Title: Suit Yourself
Summary: "I think it'd suit you."
Author's note: - Merlin (BBC series), Arthur/Merlin: banter - "...you can't be serious.". based from a scene from the last ep. I made the mistake of joking with searains that it needed fic. She made me do it.
The title is as per usual, a retarded pun.
Merlin had been sweeping before the hearth in a rather listless way, his cheeks slightly flushed in part from exertion, and part from the fact that embarrassments stayed with Merlin. Hours after the fact he'd be mentally kicking himself, replaying the scene again and again in his mind.
He looked up from his work, the broom poised mid sweep.
"Did you need anything?" Merlin said.
"If I didn't need anything I wouldn't be here, staring at you, now would I?"
Arthur held his arms out, his coat ready to be removed. Merlin set the broom aside.
He removed Arthur's coat all the way and set it aside for cleaning. He'd probably spend a better part of his night cleaning it as lately, Arthur had stipulated it was his chore alone. In fact, Merlin was given a bevy of chores that Arthur dealt out like he was doing Merlin a special favor.
"Was there anything else you needed?" Merlin said.
"There's this to be cleaned too."
Arthur handed over the same dress of Morgana, with a look which made Merlin think he'd planned this all along.
"I'm not, you know," Merlin said. "That whole thing was just a big misunderstanding."
"You're not what?" Arthur said in irritation.
"A crossdresser. I'm not some pervert who steals women's underwear and parades around in them."
"It'd be a stretch to call you a pervert in any sense. Besides, people can do what they want in their own time," Arthur said.
Except magic were the unsaid words that Merlin never touched. He bit his lower lip and let it stay unsaid a little longer.
"All right, fine. It's not some huge crime, but still that doesn't mean I am one," Merlin said.
"So if it's not a bad thing, then why are you protesting? I think you'd look rather good in red," Arthur said archly.
Merlin sputtered. "....You can't be serious."
"Don't knock it until you've tried it. Oh wait. You have," Arthur said.
"For the last time, I haven't! Besides, if dressing up like women is so perfectly normal, then why don't you try it?" Merlin said.
"This body wasn't made for skirts," Arthur said. He held his arms out showing off his admittedly well-toned body.
"So you're saying that you're, you're too buff for a little red number. Too manly, even."
"That is exactly what I am saying," Arthur agreed. "Which is why you should be the one to put it on."
"Me?!" Merlin said, scandalized. "I thought we were having a conversation on why I'm not putting on women's clothes."
"Clothes off, dress on," Arthur said with that smug, insufferable Arthur smirk.
Merlin looked down at the red dress. It was a very rich color, like pouty lips, or apples, or apple red pouty lips that really shouldn't be so kissable on a manly person.
"You know, if Morgana were to come in here right now it'd be very awkward," Merlin said, almost hopefully.
"Stop balking and put the damn dress on already,"Arthur said in exasperation.
Merlin picked it up and held it to his chest.
"Generally to change into something you have to actually remove clothing first," Arthur said. "I had hoped you'd at least learned to dress yourself by now."
"Then give me some privacy," Merlin snapped.
"Nothing there that I haven't seen there – or that's worth looking at anyways," Arthur said with a glance Merlin's nether regions.
"Then there's nothing here to see, then," Merlin said, his face flushing.
Arthur turned about, his hands linked behind his back.
"No peeking," Merlin said.
"Yes, because the highlight of my day was to see my male servant climbing into Morgana's dress. Please excuse me while I swoon."
"Well it must give you some pleasure, otherwise you wouldn't be forcing me into it with such glee," Merlin said.
"You discount amusement. That last hat I put you in should have given my intentions away."
"You must derive some sick pleasure from putting me in the most ridiculous clothes ever made," Merlin said.
"Obviously," Arthur said.
Merlin slipped out of his trousers, pulled his shirt over his head. He unknotted the kerchief and with a long breath, as if he were jumping into a deep ocean, he stepped into the red dress and pulled it up.
"You can turn around now. Though it's got all`these lacings in the back and it doesn't hang right at all..."
"Take a deep breath in."
Merlin complied as he felt Arthur's hands at his back, pulling the lacings tight. He could barely breathe, so much so that he wondered how Morgana managed. It was one of the higher necked ones, with little flourish save for the luscious color itself.
"This is awful tight," Merlin said. He shifted uncomfortably. Arthur hadn't taken his eyes off him since he'd gotten into the dress.
"It's even more suiting than I thought," Arthur said. "I should call Morgana and Gwen in and show them that you're putting them to shame."
"No! I mean. Really, I'd rather not. It's...embarrassing."
"Your embarrassment is my amusement."
He chuckled a moment, and then grazed over Merlin's cheek. "You blush like a girl."
The thing was, this only made the blushing worse. Damn Arthur.
"Can I get out of the dress yet? I can hardly clean your clothes in Morgana's things. She'd kill me if I ruined her dresses. I'm sure of it."
"Fine," Arthur said.
Getting out of it took some doing, and again with Arthur seeming just as eager to help him out of his clothes as he had been to get him into them.
By the next week Merlin now had a new hidden wardrobe of dresses which Arthur informed him that he would be wearing to festivals.
Merlin kicked himself inwardly. He should have just kept his mouth shut. But then again, they were rather pretty, and more comfortable than he would've thought they'd be, so it did even itself out in the end.