A/N: Another little ficlet written for the Summer Pornathon on Livejournal. Just a oneshot, not to be continued but I hope you enjoy it for what it is.

"It's lovely, Arthur. You should join me," Merlin raises his voice so that it will carry over the swish of the waves rushing up the shingle, and the plaintive cries of the seagulls overhead.

"I'm good thanks." Arthur waits on the shore. He'd refused to even paddle, despite the punishing heat of the sun.

"Your loss!" Merlin turns to float on his back, letting the swell of the ocean rock him, luxuriating in the silky-cool water cradling his naked body. Gentle arousal curls in his belly from the soft caress of each ripple and swirl of the water over his skin.

He flips back onto his front and swims a little further out. He wonders why Arthur refused to swim, usually he's the first to strip off and dive into a river on a hot day. The mere sight of the ocean seemed to make Arthur unaccountably tense, and Merlin wondered whether his refusal was born of fear. But he knew better than to ask.

Merlin is distracted from his musings as the water temperature drops sharply and the sudden fierce tug of a current drags him away from the shore. He tries to swim against it, but it's all he can do to stay afloat. He flails and struggles, panic filling him as his head slips below the surface. His mind scrabbles frantically for a spell to save himself that won't reveal his powers to Arthur, but the burn of brine in his nose is distracting. He tries again, pulling the threads of his magic together. But before he has time to collect and channel the power coursing through him into something constructive, his body is gripped tight and thrust back to the surface.

Merlin chokes and splutters. "Arthur... how?" He coughs again, his throat raw and stinging, trying to makes sense of what's happening.

Arthur is there; warm arms wrapped around the cool skin of Merlin's torso in a way that's surprisingly pleasurable considering the near-death situation. But something isn't right, the lower half of Merlin's body is being held too - but by something cool, and bumpy... and slightly slimy.

"Argh!" Merlin flails again, grabbing at the things, which turn out to be tentacles. He wriggles frantically, trying to prise them off.

"Merlin... Merlin!" Arthur's tone makes Merlin pause. "It's okay... they're mine."

Merlin stares into Arthur's eyes, as blue as the ocean glittering around them. Arthur's cheeks are flushed as he stares back, his jaw set.

"Arthur..." Merlin whispers. "What are you?" He looks down, needing to see.

Where Arthur's legs should be, there are greenish-grey tentacles, currently wrapped tightly around Merlin and holding him close. But from the hips and up Arthur is all man - impressively so in the important places, Merlin notes. His body responds instinctively despite the strangeness of the situation, and his hands slide from tentacles to waist and find smooth warm skin. He presses his hips into Arthur's and their cocks bump together, hot under the cool water.

Arthur gasps, and his hands cup Merlin's cheeks, pulling his face up so their eyes lock before he leans in to press their lips together.

Arthur tastes of the sea as they rock together in the waves. In that moment, nothing else matters to Merlin but the sensations building between them, racing through Merlin's senses like a rip tide. Merlin brings a hand down to grip their cocks together, holding tight. Arthur thrusts against him while he explores every inch of Merlin's body - hands in his hair, on his chest, skimming over his ribs. The cool slide of tentacles prise Merlin's legs apart and he wraps them around Arthur's waist, crying aloud in surprised pleasure as the tip of something soft, yet determined, squirms its way inside him.

"Gods, Merlin," Arthur mutters against his neck. Their hips grind sinuously together as the tentacle curls and twists in Merlin's arse. "Wanted you for so long... I never knew..."

Merlin laughs then, a joyous sound as he throws his head back to shout his pleasure to the sky, spilling his seed into the ocean. Arthur follows him, cock pulsing in Merlin's hand as his body shudders. When Merlin's eyes meet Arthur's again he sees shock and confusion, and knows that Arthur caught the flare of gold before it faded.

"Merlin?" Arthur questions, frowning.

Merlin looks down at Arthur's tentacles and grins. "I think we both have a little explaining to do, don't you?"

A/N: Thank you for reading! I do have lots of long Merlin stories on my profile so if you've not read any of my stuff yet and are wanting more, go and check it out.