Title: Hunting the Beast
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin if you squint
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Uther
Summary: A white lie buys Arthur and Merlin a bit of freedom
Word Count: 200
Prompt: 454 Absent
Author's Notes: Canon-era double drabble
Hunting the Beast
"I beg leave to be absent from the Council meeting today, father."
Uther frowned, displeased. "Why?"
"Reports have come in from outlying villages that an unknown beast is killing livestock. Magic may be involved."
"Then it must be investigated immediately! You are obviously excused from other duties today."
Inclining his head politely, Arthur turned on his heels. "I'll leave at once."
Arthur and Merlin could soon be seen riding away from the castle. It was a glorious summer's day, bright sunlight warming the lush green landscapes.
"You are a disgrace, Merlin," Arthur grumbled as they approached a forest lake. "You have a dangerously corrupting influence."
Merlin tried to mock-glare at his prince, but he ended up grinning sunnily instead. "But you did receive information about a magical beast, Arthur. I should know, since I made it up myself. And because such a creature might be anywhere, we may as well search for it in our favourite swimming spot."
Arthur couldn't hide his smile. Suddenly, he urged his horse forward. Racing full tilt towards the lake, he laughed aloud and shouted, "Last one in the water must continue the search tonight, Merlin — while mucking out the stables!"