I wanted to try and work on my 'comedy' writing. I have joint written 2 comedy stories before on fanfic, but apart from that I haven't written anything else, but I thought "Hey, practice makes perfect!" And I got an idea for this one shot a while ago, so I decided to put it up! :)
Special thanks for Gina Frodo H for reading it through for me and giving me an idea for the title! :D
Can we beat the number of reviews I've ever had for a one shot (6)? That's like nothing to some people!
Anyway, hope you enjoy! :D
Arthur walked through the market place, hoping not to be noticed. He was wearing plain, normal clothes and kept his head low through the throng of people, to try and avoid anyone spotting him. Sometimes he really wanted to be normal, to be like the people around him, working their way through life, without the future of the whole Kingdom resting on their shoulders. Now Uther had fallen ill, the pressure Arthur felt grew more intense, and often he longed to slip away from it all and try to be like a normal citizen of Camelot.
Unfortunately, being a Prince, and now temporary King, this was a difficult thing to do.
"Arthur!" Said a sudden voice from behind him.
Arthur turned to see Gwaine bouncing up to him through the crowd like an excitable dog.
"Hello Gwaine," said Arthur, not meaning to sound so unenthusiastic at the presence of his friend, by he had been enjoying the peace and quiet that could never be found with Sir Gwaine.
Gwaine caught up with the young King and threw an arm around his shoulder, while continuing to stroll through the market. "How's my favourite Arthur Pendragon?" He asked, the same huge grin on his face he always had when he was in a good mood, or up to some sort of trouble. Usually it was both at the same time.
Arthur gave Gwaine a slightly annoyed and confused look. "I'm the only Arthur Pendragon you know," he pointed out.
"Exactly!" Gwaine said happily.
Arthur rolled his eyes.
There was a pause, Arthur thought for a few minutes that perhaps this was all Gwaine was going to say, but the arm that was still tightly around his shoulder told him otherwise.
"What's up then?" Gwaine asked eventually.
Arthur shrugged, "Nothing."
"Nah, I don't believe that, you've got that grumpy face on again," Gwaine told him happily, pulling his arm a little tighter around Arthur's shoulder, making him stumble a little. "What's really bothering you, your Highness?"
"I think I know what's wrong," Gwaine interrupted before could begin his explanation, which would have started with his annoyance at being called 'your Highness' and being told that he had a 'grumpy face'.
"You do?" Arthur asked, a little apprehensively.
Gwaine nodded proudly, "you've annoyed Gwen again by acting like a stuck up Prince haven't you?"
"What?" Arthur looked up at Gwaine's still beaming face with confusion. "No, I'm pretty sure Gwen and I are fine."
The grin flickered for a few moments. "Oh," Gwaine looked puzzled, but then the grin returned. Ah, I've got it! Merlin's run off again!"
"Err no. Or at least, I don't think so." Arthur admitted.
"OK…did you eat some strange tasting fish?"
"Did your horse try to eat your hair?"
"That's never even happened!"
"Did you lose a sock?" No, ignore that one!" Gwaine interrupted before Arthur could respond. "That's not a lost sock face. Did you…did you walk into a wall and now you have a headache? That one's happened to me." Gwaine said almost proudly.
"No," though Arthur could feel a niggling headache coming on. He wished Gwaine would stop talking so loudly in his ear.
"Are you feeling stressed and worried because your father's sick and you don't know if he'll recover. In the meantime you have to be temporary King and you really don't feel like you're ready even thought everyone keeps on telling you how great you'd be?" Gwaine ventured.
Arthur was surprised, "how did you know?" He demanded.
Gwaine grinned and tapped his nose with his free hand, (the other was still quite firmly around Arthur's shoulder.) "I can sense these things you see."
Arthur rolled his eyes again.
"But!" Gwaine said suddenly, making Arthur jump and wince. "Do not fear, my dear King Arty—"
"Oh, please don't called me Arty—"
"I have the exact solution that you need!" Gwaine told him triumphantly.
"A cold dark room to lie in?" Arthur guessed hopefully, he could feel his headache getting worse.
Gwaine shook his head, and his troublesome grin broadened. "I don't think we've actually gone out for a drink, just the two of us, before?"
"I don't think I've been fortunate enough to have the pleasure."
Gwaine didn't seem to notice the heavy sarcasm in Arthur's voice, either that who he was just ignoring it. "It's just what you need Arthur, time away from that stuffy castle of yours, spend time with a dear friend of yours and have a drink…or seven."
"Err, no thanks Gwaine," Arthur told him as nicely as he found it possible in the situation. "I know you mean well, but I really don't think having alcohol is really going to help with the situation—"
"Sure it will!" Gwaine assured the temporary King in a voice that sounded far too positive for its own good. "It helps everything!"
"Err, no I really don't think it does…" Arthur suddenly realised that Gwaine was steering him towards the direction of a tavern, and probably had been doing so for quite a while. He tried to break free from his friend's grip, but to little avail.
"Trust me with this Arthur," Gwaine told him with a wink.
"Look, Gwaine, I know you mean well, but I don't want to have a drink, and I'm afraid nothing you say or do is going to make me change my mind!"
3 minutes and 17 seconds later…
"Now, have you ever played one of Gwaine's marvellous drinking games?" Gwaine asked as he sat on a chair in his favourite tavern, next to a grumpy looking Arthur.
"No," Arthur didn't even try to not sound annoyed. "But I think I'm about to."
Gwaine beamed, "don't worry Arthur, it'll be fun! In a little while you'll have forgotten all about your worries and your troubles."
Yes, and probably my name and where I live as well, Arthur thought dully, as Gwaine ordered two drinks in surprisingly small goblets.
"Do you drink much Arthur?" Gwaine asked as he handed the young King one of the goblets.
Arthur shrugged, "I have some mead after hunting and banquets I have some wine, but that's about it," he admitted.
"Well in that case you're in for a treat! And this stuff is even stronger than wine!" Gwaine exclaimed happily, as Arthur gazed down at the dark coloured liquid he had just been given. He didn't like how Gwaine sounded so joyful about such a strong drink. "Now, the game is to swallow the whole drink in one go and see how much you can get through compared to your friend."
Arthur didn't like the sound of this game, and he told Gwaine through a disgruntled look and a raised eyebrow.
"Believe me, this will catch on," Gwaine assured Arthur, but he still didn't look very happy about it. "Fine then," Gwaine said eventually, "we'll just have the one drink instead. How about that?"
Arthur looked down at his goblet again, and sighed. "Fine, but just the one." He told the Knight sternly.
Gwaine's signature grin returned at these words. He held up his drink. "To Camelot!" He said.
"To Camelot," Arthur agreed, before tipping back his head and swallowing the drink in one go.
1 hour and 32 minutes later…
"Gwaine," Arthur said Sir Gwaine's name slowly and deliberately, as if he was finding it very hard to from words. His eyes stared down at his goblet, which was empty. Again.
"Hello," Gwaine said hurriedly, sitting up quickly. He had just had his head down on the table in his arms, as if he had been asleep.
"I…" There was a dramatic pause, either that or Arthur had already forgotten what he wanted to say. "I have an…inkling."
Gwaine thought for a few moments, before nodded. "I totally agree!….what's an inkling?"
"I have no idea," Arthur said with a shrug, "it just seemed apprpriatous…appropre…right, for the situation." The young King finished eventually, unsure why he was suddenly unable to get his tongue around a simple word.
Gwaine nodded again, his eyes narrowed as if he was thinking very hard about something. "That's a good word, inkling." He announced. "I like it. Inkling, inkling, inkle, inklee, inkling!" He began to say the word over and over again in different tones and volumes, while he swayed slightly from side to side on his chair, looking like he was dangerously close to falling off said chair. "Inklo, ingloo, inkling, ink—"
"Forget about the word inkling!" Arthur snapped suddenly. He couldn't quite understand why things were suddenly a lot more annoying. He took a deep breath, in which he hiccuped, before continuing: "I have…feelings about Merlin."
"Ok…" Gwaine said slowly. "Ya know, some people don't like that sort of thing, but I'm OK with it, you can do whatever you want!"
"What? No! Not that sort of feeling!" Arthur snapped again. Gwaine chuckled as his face went bright red. He tried again. "I have…"
Arthur sighed; he had been trying not to use that word. "Yes! An…inkling, about Merlin."
"What sort of inkling?"
Arthur hesitated; this was going to sound mad. But then again, he was clearly drunk, either that or the world never stayed in one place for more than a minute, and he just hadn't noticed. "I think…he may have…"
"A neck tie? Yes I think he has plenty of those."
"Really?" Arthur said, his sarcasm as strong as the alcohol he had been drinking.
He leaned forward and lowered his voice. Gwaine leaned forward too, and Arthur caught a whiff of his breath, it stank. He dimly wondered if his was the same. Probably, or that may be another thing he hadn't noticed until now.
"I think Merlin may have… magic." He said the last word in a hushed whisper, dramatic pause included.
Gwaine's face became very stern, "this is serious," he said. "This is going to require more drink…"
"No Gwaine!" Arthur snapped as Gwaine raised his hand to attract the disgruntled looking bar maid, who was fed up with the two men sitting in the corner laughing, talking loudly and, at times, singing. "I'm serious!"
There was a moments hesitation, in which Gwaine started giggling. "You must be joking!" He chortled.
"I am not!" Arthur scowled. "Haven't you ever noticed it before? The way he sometimes acts so…strange."
"Yeah, but I think that may be just a Merlin thing," Gwaine pointed out.
"Yes, but there's other stuff as well!"
"Well…" Arthur hesitated. "Whenever anything strange does happen, Merlin seems to be on the other side of it, and he gets away with everything! He's actually quite good at lying I reckon, his excuses are still dreadful, but I think he's keeping a secret from me. And how many times has someone said he's a saucepan—"
"Sorcerer," Gwaine corrected.
"Right, sorcerer, and yet he gets away with it, and he always looks relieved when he does. It's strange, I know, but it sort of…makes sense at the same time. Don't you feel the same?"
To Arthur's surprise, Gwaine nodded in agreement, but then he said; "you are aware Arthur, that you're admitting all this when you're completely drunk?"
"I'm not completely drunk!" Arthur argued. He almost believed his own words, the conversation about Merlin having magic had made him feel a little more sober.
However, Gwaine had another point of view, and he had evidence to prove it. He leaned forward and pushed Arthur gently on the shoulder with one finger. This simple movement seemed like nothing, but it caused Arthur to almost fall off his chair. He glowered at Gwaine as he grabbed onto the table to prevent himself from falling to the floor. Gwaine tried very hard not to laugh.
"Gwaine," Arthur quickly corrected himself as he ignored the fact that he was now finding it very difficult to keep balance. "You must have had some thoughts about this as well!"
Gwaine thought for a few seconds, which stretched into a few minutes, as it was surprisingly difficult to think when drunk, no matter how much practice your brain had. "I see your point," he said slowly. "I do get the feeling he's hiding something that's right under our noses." The two men then took the next few moments to try and look at their own noses before Gwaine continued. "But I don't think there's anything we do about it. It's just an…inkling, there's no proof."
"Well, there's only one thing we can really do…" Arthur said slowly.
"What? Arrest him?" Gwaine joked.
Arthur shrugged. "I was going to say ask him about it. But I suppose we could arrest him instead." He said.
Oh, thought Gwaine as Arthur stood up proudly and drunk, and announced very loudly that he was going to arrest his own manservant. He then walked, or rather stumbled, out of the tavern. Gwaine followed quickly, by falling out of his chair with a loud crash. The few other people in the tavern (including the disgruntled bar maid) turned to stare at him, with looks of annoyance and confusion. Gwaine decided it was best to ignore them.
"Hey, wait for me!" He called after Arthur, pulling himself haphazardly back to his feet, finishing the rest of his drink, and then staggering after Arthur, who had already disappeared from sight.
Arthur hadn't wondered too far from the tavern. He found it was hard to walk fast when it felt like his legs had turned to jelly. That's another new word, Arthur thought, jelly, jelly…what is jelly?
Arthur's deep, philosophical thoughts were interrupted when Gwen appeared in his hazy line of vision. He blundered of her, a drunken smile plastered on his face.
Gwen had just returned from the market place, a fresh basket of fruits dangled under the crook of her arm. She looked up when she heard someone call her name, and saw Arthur stumbling towards her. She knew she was drunk before she even smelt his breath, and she was not pleased to say the least.
"There you are Gwen!" Arthur said happily, as if he had been searching for her for hours. He paused for a moment and looked confused. "Since when were there three of you?" He demanded.
Gwen rolled her eyes. "Err Arthur, do I want to know what you're doing?" She asked, skipping the greeting as he had done and feeling annoyed to see the temporary King of Camelot wandering around drunk.
"Have you seen Merlin?" Arthur asked cheerily, not seeming to notice the displeasing tone in her voice.
"The one on the right looks prettier," Arthur suddenly announced.
Despite the fact that there was only one Gwen standing in front of Arthur, not three, it made her scowl. "I'm afraid I haven't Arthur," she told him, deciding to ignore his last comment. "But why are you here, and why are you drunk?" She asked.
Before Arthur could reply, Gwen's question was answered by Gwaine stumbling into view. The grin on his face was as lop sided as his walking. Gwen rolled her eyes again. A drunk Gwaine coming out of his favourite tavern explained everything.
"Hello Gwen!" Gwaine said very loudly and cheerily. At least he could only see one of her, but it looked like he was having trouble standing up. He leaned against the wall of a house and grinned again. "Have you seen Merlin?" He asked.
"I've already asked her that!" Snapped Arthur, but then his face fell. "I can't remember what she said though…"
Gwen rolled her eyes again. "I said no."
"Correct!" Arthur said happily. "Which means…"
"You'll have to look for him somewhere else," Gwen saved Arthur the dramatic pause for thought.
"Exactly! Where do you think, Lancelot?"
"It's Gwaine." Gwaine corrected for him, but he didn't seem at all hazed by this mistaken name. The two were acting so comical Gwen suddenly found herself trying not to laugh. "He's probably at the stables."
"Great idea! If only I could remember which direction the stables are…"
Gwaine pointed in the opposite direction to the stables before Gwen could give Arthur the right answer. "That way!" He was acting like they were on some sort of Quest. Well, finding your way to some stables when you're drunk probably is like a Quest. Gwen thought.
Unperturbed, Arthur nodded happily. "Right, we'll go there then."
The two men set off, one foot in front of the other, in the direction they thought was the stables.
"Be careful you two!" Gwen called after them, feeling like she was telling a couple of ten-year-old boys to play nicely.
"OK!" Arthur seemed to be fitting the ten-year-old role very well. "Oh, and Gwen?"
"I looove you," Arthur gave a cheesy grin, his voice suddenly sounding like it was made out of candyfloss. Gwen could feel herself going pink. She could see Gwaine grinning again behind Arthur.
"Yes, that's very nice, but not here Arthur," Gwen said in a low whisper, aware of all the people around her, including Gwaine.
"Arthur shrugged, "all right then. I still loove you though!"
Gwen rolled her eyes.
"Come along Lance—"
"Gwaine!" Arthur quickly corrected himself, "let's go!"
And with that, he began stumbling away again, concentrating on where his feet were going rather than where he was actually walking.
Gwaine however, did notice. "Err Arthur," he began, "Watch out for the—
"Wall," Gwaine finished with a sigh, as Arthur found himself knocked completely off his feet and now lying on the ground with a groan and a burp.
Gwen's shocked gasp turned to tutting and eye rolling as Gwaine started giggling and the young King lay there as if the muddy ground was actually quite comfortable.
17 hours and 26 minutes later…
Arthur awoke with a groan. He had a pounding headache, through his bleary eyes he could see the sun shining down on his bed, and his quickly closed his eyes again and buried himself under the covers.
There was no denying this feeling – he had a hangover. He had been drunk and now he was paying the price, pure and simple.
The trouble was, that was all Arthur knew for certain had happened the day before. He had got drunk; the rest was just a blur. The few other things he remembered was a wall walking into him, or perhaps the other way round, and he had a strange urge to kill Gwaine. Apart from that, there was nothing else.
There was a cough at his chamber doorway. Arthur pulled his head from under the covers to see Merlin standing there, a piece of parchment in his hand and a cheeky grin on his face that Arthur did not like at all.
"Morning," Merlin said cheerily.
Arthur just groaned.
"Did you have a fun time last night?" Merlin asked, his tone suggesting that he knew the answer.
"Not any more," Arthur grumbled. He rolled over onto his front and tried to bury his head into a pillow.
Merlin cleared his throat. "I err, I have a list here," he began.
Arthur's face emerged once more, his brow furrowed with confusion. "A list?"
Merlin nodded, "a list you made last night."
"Oh no," Arthur's head vanished again.
"Would you like me to read it?"
"No!" Came a muffled but angry voice, knowing that he had no choice in the matter.
Merlin cleared his throat again, he was enjoying this. "Number one, ban the word inkling." There was a pause. "What is inkling?" Merlin asked.
"I have no idea," Arthur admitted, his head reappearing once again, but his eyes stayed closed, he gently rubbed his temple. "But it's annoying when used too often."
"I'm sure," said Merlin slowly. He went back to the list, "number two. Errr…arrest Merlin?"
There was a pause.
"Any reason why you want to arrest me?" Merlin asked tentatively.
"Erm…" Fortunately for Merlin, his worst kept secret was saved by Arthur's lack of memory of the night before, he was pulling a blank. "Sorry, no idea."
Arthur missed the look of relief that flickered over Merlin's face, before he continued.
"Number three, marry Gwen—"
"What!" Arthur sat up suddenly, his eyes wide. "I married Gwen!"
"No, but you're planning to, apparently."
"Oh, good," Arthur laid is head back down with relief. His father would not be pleased, although it wasn't such a bad idea…
"Number four," Merlin went on, "develop an ability to walk through walls?"
"That would be useful," Arthur admitted.
Merlin nodded in fake and patronising agreement. "Of course," he said. "Anyway, number five—"
"How long is this going to go on for?" Arthur groaned. This list was merely showing him what a weird night he'd had and it was making his headache worse. However it still didn't explain why he had an urge to attack Gwaine, although he was the one who persuaded him to have a drink…
Merlin's eyes skipped down the parchment. "You've got a few more to go," he admitted. "Something about re-naming Lancelot and Gwaine and moving the stables."
"Well we can safely say that the parchment is useless and you should burn it," Arthur snapped. "I have no idea what happened yesterday and I plan that everyone has as little idea as I do!"
Merlin grinned cheekily, "OK Arthur," he said, sounding a lot like he was trying not to laugh.
"Now get out!" Arthur snapped again. He pulled his head under the cover again and groaned.
Then he froze. He stared.
"Merlin!" Arthur yelled, ignoring his pounding head.
Merlin reappeared at the doorway, as if he had barely left, as if he knew that he would be called immediately back. "Yes?" He said in a horribly polite voice.
"Why am I wearing a skirt?" Arthur demanded, his face red with rage and embarrassment.
"Because apparently it brings out your eyes Sire, everyone else in court agreed." Merlin said gently, trying so very hard to keep the joy out of his voice.
Arthur let out a loud moan.
Yep, he was definitely going to kill Gwaine.
Thanks for reading! I hope it made you chuckle!
And review? Please? *puppy dog eyes*