Pairing - Merlin / Arthur
Rating - R-15
Summary - A.U. - Merlin has his momories back but now he and Arthur have a new problem. Reporters.
Part two of 'A life half lived'. Read that first- it will make a whole lot more sense.
A life complete
Arthur went into the bar to start his shift at noon feeling as though he were on top of the world. He had spent the previous night at Merlin’s hotel, making up for lost time. Arthur had to smile as he thought of that; he might be tired this morning, but he had definitely enjoyed himself.
“You’re looking happy this morning,” Jenny commented.
He turned to see the blonde waitress watching him with a huge smirk on her face.
“I’m allowed to be in a good mood, aren’t I?”
Jenny nodded and then held something out to him. “It wouldn’t have anything to do with this, would it?”
Arthur looked at the tabloid newspaper she showed him. On the front, under a bold, black headline that read ‘Merlin’s Magic Man?’ was picture of him and Merlin kissing. He sighed; he had hoped it would take them longer to latch onto that story.
“Well?” Jenny asked impatiently, practically bouncing up and down in anticipation of a good story. “Arthur, is this real? What the hell happened last night?”
“It’s real,” he told her, unable to keep the grin from his face as he teased, “As for what happened last night, well, I’m not sure that’s a conversation we should be having in the middle of a crowded bar.”
Jenny squealed happily and hugged him, making those customers nearby turn and stare at them.
At eight o’clock that night, Arthur sat in the staff room with Jenny, having a coffee before they both went home. He liked his job, usually, but right now he couldn’t keep his mind on what he was doing. He heard the door open glanced up as one of the other staff came in.
“Arthur, there’s someone here to see you.”
He didn’t even need look to see who it was; he could sense Merlin’s presence after all these years. That, and the star-struck look on Jenny’s face as she got to the door before him.
“Oh. My. God!” Jenny pushed past him and he watched as she went out, hesitantly approaching the dark haired man who stood leaning against the bar. “You’re Merlin.”
Merlin caught Arthur’s eye and saw the barely concealed amusement. “Last time I looked in the mirror I was,” he told Jenny.
Jenny smiled at him and then turned to Arthur and slapped his arm, hard, her eyes flicking to Merlin in a not-too-subtle hint.
“Sorry. Merlin, this is Jenny,” he said. “Jenny, meet Merlin.”
Her cheeks flushed deep crimson as Merlin gave her a hug. “I can’t believe you’re here; I am such a fan!”
Merlin waited patiently until Jenny had an autograph, along with a number of other customers in the bar, and then went to Arthur.
“I just saw the newspapers,” he began, but Arthur stopped him.
“It’s OK, Merlin; I’ve already seen it.” Arthur glanced around at the other people in the bar, all still staring like they were some kind of stage show and led Merlin back to the staff room. There was no one else in there and, as soon as the door was closed, Arthur backed Merlin into it.
“Arthur, you’re at work,” Merlin pointed out half-heartedly, not really wanting to stop Arthur when he had that look in his eyes.
Arthur pressed closer, pinning Merlin against the wooden door with every inch of his body. “I don’t care and besides, my shift ended five minutes ago,” he replied, covering Merlin’s lips with his own and stopping any further protests.
Arthur kissed him again, ridding Merlin of his jacket at the same time. Merlin whimpered softly as Arthur’s hands traced down his chest before slipping underneath his t-shirt. Threading his fingers through the dark blonde strands of Arthur’s hair, he pulled his lover closer and deepened the kiss. Arthur grinned, easing out of his grasp, and dropped down to his knees. As deft fingers began unfastening jeans, Merlin thought he heard a noise outside.
He murmured something under his breath and his eyes flashed gold for a brief second.
Arthur frowned when he heard the words. “What did you do?”
“Made sure we wouldn’t be disturbed- holy fuck!”
Merlin leaned his head back against the door as a warm, wet mouth closed around his cock, sucking him in. Damn, but Arthur was good at this. He always had been. Clenching one hand around the door handle, his other sought out Arthur, fingers lacing in that blonde hair.
They really shouldn’t be doing this here but he just didn’t care, not so long as Arthur kept doing what he was doing.
Ten minutes later, clothing straightened, Arthur and Merlin emerged from the staff room to knowingly amused stares from the other staff. Merlin felt his face heat up. There was no way they wouldn’t know what had happened in there; Arthur might have straightened his clothes and neatened himself up but with his hair rumpled and that just-fucked look on his face, he might as well have a neon sign above his head.
“A little help here?” Arthur whispered.
Merlin uttered the spell, relieved that Arthur had suggested it first.
Arthur looked around, feeling a little disorientated when he saw that they were no longer in the bar but in a plush hotel suite.
“You’ve been practicing,” he said. “If I remember correctly, your transit spells were never particularly accurate in the past.”
Merlin grinned. “Well, this time, I haven’t had you sidetracking me whilst I was learning, have I?”
“Are you trying to tell me that I’m pushing you into this too fast?” Arthur asked, looking dismayed.
“No, that’s not what I meant! Now that I’ve got you back, I’m keeping you.” Merlin pulled him closer and brushed a kiss over his lips. He smiled. “Now, how about I show you what other tricks I’ve learned?”
Merlin stepped back to sit on the arm of the couch, never taking his attention from Arthur as his eyes glittered gold. Arthur felt an involuntary shiver run down his spine as a warm tingling sensation washed over him and his jacket, then shirt, began to disappear slowly.
“Merlin, what are you doing?”
Merlin just smiled, ogling openly as the spell moved downwards, causing Arthur’s jeans and underwear to vanish also until he stood, glaring at him. Merlin had to laugh. The expression on his face reminded Merlin of a similar one that Prince Arthur had worn often, back in Camelot. No matter how that glare had affected him in the past, Merlin found it hard to heed when it came from a naked man, standing before him with his hands on his hips.
“Tell me, Merlin, are you able to conjure clothes as well?” Arthur asked. “I don’t exactly have any spare things with me.”
Merlin’s smile widened. “I kind of like you like that,” he said, standing to approach Arthur. “Oh, don’t get huffy.”
“I do not get ‘huffy’.”
“You do, and you always did.” Merlin grabbed his hand and gave it a tug, leading him toward the bedroom. “Now get your arse in here.”
Arthur did as he was told, strutting past Merlin and putting an extra swagger into his steps, all the better to taunt Merlin with said arse. Crawling up onto the huge bed on all fours, Arthur glanced back over his shoulder.
“What’s the matter, Merlin?” he asked innocently, dropping down to stretch out across the bed on his back.
Merlin swallowed, hard, and tried to get his brain to form a coherent sentence in order to reply but he couldn’t. The sight of Arthur laid out before him, waiting, had scrambled his thoughts.
Arthur shifted on the bed, posing as Merlin continued to stare. “You could join me,” he said, “but you’re a little overdressed for what I had in mind.”
He had never seen Merlin move so fast, his clothes vanishing and the short distance to the bed covered in just a few seconds. Arthur found himself with an armful of excited, happy Merlin and pulled him down for a kiss before rolling them so that Merlin was pinned beneath him.
Merlin grinned. “You’re still bossy.”
Arthur smiled. “You used to like it when I bossed you around.” From the look on Merlin’s face, he still did. Well, that was fine; they had the eternity together.
“Still do.” Merlin’s grin faded a little. “Arthur, there’s something I need to tell you…”
Merlin nodded. Arthur was in a good mood at the moment, so the timing was perfect. He had meant to say something earlier but then they’d got distracted.
“My agent has agreed for me to go on Michael Brooke’s show.”
Arthur looked confused. “The chat show? What’s so bad about that? Geez, Merlin, I thought you were going to tell me something really awful.”
“Well, Brooke can be a bit… personal at times. He’s going to ask all about you and me- that’s all those stupid reporters keep asking at the moment,” Merlin told him. “I don’t know if I should refuse to do the interview.”
“Merlin, I don’t want you to refuse because of me,” Arthur told him. He saw the protest coming and stopped him. “Look at it this way, they’re only going to keep asking, right? Surely it’s better to have your say rather than have the tabloids making up stuff about you.”
Merlin stared at him for a moment, then smiled. “When did you get to be so clever?”
“Years of living in the public eye has taught me a few things,” Arthur replied.
In almost every other one of their lives together, Arthur had been the one in the limelight, beginning with being Prince, then King, of Camelot. He was used to living his life under public scrutiny, unlike Merlin.
(Three days later)
Merlin sat in the padded armchair, set at an angle to the other chair, where Michael Brooke sat. The host had asked about his latest tour and some of his TV appearances, before finally getting around to the questions that Merlin had been dreading.
“So, Merlin, I just have to ask,” Brooke began, leaning over to reach down next to his chair, “About those recent stories in the newspapers.” He took a copy from the table next to him and held it up.
Merlin sighed inwardly but kept his face in a pleasant smile. “What would you like to know?”
“Now there has been some talk that this is all a publicity stunt,” Brooke said. “After all, your name has been linked with several actresses and models…”
“OK,” Merlin told him. Arthur was right; if he got this over with now, then they’d stop asking and making up their own version. “I guess you get the exclusive. None of this is a publicity stunt, Mr Brooke. I’m gay; I know the tabloids have been debating that question for a while, but I can tell you that I am. In fact, my boyfriend, Arthur, is sitting right over there.”
As the camera panned around to Arthur, sitting in the front row of the audience, the host looked delighted.
“Why don’t you come up and join us, Arthur?”
An assistant came hurrying on with another chair, placing it next to Merlin’s as Arthur reluctantly came onto the slightly raised stage area. He might be used to being seen by the public, but this was the first time he’d ever had to discuss his love life on national TV.
“So, how long have you two been together?” Brooke asked.
“Not long,” Arthur said, as the same time as Merlin replied, “Ages.”
Brooke laughed. “It seems we have a differing opinion.”
“Not really,” Merlin explained. “We met a long time ago but we lost touch. It’s only recently that we were reacquainted.”
Arthur answered the questions put to him, about what he did for a living and such, then the questions turned back to Merlin.
“So, Merlin, what’s next for you?”
Merlin shrugged his shoulders. “I’m not sure. I’ve been asked to do a series of shows in the ‘States but it depends on Arthur.” He glanced at the blonde sitting next to him and smiled. “I won’t leave Arthur behind again, so I’ll be wherever he is and we’ll go from there.”
In the car, being driven back to the hotel, Arthur had to ask.
“You’d really give it all up for me?”
Merlin nodded. “Yes.”
“Well, I would never ask you to,” Arthur told him. “This time it’s your turn to lead. I’ll quite happily follow.” He leaned over to press a kiss to Merlin’s lips. “I love you.”
Merlin grinned widely. “’Love you too.” He kissed him back. “So, want to come to New York with me?”
Arthur laughed. “I thought you’d never ask.”