lilian_cho

Five Moments in the Life of Arthur Pendragon,

Feb. 9th, 2014 | 01:13 am
From:: lilian_cho

St. Albion Student and Sleep-deprived Boyfriend of Merlin

Summary: University AU. The lives and times of Arthur and Merlin at St. Albion.
Rating: PG-13
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Arthur/Merlin, mentioned Lancelot/Gwen and Gwaine/everyone
Warning: Reverse chronology.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] agenttrojie's prompt: "They'd stay in bed, but they've got lectures to attend."

I'm finally posting this because I want to sign up for this year's [personal profile] camelotremix. Please do tell me if you notice any errors, SpaG and otherwise. (The two people I lined up ages ago to beta/Britpick this thing fell through, and then I gave up ^^;;) This could've been tighter/more concise.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction – none of this ever happened. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is made from this work. Please observe your local laws with regards to the age-limit and content of this work.



“Rise and shine!”

“Nghlblhl,” Arthur Pendragon said intelligibly as his brain sluggishly rebooted.

“Come on, you don’t want to be late to Professor Gaius’ scintillating lecture, do you?” The voice went on, sounding chirpy even through the pillow that Arthur had pulled over his head.

Arthur set his pillow aside and groaned theatrically. He sent a half-hearted glare at Merlin, his boyfriend and roommate. As always, Merlin was already dressed and looking much too cheerful for early morning. “I hate you so much right now,” he said, voice roughened with sleep.

Merlin grinned. “That’s not what you said last night. The words ‘brilliant’ and ‘so amazing’ were used. In fact, I believe you promised me a pony of my very own.”

“I did not,” Arthur protested, pausing in the middle of taking off his shirt. He had a feeling that he had said some pretty embarrassing things during the throes of orgasm, but surely he would remember promising a pony.

“You did,” Merlin said, face guileless. “Right after you professed undying love and promised to take over bathroom duty for a month.”

Arthur snorted, throwing his sleep shirt into a hamper. “Nice try, Merlin. You had me until bathroom duty.”

Merlin shrugged. “Can’t blame a bloke for trying.”

Arthur walked to their small bathroom, which was empty as usual. Lancelot was a morning person like Merlin, and Gwaine was almost always late to his lectures. He made a note to slam the front door extra hard on the way out; Gwaine swore it worked better than an alarm clock. Why it had to be the front door was a mystery to all.

Arthur spat out toothpaste and rinsed his red toothbrush. He put it in the cup next to Merlin's blue one. Checking his reflection in the mirror, he made a face. He didn't have time for a shave; he'd just have to be scruffy this morning. Back in his and Merlin’s shared bedroom, he put on a new polo shirt and slacks.

Walking into the kitchen, he inhaled a waft of dark roast. Merlin handed him a mug of delicious, delicious coffee. He looked at Merlin with worshipful eyes. “I love you.”

“I know.” Merlin smirked. “Now eat your cornflakes.”


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


When their first year at St. Albion came to an end, Merlin had a brilliant idea. Arthur disagreed.

“We’re moving out the halls our second year,” Merlin stated the obvious.

Arthur nodded.

“We’re going to be on our own,” Merlin continued.

“Yes, and?”

“Let’s flatshare with Lancelot and Gwaine!”

“No.”

“Lancelot practically lives at Gwen’s flat, and Gwaine usually ends up passed out in some stranger’s bed; it’ll be like having the flat all to ourselves!”

“Hmm, let me think. What about no.”

“But Lancelot’s your best friend!” Merlin’s enthusiasm was unchecked by Arthur's refusal. “You’ve been together since Reception class. He’s the Horatio to your Hamlet, the Mercutio to your Romeo, the Guildenstern to your Ros—”

“Now you’re just reaching,” Arthur interrupted. “And I’m disturbed that I ended up dying tragically in all of your three examples.”

“He’s the John to your Sherlock!” Merlin said triumphantly.

“Thanks. I think.” Merlin found the sociopath detective attractive; Arthur questioned his mental health. “Anyway, it’s not Lancelot that I have a problem with,” Arthur muttered.

It took a moment for Merlin to switch gears. Then his face took a sly, knowing expression. “I know what this is about.”

Arthur wished he had kept his mouth shut. “You do?”

“You’re still upset about that time in the pub!”

He was silent, unable to deny Merlin’s all-too-accurate accusation. The first time they had met Gwaine, the no-good charmer had made it very clear that he was interested in Merlin. Even when Arthur had laid a possessive arm around Merlin’s shoulders, Gwaine had only quirked an eyebrow and gone on telling jokes that made Merlin laugh. Arthur had ended up laughing once or twice himself, because they were funny darnit.

“You’re upset because he was flirting with Morgana but not with you!”

“…what?

Merlin looked at him with a pitying expression while Arthur wondered whether they were still talking about the same thing.

“Don’t take it personally, Arthur. I think he’s just partial to brunettes.”

“Huh?”

Merlin placed a placating hand on his arm. “That’s why he hit on Lancelot and Gwen before he found out that they were together.”

Arthur looked at Merlin, mouth gaping.

“I don’t think he likes blonds. That’s why he didn’t hit on Morgause when he met her that one time, remember?”

“And the fact that Morgause is a hundred times scarier than Morgana didn’t come into the equation, I’m sure,” Arthur said wryly. If Merlin didn’t realize that Gwaine was flirting with him back then, he wasn’t going to enlighten him.

“She is scary, true.” Merlin’s shoulders hitched as he fell into a giggling fit. “Oh god…I can just imagine…Gwaine trying to woo Morgause…with roses!”

And just like that, Arthur was laughing along with Merlin. Needless to say, Merlin won that argument.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Depends on who you ask, Arthur tried to kill Merlin on their first “real” date. Even years later, Morgana couldn’t tell the story without prefacing it with an evil chuckle.

“Add olive oil to the water,” Arthur read the directions Lancelot had written down for him. Lancelot had shared numerous times that Gwen always appreciated it when he cooked; Arthur hoped the same was true with Merlin. They had gone to pubs a lot as friends, and he wanted to do something special for their first date. When Morgana had learned of his mission, she had laughed and lent him the use of her flat for one evening.

“Now I wait for the water to boil…” He decided to dice the vegetables in the meantime. He got engrossed with making the zucchini and carrots as uniform in size as possible, and the pot almost boiled over.

Shit!” He dropped the lid on the counter and ran cold water over his red fingers. “Where’s that box of spaghetti…”

One large coarsely chopped onion, three finely chopped garlic cloves and four band-aided fingers later, there was a knock at the door.

“Hi.” Arthur opened the door with a wide smile.

Merlin looked up from his trainers and smiled shyly. “Hi.” His eyes widened slightly at Arthur’s—Morgana’s—Kiss the Cook apron. “Sorry if I’m early.”

“Oh, no, no!” Arthur fumbled with the stubborn knot at his nape. “You’re just in time. I forgot about the apron. Come on in,” he waved Merlin inside

Merlin glanced around. “Nice place.”

“My cousin has meticulous taste. And my father sees fit to indulge her.” How much of it is misplaced guilt Arthur couldn’t say.

Apron finally unknotted, Arthur directed Merlin to his chair.

“Smells great,” Merlin smiled as Arthur brought out the food.

“I know you’re vegetarian so I asked Lancelot for his vegetarian spaghetti recipe.” He ladled meatless sauce over Merlin’s plate of pasta.

“You made vegetarian spaghetti for me,” Merlin said with a monotone voice. “Wow.”

“It actually tastes alright,” Arthur said, swallowing a bite of spaghetti. “Not bad for a first time.”

Merlin gave him a quick, small smile and twirled his fork.

“What’s wrong?” Arthur asked, noticing that Merlin hadn’t touched his plate. “Aren’t you hungry?”

Merlin bit his lip. “You made vegetarian spaghetti for me. You asked Lancelot for his special recipe. And you never cooked before.”

Arthur never saw Merlin being tongue-tied before. Maybe this was too much. Home-cooked candlelit dinner? What was I thinking?

“I’m allergic to tomatoes,” Merlin blurted out.

Arthur stared for a moment then dropped his face in his hands.

“But the garlic bread is great! And I like the wine.” Merlin lifted his wineglass.

“You’re allergic to tomatoes,” Arthur said slowly. “What kind of vegetarian is allergic to tomatoes?”

“I’m sorry it didn’t occur to me to tell you. I guess it never came up,” Merlin said sheepishly.

Arthur looked at him suspiciously. “You’re not allergic to tofu, are you?”

“No, I love tofu. I’m only allergic to tomatoes.” Merlin thought for a bit. “Tomatoes and possibly dog fur.”

Arthur looked glumly at the big bowl of spaghetti and its evil tomato sauce. “On our next date we can walk Lancelot’s dog at the park then.”

Merlin laughed. Arthur smiled ruefully.

“I do appreciate it, Arthur,” Merlin placed his hand on top of Arthur’s. “Nobody ever cooked for me before. Except for my mum, that is.”

“Not the worst first date, then?” Arthur asked hopefully.

“It’s the best first date.”


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


“Hic!”

Arthur paused, looked up briefly then picked up his biro again.

“Hic!”

Arthur put his biro down. “Do you mind, Merlin? I’m trying to revise here.”

Merlin waved at his throat. “I drank cold water too quickly.” He went back to doodling pixies with red pustules and chubby-faced manticores on his notebook.

Arthur picked up his lecture notes.

“Hic!”

Merlin!

“I’m sorry, I can’t help it!”

Arthur let out a frustrated sigh. “Why are you in my room, anyway? Don’t you have plays to analyze or poems to deconstruct or whatever it is you English students do?”

“No.” Merlin twirled his pencil and smiled his I-have-no-care-in-the-world smile. “I’m all done for the day.”

Arthur took a deep breath to refrain from acting on his homicidal impulses. “Congratulations. I, on the other hand, am not done. I need to revise this before tutorial tomorrow.”

Merlin sat forward. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Arthur looked at him in disbelief. “You, an English student, want to help me with Maths? What can you possibly do?”

A lot, as it turned out.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Arthur first noticed him at his Maths lecture. No matter where Arthur sat in the lecture theatre, the black-haired man always sat in the row in front of him. He spent equal parts of the lecture taking notes and doodling mythical creatures in the margins.

One day, the man sat exactly in front of Arthur. He was wearing a red hoodie that day. Red was Arthur’s favourite colour, and he figured it was a sign for him to strike up a conversation. He tapped at the man’s shoulder.

Blue eyes gazed back at him.

“Can I borrow your rubber?” No matter that his notes were not in pencil.

“Sure.” The man smiled.

“Is that…” Arthur peered at the thick book peeking out of the man’s bag. “…The Complete Works of William Shakespeare?”

“Hm? Yeah, I study English with History.”

Arthur peered at him. “Why have you been attending the Maths lectures then?”

He shot him a small, secretive smile. “Because I like Maths.”

“Seriously? Not that I’m implying that you’re lying or that you’re crazy for liking Maths,” Arthur quickly added. “Look at where I am, after all.”

The man’s eyes crinkled in amusement. “Honest, I took Maths and Further Maths for my A-levels. Solving Maths problems gets me into the same headspace as reading a good book.”

“Huh.”

“Yup, that’s me, Merlin Emrys, English with History student who likes Maths.”

Arthur grinned. “Arthur Pendragon, Maths student, as you can probably tell.”

Merlin sent him another quick smile before turning forward in his seat.

There’s something about him. I can’t put my finger on it…

Arthur resolved to invite Merlin to the pub with Lancelot and Gwen this evening.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



( Read it @ AO3 )

Link | All the stars

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