Title: Eat the Soup
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur Pendragon
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur Pendragon
Summary: Arthur's sick. He needs to eat the soup.
Word Count: 300
Prompt: No. 280 Word Limit Month - 300
Author's Notes: Unbeta'd. I got inspired by a mediaeval recipe I found for "Gourdes in Potage".
“What on earth is this?” Arthur lifted up his spoon and globs of thick orange plopped back into the bowl.
“It’s a potion. To make you feel better,” Merlin replied.
Arthur squinted his eyes at the offending mush. “I know you’re lying to me.”
Arthur had been in bed for days with a fever. Merlin’d ordered him to relax and recover, otherwise he'd threatened to declare himself King of Camelot.
Arthur half-believed him.
So he stayed faithfully in bed, only occasionally glancing at the upcoming treaties for discussion, or the new grain tax proposal, though he might have vomited on it. He didn’t remember because he passed out promptly afterwards.
Merlin’s constant fussing included a vegetable diet and minimal contact.
It was an absolute nightmare.
“It has meat in it,” Merlin said, smiling hopefully. “Little chunks, but it’s in there.”
“I don’t see any meat.”
“I made it, so I’m quite sure it's there.”
“Must you force this upon me? What have I done to deserve this?”
Merlin sat down across from Arthur and folded his arms. “I’ve done some traveling, you know. Places—even times—you’ve never heard of. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that royalty generally die young.”
Arthur unconsciously dropped his spoon on the table.
“Not all royalty, mind you.” Merlin lowered his voice to a whisper. “But the ones that eat only meat, cheese, and pastries? They do not lead long lives.”
Arthur laughed nervously. “You must be joking.”
Merlin sighed. “I’ve altered your sword belt three times this year.”
“I’ve got muscle,” Arthur insisted.
“That’s three holes. So I suggest you start eating this squash potage, or I’ll have George serve you and pat you on the head instead. He'll treat you like the child you are.”
Arthur ate it.
It wasn’t half-bad.