Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Merlin trusts Arthur with something precious
Word Count: 400
Prompt: 94, Caring
Author's Notes: I don't know what's happened to my serious side.
“Here’s her kibble and some crickets for a treat,” Merlin announced as soon as Arthur opened his apartment door. Only half awake, he dutifully took the large sack Merlin was waving about and led them into the living room. “Where do you want her?” They both looked around the pristine space.
Merlin kept Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle on his dining room table but Arthur was having none of that so he cleared off a low bookshelf and Merlin spread out a heating pad and placed the cage carefully on top.
“She needs to stay warm, so if you turn the heat down over night, just switch this on. She sleeps in this PVC tube so don’t panic if you look into the cage and it looks like she’s done a runner. She’ll use her litter box and that needs to be changed every few days. Use the towel I put in the bag to pull her out when you’re cleaning. I put her in the bath with a cricket to keep her occupied. It’s fun to watch her hunt!” Merlin’s enthusiasm gave Arthur a grin. “Make sure her water bottle stays full and she’s warm and cozy and you both should be fine.”
Merlin unlatched the cage and Tiggy ran right into his open hand. He pulled her out carefully and gave her a little cuddle, murmuring “I’m leaving you with Uncle Arthur for a bit. You two will be great. He’s got my number at mum’s if he gets into trouble.” Merlin held the small ball close to his face as he murmured, “Be sweet.”
“Merlin, you’re going to miss your train,” Arthur prompted and Merlin reluctantly, put the hedgehog back into her cage, giving Arthur a ridiculously watery smile. Arthur pulled him into a tight hug. “Don’t fret,” he said softly, “we’ll be okay. Skype me tonight and you can check up on us.”
Merlin gave a choked laugh, “Don’t think I won’t. I know it’s silly, but I love her to bits and I can’t help but worry.”
“Tiggy and I are going to get on. Animals love me.” Merlin shot Arthur an incredulous look. “Well, in theory animals love me,” Arthur backpedaled. “It’s only three days.” He gave Merlin another hug and pushed him toward the door.
With a pointed “Behave,” Merlin was gone.
Arthur looked at Tiggy and wondered which of them Merlin had meant that for.