It seems like, no matter how hard I try to write for other fandoms, every other story I upload is Merlin. Oh, well. It's not like I don't love every second of it.
So, the story behind this story is that, in an original book of mine, one of the main characters has a pet cat named Abigail. So there I was, minding my own business, searching through various cat types to find one that suited Abigail, and I came across a paper about the Siamese cat, which summarized in this line:
"The Siamese cat personality is talkative, fun-loving and adventurous, intelligent and clever, loving and loyal, sociable, graceful, and, just very occasionally, a little clumsy too."
I was going to let it go at that, but then, not thirty seconds later, this picture appeared (delete spaces):
h t t p : / / 2 . b p . b l o g s p o t . c o m / - I x 6 i B X 0 c V w I / T f m t I w G X R D I / A A A A A A A A A H 8 / 8 K c c Q q z U 7 y A / s 1 6 0 0 / s i a m e s e + c a t s + s w e e t . j p g
And I was sold. (This is reaching a weird and unhealthy level.)
Enjoy this fluffy fic (no pun intended)!
He was running. Again.
Whether it was in the early morning, from his and Gaius' chambers to Arthur's, so that he wouldn't be late and get a good smack across the head with a metal cup for it, or in the afternoons, when Arthur insisted he be the moving target and he maneuvered back and forth across a field carrying what was probably too much armour for a mere aim exercise, or all those times when he was running from bandits and witches and big, ugly, stinky beasts, leaping over fallen trees and half-stumbling down steep hills…only the gods knew how his legs managed to keep going.
In fact, only the gods knew how he was still alive.
The heels of his old, sturdy boots skidded against the hay-lined dirt as he half-stumbled to a halt. Frantically, he looked around for some escape, because he could hear Morgana's men behind him, and he had precious little seconds before they were going to round the corner and find him standing there, trapped between their merciless blades and three stone walls, and somehow he didn't think Morgana would waste time and effort on inventing a scheme for him to fulfill this time.
Huffing breathlessly, his eyes scanned the wall blockading him again, and he felt the sharpest urge to roll his eyes at the whole situation. He'd been picking herbs, for heaven's sake! Was it really reaching the point where this sort of stuff wasn't even reserved for times of battle anymore?
He was still wracking his brain for a way of escape when a small sound climbed over the noise of the approaching assassins, and he looked down just in time to see a tiny, yellow creature start to swipe its long tail gently against his boot.
The kitten, when it peered up and saw Merlin's eyes watching it, scuffled clumsily back across the alley to the shadow of a small box, where his mother licked at his ear and his gray-striped brother tackled him, playfully nipping at his rounded ear.
As the two small felines tumbled into a knot of paws and tails, Merlin murmured quietly, and the gold of his eyes faded mere seconds before the dark men appeared at the end of the alley.
"Awendan min hiw. Macian me on seo ge-sceaft."
"Are you sure this is where you saw him?"
Gwaine shot at look in his direction which clearly stated that if Arthur wasn't the king, he would have responded with something considerably wittier than,
"I'm positive, sire. He ran into this alley, I saw the men chasing him, I went to help, and by the time I got here, they were already running down the street and the whole place was empty. Not a sign of Merlin anywhere."
Arthur's keen, blue eyes roamed the near-barren alley, scarcely stopping over the half-rotted boxes and empty sacks as he questioned further,
"And you're sure they didn't have him with them?"
"Absolutely sure, Arthur. I'd have chased them without stopping if they had."
Leon stepped forward, toward the alleyway at whose mouth they stood, saying at the same time,
"Perhaps they knocked him out, and you just missed him."
And because Sir Leon was not the king and therefore demanded no more respect than he himself did, Gwaine's quick answer was,
"I may not be the cleverest of men, but I know the difference between Merlin and a pile of old crates."
Arthur, who was, at the worrisome absence of his trouble-prone manservant, considerably too distracted to snort at his unrefined friend and the intimidating look on his older companion's demeanor, followed Leon into the forgotten corner of Camelot. He and the three other knights at his back soon found Gwaine to be correct, for there was, dishearteningly, nothing there to speak of but a stack of half-rotted boxes against the right wall and a discoloration on the ground where a puddle gathered during rains. The only sign of life was the slight flitting of a mother cat's tail on the opposite side of the lowest crate.
Arthur's eyes, obstinately unrevealing of his inner, gnawing concern, roamed over the place once for any sign of his friend before he dismissed it as futile and turned back to his men again.
"We must—" he began, and then a strange sensation made him look down to his right ankle.
The knights looked on in perplexity as their king leant down and swiped something up carefully in one hand. He held it up in both hands, and they all gathered 'round to observe a little, slender being with light gray, silken fur, too-big ears, and the roundest sea-blue eyes they had ever before seen. It was none of these characteristics, however, but the large, Camelot-red neckerchief falling clumsily around the creature's chest that caught their attentions.
"Why," questioned Elyan slowly, to no one in particular, "would Merlin tie his scarf to a cat?"
It was in that moment that said cat, who was a breed Arthur had never before observed in all his years wandering these streets, apparently decided he was tired of being hung in mid-air in the king's calloused hands, and so his lean limbs began to kick and his thin body twisted disgruntledly.
With one hand, Arthur undid the knot which bound the neckerchief to the little animal, flipping the piece of cloth over in his left hand just to assure himself that it was, in fact, Merlin's; of course, it had to have been, for no other man in Camelot wore such atrocious neck-scarves. All the while, the cat—still dangling on his right hand—began to grow more restless by the second, whining noisily as he struggled to be released and found that he was unable to break himself free from the fingers which held him captive.
Arthur, eyes still locked upon the neckerchief as he attempted to piece together how it might lead them to Merlin, bent down again and set the young cat on the ground obligingly.
The small creature bounded gratefully three times toward the busy street before changing his mind entirely and turning right back toward the band of noble men.
"What could it mean, Arthur?" Leon was asking, and even his eyes were clouded with confusion and concern for the little manservant who had so easily become an unlikely friend to all of them.
"We must—" Arthur began again, only to have his sentence cut off a second time by the same peculiar feel of a soft tail encircling his ankle.
The cat's loving purr was audible even over the dull noise of the market in the street behind them as he tiptoed at Arthur's boots, rubbing his back and side against the worn leather in affection for the owner.
"I think he likes you," Percival pointed out the obvious in a soft tone, and Arthur ignored him and pushed the cat away gently with the toe of his boot.
"We must find out who those men were, and who sent them," their leader continued solemnly. "If they somehow took Merlin, we can waste no time in finding him. Who knows what sort of trouble he's in this time."
It was then that Gwaine, who had the attention-span of a sparrow and therefore was prone to wandering, let out a little exclamation which called the attention of his companions. Half-hidden behind the crates (from which the aforementioned mother cat and her two kittens were curiously peeking), Gwaine held up a fawn jacket, a worn-blue shirt, brown trousers, and a pair of telltale boots.
The other men paled.
"What could they have done to him?" murmured Elyan to himself, echoing Arthur's increasingly distraught thoughts as Gwaine, whose handsome face had become shadowed with trepidation and bafflement, brought the terribly familiar clothes before him.
There was no blood on them—thank God—but Arthur yet could not fathom where to begin searching for his servant, and he was only just barely managing to keep himself from imagining what sort of things could be happening to his dear friend at that very moment. As he clutched the old neck-scarf in his hand, he wracked his brain for an answer—something to jump out at him, to give him a clue, God, send me something…
The pale-gray cat, now encased in a perceptive Percival's strong hands, mewled vociferously for Arthur's attention.
He turned, and when the little feline saw that the blonde man was looking, his childlike whining ceased, enormous, triangular ears perking up a bit more as he peered into the king's handsome face, wide eyes sparkling with simple inquisitiveness and unconditional devotion.
And suddenly, Arthur knew.
To be continued
Please be sure to search the picture mentioned above so that you'll know what Merlin looks like as a cat. It'll make you smile. I promise.
And please review! Updates on the way!