Stellastars (stellastars) wrote in merlin_flashfic,
Stellastars
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merlin_flashfic

The Thief in the Market by stellastars

Title: The Thief in the Market
Rating: All Ages
Characters: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Merlin is resourceful when choosing weapons.
Word Count: 470-ish
A/N: Many thanks to solar_cat for the swift beta.



Merlin follows closely behind Arthur, eyes cast downward lest any glimmer of gold remain.

“I can't believe you knocked him out!” Arthur exclaims as he strides into his chambers, shedding his swordbelt and sword midway to his table.

“I didn’t mean to!” Merlin says, immediately setting to work tidying the mess that follows in Arthur's wake. “I really just meant to distract him, to slow him down, so you or the guards could take care of him.”

“That wasn't what I meant. I meant, I can't believe you connected with him at all. From across the market! With at least four vendors between you and him! And with a—”

“You have so little faith in me.” Merlin interrupts, shaking his head reproachfully. “I told you before...” he looks up, now feeling more confident about meeting Arthur’s eyes. He pauses for effect, waiting until Arthur gives him a “get on with it” gesture.

“I have terrific aim,” he deadpans. “Near perfect, in fact.”

Arthur rolls his eyes. “Merlin. I have taken you on hunting trips. Your aim is terrible.”

“All right,” Merlin concedes, “All right, so I got lucky. And besides, how was I to know he’d be surprised and trip and hit his head?” He shrugs, blinking wide, innocent eyes.

“Yeah. Lucky is more like it.” Arthur snorts, turning to stare out the window onto the grounds below.

Merlin putters around the room, filling the silence until Arthur speaks again.

“But with everything in the market at your disposal, why on Earth did you choose the—”

“When you're in the stocks as often as I am, you start to see the potential fruits and vegetables have for being used as weapons.” Merlin interrupts again, tone a bit heated.

There’s a moment of silence, then Arthur bursts into laughter. Merlin can’t help but grin.

As Arthur’s chuckling slows and he wipes his eyes, he asks, “But why a potato? Why not... all right, not grapes, they’d be too small. But why not... an apple? Or... a head of cabbage?”

“If you spent any time at all having them chucked at your head, you would know that potatoes hurt!”

Arthur’s lips are pressed into a thin line, though the corners twitch as if he’s trying not to start laughing again.

“And,” Merlin continues seriously, ignoring Arthur’s amusement, “you would know that they are capable of traveling a surprisingly long distance without losing force on impact.”

Arthur smiles, shaking his head.

“Merlin, Merlin, Merlin...” he sighs, smile softening a bit. “Thank you. I think.” Arthur pauses a moment, then continues, “But all the same I’d rather not have word getting around court that I couldn’t catch a thief without help from a servant, armed only with a potato.”

Merlin smiles. “I won’t breathe a word of it, sire.” His blue eyes twinkle as he adds, “Besides, no one would ever believe me!”

Tags: weapons challenge
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