Title: Where Is The Colander?
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin and Arthur head out to view the eclipse
Word Count: 775
Author's Notes: I don't even know. I was afraid I'd have to skip this prompt, and then this came to me an hour before the deadline. About how to use a colander to view what's happening during an eclipse: http://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/view-eclipse-with-colander-article
Peladryn, this is for you!
“Merlin!” Arthur called up the stairs, “Did you pack the colander?”
Merlin came to the head of the stairs, “I’ll grab it. You can put the chairs and the cooler in now. I’ll bring down the bags in a sec. Don’t forget to leave access to the cooler for when we pick up the food.”
Arthur was a little compulsive in terms of arranging items in the back of their hatchback. Merlin just preferred to stay out of the way and let Arthur arrange things to his satisfaction. But finally, everything was packed, and they were ready to go. Arthur double checked the front door (again), and threw the keys to Merlin, who got into the car, bumped his knees on the steering wheel, cursed a bit, and then adjusted the driver’s seat. Though both men were close in height, their proportions were different and there was always a bit of a battle about seat settings.
The day was beautiful, and though the drive was usually about two hours, they built in extra time to allow for traffic. The plan was to settle in for a relaxed picnic before the eclipse began. Arthur had been planning this trip for at least three years. He had ordered special eclipse glasses for everyone, packed up materials to make pinhole cameras with his beloved nieces and nephew, and called Percy and Gwaine to make sure they were up and out of the house early enough to make it to the park on time.
“My glasses broke this morning, I need to make a quick stop for an eyeglass kit,” said Merlin, pulling into the pharmacy parking lot. Arthur glanced over and realized Merlin’s glasses were hanging haphazardly—barely held together with tape.
Arthur groaned, “Ok, but please make it quick. I really want to get there.”
Merlin was in and out fairly quickly, but Arthur was looking with some hostility at the fairly full shopping bag Merlin returned with.
“You know I want to get there on time, why’d you make a whole shopping trip?”
Merlin looked at him incredulously. “I grabbed two bags of popcorn from an end cap I passed on the way to get the eyeglass kit, and then spent an inordinately wasteful two seconds to lean down and grab a handful of chocolate bars. I am sorry though, I forgot to factor in the extra three seconds it would take the cashier to ring up a few more items. You do know we’ve built in an extra two hours for a trip that should take two hours, right?”
Arthur looked a little sheepish, but not quite sheepish enough to actually apologize.
They got to the delicatessen and picked up their order. Arthur was antsy as though the order was ready, they had to wait for two or three customers to complete their purchases before they could retrieve and pay for their own order. As they waited, Arthur glanced up at the television suspended in the corner. A line of cars, bumper to bumper, filled the screen. Arthur turned away and look towards Merlin in despair. Merlin paid and grabbed the picnic stuff.
Arthur followed him out and opened the cooler to pack the groceries. His anxiety was palpable. When he finished, Merlin, who was at his elbow, took him by the shoulders and turned him so that they were face to face. “Arthur, we are going to make it on time. You have to be patient. It will be fine.”
“You don’t know that. This is really important to me.”
Merlin pulled out his mobile phone. “Look here. With the current traffic, we should still be there an hour early, and then the eclipse isn’t supposed to begin for another hour and a half. I have also checked alternate routes which get us there in plenty of time too. This part of the trip is a little stressful, but you just have to be patient, and have a little faith. You can also help me out by checking the GPS to compare traffic as we progress, because there are a few places where we can jump off the highway and take side roads that should be much less crowded. Ok?”
Arthur nodded. It was clear to Merlin that he was trying to calm himself down and get perspective. Merlin saw the moment when Arthur got a hold of himself. Arthur looked up at him, grinned, and kissed him firmly. “I’m ok now. I’ve just been looking forward to this for so long. I don’t want to ruin the journey with useless worry. Onward, Captain! Take me to the total eclipse of the sun!”