Arthur Pendragon Presents: How (not) to Tell a Boy You Like Him
Plot – Arthur decides enough is enough and confronts his feelings. Also known as, that time Arthur asked his friends how to win over his manservant (and got some terrible advice.)
This is just a fluffy thing I decided to write, it will be shorter than my other Merlin fics. I was in the midst of writing a really sad/dramatic Merlin fic and I just needed some merthur to console my broken heart. So here you go!
If you don't ship Merthur don't read it.
Also not smut, it is just fluffy fluffy fluff fluff.
Merlin smirked and rolled the dice onto the table. Two sixes. The crowd around them cheered and laughed as Arthur sighed.
"Your turn, Sire." Merlin mocked.
Arthur scooped up the dice and threw them unceremoniously into his wooden cup. Drunk with pride and, well, alcohol, he pushed all his remaining gold coins into the pile at the end of the table. Merlin raised one eyebrow, clearly unimpressed and chucked his remaining two coins into the pile. It was all in, next round wins it.
Arthur picked up the cup, and without looking away from Merlin's eyes, he shook it as obnoxiously as possible. Merlin sighed and stifled a yawn. Arthur threw the dice out of the cup and...
A one and a three.
The crowd laughed, Merlin smirked and Arthur sighed. He wouldn't give up though, this wasn't over, Merlin could still get less than four.
Merlin scooped up the dice and dropped them into his cup one at a time. Arthur smiled, trying to look as uninterested as possible, it didn't work. Merlin didn't take his eyes off Arthur. That is, until he conveniently looked away and whispered the spell. He felt the magic power down his arm and into the cup.
For good measure, he gave the cup another few shakes, looked into Arthur's eyes and threw the dice...
Two sixes again.
The crowd shouted and cheered. Merlin, his smile wider than ever before, picked up the pile of gold coins and dropped them into his pockets, immediately feeling them weigh down his pants.
"Good game." Arthur said, winking at Merlin.
"For me." Merlin muttered.
Slowly the crowd started to go back to their tables; leaving Merlin, Arthur and Gwaine left behind.
"Another round? Winner buys." Gwaine asked, his voice slightly slurred from the mead.
"Actually, I'm going now. Before Arthur tries to win his money back and loses even more." Merlin teased.
Arthur shrugged, he had plenty more where that came from.
"Don't be such a girl, Merlin. Have another drink." Arthur said as Merlin stood to go.
"I have to clean your armour before you wake tomorrow, remember?" Merlin said, after a thought he added, "Unless I can have the day off?"
"No." Arthur said.
"Night then. I trust you can get yourself to your chambers?" Merlin asked.
Arthur hummed in response, Merlin turned and, stumbling slightly, left the tavern.
"When will you tell him?" Gwaine muttered.
"What?" Arthur asked, turning away from the door Merlin had just left through.
"A blind man could see your love for him, Arthur." Gwaine said.
Arthur didn't respond, he just picked up his drink and laughed in disbelief. Of course he didn't love Merlin, Gwaine was just drunk. He turned back to Gwaine, intended to tell him all of this, but Gwaine was busy whispering sweet nothings into the barmaid's ear.
Arthur rolled his eyes and ordered two more jugs of mead. The barman brought them over, and after one jealous look at Gwaine and the barmaid, he left.
"Do you need help?" Gwaine whispered back to Arthur, finally pulling his lips away from the maid's.
"Need help? With what?" Arthur asked, his mind was becoming fuzzy and the room was spinning.
"With Merlin, you idiot." The maid, by now, had gotten up and left from the lack of attention she was getting.
"I don't..." Arthur trailed off at the stop-pretending look on Gwaine's face, "Fine. What do you suggest?"
"An old classic." Gwaine paused for effect, "Tell him his eyes are the colour of moonlight reflected on the sea during a storm."
Arthur stared at Gwaine for a few seconds before saying, "What? Wha- What does that even mean? What colour is that?"
Gwaine wrapped an arm around Arthur's shoulders and whispered conspiratorially, "That's the point. It is no one colour. You can use it on anyone, with any eye colour. It'll work."
"Is it not a bit... Girly?" Arthur whispered.
Gwaine looked slightly offended for a second, before saying, "Fine. Carry on calling him a girl, see how that works out."
With that Gwaine stood and walked over to three girls sat in a corner. They all looked at him unimpressed, until he turned to the blond next to him and whispered, "Your eyes are the colour of moonlight reflected on the sea during a storm."
The blush in her cheeks was visible to Arthur across the tavern. Maybe it wasn't such a stupid idea.
"Your eyes are the colour of moon on the- no that's not right." Arthur recited the words in his head, staring unseeingly at the blank parchment in front of him.
"Your eyes are the colour of moonlight reflected on the sea during a storm." Arthur could hear his voice in his head.
He took a deep breath and dug the heel of his palms into his eyes. The morning sun was too bright for his tired eyes. He had a hangover to rival all hangovers and he had never been more scared to talk to Merlin. Merlin was sat at the table, busy scrubbing at the mud on Arthur's boots, occasionally dropping the brush clumsily to the floor, making Arthur flinch.
It was after the fifth time he'd done this, Merlin finally asked, "Are you okay, Arthur?"
Arthur looked up, his blond hair flopping on his forehead, "What?" He asked rather loudly.
"Are you okay? You seem... Distracted."
This was it, this was the time. Arthur took a deep, calming breath.
"Your eyes are..." His unnaturally hoarse voice trailed off. The second he had croaked out the word eyes, Merlin got a very confused – and slightly amused – look on his face.
Arthur cleared his throat, Merlin was still staring at him and it was making Arthur nervous. He wondered whether Merlin could see his heart beating, whether he could see him going red. He was already in now though, the words were trying to push their way out of his mouth.
"Youreyesarethecolourofmoonlightontheseaafterastor m" It all came out at once.
Arthur instantly regretted it. He wanted to reach out, grab the words and stuff them back into his mouth, but he couldn't. He knew Merlin had definitely heard – although, judging by his face he hadn't understood – leaving an uncomfortable silence in the room.
So they sat there for what seemed like hours to Arthur, but was, in fact, only a few seconds, in a very awkward silence.
Until Arthur decided to deal with the situation the way he dealt with most things.
To walk away.
He stood up, marched towards the door and didn't look back until he was out of the castle.
Leaving Merlin sitting alone in Arthur's chambers, wondering what colour, exactly, moonlight on the sea after a storm was.
After pausing outside the castle, trying to shake off the embarrassment of his failed flirting.
Finally, Arthur rushed over to the field, straight to Gwaine. He was stood along with Percival, watching Lancelot and Elyan training. Arthur reached out, grabbed Gwaine's shoulder and spun him around.
"Your advice was terrible." Arthur fumed.
Gwaine laughed, "You must have said it wrong."
"I didn't say it wrong. It's a stupid line." Arthur said, shifting from foot-to-foot.
"What happened?" Percival asked.
Lancelot swung his sword forcefully, but Elyan raised his sword in defense. Both swords met with a clang.
"I told Arthur to tell Merlin his eyes were the colour of moonlight on the sea after a storm." Gwaine explained.
Percival burst into a fit of laughter then, Arthur felt his cheeks go red. Gwaine, however, looked offended.
"What!" He asked.
"That's the worst line I've ever heard!" Percival laughed, clutching his stomach.
"It works." Gwaine said.
"Of course it works on the brainless type you go for! It's not going to work on Merlin!" Percival wiped a tear from his eye, his laughter finally coming to a halt.
"Oh if you're so great, what do you suggest?"
"Simple." Percival said, he raised his arm and flexed his muscles, "Impress him."
"Impress him?" Arthur and Gwaine repeated together.
"Now's your chance." Percival shoved Arthur towards where Elyan and Lancelot were fighting.
Arthur bumped into Elyan, distracting him and Lancelot. They both turned to look at him, but Arthur was busy looking at Merlin making his way across the field with Arthur's sword in his hands.
Arthur gulped, but put on a brave face. He walked over to Merlin and accepted his sword with a mumbled thanks. He turned back to Lancelot and Elyan.
"Let's try a..." Arthur cleared his throat, sounding more like a pre-teen girl than the manly king he was, "Let's try a two on one situation, Elyan and Lancelot I want you to attack me."
Merlin raised his eyebrows and Gwaine smirked.
Arthur raised his sword, "No holding back."
Arthur turned to wink at Merlin, but he didn't get a chance because Elyan and Lancelot charged forward. Both their shoulders knocked Arthur to the ground, knocking the wind out of him. Merlin took a step forward to help Arthur up, but Percival caught him and held him back.
Arthur clambered to his feet, slightly dazed, he shot a winning smile at Merlin and raised his sword. But his mind was too clouded with thoughts of Merlin and so when both Lancelot and Elyan charged at him again, he wasn't prepared.
When Gwaine and Percival decided to join in bullying the King, Arthur fell to the floor and realised maybe impressing Merlin wasn't the way to his heart...