Disclaimer: I do not own. Or make any money from this fic. If I did Arthur and Merlin would be married by now XD
"Merlin, come here!" Arthur's sharp tone told Merlin that this really wasn't the time to argue or be stubborn, that cold, clipped tone had only been heard by Merlin a few times and it had never been directed at him before despite of everything. No, Arthur was not going to stand being disobeyed in this matter, and that was what he wanted right now, Merlin's submission and obedience.
So without needing Gaius's little nudge Merlin walked over to where Arthur was standing by his favourite horse, Mercury, the one that Merlin had stolen to get here. He managed to hold in most of his yelp of surprise when Arthur wrapped his arm around his waist and lifted him bodily onto Mercury, who ever like the good horse he was stood extra still to help his master out. Once Arthur had Merlin seated he quickly swung up behind him and reached forwards to catch the reins.
"Gaius, tie the other horse to your saddle," Arthur ordered. Nodding his head Gaius did as asked before pulling himself into the saddle of the other and waiting for Arthur to take the lead. They had been riding for a good few hours and the events of everything that had happened were starting to catch up on Merlin, never mind the fact that he had just used more magic than he had ever done in his life fighting Nimueh, but he was fighting off sleep for one reason and one reason only, the fact that Arthur had seen him using said magic.
He didn't know how Arthur had known where they were or what they were doing, hell he didn't know how Arthur had managed to get over to the Isle of the Blessed when he had no magic to move the boat, all he knew was that Arthur had appeared out of nowhere standing in front of Merlin with his sword raised and had given Merlin the time he needed to get himself together.
He didn't know what Arthur was going to do now though, Arthur was an honourable man and he believed that magic was evil, he was bound to his father's cause and he had seen Merlin performing magic. No tentative friendship or whatever the hell they had could contend with that, could it? Was he a prisoner? Was Arthur making him ride with him so that he couldn't escape, it would be pretty pointless as he had nowhere to go, he wouldn't put Ealdor in danger by trying to hide there, he was known to all the knights so no disguise was likely to work, and besides that everything and everyone he loved was now in Camelot besides his mother. Merlin wasn't aware of his shoulders dropping or the look of despair that crept across his face but Arthur had been watching the young wizard closely, mainly out of awe in what he had seen and heard.
He had arrived in time to hear Nimueh taunting Merlin and to hear Merlin yelling that she had tricked him, how she had cursed Hunith to death when it had been his life that he had been willing to give up to save Arthur's. He also was having a little trouble connecting sweet, bumbling but well meaning Merlin with the powerhouse that he had seen fighting Nimueh and winning, it didn't seem possible that the slender, delicate looking man sitting in front of him could hold all that power and not explode.
He watched as tiredness crept over Merlin's features but how he fought it off, he also watched as Merlin's thoughts clearly moved to what Arthur as going to do, the pain and doubt on the elfin face broke Arthur's heart but he knew he could not expect Merlin to believe that he would not turn Merlin over to his father the second they returned. Sighing he released the reigns from one hand and wrapped an arm securely around Merlin's waist and tugged him so that he was in a more comfortable position to sleep in, making sure his head was resting against Arthur's broad shoulder.
"Go to sleep Merlin, we still have a few hours left and you're exhausted," Arthur said softly. He felt Merlin tense for a second and then felt the waves of confusion pouring off the wizard before his body relaxed and he fell asleep almost straight away, trusting Arthur despite the fact he knew there was a good chance he could wake in chains.
Glancing back he saw that Gaius was nodding off in his own saddle. Shaking his head he wondered about the simple life that he had had before Merlin, literally, stumbled into it. Then he looked down at the peaceful face and sighed, scarily that wasn't something he really wanted to consider.
By the time they got back into Camelot Gaius was awake again and looked at Arthur questioningly, worry clear in his eyes when they pulled the horses to a stop. Merlin was still sleeping soundly against Arthur.
"Go to your rooms and check on Hunith, Merlin is coming with me, we need to talk," Arthur ordered softly before slipping off his horse and catching Merlin as he slipped off, lifting the light body easily he carried him through the castle and to his chambers, aware as he left of the old man's worried but hopeful gaze on his back.
Walking into his chambers Arthur placed Merlin on his bed before turning and locking the door, slipping the key onto the table and then moving to light the fire before he woke Merlin up. Bright blue eyes blinked up at him confused for a few seconds before everything clearly came back and he sat up bolt straight looking around the room confused. Arthur stepped back to give him time and also to give himself time. He could feel the anger once again boiling in his stomach, the anger that he inherited from his father.
"A...Arthur?" Merlin asked hesitantly watching as Arthur paced restlessly in front of the fireplace.
"How could you be so foolish? You nearly died twice today! How could you stand in here earlier and swear you would serve me until you die while planning for that event to not be far off? How dare you speak such empty words to me!" Arthur roared striding across the room to grip Merlin's neck, forcing him to raise himself onto his knees to try and ease the pain from the tight grip, a slim pale hand wrapped around his wrist and pained blue eyes locked on his own furious blue ones.
"I meant it! I would happily serve you until the day I die, I needed you to know that before I left, I needed you to know when I didn't come back that I hadn't left through choice, any real choice!" Merlin said honestly trying to ignore Arthur's grip around his throat.
"Why? Why would you choose to serve me until the day you die? I saw what you can do, your powerful, why not leave and go somewhere where you would be worshipped? Why stay here as my manservant?" Arthur snarled.
"Because you are going to be a great king, and I want to help make sure you get there, because I would rather stay at your side as your servant than to not be at your side at all, because I want to be here," Merlin choked out as tears appeared in his eyes.
"You're powerful enough, you could just take Camelot for yourself!" Arthur snapped.
"I don't want Camelot, I don't want to be king or a ruler, I just want to help you become the king you are destined to be," Merlin was aware that tears were streaming down his face now and knew that there would be bruises on his neck.
"You could kill me and be that great king yourself!" Arthur hissed. "Don't tell me it hasn't snuck into your mind, kill my father and me, take control,"
"I would never hurt you, I couldn't! I will never use my magic against you, to harm you, no matter what!" Merlin sobbed lowering his eyes.
"What do you mean 'no matter what'?" Arthur snapped angrily.
"You can do whatever you like to me, kill me, but I won't use my magic against you," Merlin said softly. He blinked however when he found himself lying across Arthur's bed with the right side of his face burning, staring up at Arthur who was now visibly panting in anger, his hand still raised.
"Does your life mean so little to you Merlin? Are you so eager to die that you would now cast that sword into my hands? Do you honestly think I could kill you?" Arthur roared.
"I didn't mean..." Merlin choked still clutching his face.
"Then what did you mean? You promise to serve me until your death but you seem so eager to bring that moment forwards, am I so repulsive...am I so cruel that you wish to escape me as quickly as you can?" Arthur grabbed the fabric of his top and easily lifted him so he was face to face with the fuming prince.
"No...Arthur...I want to stay by your side forever, I just...I was just being honest. I could not harm you even if it meant my own death," Merlin whispered painfully not able to meet those burning blue eyes. He did seconds later however when Arthur crushed their lips together in a desperate, demanding kiss. His arms wrapped around Merlin and bound him tightly to his chest, his lips moved unrelentingly and frantically against his own. Merlin couldn't stop himself from responding, from wrapping his own arms tightly around Arthur's neck and moving his lips as best he could to meet the prince's assault but in the end had to give in and just enjoyed feeling of Arthur devouring and possessing him as his tongue swept through his mouth, claiming as much of Merlin as he could. Eventually he pulled away and rested his head against Merlin's, both of them panting and gasping desperately for breath and still clinging tightly to each other.
"Arthur?" Merlin asked tentatively when the silence between them was becoming slightly oppressive. Arthur had his face buried in Merlin's shoulder now and was just holding him tightly as though he was never going to let go.
"I hurt you," Arthur mumbled into his neck. Merlin frowned, his cheek burnt painfully and his neck was throbbing.
"And I scared you, I lied to you, I kept things from you. I'll be fine," Merlin said softly as he started rubbing Arthur's back. Slowly Arthur pulled back so that he could look at Merlin, a large hand came up and touched his burning cheek gently.
"I still shouldn't have done it, I am no better than my father," Arthur sighed trying to pull away only to find Merlin was now determinedly anchoring himself to him.
"You aren't like your father in this manner! I am not a woman Arthur! I'm not saying you go around slapping me, but I won't break from one hit. You were upset and it's not been an easy day for anyone. If you were your father I wouldn't be alive now! Stop beating yourself up over a couple of bruises you prat!" Merlin frowned. Arthur blinked at him before grinning and stepping forwards again so his body was pressed against Merlin's. The kiss this time was as gentle as the last had been desperate, Arthur's tongue almost lazily tasting and stroking Merlin's mouth. Merlin couldn't prevent the needy noise that rose in this throat and he was slightly lost when Arthur pulled back, placing a few light kisses on what he was sure were now kiss bruised lips.
"You're sleeping here tonight, I have a few nightshirts that I don't use that you can wear," Arthur said softly before stepping away and moving over to his chest of drawers and started rummaging leaving Merlin kneeling on the bed feeling a little lost. When Arthur came back and started tugging his coat off he blinked up at the prince looking completely adorable. "I can't let you leave my side just yet, I...I thought you were dead...you...I'm not ordering, please stay with me?" Arthur requested when he noticed the look. Knowing how much that would have taken for Arthur to not only admit he had been scared but requesting rather than ordering Merlin stayed caused the wizard to smile softly and nod. Arthur smiled honestly and openly at Merlin causing his heart to skip a beat, there was no masks, no falseness, no holding back. He couldn't prevent his own normal goofy grin from appearing getting a chuckle from Arthur. "Here, put this on," Arthur said softly handing over the white nightshirt before turning to strip himself and change into his normal sleep pants, Merlin knew that he felt so constricted during the day that he preferred to sleep in just pants of a night time, his own little form of rebellion. Once they were both changed Merlin stood slightly unsurely wondering where Arthur meant for him to sleep but he found himself being manhandled yet again as Arthur lifted him and placed him on the bed before sliding in next to him and lifting the covers over them, his arm holding Merlin to his chest, the grip was tight and he could feel the muscles of Arthur's arms, the physical strength he could never dream of matching, but it made him feel safe and protected, the weight that had been pressing steadily on his shoulders over the last few months was lifted with Arthur knowing about his magic.
"How did you know where I went?" Merlin asked softly his curiosity getting the better of him. Arthur let out a small snort.
"Well for one, god only knows how you have managed to keep this secret for so long when you run off leaving notes lying around stating that you are the most powerful wizard to exist in years, something about a destiny and ours being bound together and a nice little extra about going to the Isle of the Blessed. And secondly it appears you aren't the only magical person around here. Morgana found me while I was looking for you and told me that she had had a vision and that you were in mortal danger, I ran to Gaius's chambers and found the note he left you lying on the desk," Arthur explained.
"Morgana is a seer?" Merlin frowned turning so that he could see Arthur's face.
"It would appear so, so now I have two of you to keep hidden from my father," Arthur sighed, automatically tightening his arms around Merlin at the thought of his father finding out.
"I'm sorry," Merlin breathed out going to turn his head but found his chin caught in Arthur's grasp.
"Why are you sorry?" Arthur frowned at him.
"For putting you in this position, having to lie to your father, to..."
"Don't even finish that sentence Merlin! I mean it. You have shown me more acceptance and care in the last few months than my father has done in my entire life while still ensuring I don't become big headed. I have had doubts for a long time about my father's decree on magic. I have watched innocent people being killed, people that clearly have no knowledge of magic, people that only know the earth well and can harness it's gifts to heal, the woman who tried to kill me when you first arrived, the one you saved me from was seeking to avenge her son. After the whole thing with Gwen and her father I knew that he was wrong. If you and Morgana have magic then it is proof that not all magic is evil, that my father is wrong," Arthur ranted. "I won't allow this...this obsession to take you and Morgana from me, I won't allow him to take you from me. I will protect you with my life Merlin, you have my word!" Arthur swore causing Merlin to gasp and try and cover his mouth too late. Arthur would never go back on something like that. He heard a low chuckle from underneath his palm and Arthur pressed a kiss to it before pulling it away.
"Arthur! You shouldn't promise something like that!" Merlin scolded causing the prince to look even more amused.
"Why not?" He asked, his tone playful which caused Merlin to scowl at him.
"This isn't a joke, you can't promise something like that because you're the future king, you shouldn't lay down your life to protect me, I'm just..." Merlin was once again cut off, this time by Arthur kissing him lightly.
"You're not 'just' anything Merlin, you never have been and you never will be. I don't want to face a future of being king without you, you said you wanted to stay by my side forever, so do it," Arthur murmured against Merlin's lips. "You can't use your magic to harm me, just as I can't stand back and allow you to be harmed, I would take my father's life before I allow him to take yours,"
"Arthur..." Merlin gasped staring into blue eyes and seeing nothing but the truth.
"You don't have to make me choose between the two of you when I have already picked, I did the moment you drank that poison and he forbid me to get the flower for the antidote. I can't do this without you," Arthur sighed before kissing Merlin again as his arms once more pulled Merlin against him so that the wizard was pressed against his chest.
"Someone told me that we are two sides of the same coin, that I am meant to help you become the great king you're are destined to be. You are going to bring peace and wealth to Camelot, that is your destiny, and you are mine," Merlin smiled up at Arthur as he wrapped his own arm around Arthur's waist, grinning as a muscled leg was thrown over his own thinner one.
"And who told you that?" Arthur asked curiously.
"Erm..." Merlin hesitated before glancing up at Arthur and seeing nothing but trust there. "Your father has a dragon chained up underneath the castle. When I first arrived he called to me telepathically until I found him, he's helped out quite a lot, giving advice and that. But I don't think that he is on anyone's side but his own, he believes that when you become king magic will be welcomed back into Camelot, I think he thinks that you will release him when that happens so he helps out, though he can be really annoying and speak in riddles," Merlin explained.
"A dragon...alright why not," Arthur blinked and then looked down when Merlin let out a giggle, a manly one naturally.
"I think I should stop before your brain explodes," Merlin grinned getting a glare from Arthur.
"You would do well to remember that I am still your prince, and as you vowed never to harm me with your magic it leaves you pretty much at my mercy,"
"Oh, what are you going to do to me then?" Merlin grinned before letting out a squeak when he suddenly found himself on his back with Arthur pressed tightly against his front, his larger and heavier body pinning Merlin's and making him aware of the physical differences between them.
"All other punishments don't seem to have taught you your place, so perhaps I should find another method to teach you subservience," Arthur rasped into Merlin's ear dragging a shiver from the slim body underneath his own. Grinning mentally he waited for Merlin's response.
"And...and how do you plan on doing that?" Merlin asked breathlessly.
"I have a plan or two. But of course it's not worth my time unless I get pleasure from it as well," Arthur drawled lazily.
"Naturally," Merlin managed to choke out.
"Naturally, Sire," Arthur corrected.
"No need to call me that, I told you I don't want to be king," Merlin grinned before a loud moan embarrassingly escaped his lips as Arthur thrusted his groin against his own causing a thrill of pleasure to erupt through Merlin's body and hardened him straight away. Arthur pushed himself up onto his forearms and grinned down at him without removing his lower half from Merlin. Slowly he thrusted again watching Merlin's face almost hungrily as he gasped and reached up to grip Arthur's arm in an attempt to anchor himself to something.
"You look so gorgeous lying there in my nightshirt, white, pale, like some sort of offering," Arthur sighed reaching out to brush a lock of black hair from Merlin's face, blue eyes gazed up at him, endless, powerful, trusting...loving. Smiling Arthur dipped his head and captured Merlin's mouth again, pulling him close he started thrusting their hard cocks against each other in a steady rhythm. The groans and gasps he was getting from Merlin urging him to thrust harder and quicker, he reached down with one hand and swiftly undid the laces of his sleep pants and yanked them down his hips before he flicked Merlin's nightshirt up and growled as their bare flesh met. Merlin's arms wrapped around Arthur's back and he wrapped his legs around his waist, he gasped at the new sensation, the feeling of Arthur pressed so intimately against his body, the feeling of the others erection rubbing and pressing against his own. With a hoarse cry Merlin came arching against Arthur. Arthur managed only a few more thrusts before he exploded as well, his arms tightening around Merlin and pressing him against his chest. They both lay panting and holding tightly onto each other as they came down from their high, their bodies slick with their mixed sweat and cum, their hearts slowing down from their furious beating. Merlin blinked back to awareness as he felt Arthur's fingers running though his hair and soft kisses being layered over his collarbones.
"Arthur...what is this?" Merlin asked softly and hesitantly. Arthur sighed as he dropped to the side and tugged Merlin back into the shelter of his chest and after kicking his pants off threw his leg over Merlin's thighs again.
"This is what I have wanted to do for months now, I'm going to be a king, I need an heir..." Arthur frowned when Merlin started trying to pull away, his eyes lowered. "Let me finish. I'm going to need an heir, I plan on asking Morgana if she will be willing to carry my heir, her and Gwen are together, this way it works out for all of us. You will be my consort, my partner, Morgana the mother of our child. The four of us can bring up any children together. Would you agree to that?" Arthur asked hesitantly.
"Can't say that I like it. But I want to be with you. But what about your father?" Merlin asked moving closer to Arthur so he could rest his head on his chest.
"He knows how Morgana feels for Gwen and that he would never manage to marry her to someone else, I'll make him see that this is a good outcome. Morgana will get to stay in the castle and will be looked after, we'll all be happy, measures have been taken to ensure the line continues, win win," Arthur smiled.
"And Morgana, don't you think you should ask her and Gwen first? Somehow I don't think she'll let you command this of her, not that she lets you command anything from her," Merlin smiled.
"She'll agree, like I said it's the best situation for all of us, she has been getting worried that my father will force her to get married to some knight," Arthur shrugged and then grinned when Merlin grumbled and shifted to get comfy again. "I...I'm not good with telling people I care about how I feel, or showing it...but I...you know that I...you...that I l...erm..." Arthur stammered until Merlin leaned up and pressed their lips together.
"I love you too," he smiled pulling back to lie down again. Arthur smiled sheepishly at him.
"I love you," he managed to say after a few moments. The ear splitting grin that he got in return made him glad he overcame his emotional issues. "Come on, it's be a long day, let's get some sleep," He sighed wriggling down and pulling the covers back over them.
"Oh, the candle is still lit," Merlin groaned and started to wriggle to get up. Arthur however clung on stubbornly not wanting to lose the warmth they had built up.
"Can't you use your magic to blow it out?" He grumbled. Merlin paused in his escape and glanced at Arthur shocked. "What? You think I would accept you have magic but ask you not to use it in front of me? I'm curious about what things you can do, maybe we can talk about it tomorrow?" Arthur suggested.
"Alright," Merlin was beaming again Arthur noted. He watched with interest as Merlin held out his hand towards the candle and said something in another language before his eyes glowed golden and then the candle was blown out as though by a wind. As it went dark Arthur felt the tenseness in Merlin's body as he waited for a reaction, moving Arthur flipped them both onto their side and tugged Merlin's body back into his own and wrapped himself around his wizard before pressing a kiss to the back of his neck.