Title: A good night
Character/s: Percival, Merlin
Summary: Percival is alone and spying through his window.
Word Count: 750
Prompt: Promt 282: wlm-750
Author's Notes: Can be read on it's own, I think? But it's an addition to my latest Percival/Merlin series. Not sure what I think about this, but plot bunnies will plot and I actually managed to write it so... yey? No beta, as usual.
Follow up to Four beddings and a funeral
There's a perfectly shaped peak hole in Percival's curtains. A small fold curves neatly where the two curtains meet to cover the window. It sits at just the right height, completely inconspicuous, providing a view of the fire escape. Out there, a pile of cloth, and what used to be Percival's favourite shirt, lies underneath a make shift clothes line. A metal bowl containing some leftovers from today's dinner is tucked towards the wall. Percival can observe it all, and not a movement can be seen from the outside.
Percival smiles wryly to himself. All those nosy people back home in the village would have been green with envy. Perfect as it may be, the reason for this elaborate set up was still at large and yet to be spotted.
Strange how quickly one gets used to having company. No freakishly sharp claws attacked Percival's toes. No hostile hissing came from under the chair in the corner when Percival walked pass. No kittens had gotten themselves stuck on top of the kitchen cabinets. Merlin had a nasty assignment to complete, so he stayed at school and his room at the dorm like a good student, where Percival's odd working hours didn't crash with Merlin's odd study hours.
He couldn't blame the cat for not showing up. It was difficult to imagine that the cat would recognize their good intentions. First they had trapped her inside his flat for weeks, and insisted that they could borrow her kittens and pet them despite her continuous protests. Then they had given her kittens away to strangers, one by one. When that was done, they had tricked her into a transport cage and drove her to the nearest vet clinic. He tried not to feel guilty about, it was for the best.
Now, in hind sight, it did bring a small smile to his face. The vet had looked at the hissing furry demon in the transport cage and she was a bit hesitant to accept the plan. Percival was glad he was not in the vet's shoes, getting the cat into the cage had been difficult enough. Perhaps it had seemed a bit pointless to spay a hostile stray cat. But the other only real option was to put her down. She couldn't stay indoors, she would never settle down. Simply releasing her back outside would leave her back where they started. She would have an easier life now, with only herself to care for rather than perhaps two or three litters per year. The vet was a professional after all, and Merlin's semi celebrity status might have helped. It's hard to remain blasé when the son of the late Bali Noor stand before you, speaking animatedly about the positive effect of returning feral, sterilized cats to their territory.
It was the first time Percival had seen Merlin embrace his legacy and used it to his advantage. Or rather, to Percival's advantage. He had been brilliant, Percival thought, though he knew he was far from objective in that matter. In the end even Percival felt like they were all doing the world a great favour by having the cat spayed and released back into the wild, aka Percival's backyard. And somehow Merlin had landed the deal where the cat stayed until she was healed and ready to be set free. Then they blew their perfect game when the newly convinced vet were adding them to their computer files and asked for the cat's name. And so the cat was named Stray, after an awkward pause which probably felt longer than it actually did. It took all they had to not burst into hysteric laughter.
Somehow Percival had a feeling that would have reached the media in a not so flattering way.
A sudden impulse made him glance at his phone. There were nothing new there since last he checked. Not strange, as it was stupidly late at night and no-one would be up. Man, what did he do with his time before Merlin and the cats came along?
He decides to take one last check before going to bed. And there, isn't that...?
He really should have waited, but he doesn't think Merlin will mind. He quickly sends a text.
It doesn't take long before the reply comes, a string of happy smileys and cats.
He imagines Merlin's sleepy face blinking towards the screen and is filled with fondness. He sends one single red heart in return, and means every pixel.