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Dear Arthur...

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Dear Arthur

I was pleased to see the article in The Sun this morning with a full colour spread of pictures showing you leaving hospital. The balloons and teddy bears were, I’m sure, a great comfort to you in your time of need and you didn’t look at all silly carrying them.

Seeing you are so much better is, of course, a huge relief to me. I have been very concerned about you, although for reasons I will explain in a moment I haven’t been able to visit you and apologise in person for what happened.

I did warn you that I wasn’t the world’s greatest cook, and that my oven sometimes isn’t the best. Once I’ve graduated from uni and got a well-paid job I’ll buy one that actually works, I promise. If only you’d told me that chicken still looked a bit pink I’d have nuked it for a bit in the microwave. It was very sweet of you to gamely carry on eating it, but honestly I think our date would have ended a lot better if you hadn’t. In fact, my whole week, and I expect yours too would have been better if you hadn’t. Aren’t you supposed to have people to taste your food for you or something? Or is that just something from olden times? Maybe you should reinstate it.

Anyway, I hope Leon managed to get your puke off his shoes, and that he didn’t have to clean out your huge posh car as well. Do chauffeurs have to do that? He didn’t look very happy about it all. I guess it smelled a bit. That big security guard of yours looked pretty annoyed as well.

I was wondering, as you’re out of hospital and feeling better and everything, whether you could let your dad know that I genuinely didn’t mean to poison you? It’s only that I’m now facing spending time at his majesty’s pleasure, and that isn’t as enjoyable as I was expecting it to be. Your dad came to visit me the next day and shouted something about treason and attempted murder, and went a bit purple in the face and started demanding the return of capital punishment. And then his bodyguards, or whatever they are, took me away and locked me up. I think I might be in the tower but I’m not sure. I’ve missed three days of lectures. And the Daily Star did a big spread on me being the most hated man in Britain. They put in some really unflattering photos too. And they interviewed Mum and made her cry. Also I think the republican movement is trying to make me into some sort of hero and are staging a noisy protest outside. It’s very nice of them but I’ve had no sleep.

Well anyway if you could just see your way to speaking to your father it would be much appreciated. Maybe something in the papers as well to say it was a misunderstanding? I really do need to be able to get a job one day. You know, so I can live somewhere decent and don’t poison any more crown princes who come round for dinner or anything.

Yours very hopefully and apologetically,

Merlin

Ps I suppose there’s no chance of a second date? Maybe we could go to a restaurant instead?