Title: Chips With Everything.
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine, Lancelot, Leon, Gwen, Elyan, Percival
Summary: It was always going to be a disaster, Gwaine and fireworks. Arthur should have known.
Word Count: 1439 (um... I'm practicising for the holiday drabbles. Yes, that's this week's excuse...)
Prompt: 137 - Victory
Author's Notes: This also fills my hc_bingo square 'explosion' - that's 22/25 done. Thanks to celeste9 and deinonychus_1 for looking it over for me. God, I want a bag of hot greasy chips right now SO badly!!
Chips with Everything
The Camelot Uni football team weren’t going to win any singing contests any time soon. That didn’t stop them from inventing their own words to ‘When the Saints go marching in’ and singing along.
“We won the league… we won the league… we won the league we won the league…”
Merlin rolled his eyes. “You didn’t win any prizes for song lyrics though, did you?”
Arthur glared at his boyfriend. Sometimes, usually when Merlin was being snarky and unsupportive like this, he wondered why he put up with the big-eared, unappreciative, cheeky idiot who was grinning back at him… ah, yes, that smile was one of the reasons.
Gwaine, Leon, Lance and Elyan were carrying on with the celebratory singing though, so Arthur just shrugged and joined in, singing louder just to annoy Merlin.
Merlin wasn’t a footballer, he didn’t understand. He was very good at standing in the crowd with Lance’s enthusiastic girlfriend Gwen and cheering them on though. Well, perhaps not cheering them on as such. Perhaps just standing there looking a bit fed up, and eating chips. Merlin always tasted of chips after a match. Arthur liked chips.
“There’s going to be a victory parade!” Gwen squealed. “They’re putting on a firework display on the football pitch this evening in your honour!”
“It’s the university league,” Merlin pointed out wearily. “They haven’t won the FA cup or anything.”
“Not yet!” Arthur yelled, and then launched into another round of the lyrically-challenged singing because he knew it was annoying Merlin.
Gwaine, though, had stopped singing at the mention of fireworks.
“Fireworks?” he enquired, far too interestedly. And it was always going to be a disaster, Gwaine and fireworks. Arthur should have known. “You know, those fireworks on bonfire night were really poor. Me, I like a nice big bang…”
Merlin rolled his eyes again at the innuendo, which was, Arthur thought, a bit hypocritical because there were lots of other reasons he was dating Merlin and one of them was that there was nobody who liked a victory shag more than Merlin. In fact, Arthur hoped the parade and fireworks didn’t go on very long because he wanted to get back to their room and start celebrating in private as soon as possible.
Gwaine, though, was interested in the fireworks, and when he’d discovered from Gwen that they were in the gym storeroom, he was off, talking about ‘improving’ them.
Gwaine, and this was something that Arthur struggled to get his head around every single day, was studying chemistry. Implausibility aside, it was a fact that annoyed Arthur because it meant the roguishly handsome midfielder with his shampoo-advert shiny hair got to sit next to Merlin in class and conduct experiments, whilst Arthur was stuck in Business Studies next to Cedric, bored out of his mind. Cedric had a bit of a personal hygiene problem as well, which didn’t help. And he always, always sat next to Arthur.
“Come on,” Gwaine more or less pushed Merlin towards the gym store. Arthur could see his hopes of a quick shag before the parade vanishing rapidly. “You can help. It’ll be a celebration everyone’s going to remember!”
And, somehow, Arthur was left with the rest of his team, not really able to leave because he was the captain and they all still wanted to drink the champagne that their coach had just brought in, and talk about the match that afternoon against Mercia Uni, and Elyan’s goal, and Leon’s penalty, and how nothing could get past Percival, and oh yes, to sing some more…
It was nearly an hour later when it happened. Most of the team had showered and changed, but there was no sign of Gwaine or Merlin. Arthur had spent far too long sitting and being talked at by the dean in coach’s office (because such was the lot of being the captain. He’d hardly even had a chance to take more than a few mouthfuls of the champagne). He was just about to make his escape when there was a loud bang from somewhere else in the sports block. Somewhere that was in the vague direction of the gym store…
Arthur, along with what was left of his team, piled out into the corridor to see what had happened.
Gwaine emerged from the gym store looking slightly singed around the edges, his normally immaculate hair all over the place.
“Are you okay?” Leon was at his side in a heartbeat, all concern.
Gwaine shrugged a little sheepishly. “I’m fine. Maybe those last two were a bit too big to combine…”
There was another loud bang from the storeroom, then another, and suddenly it sounded as if all hell was breaking loose in there. Leon quickly pulled the door shut and turned the lock.
“You idiot!” Arthur growled at Gwaine, who was gingerly touching his hair. “It’s setting all the others off!”
“I’ll call the fire brigade,” Lance got his mobile out and started dialling. “The victory parade might be off…”
“Everyone out!” Coach yelled. “Now!”
Everyone started to leave, but Arthur paused, looking around. “Where’s Merlin?”
Gwaine was already too far away to hear him over the noise, Leon half dragging, half carrying him out. Arthur looked back at the closed door, where there were a frightening number of explosions going off.
“Oh my god!” Arthur grabbed the door handle and rattled it. “Lance! Get the key! Merlin might be in there!”
He heard his fellow striker gasp in horror, and then a commotion behind him as numerous people ran for help, but Arthur didn’t wait. He hurtled at the door, shouting for Merlin, trying to break it down but only getting bruises for his trouble. The noise inside the room was terrifyingly loud, every firework in the place had to be going up.
Leon ran up to him. “Arthur, stop! Gwaine says Merlin went to take a piss, he’s not in there, stop!”
It took a moment for the words to sink in, then he turned to look at Leon. “Is he outside?”
“Well… no, but he’s not in there either. Gwaine’s sure.”
Gwaine was going to have an appointment with Arthur’s fist if he came anywhere near him anytime soon. But that wasn’t important.
Elyan came down the corridor a few moments later, followed by their huge goalkeeper, Percival. “He’s not in the bog, I just checked.”
Arthur stared at him in horror, then back at the door. There was smoke curling up from the gap underneath.
“No, Arthur,” Leon urged. “Come on, the building’s on fire. Gwen’s trying to reach him on his phone. We need to get out. Gwaine’s sure he’s not in there.”
In the end Percival pretty much carried him out, helped by Leon and Elyan. Arthur would have run back in but Percival put a stop to that by sitting on him.
“Let me up!” Arthur snarled. He could hear the fire engines in the distance. “Merlin’s still in there! I need to go back in!”
“What are you doing?”
Arthur looked around at the familiar voice. Merlin was standing there behind him, eating a bag of chips and watching him curiously.
“Is this some weird football ritual?”
Percival laughed, and freed Arthur, who scrambled to his feet and rushed over to Merlin. “Where have you been?” he gasped, crushing his boyfriend against him.
“Chips,” Merlin squeaked. “You’re squashing them!”
“I thought you were still in there!” Arthur could feel hot greasy chips against his shirt, but he didn’t care.
Merlin stared past him at the sports block, which now had a column of dark smoke rising from it. “Oh.”
“Is that all you can say?”
“Is Gwaine okay?” Merlin ventured.
“Only until I get hold of him! I thought you were in there!” Arthur repeated. “I thought…”
“I wasn’t,” Merlin assured him quickly. Arthur’s concern seemed to have got through to him. “Gwaine was messing about and I was hungry… sorry.” He looked over at the sports hall again, then back at Arthur, a little half-smile playing about his mouth. “You were worried about me.”
Arthur was in no mood for their usual games. He still hadn’t released Merlin. “I thought you’d been hurt or worse.”
“Well…” Merlin snuggled in closer, managing to move the chips before they were completely ruined. “I’m fine.”
Arthur ignored the ache in his arm and side, and just concentrated on making absolutely sure that Merlin really was fine, and then maybe later he could get himself some sympathy for the bruises he knew were going to start appearing soon.
Merlin still tasted of chips. Arthur thought he might have become addicted.