Summary: It's snowing in Camelot and Arthur is displeased. Why does he hate the snow so much? You can bet Merlin's going to poke his nose in where it's doesn't belong...
Notes: I haven't wrote the second part yet, but maybe along the line I'll be inspired to...
Arthur wrinkled his nose in disgust.
How any could find the white stuff appealing completely befuddled him.
Turning to face his manservant whose attention was currently riveted on said item falling from the sky, his disgust only increased further.
He couldn’t listen when Arthur was speaking to him but should snow ever dare to fall, suddenly he’s all ears, or rather, eyes.
“Merlin, did you hear what I just said?” Arthur in fact, had said nothing, but enjoyed Merlin’s flustered look all the same.
“No, sorry sir. I was momentarily…distracted.” Arthur scoffed at the pathetic response.
“It can’t be called momentary if it’s constant!” The Prince hid a smile at the slight flush that caressed his servant’s cheeks.
“I really do apologise sire, it’s just that, well, it’s snowing!” Merlin replied adamantly, gesturing wildly towards to window, where a light layer of snow had settled on the cobblestones.
“Yes, you’re point being?” Merlin openly looked shocked before raising a brow skeptically.
“You don’t enjoy the snow, sire?” He asked, a slight mocking tone now marring his question.
“No, not at all. Should I? I find it very hard, Merlin, to find anything appealing about flakes, not dissimilar to dandruff, that when they melt, make you cold and wet,” Arthur was not finished “I do not revel in it the slightest. Building snow men and snow angels, chucking snowballs; it’s for common people, not the future King of Camelot…” Merlin noted the slight wistfulness in his tone.
“You’ve never played in the snow, have you sir?” Merlin enquired, watching as Arthur shook his head in defeat.
“No, I can’t say I ever have. I was never allowed,” Arthur watched memories flash through his head of a little boy and his father’s powerful voice dominating every one.
“Look father, snow!” The little blonde boy jumped up and down eagerly on the balls of his feet “Can I go out father, please father?” Blue eyes glistening with anticipation, he clenched his small hands in an attempt to send all his extra energy elsewhere.
“No, of course not.” His father scoffed, not even looking up from the scroll that lay across the table.
“But-but why, father?” The boy couldn’t seem to understand why his father had said no. “All the other boys and girls are playing-“
“You are not like all the other boys and girls now are you? This is where you go wrong, Arthur,” Knowing his father too well, the little boy could sense a speech coming on.
“I have worked so hard to get to where I am today, and at a high price some might say, and I’ve tried even harder to get you on the right path so when the time comes you can follow in my footsteps.” The little boy’s cheeks suddenly felt very warm like they always did when he knew he was in trouble. “You most certainly won’t reach the destination you need to arrive at by playing in the snow.” His father’s tone was cruel, mocking and managed to deliver across to the little boy that he was a disappointment already.
“Sorry father. I shall not ask again.” The blonde boy bowed his head, suddenly finding his boots unusually riveting.
“You moat certainly won’t, now come here. I want you to be able to memorize who is who for our dinner at the end of the week. The last thing I need is you embarrassing me.”
“Yes father.” The small boy sniffed, took one last longing look outside the window before wiping quickly at his damp cheeks and returning to his father’s side, where he would sit, conceivably, for most of his life.
“Sir?” Merlin prompted, momentarily startled by the look in Arthur’s eyes.
“It doesn’t matter anyway.” Arthur snapped out of it, not wanting to show any sign of weakness “Like I said, it doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.” Merlin resisted pity as the Prince shot a longing look out of the window.
“I’ve finished everything you asked me to do,” Arthur waited for Merlin to make his point. “You could take a break from your Prince duties and relax for once?”
“I’ll have you know, Merlin, you sad excuse for a servant, I relax every day.”
“Sure you do sir, that wasn’t what I was implying.” Merlin hid a smile as the Prince fumed not so silently.
“Of course you were. It’s always the same with you. Making out life’s fun when it isn’t. You just bear witness to the fact, I mean, you work for me for Christ’s sake - you must be desperate!” Merlin waited until he was sure his Arthur was finished before speaking.
“Yes, I suppose I am a little desperate, and at times yes, life is hard, but it’s only as hard as you want to make it, sire. With a little time away from the things that make life seem so bad, you’ll see that really, it wasn’t so terrible after all.” A silence.
“For a lowly servant Merlin, sometimes you can be quite intelligent.” Smiling again, he felt a weight lifting from his suddenly tired shoulders.
“I’ll try not to be insulted, sire,” Merlin smiled too, relived to see the Prince had relaxed some “So, can you be tempted to come out in the snow like some common filth and lose pathetically at a snow ball fight?” The question hung heavily in the air.
“Excuse me?” Merlin suddenly regretted being too familiar with Arthur at the threat lacing his tone “Lose a fight? You mean Arthur, next King of Camelot?” Merlin’s smile spread at the euphoric expression on Arthur’s face “I don’t think so.”
“Should you lose Merlin, as I’m positive you will, you have to bathe in my dirty sock water for a week. Is that clear?”