I so enjoy writing this quick one-shots.
So, thanks for reading, leave me a comment if you can, and the only thing I own is my evil OC.
The entire castle heard the rumors about Baron Nicolas's reputation with servants. He was a nasty, vicious master who never had a servant for longer than six months. A few quit, most weren't so lucky, but it was all circumstantial at best; no one could ever get proof.
When bruises started showing up on servants, Arthur assigned Leon and Lancelot to keep an eye on Nicolas, but they could never catch him in the act, and the servants wouldn't tell who was hitting them. And since Arthur couldn't very well make him leave without cold, hard proof he had to just wait out the rest of the Baron's week and keep as many of the servants away from him as possible; until bruises started appearing on Merlin.
Elyan was the first to notice them, but when he asked Merlin what happened he merely shrugged and said he ran into something. He said the same thing to the rest of the knights and Arthur, but Merlin was a horrible liar on the best of days and it took the joint effort of Gwaine, Lancelot, and a trip to the tavern to drag the truth out of him.
The following night, as Baron Nicolas was walking back to the castle from the tavern, he nearly ran into Lancelot. Apologizing, he tried to walk around the knight, but he easily moved with him. With a small sigh, he tried to turn around, but stopped when he found Gwaine standing directly behind him. With a deep breath, he tried to take a left, but Elyan was blocking his path while Percival appeared on his right.
"Can I help you?" he questioned eyeing the knights warily.
"It's not what we can do for you," Lancelot responded crossing his arms.
"It's about what you can do for us," Percival remarked, one hand hovering over his sword.
"What are you…?"
"We kindly ask you to vacate the premises," Gwaine stated softly, a forced grin on his face.
"I dare say, Prince Arthur…"
"Isn't here," Elyan cut in, speaking slowly, making a show to glance around.
"I will not be spoken to by a group of peasants…"
"What about me?" Leon asked suddenly, appearing from the shadows. Nicolas turned in a full circle, eyes darting from each knight. "W-what do…?"
"You will leave…" Leon started taking a step towards the Baron.
"…and never come back," Gwaine continued mirroring the blond knight.
"And if we catch wind of you abusing anymore servants…" Elyan followed suit, moving forward a step.
"…and we will," Lancelot commented softly.
"We will not hesitate to make your life a living hell," Percival finished wrapping his hand around his sword's hilt.
After the knights saw Baron Nicolas off, with or without a few well placed bruises of his own, they headed back towards the castle only to stop when they noticed Arthur standing on the steps, arms crossed, almost as if he were waiting for them.
"Men," he greeted stiffly, his eyes shifting from each of his knights. "Nice night?"
"Yes, very," Gwaine responded, glancing up. "Very starry."
"Uh-huh." Arthur nodded, glancing up himself. He then looked back at his men and said, "I take it Baron Nicolas had to leave early."
"Yes," the men chorused, nodding.
Arthur merely smirked, unfolded his arms, and walked back into the castle. Before the doors closed on him, they knights heard him say, "Good work, men."
Merlin was helping Arthur into his armor the next morning, wincing slightly when each move sent a jolt of pain through his body. Working on his gauntlets, he commented, "I haven't seen Baron Nicolas today." He couldn't quite hide the relief in those words, but he figured if Arthur heard it he chose to ignore it.
Instead, he shrugged and replied, "He had to leave early. Urgent business; we probably won't be seeing him for a long, long time."
"Good, sire," Merlin muttered stepping away from Arthur. At the raised eyebrows, he hurriedly said, "N-not good, good. Just, good that he…" his face flushed red. "It's just…" he trailed off, walking away to get Arthur's sword.
Merlin grabbed the sword, turning to hand it to Arthur, backing up a step when he found the prince standing a few inches from him. As a hand clamped down on the younger man's shoulder, Arthur said, "The next time somebody is giving you problems. Don't hesitate to come to me." He then released Merlin, grabbed his sword, and walked out of the room, leaving the young warlock standing in the middle of the room with a worried look on his face. He may have finally figured out what he had said at the tavern the night before.
"Are you coming or what?" Arthur asked ducking his head back into the room.
"Erm, yeah," Merlin replied nodding. He followed the prince out of the room. "Say, Arthur…"