Title: Beautiful Tears
Word Count: 2817
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Arthur summons Merlin to his bedchamber with some very specific instructions. Merlin goes to great lengths to please his Prince.
Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to Shine and BBC. I make no profit from this endeavor.
A/N: I wrote this because nothing in the world is as beautiful as Merlin crying, and I keep re-watching episodes like "The Last Dragonlord" just so I can see it happen again. Beta'd by ArcadianMaggie and Britpicked by Fr333bird

"No more sun," Arthur told Merlin in a blunt manner. Merlin didn't understand, and his confusion must have shown on his face. "Just because you're my manservant does not mean you must look it. I want you to look like royalty, pale and unused, no matter how hard I work you. I want you to look fresh. Your lips should be pink and flushed, your eyes dark and soulful. Keep out of the sun. Entirely," he finished before leaving Merlin with an armful of armour to polish.

Merlin had tried, but when Arthur insisted he ride out with him on the hunt and continue to care for the horses when they returned, it was difficult. He attempted to remain in the shade, keeping away from the bronzing sun, but the sun had a nasty habit of following Merlin around, kissing his cheeks and the back of his neck until his skin pinked. The neckerchief he insistently wore did little to help.

So that was how Merlin found himself resting the crook of his arm over the rim of a large bowl, draining his rich, red blood into pottery. Thank goodness Guinevere had been near when Merlin received his written summons from Arthur, choppy script giving instructions to be in his Prince's chambers on his knees, nude, with his pink mouth open wide when he returned from training with his knights that evening. She saw Merlin's fear as he read and took pity on him, urging him to tell her what she could do to help. "I must be pale of skin," he told her and she knew exactly what to do.

He bled into the bowl until he started to feel a wee bit light headed, wondering if he should call Gaius for aid, but fearful of his reaction. Then Merlin pressed a soft cloth to the wound he had cut into his skin with a sharp dagger after he used his magic to call forth his humors in force. Guinevere entered his small room behind Gaius's workroom after fetching something just when Merlin's vision started to fade and she helped stop the bleeding, keeping his secret safe.

No one knew of Arthur's demands. No one in the entire kingdom save Merlin, Arthur, and now Guinevere, knew there was more to Arthur and Merlin's relationship than Prince and manservant. No one ever need know.

"This will help," Guinevere said in a matter of fact way, despite the worry on her face. "It will make you weak, but it will give you the appearance of lighter skin." She looked down to the stone floor as if shamed, rolled her lips between her teeth, and found Merlin's eyes once again. "I've been known to bleed myself to ... draw attention." Her eyes quickly fell to her lap once again and Merlin couldn't keep his words in for another moment.

"Your skin is beautiful the way it is."

'Then why do you wish to change the appearance of yours so readily?" Guinevere asked in defence.

Merlin mirrored her dropped gaze, not having an inkling of how to respond. He worked his fingers together as he thought and finally looked up. "I do this only because my Prince asks it of me. Not for any other reason."

"Then you will do as our Sire wishes."

Merlin studied his visage in a looking glass and frowned.

"What is it?" Guinevere asked.

"His message..." Merlin's eyebrows pulled together as he turned his face back and forth, looking at himself. "Look at my lips. They're so pale. I didn't realise my lips would lose their colour as well."

"And that will be a problem," she said, understanding the situation in full.

Merlin watched as Guinevere pulled a tiny ceramic pot from a pocket in her apron, pulling off the lid. "Here," she said, dipping a finger into the pinkish-red concoction and started spreading it on Merlin's bottom lip, encouraging him to press his lips together. Then she pressed the pad of her finger back into the jar and added even more of the sweet tasting salve. "Did he request anything else?" she asked.

"Not in his summons, but days ago he told me he wanted my eyes dark." He peered in the mirror brushing a finger over his dark lashes, squinting to see if he could make them appear darker with only a look.

"I'll be right back," Guinevere said, dashing out of Merlin's room, returning quickly. She produced a small bag and ordered Merlin to close his eyes. He sat very still as she applied something very close to his lashes with what felt like a small stick and a brush. When he opened, he was surprised to see his eyes lined darkly. They looked much larger and ... yes, Merlin thought. They do look more soulful.

"Perhaps I will measure up to his wishes. Maybe even his needs."

"His needs are what matter," Guinevere whispered.

And Merlin knew she spoke the truth.

He knew she spoke the truth despite the biting pain in his knees as Merlin knelt nude on the cold, stone floor awaiting his Prince's return in his royal chambers.

He knew as he helped his Prince out of his sweat-soaked clothes.

He knew as he waited whilst his Prince bathed in the scented water he had warmed with his own golden glow.

Through it all Merlin felt Arthur's gaze drifting over his pale skin, settling on his flushed lips, and his darkened, down-turned eyes.

It wasn't until Arthur rose up from the steaming water that Merlin's eyes met Arthur's.

"Sire," was all he said as he presented a soft, absorbent sheet to cover his Prince. Merlin closed his eyes, attempting to keep at bay the weakness he felt from the lost humors as Arthur dried himself behind a screen.

"Merlin," Arthur whispered as he stepped into the warmed room with naught but his bare skin showing. Merlin was once again on his knees waiting. "Open," Arthur ordered in the commanding voice Merlin was so used to hearing. He immediately dropped his jaw.

Arthur walked closer, stopping only when he stood with the tip of his prick mere inches away from Merlin's lips. The solid grip of Arthur's palm on Merlin's jaw was nearly too much, but then the tender brush of a thumb trailed from his cheekbone to the sensitive skin in front of Merlin's ear. Arthur's touch continued to send fiery trails though Merlin's body as he outlined Merlin's ear, lightly pinching his lobe.

All the while, Merlin sat upon his knees with his jaw unhinged ready to take his Prince's prick deep in his throat.

But Arthur Pendragon waited.

Arthur brushed his nails over the shadowed hollows under Merlin's cheekbones and traced the darkened arcs under his eyes.

"Beautiful," Prince Arthur breathed out as the pad of his thumb drifted over the bottom of Merlin's flushed lips. "Wider," he whispered as he moved a step closer, taking his own prick in hand and rubbing the head over Merlin's lips, making them move in an unseemly fashion, but there was little room to care.

Merlin's knees ached, but the moment his tongue slipped out to taste his Prince, he forgot all discomfort, moaning as he chased the taste on his lips, seeking out every trace Arthur had left behind.

"You like that. You love how I taste."

Merlin could do little besides moan, lick the head of Arthur's cock, and nuzzle his face into the heady scent of bollocks.

"Open and look at me. Don't look away."

Merlin's gaze moved up to meet the blue eyes of his Prince, his destiny, his future King. His knees could crumble to dust before Merlin would disobey the man he was fated to serve.

"Wider and stick out your tongue."

Merlin did the best he could, creating a soft landing for his Prince.

Arthur was tentative despite his braggadocio as he laid the head of his cock on Merlin's tongue for the first time.

"You listened," Arthur said as if in wonder as he pressed into Merlin's waiting mouth. "So pale, but your mouth is so red. You never listen, and yet here you are with reddened lips stretched over my cock."

Merlin looked up at his Prince and tongued along the underside of the prick in his mouth, showing his gratitude for recognition. Merlin had hoped he would please Arthur but wasn't sure the colour on his lips and eyes would do so. Rather than smiling with contentment, Merlin hollowed his cheeks and suckled what his Prince had offered.

The blue eyes of Arthur gentled as he pressed deeper, pushing the head of his cock into Merlin's mouth. Small gasps escaped, but Arthur was able to contain any noises beyond that.

Fingers carded through Merlin's hair and he took that as a sign that more touch was permitted. Merlin's fingertips barely touched the soft hair on the back of Arthur's calf. He waited several moments, watched for any sign that he had overstepped his bounds as Arthur continued to slide past Merlin's painted mouth. When none came, he traced the strong muscles of Arthur's thighs up until he rounded the tempting curve of his Prince's arse.

Arthur's head tipped back as Merlin pulled him deeper down his throat, showing his Prince that he was more than ready to serve him, that he was more than ready to be used. A husky rasp escaped Arthur's throat before his eyes, once again, met Merlin's. He looked thankful and Merlin didn't know what to make of that, so he kneaded the flesh in his hands, allowing his fingers to squeeze his desire right into his Prince's skin.

I want to give you everything. I need to satisfy your yearning.

Pale lips parted and Arthur's breathing became more erratic. He gave two experimental thrusts, much deeper than his previous, and studied Merlin's reaction. Merlin's fingers tightened and he slid off Arthur's prick, licking the tip, working his tongue between the foreskin and the rim.

"Please," Merlin begged. "Do what you wish. I am here to please you, Sire."

Merlin's knees cried out, but he ignored the grinding pain in his bones as he watched Arthur take a small step closer. He swallowed, readying his mouth to serve his master, tongue soft, lips covering his teeth.

Arthur grabbed a thick hank of dark hair and guided Merlin's mouth onto him, quickly thrusting into the back of Merlin's throat. Tears welled in Merlin's eyes from the surprise, the sheer speed with which his airway was filled. But he kept his mouth open, his eyes on his Prince. Merlin didn't look away as the thrusting of Arthur's hips became more fierce, more rhythmic. He didn't look away from his Prince's eyes, the blue that seemed to glint with some emotion Merlin couldn't place.

Soft fingers trailed down Merlin's face, seeming to outline shadows created in the darkening bed chambers. Arthur slipped his smallest finger into Merlin's mouth so it rested on his lower lip right in front of Merlin's teeth.

"Your skin is perfect, but your lips. Your lips are so full and flushed. Stretched."

Slipping down Merlin's cheek, a tear escaped. It fell fast, quickly joined by more from both eyes. He knew his eyes were filling, shining bright in the firelight, but there was nothing he could do to stem the flow.

Arthur smiled above him as he brushed a tear or two away.

"You are never more beautiful than when you cry, Merlin. Never." Arthur shook his blond hair away then choked Merlin to bring more tears. "Cry for me."

Merlin pulled all of his attention away from the glorious feeling of Arthur in his mouth and focused on the ache, the stabbing pain in his knees, so he could cry for his Prince. Tears welled and tumbled and slid down his cheeks, mixing with the wetness of his spit-slicked lips as he sucked and tongued at his Prince. Lips pursed, snugging up against Arthur's prick as Merlin tried to regain some of his control. Merlin had never felt such a mixture of pleasure and pain. It confused him.

"Shh," Arthur soothed. "I'm going to care for you," he whispered, fingers tugging at Merlin's dark hair bringing his mouth closer and closer so Merlin's nose was pressed against Arthur's belly.

Merlin watched as his Prince seemed to fall apart, how Merlin's own mouth ripped away armour, helm, and mail from the guarded look that always seemed to hover around Arthur's eyes. He was softer, more open as he looked down at Merlin, and even if Merlin hadn't had magic, he would have been able to feel the power surrounding that moment.

Shuddery breaths left Arthur's flushed lips and he pressed out a broken command. "Keep it on your tongue." And then his body jerked, Arthur's eyes slammed shut, his brow creased in that wonderful way that made him look cross and beautiful and powerful. Merlin fought against his desire to swallow, keeping the pooling seed of his Prince on his tongue as asked.

Pulling away, Arthur's body trembled as Merlin's lips slid over the tip of his cock. He fell to his knees and held onto Merlin's shoulders for support as he recovered from his body's intense release.

"Open," he demanded and Merlin complied. He watched as Arthur's eyes grew wide and then closed. Arthur leaned forward and licked into Merlin's mouth, gathering nearly every drop in his own mouth before he pointed toward his bed, showing Merlin where he wanted him.

With haste, Arthur climbed atop Merlin, nosing from a nipple to his hard prick, which Arthur opened his mouth for, covering the darkened cock with his own release.

"Kiss me," Arthur moaned, leaning forward so Merlin could taste his Prince. Arthur reached back and held Merlin's cock firm, lowering himself, allowing his manservant to breach him, to relieve the ache Merlin had been ignoring since long before Arthur returned to his bed chamber.

A harsh sigh and moan slipped out of Merlin's reddened mouth, and Arthur wiped nearly-dry tears away as he slid up and down Merlin's thick prick. Arthur sat up and urged Merlin to thrust into him, begging Merlin for harder, more, deeper. Merlin gave his Prince everything, would continue to find a way to meet each and every need as it was presented.

Emotion overtook Merlin. His devotion to this man overwhelmed him, easily assisted by the late evening sunlight that suddenly broke past the windows and kissed Arthur's golden hair. He ached to tell Arthur, "I love you," but knew it wasn't his place. It would never be his place.

Merlin's vision swam, becoming watery and blurred. Tears broke free from his lashes and rolled down his temples and into his ears. Arthur smiled down on him, seemingly pleased with Merlin's beautiful tears.

That was all Arthur needed to take him where he yearned to go. His bollocks pulled up snug and tight to his body, rubbing against Merlin's soft belly no more, and Arthur sobbed Merlin's name in precious tones as he covered pale, pale skin, pulling Merlin's release from him so he could fill his Prince.

As they rested in Arthur's bed, covered in fine silk, Arthur traced shadows over Merlin's body. Merlin pulled away when the sensations became too ticklish but leaned in to touches as well.

Cheekbones. Ears. Neck. Throat.

Arthur spent extra time there, not only with his fingers but with his mouth. He trailed the pad of a finger over a nipple that quickly peaked causing Arthur to pull in a quick breath. "Beautiful," he said about the darkening circle against the pale flesh. Arthur focused on Merlin's eyes and lips, now stripped of any additions Guinevere had assisted with.

Fingers on Merlin's shoulder and arm eventually landed in the crook of his elbow.

"What's this?" Arthur asked, his voice laced with grave concern as he thumbed over the self-induced wound on Merlin's arm.

"It was my wish to please you, my Lord, and my skin had been kissed by the sun after the hunt."

Arthur pulled himself up on an elbow and gazed intently in Merlin's eyes, light blue meeting dark.

"You please me, Merlin. You please me with your willingness. That is all I have ever wanted."

Merlin looked down, ashamed at the lengths he took.

"Look at me, Merlin."

It took a few moments, but Merlin finally looked up with tears of love in his eyes.

"Next time wear the colour on your lips. That's all the extra I want. What I crave is you, and on occasion, your insanely beautiful tears."

Merlin smiled, eyes crinkling so that his tears slipped down his temples once again.

Arthur rested his ear and cheek on Merlin's chest and wove their fingers together, breath shallowing and slowing, lips pressing a kiss right where Merlin knew his heart beat.