Title: A Minor Detour, Part 13
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, mild Gwaine/Merlin flirting
Character/s: Merlin, Gwaine, Arthur
Summary: Merlin was stupid for his captain, and Pendragon’s reciprocation was neither an issue nor a question. They just needed a shove. Luckily for them, Gwaine happened to be bored and extremely good at shoving.
Word Count: 1,000
Prompt: #247: Embarass
Author's Notes: Part 1 | ... | 10 | 11 | 12 || All Parts on AO3
Gwaine was waiting for Merlin in the corridor when he left Pendragon to brood in the dark like the responsible and mature captain he was. Before Merlin turned for the door, he’d been waiting a lot closer than the corridor—and not for Merlin to leave, either. Somehow Gwaine had forgotten what an uptight, martyred moron Arthur was, so he’d been hoping for a personal peep show. Merlin was cute and Arthur was a complete smeghead, but an attractive one. He could get into watching them finally give in to the sexual tension that was very, very obviously built up between them.
He’d only been around them for part of a day and he couldn’t take it anymore, he had no idea how the rest of their crew could stand it. Void, how did Arthur stand it? If Gwaine had a pretty young thing like Merlin throwing himself at him... Well. He’d probably have to decline politely, because Merlin seemed like the sweet sort who would want commitment and love and all the other bits Gwaine had no interest in.
But just because Gwaine himself wasn’t designed for the squishy feelings, it didn’t mean he didn’t know them when he saw them. Merlin was stupid for his captain, and Pendragon’s reciprocation was neither an issue nor a question. They just needed a shove.
Luckily for them, Gwaine happened to be bored and extremely good at shoving.
So when Merlin wandered out of the airlock, looking like a Gedrefian horned puppy that had been lost, kicked, drowned, then kicked again, but still wanted to put on a brave face just in case it ran into anyone willing to cuddle it in spite of its uncontrollably venomous head spike, Gwaine knew exactly what he had to do.
Slinging an arm around Merlin’s neck, Gwaine said, overly loud, “You’ve had a rough day, you dear thing. Let me help you relax, make you feel better.”
Merlin tensed in his grasp but didn’t pull away, either too polite or too worn out to really object. That didn’t matter. What mattered was that when Gwaine looked back over their combined shoulders, Pendragon was glaring at him through the small viewing window. Gwaine winked, turned away from him, and led Merlin off to the galley. He pretended not to hear the door sliding open behind them.
Thing was, Gwaine had taken it upon himself to investigate the shuttle thoroughly during the first hour or two they’d been on the lam. He knew, therefore, that they had enough food for the four of them to survive about three months without restocking. Maybe two and a half, the big guy looked like he could pack it away, but they shouldn’t need to cut it that close. Besides, they’d need fuel before that, probably within a month at the rate they were burning it. The life support system was in top shape.
All in all, they were well stocked on the basic necessities.
Unless clothing was considered a basic necessity. Gwaine didn't think it was, generally speaking, but he knew other people did. It was why he’d been able to so generously offer Merlin the tragically oversized jumpsuit he still wore. Because none of Camelot’s brightest young minds had thought to bring Merlin his own clothes, or even a spare Camelot uniform of any size. They’d been in something of a rush, he understood that, but it really only would have taken a bit of foresight. The Camelot clothes would stand out wherever they went.
Still, Gwaine felt a tiny bit guilty using it against Merlin, who couldn’t be blamed for it. Not guilty enough to stop him, of course; he was doing it for Merlin’s own good, in the end. By the time they reached the tiny space that passed for a kitchen, his plan solidified. The big guy was manning the slightly less tiny bridge and keeping in contact with the other shuttle and Pendragon was still following the two of them, waiting just around a corner.
"We’re friends, right?” Gwaine asked Merlin.
“Um. No?” Despite sounding apologetic, there was a crack of anger in Merlin’s voice. “I’m glad you’re not going to die alone and starving on an icy prison planet. That’s about the current extent of my charitable feelings.”
Gwaine had to admit that was fair. “All right. I can understand that. Just keep in mind that I’m helping you.”
“Helping me with—What the void!”
Having a limited amount of time in which to act before one or both of the other men could stop him, Gwaine rejoiced upon finding a pod of green fluoric toffee. Cracking it open and flinging the resulting sticky mess at Merlin took only a moment; it was far too late by the time Pendragon lunged in and punched Gwaine away from his definitely-not-boytoy-their-relationship-w
Gwaine had been prepared for much more violence, and deemed it worth it for the many levels of entertainment, but Pendragon ignored him once he was out of immediate reach, spinning back to Merlin. The acidic candy clung to the slope of his shoulders and dripped slowly down his chest and legs. Gwaine mentally patted himself on the back for his aim.
“Are you all right? Is it—”
“Don’t touch me!” Merlin’s impressively mild hysteria stopped Pendragon in his tracks. “I mean, don’t—don’t touch it. It’ll burn your skin.”
“Smeg! Can it get through the clothes?”
“Yes,” Merlin said tightly.
“Then take them off! What are you waiting for?”
It took all Gwaine had not to either snicker or give himself a self-congratulatory salute at Pendragon’s words. He’d expected Merlin to strip, but he never could have anticipated Pendragon actually demanding it. But Merlin just turned bright red and mumbled something, shifting uncomfortably as the acid started to thin the fabric.
Pendragon frowned at his hesitation. “What?”
“I’m not wearing anything under this.”
Pendragon spun around to give him some semblance of privacy. His blush burned darker than Merlin’s, Gwaine was delighted to find.