schweet_heart (schweet_heart) wrote in camelot_drabble,
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sword and shield

Author: schweet_heart
Title: sword and shield
Rating: T
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gaius
Summary:

“What happened?” Gaius inquired, pulling one of Merlin’s hands away from his face. “Did someone hit you?”

“Arthur tried to kill me,” Merlin said, his voice distinctly muffled thanks to the handkerchief he was using to staunch the blood. He shot Arthur an outraged look. “I think he broke by dose.”

“It was an accident,” Arthur corrected, scowling. “I wasn’t aiming for his face; it just kind of got in the way.”

Warnings: A bit of blood and violence.
Word Count: 995 words.
Prompt: #244 Accidental.
Author's Notes: Oh, hey, look, an actual plot this time!


Gaius was in the middle of brewing a potion when they arrived, but he took one look at Merlin’s face and abandoned it without a word, lending his arm alongside Arthur’s to help him to a seat on one of the unoccupied benches. Arthur was grateful; despite Merlin’s slight frame, he was remarkably awkward and unwieldy when it came to navigating through the castle with a bloody nose. Possibly this was intentional.

“What happened?” Gaius inquired, pulling one of Merlin’s hands away from his face. “Did someone hit you?”

“Arthur tried to kill me,” Merlin said, his voice distinctly muffled thanks to the handkerchief he was using to staunch the blood. He shot Arthur an outraged look. “I think he broke by dose.”

“It was an accident,” Arthur corrected, scowling. “I wasn’t aiming for his face; it just kind of got in the way.”

Merlin glowered at him over Gaius’ shoulder, then winced as the physician tipped some physick into a bowl and began to clean the blood from his nostrils. Arthur folded his arms and glared right back, trying not to notice just how attractive Merlin looked when he was angry. It was a losing battle, really; that was part of what made annoying him so much fun in the first place.

“Fine,” Merlin said grudgingly. “The face part was an accident. But tackling me to the ground was definitely intentional, so don’t you dare try to pretend it was a mistake.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Arthur said, affronted. “Although I do feel I ought to point out that if you’d been blocking me like we practiced, you wouldn’t have been knocked to the ground at all. So in a way, this was all your fault.”

You hit me! How is that my fault!?”

“We were training! That’s what you do in training!” Arthur threw up his arms in exasperation. “What do you think knights do on the practice field every day, just wave our swords at each other? You’re supposed to be learning how to fight off an attacker, Merlin. It wouldn’t be much use if I only pretended to attack you.”

“Well, you didn’t have to get so enthusiastic about it,” Merlin muttered, which made Arthur flush before he could think of a way to stop himself. In point of fact, he had been rather more enthusiastic about wrestling Merlin to the ground than was entirely warranted. He’d been hoping Merlin hadn’t noticed.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Arthur said briskly, since under the circumstances there was no option but to lie blatantly and move on as quickly as possible. “You’re my manservant. How you conduct yourself in an attack reflects upon me.”

“I highly doubt the next group of bandits we meet is going to take the time to critique my fighting skills,” Merlin retorted. “Or to consider the repercussions for your reputation while they try to kill me!”

At this, Arthur only sighed. Merlin was probably right, but the fact remained that the thought of him in any kind of life or death situation was the one thing practically guaranteed to make Arthur break out in hives. The man was a walking disaster at the best of times – he tripped up the stairs, dropped plates and goblets at inconvenient moments, and was forever showing up freshly bruised in Arthur’s chambers thanks to some scrape or another. It was really a miracle he was still alive at all.

“Just…practice those moves some more, all right?” Arthur said, some of his humour fading as he contemplated Merlin’s injury. “It’s important for you to know how to protect yourself.”

Something of Arthur’s sincerity must have been obvious, because Merlin only mumbled indistinctly and subsided, looking more than a little shamefaced. As well he should, in Arthur’s opinion. The shock of finding him out cold and covered in blood after their last skirmish wasn't one that Arthur would forget in a hurry.

“Well, I don’t think it’s broken,” Gaius said, straightening up with one hand on Merlin’s shoulder. He dropped the soiled cloth into the bowl and turned to scan the infirmary shelves. “However, I’m out of comfrey. Do you think you can keep yourselves out of trouble long enough for me to go and fetch some?”

“Of course, Gaius,” Merlin said. Arthur merely snorted, making Merlin glare at him all over again, but the physician apparently took this as surrender because he gathered his things and left them to it.

Without his presence, the infirmary seemed to have grown somehow smaller. Merlin glanced at Arthur, still bruised but no longer as ghastly-looking as before, and screwed up his mouth in an expression Arthur assumed was meant to convey wry resignation.

"I'm just not that good at things requiring hand-eye coordination," he said, apologetically. "I'll never be as good with a sword as you are."

"No one's as good with a sword as I am," Arthur said. "But you need to at least be able to manage a shield; I won't have you getting yourself killed because of me."

That wasn't right; it was too raw, and revealed far more than he was comfortable with. But Merlin was looking up at him the way he sometimes did, as if Arthur had somehow managed to hang the moon and stars while he wasn’t watching, and it was that look which, after everything, caused Arthur to lose his head.

Of course, kissing Merlin was not without its hazards, one way or another.

“Ow!” Merlin yelped as Arthur's nose bumped against his, and the prince pulled back in a hurry.

“Sorry, sorry,” he said, flushing and holding up his hands. “It was an accident.”

“And you call me accident-prone,” Merlin grumbled, catching Arthur’s tunic in one fist and pulling him back down for a proper kiss. “You’re a menace.”

For his part, Arthur felt this was overstating the case a bit, but even if he had wanted to argue he found he rather lacked the breath to disagree.
Tags: *c:schweet_heart, c:arthur, c:gaius, c:merlin, p:arthur/merlin, pt 244:accidental, rating:pg, type:drabble
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