, fine. I care about my job, but I don't care about my job more than...I mean, I care about—" Shit.
Arthur's smirk was so bloody cocky Merlin just wanted to walk over to him and slap it off. Or kiss it off. Either one would have been a good option. His heart was pounding a million miles per second, and he was most definitely panicking.
"I'd like to think despite everything else, we were friends," Merlin said, hoping that would be a good enough saving grace.
"Like how you and Gwaine are friends?" Arthur asked, an unknown sort of anger returning to his eyes.
"Are you actually jealous?" Merlin asked. "Is that what this is about? Are you jealous I mentioned his hot arse?"
Arthur groaned—almost shouted in frustration—and charged up to Merlin. Merlin took a step back, but it wasn't long before Arthur had Merlin pinned against the back of his door. His body was pressing against Merlin, and his hands were braced against the door, on either side of Merlin's face.
"Take that back," Arthur said.
Merlin's eyes widened. "I don't find Gwaine attractive, Arthur," he said quickly. Then, of course, he added, "Gwaine's an attractive bloke, sure, but he's not my type. He could never be. I think of him like a brother and whatever I said about his ar—body, and his hair, I was just trying you to get ready fast. I didn't mean—"
Arthur pressed his hips against Merlin; his face fell against Merlin's neck and he gently nuzzled against Merlin's skin. Merlin felt like his body was on fire, and he almost didn't believe this was really happening. What was Arthur doing? At the same time, he didn't want Arthur to stop.
"Do you even know how much I try to get you to notice me?" Arthur asked, his hot breath against Merlin's skin.
"I notice you all the time, Arthur," Merlin responded truthfully. "I've noticed you since I started noticing people."
"Then why..." Arthur grabbed Merlin's sides and ground his groin against Merlin's. Arthur was hard, and Merlin ached to feel him.
"I don't want to be just another one of your tabloid boys," Merlin replied, turning his face away from Arthur when his lips ghosted against Merlin's. "That's when I care more about my job—"
"It's not like…Not with you, Merlin," Arthur said and Merlin wished he could believe him. "That tabloid thing— was months ago. I haven't been with anyone since I got back home. Since I've been living here. Since I've been seeing you."
"I've noticed you too, Merlin," Arthur said, taking a step back and adding some distance between the two of them. Merlin immediately missed Arthur's body. Fuck, why did he have to go and be all honest and proper, when he could have easily had Arthur pressed up against him?
"I've noticed you since I started noticing too. But...I was always away at Boarding School, University, Graduate School. I could never—I could never try to pull you and then what? Go away? I could never ask you to wait for me. I mean...I moved back after my Master's because of you, Merlin. Because, I'm always thinking about you."
"And what about all the other blokes you've fucked? Not the ones that were just in the papers. You've had boyfriends, Arthur. I know that. And you're bisexual, your father expects you to marry—"
"I can't marry a woman with the way I feel about you," Arthur said, grabbing Merlin's shoulders and Merlin was glad the touch was back. He was so utterly pathetic.
"And the company you've kept in the shower?"
"Will. John. Grant. Jacob," Arthur said.
"Why—why are you naming my ex-boyfriends?" Merlin asked, confused, and enraged. Did Arthur fuck all of his ex-boyfriends?
"I've had boyfriends when you've had boyfriends," Arthur said. "I am the most pathetic person in the world. The company I've kept in the shower is my hand, and thoughts of you, Merlin."
"I don't understand—"
"You were going to shift in with Trent, yeah? Is that his name?"
"Trevor," Merlin said, scowling. Then he paused for a moment. "But that was before he got that job offer in New Zealand, and I didn't want to move so far away from Gaius—"
"That was Jefferson. The night I found out— when I'd thought you were going to go live in fucking Australia—"
"New Zealand," Merlin said. "Wait, the tabloid bloke. The Secretary's great nephew?"
Arthur backed away completely from Merlin, he turned around, ran a hand through his hair and then sat down on his bed. "I like you, Merlin. I've liked you for fucking forever. I want you to stay on as the junior accountant because eventually you'll replace Bayard, and be the family accountant. Because I want you near me—all the time."
Merlin chuckled to himself. Arthur wasn't pathetic. If anything, Arthur was being so brave right now and telling him the truth—putting it all out in the open. If Merlin had simply opened his eyes, accepted the advances, that looked like advances, were actually advances from Arthur, they could have already been together. He was the idiotic one.
"And now you're laughing at me. Fucking fantastic," Arthur said, rubbing the back of his neck.
"I'm not laughing at you," Merlin said. He closed the distance between them and sat down on the bed next to Arthur. Their knees bumped together, but Arthur didn't pull away. "All I had to do was mention Gwaine's arse and you were all over me. If I'd known that was the trick, I would have used—"
Arthur turned towards Merlin, grabbed the side of his face and kissed him. When the initial shock wore off, Merlin kissed him back. Arthur nipped and bit on Merlin's lower lip before sliding his tongue across it. Merlin opened his mouth slightly and Arthur pushed his tongue in, and Merlin cherished the taste of it in his mouth. He'd not known how much he needed it until he'd finally got it. He loved the way Arthur tasted. Hints of salt from the chips, the sweetness of the sugar from the tea were enveloped in the wet kiss Merlin never wanted to end.
Finally, they broke apart for some air, and then they were at it again.
"Merlin..." Arthur breathed as he rested his forehead against Merlin's.
"I've wanted to take your suit off all day," Arthur said.
"Good," Merlin said and smiled into another kiss. "Because I've wanted to have your legs wrapped around me all day."
Finally, Merlin's suit was getting ruined. He didn't mind one bit.
READ PART FIVE