Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur searches Merlin's room for evidence of magic.
Word Count: 510
Prompt: #189, Evidence
Author's Notes: Love the new, new theme! :)
Lately Arthur had begun to notice something off about Merlin. He kept disappearing when he should be attending to his duties, and when he returned he always looked dirty, exhausted or both. Arthur had a couple ideas, but the most likely also seemed like the least likely. But what else was he to think when he gave Merlin way too many chores to physically accomplish in one day and he somehow finished them?
So one morning when he felt the curiosity was killing him, he sent Merlin off to clean his stables. That particular chore should take him a couple hours at the very least. That left Arthur plenty of time to thoroughly search Merlin’s tiny room for evidence of magic.
Gaius was off on his daily rounds when Arthur opened the door to the physician’s chambers. He walked straight back to Merlin’s room and slipped inside.
The place was a mess. Books stacked on nearly every horizontal surface. Clothes strewn across the bed, the chair and hanging on a line in the corner. The bed was unmade and candle wax lay on the little table by the bed and the floor. No wonder his chambers were usually in the same state. What had Merlin’s mother taught him anyway?
Arthur sighed and decided to start with the bed. He searched under the blanket, the sheet, the pillow, and the mattress. He found nothing.
He searched the little table and desk, checking the drawers and pieces of parchment scattered on their surfaces. Not a hint of magic there either.
Next he looked at every single book, of which there were not a few. Their subjects ranged from herb lore to animal lore to philosophy. And more. But none of them related to magic. Not remotely.
He stomped over to the cupboard, which he remembered pointing out to Merlin another time he searched his room. This time there actually were things inside it—various pieces of clothing that looked incredibly worn and even more books. The worn clothing dismayed him; winter was coming and it looked like Merlin had no warm things to wear. He could get ill!
Arthur picked up the other pieces of clothing around the room to look at them. All were thin and worn, barely serviceable. How had he not noticed this before?
At that moment, the door banged open. Merlin, covered in dirt and muck, stepped inside. “What are you doing in here?” he queried.
“Looking for something . . . but all I can find evidence of is your lack of warm clothing.” He dropped what he was holding.
“What do you care?”
“I care, Merlin. I’ll be speaking to the royal tailor to make some warm things for you. Can’t have you getting sick and leaving me with no servant.”
“Of course not.” Merlin smirked.
“Just get me your measurements when you bring lunch. And don’t forget a bath. Can’t have you stinking up my room.” With that he turned and left the room. But he smiled all the way back to his own chambers.