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22 April 2010 @ 08:25 pm
to stab or not to stab  
First Merlin fic ever, lol ;; Something to get me out of my writing rut :D Concrit would be very much appreciated! :)

Title: To Stab or Not to Stab
Author: ieatchu / shikanashi_kk
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2187
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin

Disclaimer: Merlin and all of its characters do not belong to me.

Summary: In which Arthur's hand is the size of a chicken (a smaller than average chicken but still a chicken) and they're stuck in a forest with bear who may or may not want to eat them using silverware and Merlin argues over just why Arthur shouldn't stab himself which leads Arthur towards a very brilliant idea. "Merlin, you do it."

To Stab or Not to Stab

It was Merlin's fault, mainly because everything was Merlin's fault. Also, it couldn't have been Arthur's fault, because... well... he's Arthur.

"I told you not to touch it," Merlin said mournfully beside him.


"Just saying," Merlin replied because he did tell Arthur not to touch the pretty little fluffball that the prat wouldn't believe was not a bunny. Of course, it was like some universal rule that Arthur Pendragon is to never ever listen to Merlin and therefore just had to touch the pretty little fluffball...

...that swiftly turned into a pretty big fluffball and grew horns and big, sharp teeth and spikes that pierced Arthur's pinky finger and immediately turned his royal hand into a massive lump of engorged flesh.

"It doesn't even look like a hand anymore," Merlin quipped, fascinated and just a little bit happier than he should be. Oh, he had his "I told you so" speech ready, alright.

Arthur glared at him, looking insulted. "What are you talking about? It still looks like a hand, Merlin, just... bigger."

Merlin grinned. "Oh, a lot bigger," he agreed.

Arthur looked at him pointedly.

Merlin coughed. "Okay, shutting up now."

So, since the universe deemed that it is perpetually unacceptable for Arthur to ever listen to Merlin, they were now stuck in the middle of the forest since the enlarging of the once little fluffball had scared their horses away. It was all fine and dandy though, since they'd probably get to the castle in three hours time by foot and it was only noon after all...

"Um, Arthur?"

Arthur rolled his eyes. "Yes, Merlin?"

"Did you hear that?"

Arthur stopped walking, immediately becoming alert. He looked behind at his manservant who looked at him nervously back. His hand itched.

Arthur liked to think that he was well-off enough wielding a sword with his left hand, but he didn't want to take any chances. Even though his right hand was currently the size of a chicken (okay, a smaller than average chicken but still. A chicken.), he'd feel more comfortable holding his sword with it than his left.

Letting Merlin wield the sword was out of the question.


He pulled his sword out of its sheath - only to find out that he couldn't. He couldn't quite curl his fingers around it completely, because apparently, they had grown to the size of sausages.

His lips formed a thin line. He tried again.

Arthur sighed exasperatedly. "Merlin, come here."

Merlin hastily scurried over, still concerned over the noise he heard earlier to make a witty comeback. (Yes, everything that came out of Arthur's mouth needed a comeback. Merlin decided that that should be a universal rule too.)

Arthur turned him over, scanning his backside (maybe trying not to enjoy the view) and spotting the dagger hanging from Merlin's belt. He pulled it out of its sheath with his left hand, and placed the sharp point of it on top of his right.

Merlin peered behind his shoulder, and abruptly spluttered. "W-w-WHAT -"

Almost dropping the dagger in shock, Arthur hastily covered Merlin's mouth with his chicken-sized hand. "Ssh, Merlin! You want whatever's out there to come charging at us?!"

Merlin pushed Arthur's hand away from his face and scrunched his nose, just in case it needed some fixing after it got squished like that. "You - you -" He paused. "What are you doing?"

"If we're to get out of here without some bear having us for his afternoon snack, I'm going to need my right hand -" Arthur waved said hand around. "- which needs to stop swelling."

He raised the dagger again.

Merlin grabbed his wrist. He stared at Arthur in incredulity and disbelief that the man in front of him was sane. "I don't see why you need to stab yourself," he said slowly, just in case he was making a fool of himself again, which he probably was considering Arthur's raised eyebrow and amused smirk.

"To stop the swelling, you idiot. So I can hold my sword."

"Well, you can use your left hand."

"Yes, Merlin, but as great as I am, I trust my right hand better than my left. Either way, having two hands available to save your bum is better than one," Arthur shrugged, giving his manservant a look that dared him to argue.

It didn't really surprise him that Merlin did.

"You won't have to," Merlin let out, thinking all sorts of stuff he could do to the bear (without actually killing it, of course) with magic. This was one of the moments when he really wished he could tell Arthur. For now, he settled for a defiant look and a raised chin. "I'll save both our bums."

Arthur burst out laughing, taking his hand back. "You? Whatever's out there can take you apart with one blow!"

Merlin smiled cheekily at that. "Oh, I can take it apart with less than that."

Arthur grinned back, almostly fondly, as he remembered where those familiar words came from. "You're my hero and all, Merlin, but I'm still going to need to get rid of the swelling."

"By cutting yourself? You'll bleed!"

Arthur raised an eyebrow. "Well, yes, since the last time I checked, I am human," he said dryly. "And you're supposed to be the court physician's apprentice."

Merlin looked affronted.

Arthur smiled. "Look, Merlin, I apprecite the concern -" He really did, quite honestly, and he shoved down the warmth bubbling in him that was caused by said concern. "- but it's just a small cut. The point is to make it bleed."

Merlin was obviously not getting the point, if the raised eyebrow and protruding bottom lip that signaled disbelief were any indications.

Arthur sighed and raised the dagger.

"Okay, fine," Merlin let out abruptly. He shrugged nonchalantly, making various hand gestures that made Arthur sure that his manservant was about to treat him un-servant-like again. He rolled his eyes.

"You want to inflict bodily harm to yourself, then by all means, go," Merlin continued, waving his hands around. "After all, it's your body. You know? You're the one who's gonna feel pain at your skin being sliced open in half." He finished, giving Arthur a pointed stare.

And Arthur just had a very brilliant idea.

"You know what, you're right," he said amiably, shrugging. He looked at Merlin apologetically. "I really shouldn't do it."

Merlin blinked. "I'm... right?"

Arthur shoved the dagger in front of him. "You do it."

Merlin stared. "You want me to cut your skin open?"

"Pretty much," Arthur replied, a bit too happy at how Merlin's mouth was dropped open in confoundment. "I'm not very steady with my left hand," he lied, because he may not be completely ambidextrous but he could at least wield a weapon with his left well-enough. Okay, so he just wanted to tease Merlin a bit. Nothing new with that.

"Oh, no, no, no, no, no," Merlin backed away, looking at the dagger as if it were going to bite him. He looked blandly at Arthur. "I am not doing it."

Arthur shrugged, taking the dagger back. "Okay, I'll do it the-"

"How about this?" Merlin cut in, taking the dagger hastily from Arthur. "Why don't we not do it and resume our journey back to Camelot? It's only three to four hours away by foot."

"Three hours is more than enough time for a bear to roast us in an open fire and eat us with silverware," Arthur deadpanned.

"Then we can just outrun the bear," Merlin supplied.

"I can outrun the bear," Arthur said, raising an eyebrow. "You, not so much. I like my manservant alive, Merlin," he finished, softly. He looked at the other seriously.

Merlin looked away. He could feel his face getting hot.

They remained in that awkward silence for a moment, before Merlin switched his gaze towards the dagger in his hand.

"Erm. So," he started, slowly. "You really want me to do it?"

Arthur nodded.

Merlin blinked, feeling his face go warmer. "You..." he said meekly, looking confused. "Trust me enough to point a dagger at you?"

Arthur paused, surprised. He frowned.

The realization slowly dawned on him that apparently, he did. He really did.

"I do."

And Merlin was having a hard time registering that information.

The crown prince of Camelot trusted him, a lowly servant, to point a dagger at him. The crown prince - who have had to deal with probably a hundred people attempting to assassinate him ever since he could open his eyes. The crown prince.

Okay, so that part didn't matter very much. What really felt like a concrete blow to the head was the fact that Arthur trusted him enough to point a dagger at him. Arthur trusted him.

He stared at the other man dumbly.

Arthur stared back, albeit less dumbly and with a raised eyebrow.

"Okay," Merlin said, feeling stupid. He peered at the other man suspiciously. "Will this really stop the bleeding or did you just do all this to rile me up?"

Despite the awkwardness, Arthur found himself grinning at that. "I can rile you up without creating medical theories, Merlin. I suppose you weren't listening when Gaius taught you emergency first aid?"

"Oh, give me that hand," Merlin grumbled, grabbing Arthur's enlarged hand as if it weren't the hand of the only heir of the kingdom of Camelot. He peered at it, not in disgust, but in curiosity. "Doesn't it hurt? It looks like it hurts. It looks..." He had to stop himself, because the edges of his lips were twitching up as the earlier smugness he felt returned. "Funny."

"Yes, it looks hilarious, Merlin, thanks for pointing that out," Arthur replied dryly, rolling his eyes. "And it doesn't really hurt, just... numb, I suppose."

Merlin took a deep breath. "Are you sure you want to do this? I mean, we can always climb a tree instead when a bear comes, or..." Render it unconscious with magic, Merlin's brain helpfully supplied.

"You don't know how to climb a tree," Arthur said.

"I happen to be the best tree climber there is," Merlin retorted, but raised the dagger above Arthur's hand anyway because that was a lie and they both knew it.

"Don't be such a girl, Merlin," Arthur sighed, eyes fixed on their hands. "And you're not really going to cut my hand open. Just pierce it. Just enough to make it bleed a little."

Merlin's left hand held Arthur's, while his right hand held the dagger. He stared at their hands, his long and bony fingers with Arthur's sausage ones and although this was a highly inappropriate situation, he couldn't help himself not to relish the warmth it brought. He took a deep breath.

Arthur growled in annoyance. "Oh, for pete's sake, Merlin, just do - OW!"

Merlin smiled at him sheepishly, taking the dagger away. "I did it."

After the blood was wiped off (thanks to Merlin's pants), the dagger was put back in its sheath. Merlin didn't let go of Arthur's hand though. He looked at the blood that trickled out of the wound, almost amazed. Some of it got to his own hand. "Does it hurt?"

"A bit, now that it's bleeding," Arthur admitted, staring as well. "But at least I'm starting to feel my fingers again."

"Oh," Merlin said. He blinked. "Good... then."

"Give me your scarf."

Merlin blinked again. He looked at Arthur. "What?"

Arthur looked at him with an exasperated expression before rolling his eyes for the umpteenth time. He seemed to be doing that a lot today. He reached around with his free arm to untie Merlin's scarf himself.

Merlin knew he was supposed to be concentrating on Arthur's bleeding hand rather than Arthur's rich, musky and very manly scent, but again, he couldn't help himself. It was Arthur's fault anyway, disregarding his personal space like that.

"You're going to use my scarf," Merlin let out dryly, more to distract himself than actually being apalled that Arthur was going to use his scarf as a rag.

"Yes, Merlin," Arthur said, quite happy with himself. "I can't just drip blood all over the place. Tie it for me, will you? And do wipe your hands."

As Merlin set to work, Arthur fixed his gaze on Merlin's neck, happy despite the throbbing pain on his right hand.

"By the way," he started, slowly because he was trying to come up with a way to say the next sentence without sounding awfully... well, girly. He shrugged, trying to be as nonchalant about it as he could. He settled for a gruff disposition.


Merlin's hands stilled.

Then returned to work a heartbeat later. "I did it because you trusted me to," he muttered. He couldn't help the smile that fought its way to his lips. "Prat."

Arthur grinned.

"Let's go home then, shall we? I do believe that after all this fiasco, my armor needs to be cleaned and my sword needs to be sharpened. And oh, the stables, Merlin."

Merlin tied the scarf around Arthur's bleeding hand a little too tightly.
der_jemand on April 22nd, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Awww! *__*
It's great! Definately in character - although I'm not really into the fandom just enjoying the show (in the German translation...), so maybe you shouldn't rely on my word. But they certainly feel and sound like Merlin and Arthur so yes, it's a great fic.
Ah, I smiled all the time and still do. Made my evening so much better. Thank you. =)
ieatchu on June 4th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
LATE REPLY, sorry ;; And thank you very much! :D It's a relief to hear that they're in character XD; Glad it made your evening, bb :) Thank you again!
koishii_hime on April 23rd, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
ieatchu on June 4th, 2010 07:09 am (UTC)
ketsudan on April 23rd, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
I'm still laughing over how medieval that technique is.
ieatchu on June 4th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
Late reply bb :( But Arthur, the Lord of all Smooth Moves XD *loves you*
ketsudan on June 4th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Lord of the Smooth Moves, eh? Then what's Merlin?

Ridiculously Adorable?
hermitknut on May 29th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Aww, great stuff :) Heehee, "stab me" *giggles* ah, joy. I love the repeat of "with a single blow" from ep1, too :D
ieatchu on June 4th, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
Thank you very much, bb! :) "Stab me" XD Oh, the innuendo. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
frames_in_aria on May 30th, 2010 12:19 am (UTC)
Wheee~ It's aww-inducing and lovely ♥

It's nice to see you here, btw, I think I've seen you at Naruto fandom. Though I'm not there as often as I like, I remember loving your fics there. It's nice to see a familiar name coming to Merlin fandom ♥ ♥ ♥
ieatchu on June 4th, 2010 07:12 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you very, very much! :) And oh, it's been so long since I've last been in the Naruto fandom XD; But I'm flattered that you remember my stuff there! ^^;

The Merlin fandom's not hard to love, really ♥ Thank you again! :D
archaeologist_d on May 31st, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
Very cute. I liked that Arthur believed in Merlin enough to let him cut his hand and cure it - a bit. Good job.
ieatchu on June 4th, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
A bit, indeed XD Thank you very much! :) I'm glad you liked it :)