Author's Note: The night before this morning after (and the flashbacks to that night) belong to WinterStorrm who's brilliant story "Keep your friends close" inspired this little scribble. I would suggest reading that story before reading this but you can read this as a stand-alone.

Disclaimer: Like everyone else who writes here, I do not own "Merlin" or any of the characters from it. That all belongs to the all-mighty BBC.

Warnings: This one isn't for the kiddies! Some explicit malexmale sexual situations, if that bothers you then please just move one to another story.

Uther's Morning After

Uther woke slowly, his first awareness that his arms were wrapped around the warmth of another's body. Stirring slightly he realized both legs were also wrapped around the person in his arms. Eyes opening slowly, he smiled lazily as he remembered the night before. Merlin lay on his back, ebony lashes lay against alabaster cheeks, hiding sapphire eyes in exhausted slumber.

Carefully extracting his arm from beneath the young man he was curled around, he left the other possessively wrapped across the boy's chest. He did not yet know if Merlin was a heavy or light sleeper and he wanted at least a few minutes to just let his eyes wander over the beautiful youth.

He'd been stealing glances for months of course but had never really allowed himself to just look at his son's manservant. It wouldn't have done for the King to be seen staring at a servant in public. When the boy had first come to his attention after saving Arthur's life so dramatically, he'd not really spared a glance at the young man. He'd been too preoccupied with the dead witch who lay crushed under a fallen chandelier before the royal table. He'd only felt a great gratitude toward the tall skinny boy for preserving his son's life. He was in the habit of repaying favors and so without much thought had given the boy his position as Arthur's manservant. He'd cursed himself a thousand times in the ensuing months for giving his son such a gift, especially since Arthur didn't seem to appreciate Merlin for the gift that he was.

He hadn't realized at the time that the boy was Gaius's ward, come to Camelot from Cendred's Kingdom. It was only after his old friend had come and thanked him warmly for awarding Merlin such a high place in the Royal household that he even learned the young man's name. Merlin. As time passed he began to notice Merlin more and more as the boy in turns irritated and impressed the King with his antics. He mused more than once that his name suited him. A small hawk, actually the smallest of all hawk's but no less fierce and loyal when trained to hand.

After rewarding the young man, he gave him no further thought but after just a few weeks of service it seemed that wherever Arthur went, his young manservant went as well. He still paid little attention until the first time he caught the boy giving his son an impish grin which seemed to light up his whole face. Uther caught his breath and looked away quickly but from that moment on he kept stealing glances at the raven haired youth.

He noticed the ears of course but for some reason they didn't detract from Merlin's beauty. The high prominent cheekbones gave way to a narrow face that somehow managed to be both pretty and masculine at the same time. Eyes as deep a blue as the Atlantic were framed by long lush black lashes that emphasized skin so fine and white it made Uther's fingers itch to stroke it. He was shocked at how badly he wanted to discover if that alabaster skin was as soft as it looked. He wanted to know if it was as flawless all over as the tantalizing bits displayed by the boy's modest clothing.

Then there was his neck, so long, so pale and so damned inviting. He'd spent quite a bit of his private time imagining how it would taste as he nibbled, licked and sucked every inch of it. However, it was Merlin's mouth that had him groaning in the privacy of his own chambers imagining what he wanted to do to those pink, pouty lips and what he wanted them to do to him.

Uther certainly wasn't above bedding his servants, in fact he did so frequently with both men and women. As King he certainly felt it within his rights to take almost any of his subjects to his bed. He'd also bedded a good portion of the realm's knights and ladies as well, married or no. He'd never forced a one of them and there had been a few instances where his advances were respectfully declined. He'd held no malice towards those few, after all, there certainly were plenty of others for the picking. However, Merlin was a different matter.

First, he'd given him to Arthur, which even in his own eyes made him Arthur's property. Even if he was the King, he respected the Crown Prince's rights of ownership. Arthur often complained of the boy's incompetence as a manservant yet Uther always noted that Arthur never appeared anything less than immaculate. If Merlin truly wasn't suited to the job, it would have been reflected in the Prince's person. His clothing was always perfect, his armour extremely well cared for, his chambers tidy and sparkling clean and he'd even heard that Arthur required Merlin to muck out his horse's stables and walk his dogs. These last jobs were not within the usual duties of a personal manservant. There were servants hired specifically to provide those services for all who lived in the Palace. He doubted any experienced manservant would have tolerated these extra duties. Merlin wasn't an experienced servant though and as far as Uther had determined, fulfilled all these extra chores while also assisting his guardian Gaius in his duties as the Royal Court Physician. It had crossed his mind more than once to wonder when the young man ever found time to sleep, yet he usually seemed cheerful and energetic.

Uther suspected Arthur was enjoying seeing how far he could push the boy before he'd break. It wasn't actually behavior Uther approved of though he'd never stoop to reprimanding the Prince over his treatment of a servant. He wasn't above chiding him for allowing Merlin's over-familiar manners though. The boy certainly didn't show the proper deference toward the future King of Camelot. Despite his frequent complaints, Arthur also seemed to take Merlin with him wherever he went. Another oddity in a manservant's duties. Arthur took the boy with him when he went hunting, when he went campaigning, when he rode out on circuit and he often even required Merlin to attend him during martial training as well. Sometimes he even put armor on the boy and knocked him around the practice field himself.

For all his complaints, Uther knew his son was quite attached to his beautiful if somewhat clumsy manservant. He was almost as certain that he hadn't bedded the boy himself either. Firstly, in another unconventional arrangement, Merlin still slept in his room within Gaius's quarters and not in the antechamber provided in each suite for a noble's personal servant. Also while there was a definite closeness between the two, it didn't appear sexual. At least not yet. Arthur seemed completely oblivious to the attractions of his raven haired servant.

Arthur seemed one of the few occupants of the castle of any station to remain in such ignorance. Uther noted the serving girls constant attention on the boy, hell, half of the other servant boys had their eyes on the tall slim blue eyed lad as well. Then there were the knights and courtiers whose eyes lingered on Merlin when he was by Arthur's side. Both Uther and Arthur had received requests to "borrow" the lad's service on some pretext or other. Arthur refused each of these and noting Arthur's possessiveness Uther refused them all as well, remembering the tantrum his son had thrown the first time he'd acquiesced to a visiting knight who'd requested the boy's help during his stay.

"He's my manservant, Father! There are plenty of other servants you could assign Sir Ewan! And what am I to do for a servant while Merlin is off servicing someone else? No! Find him someone else!"

Yet another complication was Merlin's guardian, Gaius. He was one of Uther's oldest advisor's and the closest thing the King had to a trusted friend. Gaius had become the Royal Court Physician during the reign of Uther's father and while he hadn't been a child when they met, Gaius had still provided valued guidance and support to Uther from his first arrival at court. Uther highly doubted the older man would be happy if he seduced his young ward. He still wasn't quite sure of the connection but he thought he remembered the boy was the son of Gaius's niece or some such thing. While blind to many things, Uther wasn't unaware of his old friend's fatherly feelings for the maddeningly attractive youth.

Then there was the boy himself. He was very young. Younger even than his own son. He wasn't exactly sure of Merlin's age though he placed it between 17 or 18 years. Normally that wouldn't have bothered him, that was well past the age of consent after all but there was just such an innocence about the young man that made Uther hesitate. Maybe it was the fact that Merlin seemed unaware of his own attractions and fairly oblivious to the attention he drew from so many around him. He chatted freely and animatedly with the other servants but seemed to miss the innuendos and gentle flirting from those around him. Merlin's sweet nature seemed to charm everyone though. The King hadn't observed anyone become more aggressive when the boy didn't pick up on their rather obvious attempts to win his favor. Then again, he highly doubted any occupant of the castle was unaware of the Prince's protective stance where his manservant was concerned. Perhaps those who would naturally be emboldened to act were constrained by this fact. Uther was among them.

His relationship with Arthur was problematic at best. He'd had little to do with his only son's upbringing, leaving it to nursemaids, tutors and weapons masters. He'd supervised through regular reports but he'd made little effort to be personally involved in Arthur's formative years aside from regularly scheduled visits that usually consisted of delivering lectures on duty, honor and the responsibilities of a future King. When the Prince had reached the age of 14 he began requiring him to attend council meetings and to dine with him at least a few times a week. It was then that he realized he and his son were complete strangers to each other. Never good with emotions, Uther had little idea how to bridge this gap. He loved his son with all his heart he just had no idea how to show it. Morganna's addition to their household had been a true Godsend for the young traumatized girl had been the one thing that had brought them together and probably was still the only thing still binding his son to him.

Uther was wary of alienating his son further by tumbling his favorite servant into the Royal bed, if even only for a night. So instead, he tried his damnedest to stop noticing the boy, to stop thinking about him, to stop imagining him writhing pleasurably underneath him on soft linen sheets begging his King for more. He tried to banish thoughts of running his hands and tongue and teeth all over that pale, perfect white skin, to stop thinking of ravaging those pouty rose coloured lips then burying his cock inside that tight perfect arse. He tried to cast out visions of taking the boy's swollen manhood inside his mouth and listening to the cries and whimpers of pleasure pour from those luscious lips as his creamy seed spilled into his King's hot eager mouth...Uther really did try.

He managed to control his mounting preoccupation during the day when affairs of state distracted his thoughts. Only a few visions would flash across his mind's eye when he actually caught sight of Merlin himself as he went about his duties for both Arthur and Gaius. It was at night, after he retired to his bed that the fantasies would flood his mind and overcome his senses as he either stroked himself to release or tried to distract himself with another. He found himself suddenly only selecting dark haired, fair skinned partners, preferably blue eyed. Boys, girls, men...nothing worked, all he could see was Merlin under him. He'd close his eyes and inside his mind it was Merlin sharing his bed but as soon as he opened his eyes, the illusion would shatter and he'd usually send his unfortunate partner for the night scurrying to dress and leave his presence as fast as they could.

His secret remained safe. He never spoke Merlin's name, never even whispered it while in the throws of his fantasies, would never allow it to pass his lips under any circumstance. He carefully avoided addressing the servant directly. If he had to refer to him it was as "Arthur's manservant" or "Gaius's Ward". This reticence insured two things, no intonation of his use of Merlin's name would give his thoughts away and it served as a reminder of the two most important reasons he couldn't have the boy.

Then it got worse. An incident one night several weeks ago made his preoccupation with Merlin flare into an outright obsession. It happened while Uther was relaxing in a large tub filled with steaming hot water. He'd been stroking himself, mind full of Merlin when there was a knock at his chamber door. When he'd bid the knocker to enter it had taken every ounce of his legendary control to not instantly spill his seed when it was none other than Merlin himself who entered.

Upon seeing the King naked in his bath, the boy had blushed a deep bewitching pink, dropped the bottle he was carrying and averted his eyes. He bent and scooped up the bottle giving the King an uncomfortably easy view of the boy's exquisite arse, then straightened mumbling that he'd brought a delivery from Gaius. The King directed him to leave the bottle on the bedside table, aware that his voice was tellingly hoarse. Merlin didn't quite scurry but he made quick work of depositing the bottle beside the bed, then keeping his gaze directed at the floor he made the customary inquiry, "Is there anything else you require, Sire?"

Once more, Uther struggled with his desire, everything inside him screaming to bring the boy to him, to strip him naked and have him join him in the bath. However, he uttered a short, hoarse, "No." before waving the boy from the room. Again, Merlin didn't scurry but he certainly didn't linger and he never raised his gaze from the floor as he departed. Uther lost all control the moment the door snicked shut, shooting his red hot release, covering his taut chest and belly in wet ropes of white.

He slumped back in the bath realizing that he'd just had his most intense orgasm since his wife died simply because the boy was in the same room while he was pleasuring himself. For once it was truly Merlin's voice in Uther's ears while his mind was filled with his visage.

After that, it was damn near impossible to keep Merlin out of his mind. He'd hardly seen the boy after that night due to an unusually peaceful lull in the running of his kingdom. Under those circumstances he rarely needed to see his son or his favorite adviser. However, as bad as his days had become, his nights had become torture. He'd stopped bothering to try to substitute another body for Merlin's the night after his visit. He'd practically pummeled the poor stable boy bloody in his frustration. Rough had never been his style and after flinging the poor boy naked into the hall and tossing his clothes out after, he'd returned to his bed only to shout his frustration into thick pillows.

He was unable to sleep, no matter how many times he brought himself to completion in his empty bed. Finally, in desperation, he'd gone to Gaius when he knew Merlin to be out hunting with Arthur. He'd told the physician his insomnia was due to nightmares and Gaius hadn't questioned him further, simply providing him with a sleeping draught. The draught had given him at least a few precious hours of sleep each night. Though he discovered he still couldn't find any peace unless he performed what had become his nightly ritual. Between wanking himself sore and Gaius's medicine, he managed to pull himself together enough to sleep sufficiently each night to function effectively the following day.

Then, last night, it had all come undone. With all the self-pleasuring he'd been performing lately he'd run through his supply of lubricating oil and so had sent a servant to fetch his "usual draught" from the Royal physician. The servant had returned empty handed saying that Gaius had been out but he'd left word with his assistant of the King's request. He'd had been ensured that as soon as Gaius returned, he would convey him the message. Uther wasn't surprised since half the population of the castle had come down with a sudden case of uncontrollable hiccups. He knew his old friend would be working over-time to cure the afflicted.

That evening, long after he'd already dismissed his manservant for the night, the King retired behind his changing screen to ready himself for bed. He'd already stripped down to his breeches when there was a knock at his chamber door.


He was in the process of unlacing himself when his voice called out, "Sire, I've brought your draught, Gaius is busy with the hiccup remedy." Suddenly his hands were shaking and the laces he'd been untying coiled themselves into an untidy mess of a knot.

"Put it next to the bed." Without conscious thought, Uther found himself coming round the screen. Merlin had his back to him as he reached the bedside table. No longer able to keep away, Uther stepped right up behind the boy and said, "While you're here, could you help me with these laces?"

Merlin jumped and dropped the vial of oil he'd been holding but as he darted forward to grab it, he once again presented the King with a view of his perfectly formed arse. It was sticking straight up and so close that all Uther had to do was reach out a little bit and everything he'd been dreaming about would finally be his. He felt slightly dazed as Merlin jumped back up with the vial in his hand and faced Uther, looking somewhat nervous.

"Sorry Sire, I'm so clumsy," he quavered. "Er - laces you say?"

The boy still had the vial of oil in his hand and Uther found himself temporarily paralyzed, staring at the lubricant in the very hands he'd dreamed would be using it on him. Then Merlin had reached out and traced his fingertips across Uther's skin, just above the waistband of his breeches and suddenly Uther was certain that he'd finally snapped. This couldn't actually be happening. Merlin wasn't really there, running those long, slender fingers over Uther's flesh. He was hallucinating, he was dreaming, it just wasn't possible!

It wasn't until those incredible sapphire eyes were staring up at him through inky lashes that the King began to believe that this was real. Merlin's hands were stroking him through the fabric containing his straining erection, then he felt a soft slender hand snake inside the cloth and wrap itself around him and Uther's paralysis broke.

Once hadn't been enough, twice didn't touch it, couldn't slake the King's need for the boy he'd been obsessed with for so long. When Merlin had tried to squirm away, to leave the King's bed, Uther had been completely unable to let him go.

He woke Merlin only a few hours later, needing him again, the need so strong it was almost worse than before he'd actually had the boy. In all those months of fantasies, dreams and waking visions, there had always been the assurance to himself that if he ever finally got the boy, it couldn't possibly compare to the build up, how could anything? He'd been so wrong. It was better. It was intoxicating. He was fairly sure it would become addictive.

Now he had Merlin sleeping peacefully in his arms, in his bed and the sun was shining softly through the thick glass of his chamber windows. He'd never cared for closed curtains and so the light fell across the bed, shining off Merlin's perfect ivory skin. Uther was awed at how it practically glowed in the morning light. Not a blemish to mar it's satiny smoothness. He'd been right, any woman would cheerfully do murder to possess such skin. There were a few scars and Uther let his finger tips trace each one lightly, vowing to find the story behind each of them. He was finally allowed the luxury of simply looking at his lover.

Merlin's lips, always an alluring pink were now stained deep rose and slightly swollen from Uther's insatiable need to possess his mouth over and over through the night. The King allowed himself to stroke his fingers through the surprisingly soft midnight-dark hair that curled in messy abandon around those adorable ears. Unable to help himself, he pressed feather light kisses down the ivory expanse of Merlin's long swan-like neck.

He pulled back to admire once again the surprising muscle definition the slender looking boy had. Though with all the work Arthur and Gaius put the boy to, it shouldn't have come as a surprise. When clothed, Merlin looked delicate, almost breakable. Strip him down and he was sinewy muscle sheathed in buttery soft skin. Much to the King's delight his lover hadn't lacked for perfection anywhere else. He groaned softly remembering how well the boy had filled him, leaving him with a delicious burning ache inside that brought the mind-blowing act to mind with each throb of his sensitized nerve endings.

He bent his head to his lover's lean abdomen and softly dragged his tongue down the light sprinkling of downy black hairs that led him to his goal. Settling softly between Merlin's legs he took his sleeping cock in his mouth and proceeded to wake him up in a manner that left the youth mewling and whimpering in the most delicious ways till he arched up off the bed and exploded in Uther's eager mouth.

"You're moving in here with me."

Merlin's lips slowly curled into that smile that had first captured Uther's attention what now seemed a life time ago. Sweet and more than a little impish.

"Fine, but you get to be the one to tell Arthur."

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