Title: Dress for success
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Dolma
Summary: Arthur needed a sorcerer to help fend off Morgana and the Dolma showed up and demanded payment.
Word Count: 1312 (sorry)
Prompt: 311- Video prompt – "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran.
Author's Notes: “When I saw you in that dress” - In this, Arthur never married Gwen.
Disclaimer: I do not own the BBC version of Merlin; It and Shine do. I am very respectfully borrowing them with no intent to profit. No money has changed hands. No copyright infringement is intended.
It was just too ridiculous. After all, the Dolma, old, grey, in an ill-fitting tattered dress, shouldn’t be looking at Arthur that way. Her smile was lascivious and heated and oh so hungry. And the way she kept touching her cheek, caressing her hair, as if she were fingering him in all the wrong – right? - wrong places. Arthur could almost feel it, he could swear that there were hands fondling his skin, getting into his breeches, squeezing him just a little in his nether parts.
He shouldn’t be feeling that way, shouldn’t be wondering about what he was feeling. It was creepy. He should be paying attention to his kingdom, to his people, not fending off hot-blooded stares from some ancient hag. It was bad enough that he was indebted to her for rescuing him from yet another dire fate.
At least Merlin wasn’t around to mock him. It was almost as if he wanted to avoid the Dolma, as if he feared her or maybe just didn’t want to be stared at the way the Dolma was staring at Arthur. Not that Arthur blamed him, although he did rather. The idiot should be there, helping Arthur avoid any more heated looks.
The funny thing was that Arthur desired to be with men, not women, and certainly not someone old enough to be his great-grandmother. Maybe great-great-grandmother.
Truth be told, he wanted Merlin, not that he’d ever let the fool know. But that was something to ponder for another time.
Right now, he needed to get away before that old witch enchanted him into doing something untoward. Which was increasingly likely with the looks she was sending his way.
Arthur stepped back, yelled out, “Merlin!”
The Dolma stopped playing with her hair, looking a bit startled. “What need have you for a servant when you have me?”
Swallowing hard, Arthur said, “He’s getting your clothes as per our agreement.”
She gave a little hum, her smile deepening. “And if I wanted to change our agreement? I’ve been lonely of late. And while you are quite handsome in a… rough way,” she stopped, looked at Arthur up and down, staring at his breeches a moment before gazing back up into his eyes. Licking her lips and showing a bit of stained teeth as she did, she said “Merlin is much more to my taste. Maybe I should ask for him as payment.”
Arthur was horrified. There was no way a slimy old sorceress was going to lay her hands on Merlin. Not when Arthur wanted to, instead. Get his hands on him, that is.
Arthur glared at her. “Merlin is not for sale.”
“Oh, ho. I wouldn’t keep him. Just play with him a while. He looks like he could use a bit of playing.” She was doing that hair-twirling again, and smiling as if she had a secret or was plotting to ravish Merlin to within an inch of his life. Which wasn’t right. Merlin was his.
Of course, it was worry that made him say, “If there is anyone who is going to play with him, it’s me, not you, you old witch.” It just came out wrong, or maybe right. Or maybe… in any case, Merlin wasn’t around to see Arthur admitting such a thing.
The Dolma looked rattled, then putting her hands on both hips, scowled at him. “And have you told him such? I’ve heard that you treat him like dirt, take him for granted, throw things at him. Perhaps he’d rather come with me. He’d know he was wanted, after all.” Her voice deepened, became sultry. “And I’d show him such pleasure.”
“Pleasure… you… I… he’s mine.” The Dolma jerked at that, but Arthur wasn’t going to let it go. “He’s wanted, hag. More than he knows.”
She shook her head, glaring at him. “And yet he does not know.” Then she started smiling again, running her hands down her hips and back up again, a parody of sensuality. “And if my payment is his body, to do with as I wish? I know many ways to pleasure a man. He might enjoy it.”
“The only one who is going to pleasure him is me.” Arthur thanked his lucky stars that Merlin wasn’t around to hear him. He’d only be mocked for it. Never mind that the Dolma was grinning and her gaze was turning heated again. “And I’d make sure that he wanted it first, not sold to some sorceress for use as a sex slave.”
“He slaves for you, night and day, without a word of thanks.” But before Arthur could snap at her and explain that it wasn’t the same thing at all, the Dolma put up one hand to stop him. Then she stepped back, shrugging, her hand brushing away the long grey hair. “But if you insist, I will take the dresses as payment… this time.” Then she smiled, wiggling her hips a little, tilting her head as she stared at him. “But next time, I may want more. If Merlin is amenable, well, I’ll show him how it’s done.”
“I’ll show him how it’s done, not you.”
“See that you do, clotpoll.” And with that, the Dolma disappeared, a whirlwind of dust and smoke blotting out the sun a moment, and in her place, there was Merlin, looking sheepish. In his hand was a bunch of black rags.
“Where have you been? That ratty old witch was talking nonsense again.” Arthur frowned. “And she left without her payment.”
Merlin gave Arthur a look. He’d seen that look before, part exasperation, part devotion, mixed with the slightest hint of longing. Merlin said, “Maybe she’d had enough of you for one day. You are a cabbage-head after all.”
Arthur wanted to say something, wanted to hug Merlin and tell him everything. But that’s not how it was between them. Instead, Arthur said, “Well, let’s leave before she returns. She was looking at me strangely.”
“Nothing new there.” Merlin just shook his head, then bundling up the rags and shoving them into his belt, he stood there a moment, waiting for something. If Arthur hadn’t known better, he’d have thought that Merlin knew what he’d told the Dolma. But that couldn’t be. Merlin hadn’t been anywhere nearby.
There was something in the way Merlin was standing, one hip cocked, and his head turned just so that reminded Arthur of the Dolma. It had to be the trick of the light, but it unsettled him.
Turning away, starting back up the hill toward the horses and Camelot, Merlin trailing behind, he suddenly realized something.
She’d called him clotpoll.
No one ever called him clotpoll but Merlin.
It didn’t make sense unless… Merlin and the Dolma were… one and the same. Which was ridiculous. Arthur had just had a bad day and that witch put weird thoughts in his head.
Arthur might call Merlin a girl but an ancient sorceress with a bad fashion sense?
That way lay madness.
On the other hand, Arthur couldn’t stop thinking about how well Merlin would look in a dress, silk shimmering across that slim figure, hinting at what was underneath. Not black rags but purple or maybe Pendragon red. Merlin might squawk about it and get all flustered and fiery, mouthing off about how much he wasn’t a girl as he bit his lip, but then his mouth would turn wet and everything would get heated as they argued and pulled and pushed at each other. And maybe, just maybe, as they fought and wrestled, the silk would tear and there would be naked rolling and then they could finally find pleasure and forget all about the Dolma.
And next time Arthur needed that creepy witch’s help, he’d give her two dresses. One for payment and one for thanks - and Merlin smiling at his side.