Title: How Merlin Got His Groove Back (Except That He Never Really Had It In The First Place.)
Character/Pairing: lightish Arthur/Merlin, Gwen/Morgana
Summary: Morgana has a Brilliant Plan to teach Merlin how to dance. This of course, means that Arthur has to play the part of the 'girl'.
Author's note: - Merlin (BBC), Arthur/Merlin - Dancing - Teaching Merlin how to dance means that Arthur has to play the girl's part
This is incidentally a very apt description of the last time I danced (with my ex at a wedding no less). And not the hot lesbian one either.
It all started every so innocently, with a remark over tea. The day had begun bright with no reason to see anything diabolical on the horizon.
"It really is a shame, him not being able to dance at all," Morgana said thoughtfully. "You should have seen the travesty last Michaelmas. It was downright painful to watch. I would have been cringing had I not been laughing so hard."
"Really, someone should give him lessons. I'm surprised Arthur didn't give him any," Gwen said.
Morgana paused on that thought, a plan flowing into motion.
"Gwen, you're brilliant! You must go get Arthur and Merlin this instant."
"You know the next festival is coming on. There will be feasting and all kinds of dancing. Are you looking forward to it, Merlin?" Morgana said.
"Oh yes, very much! Except...well, I can't dance at all.. I seem to have inherited two left feet," Merlin said. She shrugged sheepishly and tugged at his kerchief. Arthur, by comparison had crossed his arms and hadn't changed from his cross expression ever since he came to her chambers.
Then again, this was Arthur so that expression was his default most of the time. Morgana knew just how much needling it'd take to get to even grouchier levels. She'd gotten quite skilled at that with all her practice.
Drawing on that, she leaned up and started the assault.
"Well then, we'll just have to fix that, won't we Arthur? It'd be a shame to have a servant who can't dance. I personally made sure that Gwen was an expert dancer myself."
Arthur was wholly unconvinced. "You called me all the way out here just to inform me that Merlin can't dance? We all know bloody well he can't dance. That's why I have him shine my boots and not juggle balls while telling jokes as the court jester."
"Really though, Arthur. Doesn't it gall you to have your servant fall behind?"
"What, next do you want to have three-legged races and embroidery contests?" Arthur scoffed.
She clapped her hands twice and the beat began. A lively assortment of lute, harp and flute resounded through. It was a toe-tapping melody, with a catchy refrain that could easily get stuck in one's head all the day long.
Both looked at the girls expectantly, waiting for them to rise. Arthur looked to Morgana, Merlin to Gwen. And she just looked at him, in its own way her smile was a challenge.
He rolled his eyes. "What do you want this time Morgana?"
"I want to see Merlin dancing. That means you'll just have to play the part of the girl for once, Arthur."
Arthur's grim expression froze in place. "What?"
"But can't you spare Gwen?" Merlin said.
Lady Morgana had a playful, defiant, gleam in her eyes. "I could, but I won't. Make Arthur do it for a change."
Arthur rolled his eyes heavenward. "I am starting to think this whole thing was merely one of your whims, and an excuse to get us to make fools out of ourselves by dancing together."
"Just starting?" Morgana said sweetly, "You're pretty slow on the uptake, Arthur Pendragon. Now, boys. Best be getting started."
Arthur looked as if he had swallowed something sour, while Merlin just looked rather bewildered.
"Best be getting on then," Arthur said.
Merlin took his hands at first, which only made Arthur shake him off in irritation. "That's not how you do it. Do I have to show you every little thing, Merlin?"
"No, no. I can do it. I put my hands here....and you put your hands there...." Merlin put a hand on his shoulder, and then wavered at where his waist would be. Arthur righted the position and prepared to begin the steps.
"No, don't put your hands there!"
"It..it tickles," Merlin said sheepishly.
Arthur placed his hands on exactly the same spot. Merlin burst into a fit of giggles.
This dissolved into something like a shoving match as they tried to untangle hands and touch in a way that wouldn't result in actually touching each other. It was more a wrestling match than a dance. Morgana looked quite smug from her corner.
"Ouch! You stepped on my foot you oaf! Have you ever even danced with a partner before you clumsy lout?"
"So sorry, and um. I have but I haven't done it very well or so I'm being informed."
"Arthur sure is getting into the role as a female," Morgana remarked on aside to Gwen. Gwen giggled, covering her mouth with her hand to stifle the sound. "In fact, if he gets any more female, we'll have to put ribbons in his hair."
"Ha ha. You'd be unpleasant if you had to dance with someone as inept as this. You're massaging my feet after this, Merlin."
"Boys, I gave you a simple task and you still can't complete it?" Morgana tsked. "Let us show you how it is done."
She guided Gwen to the dance floor, and unlike the boys, they met in seamless grace. Morgana played the part of a boy so well, it was amazing, really. Far better than Arthur played the part of a girl, that was for sure. They twirled and lead to a dramatic finale, a low dip which Morgana pulled Gwen from effortlessly.
She clapped again and the music changed. It was low and sensual, a love tune. With them, the dance steps changed to something else, far more romantic. From her own dancing, she took a sly glance a sly glance to Arthur and Merlin, who had given up all pretense of the lively waltz and now had surrendered to a slow dance, if only that it meant less injury on Arthur's part.
"I think we have a success," she said whispered to Gwen.
Gwen just smiled.