Last chapter, as it sort of brings the boys full circle, but you know me, there's bound to be another one of these stories... ;-)

He was getting Arthur's room ready for the evening. Arthur was dining with his father and would be late, because he would see Uther to his bed first. It gave time for Merlin to think about it. He had to say something. There was no point when Arthur was so angry and the tension had simmered in him for most of the day. Not that it was really noticeable, only to the people that knew him well. The knights could still see it, and so could Merlin. Merlin hoped that Uther's presence might calm Arthur a little.

That thought was really saying something about the status quo that now existed in Camelot.

He was turning down the bed as Arthur strode in.

"Merlin."

"Sire."

Merlin backed up, stood where he was supposed to and then went to take Arthur's jacket.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you," Arthur suddenly said, surprising Merlin.

"When? You haven't upset me."

"Today, at training."

"Oh, that," Merlin said.

"It was him. I knew it was from the moment you told me. You wouldn't say anything unless you felt very sure, and he told me."

Merlin shivered. "He told you."

"After that fight I don't think he was in a state of mind to do anything else. It was him that touched you, he said as much."

"He might have agreed to anything you said after what you did."

"I don't think so Merlin. It was him. I have advised him, for the good of his health, to keep very clear of you. He was very keen to agree, so I shouldn't think you'll have any further trouble with him."

"It's fine, Arthur, I can handle it you know."

"You didn't look like it today," Arthur said.

"I know, but it's just weird with my memory coming back in strange flashes. I just felt a bit rattled."

"More than a bit by the look on your face," Arthur disagreed, moving closer to him. There was clear intent in the way Arthur moved. Merlin could read everything about Arthur's body language and knew he wasn't wrong in what he was seeing now. He wasn't surprised when Arthur's hand cupped his chin, lifting his head so their eyes met. The same intent in the body language was in Arthur's eyes.

"Merlin, you might be a bit more knowledgeable now, but you are still naïve."

"You make it sound like you want to keep me that way."

"It's not such a bad thing," Arthur said. Merlin put Arthur's jacket down on the back of a chair and his breath hitched as Arthur stepped closer, so their bodies were touching.

"You can't honestly say I'm innocent any more."

"Certainly not when you get in the bed," Arthur said teasingly. Merlin suppressed a smirk, and read the hint in the words.

"I suppose not."

"But you don't seem to be entirely able to handle things out of it."

"I'm certain I should be insulted by that. I'm more than aware of what a few people think of me."

Arthur raised his eyebrows. Merlin probably was. He could no doubt interpret some of the looks and hints he got from many of the knights, and soldiers, in Camelot.

"True, but it's more the way you react that incites them, than anything else. You really do act like you don't know what they mean."

"It's not that," Merlin said. "Besides most of them only do it because they know they can't go any further. I never really worked out the flirting stage."

Arthur laughed. "You don't do that bad."

"In which case I don't realise I'm doing it. That doesn't seem like such a good thing."

"Sometimes," Arthur said, his other hand snaking around Merlin's waist. Merlin felt himself turned round and pushed back in the direction of the bed. Again he could feel the subtle tension in Arthur, his anger still not worked off, and there was now only one way it really could be dealt with. There was only so much that could be dispersed by Arthur swinging his sword around. He had utterly dominated Caradoc on the training field. Merlin knew he was about to get similar treatment, in a far less brutal fashion. Arthur pushed him back onto the bed, clambering up to straddle him, taking Merlin's wrists and pinning them down on the bed, either side of his head.

Merlin carefully registered Arthur's expression and the tension in him. He squirmed a little in the grip, not because he was trying to get away, but because he knew what Arthur wanted. As he slowly shifted under Arthur's weight he felt the prince's grip tighten and he pressed himself down harder on Merlin. Merlin didn't entirely give up. Arthur's mood was one of dominance, he wanted to assert his authority and he wanted to subdue Merlin, which would only really work, if Merlin put up something in the way of resistance.

It didn't worry Merlin when Arthur's grip intensified, the pressure almost making him gasp. Arthur had never truly hurt him, he never would. As Merlin knew Arthur's body language, Arthur knew his. If for one moment he thought Merlin was getting truly uncomfortable, or concerned, Arthur would know. He had on several occasions, and Arthur's tactics had immediately changed.

Merlin wriggled for a moment longer, until Arthur lowered himself down. His face was directly above Merlin's when Merlin eventually stopped his light struggling. Arthur closed the short distance and brushed his lips on Merlin's. Merlin kept himself as still as possible, just waiting for what Arthur would do. His tongue snaked out, tracing over Merlin's lower lip before he bit it gently. Merlin made a sound of pleasure deep in his throat, and Arthur pressed his lips on Merlin's again, harder this time, thrusting his tongue into Merlin's mouth.

The kiss was demanding, as Merlin expected. He opened his mouth and allowed Arthur in. Merlin brushed his tongue back against Arthur's, and moved his lips with Arthur's as he was kissed but he allowed the prince to control the entire thing, letting him take what he needed. He relaxed his body, and as Arthur broke free of the kiss and forced Merlin's head back, Merlin moaned as Arthur started to lick and nip at his neck, the pressure softer than the kiss, caressing along Merlin's jaw and then moving lower.

Arthur changed his grip, pinning Merlin's wrists over his head with one hand, while the other tugged at the scarf on Merlin's neck, fiddling with the knot. It probably would have been quicker if Merlin himself did it, but he kept quiet. For a start, Arthur probably knew it; but it would also ruin Arthur's mood, which was something Merlin thought was in need of improvement. Instead he let Arthur free the material and he discarded it over the side of the bed. Arthur pulled back, sitting up, but he kept hold of Merlin's wrists for a second before retreating completely.

Merlin stayed where he was as Arthur, in a kneeling position shuffled back on the bed. As he waited Merlin bit down on his lower lip, an action that Arthur watched with glittering eyes.

"Strip," Arthur ordered him, speaking in a low tone, but there was force to it. The prince expected to be obeyed. Merlin moved, sitting up slowly and he started with his boots as Arthur just stared down at him. Merlin kept glancing up on occasion, as he removed his boots, then his trousers, stripping off his lower half. It made Arthur frown when Merlin was down to his shirt, but Merlin thought that was because it was reminiscent of that night, and he quickly yanked it over his head, so he was sat naked on Arthur's bed. Arthur hadn't touched him, he had simply watched, kneeling at the end of the bed.

Merlin blinked as Arthur got up and walked away, and then he tensed a little as Arthur opened the cabinet under the window and drew the box out of it, heading to the end of the bed again. Merlin stayed where he was, watching in anticipation as Arthur opened the box and took out the wand. Arthur wanted to be in complete control of himself, while he pleasured Merlin.

"Come here."

Again Arthur issued a curt command, which Merlin obeyed shuffling to the end of the bed. Arthur took a firm grip of his ankles, pulling Merlin down and spreading his legs, resting Merlin's feet on the end of the bed, pushing his thighs apart until Merlin felt the muscles strain. He stayed in position as Arthur backed off going to the head of the bed to grab a pillow before coming back to look down at Merlin, who had stayed exactly where Arthur had put him.

Merlin felt the pillow being carefully positioned under his hips to expose his body and give Arthur better access. Doing what he was about to do gave Arthur the ability to turn Merlin into a complete quivering wreak, which was probably his aim for tonight; to assert his authority, and to somehow wipe away the issues of the last few days. This way Arthur stayed completely physically detached, until the moment he chose to screw Merlin into the bed. It usually happened as the final act to something like this.

He watched with wide eyes as Arthur prepared the wand, pouring the oil onto the device with intense concentration. Merlin squirmed in anticipation, feeling the throb of blood as it rushed to his groin. Arthur didn't help by reaching out to gently stroke Merlin's erection and brush his fingertips over his balls. Merlin closed his eyes and whined. Arthur's hand moved lower, spreading Merlin's cheeks and Merlin tensed as he felt the wand gently probe into him, pushing past the ring of muscle, easing him open. Merlin yelped, his hips rising up as Arthur shoved the device in fully, before slowly pulling it back, angling it to brush against Merlin's prostate.

Merlin's hands clenched on the covers and his eyes rolled in his head. Arthur's lightening reflexes caught Merlin's leg as his foot slipped. Arthur solved the problem by grabbing the heavy drape hanging by the post and wrapping it around Merlin's ankle secured his leg to the post. If Merlin wriggled enough he would be able to pull free, but he made no attempt to, simply relaxing into the binding. With a smirk, Arthur similarly secured Merlin's other ankle so his legs would remain splayed and Merlin's balance steady.

Leaning over him Arthur slid his hand back between Merlin's legs, his hips jerked again and Merlin whined as Arthur continued to rub the wand against the sensitive area.

Arthur watched Merlin's reaction, it was as open and unselfconscious as usual. He felt a burning pain in his heart as he thought about what might have happened if he and Gwaine hadn't got to Merlin in time. Arthur had needed to make sure it was all still there, and still his, and this most definitely was.

Merlin's entire body was shaking under the pressure as Arthur played with him, drawing the moment out. His own body ached with desire, his erection throbbing, painfully pressing against the material of his trousers. If he carried on like this he would orgasm at the simple sight of Merlin like this. His skin was flushed, and Merlin panted heavily, arching his back every time Arthur moved the wand inside him.

Merlin's arms flailed, his hand again latching tightly onto the covers, pulling them so hard the material started to rip.

"Arthur!" Merlin groaned his name, his voice low and desperate. Merlin gave another moan as Arthur withdrew the wand, leaving Merlin writhing all over again. Arthur didn't even concern himself with freeing Merlin's legs; he'd more than likely kick himself free without even realising it. Arthur loosened his trousers, grabbed Merlin's hips and readjusted his position before carefully lining himself up and shoving himself into Merlin.

Merlin gave a yelp, which turned into a groan. Arthur just gasped as Merlin's heat enveloped him. He stayed buried inside him for a moment before pulling back and thrusting again. Merlin's hips moved with him, causing Merlin to moan again. Arthur knew neither of them were going to last very long. He thrust his hips, driving himself into Merlin, feeling Merlin's right leg flail as the sheer pressure of the thrusts released him from the loose bindings. Arthur slid his hand down to grip Merlin's thigh, to hold it against his side, and Merlin wrapped his leg around Arthur's hips.

Arthur continued driving into Merlin, pressing his lips down on Merlin's so they were panting into each others mouths. Merlin gave a deep moan, that rose in pitch as his body tensed and Arthur felt the wetness on his shirt as Merlin came, his body shaking and shuddering as he did so, his muscles tensing, clamping around Arthur as he carried on pounding in him. It didn't take long until Arthur felt his own orgasm, as Merlin's body relaxed, unable to take any more. Arthur carried on thrusting into him, riding though his orgasm until his own body couldn't handle any more and he dropped down onto Merlin.

Both of them lay there, neither of them able to move as they gasped for breath. It was only after several minutes that Arthur shifted, rolling off Merlin and pulling at his clothes. Merlin groaned in discontent as the warmth of Arthur's body left his side. Arthur gathered his senses together long enough to strip, pull down the covers and bundle Merlin in, climbing in after him. Merlin snuggled against him, settling down.

"I presume then you're planning on staying," Arthur murmured, having no intention of hurling Merlin out of the bed. Merlin huffed, and answered Arthur easily, with one word.

"Always."