Title: Plate Tectonics
Pairings: Arthur/Merlin, Adult!Mordred/Merlin
Spoilers: Episode 8!
WARNINGS: ANGST! Dub-con that is so dubious I'm calling it non- con. Blood. Slight self harm. Lots of Merlin suffering.
Disclaimer: Merlin not mine *sob* It's the BBC's though I want to rob them and get away with Bradley and Colin ^_^
Summary: On a mission for Arthur, Merlin comes across an old acquaintance.
Notes: I completely and totally blame my friend babydracky for this. Her little Mordred obsession sort of rubbed off on me and because it's me I came out with this. Something nice and dark and angsty! This has been a while coming though because Mordred refused to be written so I hope I've done him justice now. This is my first non-con though. BabyD this is all for you hun!
"Good luck." Arthur kissed his lover slowly, lingering just a little. He didn't know when he would next see Merlin. Some of these missions could take weeks. Arthur had been king for eight years now, but from the moment he had sat on the throne, he had abolished the law banning magic and had placed Merlin at his side as court sorcerer, advisor, emissary of magic and, while it was never officially said everyone knew, royal consort. Arthur and Merlin had been lovers long before Uther had died and although the old king had never said anything, no one was sure if he had known or not.
Merlin's new role placed him in the position to govern anything magical, as he had a better understanding of it than Arthur. The king trusted his warlock to deal with anything of that concern. As a gesture of good will, Arthur would send Merlin as ambassador to find various magic users and to welcome them back to Camelot. Many accepted. The few that didn't, thanked Merlin and the king for their time, graciously declined and continued on with their lives knowing that they now wouldn't be tracked down and killed. Camelot was a happier place for it.
Of course there were still the odd few that proved… troublesome, but with the new found power of Camelot, the magic wielders were happy enough to protect their king, so very little came of it.
Eight years had passed, but there were still many groups that had yet to be approached. They had hidden themselves well and were far more difficult to track. Many were still wary from Uther's rule, so were reluctant to give up their hiding places in case they would be needed once more.
After much striving, recently Merlin had located the camp of a group of druids. As it happened, a group that was known even to Arthur. The group they had returned a little boy to, many years ago.
The court sorcerer smiled at his king.
"Stop worrying about me, I'll be fine." Arthur pouted slightly.
"A king doesn't worry." Merlin smiled brightly and cupped a hand against Arthur's cheek.
"I suppose a king doesn't pout either? A king might not worry, but a lover does. Please." Arthur sighed heavily and rubbed his face with his hands, a sign of his anxiety.
"You just don't know what these druids are capable of." Merlin's smile grew. "Honestly, don't you find it even a little odd that you couldn't find them before, but now-"
"Nothing I can't handle." Merlin interrupted before Arthur worked himself into a fit of worry. "Now, stop being such a mother hen and go and do what you do best and I'll do my job too." Arthur smirked, noticing that Merlin never said 'what I do best'. It had been evident that even though Merlin was born with his magic, he was still just as incompetent as ever. It was this that worried Arthur more than anything. Merlin would ride away and Arthur wouldn't be there to protect him. He tried not to dwell on that thought. Instead he pulled Merlin close and just breathed his scent in.
"Just be careful. Please." Merlin pulled away and nodded. He leaned in for one more brief kiss, then mounted the horse that was patiently waiting for him. With a broken smile, he nodded goodbye to Arthur.
The king watched him go, with a twisting in his stomach that suggested everything so far had been too easy. Right at that moment, he resented being king. It was all his royal duties that were separating him from his lover. It didn't matter how he tried to ignore it, he couldn't get rid of the feeling that this time he should have gone with Merlin.
The ride was a pleasant one, the sun was warm where it broke through the trees, where it was visible, the sky was the same shade as Arthur's eyes and there was not a cloud upon it. Merlin couldn't help the cheerfulness that filled him. Everything had changed so much since Arthur had become king. The very fact that he was able to ride through the countryside, alone and able to use magic freely, was a testament to that.
Arthur had tried to insist on an escort for him, indeed there were plenty of knights willing to watch over the court sorcerer. Merlin had smiled and declined. He had asked Arthur what he would have thought if he had been a magic druid and suddenly saw a group of armed knights bearing the king's standard approaching. Arthur had admitted defeat, even if he didn't like it and had pouted for a long time afterwards. Merlin did agree that he missed the company though. He was so used to city life, the hustle and bustle of people now that the quiet made him slightly twitchy. He let his mind open slightly, just enough to listen more carefully to nature around him, the bright singing of birds, the sound of rabbits rustling through the undergrowth, a deer standing not far from him, chewing on grass. It was peaceful noise and lulled him into a slight doze in the warm weather.
"Emrys." The voice made him jolt and he nearly fell off of the horse. Merlin looked around himself frantically, expecting to see someone standing right next to him. Of course, there was no one. Merlin slowly let his nerves settle. Maybe he had imagined it. He slowly let his guard drop once more although a little more warily this time, when he heard it again. A name he had not heard in many years. Emrys. He had only ever been called that by one person. One boy, in fact. This time he realised, the call was in his mind and not next to him. He closed his eyes and thought back.
"Mordred." Merlin could almost feel the smile from the other.
"You remember me? And how curious. I never told you my name."
"I could hardly forget you. There weren't many druid boys we risked our lives for back then. Arthur told me your name, when he came back to Camelot. Where are you?"
"Arthur now is it? Not sire, or his highness, maybe even master?" Merlin mentally growled at the purr that seemed to almost vibrate in his thoughts.
"Mordred." A warning.
A laugh in return.
"Close now. We are expecting you, Emrys." Merlin let his eyes flutter open once more. He didn't like the fact that the druid could enter his mind so easily. Over the years he had learned to build up wards against such things and even though he had relaxed them, no one should have penetrated that effortlessly. It unsettled him a little and made him feel a bit nauseous. He didn't like how Mordred talked about Arthur either. He tried to calm himself. This was supposed to be a diplomatic mission; it wouldn't do anybody any good if he went into the camp looking for a fight.
It quickly became clear that he would not be able to ride his horse any further, so he promptly dismounted and led on foot instead. It didn't take much longer to reach the camp. He could feel the wards as he passed through them, like a prickly brush of air against his skin. He had been allowed to enter. He didn't ponder the thought of what may happen if someone tried to force entry.
Cloaked figures approached him silently; they lowered their hoods when they reached him. The leader bowed his head in respect.
"Ambassador Emrys, you are welcome to our camp. I am the druid Taliesin. Please follow me." Merlin nodded back and did as he was told. The three figures led him further into the camp. Merlin found himself suddenly surrounded by cloaked figures young and old, all male, Merlin realised with surprise, all looking at him with interest, fear or awe. It was unnerving how the young ones all seemed to look upon him with wonder as if he was a god walking upon mortals. What had they been told about him? With a cursory glance, Merlin promptly observed the lack of one certain member. Taliesin turned to face the group.
"Druids, today the great ambassador from Camelot has graced us with his presence. Hear him speak." The murmurs which had already been quiet immediately fell to nothing, making Merlin even more uncomfortable. Public speaking was definitely Arthur's thing. Keeping his lover in mind, he straightened his back and held his chin more upright. Arthur had told him that it would help his voice to carry. In his mind he could hear the golden king running off a few more pointers but he quickly told him to shut up.
"I come from Camelot and his royal highness, King Arthur Pendragon. He sends his greetings to you all. Since he became the ruler of Camelot, he has abolished the law on magic, wishing to work along side it. Any crimes you may have committed in the past have been cleared. You are free to practice magic as you wish and will not face execution for it. The gates of Camelot are always open, should you need them."
"Isn't that just wonderful of him? So charitable." Mordred's voice suddenly cutting through his thoughts, made Merlin twitch a little. He hoped none of the other druids noticed, as they all gazed at him and the whisperings returned. "And yet, he could not visit himself? Grace us with his golden presence?" Merlin heard a rustle above his head, swiftly a figure jumped down from the tree above and landed in front of him. Dressed in black and swathed in a green cloak, Mordred looked at him questioningly. He lowered his hood, freeing his shoulder length hair and allowing Merlin to see his face clearly. His expression looked slightly mocking.
"His highness could not visit himself as he has other duties to attend to. He also felt that his presence may… still unsettle people. That is what I am there for."
"The king's lapdog, always running around to do his bidding, always at his beck and call. You have done so well for yourself, Emrys." His tone was far from complimentary.
"Mordred." Taliesin warned sternly. "He is the King's ambassador, treat him with respect. What you speak is treason." Mordred smirked and bowed low, mockingly.
"My apologies sir, if I offended." Merlin took a moment to look at the youth. It seemed as if the years hadn't been too kind on him. He had grown handsome, of that there was no doubt, but his pallor had not improved from his youth. He still looked pale, paler than Merlin. He still looked almost sickly, like Morgana after a particularly bad night. There was something in his eyes that reminded him of Morgana too. That slightly haunted look, the look that suggested they knew too much of something they shouldn't. There was also a spark of something else in those large, blue eyes and Merlin didn't like it one bit. He also didn't like the fact that the young man standing in front of him could indeed have passed as either he or Morgana's sibling. It was an unsettling thought how alike the druid standing in front of him was to Merlin.
"Come," Taliesin offered, leading Merlin into the camp, "Celebrate with us." Merlin nodded and turned away from Mordred.
"Don't think you will get away that easily, Emrys." Merlin tried to ignore the murmur in his mind as he was led away.
The food and drink had been plentiful and good, the stories interesting and the shows of magic intrigued him as it seemed so different from his own and yet identical. Taliesin informed him that this group met up with a group of druids only populated by women at certain times of year, mostly for the festivals. When the women had children, the girls would be kept but any boys when they reached a certain age would return to this group. It had been this transition when Mordred had come to Camelot, Merlin learned.
The wine, of course had been especially good. Merlin was impressed with what the druids had to offer, considering they only used what they could find around them in the forest. In fact it had been too good and Merlin had never been one to hold his drink very well. It had slowed his reactions and lessened his barriers he had put up. He stared at the bonfire in front of him, not sure if the shapes he saw in the flames were caused by the slight breeze or his own magic. Mordred slid into his mind easier than a serpent through grass.
"You have partaken of our hospitality. Don't you think you should give something in return?" Merlin looked around him, but his vision was a little blurred. He could not see Mordred.
"What would have of me?" Merlin asked wearily, out loud.
"I would have you." Merlin frowned.
"I came here as proof that we mean you no harm. I did not come here to offer myself to your pleasures."
"Oh, but who said anything of offering. It is but a repayment. Consider it a way of proving your pretty words earlier. You come in peace. Well, to deny me could ruin that."
"You would fight against Camelot over me?" Merlin couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"Consider your rejection an act of war."
"You wouldn't." There was no reply this time. "I would stop you."
"Would you now? So that would make you my enemy."
"Perhaps. Mordred. What do you want?" Merlin felt a shiver race down his spine as if feather light fingers had brushed there. "What are you doing?" Merlin was mortified to find his voice a little husky.
"Come to me, Emrys." He found he couldn't resist. He followed the voice in his head away from the fire and into the darkness. He finally found Mordred standing under a willow tree, casually leaning against its trunk. Dark hair hung round his face casting his eyes into shadow, but Merlin knew he was being watched. In the moonlight Mordred's skin glowed, making him seem more fey than human. "I want you."
"I can't." Mordred pushed off the tree and walked up to him.
"Yes you can." He smiled even as Merlin felt that brush once more. He gasped at the invisible touch. "I can give you so much more than that king of yours." He moved forward and brushed his lips against Merlin's. "If not for me then for your king. Save his life, protect him. Isn't that what you like doing?" Merlin glared at Mordred but knew he couldn't deny him. If he said no to the druid there would be war. A pointless war. He knew that to be no idle threat. The truce between Camelot and magic wielders was still tenuous at best. There was no decision to be made. He sighed and closed his eyes. Mordred smirked, knowing he had won. He leaned into the older man's body. "You're mine now, Emrys."
"I will never be yours!" Merlin mentally snarled back. Mordred sniggered and bit into Merlin's neck, making the sorcerer yelp. With the pain there was a gentle stroking sensation and Merlin noticed the whispered words against his neck. Mordred was using magic. The invisible fingers ghosted across his skin beneath his robes even as Mordred began undressing him. The magic was a gentle caress, a stark contrast to the rough hands of the druid. Pushing him down by the willow, Mordred smirked down at him.
"Is this how your king feels, to have so much power under his fingers, to have such control over you?"
"What I give him, I give freely. It is not a question of control. We are equals." Mordred knelt down beside him until his face was a breath away.
"That is what he wants you to think. He keeps you because he can control you. You are nothing more than a weapon to him. Something he can use." Mordred knelt beside Merlin, bringing his face close enough that their noses just touched. Merlin did not even blink. "He is not our equal. A non-magic user will never be an equal." Mordred spat vehemently.
"To me he is. To me he is everything. You would never understand." Merlin whispered back. Mordred lunged forward and kissed him fiercely, splitting his lip. He gripped Merlin's head firmly while he plundered his mouth. Merlin bit his tongue. Mordred pulled away and grinned.
"Like it rough do you? Fine." He pushed Merlin over so he was on his knees, his face pushed against the ground, his cheek grazing against a root of the tree. Mordred pulled at Merlin's robes, tearing at the fabric and bearing pale skin to the moonlight. Despite what they were doing, Mordred's hands were gentle against Merlin, the court sorcerer feeling tingles as long fingers trailed against his flesh and with a realisation that it wasn't wholly unpleasant. With the wine numbing his senses and the strange magic stroking at him, his wits were seriously muted and he did not really comprehend the danger he was in. It was only when he felt the boy pull his legs apart and settle between them did the true reality of what Mordred was about to do sink in and made him cry out.
"Mordred, please! You don't have to do this!" He could hear the smile in the druid's voice.
"Oh, I really think I do." Without warning, he penetrated Merlin with one thrust, making the sorcerer cry out in pain as he felt himself tear apart. He had no energy to fight back, to try and get Mordred off of him; the alcohol had weakened both him and his magic. His magic seemed to be betraying him; he could feel it flooding through him, dancing through his body along with Mordred's. He had never known anything like it and in some perverse way, he was enjoying the feeling.
"No." He whimpered, trying to fight with all he had, only to find himself unable to do anything. He had never felt so helpless.
"If you are not with us, Emrys, you are against us. Remember your place, lapdog. You gave us up when you sided with him. This is your punishment for your betrayal." With each word a vicious thrust had Merlin crying out against the earth, the dry ground grating against his skin. His hands gripped for something to old onto, to stop his body sliding if he could not stop this torture, but his nails only gouged at the soil in vain. Bony fingers gripped painfully on his hips and yet the invisible tendrils continued their dance and set his body aflame, until they focused on his hitherto neglected cock. With complete mortification, Merlin found himself hardening at the attention, despite the pain that racked through his body, threatening to split him apart. Mordred's magic mixed with his own, a heady combination that he could not ignore, sending a heat through him he had only ever known with Arthur.
He felt tears escape with that thought. There was no way he could compare this act to what he and his lover did and yet, as he felt Mordred stiffen and come inside him, he felt the mix of Mordred's and his own magic entwine through him and gave him his own release more powerful than he would have thought possible.
As he felt Mordred pull away, his body gave up, drained from pain and pleasure. He slumped completely to the ground, wishing it would crack beneath him and swallow him whole. Merlin felt Mordred curl up next to him, holding him in an imitation of a lovers embrace, and felt a shudder of revulsion flow through him. He had never felt so disgusted with himself in his life. The pain had been excruciating but the pleasure he had received. He had never known anything like that. He had never known magic combine with his in such a way to be pleasurable. And he had liked it. He wasn't sure who he hated the most. Mordred or himself.
"Look, Emrys. I have drawn first blood." Mordred's voice pulled him away from his dark thoughts. Merlin found enough energy to turn and look at the druid as he finally moved away from him and stood up. Even in the pale moonlight, Merlin could see red smears across Mordred's fingers and cock, where it still hung from his breeches. He knelt back down beside Merlin. "And it won't be the last. I will have your king's blood on my hands when I next claim you and then you will be mine. I will have you Emrys and I will take you, drenched in his blood." Merlin finally realised what he could see in those blue eyes. Madness. A madness more frightening than any monster he and Arthur had ever faced.
"You think you have stopped this war. For now, maybe you have, but magic, as you know, will not rest. We need a ruler with the power to wield magic, not some blond whelp who thinks he deserves it." If he had the strength Merlin would have at least hit him for the insult to Arthur, but he couldn't even summon that. He just had to glare instead. Mordred looked at him for a moment, before pulling his chin up and kissing him. It was complete contradiction to rough and violent act before. The kiss was tender and almost loving despite the cracked lips that pushed against Merlin's.
"The time will come, Emrys. Magic will rule Albion as it should. I will see to it myself."
"You make idle threats." Merlin ground out, his voice sounding as torn and ragged as his body felt. "Stay out of my head!" Mordred stood up, looked at him and gave him a smirk, before he walked away, leaving Merlin to collapse fully and cry into the roots of the willow, feeling torn and broken, only able to sob Arthur's name in vain.
When Merlin woke to warm sunlight, he found himself still lying under the willow, but covered up by his robes. Pulling them off, he checked his body for the bruises and marks he knew would be there and was almost horrified to find they weren't. The pain he could still feel right through to his very heart, so he knew there was no way it had been a dream. Mordred must have cast a spell to hide his marks. Looking around frantically he saw a stream nearby. He ran to it, almost stumbling in. He could hardly feel the cold though his body shivered with it. He felt so unclean, dirty. He had to remove the taint that clung to his skin. Grabbing handfuls of sandy earth from the river bed, he scrubbed at his body viciously, trying to rub away the feel of those hands. It was only when he began drawing blood, he stopped. He looked at the red smears he had created. He couldn't even feel it. Looking at his hands turning blue, a small slither of common sense managed to take hold and he got out of the river. Using a quick healing spell, he cured all the marks he had left on himself. He got dressed quickly and sat back under the willow, holding his knees close.
There would be no proof to show Arthur what had been done to him and no evidence of what he had done to himself. Only he could feel his pain. In that moment he knew he couldn't tell his lover what had befallen him. He could not bear the shame. He could not stand the pity that he knew would be in Arthur's eyes. He knew how Arthur would treat him differently, as if he was fragile, delicate. Their relationship would change too drastically and Merlin couldn't bear that.
He also did not want to imagine the havoc that Arthur would cause. They had only just ended an era that shed the blood of magic. Merlin could not let his lover become his father. He was better than that and Merlin could not stand the thought that such killing would be in his name. He could not live with that. Murdering druids really would start a war.
This was something he had to keep to himself. A pain he would suffer in silence. It would be his scar to bear and his alone.
It had been a different man that left that camp, but if anyone noticed they kept silent. Merlin thanked Taliesin for his hospitality and repeated the fact that they were always welcome in Camelot. Taliesin had thanked him graciously and prayed that they would see each other again. Merlin silently wished they didn't.
There had been no sign of Mordred and for that Merlin had been grateful. He wasn't sure how he would have coped when faced with the druid boy.
As he rode away, that voice slithered back into his mind.
"It was no threat, Emrys, but a promise." Merlin urged the horse on a little faster.
When Merlin rode through the gates of Camelot, Arthur was waiting for him. Although Merlin was full of smiles and kisses for his king, Arthur could tell that all was not entirely well. The smile did not reach his eyes. Arthur had known that smile for many years. It didn't take much to know something was wrong. He did not pry however, knowing Merlin would tell him when he was ready.
Merlin gave his report to Arthur as advisor to his king in court. He told them of the druids' thanks but also of the possibility of mutiny. Although it was just hearsay, it was a dark cloud on the horizon and one that would need careful watching. Too many people still felt unease with magic and too many magic users had been subjugated for too long. Mordred's threat of blood still rang in his ears but he wasn't going to impart that piece of information.
Watching the sun set, Arthur had turned to his lover and had kissed him, showing Merlin just how much he was missed. Merlin fell into his arms willingly as always, but it wasn't until Arthur was thrusting into him that he really understood just what Mordred had done to him. It wasn't the pain, that had vanished by the time he had reached Camelot, no doubt aided by his magic. Something inside him was broken and he could never fix it. Letting Arthur love him felt like coming home but that broken piece of him still longed for the danger of the outside, longed for Mordred.
As Arthur kissed him, he imagined Mordred's rougher lips. As Arthur held him, he could imagine the druid's embrace. As Arthur's fingers wandered, all Merlin could picture was Mordred's long, pale hands. Merlin could feel his stomach twist, he didn't realise he had been distant until Arthur looked down at him and ran a thumb across his cheek.
"Hey. Are with me?" His voice was rough but affectionate; Merlin could see the effort Arthur had to hold himself back. Merlin gazed up at his lover and wanted to cry. He wanted to give Arthur everything he had, but it had been taken from him. He wanted to scream and shout and tear the druid apart limb from limb. But he just smiled, lifted his head so he could kiss his king.
"Always." He never thought he could lie to Arthur so easily and that just broke him a little further.
After they had lain together, Merlin stared at the ceiling. Arthur's warm, comforting arm draped across his waist, pinning him to the bed. Even lying in the darkness, he could feel the druid's poison slipping through his veins. Mordred was the maggot to his rose. Eating away at the roots. It is only when the rose begins to wilt, that someone will realise that there is something truly wrong, and by then of course, it will be too late. The damage would be done and there would be no going back.
He knew he could never tell Arthur. Damn, he loved his blond lover more than anything in the world and he knew that he always would.
It was hideous word, a word that made bile rise in Merlin's throat. He would always remember Mordred's touch. Always remember the feel of another's magic twining with his. Always know that he could never share that feeling with Arthur. It seemed such a pitiful thing and something he would never had realised he missed. Not until now.
There would always be that memory. That tiny little piece of resentment, that Arthur couldn't do that, couldn't share magic. Only Mordred could. Something forbidden, dangerous and damn the boy, he wanted more. Arthur had always said there would be no more secrets between them after he had found out about Merlin's magic. It made him nauseous knowing there was no way he could ever tell Arthur about this. Another secret between them. Merlin hated the fact that he would have to lie to Arthur. Again.
He looked at his sleeping lover and ran a feather-light finger down a cheek. Arthur sighed deeply and snuggled closer to Merlin, wrapping his arm tighter around Merlin's waist, pulling the slimmer man to him. He nuzzled his nose into Merlin's neck. Even then Merlin knew that in a way, he would come to hate Arthur. He would never be able to look at him the same way again. It would push them apart; Mordred would always be between them. It was what the druid wanted all along. Not just the threat. Not just Merlin himself, but this knowledge that this would break them. Together they could not be beaten, but drifting apart, unknowingly or not, would be their downfall. The druid would win this battle in the end one way or another. Merlin felt hot tears running down his cheeks, they burned in their descent.
Merlin began to rue the day he had decided to save Mordred. He should have listened to the dragon. He should have known that day would be the beginning of the end.