The phone buzzes in his pocket as soon as Arthur steps out of the coffee shop with a hot cup of the blackest coffee in one hand and a bag with a croissant in the other. He swears as he tries to pick up the phone with the “croissant-hand” with the result of dropping the brown bag on the ground. He swears again as the takes the phone out of his pocket and answer before bending down to pick up the bag.
“Hello?” he says, to irritated to make the greeting sound nice. He stands back up with the bag securely in his hand.
“Hey brother, good morning to you too!” greets a woman’s voice. She is sounds all too cheerful for this early hour. Arthur starts to walk down the street, waiting for Morgana to say something. When he has walked past two lampposts and she still hasn’t he gives in.
“Are you calling just to annoy me or do you have a job for me? Because if it’s the former I can tell you it’s working brilliantly.”
“Both”, she admits. “But mainly the “annoy you”-thing.”
“Where?” Arthur really doesn’t feel like playing her game today. Morgana sighs but gives up. He is clearly not going to give her the answer to the question she hasn’t asked. Yes, thank you for the blind-date Morgana, it was awful. The date in question was just a little bit... Not male enough for my taste. Thanks for trying though.
He can’t very well out himself like that. This is neither the time nor the place. He is just not ready yet.
“There has been a murder on Sherborn St near Rosemary Gardens. The police think it’s linked to the Allen Grey case a couple of weeks ago.”
“I’m on it.” Arthur hangs up the phone and takes a big sip of his coffee. It’s black and bitter, just how he likes it. He walks towards the road and stops a cab.
As expected he can’t get very close to the actual crime scene since there are police cars and yellow tape everywhere. The cabdriver stops a one street down just as Arthur downs the last piece of croissant. He pays and gets out without saying a word and still holding the now empty coffee cup in his hand. As he walks up to the tape a woman in police uniform stops him.
“Sir? You are not allowed in here, this is a crime scene.” She point to the tape, clearly annoyed.
“I am a photographer for BBC news”, he says opening the bag to show her the camera. “I am just trying to do my job.”
“And I am just trying to do mine. I’m sorry, but I can’t let you trough.” Even though she says she is she doesn’t sound sorry. Arthur gives her a nod before he turns around, swearing once again. This week is off to a shitty start.
Arthur walks around one of the buildings and is once again met with the tape, but this time there is no officer here. He stops behind the car to take out and assemble the camera. Just a few pictures and then you can go, he mutters to himself as he takes a photo of the tape before ducking under it and starts walking down the street.
It’s not hard to guess where the victim is since about fifteen people in uniform and white, body covering suits walks around it like ants in an anthill further down the street. Arthur walks on the other sidewalk, trying to look like he knows where he is going. A few cars from the working policemen he stops and snaps a picture. He can’t very well take a photo of the body but he can’t help but sneak closer, trying to hide behind parked cars on the sidewalk. He zoom in on polices faces and takes more pictures before he suddenly freezes. His heart sinks in his stomach and begins to beat faster at the same time.
Arthur has zoomed in his camera on one of the detectives faces. This man is, without a doubt, the most gorgeous man he has ever seen in his entire life. In a leather jacket just a few meters away stands a man with the sharpest cheekbones he has ever seen. His head is covered by curly, dark brown hair and his ears... God, those ears are the biggest Arthur has ever seen but they suit the man in a way he can’t describe. This man’s looks shouldn’t be allowed.
And in that moment Arthur knows he is completely and utterly fucked. When the man in the camera begins to talk Arthur actually groans.
“Have you been able to identify it yet?” the man asks one of the forensics team. His voice is dark and full and... Happy? Arthur can’t quite put his finger on it but something about this man voice sounds almost like he is glowing. It’s beautiful.
Before he can stop himself he presses the camera button one, two and three times. He lowers it and on the screen is the man’s face. He looks concentrated but satisfied and calm at the same time. And those blue eyes... His eyes are beautiful. Arthur looks back up and when he does his heart almost stops. The man, the most handsome man there ever was, is looking directly at him. Maybe he should smile at him, or wave or something, but in the moment the only thing he can think about doing is stare back. At least he remembers to close his mouth.
Then someone right beside him decides that this is the perfect moment to clear their throat and Arthur jumps. He looks around with wide eyes only for them to fall on a woman beside him; the same woman that said he wasn’t allowed in earlier. This time she looks even more annoyed then last time.
“What part of; ‘You are not allowed here’ don’t you understand?” She lets out a frustrated sigh. Arthur just shakes his head and turns to go. He doesn’t trust his voice at this point and besides, it’s not like anything he can say is going to change her mind. As he starts to walk back the same way he came he can’t help but take one last look at the man behind him. He still stands next to the woman in the white suit and even though it looks like they are having a conversation the man’s eyes are still fixed on him.
And then Arthur realises that he is watching him walk away. At this realization Arthur can’t help but smirk at the guy and is more than pleased when he sees how the other mans cheeks goes a little red. He is almost about to turn around to go and talk to him when he sees the woman in police uniform still looking at him seemingly getting more angry by the second. Arthur turns around and walks away with a lump in his throat. If the other man was checking him out, surely he must follow him. But then again, the man stood over a dead body so maybe he has other priorities.
Ducking under the tape once more Arthur turns around the corner where he stops and lean back against the cold brick wall. He can’t help but think that that was is it; that was his shoot at the most beautiful human he has ever laid eyes on. He slams the back of his head against the hard bricks a couple of times, closing his eyes. Stupid gay coward.
Someone clears their throat next to him again and he is about to tell the police lady to fuck of, that he is on the other side of the tape, but when he opens his eyes the angry words get stuck on his tongue. It’s not the woman who is standing there looking at him. It’s the man. His blue eyes are so close and they are glimmering with amusement.
“Wow, you do not take rejections well I take it”, he says. That beautiful voice. Even though he doesn’t laugh it kind of sounds like he is. The melody of the voice makes him sound happy and uplifting. He continues when Arthur doesn’t say anything.
“The woman who threw you out”, he says as he raises one eyebrow and god if it’s not the hottest thing Arthur has ever seen. “You don’t like being told what to do?”
It goes another moment before Arthur realises that he maybe should say answer.
“Yeah”, he says and breaths out air he didn’t even realise he had held inside. “Or I mean; she was just doing her job.”
“And so were you, I take it.” The man nods towards the camera around his neck.
“Yeah”, he says again, still afraid that his voice will break.
“Got any good ones?” Arthur stares at him.
“Pictures. Did you get any good pictures? Oh, did you take any of me?” The man gives him a wide smile. For a moment Arthur’s heart stops because the man, this gorgeous god in front of him, is flirting with him. Or, is he? Maybe he is just always this cheerful and teasing.
Arthur is about to answer but stops himself when he realises what the question was. Yes, he did take pictures of the man. This man exists inside his camera. He can feel hotness creeping up his neck.
The man gasps.
“Oh my god, you did! You took a photo of me at a crime scene!” He laughs and as he does he throws his head back and exposes his neck. Oh, he is definitely flirting.
“To be fair”, Arthur mutters. “You were distracting me.”
The man gives him a curios look, his laugh lines clearly still visible around his eyes. His cheeks blush a bit which makes Arthur smirk and regain his confident once again.
“Was I now?”
“Oh, don’t pretend that I didn’t distract you too. Did you actually hear a word the woman in the spacesuit said to you?” Arthur rises from the wall and as he does his face just happens to move a few inches closer to the other’s.
“I can’t say that I did”, the man chuckles and once again Arthur notices how happy about life the man seems. Normally those are the kinds of people Arthur dislikes the most, but it’s something about his guy’s happiness that is almost contagious and he can’t help but smile back widely.
“What’s your name?” the other asks suddenly.
“Nice to meet you Arthur. I am Merlin.” He holds out his hand and Arthur is not late to take it. Merlin’s hand is cold but soft. Arthur could get used to holding this hand. It’s nice. They stand so for a moment before he realises that he should maybe let go of Merlin’s hand, but the other hasn’t let go of his hand either. That makes Arthur a little warmer inside.
“You really have to show me that picture Arthur.” He could also really get used to the way Merlin says his name.
“Maybe later?” he says. “Over coffee?”
For the first time Merlin is quiet and a stone sinks inside Arthur’s stomach. He fucked this up. He read the situation wrong.
He tries to withdraw his hand but Merlin won’t let go.
“Sorry”, the other says. “I was just trying to understand why you would ask me out over coffee when you clearly just had some.”
This confuses Arthur.
“I mean, you just had coffee, or is the cup sticking out of your bag not yours?”
“I...” Arthur begins and looks down to see the empty cup in the bag. “Yeah that would be mine.”
He internally facepalm himself for being so stupid, but it’s hard to think straight when those clear blue eyes is looking at him.
“What are you doing for lunch?” Merlin asks and looks down at his watch. As he does he has to let go of Arthur’s hand. He had forgotten he still held it. It had just felt so natural.
“I’m free in about an hour.”
“Okay”, Arthur says a bit too fast and a too desperate. “Lunch sounds great.”
Merlin smiles brightly.
“Good! I would let you come back inside but I think you know by now that you’re not allowed.” Merlin points to the yellow tape behind him with an apologetic smile. Arthur chuckle and shake his head.
“But I’ll see you here? In an hour?” Merlin asks and suddenly it’s like a cloud of worry sweeps into his eyes and his voice sounds unsure.
“I really don’t have anything better to do”, Arthur hurries to assure him. He has a feeling he could wait forever to just get five minutes with Merlin.
To this the brunet smiles brightly again.
“Okay, I’ll see you soon then!” He turns around and begins to walk away, and this time it’s Arthur who gets to appreciate it. He really don’t mind. Before he turns around the brick corner he looks back and stops. Arthur waves him away.
“Go solve a murder or something; I’ll be here when you come back.” Merlin grins and disappears. Arthur deflates. He feels something he has never felt before, something he can’t quiet describe. Lighter is perhaps the right word.
Without being able to wipe the grin of his face he finds a bench and sits down. Waiting.
A couple of weeks later
Message: Please stop setting up blind dates. I know you mean well but I’m not the cheating type
Image: *a handsome man in a leather jacket stands beside a woman in a white bodysuit*
Missed call from Morgana
Missed call form Morgana
Message: PICK UP!!!
Missed call from Morgana
Message: Arthur you just caME OUT, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS!!!
Message: I love you but right now I’m annoyed with you :)
Arthur smiles down at his phone as he feels Merlin nuzzle closer and sleepily mumbling something about it being too early and to bright.
Yeah, he can get used to this.