Title: The Secrets That You Keep
Summary: It's hard to learn to keep secrets
Word Count: 774
Prompt: 21 Promise
Author's Notes: One of two drabbles that I have to share for this prompt. I want to share with you some toddler!merthur, a "style" of writing that I write pretty regularly in another fandom of mine. This is the first time sharing this idea outside of my own personal journal, so I hope you like it. Ready to take it back a few years with me? Hope that's alright! Happy reading <3
Merlin sat in the corner of the classroom, a large pile of wooden blocks sitting on the floor next to him. He was trying his hardest to focus on the castle made of blocks that he was trying to build, but his eyes kept drifting away from his toys. Being four years old, it was hard for Merlin to focus anyway, but it was hard for him to not keep staring at the group of boys in the middle of the classroom. Although Merlin wasn't the most outgoing little boy, it was easy for him to realize that the group of boys were talking about him. In the middle of the group stood a blond boy, who seemed to be the leader of the group. Unlike Merlin's hand me down clothes, this little boy seemed to be dressed head to toe in brand new clothes, and the thing that Merlin was most jealous of, were the brand new red sneakers on his feet.
The more the boys stared, the more unsure and uncomfortable Merlin got. Merlin continued building his castle, doing his best to keep his head down and mind his own business. It was when he noticed a pair of shiny red sneakers at the foot of his tower that he stopped building. When he raised his head, he was met with two pairs of eyes. One belonging to the blond boy, whose name he finally remembered as Arthur, and the other boy, whose name he was too frightened to remember. As he was being watched, Merlin tried to remember what his mom had told him on his first day of school. His mother had reminded him to be nice to everyone in his class, and for the past two weeks he had been. But being stared down was making it hard for Merlin to remember his mother's words.
"Would you like to play with me? I'm building a castle that the Lego knights can live in!"
It was the boy who stood next to Arthur who spoke first.
"Why would we want to play with a baby?"
"What? Why would you call me a baby?"
"Only a baby still sleeps with a nightlight."
Merlin's brown eyes opened wide, suddenly filling with tears, his bottom lip turning into a dramatic pout. He stood up, kicked his castle down with his foot, and pointed his finger in Arthur's face.
"You told my secret! You promised you wouldn't!"
As huge tears began to roll down Merlin's cheeks, Arthur suddenly questioned whether he had just done the right thing in spilling Merlin's secret that the other boy had confessed to him during naptime earlier that day.
"Merlin I'm sorry." Arthur tried
It was too late however, as Merlin had scurried away in tears, toward the bathroom, and away from the boy who had just broken his promise.
When Arthur walked into the Little Camelot Preschool the next morning, he only had one thing on his mind. It wasn't finishing the crayon drawings he had started yesterday, or even slaying the stuffed dragon that lived in the corner of his classroom. The only thing Arthur was concerned with was apologizing to Merlin. Although Arthur had all the newest and greatest toys, what he didn't have was a lot of friends. At four years old, all Arthur wanted was to have a friend to play with. Merlin had a funny name, but Arthur was sure that he would do.
Arthur found Merlin in the classroom library, a pile of books on his lap, the little boy's face hidden behind a book. He adjusted the backpack resting on his shoulders and walked to the small book corner.
Merlin lowered the book from his face, and froze when he noticed who had called his name. The little boy removed the pile of books from his lap, and began to stand up, before Arthur knelt next to him.
"I have something for you."
"M..m..me?" Merlin stuttered
Arthur nodded as he opened the small pocket of his backpack and pulled something that looked like a small crown out of his bag. He placed the crown in Merlin's hands and zipped up his bag.
"My nightlight." Arthur explained
"You sleep with a nightlight too!"
Arthur smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
"Yeah, I guess so. I'm sorry I told someone else your secret Merlin."
Merlin stood, and handed the small crown nightlight back to the blond.
"I forgive you. Can we promise each other not to share anymore secrets, because I want to be your friend Arthur."
"I can do that because I want to be your friend too Merlin."