Hey!

So I encouraged myself to publish a oneshot 'humor' fic. I have never felt confident about my ability to write humor, but I hope you like this.

And that's the reason I would appreciate a review so much. If I'll give you a cyber cookie and promise that I might write more humor fics if you enjoy this? Sounds like a plan, doesn't it? :)

Story: Chicken secrets

by: Niphrehdil


-Oh, come on, Merlin, this one time, please?" Gwaine said, landing a hand on Merlin's shoulder. Merlin sighed. -No, I'm not going to tavern with you, Gwaine. I know how those nights end up for you, so I'm not that eager to join in." he answered.

Gwaine puckered his lips and seemed to be thinking. Merlin piled up the last clean sheets onto a table in Arthur's chambers. The prince was having a meeting with Uther, and it would probably last long to the night.

-Just one drink?" Gwaine suggested.

Merlin rolled his eyes. -No. I have to be back in here to do my chores bright and early. " Merlin said as he put the last sheet in place. -And more or less capable to stand upright." he added.

Gwaine huffed, and smiled widely. -It's just a one drink, it's not going to kill you, Merlin. You have already done all of your chores, and the princess won't need you tonight to get himself ready to bed." The knight tilted his head, his playful eyes locking with Merlin's.

Merlin sighed, as he started to feel like he had no option. Gwaine would keep harping on. The knight smiled for his pained expression and lifted an eyebrow. -Well?" he asked.

Merlin bit his lip. This was so not a good idea. But he could feel how all the knight's arguments started to work wonders: in theory he really had the night off. And he rarely went into taverns. And the idea of getting one drink didn't actually sound so bad. He had done all of his chores and he had already helped Gaius with the herbs.

In the end, he had nothing else to do if he didn't want to go to sleep already. Merlin sighed deeply. -Fine then, Gwaine." The knight's face lit up in enthusiasm, but Merlin quickly lifted his finger in the air. -With one condition. It will be only one drink. " he added.

Gwaine nodded. -Sure." he replied.

They left the prince's chambers and headed out of the castle. Merlin promised himself quickly that he would only get that one drink and then leave.

Gwaine was cheery and chatted this and that on the way to the tavern called The Naughty Bird. It was one of Gwaine's favorites.

Merlin listened the knight's stories about the day - how Leon had stumbled, how Percival had lost the swordfight to Lancelot and how Gwen had been watching them practise in the fields and clapped her hands.

Merlin couldn't help but to smile. Gwaine was Gwaine - and the knight always seemed to make him feel better.

As they stepped into the Naughty Bird, almost every table was taken. Merlin feel a slight aghast as he watched the drunken men sing and laugh loudly - it wasn't even that late.

But Gwaine walked in like he owned the place. -A good thing that I'm a knight now - I can actually afford the drinks." the knight commented happily as he ordered two tankards of ale. They took a table, unfortunately right in the middle of tavern, and sat down. Merlin sighed deeply as Gwaine pushed the tankard in front of him. The knight raised his own and Merlin reluctantly followed. He took a good sip, and had to grimace a bit - he wasn't that keen on alcohol.

Gwaine looked around and winked an eye for a waitress. The waitress was quite tall and rather prettty, and had long brown curls. She rolled her eyes. -Hello, Gwaine." she said and continued her work.
Merlin turned to look at the knight. -You know her?" he asked.
Gwaine didn't take his eyes off her. -Oh yes." he answered in such a manner that Merlin didn't want to know the details.

Instead, Merlin took another sip of the ale. Gwaine was about to say something, when his face suddenly brigtened up. -Leon!" he exclaimed with joy. Merlin couldn't believe his ears, as he turned his head towards the door of the tavern. There stood a very confused Leon, eyeing the room with unwell expression.

Gwaine shot up from the bench, and guided Leon to their table. -You came! I didn't really believe you would." he said to the other knight. Leon had a hint of horror in his eyes. -Neithed did I, actually." he replied, eyes a bit wide. His eyes wandered in the tavern, as Gwaine ordered another tankard from the waitress. Leon shifted his gaze on Merlin. Merlin couldn't help but to chuckle for the knight's more or less slightly terrified expression.

Seriously, what was it with Gwaine that made him able to persuade people to do such stupid things?

After Leon had gotten his ale in front of him, Gwaine had finished his first one. -Come on, gatch up, my friends. I'll pay." Gwaine said and waved his hand to order three more tankards. Merlin downed a good mouthful, and then shook his head. -I said it would be just one drink." he reminded. Leon nodded beside him. -So did I." the humble knight said to Gwaine.

Gwaine let out a laughter. -Well, I can drink them all by myself then. But you will keep me some company, will you?" he said and shifted his eyes from Leon to Merlin.
Both of them sighed and nodded. -Of course." Leon answered, sounding a bit defeated.

Gwaine smiled. -Good. So if you don't want to drink, I might as well get us something to eat. They have these very delicious special things in here, just wait a minute..."

After a moment, the waitress brought a small plate to the table. It was full of something that was yellow and apparently very greasy. -What are they?" Leon asked suspiciously.

-These, my friends" Gwaine said, pointing his finger at the plate, -are roasty things called 'chicken secrets'." Merlin chuckled for the name, and didn't feel so sure about eating them. But then he also realized he was hungry. It had been hours ago that he had last eaten something, and the 'chicken secrets' smelled really good.

So he took one and tasted it. It was good. Very good, actually. -These are actually delicious." he commented and took another one. Gwaine nodded. -I told you."

Leon took one, too. He liked them aswell.

Soon they were all eating the crispy chicken secrets. Merlin got thirsty and took a good sip of ale. Before he realized, he had downed all of his tankard. Still, there were plenty of chicken secrets left.

He eyed the full tankard on the table that had been brought there some time ago. -I'll take a sip from there, if it's alright. But only because these are very salty." Merlin said and pointed at the chicken secrets. Gwaine laughed. -Sure." he just commented and continued eating.

Leon followed his example and took the second tankard. Not long after that, Merlin watched as the waitress brought one new plate of chicken secrets to the table, along with three more beers.

Merlin realized he had already drank two tankards, and he was feeling a bit funny. No, actually he was feeling rather nice - relaxed. He didn't even notice the loud singers in the background or feel bad that he had come along with the knights. Why should he leave? He was feeling nice - no magical problems, no Arthur problems, no dragon problems - so no problems at all.

A small voice at the back of his mind said to him that this wasn't a good idea, but Merlin ignored it. Instead, he took one more chicken secret and took a grip from the third tankard.

After he had downed it, he glanced at Leon beside him. The knight had uncharacteristic, wide grin on his face - the knight looked very happy as he took one of the chicken secrets to his fingers. Merlin started to laugh - loudly and for no particular reason. He felt a bit dizzy but fine otherwise. So he took another chicken secret.

The trio finished the second plate, and Merlin was having his fourth beer, Gwaine had his sixth, and none of them knew how much Leon had had. The humble knight just swayed slightly on his place and a wide grin was plastered on his face.

Gwaine started to flirt with the waitress. Merlin looked around, realizing he was swaying in place, too. He couldn't see clearly but this feeling was nice. He let his eyes wander on the room. -Mo-more chicken sssecrets?" Leon asked. Merlin almost startled for the sudden sound - he realized Leon had been quiet for a long time.

Merlin started to laugh out loud, he could distantly realize he was pretty loud but didn't care. Then a hiccup stopped him. Hick. Hick.

Gwaine started to laugh at Merlin instead. Next to them, Leon had started to stare at the men who had climbed up to a table and were singing together.

-I want to sing, " Leon said suddenly in somewhat dreamy voice as he watched the men. Merlin hiccuped and laughed, his voice sounding funny as it was constantly cut off with the hiccups. And it made him want to laugh even more.

-Well, join them." Gwaine said to Leon, and the knight turned to stare at the rogue with surprised, hazel eyes. -Really?" Leon asked, voice slurred. Gwaine nodded. Merlin hiccupped and laughed again. Distantly he noticed that he was holding another full tankard in his hands - where did he got that from?

Well, after he thought about it for a while, he didn't really care. -I know this song." Leon said and stood up, and swayed quite dangerously, before he got a bit more steady. Gwaine and Merlin watched as the knight climbed up to join the drunken men on the table. And for their surprise, Leon actually started to sing with them.

Merlin almost choked on his laugh-filled hiccups and covered his mouth.

Gwaine stood up. -Merlin, my friend, don't you want to sing too?" he asked.

Merlin shook his head. -Arthur would kill me." he mumbled, amused by his own thoughts. He hiccuped again. Then laughed.

Gwaine suddenly just pulled him up. Merlin almost fell but the knight kept him upright.

-Well if you don't want to sing like our friend Leon here, we might as well gamble." he said and glanced at Leon. -He sings rather well, doesn't he?" he commented cheerily.

Merlin hiccuped and nodded. And then laughed.

Gwaine pulled him with him to the gambling table, and before Merlin realized it, he was sitting there with cards on his hands, barely registering what he should do. He had never played a game like this. A grim-looking gambler explained the rules to him, and Merlin thought of changing the cards magically into the right ones. But that wouldn't be fair. So he just played, even if he still had no idea how it was played.

Atfer a while, Merlin had lost and was dropped out of the game. Instead, he watched as Gwaine was the only one left in the game alonside a big, professional-looking player. He and all of his friends looked rather unpleasant. It was battle between Gwaine and the big man. But Merlin didn't pay attention to the game. He eyed Gwaine and saw that one card was sticking out of his sleeve.

-Gwaine," he said, confused, and bowed his head towards the knight, almost bumping into him at the same time, -why do you have a card hidden in here?" he asked.

There was a sudden dead silence in the table. Even Merlin realized it. He turned to look at the men who looked now very angry. Merlin knew this was bad news.

For a long time, nothing happened. The men glared Gwaine. Gwained stared at them.

Merlin shifted his glance between his friend and the gamblers.

But he couldn't help it, he hiccuped.

And then the men shot up from their chairs. Gwaine dropped the cards instantly and grabbed Merlin's arm. -Time to go, mate." he said and Merlin stumbled after him. Gwaine took a fast turn to the right towards Leon. Leon was having a solo part of the song, he was singing from the bottom of his lungs. Gwaine just grabbed the knight and they all almost fell to the floor when they struggled towards the door.

Merlin had enough time to look up and notice that the whole tavern had suddenly started a fight.

Gwaine pulled them to the door and they all ran outside. Merlin hiccuped hard as they all rushed past the streets, the screaming men behind them. When the voices at last faded, they stopped, all panting and swaying.

Gwaine let out a relieved laughter. -Well that was an adventure." he commented. Merlin didn't feel so good after the running. He looked around. -Where are we?" he asked, confused.

The knights looked around, too. -I don't know." Gwaine said, shrugging.

Leon looked very confused. -I don't know either...How is that possible?" he wondered.

Merlin chuckled. -How on Earth can we get lost in Camelot?" he said, but no one laughed. There was a long, brooding silence. Then he hiccuped again and everyone bursted out to laugh.

-Come on, I think it's this way." Gwaine said and they started walking. They kept going and none of the houses seemed familiar. Merlin just couldn't understand it - he should know Camelot. Well, he didn't visit the lower town often, but still. How can you get lost in your own home city?

They stumbled forward. Gwaine whistled joyfully as they went. Suddenly Merlin spotted a warm, inviting light from a street. -There's a tavern." he said. Maybe they could now spot where they were.

-Thank goodness! I thought it would be the time for another round," Gwaine said smugly. They all walked, or swayed, towards the tavern, Merlin in the front. Merlin was about to reach the doorhandle but the door suddenly opened before him. Merlin only realized he bumped into someone. As he stumbled one step back, he looked at the person.

And of course it was just his luck that out of all of the people in Camelot, no hell, out of all of the people in the world, it had to be Arthur Pendragon standing in front of him.

-Oh no..." Merlin whined and hiccuped. Arthur stared at him with wide eyes. -Merlin!" he said with somewhat shocked voice and noticed the knights behind him.

-Sire." Leon greeted with his slurred voice, trying to bow but almost lost his balance.

Arthur eyed them all and shook his head. Merlin looked up to the prince. -Um, hello?" he suggested and smiled.

Arthur locked his incredulous eyes with his. There was a long silence.

But then Merlin hiccuped.

-What...what are you doing here?" Merlin asked, confused.

Arthur rolled his eyes. -Looking for you." he answered and took a grip from Merlin's arm and pulled him further from the tavern. Merlin had trouble keeping his balance. -Don't walk so fast." he told the prince. Arthur glared at him. They stopped to stand at the street.

Arthur eyed them all. -You two," he said with efficient voice and pointed a finger towards the knights, -will be mucking out the stables tomorrow morning. I would have never appointed such task to you because you are knights, but this...This isn't something a knight should do." he said.

Gwaine just snorted, he didn't seem exactly feel bad about it.

-So it means I won't have to muck the stables?" Merlin suggested hopefully, his hazy eyes not quite fixing on the prince. Arthur turned to him. -No. I'll come up with something much better for you." Arthur said.

Merlin sighed. -You're such an sourpuss."

Leon cracked up, but tried his best to hide it. Arthur lifted an eyebrow. -What did you call me, Merlin?

Merlin hiccuped and gazed at Leon. Arthur shook his arm. -Care to repeat that?" the prince asked with his bickering tone. Merlin just chuckled. -A sourpuss. In addition to the list of being a clotpole, prat, supercilious, condescending and overbearing. Very overbearing." Merlin said, smiling.

Somewhere in his hazel mind he was aware that this wasn't probably a wise thing to do, but Arthur's face was just so priceless. And Leon's uncontrollable giggling. The knight sounded like a house-wife with guilty pleasure.

Arthur sighed and let out a dangerous smile. -Alright, Merlin. I'll deal with you later." he said ominously. Then the prince turned to the knights. -Go to sleep, both of you. And don't forget to turn up to muck the stables in the morning." Arthur ordered.

Gwaine huffed. -We would, of course, but we don't know where we are." he said. Leon giggled even more behind him.

Arthur stared at the trio with incredulous eyes, and without saying a word, he led them all back to the castle.

Merlin was sure the trip lasted forever. When he saw the castle, he was so tired that Arthur was more or less dragging him forward.

Gwaine and Leon parted from them, Leon's giggle echoing in the night before it distanced.

Arthur pulled Merlin towards the physician's chambers. -Unbelievable." he mumbled.

-What is?" Merlin asked, voice slurred, eyes barely open.

Arthur shot a glare at him, but Merlin didn't even notice. -I'm tirrred, Arthur." Merlin mumbled, and took even more support from the prince.

-Yes, I can see that, Merlin." the prince answered grumpily. -Whose idea was it to go to the damn tavern? Gwaine's I bet. No, it was most definitely Gwaine's. But how did he get you and Leon there? " Arthur wondered.

Merlin stumbled and almost fell, but Arthur pulled him back up. -Do I really need to carry you?" the prince asked in frustration. Merlin looked at the prince with hazy eyes and smiled hopefully. -If you want to."

Arthur just rolled his eyes again, and they continued their way. Merlin kept quiet for awhile, trying not to hiccup so much anymore.

-Gwaine and Leon will muck out the stables, but I'll come up with something really special for you because of this. A some wonderful chore maybe, that you can start doing bright and early." Arthur said. Merlin just let out a muffle.

Arthur shook his head again. -This is ridiculous. Really - the crowned prince needs to run through the city for hours, searching his missing knights and a servant. And in the middle of the night!"

Merlin smiled for that. -I know you came...just because you were worried." he said.

Arthur didn't reply. Merlin chuckled. -But that's alright because I know you wouldn't want to admit that...you're too prat for that." he said slowly. Arthur stopped for a moment.

-Do you really want to make it more worse to yourself tomorrow morning?" Arthur asked innocently.

-Not really, no."

-Well do you know what you should do then?" Arthur asked.

-Shut up?" Merlin suggested.

-Exactly." the prince said and continued to drag his servant up the long stairs towards the physician's chambers.

As Arthur finally reached Merlin's room without waking Gaius up, he made the servant land the bed quite roughly. Merlin didn't seem to notice, though. He closed his eyes immediately and seemed to enjoy the position.

Arthur stared at him for a moment, and suddenly he didn't feel so annoyed anymore. Instead, he smiled. The situation was much funnier now when he had found both of his missing knights and Merlin. And no, he couldn't admit it to them but in some level, it had been quite amusing. Leon would surely hear about his not-so-manly-giggle after this.

-I got to admit that Leon surprised me the most." Arthur said quietly, talking mostly to himself. -Of course you are drunk as hell right now, but I bet that was partly because of Gwaine. But Leon hardly ever drinks more than two tankards."

But for his surprise, Merlin wasn't asleep, because he suddenly stirred. -Leon sang...He sang with those three men. Gwaine says he's pretty good at it, too...But then he cheated on that game and we got into a fight and then we got lost..." Merlin explained, eyes closed, voice slurring.

Arthur couldn't help but to chuckle. -I'm sure I will be more than pleased to hear the detailed version tomorrow. Even if I somehow imagine you three are not so enthusiastic about it then." Arthur said, crossing his arms.

There was a long silence. Arthur eyed Merlin for awhile, then turned to leave.

-Arthur, you should really taste those chicken secrets..." Merlin suddenly mumbled.

The prince rolled his eyes, not wanting to know what 'chicken secret's even were. -Good night, Merlin - because I predict the morning won't be good in any level." he said, amused.

But Merlin had already fallen asleep. Arthur just shook his head, smiling and walked to the door.

-Chicken secrets..." he mumbled, chuckling quietly before he left the room.