A.N: This is a rather… simple idea I've had for a long time now (I'm not sure if it's been done before, but… que sera sera…) and have had the first half written on my iPhone for a while now… I'm trying to get my fanfiction-writing brain working again so I can get back to writing my multi-chapters… (Because it's been far too long, damnit! I will get back onto them, I swear!).

*There's also a Terry Pratchet's The Wee Free Men inspired quote in here, spot it and get a cookie!*

Anyway, do enjoy… and I hope this does not offend anyone's writing…

~ MASSIVE thank you to sesshouluver who kindly BETA'd this story for me. Thank you so much! *sends love*. ~

It's Merlin, Not MERlin.
By Justine Themis

It was a morning like any other.

"Once you're done cleaning my room, Merlin, you need to go and finish mending my chainmail for tomorrow's training."

Or at least, as similar as mornings could be for Merlin. Because nothing said 'Good Morning!' like being given a long list of chores to do during the warm days of summer.

"Yes sire!" Merlin said in mock-salute as he picked up another used shirt from the floor of Arthur's chambers and threw it into the basket. For a prince whose outfits were very limited, Merlin was surprised at how many items of clothing he found lying on the floor.

"You also need to sharpen my sword, Merlin," Arthur continued.

This time Merlin only nodded, too pre-occupied with wondering why one of the prince's shoes was quite happily sat on Arthur's work-desk with its twin no-where to be found.

Arthur, however, did not see his manservant nod – for he had been too busy picking at the uneaten breakfast Merlin had brought him only moments ago – and had misinterpreted the silence as Merlin ignoring him. Which, of course, made the prince very angry.

"Merlin!" Arthur yelled, picking a thick-slice of bread from his plate and throwing it at the back of his servant's head.

Poor Merlin, who had only been quite proud of himself for finding the missing shoe behind a plant-pot, was struck in the back of the head by the bread and, thrown off by his already disproportionate balance, fell over the plant-pot in the most graceless of ways.

"What was that for?" Merlin grumbled as he stood up, rubbing the sore-spot on his forehead from where it had kissed the floor. He turned to a half-amused, half-irritated (both at Merlin's expense, bare in mind) Arthur whose arms were now folded across his chest as he sat at the table with his breakfast untouched (aside from the missing slice of bread).

"Because, Merlin, when I'm talking to you, I expect you to listen."

"Oh, and if I don't that means you can throw bread at my head?" Whatever happened to asking politely anymore? Merlin wondered irritably.

Arthur shrugged, "I can throw anything at you if I want, Merlin, I am the prince, if you remember."

"Yes, and a stolid one at that." Merlin wasn't entirely sure what 'stolid' meant – he had overheard it in a conversation once – but he hoped it was insulting.

But instead Arthur gave an incredulous grin (which Merlin just assumed meant Arthur didn't know what the word meant either), "That's a big word for you, Merlin," he mocked, chuckling at his own joke as only a prince could.

Merlin, however, gave him a sudden critical look, "No, 'patronising' is a big word, Arthur, 'stolid' is actually quite small," he grinned widely, "But you wouldn't know that now, would you?" This time Merlin managed to duck the unknown item Arthur had thrown at him as it flew over his head (Oh, it was a shoe… wait, wasn't that the shoe he had just found?)

"Shut up, Merlin," Arthur was clearly annoyed as he rolled his eyes and went back to picking at his breakfast.

Merlin, of course, did not shut up and instead not-so-secretly laughed to himself as he went back to picking up clearly-worn-but-never-seen-before clothing from the floor, but stopped when he suddenly thought of something;

"Arthur," Merlin began, and when Arthur looked up – well, glared up - at him, he continued, ignoring the prince's foul mood, "I have to ask, why do you do that thing with my name?" Merlin almost laughed out loud when he watched Arthur's irritated expression turn to confusion.

And Arthur was more than confused, "What are you on about?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at his manservant.

"That…" Merlin thought for the word, "thing, where you over-enunciate the first half of my name." Merlin didn't know how else to make it obvious. He thought it was.

"I do not over-enunciate your name, Merlin." Arthur scoffed, acting as if it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard.

Merlin blinked, "Yes, you do. You just did it then."

"I did not-"

"For some reason, you exaggerate the 'Mer' bit-"

"Merlin, don't interrupt me!"

The warlock ignored him, "-either that or the whole of my name. It's a little creepy, really, that you feel the need to enunciate just the first bit. I mean, you don't do it to any of your knights," Merlin paused for a moment to think and laughed to himself, "Now that would be weird." He continued laughing at the imagery of Arthur addressing his knights, continuously exaggerating different syllables of their names, to the point where his sentences no longer made sense.

Arthur opened his mouth to speak, his patience wearing thin and clearly annoyed at his manservant, but Merlin was too busy enjoying himself.

"I guess you couldn't do it with Gwen's name," Merlin continued absentmindedly and Arthur was now glaring at him, "unless you used her full name, Guinevere," he laughed to himself again, "or just put all the emphasis on Gwen. Though that would probably sound like you were insulting her name..."

Arthur, who was now sick of Merlin's rambling and starting to get very irritated, stood up from his table, "Now you are just being ridiculous, Mer-" this time he stopped, almost frozen mid-sentence, obviously realizing what his manservant had been on about.

Merlin took this time to turn to his master, giving him a knowing, lop-sided smirk, "See?" Merlin said pointedly, watching a very stricken Arthur and having to hold in another laugh.

Arthur just remained where he stood – Merlin would say he looked almost deep in thought – and the warlock could see his master's lips move slightly and gathered he was saying his name over and over to himself to see if he really did have such an unusual habit of enunciating it.

When Arthur's expression turned to one of disbelief and disgust, Merlin gathered he had realised.

However, the prince just shook his head, making a sort of frustrated noise as he did, and sat back down, now more annoyed than before, "It doesn't matter Mer- I mean, Merlin, how I say anything. I'm the prince so I can do what I want with your name, I could change it I felt like it."

Merlin shrugged, "I was just saying, sire," he said mockingly, "no need to get defensive."

"I am not getting defensive!"

"Whatever you say Arth-ur."

Merlin was still laughing even after the empty goblet flew over his head.

A.N: I know this is short, but even the first half was only wrote to show how much Arthur enunciates Merlin's name. But it was still a lot of fun to write I'm surprised how quickly it took me to do this. This was brought on by reading A LOT of Merlin fanfics were Arthur is continuously exaggerating Merlin's name...
Don't worry, I'm guilty of it too. (It was just funny to write about :D )

Hope you enjoyed, please don't forget to review. Even a small sentence (bad or good or CC) would be loved greatly.

Justine Themis