Word Count: 1,061
Arthur read through the instructions for the fifth time, his face distorted in confusion. He blinked his eyes, and refocused. Nope, it was still in English - so why was he finding this so hard to comprehend? He scratched at his head, feeling his frustration growing, as he once again read through it a sixth time.
“What the hell does that even mean?” he bemoaned, before looking over at his boyfriend for help.
Beside him, sitting on the grass, sat Merlin, who was lazily playing tug-of-war with their new puppy, Una, and clearly more amused by Arthur’s failure to comprehend simple instructions than he had the right to be. The glint of amusement in his blue eyes and the grin on his face said it all. He was finding this whole thing funny. Arthur glared.
“You just going to sit there on your ass or are you going to be helpful for once and actually help me with this thing?” he snapped, shaking the sheet of paper around for emphases.
“Well, you know,” Merlin said, wriggling the knotted rope around once more for the Pyrenees pup, who was firmly attached to the other side of the toy, before slowly getting to his feet to face Arthur. “I would have helped you from the beginning, you prat, but you insisted ‘I got this, Merlin. How hard could putting a dog house together be? Sit, keep her company. I’ll have it up in no time’. We’ve been out here an hour – ”
“Merlin – “
“I’ve been watching you struggle with those instructions, and I’ve just been waiting for you to ask for my help – “
“Merlin – “
“Which I gladly would have given you, had you asked. Because, while it’s been hilarious,” Merlin had to bite down on lips to stop from laughing, “and is still quite funny, actually, now that I mention – it’s also been a little annoying. Maddening, really – “
“Merlin, shut – “
“Because I’ve already figured out how to put the house together about ten minutes into this project, and yet you’re still lost on which part is Part A and which is Part B. It’s not that hard! Also, it’s hot out here, and while I enjoy playing with the dog, I’d really, really love for you to finish this soon so that we can all go inside and – “
“MERLIN, WILL YOU SHUT UP!”
Merlin blinked at the volume of Arthur’s voice, but before he could continue with his little rant, the blond growled at him, grabbed him by the forearms and drew him closer, “Getting this damn dog house was your idea,” he all but growled.
“No it was not – “ Merlin began to protest, but was unable to finish as Arthur descended on Merlin’s mouth, cutting him off with a kiss. It was a brief kiss, but effective nonetheless. It did its job in shutting Merlin up. It took a moment before the kiss registered in his mind but before he could respond to it, Arthur pulled away, slightly smug.
“I said shut it,” Arthur told him. He let the instruction sheet fall to the ground at their feet, forgotten for the moment as he wrapped his arms around Merlin, who blinked at him, still caught up in the deep kiss. He placed another, even more brief kiss to Merlin’s lips, “And yes, it was. So you will stop being a smug little idiot, and you will help me put it together. Got it?”
Merlin huffed, “That isn’t a very nice way of asking me for my help,” Merlin told him, cheekily.
“I passed nice a whole hour ago,” the blond admitted, a slight pout coming to his face at the thought of his failure to comprehend what should have been simple, English-written instructions.
Merlin chuckled, and pulled Arthur into a kiss of his own, refusing to pull away until he was completely satisfied – their brief kisses having left him craving more of Arthur’s warm lips. After a long moment, they parted, and he grinned. “If it’ll get us inside faster – which, I’ve no doubt it will, I mean, I will be helping, after all – then I will gladly help you with the dog house.”
Arthur threw him an unamused look as he let go of Merlin to swoop down to retrieve the sheet of paper, before holding it out to Merlin. “Good, because it’s your turn.”
Merlin licked his lips, and grinned, before taking the instructions and holding them up to read. He’d gotten a glimpse at them earlier and so really didn’t need them. He’d been honest, when he told Arthur he’d figured them out some time ago. But he was a good boyfriend (mostly) and he decided to humor Arthur.
“Alright, it says you need to connect this piece, and this piece,” he said, pointing out the mentioned pieces of the plastic structure. He proceeded to go over the instructions step by step with Arthur, letting the blond actually put the pieces together and the screws in place, while reading the instructions aloud and walking him through it.
Within a few short minutes, they had it fully put together and standing proudly in their yard. The white, fluffy pup looked at it warily as she sniffed around it, her tail between her legs. The two stood side by side, accomplished grins on their faces.
“There. That didn’t take too long, did it?” Arthur commented, happily watching Una explore her new outdoor home. They’d agreed she’d be an inside dog, but that she needed a place of her own when she was outside as well. It was a good size house, seeing as she would grow to be a rather large dog.
Merlin raised an eyebrow at him, in disbelief, “It certainly took a hell of a lot longer than it should have.” Shaking his head, he turned and began making his way to the backdoor of the house.
“Honestly,” he muttered to himself under his breath in exasperation. “We’d still be out here if I hadn’t given you a hand.”
Arthur ignored him, still pleased with a job well done. He scooped up Una and followed Merlin into the house, glad that that was over with.
“Are you still going to make dinner?” he asked, scratching Una behind her ear, and avoiding her teeth as she tried to chew on his fingers.
The only answer he got was a not-so-nice figure gesture.