Title: Rocky start
Warnings: probably a bit underage, not sure. However you want to read it.
Word count: 897
Prompt: Bingo Card - Forced to marry
Summary: Merlin is not happy that the elders have decided that he, the most powerful sorcerer to ever walk the earth, is supposed to marry a total stranger just to strengthen the relationship with Camelot.
Author’s notes: Not beta’d. I'm a bit in a slump and need to write short things to get my creative juices flowing again. Not sure if this here will lead to more, but it feels as if their story isn't told.
"But mother!" Merlin made a face.
"Merlin!" She reached up and cupped his face with her hands. "The elders know what they are doing."
"I can't get married to someone I don't even know!" He insisted.
"That's how it was for centuries and that's how it will ever be." She smiled. "The elders were never wrong."
"The elders never dealt with the most powerful sorcerer who ever walked the earth." Merlin freed himself and threw her a cocky look.
"That is why they picked someone special for you."
Merlin slumped onto a stool. "Mother..." He took a deep breath. "I don't think I even like girls." He didn't dare to look at her.
She stepped a bit closer and gently stroked his cheek. "I know."
Nodding, she smiled. "You've always been different and it wasn't your magic."
"What am I supposed to do with her?"
"Get married. Form a strong bond with Camelot, unite the land with your mate." When he took a breath to object, Hunith continued. "As I said before, the elders were never wrong, they have picked the right person. And now it's time to meet them. Put on your blue shirt, you look so good in blue. I've cleaned your boots for you."
"You only want me to make a good impression."
She just smiled a bit wider.
Merlin knew that he didn't have a choice. He was the one whose destiny was written. He would work on it. It would be nice if he at least liked the girl a bit. As friends.
Taking a deep breath, he ran a hand through his hair and stepped out of his childhood home to meet his former bride.
"You can't be serious!" A voice he had never heard before yelled. "I'm not going to get married to one of those peasants!"
Merlin frowned. Who dared calling his people names? Didn't this bloke know on whose lands he was? Walking over to where the whole village and all the druids who had travelled here for this ocassion had assembled around the fire, Merlin pulled up to his full height.
"She's not even here, right? Is she so ugly that you have to hide her until the last possible moment? I'm not going to get married, no matter what you people have negotiated with my father. Father wouldn't use me as a pawn!"
His ears were burning, his mother had been right, the elders had known that he wasn't interested in girls, so they had picked a man. A good-looking one, too. Even though he seemed to be foul-mouthed and didn't know how to behave.
"Merlin!" When they noticed him, they all bowed - a gesture that Merlin found utterly embarrassing. It was just him, Merlin.
"So this is..." A little smirk showed on his face. "My bride?"
The blond bloke gasped. "I am the crown prince of Camelot and certainly not your 'bride'."
"True," The smirk fell off Merlin's face. "Someone who doesn't know how to show respect to the elders surely isn't the right one."
"You should show me respect!" The blond spat. "I am the crown prince of Camelot!"
"You said so already. You forgot to mention that you are an utter prat."
The prat reached for his sword, but a tall man with a bit of a beard and reddish locks held him back. They exchanged looks and the blond let go of his sword.
The look on his face showed that he was clearly not happy. "Alright, how do we go about this? I want to be back on my way to Camelot as soon as possible."
That was the first really good thing the prat said. Merlin agreed. They could be married and not even live in the same part of the country. Perfect.
One of the elders got up.
Later, Merlin didn't remember much of the little ceremony, in which he had sworn to protect the stranger and the land. During the following feast, they had fed each other fruit and shared drinks, as the rituals enjoined and he almost relaxed.
Now, that they were alone, he didn't know what to say. He had thrown the man...Arthur as he had learned, looks during the festivities. If he were honest, he was just what he liked. If you overlooked the fact that he obviously thought he was better than anyone else and didn't waste a single oportunity to mention it.
Arthur looked around the room and hadn't said anything for a long time. "They're not expecting us..."
Merlin blushed bright red. "You know, well...actually..."
Throwing his head back, Arthur laughed and it sounded desperate. "They can't mean that. I don't even know you."
"I don't know you either." Merlin pointed out, but he was at a loss. This was their wedding night, everyone expected them to consume their marriage, but it felt odd.
Arthur, who looked totally out of place in his chainmail and red cloak, sword by his side and the flower wreath they had put on him for the ceremony still on his head, let out a breath.
"We could...at least try to get to know each other?" Merlin suggested. "You're going to stay here for a while, so..."
Reaching for the fastening of his cloak, Arthur nodded. "Let me get out of the chainmail first."
Smiling, Merlin closed the space between them. "Let me help you."