Title: Alone in My King's Harem

Summary: SLASH! AU. TWO-SHOT. Merlin, one of Arthur's concubines, is in for a world of heartbreak as he falls in love with him. He knew it could never be. This thing they had meant nothing for the king. That's why he needs to extinguish the hope that's blossoming in his heart whenever the king summons him.

Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin (WOOOOOT!)

Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Angst

Rating: For teenagers and above please!

Warning/s: SLASH! Homophobes, how could you hate love? Also, implied *coughs awkwardly* you know . . . but nothing too graphic.

A/N: Second chapter! Thank you for all the reviews! Well, I know it's a lot different than what you guys expected but I hope you give it a chance.

Disclaimer: If I own Merlin, you wouldn't know any Colin Morgan because I wouldn't show him to the world. I'd keep him for myself. Yes, I'm a creepy fangirl XD


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One night, months after the kingdom's surge towards power, Merlin was quietly stitching on his little corner.

He was halfway done. That was only because every time he glanced at the neckerchiefs, the tears won't stop coming. His heartbreak was still raw but he was starting to accept it. He pushed the needle through the fabric and pulled. The repetition of movement calmed him down.

"Hey!" a voice shouted. Merlin ignored it because it usually meant someone within the harem was fighting and he did not want to get involve. "Hey you!" A shadow befell him and he looked up.

"Me?" he asked with wide eyes.

The servant rolled her eyes, a hand flipping long blonde locks. "Yes, you. His majesty has summoned you to his bed tonight."

The words bounced around his head and it made him dizzy. Summoned you to his bed. Summoned you to his bed. He shouldn't feel hopeful. He knew he shouldn't. But he does. Before he could stop it, a grin that threatened to cut his face in half made its way to his face.

He dropped everything he was holding and ran through the halls with inhumane speed. He reached the king's chambers in no time, panting in exhaustion. As he stared at door (the wood he had been avoiding, one he once was so excited to see), all he felt was stark relief.

He entered abrasively. The king, wearing one of his fine clothes and sitting one his ornate chair, was the first sight that greeted him. It was the best thing he had seen for months.

Arthur turned to him with a suspicious frown. Merlin chose not to care as he stood before him.

"Your Highness." He was just so happy to be here. "Arth—"

"Oh." Arthur smirked as he noticed his beaming and excited face. "This must be your first time. What's your name?"

Those words destroyed Merlin's world.

The smile abruptly dropped from his face and he gave Arthur a blank look. He knew he shouldn't have held on to that hope. The servant must have been asked to choose a random concubine and Merlin just happened to catch her eye.

He must have been silent for too long because the king urged on. "Hmm? Well, what is it?"

Maybe Arthur will remember if he told him his name. When he found his voice, he replied, "It . . . It is Merlin."

Arthur's face showed no recognition. Damn that hope that still remained in his heart. Merlin felt cold all over and he felt himself trembling ever so slightly.

"I see." The king said as if he had just not broken Merlin's heart all over again. "Then, Merlin, I'll give you a present." The king's smile was smug and his voice was loud. "Tell me what you want. Anything. Anything you'd like! I'll give it to you."

Tears stung Merlin's eyes and he blinked them back. The king could never give him what he truly wanted.

His eyes wandered to the dining table on the center of the room. A pair of clean dishcloths was folded neatly at the center, the design even more benevolent than those he had.

"T-Then . . uh." He mentally cursed as his voice cracked. "Please give me those rags."

Arthur gave him a startled look. Merlin dipped his head low, finger pointing at the table. The king glanced at the dishcloths with a raised brow. Then, he turned his gaze to Merlin, amusement clear on his face.

"What? Are you making fun of me?" Arthur gave a hearty chuckle. "You're an odd one!"

And Merlin couldn't take it anymore. He turned on his heel and hurried away from that hurtful place, leaving a bewildered king on his wake. Arriving at the harem's quarters, he dived for his bed. The cloths were pushed to one side, not because seeing them hurts, but because they gave him false hope.

He sobbed, the pain and grief consuming him as slumber embraced him.

That night, he dreamt of happy endings that will never be.

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A big kingdom. A big big kingdom.

Lots of money . . .

Jewels piled up like a mountain . . .

Treasures rare in this world . . .

Numerous servants . . .

Many many concubines . . .

Surrounded by those dazzling things, the king completely got lost in his own power. He was drowning in these worldly things.

And somewhere along the line, he forgot about Merlin.

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Afterwards, once in a great while, the king would summon Merlin to his chambers. Merlin went, full of hope that he can't remove no matter what. He would go and meet him with a smile.

However, the king would always crush that for he would always say this:

"Hi there. This must be your first time. What's your name?"

Merlin would fight down the tears and make love to the king, pretending his heart wasn't breaking in to a million pieces. These were the only moments he can spend some time with Arthur and he intended to cherish them.

Merlin regrets not being able to call him by his name again.

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One winter morning, he finally finished it.

He cut the excess thread with a flourish. Holding up his work, he grinned goofily. It obviously wasn't an expert's handmade but it was elegant enough.

It was a warm cloak—complete with a hood and reached Merlin's ankles—made from the cloths he received from Arthur (Merlin ignored the prickling of his eyes at the thought). That said, it was a combination of colors and artful designs. Merlin was very proud of himself.

Just then, a commotion started in the room. The other concubines were hastily and clumsily packing their things. Some ran speedily out of the room while others were taking their time, walking graciously. Merlin frowned confusedly. He turned to the girl whose bed was beside his. She too was gathering her things, muttering obscenities.

"Excuse me, but what's going on?" he asked.

The redhead gave him an incredulous look. "What do you mean 'what's going on?'. You mean you don't know!"

That's why I'm asking, Merlin decided to keep this wry response to himself.

"His Majesty has lost the war!" With that, the girl walked out of the room, leaving him to his thoughts.

"Lost the war . . .?"

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It happed so quickly.

Having lost the war, the king lost everything over the course of one full day.

All his money . . .

The mountain of jewels . . .

The rare treasures . . .

All the servants in the castle . . .

All the concubines in his harem . . .

Once the day ended, the big kingdom Camelot returned to the original small one.

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Arthur was slumped on the edge of his bed, shoulders hunched and head on his hands. The winter draft bit his skin but he was too deep in his thoughts to notice it.

How could it all happen so fast? He had lost everything. Why? How? He couldn't believe it. His head replayed back to the battle, looking for something he did wrong. But even if he did figure that out, it was too late. He had nothing. He despaired, wanting to lash out but too exhausted even for that.

The sound of footsteps dragged him out of his horrible thoughts. The footsteps stopped a few feet away from him. Keeping his head low, Arthur laughed humorlessly.

"So there's still someone left." He gestured to the doorway to his right. "The exit's that way. Get your things together and go wherever you wish."

He hoped that the person would go away so he could grieve in peace. What would he do from here on out? What was there left to do?

Suddenly, something warm and soft settled upon his shoulders, protecting him from the harsh cold of winter. He felt the bed dip as someone sat beside him. Arthur looked up, surprise.

"You must be cold." The man gave Arthur a soft smile, shifting the oddly colored cloak so that it lay more comfortably on Arthur's shoulders. "Winter is coming early this year."

The king took in the man's clothes. Or how little it was despite the cold. The man's fingers were already turning a hue of blue and his breath was forming crystals in the air. Grabbing his hand, Arthur pulled him so close that he was almost sitting on his lap. He then lifted the cloak so that it covered both of them. The man gave him a look of surprise but, after a moment, moved closer to share his warmth.

For a moment, Arthur felt oddly satisfied and at peace.

"You're a concubine." Arthur said after a while. He ran a hand through his hair, eyes averted. "I don't have anything left. I can't give you money, treasure, anything. It's all lost." He knew his situation was hopeless but saying out loud seemed to make it all the more real. "Possessions, people . . . my kingdom . . ." He hated the way his voice betrayed him.

He felt a hand on his, warm and soothing. His gaze locked with periwinkle ones.

"I . . . I do not need money or treasure. I never did." The man stared earnestly at him. "I just want to be by your side, Ar—Your Majesty. Forever, if I can.'

The concubine's other hand move to touch the kerchief around his neck. A spark of recognition erupted on his mind as he saw the falcon sewn on the neckerchief. He lifted his hand to touch it. Something about it was familiar; like it was something important.

"Where did you get that?" the king asked, a memory just in the recesses of his mind. Something . . . the neckerchief meant something.

Smiling, the concubine reached back and untied it. He spread it out, revealing everything that was hidden.

'For you, my love. From Arthur.'

"These pretty things are used as rags?"

"I remember Mother knitting me one like this."

"I am thoroughly satisfied with everything you have given me."

Unbidden memories of a beautiful boy came to the forefront of his mind. Then, he remembered that fateful night. The first time he shared the night with this young man.

The concubine looked so vulnerable and innocent in his sleep, Arthur thought. His dark eyelashes cast shadows on his pale face and he was so lovely, just lying there, bathing in the moonlight.

Arthur caressed the dark locks, staring at the sleeping wonder before him with a soft smile.

"There's something about you, Merlin." He said quietly.

He had offered him anything he desires. But then, the man had to go and choose simple rags as his present.

"What a dilemma. I must gather all those beautiful cloths you're so keen to have." He chuckled. "And maybe have the seamstress darn a falcon just for you."

He leaned down and gave the concubine a small peck on the cheek. Merlin sighed in his sleep.

Hot tears escaped his eyes before he could stop them. How could he forget? How could he have forgotten him?

"I want . . . I want to show you things even more beautiful. I want to let you to wear lovely clothes. I want to let you be in touch with all the extraordinary things in the world."

It was all for him. Everything; the war, the riches. He did it all for him.

"Your Majesty?" Merlin, oh so kind and beautiful Merlin, asked in worry. "Whatever is the matter? Is it too cold?" A hand came to wipe the uninvited tears flowing from his eyes.

"No, it's . . ." Arthur grabbed both of his hands. "It's warm, Merlin. Thank you."

Merlin startled at the mention of his name. He stared at the king, searching for something in his eyes. The concubine found it; he found the love and kindness the king had several months ago. Without thinking, he enveloped Arthur in a hug, sobbing on his shoulder. The red neckerchief dropped on the floor.

"I-I thought you wouldn't re-remember me."

Arthur rubbed soothing circles on his back, tears never stopping. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Merlin. How was I able to forget?" He held him tighter. "I love you."

Merlin pulled back as he heard those words, blue eyes wide and hopeful.

"I love you." Arthur repeated. "And that's why I swore to enlarge my kingdom. I wanted to give you everything. Everything."

"You're an idiot." Merlin sniffed, punching the other weakly in the chest. "You're a very big idiot."

Arthur smiled. "I am, aren't I?"

"Yes." Then, Merlin's eyes softened. "But I l-love you, just you. Not your treasures, not your riches. But you. Just you."

With that, Merlin locked their lips in a passionate kiss, pouring everything he felt in it. Arthur did the same.

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A large kingdom . . .

Many people

And many concubines. But out of them all, only one and one alone stayed by the king's side. Only one and one alone did he love.

The night passed and the harem was closed forever.

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Arthur would never again make such a mistake. He would never again lose sight of what was important; of what wonder he already had.

The small kingdom became a beautiful and gentle one. It was consist of small farms, crops and surrounded by simple villages. The king ruled them all fairly, as he once did.

At all times, Merlin was and would be the only one beside the king. And Arthur would cherish him. Forever and ever.

Until the day both are called to Avalon . . .

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Bad? Good? Any wrong spelling? Grammatical errors? Too many unnecessary details? Too little details? Sappy? Corny? Disappointing? Or maybe 'Meh'?

Okay, this story is closely based on the manga "Harem de Hitori". It's also slash and has also implied *coughs awkwardly* you know . . . but nothing too graphic like the story.

Constructive criticisms are awesome and very much appreciated! Flames are okay because who better to take out your frustrations to than a stranger you can never meet?

Have a nice day, everyone!