This was written for a prompt on the Merlin kink meme and I've been trying to get around to it for a while so it's really late. Sorry!
Disclaimers: I do not own Merlin. I don't remember who does but it's not me.
Rating: M because I'm a pervert and can't help it.
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur. Duh. Ha ha.
Prompt:A whole patrol is found dead near Camelot, with only one message: 'Bring us Emrys'.
The doors to the throne room banged against the walls as they burst open and the entire room turned their heads to see Gwaine, Lancelot, and Percival standing in their full armour with the ends of their cloaks and their boots muddy, panting for breath like they had been running for miles. Lancelot rushed forward, paused to briefly bow, and handed Uther a scroll in his hand. The paper had flecks of blood on it and the ribbon around it was green but almost covered in blood. With a heavy sigh, Uther rubbed his temples and spoke, "I take it the missing patrol was found."
"All dead, sire," Lancelot confirmed. Arthur shook his head sadly and Merlin looked down to hide his sadness. "That was found attached to Sir Edward. To the…the arrow in his chest, sire."
He untied the ribbon and handed it to Arthur. He looked at it with a mixture of disgust, anger, and sadness. He had trained with all those knights for years, some since birth. Their blood was on the very ribbon in his hand. Merlin discreetly placed a hand on his arm to offer comfort.
"Bring us Emrys," Uther read aloud. Merlin's heart stopped for a moment and he visibly paled. Gaius looked at him worriedly. "Do we know who Emrys is?"
"I've read about someone named Emrys in some older books," Arthur spoke up. He moved to stand at his father's right hand side and Merlin reluctantly let his hand fall off his prince's arms. "He's a legend. Not real, you're Majesty."
"What kind of legend? From what culture?" Uther asked, turning his head to avoid his son's eyes. Since Morgana's betrayal, he hadn't been able to meet Arthur's eyes or even look at him. Merlin's heart broke when he saw how this hurt Arthur. But the pressing matter was someone was demanding they give him up or who knew what would happen. He would have to help Arthur through his father's distance later.
"Druid," Arthur replied quietly. "And several others, mostly the ones related to magic. He's a sorcerer. He's supposed to serve a king and help that king to restore magic and peace to Albion. To unite the kingdoms, I guess. He's supposedly the most powerful sorcerer in existence."
"When were you reading Druid legends?" Uther asked, letting him take the curling piece of parchment.
"I heard this prophecy from a captured sorceress and was curious as to if it was true. I found something on it and just kept reading. It was interesting. Ridiculous but interesting. He doesn't exist though, sire. He is nothing but a legend," Arthur told him.
"Well, these people believe it so we should double check and see what we can do. I'm not saying we locate this sorcerer and hand him over. We can't risk them using him as a weapon, if you're right about how powerful he is. But we need to find a way to trick them into the open." Arthur nodded and respectfully told his father he would get to work immediately.
Merlin was frozen, lost in his thoughts, when Arthur ordered him to come along so he didn't hear him. Arthur grabbed his arm in annoyance and yanked and he stumbled after him. "Wake up, Merlin," Arthur growled on the way from the room. Arthur's knights, as Merlin called them, followed after. Arthur's knights because he was the one who swore them in and they were loyal to him more than Uther. "You can all go to bed, if you wish."
"We want to help, sire," Percival replied. "Even if it's just research." Arthur nodded and continued to drag Merlin by his elbow toward the library.
"They won't be let in," Merlin said suddenly. Arthur looked at him. A circular motion made on his elbow by Arthur's thumb gave him the strength to explain. "They're muddy. The librarian doesn't let anyone in if they're muddy."
"Okay. We'll get cleaned up and meet you there. You okay, Merlin?" Gwaine asked worriedly, reaching out a hand to try and touch Merlin's shoulder. Arthur gave Merlin a firm tug, however, and he stumbled out of Gwaine's reach toward the prince.
"I'll worry about him," Arthur cut in. "You go wash, Sir Gwaine." He turned his head to look at Gwaine sternly and Gwaine smirked as they locked eyes. Merlin was too upset to worry about their silent competition like he normally would.
"As you command, sire," Gwaine replied after a moment of glaring at one another. He broke eye contact, subsequently losing their little battle and headed towards his chambers. Lancelot clapped Percival on the shoulder and he followed him away.
"I'd like to check on my sister before I join you, if it's all right. She always gets upset about these things." Arthur nodded and Elyan walked away.
"Merlin, are you all right?" Arthur asked quietly when they were alone. He rubbed circles with his thumb on Merlin's elbow and the tenderness of the act snapped him right out of his numb stupor. Merlin looked at Arthur and nodded. "Don't lie to me. What's wrong?"
"Fifteen people are dead, Arthur. That's what's wrong," Merlin replied with a sigh. "And more might die unless we give up Emrys."
"Merlin, we're not giving them the most powerful sorcerer in existence," Arthur whispered, turning him and putting both his hands on Merlin's shoulders. "He's safe." Merlin frowned at him, wondering why that sounded so much like a promise. For a brief moment, he wondered if Arthur knew he was Emrys but shook that thought away. Where would he find a thing like that out? No one who knew about Emrys would know his real name, not without meeting him. "We just need to find out who would do something like this in order to get at him then we can hunt them down and make them pay for killing our men."
Merlin took in a deep breath and nodded. "You're right. We should get to work."
Arthur stopped him from walking on by grabbing his hand and Merlin felt his heart flutter at the concerned, tender expression on his face. He pulled him back towards him and smiled softly. Merlin's heart fluttered again. "You are sure that you're all right, aren't you, Merlin?"
"I…I'm sure," Merlin stuttered nervously. Arthur nodded and started walking. Merlin clenched his fist to keep the warmth left by Arthur's hand there before following. "Um, Arthur? Are you all right? You've been acting differently lately."
"I have no idea what you're talking about." Arthur stated without a single falter in his step. Merlin frowned at his back. "Merlin, keep up, will you? You're dawdling." Merlin jogged to catch up to the prince and Arthur glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. "Really, Merlin. You can't think and walk?"
"Shut up," Merlin replied with a glare. Arthur just grinned at him.
Arthur growled and slammed the heavy, leather-bound book he was looking through shut. Merlin jumped and turned his head to look at him. "That is the fiftieth book, Merlin, and we have no answers. This is hopeless. How can we identify a damn legend's enemies?"
"Did the prince just swear?" Elyan whispered to Gwaine curiously. Gwaine just grinned.
"Well, maybe we're looking at this wrong," Merlin said quietly. "Obviously, these books don't have all the information on Emrys that's available. They all just mention him as part of Druid lore." He sat beside Arthur and leaned in to whisper, "Why don't we look at some, uh, less viewed books?"
"You're thinking about the confiscated books? Magic books? Merlin, are you insane?" Arthur hissed, leaning closer and speaking so quietly no one could hear, even in the quiet of the library. "My father will never permit it."
"He told us to do research," Merlin countered. "He can't get mad at us for doing just that." Arthur leaned away from Merlin against the back of his chair and, though they weren't entirely sure what was being discussed, the knights leaned in to await his decision. When Arthur took far too long to speak, –at least, in Merlin's opinion – he sighed and said, "Arthur, it's not a hard decision."
"All right, fine. You and I will go. You men come with me." He rose, pulled Merlin along with him by his collar, and opened the hidden doorway to the hidden room. They all exchanged looks. "Don't open any trunks or boxes. Just the books. Nothing in here is harmful. Just…Forbidden. If you get caught, I ordered you to do it." He started to pull Merlin from the library before he paused and turned to face them. "Please, don't get caught."
Merlin waved with a grin and hurried after Arthur. "Well, let's get started, huh?" Gwaine said after a few moments of silence. He had a grin on his face that made all of them rather weary of him. It was all the worse that it had appeared after the word, "Forbidden."
"Don't touch anything but the books, Gwaine," Elyan said firmly before the knight ducked into the room after the other.
"Of course," Gwaine said in mock innocence. It did nothing to allay their worry.
Arthur tossed his spare cloak to Merlin and he began to fold it into a small enough shape to fit in Arthur's saddlebag. "Is your bag packed?" Arthur asked before bending to lace up his boots.
"Not yet. I'll get it on my way to the stables," Merlin replied with a smile.
"Order someone else to prep the horses," Arthur directed, switching boots. Merlin stared at him for a moment and he looked up to find out why he hadn't heard the door open. "What?"
"How do I do that?" Merlin asked bashfully, his cheeks turning a soft pink. Arthur raised an eyebrow at him, sighed heavily, and stood up.
He took hold of Merlin's elbow, dragged him to the door, and said, "Simple. Go up to a stable boy and say 'Prep the horses for Prince Arthur' or, if you want to be nice, 'Arthur has asked that you prep three horses, if you don't mind'. If they refuse, remind them you're the prince's manservant and have seniority. You can order them to do anything you want. Anyone with a problem speaks to me."
"Um, sure. I'll try that," Merlin said nervously. Arthur smirked and opened the door for him. "Arthur, I'm not really comfortable with bossing people around."
"Just imagine you're being snarky at me," Arthur suggested before shutting the door on his manservant. Merlin stared at the door blankly for a long time before he hurried to the stables. If he didn't rush, he wouldn't be able to help Arthur pack and Arthur always forgot something if Merlin didn't help.
He found Samuel, the head of the stables, and he gave him his full attention politely. "I'm sorry to trouble you. Can you ask one of the stable hands to prep three horses for Arthur?"
"Not at the moment," Samuel replied. He turned away from Merlin and walked into the stables. "I'll get someone one on it in a few hours."
Merlin took a deep breath and jogged after him. "He needs it done now, Samuel." He tried to sound authoritative but he was certain he was certain he failed.
"Not now, Merlin. If you need it done so urgently, do it yourself," Samuel said, scoffing at him. Yeah. Failed.
That scoff annoyed Merlin and gave him the ferocity to say, "Don't make me pull rank, Samuel. I need this done and I need it done now."
Samuel tensed for a minute then turned around smirked at Merlin. "And what exactly is your rank, Merlin? You're just a servant and a kid at that. Go back to kissing our prince's feet and stop trying to be a grown-up."
Merlin resisted the urge to growl and stormed away. He went back to Arthur's chambers and found the prince laying everything he planned to pack carefully on the table so he could see if he forgot anything. "Are they getting the horses ready?"
"He called me a servant and a kid. Told me to go kiss your feet and stop trying to be an adult," Merlin said bitterly.
Arthur sighed and pushed Merlin towards the table. "Double check. I'll deal with this."
"That's not what I wanted," Merlin replied, grabbing onto Arthur's brown jacket to stop him from leaving. "I'm not incapable and if you go over there, it's going to look like I went running to my master to fix the problem. But how do I be assertive? Bossy?" He sat down in one of the dining table chair and slumped slightly. Arthur couldn't get over the cute little pout in his lip. He determined Merlin was purposely torturing him. "You get people to listen to you. How?"
"Well, I'm the prince," Arthur reminded him with a smirk. Suddenly, he snapped his fingers. "Salve. For wounds. That's what I forgot. Stay put. I'm going to ask Gaius for a fresh bottle. I want you to sit there and remind yourself that you are the prince's manservant. Future adviser to the king. My most trusted friend. It'll make you feel very important and orders can't be taken seriously if they aren't taken seriously by the one giving them. You have to feel you have the right to give orders or they won't be heard." Merlin nodded his understanding; eyes blown wide with shock at hearing Arthur list his credentials, future and present.
"Sure, Arthur," he agreed blankly. He felt his face beginning to flush with pleasure.
Arthur smiled and said, "Remember that your one of four people who can call me Arthur whenever they want too." Now Merlin smiled and watched his prince leave. Like he always did when he was alone without any chores in Arthur's room, he walked to the bed and sat on the rug beside it. He leaned back against the bed and relaxed.
Arthur strode down to the stables and immediately found Samuel. He was leaning over a saddle, fiddling with the loose footholds. "Explain to me why you disobeyed a direct order from me," he barked. Samuel jumped and turned to face him. He bowed and Arthur waved his hand so he could straighten. "When Merlin gives you an order, you follow it. He has a much higher rank than you, as my manservant, and when he gives you an order, it probably comes from me. He's a good man and he wouldn't give an order unless I authorized it."
"Uh, yes, my lord. I apologize," Samuel said quickly, bowing again.
"From now on, you and the rest of the castle remember that Merlin is my manservant and you will show him some respect. In my eyes, he is on the same level as my knights and he should be to the rest of you." Then he left, feeling very accomplished. He stopped by Gaius's chambers to get the salve on his way back to his chambers and peeked into the keyhole like he always did when he knew Merlin was alone in there. He had to make sure he didn't catch the secret sorcerer doing magic. And there he was, doing magic. He was lied out on Arthur's bed looking very content with one hand waving around in the air. Over on the table, the clothes were folding and placing themselves in Arthur's larger saddlebag while the weapons, food, and pouch containing the tools so Arthur's could write to Camelot if the need came about were sliding themselves into the smaller bag. He rapped on the door and everything moved quickly to finish. Merlin jumped up and ran to the door, a flick of his hand erasing the evidence of his lounging.
"Arthur?" he questioned when he opened the door. "Did you forget how to open a door?"
"I wanted to annoy you," Arthur replied with a smirk. "Good job, Merlin. You actually managed to pack everything up." He slipped the oil bottle into the bag with his dagger and turned to face Merlin. "Did you grasp your inner leader?"
"No," Merlin said sadly. "I just can't order people around unless I absolutely have to, like during a fight."
"Then imagine a fight," Arthur said with a shrug. "I always remind myself that my knights have to take my orders so the servants shouldn't be any different. You're general during a fight, so imagine they're your fellow warriors."
"Interesting tactic," Merlin muttered to himself. No wonder Arthur was so bossy. Arthur rolled his head to try and relieve a knot he felt in the back of his neck and Merlin felt the flutter of excitement in his stomach. His prince obviously needed a massage. "Tense?"
"A little," he admitted.
"Take your shirt off and sit on the bed. I'll rub your shoulders. We have time." Merlin went to the cupboard and retrieved the near empty bottle of Arthur's muscle oil. He uncorked it and watched Arthur pulled his jacket and shirt off. He sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed his neck tensely. Merlin walked around to the other side of the bed and crawled on his knees until he was behind Arthur. Then he poured the oil on his hands and blew hot air on it to warm it up before rubbing both hands together. Arthur hated when the oil was cold and it didn't help as much when it was anyway.
Guinevere had once walked in to find him straddling Arthur, who was lying contently on his stomach, with his hands kneading all the tension out of Arthur's muscles. She had blushed and escaped and both boys had rushed after her. Merlin poured water for her while Arthur knelt beside her chair and assured her they weren't having some torrid love affair. He was just sore from training with the knights and Merlin got assertive, shoving him down and forcing a massage on him. She relaxed and later cornered Merlin for details on Arthur's body. He refused to give any. She didn't deserve to hear about his prince/sun god in all his golden glory. He did, however, taunt her with the knowledge that he saw Arthur completely nude at least five times a week. Jealous green wasn't his prettiest colour, he had to admit.
Arthur was used to the massages now and even asked for them more often than not, unlike when Merlin first started doing this. They had discovered the joys of massage oil only three weeks previous. It was marvellous for both of them. Arthur made the most sinfully delicious noises Merlin just wanted to swallow while he licked the tension out from his master's shoulder. However, he wasn't allowed to do that so he milked every opportunity to massage Arthur thoroughly. Especially this one. Depending on the time their trip took, he might not get to touch Arthur for a long time.
He slid the now warmed oil up and down Arthur's back and Arthur leaned forward with his elbows on his knees to give him easier access. Then he went to his shoulders, gripped, and began to squeeze the way Arthur liked. He dug his thumbs in and worked them down and across slowly and firmly. Arthur moaned. Then he moved to the middle of Arthur's neck and placed one fist against him. He dug in and rubbed in circles. Arthur let out a delightful groan of pleasure.
"Do you want to lie down?" Merlin asked, hoping his voice didn't portray his arousal. He was already straining against his breeches, just from touching and hearing Arthur.
"No," Arthur said firmly. "Not now. I don't wanna get too relaxed. I have to be awake, after all." Merlin nodded even though he really wished they had time. "You should pack a couple bottles of that, Merlin. I guarantee I'll need it and it really couldn't hurt."
"All right. I'm sure Gaius has a few extra we could take." With a nod and a sigh, Arthur stood up and Merlin had to resist the urge to whimper from lose.
"Enough of that. Wipe it off, Merlin, and then go get your bag ready. Don't forget the oil. We have to leave soon." Merlin nodded and picked up a cloth from the cupboard to wipe away the oil. As soon as he had left, Arthur locked the door and moved out of sight of the keyhole. He untied his breeches and reached inside to grasp his throbbing member. A part of him felt guilty. They were about to ride out to locate and confront the Druids in hopes of finding who killed their men, Merlin's life was probably going to be in danger the whole time, and he was hard and dying to locate his little warlock, throw him onto his bed, and show him just how much he liked those massages. But a more prominent part of him was thinking about Merlin's touch everywhere on him and the guilt would have to wait.
Meanwhile, Merlin was using magic to pack his bag while mimicking Arthur's actions. In his mind's eye, he saw the firm body of Prince Arthur hovering over him on the prince's very own bed, grasping his hard manhood and giving it long, hard pulls. He was hard as well and whispering about how wonderful Merlin's touch was. He imagined being allowed to wrap his long fingers around Arthur's shaft and hearing him groan in pleasure.
Unbeknownst to each other, they came at the same time.
"Merlin, that's enough," Arthur barked, turning on his horse to glare at the babbling manservant. "Ride up here with me and keep your mouth shut." Gwaine and Elyan snickered at Merlin as he urged his black steed up beside Arthur's white. "Why are you nervous? It's a four day ride to the Druid camps."
"Four days with endless opportunities to be ambushed," Merlin reminded him. Arthur smiled fondly and reached over to clap Merlin on the back. Merlin just scowled at the path ahead. It was going to be a long four days. He just hoped the Druids were feeling friendly.
More chapters to come.