Title: Truth or Dare
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine, Lancelot, Gwen
Summary: The ‘Truth or dare’ game is always a crap-shoot. Sometimes truth is the most dangerous game of all.
Word Count: 1115
Camelot_drabble Prompt: pt 419:bingo-round 2 - truth or dare
Author's Notes: none
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
“Truth or dare.”
Merlin hated that game. He was always caught between a rock and a hard place. Not daring to speak the truth, he ended up doing all kinds of ridiculous things, from chugging a whole flagon of strong mead to capturing every one of Sweetkin’s kittens – he had lots of scratches from that one, to walking a tightrope over the cesspit. That didn’t end well either.
Gwaine always loved the dares. Merlin thought his friend just wanted the thrill of whatever they’d cooked up for him, and it was ridiculous, but he was amazing at it. He’d walked on top of roofs, faced down Mary the cook, stolen Uther’s crown without getting caught, even run naked through the courtyard although Merlin wasn’t certainly that Gwaine needed a dare for that one.
Gwen always took truth. She’d blush and stammer, but it ended well. Lancelot and she were an item. Finally.
Lance was just as bad as Gwen. They were a pair.
Merlin could never figure out what Elyan would choose, but the dares were often done as well as Gwaine’s and sometimes he told uncomfortable truths, too. His was always an adventure in guessing.
Percival was steady as a rock. He took truth every time. Merlin was rather surprised because the man was huge and could have run away with any of the dares.
Then there was Arthur. If Merlin hadn’t known him well, he would have thought Arthur would take up all the dares, but sometimes he’d surprise Merlin and go with truth.
It was Gwaine’s turn to ask — which was always a problem. He had no filter. “Who amongst us do you most want to bed?”
“Gwaine!” Arthur turned a lovely shade of red, and he glared at the wanker, then looked around at everyone’s faces, well except for Merlin’s. He didn’t look at Merlin once. “Are you determined to end up in the stocks?”
“Oh, Princess, I’ve had my fun in the stocks. My arse up in the air, available to any who happened by….” Gwaine grinned.
Lance scowled, looking horrified. Nodding towards Gwen, he said, “Gwaine, must you be so lewd? There is a lady present.” Although Gwen wasn’t any help since she was still giggling.
“Well, ladies since we’ve also got the Princess here, too, but we’ve heard all about everyone else’s love-life, including yours and the lovely Gwen’s. Only two left, Arthur and our good friend Merlin and Merlin never takes the truth side of this game. I have to wonder about that, too.” Gwaine’s eyebrow went up, a mirror to the one Gaius would always use when he wanted something. “But it’s not his turn, it’s yours, Princess. So spill.”
“I am not telling you that.” Arthur glared at Gwaine. “I’ll take dare instead.”
“Oh, ho, then there is someone.” Gwaine was grinning like the cat who’d found the crème. “And that’s not how the game is played.”
With that, Arthur stood up. “This game is over, Sir Gwaine. I’ll see you in the morning. First thing. I believe mace training is in order.” And with that, he stomped away.
Gwaine’s smile turned predatory. “It would seem I hit a nerve. And I can certainly guess as to his answer.” Gwaine turned and stared straight at Merlin.
“No, Gwaine, no. I’m his servant, nothing more,” Merlin said, putting up his hands in protest. “Even if he did feel that way, he won’t, I mean he… Gwaine, he’s the prince. That means marriage and heirs and some flighty princess hovering on his arm. He won’t bed anyone but her, whoever she is.”
“But he’s not married yet, my friend.” Gwaine smirked, his eyes flicking toward the stairway leading up to Arthur’s quarters. “And it would seem that he’s interested. I think you should….”
Merlin hissed, “I should not. And this game is over.”
Merlin decided to apologize. Not that it was his fault but Gwaine sometimes could be a prick and Merlin thought someone should acknowledge that. Gwaine certainly wouldn’t.
As Merlin was bustling around Arthur’s chambers, trying to do his chores but mostly watching Arthur, Merlin said, “Pay no mind to Gwaine. He’s just an arse.”
Arthur looked up. He’d been using his knife to dig into the stonework by the window. Always a telltale sign of distress.
“He’s also right.” Arthur dropped the knife on the table, then came over to stand next to Merlin. “Truth be told, there is someone I want, but he’s not suitable, not in the least.”
‘He’, so not Gwen then. Merlin’s heart began to race. Was it possible that Arthur wanted Merlin? He’d thought so often enough, but then Arthur would make some cutting remark or drive Merlin away when they got too close.
“Does it matter? As long as they feel the same?” Merlin said.
Arthur shook his head. “I’m a Prince. I can’t be having feelings for a peasant, no matter how much I might want him.”
Arthur didn’t know many peasants and those he did know could be counted on one hand. Gulping, Merlin said, “Arthur… you are also a man. Love, freely given, is a gift. You should take it.”
“Merlin….” Arthur looked miserable, his eyes flicking to Merlin and then away again.
“You asked for a dare back there,” Merlin said, then closed the gap between them. Reaching out, cupping Arthur’s cheek, knowing that it might all go pear-shaped in the next moment, still Merlin wanted the truth. “I dare you, Arthur Pendragon. I dare you to kiss me.”
“Merlin, I can’t. It wouldn’t be….” But he didn’t move away. Instead he leaned into Merlin’s hand as if gathering comfort from it. Or courage.
Merlin shook his head. “Truth is that I’ve wanted you forever. Truth is that I never chose truth in that damn game because I thought you would laugh at me, or worse, send me away. But Arthur, you’ve never backed away from a challenge before. So I’m daring you, prat. Kiss me.”
With a groan, in the next instant, Arthur was all over him, kissing Merlin as if it were the end of the world or the beginning of something more. Merlin was giving as good as he got, matching thrust for thrust, walking him over to the bed, tumbling onto it and pulling Arthur down on top of him.
Arthur pulled back a second. “Merlin, are you sure? I might not be able to stop if you don’t….”
Merlin smiled. “Never more sure of anything.”
Then there was no more talking.
And in the morning, when they lay there, exhausted and blissfully satiated, Merlin was certain of one thing.
‘Truth or Dare’ was a fantastic game.