Okay, here is the first chapter of the story that got the most votes. I know that I said I would probably wait until I finished my other Merlin story before I wrote something else but my muse for that story went on holiday or something. I just didn't want to give you guys a crappy chapter, besides; this was half done anyway. I'm not enitrely sure how long this story will be, but it definitely shouldn't be as long as my other one, so here's chapter 1. And please, I know it's cheesey at first, but give it a chance, there will be whump. There will also be bromance and protective Arthur, and plenty of banter and other great stuff.

Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin or anything of great value other than my wonderful humor, which you can't have.

Warnings: Whump, violence, possible mild swearing, bromance galore. No slash as always, but if you choose to look at it that way then be my guest, I personally think that my own writing comes out a lot more slashy than I ever intend.

Why You Don't Mess With Merlin

Chapter one: Claude and his Naïve Outrage

Once upon a time there was a kingdom called Camelot, a kingdom that was ruled by a man named Uther Pendragon. Unfortunately, (depending on whom you asked, of course, since some would consider it to be a good thing,) Uther had recently been betrayed by someone very close to him, and as a result he became ill. So his son Arthur became Regent; ruling Camelot in his stead. And Arthur had a manservant named Merlin who in fact was a very powerful warlock that was destined to help Arthur bring peace and magic back to the land of Albion.

But in Camelot sorcery is a crime worthy only of death, so merlin was forced to keep his power a secret even from his friend and master. And they were friends, they may fight and argue and call each other names but they were friends, the insults were never taken seriously. Except by one person.

There are many layers of society in Camelot, but generally servants are the bottom layer. There are peasants who provide basically everything for Camelot and are given some measure of respect since at least half of them own their own businesses. There are nobles who are always respected, at least, when they're in hearing distance. The nobles often become knights, though, and then they are given the utmost respect since they risk their lives for the whole of Camelot often on a weekly basis.

There is the royalty, which currently only consists of two people, one of which is loved and the other quite often hated, so that is a pretty succinct bunch.

And then there is the odd bunch; the people with no families or have been disowned. Those with very few skills and a desire bash a few peoples' head's in. Those people usually end up becoming the guards in the castle, and it's really not that hard to become one. You just have to have some basic skill with a sword and be one of those people who don't mind having a boring life.

Claude is one such person. He was born in Camelot but at a very young age moved away to live with his uncle when his parents died. His uncle had a simple farm that was right on the border between Camelot and Cenred's kingdom, or what was his kingdom until he up and died. As a result Claude new very little about the going's on in Uther's kingdom. Of course he knew the basics: magic is banned, Uther is king and Arthur is the crown prince, a lot of magical attacks have taken place recently there, Uther is going mad; things like that.

So of course he was a little out of the loop when he left his uncle's farm and went to Camelot in the hopes of becoming a guard.

He never really had liked farm work; far too dirty. And he really didn't have a lot of skills other than he was big and well-muscled, which isn't a skill as much as a God given gift.

Unfortunately, his sheltered childhood hadn't managed to stunt his ego at all. In fact, despite his lack of status he firmly believed that everyone had a place and they were never, under any circumstances, to act any more less than what was expected of their social class. In short, servants act only like servants, nobles only like nobles, and guards only like guards. So you can imagine what he thought when he arrived in Camelot and saw the way a certain warlock manservant treated a certain prince who just happened to be his master.

Claude was ecstatic. He had never wanted much in life except to be a guard or someone mildly important in Camelot. He'd grown up hearing the stories of all the amazing and exciting things that happened in Camelot and, living on a farm all his life, he had really wanted to see something interesting for once. And so he thought that having any station in the castle would grant him his wish. And of course he was right.

And so now the reason he was so happy was because he had finally been given his post as a guard. It was his first day and he was already eagerly anticipating the next eight hours he would spent doing nothing but standing still.

Well, he was eager to get to work until he was distracted by something he overheard as he was walking through the courtyard.

"Merlin! I told you that we would be gone for four days! Didn't it cross your idiotic mind to pack enough food for four days so that we wouldn't have to come back early due to lack of food?" the Prince Regent Arthur half yelled at his servant.

The two of them had gone on a hunting trip, but had come back several days early, and from listening to Arthur's rant it wasn't hard to guess why. They were both standing right outside the stables and by the looks of their argument they weren't going to be leaving anytime soon.

Claude stared in astonishment and growing anger as he heard the servant's reply.

"Well, sire," he said in a way that was the exact opposite from respectful, "I thought that since we were going on a hunting trip that we wouldn't need so much food since your amazing tracking and killing skills would provide more than enough for us. Apparently I overestimated your talents," he said with a smirk that most people in Camelot would recognize as his "mock" smirk; the one that meant he was just playing with Arthur. And likewise people would know by the tone in Arthur's voice that he really wasn't all that mad at his servant.

But since this was the first time Claude had been in Camelot in over twelve years he had no way of knowing that, unless he was a really good people reader, which very few people were these days. He was outraged at the tone and words Merlin used to respond to his master. He should've apologized for his mistake and promised to do better, and then go and work twice as hard for the next several days to get back on the prince's good side.

But the boy was doing none of those things and that made Claude very angry. He'd grown up having a very strict uncle who was harder than necessary on the lad and as a result the boy had grown up to be rather jerk-headed, even though deep down he had a good heart.

Arthur looked equally outraged, though anyone who knew him would realize that the anger was fake, at his servant's attitude. "My hunting skills are perfect I'll have you know, Merlin, but how can even I be expected to kill anything with you bumbling around and making such a racket? I should have you thrown in the stocks for interrupting the Crown Prince's hunt! Honestly, sometimes I think you ruin my hunts on purpose!"

At this Merlin looked slightly guilty, which only confirmed Arthur's suspicions as to why the boy's clumsiness made itself fully known whenever they were hunting. The idiot was sabotaging them.

Despite the fact that Arthur knew, or at least suspected the real reason behind all the noise he made on those trips, Merlin barely even had to think for a moment before coming up with another retort. "Then why do you keep bringing me with you? Is it perhaps because you secretly don't want to kill furry little animals any more than I do, or because you enjoy my company?"

Arthur sputtered slightly for a moment. "I-of course not, Merlin, you are the most annoying person I have ever met, I certainly don't keep you around because I like it."

Merlin looked triumphant. "Then why haven't you sacked me yet? Permanently?"

Now it was Arthur's turn to look triumphant. "Because I like to know where you are at all times. I know the kind of trouble you can cause, Merlin, and I wouldn't dare unleash you on Camelot by sacking you. The people wouldn't stand a chance."

Merlin looked slightly lost for a retort for a moment, but soon he came up with something else. "Then why not just execute me? Mmmh? If I'm that much trouble?"

Arthur smiled. "Because, I've made it my policy not to execute idiots; no matter how bothersome they might be. After all, it's not their fault that they were born with brain damage."

"Well, if I'm brain damaged then you must have no brain at all, your Highness. I mean, have you heard yourself sometimes? I really have begun to wonder how you can still walk and talk if you're so stupid."

Arthur found that he was incapable of coming up with a suitable come-back so he just resorted to his old stand-by. "Merlin, shut up!"

"Oh and why should I, your Royal Prattiness?" Merlin was clearly enjoying his victory.

"Because, I mean, and it could just be me, but I think that the stocks look rather lonely. Maybe you should give them some company." Arthur smiled evilly.

Merlin scowled and said 'prat' one more time before clamping his mouth shut. Arthur merely continued to smile as the two of them made their way into the castle.

Claude had just stood, gawping, at as he had watched the scene unfold. He couldn't believe that servant! And not only was he a servant but he was the prince's servant. If anyone should be respectful it would be him!

And even more unbelievable to the naïve young boy of eighteen was the fact that the Prince Regent had allowed him to get away with it. Claude was dumbfounded. His previous elation had long since worn off, only to be replaced with anger.

Even though he had a low status of his own the boy believed that he was still higher than a servant, and he also had a very foolish belief that many people shared, or had shared until Merlin came along, that strength meant Might. Meant that you could do anything to those weaker than you. That it was your right to do whatever you felt was necessary to them.

Arthur had once had the same belief, but it had been dispelled over time, starting with when a young boy had stood up to him in order to prevent him from further tormenting a servant.

And even though Arthur would still sometimes say that it was still his right to do whatever he wanted to those beneath him he rarely ever practiced it anymore. Too bad that the same can't be said for Claude. Claude, for all intents and purposes, is a bully, which isn't very good for Merlin.

And as Claude made his way, late, to his post he came to the conclusion that something had to be done about this servant 'Merlin' and his attitude. Claude had to do something about it; the boy needed to be taught a lesson.

Duh, Duh, Duh! I know! What will happen to Merlin? I will give you the answer to that eventually, I promise. But if you review then it will be that much sooner. (: The next chapters will hopefully be longer; this was just the beginning. I hope you all liked it and I really do plan on cutting down on the cheesiness, so don't worry. For my other fanfic readers I hope to get you the next chapter soon. Until next update remember...chocolate is one of the greatest things on this planet, unless you're allergic.