Title: Say hello to my little friend
Pairing/s: None. Or none yet, I believe.
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwen
Summary: Merlin's mission continues and Arthur finds he might have a mission too.
Word Count: ~840
Author's Notes: Follow up to Pick up your phone you gigantic clotpol, online and I just called to say I l...ook nothing like that doll.
Arthur got about two hours of work done before his phone buzzed again. “Mission accomplished! Say hello to my little friend!” Merlin had taken a selfie with the doll, grinning madly trying to match the slightly creepy, everlasting smile of the doll.
Arthur snorted a laugh and got back to work.
Shortly after he received a picture collage, the kind you could quickly make on your phone with a few taps. The smaller pictures showed the doll’s journey from the shelf, via some very shiny pink wrapping from the store – 'I couldn't very well blow my cover and say it’s not a gift but a rescue mission, now, could I?' – through a surprisingly vide array of tools for cutting and clipping the restraints. There were even some tiny screws involved in the captivity. The largest image in the collage showed the doll against the blue sky with its hands raised high, seemingly thrilled to be free. Right, the weather was nice today. Arthur hadn’t quite noticed.
The next beeps and calls are work related. Arthur is good at what he does, but he's feeling restless today. Merlin must have taken him, no it, outside to take that picture. Wonder what else he did. Had he just put it away somewhere? Perhaps he thought Arthur would find it stupid. It was stupid, but Arthur loved Merlin's antics. Ever since they were kids Merlin had made Arthur laugh and think about things differently. But Merlin was prone to kicking himself when he was down. And he was feeling down now. Loosing his job and all.
Arthur sits back for a while, turning towards the large window. It really was a lovely day.
He sighs, then turns around to his desk again. He quickly types in several searches and makes quite a few phone calls in his most serious Pendragon voice before he hurries out the door and informs his assistant he will be gone for the rest of the day.
Hunith, Merlin's mother, beamed at the sight of him.
“Arthur! How lovely to see you! Come in, he's watching TV. I was just popping out, so you have the house to yourselves. I shall just get my purse and get going.”
Arthur stepped inside, feeling a bit sheepish. Hunith still spoke to him like he was 10 years old with scraped knees, following Merlin home to do homework rather than going home to an empty house. Merlin said it was simply because Arthur had always sounded like he was at least 40, so there really was no reason for her to sound any different when Arthur didn't. Merlin might be right. But she still had that motherly air about her and in his mind she was forever connected to feeling safe and warm.
She fluttered out of sight for a moment and returned with her purse. Merlin emerged from the living room, eyes flickering between Arthur and Hunnith, but not saying a word. He popped some colourful candy in his mouth and nodded to his mother as she gave a little wave before leaving.
"You're out of work early today." He looks at his wrist watch. "It's not even 6!"
Arthur rolls his eyes and revels in Merlin's pleased grin.
"Got your pictures. Where's the doll? Did you get bored with him already?"
"Nah. Mom, me and Pratley were watching TV. But he hogs the remote. No wonder Mom got bored and left."
"It was either that or Ar-Two. Or maybe Bethur."
Merlin laughs again at Arthur's face. Arthur finds the doll sitting on the armrest of the sofa with some popcorn in his lap and a hand on the remote. God, Merlin and his mom were both nutters.
He hands Merlin the packet he has brought. It's in one of those paper gift baskets for bottles, Arthur's not one for bows and wrappings.
"More Whiskey? Mom will be thrilled. Oh, thought it weigh more. Must be light beer. Um... It's... Aladdin?"
Arthur sat down on the sofa, feeling quite content with his choice.
"Yeah, thought um... Pratley could do with a challenge, have him bother someone his own size for a change. Aladdin would never let him hog the remote."
"Cause he looks like you."
"Dark hair, poor, homeless...?"
"No, stupid. Brave, creative, kind. And he has a magic carpet so he can take Pratley on adventures and make sure his life is never dull, and they never have to be in a box or be told what they should be doing."
Arthur's voice sort of stopped working for moment. It didn't seem like Merlin had any quick reply at hand either, Arthur thought he heard him swallow. Merlin turned the doll and the box around, and nodded.
"Well. We'd better break out the rescue gear then."
"I brought my Leatherman!"
"Of course you did, you always carry that thing around cause you think you are MacGyver."
"Wrong. MacGyver had a swiss army knife."