Warning: Slash, Mpreg dub/non con
According to Destiny
Arthur was lonely, Merlin was there and it just happened. One moment Merlin was turning down the sheets the next he was backed up against the wall, Arthur's warm body pressing up against his. It all went very fast, in a haze of fumbling from their clothes, to rolling under the covers to the last cries. It was too fast for Merlin's liking, he wanted his first time to be slower, he'd dreamt of Arthur kissing him with such heated passion that you could feel it in the air. He'd imagined countless times about how Arthur would undress him slowly, savouring the moment, instead he tore off his clothes and pushed him down on the bed.
Instead of showering him in kisses, he nipped harshly against his skin, leaving marks so that people knew he was his. There wasn't much thought for preparations, Arthur wanted to feel good, he didn't care if Merlin was hurt in all of this. And of course he was. He, God he is in idiot, but for a moment he thought Arthur actually wanted him. When his lips crashed hungrily against the warlock's he thought all his dreams were coming true. What came true was a quick fuck and he was left feeling used.
They never spoke of it again. For a fact, Arthur acted like it never happened. He acted like he hadn't broken Merlin's heart into thousands of pieces; he ignored the hurt written so clearly in Merlin's eyes that a blind man could see it. Prince Arthur didn't care that he shattered the servant dreams and crushed all his hope. How could their destinies be entwined if Arthur treated Merlin like this? How was he meant to save and protect the prince when he wanted to just run and hide whenever he saw him? How could Arthur not know that Merlin loved him more than anything he had?
Summer bled into winter and the snow began to fall on a Sunday morning that found Merlin in tears. He sat at the old wooden table, food, books and potions lining the top before him as he sobbed uncontrollably. He'd thought about this after that night, it had haunted him through so many days and sleepless nights but after awhile nothing changed so he abandoned the thoughts. Maybe he'd done so too early; all too eager to just let go of some of his troubles. But now all his fears were slamming into him with the speed of a wild horse and the force of a dragon.
He looked up through the tears and glared with so much hatred it could kill a man at the two long needles that gracefully knitted another pair of pale pink mittens. He tried to reach out and stop them, to tear them apart and forget this was happening but they moved out of his sluggish grasp and continued to knit higher up. When you find out your pregnant because you wake up to your powers knitting hats, socks, and mittens you feel like the biggest freak. Merlin, being the silly boy he was, ignored it all first, he told himself it was just his subconscious playing tricks on him and making his magic do odd things. He kept telling himself all he had to worry about was losing his head.
Then. just this morning he was cleaning Arthur's chainmail (well muttering how much he hated him) when it suddenly turned into a pink blanket and he just knew. No amount of denial would fix this, would change this, he was pregnant. He was pregnant with Arthur Pendragon's baby. At first he wanted to smile until the memory of how he conceived this child hit him full force. The tears fell then. He left the room, only making it to the table before his knees buckled and he had to take a seat.
Coming back to the present Merlin pounded his firsts against the table, the plates and potions jumping into the air. The invisible hands stopped knitting and Merlin felt like his magic was glowering at him. Like there really was an invisible person holding those stupid needles and was now giving Merlin a firm look. They soon started up again though this time being joined by another set that started to make a purple hat. He was having a girl.
When Merlin stared at Arthur, the last strains of sunlight turning his hair gold, he found it hard to hate him. He found himself thinking that that night wasn't so bad, that sure, it was rushed and he couldn't walk probably the next day, it was still good. He told himself 'at least it was with Arthur. At least for a moment there was some passion' and there was. For a second and Merlin treasured it. For a moment his skin danced with flames, for a moment the world stood still and in that moment everything was perfect. Then it all ended and disappeared into a haze of biting and nipping. It all went wrong when Merlin started to throw up in the mornings and cry and get angry over small things.
The warlock looked up at the sound of impatience in his master's tone. He studied his prince, towering over him, making him feel feeble. He felt helpless that night, he told himself 'any moment he'll stop and it will be how I want it' it never happened. He rose to his feet on unsteady legs; Arthur made him weak at the knees, now for all the wrong reasons. He flinched as Arthur swept the sweat from his brow and looked away when Arthur stared at him concerned. He wasn't concerned that night. He looked back at his prince, taking note of the dirt coloured snow that smeared his face and armor, he'd been training Knights and Merlin wished he could have whiled a sword that night.
"Ready to head back sire?" he always tried to keep his voice firm and sometimes wondered if Arthur ever noticed that Merlin was somewhat afraid of him.
The snow had been falling all day, the night now silent and cold. Merlin wrapped another blanket around his slim farm and placed one hand on his stomach and the other wrapped around his goblet that was filled with boiling tea. He stared down at the liquid as he reconsidered the way Arthur had been acting this week. He'd been making an effort to be nice, he'd seen the flash of annoyance in the prince's eyes and had seen his brow furrow but no harsh words came. He simply took a deep breath and brushed off whatever Merlin had said or done with a nod or a light joke. Merlin started to love him again.
Just as he was about to slip into a happy bliss the door opened and Gaius came in, his old face shadowed in concern. He regarded Merlin carefully, and the warlock tried to read his father figures expression but he had no idea what was on his mind. With a sigh Gaius turned away and set to work on making his own tea. Merlin let out a breath he didn't realise he was holding, he thought his secret was uncovered for a second there.
The old physician took a seat opposite Merlin and sipped his tea, the steam billowing into the night air. He stared at Merlin over the rim of his glasses and he tried to will his magic not to think of the baby. But as soon as he thought the word 'baby' his magic did something. Like the other day; he'd been in Arthur's room changing the sheets and he thought about the life that was growing inside of him. Then the prince's bed disappeared and before Merlin was a small crib. The polished wood shined in the winter sunlight that illuminated the room, the soft white blankets looked like the snow that decorated Camelot.
Merlin didn't know how long he stared at it for, hours or maybe minutes, but he cried and he smiled. He pictured his little girl in there, snug and safe beneath the covers, big eyes staring up at the world with curiosity. He thought about names as he stared at the crib, Ava, Lily, Adalyn, all so beautiful but didn't seem quite right. His fingers danced over the smooth wood and he pictured his little girl. She'd look like Arthur, he knew she would. She'd have a halo of blonde curls and those crisp ice blue eyes; she'd have flawless skin and an everlasting smile. Her first words would be Dada, she'd have magic, she'd conjure a kitten, she'd have her own destiny to fulfill and she'd do the great things Merlin had forgotten about.
Merlin heard footsteps and made the bed return and the crib disappeared into nothing. Arthur swore his bed looked different, Merlin told him was seeing things. Merlin blinked and there it was, his magic exposing his secret to Gaius. His mouth was ajar as the potions and plates all vanished to make room for four crystal glass baby bottles, a pink, blue, purple and yellow stripped rattle and a little tiara; a little tiara for a little princess.
He buried his face in hands.
"Merlin what have you done?"
Gaius's words echoed in the air and seeped through Merlin's skin like icy rain until they froze him to the core. What had he done? Nothing. That is what he had done. Nothing! He had just been minding his own business, lost in his task of turning down the prince's sheets when it all went wrong. He'd tried to make Arthur stop, he'd tried to tell his body he didn't want it, not like this, but it had its own mind. Like his magic, it betrayed all his secrets and left him open to read like a book. He eventually looked up at the physician, his question burning in the air. "I don't know."
"Merlin, Uther will have your head" Gaius was angry, he was livid and Merlin shrank back. "How could you be so careless? You are meant to keep this a secret" and no, he wasn't talking about his magic. "Arthur can't be with you! He has to marry and have a hire to the throne" he could hear the unspoken words; he could never have a sorcerers child. "I told you never to tell him about your feelings Merlin." He hadn't, maybe Gaius should know that, but Merlin was blinded by tears and the words he wanted to say were lost. His old friend's anger waned as the warlock sobbed and a comforting hand rested upon his shaking shoulder. "I'm sorry Merlin" he sounded tired and in truth, so was Merlin, so tired. "You haven't told Arthur have you?"
Merlin considered this, he hadn't told Arthur but maybe it was time he should, maybe it was time he demanded to know why that night happened. "No" he looked down at his hands that rested on his stomach "no I haven't."
"What are you going to do?"
He had no idea.
The shirt was too big for Merlin; he had to roll up the sleeves a few inches and he would have to make do with the length. It nearly reached his knees but it did its job. Which was to hide his round stomach that seemed to have come out of nowhere but it just felt like that. She'd been growing bigger each day for five months now and Merlin was grateful that he still had his head. His magic had done more than conjure baby clothes and baby needs, it had turned a few swords into flowers, two angry looking guards into puppies and it even turned Arthur's room pink.
She clearly knew who her other daddy was and it hurt Merlin to think about it. He could never tell Arthur about her, for a fact he still had no idea what he was going to do once she was born. He knew she'd be the splitting image of him and everyone would just know. He really had no choice but to leave. He could go back to Ealdor and stay with his mother, she'd love her granddaughter but there was barely little room as it were and he wished his little girl could have what he never did.
He sighed heavily and turned away from the full length mirror. The walk to Arthur's chambers was uneventful, sort of like the last five months actually. He hadn't had to save Arthur from evil sorcerers or mythic creatures, he hadn't heard from the dragon, which he thought he would have since he was carrying a magical child but clearly he was still sore about Merlin telling him he'd make sure he was never freed. Merlin almost felt normal, expect for the magical mishaps and his ever growing baby bump. Another thing he could not hide was the fact he still loved Arthur, despite the events of that night and despite the fact he acted like it never happened. God he loved Arthur with all his heart.
He'd found himself gazing at him again, admiring how his hair turned gold in the sunlight and how his eyes were always so blue. He took note that Arthur stared just a little too long at him, that he stepped just that little more close. Maybe that night did mean something to him and he thought it meant nothing to Merlin. Merlin froze in his tracks, what if he thought that? What if Arthur loved him? The short journey to Arthur's chambers became a quest for the truth. He quickened his pace and made his way to the prince's room with a thudding heart and a few kicks of encouragement from his little girl.
He burst into the room, forgetting the long conversations about knocking, and got exactly what he never wanted. Arthur was in the midst of kissing a young girl with wavy red hair, they broke apart and she frowned at Merlin who was sure his heart lay on the floor for all to see. Arthur seemed unable to speak, his mouth was moving but no words were spoken and honestly, Merlin had expected for him to be shouting at him. Maybe he could just finish him off, get out his sword and pierce Merlin's bleeding heart with it. Merlin's hands moved to his stomach, the baby was kicking hard, her heart was broken too.
"Don't savants knock around here?" the girl asked, turning her nose up at the warlock.
A servant… that was all he was to Arthur, not his friend and not his lover, he was just a servant. The tears prickled his eyes and blurred the edge of his vision, his heart ached and his baby kicked so furiously he doubled over. Arthur raced over to him, catching him before he fell to his knees. The prince's strong hand came to rest on Merlin's stomach. Came to rest on his, their child. Stormy blue met sky blue and instead of seeing hate he saw concern… he saw fear.
"Merlin" it always sounded right when Arthur said his name, it fell from his tongue just right, it echoed in Merlin's mind like a soft melody. "Merlin, who did this to you?"
Merlin's eyes widened 'who did this to him?' didn't he remember? Didn't he remember using Merlin as a quick fuck? Couldn't he remember how he told him to get out after he used him? Was that night just forgotten like it didn't nearly destroy Merlin? Finally the rage that had been building for months exploded "You did Arthur" his voice had never seemed so loud, so full of anger "you did this to me! You used me like I was worth nothing, you broke my heart and you've acted like you've done nothing wrong, you acted like it never happened!"
Merlin felt fire sear in his veins, he stared at Arthur who had backed up, his expression bewildered. "How can you not remember?" he shouted so loud that the girl ran from the room in terror, he shouted so loud that his magic seeped through his words and sat the bed ablaze.
Arthur rushed past Merlin and he was sure he was going to get the guards; he'd order them to kill Merlin, to kill his baby. But instead Arthur shut the doors, the loud thud echoing around them. The prince looked from the bed to Merlin and the flames died, leaving a smoke trail behind. He could fix the bed, make it so you'd never be able to tell the fire had touched it but he was burning with too much rage. He felt his stomach; she was quiet now and willed himself to be calm for her sake.
"Merlin" Arthur stood a few feet away from him and he looked afraid and it was ironic since Merlin had been the one afraid for months "I honestly have no idea what you are talking about" he took in a deep breath and stepped closer "I thought someone hurt you" he swallowed "you've been acting… strange for months and I've been trying to find the right way to ask you if… if you're ok."
Merlin bit his tongue to hold back the rest of his rage; his prince truly looked like he had no idea what he had done and maybe he really didn't. And Merlin had never stopped to consider that Arthur might have been under a spell or something because Arthur would have never hurt him. God he was so stupid, so fucking stupid. Of course Arthur would never hurt him. So now here was the hard part, telling Arthur what he had done. But as he gazed at Arthur, looking truly concerned for his servant's well being he found himself unable to tell him what he had done. "You've just been a part."
Arthur didn't look convinced. "Merlin if I have done something you must tell me, I order you."
He shuddered at his tone, at his power of authority. But he had a right to know, this child was his to and no matter how much it hurt the both of them he had to say this. "I'm pregnant" he swallowed hard. God he should just leave, say it was nothing, but in the end, all secrets are revealed and it's best he is the one who draws back the curtain. "And... and the father didn't exactly have my consent."
Before he could go on Arthur stumbled into the chair and buried his head in hands, Merlin wasn't sure he wanted to do this anymore. "It's… it's not like that" he'd told himself a thousand times that Arthur had never raped him, he had kissed back, he had said yes with his kisses but said no with his voice and the prince hadn't stopped. "I liked the person…" Arthur looked up, his blonde brows raised in question and his mouth set in a thin line. "A lot actually…" he looked down at his shoes; soon the day would come when he couldn't see his feet. "It's just…" he shrugged "I think they were under a spell or something."
"It doesn't pardon them of their crime Merlin" he'd never heard Arthur sound so fierce "tell me who he is."
He's you. "He doesn't live here" tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth "I'm sorry" the dam burst and tears flooded down Merlin's face and it was only making all of this so much worse. "Arthur…" he hiccupped and his body shock with the sobs "it was you, you did this to me! You're the father."
Arthur, who had gotten ready to pull Merlin into his arms, froze "excuse me?"
"I think you were under a spell or drunk or something, I don't know. But you… you and I… the baby's yours Arthur" he was rambling, a big rambling mess "I thought you just pretended that night never happened but now I realise you have no idea it happened at all and I'm sorry. I should have spoken to you months ago but…" words failed him as the tears took control.
Arthur blinked, still stunned and frozen in horror "I raped you" it wasn't a question and Merlin wanted desperately to say no, that of course he didn't but he had. "Oh God" he gasped, his own eyes tearing up "I am so sorry" he never apologized, never said thank you or please but right now he was begging for Merlin to accept his apology and now knowing that his prince never knew what he was doing he could accept it.
The sound of rustling leaves, the gentle lapping of the waves against the shore, the delicate breeze that caressed his skin lulled Merlin into a false sense of safety. He liked it here, by the lake, hidden beneath the large trees. The truth was Merlin wasn't very safe at all, not here in Camelot. Not now that Arthur knew he was a sorcerer and at any moment he could be surrounded by guards and taken to his death. He hadn't actually told Arthur he was warlock but the fact he was pregnant and set the princes bed on fire was a dead giveaway. But Arthur never actually asked, he never screamed at Merlin for lying to him, he never dragged him to his father kicking and screaming. He didn't even seem surprised to find out he was a warlock, No, instead he just left.
Merlin felt abandoned. How could he just leave? Didn't he hear that he was having a baby? Did he care? Did he care about Merlin at all? Why did he have to just go, vanish, when Merlin started to fall for him all over again? Or maybe he never stopped loving him, maybe a small part knew that Arthur had never done this to him willingly and he kicked himself for not seeing it. If he had just spoken to him months ago things might have been different. Maybe he'd be here sitting by his side, with his head resting on his stomach and listening to their daughters heartbeat.
The young warlock jumped in surprise before turning around to face the very man he had just wished was here. With a small smile the prince made his way towards him, stepping easily over the fallen logs and roots. He couldn't help but smile as Arthur took a seat a few inches away from him, the afternoon sun turning his hair gold, the way Merlin loved it. They stayed in silence for a few moments, just listening to the sound of nature.
"I'll never tell my father that you are sorcerer" Arthur's words were a wave of relief for Merlin. "I'll do anything I can to make sure he doesn't find out about the child, I'll keep you safe" he never looked at Merlin while he spoke. He stared distantly at the lake that stretched on forever. "I can never make up for what I have done but I can promise safety for both you and your child. I will give you everything you need to care for the baby" he looked at Merlin now, his expression unreadable. "I always thought you were a sorcerer, I've survived too many near death experiences and part of me always knew it was you who saved me."
Merlin smiled "it was nothing." It was everything. He is everything.
"I owe you so many thank you's Merlin" he replied firmly "and after all you have done I go and do this to you" venom tainted his words "I swear I am truly sorry."
The younger boy looked down at his stomach; he loved the way it looked just right, like it was always meant to be, like it was destiny. "I'm not." Sometimes, even when you're scared, you just have to tell the truth. "Arthur I love you, I'm in love with you and… our first time didn't exactly happen the way I wanted it to but I'm glad it was with you. I'm honoured to be carrying your child." He smiled whole heartedly to emphasis his words. "I'm not sorry that night happened." And he never really was.
"Merlin" his name got carried away on the wind, along with the rest of their words. There was nothing else to be said or done, Merlin accepted the apology and only hoped Arthur could return his love. It was a lot to hope for; after all he was the prince of Camelot and future King so why should he love a servant? Because sometimes things just happened even if it wasn't how it should be it just was. Arthur tentatively moved closer to Merlin and with a reassuring smile the prince rested his head upon Merlin's stomach. And with no words spoken, Arthur declared his love for his servant and their unborn daughter.
It takes awhile for Arthur to forgive himself for what he has done but late one night, when Merlin is gazing at the ceiling, rubbing circles on his stomach, his bedroom door opens and Arthur walks in. He doesn't say a word, just walks towards Merlin's bed and kisses him the way he had always dreamt he'd kiss him. Merlin felt dizzy, he felt his heart pound against his chest but this time it was not fear, it was from the love and magic that seared in his veins. The room felt like it was spinning; it was suddenly bright and when Merlin cracked open an eyelid he saw that the ceiling was lined with small floating lights.
"Are you doing that?" Arthur asked his lips only inches from Merlin's.
"No" he looked down at his stomach "she is."
Arthur stared at the twinkling lights for a moment. "She has excellent taste," he whispered, cradling Merlin's face in his hands and kissing him softly "she takes after me I see."
Merlin laughed, God he'd missed Arthur "I love you." The balls of light grew brighter and the floor turned into a field of rose petals. Arthur stared at the room in awe; he looked even more beautiful in the moonlight.
He looked back at Merlin, placed on hand on his stomach and the other against his pale cheek. "I love you too."
They fell silent then, just enjoying the company of each other on this warm night. It was what Merlin had always wanted, just to gaze into his princes eyes and to spend the night in his arms. Dreams do come true, even if they happen a little different then how you'd imagined they'd be. Felling tired Merlin shut his eyes but a sudden kick from the inside and a gasp from Arthur had him opening his eyes and grinning from ear to ear, "and she loves us both."
When women got pregnant they put on the weight, Merlin seemed to be getting thinner; the only part of that was big was his stomach. It was worrying to see the already bonnie warlock lose more weight, so worrying in fact that it made Arthur start to fear for his safety. He didn't seem to be eating much, was tired all the time and even when he had a good sleep he looked exhausted. He was now six months pregnant and these symptoms had started a week ago.
Merlin, himself wasn't overly worried, he didn't feel ill, just tired. He really saw no reason for his lover to be fussing over him. Though it was nice to find that Arthur had brought him breakfast, that Arthur had put his things away (well, by put away, he sort of just pushed them out of the way so Merlin didn't trip over anything.) But it was also quiet annoying when he kept a close eye on him all the time and it was hard to hide their relationship when Arthur held his hand when he went down the stairs, just in case he fell. (Which he had done once or twice and trust him, falling down the Camelot stairs hurts. You have bruises for months not days.)
On day five Merlin did feel unwell and even though he was beneath the covers and snug against Arthur he still felt cold. He rolled over in the prince's arms and gently shook him awake; the prince offered him a tired smile but soon was fully awake. He picked Merlin up into his arms and carried him from his room, anyone could see them, Arthur was only half dressed and Merlin's nightshirt didn't hide his stomach at all. Thankfully the castle seemed empty and they made their way to Gaius's chambers unseen.
"Gaius!" Arthur's voice sounded far away to Merlin "Gaius, help! Something's wrong with Merlin."
The old physician roused from sleep and rushed to Arthur who still stood in the doorway with Merlin in his arms. Merlin's vision started to fade, Arthur's perfect face becoming harder to see and each word spoken sounded further and further away. He clung desperately to Arthur as he was laid to rest on Gaius's unmade bed, he whispered words of reassurance but all Merlin could now hear was the pounding of his heart. What if something was wrong with the baby? Oh God! No! There couldn't be anything wrong with his little girl. No, please, no, she had to be fine, she had to be ok.
"The baby" he murmured "Arthur don't let anything happen to her."
"I won't Merlin" God he sounded so far away "she'll be fine, I promise, you both will be fine."
Arthur's words never reached Merlin for he fell into the darkness, falling into a world where everything can be perfect or shattered.
It's cold. The snow stretches on for miles and miles but they are meant to keep going, keep hunting. Arthur wants a new fur rug and trophy, Merlin wasn't to go inside before him and his unborn child freeze. He's two and half months pregnant, no one could ever know, unless they saw him in the mornings, when he was empting his food into a bucket and cursing Arthur and his magic. He was surprised Gaius hadn't figured it out already, it had only taken his magic six weeks to start alerting him to his body changes.
"Merlin" Arthur's voice is distant and echoes "hurry up, would you."
He's slowing down, it's too cold out. Even though Arthur gave him a fur jacket to wear he is still freezing to the bone, he shouldn't be out here. Arthur is up ahead, the guards are spread out, a helpless deer insight. Merlin turns around and heads back to Camelot. Arthur was the reason he was with child so he sure as hell wouldn't be the reason he lost it.
When Merlin was two months, three weeks and four days pregnant he was glad Gaius had found out. A week ago the long conversation at the kitchen table took place; his old friend had made sure Merlin knew that having a child was not easy. He told him how he'd have to put her first, how he couldn't just go off and do things without thinking, she was his responsibility, and of course Merlin knew all of this. He was still having trouble accepting that he was in fact going to be a father but he fully understood the responsibility of being a parent. It was going to be a big change, a huge adjustment, especially since he was so young himself.
He'd once believed that he and Arthur had a shared destiny but as the days went by he realised this was all they were meant to share. This was their destiny, to have a child and maybe she was the one who would do great things. Not the bustard that shattered his heart.
There goes his neckerchief, tossed to the floor without a care, there goes his shirt, torn roughly from his body, there goes his pants, Arthur's going to get what he wants. A rough hand runs down his inner thigh, Merlin braces himself. Arthur's lips are crushing against his, his tongue evading his mouth and searching every part of the wet cavern. The pain Merlin expects never comes; the hand runs back up his thigh and grasped his hair.
The kiss comes to a sudden halt and Merlin gasped in some much needed air. There is a glimpse, a moment, where Merlin can see something amazing in the prince's eyes. There is a flicker of love, a flicker of true love. It dies too quickly and lips crash against lips and the hand returns to his inner thigh, slick with oil. There isn't much time to adjust to the evading digit but there is a whisper of pleasure beneath the pain and Merlin holds onto that.
It's too hard to hold onto once Arthur has entered him. He begs him to stop, he pleads but he goes unheard. He shuts his eyes tight and tries to imagine that this is how he wants it, rough and fast but it only makes him cry. You can't tell yourself something feels good when it's tearing you apart.
"Arthur stop, please stop."
When Merlin wakes up Arthur is by his side, face pale and tear streaked in the moonlight. It takes a few moments for the fog to clear and for everything to catch up with the young warlock. He rests one hand on his stomach, she kicks, the other on Arthur's hand, he looks down at him. He looks haunted, hurt. The prince wipes away his tears before turning his gaze back towards the empty room. Its dead quiet, not even their soft breaths are loud enough to disturb the silence.
"You were saying 'Arthur stop, please stop" the princes words cuts the silence like a knife and leave Merlin speechless, "Where you dreaming about that night?"
Was he? He didn't know. He used to dream about it. He'd wake up covered in sweat and tears but that had all stopped long ago. "I don't remember" he slowly sat up, taking note that he felt better "how long was I out for?"
"The day" Arthur replied dryly. "You had an infection… a cut on your hand." Why wouldn't he just look at him? "Gaius gave you something; you're going to be fine."
Merlin nodded, he felt his throat clench, "Are you ok?"
He didn't reply at first "was I your first?" don't you hate when your questions get answered with questions.
"Does it matter?" his words were barely audible.
Arthur looked at Merlin now, his eyes glistening with tears "it does to me!"
Merlin shrank back "Arthur it doesn't mat-"
"-Merlin, tell me!" his words were low but said with enough force that he had no choice but to answer.
"Yes" swallow, breathe, "You were."
Those words hang in the air like a rain storm only they seemed to have coursed more damage than rain ever could. Merlin reaches out for Arthur, desperately trying to hold onto what they have. He can't let Arthur slip from his fingers, not now, not after everything they have been through. They were finally together, God it couldn't end. A wave of nausea swept over Merlin, his vision faded to white before vanishing to reveal Camelot's throne room.
There is only one person in the room, a man with crystal blue eyes and sandy blonde hair, this man is Arthur and he is king. A sound, soft footsteps echo from behind Merlin and he turns around to see a small girl with a halo of gold locks and the most amazing blue eyes. This is their daughter, she is even more beautiful then he could have ever imagined. She rushes towards Arthur, her purple and green dress swaying in the air as she spins around in her father's arms.
It takes Merlin a second to realise she is talking to him "Yes?"
"Watch this!" she holds out her hand, palm up, and with a flash of bright blue a kitten is born. She looks up at Merlin with the most angelic smile "can I keep her?"
Merlin sucks in a breath and blinks repeatedly so his eyes can adjust to the darkness of the room "did you see her?"
Arthur smiles through the dark "yeah… I saw her" he leans forwards and kisses Merlin "she's perfect."
Winter seems to last forever, the days are always cold and dark, the nights long and lonely. Merlin draws his legs up towards his chest and tightens the covers around his body, he used to close his eyes and imagine that Arthur was here. His warm chest pressed against Merlin's back, his strong arms wrapped around him, protecting him for the winter chill. He finds himself half wishing that Arthur was here, to help raise this child, to love him, to love them. But he doesn't love Merlin, never did, never will. He just used him. And Merlin wonders, if he knew how much he hurt him, would have he cared?
Merlin's fingers whisper against his stomach, would he even want to know?
"Are you going to tell Arthur?"
Merlin looked up from the newly knitted hat "huh?"
"I asked" Gaius placed a bowl of porridge in front of Merlin "if you are going to tell Arthur."
"Tell Arthur what?" he could feel his heart racing, God he did not want this brought up.
Gaius sighed and rolled his eyes "about the baby."
"Oh" he stretched out the world, picked up his spoon and took a deep breath "no."
"I'm sure Arthur won't have you executed Merlin" the old physician sat down and stared at the warlock levelly "obviously he cares for you, if you…" he trailed off "you know."
Merlin pushed his chair back, the nose to loud for the silence of the early morning "he doesn't care about me!"
"He must" his old friend protested "he slept with you."
"I was just an easy fuck" it was too late to take the words back once they were out. He spun around, he had to get out of here, go some place where he could just sit down and think. He felt a gentle hand on his arm, he had two choices, go or turn around. With a deep sigh the warlock turned back around to face his old friend and as soon he saw his worried face the tears fell. The embrace was welcome, he'd needed a shoulder to cry on for a long time and he was glad his old friend was here to lend him one.
The early morning sun spills through the large windows, chasing away the shadows and basking the young couple in a golden glow. Like always, Merlin is caressing his stomach, lost in the memory of what they had seen. She was going to be beautiful and powerful. Perhaps she could return magic to Camelot, she could show them it was nothing to fear. Arthur's strong hand came to rest beside Merlin's; the young warlock looked up and offered him a tired smile. His prince had seemed troubled ever since the night he was sick, he had said 'Arthur stop, please stop' and those were the words he whispered all those months ago. He never wanted for Arthur to hear him mutter them when he was asleep, trapped in a nightmare of the past. But that's all it was, the past, he had forgiven Arthur. After all, he had been cursed.
"How did you picture your first time?" the prince's voice cut into Merlin's thoughts like a knife.
"Uh… what?" he shifted, the weight of Arthur's gaze to heavy.
"You know" he made an odd hand gesture "how did you picture your first time having sex?"
"Oh" Merlin's face went red, from his neck to his ears "well… to be honest… with you."
"Just without me taking advantage of you" he added bleakly.
"How about you make it up to me?" he asked, carefully.
"How can I make this up to you?"
"You could forgive yourself."
The prince frowned briefly before his face lit up with an idea "tell me exactly how you pictured it" he sat up and looked down at Merlin, studied him "and I'll do it."
Merlin's blush grew deeper "you're the prince, people do things for you, not the other way around."
"Well I want to do this for you" he said defiantly "because I love you."
Merlin smiled "I love you too" he then felt a stabbing pain in his kidneys "and I love you as well."
"Have you thought of any names for her?" Arthur asked, suddenly swept of the subject that had Merlin as red as a tomato.
"I'm not sure yet" he took Arthur's hand and placed it back on his stomach "what do you think?"
"I think you should have first choice" he replied "you are the one carrying her."
Merlin grinned "why thank you sire."
And Arthur mirrored it "but you could name her after me."
Merlin considered this, but Arthur didn't seem like a girl name even if he did change a few letters "I don't think so."
"Not even Aretha?" he hedged,
"Well then" the prince lay back down, pulling his lover into his arms "I guess you will just have to tell me all about your secret desires."
"Are you going tell your Mother?"
Why did he have to ask this question? This morning he'd asked him if he were going to tell Arthur now this. God give him a break. "Oh yeah, that'd be a cheery letter" he snapped "Dear Mother. How are you? I am pregnant because I am an idiot and for a second I actually thought Arthur might have loved me! But I was wrong! Hope to keep my head."
"Merlin" Gaius sat down beside him, his tone warning "you need to tell her."
Merlin sighed "she'll be so cross."
"Not if you tell her everything Merlin."
"That's even worse" he exclaimed "I don't want her to know that Arthur…" he trailed off, the words lodged in his throat "if she finds out that it's his she will freak. I can't tell her. Please Gaius, I can't. Don't make me."
His old friend sighed "wouldn't you want to know?"
"Well of course I would."
"Then there's your answer."
Merlin had thought writing the letter to his mother had been the hardest thing he had do, but right now, with the letter from his mother in his hands, he knew this was the hardest thing. He hesitated all day, glancing at it, picking it and going to open it only to put it back down. Now it was night, he was alone in his room and the letter was screaming at him to open it. Taking several deep breaths he tore open the envelop and removed the creased paper from inside.
"You can do this" he told himself as he unfolded the letter.
To my dear son
I am sorry I am unable to visit you; I wish more than anything to be there with you. Everything must be so hard for you right now, but know that I am thinking of you every second. Merlin, I don't want you to lose faith in Arthur, you are like two sides of the same coin and I know you have a great destiny together. It's just playing out a little different than any of us imagined. Don't ever stop believing in it though, you and Arthur's destiny lie together.
Love you my son
Was this letter from his mother or the dragon? He scrunched it up into a little ball and threw it across the room.
He'd given up on his destiny the moment Arthur forced his way with him.
The markets were bustlingly. It was a typical Sunday in Camelot, everyone was out to get the specials and enjoy the warm sun and gentle breeze against their skin. Merlin made his way through the crowd, both arms folded on his stomach. He was really starting to show; even the shirt Gaius had given to him wasn't doing its job. He avoided the odd looks and kept his head down, if anyone found out they'd report him to Uther, he just hoped very few knew male sorcerers could have children.
The young warlock turned around at the sound of his prince's voice "Yes sire."
He stepped closer, a few people in the crowd spared them both a few looks "I thought I told you to clean my room."
Merlin sucked his bottom lip in between his teeth, he had no idea how much Arthur enjoyed the sight of that "sorry sire, I just had to get a few things for Gaius."
He stepped closer, his lips so close to his ear that he could feel them, soft and full "go home Merlin. People are staring."
"C'mon on Merlin" the way Arthur's lips felt up against his ear was amazing; his warm breath caressed his skin just right. Everything he did was just right, the way he held him, the way he kissed him, caressed him, it was all so right. Merlin could now see they were destined to be together, they always had been. "Tell me" the prince purred.
Merlin closed his eyes, he could see how he wanted his first time but could he put it all in words? "I want you to kiss me" he opened his eyes, staring at his prince with burning desire. "I want" wanted "you to make me feel special, to say 'I love you' with every kiss, every touch" his cheeks grew pink "I want you to undress me slowly" he swallowed; Arthur must think he was a fool "to just make me feel wanted. To treat me like I'm more than your servant."
The kiss that came from Arthur had enough passion that everyone in Camelot could have felt it. "Merlin I love you" he whispered "I love you so much that it scares me sometimes, there is nothing I wouldn't do for you" his hand came to rest on Merlin's baby bump "nothing I wouldn't do for her." Lips meet lips, the kiss was deep, riddled with desire that was destined to be "May I make love to you?"
The young warlock stared up at the prince, his eyes shining with the love, the desire, the need he had for him. "You may." His heart skipping a beat, this was the moment he'd been waiting for.
When Merlin wakes up all he can hear is the roar of thunder and pounding of the rain. He rolls onto his side so he can see the rain splatter against the large window; he wishes his prince was here. Arthur is off training nights or was it hunting? He was forgetful these days. He last saw Arthur at the markets, when he told him to return to his chambers because people were looking, he doubted they knew though, well, he hoped they didn't. Uther would have his head. Arthur could never save him from his own father; his hatred of magic was stronger than his love for Arthur.
The windows rattled harshly as the rain and wind pelted against them. Fork lightening lit up the sky and crackled in the distance. The doors flew open, the warlock sat up in a hurry. Before him, looking livid was the king and Merlin nearly blacked out, the force of panic was so strong that he couldn't breathe. Guards swarmed in, pulling him roughly from the bed and to his feet. He couldn't stop shaking.
"I never would have thought" the hatred in the king's voice made Merlin's knees buckle "that you could have been a sorcerer" venom tainted every word, pure hatred filled his eyes "I always thought you were just a babbling idiot" he pulled at Merlin's shirt, ripping it as he lifted it up to reveal his stomach, not that he needed to remove his shirt to see it. "Who's child is this?" he shouted, Merlin trembled. "Tell me!" he grabbed the red neckerchief and pulled him towards him, his face flushed with rage, Merlin's wet with tears. "Or I will give you something worse than death."
He choked back a sob "A… Arthur's." there was no point in lying, because as soon as Arthur found out about this he would tell the king he was the father. "It's Arthur's."
The blow that came sent the warlock to the ground. His head pounded, his eye throbbed and was already swelling shut. "How dare you!"
"It wasn't like that" he cried "I'm not evil."
"You will burn for this" he motioned for the guards to pick him up, not carrying at all about him or his unborn child. The dragged him towards the king, his face a mask of pure hatred, malice in his eyes. "I will make sure of this."
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