Title: Caring about his work
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur pre-slash
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur Pendragon
Summary:Merlin wonders why he works so hard.
Word Count: 516
Prompt: Camelot Drabble 94: Caring
Author's Notes: My first attempt at a Merlin story, and my first drabble. Be gentle with me.
For what seemed like the millionth time, Merlin questioned his sanity.
Why, he thought to himself, was he going out of his way to make sure Arthur had everything he needed for the day? It wasn’t like the big pillock would notice.
Well, maybe he would. Notice, that is. If something wasn’t quite right.
And really, it was Merlin’s job to see that all his clothing was in good condition, his chain mail and armor in good working order, and his weapons polished and sharpened.
That last bit was a necessity, really, in case of attack at any time.
Still, as Merlin worked the last bit of polish into breastplate of Arthur’s armor, he yawned and grumbled to himself. He’d have to be up early, again, to get Arthur out of bed and ready for his day.
A day which, Merlin knew, would be just as long and activity-filled as Merlin’s own. For all that Merlin whinged about the list of tasks Arthur had him complete in a given day, Merlin well knew that the Prince’s own day didn’t revolve around eating grapes in sunshine.
Merlin got Arthur up and dressed, but then Arthur spent his morning in training, his afternoon in court, and many moments in between seeing to the details of running Camelot. It wasn’t mucking out stables, but it was definitely work.
The last bit polished, Merlin manhandled the armor into its place, hung on the rack in the armory, ready for Arthur to don before training in the early morning hours. He rolled his shoulders to clear the tenseness that had built up while he finished polishing the armor, and stretched his arms and legs out. He’d put Arthur to bed an hour ago, and it was time for Merlin to find his own. But it was time for his own favorite ritual.
Merlin crept back to Arthur’s room, silently slipping into his space, to make sure Arthur slept.
Arthur sprawled over his massive bed, limbs askew and lax in sleep, hair mussed, eyes shuttered. A full day of training in preparation for tomorrow’s visiting dignitaries had kept him up and working, wearing that full set of armor that Merlin had just finished polishing, its weight forcing Arthur to work harder than if he’d just worn chain mail.
In sleep, Arthur’s battered muscles could heal, strengthen, and rest, getting ready for more abuse the next day.
Merlin looked at Arthur, and realized he had another reason to keep going.
He cared. He cared that Arthur had the right equipment, and that it was taken care of properly. His prince needed to be ready at a moment’s notice to do his duty to the kingdom.
By keeping his armor in good working order, Merlin made sure his prince would be well protected during those days when protecting the kingdom meant dealing in blood. He protected Arthur from the potential consequences of his role as the kingdom’s protector. He cared that Arthur would stay safe.
And if in his caring, Merlin added a little magical protection to armor itself, no one need ever know.