Title: The Picnic
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur and Merlin have a picnic in the countryside on a what starts out as a most lovely day.
Word Count: 666
Prompt: #73 Attraction
Author's Notes: Thank you to inspired_being for beta'ing my stories. Sorry the use of the prompt this week is lame. I was just trying to avoid writing the obvious Merthur attraction.
The weather was gorgeous, which helped Merlin to convince Arthur that giving up work for one Saturday and taking advantage would be a good idea. Arthur was such a workaholic, still trying to prove his worth to his father, Merlin couldn't help but feel a break would do him a world of good.
Merlin had filled a basket with cold chicken, jam sandwiches, crisps, strawberries and chocolate chip cookies—some of their favourite foods. He added a chilled bottle of Chablis and paper cups. Nothing formal about this picnic.
Arthur was almost ready to go by 10:30am after finishing another last-minute conference call. "This really is a busy time of the month, Merlin. Are you sure we need to do this today?"
"Yes, we need to do this today. Who knows how long it will be before there is another perfect day like today again?" Merlin blinked his long eyelashes and added, "Puh-leeze, Arthur."
The sad puppy-dog look worked and Arthur conceded. "Alright. Where are we going?"
"To a little lake I know in the country with a pretty view of the mountains."
The two lads took off in Arthur's convertible, top down, basket and blankets ensconced in the boot. A little over an hour later they arrived at the lake. Arthur put the wine in the lake to keep it chilled, while Merlin laid out the blankets, placing the picnic basket neatly on top. It was still early for lunch so they went exploring a bit and stumbled across a raspberry patch with ripe berries just begging to be plucked and, according to Merlin, eaten on the spot.
"Merlin, are you picking any to take back with us?" Arthur asked with a chuckle as he collected several handfuls in his shirttails.
"I will...after I eat...a few more," Merlin mumbled while popping more berries into his mouth.
The sun warmed them as they returned to the shoreline of the lake where they had laid out the blanket. After partaking of their little feast, the warmth and full stomachs encouraged them to lie down. Merlin snuggled with his head on Arthur's chest and was almost asleep when he heard a droning sound. He opened his eyes a slit and waved his hand to shoo it away. The droning insect circled back and Merlin waved at it again.
"Oww!" Merlin sat upright, looking at the side of his hand.
Arthur, roused from his dozing by Merlin's agitated movement, asked, "What happened?"
"I've been stung!" Merlin exclaimed. He showed Arthur his hand which was already turning red at the site of the sting.
"By a bee? It must have been attracted to the sweet berry juice that's still on your hands," Arthur deduced. "Couldn't you have washed it off in the lake?" he chided.
"Didn't think of it," Merlin muttered.
"Let me see if I can get the stinger out." Arthur turned Merlin's hand over in his own and scraped at the stinger with his fingernail until it came loose. "That will stop any more venom from entering your system."
"Arthur," Merlin wheezed, "I'm having trouble catching…my…breath."
Arthur looked at Merlin closely and asked calmly, "Merlin, are you, by chance, allergic to bee stings? You're allergic to so many other things."
"How would...I know? I've...never been...stung before," Merlin responded with effort.
"Alright, we're leaving NOW and getting you some medical attention. There was a surgery in the last town we passed." Arthur hustled Merlin and their picnic supplies back to the car and took off quickly.
After the wild ride to the surgery and the frantic rousing of the GP, there was the welcome relief of the epinephrine shot. Merlin's dizziness and difficulty breathing lessened and Arthur finally took a deep calming breath of his own. Merlin was out of danger now.
"Merlin, the next time you want to have a picnic, we are only traveling as far as the living room to spread out our blankets. No more bees for you."
"That's a deal," Merlin agreed, smiling weakly.