Title: The Taming of the Prat
Pairings: Merlin/Arthur, Lancelot/Gwen
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: When Merlin has Uther's son hoisted onto him in a last ditch effort to 'straighten Arthur out', Merlin's world is turned upside down by the blonde arse, who makes him confused one minute, want to kill him the next, and reluctantly aroused the next...
There was a girl in large black shades and a trench coat staking out the pet store.
If it wasn't for the fact that this girl was tiny, and Merlin was more than sure that if she did anything he could take her on, he'd have been worried, or a little creeped. Instead he found himself intrigued, especially since the girl obviously hadn't realized that he was onto her and knew she was out there. What exactly she was doing was beyond him. She acted really suspiciously though, because every time someone so much as looked at her she would raise the newspaper she was not reading (and was, by the way, upside down) up in front of her, covering her completely.
Leaning his hip against the counter, Merlin pretended to be going over some information on his daily checklist, but instead was stealing glances at the girl.
What was she getting out of this?
Suddenly her upside-down newspaper came up again, hiding her.
The door flung open, and Arthur entered, carrying their lunch. "It's going to rain."
"Is it?" Merlin asked, forgetting about the strange girl, now faced with another situation he wasn't exactly sure how to handle.
That drunken confession of Arthur's a couple of nights ago had left him confused and wary and very aware of the blonde, who'd awoken with no memory as to what he'd blurted out on the flat's floor. And there was the whole contract, which had been revised and signed and filed by Arthur's lawyer (Merlin still couldn't believe he'd gone that far) and yet it still felt like some sort of drug-induced dream instead of a fact.
"Yep." Arthur declared, putting down the bags on the counter. "I can't believe you made me go all the way to Pinos to get your food." He shook his head. "I am not your manservant you know."
Merlin frowned, ignoring Arthur's whining. "You got a plastic bag."
"Of course I got a plastic bag." Arthur snorted, folding his arms over his chest. "What did you think I was going to do? Bring them in my bloody hands?"
"Plastic isn't good for the environment." Merlin scolded the blonde patiently, going behind the counter and grabbing something folded, handing it to Arthur. "Here, I usually keep a spare in the store for this reason."
Arthur eyed Merlin and then the folded material before making a wary face and beginning to unfold the flowery design until it revealed itself to be a thin, simple alternate to a plastic bag. "You have got to be bleedin' bonkers if you think I'm going to be caught using this."
"You'll be saving the environment." Merlin declared.
"Who'll save my pride? My dignity?" Arthur wanted to know in near horror, holding the thing up by the tips of his fingers as if he was scared it'd give him some sort of disease.
Merlin cleared his throat, looking down at his shoes, fighting the blush that wanted to spread up his neck. "I'll kiss you for every time you use it."
Arthur froze for a moment, eyebrow raising. "Mate. This warrants two kisses at least."
"Don't push your luck." Merlin grumbled at him, eyes flashing.
"It's floral!" Arthur argued, lifting the material up higher as if to prove his point. "And pink!"
He kinda did.
Merlin couldn't help but smirk at the thought of Arthur going around holding that brightly floral design. To be fair, this one was a gift from Gwen, who'd been feeling naughty for some reason, and had found it incredibly hysterical to give him the brightly pink floral design. Considering Gwen had made them herself (she, like Merlin, felt plastic bags were destroying their world) and that she owned about ten of them herself (all which were decorated with rhinestones) well, Merlin figured he'd gotten lucky despite it all considering his other ones were much more acceptable colors and designs.
"Fine." Merlin declared, hands to his hips. "Two kisses."
Arthur smirked. "And a hair grab."
"A hair grab?" Merlin sputtered, not even sure he wanted to know. "No."
"C'mon Merlin." Arthur cajoled. "Think of the environment."
Dammit, the prat was quickly picking up on his weaknesses!
Feigning disinterest, Merlin cleared his throat as he folded his hands over his chest, hip jutting out to the side slightly. "When you say hair grab..."
Not one to waste an opportunity it would seem, Arthur stalked towards Merlin, the darkness in his eyes causing the thinner boy to back into the counter. Arthur reached out and hooked his fingers into the waist of Merlin's skinny jeans, yanking him closer, before reaching up with his other hand and cupping the back of Merlin's head, bringing the slightly taller male in for a deep kiss that rattled all thoughts violently out of Merlin's head. This was definitely not what Merlin would have referred to as a 'hair grab' but he wasn't complaining.
Arthur pressed against Merlin, trapping him bodily against the counter. The fingers at Merlin's pants slackened before reaching around his thin waist, his tongue delving into Merlin's mouth, invading and conquering. It'd been the first real kiss they'd shared since the contract, both somehow subdued after their signatures dried, but now all caution was thrown away as Arthur took control and took over.
Suddenly the hand he hand cupping the back of Merlin's head tightened, clutching fistful of Merlin's hair before suddenly he'd yanked, arching Merlin's neck back but not painfully, their lips yanked apart by this action.
Breath heavy and grip unyielding, Arthur brought his lips to Merlin's jaw, nibbling his way up to his ear. "That, Merlin," he spoke, voice thick and hoarse. "Is a hair grab."
Merlin for a moment lost his voice, but when Arthur loosened his grip, letting Merlin's hair slip through his fingers, Merlin cleared his throat. "I could...get used to...that...I suppose."
Arthur smirked, pressing another kiss to Merlin's lips before pulling away and going to where the plastic bag that had started this was, pulling out the containers of food it held. "Come on, lunchtime is going to end and we won't have eaten anything." He checked the containers and grabbed his own, pulling up a chair from behind the counter and sitting down. "And unlike you who can survive on tea and godawful biscuits, I actually need real food."
"There's nothing wrong with my biscuits." Merlin mumbled, shaking his head of the near trance he'd been in, thankful that they were once more settling into the very comfortable banter they always defaulted to.
"They're like eating cardboard." Arthur complained, making up his face in disgust. "Just like your cereal."
"Funny you say that..." Merlin grabbed his container of food. "...considering by the time I go to get my biscuits or cereal you have always eaten everything and forgotten to dump the empty containers in the trashcan."
Arthur didn't answer, mouth full of food.
"Not to change the subject," Merlin chewed and swallowed. "But have you spoken to your father at all since you moved in?"
Arthur scowled at him and refused to answer, taking another bite of his food.
Merlin settled his gaze on him. "Arthur, he's your father."
Arthur grumbled something, glaring.
"Don't 'Arthur' me." The blonde glared, swallowing his food. "That old fart never cared before and I don't see why it should be any different. I grew up without a father, he shouldn't suddenly decide he wants a son and expect me to pretend my whole childhood didn't happen." He stabbed at his food resentfully. "I don't need him. I'm better off without him."
Merlin sighed, watching him. "I know-I know Uther wasn't the best father-hell, HE knows that. But Arthur, he really does want to do things differently, and you know he cares about you."
"Oh yeah?" Arthur scoffed. "And how's that? Because he paid off my debts?"
"No." Merlin shook his head. "Because he sent you to live with me."
Arthur paused, eyeing Merlin for a second, before his lips twitched and he gazed down at his food. "Yes, well, I never said he was completely evil."
Merlin smiled in amusement at his flat mate and contracted partner.
Isobel Noble watched Arthur Pendragon with Merlin Emrys, and realized two things in utter shock.
One was that her ex-boyfriend was most definitely on the other side of the fence.
Two was...well...it was hot.
Gulping, Isobel fanned herself remembering the kiss shared by the two...she fanned herself harder.
Why had she not noticed this little fetish of hers?
Maybe...maybe because the only other gay guys she'd seen snogging had always consisted of her whore of a brother and one of his conquests...and considering Gwaine was one of them made it kinda icky...but when two guys who were in no way related to her started snogging...
Isobel's heart raced and she closed her eyes tightly.
She needed to stop blushing!
"Just get out of here already you prat." The voice that had to belong to Merlin caused her to peek over her newspaper and watch Arthur smiling as he exited the store, in his own little world, sending Merlin a wave before whistling to himself as he left to go back to his job.
Isobel watched him and smiled softly, so relieved to know that he was happy.
Arthur had never had much of a family life and had instead been basically adopted into her own thanks to his friendship with Gwaine. She'd grown up with Arthur around, had always loved him in one way or the other, and she had to admit that she figured Arthur had mostly been in love with her because he felt that by marrying her he could truly become a part of their family. She'd loved him too, but more like a brother than a lover. Unfortunately she'd realized this the moment he proposed. They'd been kidding themselves anyway. Arthur really hadn't loved her...he'd loved the idea of her...and even though she could have handled the whole thing better than she had she knew that it'd been the right thing to do.
If only it hadn't ended up with Arthur losing the little 'home-life' he'd had with them.
Gwaine had stuck by his sister's side, announcing that he'd known it wouldn't work and Arthur had thought Gwaine a traitor and there'd been bruised egos and hearts and...and she'd worried that they'd be in enmity with him forever.
Arthur had grown steadily worse after that...
...but this Arthur now...
Isobel smiled to herself.
She'd never seen Arthur like that before.
Never seen that smile before.
She looked up, eyes wide, to see Merlin Emrys standing in front of her. "Y-yes?"
He smiled awkwardly at her, handing her a closed umbrella. "I noticed you since this morning, and you seem to be spending the day on that bench, and it's going to rain." He poked his hand up at the darkened sky. "And you don't have an umbrella."
She looked up at him in shock, before looking down at the umbrella. "I-I-."
"Are you interested in getting a pet?" He asked curiously. "Is that why you've been out here all day?"
"I-I have been considering getting something." She smiled up at him, beginning to see what made Arthur smile the way he did when he was around this boy. "My brother came by the other day but I wasn't sure how welcomed I'd be..."
The boy's eyes widened. "You're Gwaine's sister?"
She stood and pulled off her shades, reaching out her hand. "Isobel Noble, but you can call me Isy."
He shook her hand, smiling. "Merlin."
"So, Merlin, Gwaine mentioned something about a cuddly demon with my name on it?" Looping her arm around Merlin's, she led him back to the store.
"What are we doing?" Gaius sighed loudly.
"He's working." Uther gasped once more, shaking his head, as he spied on his son from the coffee shop across from the bookstore, newspaper raised between him and the plate glass to try and hide his presence. "In a shop!"
"He's making an honest living." Gaius replied, not at all trying to hide himself, drinking his coffee leisurely.
"In a bookstore Gaius!"
"Uther really." Gaius sighed, shaking his head. "Don't be such an utter snob."
"I am not a snob." Uther grumbled, turning to look at him. "I just-I never would have imagined him working in such a humble station. Especially not when I had him lined up at Bayard's corporation!"
"He obviously didn't want to work there." Gaius replied in his sensible way. "Any way you look at it, things are working out according to plan. He's working in a decent job, and learning the value of money and the joys one can get from actually earning your wages and not just taking money from parents."
"A bookstore." Uther shook his head. "Had I known he liked literature so much I would have gotten him an internship with Geoffrey at his publishing firm instead."
"I don't think it's the books, Uther."
"He never had one book in his room at home!" And yet, as Uther watched his son laughing with some old women, showing them a certain section of the store, he had to admit that Arthur really seemed to be enjoying himself.
How much more about his son didn't he know?