Title: A Poem Lovely as a Tree
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, Gwaine/Leon
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine, Leon
Summary: Merlin and Arthur wrestling wasn’t all that unusual but Leon talking about poetry was something new.
Word Count: 860
Camelot_drabble Prompt: pt 424: fighting fit
Author's Notes: quote from Trees by Joyce Kilmer.
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
“Two crowns on Merlin,” Gwaine muttered to Leon.
Arthur and Merlin were going at it, rolling on the grass, arms flailing, legs wrapped around torsos as they wrestled and tore into each other. Gwaine didn’t remember what started it, although if Merlin’s scowl were any judge, it was Princess Prat’s fault. But before you could say ‘barkeep, another round’, the two of them were head-locking and feet to the face, and at one point, they were so wound around each other, elbows and knees everywhere, that even Gwaine couldn’t tell who was winning.
Normally, he would give points to Arthur, but Merlin was wiry and not a little sneaky at times. While the princess had the weight and training, Merlin had cleverness.
Leon didn’t reply, though. A bit of a stuffy bloke, the prince’s man, but more likely, he didn’t want to admit that Merlin might just pull it off winning the impromptu wrestling match.
Cupping his hands around his mouth so that Merlin could hear him more clearly, Gwaine shouted, “Merlin, come on, show him how it’s done!”
Merlin didn’t even look up. There was a lot of heavy breathing in there somewhere, and at one point, Arthur flipped Merlin over and pushed him down, trapping him. But momentum and a good swift boot to Arthur’s arse and Merlin was the one on top.
Crowing about it, too, and as Merlin lifted his head in triumph, Arthur rocked his hips up, trying to dislodge Merlin.
Even from a distance, Gwaine could see Merlin was startled at that, then as he looked down at Arthur’s nether regions, Merlin turned bright red. There must have been something going on because Arthur’s mouth was moving, whispering more like since Gwaine couldn’t hear what he was saying. Merlin was biting his lip. If Gwaine didn’t know any better, he’d say they weren’t talking about wrestling, but it was just Arthur and Merlin being their idiot selves. It couldn’t be anything else.
Still, as Merlin rolled off him and offered Arthur a hand up, Gwaine started to walk toward them to tease them a little, but Leon held him back.
“I’d say it’s two crowns to Arthur this time,” Leon said.
When Gwaine started to sputter about winners and losers and how could Leon tell, Leon said, “The wresting match isn’t over just yet.”
Gwaine blinked up at Leon, turned to see Merlin and Arthur disappearing inside, and looking back at Leon, he said, “You don’t mean… I thought they’d never… you know, the princess, he’s got a stick up his arse. He’d never….”
“Well, last week, they told me they’d been studying poetry,” Leon said, straight-faced and then laughing when Gwaine stared at him in disbelief.
“Is that what they are calling it these days?” Gwaine said, grinning.
Leon nodded. “Two crowns says that Merlin will be walking funny tomorrow.”
Gwaine laughed, then shook his head. “Knowing Merlin and how persuasive he can be, two crowns says that Arthur will have something other than a stick up his arse tonight and that tomorrow both of them will be walking funny.” As Leon nodded, Gwaine said, “Watching all this love-making is thirsty work. How about a pint down at the Rising Sun?”
Leon looked at him for a long moment, then said, “You’re buying.”
Gwaine knew Leon was no fool. He’d be able to drink Leon under the table, but if Gwaine was paying for it, it might not get to that point. His purse wasn’t all that full just then. Still, he nodded, and they both walked toward the pub.
Gwaine said, “So poetry?” When Leon shrugged, Gwaine just smiled. “I’m very fond of poetry myself, especially with tall men I could climb like a tree.”
Leon get out a little snort, as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. But he didn’t rage at Gwaine for being too forward or stomp away in disgust. Instead, looking down at him almost with interest, Leon said, “So tree poetry then?”
Well, that was an interesting change.
Leon wasn’t someone he’d normally look twice at, not because he wasn’t worth it with that curly hair and intriguing scruff, but he seemed so upright and arrow-straight. Gwaine bet that Leon would be either a tiger in bed or bewildered and suddenly, Gwaine wanted to know which. Pushing a little, wanting to see just what Leon would do, Gwaine said, “Call it what you like as long as you call for me.”
Stopping, Leon stared down at him, then shook his head, snickering a little. “Does that line work for you?”
“I think I shall never see,” Gwaine quoted, “A poem lovely as a tree.”
With that, Leon outright laughed, but he stepped closer, their elbows bumping as they entered the pub, and Leon crowded him as they got their ale.
As Gwaine watched Leon lifted the glass to his mouth and started to swallow, that white throat of Leon’s begging to be explored with teeth and tongue, Gwaine thought that maybe things were looking up.
Maybe tonight, Arthur wouldn’t be the only one with something or someone up his arse.
Gwaine could only hope.