Title: A Minor Detour, Part 6
Pairing/s: Eventual Arthur/Merlin
Character/s: Merlin, Gwaine, Morgause, Arthur, Elyan
Summary: Because of course, this was Merlin’s life so of course, there was a woman up on the viewscreen, leering right at him while he was still naked and being manhandled.
Warnings: Minor creeping directed at Merlin
Word Count: 985
Prompt: #219: Serendipity
Author's Notes: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 || All Parts on AO3
“The smeg was that?” Gwaine shouted at his goons as he righted himself. Unfortunately, his next act was getting his hand on a blaster and turning it more or less in the direction of Merlin’s sprawled form—as if he were actually any kind of threat under the best circumstances, never mind unarmed, stunned, and knocked on his ass.
Merlin shrugged and spread his hands helplessly, keeping his mouth firmly closed. Gwaine had indicated that he didn’t actually plan to kill Merlin, so unless whatever attack was happening changed that, Merlin wanted to keep it that way. He had it on good authority (Arthur) that producing sounds from his face was an excellent way to spur anyone on to murder.
Arthur was of course full of it, willfully oblivious to all the times Merlin’s smooth wit and charming smile had wriggled them out of trouble, but Gwaine seemed on edge enough that this time Merlin really didn’t want to push his luck.
The ship lurched again before Gwaine got an answer. He cursed and holstered the blaster, hauling Merlin to his feet by the wrist and scowling at him.
“Why do I get the feeling you have something to do with this?” he demanded.
“Because your life of crime has made you needlessly paranoid?”
Well, so much for shutting up. But Gwaine actually grinned and relaxed, so Merlin mentally marked another tick in the win column. It was still heavily, depressingly outweighed by the loss column. Arthur was responsible for most of those marks.
“You’re probably right,” Gwaine said with a grin. “Let’s go see what it is, then. And if you’re lying to me,” he added cheerfully, pulling Merlin through the door to the bridge, “I’ll just throw you out the airlock after all.”
“Now, Gwaine, that’s just rude.” The woman’s voice came through over the intercom and Merlin flinched, trying to hide somewhere. He ended up ducking behind Gwaine, of all people, mostly because Gwaine still hadn’t let go of his wrist.
Because of course, this was Merlin’s life so of course, there was a woman up on the viewscreen, leering right at him while he was still naked and being manhandled.
She went on, “I’ll admit, I expected a little more clothing and a little less scrawniness, but I guess he is your type. He even seems a little fond of you already! But I’m going to have to insist that you hand the little Pendragon over.”
Gwaine’s hand tightened. “This isn’t—”
“—what it looks like,” Merlin interrupted before Gwaine could do anything stupid like reveal that Merlin was just plain, unimportant Merlin. “Not that it would be any of your business if it were. Which it’s not. And who are you, again? You obviously know who I am, so you know who my father is, so if you’re any smarter than this smug vulture, you’ll know you’d do better not to cross me.”
She flashed her teeth at him, more of a snarl than a smile, and said, “You really are just as obnoxiously arrogant as they say.”
Merlin prided himself on an excellent Arthur impression.
“Morgause,” Gwaine drawled slowly, answering at least part of Merlin’s question, “are you really in a position to lecture me about rudeness after listening in on encrypted communications?”
She waved a dismissive hand. “Then encrypt your communications better, sweatheart. Now give me the boy or I’ll send my crew to throw you out the airlock.” She eyed Merlin again. “You can keep the uniform, though.”
That thought sent a very unpleasant shiver down Merlin’s spine, but it was still better than imagining Arthur in the same position. Fortunately, Gwaine continued to display whatever half-baked form of honor he believed in.
“I’m holding him for ransom, you pervert, not some kind of personal sex toy. Come on, don’t turn this into a fight. You owe me for that thing on Damogran, remember?”
Morgause’s imitation of a frown actually looked less threatening than her smile had, but not by much—there were still a lot of teeth involved. “I suppose I do. But I also owe Uther Pendragon a great deal of suffering, and that debt’s much older.”
“How’s this, then,” Gwaine offered after a moment’s consideration. “I’d hate to deny you your shot at Old Man Penny, but I really need his money. He’s coming here to make the trade, so how about you just lurk in the background and make your move once I’m out of the way, hm?”
So much for Gwaine’s honor. “You lying, backstabbing coward,” Merlin hissed despite his earlier determination not to annoy Gwaine. “You don’t stand a chance against the Albion, even together. You’ll get blown into the void and—mmfff!”
Gwaine’s hand left Merlin’s wrist to clasp over his mouth, fingers digging into his jaw hard enough to bruise. “No one really cares about your opinion, Arthur.” Gwaine’s voice was low and dangerous.
“That’s too bad,” Arthur said from behind them, and his voice was also low and dangerous, “because my opinion is that you should unhand my navigator before I blast your ridiculously shaggy head off.”
The image on the viewscreen and the crackle of the speakers both flickered off as Gwaine released Merlin with a curse, Morgause apparently deciding to run while the running was good.
Merlin spun around to grin at Arthur, then definitely did not squeak in an undignified manner and cover his dangly bits upon seeing the entire Knights squad standing behind their leader—who had procured a uniform from somewhere and looked as immaculate as ever in it.
Everyone snickered at him, and Elyan added a wave.
“We’d just got here and were trying to decide how to go in when someone conveniently blew a hole in the side of the ship!” he explained cheerily. “So we thought we’d come say hi.”
“Hi, Merlin!” the Knights chorused obediently, because they were all awful.