Title: A Sticky Situation
Rating: PG (for language)
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin (a magical talking horse), Gwaine, Rumplestiltskin, The Evil Queen
Summary:Arthur finds himself in a sticky situation
Warnings:Arthur makes a fishy deal, there is a lot of hair here, and crack crack crack.
Word Count: about 900
Prompt: #10: tangled
Author's Notes: I’ve been wanting to write a Tangled/Merlin crossover with Gwaine as Rapunzel for a few months, so when this prompt came up, I could not resist. To make it even crackier, I have added some characters from Once Upon A Time as well. This ends on a cliffhanger, but I should be able to finish this and post it in a few days. You can find the whole story on LJ here or on AO3 here. Thanks to sidhe_faerie for cheerleading and looking this over, briefly. I didn’t give her much time.
“Who is it that wishes to cross my bridge?” an impish man with a grin asked.
“A knight on a quest to find the strongest substance in the land,” Arthur replied boldly.
“Then you must be Courage.”
“No, I'm Prince Arthur of Camelot. ”
“Of course you are!”
“How do you know about Arthur? Who are you?” said Merlin.
“I'm Rumplestiltskin, the keeper of the bridge, dearie. You want to cross, don’t you? But that will cost you,” he sniggered.
Arthur looked down at his horse and hissed, “Merlin, what the hell are we going to do now?”
Merlin rolled his eyes and snorted. “I guess we have to pay him, don’t we?”
Arthur sat up straighter on his horse and squared his shoulders.
“Okay then,” he rifled in his pouch, “here are 20 gold pieces.”
“Oh no, dearie. I don’t want money. What I want -- what I need -- is something for a rainy day.”
Arthur shifted impatiently on his horse, waiting for Rumplestiltskin to reveal what he could give the man to get on with his mission.
The bridge keeper swirled and pointed at Arthur’s shoulder. In a soft voice he said, “That. That is what I require.” He giggled quietly to himself.
“Merlin, this man is mad. I won’t be parted from my cloak. I need it, to stay warm and dry.”
“Arthur, you can use the blanket under my saddle and you know it. We need to make haste.”
Reluctantly Arthur slipped the cloak off his back and held it out.
Rumplestiltskin reached out a knobby finger, as if to dry off tears that had not yet fallen, and Arthur jerked back.
“There, there dearie.” He retracted his hand and held it out, palm up, to receive the cloak.
Arthur closed his eyes and held the cloak out. Rumplestiltskin immediately swirled it around his shoulders. Then he swatted Merlin’s rump and laughed maniacally as the horse and rider bolted across the bridge.
“Good hunting to you,” he called after them.
“Is your little bottom sore?”
“Yes, it’s been in contact with your bony back.” Arthur shifted, trying to find a more comfortable seat.
“Look. You were the one who volunteered.”
“Merlin, you know that no one else could be trusted for this mission.”
“I can see that. Clearly, no one else’s life is more disposable than yours,” he replied, voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Merlin, we are dealing with sensitive information here. You know that we cannot show any weakness to our enemies.”
“If your father has said that once, he’s said it a million times. I don’t understand how that’s worth risking your life. Surely Leon or Lancelot could have done this and with much less danger to your life, not to mention mine.”
“Merlin, no one knows we are here. Our lives are in no da-,” Arthur said, just before sliding off Merlin’s back and into the foliage.
Arthur woke up with his hands tied behind his back and his feet bound together at the ankles with thick rope.
“Merlin,” he sputtered, “get over here and release me. This instant.”
Merlin sauntered over, lazily, before baring his lips and snipping the rope with his sharp teeth. “There you are, your highness.”
“Mmmm.” Arthur stretched, clearly enjoying his freedom. He looked around and noticed that he was at the base of a very tall tower, which seemed to be deserted, and in front of him was a lush, overgrown garden.
He could not discern a path through the lush garden full of green sprigs and small colorful flowers sprinkled like bits of the rainbow throughout. He thought he recognized a carrot top and realized that his stomach was cramping with hunger. Arthur stood up, and before Merlin could say otherwise, he grabbed the green springs and pulled.
“Uh, Arthur. I think that was a bad idea.”
“Oh, Merlin. What could possibly go wrong here? We’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s deserted besides. I’m hungry. This garden is clearly abandoned. Oh look at those beautiful apples.”
Arthur reached out for a bright red apple and brought it to his mouth with a satisfying crunch. Mouth full, he asked, “Mmm, Merlin, d’ya want one too?”
A voice from above distracted him. “Oi! Who’s there?”
They looked up and saw a man with beautiful long flowing tresses.
“Who are you?” he continued. “How did you get past the dragon?”
Arthur looked at Merlin, clearly alarmed, and dropped the apple. Merlin snaked his neck around and nimbly picked it up with his lips before crunching it with one bite and swallowing it. Arthur looked back up.
“Wait. Did you say, dragon?” he called back up.
“Aye. I did.”
At this, Arthur put his hand on Merlin’s flank to steady himself and wiped his brow.
“What have we gotten ourselves into? Merlin, did you know about this dragon?”
“I tried to tell you, but you were too busy raiding this garden and stuffing your face.”
“Hey, I’ll note that you were happy to inhale my dropped apple,” Arthur retorted.
“Oi!” The shout interrupted their bickering, reminding them of their situation.
“I’m not afraid of a dragon! I’ve got my magic talking horse here,” Arthur blustered.
“Look, princess, I didn’t say you were afraid, but the dragon is the least of your worries, because you’ve both eaten from the Evil Queen’s prize apple tree. Looks like you’re in a real tangle now.”