Summary: Inspired by a Horrible Histories sketch. Arthur has a new war tactic he wants to try out. Gwaine is too eager, Merlin is being stupid, and the others wish they were anywhere else but here.
Pairings: A little Arthur/Gwen, mentions of Gwaine loving himself (as usual), and some implied Knight on Knight Action but nothing explicit or actually real.
"I have a brilliant idea!" Arthur started the Camelot Knight's Strategy meeting (which only met once in a blue moon which is probably why Merlin was always having to rescue them. Not that they noticed,) cheerfully. "It is the best intimidation technique I've come across in my readings."
The knights groaned at that. The last time Arthur had a 'brilliant' idea for intimidation tactics, they ended up sore, covered in mud, and people making lewd suggestions about their private activities with one another. It had not been a successful idea and they really didn't want a repeat of that. After all there was only so many gay jokes you can hear before you punch the lights out of someone and end up in a cell in order to 'calm down'.
"You read?" Merlin said dryly.
Arthur shot him a dirty look and it would have escalated into a full out childish argument if Leon hadn't coughed and brought Arthur's attention back to him. "What is your idea, Sire?" Leon asked, loyal as ever.
"Make up?!" Everyone including Merlin repeated sceptically.
"It's an old Viking technique!" Arthur explained, still cheerful, "they wore dark make up to make themselves appear terrifying, and it worked."
"Isn't it a bit girly?" Elyan asked as he wrinkled his nose. "I mean that's the sort of stuff Gwen wears, isn't it?
"It's an old Viking technique!" Arthur argued.
"And you call me a girl," Merlin snorted derisively.
"IT'S AN OLD VIKING TECHNIQUE!"
Everyone winced at Arthur's shrill, loud, voice and decided it was best to just drop the subject. After all if they went through with this as reasonable adults, Arthur was bound to see how stupid his idea was, blame Merlin, and they can continue with their lives like normal. If they kept picking at it and moaned about it, the more adamant Arthur will be about them wearing eye liner.
"Arthur…." Leon sighed, as he realised once again, he would be the one speaking for everyone. Seriously, couldn't someone else do it? He gets sore throats! "If it means so much to you, we'll try the, erm…old Viking technique."
"Excellent!" Arthur beamed as he returned back to his good mood. He clicked his fingers at Merlin who stepped forward, opened a sack, and poured out lots and lots of different types of make up onto the table before the knights. He had wondered why Arthur wanted him to raid Morgana's old makeup collection. The knights all inwardly groaned, already regretting this. "All of you experiment with these," Arthur ordered, "we'll do a line up and see what the more intimidating style is. Merlin, you do it too. After all it'll take a lot of make up to make you appear even mildly threatening to a mouse."
Grumbling, Merlin gave in and reached for some make up. Surely has a manservant he didn't have to be subjected to this stupidity? After all he wasn't the moron that attacked things, went to war with virtually every kingdom in close proximity, and made hundreds upon hundreds of enemies….err actually scratch out the last one, he might have just beaten Arthur in the making enemies' category.
Soon enough everyone was wearing make-up and Arthur was examining each one of them. "Excellent, Leon," he approved of Leon's muddy look, "terrifying, Percival," he admired Percival's evil appearance, "Very good Elyan," Merlin wasn't even sure of Elyan was wearing make-up but he wasn't going to say anything just in case he insulted his best friend's brother. "Gwaine…erm, that's a bit…..well girly."
Gwaine truly did look feminine, for once Arthur wasn't being silly. The gorgeous drunk had outlined his eyes, dabbed a slight bit of rouge on, and Merlin was certain he was wearing lipstick as well!
Gwaine merely responded to Arthur's comment by flipping his hair back. "You just can't handle the fact that I'm gorgeous!" he declared passionately.
Everyone may have taken several steps away from him at that.
Arthur decided it was best to move on. He stepped in front of Merlin and took one look at Merlin's incredibly pale face and swore. "Merlin!" he shouted furiously. "Can't you take anything seriously?!"
"You said you wanted me to look terrifying!" Merlin protested.
"It is terrifying," Leon agreed as the others shuffled away from Merlin, "I think I'll be having nightmares tonight."
"Same here, a ginger, permed, Merlin just doesn't look right," Gwaine agreed with a shudder.
"He looks ridiculous!" Arthur barked. "Our enemies are more likely to laugh at him than run away from him in fear."
"I'm sure one look at your ugly face will cure them of that," Merlin retorted, quite cleverly if you ask him.
"Merlin," Arthur gritted his teeth while he held up one of Morgana's torture devices…erm he means make-up thingy-mc-bob (he was a boy! No matter what Arthur says, and that meant he had no clue about make-up!), "leave, now, before I murder you with this eye pencil thing!"
He did so quickly.
"Now then," Arthur said more cheerfully, "Let's go and test these intimidating techniques out-"
Arthur was instantly interrupted by a spine-chilling scream and a loud thump. Fearful for his wife, he ran out, with his knights not too far behind him, only to find his breathless wife standing over an unconscious Merlin.
"Guinevere!" he cried out worriedly. "Are you all right?"
"I just had a dreadful fright!" Guinevere gasped as she dropped the silver jug she had been wielding (it landed on Merlin's stomach which woke him up with a groan), and ran into Arthur's arms. "Some psycho just attacked me!"
"It's only Merlin, Gwen!" Gwaine called out reassuringly.
"Heh," Elyan said amused, "Looks like Merlin's make up is terrifying after all."
"Of course it's fucking terrifying!" Gwen shrieked. "He's dressed up as a clown for Christ sake!"