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Reanimated: » Games » Merlin » Stories » The Odd Couple: The Adventures of Sir Leon and Sir Gwaine

The Odd Couple: The Adventures of Sir Leon and Sir Gwaine

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"Duck!"

Leon pulled Merlin down behind a bush, watching yet another legion of Morgana's men riding off through Tintagel's gates. For the first time Leon noticed that the bodies of the soldiers he felled while Merlin got rid of the gold had vanished. "That's strange--where did the guards go?" he said, his brow knotted.

"Magic?" Merlin suggested.

"It's possible--they weren't that difficult to kill. And it would explain why there's so many of them." Leon shook his head. "Magic soldiers or no, we have to get back inside that castle."

"Leon," Merlin gulped. "What if Gwaine…?"

"I'm sure he's still alive. Perhaps he's just--taken up a defensible position elsewhere."

Gwaine's current hold on life was affirmed by the sound of a Gwaine shout, faint from the distance but obviously made from the gut, coming from one of the castle towers.

"Oh dear," Merlin said, looking as pale as Leon felt. Did he really think of Gwaine with ambivalence, even aggravation, not twelve hours earlier? But he'd never had a friend like Gwaine before--so loud and forward that you became his friend out of sheer self-preservation. Gwaine made friends so quickly, and he made you think of him as a friend just as fast. It made Leon quite jealous that Gwaine was so personable, but it didn't change the fact that in a few short days Gwaine had made Leon think of him as one of his best friends. It was clear Merlin felt the same way about Gwaine too.

"Don't worry," Leon said. "I'll find him. You stay here."

"A fine job you'll do keeping watch for guards while you're trying to sneak up there by yourself!" Merlin snapped, "I'm coming with you!"

And Leon, unfortunately more used to taking orders from people acting like they were in charge than he wanted to admit, said, "Alright," then added, "But stay close. We're going to scale the walls."


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Whoa, okay, that was not what he had expected.

Gwaine was a straightforward man. He had expected torture. He could handle torture. He was expecting the rack, the hot iron, water boarding, some sort of magic that wracked him with pain but didn’t maim him permanently. He even suspected such a thing as a magic truth potion existed, which was the only possibility he was frightened of.

Well, until she went and did that.

Until she bloody well kissed him! Out of nowhere! Totally unprovoked! Like she had been debating eviscerating him or snogging him and had arbitrarily decided on the latter!

Morgana, as it turned out, was a good kisser, fortunately. Unfortunately. Damn! She was smart. She knew he was strong, and even more so he was stubborn. Everyone knew the easiest way to Gwaine’s heart was through his—erm, we’ll say “heart”—although honestly it wouldn’t be too hard to ply him with drink and just get him muddled until he talked—but it was the straightforward “tell me what I need to know and the pain will stop” torture that he was ace at withstanding. For whatever sick and twisted reason. And she knew that. And he hated that she knew.

After violating his mouth (and him liking it), Morgana pulled back with a smirk, stroking his beard. It gave him the chills.

“God, I hate you,” Gwaine ground out.

“Someone likes it rough then?” she was practically giggling, plucking absently at hairs on his chest as she continued, "there will be plenty of time for pillow-talk later--"

"'Pillow talk'?" Gwaine bridled. How did she even know what that was? He needed to stop with his erroneous assumptions that all nobility were virgins and monks.

"Guard shifts, passwords, the usual, Sir Gwaine. But all that..." Morgana nibbled on his ear, "can wait..."

Gwaine threw his head back against the stone wall with a groan of despair and…something else. He had never been so repulsed by someone morally and so attracted to them physically in his entire history of physically attractive and morally unattractive bedmates. What could he say? He had a thing for bad girls.

And if Morgana was any indication, the badder the better. His revulsion of her black heart, her misuse of sorcery, her evil ambitions, everything she was and stood for that was opposite to him only made him more attracted to her. Like a moth to a flame. And then to seal it, his own self-loathing kicked in which only made him even more

Sleepy…

Wait, what?

This was startling, frightening even. The room was spinning. There were at least two Morganas undressing in front of him.

Undressing? Oh, man, she...

Oh, man...

“Whaddidjoo…doooo?” Gwaine slurred.

Oh, God! A truth potion? A sleeping spell? More likely it was whatever rufies the kids who couldn’t get laid were using these days, because Gwaine Jr., treacherous little bugger, certainly was not sleepy.

“Oh, come, now, Gwaine, relax. This is supposed to be enjoyable…”

Gwaine was distantly wondering if he could bite his tongue off before he could be made to talk, but when she kissed him again he could hardly think of anything at all, and he forgot all plans of defiance. He forgot that he was a Knight of the Round Table, he forgot that this was a woman who had already slept with half the royal court of Camelot, he forgot that he was in an enemy castle chained to a wall, he forgot that she was trying to get information out of him.

“Cert’nly gonnaget…ssssomthin’,” he told her, and, grinning sloppily, Gwaine knew no more.

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It was possible that, had Merlin known that he was going to have to scale several stories of a rocky wall, he wouldn’t have volunteered quite so enthusiastically to accompany him. As soon as night fell, the two snuck back into the castle, with much less noise and hubbub than they’d created the first time. The two stood staring up at, of course, the top room of the tallest tower. Merlin sighed. Had he really complained to the universe about more stairs?

“You go up first,” Leon said, still looking doubtfully, albeit gamely, at the tower. Merlin turned and looked at him.

“Shouldn’t you go first, in case there are armed guards at the window?” he asked, and Leon gave it a moments’ thought.

“We’ll both go up at the same time,” he said finally.

It didn’t, in fact, work quite like that. Merlin, lacking the hindrance of armor and in almost full confidence that, if worst came to worse, he could catch himself if he fell, got ahead of Sir Leon, who was picking his way carefully up the tower. He soon got stuck, however, when the large rough stones at the base of the tower gave way to more polished, smaller stones higher up. He paused and looked around for a foothold, and Leon, watching from below, also paused and seemed to look for a foothold from his own perspective.

“Try that rock to your right, Merlin. No, wrong rock,” he shouted up as Merlin tried to figure out which, of all the twenty five or so rocks in his vicinity, Leon was talking about.

“Not that one either. The round one, Merlin!” Leon said, sounding frustrated.

“They’re all round, Sir Leon,” he said, and finally found one he thought he could reach. He managed to hook his foot on it and gained about two feet up the tower for his trouble.

“Reach for that one that’s sticking out to your-“ Sir Leon started, then stopped, and Merlin rested his head none too gently against the rock wall. He clearly should have let Leon go first. As he rested his forehead against the wall, he heard Leon talking. Again. Obligingly, Merlin started reaching for the only rock he saw sticking out to any side, but Leon grunted at him and he paused mid-reach.

"No, put your foot there. To the left. To your other left. Wait. No, that was a bad idea, go back."

"I CAN'T," Merlin half-shouted in complete frustration, now stuck clinging to the wall very precariously. He took a deep breath and reached up, and holding on to a rock that was jutting out, was able to pull his other leg closer to himself so he didn't go keeling off the wall. Leon was still shouting suggestions which were of no help whatsoever.

“Sir Leon, perhaps you should concentrate on your part of the wall,” Merlin said finally, trying to make it sound like a suggestion instead of him telling one of the knights of Camelot to sod off. Luckily Sir Leon didn’t seem to mind overmuch, or if he did he said nothing, and Merlin heard him clambering further up the wall. The way was easier going after Merlin made it up a few more feet, and so he stopped and clung closely to the wall to rest and wait for Leon to catch up. Looking down, he saw the knight struggling with the same foothold.

“See that round one to your right?” Merlin asked with a wicked grin, unable to resist. Leon looked up and glared at him for a moment.

“Merlin, shut up,” he said, but there wasn’t much anger in it. Merlin chuckled and went back to looking at the last third of the wall. It didn’t look too difficult to climb, which was a relief because his arms and legs were beginning to feel wobbly.

As he looked up at the rest of the wall, Leon finally caught up with him and passed him without a single word, grumbling something under his breath about stall-mucking manservants. He got stuck another foot up.

“Did you miss stone wall scaling practice or something?” Merlin hollered up good-naturedly, unaware that Leon had done just that. It shortly seemed he’d tested Leon’s patience in a way only one other person had so far managed- and that person was currently being held prisoner at the top of this tower.

“I SAID SHUT UP!” Leon shouted down, then looked surprised at his own volume and climbed spitefully and perhaps recklessly the last few feet to wedge himself under the sill. Merlin, stunned into silence by being shouted at by the knight who never shouted, and storing it in his head later to tell Gwaine, who would no doubt find it incredibly amusing, climbed the rest of the way in silence and also stopped under the sill, looking expectantly at Leon. The knight still looked very irritated, so Merlin attempted one of his patented winning smiles. He got an eyeroll in response.

“So, what’s the plan,” he whispered, though why they were bothering to be quiet now was beyond him. Surely they’d awakened half the castle with all their hollering and shouting and that last positively bombastic shout of Leon’s.

As if on cue, some ambitious soldier’s arrow came whizzing up from down below and shattered off the bottom of the windowsill, right in between Leon and Merlin’s faces. Both of them yanked back, and Merlin yelped as a little sliver of wood nipped his fingers. Well, so much for surprising Morgana.


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Leon resented having to look at Merlin's backside as he climbed, and he didn't appreciate Merlin's attitude one bit, either. Of course Leon knew how to climb a stone wall. All that kind of thing was a part of basic training before you were even considered for knighthood. Admittedly, it had been a while since basic training. A long while. What was it...five years? Ten? No, he wasn't that old, surely--it couldn't have been more than ten years ago…!

He stopped those thoughts quickly, scrambling ahead of Merlin for the last third of the wall despite his fingers slipping dangerously on the slick stone. When he got to the top he wedged himself under the windowsill, panting. Just then an arrow splintered the window sill above them, and Leon grabbed Merlin protectively as he yelped and almost let go.

"In you get, you great squirrel," Leon said, helping to haul Merlin up and over the sill. In a moment Leon pulled himself inside as well.

The room as dimly lit with candles that had almost burnt out. Gwaine was lying unconscious in a bed.

"Vile woman!" Leon seethed as he ran over to Gwaine. "What as she done to him?"

"There's more guards assembling," Merlin said, looking out the window. "I think the alarm's been raised."

"Then we haven't much time." Leon patted Gwaine's face. "Gwaine? Gwaine!"

Gwaine's eyes opened slowly. "Thass *Sir* Gwaine to…" he blinked, fuzzily. "Mrgna?"

"No, it's Leon! Are you hurt?"

Gwaine just grinned. "Oh! Hello!"

Leon sighed. He could recognize the signs of drunk Gwaine from a hundred paces. He pulled the blanket off Gwaine. "Come on, we've got to--Oh!--God!--" he dropped the blanket and looked away. Merlin's eyes got wide and he laughed hysterically.

Gwaine, was, of course, completely naked. He seemed to be the only one comofortable with this.

"Look--" Leon stammered, grabbing a pair of trousers from the floor. Still not looking at Gwaine, Leon started to dress him. "Get these on! Quick!"

Gwaine appeared to be confused. "What?"

"Quick!"

"Why?"

"You're in great peril!"

"No, I'm not!"

Leon grabbed Gwaine's face, looking him in the eye for a moment. "That vile temptress has poisoned your mind! We've got to get out before the guards overwhelm us by sheer numbers!"

"Look," Gwaine said, matter-of-factly, "There's nothing wrong--I'm fine!"

As if on cue, the room was filled with arrows, at first just from the window, then from the door to the stairs. Merlin jumped to the door and locked it as Leon pulled Gwaine out of the way of an oncoming arrow.

"I can tackle this lot single-handedly!" Gwaine insisted.

"We arrived in the nick of time and you know it! She--" Leon tried to think of a way to put this delicately (after all, Merlin was still a young man with probably some innocence intact). He settled again with, "You're in great peril!"

"I don't think I am…"

Leon ignored him, and poked his head up over the side of the bed, where he observed Merlin standing with his back against the door, and a perfect outline of arrows around him. That boy had some serious good luck.

"Did you see how many of them were below us?" Leon asked. "I don't think we can go through the door, now."


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SG: Agent Double-Oh-Negative
Merlin: Sir Leon
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Great squirrel? Merlin thought as he scrambled over the windowsill and dropped into the room, stepping out of the way so Leon wouldn't land on him. What kind of insult is that? He shook his head, looking hastily around for Morgana or a small army of hired soldiers. There was no one. No soldiers, no Morgana. There was Gwaine, he noticed as Leon ran over to see if there was anything really wrong with the other knight. Merlin moved back over to the window and, sure enough, there were soldiers gathering, more than there'd been a moment before. He stuck his head out to count them and hastily yanked it back in the room. One of those archers was a pretty good shot, to have nearly hit him twice.

He turned around just in time to see Leon yanking the blanket off of Gwaine, who hadn't a stitch of clothing on him. The look on the older knight's face, the complete horror at Gwaine being completely naked, was absolutely priceless. He laughed hysterically and considered giving Leon a hard time, but Leon had enough to deal with trying to get drunk-or enchanted?- Gwaine dressed so they could escape. And shortly, Merlin had his own problems to deal with, as a rain of arrows came flying through the door and buried themselves in the recently-vacated bed, as well as bedposts, the door, and shattered on the floor. In typical Merlin fashion, he bounded across the room and slammed the door shut, throwing the latch and heaving a deep breath before he glanced away and noticed Leon staring at him. He looked back at the door and saw a perfect outline of himself. Ah. Well, surely he could come up with a likely explanation for that. The melted door lock he blocked with his arm. No one would be coming in this door unless they broke it down.

He looked at Gwaine, who at least had figured out the trousers but was looking at the shirt like he had no idea what it was for. Sometimes Arthur looked at tunics like that when Merlin threw them at him. To him.

"Sir Gwaine, it goes over your head. Not the armhole, the head hole," he informed the knight, who turned the shirt around til he found the head hole and put the shirt on. Backwards. Clothes were apparently very confusing things for Gwaine. He went back over to the window and very cautiously looked out, while Leon bickered with Gwaine about boots and socks over by the bed. Apparently one of the socks was missing, not under the bed, not in the boot. Merlin looked around the room, saw a chest much like the one Arthur kept next to his bed, and went over to it.

"There are about twenty, and more running up, mostly armed with swords," he said, his voice muffled as he kneeled down to look under the chest. Sure enough, one sock. How in the world... He didn't even want to know.

"Here," he said a bit grimly, wadding the sock up and chucking it across the room. It hit Leon in the face, which in any other circumstance would have put Merlin in stitches of laughter. Right now, he was trying to figure out how to take care of 30 men without Leon or Gwaine of both finding out exactly how he'd done it.

"We can't go out the door. We'll have to jump, I think," he said. They were going to land on really hard ground if they did that, and maybe a few soldiers and assorted pointy bits of metal. Where was a haycart when you needed it?

Then it dawned on him. Standing on the right side of the window and looking out without sticking his head out the window, he could just barely see what he thought might be a cart of some kind, maybe the one they'd landed in earlier. He couldn't be sure. But he gave it a disconcerting yellow glare and the wheels slowly creaked into motion. Had the soldiers below not been making a racket, they would have heard, far up the street, the creaking and clattering of wheels.


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Supernatural: Alexander (Alex) Colt
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Leon looked by the shoes for the other sock, but it wasn't there. He looked by the trousers. Not there, either. How very odd. Socks didn't just disappear like this--it was almost like magic...

"Here," Merlin said, producing a sock seemingly out of thin air. Leon took it without question and finished dressing Gwaine, who was still difficult to manage considering that he was reaching for the door so he could "get perilous" with Lady Morgana (Leon would regret using that as his code word for weeks…)

"Let me get in there and face the peril!" Gwaine insisted. He was on his stomach on the bed, reaching for the door. Leon sat on him, forcing the boot on his foot.

"No, it's too perilous!" he said, because there wasn't much else to say. "Now, come on…"

As Leon dragged Gwaine to his feet, he pondered their options. The door was certainly out of the question. Another door, then. He looked around, but there was no other door. He glanced at the window.

Merlin voiced what Leon was beginning to imagine. "We’ll have to jump, I think."

Leon glanced out the window to see if this was even feasible. After all, there had to be a lot of archers down there to fire off that many arrows…

He looked down, and saw nothing but a lonely haycart rolling to a stop far down below, a plethora of soldiers lying unconscious in its wake. Not just some of the soldiers, all of them. Leon blessed their good fortune (and Morgana's odd obsession with leaving hay carts lying around). Still, even from this height a haycart just wouldn't do. They were seven floors up.

There was the waterfall, though. They could probably make it if they jumped out far enough.

"You're right. We're going to have to jump." He smiled at Gwaine and beckoned him forward. "Come on, Gwaine, up you come."

Gwaine had flattened himself against the door, and was pulling at the door handle. He seemed unable to undo the lock. "Here, now…I really think I could just go downstairs and--"

Leon, still smiling, grabbed him and marched him over to the window sill. "Come on, you've had *lots* of training falling from windows, haven't you?...."

"Er--well--yes, but I said I was sorry, and--"

"--and I think I could forgive you for that after this."

Gwaine was trapped between the window and an advancing Leon. "It's seven floors! Seven BRITISH floors! Which means EIGHT!"

"Don't worry--you'll fall like a snowflake."

At which point Leon pushed him out the window. Gwaine screamed, but only around half-way down, when his bravery ran out before the fall did. It was extinguished with a sploosh as Gwaine fell in the water.

Leon and Merlin quickly followed, just as the guards managed to push through the door. On the way down Leon managed to free himself of his greaves so that he was at least a little lighter when he hit the water. After a few moments struggle under the surface he managed to push himself to the surface and struggle to the shore. Merlin had already climbed out of the water, not burdened down with armour.

"You alright?" Merlin asked.

Leon nodded, then noticed Gwaine struggling in the water a few feet away and quickly pulled him out.

"Alright, Gwaine?" Merlin asked as Gwaine spat out lake water. Gwaine nodded, looking as if the water woke him up considerably as he staggered to shore.

"Well," Leon said, smiling and pushing his wet hair out of his face. "That went surprisingly well." He turned to Gwaine. "So, Gwaine--do you remember anything?"

Gwaine appeared to give this question some deep thought, his characteristic pout spreading across his face. At length he said, "It's a bit of a blur. I do remember one thing, though."

"Oh? What?"

"Eight floors."

And Gwaine punched Leon in the face.


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"Before you slip into unconsciousness
I'd like to have another kiss
Another flashing chance at bliss
Another kiss, another kiss..."


It was half past two in the morning, and Gwaine felt great. He was running on zero sleep in three days. He was slightly buzzed thanks to Leon's generous pocketbook. He was thoroughly bruised and battered and sore--all over--but was in a warm state somewhere far past caring. He was singing one of the slow end-of-the-night songs, and was leaning heavily on the megaphone-stand. The injury to his right hand prevented him from hammering on the lyre tonight, but he'd be damned if, like Leon, he was going to miss out on yet another session of Friday Knights. Especially after such an ordeal: he needed it more than he needed that enormous trough of stew and nine pints of ale. He needed the distraction:

"The days are bright and filled with pain
Enclose me in your gentle rain
The time you ran was too insane
We'll meet again, we'll meet again...."


The crowning glory of the past few days had to have been pounding the living hell out of Leon after the smug bastard and his weaselly little accomplice had--well, okay, fine, rescued him--but that didn't make throwing him out twelve floors (the story grew in the telling) acceptable by even his own loose standards of acceptability. Ah, Blondie had it coming, although he seemed far too put out by it now. Gwaine would have to talk to him.

"Oh tell me where your freedom lies
The streets are fields that never die
Deliver me from reasons why
You'd rather cry, I'd rather fly..."


Being on the stage, in front of the usual crowd, with the usual companions at his back, was a comforting place to be also because Gwaine was really, really trying not to think about what had happened in Morgana's castle. Oh, sure, he played it off as another conquest to the lads--she got him a little bit tipsy, but it doesn't take much to reduce the walls of Sir Gwaine's inhibitions to rubble now, does it? It wasn't as if he told her any of Camelot's secrets, now, had he? And he'd gotten a good night out of it--Gwaine was lying when he said he remembered this, too. Sleeping with the enemy didn't bother him, oh, no, he was a red-blooded man, after all, not a wilty, sensitive soul like Leon or Lance, with, you know, standards and self-control and things, no, not Sir Gwaine! He did what he liked, damn the consequences!

Only, it did frustrate him reconciling who exactly had seduced whom...

"The crystal ship is being filled
A thousand girls, a thousand thrills
A million ways to spend your time
When we get back, I'll drop a line."


Gwaine almost staggered as he took his last bow and good old Stuart gave last call, but Percival grabbed him by the arm to keep him from falling.

"All right, Gwaine, that's enough fun for you tonight..." he said, guiding him back to the table where Leon and Merlin sat. Merlin was nursing a tankard of mead. Leon was nursing a black eye the size of Gwaine's fist.

Gwaine was plopped down in the seat next to Leon and, miraculously, thanks to some kind, kind, blessed soul--Lancelot--dammit--another ale appeared in front of him.

As the other boys set to putting up the instruments the three were left alone, it seemed, for the first time since they had gotten back this afternoon. Leon glared at him from under the steak he was pressing against his face.

Gwaine grinned sleepily at him, bear foam coating his beard. "Oh, stop looking at me like a wounded girl, Leon. What's a few blows between friends?" he laughed.

"A lot," Leon replied dourly.

Merlin seemed either to be choking or pretending that wasn't funny. He covered this up by blurting out--"Well anyway it's a good job Morgana was so ill-prepared for the likes of us!" He grinned adorably.

Gwaine had some reservations about that, actually, though he didn't voice them just now. All he said, giving Merlin a queer look, was, "Yeah, good job..."

Merlin looked like a baby dear startled by lantern-light.

But Leon jolted, just then, as if remembering something he had forgotten to do--

"The King!" he exploded. "Merlin, I apologize for keeping you from your duties...we can send you with an escort first thing in the morning."

Merlin frowned, looking at his emptying tankard, trying not to let it show on his face how much fun he was having here and how disappointed he would be to be made to go back to third-wheeling it up when Gwen was perfectly capable of looking after Arthur... "You're right," Merlin sighed, duty-bound. "I should go back."

There was a thoughtful pause.

Gwaine was the first to snort, loudly. The idea was preposterous! And soon, Leon and Merlin were laughing, too, and all thoughts of Merlin leaving and going back to wait on the two Queens was soon washed down with the ale.

"All right, Merlin," Gwaine said, in a down-to-business voice he rarely used. "I think I need you to walk me home."

The I'm-a-cute-baby-deer-please-don't-eat-me look appeared again on Merlin's face. "Oh, I, no, see, rather, um, Gaius needs me to wash his turtle..."

"Merlin."

"Yeah?"

"Please take him off my hands, just for one night," Leon practically begged.

Gwaine winked gratefully at Leon, though he was pretty sure the other knight missed it (as, apparently, he missed most things). Even if just to Gwaine, Merlin had some explaining to do...

THE END

Read about the further adventures of Merlin and the Friday Knights in The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship.

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