Title: Scratching an Itch
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine
Summary: When Arthur goes looking for Gwaine in a brothel, Arthur blunders into the wrong room and finds Merlin instead.
Word Count: 1230
Camelot_drabble Prompt: pt 449: wrong number
Author's Notes: unbetaed, sorry about the length
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Where the hell was Gwaine?
The reprobate had already missed the last council meeting of the day and Arthur had a million things to do that didn’t include tracking the arse down so that Arthur could give him a thorough telling off. He deserved it, too.
Gwaine had been whispering to Merlin a lot lately and whenever those two got together, trouble seemed to follow. Not that Merlin couldn’t fall into disaster all on his own. That was pretty much inevitable, what with him tripping over his own feet or trying to scare away bandits with a sour look or a bit of hand-waving. It was ridiculous really.
But Arthur made a mistake this time, sending Merlin to try and find Gwaine. Now they were both missing. And Arthur was wasting his precious time tracking them down.
Following their trail, going from tavern to tavern, each one worse than the last, finally, he was able to track them down to the Rough-Faced Shag drinking hole. With its interior full of ruffians, the smell not much better than the cesspit on a summer’s day, Arthur didn’t see either of them, but the barkeep pointed upstairs. To the brothel. Told Arthur that Gwaine was in room 6, enjoying the fruits of his labour.
Arthur just hoped that Gwaine hadn’t brought Merlin with him, that he’d sent him home. His idiot manservant was a notorious lightweight with drink, and even worse, was as innocent as the day was long. Hell, that stupid unicorn let Merlin pet him and everyone knew what that meant.
Stomping upstairs, the hallway dark and dank, full of sounds of grunts and cries of pleasure, Arthur could hardly see the door numbers. Finally spotting the 6 swinging on the door, he shoved his way in, yelling at Gwaine.
“Where the hell is Merlin, you wanker? It’s bad enough….” Arthur started to scan the shabby room, expecting Gwaine with his shiny hair and naked buttocks importuning some unfortunate girl, but he stopped short.
There on the bed, blinking up at him, was Merlin. Naked except for his neckerchief half-draped across his groin. Drunk.
Smiling up at Arthur with the sloppy grin of a gormless idiot. “Oh, I’mmm here? Gwaine said he’d get someone… to show me… how it’s done. I wanted Arth’r to… but he’s… prat. Doesn’t want me. Are you a prat, too? You look like… him.”
Arthur wanted to kill Gwaine. Bringing Merlin to a brothel of all things. Leaving him here like this. Stepping into the room, closing the door so that no one else could see Merlin all bare and loose-limbed, Arthur looked around for Merlin’s clothes.
Still babbling, Merlin looked lovely in the candlelight. “Good ol’ Gwaine. He knew. Prat with his… golden hair and his… thighs. I get to see… Arth’r all… naked. Gods… I want to… lick… don’t tell him, shhh.” He put his finger over his mouth, as if keeping a secret. “Arth’r doesn’t want me.” His eyes closing, Merlin said softly, “Do you?”
Arthur did, hell, he’d wanted Merlin for ages. But not like this, not with him drunk, half-asleep and likely not remembering any of it in the morning.
He would scream at Gwaine later. Right now, all Arthur could do was help Merlin back into his clothes and guide him home to sleep it off.
Manhandling Merlin, shoving his trousers onto him, all the while Merlin fighting him because he kept mumbling about wanting to be wanted, Arthur finally got to the stage where Merlin had his boots on when Gwaine showed up.
“Merlin… whoa, Princess, didn’t know you cared.” He didn’t say anything else because Arthur punched him.
As Gwaine glared at him from the floor, rubbing at his jaw, Merlin screeched, “Don’t… Gwaine’s helping me.” He stumbled up and started pulling at Arthur’s arm, but then stopped and leaned into Arthur’s chest. “Hummm, nice.”
Curling his arm around Merlin’s waist to keep him from falling over, Arthur snarled out at Gwaine, “Merlin isn’t a plaything, you bastard. You can’t just leave him alone in a brothel all naked and alone. Someone could take advantage of him.”
“I was helping.” Gwaine scrambled up but kept out of Arthur’s reach. “He told me that he’d never… well, you know, and I thought I’d cheer him up. I was just talking to the innkeeper about getting someone to help. You know, with things.”
“And you didn’t want to help him with things yourself? You’ve been sniffing around him for days. Hell, months.” Arthur’s glare would have killed lesser men.
“Merlin told me no. I respect that,” Gwaine yelled. “Said he loved someone else, but that the arse didn’t want him, so I figured I’d have a professional take care of him.”
“If anyone is going to take care of him, it will be me,” Arthur said, all the while fending off Merlin’s hands which had become a bit wandery. It didn’t help that Merlin was nuzzling Arthur’s neck. It made it very hard to be furious at Gwaine with Merlin all snuggling and warm against Arthur.
Gwaine’s smirk made Arthur want to punch him again. And his words, too, as Gwaine said, gleeful and knowing, “Well, well, now, I didn’t know you had it in you, princess. Taking care of him.” He snickered a little when Merlin’s hand brushed against Arthur’s prick and Arthur had to bat it away. Gwaine’s smirk turned into a leer. “Or should I say you might have it in him. You talk about his little bottom often enough.”
“That’s not…,” Arthur growled out, then yelped when Merlin grabbed Arthur’s backside and squeezed. Letting him go, Arthur grabbed onto Merlin’s tunic and shoved it over his head. While Merlin was grumbling about it, Arthur gathered up the rest of Merlin’s things, then started pushing him toward the door “We’re leaving.”
Gwaine yelled after Arthur, “Don’t leave it too long, princess. Merlin’s got an itch and if you don’t scratch it, he’ll find someone who will.”
As they stumbled down the stairs, Arthur looked back to see Gwaine shutting the door and frowning at the number before turning it back up to a 9. Hell, he’d gotten the numbers wrong looking for Gwaine, and it was sheer luck that he’d found Merlin, but he thanked his lucky stars for it. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t.
Merlin was none the wiser. He was still trying to burrow into Arthur, holding onto him, his nose buried in Arthur’s neck, one hand warming Arthur’s arse, the other grabbing at Arthur’s prick. Arthur had no idea that Merlin could be so handsy. He was having trouble fending him off while navigating their way out of the tavern and into the street. Finally, giving up, Arthur hoisted Merlin over his shoulder and started back toward the castle. Merlin groaned a little, then played with Arthur’s buttocks while Arthur tried not to get too excited about what he’d seen of Merlin at the brothel.
Gwaine was right about one thing. Merlin wasn’t the only one with an itch.
As Arthur carried Merlin up to his room and laid him down on the narrow cot, Merlin smiling up at him with love in his eyes, then turning over and settling into sleep, Arthur knew that tomorrow would bring questions and answers.
Arthur just hoped the answers would all be yes.