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...
Merlin was truly worried, wondering where the real Arthur Pendragon was and who this doppelganger was who was pretending to be him in front of Merlin's friends and family. This Arthur, obviously not the true one, was even being nice to Lancelot, which in itself only proved that this was an impostor. Merlin could only stand in the corner, cradling the same glass of wine he'd been holding all night, and watch this mirror-image of his prattish roommate charm the knickers off of everyone, his mum in particular. Gwen had tried to be the one who questioned and interrogated like an overprotective parent, but Arthur had quickly won her over as well, and she was hugging Lancelot's arm, joining in with Hunith, giggling. Freya, well, Arthur had Freya eating out of his palms.
"I don't know where you found that one, but I want him around more." Kanen declared, joining Merlin in the corner, cradling his glass of whiskey. "Your mother hasn't giggled this long without a moodswing since she discovered the pregnancy, and a minute without tears is a million years of happiness for me."
"I find it so humorous how terrified you are of her." Merlin let his stepfather know, taking a sip of his wine.
"God knows I love your mother Merlin, you know I do too, but Hunith has this look that she gives me sometimes when I annoy her too much..." Kanen shivered. "Not even Mean Marty's evil eye scared me as much. And she just about lamped me the other night because I went out with the boys and came home a little lagered up...and forgot to buy her the ice cream she's craving."
"Did you go out and get her her ice cream?" Merlin inquired with evil amusement.
"Like a rat up a drainpipe." Kana admitted, taking a long sip of his whiskey.
Merlin smiled, reaching out to pat the older man's back consolingly. "And you thought you'd be living a safer existence when you left the life of crime for the tiny nurse with a heart of gold. If only you'd known..."
"Brat." Kanen chuckled, reaching out and messing with Merlin's hair affectionately before pulling away, sharing a smile with his stepson. "How have you been doing? Do you need anything?"
"Nah, I'm fine." The pale young man shook his head, smiling. "Don't worry K, if I need anything I know I can count on you and mum."
"Good." Kanen nodded, his gaze going to where his wife was sharing scandalized yet amused looks with Freya over a story Arthur was telling. "What's he like when he's not charming the knickers off of everyone?"
"A total arse." Merlin chuckled, taking another sip. "And utter, abominable prat."
"You fancy him, huh?" Kanen deduced.
"He has a six-pack." Merlin shrugged. "Basically I'm taking care of him for his father, trying to show him how to do things the normal, wholesome way."
"Wholesome." Kanen blinked.
"I'm wholesome." Merlin grumbled, before making a face. "Okay, maybe not wholesome, but compared to his lifestyle before I'm the bloody Brady Bunch."
"Never could stand them." Kanen made a face, finishing his glass. "They were always so annoying and chirpy."
Merlin had to agree to that.
"I better go and convince your mother she wants to sit down a little. She's having so much fun she's forgetting the doctor told her to take it easy." Passing Merlin his empty glass, Kanen went towards his yawning yet entertained wife.
Merlin watched them for a moment before finishing his own glass and taking them both to the kitchen, where already a stack of dirty dishes were piling up in the sink. He shook his head, rolled up his sleeves and took off his bracelets and rings before starting the cleanup. He knew that with his mother yawning the party would soon be breaking up, and in her condition she shouldn't have to be stuck with all of the cleaning. And Kanen looked exhausted from doing his best to make sure Hunith actually rested.
"Really? You leave the party to clean?"
Merlin sent a look over his shoulder, from which hung a hand towel, and gave this Arthur-doppelganger a small smile. "Mom's about to collapse any moment so I figured it was a good time to start the cleaning."
"Why?" Arthur asked, confused. "Just leave everything to the maid whenever she comes tomorrow."
Merlin chuckled, shaking his head, remembering just how different their worlds were. "They don't have a maid, Arthur, mom works all day or night depending on her shift at the hospital, and when she gets some time here she has to clean." He blew at a lock of dark hair that fell in his face as he continued to wash the dishes. "And now that she's pregnant she gets tired more often and considering her age the doc has basically told her not to do too much..."
He let that sentence drag off into nothingness, just shrugging, blowing once more at that unruly lock of hair that kept falling into his face.
Arthur turned and left.
Merlin gazed back in the direction the blonde had disappeared in before sighing, not exactly sure why he was disappointed or surprised that Arthur had left to find more entertaining company.
"Merlin!" Gwen entered the kitchen, bringing in more dirty dishes, having already known that he'd be in there beginning the cleaning. "He's gorgeous."
The pale male chuckled, shaking his head. "I never realized you were so shallow, Gwen."
"Hush." She rested the dirty dishes down and hugged him from behind, pressing a kiss to his cheek as she hugged him. "I love you Mer, you know that right?"
"Yeah." He smiled sadly, rubbing his head against hers. "And I'm gonna miss you."
"And me you." She whispered, voice choking slightly before she pressed a kiss to his shoulder and pulled away. "I'm going to start picking up and cleaning the living room. K finally convinced Hunith to go to bed and she made me promise to tell you to come and say goodbye before you leave."
"I always do." Merlin chuckled, pausing before turning, soap-suddy plate in his hands as he gazed at his best friend. "What do you think of him?"
"Arthur? Charming." Gwen replied, backing away slowly. "Could tell he wanted to be, though."
"I'm still not sure that's really him." Merlin chuckled. "He must really have wanted to make a good impression on you guys."
"Wonder why..." Gwen chuckled, backing out of the kitchen.
Shaking his head, Merlin continued with that he was doing, adding the pile of dirty dishes Gwen had brought to the already half full deep sink.
Hearing footsteps he figured it was Lancelot bringing in whatever Gwen had left behind, blowing at the strand of hair once more.
"That is so annoying." Arthur informed him, reaching around and clipping something in his hair, keeping the lock back and in place out of his face.
Merlin froze before his hand when up to his hair in curiousity.
"It's one of your mom's hair-clips, the plain ones. I saw it on one of the tables back there and figured she wouldn't mind you borrowing it." Arthur informed him, leaning his hip against the sink. "Your mother...she is very sweet."
Merlin could hear the soft sadness in Arthur's voice, wondering, once more, who the hell this guy was.
Then again, Arthur had never known his own mother, and being around Hunith had maybe made him contemplate about what his own mother might have been like.
"So...about the contract." Arthur cleared his throat, back to business and all weirdness gone. "I left the revised copy on your bed before we left. You can go over it tonight and have your section for me by tomorrow. I'll read it during my break at the bookstore and then tomorrow night we can go over everything."
"I still think we an do this without having a contract in the mix." Merlin declared, shaking his head, turning his back on Arthur to concentrate on the washing once more.
"How did you survive without a maid?" Arthur seemed to be talking to himself, shaking his head.
"Most people don't have maids, you know." Merlin informed him, finding it surreal that he was having this conversation. "Only rich people have them."
"Not true. All my friends growing up had maids, and butlers." Arthur countered.
Merlin chuckled. "You went to a rich kids school! All of your friends...at least the ones I met that night...are rich!"
Arthur mumbled something under his breath before his gaze went to the sink. "So you grew up doing the household chores? That why you're so prissy and finicky about the chores getting done at the flat?"
"I'm not prissy or finicky." Merlin rolled his eyes. "I just refuse to let you leave your clothes and junk lying all around the flat. I'd try to overlook it more if it was just your room...but I found your boxers on the couch this morning." He blinked, suddenly remembering that incident. "What were your boxers doing on the couch anyway?"
Arthur shrugged. "Why ask me?"
"Because they're your boxers." Merlin replied, unable to see how that wasn't obvious.
Arthur scoffed, apparently still not seeing the point.
The bickering and banter continued on and it only served to assure Merlin that this truly was Arthur and not some doppelganger like he'd been suspecting all night. The blonde prat provoked, antagonized, teased and taunted him until the dishes were washed and put away, the mess cleaned, the room swept, and everything put in order. Merlin said his goodbyes to Gwen and Lancelot, hugging them tightly, before going to his mother's room to tell her goodnight.
"I really don't need to be in bed." Hunith yawned, half asleep already.
Merlin sent her a tender smile as he reached down and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Goodnight mum."
She hummed, closed her eyes, and smiled, drifting completely to sleep.
He gazed at her for a moment, Arthur's situation reminding him once more how lucky he was.
Shaking his head Merlin left the room and hugged Kanen before following the awaiting Arthur out to catch a cab back to their flat.
Merlin knew he should probably give the contract waiting on him a looksie before sleeping, but he was just too tired to do so, and collapsed in a tired heap on the bed next to it.
Tomorrow he'd have enough time to go over the contract and finally be able to see what in the world that prat had planned.