Title: A Minor Detour, Part 8
Character/s: Gwaine, Arthur
Summary: This wasn’t just trouble, it was Trouble. When the Pendragon son himself showed up, looking like a storm and demanding to be left alone with the prisoner, Gwaine revised his assessment of the situation to Disaster.
Word Count: 1,000
Prompt: #228: Second Chances
Author's Notes: Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 || All Parts on AO3
Gwaine kicked at the wall and revelled in the resounding echo of the bang that resulted. The heavily armed security officer keeping an eye on him gave him (yet another) unimpressed look, which was the most he’d gotten out of her so far. Well, that wasn’t quite true—she’d stifled a snicker when his first kick, aimed at the forcefield closing off his cell, had given him a nasty shock. But she wasn’t much for talking, apparently.
He kicked the wall again. No reaction, which meant no distraction from what was really bothering him; he didn’t actually want to talk a Camelot tightasses.
He was in trouble.
That wasn’t new. He ran illegal salvage and occasional incidental ransoming operations, he hadn’t not been in trouble since he’d first learned to pilot a ship and taken off with his dad’s brand new solar yacht at the tender age of eleven. The thing had been a rich man’s toy, more flash than power, but it had sold well. He’d bought a junker, fixed her up, and spent the rest of the money easing his way into the criminal element until he’d built enough of a reputation that he could never look back.
He’d been in all sorts of sticky situations that he’d managed to bribe, bluff, or bleed his way out of. He had money, charm, and a face that was very satisfying to punch; that last was according to a lovely Triune mechanic (the female head had said it, but the male and androgyne heads had nodded in agreement), a Teluvian pleasurebot, and his father. Against all odds, he’d managed to drift through the asteroid field of a dangerous life without more than a few scrapes to his hull.
Well, he’d made it past the asteroids only to get sucked into an extrasolar gas giant with no thrusters and no escape pod. He'd humiliated and threatened Uther Pendragon’s son, and had absolutely nothing to offer the admiral to save his neck. This wasn’t just trouble, it was Trouble.
When the Pendragon son himself showed up, looking like a storm and demanding to be left alone with the prisoner, Gwaine revised his assessment of the situation to Disaster.
“Sir, I don’t think—”
“You don’t have to think, you just have to leave. Now.”
The guard wasn’t at all pleased, but she did leave.
Gwaine didn’t see any weapons on Pendragon, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have any. They made sting guns the size of a toenail these days. Pendragon didn’t pull anything out, though; he just stood there, glaring at Gwaine through the forcefield.
“Are you planning some kinda revenge here, or are you just gonna stand there and stare at me?” Gwaine prodded. “I can start stripping if you’re looking for parity, but honestly I think I’d enjoy that more than you would.”
Pendragon walked over to the keypad controlling the forcefield. “I’m quite sure that’s true. Please keep your clothes on. No, I have an offer for you.”
That was usually Gwaine’s line; in fact, it sounded very similar to what he’d said to Merlin earlier. “Go on.”
“If you stay here, my father will have you stranded on a prison planet for the rest of your natural life—which likely won’t be very long. You won’t be going to Rove or one of the other vaguely civilized penitentiaries. You’d be sent somewhere on the Gauntlet.”
The Gauntlet was a ring of tiny ice planets and even tinier ice moons where the worst of Camelot’s undesirables were dropped off with a couple years of canned rations and a urine purifier. Any unauthorized ships entering the zone were destroyed on sight, no questions asked. No one ever left the Gauntlet.
“That’s not actually an offer,” Gwaine pointed out for lack of anything better to do.
Pendragon’s glare intensified. Gwaine beamed at him.
“That’s what happens if you stay. If, however, you were to get out of the brig, you’d find a clear path to the shuttle bay. Full of shuttles with fantastic engines and cloaking tech. And, entirely coincidentally, the Albion’s weapons and trackers are going to go offline in about twenty minutes. Just long enough for, say, an escaped shuttle to get out of range.”
“That’s still not an offer, but I’m much more intrigued.”
“You’re going to break Merlin out on the way.”
So Pendragon really did have a soft spot for the cute one. Loyalty and even bashful lust had been obvious, but going against Daddy to such an extent? Well, that was bordering on adorable and vomit-inducing. He’d still help, though. Having the young Pendragon owe him would be deliciously good, plus he actually liked Merlin.
“Sounds like a win-win to me. But I’m surprised you’re up for it, seeing as how you think I was gonna throw him out an airlock last time. So,” he asked partly out of curiosity and partly to nettle Pendragon (this was why he couldn’t stay out of trouble, he knew, but it didn’t stop him), “I know I’m not planning to kill your boytoy, but how do you know that?”
“Because I’m coming with you, too.”
“You realize that makes the prospect only mildly more appealing than the Gauntlet.”
Pendragon’s hand hovered over the keypad as he arched an eyebrow. “Is that a yes?”
As Pendragon took down the field and Gwaine darted out before minds could change, he risked minds changing: “You’re taking a big chance, trusting me.”
“Merlin would want me to.” Pendragon’s grimace couldn’t hide his fondness as he said the name. At least Gwaine could stop having to look at his face when they went into a suspiciously empty corridor.
“Well yeah, even I’m preferable to the Gauntlet. But you could’ve done this without me, seems like.”
“Yes, obviously. Which is why that’s not what I meant.” They reached another door and Pendragon hesitated. “He’d want you to get a second chance. He’s stupidly naive and optimistic like that.”