Usually when there were shards of pottery or glass to be swept up, it was Merlin's fault that the fragile object had broken in the first place. Arthur knew for a fact that he'd broken two plates at supper last week alone.

Today, though, it was Arthur's turn to break things. He was all over the place - on his third break of the day, in fact. The first had been a vase he'd knocked off the sideboard when he went to pour a glass of wine while Merlin lectured him on drinking alcohol before training.

The second thing he'd broken couldn't be swept up, but Gaius had assured him that Leon's hand would heal quickly enough. It was a small fracture – Leon could still move his fingers – and Arthur guessed the knight would mostly ignore it and press on anyhow. Injuries like that happened all the time on the paddock, so he'd thought little of it as he'd patted Leon's shoulder and sent him off to the tavern with the Pendragon chit to show to the tavern keeper and an open invitation to have a drink or six at Arthur's expense.

When he and Merlin had finally reached the tower rooms, Arthur'd slammed the door behind himself, hands scrubbing over his face and growling, and plopped down on the end of the bench at the worktable, his elbow connecting with the bottle containing Gaius' latest sleeping draught. It was the entire reason they were up here in the tower and Merlin had just been about to decant it before they planned to head back down to the King's chamber to deliver it.

Instead, he knelt at Arthur's feet, sweeping the glass and liquid into a dustpan and biting his lip as if he wanted to say something but didn't think he ought to.

"Oh go on," Arthur spit, "you're going to say it anyway."

"You do realize Gwaine was just taking the piss, right?" Merlin said softly, eyes fixed on his task and not Arthur, who was glaring fiercely down at him.

"What are you on about?" Arthur muttered, knowing full-well what Merlin meant. The knights had been after him the night before at the tavern, teasing and prodding until Arthur had left in a huff, Merlin tripping out the door behind him, wisely holding his tongue.

Merlin laid the brush in the pan and set them both aside, then rested his fist on Arthur's knee to stop it jerking. "You're a nervous wreck and there's no need. We don't have to do... I mean, it would be nice, but I'm not in any rush, you know. Just because Gwaine said that-"

"I am not nervous!" Arthur shouted, hand slicing through the air as if to cut Merlin off at the neck.

Merlin dove for his wrist, catching it just before it would have met another decanter of potion. "You are," Merlin said quietly, still holding his wrist, closing his fingers tightly as Arthur tried to pull away. "But you don't need to be. Gwaine's an arse when he's in his cups, everyone knows that. He's all bark, trust me."

Arthur grit his teeth and tugged again, then gave up and sighed, letting Merlin keep hold of him. "He said he would take care of you if I didn't know how. Did you hear that, Merlin?"

"As if I would let him," Merlin said, rolling his eyes.

"Wouldn't you?" he snapped, sighing loudly and shaking his head. He wasn't angry, but embarrassment made him lash out; it always had. "Why do you never stop him flirting with you if it's a non-issue, then?"

"It's Gwaine. Stopping him flirting is like stopping a stampede of griffins. He'd never take it further, Arthur - I know him. Besides, it's not like it's true, right?" Merlin asked, sounding for all the world as if he really didn't know.

Arthur looked at him for a long moment, then turned his face to the door, wondering how quickly he could leave without giving Merlin reason to follow him. "Forget it."

"No, we're talking about this before you destroy anything or anyone else," Merlin said, shifting closer. "What's got you so upset? It can't just be Gwaine."

"You wouldn't understand," he muttered, but he didn't force Merlin to let go of him.

Merlin tilted his head to the side and frowned. "Come with me," he said, pulling Arthur's arm and leading him up the stairs to his room.

Arthur drew up short at the door, giving him, then the door, a wary look. "Won't Gaius be back soon?"

Merlin shook his head. "Gone for the night and he wouldn't care anyhow, but if you're more comfortable out there..." he said, stepping close and nodding over Arthur's shoulder in the direction of the workroom. "We don't have to talk in here. It's a bit cramped, I know."

"It's fine," Arthur said, waving Merlin through his door impatiently. "There's a good view," he added, looking straight at Merlin and raising his eyebrows in a tease he didn't feel.

Heat rushed to Merlin's cheeks and Arthur stepped past him, taking a seat on the tiny bed, looking at the mattress incredulously and pointing down at it. "You sleep on this thing? It's..."

"Better than the floor, remember?" Merlin asked, grinning and settling on the edge of the wooden trunk at the foot of the bed. "Why do you think I wouldn't understand?"

Arthur's head snapped up – he hadn't thought Merlin heard him say that before and now he was asking him directly about it?

He leaned closer to Merlin, lifting one thigh up onto the bed so he could turn to face him. "You're a man," he started, closing his eyes and sighing at the stupidity he usually left up to Merlin but now couldn't seem to stop spilling from his own lips. "You know what I mean."

He couldn't say it, couldn't admit that after twenty years of being Camelot's most sought-after bachelor and countless nights of his soldiers' goading, he still hadn't had anyone, had never done more than kiss, and only then when he'd been enchanted.

He reached out, hand sliding up Merlin's arm, across his collarbone, around the back of his neck, fingers combing into the soft curls at the nape of his neck. It seemed like it should be so simple to just kiss him, to just get it over-with, but Merlin had done this before and Arthur - well, it wasn't as if they'd done more than this – simple caresses that led nowhere.

Merlin slid from the trunk to the edge of the bed, his knee pressing against Arthur's leg, head tilting back, eyes closed as he slowly moved his head from side to side, obviously enjoying Arthur's stroking fingers. "It's not that different from being with a girl, I'd imagine," he whispered, his voice hazy but eyes opening to look straight at Arthur, letting him know Merlin wasn't going to be so easily distracted.

Arthur swallowed hard, his mouth going dry and fingers fisting in Merlin's stupid thin blanket. He wanted to do it, wanted to just lean in and take Merlin's mouth as he would any maid's, lick it open and taste him, slide his tongue inside and feel it slip against Merlin's. It was past time, long overdue, and Arthur was ready beyond nervousness. Nearly.

He leaned closer, pressing their foreheads together, his hand tightening on Merlin's neck as if he needed to be held there, as if he would try to escape. He knew Merlin wouldn't run if Arthur admitted his inexperience, but he might smile, or laugh, which would be far worse.

He shook his head, closing his eyes, then sighed and started to pull away, but a strong hand closed over his shoulder, holding him close enough to feel Merlin's breath on his lips.

"I've seen you kiss, Arthur," Merlin whispered, "Just watching made me unsteady on my feet. I could have obliterated her, you know."

"You should have," Arthur said, smirking and tilting his face into the soft touch of Merlin's lips at the corner of his mouth.

"Kiss me?" Merlin begged softly. "Kiss me like that."

Arthur drew in a deep breath, licked his lips and wrapped his arms around Merlin, pulling him tight against his chest, fingers sliding into his hair and clutching as he pressed his lips to Merlin's. The touch of lips against his own, strong and full and determined, sent a blaze of lightning along his limbs and up his spine, pulled his passion to the surface and let it bleed out. He needed more, infinitely more, and moved fast, biting along Merlin's jaw as he knelt up on the bed, hands cupping Merlin's face, sliding down his shoulders and chest, catching up the hem of his tunic and tugging.

Merlin's tongue swiped at his lips and he opened them, a small, frustrated noise trapped between them as he fumbled with the knot in Merlin's ridiculous belt. Merlin smiled and laughed gently into their kiss, Arthur's throat tightening at the sound. He would skin Merlin alive for laughing; he would sack him and then banish him so he never had to see him again.

But Merlin just pulled away and looked briefly down between them, jerked the knot loose and brought his face back up to Arthur's. He stopped short, staring into Arthur's eyes as if he'd just seen the nervousness there. "What's wrong?"

Breathing shakily out, Arthur licked his lips and turned his head, wiping his mind as he'd done when he'd meditated for his quest, hesitation smoothing away into a blank expanse of need. "I haven't had anyone," he breathed and turned back, eyes flashing a dare at Merlin before pulling him close and kissing him again. He tightened his grip on Merlin's neck, thumb rubbing along the bump on the back of his head, wishing he'd never said a word. He could've just let Merlin believe he'd done this before, at least with a maid.

The kiss lingered, deeper and slower, taking some of the sting away from the confession and gentling his frustration.

Merlin's hands slipped to either side of his face, pushing him gently away. "And you want that? With me?"

Looking into Merlin's questioning gaze, Arthur poured all of his swelling, deep emotions into his words along with his usual exasperation at Merlin's typical dimness. "Who else would I be talking about while I'm kissing you?"

"All you had to say was 'yes,' you know." Embarrassment skittered away as Merlin's tongue slid against his, arms twining around his neck as he pulled Arthur close for another kiss. "Take me, then."

Arthur groaned and pushed him back on the bed, shoved his tunic up and finally, finally got to skin. He'd been aching to strip Merlin off and touch every bit of him, but they'd never touched apart from Merlin tending him and their few, hesitant caresses. But Gods, it was worth the wait.

So much unmarred, creamy skin, Merlin's ribs poking up beneath the soft, warm expanse, more clean lines defining his muscles than Arthur had imagined, more strength than he gave Merlin credit for. As he smoothed his palms over the Merlin's chest, his fingertips tripped over hard, pebbled nipples, catching his attention and stopping him in his tracks. He traced around them, watching them tighten and peak as his fingertips slipped over them, lingering.

He pinched and rubbed at them gently at first, then, at Merlin's moan and arching body, deepened their kiss, his fingers working the flesh harder, faster. He shifted, half-lying on Merlin's chest so he could lick and suck on one, then the other. Merlin's fingers tangled in his hair, pulling him up for a kiss so hard their teeth clacked together. Arthur jerked away from his mouth, ducking his head back to lathe his tongue across Merlin's chest and pay the same frantic attention to the other nipple, his fingers rolling and tugging on the first.

"Gods, Arthur, don't stop," Merlin groaned, parted lips smeared and smudged from their kisses as Arthur looked up through his fringe, never taking his mouth away, fingers and tongue and lips kneading the hard little nubs until Merlin was writhing, arching and moaning, begging, feet sliding along the covers.

That kind of desperation was something Arthur'd never heard before, never caused before. It was something he tried to imagine in the singular darkness of his room, fist on his cock, pillow pressed to his face, hips jerking up as if pushing his cock inside a warm, wet body. He lifted his head, looking again to memorize what a mess he'd made of Merlin and loving every single bit of skin that pressed against his. "I want..."

"Anything, anything you want," Merlin breathed, moaning and arching under Arthur's questing fingers, back bowing those tight, taut nipples into the air so they just brushed against Arthur's chin as if pleading to be suckled again.

Arthur kissed between them instead, kissed and licked his way down the centre of the smooth, pale chest, further, skimming the flexing, tight plane of Merlin's stomach and trailing over to one side, where a dip in muscle led down along a sharp hipbone and beneath the waistband of Merlin's trousers. Arthur drew a finger along it, followed it down and in, glancing up to catch Merlin's gaze.

"I want this," Arthur whispered. "You. Tonight."

Merlin pushed up on his elbows, nodding, whispering breathlessly. "You – you feel so incredible, but we don't have to- to rush it."

Arthur surged up, kissing Merlin with desperation of his own now, tongue thrusting roughly in, Merlin's long fingers digging into his bicep, arm wrapped tightly around his shoulders.

Arthur shook his dazed head, kissing and biting his way along Merlin's jaw, unable to look Merlin in the eye, unable to see Merlin's reaction to the flush that burned on his cheeks.

"I can't stand another day of you tempting me..." Arthur trailed off, sucking hard on Merlin's neck, leaning back to see the mark, rubbing a thumb across it and diving back down to deepen the purpling burst of colour that sprang to the surface of Merlin's skin.

Let Gwaine see that. If Merlin was too shy to show it, Arthur would hide every damned neckerchief in Camelot. What good was being prince if one didn't take advantage of it? Though he would never take advantage how some might, no matter how willing Merlin seemed. Gods knew he wanted to, but he needed to know that Merlin wanted it. Still, he wasn't above stealing neckerchiefs to prove the point to an overzealous knight if he had to.

"Tell me," Merlin whispered, pushing his head back into the mattress as if offering Arthur more flesh to attack. "Tell me what you want."

"Oh, Gods," Arthur groaned against the soft skin beneath his lips, pressing his sweat-damp hair against Merlin's ear and dragging his mouth up his shoulder and back, letting his inhibitions slip away, once and for all. "I want to taste you," he whispered, teeth closing gently on Merlin's earlobe, his jaw, his throat. "I want inside you," he confessed, eyes squeezed tight to see the oft-imagined picture of Merlin's upraised bottom and spread thighs, his entrance slick and ready, coaxed open with fingers and tongue.

"Yes-" Merlin breathed, nodding, and cleared his throat. "We can... do that."

Arthur licked along Merlin's throat and collarbone, rubbed his forehead and cheek along the smooth, heated flesh, lips dragging along Merlin's skin. "I want to fuck you," he groaned out, his cock rubbing hard against Merlin's leg at the sound of his own words. "Show me what to do," he whispered, looking sharply up, defiant before there was even need for it.

Merlin pushed up on his elbows, dishevelled hair sticking out every which way, red stain high on his cheekbones, eyes glazed as if drugged. "You're managing just fine so far," he said, drawing in a shuddering breath and smiling softly as he ran his fingers through Arthur's hair, pushing it back from his face.

Arthur closed his eyes and leaned into the caress – that touch undid him completely and he wanted it again and again, always. He could linger there, Merlin beneath him, the hard press of their bodies together, fingers carding through his hair and Merlin's breath ghosting over his lips, but if he did, he'd regret the missed chance as soon as it passed and for Gods knew how long afterward.

"Now, Merlin," he said, eyes flashing open and not a bit of doubt in his lust-gravelled voice.

Merlin shifted them up the bed, skin sliding along his own, thighs parting and fingers slipping down from Arthur's head to his side, gently urging him up and on top as Merlin settled back against the cushions. "Take them off." Merlin's words were little more than a harsh breath, his head jerking in the direction of their trousers.

Arthur rolled to the side, fingers determined but clumsy as he unfastened his laces and Merlin's, dragged his tunic off over his head and shoved his trousers and smallclothes down off his hips, kicking and wriggling until they hit the floor. He knelt up between Merlin's legs, cock heavy and hard, leaking onto Merlin's sad little creaking bed. Fingers curling into the loose waistband of Merlin's breeches, he tugged, slowly smoothing the fabric down off Merlin's hips, kneeling up to pull them all the way off. He dropped them over the side of the bed and ran his open palms up Merlin's legs, thumbs pressing into the juncture of leg and pelvis as he settled up between Merlin's spread thighs.

The sight of all that pale, bare flesh was mesmerizing, his vision of Merlin's long, thick cock nothing compared to the actual thing, straining and slick with arousal, gorgeously flushed where it lay against the smooth, white skin of Merlin's belly.

His long legs wrapped around Arthur's, heels digging into the backs of his knees, urging him to move. "Come closer," he whispered, eyes heavy-lidded and teeth digging into his lower lip. "Gods, you're amazing. Slide your cock against mine. Let me feel you."

As if he needed to be asked. Arthur took a long, last moment to stare, to make Merlin want it that much more, and moved, pressing his weight down against Merlin's groin, their cocks jerking as they touched, wrenching a groan out of them both.

Merlin smiled up at him, a mischievous, impish grin that always meant Arthur should draw his sword or brace himself or start running, but now, here, it meant something else entirely. A hand closed on the back of his neck, Merlin's feet sliding up and down along the backs of his legs, hips starting a slow roll.

Back arching, Arthur gave into the stretching, hard push and drove down, toes digging into the mattress for purchase as he pressed their cocks together so hard it hurt. Merlin's grin gave way to panting, parted lips and the hand on the back of his neck pulled hard, Merlin lifting up to press their mouths together, to gasp against Arthur's lips.

He licked and sucked and nipped until he hadn't breath and couldn't think and just dragged his mouth down Merlin's neck, his chin tilting up to give Arthur room, their grinding hips and slick, aching cocks the brightest, hottest point in Arthur's world.

"Please, Arthur," Merlin pleaded, arching up as Arthur tucked his hand between them and took one of Merlin's nipples between his fingers again, pinching and rolling and tugging in time with the ragged rhythm they'd set between them. Arthur ducked his head and closed his mouth around the other nipple, sucking and pulling at it with his lips, teasing until Merlin's long fingers clutched at either side of Arthur's head, twining in his hair and pulling, urging Arthur to look at him. When he did, Merlin's eyes locked on his lips, pupils blown as he breathed, "Will you suck me?" The pad of his thumb smeared across Arthur's lower lip as he stared down at it. "I want... I want your mouth on me."

Twisting and rolling Merlin's nipples in a regretful parting caress, Arthur pushed his hands into the bed on either side of Merlin, the ankles wrapped around his legs slipping away as he knelt back, scooting down the bed, watching Merlin's face. He lowered his head, tongue slicking the way from Merlin's side to his stomach, cheek brushing along the soft velvet of Merlin's arousal. He closed his eyes and inhaled, the deep breath driven as much by desire as an attempt to gather his courage.

"Take the head between your lips," Merlin whispered, thumb smoothing over Arthur's cheekbone, fingers shaky against his neck as if Merlin had any right to be nervous.

Pushing his arm under Merlin's side and wrapping it around his waist, Arthur held him tightly as he lifted Merlin's cock to his lips.

Tongue cupped and jaw stretching, Arthur let the flushed head slip in, let his lips close around it, just a little beneath the ridge. He smeared his tongue across the tip, taking up the salty slickness, pressing Merlin against the roof of his mouth as he inhaled sharply at the flavour spreading through his mouth, the realization of where he was and what he was doing sending a jolt along his body. He squeezed his eyes closed and curled closer, tugging at Merlin's waist and rolling his lips back over his teeth. More he wanted to say, tell me more.

"Can you-" Merlin said, gasping, every other breath held for a moment before he let it go and drew in another. "Can you take more?"

Arthur looked up past Merlin's kiss-bruised chest and focused on the stretching arch of Merlin's throat as he pressed his head back into the pillow, groaning, pushing slowly deeper, cock flexing against Arthur's tongue, the soft, smooth slide of it so easy, so simple.

He sucked gently on the shaft, cheeks hollowing and mouth lowering another fraction, the head of touching up against the back of his throat. It should have been alarming, but it felt so good, so natural. He moaned and stretched out on the bed between Merlin's thighs, grinding his own leaking cock into the mattress, hips rolling in small, smooth motions, Merlin's cock hitting softly against his throat in a steady rhythm.

Fingers slid up to tangle in his hair, one hand closing hard on Arthur's forearm in warning. "Like that - that's so good. Just like that," he whispered, voice breaking. "Gods, I want-"

Arthur dragged his mouth slowly off, biting his lips as rubbed his cheek along Merlin's slick length. He raised his eyes to Merlin's, brushing his lips up and up, tonguing a hard line all the way to the tip. "What do you want?" he asked, pushing the tip of his tongue into Merlin's slit.

"Fuck," Merlin hissed out, sucking two fingers into his mouth. Pulling them out, he lowered them between his legs, raising one thigh as he slid them behind his sac. "Watch- just watch me."

Arthur closed his fist tight around Merlin's slick cock, sliding it slowly up and down as he pulled his arm from beneath Merlin and pushed up on his elbow, staring at the long, thin fingers that swirled slick and fast over Merlin's entrance. The tips brushed hard, back and forth, dipping not quite in but pushing, pressing harder and harder until finally, Arthur's breath held and Merlin moaning the room full of need, they slipped inside.

He looked up at Merlin's face, at his arching throat and panting mouth and fluttering, closed eyelids. His toes curled into the flesh of Arthur's hip as he raised his leg higher, his cock pulling through Arthur's fist and nearly out, then surging back up through as Merlin rocked up, the fingers sinking deeper.

Arthur stared as each knuckle disappeared into Merlin's clinging hole, as it swallowed every bit of his fingers and seemed to beg for more as Merlin fucked down onto them, feet pushing against the mattress and legs trembling against Arthur's, hips lifting and falling, rubbing down into the mattress, then arching off of it completely.

Arthur licked his lips, slid his fist along Merlin's length and, after a second's hesitation, let go Merlin's cock and shoved his fingers between his flushed lips instead. They tried to form a word but Arthur slid them in further, shaking his head as Merlin's eyes flew open. "I want- let me," he said, looking down at the fingers disappearing again and again into Merlin's body.

Gods, he wanted in, he needed in.

Merlin's chin jerked down in a half-nod, his tongue cupping Arthur's fingers, slipping over and around them, between them all the way to his knuckles. If that was what it felt like to be in Merlin's mouth, Gods. His cock jerked at the thought of kneeling up and fucking into that hot, slick glove.

Pulling his mouth away from Arthur's fingers abruptly and drawing in a shaky breath, Merlin's head fell back to the mattress. "Hurry," he pleaded, and Arthur didn't argue.

He groaned and lifted Merlin's cock to his mouth again, sliding it in deep and fast, humming around the thick shaft and sheathing it with lips and tongue, holding steady there for a moment as he reached between Merlin's thighs, felt Merlin's fingers slipping out. They clasped his own, guiding them up and smearing them over his opening, pressing them against the tight hole and letting go to fist in the blanket as Arthur pushed into Merlin, inside him for the first time.

Closing his eyes and picturing Merlin slipping down onto his cock instead, he pressed steadily up and in until Merlin's hole clenched around the base of his fingers and Arthur was as deep as he could reach. He drew them slowly out then pushed them in again, faster this time, Merlin's body tensing at first, then beginning to match his long, slow thrusts with the roll of his hips.

"Harder, please," Merlin begged as he slipped his mouth off and then swallowed Merlin deep again, throat closing convulsively quick and bright before Arthur pulled back just far enough to draw in a breath and give a small, sharp nod, hand spreading wide on Merlin's thigh to let him know it was all right. More than all right.

Merlin groaned and thrust, hitting deep in his throat again but not lingering long enough to steal his breath again, arse clenching and relaxing with quickening pace as Merlin rocked up and back between Arthur's suckling mouth and thrusting, slick fingers.

Arthur's hips jerked up and back against the blanket in time with Merlin's rhythm, the feeling of Merlin's vicelike grip around his fingers a dizzying promise of how that body was going to feel wrapped around Arthur's cock. It was heaven, the close, secret, tight place that clutched at him as if holding him, begging him with its frantic movements, with his heat. He ached to kneel up and take Merlin, push his cock inside and roll his hips, feel Merlin writhe beneath him, watch his eyes as he came, body pulsing around Arthur's cock.

Merlin groaned and Arthur twisted his fingers deeper, Merlin's hands clawing at his shoulders, pushing hard, pushing with a strength he hadn't known Merlin possessed.

"Arthur, Gods, please!" he cried, looking down with wide, panicky eyes and stilling the movement of his hips almost completely, pushing his bottom into the mattress to try to pull out of Arthur's mouth. Arthur let him go with a sigh and shook his head, waiting for Merlin's explanation. "I'm so close," he whispered, brow furrowed as if in pain.

"Don't stop me, then," he said with a smirk and lowered his mouth again, dragging his tongue up the length of Merlin's cock, sucking and licking before slipping it between his lips again, pushing his tongue hard against the slit, the flavour sharper now with the slick evidence of arousal.

Merlin's hips began their steady roll again and that tight heat sheathed Arthur's fingers again and again, deeper, harder until Merlin reached up, pressed his fists against the stone wall above his head and pushed himself down onto Arthur's thrusting, twisting fingers.

He was breathtaking like this: stretched out, arching and moaning and taking, showing Arthur exactly what to do by the movements of his body, the arch of his spine, the flexing muscles and quickening breaths. Arthur moaned with him, grinding his cock against Merlin's bed, toes curling into the blanket, just on the edge. He tightened his lips around Merlin's cock and sucked hard, slipping his hand down Merlin's thigh and beneath himself, fist closing around his own leaking shaft and pumping, squeezing and twisting, thumb sliding over the head.

Merlin stopped moving, back bowed off the bed, but Arthur kept thrusting through his fist and pushing his fingers into Merlin's body, growling low in his throat and losing his rhythm altogether as he swallowed hard and came, cock pulsing over his knuckles and Merlin's blanket.

"Oh, Gods," he heard through the haze of orgasm, Merlin's hips jerking up and back and when Arthur looked up through his fringe and saw Merlin watching him, begging him with dark eyes and red, red lips, it was enough to bring him back from the lassitude that threatened to distract him.

Arthur took a deep breath in through his nose, took up a steady, deep rhythm, swallowing and stroking smoothly into Merlin, driving his fingers into his heat, hard, again and again, slipping them almost all the way out before each thrust. He lined his ring finger up beside the first two, waiting for Merlin's fingers to ease the sudden, painful grip in his hair. When they relaxed and combed to the back of his neck, Arthur pushed his tight bundle of fingers resolutely past all resistance and up, deep inside Merlin. He stilled them at their deepest, rubbing gently up and back, around and in, hoping he'd find the place he'd heard the knights speak of.

It was nothing, almost, but he knew when he'd found it.

Merlin arched and groaned shakily, legs trembling on either side of Arthur's body. He slipped his fingers around in a circle, pressing hard against the place inside Merlin and Merlin cried out, fingers tugging on Arthur's hair as if to pull his mouth off, but Arthur quickened his pace and sucked, rubbing faster and harder and Merlin broke, shuddering and pulsing hot and fast over his tongue. He swallowed convulsively, nearly choking, breathlessly pulling off Merlin's cock, gasping and chasing the last drops with his tongue before they could spill from his lips.

Arthur knelt up, fingers still inside Merlin, and took his mouth, the fingers twisting in his hair pulling him down hard into the kiss, Merlin's quiet moans and panting breath soft against his cheek as they kissed and kissed. Arthur fucked him gently, carefully now, reluctant to leave Merlin completely and feeling so close he didn't think separating again was even possible, let alone something he'd willingly do.

When he finally pulled away from the kiss, Merlin smiled softly up at him, rocking his hips gently in time with the soft caresses in and out of his body. "That feels so good," he murmured, eyes drifting close.

Arthur moved to the side, lying down, cheek sharing Merlin's scratchy pillow, lips pressed to Merlin's ear. "When I take you, I'll stay in you like this all night," he whispered, nose pressing into Merlin's hair, rubbing deep inside for a few more moments before pulling his fingers slowly away, keeping them pressed warm and slick between Merlin's legs as he let the drunken wash of exhaustion fall over him like a blanket.

Arthur allowed the arm that tucked under his neck and around his shoulders, pulling him impossibly closer, moving his head to rest on Merlin's shoulder, which was softer than the pillow by far.

He lay sprawled, leg thrown over Merlin's thigh. He didn't seem to mind the weight or slickness between them in the least, humming his ascent and carding his fingers gently through Arthur's hair again and again as Arthur drifted off.


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