Title: The Truth is out there
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin, Gwaine/Quite a lot of people
Character/s: Arthur, Gwaine, Leon, Gwen, Lance, Merlin, Morgana, Percival
Summary: It was the very worst holiday in the history of bad holidays, ever...
Warnings: Age difference
Word Count: 1629 (sorry, got carried away)
Author's Notes: Written for camelot_drabble prompt 164 - Truth. Also for merlin_writers trope bingo squares 'Games night' and 'best friend's older brother/father' (that's 5/25 done. )
Disclaimer:Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons.
Here on A03
The Truth Is Out There
“It’s the worst holiday in the history of bad holidays, ever,” Arthur declared. He looked at Gwaine when he said it, because after all it was all Gwaine’s fault. “Come to Wales,” Gwaine had said. “We can go hiking and hang gliding and stuff. It’ll be fun,” he’d said.
It wasn’t fun. They’d rented a self-catering cottage in the middle of nowhere, so remote that the shopping delivery from Asda had struggled to find them. The dishwasher in the cottage was broken so they’d actually had to wash up by hand. And – horror - self-catering meant they had to cook.
Arthur wasn’t very good at cooking. He’d offered to take them all to the local pub (four miles away) and buy everyone dinner but no, they’d all insisted he cook. By himself, despite Merlin’s offers to help.
Well, the resulting inedible mess served them right, really. If they’d only let Merlin help him, it would have been just fine. And less stressful for Arthur. And they wouldn’t have to pay the owner for the burnt patch on the kitchen ceiling.
Cooking wasn’t the worst thing though. There were also the dire sleeping arrangements which had Merlin in with Leon and Lance, and Arthur in with Percival and Gwaine. Gwen and Morgana had the third room and had spent the whole of the previous night gossiping. Arthur knew this, because Percival and Gwaine both snored and he couldn’t sleep, and every now and then there was the distinctive loud caw of his sister’s laugh. She was probably laughing at him, that particularly nasty laugh was usually aimed in his direction.
Merlin had emerged looking rested and adorably ruffled, and had given him a sleepy smile across the breakfast table. Perhaps Arthur shouldn’t have scowled at him, but then he wouldn’t have got that cute wounded puppy look in return, which was more adorable than it really should be.
They’d had plans, Merlin and himself. When the cottage had proved smaller than expected (Gwaine had booked the wrong one) and they’d been split up (well it wasn’t as if they’d actually told their friends they were together, but that was Gwaine’s fault too as he’d just be too smug and claim he knew all along) they had decided to go off hiking for the day and get lost.
That didn’t work.
The first day, Leon and Lance revealed that they’d done all sorts of Boy Scout orienteering things in their youth, and were absolute experts on following maps and compasses and things. One led the way, the other followed at the rear, and there was no chance at all to sneak off. Arthur knew, he’d tried several times.
On the second day it rained. It wasn’t just a light drizzle, it was a full-on storm that went on all day, all night and all into the third day as well. This was when Arthur declared it the worst of all holidays.
“We could go home?” Leon suggested, staring out of the window at the endless rain.
“Never!” Gwaine declared. “We can make our own fun!”
Arthur had a horrible feeling when he heard that. Gwaine had some strange ideas about what constituted fun.
“We can,” Gwaine continued, “have a games night.”
“We could have a beer night?” Arthur suggested, but nobody was listening to him.
“I love games,” Gwen beamed, and of course Lance, that traitor, just agreed with her because he always did.
Morgana agreed, most likely because she could see how little Arthur liked the idea. She’d probably never played any of Gwaine’s games before and didn’t know what she was letting herself in for. She’d learn.
“Not Name That Dick again,” Leon pleaded. “Nothing with photographs of body parts at all. Or that one with the sundae spoon and the glove. That hurt, Gwaine!”
Leon was Arthur’s favourite person in the room, definitely. Apart from Merlin, but he didn’t count because of the boyfriend thing. He could see Lance was reconsidering as well, glancing at Gwen’s bright and happy face a little worriedly.
“Maybe it’s not such a good idea,” Lance began. “Nothing physical, Gwaine.”
Gwaine did look a bit disappointed at that, and Arthur wondered what his sick little mind had come up with. He’d have to ask later. It wasn’t as if he was going to get any sleep, stuck between the two epic snorers.
“Okay, what about two truths and a lie,” Gwaine suggested. “Just to start things off.”
“Bit boring,” Morgana told him. “I was told your game nights were fun, Gwaine.”
“Painful,” Leon corrected. “They were painful.” But it was too late, Arthur could see Gwaine’s expression turn just a little calculating.
“Of course, we’d have to make it interesting…”
It was the worst game of two truths and a lie ever.
Gwaine had put all their names into a bowl, many times over. They had to pick a name and come up with two truths and a lie about that person. If it turned out to be three truths, or more than one lie, then you were out. But being out didn’t exclude you from having someone pick your name again and again and come up with two or three truths about you.
Gwen started it off. She picked Lance’s name.
“Lance wants to be a doctor, he broke his leg playing football when he was nine, and he loves garlic!”
Leon frowned. “They’re all true. Which one’s the lie?”
“He hates garlic.”
“He loves garlic, curry anything stinky really,” Arthur told her. “Took part in a chilli-eating contest once. Regretted it for a week.”
“Probably doesn’t eat it around you in case you won’t snog him,” Gwaine pointed out. “You’re out. Lance, your turn. Make them a bit more interesting than that, mate.”
Gwen glared at him but Gwaine shrugged, unrepentant.
Lance drew Leon’s name. The two of them looked worriedly at each other.
“Leon… uh… has a scout badge in orienteering…”
“Oh for god’s sake!” Gwaine grabbed the piece of paper. “This is how you do it. Leon has a strawberry birthmark on his left buttock…”
“… he wanks off looking at pictures of Morgana from that charity swimming thing she did…”
“I do not,” Leon protested weakly. Morgana, Arthur noticed, didn’t say anything but just regarded Leon appraisingly.
“… and he sucked me off in the shower once when he lost a bet.”
“Oh my god!” Arthur didn’t think he’d ever seen Leon go so red. “Gwaine, you worm, you promised…”
“Never trust Gwaine,” Arthur advised, thankful Gwaine hadn’t pulled his name out.
“So the photo’s the lie?” Lance attempted.
“Nope, it’s the right buttock not left! You’re out! Leon,” Gwaine pushed the bowl towards him. “Your turn. I’ll do the truths and lies for you if you like.”
Leon, face still burning, grabbed a couple of papers, looked at them, dropped one and held up the other. “Gwaine.”
“Cheating. What’s this one you picked first?” Gwaine snatched up the other paper. “Ah, Arthur. I’ll do you,” he winked. “Arthur’s a really noisy bottom and makes a funny wailing noise when he comes. He thinks we don’t know he’s been shagging Merlin for months, and number three is that the walls to Arthur’s room at uni are really, really thick.”
Arthur looked over at Merlin, who was blushing almost as hard as Leon. Leon, Arthur’s good friend who was now getting the predator stare from a clearly interested Morgana. If Leon/Morgana happened then Arthur was going to have to stop being friends with Leon. And Merlin was looking mortified. All Gwaine’s fault.
Fine. It was on. It was really, really on.
“My turn, I think,” Arthur said. “Leon, I think you have the next name drawn for me already?”
Gwaine just smirked, because he thought there was nothing Arthur knew about him that he wouldn’t freely admit to doing himself. Gwaine seemed to have forgotten that they shared several classes at uni. And that they’d roomed together for a few months before the Dean (who just happened to be Arthur’s father too) had decided Arthur would be better off away from Gwaine and arranged for him to have his own room. No, Arthur knew many things about Gwaine that he suspected Gwaine didn’t think he knew.
“Do your worst,” Gwaine told him. “Free advertising.”
Okay. “The A grades Gwaine gets from Professor Morgause aren’t because of the quality of his essays.”
Gwaine just shrugged. “Not much of a secret. She’s pretty hot.”
“Neither are the ones from Professor Agravaine, who really isn’t.”
There were a few gasps and several ewws from around the room but quite a lot of laughter too. Gwaine did look slightly sheepish for a moment, but then just shrugged again. “I like variety. I earn those As!”
“Oh my god!” Arthur wasn’t sure who said that. Could have been several of them.
“That’s gross,” Gwen said, but she was laughing. Gwaine looked totally unrepentant.
“He probably shags the dean too!” Merlin put in, laughing too. “That’s how he’s managed not to get thrown out for all the stunts he’s pulled!”
Arthur laughed, though the ridiculous idea was disgusting. He stopped as soon as he noticed the way his sister was looking at Gwaine. “No!”
Gwaine shrugged yet again. “Aim high. He’s a bit of a silver fox, your dad.”
Morgana screamed. Arthur felt like joining her. Gwaine actually looked quite pleased with himself.
“You’re out, Arthur. My turn. I’m going to win at this rate!”
Arthur just stared at him, then at Morgana. He knew he was reflecting back the horrified revulsion he could see in her expression.
It was indeed the very worst holiday in the history of bad holidays, ever. But not anywhere near as bad as returning home would be…