Carry on my Wayward Servant
Chapter 11: Jealousy Will Drive You Mad
"Arthur...it's not..." The Prince's eyes were alight with fury, scanning his half nude body, and landing glaringly on Lancelot, who just stared back at Arthur defiantly.
"Lancelot I seem to find you yet again in my kingdom...the very kingdom that I know I banished you from." He stepped forward, coming nose to nose with the dark haired knight. "Not only that, but I find you assaulting my servant, so please give me one good reason why I shouldn't have you thrown in the dungeon." His eyes narrowed threateningly. "I'm all ears."
"Sire you can't!" Merlin tried, but the glare shot his way, and the words died in his throat.
"Go put on some clothes!" Arthur barked, patience completely shot as he pointed back towards his chambers.
"But Lancelot..." He looked over to his friend. "He just came to tell information on the..."
"I don't care!" Arthur yelled, spinning on him. "Get out of my sight now or I'll lock you up with him!"
"My Lord I swear I will leave the kingdom. I had only come to warn you of what I had discovered." Arthur shoved him, slamming him with his forearm against the wall.
"Do you really think I care why you're here?" He hissed in his face, Lancelot trying to obviously remain calm through the assault. "Guards!" He screamed, and three of his knights came rushing around the corner, eyes widening in confusion at the scene.
"Stop it!" Merlin yelled, attempting to grab Arthur's arm and pull. "You can't do this!" Arthur backlashed, whipping his arm back and into Merlin's face, causing the warlock to bend over, cradling his cheek as he turned accusing eyes up to his lover. ...Arthur's face held no remorse.
"You are a servant! Don't ever presume you can touch me!" He growled, turning to his guards. "Take both of them down to the dungeons, and put them in separate cells." His voice was unfeeling, cold, and with every syllable it stuck another knife into Merlin's heart. Had he just...had he just had him imprisoned? A guard came towards him and he started backing up, struggling as he grabbed him, noticing how out of the corner of his eye Lancelot seemed to accept his fate. He wouldn't though, he couldn't accept that Arthur had really done this.
"I hate you!" He screamed, struggling as he was pulled down the hallway. Arthur refused to look in his direction, looking instead to the floor. "I won't forgive you for this! Coward!" He yelled, and a guard, obviously beyond his level of patience, whapped him in the back of the neck, and everything went black.
Merlin groaned, head pounding in his skull as he curled up into himself, noticing faintly the smell of straw, feces, and almost death. Great...he was in the dungeons. His towel had miraculously still remained on his hips, albeit riding rather low on them, and as he sat up he could just feel the dirt and particles caked to his hair and face. "That slimy bastard." He said out loud, cursing Arthur's name as he remembered just how big of an ass the prince had been.
"He did seem to be a little upset at seeing us together." Merlin jumped at the voice, but then turned blue eyes to see Lancelot in the cell across from him. "Bit jealous isn't he?"
"Lancelot!" Merlin cried, springing up to grab the bars. "I'm sorry you got thrown in here." Lancelot laughed, swiping a hand through his shaggy locks.
"Merlin, it's obviously not your fault." He said, though Merlin's stomach twisted from guilt, knowing that it was entirely his fault. "Arthur just seems to have a temper on him. I'm sure he'll let us out when he cools down." He gave a wry smile. "He's certainly not going to leave you down here in just a towel after all."
"He's such a prat!" Merlin spit out, rubbing his arms to try to get some feeling in them after having to lay on the freezing ground. "Leave it to him in the midst of everything going on to throw a tantrum!" Merlin had been privy to Arthur's mood swings before, and although they had frequently been directed at him, they had never gotten him thrown in the dungeons before. ...Well except when they first met, and he wasn't sure that counted.
He shifted his legs, wincing as he realized he had been laying on one of them and it was fast asleep. Looking around he noticed that Lancelot was across from him, and that they were the only two in the dungeon. Not even the guards had stuck around, though Merlin was sure they were stationed outside the door. Not in hearing range though. This might be the only time he got to talk to Lancelot before the knight was thrown out of Camelot by the prat prince.
"Lancelot I need to tell you something, and when I tell you I realize that we may no longer be able to remain friends, because what I've...what I think I've done anyways, is so horrible that you'll never be able to look at me the same, but I need to tell somebody...I need somebody to know because otherwise I really am going crazy..." He trailed off, laying his forehead against the cool bars as his shoulders sagged, feeling hesitant about telling Lancelot because he knew this was it. He would tell the knight, and then he would begin to hate him almost as much as he hated himself.
"Merlin, whatever it is, it can't be as bad as you think it is." Lancelot said calmly, as if he were soothing a rabid horse. "And nothing you could tell me could make me turn my back on you. I swear it."
Merlin gave a cynical smile, knowing Lancelot would be forced to break that vow. "I killed people." He said is one breath, the words escaping his lungs like poisonous gas. "The night of the attack, the snake came, and I blacked out like I had before. I woke up drenched in blood with no memory." He turned wide fearful eyes up to his friend. "It keeps happening! I keep blacking out, and I keep hearing its damn voice in my head! And there's nothing I can do about it!" He wrapped his arms around himself, sinking his shoulders miserably. "I don't know what I'm becoming, and it's scares me."
"Shhh..." He crooned. "Merlin it's alright. I know what's happening to you, it's what I came to tell you." He said gently, and the warlock's heart practically stopped in his chest at those words. "You didn't do anything wrong. Your soul is far too gentle to ever do that." He saw Lancelot scooting, trying to reach out to him through the cage, but Merlin knew he could never reach. "It's a Lamia Merlin." Lancelot said, as if that name held every answer in the world.
"Lamia?" He asked, the words dry and cracked in his throat, his head spinning with possibilities.
"A mythological beast hailing from eastern worlds. She is a cunning creature, beautiful in every sense, and yet inside a horrible monster. A snake Merlin. She used to be a beautiful queen whom all the lands revered, but she wicked inside. She murdered her own child and fed on his flesh so that she may remain youthful forever, but the old gods cursed her. They turned her into a monster for all eternity." A darkness crept up Merlin's spine as Lancelot continued to speak. "She can never die, and has a hunger for flesh, but more than that she seeks power in the hearts of young men. She targets them Merlin, and she feasts...not only on their blood and flesh, but she consumes their souls." Lancelot finished, and it was so quiet in the room that you could hear a pin drop.
Merlin sat in stunned silence, trying not to hyperventilate as he allowed Lancelot's words to wash over him. "Are you saying that this lamia..." The words practically got choked in his throat. "This thing wants to consume my soul?" He turned terrified eyes up to Lancelot who just gave a nod. "Why?" He whined. "Why me?"
"Her goal is to lift the curse Merlin. She wants to be human again, and your soul is old...it might be even as old as her. Perhaps she thinks..." He paused, reaching through the bars again. "Perhaps she thinks if she consumes you, she can once more be human."
"I'm not even that human...that thing it's possessing me." His heart trembled with sadness, knowing that even with his magic, at least before he had felt a bit normal.
Lancelot glanced at him with an almost pitying gaze. "Oh Merlin, I suspect you're far more human than most of us." The sorcerer scoffed at that, and yet it worked to make him feel a bit better.
"Have you any idea how to stop it?" He asked miserably, forehead collapsed onto the bars as his fingers clung to them until they turned white.
"I'm sorry. They had no answers. The creature is far too old. I was hoping Gaius would..."
Merlin shook his head. "No. I will not tell Gaius I am a murderer." He squeezed his eyes, failing to see the rocks around him beginning to tremble.
"Merlin you didn't..." Lancelot tried, but he interrupted.
"Didn't I? Who could possibly say. There was so much blood Lance...too much blood." He didn't want to throw himself a pity party, and yet there were no pretenses. He didn't have to pretend like everything was okay when it so obviously wasn't.
"What does Arthur think about it?' Lancelot asked carefully, and Merlin's shoulders stiffened at the mention of the prince, the same prince who had thrown him in the dungeons in nothing but a towel.
"He is positively oblivious, like normal. Also a complete prat, but then that's normal as well." He turned unsympathetic blue eyes. "I am sorry he had you thrown in here."
Lancelot laughed, rubbing the back of his head. "Obviously not your fault Merlin. Though he does seem to dislike me a lot more than he did before."
Merlin blushed, guilt knotting in his stomach as he tried to put on his best fake smile. "He's a prat that one...I did tell you."
"Such lovely things you have to say about me Merlin." His eyes shot up, watching Arthur approach with a guarded expression, and he swore that if he were a dog he'd be growling right now.
"Oh Sire do come closer, I'll be happy to tell all that and more to your face!" He snarled, smashing against the bars. For his part Arthur just simply rolled his eyes, walking further into the room and crossing his arms, staring at Merlin down in the cell.
"How many times have I told you that you can't speak like that to me?" He raised a patronizing eyebrow. "Manners Merlin, I will beat them into you if I have to." Arthur was smiling, but it didn't quite reach his eyes, and as he looked towards Lancelot his face darkened considerably. "Tell me Lancelot, just what do I have to do to keep you out of my kingdom?"
"I wasn't aware it was your kingdom yet, my lord." Lancelot said softly, standing up in his cell and watching as every muscle in Arthur's body tightened. "No offense of course. It's just I wasn't aware Uther had died and made you King just yet."
Merlin's mouth fell open into a gaping hole, not believing the words that had just left Lancelot's lips. Had he really...had he really just said that to Arthur? He his his snickering behind his hand as his eyes sparkled, meeting Lancelot's as the knight sent him a smirk.
"Think you're funny, do you?" His hands curled around the bars, leaning in so that he was a hair's breath away from Lancelot's face. "How funny do you think you'll be when you're in that yard getting flogged?" Lancelot's face turned stoney, and Arthur's brightened into a gloating smile. "Won't be so cheeky after your back is fileted beyond recognition, will you?"
"Arthur." Merlin said slowly, his eyes had darkened as he stared at his lover in almost disgust. "Stop this. He did nothing wrong. Just let us out." For the most part Arthur seemed to ignore that he was even there.
"So what's it going to be Lancelot? Flogging or exile?" Lancelot took a deep breath, eyes glancing to the side obviously debating something in his mind, but by the time he looked to the front his eyes were piercing into Arthur's own.
"Why don't you ask me what you really want to ask me..." He paused, bowing. "My liege." He tilted his head to the side, raising one eyebrow. "Why don't you ask me to stay away from Merlin and not just beat around the details."
Merlin's heart skipped a beat as the air flooded from his lungs as if he had just been slugged in the gut. Had he really said that? Judging by how stiff Arthur had become, and how his hair was practically standing on end as if he were a pissed off cat told him that yes, it was very likely he had said that. The air around them seemed to be charged, and Merlin was sure that with one spark the whole thing would go up in flames.
"Just what do you think you know peasant?" Arthur growled, fingers inching to the sword at his belt.
"Nothing my Lord." Lancelot responded with, and Merlin was just about to let out the breath he was holding, but then he continued on. "The only thing I know is that Merlin deserves so much better than what a narcissistic prat like you could ever give him."
"Lancelot..." Merlin started, but the stiff hand Arthur put up silenced whatever he was going to say.
"You want my servant?" Arthur asked tight lipped, voice practically trembling with rage. Merlin wasn't looking at him though, his eyes were locked with Lancelot's.
They stared at each other for a bit, and Merlin became more confused than ever when the would be knight didn't immediately deny it. Did he know what Arthur would do to him? Why wasn't he denying it? "I do." Those two words made Merlin's body begin to tremble with what he was sure had nothing to do with the cold from being only in a towel.
The three of them stood there, the air thick and suffocating before finally Arthur leaned in, clenching the bars of the cell. "You will never have him." The words were growled and almost too low for him to hear, but then he rounded on Merlin, and his eyes were in fire.
He pulled a key from off his belt, sticking it into the lock and turning it with an audible click, the door swinging open. "Come with me." His words were snipped, harsh, and Merlin thought that there was nothing he would rather do less than go with him in this moment. Blue eyes scanned Arthur's tense frame, and he felt as if he were debating approaching an animal posed for attack. "Now Merlin." The command left no room for argument, and hesitantly Merlin stepped out, wincing as a hand slapped onto his shoulder, gripping it almost painfully as he led him towards the entrance.
"Perhaps a few lashings will help you behave Lancelot." Arthur said, gripping Merlin even harder as he began to struggle.
"You can't do that! You can't!" Arthur had full on grabbed Merlin by this time as he pushed him out the entrance of the door. Picking him up and flinging him over his shoulder as they made their way down the hall, the guards discretely ignoring Merlin's yells as he clung to the side of the castle walls.
"Let me go you rat bastard! I hate you and your jealousy! I hope you fall and break your stupid face you smelly hillbilly!" He screamed, grunting as they rounded into an empty corridor and he was deposited onto the cold stone, gasping when Arthur leaned down, ripping the towel off in one fluid motion and throwing it down the hall. Wide eyed, Merlin scrambling into a sitting position, knees up to his chest as he glared at Arthur and tried to cover as much of himself as possible. "Get away from me! I'd rather be in the stocks!"
Arthur smirked coldly at him, reaching out and grabbing one boney wrist and tugging him forward so that he half stumbled. "That can be arranged you know. I'll put you in the stocks, bare as you are now, and watch that creamy flesh be pelted with all manners of rot." He leaned in closer, his lips coming to his ear as the grip on his wrist tightened. "Everyone will stare at you, wishing they could fuck you instead of hurt you, and I'll be there, entering you rough and hard from behind. Showing everyone in this kingdom that you are only mine." He growled possessively, grabbing the back of his head and crushing their mouths together. Merlin for his part was so shocked by the words that had come out of Arthur's mouth that his own had lost all the profanity he had wanted to spew at the prince.
Hands came to his knees, gripping them and ripping them apart, allowing for Arthur to crawl in between them and grab his face, pulling him closer and ignoring Merlin's struggles. He tried to push at the stronger chest, but it didn't even seem to make a dent as the prince pressed his considerable hardness against him.
"S-stop." He tried to say against his lips, but could already feel his resistance crumbling with every one of Arthur's possessive almost scary kisses. They finally broke away, Merlin turning his face to the side, this time thinking of more less logical reasons he should resist. "Someone could see...we're not...we're just in a corridor."
"I don't care." Arthur said back huskily, reaching to his pants as he tried to remove them as quickly as possible. "Not even my father coming around that corner could stop me from fucking you right now. ...not after what he said. ….Not after how you defended him."
He spread Merlin's legs, leaning down to kiss almost apologetically at his shoulder. "I'm sorry darling, but I can't be as kind as I would like to be right now. I need to be inside you, and I can't make it painless." Merlin nodded, biting his bottom lip when Arthur pushed in without warning, impaling him all the way to the hilt as he shoved him against the wall.
Merlin screamed, turning his head to the side as Arthur shoved his gangly legs up so they were practically against his ears, pounding in and out of him roughly, kissing along his face and neck as he thrust in and out. Ecstasy shot up his spine as Arthur breached that spot inside of him that by now he knew exactly where it was at. Merlin hardened, gasping as he reached out and dug his fingernails into Arthur's back, causing the blonde to wince against his lips as he pushed him even harder against the wall.
He reached behind him, bracing himself against the wall as Arthur grabbed his hips, lifting him up as began to slam into him harder, smacking Merlin's head against the stone as his stomach arched up, allowing Arthur to lick up it as he began to stroke the warlock, failing to notice how all the torches going down the halls had begun to light.
"Arthur...Arthur!" He screamed, pushing hard against the wall to force the prince deeper inside of him.
He was pulled up then as Arthur resituated him, pulling him into his lap so that Merlin was riding the Prince, leaning in to initiate a kiss as he tried to force Arthur as deep as he would go. It was so good...it was too good for how angry he was supposed to be.
Arthur was a narcissistic, possessive, jerk, and yet he worshipped every last thing about him. It was sick...it was wrong... "Merlin," Arthur said suddenly, thrusting up even faster as he grabbed his face, making sure their eyes met. "I love you." ...It was perfect.
He came, shooting all over his and Arthur's chests as they kissed, and with unbelievable bliss he felt the Prince fill him as he pulled him, if possible, closer. It felt like he was trying to devour him through that kiss, but the more they did, the gentler the kisses became until it was just their foreheads resting together as they panted, everything that had just happened crashing down around them.
"Why Sire..." Merlin said after a while, laying his head on the blond's chest. "I never knew you could get so mushy." He tried to joke, ignoring the fluttering inside his chest.
Arthur kissed him once more before pulling out of him and standing up, doing up his pants and scowling as he looked down at his ruined shirt. "Honestly Merlin?" He asked, bypassing discussing what the warlock had just referred to. "And you said I was the one who jizzed too much...this is never going to come out in the wash."
"Don't worry my lord, I've become quite accustomed to washing your soiled laundry...you savage git." His body was exhausted as he slumped against the wall, legs wide open and not bothering to cover himself at all, not even as Arthur's eyes scanned where his dick had just been.
"It's only because you make me crazy." He said, reaching down and grabbing Merlin's forearm, using it to heft the boy up and bringing him into his arms. To Merlin's disgust he got all shaky in the knees when he kissed him.
Arthur pulled away and walked over, grabbing at the towel and holding it almost teasingly out to Merlin. He snatched it with a glare, wrapping it around his thin hips. "I still hate you, you know. You're a prat, and you can't do that to Lancelot." Arthur's face immediately became stoney as his eyes darkened. "Oh don't give me that look! I don't want to screw him Arthur!" He growled angrily. "If you hadn't noticed I just came all over you, which should give you a good idea that the only one I want to screw is you!" He walked over, taking Arthur's hand. "He is trying to help me Arthur...I've done things...it made me do things." He whispered the last part almost darkly, trying not to meet the other's eyes as he attempted to tell him of the lamia.
"Merlin, what on earth are you talking about?" He said it in that sarcastic tone, but there was no humor on his face. He folded his arms over his chest, patiently waiting, and Merlin realized that he had been expecting this conversation. Well how could he not be? They had been leading up to this, and there was no avoiding it.
"Lancelot identified what the snake was." Arthur's eyes immediately became more alert, as Merlin licked his lips, shifting as he looked the other way. "He knows what it wants..." His voice was trembling by the point and he rubbed his arms, trying to get some of the heat back into them.
"Well it's magic isn't it? So what does it want, the throne? The kingdom? To destroy Camelot? ...One knows it's already done a wonder at that one already." He said in almost disgust, but he trailed off at the look on Merlin's face.
He struggled with his answer, trying to spit it out and trembling with his effort. Would Arthur hate him? Would he look at him in disgust? He had said he loved him, did that mean he still would if he found out he was magic? Would he still once he found out what that creature had made him do?
"...Me." He said finally, looking up to meet Arthur's shocked gaze. "It wants me."
Silence. Silence invaded the hallway so that it was almost suffocating. It was enough to make you made. Finally Arthur spoke. "What are you..."
"Sire! Sire!" Yelling was heard done the hall, and Gawain and two other knights came rushing forward, panting as they came to a halt in front of the Prince. "Sire we did a sweep of the northern borders of the city and have discovered a grave." Merlin's head shot up in alert.
"Where at?" He asked without thinking, causing everyone to look over to him and his rather questionable appearance.
To the knight's credit not a single one of them said a word. "A field." They replied, focusing their attentions again on Arthur. "The wildflower field that borders our land. We were out hunting when some of the dogs discovered a shallow grave. ...They had already begun to eat the corpse before we came upon them." They practically blanched, the horror clearly written on their faces.
"How do you know it's not just a victim of the recent attack whose family members buried them there?" Arthur asked, forehead creased with worry.
The knights exchanged nervous glances between each other, and finally it was Gawain that spoke again. "We suspect foul play sire. ...You really need to see the grave site." Merlin's head was becoming heavy by this point as it suddenly occurred to him that what the knights had discovered was the murder scene, and the explanation to just why he had been covered in so much blood. ...He felt sick.
"I need to go." He heard himself say, though his voice was far away and faint. He turned to Arthur, and their eyes met. "I have to go." His entire body was trembling by this point.
"Very well." Arthur said, looking away from him and Merlin felt a wall go up between them. "Let's go see the body."
A.N- Comes out of lurking mode! It lives!!!! This is my early Valentine's day present to all of you guys cuz I lurve you!!! Hope you like it!