Title: The Battle Before the War
Pairing/s: None yet
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin's first painful day as Professor.
Word Count: 361
Prompt: #270 schedule
Merlin's morning included tripping over his boots as he struggled with his socks. He was sitting down.
It included spilling all the papers from his arms while waiting for an elevator. He missed three while he picked everything up.
It included running into no fewer than three walls, two other professors, and one door as he dashed through the corridors. He still feels bad for body-checking a little old professor into a student with the speed of a pinball machine launcher.
It included arriving to his first class ever as Merlin Emerson, Professor of History, in clothes that don't match - and won't even pretend to match out of sympathy. He resigned himself to the fact that his wacky - or, at best, eclectic - appearance will forever be part of his reputation.
Even after the morning Merlin has had, Merlin gets everything at his desk set up with one minute to spare.
His students sit in their seats.
He gets their attention so he can start telling them about the course goals, reading list, and assignments.
He might get a little overexcited while he talks about the topic he loves; he is big enough to admit that he sometimes carries on too passionately when he gets carried away.
"So you see, if we all just stick to the schedule, everything will go fine!" Merlin finishes.
There is no reverent, excited silence, as he expects. A student in the middle of the room speaks without being acknowledged as soon as Merlin takes a breath.
"But Mr. Emerson–"
"It's Merlin, please," Merlin replies. "What is your name?"
"Arthur. What do we do if we can't keep to that schedule?"
Merlin isn't going to let this student bring him down from his excitement for history and his triumphant start-of-course speech.
"I don't see any problem in you turning in your assignments in advance of the deadlines," Merlin answers.
Half the class groans while the other half sniggers.
Merlin thinks maybe he should have told anyone with concerns to come see him after class.
An expression on Arthur's face tells Merlin he is in for a semester of war with at least one student.