Title: In the Air
Characters: Arthur, Gwen and Merlin and assorted townsfolk
Summary: Arthur and Gwen go for a stroll around Camelot and Arthur witnesses a show
Word Count: 636
Authors Notes: Inspired by Colin having to learn to juggle, but then only getting to do it the once.
Arthur did love being King. He loved to off on quests, rescuing his knights from Morgana’s clutches. He loved fighting dangerous and magical beasts and holding tournaments. He didn’t even mind the tedious but necessary talks with neighbouring kingdoms to maintain the peace, or making decisions and passing judgements on petty disputes between the people of Camelot.
But this, he thought dejectedly as he walked through the streets in the lower town, smiling and greeting his people, was plain boring. He was itching to get out into the training field with his knights, especially Mordred, who was making steady progress. But it had been deemed “by who?”he wondered “not me”, that he should be seen out and about the township on a regular basis. Guinevere was much better at this small talk than he, he decided as they ground to a halt once again to be told about a new water pump being installed... or something. Guinevere chatted to the townsfolk easily, as he smiled and nodded and scuffed his boots into the dirt – he had to make sure that Merlin had something to polish later.
Thinking of the man, there he was. Obviously in town with Gaius doing rounds, there was the medicine bag at his feet. What was interesting though; was the crowd of children around him, clamouring for his attention. He had two (or was it three?) on his lap and at least a dozen surrounding him, all jumping up and down and shouting “more, more”.
Arthur tried to move surreptitiously away from the boring conversation to watch.
“All right, all right” Merlin laughed, “But I need a ball”
“I’ve got one, I’ve got one” some of the children yelled gleefully, as they dashed away to retrieve a ball. Very soon Merlin had an armful of balls of varying sizes. “Wonderful”he stood up, depositing the small children to the ground. He very carefully selected a ball from the pack and started to throw it into the air, catching it easily. “How many do you think there are?” He asked as the children starting yelling out. Soon one ball became two, then three, then four. Arthur lost count as the balls were tossed high up in the air, faster and faster. The children’s squealing and laughing soon drew the attention of the whole street. Townsfolk came out of their houses to see the spectacle.
Guinevere came and stood beside him and whispered, “I didn’t know he could do that”
“I did” Arthur told her somewhat smugly. Then conceded, “well I didn’t until he did it for Queen Annis’s court”.
Merlin soon realised that he had drawn quite a crowd and came to a stop, bowing slightly and the crowd applauded. When he looked up and saw Arthur and Gwen, he started sightly.
The children were shouting again for more “Did they ever stop” Arthur thought. Thankfully Merlin shushed them, and said “Look, its the King” They all went suddenly quiet.
Arthur grinned suddenly, thinking, it was times like this he really loved being King. He walked up to his servant who was looking anxious.
“Showing off your talents again Merin?” He asked.
“Yes sire” Merlin anwered, eyeing him suspiciously. “Just cheering up the children a bit”
“Good to see you practising, keep it up. I may call on you to entertain King Olaf and his retinue one night next week”
Merlin closed his eyes briefly. He should have known Arthur would do something like this one day.
Suddenly one of the children was tugging at Arthurs’ breeches. “ Excuse me” he all but whispered, “ is it true that you once had big ears and sounded like a donkey?”
Arthur felt himself go red as he looked pointedly at his manservant, who looked innocently back at him, trying not to smirk.