Title: What You See in the Stars
Characters: Arthur, Merlin, Percival
Summary: The boys talk about constellations during a patrol. Can Arthur be nice for once?
Word Count: 300
Prompt: 358, celestial
Author's notes: I'm toying with adding this to my Stocks story as chapter 52, not sure yet.
Merlin actually enjoyed patrols in the spring. He could feel the life returning to the world. Even when the weather was a bit changeable, he didn’t mind it. Murky and damp days often led to nights like this where he could just lay with his hands behind his head and stare up at the stars.
“You’re grinning, Merlin.” He looked over to see Arthur staring at him from his nest of blankets. “It’s cold and damp and we have one more week for this patrol. Why are you so happy?”
Merlin gestured with one hand and replied quietly. “Look up there, Arthur. Isn’t it beautiful?”
Arthur turned his head and allowed a tiny smile. “It is.”
“Geoffrey let me borrow a book about the constellations and other celestial bodies.” Merlin snorted. “He was absolutely terrified about it, too.”
Percival chuckled from the other side of Arthur. Merlin hadn’t realized he was still awake. “Mum used to tell me stories and make up her own constellations. I didn’t realize that Cassiopeia wasn’t actually a giant eel that my grandfather once caught until I joined Master Jacobsen’s guard.”
Merlin saw Arthur grin. “I’ve always liked Cepheus. It was simple to find and it looks like a house. Not sure how the Ancients got a king out of it.”
Percival leaned up and looked over Arthur to ask, “What’s your favorite, Merlin?”
“Orion.” He pointed to the line of stars a little above the horizon.
“I don’t know, Merlin. I would think Gemini would be your favorite.”
Merlin stared at Arthur for a moment. “Why?”
Arthur cocked his head and smirked as he peered at the constellation just above Orion, “Because if you look at it just right, it looks like someone stuck in the stocks, waving their arms desperately to get out.”