Oh where oh where did that little ring go?

Rated K+

Written for Camelot_love's Drabble Tag

Nicely prompted by Ella_rose88

Original Prompt: Arthur plans to ask Gwen to marry him; however, Merlin somehow loses the ring.

Thanks for such a fun prompt to write Ella_rose88!

Special thanks here at FF to those who have responded to my chapter stories and drabbles. Especially, I got three reviews very recently that just made me happy when I was feeling a little down. Thanks!

Story Warning: Has a lot of silly bromance, three part friendship and a touch of A/G romance

Read with caution if Camelot nuttiness is not your thing

lol...

II

"YOU LOST IT WHERE?"

Merlin frowned at the king, the latter man having received his coronation just months ago. "You don't have to shout so much Arthur. I'm sure the entire kingdom of Camelot heard you."

Arthur smiled smartly before opening his mouth. "THEY'LL BE HEARING YOU…" He took out his sword from his side.

"SCREAMING FOR YOUR LIFE!"

Merlin rolled his eyes. So melodramatic. After all…

He simply lost the engagement ring…

For Gwen.

Okay…

Maybe that was slightly important.

II

Three Hours Earlier

Paddling the rickety boat with a grumble, Merlin pulled up to the little island of flowers. Geesh…the things he was made to do and he was the most powerful sorcerer in the land, well so far anyway. The most powerful to stay alive. All the bad ones kind of just came and gone…poof. Bye bye. But he lasted. Because he was Merlin. Merlin Emrys Reginald (don't ask about that one, long painful story) Lightning Man (kid gave him that one) Wizard of the Ages…Merlin.

And here he was stuck with the menial task of finding some bright purple flowers because the ones in the town already had been touched by so many…hands. Oh boo hoo. Sometimes being the manservant, as you also were the great sorcerer, was just so demeaning and annoying.

Grumble grumble grumble.

Couldn't do it himself? Oh no! He was King Arthur! King Arthur can't row a boat over to a little island to get flowers for the woman he loves. Oh no of course not! Send out the sorcerer instead who has superior magical powers and yet he's made to gather flowers. Pitiful.

Bemoaning it all the way, his sometimes blah blah blah existence, Merlin picked what looked like the best flowers and climbed back into the tiny little boat. Paddling it over to the side, he continued to rant about his poorly position, as it happened in the meanwhile.

He dropped something of just...

A bit of significance out of his pocket.

It in fact happened to be what his next mind rant was about.

Also, too, the king had sent him three towns away to pick it up, the very special ring he had picked out just for her because it was crafted by a jeweler who was known to bring floral accents to their work. Gwen loved flowers. Hence the flowers here and…the flowers on the ring.

Grabbing for the side to dock the boat, that was when Merlin accidentally…

Knocked the precious custom made floral accented, designed-just-for-the-new queen…

Ring…

right

plop

drop…

Down…

Down…

Into the depths of…

The very murky and often times muddy…

Lake.

"Oooooohhhh no!"

Merlin let out with dread.

The same one that he dropped that sword into and never saw again.

Hmmmm…should be coming up time soon for it to be used, right?

Anyway!

Maybe he could find it with magic, but what if that led to a whole other mess of problems? Not that this wasn't problem enough. The king would have his head…

On a plate.

Served with…

ANYWAY.

Merlin tried a few times of golden eyes and lyrical chants.

With no success.

He could conjure up a whole new ring, but the king was a stickler for details and would notice any bit of change since Merlin really hadn't paid attention much attention to the thing other than picking it up and carousing out of there.

Hmmm…Guess there was only one solution.

Oh the things he did for his…DESTINY.

Rolling his pant legs up as much he could, Merlin tipped his body over the side of the boat and started sloshing around in the water for the tiny little…

Irritating

Troublesome

Causing him such misery…

Ring.

Three Hours Later

"WHAT are you doing?"

Oh oh.

Glancing up from his search, Merlin tried to slap on his face the most innocent look of…

Uh…

Happiness?

"Sire! I got the flowers!" He waved them with pretend glee.

Stall, Merlin!

Wearing his most decorated tunic with golden accents to go with his black pants, the crown of his coronation upon his head, and a deep red Pendragon cloak around his shoulders, Arthur smiled.

He got the flowers. Very good.

He'd planned this night for weeks now.

First he'd walk over to her humble cottage. From there they'd ride on horseback to this beautiful spot high beyond the castle that they had started going to when they began their relationship in secret. There he had everything set up, or well, Merlin had set it up.

He better have set it up.

Uh…wait a minute. Ah…yes…the flowers!

Arthur carefully, so as to stay perfectly clean for his lady, made his way down to the bank where his odd servant was still waddling along in the water.

What was wrong with him?

Oh well.

He took the flowers handed to him with satisfaction. "Ah, yes, these will do just fine. And the ring?"

Merlin frowned.

Arthur frowned. There better not be a problem. Of course with Merlin, magical sorcerer of the land or not, nine times out of ten…

There was.

"Where is it Merlin? Don't tell me you didn't get it."

Merlin grinned. He had a good answer for that one at least. "Oh yeah…"

Suddenly he was distracted by something in the water. Was that a fish that had in its mouth…

Nah…couldn't be.

"MERLIN." Arthur brought in sharply.

Merlin turned his attention back to his pr-king. Still took some getting used to sometimes after the former king's illness led to his prat of a friend taking over. "Uh…yeah of course I got it."

Arthur smiled with satisfaction, bringing his hand out with expectation. "Then…"

"Andlostit."

Merlin mumbled in one jumble of words.

"What was that?" Arthur asked with eyebrows raised. His servant and his muttering!

Merlin swallowed hard. Better get the golden eyes ready. This could be…

BAD.

"I uh…sort of…uh…lost it."

Arthur's look was dark, his blue eyes heavily scrutinizing. "You what?"

Merlin nodded his head up and down ridiculously fast. "Uh-huh. I just kind of you know…dropped it. Lost it in…

Long stalling pause.

"The lake."

Merlin gestured to all around them with a weak smile, pulling back at the dark blue robe he sometimes wore now as…not servant…but mega sorcerer.

Okay…another kid term. Really he was a hero that so many revered because of his awesome amazing ability to make fire-

"YOU BLOODY LOST IT WHERE?"

Geesh…he didn't have to yell like that. Especially when he was going through his sorcery catalogue of major achievements!

And that kind of brings us back to where this all started.

Arthur now had taken out his sword and was shining it in his servant's pale face. "HOW COULD YOU LOSE THE RING IN THE LAKE?"

Merlin's eyes flashed gold in warning. Hah hah hah! Evil sorcerer cackle. Take…that!

Arthur railed back with a snarl. "Oh don't start that golden eye thing with me MERLIN. I'll stab you with this sword…don't doubt it."

"And I'll turn you into a TOAD…don't doubt that."

Arthur raised his hands with exasperation, putting the sword away. One time the idiot had accidentally turned him into a slimy worm. No need to go through that painful memory again. That really awful…gross memory. Guinevere had told him that if he even tried to crawl up and kiss her she would fling him out the window.

AAAAAHHHHH...squashed worm. Bye bye Camelot. Horrible picture indeed.

"You better find it Merlin."

Arthur moved away from the bank and gestured for his servant to keep looking. Merlin grumbled how kings were just like princes. Couldn't do a single thing for themselves. If they could have…

None of this would have happened.

Ten minutes Later

The king is hit with a knock of common sense, or frantic worry.

"Oh…enough! Why don't you just use your magic.

"Because it might make the ring even harder to find!"

Rolling up his pants and flinging away his dressed up cloak, Arthur grumbled as he sloshed his own way into the water.

"Yeah, you're right about that. Wouldn't be surprised if you turned the water…PINK."

Merlin grumbled under his breath. Had to bring that up. It wasn't his fault that the spell went a little awry. Like a few of his others.

Ranting still, Arthur waddled around in the mostly shallow edge of the water, shuffling it around as gently he could with his hands to spot any shine of gold.

"You know I don't get it Merlin. You can make storms appear out of nowhere, send a man flying against a tree with your mere hand, and talk to ferocious dragons in a voice that I admit still sends chills down my spine, but you can't find a RING?"

Merlin muttered back stubbornly. "Well I don't see you finding it…"

Belatedly adding in, "Sire."

Arthur rolled his eyes, continuing the search.

Thinking of it now, Merlin let out. "Oh and uh…Sire…"

"WHAT?"

Talk about sour moods!

"Uh…if you just happen to find this golden inscribed, breathed-on-by-a-dragon…

Sword

That's yours too."

"Pray tell what else have you lost in this lake, Merlin…

Your brain?"

"Not nice."

"Shut up and look."

"You shut up and look…

Sire."

And now Two hours after all of that making the grand total a sum of Five hours of search

Also making the king very late for

his…

Date with a certain…

Lady…

Wet, tired, grumpy, dirty, and

Without any kind of success at all…

The two men: the grand sorcerer of the land, and the kingdom's prestigious king

Were still sloshing around in a murky muddy lake for one simple single object.

The ring.

Oh if the knights, peasants, dragons, sorceresses, trolls, servants, unicorns, Questing Beasts, bandits, Druids, horses, super size spiders, super size rats…

Uh…maybe that's taking it a bit far…

So anyway…

If they (yep that whole motley bunch)

Could see them now!

"How many hours has it been?" The prince asked wearily. He had no idea how late he might be.

Sloshing through another part, Merlin grimaced. "Do I look like I'm carrying an astronomical clock on my back? How should I know?"

"Can't you MAGICALLY make one just appear?"

"Oh! Had to throw that one in there, didn't you? Yeah, I'll just make a clock the size of a giant chess piece that stands in the hallway…out of magic. POOF."

"Shut up Merlin and keep looking! They're not giant chess pieces. They're works of medieval art."

Yeah, but they looked like giant chess pieces.

Merlin decided to let it go...and that was when...

"Uh…Arthur…"

"What? You found the dragon sword?"

"No…and it's not a dragon sword! It was breathed on by a dragon. But never mind that! I think this fish has the ring."

That got his attention.

Quickly lifting out of the water, Arthur turned.

"Eh?"

"Look." Merlin pointed. "And don't talk so loud." He hissed out in warning. "You'll scare it away."

Arthur followed Merlin's finger, eyes widening...original golden floral patterns. "Bloody hell, it does have the ring!"

He pulled out his sword, causing Merlin to cry out with shock.

"You're not going to kill it?"

"What do you expect me to do Merlin, ASK it to give me the ring?"

"But you can't kill it! You're going to dirty up the water." Merlin protested.

Arthur gave him a look of disbelief. Dirty up the water? It was already full of mud, muck and…everything else for that matter.

Including Guinevere's ring. His…dragon sword and…

Hah. Merlin's brain.

Hah hah hah.

"Maybe I could try to talk to it. Use a spell." Merlin interrupted Arthur's slight erratic musings.

The search was probably driving them both…batty.

Arthur smirked before getting fully in his servant's face. "Oh yeah, like the time you conjured one on my horse…and he nearly…

JUMPED OFF A CLIFF!

Whilst I was on it."

"Okay, so the spell went a little awry."

"Most do."

"Hey." Merlin countered heatedly. "Don't forget I've drank poison for you, attempted to sacrifice my life for you, created firestorms, thunderstorms, lightning storms, swamp storms…

Arthur rolled his eyes. Why…oh why?

"…flying fruits and vegetable storms, tree branch storms, whatever happens to be in the room storms-

"OKAY…enough! Now keep an eye on the fish."

"There it is!"

Arthur readied his sword at his servant's direction.

"Oh no…to the left!"

Somewhat wayward direction.

The king shifted his aim.

"Not that left…

Oh it's over on the right now."

Insane ludicrous direction.

Tightening his jaw, the king shifted the opposite way.

"Oh back to the left."

Arthur fought to not fling the sword into the water.

Which would have been...two lost swords and...

One lost ring. DING

Lake of the...L-O-S-T

If he wasn't so adept he would have stabbed himself by now with his servant's UNHELPFUL directions.

"Merlin."

"Yes?"

"SHUT UP."

"Are you two having fun?"

Shrilly the voice cut through.

Both men turned at it rapidly to see long trailing curls of hair, a gorgeous gown of burgundy and a displeased scowl on her face.

"Am I interrupting something?" She asked coolly.

"Gwen!"

"Guinevere!"

Gwen/Guinevere frowned more heavily. It had disturbingly been going on for weeks now. Arthur would constantly be going somewhere with his servant or whatnot and he'd be all hush hush about it. It was exasperating…to start actually being jealous of another…

Man.

Well not in that way, but in…the other way.

Arms crossed, she called out to the man who was supposed to have been her date over an hour ago.

"If you didn't want to take me out, you could have just…sent a messenger at least Arthur. Making me wait…that really wasn't…

Well have your fun."

She waved them both off.

"NO…wait!"

Merlin decided at that moment that if it didn't work, wouldn't matter. Time was expired. Eyes glowing, he whispered a spell.

Arthur waded rapidly through the murky waters still calling out for her to stop.

Merlin grinned. It worked! The spell slowed down the fish. The ring really wasn't in its mouth, but stuck on a scale. Time slowed for a couple of seconds, Merlin was able to pry it off before the bewildered fish swished away underneath.

"Arthur!"

The king turned around with an impatient grimace. He needed to get to her.

Merlin covertly waved it...making sure Gwen couldn't see. "Got it." He whispered.

Arthur's mouth opened wide. "You did?"

Merlin nodded his head, big grin plastered on his face. "Yep."

Feeling ignored, Gwen turned on her heel.

That was when the king asked of the servant, "So you set up everything, right? You know in that place?"

Plainly, Merlin shook his head. "Eh, no. I've had no time, looking for the ring all these hours."

"What do you mean you didn't have time? I told you to set this up!"

"And maybe if you would set up a few things OF YOUR OWN…none of this would have happened!"

"Now you're blaming me! I'm not the one who lost a ring in the LAKE. Besides I have a kingdom to rule. What do you do all day?"

Merlin's eyes widened with bewildered anger. "SERVE YOU! Do this pitiful task for me Merlin…go there on this errand for me Merlin…wash my clothes Merlin…make a dragon magically appear Merlin!"

"I never asked for a dragon-

"Well you probably will some day."

"Oh stop your moaning. I asked you to get the job done and instead you completely fail-

"She's leaving."

"What-

"The woman you wanted to give the ring to in the first place...

Is taking off right NOW."

Arthur swung around to see her indeed departing.

"Guinevere!"

He rushed, not watching that carefully where he was going.

Merlin frowned. Kings!

But then…

Oh oh.

Quickly the servant forgot his anger, expressing anxiety instead.

"Uh, Arthur watch out for that-

SMACK

SPLASH

SPLOSH

(Insert Medieval George of the Jungle style gasp)

Ooooohhhhhh

"Branch."

Tripping over the wayward branch, the decorated noble honorable King of Camelot had landed very unceremoniously face down into…

The very muddy sloshy murky…

Lake.

It made Gwen stop, her eyes widened.

Merlin thought to himself at least he'd be happy about one thing.

Oooohhhhh

On second thought, didn't look good.

Still Merlin grinned as he sloppily placed it back upon the man's head. Underneath was the muddied face and heavily soiled clothes now.

"Saved your crown!" Merlin chimed, trying to avoid the king's messy glare.

Arthur shoved the thing flatter on his head, making a few golden strands of his hair pop up disjointedly.

And gritted out of his teeth,

"Get AWAY from me MERLIN."

"Can't please anyone." Merlin muttered.

Arthur hurried.

She was departing again now that she knew he was safe.

"Guinevere…wait!"

She didn't slow, but his pace was fast.

Catching up, Arthur pulled gently at her shoulders.

"Guinevere..."

She turned around to face him, her expression unhappy, but noticing it then, that even with all the muck, he was handsomely dressed.

"I can explain. You see Merlin and I were just…uh…"

"Looking for a fallen heirloom…" Merlin added helpfully from the water's edge.

"Yes…" Heirloom? Arthur frowned with misunderstanding, but kept it up. "A…"

"Don't bother." Guinevere put up her hand, turning then to go.

Arthur looked back to Merlin.

The servant gave a helpless shrug.

Arthur frowned with distaste. He was on his own. Tightly he held at her waist. "Wait…"

"I don't want to hear-

"I love you."

Her heart panged. She loved him too, but this-

"I wanted to make this night special for you. I wanted…"

Letting out a wearied sigh, the king gave it all up.

And proceeded to…

Merlin's eyes widened.

Wet, weary, and muddy, Arthur slowly dropped to one knee, keeping hold of her hand.

Guinevere stared down. What was he-

The king pulled it out.

Taking a quick glance, he signaled meaningfully to his servant. Time to go.

Merlin just grinned, keeping stock still where he was standing, yet bouncing back and forth with excitement.

The king groaned. He'd get him later.

Clasping at her precious fingers with his dirtied ones, Arthur whispered upward,

"Guinevere…you're the only woman I've ever seen…as my wife. My queen. And I give you my word…I will always honor you, respect and…"

Words of affection were not always the easiest for him, but he awkwardly found them now. This was the moment…only so different than he'd ever imagined.

"...love you. Guinevere…" He squeezed tenderly at her fingers, held it out.

"Will you…"

Merlin smiled more. No way would he have missed this.

Finally!

They had gone through so much to get here and now…

"...marry me…will you do me the honor of not only being my wife, but my beautiful queen?"

Tears traced down her cheeks. She had always wanted this moment. It was different than in any of her dreams, but it was…

Somehow so right.

It was the darkest area of the forest, no golden moonlight showing through and yet…

Oh yet.

"In front of Merlin?" She asked playfully.

Arthur chuckled softly. The day had already been wild enough. "Oh yes…why not. In front of Merlin!"

For years they had suffered through forbidden affections. They had tried to temper their bodies. Their lonely hearts.

And yet now…

The trees here were actually not even that cascading. The lake was obviously known for its…

Muddiness.

Apparent on Arthur now.

And yet…

"Was this how you had it planned?"

He shook his head furiously. "Not in the least!'

She giggled at that, smiling vibrantly enough for the missed light.

Merlin knew he probably should move. But he couldn't budge.

He…

Simply loved them both.

It was why he stayed servant.

Why no matter what heights he rose to as sorcerer…he would always be the King's servant.

And soon the Queen's too.

"Yes." She whispered, tears trailing down her beautiful face.

"Yes?" The king asked with boyish hope.

"Yes..." She replied, touching at his shoulder with the hand he didn't hold.

"I will be your wife. I will be your queen Arthur Pendragon."

Letting his head fall back he laughed wildly with joyous abandon.

She watched with amusement and tender emotion.

Arthur thanked heavenly Camelot...for finally this moment.

She smiled too with gracious thanks.

The king lifted up off his knee, catching at her tears with his fingertips, feeling his own start to shed. His wife…finally…

Guinevere would be his queen. No one could part that. He lifted his arms around her, forgetting for the moment his shabby state. She pushed in against him, not caring.

Merlin smiled with a few of his own…alright…tears. "King Arthur and Queen Guinevere Pendragon…has a nice ring to it."

No ring pun intended.

The king pulled back, delicately held onto her finger.

Guinevere felt her heart swell with excitement as he placed the beautiful…were those flowers…aw…perfectly fitted ring around her finger. She lifted it to her eyes…before getting a strange whiff. "Is that fish I smell?"

Arthur tried to shrug nonchalantly. "Er…well…"

She put two and two together. "Was…THAT…what you were looking in the water for?"

"Yep!" Merlin called out from behind.

Arthur glared.

Guinevere laughed. "Oh my goodness!" Then she clasped at her newly engaged love's cheeks.

"I'm dirty and wet- He warned.

She smiled up into his sky blue eyes tenderly. "If you're going to be my husband that should not matter. Besides, I've been around dirt and washed enough launderings to not fear it."

He smiled back. How he loved this woman.

Seeing it clearly now, she smiled with tender amusement and fixed the misplaced crown on his head, before running her fingers softly through his golden strands to properly smooth them out. Then done with that, she fingered away the bits of mud from his face before intimately pressing her lips against his.

He closed his eyes and fell into it, kissing her back ravenously.

Both of them forgetting…

"So see? All's well that ends well, right Sire…and er...soon to be Queen Guinevere?"

They parted. He was still there?

"Awwww…" Merlin grinned at their affections and came in. "Group hug."

Arthur responded quickly. "No."

Guinevere rolled her eyes. Forever boys.

"No?" Merlin asked, seeing Arthur doing that thing where he lifted up his hands and uh…kept the distance. Merlin awkwardly followed suit with just an inch of rebuttal.

"But-

"No."

"Oh."

"Yes."

"Oh."

Guinevere smiled affectionately at her friend, moving in to kiss him on the cheek. "Thank you Merlin."

Arthur frowned at that. "Eh…"

She took satisfaction that he seemed a bit jealous. Now he knew sort of how she had felt.

Merlin smiled gleefully at the king. The king smiled too before his expression flattened…with meaning. "Goodnight Merlin."

Guinevere shook her head at the silliness.

Merlin shrugged. "Good night."

He bowed low with meaning. "Sire…my Lady."

Guinevere blushed. It was a term she wasn't totally familiar with. Seemed that would have to be amended.

Arthur grumbled as the servant practically skipped away. "Er…MY lady." He started to kiss her, but then…

Something nagged at him.

"What is it?" Guinevere frowned.

The king put up his finger, asking her to give him a moment.

"Merlin."

The servant/sorcerer, clasping at his robe and already reentering the forest, turned around at the king's voice.
"Yes?"

"You're a good servant Merlin."

Merlin shrugged with thanks.

Arthur smiled.

The sorcerer smiled too.

"And a good friend."

Merlin's eyes widened as did Guinevere's. Maybe a few times in jest, but not so much...

The king's expression was sober enough though, beyond the kindly smile.

He meant the words fully.

Walking back to them, Merlin lifted his hands. Arthur's look was curious, but not preventive.

"Congratulations…" The sorcerer offered, placing his palms on each shoulder. And then the embrace just found itself. The three held onto each for one long moment before the king cleared his throat.

This time Merlin obeyed the hint fully. Moments like this he would never forget though…

Or ones like the king going PLOP into the water.

Pulling at his sometimes cumbersome robe that Arthur teased him about mercilessly made him look like a lanky giant elf,

Merlin ambled away to the forest.

Arthur sought out his soon-to-be-queen's lips, feeling their passionate return.

Around her finger, the circle of gold glowed through the darkness, the floral pattern weaved into bright design.

The circle of gold.

The ring.

That had been bought.

Lost.

And found.

Fishy smell and all.

Ah the stories Uncle Merlin would tell…

To

Their once and future children.

II

Wow, you read it all? Sign up to boost my self esteem by leaving a comment.

Hah...thanks for reading. But really...comments are very very very appreciated. Said the redundant fic writer.

I'll be back soon with my third drabble and then...future chapters to my in progress fics a bit later. Thanks for the support.

Astronomical clock line: Doing research for my story Lovely Surprise Me I learned that the first clocks were huge…therefore making sense Merlin's remark about carrying it on his back. And as for comparing it to the 'giant chess pieces' the very first time I watched Merlin I nearly fell apart with laughter at those huge chess like looking pieces in the hallways. Maybe that's what they're supposed to look like…maybe not. But that's what they look like to me…kind of silly. So had to drop a line about it here. Since this is a crackier type fic.