This story will probably be very short, only a couple of chapters, I hope you all like it!

Gwaine had been the only one to have noticed when Merlin had flinched when Arthur announced that Lord Renly and his men were coming to stay at the Castle for a couple of weeks. Gwaine had thought that was odd, since Merlin seemed to like just about everybody. He shrugged it off and forgot about it as he listened to Percival and Elyan arguing about some mundane thing.

Merlin hardly hated anyone. And when he did, it was for a good reason.

He hated Uther for banning magic and Renly..he hated how that lord treated his servants. He suddenly had realized how right Gaius was when he said not every person is as good to their servants as Arthur was.

Arthur may order him about, and may yell at him and make fun of him...but at least Arthur never hit him.

He still remembered the shock he felt after the sting from Lord Renly's slap during his last visit. As if the verbal abuse hadn't been bad enough, and all Merlin had done was to forget to polish his boots.

So Merlin's stomach flip flopped as he waited for Renly's arrival with nervous anticipation and dread.

When Renly arrived he shook Arthur's hand as if they were good friends.

Merlin wondered how Arthur would react if he knew how Renly had treated his servants.

His face paled when Arthur volunteered Merlin to wait on Renly.

Gwen noticed that paleness and frowned. Normally Merlin was rather eager to please any visitors of Camelot, and to make their stay as pleasant as possible.

She decided to stay silent and assured herself it was nothing.

That evening Merlin timidly knocked on Renly's door.

"Enter," growled the Lord.

When Merlin entered he could smell the stench of the ale that Renly had recently drank.

He grimaced as he carried the bundle of wood.

"I'm here to start a fire?" He asked, almost apologetically.

"Get on with it," grunted Renly. When Merlin walked forward, he stumbled and some wood fell. He froze as the lord rose from his seat.

"You pathetic piece of shit!" A glass was flung at Merlin, and Merlin flinched as some glass cut him. "Can't you do anything right?"

"Sorry, sir," he mumbled.

"Sorry's not good enough!" Renly strode over there,taking large and angry steps.

Merlin coward, unable to use magic to defend himself, and knew what was coming. It was more than a slap this time, though.

Renly unhooked his belt and Merlin's eyes got even more wide.

"Sir, please! I'll be more careful next time!"

"You clumsy oof!" Snarled Renly as he wrapped the belt around his hand.

Merlin just tried to protect his face as the belt struck him.

Over and over the belt struck until he heard a voice.

It was Gwaine's voice.

"What the hell!" Gwaine sounded more furious than Merlin had ever heard him.

Merlin continued to cower in a corner, but he listened to swords being drawn.

"If you strike, I will strike back!" Renly threatened.

"Good!" Gwaine snapped, more rage in his tone. But before Gwaine to advance Merlin heard Renly shout

"Guards!"

The guards came and Renly quickly accused Gwaine of trying to kill him.

Before Merlin knew what was happening, the three were standing before Arthur and Gwen.

"What happened?" Arthur's voice was dangerously calm and his eyes flashed an angry color. "Gwaine, did you attack Renly?" His breathing was quick, but controlled.

Gwaine nodded adamantly, and without shame.

"Why?" Gwen asked before Arthur could say anything.

"Because." Gwaine's nostrils flared when he spoke. "Lord Renly," he spat "Was beating on Merlin."

And with that all eyes were transfixed on Lord Renly who suddenly shrunk in fear...

weak ending to a chapter, I know, but should I continue at all?