"Did you eat the last of the popcorn?" Arthur asked indignantly, his hand scraping the bottom of the bowl.
"It was calling to me," Merlin said, not feeling especially guilty. Arthur's flat was freezing and the popcorn had been warm and comforting. "We can make make more if you want."
"Maybe in a bit." Arthur propped his feet up on the coffee table and went back to watching the film.
Merlin did the same and crossed his arms over his chest, trying to stay warm. He didn't understand why Arthur wasn't as cold as he was.
"Are you shivering?" Arthur asked a while later.
"It's freezing in here! How do you not feel it?"
Arthur laughed and got up to go into his bedroom. He came back a moment later with a blanket and dropped it on Merlin as he sat down again.
"There," he said. "Wimp."
Merlin scoffed but arranged the blanket over himself anyway. It was much better, much warmer, and it smelled like Arthur.
That last bit was distracting, but Merlin tried his hardest not to think on it.
"All right," Arthur said as the film's climactic battle scene started. "It is a bit chilly."
Arthur scooted closer and pulled half of the blanket over himself.
Merlin froze, his body sparking with the knowledge that his entire side was pressed up against Arthur's. Arthur was warm, Arthur was close, and Merlin started overheating almost immediately.
"Much better," Arthur declared. He spread his arms out on the back of the sofa, his hand stretching past Merlin's head.
Merlin had to resist the urge to lean into Arthur.
And to put a hand on Arthur's thigh under the blanket.
He tried to focus on the film, instead, but it was difficult. His body was screaming for him to make a move. The situation was perfect for it.
They were alone, and they were never alone. The only reason it was just the two of them was because their other mates had cancelled.
They were huddled together under a blanket, close and warm and close and warm and close. Arthur was so close.
They were watching a shit film that neither of them cared about, if the fact that they both kept talking over it was anything to go by.
They were having a good time. They were vibing. They were bonding.
And Merlin had been pining after Arthur for what felt like ages. In reality it had only been a few months, ever since Arthur had initiated their weekly film nights and Merlin had started getting to know him better.
He'd met Arthur through Gwaine, who Merlin had been sleeping with at the time and who knew Arthur from uni. They had stopped sleeping together after a while but had managed to stay friends, mostly because Merlin had already carved out a little space for himself in Gwaine's social circle.
Arthur hadn't been the most welcoming at first. He knew Gwaine's patterns and didn't seem interested in getting to know his latest fuckbuddy. Then they'd called off their affair and Merlin had stuck around, and Arthur had finally accepted Merlin into the group.
This was the first time they were alone together, and Merlin couldn't stop thinking about making a move. And when he got an idea in his head, it was hard to talk himself out of it.
He shifted slightly closer—ever so slightly closer—and Arthur didn't pull away. If anything, Arthur maybe leaned into it. That might have been Merlin's imagination, though.
Uncrossing his arms, Merlin rested his hands on his thighs. Then, slowly, he shifted his left hand until his pinky was touching Arthur's jeans. He moved his pinky slightly, brushing it against Arthur's leg.
Arthur didn't react, although it was entirely possible he couldn't actually feel what Merlin was doing.
Merlin continued moving his finger along Arthur's jeans, hoping that eventually Arthur would catch on. Arthur still gave no signs of knowing what was happening, though, and Merlin started plotting his next move.
Then Arthur took his arms off the back of the sofa and pulled them under the blanket. He rested his hands in his lap, and Merlin froze, not sure if he'd been found out.
"This film's kind of dumb," Arthur said.
"It's not the best," Merlin agreed.
Arthur shifted his hands and one of them brushed against Merlin's.
"Sorry," Arthur said, his voice low. He didn't move his hand away.
"It's all right," Merlin said in what was barely more than a whisper.
Holding his breath, Merlin lifted his pinky and hooked it over Arthur's. Arthur crooked his finger, linking it with Merlin's, and Merlin bit down a smile.
They stayed that way through the end of the film, and then the credits started.
"Definitely not as good as the reviews made it seem," Arthur declared. He gave Merlin's pinky a squeeze.
"No," Merlin agreed. He slid his hand a little lower, resting it fully on Arthur's thigh. "I mean, the cinematography wasn't bad."
"It wasn't," Arthur agreed, acting as if Merlin wasn't doing anything under the blanket. "And the special effects were good."
"Just terrible writing," Merlin said. He moved his hand up a little, curving it around Arthur's inner thigh.
"And terrible acting." Arthur draped his arms on the back of the sofa again, dropping one hand to Merlin's shoulder after a moment.
"Credit music's not bad," Merlin said. He slid his hand higher until it was against Arthur's crotch. He flex his wrist, dragging the side of his hand over Arthur's jeans.
"Could be worse," Arthur agreed. He lifted his hand off Merlin's shoulder and got it in Merlin's hair for a few seconds before he started playing with Merlin's ear.
Merlin huffed and turned his head, capturing Arthur's lips in a kiss. Arthur put his hand back in Merlin's hair, holding him in place.
Arthur slid his tongue against Merlin's lips, and Merlin opened his mouth, scrambling to get up and into Arthur's lap. He straddled Arthur's thighs, pressing their hips together and burying his own hands in Arthur's hair.
"Thanks for sharing your blanket," Merlin murmured when Arthur pulled back to kiss down Merlin's neck.
"Oh," Arthur chuckled, his breath pouring over Merlin's skin and making him shiver. "Anytime."