Title: According to Schedule
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: As king of Camelot, Arthur has a busy schedule. However, as king of Camelot, he decides to change his schedule any damn way he pleases. Merlin is most certainly not impressed.
Word Count: 740
Author's Notes: The Frankish characters that are seen in this little story are characters in another series.
“… Childeric and his daughter Audofleda are due to arrive today to discuss an alliance with you,” Merlin said loudly, reading the piece of parchment that included a schedule for Arthur’s day. “Ragnachar has sent an embassy to request that you marry his sister, the princess Clotilde. He sent a miniature portrait with his letter…”
Arthur stood framed in the large window of his chambers. His attention was no longer on the contents of the schedule drawn up by one of his advisors, but upon a beautiful young woman with golden hair who had been walking about the courtyard with Sir Leon. Arthur felt a pang of jealousy as he watched the pair come to a stop in the street, looking at the goods on a merchant’s table. The woman picked up a trinket and laughed prettily, but shook her head when Leon started pulling out his leather pouch, pointing instead towards some dazzling pink roses that another vendor had nearby.
From behind him, Merlin coughed loudly, but Arthur didn’t pay him any attention. Leon had bought the roses and gave them to his pretty companion with such a show of gallantry that the young king scoffed. He heard Merlin approach the window and peeked out into the street below.
“We all know that the Lady Soizic is beautiful,” Merlin said impatiently as he pulled the curtains shut. He sounded annoyed at the fact that Arthur was shutting him out in favour of a Breton noblewoman. He shoved a miniature portrait into the king’s hands before returning to the parchment. “However, despite her beauty, she isn’t going to do your kingly duties for you.”
“Introducing myself to the Lady Soizic is part of my kingly duties,” Arthur muttered. “As a matter of fact, it’s on the schedule for later.”
Merlin glanced up at Arthur, his eyebrows raised. “Really? I’ve been looking over this parchment, and it doesn’t say one thing about the Lady Soizic at all. As a matter of fact, it states that you are to meet Princess Clotilde later.”
“I cannot meet princess Clotilde!” Arthur protested. “She’s… she’s… Ragnachar’s daughter!”
“Clotilde is Ragnachar’s sister, Arthur.”
“Ragnachar is in his thirties. Which means that his sister is the same age!”
Merlin sighed in frustration. “If you had listened to me, you would know that this is his youngest sister who is two years younger than you. She’s seventeen years old.”
Arthur looked at the portrait in his hands and saw an attractive girl with dark auburn hair and expressive green eyes. He glanced at Merlin with a look of horror on his face. “She’s a Frank, Merlin!”
“So? Lady Soizic is a Breton.”
“You are to put on that parchment that I am to meet with the Lady Soizic later, Merlin.”
“Her mother is a Frank,” Merlin said so casually that Arthur was stunned into silence.
“She speaks a language that I understand,” Arthur said stubbornly.
“Soizic likes Sir Leon. Besides, she isn’t a princess, and Clotilde is. You cannot go around insulting kings.” Merlin peered at the parchment and sighed. “You also have to give a speech to the embassy that Ragnachar sent, along with your answer.”
Arthur sat down in his chair with a defeated look on his face. He sat in silence for a few minutes before his eyes lit up. “Merlin, can I see the schedule?”
Merlin was immediately suspicious. “Why do you want it?”
“I just want to take a look at it. After all, it is my life that this schedule is affecting. I want to make sure everything looks correct.”
Merlin gave Arthur the parchment, stood back and watched him with narrowed eyes. At first, the young king stared at the parchment in interest, but then he grabbed a quill and wrote something down.
“Here you go, Merlin.” Arthur stood up from his chair with a large grin on his face. “I made some changes to the schedule.”
Merlin stared at what Arthur had written and glanced back up in alarm. “Arthur, you can’t change up a schedule like this. You’ll be missed by the war council during this time…”
Arthur walked to the door of his chambers, pausing long enough to look over at Merlin. “Merlin, it’s only going to be for a short time. I will introduce myself to the Lady Soizic and then make it to the war council’s meeting. It will all be according to schedule, you’ll see.”