elfflame

May 2016

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Finding King Arthur - Part 20

Title: Finding King Arthur (temporary until I find something better)
Author: [info]elfflame
Fandom: Merlin (BBC)
Rating: NC-17, bebe.
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: Catch up time. I haven't been posting for a while, so I'll post in three-chapter increments, spaced out over a few hours, until I'm caught up.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10
Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15
Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19


"Merlin…is something wrong?" she asked as they hurried back to the castle for a basket of pasties and some drink. "You've been acting so…odd these past two days."

Merlin did his best not to flush. "No…just…worried."

"About the fight?"

He shrugged. "That, yeah…and…everything."

"Merlin…this is Arthur we're talking about. He'll be fine. Everything will be fine. All right?"

Merlin wished he could be as certain as Gwen. But there was still so much that could go wrong. "I hope so."

When they made it back with food, Lancelot was on the field, and Merlin wasn't sure how long it had been going, but he could definitely tell that it wouldn't be much longer. Lancelot made the man look as though he'd never picked up a sword in his life.

"Are you sure you want to go up against him, Arthur?"

"I've beat him before, haven't I?"

"Yes, but…"

"Then I'll be just fine," he said with a smirk as Lancelot disarmed his opponent.

Gwen applauded as he received his nod from the seneschal, then made his way toward them. "Congratulations," she cried when he was close enough.

He smiled. "Thank you, my lady."

Gwaine rolled his eyes. "There was no need to show off like that, you know…"

Lancelot turned to look at him. "No? You think not?"

"No. I don't."

"Well, I guess that's why he's out on the field today, and you're not, hm?" Arthur said with a grin.

Gwaine glowered at him. "Not fair, Arthur."

"No one said I had to be."

Merlin rolled his eyes. "I think I'll go see if they have the new lists sorted yet," he said. He really didn't want to stick around for Gwaine and Arthur sniping at each other. They were far too good at it.

When no one stopped him, he turned and made his way toward the board, sighing when he saw that the new order was not up yet. He decided to wait, hoping that the situation would be defused by the time he went back.

By the time the new order had been announced, everyone had moved off to find their midday meal, and Arthur and the others were nowhere to be found. Merlin made his way to the tent, hoping they'd just gone there.

They obviously were, from the sounds of argument coming from the tent. Ah, well, so much for the hope that he could avoid that.

"I think we'd have done just fine with three of us on the lists," Gwaine was saying.

"The only way to arrange that would have been to bribe the man who'd arranged them, Gwaine, and that is not how I want to start my rule—by being known as a king who will do something underhanded just to get what he wants."

Gwaine was rolling his eyes as Merlin entered, and he looked up. "Well?"

"Now that the first seven rounds have ended, we're down to four, but Arthur and Lance won't have to fight each other until the next round," he told them. "Are there any pasties left?"

Arthur snorted. "Leave it to you to think with your stomach when some of us are facing the battlefield," he said.

"You'll do just fine. Isn't that what you told me?" he said with a smirk as he reached into the basket. "You did just fine in the first fight, after all… And it's not like it's Lancelot…"

"I have no worries when it comes to Lancelot," Arthur said, nodding to Lancelot. "He and I understand each other just fine."

Lancelot nodded. "Yes."

"So…nothing to worry about there. But I still have a few other opponents to face… So…who's next?"

Merlin frowned into the plate of food he'd been gathering for himself, then looked up to meet Arthur's eyes. He supposed they both knew this had been coming, but he hadn't exactly wanted to voice it. "Agravaine."

Though there had been no knights in the first two rounds, some of the original ten had been knights of Camelot, and hence they had begun fighting today. This was the first of them that Arthur had had to fight, though, and somehow, Merlin wasn't to surprised it had turned out to be Agravaine. He just wasn't very pleased.

From the sound of Arthur's swearing, he wasn't happy, either. "Smug… He must have known…"

"He didn't say anything this morning," Merlin said.

"Well, he wouldn't, would he? Give up an advantage over me? Not on his life." He sighed.

"But…you can beat him, right? I mean…you trained him, didn't you?"

"No. Father did. He's…my cousin. Father decided that since we were nearly of an age, and I was still young…it would be best if he trained him. We only sparred until his final…fight to be a knight. And then it was a close match."

"But…that had to be years ago. You can't tell me you aren't a much better fighter now," Merlin persisted. "And you have Excalibur. You can't fail."

Arthur frowned. "Maybe. Wouldn't shock me if she's gotten him some special weapon to use on me…" He sighed.

"Just…don't lose your scabbard, and it will be fine. You can do this, Arthur. We've seen you fight. Don't you start having doubts now."

"Not…doubts as such…"

The others had been silent during the exchange, but now Lancelot spoke. "I've seen him fight, Arthur. You're better. By far. You have nothing to worry about."

"It's not my skill I'm worried about, Lancelot. Agravaine…comes from the school of thought that no trick is low enough to try in combat. Even magic, if he can get away with it. And if Morgana is behind him…then he can."


Thirty
The Battle in Camelot

By the time it was Arthur and Agravaine's turn on the field, they were all pretty nervous for Arthur. What if Agravaine had a poisoned dagger or something? All they could do was hope that Arthur managed to finish the fight quickly, before Agravaine managed to get a blow in.

The two circled each other for far too long for Merlin's taste, and when the first clash of swords came, he jumped.

They were both taking their time, no blows that hadn't been carefully measured beforehand, the clunk of blade to shield or clash of sword to sword the only sound that could be heard for some time.

Just when Merlin was beginning to wonder if the fight would go on all afternoon, Arthur landed a blow to Agravaine's side. Agravaine managed to keep his feet, but barely, and tried to trip Arthur, but he dodged the blow easily, backing off and waiting to see what Agravaine would do next.

"Idiot," Gwaine muttered. "He shouldn't have given him time, he should have pressed his advantage."

"Yes, well…then he wouldn't be Arthur," Merlin said, glancing at him, then back at the field at another clash of blades.

"Being noble is only going to get him killed," Gwaine insisted.

"If he wins by being less than noble, he might as well not even bother," Gwen said. "He's doing exactly what he should. And he'll win."

Merlin wasn't too sure of that. He only hoped that Gwen was right. If this fight didn't end soon…that would be a very bad thing.

"I'm glad you're so confident in him," Gwaine said. "But nobility only gets one so far in this world, and…"

Before Gwaine could finish the statement, a flurry of blows and counter-blows started, and his words were swallowed by the sounds. Arthur was pushed back for a few moments, then pushed Agravaine back with his shield and started to counter his attack, and Merlin knew he would win.

And then Merlin saw something glitter, and before he could call out, he saw Agravaine raise whatever it was. All he had time for was a thought. That wasn't a weapon Agravaine was allowed in this fight. So he made it go away.

Agravaine started as the extra weapon vanished, and Arthur, unawares, took advantage of his distraction, knocking the knight to the ground. "Yield."

Even from where Merlin sat, he could see the hate in Agravaine's eyes. He was silent for a moment, then nodded. "I yield," he said, his voice a growl.

Arthur held out a hand to help him up, but even as he did, Merlin could see the battle of wills between them. Once Arthur returned to where they were standing, only then, did he let his relief show. "You did it. See? We told you there was nothing to worry about…"

"Yes, Merlin. Thank you. Can we get to the tent? I'd like to sit down…"

"Right…" Merlin scooted out of the way so that Arthur could step off the field, then followed him back to the tent, Gwaine and Gwen waiting to see if Lancelot would win his fight as well.

As soon as they entered the tent, Arthur seemed to swell. "What the fuck did you do, Merlin?"

Merlin blinked at him, eyes wide. "What?"

"He was holding…something. And then it was gone. Don't think I didn't notice the surprise on his face. What was it, and what did you do?"

"He was going to hurt you! Or worse! And you're worried about what I did?"

"I could have handled it, Merlin. I'm not completely defenseless, you know."

"I couldn't be sure you'd seen it. And I wasn't about to let him use whatever dirty trick it was on you. None of us can afford that. Not right now."

"I can fight my own battles!"

Merlin felt his anger growing. "Maybe, but without us…what are you fighting for?"

"My kingdom!"

"And we want you to win it! Or do you think we're fighting against you?" He pushed at Arthur's chest, and Arthur blinked at him, stunned.

"What the…?"

Before he could say more, Merlin was kissing him, all the worry he'd felt for him earlier coming to the fore. Armor ignored, he pressed himself against Arthur, just relieved he was all right.

After a startled moment, Arthur was returning the kiss. For a moment, the world was just the two of them. No Camelot, no Gwen, no Morgana. Just Arthur and Merlin. And then Arthur pulled away. "Sorry. I know you were just trying to…help. But…don't."

Merlin felt as though Arthur had slapped him. He realized it had been a bad idea, but even so…

Seeing Merlin's reaction, Arthur shook his head, then smiled. "Not the kiss, Merlin. The Magic. I can do this. I know you just want to help. But I have to do this. I know I can."


Thirty-One
The Last Midnight

When the tournament ended that afternoon, the ranks had been whittled down to the last few fights, but the sun was beginning to set, so the seneschal announced that the final battles would take place the next day.

The day was going to start with Arthur and Lancelot's fight, which made Merlin nervous. And he'd been unable to meet Arthur's eyes since their kiss earlier. He felt like such a fool, throwing himself at Arthur that way.

The others didn't notice at all. They were too busy chattering about Lancelot's fight, and how he'd managed to disarm Sir Lionel in only a few strokes. It had apparently been a good fight, if short.

There had been no feast planned for that night, so the group had supper in Arthur's rooms again, a few knights stopping in throughout the evening to offer their congratulations. If Merlin hadn't been so distracted, it might have even been nice. It might have almost felt like Arthur had never left.

But he had. And between Morgana and the final matches the next day, not to mention the argument they'd had earlier… Merlin wondered if anything would ever be the same again.

He hadn't noticed the others were leaving until Gwen gave him a hug. "Oh, do stop worrying, Merlin. We're almost there. Arthur can't fail now…" She smiled at him, and he attempted to smile back.

"Yeah…I know," he told her. "See you all tomorrow," he said, giving Lancelot a smile. At least there would be one fight that Merlin wouldn't have to worry about Arthur getting poisoned during.

The others filed out, and then the room went quiet. Merlin couldn't get himself to meet Arthur's eyes.

After a moment, he heard Arthur sigh. "Come on, then." He heard Arthur's chair scoot back, and stood.

"Guess I'll…got to my room?" he asked softly.

"What? Why?"

Now Merlin did look up. "You're not…angry with me?"

"I thought we sorted all that. Well, no…actually, I thought you'd been storing up all night to get angry with me."

Merlin laughed, the sound a bit hysterical after an evening worrying at Arthur's anger. "Angry at you? For what? Yelling at me?"

"No…for…wanting to do this myself."

"I'm not. I…understand the impulse. Even if I think you're wrong. I'm certainly not going to be angry with you for that."

"Then why were you so quiet all evening?"

"I thought you were still angry with me," he said, a little embarrassed now. "And…worried for tomorrow."

Arthur moved close and pulled him into a hug. "Stop worrying, Merlin. We'll do just fine."

Merlin pushed aside his worries and nodded, leaning into the embrace. Soon he wouldn't be allowed this, he knew. Whether or not Arthur won. Even less if he did, because then he'd need to get married and have his own heir. And Merlin wasn't about to interfere with that. Especially if it was Gwen.

He tilted his face to kiss Arthur and found himself pulled tight against Arthur's chest. He pressed close eagerly, humming, trying to push away thoughts of anything else. When Arthur pushed him backwards, he went eagerly, and soon felt the bedframe against the backs of his calves.

He began to tug at Arthur's clothes, wanting to touch him everywhere for as long as he possibly could, to memorize him and keep this moment in his mind forever.

Arthur seemed just as intent at getting Merlin undressed, and his hands seemed to be everywhere. Not that Merlin had a problem with that. It felt incredible, and he wished Arthur would never stop, encouraging him wordlessly with kisses between pulling off pieces of their clothes.

It wasn't long before they were on the bed, their legs tangled together as they kissed and touched, but Merlin needed more. "Please," he whispered. He couldn't quite bring himself to ask just what he wanted. All he could do was hope that Arthur understood.

He did. He rolled Merlin to his back, kissing him deeply, then reached for the lotion they'd taken to using as lubrication. "Legs up," he said softly.

Merlin's breath hitched as he pulled up his legs, his eyes meeting Arthur's. Usually, by the time they got to this point, Merlin was so worked up that he barely thought of what they were doing, he just wanted to get on with it. But right now…everything felt so much more intense as Arthur's fingers stroked over him, cupping his balls before pressing a finger into him, his eyes still on Merlin's.

It always felt odd, at first. It was only when it was Arthur inside him that it felt right. And tonight, it seemed even worse, the intensity of his feelings causing everything to feel as though he were going to break apart—fly apart, even. It hurt…in a good way. His heart beating faster as Arthur watched his face, stretching him slowly and making him feel as though he were about to break into a million pieces if he didn't stop right now.

And then he did, leaning down to kiss Merlin as he pulled his fingers free. There was something in his eyes that Merlin couldn't read, but the intensity of it made him need to close his eyes, it was just too hard to look at.

He felt the head of Arthur's cock press against him, and held his breath.

"Breathe, Merlin," Arthur whispered.

Merlin tried to answer, but he found he couldn't, and ended up nodding his head instead, then taking a deep breath.

It wasn't enough. Even though they'd done this a number of times in the last week, it still burned at first, and Merlin clutched at Arthur's arms, finally meeting his eyes once more. What he saw there was enough to take his breath away again.

He was afraid to even name the feelings he saw in Arthur's eyes, and bit his lip, closing his eyes as Arthur pushed further into him, his body arching as Arthur brushed across his prostate. "Oh…god…"

"Merlin…" Arthur whispered, and he felt fingers brush over his lip, then looked up to meet Arthur's eyes once more, his legs curling around him in an attempt to pull him closer.

"Just…don't stop," he managed, feeling raw and needy and on the verge of begging. This was all he wanted. All he could ever want. He couldn't imagine giving it up.

Arthur shook his head, then pulled back, obviously determined to lose himself in Merlin as much Merlin wanted him to. If Merlin hadn't known better, he'd have wondered if Arthur could do magic, his eyes were so bright. All he knew was that he never wanted this moment to end, and did his best to forget that it would, pulling Arthur closer to nip and suck at his neck, and glorying in the sounds Arthur made when he did, loving the feeling of how slick his back was as he ran his fingers down Arthur's spine, nuzzling under his ear and clenching around him with a cry when Arthur managed to catch his prostate again.

But he knew it couldn't last forever. Not much longer, even, the way he felt, heat building inside him with each thrust. And when he felt Arthur's fingers curl around him, he knew everything was lost.

With a soft whimper, he felt himself fall over the edge, his body going rigid under Arthur, the feeling of his thrusts combining with the fire of his climax to rip through him and leaving him clinging to Arthur, panting softly. He moaned when he felt Arthur still on top of him and shudder, then drew him down for a kiss, the words he so desperately wanted to say stuck on his tongue, knowing he could never have what he wanted.


Next Part

Comments

Nov. 26th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
I like how poor Merlin wants so badly to help out.
Nov. 26th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
He really does. *pets him*
Nov. 26th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Aw, Merlin *hugs him* And gods, that love-making... wow... just wow!
Nov. 26th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
:D <3 I'm glad it works.