Love and Lakes

Double Date

It had been two weeks since the Morgana incident. The castle had been patched up as best they could in that time period and the wounds, both physical and psychological, began to heal. Everything was exactly as it had been, right down to the detail of Arthur and Gwen not knowing about Merlin’s magic anymore.

It had been difficult explaining to Freya that the two just suddenly didn’t remember that the two of them had magic anymore. She had to be careful not to mention it to them, because for as long as she had known them, which hadn't been long, but long enough, they had known about her magic and Merlin's. It was strange, all the secrecy and the lies, but to Merlin, everything was back to normal. Both of them weren’t happy about it, but it was a necessary evil.

However, Arthur and Gwen were just as friendly towards them as always, and Gwen treated Freya with the same amount of respect and kindness as she had before. This close friendship was the reason why the four had finally (to the reluctance of both males) agreed to go on a double date.

Arthur and Gwen, no matter how much they tried to hide it, shipped Merlin and Freya like there was no tomorrow. So did the rest of the knights, which was why they held an emergency shipping meeting every Sunday and Wednesday. And together, they had made the decision.

Merlin was walking the corridor, as he always did, on his way to wake up Arthur and Guinevere. Today was the day of the decided picnic, and they wanted to wake up bright and early so they could have as much time as possible.

“Rise and shine, sire!” Merlin yelled delightedly, throwing open the curtains a little too enthusiastically. He was going to have an entire day off to spend with his friends and Freya! What more could he ask for? Then, it soon occurred to Merlin that perhaps he could ask for a seamstress, because he may have ripped one of the curtains in his parade of excitement.

Arthur, far from feeling the joy, groaned and turned over. Gwen was already sitting up and eating the breakfast Merlin had brought them, and she gave him a small, mischievous smile as if to say, “Go on. Do it.”

Merlin almost hopped over to Arthur’s side of the bed, where he ripped off the sheets and grabbed Arthur’s arm, dragging him out of the bed. “Come on!” He bounced excitedly. “It’s time for our double date!”

Arthur suddenly turned an impressive shade of red and grabbed the closest thing to him: a goblet. He launched it in Merlin’s direction, who then sidestepped him and smiled brilliantly. Arthur did not return the smile. Instead he turned his head to look at Merlin and raised a finger. “Do not,” he ordered. “Call it a ‘double date’ or whatever childish thing you say it is. We are simply going on a picnic.”

Merlin dashed out of the door after successfully getting Arthur to wake up, and then poked his head back in after a second. “Off to get the food baskets for our double date!” Arthur groaned again, and sat up to eat his breakfast along with Gwen.

Merlin simply danced down the pathway to the kitchen, where he found two picnic baskets loaded with bread, meat, cheese, fruit, and sweets. They had been made for the King and Queen, and the two royals had demanded that the same quality food be prepared for their servants.

Soon enough, all four were on their horses and ready to leave. Freya was sitting on Merlin’s horse, who was riding alongside Arthur and Guinevere’s horse. It was a double date after all! Merlin's smile was incredibly smug.

They galloped off into the woods, but before they even reached the first tree, Arthur and Merlin were already engaged in their playful banter. Then, it was suddenly serious banter, because the two were already using words like “clotpole” and “dollophead” which meant that they were doing it hardcore. However, there was no limit to the laughs or smiles.

They had been riding for about twenty minutes when Merlin stopped his horse in a nice little clearing. He pointed it out. “Here’s a nice spot.” The trees above gave good shade, but the sun was still able to shine through. There were a few wild flowers here and there, and a small burbling brook was to their left. It was the perfect spot.

Gwen sighed. “Oh Merlin, it’s beautiful!” Freya and Arthur nodded. They took out the baskets, laid down a blanket, and began to talk.

Arthur looked over to Merlin. “You know, this isn’t a bad spot. I’m surprised an idiot like you could find it.”

Merlin looked defensive. “Hey! Your own wife said it was beautiful, and I am not an idiot!”

Arthur rolled his eyes. “Whatever you say, Merlin.”

Merlin narrowed his eyes and muttered, “Prat.” but he was still smiling.

Arthur gave a quick retort. “Dollophead.”

Merlin looked scandalized. “Oi! That’s my word, you clotpole!”

Arthur straightened his back in order to look regal. “Well, I’m the King, so I get to use whatever insult I want, you insolent toad.” It was amazing how much he looked like a petulant five-year-old. This went on for a little while, resulting in Merlin getting noogied for a very, very, very long time.

During this wonderful display of maturity and sophistication, Gwen and Freya were watching, amused. They soon started to talk.

“I can’t believe that they act like this. The King and his servant!” Gwen let out a laugh.

Freya laughed too, and said: “Well, that’s our boys.” Gwen nodded, and they continued to talk and bond over the stupidity of their loved ones while those certain loved ones entered a wrestling match.

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