Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Merlin's feeling uninspired
Warnings: Mild swearing
Word Count: 845
Prompt: 154, Unwinding
Author's Notes: Arthur and Merlin are both attempting a relaxing day at the park. Percy has other ideas.
Merlin raised the camera to his eye once more, looking through the lens at a pair of ducks paddling at the edge of the murky pond. He sighed in frustration. Professor Garrah’s assignment, “Find something or someone that inspires you and select ten photographs that capture why” was not coming easily.
There was a sudden splash and loud growl behind him and the ducks took flight, aiming right for Merlin’s startled face. He bobbed out of their way just as something huge barreled into his legs, sending him sprawling face first onto the damp grass, leaving Merlin with a warm, panting weight firmly planted on his back and, was that a bear licking at his ears? He tried to roll over but the animal had him pinned.
“Down, Percy. Down!” shouted a tense voice. “Oh, damn, mate, I’m sorry, he got the lead wrapped around my ankles, tripped me and went right for the pond.” There was a bit of resistance but the animal was finally pulled away. Merlin rolled over, breathing deeply and found himself staring into the way too close, nearly hidden brown eyes of a dripping wet black dog. A giant dog that looked very pleased to have taken out another puny human.
“I thought it was a bear. I see I was pretty close,” Merlin laughed. He shook his head and looked down at the damage. “Well, this shirt and jeans are cooked and it looks like your bear took my camera out, too. Fuck.” He stared disconsolately at the cracked lens and back at the dog. “You don’t know your own strength, bear.”
“You’re taking this a lot better than I would,” said an amused voice, and Merlin realized he hadn’t acknowledged the animal’s owner. From his vantage point, the man was hidden behind the dog’s wet bulk.
Merlin stood, finally getting an eyeful of a disheveled, red faced blond, putting his full weight into keeping the tugging giant in check. “Well, it’s not every day you get to see a bear leading a man around. It’s too bad my camera’s broken or I’d have my assignment nailed and be on my merry way. You two would inspire laughter in anybody." He looked between the man and the dog, sizing them both up. The man was winning the tug of war. Barely. "He must weigh nearly as much as you do. What kind of dog is he?”
“Percy’s a New Foundland*. He’s around 55 kg but I’m worried he’s still growing,” the guy said in a sheepish voice. “Gwaine warned me not to take him out but this big boy has been tearing up the flat since he was dropped off and I was hoping I could wear him out a bit. Take him on a relaxing walk.” He looked down at his sweat soaked, dirt covered t-shirt and jeans. “He’s been dragging me about for an hour and has just as much energy as he did when we started.” He smiled ruefully, “I have him for another four hours. I fear for my furniture.”
Merlin laughed and thought about offering his hand but the man was white knuckling the lead and Merlin just knew the dog would sense weakness if the blond loosened his grip.
“I’m Merlin,” he responded.
“Arthur,” the man replied with a nod and a grin. “You’ve already met Percy.”
“I would say it was a pleasure but my clothes and my camera beg to differ,” Merlin responded with an answering smile.
“So, Merlin, where do I make Gwaine send the new camera? Pick a really, really expensive one because the rich git totally owes us. Gentle as a kitten my arse.”
Merlin grimaced, looking down at his broken camera. “I actually need a replacement pretty much yesterday. It’s my only working camera other than my phone and I have an assignment due day after tomorrow.” Merlin thought for a moment, “I guess I can borrow my mum’s old Nikon if it still works…”
While they were talking, Percy had been furtively taking a little walk around and around Arthur, loosely winding the lead around his trainers. This time Arthur wasn’t falling for it and he stepped over the nylon fabric before he could be taken out once more. Percy gave a sharp bark of annoyance before collapsing onto the grass.
“Listen, I live a few blocks from here. I can lend you a camera until you get a replacement,” Arthur offered.
Merlin thought about it for a few seconds. “That’d be great, mate. I’ll take the shots and give it right back.” He looked down at Percy’s sulking face and back up at Arthur, “I think I’ve found my muses.”
Arthur pulled on the lead and the three headed down the park path, Percy pulling at Arthur and forcing them all along at a brisk trot.
“So, just how expensive a camera do you think your friend will cover?”
“Let’s wait and see what Percy does to the flat,” Arthur replied with a laugh. I think we may need to submit an itemized bill.”
This is the kind of dog Percy is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newfoundland_%28dog%29