Title: Viva Las Vegas
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, George, Geoffrey
Summary: Both Arthur and Merlin were clearly very, very drunk. And normally Geoffrey would turn people away, because getting married was a serious business, and he was a professional. Dressed in an Elvis costume.
Word Count: 2618 (sorry)
Author's Notes: Written for camelot_drabble prompt 176 - '18', and also fills the 'forced/accidental marriage' square of my merlin_writers trope bingo (that's 20/25 done) and the 'marriage' square of my trope_bingo round 5 card (that's 9/25 done).
This is the seventh part of the 'Impressions' series, which can all be found on A03 here.
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.
I'm very late posting, so it's also here on A03
Viva Las Vegas
Geoffrey Monmouth had led a fairly boring and nondescript life until one day, eighteen years ago, he had gone on holiday with some friends… well, one friend anyway.
Actually it was more of an acquaintance, someone he knew in passing. They sometimes sat at the same table in the office canteen, and occasionally nodded hello to each other. This person had been sitting at Geoffrey’s table and reading the staff newsletter. On the back page, ringed in red pen, was an advert for a discounted trip with the company social club to Vegas.
Geoffrey had never been to Vegas. It had always sounded a bit glittery and exciting, and not terribly him. But he’d recently been dumped by his boyfriend, for being boring and unexciting and not at all glittery, so in a fit of what was for Geoffrey complete madness, he signed up for the trip. It had been a life-changing experience.
There had been an Elvis convention going on at the time. Somehow Geoffrey had got persuaded to try his hand at Karaoke, and then buoyed up with his success there had entered a competition for best Elvis. It had been a makeshift costume from a hire shop, but that hadn’t mattered. He was a natural, and apparently had a great singing voice. He got offered a slot singing at one of the clubs. And then one of the chapels had been hiring.
Geoffrey never returned to his old job. The last 18 years had been amazing. He loved singing, he loved the limelight… he loved the jewel-encrusted white jumpsuit and black wig he got to wear. And he loved all the weddings he got to preside over. He often wished Gaius could see him now, so that Geoffrey could point out just which of them was the most boring and unexciting. Did Gaius have a diamante white jumpsuit? No he did not, and his singing voice was horrible.
Geoffrey was just mulling over whether he should fly home for the British Elvis Competition, and send Gaius an anonymous invitation so that he could see just what he was missing, when George came rushing into the chapel.
George was Geoffrey’s favourite at the Camelot Hotel. He loved organisation and always had all the weddings and receptions that he sent Geoffrey’s way meticulously planned. He reminded Geoffrey of a younger version of himself, before his life had taken a turn for the better. He was like an adopted son. Sadly, George couldn’t sing, so was never going to be able to follow in his footsteps. That saddened Geoffrey, so he always made an extra effort to ensure any wedding arranged by George went extra-well.
George always referred to Geoffrey as if he were the king, as that was how he’d first been introduced. Geoffrey had tried to explain that it wasn’t quite the same sort of king, but that always seemed to go over George’s head.
“George,” Geoffrey drawled as best he could, given that he hailed from Hampshire. “What’s up?”
“Emergency wedding! Huge mistake in the booking! I’ve got a couple in the Newlywed Love Suite and they’re not married! I’ve booked them into the chapel for nine tonight and I need someone to perform the ceremony. I know you’re booked in at the Palace for 10.30, but could you please, just this once…”
“Can’t they marry tomorrow? I’ve got a slot at 11.15.”
“A night in the Newlywed Love Suite!” George wailed. “We can’t be seen to allow unmarrieds in there. Think of the scandal if it got out! I’d be sacked for sure.”
Geoffrey could probably fit it in. “Book me a limo outside at 9.30,” he relented. “Seeing as it’s you.”
George beamed happily at him. “Thank you! Here’s their details,” he thrust some papers at Geoffrey. “I’ll have them here in plenty of time.”
And then he was gone, rushing off to doubtless sort someone else’s booking out. Geoffrey glanced at the papers. Arthur Pendragon’s name meant nothing to him, but Merlin Emrys sounded familiar. He’d only ever met one Merlin in his life, it was Gaius’s annoying little nephew. And if Geoffrey wasn’t mistaken, his surname had been Emrys. It had been eighteen years, so he’d probably be in his early to mid-twenties now.
There couldn’t possibly be two people with the same ridiculous name. And his favourite uncle was bound to be in attendance.
Geoffrey started to polish his most sparkly jumpsuit. He’d show Gaius who was boring…
Arthur was enjoying his afternoon off. Merlin had made him watch a stupid comedy on the massive TV in their room, drink a lot of champagne and eat anything they fancied from room service. It was much better than working. Plus he was sprawled across a huge bed with Merlin, who wasn’t going out with Gwaine after all, and had eagerly accepted sharing a room with Arthur. Admittedly that was because the other option was the odious photographer Cenred, but Arthur was just going to ignore that part.
“We need more champagne,” Arthur grumbled as he emptied the last of the third bottle into Merlin’s glass. “You’re my assistant, you should assist,” he added imperiously. “Order more.”
“I want a pay rise,” Merlin grumbled. “You drank most of that bottle.”
That was highly unfair, because Arthur was sure he’d poured most of it into Merlin’s glass, and Merlin was guzzling it down as if it were Coca Cola or something. Still, Merlin probably deserved a pay rise anyway, for all the hassle Morgana was giving him this trip.
Merlin raised an eyebrow, then quickly flicked through to the room menu and ordered another bottle of champagne.
“What?” Arthur had been distracted by how deftly Merlin’s fingers flew over the keypad. They were very clever fingers. Very long, elegant fingers.
“My pay rise. How much am I getting?”
Arthur couldn’t be bothered to think about such things. “Whatever. You can sort it out when we get back.”
“I can sort out my own pay rise?”
“Can I just put a zero on the end?”
Arthur thought about it. “That would be nothing.”
“Yes,” Merlin agreed. “I’ll do that then.” He looked very happy. Arthur wondered if he should add two zeros instead. That would be double nothing. “That’ll be more than Gwen.”
“Serve her right,” Arthur agreed. It was Gwen’s fault Merlin was lying there next to him, she was the one who’d arranged this room booking. There was a stray rose petal in Merlin’s hair, and Arthur stared at it. It looked sort of adorable. Though perhaps that was just Merlin, lying there on his stomach looking round at Arthur. “This is all her fault.” Perhaps he should send her flowers.
“Probably more your sister,” Merlin pointed out. “She wants us to get married. She told me.”
It wasn’t Morgana’s worst idea ever.
“You know what we should do,” Arthur said slowly, because he had a brilliant plan and he wanted to savour the moment.
“Order even more champagne?” Merlin suggested, picking up the empty bottle and tipping it up hopefully.
“Yes, do that,” Arthur agreed, wondering where room service were with the bottle they’d just ordered. A back up bottle would be good. “But I have an even better idea.”
Merlin rolled over onto his back and looked up at Arthur. There were crushed rose petals stuck to his shirt. “More nachos?”
Merlin had eaten most of Arthur’s nachos, and Arthur was quite tempted.
“That too. But no, we should show Morgana and Gwen.”
“Show them,” Merlin repeated. “Yes. They’re very bad people.”
“Horrible. So, we should do the… the…” Arthur waved a hand at the screen. “The wedding thing.” He beamed at Merlin, feeling very pleased with himself. “That’ll show them!”
Merlin laughed. “Their faces would be so great! Best joke ever!”
“We should do it! What’s the time?”
Merlin peered at his watch. “Nearly 6. Three hours. We can call them and they’ll get back just in time after the show finishes.”
“Oh no,” Arthur assured him. “They can watch it all on the DVD afterwards. It all gets recorded, look.” He reached over to the bedside table and picked up the helpful hotel brochure. “Witnesses, DVD, 15 photos with Elvis.”
“Mum loves Elvis,” Merlin told him again. “Does he sing on the DVD?”
Arthur read the details. “You get a… hah hah… a stuffed hound dog keepsake toy!”
Merlin sat up and read over his shoulder. “15 poses with Elvis during and after the ceremony… oh look! You can get an Elvis wedding cake as well! That’s really tacky…”
“Because an Elvis wedding isn’t tacky at all, Mer-lin.”
“We wouldn’t really be married, right?” Merlin checked, still looking at the page. “It’s just a tourist thing they do?”
Well of course it was. Arthur looked at the page again. No, that couldn’t be a proper wedding. Elvis weddings were a joke. “It’s not going to be a legal wedding, it’s an Elvis impersonator. So we should do it. Yes?”
Merlin nodded enthusiastically. “Mum’s going to love it when she sees the DVD…”
At nine, on the dot, Geoffrey’s latest couple walked into the chapel.
Walked was probably the wrong word. Staggered was closer to the truth. They’d managed to dress themselves smartly enough, those designer suits screamed money, as did the fact that they’d ordered all the extras on the wedding package. He had to sing three songs. Three!
He looked past them, waiting for the stream of guests that he was hoping would accompany them. But there was only George, looking as worried as he always did at these things.
The young man who had been identified as Merlin bore no resemblance to Hunith Emrys. Geoffrey checked the papers again, just in case he was mistaken. But no, there was no doubt. It was Gaius’ favourite nephew. Geoffrey had never met the father, presumably Merlin took after him.
Both Arthur and Merlin were clearly very, very drunk. And normally Geoffrey would turn people away, because getting married was a serious business, and he was a professional. Dressed in an Elvis costume. But this was a chance that he could hardly pass up. If they were getting married on impulse then Gaius would be so annoyed at missing the opportunity to give Merlin away. Plus, when the happy couple got home with the DVD of the event and showed it to their families, Gaius would get to see exactly who had carried out the wedding. Admittedly Geoffrey would have to remove the wig and sunglasses right at the end to make sure he was recognised, and that would be a little odd, but it would be worth it.
Geoffrey started off with a fine rendition of ‘It’s Now or Never,’ adding in a few extra swivels of his hips for good measure. Then he welcomed them to the chapel of love, trying to ignore their drunken laughter, and started the ceremony.
“Dearly Beloved,” he began. “We are gathered here today to witness the exchange of solemn vows between Arthur and Merlin. If there are any suspicious minds here present it's time to speak now or never.”
Geoffrey gazed round the chapel pointedly. He heard Merlin trying to cover a giggle. Still an annoying little brat, then.
“Arthur and Merlin, repeat after me…”
Merlin was, Geoffrey could tell, going to laugh throughout the whole thing, and this Arthur person wasn’t much better. He read the more traditional vows, only throwing in the occasional ‘who loves ya, baby?’ here and there.
“Please take this moment to exchange rings.”
Merlin and Arthur looked at each other, clearly thrown by that. Because of course you’d come to a wedding ceremony without rings, Geoffrey thought. Then Arthur pulled a large silver ring off his thumb, and slid it on Merlin’s finger. It was far too big and would doubtless fall off in no time. Their problem, Geoffrey thought.
“By the powers vested in me I now pronounce you husband and husband. You may kiss…”
Geoffrey watched as Arthur leaned in, all serious now, and kissed his new husband. Merlin for some reason seemed to be quite surprised for a moment, and then started kissing him back enthusiastically.
“Now remember, there’s no return to sender here,” Geoffrey told them. “You need to love each other tender all your lives…”
Neither of them seemed in any hurry to stop kissing, so he just launched into ‘Love me Tender.’ There was more spiel for him to read out about love (with important references to Elvis songs thrown in of course), and they needed to sign the register, but they didn’t seem to want to stop kissing, so he just finished up with ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’, posed for a few photos with the oblivious couple and then coughed politely. They finally broke apart, and looked over at him.
“Thank you very much,” he drawled. “And goodnight.” He started to leave, then turned back to Merlin. “And give my regards to your uncle Gaius. Tell him he’s a boring old coot.”
And with that, Elvis left the building.
Arthur was pretty pleased with himself.
George had already arranged to have the cake, certificate and souvenir Hound Dog taken up to their room, the photos and DVD to follow in the morning. So all he had to do was take his new pretend husband back to their room and see if he was as amenable to a celebratory shag as he had been to the kissing in the chapel.
Something in the back of his mind was telling him that he shouldn’t be doing it, that Merlin was his PA and there were rules, but it was a boring little voice and Arthur had stopped listening to it by the fourth bottle of champagne. He’d completely blanked it out once he’d felt Merlin respond to his kisses.
“Do you think there’ll be more champagne?” Merlin asked.
Merlin could have all the champagne he wanted as far as Arthur was concerned. “George said he’d arrange to have a bottle put in the room,” he assured Merlin. “And cake.”
Merlin brightened further at that. “I love cake,” he slurred, stumbling a little and almost falling over. Arthur put an arm round him to steady him. They were right outside their room anyway.
“Hold on,” Arthur stopped Merlin going straight in. “Should do this right.”
He picked Merlin up with some difficulty and staggered over the threshold with him. Everything was a lot trickier after all the champagne. “Wow, you’re really heavy!”
Merlin glared at him. “Says you! Put me down!”
Arthur half-put him down, half-dropped him. The door swung closed behind them.
“Aw look,” Merlin said. “There’s a bath again, with all rose petals and candles. And more champagne. I love this hotel.” He was already picking up the bottle to open it.
The certificate was lying on a table, the cake right beside it. It looked quite official, Arthur thought. All their signatures and everything. Morgana was probably going to be fooled by it. He took the full champagne flute Merlin was holding out to him, and saluted his new fake husband with it. “To us.”
“Mmm,” Merlin took a large swig. “We should cut the cake too.”
Arthur quite fancied a piece of cake. And maybe some more nachos. He looked around for a knife, and then noticed Merlin’s face. “Are you okay?”
Merlin looked almost green, suddenly. “I don’t feel too good,” he admitted, and then turned and promptly threw up into the candle-lit bathtub.
It wasn’t, Arthur realised, going to be the most romantic of fake wedding nights after all.