Merlin The 'Saucerer'
(no, it's not a spelling mistake!)
This fic is an extension/sequel to 'Kilgharrah's' my T rated, modern au fic. I've tried to acknowledge that some readers might be coming into this without reading 'Kilgharrah's', but I really think you'll enjoy it more if you do.
This is set in our future, although the world is not especially different. Comps or Mini-Comps are basically the future version of our smart phones with the obvious addition of being credit cards too.
Merlin was a prodigy child chef and is currently the anonymous young owner of the highly popular restaurant 'Kilgharrah's'. One evening Arthur and Morgana Cornwall turn up with their dates, but quickly start flirting with Gwen and Merlin instead.
This fic starts on the afternoon before Merlin's first date with Morgana; just before Chapter 4 of 'Kilgharrah's' but is entirely from his point of view.
"Gwen, you have to help me," Merlin pleaded as he walked into his best friend's room late on Monday afternoon – ignoring the fact she was in the middle of her music practice.
"What's the matter?" she asked in a concerned voice as she carefully placed her flute on it's stand.
"I have no idea what to wear this evening?" he complained.
"Oh, Merlin, honestly," Gwen replied with a laugh.
"What? I mean … is it just a photo-shoot? Is it a date? Should I dress up? Smart casual?"
"What did Morgana say to you the other night?"
"That she'd take some photos and then we'd have something to eat." He frowned. "She sounded a bit worried about presenting me with food, actually."
"Well, of course she did and that's without her knowing that you're a genius chef." Gwen grinned broadly at him, whilst Merlin raised his eyes to the ceiling as he thought about all the reasons why this was a very bad idea.
"Please, Gwen. I really need your help."
"Oh, alright … let's see what you've got?" Merlin gave his friend his very best grin, grabbed her by the hand and lead her back through their shared sitting room into his flat next door, where Gwen was greeted by the vast majority of Merlin's wardrobe strewn across the bed and the floor.
"Seriously?" she asked as she surveyed the mess.
"You really are trying to impress her, aren't you?" Gwen commented with a grin.
"But, she wants to take photos of me, I mean …" He still couldn't get his head around it. He knew his strengths and he had quite a few, but he'd never considered his looks as being one of them.
"Best to keep it simple then," Gwen replied rummaging through the pile. "A pair of plain slim fitting jeans and top; dark colours, I think."
"Or I could put a white shirt under a dark top – just in case?" Gwen turned back with another grin, but this one was decidedly wicked.
"Perhaps it doesn't matter what you wear," she said gleefully. "Perhaps she wants you to model naked!"
"What?" Merlin turned around so quickly in shock that he nearly tripped over. "You don't really think …?" Gwen started laughing even harder and he belatedly realised she was teasing him. "Oh, thank you, Gwen," he grumbled sarcastically. "That's really helped me to relax now."
"Sorry." Although she didn't sound it. She had selected a top and trousers and threw them at him. "Here. The good thing is that these are smart, they'll show off your skinny figure really well, but don't look as if you've tried too hard to impress."
"Ah … thanks. I thought you always said I was too skinny."
"I just can't work out how a chef can be so thin, that's all, and I know you don't starve yourself."
"It's magic," he said with his usual charming grin and Gwen raised her eyebrows in response to the old come-back.
"Talking of which. How much are you intending to tell her tonight?"she asked.
"As little as possible," he replied, pulling a face. "First date I've been on in over two years, don't want to scare her off straight away."
"Or impress her so much that you don't know whether she's after you or your restaurant?"
"Yeah," he replied with a large sigh. He started to change his clothes, despite Gwen still being there. She just smiled and moved towards the door, apparently turning her back on him. Nowadays they really were 'just good friends' and generally respected each other's privacy, but he was fairly certain he caught her glancing in the mirror as she walked past it, hesitating slightly as he stripped off his T-shirt and trousers before putting on the selected clothes. Merlin grinned as he caught her peeking, not at all concerned. It wasn't if he hadn't done the same in the past.
"So, you're pretty certain Morgana and her group were all Oxford graduates then?" Gwen asked as he continued to dress. Despite the unwritten rule that advised against employees of Kilgharrah's accepting dates from customers, Merlin had been totally helpless in the face of the stunning dark-haired beauty who had pinned him against the side of the balcony, fished his Comp out from his back pocket and practically propositioned him on the spot.
"They certainly seemed like the types, didn't they? A new experience for a Cambridge boy like me, anyway."
"Not that one's university should make any difference," Gwen replied haughtily.
Anyone of importance in Britain these days attended one of the many colleges within the Oxford or Cambridge universities. However, the two cities had developed such different philosophies regarding education over recent years, that there was now a very strong rivalry between the two which could sometimes come over as prejudice. Gwen was quite right, of course, when he and Morgana had been flirting on that balcony on Saturday, the very last thing on Merlin's mind had been which university she'd studied at.
He then remembered that Morgana hadn't been the only one from table ten making overtures towards the serving staff that night and turned to his friend with a sudden wicked grin.
"So, have you heard from Arthur recently?" Gwen turned to glare at him now that he was fully dressed. He saw her eyes flick over his clothes critically even as she responded to his question.
"Regularly … he's going to have sore fingers with the amount of messages he's sent me over the last two days."
"A Dark Blue and a blond. New territory for you too."
"Honestly, Merlin, neither of us can boast enough experience to be scientific about it. Just because our grand collective total of five previous dates have all been Cambridge brunettes does not make either of us anti-Oxford or anti-blonde."
"True, but then, you liked that other guy on table ten too?" he continued and she smiled shyly back.
"They were both very handsome in very different ways." She smiled more gently as she looked him up and down again. "As are you." Merlin could feel his cheeks turn pink as she said it. "She'll be very impressed."
"I think you're biased. Do you really think I'm doing the right thing, Gwen? I mean after ..."
"There's no point pretending that you're debating it, Merlin," Gwen continued. "You've been in mourning long enough."
"What? It's been almost two years and you can't keep saying that Freya was the only one for you, whilst constantly complaining to me that you're still a virgin."
"Well, you do and you can't have it both ways."
"I suppose but ... it's not just about Freya … it's about 'Kilgharrah's' too and ... well, it's hard to separate those two things in my head now anyway." Gwen nodded in silent understanding. Within months of Freya's death, Merlin had lost his beloved father too and, by default, instantly became the sole owner of the two restaurants, along with all the responsibility that went with the role.
"It really wasn't fair," Gwen sympathised. "For you to suddenly have to take care of all of this, whilst being in such pain."
"I suppose in some ways it helped."
"So you keep saying, but I just think it prevented you from fully facing your emotions. Fully dealing with the grief." He pulled a face at the comment. "Don't get me wrong, I think you're doing a wonderful job here, Merlin - we all do - but ... you need a life."
"I love the restaurant and I love all of you ... my family, but I don't need ..."
"No, Merlin. I know what you're going to say and you're wrong. You do need someone to love. I mean proper 'relationship' love, not just 'friendship' love."
"I was actually going to say that I don't need complications but ..." He shook his head. "I think we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves here. It's just a photo-shoot and a meal. That might be it."
"Perhaps but, if you get a chance, feel free to invite her to my party on Thursday, won't you?"
"Oh, okay." He suddenly looked at his watch and yelped. "Oh no, look at the time. I said six o'clock, I'm going to be late."
Gwen raised her eyes to the ceiling. "So, what's new?" He quickly grabbed his Comp and a jacket and started to head out. "Have you got everything you might need tonight, Merlin?" Gwen's question had a curious weight to it and he turned to give her a suspicious look.
"What do you mean?"
"Here ..." She moved forward holding out a couple of small foil covered packs towards him.
"What? She might not want you naked for the shoot but, from what you've told me about her so far, I'm pretty sure she'll be wanting to get those clothes off you at some point tonight."
"No. I've told you, not on a first date … I mean, even if this is a date, which it might not be. I just … I can't. Not with all this responsibility and …"
"Oh, for heaven's sake, Merlin, just take the condoms, will you?" She moved forward and actually stuffed them into the front pocket of his jeans herself.
"Hey, watch where you're putting your hands."
"Might as well get used to it." She paused, biting her lip as she contemplated something. "Do you think two will be enough?"
"Gwen! You're not helping one little bit, you do know that, right?"
A/N So, just a short little opener to get us started. Thank you for all your lovely reviews and requests to extend 'Kilgharrah's'. I can't really call this a sequel as we're currently overlapping that story from Merlin's pov before moving onto an actual sequel, whilst occasionally flashing back to observe some of Merlin's past. What? You did ask for it! ;)
Many of these ideas have been in my head for a while, some even before I'd finished publishing Kilgharrah's, but it was only when I was trying to think up a new M rated Mergana fic (because there are nowhere near enough) that I realised that I already had a ready made situation and that, by making this an M, I could explore exactly what happened between Merlin and Morgana during their dates in more detail!
As usual I've been debating how much to write before publishing but again, as usual, have decided to get it out there fairly early on so that I can get a little feedback and motivation from all my lovely readers. Please let me know what you're hoping to see and I'll do my best to oblige, within the constraints of the plot I have so far.