Disclaimer: Character in this story I guess technically belong to the BBC. I mean, how can someone own something as wondering as the sexual tension between Arthur and Merlin?

Author's Note: So, here's my first completed Merlin oneshot. Surprise surprise, it's slash! But delicious slash. And it was also inspired by a picture over on livejournal.

Summary: Merlin has a secret under everyone's favorite fashionable neckerchief. Arthur gets to the bottom of it.

Warnings: Uh, major slash. Some bump n' grind and highly suggestive sexual situations between two men.

Merlin had a secret.

No, no, no, not that secret, everyone knows that secret. A different secret, a darker secret, a secret that Merlin didn't even let his own mother know about.

Though sometimes he thought she might've suspected it, especially when he was about 7 and started requesting brightly colored neckerchiefs as a part of his daily outfit. His mother probably thought it was through some childish sense of individuality, though she knew her son was probably the most unique little boy in Ealdor, and beyond.

But as he grew up, he didn't give up on his silly neckerchief fashion statement. People had long stopped teasing him for it, and his own mother stopped questioning it when an angsty teenaged Merlin had snapped at her for asking too many questions, burst into tears and cried about how Beatrice liked Will instead of him. Hunith also stopped worrying about the neckerchief because, along with raging hormones and teenage angst, Merlin was getting a little careless with his magic. And that was a tad more worrisome than why Merlin always kept his neckerchief on, except when asleep.

When Merlin had turned 18, and Hunith had finally sent him away, there was a party of sorts, amongst him and his friends. Ale flowed freely, and eventually everybody seemed to have enough courage to all stand and face Merlin, reach into their back pockets, and pull out the gifts they had all brought for him. They all walked past him and dropped their own brightly colored sheath of fabric into Merlin's lap, and Merlin had been good natured about it, of course. And he kept every one of those neckerchiefs, because one never knows when one might need an extra neckerchief, especially one Merlin.


When he had arrived in Camelot, intent on lying low and keeping his secret, both his secrets, well…secret, he hadn't expected to be accosted by a royal prat. True, he wasn't without his hand in the predicament, but that was beside the point! And through a series of (very) unfortunate events, he had learned that this prat was his destiny, his charge, almost. And that his prat's father was hell-bent on killing anybody who shared Merlin's secret; the magic secret, that is.

Merlin, while not doing slave labor for Gaius or Arthur, took his time to scour all the books Gaius had, searching for help about his secret. There was nothing. Not even in the magic books.

Eventually, Merlin became very adept at keeping his secrets. There had been a couple of times where his magic had almost been given away. But not once did anyone in Camelot question his neckerchief, and he was thankful.

That is, until the nosey, pratty prince had butted into his business one day, while he was minding his own business, scrubbing a pair of Arthur's boots. It was a particularly hot summer day, and Arthur was lounging away from the window and the sun, in his chair, his feet propped up on the just cleaned table. He was dressed in lighter clothes than usual, but he was still wretchedly whinging and complaining about the heat to Merlin.

"Merlin, how can you even stand it?" he asked, acting all too pathetic and overdramatic. Merlin just rolled his eyes in response, whipped the back of his hand across his sweaty forehead, and kept doing his duty. He was kind of irritated, because, the day before, Arthur had found it amusing to act like a child and try on every pair of his boots; and test their durability by running through the mud puddles.

And of course Merlin was stuck with the duty to scrub the dry, crusted mud off all five pairs.

"Are you listening, Merlin?" Arthur asked, irritated at being ignored.

"Ah, nope. I think I dropped off somewhere around," Merlin raised his voice an octave, to imitate Arthur's whinging, "'Merlin, I'm insufferably hot. Merlin, why does the sun have to be so warm? Merlin, I'm a prat who doesn't understand what 'summer' is.'"

"I never said that last part!" Arthur sputtered indignantly, "I should throw you in the stocks, but I'm too hot to even call the guards in to take you out. Perhaps I should make you walk the dogs. But then I'd feel bad for my hounds."

"Gee, thanks, Sire. I'm happy that you'd care if I got heat stroke," Merlin replied sarcastically, setting aside the boot he was working on, satisfied enough. He took the edge of his neckerchief – red today – and mopped at his forehead, before grabbing another boot.

"You wouldn't, if you just took that blasted thing off," Arthur said, dropping his feet to the ground and reaching for his water.

"Pardon?" Merlin asked, not looking up from the boot.

"You wouldn't get heatstroke, or warm even, if you just took your stupid scarf off," Arthur said nonchalantly; as if he were suggest that anybody just remove their scarf. But Merlin wasn't an 'anybody else.'

"…" Merlin glanced up once nervously, remaining silent, then went back to scrubbing furiously at the boot, with a renewed vigor as if that boot were the most precious thing to him.

"What's this, then?" Arthur asked, a hint of a devious smirk in his voice. Merlin didn't need to look up to see the smirk.

Merlin cleared his throat, "What's what?" he asked, trying his best to sound uninterested.

"Why would you get all antsy if I mentioned your little scarf, Merlin? Incredibly defensive of your horrid fashion statement, aren't you? A little too defensive?" Arthur asked, leaning forwards in his chair towards Merlin.

Merlin glared at the boot, "It's a neckerchief, and it's not horrid, and I'm not being too defensive. I'm not being defensive at all," he defended, finally glancing up at Arthur. He really shouldn't have, because Arthur was leaning in close, an all too devious look in his eyes as he stared at Merlin's 'scarf.'

"Hm? Is that so?" Arthur asked leaning forwards a bit now, standing up out of his chair. Merlin involuntarily leaned back, the boot he was scrubbing forgotten.

"Arthur, what are you doing? What are you thinking?" Merlin asked, narrowing his eyes, "Please, Arthur. Don't do what you're thinking, I know what you're thinking, and don't do it, or—"

"Or what, Merlin?" Arthur asked, leaning closer still. Merlin was tilting back in his chair now in an attempt to get away. Arthur's hand was reaching towards him, towards his neckerchief. "Or what?"

"Or…or," Merlin swallowed thickly, Arthur's hand was still reaching around, and he was still tilting his chair back and away from Arthur. "Or I'll never—" Merlin's threat was cut off and he let out a very undignified yelp as the chair finally paid attention to the laws of gravity it had been previously defying and tilted all the way back. As he was falling backwards Arthur made to snatch him, but missed and ended up in succeeding in pulling Merlin's neckerchief off, his fingers brushing along Merlin's neck for a fraction of a second before Merlin landed painfully.

"Oof!" Merlin winced, lying flat on his back, with the chair lying at his feet. His cheeks were flushed a bright red from embarrassment and something else, though Arthur didn't notice yet.

"Aha! I've got it!" Arthur chortled, standing up straight and raising the neckerchief to his face to inspect it, flipping it over and over in his hand, trying to discover the secret of the cloth. Never once did he suspect the secret wasn't with the cloth, but with Merlin himself.

Merlin let out a quiet groan, but not of pain. Arthur came stamping around the corner of the table to glare down at Merlin, "So, what's the bloody deal with the scarf?" Arthur asked, clutching the red fabric in his hand. He finally took in Merlin's flushed state and cocked his head to the side. For a moment Arthur thought he wasn't going to say anything and just walk away, but then Arthur's lips split into that smirk that Merlin didn't like.

"Ar-Arthur?" Merlin voice was sort of breathy and he'd wished he could control that, but he felt like he was on all sorts of fire at the moment, in a good and bad way.

"Oh Merlin, don't you just look so comfortable down there," Arthur commented, moving so he was standing directly over Merlin, his legs parted, a foot on either side of Merlin's knees. Merlin hated having to look up at him like this. "A little too comfortable?" Merlin hated that mocking tone.

Arthur started to bend down, and for a brief moment Merlin let himself think that Arthur was going to help him up. He thought wrong as Arthur dropped to his knees, still clutching Merlin neckerchief, and still straddling Merlin's legs.

"I'm not comfortable at all," Merlin protested quietly, his eyes wearily watching Arthur, who was still staring down at Merlin and smirking as if he were on the verge of solving some kind of puzzle.

Arthur brought the hand still holding Merlin's neckerchief down, and he experimentally ran the corner of it across Merlin's neck. Merlin flinched, but otherwise didn't react. Arthur frowned in thought, then tossed the neckerchief aside, and Merlin tried to reach for it, but it was too far away.

And then Arthur was bringing his other hand up, one resting on Merlin's abdomen to keep himself balanced, and the other one creeping towards Merlin's neck. Merlin's eyes widened. He was onto him, Merlin was sure. When did Arthur get so cunning and good at puzzle solving?

"Sire, please, don't- no, ah!" Merlin gasped as Arthur ran his finger tips along the side of his neck. His shoulders rolled involuntarily, pushing his upper half off the ground, and consequently his neck more against Arthur's fingers, causing his eyes to slip shut. He could already feel a crazy kind of stirring in his stomach.

Arthur was curiously quiet as he watched his manservant react to barely a touch. Merlin wished he'd at least say something, if not get off him and let him alone. Things were going to get even more embarrassing quickly if Arthur kept on like this.

Merlin was looking at Arthur fearfully again, and Arthur ducked his head, still using the hand on Merlin's abdomen for balance, and brought his head down so that his chin was almost resting on Merlin's chest, then puckered his lips and gently blew across the column of super sensitive pale skin.

Merlin shuddered all over, wishing he could push Arthur off, but not really wanting to. "Arthur, ah! Please," he protested weakly, knowing it was no use now. He was fully hard, and Arthur had shift up his legs enough to feel it poking his thigh. And instead of the abject horror he suspected to see on his master's face, he saw a look of curious wonder, and dare Merlin hope!, lust.

But he was still so blasted quiet, and Merlin still didn't like that. Arthur ran his fingertips along Merlin's jaw, then down his neck again, Merlin gasping again and squirming. Arthur slid his hand around so that it grasped the back of Merlin's neck, and rubbed his thumb against Merlin's neck.

Merlin's eyes were fluttering madly in their attempt to stay open in the onslaught of pleasure. It hadn't always been such intense pleasure. When he was younger it had just been extremely ticklish, almost paralyzingly so. But as he grew older, he found that if other people touched his neck it had an embarrassing effect rather than a mirthful affect.

Arthur's other hand joined his occupied one, and he ran his knuckles across Merlin's pulse point. Merlin let out an embarrassed moan, his lips parted as he began to pant, his hips squirming and rolling of their own accord. And the worse was yet to come. Arthur was staring hungrily at him now. He licked his lips, eyes flicking between Merlin's eyes and Merlin's neck.

Merlin's eyes widened in shock at what the prince was thinking of doing. He'd never thought Arthur would see him in this way. Sure, Merlin had once entertained the thought, maybe he still did, when Arthur wasn't being his usual pratty self. But he never thought seriously about it. But here was Arthur, clearly contemplating licking his neck. Just the thought made him tingle all over and pant a little heavier.

Arthur's hand slid back down to his chest, and the other one went to the floor above Merlin's head, searching for something. He finally found Merlin's hand and Merlin was suddenly very thankful for that contact as Arthur bent his head, and boldly licked a stripe right up the middle of Merlin's neck. This caused Merlin to throw his head back, his eyes closing as he gasped and moaned.

Arthur did it again, to the same affect. And then he pressed small, light and fluttery kisses up and down the column of flesh. Merlin was positively writhing now. His hips were moving of their own accord, pressing up into Arthur's without a spare thought, his erection still digging into Arthur thighs. Arthur shifted so they lay with their legs interlocked, groin against groin, and Merlin was surprised to feel Arthur's answering hardness. That caused him to gasp and grind up into Arthur more fervently.

Arthur was lightly panting now, but he was still eerily quiet as he watched every reaction of Merlin to his ministrations on his neck. Merlin was so close, so so close. Arthur ducked his head again and attached his lips to Merlin's neck, and sucked.

"Ohmygod," Merlin gasped, pressing his hips up again, groaning more loudly than he probably should have. Then he felt Arthur smirk against his neck, open his mouth, and bite. "Oh! Oh Arthur! I'm-!" Merlin's hips jerked up, and he shuddered with the finality of the act.

He lay there panting, and he felt Arthur shift slightly, his lips brushing Merlin's chin, and his pendant brushing against over-sensitive skin, causing him to shudder in the wake of his orgasm. Arthur was pressing kisses to his chin and jaw and his hips continued to grind down into Merlin's satiated ones, and soon Arthur was coming with Merlin's name on his lips, whispered like a reverent prayer.

And then it was over. Arthur collapsed, rolling to the side, though his hand sought out Merlin's and laced their fingers together. They lay there panting for a while, both pairs of eyes closed. Merlin cracked one open to glance over at Arthur, who seemed content to keep his eyes closed and pant. He then glanced to his side and reached his hand out for his scarf, his eyes flashing briefly as he pulled it to him with magic.

He sat up slightly, letting go of Arthur's hand so he could fasten his neckerchief around his neck was more. He heard Arthur make a disgruntled noise, then Arthur pulled him back down, turning on his side on the hard stone floor to face Merlin, propped up on his elbow.

"So that's the secret behind the neckerchief," Arthur stated, still sounding slightly breathless. "Funny, I always thought it would be your ears."

"Yup…wait, huh?" Merlin blinked confusedly up at the prince. He was too lost in a post-coital daze. Merlin didn't want to think about what the prince meant, because that meant that the prince had thought of doing…this before. The thought made Merlin feel too giddy and hopeful for a repeat performance.

Arthur was running his finger along the shell of Merlin's ear as he gazed curiously down at Merlin. "That's one secret down," Arthur commented, "What'll I have to do to get you tell me you're a sorcerer?"

"Oh I don't—Wait, what? What, Arthur?" Merlin's eyes widened in panic. Oh my god, he knew! Arthur knew and he was probably going to die and Arthur hated him…But if Arthur hated him, then why had they just participated in some pretty stinking heated frottage on his floor.

Arthur smirked again, and bent his head to press a kiss to Merlin's shocked lips. Merlin gasped and Arthur took that as an invitation to slip his tongue in, sighing happily into the kiss. When they pulled apart for air, Merlin was panting all over again, his eyes glazed over and once more in a daze.

"I guess that's a good place to start," he panted, grinning up stupidly at Arthur.