Title:The Brains of the Operation
Summary: Merlin is feeling a bit like a beast of burden.
Word Count: 570
“Merlin, c’mon! Make haste! We have to be there in twenty minutes,” Arthur groused. He was dressed in a sharp, perfectly tailored, charcoal grey suit. His shirt was black, and his tie was a perfectly coordinated shade of grey accented by a fine, subtle stripe of soft purple.
Merlin spared Arthur a glance—well, more of a scowl, actually. He trailed behind Arthur, weighed down with a camera, lighting and sound equipment. “You know, I could keep up with you, your Highness, if you deigned to carry some of the equipment.”
“You know I can’t...,” began Arthur.
“Yes, yes. I know. You cannot possibly risk mussing your gazillion dollar designer suit. Of course not. What was I thinking?” Merlin continued to mutter, but Arthur was glad he couldn’t really make out the words.
“Sweetheart…,”Arthur stopped short at the cold look Merlin threw him. “Listen," he began again, "How about this? The moment we get home, you can plop down on the sofa and put your feet up. And I’ll bring you the remotes, and go strip off this ridiculous suit. Then I’ll call in some take away, and come rub your sore tootsies and shoulders.”
“Hmm. How about it, babe?” coaxed Arthur.
Merlin couldn’t help cracking a smile. Arthur stopped in his tracks, took Merlin by the arms and kissed him firmly. “I couldn’t do this without you. I do know that, you know. These videos are as much yours as they are mine. In fact, I’m probably more easily replaced than you.”
Merlin shook his head. “I know, but sometimes I feel like a pack animal. And when you’re in a rush, you forget that it’s hard for me to keep pace with you when I’m carrying all this gear.”
“Sometimes, I am an idiot,” said Arthur, taking Merlin’s elbow and pulling him towards the corner bake shop. “I know you skipped breakfast. I’ll text them that we’ll be a little delayed. Let’s grab a coffee and one of those cream filled things you like. Then I can at least carry a couple of the small things, so the bulky ones aren’t as awkward for you.”
Ten minutes and a couple of pastries later, Merlin was in a much better mood. Arthur grabbed a couple of the smaller accessory bags that he could carry in his hands, and they set out at a more reasonable pace. “Merlin, what do you think about using some of the money from this job to pay people to help lug this stuff around?”
“That sounds fantastic,” answered Merlin, grinning from ear to ear. “But you know, if we have enough money to do that, we could just splurge on a couple of rolling cases, and we’d be fine. When we have extra gear, you could help out, and it wouldn’t endanger your clothing--and over time we’d save money.”
“Do I still get that rub tonight?”
“Of course you do. And, after dinner, we can go online and start shopping for rolling cases.”
“Well,” said Merlin, “I was thinking after dinner we should call it an early night and crawl into bed together. Maybe find some more spots that need rubbing? I think ordering the cases can wait another day. What do you think?”
“I think that you are clearly the brains of this operation,” said Arthur, flashing that special smile which always sent a shiver down Merlin’s spine.
"Then it's a plan!" said Merlin, "C'mon, make haste! Let's get this job done with so we can get home!"