Title: The Liquid Gold
Fandom:Merlin
Characters: Arthur/Merlin
Rating: PG-17
Labels/Tags: modern AU, magic, angst, romance
Warnings: slash, dub/con, underage sex, age disparity, drugs, references to religion

Disclaimer: The characters of Merlin and Arthur don't belong to me.
Words: 2,300

Summary: Arthur knows he shouldn't have followed Morgana into a nightclub restricted for those with magic. Once inside he finds himself unable to run away, especially when he sets his eyes on the Master of Ceremony.


A/N

This is my first Merlin fic, I'm very nervous about it. It's written for Em, because she wanted this pic bit(dot)ly/xIXzPR to be written :) It's from Emmy's Pervy Picspirations on pervpackssmutshack(dot)com.

I'd like to thank Fr333bird for beta'ing and Im_not_a_lizard for pre-reading. Without you ladies I'd be lost.

In case you don't know – English is not my native language so please forgive me if I'm hurting it in any way.

ps. I meant it as an O/S but I can't get those boys out of my head now, so I will continue with this story.


The Liquid Gold

Arthur shouldn't be here. He knows he totally crossed the line when he sneakily followed his cousin, Morgana, into this club after work. She's connected to the 'magical ones' and Arthur should know better than to stick his nose into their affairs and the places meant only for them.

The crowd of sweating bodies jumping up and down to the rhythm of pounding music reminds Arthur of some early rave parties, snatches of which he's seen on TV. He was way too young to take part in them, but it wouldn't have been his kind of entertainment anyway.

The air smells like ozone and perfume, and the lights are constantly flashing and changing colours. It makes Arthur dizzy – he's not used to these kinds of parties. Normally at this time on a Friday night he'd be somewhere in a pub with his mates, drinking beer and playing pool, watching some football if a match was on. He's tired and wants to get out, silently cursing himself for his nosiness and his stupid idea of following Morgana to this damned place.

He's already turning to the exit when the lights go dim and the music changes. The whole crowd goes ecstatic – hollering, whistling and stamping their feet – everyone facing the little stage at the back. There's something like a big throne placed there, and Arthur can't believe his eyes when a whole bunch of people dressed in something ridiculously reminiscent of ancient Egyptian slaves' costumes enter the stage, followed by a tall young man in a black cape with a hood. The crowd goes totally insane when the man raises his head and greets the people with a small wave of his hand. The man's exposed skin is glowing, like it's made of gold. Arthur notices that the guy is wearing nothing but that opened cape, a leather necklace and a gold diadem on his forehead.

This must be a part of some kind of show, Arthur thinks. He's seen something like this in a nightclub on a drag night before. But here no one on the stage is dancing or performing. The guy sits on the throne and the staff take their positions around him, as though they're his guards.

For a long moment nothing happens while Arthur observes the hooded man, unable to take his eyes off him. The sight of his exposed chest ignites something warm in Arthur's stomach. The way the man has his eyes half closed all the time, like his lids are too heavy, is filling Arthur with want to see what's behind them, to have a glimpse. He aches to touch this man's golden skin.

That's probably why Arthur finds himself being squeezed and pushed by the crowd and somehow he lands in one of the first rows around the stage. The music changes once more and two olive-skinned women, dressed only in black capes – matching the one the man is wearing – enter the stage, carrying a large golden cup in their hands. They kneel in front of the man on the throne and after what seems like ages he finally gets up and takes the cup from them, walking slowly to the edge of the stage.

Arthur wants to snort because the whole scene is so cliché – the priest-like appearance of the man, the golden cup, the slave girls – it's way too tacky. However, something about the ambiance in here isn't matching the parody. People seem to hold their breath, staying motionless, anticipating the man's next move. And then the man raises his eyes and Arthur can see they are glowing – they are pure, liquid gold, like nothing he's ever seen before, although he's heard of the ones who have magic in them. He's mesmerized, just like the people surrounding him. When the man beckons his hand and first dancers approach him, Arthur moves along in the line with them.

"Who is he?" he whispers to a girl standing next to him in the line.

"What?" she asks apparently bewildered that he doesn't know. "That's Emrys, our Merlin."

"Merlin?"

"Who brought you here?" she asks sharply, but before she can pay him more attention it's her turn.

Emrys dips his finger in the liquid in the cup – Arthur can see now that it's the same colour as the man's eyes and it seems to be alive – swirling and glistening and moving in a strange way. Emrys reaches his finger toward the girl and she opens her mouth while he places a drop of the liquid on her tongue. It's a communion of sorts, Arthur thinks, or some strange drug-taking ritual. He shudders with dread. He's never taken drugs before – apart from smoking some pot in the backyard of Gwaine's house that is – and he doesn't want to start popping some modern magical kind of ecstasy or whatever the golden stuff is.

But then Emrys sets his eyes on him and Arthur's legs almost give out underneath him. He walks shakily towards the man, unable to break the connection of their stare. Emrys' eyes are indeed the same as the liquid in the cup – light dances in them and they seem to be made of melted gold, changing their appearance constantly, like they're moved by some inner force.

"You shouldn't be here," Emrys says to Arthur, startling him out of his stupor. His voice is deep and melodic, somehow fitting.

"I, uh…" Arthur starts to explain himself, but Emrys isn't looking at him anymore.

"Open," he orders and Arthur opens his mouth while Emrys places a drop of the golden liquid on his tongue.

It tastes bitter and sweet, like nothing Arthur has ever tasted before. It heats up the insides of his mouth instantly, while numbing it at the same time. It reminds Arthur of the feeling of menthol paste his father used to rub on his chest and feet when he was little and sick with a fever.

At first nothing happens, but then he starts feeling an odd tingling in his fingers and soon enough it spreads through his whole body. The lines around him become blurry and the shapes seem to be glowing, the golden pale light taking over the bodies around him. People are dancing, and he's caught up in a prison of tangled limbs, backs rubbing against him, feet stamping on his, hands pushing him out of the way. He looks down at his hands and sees they are glowing, too, the gold seeping out of them, making him wonder if his body still has its boundaries, or if he's melted into the surroundings and can't define himself as a person anymore.

"Follow me." He hears, and feels himself being dragged through the crowd and then up some stairs. He can't be sure where they are exactly, but he supposes it's the back-part of the club, maybe the staff offices. He's pushed through a door and into a small, dimly-lit room and he hears the door shutting behind him.

"You shouldn't be here." He hears Emrys repeat the words he spoke to Arthur earlier as he emerges from the darkness. Arthur has trouble keeping his focus, the phases of movements are lost to him and it seems like one moment Emrys is at the back of the room and the next he's right in front of him. The ever-present golden light is making Arthur almost blind when he tries to see where he is.

There's a big bed in the room and Arthur wonders if it's set there on purpose, if the club is some kind of a brothel and he's being used here.

When Emrys wraps his fingers around Arthur's wrist Arthur jumps a little. Emrys' fingers are cool and a bit damp, and the skin contact sends a jolt of something electrical between them. It's a bit unpleasant, like when you touch your tongue to a battery, but it's also mesmerizing and Arthur wants to feel it again. The air smells of ozone even more strongly now and Arthur can't avert his eyes from Emrys' face.

Arthur has never, ever, been interested in men before. But he's achingly hard and breathless, he's one hot tangle of pure want – he needs Emrys, he must touch him, he must feel his hands once more on his skin. But when the man finally touches him, Arthur stills in shock, wanting to flee. He watches, paralysed, as Emrys opens the buttons on Arthur's jeans with one hand – his fingers, long and so elegant, are leaking gold just like Arthur's skin is leaking it; still glowing, tingling, alive with the magic. Arthur's being pushed back on the bed, Emrys' body covering his, Emrys' breath hot on his skin and he feels those magical fingers curling around his erection. He comes, embarrassingly quickly, almost at the first touch, spilling over Emrys' hand, and making a mess on his exposed belly.

"It's a sin to spill your seed like this," Emrys says, leaning down, licking his fingers of Arthur's cum. "Unless you do it over wet ground to make it breed," he continues, darting his tongue to lap on Arthur's skin, cleaning him up like he's eating him.

Arthur feels shaken up, he desperately tries to focus and straighten up the blurry, fluctuating lines of his surroundings. He blinks when he realises all of Emrys' body is now lit up, the heat of it hitting Arthur's skin and taking his breath away like after an explosion.

Emrys pushes Arthur further onto his back and somehow none of their clothes are there anymore and their whole bodies are touching, skin rubbing on skin, sending the small jolts and sparkles that sting a bit, but are also deliciously arousing. Arthur closes his eyes for a second, giving in to the feeling, letting the liquid gold spread in his body, take over his blood cells and vessels. He gasps when the heat bursts somewhere inside him, intimately, and then it is also filling him up, making him surrender as he feels Emrys moving inside of him, conquering his body with his own and with his strange magic.

Light flashes brightly in front of Arthur's eyes, even though he's sure he's kept them shut tightly all the time. He feels gentle touches of delicate fingers on his face and a shuddered breath on his lips. Then he hears Emrys whispering in his amazingly rough but soothing voice. "Now, I've planted my magic inside you."

"***"

When Arthur wakes up the next morning he's sure he's had the weirdest dream ever. He doesn't remember coming out of the room, or going back home. The last thing he can recall is Emrys' gold eyes looking at him in a way that makes his chest clench and his insides twist in a tight knot even now, when he remembers it. But it was only a dream, he tries to convince himself as he sits up, shaking a little and roughing his hair up with his fingers. He catches a glimpse of something gold on his wrist – a stamp he got while entering the club. It's a bit faded, but he can make out the lines that create an elaborate sign. He swears the lines are moving and pulsing a bit, but when he looks more they are just a simple golden ink on his skin.

Whether it was real, or Arthur was indeed drugged and poisoned there, had been out of his mind, hallucinating, Arthur can't be sure. But he can't get Emrys out of his head. He sees him everywhere – on the tube when he goes to work, in a park when he eats his lunch in a hurry, in a crowd in front of a theatre the next weekend. The stamp is no longer visible on his skin but Arthur feels like Emrys has taken over his body and his mind, like he's really planted himself in him. The more Arthur thinks of it the more convinced he becomes that the whole situation was just a dream. Yet he never stops searching for the club and that man. It's futile though. No matter how much he tries, he's not able to find his way back to the place. It's like it's vanished from earth.

He's almost given up when he's sitting one day in a skate park near his place, observing young boys doing their tricks on rollerblades and skateboards. And then he sees him – there is no mistake about it. The same delicate face features, full lips, dark ruffled hair, the same way of moving.

"Hey! Oi!" he shouts, jumping to his feet and walking towards the boy. He sees him clearly now – this is not a even a young man, Emrys can't be older than fifteen, sixteen maybe. Christ, he's just a child, Arthur thinks in horror, but it doesn't deter him from his chase. Because it is a chase now that Emrys has spotted him and tries to run away on his skate board.

"Hey, Emrys, wait!" Arthur shouts again, catching up with the boy, reaching for his bony elbow.

"Let me go!" the boy snaps angrily, pulling his arm out of Arthur's grasp.

"You're Emrys," Arthur whispers, amazed by the deep blue of the boy's huge eyes.

"I'm not," the boy says firmly. "I don't know you." He pushes Arthur out of the way and rides away, glancing warily a few times over his shoulder to see if Arthur isn't following him.

But Arthur knows better. This is the same boy and Arthur is sure about it. He lets the boy go because it's better this way.

Deep down he knows the connection is set and that he'll never be free of this magic inside him.