Author's Note: I was ruminating on the nature of jealousy when I came upon a prompt at kinkme_merlin. The first line of it was "Arthur hates Merlin." The remainder of the prompt isn't important since this story doesn't fill it but since I was already thinking about jealousy the two ideas sort of blended into one and this fic is the result. This is a third person perspective from only one point of view. It is entirely internal with no actual action, just thought. It's not a pretty piece and there is a speculative bit of graphically violent non-con near the end. It's only one paragraph (though the violence spans a few paragraphs) so it's a blessedly short, if harrowing stretch of words. Just wanted to give you a heads up!
Arthur hated Merlin. He hated everything about the stupid idiot down to his littlest nail paring. Everything about the grinning moron was an irritation from his wide guileless eyes to his soft earnest mouth, from the top of his messy mop of gleaming raven hair to the tips of his clumsy, uncoordinated toes. He hated him. Everything about the boy was so...good. He was cheery, cheeky, courageous, kind, honest, loyal, loving, open, self-sacrificing, innocent, just, generous, humble, fearless, trusting, resourceful and intelligent (though he'd as soon have his testicles ripped off as admit that one aloud).
To say Merlin wore his heart on his sleeve would be a massive understatement. The boy's heart was on continuous display in his eyes. Those thrice damned beautiful lazuline eyes shone with everything the ridiculous loon was feeling every second of the day. He couldn't dissemble to save his life and nothing got him down for very long. He was remarkably resilient for someone who looked as though a stiff breeze could knock him over; God knew that a stiff arm could do so with ease.
In short, Merlin was a symphony of shining ideals; everything any man, be he peasant or prince should aspire to be. Arthur couldn't stand the sight of him. All that sweetness and light was cloying, suffocating, garish and loud. The lad was lousy with virtue. The Prince often felt scorched by it when the fool stood too close, as if the sun itself was lodged beneath his ivory skin; lingering too near would burn Arthur to ash.
The Prince possessed few graces he could call his own. He was brave, yes. He was brave. He was...decisive! Yes, he was decisive. Loyal, there was another quality he could claim for himself..most of the time. He'd once thought himself in possession of a whole host of character assets. However, since Merlin had entered his life, he could no longer fool himself into thinking he was noble or honest or selfless or generous or even particularly intelligent. He'd never been kind, loving, open-hearted, trusting or earnest. He was meant to embody all that was right and just, everything that defined nobility. However, next to Merlin, he felt a shallow man indeed. Arthur didn't like being made to feel small.
Then, as if his appalling worthiness wasn't enough, the cretin had the utter gall to be sublimely beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. He possessed large, sweet eyes the color of finest sapphire. One could lose their soul in the clear blue depths of those gleaming orbs. Then he had those lips, those full, luscious raspberry lips that could curl into the most radiantly beautiful smile the Prince had ever seen on a human being. Straight white teeth gleamed from within the pretty pink frame of that gorgeous grin. His cheekbones, lord be merciful those high, flaring cheekbones could surely cut glass. Oh, his bone structure was simply breath-taking. Fine grained skin whiter than the rarest alabaster and soft as the plushest silk velvet was dusted with pale pink in all the most bewitching places. In dramatic contrast to that flawlessly snowy skin was his shining raven-black hair which waved in impudent abandon the longer it escaped the tyranny of the comb.
Merlin was tall, lean, lissome and elegant of line. His hands, even his damned hands were exquisite, with fingers so long and slender any object was fortunate to be graced by their glorious grip. He could be clumsy, yes, terribly clumsy...at times. Then, other times he moved with the sinuous, loose-limbed grace of an exotic cat. He'd seen Merlin slink, prowling about the place when he wished to be unnoticed. It seemed it was only the glare of scrutiny which caused his long, elegant limbs to malfunction.
Thankfully, the boy did have one glaring flaw in all that ridiculous beauty, a flaw that caught and held the eye. His ears. His ill-proportioned, prominent sound receivers stuck out from his head as if they were reaching out to encompass all the noise in the world. They were preposterous, those ears. So eye-catching were they that many people could see nothing else and so missed the soul squeezing artistry that had gone into making every other feature that conjoined to form the lovely youth's ethereal countenance.
Arthur felt coarse and brutish by comparison. He wasn't quite as tall as the younger boy and he almost hulked with muscle. He was a bear to Merlin's gazelle. His golden hair blended into his golden skin; the blue of his eyes was lighter, less intense and clouded, not nearly as translucent. His smile gaped and yawned, his teeth sharp and slightly crooked. The Prince's hands were broad and callused, the fingers blunt and strong with knuckles nicked all over by scars. His appearance, though seemingly pleasant to many was sturdy, stalwart and plainly serviceable. Though his every accoutrement far exceeded the servant's for quality and elegance, standing beside Merlin was a humbling experience and the Prince couldn't stand to be humbled.
Being faced day in and day out with all that virtue and beauty caused Arthur's stomach to churn, his guts to twist and his heart to hammer sickeningly in his chest. The boy's very presence was a mirror in which the Prince could see all his flaws and ugliness, all his petty, shallow bravado. He made Arthur squirmingly aware of all his failings as a man, a friend, a son and a Prince. Oh how he despised him for that! The ideals he struggled to live up to, Merlin embodied with effortless aplomb. It wasn't right that a lowly peasant from a back-water hell hole should so exceed him in every way.
Almost everyone saw it too. Everyone adored Merlin. Nobles, freemen, servants, peasants, women, children, grannies and wise old men, they all loved that sunny youth. He was convinced that even his Knights preferred his servant to him. Oh they served him with their heads but their hearts belonged to that annoyingly endearing strip of skin that stood by his side so resolutely. Every time they spoke to the boy, he could see it. He could see how their gazes would seek out Merlin's eyes first before they ever opened their mouths to address the Prince. The worst offenders were Lancelot and Gwaine though Percival, Elyan and even Leon subconsciously sought the pale boy's approval for everything they did. The newer recruits were taking their cue too, each one who arrived sought Merlin with their eyes. They studied him. They came to know him. They fell to his charm.
Only the ugly, the shallow, the selfish, the unscrupulous or the downright evil failed to adore Merlin. For it was only those whose nature rebelled against light and goodness that withered in the glare of Merlin's glowing soul. The boy was a living litmus test for the worth of a man. Arthur failed that test every day and he loathed his servant for it.
Words could never express his hatred for Merlin. He wanted to reach out and smash the abundantly blessed boy to the ground. His fingers itched to tear, to claw, to rend that beautiful skin, to destroy that shimmering beauty. His black heart longed to corrupt Merlin's shiningly clean soul. He yearned to rip his precious innocence away. The desire to break him so thoroughly that he could never wield that sweet, pure, joyous smile ever again simmered deep in Arthur's gut. He'd never lusted for the utter destruction of another being with such powerful need.
He dreamed of how he'd do it.
He envisioned the boy coming apart in his hands, could see the horror and surprise, the bewildered look of betrayal in the deep ocean blue of Merlin's eyes. It would begin with a punch. A satisfyingly simple blow to that fragile, ethereal face. More strikes would follow. He would use his ugly, scarred hands to pound the boy into the ground. When his face was broken, bleeding, bruised and swollen beyond recognition or repair then Arthur would go to work on the rest of him. A razor sharp hunting blade of the finest calibre would be used to mar that flawless white pelt. He would carve a disfiguring scar into every last inch of that snowy perfection. He would stripe him with the stiffest whip in the dungeon. He would flay great strips of skin from his body. He would crush each long, slender, lovely finger. Only when every last vestige of beauty was gone from the boy would he turn to the destruction of his mind.
First he would rip the youth's innocence from him with the thick blunt weapon that was his cock. He'd invade that sweet, tight, virgin arse with no preparation, tearing him open on to bleed on the inside as horrifically as he bled on the outside. He would soil the core of Merlin's body with his own filthy seed again and again. He would rape the ruined mouth, thrusting his raging prick between lacerated lips and broken teeth. He would make that long, pale throat choke on his trenchant fleshly sword. He'd pour his hot, liquid corruption down the boy's gullet. He'd make certain to besmirch the boy from both ends so that the poison would seep deep, spreading down every internal pathway.
Arthur would use words to torture the boy's mind as thoroughly as he tormented his body. He'd finally allow the years of venom to spew from his own gaping maw. Derision and ridicule would assault those ridiculous ears and pierce that gentle, open, loving heart. Each poisoned poniard would stab. The verbal violation would accompany every brutal act of the physical. He would twist every truth, corrupt his every ideal, shatter every belief that Merlin held dear.
He would describe for him the torment he would visit on the servant's loved ones. How he would torture and kill Gaius. How Arthur would beat, rape and throttle his mother Hunith until the breath left her broken body. He would describe for him how he intended to tie Gwen to a post in the square, scourging and violating her petite form in public before lighting the pyre Merlin had once struggled to save her from. Then he'd move on to Lancelot and Gwaine. He would soon do to them what he was now doing to Merlin. The Prince wouldn't need to actually do these things, just make Merlin believe he would. He would perform on him the mightiest mind-fuck the world have ever witnessed.
Yes, one of these days, he would make his dream a reality. He would finally let loose the beast that slumbered in his soul. It was his real form, his truest self. Merlin had made him confront his own nature. All the long days spent in the light from that shining spirit had illuminated the darkest corners of his mind and made him appreciate what he truly was and wasn't as a man. He could never become what everyone hoped he would; it wasn't in him. There was nothing of that strength about him. All would be bitterly disappointed when the day came for him to wear his father's crown. With this self-knowledge forced on him, he planned to make Merlin pay for being all that he was not. He would punish the youth so favored by God and nature. His hate would finally find physical form. It would soar and screech, slash and scorch. As Arthur destroyed them, one by one, the boy would come to curse all his blessings and regret the day he made the Crown Prince aware of all his failings. The day was coming, that day was coming soon.
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