This is slapdash crack. I repeat: CRACK. It should not be mistaken for good-quality fic in any way, which is why I'm posting it here instead of at the ficblog.
You will never, ever know how hard I tried not to name this GOLDENEYE. But I failed. Because the laws of crack must be obeyed. (A bitter kiss will bring him to his kneeeeeeeees!)
Having sampled every type of canape in the room and inspected his own hair in the mirrored pillar enough times that one of the agents on security detail was now checking it clandestinely for hidden cameras, Arthur was forced to find entertainment elsewhere.
"You're looking lovely tonight, M," he said.
"For the last time, stop calling me that!" she snapped. "I'm your superior officer now; these childish nicknames are completely unsuitable."
And she swept off in a wave of purple satin, presumably to admonish some other hapless agent. Morgana loved him really, Arthur was certain, and even if she didn't: he possessed pictures of her as a chubby three-year-old and had memorised the direct mailing addresses of all the major tabloids.
Suavest and most attractive smile in place, Arthur swung around to face the voice, but the smile fell off rapidly when he caught sight of his date.
"I told you to wear a suit."
"No time!" Merlin was hiding in a ridiculous manner behind an overlarge potted plant, beckoning frantically. Arthur rolled his eyes and leaned against the wall near the plant, wondering if he should remind Merlin that he was in a room full of people highly trained in stealth and subterfuge.
"What is it?"
"I was putting on my trousers --" and now that he mentioned it, he was indeed wearing half a suit, slim black things that hugged his legs, very nice "-- and I got a call from Pimms. Apparently the youngest McDonaldson triplet -- the blonde one, the one you didn't try to sleep with," he snipped, at Arthur's blank look. "Anyway, she survived the explosion and she's on her way here with what remains of the Red Ghouls."
"Right." Arthur felt for his guns, half-heartedly trying to quash the feeling of relief that swept over him. Parties, parties -- give him a good dramatic showdown with an insane Scottish heiress any day. "Do we have much time?"
"Well, yes, actually," said Merlin. "As you'll recall, you blew up the submarine and I turned her jet's engine to jelly, so they're coming by helicopter. We've got about a quarter of an hour, Pimms said."
"A quarter of an hour, and you couldn't have magicked the rest of your suit along with you?"
"Forgive me for being in a hurry to thwart the culmination of an evil plot." Merlin rolled his eyes. "Next time I'll be sure to stop and remember my cufflinks."
"I've changed my mind, you being magic is not an interesting secret at all. I wish you had turned out to be a Russian spy."
"I can't believe you suspected --"
"Please, you were asking for it, with your sneaking around and your journal entries -- Came far too close today to telling Agent Pendragon my Secret, how I wish I could abandon professionalism and throw myself into his manly arms --"
"I never wrote that," Merlin accused, going a delightfully annoyed shade of pink. "And who uses their elite codebreaking skills to read someone else's journal, anyway?"
"You could have been a Russian spy," Arthur said virtuously. "It was my duty."
"A Russian spy stupid enough to write their secrets in a journal and carry it on their person?"
Arthur was about to point out that stranger things had happened -- had, in fact, happened to them -- when Gwen wandered up and peered curiously through the leaves at Merlin. He stepped out, looking sheepish.
"Hello," she said, "are you the contact Arthur defied direct orders in order to extract from Vienna, then?"
Arthur winced. "Gwen, this is Merlin. I have saved him from at least five different certain deaths. Merlin --" over Merlin's indignant insistence that he had saved Arthur's life at least as many times, which was obviously nonsense "-- this is Gwen. She pretends to be a secretary, but really she runs MI6 when M --"
"Lady Morgana," Gwen said.
"-- when M is off playing nice with the other politicians," Arthur finished.
Gwen looked from Arthur to Merlin and then actually had the gall to wish Merlin luck in making an honest man out of Arthur -- "We've been trying for years, with no luck," she dimpled at him, and was gone before Arthur, his customary wit blunted by two martinis, could gather a clever riposte.
"She seems nice," Merlin offered, watching her melt up to Morgana's side.
"Mm." Arthur gazed at the way Merlin's dirty shirt left his arms entirely bare, and thought fondly of the incident earlier that day in which both the sleeves had been ripped clean off as Arthur saved him from ravening robot crocodiles. "So we've got another fifteen minutes, do we?"
"Enough for -- oh." For a super-intelligent and secretly-magic technical analyst, Arthur thought, Merlin could be rather dim. But he finally caught onto the meaning behind Arthur's pointed look, and his eyes flooded gold as Arthur's bow tie started to loosen itself. Arthur felt the same surge of exhilaration that he had when he first saw Merlin’s magic manifest itself, back when he was saving Merlin (and all right, perhaps Merlin had done a bit of saving too) from the booby-trapped cabin in the Swiss Alps.
"Gnnh," said Arthur’s crotch, via his mouth. "Come on, I think there's a storeroom down this corridor."
Being an M16 storeroom, it was locked, and Arthur was far too distracted by the way Merlin was licking curious kisses along his jaw to be bothered with trying to open it, so he rattled some other doorknobs until one opened.
Merlin let go of Arthur's shirt for long enough to blink. "Wow."
"M's office." Clearly, Arthur thought, the universe was rewarding him for being so completely amazing at his job. He did a very poor job at keeping the glee from his voice as he added, "M's desk."
Merlin went over to inspect said desk, running one hand over the expensive wood, and then hoisted himself up to sit on the edge. "Get on with it, Agent Pendragon, we're working to a bit of a deadline here. We don't have much time to indulge your insane kinks."
Arthur took four neat steps -- Merlin. desk. Merlin. desk. -- to stand between Merlin's legs. "The things I do in service of Queen and country."
"Prat," Merlin said, and then leaned in and kissed him, a fast filthy kiss of the sort that Arthur would never have thought him capable when they first met in the gift shop of the Viennese Museum of Fine Art. Merlin's hands were shoving Arthur's suit jacket off his shoulders and some invisible force was unknotting his bow tie the rest of the way, and Arthur grabbed Merlin's back and pulled himself close, stupidly wonderfully brain-meltingly close.
Because the universe was a flighty scumbag, they'd barely gotten Arthur's cuffs open and hadn't even moved past the brain-melting kiss stage when there was a dull crash of glass from somewhere far away, followed by a sudden cacophony of voices. Merlin untangled his legs from Arthur's body and slid off the desk.
"Time to work," he sighed.
When they reached the ballroom again, an entire wall of windows lay in shards across the floor and chaos had broken out. Morgana had pulled her gun from God only knew where and was kneeling calmly behind an upturned table.
"Pendragon!" she yelled, reloading, "Some of your trademark showy world-saving nonsense would not be unwelcome at this point!"
"The roof," Merlin said, grabbing Arthur's sleeve and pulling him out of the room again. "Pimms is bringing his own 'copter, and we'll be able to take her down much better from the air."
Racing up the stairs and throwing together a handful of lightning-fast contingency plans, Arthur found himself laughing at how well the evening was turning out. There'd be violence and magic and maybe he could heroically save Merlin's life a couple more times, and then they could steal the unsmashed bottles of champagne from the party and have a lot of dirty life-affirming sex on Morgana's precious desk.
When they reached the roof the air was already alive with noise, William Pimms hovering directly above them -- he threw down a bunch of cables as soon as he saw them emerge -- and Arthur saw immediately what the best plan of action would be. He pulled Merlin to the edge of the building, shoved one foot inside a loop of cable, and drew his favourite gun.
"Grab hold," he said, holding out his free arm.
"Arthur Pendragon," Merlin said firmly, "I am not leaping off anything without a safety harness, and neither are you."
Arthur was just beginning to rethink the wisdom of dragging Merlin around with him, no matter how good his arms looked or how glorious their whirlwind adrenalin-fuelled romance had been -- how would Arthur ever catch any villains if he kept stopping to don the necessary equipment, and did Merlin even know how much havoc those things wreaked on freshly-ironed Armani trousers? -- when Merlin's eyes glowed again, and before Arthur could say a word the straps of the harness were snaking around his thighs. It was fast and rough and kind of like that one time in Moscow when Arthur had, well, never mind, Mistress Tania Of Exquisite Pain had been quite a sweet girl, really, and this was something new: the rapid glide and tightening of the harness, the satisfied quirk of Merlin's mouth that forced Arthur to lean in and kiss him one last time.
"Thank you, Safety Officer Emrys, may we please save the world now?"
"By all means," Merlin smiled, and stepped in close. Arthur locked one arm around his waist.
"Pendragon!" came a screech from the other helicopter a few storeys below. "I'm going to rip out your soul!" Sophia McDonaldson gestured furiously to her pilot and glared daggers at the both of them from beneath her bloodied blonde hair.
"She really is pissed off that I didn't try to sleep with her, isn't she?" Arthur mused, and Merlin whacked him in the arm.
"I'll take her, my magic has a longer range than your bullets," Merlin said then. "You kill the Ghouls on the ground."
Arthur nodded and tensed himself, casting a glance at the skyscraper opposite them and another at the tiny, distant lights of the ground. He grinned. "Ready?"
Merlin grinned back at him, eyes coming alight with danger and magic and some wild affection that was better than either of them. "When you are."