A/N: Apologies for crackiness, but based on Prompt #16 given by my soul-sister. Dedicated to her. Crack takes place in the 2009 Children in Need Pudsey AU! Slash if you squint, don't like, don't read... *insert disclaimer here*

Pudsey is MIA!

Merlin burst in unannounced, as always, his dark hair askew and his eyes blown up comically. Gwen spun around, hearing the door being thrown open, her hands still tangled in Morgana's thick locks, still applying a bit of product. Morgana attempted to face Merlin, but was finding it difficult to crook her neck that far around.

"What's wrong, Merlin," Gwen balked.

Merlin panted for a moment, raising his hand in placation as he slowly caught his breath. Then he replied raggedly, "Please, have any of you seen Arthur's Pudsey? I think I've, err..., lost it..." he trailed off pathetically. Mentally he cringed at the thought at what really happened...

Earlier that day, Merlin had been "cleaning Arthur's chamber," which for such a small phrase, really included more chores than one would expect... but that was beyond the point. The point was it was an accident. He would go to his grave swearing that it was an accident. So long story short, he was tired, sore, and frustrated - and there was Pudsey. Just sitting there with that smug little grin. It really was not Merlin's fault his magic reacted the way it had, it really was most decidedly not his fault. Still this did not change the fact that a very alive Pudsey was now racing out of Arthur's chamber at breakneck speed...

"Guys," Merlin continued, "this is not funny. This is a crisis! Arthur can't sleep without Pudsey and if he finds out that I've gone and lost him, I'm finished!" He paused for effect, but faltered as the giggling only increased in volume.

"I hate you all," Merlin deadpanned as he left Gwen and Morgana to their hair routines and clearly evil cackling.

That night, Merlin returned to Arthur's chambers, bruised, singed, and absolutely exhausted; but he considered it a bittersweet victory as he clutched the no-longer-animated Pudsey limply in his hand. He had spent the entire day chasing that possessed pouch of plush, researching ways of reversing the animation, and enduring the Gaius' raised eyebrows and long lectures about Merlin's frivolous magic use. Still, it wasn't all bad. He had incapacitated the small demon-bear, and that was what mattered.

But, seeing Arthur's face twisted in a disapproving scowl did not bode well for Merlin's feeling of victory.

"MER-lin!" Arthur balked, "What is this?" He was pointing to a small pile of Arthur's clothes and linens that Merlin had knocked over that morning in the pursuit of Pudsey.

"Your, ummm, linens... sire?" Merlin offered meekly.

Arthur rolled his eyes, "Yes, but why are my linens on the floor instead of in their drawers? I thought I told you to clean my chambers this morning."

Merlin started, unsure of what excuse to use for not having finished any of his chores, "Well, you see, I was ju-"

Arthur briskly cut him off and retorted, "No. You look. You've been getting sloppy in your chores recently, and I've been kind enough to overlook it, but now..." he trailed off looking around the room, "Have you been lolly-gagging around the whole day? Just look at the state of the room! The drapes need washing, my boots need scrubbing, the shelves and closets clearly need dusting, that cloak over on the table needs mending, oh, I see you haven't finished polishing my armor, nor have you even changed all of my bed sheets! Are you really that incompetent!" Merlin flinched with every word Arthur bellowed. He was too exhausted for another row with Arthur.

Arthur was catching his breath, trying to compose himself, then added as more than an afterthought, "And to top it all off you've misplaced Pudsey!"

Merlin looked up quickly to see Arthur turn with a deep pout and a look in his eyes that made Arthur look as if a puppy had been kicked. A dawning realization fell on Merlin as he realized what all of this was really about.

"Um about Pudsey... Here he is!" Merlin grinned as Arthur's face instantly lit up with a blinding smile as he reclaimed his furry friend. Merlin allowed himself to spice up his rescue story for Arthur, "It took me a while, but when I came in this morning and found him gone, I knew I had to act." Merlin chest rose with false bravado and continued at the sight of Arthur's wide, astonished eyes. "Yes, if it wasn't for me, who knows where your dear Pudsey would be now."

Arthur took a step back and a new look of admiration crossed his features, "You saved Pudsey..." Arthur then shook his head and cleared his throat willing himself not to sound impressed, "Well, good, that's good. Right. Well, um, yes, thank you."

Merlin gave a small smile, knowing that it took a lot for Arthur to say that. "You're welcome. Goodnight, Arthur."

Merlin turned to leave and just as he reached for the door, Arthur called out quietly, "Merlin..."

"Yes," Merlin ventured, turning to face Arthur.

Arthur looked down at Pudsey, a small smile spreading on his lips, not that Merlin was noticing or anything. Then Arthur glanced over at his bed and back to Merlin as he took a couple steps towards Merlin, but something changed in Arthur's eyes as he stopped himself... they looked more wistful. Instead, Arthur simply sighed, "Goodnight, Merlin."

A moment passed slowly between them until Merlin nodded slowly and left Arthur, closing the door quietly between them.

A/N: Huh, how bout that. Not COMPLETELY crack. Plus there was some slash and a dash of UST right there at the end... I think Arthur wanted to reward Pudsey's hero, if you know what I mean ;D Well, hope you enjoyed. I definitely enjoyed writing it… Goodbye writer's block! Please review if you can.