It seems that I have a penchant for writing girl!Merlin.

Disclaimer: I own nothing, only a computer

What Need Means: Chapter One

The first time Arthur and Merlin made love, they were in the forest. They were returning from Mercia, and Arthur was broken. He had fallen to his knees, unable to go on, and Merlin had fallen with him, as she always did. And as she always did, she told him that he was alright and that he had done the right thing, and that she was proud, so proud of him, and that anyone who wasn't could be damned to hell and back. It had been a quiet moment, and a loud one all at once, hearts beating and rapid breathing the only sounds in the forrest until they were panting, sweating on the ground, tearing off their clothing, searching for the right places to put their hands. It was the first time for Merlin, and the pain had been intense, but so had the pleasure. When they were finished and Arthur rolled off of her, they there, still entangled in each other's arms, listening to the rapid beatings of their hearts and the slow, cool breeze rustling the trees.

For weeks after, their conversations had been rushed, awkward, and sans eye contact. They didn't speak about what had happened in the forrest, and that was fine with Merlin. They didn't need to. Both of them knew that it didn't mean anything. Arthur had needed someone and she had been there. Forget about it, she told herself, just forget about it.

Of course, she couldn't just forget about something like that, and it fueled her fantasies and her nightmares for months, long after things had gone back to normal. Merlin didn't feel any differently about Arthur; he was the same as he had always been, an annoyingly noble and chivalrous prat. Nothing ever changes, she thought, no one ever changes.

Their night in the forrest haunted Arthur too. When he glanced at Merlin out of the corner of his eye, he saw ghosts of the ecstasy and pain that had danced across her face in the forrest. Every now and then, he tried to make an attempt to speak with her about it, to explain himself, to apologize, but every time, she headed him off and he dropped the subject. They hadn't been truly alone together for three months after their romp in the forrest, not until Arthur had to go on a visit to Mercia again. He only required Merlin, none of his knights.

And so it was in Mercia, again, that Arthur and Merlin found themselves together, alone.

"Good night, King Arthur," purred the King of Mercia's advisor, "We will see you tomorrow morning, to finalize this treaty."

"Good night," replied Arthur, "Come on, Merlin."

Merlin jumped up from her seat in the corner, where she had been watching the discussions with great interest, hidden by a mask of utter boredom. Walking into Arthur's rooms with him, she looked him square in the face.

"Those terms are bollocks and you know it," she told him.

He glared at her.

"Don't you think I know that, Merlin? But there's this thing called diplomacy, you know, and as a king, I need to be rather good at it," said Arthur disdainfully.

Merlin rolled her eyes in the usual fashion, and crossed her arms across her chest.

"Yes, I know, but you can't just roll over and take them! You'll fight to the death for Camelot on the battle field! Why won't you do it in a negotiations hall?"

Arthur's expression was tired, and he rubbed his temples.

"I am trying, Merlin, you have to know that," his eyes were pleading.

"I do," she said in a soothing tone, and placed a cool hand on his shoulder, "I do."

"What would you have me do, then?" he demanded quietly.

"I would have you argue for what is right for your people, for what you know is good, and if you cannot get them to accept your points, you will at least have tried," Merlin said.

Arthur nodded ever so slightly, and Merlin moved her hand from his shoulder to his face, and softly stroked his cheek.

"You're tired," she whispered, "You should get some sleep."

"It's not sleep that I need."

"What is it, then?"

"You, Merlin," he almost growled, and kissed her fiercely.

There was no tenderness in the kiss, not like there had been in the forrest. Arthur pushed one way, and Merlin pushed the other, an argument. Stumbling blindly, too caught up in the heat between them, the fell onto the bed, Arthur fumbling with Merlin's stupid dress, and Merlin fumbling with Arthur's stupid shirt, each racing to undress the other first. Arthur beat Merlin, laying her naked in front of him, pouting slightly at her loss.

"Not fair," she muttered, and Arthur smiled.

Without warning, he attacked her body with kisses, dragging his lips down her body from her breasts to her navel, trailing his tongue across her thighs, and finally, dipping a finger inside of her. Her hips bucked up to meet him, and he grinned. Thrusting his fingers back and forth, he elicited a moan from her, and another, louder one when he flicked his tongue across her sex. He felt her warm wetness, her tightness, her need, her fingers winding into his golden hair.

"Arthur," she moaned, arching her hips up off the bed.

He looked up at her, head thrown back in ecstasy, hair spilled out across the pillows. His erection strained against his pants painfully, but he continued licking Merlin to the edge. When he didn't think that either of them could bear it any longer, he undid his pants and positioned himself at her entrance.

"Just do it," she breathed, "Now."

He didn't hesitate. Arthur thrust into her, and she cried out. Merlin clutched at the sheets as they built up a rhythm, a slow rock, back and forth, building up speed. She wrapped her legs around him, eyes closed, mouth open in pleasure. Arthur could tell that she was close to her breaking point. Thrusting furiously, he slammed into her, and she cried out his name, voice heavy with lust. He watched the look on her face as she came, unguarded and beautiful. As he spilled himself into her, he moaned her name, sweet and low.

Exhausted, Arthur fell to Merlin's side, pressing his face against her. A little disappointed when she started to move away, he asked where she was going. "To the servant's quarters, Arthur," she said, as if it was obvious.

"But the bed in here is much nicer," he smiled at her.

Hesitantly, she stayed and crawled under the covers. She felt Arthur's arms wrap around her, holding her as she fell asleep.

Morning came quickly, and Merlin got up before Arthur, and dressed herself. After she put her hair up, since she had no brush, and their tryst the night before had left it in quite a state, Merlin woke Arthur.

"Time to get up!" she shook him gently.

He grumbled something that sounded a lot like bugger off.

"Up!" she ordered, and pulled the covers off of him. Instantly, he shot up, swearing and shivering, trying to cover himself up.

"I'm up! I'm up!"

"Good! You've got a meeting to be at in five minutes!" she informed him, holding out his clothes.

They chatted about the treaty as he dressed, and walked in silence to the hall. Merlin resumed her place from the previous day, and looked on as Arthur heeded her advice from the night before. She smiled to herself.

When the treaty was signed, they rode for Camelot, and talked the whole way back. They talked about everything from the weather to Gwaine's drinking habits. The only thing they didn't breathe a word about was the previous night.

Thanks for reading! Reviews are always appreciated!