Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin speaks to Arthur about a prisoner in the cells.
Word Count: 474
Prompt: 365 Writing on the body
Author's Notes: Onezie!
“Do you really need to execute that man in the cell?” Merlin asked once he was alone with Arthur in Arthur's chambers.
“He's a Druid. His guilt is written on his skin.” Arthur sat down at his desk.
“What is written on his body does not mean his heart is evil. The Druids are a peaceful people. He wears those marks in tribute to his faith.” Merlin started to collect the dishes on the table. “I know what Gaius told you after he was rescued from the cave. He told you that not all people with magick are your enemy. Some are your ally.”
“All magick is evil.” Arthur shrugged. “Everyone who practices it is my enemy.”
Merlin paused in what he was doing. “Arthur you know that Gaius once practiced magick. Is he evil? Is he your enemy or your friend?”
Arthur shook his head. “No. He's my friend but..”
“Then you cannot say that everyone who practices magick is evil and your enemy.” Merlin took a step toward the desk. “Punish the man in the cell for stealing for that is his crime.”
Arthur looked up. “Are you telling me how to run my kingdom?”
“No. I'm telling you not to make the same mistakes as your father did. Show compassion and mercy. They aren't your weaknesses. They're your strengths. Uther never learned that lesson, but you can. You are a better man than your father.”
Arthur squinted at Merlin. “What's gotten into you lately? Youre all…. Thinky.”
Merlin shrugged. “I do a lot of thinking whilst I wash your socks. You have very clean socks, by the way.”
Arthur frowned. “I guess he can spend a month in the cells and be let go. I don't see the point of killing him over a few apples and a loaf of bread.”
Merlin smiled. “Thank you, Arthur. Shall I go tell the guard on duty at the cells?”
“Yes, and bring me some lunch. I'm starving.” Arthur waved his hand in dismissal.
Merlin smiled and picked up the tray as he headed for the door. “Yes Sire.”
Arthur watched Merlin as he left the room. He knew his manservant had magick but he wasn't going to let on that he knew. He smiled at his secret and went back to his reports.
Arthur had seen Merlin do magick one night on patrol. Merlin lit wet wood with a spell. Lancelot was on watch and saw him too but said nothing. Arthur suspected that the knight knew already. Gwaine might know as well. They were both close friends of Merlin's.
Like Gaius, Merlin was his friend and his ally. Those were things hard to come by for a King and he was grateful for them both. One day, he might tell Merlin that he knew his secret but not today. Maybe not ever.