A/N Welcome to my collection of Arthur/Merlin centric stories! I am sure you are going to be very happy here. :) They don't have any particular order, but I will introduce the episode that inspired each piece and when it is set at the beginning of each chapter, as well as the summary so you can browse as you will. Enjoy, review, leave requests for chapters if you like. This first chapter takes place immediately following the events of 1.1
Summary: Prince Arthur is unhappy with the appointment of his new (useless, bumbling, disrespectful!) manservant and has an ineffective temper tantrum while working out just why that is.
Arthur threw his belt and kicked one of his boots off, watching as it flew errantly to hit a chair. Slamming the door behind him, he stomped into his chambers. The sought-after effect was lost slightly, as he was wearing only one boot, and he ended up feeling like a lop-sided fool.
This whole episode wasn't easing his anger, for some reason.
How that brainless, bumbling... buffoon had managed to save him, Arthur Pendragon, was beyond even the necessity of posing the question. Pure luck, or some brief, momentary lapse in his idiocy had allowed him that.
But yes, all right, if that Merlin hadn't jumped forward, Arthur would have been done for. And, okay, the idiot had acted quickly and put himself in danger to save Arthur's life, but Arthur was his Prince: he was supposed to do that sort of thing. It didn't make him special.
"You can't talk to me like that," Arthur had said after this nobody had mocked him, something only Morgana dared to do.
"Sorry," the boy said, looking down as if contrite. "How long have you been training to be a prat –" He had bowed slightly and looked up to meet Arthur's gaze, then, smiling and unafraid. "-my Lord?"
Arthur kicked off his other boot. It flew toward the window, but fell far short. Fine, he could admit that part of his anger at Merlin was that Arthur had been thoroughly embarrassed during the match that had followed. He had looked at it as his duty to teach the country bumpkin the ways of Camelot, pretending that the buzzing in his head wasn't an embarrassed anger, pretending that he wasn't slightly... not nervous, no of course not but... set off balance, by this stranger's nerve. And if it was through absolutely no skill of Merlin's that the match had gone awry, he had still made mistakes only a rookie could overlook. No amount of stocks or cells for his ridiculous opponent could mitigate that embarrassment.
Probably because it was only that he wasPrince that he could throw Merlin in the stocks or cells at all... which may have been exactly what Merlin had been getting at, in the first place.
"Dammit," Arthur muttered, sitting on his bed and putting his head in his hands. He did not want to agree with that – that prat.
"Hey, come on; that's enough."
Arthur remembered the relief and embarrassment and... fear on the page's face and knew Merlin was right, no matter how he hated to admit it, even just to himself. It had gone beyond a joke, to pick on someone who could not fight back, not only because Arthur was stronger and better trained, but because Arthur was Prince and he did things like throw people in the stocks for defying him.
And that was what irked him so, because it was one thing to fail to teach someone a lesson. It was another entirely to figure out too late that it was their lesson he should have been learning.
Arthur threw himself back on his bed. It didn't matter, anyway, because Merlin was idiotic and disrespectful and a complete idiot and he was going to be the worst manservant ever.