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What Need Means: Chapter Eighteen


The royal wedding was, at Merlin's request, a private occasion, the invited guests being only the knights, Gwen, Gaius and Hunith. The ceremony was simple and quick, held in meadow on a warm summer's day. It was perfect, Merlin thought, though they could have been married in a mud pit in the pouring rain and she would have still been happy. As they rose from their meal, she felt an overwhelming lightness overtake her. She and Arthur were bound together forever, and though they had always been inextricably linked,

The sun had begun to set as they headed back to the castle, Merlin walking alongside Gwen and Gwaine. She lifted the hem of her dress so not to drag the fine white material through the dirt; it was the most exquisite thing she had ever worn, and though she knew there were many in the castle who could mend it, she would rather preserve it exactly as it was.

"So, how does it feel to be a married woman?" Gwaine asked, throwing an arm around her shoulders, kissing her cheek.

"Much the same," Merlin said, "I see not even being married to the king can deter you."

"You know me," Gwaine said, grinning widely. He pressed another tender kiss to her temple, "Merlin, I'm so glad that you're happy. You deserve to be happy."

"Yes, you certainly do," said Gwen, giving Merlin a small side hug, "We all know how much you've done for us."

Merlin could feel her cheeks begin to flare. It was new and strange to have her contributions to Camelot's safety known to everyone, and to receive their gratitude. It was nice, feeling appreciated. Of course, not everyone was very pleased with Merlin's emergence as a sorcerer, nor were they particularly happy about her union with Arthur, which was one reason why she had wanted the ceremony to be kept small. She did not want people to see her and think that she was trying to seize power; she wanted to make as little noise as possible while transitioning to her new role. They had discussed it in private before Arthur brought it before his council, but they were agreed that steps to re-legalize magic would have to be subtle and small at first, to avoid the appearance that Merlin was the only reason for their enactment. She was a large reason for Arthur's change in heart, yes, but she liked to think that she and Ailesh were not the only reasons Arthur would remove the ban on magic.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with my days now," Merlin said, "What does the queen even do?"

"You rule alongside your husband. You help Arthur, you protect him," Gwen said, "Really, you just keep doing what you were doing before, but with less floor scrubbing."

All three of them laughed, and Merlin felt the warmth rise inside of her again. It was so good to be surrounded by people who loved her. She glanced over her shoulder at Arthur, who was walking with Gaius and Hunith. She had not spoken to him much since the end of the ceremony; they had chatted at the meal, but had been separate for most of the time. As much as she loved her friends, she looked forward to the evening, when it would be just her and Arthur, alone.


Merlin heard the door shut behind her, but she didn't turn around. Instead, she moved to the window overlooking the castle courtyard, and stared out. Dusk was settling over Camelot, the last orange light of day clinging to the horizon.

"Are you ready?" Arthur said, coming up behind her.

"Ready for what?" She leaned into him as he wrapped his arms around her waist.

"To be Camelot's Queen."

"Yes," Merlin said, "But I think the real question is are they ready for me?"

Arthur pressed a kiss to her head.

"Merlin, I cannot think of a single person better suited to the responsibility of being queen than you," he said, "I mean it."

"We'll have to wait and see. Who knows how the people of Camelot will react to having someone with magic ruling."

"I think you should have more faith in people," Arthur said, "I came around, didn't I? And not everyone in Camelot was raised to hate magic, as I was."

Merlin smiled.

"That's true. Perhaps everything will work out," she said, "But these are issues to see to tomorrow."

"I agree, wholeheartedly," Arthur said, and she could hear the grin in his voice.

"I think that I'm going to need help getting out of this dress," Merlin said softly, her heart pounding.

She felt silly, being this nervous. She had been with Arthur for longer than she could remember, been with him more times than she could count. But there was something about this, their first time as being completely each other's, that made it different.

"I think I can help with that," Arthur said, and Merlin laughed. She stopped when she felt his hands move to the top of her back and begin undoing the lacing.

He took his sweet time working his fingers through the fabric, until the dress hung open, exposing the bare skin of Merlin's back. Gently, he brushed it off of her shoulders, and slid it down her body. He worked it over her slight hips, and it fell to the floor, leaving her standing in nothing but her bare skin.

"We decided against underclothes," Merlin said, not turning around to face Arthur, "I say we. It was all Gwen, really. Lovely girl, that Gwen. She's been so help-"

"Merlin?"

"Yes?"

"Stop talking about Gwen."

She didn't get a chance to reply, as Arthur turned her towards him, and kissed her. As they kissed, Merlin contemplated how unfair it was that she was standing there, stark naked, while Arthur was clothed all the way from his boots to his cloak. Immediately, she began to work him out of his clothing, letting each item fall to the floor, and thinking with beautiful glee, that for once it wouldn't be her job to fold them back up again.

Merlin lost track of things for a bit, as they moved from where they were standing by the window to being pressed up against the wall, to somehow, miraculously, the bed. Arthur lowered her gently back onto the bed, before sliding down to join her. His fingers were familiar, warm and confident as he touched her in all the ways he knew drove her insane. She tried to focus on him, to watch as his head dipped between her legs, but with the first flick of his tongue, her vision blurred and she was lost.

It was hard to think, let alone form words, but somehow Merlin managed to breathe out a short sentence.

"I love you," she gasped.

"I love you, too," Arthur said

Happiness, Merlin thought, was not enough to describe what she felt as Arthur thrust into her. It wasn't enough to describe the sense of being truly at home in his arms as she clutched at his body. This was where she belonged, with Arthur, one with him.

They rolled over so that Merlin was straddling him. Guiding his cock into her readily wet cunt, she rolled her hips, building up a steady rhythm. His hands were strong on her hips, fingers pressing hard into her skin, leaving marks that would surely become bruises later on. Her fingers found their way to her clit, and as she rode Arthur, she stroked herself, until she was unable to bite back her moans.

Suddenly, before she knew what was happening, Arthur had shifted them around again, and she was on her hands and knees, and she could feel him behind her.

"Well don't stop now," she told him, trying to look back over her shoulder at him.

"Wasn't planning on it."

He thrust from behind, slamming into Merlin who was shaking and moaning in ways that she couldn't ever remember doing before. Arthur reached his hands under Merlin, one hand tightly gripping her right breast, the other furiously rubbing her clit. She was screaming his name, biting the bed sheets, gasping for breath, unable to process thought. Her orgasm hit her with such forcefulness that she saw nothing but stars before her eyes, her body shaking with pleasure.

When Arthur had finished, he rolled off of her, pulling her close to him in a hug, and they stayed like that, entwined with one another, for the rest of the night.


EPILOGUE


The court had been in an excited uproar for months at the prospect of a royal baby. The young prince had just celebrated his third birthday, an occasion that had been marked by a week of feasts. Arthur and Merlin had presided over the events, radiating pride as they watched their small son totter about, laughing and smiling, endearing himself to everyone in the court.

There was an anxious buzz in the air, and everyone in the castle seemed to still be awake, despite it being the small hours of the morning. Merlin had been in labor for hours, and no one but their closest friends had been allowed in to check on the progress of the birth, in a departure from court tradition. The corridors were filled with people as they awaited news of the queen and her new child.

Behind the heavy doors of the royal bedroom, Merlin was giving every last ounce of her strength to bring her child into the world. Her friends looked on nervously as she struggled and screamed, but remained where they were, taking turns wiping the sweat from her brow.

Arthur had been planted at her side for hours, holding her hand, not even wincing when she gripped him with all her might. He didn't speak to anyone, other than the midwife, to ask how everything was coming along, and the occasional soothing words of encouragement that he murmured in Merlin's ear.

The sun was beginning to rise when the baby was finally born, a healthy baby girl with a set of lungs that they could barely believe. She only stopped crying after she had been cleaned off and handed to her parents. Merlin cradled the tiny girl, stroking her dark hair.

"You're beautiful, just like your mother," Arthur said, taking her from Merlin.

"What will you call her?" asked Gaius, stepping forward, wiping a happy tear from his eye.

"Eveleen," Arthur said, telling everyone the name that he and Merlin had decided on, "Someone fetch Ailesh. I should think he would like to meet his new sister."

Gwen hurried away and was back in a few minutes, leading a sleepy Ailesh by the hand.

"Thank you, Gwen," Merlin said.

"It's nothing," she replied, beaming.

Ailesh climbed up onto the bed, snuggling in next to Merlin.

"Aunt Gwen says I have a sister," he said, and Merlin smiled, wrapping her arm around him.

"You do, my love. Her name is Eveleen, and she is right there, in your father's arms."

He looked over at Arthur, who shifted so that Ailesh could see his little sister better.

"She's so small!" he said, reaching out a tiny hand of his own to grab his sister's even tinier fingers.

Arthur leaned over and kissed his son on the forehead. Merlin glanced around the room at the smiling (and tear stained) faces of all the knights, at Gwen and Gaius and Hunith, at Arthur and the tiny baby in his arms, and at Ailesh, wedged between them. They were all of them, hers. They were her family, her lifeblood, and they always would be.


Well, there you have it! Hope you enjoyed it, sorry for taking forever to post the ending, first semester of university (avid merlin fic readers would appreciate my choice of school)/moving to another country and all that seemed to take up all my time! But it's over, and I really do hope you were satisfied by it! It's been a pleasure to write this story, as disjointed and lajdflajd as it felt at times, and hopefully I'll be writing more in the future!

If you've got any suggestions or prompts that you'd like me to attempt, feel free to send them my way! I can't guarantee anything, but I will definitely try! You can find me over on tumblr, adriaticjellyfishsting. Anyways, again, I hope you liked it, and that your 2014 is amazing!

xx