Title: Moments of Ease
Pairing: Merlin & Arthur
Characters: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: On yet another hunting trip, Merlin is injured, leading Arthur to have to care for him and the camp.
Warnings: nuttin' honey
Word Count: 530
Prompt: 369, nice, easy life
Author's Notes: Will we ever stop whumping on poor Merlin? Nah...
Generally, Merlin was on the side of the cute and fluffy creatures when Arthur made him go hunting. However, there were moments, usually when it was dinnertime and he was hungry, that he rooted for Arthur to catch a nice, juicy rabbit. This was one of those moments.
“I just want a nice, easy life. What’s wrong with that?”
Arthur snorted as he wound the bandage around Merlin’s ankle. “It wasn’t my fault you stepped into the rabbithole.”
“Yes, it is. If you hadn’t wanted to go hunting, we would be in Camelot and I wouldn’t have an ankle as swollen as your head.”
“Careful, cabbagehead, I’m the one bandaging that ankle.” Arthur smirked at his manservant.
Merlin sighed and leaned back against the tree Arthur had propped him against. “You’re doing a good job, Arthur. Maybe Gaius should take you on as his apprentice when we get back.” He winced when Arthur tightened the bandage a little too much. “Or not.”
“Oh, be quiet, Merlin. All the knights know basic wound care, you know that. I’m doing a fantastic job.” He patted the bow he tied lightly. “Stay there. I’ll do your job tonight and set up camp.” Merlin stayed silent as he watched the prince light a fire and ready the few rabbits he had managed to kill before Merlin found the rabbit warren the hard way for roasting.
The light dose of tincture of poppy from the small medical kit Gaius insisted he take with him was making Merlin’s ankle throb a lot less. It was a lovely evening, and he was actually feeling good. He watched the fire from the bedroll Arthur had neatly set up. “Say, Arthur, if you could make one law without any consequences, what would it be?”
Arthur looked up from his own contemplation of the fire. “Merlin, does it matter?”
“I’m just curious. What would you do differently than your father?”
Arthur sighed. “The knights. We have some good ones, but we’ve met some men that I would be happy to call my knights if they just had noble blood.”
“He’s one, yes.”
Merlin grinned, “Who else?”
“It doesn’t matter.” Arthur stared at the roasting rabbits carefully.
“Of course it does. Who else? Come on, Arthur, I won’t let up until you tell me.”
“My gods, Merlin, you’re even more annoying when you’re ill.” Arthur poked the fire needlessly.
“Absolutely.” Merlin threw a tiny piece of stick at the prince. “Who is it? It’s Gwaine, isn’t it?”
Arthur threw him a disgusted glare before picking up a pebble and throwing it at Merlin.
“Yep, it’s definitely Gwaine. I knew you actually liked him.” Merlin laughed. “He likes you, too, as much as he doesn’t want to admit it.”
Arthur chuckled. “He’s a pain in the ass.”
Merlin nodded, his eyes closed as he relaxed. “You two are so alike in that way. No wonder you rub each other the wrong way sometimes.”
There was a moment of silence across the fire. “Why do I put up with you?”
Merlin just smiled. His whole life may never be nice and easy, but there were some moments when it came pretty close.