misanagi: (Merlin - Excalibur)
[personal profile] misanagi
So Close

Fandom: Merlin
Rating: R
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Warnings: Illness: HIV, angst, hints of homophobia, discrimination, language. AU.
Summary: They've been friends for years and it's a well known fact that Merlin has HIV. It’s also a well known fact that Arthur would do anything for him.
Notes: This is a fill for this [info]kinkme_merlin prompt. Also posted [info]merlinxarthur's fanfic challenge #4.
Words: 5168

----

Merlin has always been special. Some people use some other words, derogatory words. Arthur doesn’t care for those or for that people and everyone knows by now that any ill word towards Merlin will get you on Arthur’s Pendragon’s bad side, and that’s a place you definitely don’t want to be.

Arthur has always known Merlin. He’s the godson of Arthur’s godfather, which makes them godbrothers, Merlin always says. Arthur tells him that’s stupid, first because it’s idiotic and then because brother isn’t the way he wants to think of Merlin.

It’s complicated.

Most things about Merlin are complicated and not just because he’s special but because he never lets Arthur’s world run in the simplistic orderly fashion he supposes it should. Like when they were seven and Merlin made him try tuna even though Arthur knew fish was disgusting and then ended up liking it. And then again when they were twelve and he made Arthur sing that ridiculous Spice Girls song in the shopping center just to prove that he wasn’t afraid and then he ended up casted in a soda commercial. Not that his father let him do it but still. Merlin complicates things.

Arthur should have know since the moment they met. Neither he or Merlin remember but Gaius always smiles as he recalls tiny four year old Merlin calling tiny five year old Arthur a bully because Arthur had pushed another boy to the floor. Arthur is pretty sure the boy deserved it even though Merlin insists he didn’t. It’s a moot point anyway, neither of them actually remember the boy anyway or how they met. Merlin has always sort of been there. When he was little and his father allowed him Arthur would go to Gaius and sure enough Merlin would be there. They spent their time going on quests on Gaius’ laboratory, playing knight (and wizard because Merlin was lame like that and never wanted to be a knight) and exploring new imaginary worlds.

At home Arthur didn’t do any of that. At home Arthur had to be quiet and no one did any good questing quietly. His nanny, whoever it was at the time, would always report to his father if Arthur misbehaved so Arthur reserved the playing for Gaius’ place. At home things were simple. Arthur would get back from school and have a sandwich. He then would go to his room and do his homework. After that he was allowed have a run on the grounds (exercise body and mind, his father always insisted) or if it was raining, and only then, use the treadmill on his father’s gymnasium. A quick shower and then the evening meal (to have with his father if he was home by then) and then leisure time before bed. Simple. Structured. Uncomplicated.

When he went to Gaius’ house, however, there was always a new adventure. He never knew if he would be playing a nice game of scrabble or battling a horrible beast (“Unicorns are not beasts!” Merlin protested) or discovering the lost city of Atlantis. Merlin just smiled, took his hand and dragged him to another complicated adventure.

There were other things that weren’t complicated, that just were. Like the fact that Merlin had to take his vitamins every day, every day without fault, with orange juice. Merlin didn’t like them but he always took them anyway (“My mother cries if I don’t”). Once Arthur offered to take the vitamins for him and they were foul. Gaius found out and yelled at them and then Hunith cried. Arthur never took Merlin’s vitamins again. Instead he drank his own glass of orange juice.

When Merlin cut himself Arthur was to call and adult and not touch him. If Arthur cut himself Merlin was to do the same thing. Touching each other while injured was a big no no. So was saying the word “shit” (Gaius called Uther and Arthur was grounded for a week).

The vitamins and the doctor’s visits and Merlin’s headaches are because Merlin has HIV. Human Immunodeficiency (“immunodecency” Arthur said until he was eight) Virus. Merlin is sick (“Blood transfusion when he was born,” Hunith explains once). Not sick like Arthur’s mother had been when she died or like Arthur was when he got chickenpox and wasn’t allowed to see Merlin for a whole month. It’s different sick. Merlin won’t get better but if he takes his vitamins hopefully he won’t get worse, not for a long time.

Merlin doesn’t look sick. Except for the headaches but Arthur soon discovered that if Merlin lay down on the floor, head pillowed on Arthur’s lap, and closed his eyes while Arthur told him any ridiculously silly story the headaches would go away. It helps if Arthur massages Merlin’s temples too. But Merlin doesn’t get those much and when they were little they would play and quest and honestly, who would remember about HIV while battling a dragon (or making him a pet, in Merlin’s case).

His father always reminds Arthur that he has to be careful because Merlin is contagious. He never touches Merlin and he doesn’t like it when Arthur does. Gaius explained it to Arthur long ago. Merlin is sick and if Arthur forgets the rules he will be sick too. Arthur never forgets the rules.

Later on, when worried nannies started talking about CD4 count and AIDS Arthur started to read. He was eleven and his father had a large enough library. He quickly exhausted the encyclopedias and medical books and turned to the school library. Then he went online. He kept calling Merlin’s pills vitamins but by the time he was thirteen just glancing at the handful of multicolored tablets was enough for Arthur to know the exact cocktail of antiretrovirals Merlin was on.

Arthur has never given the HIV much thought. It’s a part of Merlin, just like the funny ears and clumsiness. But other people don’t feel the same way. Like the boys at school who avoid Merlin and give him funny looks, or the teachers that try not to show that they don’t like it when Merlin accidentally touches them. The first time Arthur got suspended was for hitting Valiant after he called Merlin a “dirty faggot that got what he deserved”. He broke Valiant’s nose and got suspended for a week. His father grounded him and took away is mobile, computer and telly.

The second time was when he broke Cendred’s wrist for trying to hit Merlin with a cricket bat just because Merlin wanted to use the loo. Cendred left the school and they threatened to expel Arthur. His father nearly sent him to a boarding school.

Merlin doesn't like it when Arthur fights. He says it’s stupid and juvenile. Arthur just glares at him because no matter what Merlin says fighting is the only way people like Valiant and Cendred understand and if they don’t understand, at least it gets them out of the way. They deserve it too because even though Merlin doesn’t complain Arthur knows every insult, every flinch, every ignorant reaction hurts him and Arthur would do anything, anything to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Things have changed a bit now that they are older. For example, they don’t go on quests. Alright, sometimes they do but it’s very different searching the antique bookstores for a first edition of Good Omens (Merlin’s idea, obviously) than looking for the Holy Grail (better known as Gaius’ knock of silver cup). They catch a film and hang out at Gaius’ house or Merlin’s (they are next to each other). They go to the shopping centers and buy used books. They buy cheap DVDs and watch them while eating popcorn snuggled on Hunith’s sofa. They talk.

“You need more friends,” Merlin says one day.

“I have more friends.” There’s Lancelot and Gwaine. They are in Arthur’s year and in the football team with him (were in the football team with him). There’s Leon from the fencing club as well. He has friends.

“You never see them.” Merlin bites his lip, which he always does when he’s nervous. “You don’t need to sacrifice friends for me.”

And Arthur understand. This is about the football thing. “I told you I don’t mind, Merlin.”

“But you do.” Merlin says. “Don’t try to lie to me, Arthur. You loved that team. It’s not fair.”

“No, it’s not but if they’re going to behave like fucking bigots I don’t need to be there.”

Merlin lowers his eyes. “It’s not you they have a problem with.”

Arthur’s eyes narrow. “Yes it is.” Merlin opens his mouth and Arthur puts two fingers over his lips. “Merlin, shut up. I don’t want to be there. I have a problem with them. Well, most of them.”

“Gwaine and Lance?”

“They wanted to quit too,” Arthur says. “I told them to stay.”

Merlin snorts. “So it’s fine for you to make them stay but not for me to tell you to do the same?”

“Yes.” Arthur looks Merlin in the eye. It’s a look they both know. He won’t give in. Merlin might argue all he wants but it’s not the same. The coach didn’t insinuated that Lance and Gwaine needed to “find a new friend” if they wanted to remain in the team. He didn’t demand they took an HIV test either.

Arthur has been tested, every year on his medical check up. He’s clean but he won’t give the coach the satisfaction of showing him the test. He can play football with Lance and Gwaine in the weekends anyway. Maybe ask Leon to come too. He would ask Merlin but Merlin doesn’t like it. He prefers to run. Every morning. At six. Arthur goes with him even though he hates waking up at the ungodly hour but the cold morning air and the run feels good.

“You know, zombies eventually will take over the world,” Merlin says, casually, as five undead fight each other for possession of a severed limb on the screen.

“This movie is spectacularly bad,” Arthur declares and proceeds to fill his mouth with another handful of popcorn.

“No, Arthur. The Transporter III was bad. This is a classic.” Merlin pushes Arthur’s hand away and gets his own (admittedly smaller) handful of popcorn.

Arthur made them watch that in the cinema and Merlin still hasn’t forgiven him. It’s alright because Merlin thought it would be fun watching Twilight and there’s nothing that compares to the two hours of horror that was.

A few days later Lance and Gwaine ask if they can come to the movies with him and Merlin. They watch Harry Potter and discover that Gwaine is one of those huge embarrassing fans who can practically recite all the books by memory and spends the movie annoyingly (“Helpfully,” Gwaine insists) pointing out all the differences from the books. Merlin and him, of course, bond over this.

Arthur read the books because Merlin just wouldn’t shut up about them but he doesn’t think Merlin and Gwaine’s absorbed discussion about wand lore and the true master of the elder wand is that interesting. Thankfully Lancelot agrees with him and as they stand in queue to buy some chips after the movie Arthur resolutely ignores the geeky conversation behind him and instead listens to Lance go on and on about his girlfriend Gwen.

“She just gets me, you know?” Lancelot says with a goofy smile on his face.

Arthur nods but he doesn’t really know. He’s never had a girlfriend and no, Sofia doesn’t count. They went out for exactly sixteen days. She was Arthur’s first kiss and pretty and he liked her. That was until she refused to shake Merlin’s hand (“It’s nothing against him, I just rather be safe”). But it was everything against Merlin and anything against Merlin was against Arthur as well. He ended it that day and told Merlin she was a terrible kisser. Arthur knows Merlin didn’t believe him but they both pretend.

Merlin has never had a girlfriend. Or a boyfriend. They only time Arthur has actually heard Merlin express any interest in anyone was when they were watching Torchwood and John Barrowman appeared naked (“Wow... he’s... wow”). So alright, it hadn’t been eloquent but it makes Arthur think Merlin is gay, or bisexual, or just into Barrowman which is perfectly understandable (Arthur is into Barrowman himself). But the point is that Merlin ignores everything to do with relationships. He doesn’t fancy anyone or never says anything about it and Arthur knows he’s never kissed anyone, not even Freya back when they were 15 and she wanted to.

Arthur liked Freya. She was nice to Merlin and never flinched or tried not to touch him. They met at the doctor’s office. Freya’s brother was HIV positive and was being treated by the same physician as Merlin. She was the closest thing to a girlfriend Merlin had and that one night they all went for ice-cream Freya had tried to kiss Merlin. Arthur hadn’t been spying, of course. He just happened to come back from the loo faster than his friends expected and he just happened to stand behind a plant where he just happened to have an excellent view to the table. Freya inched forward and just when their lips were about to touch Merlin pulled back.

Later that night when Arthur asked about it Merlin just said “I can’t” and there was such hurt in that answer that Arthur couldn’t bring himself to ask anything else. He just wrapped his arms around Merlin and told him a silly story about a troll who farted a lot.

Freya and her family moved away a few weeks later to try an experimental treatment in another city. Last Arthur heard her brother wasn’t doing too well. Arthur doesn’t like to think about that.

Arthur often thinks about kissing Merlin himself, which brings us right back to why the whole godbrothers thing is mildly disturbing. Arthur doesn’t have a brother but he knows that if he did he wouldn't go around wondering how soft his lips are. And Merlin’s lips must be very soft. Arthur often thinks that if he ever does kiss Merlin he won’t be able to stop with just one kiss which is how he ends up picturing them kissing almost every time. He almost tried once, after Twilight, actually, but the panicked look on Merlin’s face as he realized what Arthur was about to do stopped him cold.

Arthur isn’t stupid. He knows what Merlin is worried about, after all these years he knows very well how Merlin thinks. When Merlin gets a wound, no matter how small or inconsequent he refuses to touch Arthur or let himself be touched until it closes, even if the wound in a scabbed knee. Merlin worries about Arthur all the time as if Arthur didn’t now the rules, didn’t subscribe to three different HIV journals and kept on with the latest research and developments. So Arthur knows Merlin won’t kiss him, just like he wouldn’t kiss Freya, because he’s afraid.

So alright, there’s one (just one in all these years, one) documented case of HIV transmission through kissing but both him and Merlin have excellent oral health, no sores, no gingivitis and yes, even then there’s a tiny risk (as there is in everything) but it’s so tiny that Arthur feels it’s more likely he’ll be struck by lightning.

It isn’t fair that Merlin doesn’t get to have a kiss and it isn’t fair that Arthur doesn’t get to kiss him.

Three weeks after Arthur’s seventeenth birthday he tries again.

“No!” Merlin is white as paper and his eyes are widened in fear.

Arthur stops and keeps his eyes fixed on Merlin’s.

Merlin shakes his head. “What are you doing?” he asks alarmed. “Arthur, are you crazy?”

Arthur sighs and sits back on the sofa. “Merlin, don’t you want me to kiss you?”

“You can’t!” Merlin moves back. “Have you lost your mind?”

“It’s alright. I won’t ge--”

“No!” Merlin is all but yelling now. “I won’t risk it. I won’t risk you, don’t you get it?”

Arthur rolls his eyes. “The virus can’t be transmitted by saliva, Merlin, you know that.”

“I don’t want to discuss this,” Merlin says and Arthur knows that tone.

“Fine,” Arthur says, angrily. “At least be honest, Merlin. At least tell me if you would want to... if things were different.”

It’s a moment before Merlin says. “I wouldn’t.”

Arthur knows he’s lying.

They barely speak for the next week. Arthur spends his time with Lance and he notices Gwaine talking with Merlin a few times. That’s good. Arthur doesn’t want Merlin to be alone.

On the weekend Hunith calls him. She’s leaving on a business trip for a couple of days. Gaius will be next door in case Merlin needs anything but would Arthur mind keeping an eye on Merlin too? Hunith hates leaving Merlin alone.

Monday night Arthur knocks on Merlin’s door, carrying a brand new Planet Terror DVD and they settle on the sofa and watch Rose McGowan battle zombies with her machine gun/leg.

“You know,” Arthur says as Bruce Willies head swells. “Zombies will eventually take over the world.”

Merlin grins and just like that things are back to normal, back to the usual complicated since Arthur keeps thinking about Merlin’s lips.

“You can just be celibate,” Lancelot suggests the next day knowing without having to be told what Arthur is going through.

“We are.” Arthur shrugs, because they are already as close are two people can be, even without the kiss. Sex is another thing. Arthur won’t admit, not even to himself, that if he does one day get the kiss then he will have to think of the sex thing and there’s a whole new level of complicated attached to that. There’s just no easy answer, just as there’s no cure.

Lancelot pats him awkwardly on the back. “I’m sorry.”

Arthur is too.

Two nights later Arthur buys Zombieland and walks the five minutes from the store to Merlin’s house. As he turns the corner someone runs right into him and Arthur stumbles and falls down, face first. He catches himself with his hands and winces. He turns around but whoever it was that ran into him is already gone.

He gets up and stares at his hands in the half light of the street lamp. He’s bleeding and one look down confirms that there are small broken pieces of glass on the pavement. He sighs. Merlin doesn’t like it when Arthur cuts himself and the moment he sees him he will indubitably send him to the bathroom to treat the wounds and then send him back home.

Arthur ponders about just going home and coming back later so Merlin doesn’t stress himself but that’s when he notices that Merlin’s front door is wide open.

Sudden fear fills his chest and he runs to the house, yelling Merlin’s name. There’s glass on the floor and the lights are off. He turns them on as he walks pass the hallway, to the living room and there, on the floor, is Merlin, eyes closed and laying in a small pool of blood.

Arthur’s phone is in his hand and he dials quickly, feeling the panic set in.

“I need help,” he says the moment someone picks up. “My friend...” Arthur walks closer, carefully and sees the wound in Merlin’s shoulder. “I think... there’s so much blood.”

“I need an address, sir,” the operator says.

Arthur gives it to her. “Merlin! Merlin, come on!” He yells but Merlin doesn’t move. “He’s unconscious.”

“The ambulance is on it’s way.”

Arthur can see Merlin is breathing but he’s so pale. “There’s too much blood!”

“If you can try applying pressure to the wound. It’ll stop the bleeding. The ambulance should be there shortly.”

She sounds so calm but how can she be calm? How? Pressure. He needs to stop the bleeding. He’s already moving before he stops, hearing Gaius’ severe voice in his mind. The rules. There’s blood. He can’t... he... he can’t touch!

“Sir?”

Arthur ignores her. The bloodstain in Merlin’s shirt keeps getting larger.

He can’t touch, so much blood.

Arthur falls to his knees by Merlin’s side. “Come on! Merlin, wake up!”

And he’s crying now and his hands and balled into fists and he wants to scream, to yell, to do something but he can’t touch.

A sob escapes his lips and suddenly he knows. Merlin is dying. Merlin will die. For a second, a minute, an hour the world stops. Arthur looks down at his hands, already covered with blood, his own blood. He knows. Arthur isn’t stupid. He knows.

In the end, it’s an easy decision to make.

He pushes his sleeves down as far as they would go and places his hands firmly over Merlin’s shoulder.

He waits. Eyes fixed on Merlin, on the slow rise and fall of his chests. He waits.

He doesn’t hear the sirens and it’s only when he hears the paramedics enter the room that Arthur realizes he isn’t alone anymore.

“He’s HIV positive,” he says when he sees a paramedic kneeling down next to Merlin because it has been drilled into him that if Merlin needs help that’s the first thing he should say.

They put Merlin on a stretcher and someone guides Arthur to the ambulance. One of them tries to look at him, at his hands, but Arthur won’t let them. They need to take care of Merlin, they need to help Merlin. He tells them. He yells. Merlin needs help. Leave him alone. Go to Merlin. Merlin is bleeding. Merlin!

He feels a small prick in his arm and everything goes black.

When he wakes up his father is there.

Arthur blinks a couple of times and then his father is yelling.

“...Stupid!...” Arthur hears. “... My boy...”

It takes a moment before everything comes back into focus and then he gasps. “Merlin!”

Uther’s eyes narrow in rage. “Don’t mention that boy!”

Arthur feels panic seize him again. “Where is Merlin? Is he alright?”

But his father is yelling again, about his mother, about how stupid Arthur is, about not speaking Merlin’s name ever again.

A nurse and two orderlies walk in and Arthur watches in awe as his father is forcibly escorted from his room.

“Merlin! How’s Merlin?” Arthur asks again.

“Take Mr. Pendragon to the waiting room,” the nurse calls outside his door and then walks back in.

“Please?” Arthur begs.

She gives him a kind and sad look. “Your friend will be fine.” And then she leaves.

Arthur breathes and feels his heart beat slow down from it’s frantic pace.

He’s in a private room and he’s wearing a hospital gown. His hands are bandaged.

...And he knows why his father was yelling.

Later the door opens and a doctor walks in.

“How’s Merlin?” Arthur asks.

“I’m glad to see you awake, Mr. Pendragon,” says the doctor walking into the room. “The sedative they gave you knocked you out for longer than was expected. It was probably the shock.”

“How’s Merlin?” Arthur repeats because he doesn’t care about shock or sedatives. He needs to know Merlin is alright.

The doctor sighs. “Mr. Emrys will be fine. He lost a lot of blood and there was some muscle damage but he received a transfusion and he will recover. I’m more worried about you.”

“Me?” But Arthur remembers just as the word leaves his lips. “Right.” He takes a deep breath. “I’ll be a couple of weeks before we know for sure, right?”

The doctor gives him an unreadable look. “You had some open cuts in the palms of your hands and when you placed them on Mr. Emrys wound there was direct contact of his blood with yours.”

“But Merlin will be fine, right?”

The doctor’s expression changes, slightly and Arthur thinks he sees a bit of sadness there. He reassures Arthur again of Merlin’s condition and then starts talking about post-exposure prophylaxis. He formulates antiretroviral medications, gives him the scheduled times, tells him is important not to miss a single dose. He lists the side effects and reminds Arthur that there’s only a small chance this will work.

Arthur only half listens. He takes the first batch of pills and falls asleep.

The next time he wakes up it’s a red eyed Hunith who’s there.

“Arthur.” She envelops him in a tight hug and Arthur hears her cry.

“Merlin?” Arthur asks, suddenly worried again.

“He’s fine, love. He’s sleeping.” She moves back and runs a hand through his hair.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there,” Arthur says, suddenly feeling responsible because Hunith had asked him to keep an eye on Merlin and he had been too late. “I don’t know what happened.”

“Oh, Arthur, you saved him.” She’s crying again. “You saved him,” she repeats.

It’s later that evening when Gaius stops by that Arthur gets the full story. It was a robbery. Gaius hadn’t been home. They hadn’t caught the thief. It was probably the same man Arthur had ran at on the corner. Merlin had nearly bled out. Arthur had saved his life.

He is discharged that evening and the doctor gives him his second dose of ARVs and two bottles full of pills before he goes. His father isn’t in the waiting room and when Arthur calls his mobile there’s no answer. They give him back his jeans and t-shirt but his jumper had been covered with blood and disposed of. Arthur doesn’t care. He dresses and goes to find Merlin’s room.

When he walks in he finds Hunith sleeping on the sofa and Merlin still unconscious on the bed. He stays there until a nurse informs him that visiting hours are over and only family can stay. He takes a cab back home and finds his father drinking in the living room.

“Father.”

Uther lifts his eyes slowly and Arthur is surprised to see that he’s been crying.

“Why?” Uther asks. “Arthur, you knew better. Gaius explained.” His breath catches in his throat. “...You knew.”

And here it is. Merlin is in the hospital and he’s alright and his father is asking now and Arthur can’t avoid this any longer. “Yes,” Arthur says. “I knew.”

Uther shakes his head. “Why?”

It’s simple. “I couldn’t let him die.” And it’s true. Whatever the consequences Arthur still knows, he couldn’t have let him die.

They don’t say any more but that night, for the fist time since he was very little, Arthur falls asleep with his father watching over him.

He wakes up before dawn and barely makes it to the bathroom before vomits everything he ate the day before. He sits on the floor for a few minutes, catching his breath and then stands up and takes a shower.

His father is downstairs on the dining room eating breakfast when Arthur comes down. They eat in silence and when he’s done Arthur takes his pills (vitamins) with orange juice.

Uther offers to drive him to the hospital but doesn’t go in with him. Arthur doesn’t think his father can face Merlin yet, or ever, truth be told. When he enters Merlin’s room he’s happy to see Merlin is awake.

“I’m going to get a coffee,” Hunith says as soon as she sees him and leaves, giving Arthur a warm kiss and a hug on the way out the door,

“Hi,” Arthur says, approaching the bed but Merlin won’t look at him. “Merlin?”

And then he notices that Merlin is crying. Arthur sits down on the edge of the bed and carefully touches Merlin’s cheek. “Are you alright? Should I get the nurse?”

Merlin shakes his head but doesn’t speak. Arthur sits with him quietly until a nurse comes with lunch and he’s asked to leave. He has lunch at the cafeteria and barely eats. He’s feeling nauseous again. When he gets back to the room Merlin is pretending to be asleep.

It’s three days before Merlin speaks to him. Arthur hasn’t gone to school. He goes to the hospital and goes home. He takes his meds. He hasn’t thrown up again but he feels like he’s about to most of the time. He ignores Lance and Gwaine’s calls. His father drives him to the hospital every day.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” it’s the first thing Merlin says.

“Don’t be stupid,” Arthur says, surprised at the pang of anger he feels. He hasn’t felt much of anything for the past four days.

“I didn’t want this to happen to you!” Merlin is looking at him in the eye again and there’s such sorrow there that it’s all Arthur can do not to run to him and envelop him in a hug.

“We don’t know yet.”

They look at each other and none of them dares to hope.

“I’m so--”

“No!” Arthur stops him. “No. Don’t say it, don’t ever say that, Merlin.”

“But--”

Arthur puts two fingers over Merlin’s lips. “Listen because I’ll only say this once. No matter what, you don’t say those words, you don’t think those words. I’m not sorry, Merlin, so you don’t get to be either.”

Merlin holds his gaze for a long moment and then, slowly, he nods.

They discharge Merlin the next day with orders to stay in bed for the rest of the week. On Wednesday Arthur goes back to school.

Everyone looks at him. Some with pity, some with fear, some with judgement. Lance and Gwaine are at his side almost as soon as he enters the school and Arthur feels safer then. They don’t ask about it and Arthur is grateful. When school ends he goes to Merlin.

They watch Resident Evil (Arthur doesn’t know what happened to Zombieland) and eat popcorn.

“You know,” Arthur says just as Michelle Rodriguez gets bitten. “One day zombies will rule the world.”

The smile Merlin gives him makes Arthur’s heart skip a bit.

On monday Merlin goes back to school and Gwaine and Lance extend their support and friendship to him. People look at them and whisper. It’s just like before and at the same time, nothing at all.

“I would,” Merlin says later that evening as they sit down in Merlin’s sofa and watch Doctor Who reruns.

“You would what?” Arthur asks, turning away from the telly to look at Merlin.

“If things were different,” Merlin explains. “I would like you to kiss me.”

So Arthur does.

... And Merlin lets him.

After that Arthur kisses him again. Many times. Merlin’s lips are as soft as he knew they would be.


- The End -

Date: 2011-01-02 02:09 pm (UTC)
iniq: (mad hatter 2)
From: [personal profile] iniq
Oooh~ T_T
So tragic and lovely and beautiful and heartbreaking and lonely and lovely. ♥ Love it!

June 2011

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