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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Merlin fic: A Trip to the Pub (1/1)

December 23rd, 2012 (10:57 pm)
mellow

feeling: mellow

Title: A Trip to the Pub

Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin.

A/N: For geminigrl11. Beta given by sendintheklowns

Summary: When Arthur takes him to the pub, Merlin assumes the worst.



-o-

When Arthur takes him to the pub, Merlin assumes the worst. After all, this is Arthur, who has matured in all areas of life except when it comes to treating Merlin like a human being. That’s not entirely true, but it’s mostly true, except when their lives are in danger and the end seems nigh.

So Merlin’s not sure if he’s expected to clean up the pub, to clear out the pub, or perhaps engage in some perilous battle in the pub.

Or maybe it’s just some kind of trick, or maybe the weight of lordship and marriage have finally taken a toll on Arthur’s sanity.

Merlin is leaning toward the latter because Arthur is standing there, smiling broadly as he looks at the dilapidated structure.

Merlin makes a face and hedges. “Is there...a reason we’re here?”

“It’s the pub!” Arthur says, gesturing grandly.

Two of the guard are posted some feet behind them, and the flow of the late afternoon bustle parts around them, a few people gathering and whispering in awe. Arthur is an accessible king -- more so than his father -- and he does make a point to move about the city, but Merlin takes some comfort in the fact that he’s not the only one who thinks it’s strange to see the King of Camelot standing in front of a greasy pub.

“Yes,” Merlin says, cautiously because he’s still not sure where this is going. “We’ve been here before.”

“I know,” Arthur says, and he seems to have no interest in leaving. “But it has been a while.”

A long while. Since Arthur became king, he’s had far fewer liberties it seems. There’s no time to trifle about, and their days of romping through the countryside or sneaking through the streets is no more. Besides, there’s a wealth of food and drink in the castle, and it’s far better and more comfortable than this.

Merlin waits, hoping Arthur will continue. When he doesn’t, Merlin hazards a reply. “You missed it?”

“This?” Arthur asks. “He makes a face. Of course not. The food is horrible and all the drink is watered down filth.”

“Ah,” Merlin says. “So, um.” His eyes dart around uncertainly. “Why are we here then?”

“Because,” Arthur says, hand out again. “It’s the pub!”

He’s clearing waiting for some kind of response, but Merlin just isn’t sure what it is. In fact, he’s not sure of anything and he’s half considering whether or not Arthur has been enchanted (that would really be Merlin’s luck), but Arthur sighs and rolls eyes his, shoulder slouching under his kingly garb.

“Your pub,” he continues, with an obvious note of exasperation. “Gaius says you come here all the time. I mean, whenever I need you or you seem to somehow miss your duties, you’re always at the pub.”

Merlin wants to protest, but then he remembers: that is what Gaius says. It’s about the only cover Merlin has when he’s really off doing important tasks such as saving the kingdom and preventing attacks on Arthur’s life. While going to the pub makes him seem like an incompetent drunk, it is better than admitting that he’s really wielding magic in direct defiance with Camelot’s most stringent laws.

“Ah,” Merlin says accordingly. “So it is.” He hesitates. “So I still don’t get why we’re here.”

Arthur’s sigh is downright melodramatic this time. “Because this is your favorite pub and whenever you have a free moment, this is where you come.”

“Well, if that’s a problem--” Merlin begins.

Arthur interjects forcefully. “And since you’re always coming along with me on hunts and doing chores in the castle--”

“That you make me do,” Merlin points out. “It’s hardly a choice--”

Arthur doesn’t seem to hear him. “--I figured this time, it was my turn to return the favor.”

Merlin stares at Arthur dumbly.

Arthur shrugs. “Spend some time doing what you like to do.”

“Like...going to the pub,” Merlin says slowly, grappling with what Arthur is saying. Because on one level, it’s ludicrous. Merlin doesn’t have time to flit about at the pub. But on another level, it’s actually almost....thoughtful. His brows knit in confusion. “You want to come to the pub with me?”

“Why not?” Arthur says, grinning now.

There are a million reasons why not. Because kings don’t cavort with their servants, because there are a thousand more pressing issues in Camelot that need to be dealt with, because Merlin doesn’t actually come to the pub but betrays Arthur’s confidence to save his life and his kingdom.

But there’s one reason why: because, somehow, against all odds, they really are friends. They don’t talk about it like that, but they don’t have to. They still know it’s true. In battle, in the drama of the kingdom, in this: two friends, doing things for each other. Big things, like saving lives.

Little things, like going to the pub.

Arthur turns to him, face faltering. “You don’t want to go to the pub with me?” he asks in sudden realization.

“No!” Merlin says. “I’m just -- surprised.”

Arthur straightens, adjusting his cape a little. “I mean, I just thought since you like the pub so much--”

“No, no,” Merlin says quickly. “I do. I mean, it sounds great. Going to the pub and hanging out.” He lets himself smile a little. “Like friends.”

Arthur snorts. “No need to get sentimental.

“Well it is rather thoughtful--”

“Honestly, Merlin, if I knew you were going to make such a thing out of this, I never would have bothered at all!”

“Okay!” Merlin says, hands up. “Let’s just...get a drink.”

Arthur regards him carefully.

Merlin gestures invitingly.

Arthur nods finally. “All right,” he says. “Since you’re begging now.”

With that, Arthur brushing past him, and Merlin rolls his eyes but follows.

An evening at the pub.

A first for both of them.

Comments

Posted by: Lena7142 (lena7142)
Posted at: December 25th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)

I love the ending to this! It's so cute, and the last line is sort of brilliant. Adorable, heartwarming, and very humorous!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
arthur is screwed

LOL, it wasn't nearly as good as maybe I'd hoped, but I wrote this before my Merlin muse was dragged back into gear by flailing.

Thanks :)

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: January 2nd, 2013 06:01 am (UTC)
Poignant!

This is particularly poignant given the finale. I love that Arthur makes the ultimate gesture of friendship towards Merlin. It's a moving thing for a King to do and despite the legend, Arthur's death still hurts because I'm thinking of the loneliness Merlin will have without Arthur. There is this palpable void.

I love that there is this sweet moment.

Fave part:

There are a million reasons why not. Because kings don’t cavort with their servants, because there are a thousand more pressing issues in Camelot that need to be dealt with, because Merlin doesn’t actually come to the pub but betrays Arthur’s confidence to save his life and his kingdom.

But there’s one reason why: because, somehow, against all odds, they really are friends. They don’t talk about it like that, but they don’t have to. They still know it’s true. In battle, in the drama of the kingdom, in this: two friends, doing things for each other. Big things, like saving lives.

Little things, like going to the pub.

--love it!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Poignant!
arthur merlin friends

I wrote this before I knew anything about the finale, but yeah, it is a bit bittersweet in that light. One thing I love about Merlin is that even in the end, when it was horrible and sad, the bromance was still there.

Thank you as always!

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