Title: No More Soup!
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin has been an awful klutz lately...is there any chance of promotion at all?
Word Count: 663
Prompt: #264 "Promotion"
Author's Notes: I can't believe it! I wrote two drabbles for the same prompt. TWO! I'm so happy to be writing. Apology: I recently used saboteur!Merlin/clumsy!Merlin in another story.
“Merlin!” shouted Arthur, “Leave it! Just leave! Now!” Merlin scurried from the room and Arthur beckoned George over to help clean up the platter of roasted vegetables Merlin had dropped on the floor.
Later that night Arthur informed Merlin that he had been quite fortunate that Uther had been absent when Merlin had dropped the dish. “Yes, sire,” answered Merlin, splashing the bath water all over the floor as he assisted with Arthur’s bath.
The next morning, Arthur was rudely awoken by the sound of his wash basin crashing to the ground. “Merlin! What is wrong with you? Go see Gaius and have him check you out! I know you are clumsy, but this is out of control. Go! Now! Geoge will attend me in the Great Hall tonight. Take the day off and get some rest.”
The banquet was going perfectly. George really was remarkably efficient. But Arthur was surprised to realize how much he missed Merlin’s presence. Still he was relieved that Merlin would not have a chance to create havoc in Uther’s presence. So Arthur was quite surprised to see Merlin enter with the soup course.
“What are you doing here? Get lost!” he ordered under his breath. Merlin just smiled, tripped over his own feet, and managed to send Arthur’s soup sailing so that it landed right in Uther’s lap.
Uther began sputtering and screaming. Quickly, Arthur had the ever-efficient George rush Merlin from the room. Uther demanded that Merlin spend a week in dungeons, and questioned Arthur’s wisdom in keeping him as his manservant.
Arthur accompanied Uther to his chambers. He personally helped him out of his soiled clothing and then coaxed him into sharing a cordial or two (actually, three) in front of the fire. When Uther had mellowed out, Arthur explained that Merlin was suffering from extreme exhaustion, and that Gaius had recommended rest, but Merlin was so loyal that he had resisted taking a few days off. Somehow, the warmth of the fire, the cordial, and Arthur’s expert flattery, had put Uther into good spirits, and he agreed to Arthur’s plan to demonstrate his merciful nature by giving Merlin a few days to rest before resuming his duties under medical supervision.
When Arthur returned to his chambers, relieved, but exhausted, he found Merlin awaiting him. “What is going on Merlin? What did Gaius say? Why were you there tonight? I just spent the past two hours coddling and flattering Uther so that I could talk him into demonstrating his merciful benevolence by giving you a few days to recover. Now what is going on? Do I need to talk to Gaius myself?”
“Um…no. No that’s not necessary. Gods, I am so sorry. It was stupid. I’m so stupid.”
“What on earth are you going on about, Merlin?”
“I just wanted to make sure that nobody would think I should get promoted.”
“Promoted?” asked Arthur dryly.
“Yes, one of the kitchen maids said that promotions are coming soon.”
“And you do not want to be promoted? You don’t want to be paid better, have more status, a better position?”
Merlin just looked at Arthur. He looked, and let every thought and feeling show on his face. “I would love more money, more status, and to never shine another boot in my life, but…”
“But what?” asked Arthur, suddenly standing closer.
“But I need to be near you. I don’t want a promotion because then I wouldn’t be your manservant and this is where I need to be. By your side. Always.”
“Merlin,” murmured Arthur, as he slid one hand to the back of Merlin’s neck and the other around his waist. “By my side. Always. Just please don’t spill any more soup on Uther, or I’ll be visiting you in the dungeons.”
“I promise—no more soup,” answered Merlin, sealing his vow with a kiss.
“No more soup,” echoed Arthur as he wrapped both arms around Merlin and returned his kiss, "No more soup."