The USS Camelot
In which they are Captain Arthur Pendragon and First Officer Merlin aboard the USS Camelot, with the knights and ladies as their (sort of) loyal crewmembers. Merthur, Morwaine, Gwencelot, Arwen and Merlin/Freya.
Based on a statement my friend saw on her tumblr dash that read: "oh no but what if king Arthur and Merlin were in the future as captain and first officer of the USS Camelot"
If anyone finds that post on tumblr, please send me a link in a message or something. My friend didn't save it.
A warning before you read: I did minor research into the alien races mentioned in this story, so apologies if I got something wrong. If you have any complaints about how I portrayed a race, simply send me a private message and I'll try to correct the error.
The USS Camelot was one of Starfleet's most successful ships. They lost less personnel and completed more missions with less damage than almost any other ship, save for maybe the USS Enterprise.
Like the Enterprise, the Camelot's command crew was interesting and the subject of talk throughout the Fleet.
Commander Merlin joined the Camelot several months into her mission, when her First Officer fell victim to an unknown pollen on a new planet and had to be immediately discharged because he could no longer perform anything beyond basic tasks.
His first encounter with Captain Arthur Pendragon was, to put it mildly, disastrous. Details were sketchy but there may have been derogatory references to Merlin's Argelian heritage and lack of proper deference shown to the captain of the ship - though allegedly, Captain Pendragon had not been wearing his captain golds at the time so the oversight was not entirely Commander Merlin's fault. The two men ended up refusing to look at each other or speak to each other, except to bicker and undermine each other, for two and a half weeks. It made life on the bridge almost unbearable.
Despite their atrocious beginnings, Merlin still saved the captain's life when first contact with a new species went south almost immediately, pulling him out of the way of a thrown knife and knocking out the woman responsible all in the same movement.
The relationship between the Commander and the Captain has been interesting ever since.
It was quickly realized by the crew that any threat to the life of the captain, no matter how small, was critically important to Merlin. He would jump in the way of any attack aimed at the captain and take any physical, emotional, or mental pain necessary to keep Arthur safe. This quickly gained him Arthur's loyalty in return.
Even when Merlin wasn't sent on an away mission, if Arthur was in danger, Merlin was always somehow there to save him. No one would remember him leaving the bridge or beaming down to the planet, but he was always there right when Arthur needed him most. The fact that Merlin managed to vanish without giving anyone temporary control of the bridge was the source of many arguments between the captain and his first officer.
It took awhile for the crew of the Camelot to realize how much Merlin was doing for them. Merlin always managed to uncover a nefarious plot or dishonest promise before it could come back to haunt anyone or get any of the crew killed. A group of ambassadors aboard the Camelot would be tucked away in private, discussing their plans, and suddenly Merlin was informing Arthur of every last detail they'd said. Or a member of a new species, meant to show the away team to their temporary quarters, would suddenly find he'd lost the blade he intended to kill Arthur with after a brush with Merlin in the hallway. He made sure to be as inconspicuous as possible with his deeds and it took an embarrassing eleven missions for the rest of the crew to catch on.
Once, the away team encountered an alien race that valued physical prowess and power over all else. The team would have been trapped on the planet indefinitely if Captain Pendragon had not accepted a duel with the planet's champion fighter. If he won, they got to go home. If he lost, they were prisoners until they could win against the champion.
The entire duel, the away team kept an equally close eye on their captain and their first officer. Merlin was fidgety and tense the whole fight. No one doubted that, at the first sign of true danger to Arthur's life, the Argelian would forego his race's pacifistic ways and jump to the captain's defense. They didn't even doubt that Merlin would kill for his captain.
Rumor had it that Merlin had actually said as much to a blue orbicular headed species who preyed on psy-null beings while Arthur and the rest of the away team were writhing on the ground. His resistance to the attack would also put Merlin in a very small percentage group among Argelians, those with psychic ability, making him even more invaluable to the Federation than previously thought. Then again, it was all just rumor. Ask any of the crew.
Captain Pendragon was also fiercely loyal to his crew. He took offense to anything that offended his crew or his ship. This sometimes got the Camelot into dangerous situations, but a lot of the time it got them out of bad situations instead. It didn't matter whether the crew member was one of the bridge crew or an engineer or a doctor or whatever, Arthur would protect them all as necessary. It made everyone on board the Camelot very loyal to him. That made sense. Merlin's loyalty didn't make sense at first, because Arthur hadn't done anything to win him over, but it seemed that Arthur was doing his best to make up for it.
Something Merlin had trouble understanding was Arthur's on-again-off-again relationship with their Orion communications specialist, Guinevere Leodegan. Everyone knew that Gwen, as her friends called her, had the biggest crush on their Chief Engineer, Lancelot. Half the males on the ship had a thing for Gwen though, whether that was simply a curse of her genetics or something of her own making was unclear. Arthur couldn't seem to decide if he liked her as more than a friend, and the constant flip flopping ensured that life on the bridge was...entertaining.
Then again, Merlin once had a thing for a nurse down in medical, a petite girl with some Caitian heritage, so he understood at least a small bit of what Arthur was dealing with. But she died when she accompanied Merlin and the away team to a new, uninhabited planet and a large flowering plant shot poisonous seed bullets at her as soon as the team had finished beaming to the surface. Merlin had been unapproachable for days until the captain went to cheer him up. No one's quite sure what Arthur did, but Merlin returned to work and smiled and was even happier than usual for over a week after.
That was another thing about Merlin: he became a bad omen. Of course his presence meant that the aliens races would have a much harder time trying to cause the crew any harm, but anyone who got too close to him seemed to meet a rather unfortunate end. His best friend since childhood was killed by a previously unknown beast right after he joined the crew. His girlfriend died on an away mission. His father came aboard as an ambassador and died getting between his son and an enemy phaser.
If anyone had doubted Merlin was capable of violence before then, they forgot those doubts quickly once they saw what he did to his father's killer. He spent a week afterward trying to repent for his actions before he seemed to accept what he'd done and recovered. Mostly.
So while Merlin was personable and likeable, most of the crew was just as happy not to interact with him as to partner up with him. It was nice to be his friend, but no one stayed too close. Which is why the entire crew was shocked when they learned that Captain Arthur Pendragon himself had become Merlin's significant other, and that Merlin had let him. But Merlin was nothing if not protective of the captain, and strangely good at defending him without violence.
This new development was the cause of endless joy for their navigator, a half-Deltan woman who had grown up as a sort of surrogate sister to Arthur. Her name was Morgana and she teased Arthur about his relationship endlessly. Arthur couldn't do anything in return since Morgana, as even part Deltan, had taken the vow of celibacy before joining Starfleet and didn't have any romantic interests to tease her with.
Their pilot, a human named Gwaine, didn't seem to mind her vow and was constantly trying to make her break them. He did stunts with the ship - to the chagrin of the entire crew and the amusement of Morgana. He reprogrammed the replicators to make Morgana's favorite snacks and brought them to her at odd times when they weren't on shift. He was arrogant and yet chivalrous like none of the crew had ever encountered. Officially, Morgana remained unmoved and her vows unbroken. Unofficially, no one wanted to know.
There was no doubt that Merlin's patience with his captain was tested often. Arthur seemed to have a propensity for getting captured and tricked into loving someone on half the planets they visited, leaving Merlin to go rescue him and whoever else was tricked as well. Arthur was arrogant and always insisted that he'd never needed rescuing in the first place, which gained him more than one eye roll from Gwen as well as Merlin.
Starfleet would have had a field day with the Captain and First Officer being in a romantic relationship simply because of the possibility of one or both of them becoming emotionally compromised, but Merlin beat them to it. The simple fact was that Merlin seemed to always and constantly be emotionally compromised, it just didn't negatively affect his work. And Arthur had the loyalty of over four hundred staff and crew aboard the USS Camelot that would raise hell if Arthur, and by extension Merlin, was brought on trial.
Besides, they were the best team you could ask for when dealing with a new alien race - again, except for maybe the Enterprise. If Arthur couldn't charm them into cooperating, Merlin was able to sweetly sweep them off their feet and right into Starfleet's waiting hands. They made a great team and their crew was a well oiled machine. So while they completed more and more missions and were the subject of more and more talk and rumors, no one ever stopped them.