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The Taming of the Prat 10/? 
26th-Jun-2011 12:52 am

Title: The Taming of the Prat
Pairings: Merlin/Arthur, Lancelot/Gwen
Rating: M
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 knew he was supposed to have revised everything last night and left it for Arthur this morning to go over, but he hadn't had the time and refused to sign anything that he hadn't read over...especially if it was that thick...so he'd stolen out early that morning with the contract and found himself going over it during the whole morning. It was detailed and worded very professionally, with sub-clauses and footnotes and citations from only the gods knew where. It was damned impressive, and Merlin really didn't know why Arthur wasn't studying law, because he'd be a damned good lawyer.

The pale man was admittedly distracted the whole day, so it was good that the day was a slow one, and he had time to just sit at the register and read, turning over the pages and going over every sentence with a fined tooth comb. A couple of the things stated within were kinda shocking, some were kinda hilarious...and some were kinda scary and very serious.

{} Both Mr. Arthur Pendragon and Mr. Merlin Emrys agree to take tests to prove they're free of any STDs.

This once made Merlin make up his face. They weren't going to have sex...but he could still understand Arthur asking for this, so he nodded and just continued reading on until he came to another clause.

{} To avoid any drama with outside sources, both Mr. Arthur Pendragon and Mr. Merlin Emrys agree to abstain from any sort of romantic or sexual relationship with anyone else while they cohabit in Mr. Emrys' flat.

Merlin's eyes widened, his lips parting.


He couldn't date anyone?



He couldn't agree to this one!

His mother and Uther and now apparently Morgana were all trying to hook him up with random people and if he couldn't explain to them why he couldn't say yes to any of these dates... he shivered, highlighting that part so he could find it and bring it up later that evening. He was helping Arthur, that didn't mean that Merlin should close himself off to the possibility of finding love. He knew he was attracted to Arthur, and that the blonde obviously had some bi-curious attraction towards him, but Arthur Pendragon was not going to be the Man of his Dreams, the Knight in Form-Fitting Leather who would whisk him away on the back of his Ducatti to a lifetime of hardcore ravaging. The blonde just wasn't that man.

So while Merlin wouldn't be suffering with this reward system, he did not want it to get in the way of finding his true love. What if one of the chaps Uther introduced him to, or even Morgana's brother, was his one true love? He wouldn't be able to do anything and have to let them slip away because of some contract with this prat.

Merlin wouldn't have that.

All his life he'd wanted to find someone who would love him the way his father had loved his mother...and then like Kanen loved her.

He'd been hurt before, by both Will and Edwin, and while he'd been heartbroken they'd never been able to destroy him fully or the belief that somewhere out there was the one for him.

It was that strong belief system that'd helped him go through the gay bashing he'd received in high school and hidden from his overprotective, kind-hearted mother, and had been his fuel to continue on despite everything. He knew that somewhere in this world was a heart that beat in time with his, and he wouldn't let himself forget that somewhere someone else was waiting for him and going through shit and fuckery and bashing and all sorts of trials because he knew Merlin would one day come into his life.

It's why he could easily say that while he was attracted physically to Arthur, that he'd never have the fear of falling in love with the prat.

Merlin had already gone through that whole 'being with a guy who was straight before being with you' when he'd been with Will, and he knew that most of these cases ended with the guy deciding he was straight and returning to his previous ways. He also had gone through that 'I have a damaged past and need someone to heal me' thing when he'd been with Edwin, and knew that mostly the ones you healed ended up being perfect partners...for someone else. And, to top it off, he'd already gone through the 'I'm way out of your league and will never consider you seriously as a partner, or might not ever consider you as a partner but despite our polar opposite characters we easily could become best mates' thing with Lancelot...even if Lancelot had done everything obliviously, never knowing the way Merlin's heart broke more and more every time he had to be happy for Lancelot and Gwen.

Merlin had already gone through every single thing that defined a relationship with Arthur, he'd been there, done that, gotten burnt, and had no desire to go through any of that again. That was why he'd been very honest whenever he had to tell someone else that Arthur couldn't be farther from his type if he tried. Arthur was his three worst heartbreaks rolled up in one, and Merlin was way too smart to get burnt by the blazing fire that was the blonde. So while he'd definitely enjoy the physical aspects of this arrangement like any hot blooded male, he knew better than to let his heart get drawn in by Arthur's baby blues and get trampled on by the time this whole thing was over.


Merlin chewed on one of the carrots he was supposed to feed to the rabbits, eyebrow raising slightly with what he read. Mostly it seemed workable...except for one part...and he quickly scratched that one out, blushing slightly. Obviously the prat was just trying to screw with him...somewhat literally...and Merlin wondered if this was not the first time Arthur had implemented something like a contract on someone else.

He wondered...unable to stop himself...if Arthur had ever done something like this to that girl who'd broken his heart...wondered if it wasn't one of the reasons why she'd left the blonde.

Merlin growled, annoyed with himself for still being so curious about this girl. It annoyed him that it mattered that she'd meant something to Arthur.

Taking a savage bite out of the carrot, Merlin chewed viciously, pushing the contract away from him in a huff.

Trust Arthur to ruin his mood when he wasn't even around!

The bell above the door rung, and Merlin swallowed quickly, throwing the rest of the carrot into the trash can before looking up, his trademark customer-pleasing smile half freezing on his lips as his blue eyes rested on the male standing before him.

The man was tall, with a frame that befitting a knight of old. He was incredibly handsome in a roguish way, with chin length brown hair and dark eyes.

Merlin gulped, forgetting for a second what he was supposed to do, before clearing his throat and finishing the smile thats frozen on his lips. "Hello."

"Hello." The stranger smiled. "What do you have that looks incredibly cute yet is actually something that will keep an annoying baby sister busy and give her headaches and slowly repay her for all the trouble she's given me in the past?"

Merlin just looked at him before gazed down, unable to keep the soft laughter in check. "You sure you've come to the right place?"

"Yeah, I'm sure." The customer replied, looking around at the different assortment of pets. "She's an animal person, or so she claims, and hasn't had a pet since her turtle died five years ago although she complains every chance she gets about how much she misses having someone waiting for her at home." He shrugged. "I told her to find a bloke, at least she'd get a good shag out of the deal, but she didn't quite appreciate the suggestion."

Once again Merlin chuckled, bringing hand to cover his lips as he stepped out from around the counter. "I can see how she mightn't have taken too kindly to the comment."

"Kindly? She broke my finest bottle of whiskey...over my head." He informed Merlin, looking completely scandalized, although the tilt of his lips betrayed his secret enjoyment of the sibling rivalry he shared with said sister.

"You don't seem to have had to get stitches." Merlin observed as he used the excuse of searching for stitches to get closer.

"I have a hard head." The newcomer grinned mischievously, winking, before rubbing his hands together. "So, what's cute, furry, and a living hell?"

Completely amused and intrigued with this man, Merlin looked around. "Does she live in a house? Flat?"

"A large flat. Da gave it to her for her 18th birthday three years ago." The costumer replied. "Forget the puppies and kittens and birds, I want something of the exotic pets you sell here. I was told that this was one of the finest normal and exotic pet stores this side of London."

"Really?" Merlin smiled. "By who?"

"One of my father's business partners." He shrugged, a little uncomfortable. "I'm surprised he knew about this place though, I wouldn't think him the pet type...nor the type to buy a pet for his son."

A sinking suspicion filled Merlin's stomach. "You wouldn't be talking about Uther Pendragon, would you?"

Those eyes widened. "So he does come by here?"

Merlin groaned, realizing that this was Uther's not so subtle way to introduce him to one of those 'worthy chaps'. "He's friends with my mother, and I work for him as well."

"Oh." The newcomer replied, reaching out his hand. "Gwaine."

"Merlin." Merlin shook his hand, clearing his throat as he slipped his hand out of Gwaine's and looked around him. "Here." He motioned with his head over to a cage where a tiny ball of fur snored happily on his plush bed. "Meet Buttonnose."

"Buttonnose." Gwain deadpanned, not seeming very impressed as he gazed at the fennec fox. "You do realize I want to give my sister something that'll keep her on her toes, right?"

Merlin grinned. "As soon as she's rested Buttonnose will be busy running around. This is just her energizing time."

A little relieved by that, Gwaine eyed the pretty thing.

"Fennec foxes very energetic and playful, but are sweet and loving, which would help your sister out of her grief over the loss of her pet."

"Mister T died five years ago." Gwaine reminded.

"You obviously have never had a pet." Merlin deduced, turning and heading to where the Chausies were kept.

Gwaine sent Buttonnose another look before following after, seeming less impressed with what Merlin was pointing to. "It's a cat."

"Chausies are a hybrid of the domesticated cat and the jungle cat." Merlin replied sagely.

Gwaine proved more interested with this news. "Interesting. Deceptively tame yet containing a feral instinct. The perfect trap."

Merlin sent the other man an amused smile. "You and your sister must have an interesting relationship."

"Why?" Gwaine blinked. "Don't all brothers and sisters secretly plot each other's destruction?"

"Wouldn't know." Merlin's lips seemed to be in an eternal upwards tilt. "Only child."

"Ah, one of the lucky ones I see." Gwaine winked, smiling back at him.

Gods...he was gorgeous.

Merlin felt his heart flutter in appreciation.

If Gwaine was an example of the sorts of 'worthy chaps' Uther wanted to introduce him to...Merlin was tempted to stop hedging the offers.

Suddenly the front door slammed shut, seeming to cause the plate glass front of the shop to vibrate with its force.

Merlin and Gwaine turned towards the sound, Merlin blinking in surprise to see Arthur standing there, glaring at them.

"Arthur Pendragon." Gwaine frowned.

"Gwaine Noble." Arthur frowned right back at him. "You must be lost. This is neither a bar nor a whorehouse."

"Arthur." Merlin glared. He didn't care if there was bad blood between these two, this was his workplace and Arthur could not just waltz in and insult his customer.

"Don't worry, I know Arthur Pendragon can't play nice." Gwaine sneered back at Arthur. "Whatcha doing around here, Penny?"

"Working." Arthur replied. "Something you wouldn't know anything about, Ainnie."

Merlin looked between the two.

"You? Working? Ha!" Gwaine laughed. "What a load of bollocks!"

Merlin cleared his throat, scratching behind his ear. "He actually is...working, I mean."

Gwaine laughed before he realized that Merlin was serious, his smile melting off of his face in shock. "What? Here? In this district? But there's only regular, shop-type jobs here."

Arthur raised his chin defiantly.

Gwaine's eyes widened. "Cor."

A seconds worth of pride flashed through Arthur's eyes before he cleared his throat. "Your sister still reaming your arse?"

"Your daddy still reaming yours?" Gwaine shot back.

The two glared at each other.

Merlin looked between the two, not sure whether it was safe to step in between them and try diffuse the tense situation.

"How does daddy feel about you working in a pet store?" Gwaine wanted to know.

"I don't." Arthur replied. "I'm here on my lunch break to talk to Merlin about something important and you're wasting my precious time...like always."

Gwaine looked between Merlin and Arthur before shaking his head and turning to the blonde. "Since when did you join our team?"

"I haven't joined your anything." Arthur replied loftily. "Now take your business elsewhere."

"Oi." Merlin stepped in. "Arthur, you can't talk to our customers like this. You have a problem with him? Deal with it on your own time."

"This is my own time." Arthur frowned. "It's my break!"

"But it's not mine and I'm still on the clock, tending to a customer." Merlin replied as calmly and patiently as possible.

"Fine." Arthur declared with a pout, storming to the desk to grab the contract. "But I'm taking this with me!"

"I haven't finished reading it!" Merlin cried as the blonde stormed towards the door.

"Not my problem, is it?" Arthur grumbled as he slammed out of the store in a spoiled tantrum.

Merlin watched him go, before placing his hand to his forehead and sighing.

That guy took one step forwards and six steps back!

"Blimey." Gwaine seemed shocked. "I thought he was joking, but he's really switched teams." His gaze turned to Merlin and he smirked. "You must be a demon in the sack."

That blush returned to Merlin's cheeks as he sputtered. "We are not-!"

"Course you aren't, sweetheart." Gwaine winked, obviously not believing a word. "I'll come back with Isy for her to chose the beast she wants for herself." With that he pulled out some shades from his shirt's pocket and slid them onto his face as he sauntered out of the store, whistling.

Merlin watched him leave, appreciating the view, before frowning when he remembered that Arthur had taken the contract and he now couldn't finish reading through the Rewards and their Implementation.


Just great.
26th-Jun-2011 06:03 am (UTC)
Another update so soon, SCORE!!

Loved the contract and Merlin's reaction was priceless. Also, interesting to find out about Merlin's past and how he believes in finding the one. Also, love the bit were are Arthur says "no outside romantic engagements". Me thinks he just wants Merlin to himself.

Gwaine is just awesome and do I maybe detect a rivarly between Arthur and Gwaine over Merlin in the future??

Cannot wait till the next chapter!
26th-Jun-2011 06:11 am (UTC)
What can I say? I was surprisingly enough inspired lol
Im glad you're enjoying Gwaine. I have yet to see any of his episodes but from what I've read about him I quite love him :)
And you never know!!!
26th-Jun-2011 06:09 am (UTC)
God I love my boys. Arthur's contract is awesome, Good thing Merlin decided to read the fine prints. I bet Arthur is jealous of Gwaine. And Gwaine saw something Merlin still haven't or Arthur realizes.

Love Ya!
26th-Jun-2011 06:11 am (UTC)
They *are* quite delectable, aren't they ???
26th-Jun-2011 08:30 am (UTC)
I REALLY LOVE Arthur in this. He is a prat but a lovely and royal prat (just as Merlin calls him). LOL.
I love Gwaine, but I hope he won't mess around with A/M. You know, you can't mess about the A/M DESTINTY. Moreover, Hunith is kind of in "love" with Arthur. LOL.
26th-Jun-2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
She kinda IS, isn't she? lol
26th-Jun-2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
Haha, LOL. I read this update for a second time already. And I can clearly see that Gwaine has realized immediately that Merlin has some deep feelings for Arthur and Arthur for Merlin too. It is not a surprise though. Lancelot realized that almost immediately as well. Almost everyone knows that once they see A/M together, just except A/M themselves (or they are both trying to deny it). LOL.
Your writing on the two is really really sweet. And it feels real and everthing is in tune. And I think this is why I love this story so much. Sweet, real, romantic and sometimes a little bit nostalgic.
And dear, I would really like to know what's Arthur rewarding system. I am intrigued, very intrigued.
26th-Jun-2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
Oh Arthur would make a good damn laywer and a DAMN FINE one at that lol. It amusing to read his contract. He is one griddy bastard.
I got a little emotional at reading merlin's thoughts of his past relationships and how arthur represented all of them. Stupid jerks, albiet Lancelot didn't mean to, they broke Merlin's poor heart and messed up Arthur's chances.
OH GWAINE! I adore him although I have to see any eps with him, from what I've read and seen on youtube, I love his character. That witty and sarcastic guy love him and if he brings jelaous!arthur even better loved it
I can't wait for more
26th-Jun-2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
Yep, Lancelot is the only one who did the hurting unintentionally...and Merlin knows Lancelot loves him as a best mate...so we can't hate him at all!
26th-Jun-2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
He's too damn noble lol to hate on and then he gives you that innocent face that is almost as good as merlin's
26th-Jun-2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
Arthur can be a damn good laywer. I absolutely agree with you on this. I can totally imagine Arthur become a partner at a top law firm (so maybe he can afford marrying Merlin. Hey, it is not easy to have a family and it is not easy to have Merlin as your wife/husband). LOL.
29th-Jun-2011 01:04 am (UTC)
I know tell mea about it I read a fic where he was a lawyer and merlin was his client and I could not stop picturing it lol ;P
26th-Jun-2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
That's hysterical! I like the interaction between Gwaine and Merlin. I hope we get to see more of that with the other blokes Uther and the others are trying to set up Merlin with. It was pretty funny reading the Gwaine/Arthur interaction. I hope we get to read about the history of those two.


27th-Jun-2011 11:47 am (UTC)
Enter Gwaine and the plot thickens. This promises to be a lot of fun. That much antipathy towards Gwaine from Arthur could lead to ever more interaction, I am hoping.
27th-Jun-2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
:) Gwaine will most probably re-enter the scene :)
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