Title: Samhain Eve (Part 4)(
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, The Knights
Summary: Merlin finds something in the forest
Word Count: 660
Prompt:336. Black Cat
When Merlin returned to camp Arthur was on watch.
“Merlin, where on earth have you been?” Arthur whispered.
“I was taking a piss.” Merlin shrugged.
“You were gone when i came on watch. That was an hour ago.” Arthur pointed at him. “You have that condition again?”
“What? Oh yeah.” Merlin nodded. “Gaius will give me something when we get back. I’ll just start breakfast then pack up camp.”
Merlin stoked the fire and added more wood. The sky was beginning to lighten as dawn was close. Merlin dropped a kettle and all the knights jumped up and reached for their swords.
“Merlin….” Arthur sighed and shook his head.
“Sorry. Be right back.” Merlin headed to the stream to fill the kettle. He was almost there when he heard a rustling sound in the bushes. Merlin stopped and looked to see what it was.
A tiny black kitten stumbled out of the bush and looked up at him.
“Hello there. Where is your mother?” Merlin looked around in the bushes and found a sack with two other kittens and the mother inside. They were all dead. Merlin shook his head. “Looks like you're all alone.”
The little kitten meowed at him.
Merlin picked it up and looked it over for injuries. It looked unharmed. He also noticed it was female. “Freya?”
The little ball of fur purred in his hands.
Merlin tucked it in his pocket and got the water then headed back to camp.
The knights had already started to break camp. Merlin put the kettle on and put a skillet in the fire to fry some ham.
Gwaine sat down next to the fire. “I'm starving. Merlin, whats that in your pocket?”
Merlin looked up from the pan. “What?”
“You pocket is moving.” Gwaine watched it wiggling.
“Oh. I found a kitten by the stream.” Merlin started cooking. “Her mother and two other kittens are dead. I thought I could take it to Hollyvale and someone might give it a home.”
The kitten popped its head out of Merlin's pocket.
Gwaine jumped back. “Merlin’ thats a black cat.”
Merlin nodded. “She's a pretty little thing.”
Arthur came over and sat down. “Merlin, maybe you should leave it here. Black cats are…..evil.”
“She's a baby. She's not evil. I'm not leaving her here.” Merlin sighed. “Arthur please. Some wild animal will kill her.”
“The people in Hollyvale might kill her.” Arthur sighed. “You know how people are in these villages. They run their lives on superstition and false ideas.”
“How long are we staying in Hollyvale?” Merlin asked. “I could take her back to Camelot. Gaius has been complaining about mice in his supplies. We could keep her.”
Lancelot looked at the little head peeking out of Merlin's pocket. “She’s cute…. For a black cat.”
“I doubt Gaius would want a black cat, Merlin. There's already whispers that Gaius has been using magick. A black cat might make people think its true.” Arthur didn't believe the rumors but he had to remind Merlin of them.
Elyan sat down next to Arthur. “Gwen would love a cat.” He looked at Arthur and grinned.
“No!” Arthur shook his head. “She will let it sleep in our chambers. You know how soft hearted your sister is.”
“Merlin, could keep her in the barn.” Leon suggested. “There's always mice in there. Plenty for her to keep busy. What are you going to name her?”
“Freya.” Merlin smiled.
“Let's break camp and get breakfast over with, please. We still have a good day's ride.” Arthur squinted at the kitten in Merlin’s pocket. “Keep Freya hidden when were in the village, Merlin. Just in case.”
Percival eyed the little black fur ball with unease. He believed black cats were evil. He tied his gear to his horse with a frown.
When Camp was packed up and the dishes were washed and packed back up, arthur took the lead and they rode toward Hollyvale.