Title: Useless Things
Characters: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur likes his hunting dogs. Lapdogs are certainly not high on his list of useful animals.
Warnings: tooth-rotting fluff
Word Count: 501
Prompt: 371, shivering
Sword? Yes. Helmet? Yes. Maille shirt and hood? Yes. Merlin checked off the various pieces of Arthur’s armor as he laid it out. Everything was ready, from the helmet to the maille to the greaves; all the dings and flaws banged out and polished, and protective spells woven into the pieces of armor as he took care of them. He stepped back and grinned. He still thought these melees and tourneys were a giant waste of time, but at least Arthur would be as safe as Merlin could make him.
The door opened behind him and he looked over to see Arthur enter, his hands cupped in front of him and held to his chest. “Merlin, is everything ready?” He walked over to the table and, using only one hand, picked the apples that were in the basket out and laid them on the flat surface.
“Yeah. You’re good for tomorrow.” Merlin shook his head when Arthur picked up the basket and brought it over to his closet. “What are you doing?” He asked as Arthur opened it and looked inside, the one hand that hadn’t moved still holding whatever was in it close to his body.
“Where did you leave the clean towels?”
“You used them all. All the towels are being dried right now.” He set the gloves he held next to the pile of armor and started walking over to Arthur. “What do you have there?”
Arthur sighed gustily and turned his hand a bit from his chest, exposing a shivering ball of fluff. Merlin reached out when he got close enough, and ran gentle fingers over the puppy’s soft ears. “I found him in the corridor. He was huddled up against that ugly statue Lord Sharlin sent when I was ten.”
Merlin nodded. “He’s definitely a pup from one of the ladies’ dogs. I think maybe Lady Corwin’s dog looks a bit like this.”
“I knew he was one of the lapdog pups but I wasn’t sure who he might belong to. He must have gotten out of her quarters without them knowing.”
Merlin reached past Arthur and grabbed one of his older shirts. It was soft but only a few more wearings away from being turned into cleaning rags. “Hey, I like that shirt!”
Merlin just Looked at Arthur as he folded it into the basket. “I’ll bring the pup back to Lady Corwin. I don’t think he’ll do too much damage to the shirt in the ten minutes it’ll take for me to get there.” He chuckled. “If he does, it won’t be very different from when you spend time with your hunting dogs.”
Arthur huffed. He rubbed the pup’s head a few more times before he laid him into the basket, a tiny smile on his face. “Get him back to his mum, Merlin. I don’t know how long he was loose, but he’s definitely colder than he should be. Lapdogs may be fairly useless, but the ladies do love them.”
“Of course, sire.”