Title: Don't Talk, Just Dance
Character/s: Gwaine, Merlin
Summary: Camelot's resident ladies' man doesn't seem quite himself at the royal wedding banquet.
Word Count: 626
Prompt: #57 - Dance
Author's Notes: I wanted to write something lighter for a change, and couldn't get this idea about Gwaine out of my head! Unbeta'd, whoops.
The nobles of Camelot drifted across the hall in pairs, dressed in their fine silk garments, a flurry of crimson and purple and green and blue moving in time with the music. They made a lovely spectacle, but Gwaine’s eyes kept drifting back to his king and queen, the newly married couple whose wedding they were celebrating that night. Arthur held Gwen closely and gently, one hand on her waist and the other hand holding one of hers. He whispered something into her ear, and she threw her head back in laughter.
The knight smiled at the sight and leaned back into his chair, downing the rest of his wine.
“Gwaine? What are you still doing here?” It was Merlin, pitcher in hand. He looked happy, but then again, Gwaine thought, almost everyone did. There were some members of the court who didn’t seem entirely comfortable with the idea of their king marrying a maidservant, but those who really mattered to the couple shared their joy.
“Enjoying very good wine and a very comfortable seat,” Gwaine quipped, raising his cup. Merlin filled it carefully.
“So comfortable that you wouldn’t part with it all night? I find it strange not to find you working your charm on the women.” He cocked his head toward the tables across the hall. “Look, even Percival’s doing some mingling.”
Gwaine shook his head. “Those are noblewomen, Merlin. Nice to look at, but their conversation bores me. Besides, if I start talking to one at this point, she’s going to assume that I want to dance with her.”
Merlin’s forehead wrinkled slightly. “And? Is that a bad thing?”
“Oh yes, it is.”
“Doesn’t it solve your problem? You know. ‘Don’t talk, just dance.’”
“Talking isn’t the problem, Merlin.” Gwaine sighed. “Dancing is.”
“I said, dancing is.”
Merlin’s eyebrows shot up, and Gwaine looked around quickly for a distraction. He found a bowl of fruit, popped a grape into his mouth, and chewed in silence while Merlin stared at him incredulously.
“Are you saying you can’t dance?”
Gwaine put a finger to his lips, nodded sheepishly and busied himself with more grapes.
“Oh, come on. You were born a noble. Surely you had a tutor who taught you how to dance.”
“Doesn’t mean I learned anything,” Gwaine replied. “I kept stepping on the tutor’s feet. My brother felt sorry for the tutor, and he told me that if I wanted to skip the lessons, he’d make up excuses for me.”
Merlin beamed. “You… have a brother.”
“Yes. His name’s Gareth. He was always the more refined of us two, the nobler one. And I was always the wilder one.” Gwaine took a sip of wine, and a wistful look came over his face, something Merlin didn’t see very often. “He danced with noblemen’s daughters; I danced with our cooks and servants.”
“Well, it’s the best way to get extra helpings of pie and cheese.”
The two of them burst into laughter. There was no more wistfulness now, only a glint of mischief in Gwaine’s eyes.
“Well then, if you don’t care for the cajolery of nobles, maybe you’d like to get another slice of pie instead.” Merlin’s eyes looked straight ahead. Gwaine followed his gaze, and saw a maidservant holding a basket of pie on the other side of the hall. She had been looking at him, but quickly lowered her gaze when he turned her way.
Mischief turned into interest, and Gwaine’s face lit up even more. “Pie sounds great.” He stood up and started to walk across the hall, but stopped. He spun around to face Merlin.
“I trust you not to divulge my greatest incompetence.”
Merlin grinned. “Of course, sir. Your secret’s safe with me.”