Title: Good Business Practice, Part VI
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Their relationship progresses...for the night, at least.
Warnings: Modern AU
Word Count: 540
Prompt: "Welcome Home" for camelot_drabble
Author's Notes: Almost finished w/ the story. Thanks to schweet_heart for the beta. All the remaining mistakes are mine.
Read parts: one / two / three / four / five
Arthur turned away from him and stared at the ceiling. "I didn't know if I was even your type. I didn't even know what they were like, the blokes you went out with. If you would even look at me like that. I mean, we sort of grew up together, yeah? You're Gaius's other godson. So it was like we're almost related."
"That's a weird analogy," Merlin said, but of course, he knew how Arthur felt. It was probably why he'd never come straight out about his feelings either. "I never said anything because—well—I'm the help, yeah? I know how your father feels about dating someone beneath your social status. He's always going off about Morgana's boyfriends—"
"I'm not Morgana. I don't hang by my father's every word. Maybe I used to, but not since I saw what he did with her last boyfriend, and the way he treats some of the employees at the house. I don't approve of that. I would never treat anyone like that. I'd hoped you knew me better than that, Merlin."
Merlin shrugged. "People change."
"I won't change," Arthur said.
"So what do we do now?" Merlin was nervous. Were they going to keep doing this? Keep it a secret? He thought about rolling over and getting dressed; it'd be best to get out before they got caught.
"We should get dressed first," Arthur said, but didn't move.
"Okay," Merlin said, unsure. "We?" Were they going to go out? "What did you have in mind?"
"I'm staying at your place," Arthur said so matter of factly Merlin wasn't sure what to make of it. Part of him was surprised by the directness of it, and the other part was slightly annoyed. Still, the idea of Arthur staying with him for the night was something of a dream come true, so Merlin wasn't going to complain about that. He was willing to welcome him home.
"Can I ask why?" Merlin said, almost afraid of the answer, but also curious.
Arthur stopped stuffing his bag with clothes and turned to look at Merlin. He stared at him long and hard and Merlin thought he was going to change his mind. "Right," Arthur said, sounding a bit unsure. "I just figured you couldn't come back to work tomorrow in the clothes you were wearing today, considering they're all wrinkled. You probably can't fit into any of my clothes—no matter how hot I think that is—and I'm out all the time. If I were gone for the night it wouldn't make a difference. If they see you here in the morning—"
"Of course," Merlin said, almost rolling his eyes at himself. "You've thought of this scenario before?"
Arthur shrugged. "Fantasised about it is more like it. Besides, I like the idea of making you breakfast and I can't exactly do that here in the house—with the kitchen staff bustling about, and well—"
"What makes you think I don't have my own personal kitchen staff? Bit presumptuous of you, isn't it?" Merlin grinned at Arthur's blank expression, and then pulled on his shirt to kiss him. "Didn't realise you could cook, Pendragon."
"You don't know a lot of things about me, Merlin," Arthur said.
Read the final chapter: http://camelot-drabble.livejournal.com/994365.html