Title: Three's (Usually) a Crowd
Pairing/s: implied Arthur/Gwen, Gwaine/OC
Character/s: Gwaine, Gwen, Morgana, OC's
Summary: Gwen, Morgana, and Merlin help Gwaine over his broken engagement... sort of...
Word Count: 936
Author's Notes: Part 3 of the "Stag By the Horns" series (it's a series now, apparently XD -- parts 1 and 2 found by clicking the 1 or the 2). This one's inspired by the not-really-a-prompt by mustbethursday3 in the comments to part 2, "In the Hay"-- "an Anti-Bachelor party fic where the Girls (and Merlin) try and cheer him up and do things he likes to do...and it gets out of hand." I usually try not to write follow-ups that require readers to be familiar with previous fics, but in this case, it's needed. :D
Gwaine slumped over the table, still managing not to spill any of the ale in his hand. "How could she have called off the wedding?" he mumbled.
Gwen and Morgana exchanged a look. "You mean, the wedding you missed whilst you were drunk and getting another woman's name tattooed on your back?" Morgana asked dryly.
"'s not like nobody's ever done that before," he replied.
She rolled her eyes. Gwen sighed, half-wishing Arthur had argued that she should be a part of this, even if she agreed with him that the whole thing might have been avoided had she not had so much to drink at the stag night.
"An' no tellin' if Florie really is with child yet." He tossed back the contents of the cup he held. "Y'need more'n two days, right?"
The look he gave Gwen was so pathetic, she would likely have agreed even if it was not true. "Yes, you do." She patted him awkwardly on the shoulder.
"Can I leave yet?" Morgana snapped suddenly. The look Gwaine turned on her was more pathetic than the one he had given Gwen. Morgana really did not care, and was tempted to simply dump him on the floor when he slumped sadly on her shoulder, but was interrupted when Merlin shoved his way through the crowd, back over to their table. In either hand, he clutched a large pitcher of ale, which sloshed over as he was jostled by a large man behind them.
"I've got the drinks!" he said with too much cheer, obviously trying to make Gwaine feel better. "I, uh, also arranged something I think you'll like."
They all looked where he gestured, to an area that was clearing in front of their table. It soon became clear that Merlin had apparently had too much to drink already, when a line of barmaids paraded in and began dancing along with a musician playing a cittern, for Gwaine-- and Morgana and Gwen by default, as well as Merlin now that he had rejoined them.
Gwen's eyes went wide, then averted even as she tried not to laugh. Morgana watched with a cross between surprise and disdain at being stuck there. Merlin grinned back and forth between the dancers and Gwaine.
Gwaine stared in horror, recognizing two of the "barmaids."
They quickly spotted him, as well.
"Gwaine! My love!" Florie suddenly shrieked, launching her petite self in his direction.
Meanwhile, the tall, lithe Ragnelle simply stopped dancing and glared at him. Flipping a red curl over her shoulder, she declared, "I knew it. You're not single for two days before you're amusing yourself with barmaids. Again." Her eyes narrowed as they went to Florie, blocked in her pursuit of Gwaine by the throng of taverngoers.
Gwaine was trying to get to his feet, but the crowds and his drunken state were not helping him. "It's not like that," he protested, although it was unclear whether he was directing that at his former betrothed-- or at Florie.
"It's time to go," Gwen stated, rising more easily than she might have done two days ago, since she was actually sober this time.
Morgana leaned back on her bench. "Are you kidding? This is finally getting interesting," she grinned.
Merlin exchanged a look with Gwen. "I can't lift him," he hissed at her.
"I know. Together?"
"I suppose I shouldn't be surprised," Ragnelle continued. "My mother always told me not to trust a man who tried to lure you into bed on first meeting."
"Glad I wasn't raised by your mother," Florie shot back, frustrated in her attempts to reach the re-slumped Gwaine. "The first night I met him was the best of my life."
It was either the worst thing she could say-- or the best, if she was actually trying to pick a fight. "That was supposed to be my wedding night!" Ragnelle cried.
Florie was definitely trying to pick a fight. "Things change," she shrugged.
Fortunately, quite a crowd had sprung up between the women, so Ragnelle could not reach Florie right away. (The other barmaids had dispersed when the whole thing started, figuring their chances of turning a profit were better with other patrons. The musician, on the other hand, might as well have been a further instigator in the brewing brouhaha, considering the battle-like tune emerging from his instrument just then.)
Gwen nodded to Merlin. "Together." Turning to Morgana as she grabbed Gwaine's left side, she asked, "Can't you do anything?"
Ragnelle was reaching for Florie's throat.
"I haven't been this entertained in months," Morgana informed Gwen.
Gwen grimaced as she and Merlin hauled Gwaine to a standing position. "I thought your only purpose in life was to destroy Arthur, Camelot, and me?"
Morgana was still watching as Florie ripped Ragnelle's headpiece off, but was apparently thinking. "That's true."
It was Gwen's turn to roll her eyes, this time at Merlin, who gave her a sympathetic look. "And what could this possibly do to accomplish your goal?"
Ragnelle shoved Florie into a seasoned barmaid, not one of the original dancers, who whirled around with a loud, "OI!"
"Nothing," Morgana finally admitted. "Oh, very well." With a wave of her hand, everyone was sent flying backward into a massive pile of drunken humanity.
Gwen froze. "I did not mean for you to do that!" she exclaimed.
"They're all alive," Morgana grumbled.
"I'd take that as a win," Merlin quickly cut in, adjusting the grip he had on Gwaine.
Gwen shook her head. "Let's just get him home."
As they lugged the drunken knight toward the door, Morgana asked, "What, no thank you?"