Title: Bathtime 101
Rating: PG, for language
Characters: Arthur, Merlin, Mordred
Summary: Arthur really needs lessons on how to babysit his nephew.
Warnings: none, unless you have toddlers or are recovering from toddlers being toddlers.
Word Count: 451
Prompt: 373, water
Author's notes: The boys could be in a relationship or just friends. Your choice.
"Dammit, Mordred, get back here."
"Dammit dammit dammit"
"No! Don't say that. Oh, fuck, Morgana's going to kill me."
Merlin realized he'd opened the door to his apartment and stepped into a scene straight out of a Keystone Kops movie instead. He watched as his normally unflappable roommate literally chased his completely naked nephew around the couch.
"Fuck fuck dammit dammit fuck." The boy with the angelic curls and a chocolate ice cream smeared face giggled as he chanted words Merlin knew for a fact Morgana herself had already taught him by accident. He was leading Arthur a merry chase and Merlin absolutely wanted to pull his phone out and record it all.
"Don't just stand there staring, Merlin. Grab him!" Mordred looked over at his uncle's best friend and ran right for him. "Close the door before he escapes and runs down the street naked as a jay!"
Merlin quickly shut the door and caught the toddler when he threw himself at him, tossing him up in the air lightly.
Arthur's face blanched. "You'll drop him!"
"Relax, Arthur." Merlin settled Mordred on his hip. "Is the nudity intentional or did he strip himself?"
"Intentional. It's time for his B-A-T-H but he escaped as I was filling the tub with water." Arthur's eyes widened. "Oh, shit. I forgot to turn off the tap when he ran." He darted off, leaving Merlin to follow him.
Merlin chuckled, carrying Mordred as he went. "Come on, trouble. Let's get you cleaned up before your uncle has a heart attack. What was your mother thinking, leaving you with him all alone?"
Mordred laid his head on Merlin's shoulder, smearing the ice cream on his work shirt, the effort of both eluding his uncle and playing with said uncle all day tiring him out. He wrapped one arm around Merlin's neck and stuck his thumb in his mouth. Merlin rested his cheek on the boy’s hair and watched as Arthur drained water out of the tub.
"Toddler Bathing 101, Arthur. Close the door, trapping the little wretch in the room with you. Makes it easier to catch them."
Arthur scowled up at his friend. "Why is he behaving for you?"
Merlin grinned. "He knows his boundaries with me already. He's testing yours. Well, that and he's Morgana's kid, so torturing you comes naturally."
"You'd think some of Leon would have come through the genes." Arthur grumbled as he stoppered the tub again.
"Not a chance." Merlin placed Mordred in the tub and quickly stepped back. "Have fun, Arthur."
He abandoned his roommate to what would surely be a shared bath without a qualm, closing the door to the bathroom on Arthur's indignant, "Merlin, get back here!"