Title: Be Careful What You Wish For
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin, Gwaine/Percival
Character/s: George the manservant, Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine, Percival, Gwen, Gaius, Leon
Summary: George has always lusted after Merlin's job. After all, only the most perfect manservant should serve the king.
Word Count: 1515
Prompt: 78 Lust
Author's Notes: Thanks to deinonychus_1 for the beta. Also fills Trope Bingo square Power dynamics. Yes, it's rather a weak use of the prompt.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Recently, things had become clearer to George.
He'd not understood, at first, just why the king would want Merlin back when the man was clearly incompetent, and no amount of training in Manservant Excellence By George was ever going to change that.
George prided himself on being the most excellent manservant in all of Camelot. He had expected, if he were honest (and George was always honest, unless being so meant coming into conflict with his prime mission in life, which was to serve his master in every way possible), that once the king had experienced such service he would retain George, and that Merlin would be relegated to some kind of assistant.
It had been quite a shock when this hadn't been the case, especially when, to add insult to injury, George was told to teach Merlin how to be a more efficient servant.
Merlin was a dire servant, not fit for a minor nobleman let alone a king. He was an embarrassment to the profession, and after his performance at the banquet the previous evening where he'd spilled wine all over the floor George was quite prepared to give up on him. But he couldn't, because he had been commanded by the king to improve Merlin.
Except, judging by the sounds coming from the king's bedchamber and what George had just witnessed when he went in, Arthur didn't actually think Merlin needed any improvement and liked him just fine the way that he was. Which explained a great deal for George. Merlin might be an incompetent manservant, but he was clearly most accomplished in bed.
It was hardly model behaviour for the person who should be setting an example for all other servants to follow. George was appalled.
When things had quietened down, George crept back in. He was accomplished in the art of slipping into rooms unnoticed, like a shadow. Some people might call it sneaky, but it was simply how a manservant should behave, he thought. Useful but unobtrusive. Not like that clumsy Merlin.
Merlin was standing in the middle of the room carelessly orchestrating a rapid cleaning and tidying operation. If George had been a moment later he would never have seen it, and doubtless that was how Merlin always got away with it. But now George knew - Merlin was a sorcerer, he had cast an evil spell on the king and that was why Arthur was so blind to the excellence of George and his skills. He was also using his wicked powers to seduce the king.
It was disgraceful, and George was going to do something about it.
Although magic was banned in the kingdom, there were still those around who practiced it. Obviously Merlin did, but George wasn't going to be asking him for assistance. Instead, there was a woman in the town who was well known as a witch. Well, perhaps not well known because her skin wasn't that dark crispy texture anyone of a magical persuasion tended to get in Camelot. Anyone who wasn't Merlin anyway.
George visited her that evening, and purchased a foul-smelling potion. He drank it as instructed, and went off to bed. In the morning everything would change. It was justice, after all. The king should have the best manservant. Merlin only had his position because of trickery.
In the morning, George walked along to the king's chambers and crept inside to hide behind a curtain, waiting. Sure enough, Merlin had stayed the night again and was standing in the middle of the room stark naked. Worse, Arthur was gazing at him lovingly whilst the trickster yawned and stretched and then lazily reached out a hand towards the pile of clothing on the floor.
With delight, George watched Merlin struggling to make his now non-existent powers work again, enjoying the growing puzzlement and frustration on his face. Any moment now, George thought, the spell on the king would wear off and Merlin would be forced to flee. And then George could be manservant to the king, and bewitch his own lover. Maybe he'd even have the king, although George thought he'd prefer that handsome knight with the excellent hair if he had the choice. The things he could do with that hair...
"What are you doing, Merlin?" Arthur asked.
Merlin was making little panicked noises, and had grabbed his tunic from the floor.
"I don't know!"
"Well that's nothing new. Come back to bed if you're not going to do anything useful."
That wasn't supposed to happen. Arthur was supposed to suddenly see how evil Merlin was and come to his senses. And Merlin was going back to bed, and Arthur really didn't seem to be too bothered that it was just a rather mediocre manservant that he was evidently about to fuck into the mattress.
George was dismayed, but he wasn't finished yet. First, he used his newly acquired powers to lift up the pile of clothes from the floor and throw them at the couple. All that accomplished was for Arthur to grumble a little at Merlin, but apparently things flying around while they had sex wasn't an unusual occurrence. So George tried out the washbowl, full of cold water. It was heavier than the clothes, and slopped a little, but it was fairly easy to guide it until it was over the king's head and then to tip it.
The indignant, furious spluttering was quite satisfying, and apparently had completely cooled the king's ardour.
"Merlin, you idiot! Most people would just claim they'd got a headache!"
"I didn't do it!"
"Well it wasn't me!"
George waggled his fingers again. The canopy over the bed collapsed in on itself, leaving the couple tangled up in the coverings and bedposts, squawking indignantly and rumbling furiously.
Magic was great fun. George found he was getting bored with the stupid king and his useless servant, and decided to wander off through the castle seeing what else he could do. He'd never been mischievous, indeed he'd never really done anything that was fun, but that was about to change.
First there was Cook. She was annoying, never doing things when he asked, always being bad-tempered, mean and generally making all the servants lives a misery whenever she could. She was very surprised when the chicken she was about to start plucking suddenly sprang back to life and ran across the table. Her screams echoed throughout the kitchens. George smirked to himself.
Then he ran into that annoying Gwen. She was always singing and picking flowers and making everyone love her and generally being far too sweet and perfect. Suddenly she found herself burping. Constantly. He watched her run back to her cottage to hide.
Next he headed for the armoury. He was going to make the knights' clothes vanish, because they'd all look so much better sword fighting in the nude, especially Sir Gwaine.
But Gwaine was already naked, as was Sir Percival, and they were making good use of the armoury before the rest of the knights arrived. It was most disappointing, although Gwaine did indeed look magnificent. It seemed to George that everyone was having sex except him. He used his magic to dump a heap of manure on them, and left them to it. Gwaine's hair wouldn't look so good after that, he thought.
Instead he went in search of Sir Leon who was very neat and tidy and therefore someone whom George had always admired. A worthy, perfect nobleman. George hurried along to his quarters, hoping he wasn't already getting it on with Elyan or someone, because surely Leon would never do anything like that.
He wasn't. Shockingly it was Gaius who was emerging from Leon's room, but after a split second when George feared the worst, Gaius informed him that Sir Leon was recovering from the flu and would probably appreciate some breakfast if George wouldn't mind.
It was excellent news. He waited until Gaius had gone, conjured up a plate of food and took it in to the knight. Leon was pleased to be fed, and delighted to have his room tidied up because he liked things just as neat and tidy as George did. He even said that as he needed a manservant himself would George like the job? George didn't even need to use magic, or resort to Merlin's unwholesome methods. But he couldn't help himself; when he left Leon's rooms he just made the dirty plate vanish.
And then he saw Gaius and Merlin standing there watching him. Gaius was holding out a vial of familiar-smelling liquid, eyebrow raised way, way up.
Apparently the potion would have worn off after a day, but Gaius wouldn't let George wait. At least he no longer had to tutor Merlin because although Arthur wasn't going to punish him after hearing George's profuse and heartfelt apologies, he also didn't want him anywhere near his beloved. And George had an excellent and admirable new master in Leon, so it had really all worked out very well.
At least, it did until Gwaine found out...