Attention Artists: I'm putting this at the top of all my stories. If you're an artist and wish to draw pictures (doujin/fancomic included) of any story I've written, you have my permission to do so on the condition that I get credit for the idea and you send it to me (links please, no file attachments). Simply send it to me via the message option on my profile or by using the email option on my profile. Either one works fine. Thanks.
Arthur, or… no… His name was Bradley now. He had to keep reminding himself that this was not the medieval kingdom of Camelot. He was no longer the mighty king he used to be. He wasn't even a prince. He was common, but in this day and age everyone was. He was tall and handsome in this time, just as he'd been back when. His hair was mildly shorter, but Bradley found he liked it that way. Still, there were times when he'd let it grow out just so he could imagine he was back in his castle or running through his forests.
Bradley sat at a café, basking in the sunlight. His palm planner sat on the table before him and he wondered vaguely why he wasn't checking how many hits his websites were getting or double checking his bank account. He almost always had something to do on that thing, so why was he not using it now? He pressed the side of his hand to his lips and stared down at the mechanical object. Then his eyes shifted to the side and he saw the café across the street. It was cheaper than this one, but it was also considered second rate by most coffee buyers.
Oh. Bradley frowned and his eyebrows knit together. That must be why the day felt so odd and out of place.
For the last month, every time he came here – sometimes two or three times a week – a man would be sitting in that café. His dark hair fell limply to his forehead, and his piercing blue eyes were clear even from the distance there was. Bradley only ever saw those eyes out of the corner of his own. He'd felt the man gazing at him, watching him, perhaps admiring him. He'd noticed how every day he came here, that man showed up around the same time and always left after he did. Bradley noticed that no matter how often he glanced to see the man, the dark haired male was always on the same page of his book… and it was always the same book.
How often had Bradley delayed letting friends leave to see if that one extra moment would be enough to give the other male the courage or the gall to walk over to this café and introduce himself? How often had he hit himself for not going over to the other café and doing the very same thing? Bradley had looked over so often, yet inconspicuously, that he knew the other watched him almost constantly and never drank his coffee.
The other male just sat and watched, happy as a clam, with a big smile on his face. The smile had many variations, but all of them were brilliant. Bradley could pick out which bracelet graced the stranger's wrist on each particular day – red or blue or brown, for those were the stranger's favorites. Bradley could see the way the stranger slouched when he didn't get enough sleep….
And Bradley could tell it was Merlin. Why? Why wouldn't Merlin come say hello? No doubt he could tell it was Arthur. Name changes or not, there was no doubt in Bradley's mind that Merlin remembered everything. Why else would he come here every time Bradley was here and watch him so intently, so longingly, so lovingly? Why in heaven's name wouldn't Merlin come over?
Bradley searched the street in both directions. His eyes danced over every table in both cafes. Merlin was nowhere to be seen. Why?
"Merlin," Bradley murmured under his breath. He frowned and his chest felt tight. Merlin hadn't come.
The blonde stood up and ran a hand through his short locks. Then he pocketed his palm planner and picked up his book. He'd never gotten to finish this book either. At the similarity, Bradley smiled. He paid for his coffee, which he hadn't touched, and left his café. The street was oddly barren without Merlin there. The world was suddenly… quieter. He lifted his face and frowned at the sun.
Bradley turned and walked down the street. He'd explain to Morgana, now called Katie, about why he hadn't been there. She'd understand. She always seemed to understand. Perhaps she had her old memories too. They never talked about things like that. They talked about their current lives.
Maybe that's where Merlin went, to his new life. Bradley frowned. He hoped Merlin hadn't decided to leave forever. Merlin may be ready to break it off and start new, but Bradley wasn't. He still wanted to be able to close his eyes and see Merlin there and feel the wizard in his arms. He wasn't ready to let go.
As Bradley stepped around a corner, he could see the train station looming before him. If Merlin had gone back to his new life, where would he go?
Suddenly, a body fell into his and sent them both to the ground. Bradley groaned and the other male frantically apologized. Bradley looked up, ready to be mad and froze. It was Merlin. They stared at each other for a long moment, and then Bradley smiled.
"Fancy a cup of coffee?" he asked smoothly. It took a moment, but Merlin cracked a grin. He held his hand out to shake, both still on the ground.
"Hi, I'm Colin Morgan," he introduced himself. Yes. Merlin, no… Colin definitely remembered everything. Bradley reached out and shook Colin's hand.
"It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Bradley James."
A/N: This is the sequel to Voyeurism! If you haven't read it, please do! Also please review to both! Thanks!