Disclaimer: If I owned Merlin, episode 3x01 would have gone more like this. I also can't be held responsible if anyone's brain melts due to the stupidity of this story.
Warnings: absurdity abounds. There's also brief mentions of drinking and character death.
This is my first and last attempt at straight comedy. I wanted to try writing something different that I could just have fun with and not take too seriously, but I don't think I'll be doing it again. Hopefully whoever reads this will get a laugh or two out of my little experiment; I doubt you'll get anything else out of it.
Lady Morgana, beloved ward of Uther Pendragon, seer, sorceress, and newly minted traitor who was determined to bring about the utter destruction of said king (not that he knew she was any of the last three things) straightened her back, lifted her chin, and marched into the throne room to confront her guardian and future victim. At the sight of her, Uther jumped up from his throne and rushed to embrace her, having apparently forgotten that their relationship hadn't been that great - but then, she had been missing for a year, and Uther was getting older, so we can't expect him to remember everything.
He gushed about how much he'd missed her while squeezing the air out of her lungs, but he didn't cry! Unfortunately for Morgana and Morgause, Uther was suffering from clogged tear ducts that day and so was unable to produce tears.
Morgause was not happy when Morgana reported her failure that night. "Sister, you know I cannot work my enchantment without the tears of Uther Pendragon! How are we supposed to overthrow Camelot now?"
"I have an idea." An evil smirk spread slowly over Morgana's face as a new evil plot formed slowly inside her evil little mind. "If being reunited with me after a year isn't enough to make him cry, then I will take away the thing he treasures most, his most valued possession!"
"Prince Arthur? You will kill Prince Arthur?" Morgause asked eagerly.
"Uther certainly treasures his son, but killing him might be too difficult since he has a curious tendency to survive everything that comes his way. No, I will take something else from Uther… I will steal his leather gloves!"
Morgause looked at her sister like she'd gone crazy. "How will that make him cry, sister?"
"You don't know him like I do, sister. He wears those gloves everywhere; he didn't even take them off before he pinched my cheek today," Morgana said in disgust. "In fact, I think taking away his gloves will make him insane just as well as any magic; we won't even need the mandrake."
"You don't want to use the mandrake anymore, sister?" Morgause looked crestfallen.
"Well, it would be easy for someone to catch me replacing it every other day," Morgana reasoned, "not to mention that the stone floor of his bedchamber would have been hell on my knees. I believe this plan will do much better, sister."
After Morgana left, Morgause threw the mandrake root down on the ground and pouted. Morgana just doesn't understand how hard these things are to get hold of nowadays with the economy being what it is. The new plan was also much less grandiose and complicated, which actually meant it had a better chance of succeeding…but that never occurred to Morgause. I didn't much like the mandrake plot anyway, she decided. No undead warriors in that part of the plan.
Meanwhile, back in Camelot, Morgana sneaked into Uther's chambers. Clandestinely gaining entry to the king's bedchamber while he slept hadn't been easy, but she had managed it thanks to a bright red cloak and shoes which clacked loudly on the stone floor that seemed to render her invisible and inaudible to the guards who were sworn to lay down their lives in defense of their monarch. Once she made it inside, Uther's snores covered the noise her shoes made as she set about her dastardly work: emptying his wardrobe. Her prize was not to be found in the wardrobe, however.
As Morgana looked around in consternation, wondering where Uther could possibly keep his gloves, the king rolled over and batted away his covers, allowing her to see that the gloves were still on. Morgana rolled her eyes, whispered a spell to freeze Uther in that moment, preventing him from waking up or moving, and tugged the gloves off his immobile hands. Then she sneaked out again - leaving her hated enemy alive although killing him while she had him under her spell would have been laughably easy, because a year under Morgause's tutelage had taught her how not to accomplish tasks in the easiest, most efficient way - holding the gloves (which were rather smelly after having been worn for countless years) at arm's length.
The next morning, Gaius and Merlin were summoned to the king's chambers by a very concerned Arthur. "His servant found him like this, and no one's been able to rouse him. He's just lying there, mumbling that he's missing something," the distraught prince explained.
"Don't worry, Gaius will be able to help him."
Arthur was not comforted by Merlin's reassurance. "Wait until you see him, Merlin."
It was an awful sight - the mighty king of Camelot was curled up in a ball on his bed, arms tucked against his chest, twitching occasionally as he stared at the wall and muttered to himself. "Sire," Gaius said gently, "are you able to get up?"
Uther shook his head feverishly. "Can't get up. Can't be seen like this… They're gone…"
"What's gone, sire?" Uther just shook his head, whimpered, and hugged himself tighter, so Gaius took hold of his arms and pried them away from his patient's body…revealing that Uther's hands were bare! His gloves were gone! Everyone in the room cringed at the sight of the king's bare hands, and Merlin crashed to the floor in a dead faint. Gaius let go immediately, allowing Uther to hide his hands in his sleeves again, and turned to Arthur. "You may have noticed that leather gloves have been a constant part of your father's attire for many years; I believe losing them has sent him into shock. May I suggest you mount a search for his gloves, or procure a replacement pair?"
"Good idea; I'll get right on that." Any excuse to leave the room before Uther's hands were uncovered again was fine by Arthur. "Come on Merlin, we have gloves to find!" Of course there was no answer, since Merlin was unconscious. "Where is that useless servant?" Arthur bellowed.
Gaius was confused; he could have sworn Merlin had been there a moment ago. Perhaps he'd had to leave suddenly to attend to some magical crisis. I had best make an excuse for him so he doesn't get caught, thought Gaius. "He told me he was going to spend the day in the tavern, sire."
Arthur stomped out, grumbling about the unpleasant jobs he would give Merlin when he found him while stepping right over the unconscious warlock and not even noticing when his boot missed Merlin's head by a scant inch.
Morgana, who was lurking in the doorway and delighting in Uther's suffering, smirked in wicked amusement at Merlin almost getting kicked in the head, but the smirk left her face when the muscles in her cheeks, which weren't yet conditioned enough to withstand all the smirking she'd been doing lately, twinged painfully. She waited until Gaius left, then knelt and slapped Merlin awake.
"Ugh… What happened?"
"You fainted," Morgana explained with feigned sympathy, "and Arthur didn't even notice! He thought you'd run off to the tavern."
"That prat! How could he say that after all I've done for him? Maybe I should go to the tavern and let him try to manage without me for a day."
"Maybe you should." If he goes to the tavern, I won't have to put up with him.
"You know what? I think I will. Thanks, Morgana. You're a good friend." He picked himself up off the floor and left.
As she contemplated the Merlin-free day ahead, Morgana couldn't stop her overworked facial muscles from forming yet another smirk. "Ow!"
Convincing Merlin to go to the tavern turned out to be the best move Morgana could have made, though she never realized it. When she and Morgause staged their attack on Camelot, he was too busy getting drunk to stop them, so they dethroned the Pendragons and conquered the kingdom in a single night.
The next morning as Morgana stood over the body of her vanquished foe, she noticed something strange - Uther's leather gloves had somehow reappeared overnight and were clutched in his cold dead fist. I thought I still had them. Did he find another pair? Actually she was amazed that he seemed to have only had the one pair; before attempting to steal them she'd thought he must have at least fifty and had wondered how she was going to carry them all.
While she pondered the mystery of why Uther hadn't had more gloves if they were so important to him, the pair in his hand suddenly came alive and freed themselves from his grasp. Morgana cried out in shock, but before she could call Morgause in to see this strange phenomenon, a disembodied voice began whispering in her mind. You see Uther's gloves were possessed by an evil spirit that made the wearer act like their head was stuck where the sun doesn't shine, and now that the spirit's previous host was dead it needed to ensnare a new victim.
As the gloves crawled across the floor toward her like five-legged spiders, Morgana realized that if they succeeded in working their way onto her hands, she would be possessed…and then she would begin acting like Uther! That would be a fate worse than death. She screamed in horror as the little leather monstrosities inched toward her - in fact, they were inching so slowly that she could have easily run away, or just walked away, but for some reason she never thought of doing that.
Just when it looked like she would be doomed to a lifetime of arrogant, narrow-minded, Uther-like behavior, her salvation came from the last place she expected. Merlin had finally returned from the tavern and stumbled into the throne room, looking for Arthur. Instead he saw a pair of possessed gloves attacking Morgana - who was still a friend as far as he knew since he'd been out drinking while she carried out her nefarious scheme - and didn't think twice about conjuring a fireball to incinerate them. In fact he didn't think at all, but then he did have a colossal hangover.
Morgana was flabbergasted to discover that her second least favorite person after Uther had magic too and more than a little hurt that he never told her, but she was willing to forgive him for everything considering what he had just saved her from.
Merlin (once his head cleared) was astonished to discover that Camelot had fallen after just one night without him…for about two seconds. Then he realized it really wasn't that surprising, and the deep dismay set in. But he had always been adaptable - after all, he'd left everything he had ever known in Ealdor to move to a kingdom he'd never seen before - so it didn't take him long to decide that if he couldn't make Arthur the great king he was destined to be, he would do everything in his power to make Morgana the Once and Future Queen instead. That meant stealthily getting rid of Morgause, who was clearly a bad influence.
Once she was gone, Morgana became a great queen with Merlin's help, so the citizens of Camelot soon adjusted to her rule and eventually they even forgot that she had violently usurped Uther and Arthur. The only thing that really bothered the people about their new queen, though this was more of a curious eccentricity than an actual problem, was that on the first day of her reign she had instituted a new law criminalizing the unnecessary wearing of leather gloves.