Work Header


Work Text:

"You do know that hovering over my shoulder won't make me fix this faster, right?"

Merlin didn't turn around. He didn't need to. He'd memorised Arthur's smug, son-of-the-CEO smirk so turning around to see it would only be a) a waste of time and b) distracting. (That particular smirk was smug, patronising and proved that Arthur was the walking epitome of 'being a prat', but Merlin would have to be blind-drunk not to find it attractive. Not that he'd tried looking at Arthur's smirk when blind-drunk, or spent an entire office Christmas party staring at Arthur and rating his smiles from cute to gorgeous to 'ruining my expectations of all other men'.)

So, no, he was not going to turn around. Merlin was not going to look away from his screen, no matter how petulantly Arthur whined, "Meeeerlin."


No matter how Arthur leaned closer and said, "Not even for me?" as he curled hands around Merlin's shoulders -- warm, wide palms, strong fingers pressing lightly against the bone, gentle grip that really would be better suited--

"I'm working on something," Merlin said quickly, before his thoughts could go to places that weren't appropriate at work. Especially not sitting at a desk with Arthur draped over him, body warm against Merlin's back and hands-- "Something important. More important than figuring out why your printer has jammed."

"What could be more important than my printer?"

Merlin did it. He looked away from his screen and straight into the bluest eyes it had ever been his misfortune to see. And that sharp, I'm-way-out-of-your-league smirk that looked far too attractive on Arthur's mouth.

"Well, um," Merlin said. He swallowed and tried again. "The server. It's not picking up half our sites, and, well… yeah."

"But surely," Arthur said sweetly, his face softening into the kind of smile that had ruined Merlin's ability to date, his social life and his better judgement, "you'd have a little time for my printer? It wouldn't take long."

Merlin sighed. He knew he shouldn't have looked away from his screen.

This was why he ended up at his desk at 7pm, glaring at code. This was why he got angry emails from area managers about the lack of IT support. Because when he was supposed to be working, when he had actual things to do, Arthur came in here and treated Merlin like his personal Slayer of the Technological Beasties.

And every time, Merlin looked up and Arthur smiled, and Merlin said something like, "Okay, fine, but you owe me."

"Owe you what?" For a guy who dated supermodels and was apparently straight, Arthur had mastered the art of flirting shamelessly. "My life? My first born?"

Is your virtue too much to ask, Merlin thought and then slapped his hand over his mouth to make sure he hadn't said that. Arthur raised an eyebrow at him – he probably wouldn't laugh, not until Merlin had fixed the printer – and Merlin tried to shrug it off. "Um. A drink. That's what you owe me."

Arthur laughed at him. But then he said, "Tomorrow night?" and Merlin nearly swallowed his own tongue in shock.

"Urgh," Merlin said, and then "Um," and "Errr…"

Arthur said, "If you can get this report printed in the next half hour, I'll take you out tonight."