Title: Target Practice
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Arthur uses Merlin for target practice
Word Count: ~330
Author's Notes: Canon-verse practice this week.
Merlin huffed and puffed as he hitched the wooden target higher and forced his feet to move. He knew it was not up to Arthur’s expectations, but he had never meant to reach Arthur’s expectations anyway.
“Faster Merlin,” he heard sure enough, and sooner than he wanted to hear. “A child can hit it at that speed.”
Merlin could think of five things he could call back in reply if he had the breath left. Fortunately, for Arthur at least, he didn’t. He renewed his efforts to go faster, when he was struck by inspiration. He suddenly moved sideways instead of forward like he was doing and was just about to dart sideways again when a spear wooshed by his head, missing him narrowly but making him squeal out in fright.
He turned around to shoot his sternest glare at Arthur, and found Arthur looking not so pleased himself.
“What was that?” Arthur demanded, marching towards Merlin.
“That was you completely missing your target,” Merlin replied without thinking. “Um, Sire,” he added when Arthur’s face got stormier.
Before Arthur could reply back, they heard voices calling out behind Arthur.
“Well done, Merlin,” Sir Leon called out. “That was excellent footwork.”
“Are you losing your touch, Sire?” Sir Gwaine cackled from the other side of the field while Sir Percival hooted beside him. “Must be those sweetmeats at the feast yesterday?”
Merlin tried to rearrange his expressions when Arthur turned back to him. He watched Arthur’s face go through some painful transformations before settling on resignation.
“Right,” Arthur said, turning and walking away. “I hope you are proud of that, Merlin,” Arthur continued, picking his spear up again. “We are going to be here doing that until I hit the target at least ten times in a row.” Arthur turned to look at Merlin over his shoulder and smirked. “Got to keep practising until its perfect.”
Merlin sighed. There was just no winning with Arthur.