Title: Something Borrowed
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: If Merlin left his neckerchief behind, well, why should Arthur give it back?
Word Count: 291
Camelot_drabble Prompt: pt 464: Borrowed
Author's Notes: Unbetaed.
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Arthur knew it wasn’t right. Merlin had left his neckerchief behind, throwing it down when he got too hot scrubbing the floors, and then forgetting it in his rush to get the rest of his chores done.
Scooping it up, breathing in Merlin’s scent of sweat and pine and the herbs he’d been collecting earlier that day, Arthur was reminded of the anger lately between them.
An argument, stupid as always, and Merlin glowering at him. As punishment, Arthur piled on chore after chore, watching the fury growing in Merlin’s eyes and both loving it and hating it. He didn’t want to admit that he looked forward to riling up the man he… err tolerated just to see that passion.
Merlin didn’t know, of course. Not of feelings and frustration. A prince could never admit to loving a servant and it just made things awkward between them that Arthur couldn’t express himself more than by poking at Merlin constantly.
But it was better than silence, better than indifference, and if Arthur threw things at Merlin and argued with him and prodded him into frowns and words, at least Arthur knew Merlin felt something for him, even if it was irritation.
Winding the blue cloth through his fingers, enjoying the roughness of it, when Merlin came back, Merlin tried to yank it away. Arthur didn’t let go, just turned it into a battle of strength and wrestling.
Of course, he won. He was a warrior after all.
And if at next tournament, he tied the neckerchief around his arm as a favour for all to see and gossip about, well, it didn’t matter. Because it was his just as Merlin was his.
Maybe someday, Merlin would realise it. And love him back.