Title: Not Quite Like the Old Days
Word Count: 340
Summary: Written for bonus challenge 7 for summerpornathon. Modern AU. When friends get together for a reunion sleepover during college, Percival feels like the odd man out.
Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to Shine and BBC. I make no profit from this endeavor.
Having the sleepover in the treehouse had been Arthur's idea, which meant nobody really argued against it because, well, none of them ever really argued with Arthur except Merlin and he had the strangest notion that it would be fun, too.
"Like the old days," he'd said.
"With beer," Gwaine added with a laugh.
That pretty much clinched it.
And truth be told, Percival didn't have a problem with the plan at first. It was the first time they'd all been together in one place since scattering for college three years ago, and he'd missed them too much for Arthur's attack of nostalgia to spoil their only night together.
But when the seven of them spread their sleeping bags out on the slatted floor, those years loomed large, or rather, Percival did. The five inches he'd shot up since graduating made a big difference in trying to get comfortable in the awkward space.
"Get your Shrek feet out of my face," Gwaine complained.
Percival tried angling his sleeping bag more toward the ladder, only to inadvertently kick Leon in the stomach. "Sorry," he muttered.
"So it's a little tight." Arthur grabbed one of the six-packs he'd brought up and began passing them around. "We won't even notice after a few beers."
The alcohol helped him relax, at least for as long as the joking and catching up went on. But as the others began to drop off, one by one, Percival's discomfort rose. It didn't matter what kind of reunion this was. He couldn't sleep up here without running the risk of kicking someone down the ladder in his sleep.
Once he was sure everyone was out, he scooped up his bag and stepped gingerly around the sprawled bodies, his head and shoulders bent because it wasn't just the floorspace that was too small for him now. The ladder creaked once as he climbed down, but he made it to the bottom without anyone the wiser.
The ground was cold and bumpy, the comfort of the Pendragon house annoyingly out of reach. Percival stretched out and sighed. He'd be sore in the morning, probably covered with dew, too, but at least this way, everybody got some sleep.
As he started to drop off, the ladder creaked. He opened his eyes in time to see Merlin drop to the ground beside him.
"What're you doing down here?" Percival said.
Merlin's eyes looked like they were glowing in the moonlight. "You're down here."
"Because I didn't fit up there."
"Maybe I didn't, either."
"You thought the treehouse was a great idea."
"I just wanted the chance to hang out with everyone. Like the old days."
"Everyone's still up there."
"Not the one I wanted to see most."
Percival held his breath as Merlin grabbed the zipper on his sleeping bag, slid it down, and wormed his way inside, his long legs tangling with Percival's. He ended half-laying across Percival's chest, his hard cock nudging against Percival's thigh.
"We'll never get it zipped up again with both of us in here," Percival whispered. His arms went around Merlin automatically. He wasn't the only one who'd filled out in the time they'd been apart. "You'll get cold."
A slow smile spread across Merlin's face. "Somehow, I seriously doubt that."
Somehow, so did Percival.