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Finding King Arthur - Part 11

Title: Finding King Arthur (temporary until I find something better)
Author: [info]elfflame
Fandom: Merlin (BBC)
Rating: R-ish (leaning towards NC-17) now.
Summary: Things have gone bad in Camelot.  Arthur has been missing for a year, and Uther and Gaius have been poisoned.  Merlin and the knights of Camelot set out to find their Prince before the kingdom can be claimed by Morgana.
Warnings: Death (not Merlin or Arthur), minor spoilers for season 3.
A/N: Two very long bits to make up for only posting once yesterday.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10


Fifteen
Arthur's Dreams

After supper, Merlin pleaded exhaustion. It had been a long day, after all. Gwen went with a bit of protest, sending Merlin a glare saying that this wasn't over by a long shot. But at least he could put it off for a few more hours.

Arthur felt uncomfortable about using the bed. "I don't know, Merlin…"

"It's your bed. If you don't sleep in it, no one will. No one's going to get angry if you do…"

It took a good deal more coaxing, but finally Arthur agreed, and after changing, he slid under the covers.

Merlin supposed they should have talked about the kiss, but after everything else that had happened that day, he was ready to crash, so he wished Arthur a good night, then headed for his room off the antichambre, leaving a spell on the door to alert him if anyone stirred in the night.

He wasn't sure how long he'd been asleep when the spell woke him, but it took a few minutes before he discovered why. It didn't seem as though anyone had tried to open the outer door, so he headed into Arthur's room only to come up short.

Arthur was tossing back and forth on the bed, a faint glow radiating from his skin, muttering under his breath.

"Arthur?" Merlin whispered.

There was no answer, but Arthur's struggles seemed to increase.

Merlin moved to his side, settling on the edge of the bed, debating whether to shake him awake. And then the words became clear.

"No…Merlin…father…don't…leave me…please…"

Was this…the spell? The reason Arthur couldn't remember?

Merlin closed his eyes, searching out the magic, and gasping when he managed to touch it. It was like a shell surrounding Arthur, brightest around his mind, where it drew its power. If Merlin were to break the enchantment, it could well destroy Arthur's mind forever. But he knew he had to try. They needed Arthur too much.

It was like untying a knot that had wound in on itself, each winding adding ten new loops to the knot. Merlin took his time, barely noticing as time slipped away. When the last loop of the spell fell away, the spell around Arthur broke with a flash that filled the whole room, and Merlin toppled back, falling to the floor.

He sat up, rubbing the back of his head, then started when Arthur looked over the edge of the bed and frowned at him. "Merlin? What are you doing down there?"

"Fell."

Arthur looked out the window, then back at Merlin. "It's the middle of the night. What are you doing in here?" He rubbed at his face, frowning deeper. "And…what am I doing here?"

"I told you. It's your bed…"

"Of course it's my bed, you blithering idiot. But what am I doing in it when I was supposed to be on a hunt?"

Merlin's heart stopped, looking up to meet Arthur's eyes. "Hunt?" he echoed.

"Yes. We only left what…" Arthur frowned. "Last night? So…what am I doing here?" His frown deepened for a moment, and Merlin could see the moment when he began to realize. "Wait…there was…an ambush…" He looked up at Merlin. "Was I hurt?"

Merlin swallowed. "I…don't know."

Arthur snorted. "What do you mean, you don't know? What would I be doing here otherwise? Where is my father?"

The request was enough to hurt. "He…Arthur…he's…"

But Arthur wasn't listening. He was climbing out of bed, rubbing at his head now. "Must have been hit in the head, to not remember…" He glanced out the window to judge the time. "It can wait until the morning… I wouldn't want to wake him."

"I don't think you can," Merlin said softly.

Arthur still wasn't listening, though. "I was having the oddest dream…" He turned to Merlin. "Wasn't even in Camelot. And some twit…" His words trailed off at seeing Merlin's face. "Not a dream?" he asked, his voice stiff.

Merlin shook his head.

Another man would have collapsed at the loss of what had happened to him. Arthur drew up his chin. "Where is he?" he asked softly.

"The family crypt. We could…?"

Arthur nodded, then moved to pull a cloak from his wardrobe. "Yes. Let's."

Merlin was about to cast a spell to keep others from noticing them so they could get down to see Uther unmolested when he realized that Arthur might not remember. Arthur saw his raised hand, then rolled his eyes. "Just do it, Merlin. You're not as stealthy as you think you are, and if we're going to keep Morgana from taking my kingdom, we'll need all the help we can get, legal or not."

"You…remember?"

"I knew before, Merlin. I just…wanted you to tell me yourself. I guess it was too much to ask?"

"What? When?"

Arthur sighed. "We really don't have time to stop and count the times right this second, Merlin, but…if you must know…when you were poisoned. That first year."

The thought was mind-boggling. "That long? Why didn't you say? I mean…"

"I hate to interrupt your crisis, Merlin…but I'd really…like to see my father, now." Arthur looked so sober that it pulled Merlin from his shock.

"Of course, Arthur." He quickly cast the spell, moving closer to Arthur. "That…should keep everyone from seeing us."

"Good." Arthur turned away, and Merlin followed, his stomach twisting.

He'd not considered this moment at all, being so focused on finding Arthur, then bringing him back, and then getting his memory back. There had just been no time to think about what would happen when he did remember.

Now that had happened…well, if he'd thought of this, he'd have expected Arthur to be grateful, he supposed. But he supposed dealing with losing his father took precedence over that. Not that Merlin could blame him. He'd only met his father once, but it had been more than enough for him to feel the loss when he'd died. He couldn't imagine how it might have felt if he'd known him his whole life.

They made their way down to the crypt, and the guard on duty there to keep out people who didn't belong was easily distracted by another spell. It was a dull job, and the man was already half asleep, so it was easy to put him to sleep for a few minutes while they walked past.

Once they'd entered the chamber, Merlin stayed near the door while Arthur made his way unerringly to where his father lay, surrounded by stone. His fingers traced over the words carved into the tomb, then sank down to his knees and bowed his head.

It hurt to watch, but Merlin couldn't look away, and he promised himself that whatever he could do to make things easier for Arthur, he would.

They stayed for a long silent stretch of time, though Merlin couldn't have said how long. When Arthur rose to his feet once more, he put his palm on the tomb once more before turning back to Merlin. "Tell me how."

"We…don't know who. But it was a poison."

Arthur's mouth thinned. "A woman's weapon," he said softly.

"We don't know for sure…"

"We do. She's here, isn't she? My 'foster' sister? And yet she failed to race to my side when I arrived, the way the rest of you have. She'll pay, Merlin. For all of it."

"Arthur…"

"No…don't." Arthur moved past him, then stopped at the door. "Make sure he's asleep or something?"

Merlin sighed, then nodded and cast the spell to lull the guard back to sleep, and the two men moved past quietly and back up to Arthur's rooms before either spoke again.


Sixteen
Reckoning

Once they'd entered Arthur's rooms, Merlin turned to look at Arthur. "It's not as simple as you think," he told him.

Arthur ignored him, removing the cloak he wore, his lips still set in that thin line of annoyance.

Merlin had to get through to him. He couldn't have Arthur attacking her. First they had to get him on the throne. Then they could deal with her. "She has her reasons, Arthur."

"The same that you do, and you are here with me, not against me. Or am I mistaken?"

Merlin looked down. "I am…your man. Whatever might come."

Arthur's hand on his shoulder made him look up, and saw the sad smile on his face. "I know. And…thank you. For finding me. And…for everything you've done."

"You're welcome. You're still…my friend," Merlin said softly, looking down. He felt all jumbled up right now. Sad that Arthur understood his loss now, and happy that he was truly back, and disappointed that they'd likely never go back to that moment in the woods when Arthur had kissed him, but pleased that Arthur knew about his magic, and that he didn't have to hide it from him…it was all a bit too much.

"Merlin…" Arthur moved closer, and Merlin looked up, breath catching at just how close Arthur was now.

"Arthur?" His voice was soft, but it somehow echoed between them, the moment stretching out just a touch too long to be quite real.

And then Arthur's lips were on his once more, and Merlin clung to him, not wanting this to end, and reality to set in again.

But before he could stop him, Arthur had pulled away from him again. Merlin watched him, nervous now. What would he say now? That they couldn't ever do that again? How could Merlin face him every day, knowing what it felt like to kiss him? Or what he looked like with his lips slightly bruised from kissing?

"I've…wanted to do that…so many times," Arthur finally said.

"You…you have? Why? I mean…" Merlin felt his face heat. "I always thought…"

"Men can enjoy themselves together, Merlin. So long as its discrete."

Discrete, right. Even though a part of him had known that, somehow it hurt to hear. It wasn't as though he could bear Arthur a child, after all. But the idea of being a bit of fun hurt. "Right…"

"What? If you expect…"

"I don't expect anything, Arthur. I'm your man. Whatever…you want that to mean." He hated feeling like this, being such a girl about it. He just hadn't expected the truth of it to hurt quite this much.

Arthur pulled him close again, then tugged up his chin, then met his eyes. "Yeah. You are. But…if you don't want this…"

Merlin looked at him, incredulous. "Don't want this? Bloody hell, Arthur…do you know how often I've dreamed of it? Of you…forgetting that…she exists…that I'm the one you look at like that!"

Arthur's eyes widened slightly, and then he smiled. "Really?"

It seemed like he was amused, at that rubbed Merlin the wrong way. "Yeah, I know, I'm delusional, but…"

Arthur pulled him close and kissed him. "Oh, shut up, you girl's blouse. I think it's…" He grinned. "Stay with me tonight?"

Merlin blinked at him, wrong-footed. "Just…tonight?"

Arthur traced his cheek with a finger. "Not if I can help it."

"But…"

"Everything else can wait, Merlin. We have time, now. Thanks to you. Unless…you don't want this…?"

It was startling seeing the doubt he'd seen on 'Wart' on Arthur's face, now that he remembered everything, and Merlin couldn't let it stay there. He leaned in and kissed him, shivering as Arthur's arms tightened around him. "I want this," he whispered. The rest…well, he supposed they could sort this out with everything else later. Right now, he wanted to have what he'd always dreamed about.

Arthur smiled at him, then pulled him to the bed. "Have you ever been with a man before?" Arthur asked as he pushed off his night clothes.

Merlin was so distracted by the sight, it took him a moment to answer, and then only because he focused on the annoying smirk on Arthur's face. "Not really." He'd had a few offers, and he'd been with a couple of girls. Enough to know that it really wasn't for him. Whatever it was that other blokes enjoyed about them, Merlin couldn't understand. And the offers from blokes had all been after arriving here in Camelot, where he'd worried that word might get back to Arthur, or worse, to Uther, who would likely have him executed for that as fast as for being a warlock.

When Merlin didn't start to undress, Arthur smirked wider and moved close to help him. "Can't do this very easily with all these clothes in the way, Merlin…"

Merlin flushed, then batted his hands away, tugging off his shirt. "Yeah, yeah…" Kissing was easy compared to the rest of this, though. Then, it was just lips. What if he did something wrong, and Arthur threw him out on his ear?

"Stop worrying, Merlin. If I want you here, that means you have nothing to fear…" Arthur settled on the bed, looking up at him. It was hard not to stop what he was doing and reach out to touch. Even though Kay hadn't allowed Arthur proper training while he'd been with them, years of training had kept him slim, and his muscles were still well-defined. All Merlin wanted to was trace each line on his stomach with his tongue.

"You keep licking your lips like that," Arthur purred. "You don't stop, I'll have to undress you myself and do every wicked thing I can possibly think of to you."

Merlin gulped, then pushed down his trousers, then glanced at Arthur, suddenly not sure what he should do next. "Um…"

Arthur grinned, then grabbed his hand, tugging him down so that Merlin fell on top of him, catching him and rolling them over and kissing him deeply. "What were you thinking?" he whispered, nuzzling and sucking at one of Merlin's ears.

"How…delicious you looked…" Merlin answered, feeling awkward and needy at the same time, not sure what to do with his hands, but somehow wanting to touch Arthur all over.

Arthur chuckled. "So take a taste…" He nipped at Merlin's ear, making him gasp.

Taking him at his word, Merlin licked at his shoulder, then let his nose nuzzle along the shoulder to his neck, surprised how good it felt to do.

"How much have you done?" Arthur asked him.

Merlin flushed in spite of himself. "Not much."

Arthur grinned, but before Merlin could get annoyed, he kissed him deeply. "Is it wrong that that pleases me?"

Surprised, Merlin shook his head. "No. It…does?"

"Yeah," Arthur said, his eyes dark. "A lot." And then he kissed Merlin again. "Want to show you…everything."

Merlin had to bite back a moan at that.

"First, though…I want to see you."

"You saw me! You watched while I was undressing!"

"Yeah…but then, I couldn't touch…" Merlin sucked in a breath as Arthur's hand stroked down his side and over his stomach.

"Oh," he breathed.

"Yeah…Oh." He kissed Merlin again, his fingers curling around Merlin's cock, pulling a low moan from him.

"Ohgod," Merlin moaned. It felt nothing like touching himself, and nothing like the one hand-job he'd had from one of the town-girls he'd spent time with. "Ah…fuck…Arthur…"

"Sshhhh…we'll get there." Arthur began to kiss along his collarbone, stroking him firmly, pulling shudders from Merlin with each stroke.

"Buh…ah…but…Arthur…ohgod…I don't…fuck…"

"Just relax and enjoy, Merlin." Arthur slid lower and licked over a nipple, and Merlin heard himself whimpering. He flung an arm over his face, sure he had to be scarlet by now.

"Ohgod! I can't…hold on…Arth-ur!" He squeaked, his voice breaking as Arthur's hand did something incredibly wicked that he was obviously going to have to learn how to do, because it was fucking incredible.

"Then don't," Arthur whispered against his skin.

"Buh…ah! Fuck! Arth-eer!" And then he was spilling over Arthur's hand, his body shuddering in orgasm.

Arthur slid up to kiss him deeply, then pulled back to look at him. "You look amazing like that," he said with a grin.

Merlin blinked up at him, feeling flushed and boneless. "Yeah…? You…done this a lot?"

"A few times," Arthur admitted. But nothing that meant much."

"Yeah?"

"Nothing like this," Arthur said, his voice softer now. He leaned down to kiss Merlin, fitting their mouths together in a way that made Merlin lose all track of time.


Next Part


17433 / 50000 words. 35% done!

Comments

Nov. 10th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
It was startling seeing the doubt he'd seen on 'Wart' on Arthur's face, now that he remembered everything, and Merlin couldn't let it stay there.

This sentence feels awkward.

omgsqueeyay! They're in bed. :D
Nov. 10th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
I'll have to give it a look tomorrow.

:D Yes, they are.
Nov. 10th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
I did no writing today. *pouts* ran errands, paid Dane-geld to get my car back and taught knitting. My main charrie is being very quiet right now. I hope to get a lot of writing done tomorrow.
Nov. 10th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
*snugs*

I'm sorry, hon. I'm sure you'll manage to wake them up soon enough. Let me know if you need something to knock them on the side of the head and wake them. ;) Sometimes it's all you can do.
Nov. 10th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
I think it's a matter of I "ignored" them this morning when they were vocal and I had to be out and running. Now I'm receiving 'cat scorn' as repayment.

I may write up a sex scene to wake the crew up tomorrow. That should get at least three of them being vocal.
Nov. 10th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Heh. That ought to do it... ;D
Nov. 26th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
Arthur's reaction to his magic made me think how my view of that has changed a bit over the series. Because it's somehow hard to imagine Arthur treating Merlin like a practice dummy when he knows he has magic. But then again, Arthur just might to provoke him... At least it works quite well here.

And fuck they're so HOT together!
Nov. 26th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
I go back and forth, depending on the episode. I think it's more an effect of the sloppy writing, really. :P

:D I'm glad you think so. <3