Title: Butterflies and Billiard Balls
Pairing: background Leon/Merlin
Characters: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has discovered a love for cheezy movies since his return. This makes for uncomfortable questions for Merlin.
Word Count: 365
Prompt: 378, paradox
Author's notes: Another installment in the Immortality is Overrated AU. No Leon this time. Just Arthur driving Merlin crazy.
“If you’re so powerful, why can’t you just go back and change the past? Warn yourself or something about Mordred and Morgana?”
Merlin gave Arthur an unimpressed stare. He knew letting Arthur pick the movie last night had been a mistake. But no, Leon had insisted it was only fair to let the blond pick one for once. Of course he had chosen some long, boring, utterly ludicrous Z-movie about time travel. As if Merlin hadn’t had this very discussion with Leon a million times over fifteen hundred years and had dismissed the idea each time because of the risks.
“Were you not paying attention when the scientist guy talked about paradoxes and causal loops and such?”
“Was that when the pretty assistant was dangling from the rope over the open lava pit with the cannibals dancing around it? Or was it when the hero managed to climb out of the time machine so he could close the hatch that had opened and then climb back in even though it was falling off the ridiculously high cliff?”
“No. It was near the beginning, when the old man who invented the time machine futilely warned the expedition not to do anything stupid.”
“Oh. That scene. No, I think I- What’s the phrase Leon uses? Tuned it out when he started talking about butterflies and billiard balls.” Arthur picked up the history book he’d been reading the day before. “I’m just saying that maybe you could change some things. Like kill that Hitler arse.”
Merlin groaned and hung his head. “Why don’t I see if there’s a Physics for Dummies book-”
“I’m not stupid, Merlin.” Arthur glared at his friend.
“No, of course you’re not. That’s just the name of the series of books. Whatever whatever for Dummies. They’re basically just books that are written in a way that someone with very little knowledge about a subject could read them and understand.”
Arthur humphed at Merlin and settled in his chair, opening the book to his last spot. Merlin enjoyed several blessed minutes of silence while the two men went about their reading.
“Merlin, why is there a painting of Mordred in this book about French royalty?”