digthewriter

August 2018

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Don't Hide. Don't Leave. (Merlin/Arthur)

Title: Don’t Hide. Don’t Leave.
Author/Artist: [info]digthewriter
Written for: Merlinmpreg Fest 2013
Pairing(s): Merlin/Arthur
Word Count/Art Medium: 8100
Rating: NC-17
Contains (Highlight to view): *Age difference. Homophobia. Mpreg sex.*
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Arthur’s sexuality and sexual preferences are common knowledge in Camelot which Uther has learned to "tolerate" but he doesn’t approve of Arthur courting a servant. Typical.

Read in on LJ, AO3
*-*

Merlin had been assigned as Arthur’s servant at the age of fourteen when he’d saved his life for the first time. It was true and quite predictable as all love stories went; the two completely opposite beings who initially hated each other had eventually fallen in love.

After almost a year of working for Arthur, the two young men became close. Arthur was nearly ten years older than Merlin but it had only started off as friendship and remained there for a while.

When Merlin requested the day off for his birthday, and Arthur had happily granted it, it was the first time Arthur noticed that something was different between them. When he awoke that morning he’d realised that Merlin was more than a servant for him, more than a friend. When Merlin didn’t come to his room that morning, Arthur came to recognise that seeing Merlin’s face every day in the morning was what made his day go by so pleasantly. Until they’d probably have a tiff but that was also part of Merlin’s charm, Arthur told himself.

Arthur had thought long and hard about his feelings for Merlin. After seeing Merlin in a new light for over a month, Arthur finally came to terms with the fact that what he shared with Merlin, his feelings, were love. What meant more was the fact that Arthur was gay and he needed to tell his father.

“I can’t help the way I feel.”

Arthur uttered the statement to his father because he’d decided to inform Uther that he was going to ask Merlin to be his date for Morgana’s debutante ball.

“Arthur, it is one thing that you told me you were gay. I can learn to accept that, I can. But this is a very important event in your sister’s life, in the favour of our kingdom; I cannot have you parading around the ball with a servant!”

“He is more than a servant to me,” Arthur retorted. “He’s a good friend and he takes care of me. He won’t look like a servant at the ball and the only people who would know of his former status are inhabitants and employees of the castle. They will not dare say anything against your instructions! I am going to ask him to be my date and that is my final decision, Father. I don’t even know if he will accept!” It was true, Arthur had no idea how Merlin felt. He didn’t even know if Merlin was gay. He recalled the time Arthur had teased Merlin about being in love with Gwen and Merlin had denied it but Arthur couldn’t help feeling jealous.

It had been six months since Merlin’s sixteenth birthday when Arthur learnt that his attraction towards Merlin had changed his life. Since that time, he’d come out to his father, to his sister, even his closest advisors in Camelot had come to know the fact. But, Merlin hadn’t changed his behaviour and Arthur had no way of knowing whether Merlin cared. It seemed Merlin was always hiding something and Arthur assumed that it was his own truth about his sexuality.

The morning Arthur decided he was going to ask Merlin, he had stayed up all night, partially due to being nervous and partially because he wanted to seem awake and alert when it happened. Arthur fell asleep five minutes before Merlin’s arrival.

“Arthur? Sire?” Merlin whispered, waking the well-dressed prince who rested against the headboard of his bed.

“In all honesty!” Arthur retorted and Merlin looked scared. “No, it’s not your fault. I–I wanted to ask you something and I fell asleep.”

Merlin nodded, looking confused. “I’ve brought your breakfast,” he uttered.

“Thanks,” Arthur said, standing up and attempting to fix his garb that had wrinkled from sitting on the bed in the same position for several hours.

“Have you got important business today?” Merlin asked. “I wasn’t informed of any appointments.”

“No, no official business. I hoped for a picnic later on though,” Arthur replied.

“Okay, I will set that up for you. Who would be joining you for this picnic?” Merlin asked.

“You,” Arthur said.

“Well that much is obvious,” Merlin joked. “You can’t even cut an apple for yourself; I doubt you’d be able to feed your date.”

Arthur was annoyed. “No, Merlin. I wish to dine with you at the picnic. It’ll just be you and me,” Arthur announced. “It’s part of what I wanted to ask you.”

“Oh,” Merlin said, looking worried. “Have I done anything to disappoint you?”

“What? No! Why would you say that?” Arthur asked. The conversation was going in the exact opposite direction of what Arthur had intended. “Just prepare for the picnic and be ready to ride in a few hours.”

Merlin nodded and left the room. Arthur turned towards the plate of food that was left for him by his bed. He decided to rest for an hour before eating breakfast; he didn’t want to be exhausted at the picnic. He couldn’t believe he didn’t just come out and ask Merlin to the ball. Now he needed to make sure that he planned the rest of the afternoon perfectly.

*-*-*-*

“Arthur,” Merlin whispered Arthur’s name again.

“Not now, I was just having the most wonderful dream–” Arthur woke up frantically. He was still dressed in the clothes from that morning. “What happened? What time is it?”

“It’s nearing supper time, you were asleep all day. I–”

“What? Why didn’t you wake me?” Arthur all but screamed at Merlin’s response.

“You seemed quite exhausted this morning and I have noticed that you haven’t been able to sleep very much these days. When I saw you sleeping there–I just thought you looked so peaceful. I mean–I didn’t wish to disturb your sleep and the picnic didn’t seem important–you didn’t even have a guest. Your father has requested your presence–so I was finally forced to wake you.”

Arthur was touched by Merlin’s response. He’d noticed that Arthur wasn’t sleeping well, he hinted on watching Arthur sleep, and the best of all, Merlin seemed flustered. Arthur continued to watch Merlin and saw his cheeks turning visibly red. He continued watching, he liked this new shy, flustered side of Merlin.

“Like I said, your father–”

Arthur groaned. “What does he want?”

“Well, he asked me if I had found my robes for the ball, and I told him that I wasn’t aware servants were required to “dress up” at the debutante ball for Lady Morgana. He seemed quite pleased with my answer then he told me to fetch you because he seemed to have found you a companion.” Merlin’s response had a genuine tone of confusion. Arthur understood perfectly well what Uther was doing but Merlin clearly had not.

Arthur groaned again before he stood up from his bed. He took Merlin’s right hand in his own. Merlin looked even more puzzled now. “Merlin,” said Arthur. “Would you like to attend Lady Morgana’s debutante ball with me?” Merlin opened his mouth to say something but no sound came out. “—as my companion–my equal–not my servant,” Arthur added.

“I–uh–” Merlin couldn’t seem to find the words.

“If you need time to think about it–”

“No –”

“Oh, okay,” Arthur was disappointed. The rejection was harder than he’d anticipated.

“No, I mean–I don’t need time to think about it. I accept–-or whatever the traditional answer is,” Merlin flustered on words again but managed to get his response across.

Arthur grinned. “You accept?”

“Yes–without a doubt–I accept.”

Merlin bowed to the prince and left the room. Arthur grinned with delight; he waited before Merlin closed the door behind him before he jumped up and down with excitement. He was one day going to be king and could not have anyone around him see him act improvidently.

*-*-*-*

Arthur asked Merlin to accompany him to the ball exactly a week before the event, which made Merlin quite stressed in finding appropriate wear for the festivity. Arthur granted Merlin the week off if he needed it to find the appropriate attire. Merlin insisted otherwise.

“I don’t wish for your father to imprison me because I am not keeping up with my duties,” Merlin said. Though Arthur knew that Merlin was joking, he didn’t put it past his father to take such an action. Eventually Guinevere had agreed to help Merlin with creating the perfect outfit.

Having revealed his feelings for Merlin had its positives and negatives.

Every morning Merlin continued to bring Arthur his breakfast, except now, instead of leaving right after delivering it, Arthur invited Merlin to sit on his bed and they would eat the breakfast together. Merlin prepared Arthur’s bath but would leave before Arthur had the opportunity to disrobe in front of him. Arthur fantasised about sharing his bath with Merlin but kept his thoughts to himself because he knew that he needed to wait a while before he could ever act upon his desires. Merlin was still much too young yet his smooth flawless skin and his soft touches made it difficult for Arthur to not romanticise the future.

The nights Arthur dined without the company of his father, he invited Merlin to dine with him. He’d often hold Merlin’s hand when they talked and kissed his cheek as they said goodnight with the promise of having breakfast in the morning together.

Things were going well and Arthur looked forward to the party when he would finally make their courtship official.

*-*-*-*

The day of the ball arrived and Arthur was more nervous than Morgana who was the guest of honour for the party. Morgana teased Arthur that he was giving a whole new meaning to her ‘coming out’ party.

Arthur didn’t find it amusing.

The guests began to arrive and Merlin was nowhere to be found. Arthur was due in the hall to accompany his father and greet the guests. The set up for the party was simple; all the guests were to gather in the front hall of the castle for socialising until Morgana would be ready to be introduced. One by one each guest would be announced to the great hall and in the end Morgana would enter with her servants carrying the train of her dress. All eyes would be on her and anyone that arrived after her would not be announced. Therefore, it was imperative for all respectable guests to arrive on time.

Arthur wondered if Merlin didn’t wish to attract any attention to himself and was using that as a reason to be so fashionably late.

Arthur busied himself speaking to the guests by his father’s side to avoid worrying about Merlin. Merlin wouldn’t disappoint him; he’d show up, Arthur was sure. As the room began to fill with guests that travelled a long way, Uther decided to carry on with the festivities in the great hall. The king and the prince led the way and as Uther sat on his throne and Arthur stood next to him, the presenter commenced announcements of the respected guests.

As the names were announced, the guests, often in pairs, walked up the great carpet towards the king and greeted him, Arthur shook their hand and gestured for them to take their seats. After all the kings and queens were pronounced, the announcer introduced the arrivals of all the princes and princesses that were attending the ball. Following them were other guests of Morgana and Arthur.

“It’s almost time,” Uther whispered, loud enough for Arthur to hear. “You will need to return to the entrance gate and be announced before Morgana arrives. It seems your companion of the night has refused to appear.”

“Did you have him killed?” Arthur asked almost sardonically.

“No, of course not,” Uther replied.

“Then, he’ll be here,” Arthur answered as he nodded to another guest and smiled at their date.

“Pardon me, Sire,” Gwen whispered from Arthur’s left. Arthur turned to look at her, he was worried. He’d kept his calm from the invitees and his father but he was unable to hide it from Gwen. “It’s nothing to worry about, Sire,” Gwen assured. “Your presence is requested at the entrance of the hall.” She smiled, bowed, and walked away.

“Well, Father, I suppose I’ll be seeing you,” Arthur commented and disappeared through the backdoor behind his father’s throne. He walked through a small corridor that led to the entrance of the hall–eager to meet Merlin.

When Arthur arrived at the gate from the other side, he saw Merlin dressed in a manner he’d never seen before. Gwen had done a great job. Merlin wore a dark green velvet-material tunic with stitches in the colours of the Camelot flag. His trousers were black with black boots. The mask he wore made his eyes pop–which was the only way Arthur had been able to recognise him. That and his smile. Merlin’s smile grew wider as he laid eyes upon Arthur.

“You look–you look–” Arthur was at a loss for words. He wanted nothing more than to grab Merlin and run away. He no longer wished to attend the party. He just wanted to be alone with Merlin.

“Wow, I didn’t think I’d ever see you lost for words. I should cherish this moment,” Merlin teased.

“I am just not used to –”

“—used to saying anything nice to me, so don’t know where to start?” Merlin grinned.

“Remind me to punish you later for that tongue of yours,” Arthur retorted. Inadvertently, he’d caused a strain in his trousers with that comment.

“Looking forward to it, Sire,” Merlin replied as he winked at Arthur through his mask. Arthur gathered at that moment that Merlin had always replied with a similar comment to Arthur’s threats of punishing Merlin–he just hadn’t realised until that moment that Merlin was flirting with him. I was so blind, he thought.

“Ready, Sire?” the doorkeeper asked and Arthur nodded.

Arthur took Merlin’s arm in his left and wrapped them together. “You look incredible, by the way,” he whispered.

“Prince Arthur and guest,” the man announced. Arthur turned to glare at the man; he looked apologetic. Arthur figured it must have been his father’s doing.

“The mask helps too, I suppose,” Merlin replied seeming not caring about the fact that his proper name wasn’t announced at Arthur’s date.

“Lady Morgana, and Sir Gwaine,” the man announced again when Arthur and Merlin took their seats at the table next to Uther’s throne.

“Gwaine?” Arthur spoke with surprise. “Of all the knights of Camelot, Morgana chose to arrive with Gwaine?”

“They’re quite close, and I believe she might be taken with him a little bit,” Merlin whispered to Arthur who looked even more shocked. “Don’t be so surprised, Gwaine is charming, funny and incredibly handsome…” Arthur glared at Merlin. “…I mean if you’re into that sort of thing.”

“Apparently you are,” Arthur answered as he took a sip of his drink, avoiding eye contact with anyone. He didn’t wish to look hurt or display any emotion of jealousy in his eyes.

“Gwaine doesn’t have one thing that I find to be very important,” Merlin whispered again, he grabbed his goblet and took a sip of the wine. He turned to look at Arthur who was waiting for him to continue. “He doesn’t…”

“He doesn’t what?” Arthur asked, almost begging for Merlin to finish his sentence. His pride had left him the moment he saw Merlin dressed the way he was.

“He doesn’t make me weak in the knees,” Merlin said, “through his piercing blue eyes.”

“Gwaine doesn’t have blue eyes,” Arthur replied.

“I know.” Merlin smiled and everyone in the room stood up to honour Morgana and Gwaine to take the floor and begin the festivities with the first dance.

As per Uther’s instructions, same sex couples were requested to not participate in the group dances. Arthur was glad to see that several princes that attended had male guests and some princesses had brought a female friend and were holding hands. Homosexuality seemed to have been an open subject in other kingdoms and Uther seemed to be among the minority of those that were uncomfortable with it. But, it was a party in Camelot and everyone was obliged to follow the directives of the king.

When the entertainers played music for pair-dances, Arthur was the first to ask Merlin and grace the dance floor. Arthur could see that Merlin was nervous and whispered in his ear, “follow my lead.” Merlin nodded and soon they were dancing gracefully in circles around the floor. Soon other couples followed their lead from Lady Morgana and Sir Gwaine, then Sir Lancelot and Gwen, and even Prince James of Perkshire with his guest Nathaniel.

“You’re not a bad dancer, Merlin,” Arthur commented after he felt Merlin ease up around him.

“It’s all about having the right partner,” Merlin responded.

“So you have a lot of experience then, dancing?” Arthur asked.

“Not really, Sire. My servant duties keep me quite busy–it doesn’t really give me much time for anything else,” Merlin answered with a smirk. Yes, Merlin was easing up quite well around Arthur. Arthur wasn’t sure if he was glad that Merlin was being himself or regretting it.

“Sounds like you need to be relieved of your manservant duties,” Arthur said, raising an eyebrow. “But then, I am not sure what you’ll do with all the free time on your hands.”

“I am sure, Sire, there are things I can think of, to do with my free hands,” Merlin flirted again. Arthur’s grip around Merlin tightened. “Sire,” Merlin whispered, “I can’t breathe.”

“Arthur,” Uther called out and Arthur and Merlin’s private moment was interrupted. “Son, come here and say hello to Prince Theodore and his fiancée,” he added.

“Excuse me,” Arthur said to Merlin and bowed. He took Merlin’s hand and walked him back to their table before joining his father. As he walked away to speak with Prince Theodore and his fiancée Lady Harriet, he noticed that an older gentleman had approached Merlin.

Arthur did his best to engage in the conversation with his guests but his gaze kept on returning towards Merlin and the man speaking with him. The man placed his hand on Merlin’s shoulder and Arthur felt a twinge of jealousy rise up his spine. Merlin smiled at whatever the man was saying and gently laughed at his jokes.

Merlin turned to look towards Arthur and caught his eye. Merlin smiled gracefully towards Arthur which made Arthur even more uncomfortable. A short moment later the man caressed Merlin’s cheek with his finger and Arthur’s heart sank.

“Pardon me,” Arthur said to his father, interrupting whatever story he was accounting for the Prince and his fiancée. He walked away from them and quickly found himself by Merlin’s side.

“Ah! Prince Arthur,” said the man, “I was just telling your friend Merlin here about how flawless his skin is, and his eyes–they’re quite mesmerizing. This colour really suits him.” The man grabbed onto Merlin’s robes and tugged gently, letting it go slowly in a very seductive manner.

“Indeed,” said Arthur wrapping his arm around Merlin’s shoulders. “Merlin is quite captivating.”

“Well, if you ever feel the need to share –” the man touched Merlin’s face again tracing his jaw line, “that’s quite the mouth –”

“I am sorry to inform you that I do not really share,” Arthur said, “so I’d appreciate it if you remove your hands off my property.” Arthur took the man’s hand and gently pushed it away from Merlin.

“Oh, I am sorry, I misunderstood. I thought Uther had said he was your manservant–I didn’t realise you’d claimed him to be yours–exclusively.”

Before Arthur could reply Merlin spoke. “I am...exclusively.” He leaned into Arthur’s embrace. “I just didn’t wish to be rude or speak for my –” He turned to look at Arthur who looked back into Merlin’s eyes. They stared at each other smiling, mutually understanding what they’d just acknowledged with limited words. They were exclusive.

The man cleared his throat and walked away.

Arthur leaned in and untied Merlin’s mask from behind his head. His fingers ruffled Merlin’s hair for a bit as they leisurely parted from the touch. Merlin seemed to enjoy Arthur’s tugging of his locks because he frowned at the loss of the touch.

*-*-*-*

“Gwen, what aren’t you telling me?” Arthur had recently barged into Morgana’s chambers looking for Gwen. Merlin was missing. He wasn’t really missing as he was simply hiding. Hiding from Arthur.

“Sire, I don’t know where he is,” Gwen replied as she bowed to answer the Prince.

“I don’t appreciate servants lying to the Prince, Gwen. There are severe punishments for such a crime,” Arthur roared.

“Arthur!” Morgana all but screamed.

“Lancelot informed me that he was with you last night and you and he had a brief encounter with Merlin. He said that Merlin had walked away and you chased after him, requesting Lancelot to not follow you, evidently because you knew he would inform me of your sighting.”

Arthur was livid. Merlin had disappeared over six weeks ago. They had been together for two years now and he had spent at least three nights if not more a week in Arthur’s chambers, in his bed. They were in love. Even Uther had reluctantly accepted the relationship for now. Arthur knew that he was required to eventually produce an heir for the Pendragon family but he wasn’t ready to come to terms with that yet. He only desired to be with Merlin.

Arthur was lost without Merlin. He couldn’t eat, sleep, or think straight. Even Gaius had concealed his whereabouts. Arthur had Gaius’ home searched, the entire village searched with his Knights and no one was able to find Merlin. There were rumours that Merlin had left Camelot but Arthur knew it wasn’t true. He couldn’t explain it but he felt Merlin’s presence.

“Gwen,” Morgana said, “I think maybe you should tell Arthur whatever you know. For me, please.” She looked at her brother who nodded at her with relief.

“Sire, it is true that I have seen Merlin once or twice over the past few weeks, but I don’t know where he’s staying, I don’t know why he’s hiding. He hasn’t told me anything, I swear,” Gwen answered. “When I saw him last night, he looked sick, not just ill but he looked miserable, devastated…heartbroken. There was something else about him—I couldn’t even try to explain to you if I tried. He simply told me to stay away from him and it was as though he vanished into thin air. I couldn’t find him after that.”

“Heartbroken?” Arthur asked. “Why would he be heartbroken?” Arthur didn’t understand. They were always together, they were happy.

*-*-*-*

Another few days passed, and Arthur went riding into the night with his Knights. They had heard of some smugglers crossing the border with stolen goods and the Prince and his entourage were charged with finding them and bringing them to justice. The news of the brawl spread widely in the kingdom. The Prince had been injured, he was missing, the smugglers never caught.

Leon, Percival, and Gwaine returned from the pursuit with the news that Arthur had vanished into the caves along with Elyan. Gwen had been worried sick. One day later Elyan returned to inform that he and Arthur had been separated and that Arthur was quite injured. The King announced a special search party for them to find the Prince. Arthur was reportedly injured and alone.

*-*-*-*

Arthur sat by the fire in a dark cave waiting patiently. He missed Merlin. He closed his eyes and thought of his lover, his partner. He remembered how much he was infatuated with him in the beginning and how incredible it was the first time they’d kissed.

They had just left Morgana’s debutante ball and escaped to the courtyard behind the castle. Arthur had just removed Merlin’s mask and he held onto it in his hands as they walked about the courtyard hand in hand.

Merlin tripped, clumsy as he was, and Arthur caught him. His mask fell out of Arthur’s hand and Arthur had bent down to pick it up. As he looked up into Merlin’s eyes, Merlin reached down and kissed Arthur. Many would have assumed that the first kiss would have been initiated by the Prince, but it had not. Merlin confessed that he was waiting all night for Arthur to make a move but Arthur was being too polite. They continued kissing in the courtyard for the rest of the evening until Arthur walked Merlin back to his quarters where he was residing with Gaius.

The next morning Merlin arrived at Arthur’s chambers with breakfast. To call that incident awkward would be understating it for Arthur. Merlin continued with his regular servant duties without meeting eye to eye with Arthur. Arthur eventually had to scream at Merlin for him to pay attention. The day after that was a lot more agreeable. Arthur had requested for Merlin to have breakfast with him and had arranged with Gwen to set it all up. Arthur remembered how she was so happy to oblige.

When Arthur wasn’t busy with his duties for Camelot he spent most of his time with Merlin. Nothing had changed about that; they had been friends to begin with and Merlin always took care of Arthur as his duties required. Except now, the stolen glances weren’t so stolen anymore and Arthur made terrible excuses to be near Merlin, to casually touch his hand or steal a kiss.

Breakfast at the table soon turned into breakfast in bed. Merlin arrived in the morning and Arthur pretended to be asleep. Seeking opportunity, he’d pull Merlin into bed with him and they’d snog for a while before managing to make it to the food. It was delightful, and Arthur knew that he was slowly but surely falling profoundly in love with Merlin. It also didn’t help that Arthur knew that after months of just cuddling and snogging, Merlin was hinting for more.

Arthur wasn’t sure about taking the next step. He cared about Merlin and being ten years older than him made a huge difference to him. “I am ready, I’ve been ready,” Merlin said, yet Arthur continued to hesitate and prolong the progression of their relationship. He wanted to inform his father that he was going to make his courtship with Merlin official.

That it wasn’t just that Arthur was seeing Merlin, that they were in a partnership.

Uther of course wasn’t ecstatic about the news at all. He even threatened on getting the boy decapitated. The arguments between father and son had been laborious and exhausting but in the end Arthur had gotten his way. He had even offered to give up the throne to Morgana so Arthur could be with Merlin and serve Camelot on his own accord. Morgana wouldn’t hear a word of it. She insisted the King to show leniency with Merlin.

The King did anything Morgana asked.


Arthur’s thoughts returned to the present. The fire was just about to give out and it was chillier that night than it had been previously. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to stay in the cave another night after that. The thoughts of Merlin kept him warm. He remembered the first time he’d finally given into his desires and the first time Merlin had undressed himself in front of Arthur and presented himself as a gift.

It was the eve of Merlin’s eighteenth birthday, and Arthur had arranged for them to ride together and watch the sunset as they spent the evening together with food and wine. Merlin had of course packed everything with Gwen’s help. Arthur was quite useless when it came to planning that didn’t have anything to do with swords and armour.

That night Merlin didn’t take no for an answer, he hadn’t even given Arthur an opportunity to turn the topic down. He had been quite persuasive and Arthur rather liked a vigorous Merlin. Once Arthur slid his tongue in Merlin’s mouth there was no stopping Merlin. Merlin slid his hand under Arthur’s trousers and gently squeezed his erection as Arthur moaned into Merlin’s mouth.

Merlin strokes were gentle and Arthur wanted to push him away but he couldn’t. He wanted to do this properly; he wanted to do this with him, together. “Merlin, wait,” Arthur whispered. “Not like this, just let me…” Arthur was panting, Merlin’s hand was doing wonderful things and he couldn’t think. “Together…inside you.” Arthur was finally able to muster out the words. Merlin stopped immediately.

“You promise?” Merlin asked, his eyes were full of hope as though Arthur was offering him part of the kingdom and not fucking him in the arse.

“Yes, Merlin. I promise,” Arthur answered, rolling his eyes. Regardless of how much he loved Merlin, he was still annoying. Merlin pushed himself back away from Arthur and Arthur almost immediately missed his body pressed against his, his touch. “You have to let me do what I want first,” he added. Merlin nodded frantically.

“You’ve made me wait so long for this, Arthur,” Merlin said. “I might just kill you if you don’t make love to me tonight.” Merlin threatened and even though Arthur laughed, he was sure that Merlin was serious.

Arthur watched Merlin remove his boots, then he slowly removed his jacket, and he toyed as he took his time removing the blue scarf. He threw it at Arthur. Arthur didn’t take his eyes off of him. Arthur wasn’t sure but he felt as though Merlin slowed down even more as he removed his red shirt and tossed it away as well. “Come here,” Arthur whispered and Merlin obliged. Arthur unbuckled the belt on Merlin’s trousers and unbuttoned them. Merlin took over as he stood up and removed the last of his clothing. Arthur was still laying on the ground and he watched Merlin standing over him, his erection evident and exquisite.

Arthur got up on his knees and immediately removed his shirt, tossing it into the pile of the rest of Merlin’s clothes. Arthur didn’t wait long before he slipped his mouth over Merlin’s prick and sucked. He moved slowly, allowing Merlin to move his body with him as he grabbed Arthur’s hair.

Arthur swiftly moved his right hand into his trouser pocket searching for a phial of oil that he then quickly spread all over his fingers. He, too, had come prepared. Arthur slid one finger to feel Merlin’s entrance; he teased him a bit before he pushed it inside. Merlin opened his legs wider as though he was encouraging and Arthur sucked harder, pushing a second finger inside Merlin.

Merlin moaned as though he was in pain and Arthur immediately stopped. “No, please, don’t…it’s good!” Merlin promised. It wasn’t long until Merlin came undone, spilling in Arthur’s mouth, and Arthur sucked and licked until he was fully satisfied. Arthur released Merlin’s prick from his mouth and Merlin immediately bent down to kiss him, sucking on Arthur’s tongue, tasting himself. Merlin’s hands didn’t stop until they had loosened Arthur’s trousers and he was pushing them down with all the force he could muster.

“I need you, Arthur,” Merlin pleaded.

“I need you too, Merlin,” Arthur replied in a soft whisper. “Lie back,” he commanded, and Merlin followed, spreading his legs.

Arthur removed his trousers completely and pushed into Merlin again with his fingers, one following the other, then a third just to test the waters. Merlin was writhing under his body, aching, begging for Arthur to take him. Arthur swiftly pulled his fingers out and lined his cock with Merlin’s hole. Arthur leaned down and kissed Merlin before pushing himself inside.


In the cave, Arthur couldn’t help but begin rubbing his hand against his cock. He missed Merlin, he didn’t just crave Merlin’s physical or sexual presence, but he missed his smile, his smell, he missed their late night rendezvouses and conversations. He missed his friend.

“The citizens of Camelot are in an uproar searching for their prince and here he is, wanking by the fire.” Arthur heard a far too familiar voice from the dark end of the cave. His plan had worked; Merlin had come searching for him.

“Who’s there?” Arthur commanded, knowing full well who it was.

“They say you’re dead in a ditch somewhere,” the voice said, still in the dark.

“I could’ve been,” Arthur answered.

“You know I won’t allow that,” the voice replied.

“I don’t even know who you are,” Arthur teased. The voice knew that Arthur was fully aware that it was Merlin.

Suddenly the fire began to flicker away and the spot where Arthur sat was dark. The man with the voice came out of the shadows and sat opposite Arthur, on the other side of the fire.

“Merlin, where have you been?” Arthur said. He was so glad to see Merlin but he didn’t want to let that show–not yet. “Do you know how worried I have been for you?”

“You don’t have to worry about me; I can take care of myself.”

Arthur laughed. “Right,” he said. “Remember that time you were kidnapped by Nimueh and we all had to come to your rescue?”

“I only made you think you were helping me,” Merlin muttered. “I didn’t want her to know–I didn’t want you to know–”

“Know what, Merlin?” Arthur was confused. He didn’t understand why Merlin had run away, why he was sitting so far across from him. He wished he could lean down and pull Merlin towards him. “What is it, Merlin?”

Merlin’s eyes glowed and he whispered something to cause the fire roar. Arthur jumped back.

“I have magic,” Merlin said. “I’ve had it all along and I was hiding it from you–”

“Merlin–how could you never tell me? Why did you keep this secret from me?” Arthur was shocked. He felt betrayed. He didn’t care if Merlin had magic, but it was because Merlin had lied to him and for so long. “I thought I knew you, I thought I could trust you!” Arthur felt devastated. He looked at Merlin and he could tell that there was something else. Something else he was hiding.

“I’m still the same person,” Merlin all but whispered in return.

Arthur moved back some more, he felt the coldness of the cave wall behind him. “What else?” Arthur spat out.

“What else, what?” Merlin asked in return.

“Don’t play games with me, Merlin. I know you’re hiding something else. That isn’t it. I know it. You know about my beliefs in magic, they are not as strict as my father’s. I’ve managed to convince him of a great many things and even though he’s banned the use of magic in Camelot, he doesn’t perform executions anymore. Not since–he found out about Morgana.” Merlin knew all of this and Arthur was repeating the rules of Camelot because he wanted Merlin to know that he was still safe.

He still loved Merlin, nothing changed that. Arthur was hurt, he was betrayed but his feelings hadn’t left before, they were still there.

Uther had brutally executed many wizards and witches in Camelot and it wasn’t until Morgana had revealed to him that she had magic, that she could do good with her magic, that he’d backed down. Gaius had advised Uther that he would lose Morgana forever if he continued with his harsh punishments for the use of magic, and Uther, although not happily, had agreed to ease up on his punishments.

It took several years of work for Uther to be where he was now in his ease with magical creatures.

“He won’t accept me, you won’t accept me,” Merlin said.

“Merlin, come here.” Arthur got on his knees to pull Merlin towards him. He wanted to touch Merlin desperately. Arthur realised that he was scaring Merlin. He needed to show that he still wanted Merlin.

“No! Stay back!” Merlin roared and the fire roared with him.

Arthur looked at him with shock, horror. He didn’t understand.

“I’m–” Merlin sobbed. “I’m–” He couldn’t muster up the next set of words for a while and when he did Arthur’s world was spinning again. “I’m pregnant...with your child.”

Merlin stood up and the fire was prominent enough to light the cave again. Arthur could see him clearly. Merlin was so thin, thinner than Arthur had ever seen him before. And his stomach, it had bulged out, like a pregnant woman’s would.

“You still want to touch me?” Merlin said with disgust. “Make me yours?”

“Merlin, I don’t understand!” Arthur couldn’t hide the surprise from his voice but he wasn’t disgusted as Merlin would have suggested. “I just–is this because of magic?”

“Yes, it’s because of magic!” Merlin retorted. “I didn’t know this was possible. I hadn’t told Gaius that we were–” Merlin paused to breathe. “That we were–together–like that. Every morning I’d return from your chambers, Gaius would ask me, and I’d lie, because I thought he’d give me a lesson on–I don’t know–protecting myself–hiding my magic.”

Merlin was nearly sobbing again. His voice was shaking and Arthur could see him tremble. He didn’t care anymore; he got up on his feet and reached out to Merlin before Merlin could react. He pulled him in for an embrace. Merlin wrapped his arms around Arthur.

“I didn’t know that Gaius wanted to protect me from this. That he would have given me a potion to prevent the pregnancy. He knew and I didn’t know that warlocks were able to carry a child. It’s ancient magic, to protect the old magic. He told me–” Merlin paused and Arthur could feel with the tone of Merlin’s voice that the next sets of words were going to be with a touch of sarcasm.

“What did he tell you?” Arthur asked. He chuckled a bit. He knew when Merlin was annoyed.

“Apparently it only happens to the warlocks that are of a pure heart.” Arthur was right. He heard the sarcasm in Merlin’s voice.

“You? Really?” Arthur joked.

Merlin looked up at Arthur and punched him in the shoulder. “Sod off, Arthur.” He began to walk away and Arthur pulled on Merlin towards his body. He held Merlin from behind and wrapped his arm around Merlin, just above his stomach. He was afraid to touch him there. It was all–still–too much–to handle.

Merlin leaned into Arthur’s touch, and Arthur’s grip only got tighter. Merlin let out a soft moan pushing into Arthur’s groin and that’s when Arthur realised that he was hard. He’d been so preoccupied with all this new information, he’d not realised how his body had reacted the moment it felt Merlin wrap his arms around him.

“You’re not disgusted by me?” Merlin asked as he arched into Arthur some more. He was now really pushing up against Arthur’s erection. Arthur bent down and kissed Merlin’s neck.

“Sometimes, you can be so stupid, Merlin,” Arthur said. “I–this is a lot of information–that’s all. I haven’t seen you in months and I had to trick you to come and find me. I still love you–I couldn’t stop if I tried. I’m not disgusted, Merlin, I’m just…” He paused for a long moment. “Like I said, it’s too much information to process in one night.”

“I understand,” Merlin whispered. “I understand if you want me to disappear.”

“Disappear?” Arthur was surprised. Merlin had managed to startle him ridiculously that night.

“I know what the King thinks of me,” Merlin said. He stopped grinding against Arthur and was stiff. Arthur immediately missed Merlin’s seductive movements. “He may tolerate magic, he may even not have me executed–I have proof and so does Gaius that I’ve only used my magic for the good of Camelot and to protect you–”

“But, what?” Arthur asked before Merlin could say it.

“I was a toy to you, something to keep you entertained. I know that. I’d signed up for that–I just wanted to be with you–and now–”

“Now what?” Arthur snapped, he turned Merlin around to look at him. “I didn’t realise you think so low of me?”

“No, I don’t–I just know–society dictates–you’re a prince, the future king!”

“Gwen once told me that she trusted me to always do the right thing,” Arthur said. “Then now, how can you accuse me of abandoning you? I know that I always teased you, but I wouldn’t leave you, Merlin. Are you really that stupid?”

“I don’t appreciate you calling me stupid all the time,” Merlin retorted.

“Then stop acting that way,” Arthur answered.

“You should stop being such a prat–” Arthur stopped Merlin from yelling out anything else and claimed his lips. It didn’t take long for Merlin to become putty in Arthur’s arms. He leaned into Arthur some more, melting into him, their body almost becoming one. Arthur felt Merlin’s stomach push against him and hesitated for a second.

“See, I knew you couldn’t handle it,” Merlin said, pulling away a few inches from Arthur.

“I can handle it!” Arthur all but yelled. “How can I lead men into battle, if I can’t even handle this.”

“You’re afraid.”

Arthur rolled his eyes. “Of course I’m afraid, but that doesn’t mean I can't handle it. Fear is the first sign of acceptance. That you’re willing to admit things are going to change.”

“When did you become so smart?” Merlin teased.

“I’ve been reading–to occupy the time–since you left. And hunting.” Arthur pulled Merlin into him again and kissed his neck. He was afraid if he let go of Merlin just for a moment he’d disappear and Arthur couldn’t handle that.

“Because killing animals mends a broken heart?” Merlin asked.

“No, but it’s good fun,” Arthur answered.

“What else have you been doing since I’ve been missing?” Merlin slowly trailed his finger just above Arthur’s trousers and then finally inside his trousers, teasing Arthur by tracing his finger around Arthur’s erection.

Arthur groaned at Merlin’s touch. Merlin was always so good at making Arthur want to fuck him anywhere. “I need you, Merlin,” Arthur whispered in Merlin’s ear before he pulled him down on the ground and kissed him again. He began unbuttoning Merlin’s trousers.

“Arthur, wait…”

“No, Merlin, I can’t wait!” Arthur replied. “You’ve been missing for nearly two months. Do you know how many things I’ve imagined that could’ve happened to you? Accepted the fact that you might be dead?” Arthur's voice choked up for a brief moment.

“This is our last night, just you and me,” Arthur added. “Tomorrow I have to take you to my father, tell him about you, about us…” He placed his hand on Merlin’s stomach. “We will never have tonight again. Just let me have this night, Merlin. Let me have my happy reunion with you,” Arthur pleaded.

“I was just–”

“I appreciate that you were trying to help, Merlin. In your own...very confused way. Please don’t do it again,” Arthur said, interrupting Merlin again.

Merlin grinned before Arthur kissed him again. “I’ve missed you,” Merlin whispered.

“I wish you hadn’t left,” Arthur said as pushed off his boots and removed Merlin’s trousers.

“I didn’t want to be in the way,” Merlin replied. He helped Arthur remove his own trousers, slowly, giving an appreciative look towards Arthur’s length, and then he sat himself in Arthur’s lap.

Arthur was halfway removing his shirt when he stopped and looked at Merlin. “In the way of what?”

“You are brave and true-hearted, and one day you will make the greatest king this land has ever known. I didn’t want to be in the way of that.”

Arthur rested his back against the wall and pulled Merlin in for a hug. He kissed the top of Merlin’s head before speaking. “I’m everything that I am...because of your confidence in me. I won’t be anything without you. You’re not in the way, Merlin.” Merlin turned to look in Arthur’s eyes and Arthur nodded. “Now stop being an idiot and let me–” Arthur pushed his cock against Merlin as he groaned with pleasure.

Merlin helped take Arthur’s shirt off and Arthur was about to do the same to Merlin and Merlin stopped him, again. “No, let me. I want to see. I want to see every part of you. You’re mine, Merlin.” Merlin nodded and a few moments later both men were naked by the fire. Arthur looked down at Merlin, he wasn’t showing much but Arthur could feel it. He placed his hand on Merlin’s stomach and Arthur felt the magic.

“This is my child, and I will protect it, I will protect you,” Arthur promised.

“A child born because of magic will not be accepted in Camelot,” Merlin said. He ran his fingers through Arthur’s hair and Arthur tilted his head into the touch.

“I was a child born because of magic. Do you think I’m that bad?” Arthur asked, teasingly.

“You have your moments, when you’re not being a prat.” Merlin grinned. Arthur mock-gasped at Merlin and began to rub his hands against Merlin’s thighs.

“I haven’t got any oil,” Arthur realised.

Merlin smirked. He held out his hand and whispered an incantation. Arthur saw Merlin’s eyes turn gold once again. A moment later, Merlin’s hand was practically dripping with oil.

“Show off,” Arthur teased.

Merlin balanced himself on his haunches just above Arthur’s cock. He took Arthur’s right hand and dropped some of the oil on it. With his own right hand, Merlin began stroking Arthur as he moaned. Merlin’s hand movements felt amazing and Arthur was afraid that he might just come from Merlin’s strokes. Arthur told Merlin to stop and his own fingers reached under Merlin and began rubbing his entrance with the oil, eventually pushing a finger in. Merlin’s head shot up as he groaned with pleasure. He took his hand and began stroking himself.

Arthur knew Merlin wasn’t ready but he couldn’t wait any longer. He grabbed Merlin by his waist and slowly sank him down on Arthur’s cock. “Oh...Arthur!” Merlin moaned as he bit his lower lip. Arthur pushed up and thrust into him.

Arthur’s fingers dug into Merlin’s hips as he tried to steady Merlin’s movement. They started slowly; every nerve in Arthur’s body came alive. He wasn’t sure if it was the magic that Merlin was finally able to release around him or if it had just been that long since they last shagged.

“Never. Ever. Leave me again,” Arthur managed to utter as he thrust upwards to match Merlin’s rhythm.

“I won’t. I promise,” Merlin panted. “I’d die without you,” he added. Merlin grabbed Arthur’s shoulder and their eyes met again. With one more thrust Arthur came undone, and Merlin reached for his own cock with one hand and began stroking it. Their eyes didn’t leave each other and it wasn’t until Merlin was coming that they let go of their gaze.

Merlin collapsed on Arthur’s body, panting, gasping for air. They remained that way for several minutes until Merlin finally got up off of Arthur. He grabbed his shirt and cleaned both Arthur and himself. Then he murmured a spell and used magic to clean the shirt.

“That’s a useful trick,” Arthur said. “You could have used that with us ages ago.”

“I didn’t want to risk exposure,” Merlin answered as he laid back down next to Arthur, wrapping his arm around him.

“And now I know your biggest secret.” Arthur wrapped his leg around Merlin as he held him.

After a few moments, Arthur spoke again. “What will happen–how will the child come to be?” Arthur didn’t even know how to ask the question.

“Gaius said I’ll have to go to the Druids, they’ll be able to help me.”

Arthur nodded.

“Your father, Arthur, he’ll never–”

“I’m about to deliver him an heir, Merlin. I told you, I’ll protect the child, I’ll protect you. I don’t have a problem sharing my throne with Morgana. She wants to marry Gwaine. I can share the kingdom with her. If my father won’t compromise, then I’ll leave. If I’m supposed to be this true-hearted king you keep going on about, I won’t be one without you. We’ll leave Camelot, live like peasants. I don’t care.”

“You won’t survive a day in the country as a peasant,” Merlin said with snark.

“Well then, it’s a good thing I’ll be with someone who has all the experience in the world.”

The End