"Right Merlin, come on, get packing, we're off on a trip."

Merlin tailed behind Arthur looking confused.

"What do you mean we? Rumour has it you weren't to take anyone with you. Am I not anyone?"

Arthur didn't answer that. Not verbally anyway.

"Ow!" Merlin said. "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! OW! Ouch!"

Each time Merlin said the word he increased the intensity as Arthur pulled him along by his right ear, into the castle towards his chambers.

"Shut up, Merlin."

Merlin did, apart from the occasional 'ow' when they went around a corner, or up a flight of stairs. Arthur didn't react. Anyone that saw them looked at them a little oddly but said nothing. If Arthur wanted to pull Merlin around by his ear, who were they to stop him.

"Aaah, Arthur, you prat!" Merlin finally complained as they reached Arthur's bedroom door, he opened it and walked in pulling Merlin along behind him and he swung Merlin round by his ear, so his servant was facing him.

"Ow!" Merlin snapped again. "That really hurt!"

Arthur let the door shut behind him and glared at Merlin. Merlin tried to extract himself from Arthur's grip. He stopped when Arthur twisted his ear in response. Once Merlin had stopped wriggling Arthur said.

"You are a servant, you don't count. There is also the point that you ruined my lone quest by following along, so I do imagine that halfway to where I am going I will find you sprawled across the path having fallen over while running to catch up with me!"

"And you never say thanks!"

Merlin winced as Arthur twisted his ear again, and he bit down on his lower lip to prevent him responding any further. Arthur continued.

"At least, if you are in my line of sight, I know where you are, what you are getting up to, and I can prevent you from getting into trouble in the way that you usually do.

"Am I wrong?"

He tugged Merlin's ear in time to the last three words and tweaked it again before letting go. Merlin frowned, stepping back and he put a hand up to rub his now very sore ear. He glared at Arthur, who folded his arms across his chest and waited for an answer, an enquiring expression on his face and the threat of a smug grin just behind it. Merlin pouted a little and thought about his response as he rubbed his ear. Arthur seemed content to wait for him. Merlin looked put out as he slowly answered Arthur's question, still rubbing his ear.