Title: No Easy Task
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Despite what Merlin thinks, Arthur does notice. Set sometime after With All My Heart.
Word Count: 357
Author's Notes: A little bit sappy but fitting for the holiday season I hope!
“A day off?” Merlin stared and wondered if Arthur had fallen under Morgana’s influence this time. Although if her devious plans involved giving Merlin a day off he wasn’t sure he could find the motivation to thwart them.
After a moment he continued to clear away Arthur’s and Gwen’s dinner plates.
“Yes, I wouldn’t have thought it was such a foreign concept to you but I checked with the steward and Gaius and it appears you haven’t had a full day off in quite some time. I’ve noticed – ”
Gwen cleared her throat audibly.
“We’ve noticed that you could do with a break.”
“The incident in the kitchen yesterday would suggest otherwise.”
“That was an accident.”
“And do all your accidents involve setting things on fire?”
“A surprising number of them, yes.”
Merlin pottered around the room for a moment, before turning back to Arthur.
“And what am I supposed to do? You’ve not given me any notice, I have no plans.”
Arthur stood, throwing his arms up in the air. “Merlin, anyone else would be glad of a day off, is there really no pleasing you?”
“I just want to know why you’re trying to get rid of me for the day.”
“It’s not getting rid of you. It’s-” Arthur paused, his expression softened and Merlin knew it was no longer his King who was speaking, “look, last week you fell down a cliff and knocked yourself out, your leg wound has only just healed fully and its clear from recent events that you’re not getting enough rest. It’s not just Guinevere who notices Merlin.”
“I don’t care what you do tomorrow, spend it sleeping or go to the tavern. Just take the damn day.”
Merlin nodded and left.
Arthur didn’t see Merlin again until mid-morning the next day when Merlin entered his chambers with supplies for a ride, a grin and no knock first.
“Merlin! What part of ‘take the day off’ did you not understand?”
“Don’t worry, sire, I understood. But you said I could spend it how I liked and I’d like to spend it with my friend.”