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Until I Cry That Now I Must Try Your Greed

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Merlin snorted at Gwaine’s pitiful attempt as it bounced pathetically off the table and he told him quite firmly that he could very easily do far better. Then he threw the white, feather-light plastic ball in his hand, missed the cup he was aiming for entirely and laughed when Gwaine shoved his shoulder, asked him if he wasn’t, „going to do better, Merlin?” 

Honestly, though, that irritated him a bit, because that wasn’t Gwaine’s thing, it didn’t belong to him and he had no business imitating it. To avoid the annoyance of absolutely everyone around him, he didn’t say so out loud. 

Instead, he watched as first Gwen, then Morgana aimed and managed to plop their balls down into the last two cups of beer, winning them the game quite empathetically with still four of their own remaining. Merlin shared a sigh with Gwaine as they picked up their punishments and tried to ignore the gloating remarks from the other end of the table.

„Why’re we so bad at this?” Merlin whined after he’d downed the first one, flat and luke-warm as it’d been, and put the shiny, red cup back down on the sticky table.

„Mmh, we’re not bad, Merlin, ’s just that they’re really good. ’S not our fault.”

Merlin nodded sagely at Gwaine’s wise words, slung an arm around him for both moral and physical support.

„One more round, boys?” Morgana challenged in a sly voice, right arm curled around her girlfriend’s waist.

Merlin downed his second cup and shook his head weakly, looked around the expansive, high-ceilinged living room that was currently crowded with drunk high school students, searching for the familiar locks of golden hair that he hoped so desperately he’d get to see.

„Say, Morgana,” he tried carefully, feeling he couldn’t wait any longer to bring it up, „There’s a car outside… Is that-”

„No.”

A little huff escaped Merlin at the blatant lie and he looked at her, said,

„But it is.”

The glare he received was crackling with cold fury, entirely worthy of an ancient, evil sorceress and quite possibly a fully functional murder weapon.

Doesn’t matter. He’s not home anyways.”

Merlin thought she might be lying about that too. Also thought she would likely physically restrain him if he tried to go upstairs to check, so instead he put on his best kicked-puppy pout, said,

„But Morganaaa, I just wanna talk to him, I haven’t seen him in months.”

That wasn’t even an embellishment; Ever since Arthur had gone to college two years ago, their encounters had been much more sparse and Merlin genuinely did miss their conversations, easy and natural (and often quite infuriating) as they always had been. Admittedly though, the ’just’ was mostly there to placate Morgana, and there might be a couple of things (just a tiny, tiny amount of them) that he wanted a bit more than a conversation.

Shockingly the slight alteration didn’t work and Morgana’s nostrils were flaring, her glare turning into a scowl as she sneered,

„Oh please. I know what you wanna do,” while her face steadily picked up a deep crimson colour, that told Merlin (who was quite well educated in Pendragon facial expressions) just how much good was gonna come out of the following conversation. 

„Look, Merlin…” she started again, something patronising layering into her tone now, „He just turned up yesterday out of nowhere, completely unannounced, and he- he-” 

She bit off the last of her sentence, slipped away from Gwen to saunter over to him, grab him by the shoulders and quite menacingly say,

„Just stay away from him.”

Gwaine stepped out from under Merlin’s arm, took a few steps away to a somewhat safer distance. Merlin stayed right where he was, straightened his back.

„I can handle him just fine, you know. You don’t need to protect me.”

„No you can’t, that’s exactly the point, that’s exactly why I do protect you. You don’t know him, don’t know why he’s even…” 

She trailed off with an irritated sigh, let go of Merlin, then narrowed her brows with an additional, „Just stay away,” before she stalked off. Gwen trailed after her, probably to calm her down, sending a little glance in Merlin’s direction that was half sympathy, half reproachful ’you should listen to her’.

„She’s probably right, you know.”

A deep, tired groan escaped Merlin.

„Not you too, Gwaine.”

„Well I just mean… Morgana’s right, he’s- There’s something about him, isn’t there? Something kind of… unsettling. Besides, you don’t even know if he goes for blokes. And even if he does, he’s… gorgeous.”

Most of that had been tuned right out of Merlin’s mind, but at the last bit he narrowed his eyes, let out a little huff along with an affronted, „Are you saying I’m not?

He thought to himself that his vanity was probably getting a little out of hand, if the mere implication that Arthur was out of his league had him so offended. Because honestly, that was probably true.

No,” Gwaine said, screwing up his face, „Just, Arthur’s handsome in that very… obvious way.”

Merlin snorted. „Horrible save, mate.” 

„It wasn’t! I didn’t mean-” Gwaine looked uncharacteristically perturbed, strangely removed from his usual, care-free demeanour. „It’s just… You’re too good for him is what I mean, Merls. You should be with someone nicer.”

Merlin’s lips quirked into a sly smile at that.

„Well, Gwaine, maybe I don’t want someone nicer. Maybe I just want everyone to stop mollycoddling me, so I can go ask Arthur how he wants me to suck his dick.”

Gwaine’s face split into a cheeky grin at that and he suddenly looked much more like himself. He slung his arm around Merlin, dragged him into the party with a, „Well you know Morgana’s gonna be watching you like a hawk, so you might as well forget about it for now and come find a pair who’re just as bad at beer pong as the two of us. Maybe when people start leaving you can sneak upstairs and see if he’s home.”

Merlin let himself be carried into the sea of people, said slurred hellos to the ones he knew (and to quite a few of the ones he didn’t), thinking to himself that waiting until the end of the party sounded like a good plan, convincing himself to let the matter drop until then.

After a few more rounds of beer pong that were just as embarassing as the first one (it turned out no-one was as bad as Merlin and Gwaine) they gave up on it, instead spent their time having the kind of outrageous, half-witted conversations that people their age tended to have, then proceeded to having horribly silly dance-offs that made them laugh so hard they were very nearly rolling on the floor. When the evening turned into late night and the party thinned out, Merlin had sobered up quite considerably (if not entirely), and he saw a window of possibility when Gwen and Morgana were making out in a corner, looking like they were getting rather impatient to go somewhere they could be alone (and wasn’t it so very, very interesting that they were going to Gwen’s and not staying here?). 

Merlin hid his heavy winter jacket and the rest of his outerwear so Morgana might think he’d left already and stealthily (well, in an attempt of being stealthy) sneaked towards the staircase. He shouldn’t, however, have underestimated Morgana so badly, and was mewling pathetically as she forcefully dragged him down the stairs, rudely shoved him out the front door and told him to go home while throwing jacket, scarf and boots into his face.

Merlin sulked as he walked off to the bus stop, dragging his feet and making plans to drop by the house tomorrow, late enough for Arthur not to be too affected by (too grumpy because of) the morning and early enough for Morgana to still be at Gwen’s.

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The snow crackled and compressed under Merlin’s boots as he sped up, looking over his shoulder at the bus that was just becoming visible down the road. He just had to get a little further, just a few hundred meters and he’d be at the stop before it was too late, before the bus would get there and drive off without him. His body reminded him not-so-gently of his inadequacies at throwing small plastic balls, of the still-somewhat-present consequences thereof, and he fought to keep his running straight, to keep his bleary eyes focused on both the position of the bus and the sparsely-lit path in front of him, which, really, he should’ve known was a losing strategy.

He tripped over something hidden in the snow - or possibly (probably) over nothing at all - and tumbled forward, giving a brief, thankful thought to the dampening properties of the white cover before landing headfirst in it. If he’d been just a bit less inebriated he might have had the sense to get right back up again, but as it was the world spun uncomfortably and his face was full of far-too-cold bits of snow, so he sat up, feeling rather dazed as he tried to shove it out of his everywhere, and watched the bus drive right past him.

The thought of just plomping back down for a nice, little self-pity session became quite tempting, but then there was the secondary one that now he’d have to go back, back to where Arthur might still be and Morgana wouldn’t for much longer, and actually maybe he should’ve just gone with the whole missing-the-bus thing in the first place. (Though he had to admit that if Arthur wasn’t there and Morgana wasn’t either, the prospect of waiting alone for two hours outside in this weather was not entirely fantastic, and the plomping-down-in-defeat option might be a nice one after all.)

He pulled himself together, turned back and made his way to the front of the house just in time to call out, „Morgana!” before she disappeared into her cab. She turned her head towards him and he ran up to her with an out-of-breath, „Missed my bus.

Morgana chuckled and brushed something out of his hair. „Looks like it. Good thing you didn’t pass out somewhere and froze to death.”

„Yeah,” Merlin said absently, feeling rather anxious to ask, „Could I wait inside? I don’t think the next one is for another two hours.”

A frown crumpled up Morgana’s face (which Merlin suspected was excellent news), and she sighed that, „Yeah. Yeah, you can just go in,” and then, with the frown deepening, „It’s… not locked.”

„Oh, Arthur’s home, is he?” Merlin said airily in an entirely unconvincing attempt at disinterest.

„Yes… He is,” Morgana admitted reluctantly, pointing a finger admonishingly at him when she continued, „but you’re not to talk to him. You’re to stay downstairs, wait on your own like a good boy and absolutely under no circumstances talk to my horribly evil older brother. Understood?”

„Yes ma’am,” Merlin said with a little mock salute, grinning widely as he walked off to the front door, responding to Morgana’s, „I mean it, Merlin!” with a, „Yep! Stay downstairs, got it!” that he could practically hear her scowling at. He almost thought she might run after him, but then Gwen said something from her seat inside the car, and he turned his head to see Morgana turn away with one last glare and get into it.

He slipped through the heavy door, into the grand foyer where he hung his jacket. Then he made his way to the bathroom, where he tried to make himself look a little less like he’d been very recently falling over his own feet, already hearing the ’Honestly, Merlin’, already seeing the signature amused smirk (not that he’d actually mind seeing that if he were to be very honest, but he probably would anyways, without the extra encouragement). He ruffled his hair and somewhat managed to go from drowned puppy towards sexily disheveled. Maybe. At least it was a nice, new shirt he was wearing and his jeans were dark and skinny, clung to him in a way that was positively slutty. He looked good, he decided. He could do this.

He left the bathroom and went to the kitchen, where he put on the kettle and got the deep-blue Harry Potter mug he liked from the cupboard (’Of course, that’d be your favourite, wizard boy’, ’Shut up, Arthur’) along with a tea bag that smelled like caramel. He looked out the window while the water boiled, tried to let the soft light of the stars calm his nerves a bit. He was just gonna go up there and knock, just be casual with a,

„Hey Arthur! Haven’t seen you in so long. How’re you doing?”

The kettle whistled and boiled so he took it off, poured its contents over the tea bag, watched as the water turned a pleasant golden-brown and filled the air with a faint, sweet scent.

„Hi,” he tried again, „Missed my bus and just thought I’d come talk to you, since I’m stuck here anyways. Just see how you were doing.”

Merlin picked up the cup and absent-mindedly pumped the bag, considered how flirty he could pull off being. He smiled slightly to himself, drawled,

„Heeeeey, Arthurrr, I was all alone in this great, big house and thought maybe you’d like to entertain me.”

„Entertain you…?”

Merlin jumped and spun around, promptly spilling scalding water all over his hands, the sensation fading entirely and immediately at the sight of Arthur standing in the doorway, looking obnoxiously self-satisfied and completely, fucking glorious. His hair was positively glowing with the light of the hallway behind him, his beautifully sculpted chest wrapped delectably in a crisp, white shirt and oh, don’t even get Merlin started on the area below that because then-

„Merlin, your hand,” Arthur said impatiently (Merlin replied with a very intelligent, „Wha-?”) and then Arhur’s hands were on Merlin’s, wrestling the cup from him, dragging him to the sink to let icy-cold water onto his burning skin, which admittedly was both a very good idea and very, very pleasant, but drowned entirely in the crackling electricity of the sudden closeness, of having Arthur’s touch after months without as much as a word.

„Really, Merlin you’re a danger to yourself, aren’t you? Always so clumsy.”

The haughty tone snapped Merlin right out of his daze, launched him automatically into a snarky,

„Well, maybe if you didn’t sneak up on me-”

„I was hardly sneaking up on you.”

Merlin turned his head to look at him, thought that if the playful expression was anything to go by, he rather had been. He rather liked the thought of that.

Arthur let go of his hands and dried his own on a towel. Merlin stood there for a moment more, feeling equal amounts of butterflies and wasps flying about his stomach, feeling how dry his throat was becoming, how his mind was suddenly devoid of things to say, frozen with the charged possibility of the moment. He turned off the tab and took the towel from Arthur with an awkward,

„So, um… So, how’ve you been?”

Arthur smirked (because of course he bloody did) and purred,

What, was that the best line then?”

With that, the embarassing nature of the situation finally dawned on Merlin and he felt himself flush a deep, scarlet red, felt a string of panicked, embarassed thoughts start up before he managed to force himself away from the mortification and back into an Arthur-appropriate mindset.

„How long were you watching me, you creep?

Arthur picked up the tea (Merlin’s tea) and took a very small sip, his eyes darkening ever so slightly as his smirk grew ever wider and more superior.

„Long enough, Merlin-” he said, stepping closer and closer until Merlin’s arse was backed against the counter and his heart felt like it was gonna beat right out of his chest, „-to hear, ’Oh Arthur, it’s been so long since I last had the chance to shamelessly, desperately gawk at you, may I please get down on my knees and suck your cock now? Please, please, please?’”

The flush came back to Merlin’s face, this time accompanied by a very overwhelming, very sudden spike in arousal as he was assaulted by the sound of those filthy, mocking words, by the realisation that Arthur’s arms were suddenly on each side of him, trapping him in the tight space between him and the counter. He wondered faintly if he could suck his cock if he asked very, very nicely, if he just said ’You’re right, I want you desperately, pleaseplease, can I?’ and let himself sink down right there, used his mouth to worship Arthur’s prick while its owner panted above him, twisted Merlin’s hair painfully in his broad, perfect hands and pulled- 

Merlin snapped out of it, raised his gaze from Arthur’s crotch and forced himself into a deeply unconvincing, entirely dishonest,

„Oh, please. It- it wasn’t like that.”

Arthur took another step forward. Merlin pressed himself harder against the counter, tried not to whimper at how Arthur’s leg started sliding in between his own, how it pushed blissfully, heavenly up against his aching erection.

„It was exactly like that.”

Merlin swallowed, stared inanely at Arthur’s too-close, too-perfect, too-pouty lips, imagining how they would feel against his own. Said a half-whispered,

Was not.

„Oh, come now, Merlin.” Arthur traced his fingers over his cheek, under his jaw, and Merlin closed his eyes to feel every little tingle that danced over his skin. „You’ve never been even remotely subtle about it.”

Merlin forced his eyes open again, forced them to meet Arthur’s, icy-blue and perfectly, pleasantly cool as they always were.

„You- know, then?” he said hesitantly.

Arthur’s smile turned a bit sweet, a bit kind now, as it did sometimes, and he let his thumb gently run over Merlin’s bottom lip.

„Yeah,” he said simply, pushing the tip of his finger into the mouth it was playing with, making Merlin shiver and instinctively close his lips around it to give it a gentle suck.

„Right,” Merlin said, feeling the weight of the thumb as his lips formed the word. „And?

A bit of wickedness reemerged in Arthur’s features, and he withdrew his hand, took a step back with a drawled, „And…?” knowing full well what Merlin was asking, playing with him like he always was.

„And- And- Is it-” Merlin stammered, too agitated to participate in that game, „Are you- Do you-”

„-wanna fuck you?”

And that was it. That did it for the last bits of consistent thought activity that had been left in Merlin’s brain, so he just stood there, unbearably aroused and on edge, gaping at Arthur, unable to reach anything he could’ve used to defend himself with.

„Uh, eh, well, I- Do… do you?

Arthur took a longer sip, looked profoundly pleased with Merlin’s incoherency, then abruptly stalked away, turned the cup upside-down over the sink, spilling all its contents in a dramatic splash.

Hey!” Merlin said from behind his daze, instinctively aggrieved by the unnecessary waste of perfectly good tea (though he wouldn’t know, actually, since he hadn’t had any).

Arthur left the kitchen with a bossy, „Come on, Merlin,” and after a brief moment of agitated confusion, Merlin stumbled after him.

Arthur made his way upstairs via the spiral-staircase and went into his room. Merlin paused in the doorway, not sure what was happening and whether he was supposed (allowed?) to enter.

The room was rather chaotic which was quite impressive, given that it’d only been inhabited for the one night. The walls, though, were less decorated than they’d been when Arthur lived at home, and it felt a bit empty, a bit not-lived-in, despite all the mess that centered around the suitcase Arthur was starting to put his clothes back into.

„Arthur…?” Merlin tried uncertainly.

„Yes?”

„What’s… What’re you-”

„Packing.”

Even through the fog slowing him, Merlin succeeded in rolling his eyes at that.

„Yes, I can see that. But you- you just got here.”

„I did. Yes.”

A pair of pants were picked up from where they were sprawled out on the bed and folded efficiently.

„And now… you’re leaving?”

Arthur paused for a moment, looked at Merlin with an amused smile and something deeply mischievous in his eyes.

„I am.”

Merlin felt incredibly, incredibly confused and at a loss for more advanced ways of putting that or otherwise inquiring into the nature of the situation he just went with,

„I’m very confused,” which made Arthur give a little half-chuckle and say,

„You usually are,” as he started packing again.

Merlin huffed. „Arthur.”

Yes, Merlin?”

A fair amount of irritation had settled into him now, and he glared at Arthur, didn’t grace him with an answer. After a little while, after a few more things being neatly arranged, Arthur said,

„You’d like to know why I’m packing?”

and Merlin sighed with increasing exasperation. 

„I would.”

„Well you see,” Arthur said casually, throwing a shirt into his suitcase and standing up, walking (prowling) towards Merlin, who instinctively backed up until he was flush against the wall of the hallway with Arthur looming over him, just as intoxicatingly close as he’d been in the kitchen, an arm on the right side of Merlin.

„If my sister comes home and finds me defiling her dear, sweet Merlin, she’s gonna throw a right strop and skin me alive. And well- I rather like my skin the way it is, covering my body.”

And with that nonsense he walked off and went back to his packing.

Merlin stood there for a moment, then followed to the doorway again, feeling no less lost until Arthur offhand said,

„Also, Leon isn’t home all weekend,”

and Merlin’s overexerted mind managed to figure it out.

„You… You wanna bring me to Oxford. To- To…”

„Yep.”

Merlin’s mouth went dry. Arthur zipped his suitcase and walked right past him, going downstairs again. Merlin followed mindlessly.

When they were in the hall, Arthur held up Merlin’s jacket and Merlin automatically put his arms through the sleeves, protesting only slightly with a half-hearted,

„Arthur, you can’t- can’t just…”

but Arthur’s front was pressing lightly up against him, his arms reaching around to close the buttons of his coat. His breath puffed against the back of Merlin’s ear when he whispered,

Can’t I?

and Merlin shivered, had to concede that,

„I guess you can,” with a tiny, little huff of incredulous laughter. He knew Arthur’s face was full of that obnoxious smirk again, could hear it in his voice when he imperiously said,

„Come on then,” and opened the front door.

Once Merlin had pulled himself together for long enough to get through, Arthur followed, locked it, found his car key and beeped the car open. He threw his suitcase into the trunk and chivalrously opened the passenger door for Merlin who said a vague, „Thank you,” before he settled into the leather seat of the overpriced sports car, trying hard to contain his heart rate and his rapidly increasing sense of arousal. Arthur opened the opposite door and got behind the wheel. Before turning on the motor he turned to Merlin, looking hesitant for the first time of the evening.

„I could also just… drive you home?”

Merlin smiled at him as hazy bewilderment slowly started giving way to dizzying excitement.

„I’d- I’d rather go to Oxford.”

Arthur smiled back, reached out to glide his hand through Merlin’s hair, to trace his lower lip with his thumb again.

„That’s what I thought.”

Merlin laughed, had to get some of the tension out of his body, then called Arthur a,

Presumptous git,” a little more fondly than he’d meant to, which just made said git laugh too before turning on the car, taking them out on the road and away from the house.

Merlin settled back into his seat, turned on the seat warmer and tried very hard to calm down just a tiny, tiny bit, and perhaps attempt to wrap his mind just slightly around the beautiful madness that his life was currently turning into.

Chapter Text

Rows of dark-green, snow-covered pines rushed by as Merlin watched, fiddling idly with his hands, trying to convince himself that this was real, that it was happening and it wasn’t just a very vivid fantasy that he’d gotten himself lost in, or a misunderstanding or a prank or anything else that would force him to wake up and get back to a reality where Arthur didn’t want him, where he wasn’t about to-

Shit. Shit, was he really about to…?

The languid conversation that usually unfolded between them had been squashed under the heavy pressure, and they’d both been quiet almost since they left, the silence not exactly uncomfortable, just very, distinctively tense. After a while, Merlin had to say something, had to reassure himself somehow, so he forced out an unsure,

„So um- So, you really wanna um…”

and watched Arthur’s profile, watched the slight smile that crept unto his features with the easy,

„I’d like to. Yeah.”

„Right,” Merlin said and swallowed, wondering how Arthur could be so pleasantly casual about it, could talk about it like they were going grocery shopping or to one of Arthur’s footie matches.

Arthur turned his head to look at him for a brief moment, eyes clear and calculating, reading him all too easily.

„Nervous?”

„I, um… Yeah… kind of.”

Arthur let out a little „Hm,” and looked back at the road, then went silent for a while more, the wheels in his head turning noisily in the tight confinement of the car.

„I’m not gonna pressure you into anything you don’t want. You know that, right?”

Merlin inadvertently let out a little snort at that, because, really, Arthur could try to be nice all he wanted, but with him there wasn’t gonna be anything Merlin wouldn’t want. There wouldn’t be anything he’d say no to, anything he wouldn’t be desperate for, and Arthur had to know that, had to have been counting on it, when he whisked Merlin away for a spontaneous weekend sex-trip without putting any effort into persuading him to come along.

„Yeah. I know that. It’s just that, um-” Merlin felt his face flush a bit as he realised he’d probably have to tell Arthur, realised that he’d probably figure it out on his own if he didn’t. „It’s just that- I haven’t actually- Haven’t really… I’m… I’m-”

„A virgin?”

Merlin blinked, turned his head to look at Arthur again, felt the red colour settle deeper into his cheeks.

„I- uh… Yeah. How… How did you know?”

He was expecting Arthur to look smug, to tease him about it in a light-hearted way that would make him feel more at ease, but instead found him chewing on his lip as a rare expression of guilt started to crinkle his handsome features. He went silent again, those wheels in his head churning more loudly now. Then he blinked the turn signal and pulled the car over, and Merlin only just stopped himself from a desperate, ’No, please, don’t stop, it’s fine, doesn’t matter, just please, please don’t change your mind,’ and forced himself to be silent, to wait for the explanation.

After a too-long while of just looking forward, Arthur cleared his throat, said,

„Look, Merlin… A couple of years ago, Morgana was really cross with me, said she’d tried to set you up with someone, said you wouldn’t even look at him. Said it was because of me. Said if I didn’t stay away from you, you were gonna end up dying without ever having…”

He trailed off with a slightly pained sigh, with his brows frowning together.

Right,” Merlin said tersely, trying for casual and missing by a long shot, cursing Morgana internally, „And what did you- What did you say then?”

A sly smile found Arthur’s face at that and most of the guilt slid right off again (which was really a much more usual interaction than the frowning and the lip-chewing).

„I said you were one of those people that puberty had been incredibly kind to.” He turned his head to look at Merlin. „Said I wouldn’t mind… taking care of that for you.”

There was something dark playing in his eyes now, something wonderfully wicked that made Merlin’s mouth go dry, made him squirm in his seat as he rasped,

Can’t have liked that.

Arthur’s smile grew wide and predatory (beautifully so) as he said,

„Oh no, she didn’t. She yelled at me, told me to promise not to lay a finger on you.”

And did you? Did you- promise…?”

„No,” Arthur said, eyes piercing for a moment more before the darkness wobbled, before his smile faded, and his features were slowly, strangely consumed by guilt again. „No- eh, no not exactly. I only promised I would keep away until…” He sighed, turned his head away, looked out on the road again. „Until you were at least eighteen.”

Merlin stared at him as his mind slowly started putting the pieces together. He mumbled in a very low voice that he, „turned eighteen three days ago.

Arthur winced. „Yeah… Yeah, I know, it’s…” He cleared his throat, gripped the wheel a bit tighter than he needed to. „I should- I should really take you home.”

He’s fighting with himself, Merlin realised. Trying to convince himself of doing the right thing instead of taking what he wants, and what he wants, what he wants badly enough to make him this conflicted about it, it’s… it’s…

The thought was intoxicating and wonderful, started pushing Merlin from hesitant insecurity towards a delirious high which spread out on his face in the form of a mad grin and made him say,

„You probably should,” in a voice that was profoundly insincere and incredibly taunting.

Arthur’s face shifted slightly again, lips going into a straight, hard line, fingers tightening further around the steering wheel until they went white. He said,

Don’t look at me like that,” in a voice that was low, that carried a warning, and oh, oh Merlin was gonna disregard that warning so completely and entirely.

Merlin shifted in his seat, turned fully towards Arthur who was still very pointedly looking straight ahead. He licked his lips, made his voice a sweet mockery of innocence when he lightly said,

„Like what, Arthur?”

and Arthur made a noise that sounded almost like a growl, whipped his head around to glare at him.

„Like you wanna get pushed down on your knees and have that perfect mouth of yours fucked until your throat is fucking ruined.”

A slight whimper escaped Merlin at that, but he forced himself to hold Arthur’s gaze, forced himself to say,

„Oh, is that- is that how I look?” almost managing to sound cheeky through his shakiness.

„It’s how you always fucking look Merlin. And it’s fucking maddening.”

And with that Arthur turned on the motor again, pulled them back onto the road.

Merlin felt positively dizzy, felt double as nervous as he had before but for somewhat different reasons. He teased Arthur with a cheery,

„Taking me home then?”

which Arthur responded to with a snarled,

No.

Merlin turned back to sit properly, nestled into the toasty seat again. He tried not to hyperventilate, thought to himself that whatever battle Arthur was fighting, whatever restraint had been instilled in him by his sister or by the world, he was gonna make sure the right side won, was gonna make sure that that restraint was broken until Arthur was taking and taking and taking, taking everything he wanted, everything Merlin could possibly give him, everything he wanted so desperately to give him. 

Thought to himself that this whole thing was going to be utterly, god damn wonderful and completely, fucking terrifying.

Chapter Text

Darkened forests gave way to wide landscapes of greyscale fields. Then those gave way to gothic buildings of cream-coloured stone, lit by yellow streetlights.

„It’s so pretty here,” Merlin remarked quietly, studying an old college with an intricate, iron gate as it passed him by.

„Yeah. Yeah it’s nice.”

The car turned onto a street of elegant, narrow brick-houses and Arthur mumbled that, „This is it,” and pulled up by one of them, turned to face Merlin with,

„We could go see the town tomorrow.” 

He reached out to play with Merlin’s hair again, fingers threading not-entirely-gently through it, as a wicked smile crept unto his face. „If you can still walk by then, that is.”

Merlin grinned, tried to ignore the hot-heavy rush that tumbled down through his buzzing stomach.

„Well… Hopefully not, eh?”

Arthur’s hand tensed in his hair, grabbed it just hard enough to tilt Merlin’s head a tiny bit backwards. He agreed with a low, „Mmh,” eyes gliding lazily, hungrily over Merlin’s features, settling on his lips.

„You really think my mouth is perfect?”

The hunger dissipated and Arthur started smiling, started laughing and let Merlin go.

That’s what you focused on? That whole, creepy ruining-your-throat thing, and you focused on the background compliment? Really, Merlin?”

He shook his head and opened the car door with a muttered, „Completely incorrigible,” while he stepped outside, walked around to open the passenger side.

Merlin took the hand offered to him, stepped out and shut the door. 

When he turned, he found Arthur in his space, searching his face again. „You really don’t need to be nervous though,” he said, sounding earnest, bringing a hand up to stroke Merlin’s cheek in what was probably meant to be a reassuring manner, but mostly served to make Merlin’s heart beat faster. „You don’t need to… prove anything or… perform or anything, just-”

„Just be good and obedient?” Merlin interrupted, lips quirking into a cheeky, little smile, despite the increasing thump-thump-thump thrumming in his ears, „Just let you… break me in, any way you want?”

The gentleness fell off Arthur’s features and his hand slipped under Merlin’s chin to tilt his head back again, eyes narrowing ever so slightly with the almost solemn, thrillingly unnerving,

„Yes. Precisely.

He turned away brusquely, went to the trunk to get his suitcase, locked the car and went to the front door. Merlin swallowed and followed.

The entrance was nice and homey, the house generally much smaller and less assuming than the manor Arthur had grown up in. It was, however, still completely ridiculous considering that he by all rights should be in a room at his college and not in a house at all.

„Why are you living here?” Merlin asked, taking off his coat while Arthur kicked off his shoes and went somewhere with his suitcase.

Because I study here,” Arthur called from the next room.

„Not in Oxford, you berk. Why are you living here, in this house, and not at your college?”

„Oh,” Arthur said, appearing in the door again, stripping out of his jacket and casually, easily looking overwhelmingly, uncomfortably pretty. „Because I’m a spoiled brat, Merlin. Thought you knew that by now.”

Merlin laughed, felt simultaneously easy and nervous, rather naked under Arthur’s gaze as it turned to him, turned a little too calculating. 

„Fair point. But I’m pretty sure there are colleges for rich wankers like you. With big, luxurious rooms, perfectly suited for all your bratty needs.”

„Mmh,” Arthur said, in that way he did, stepping closer and closer until Merlin was against the front door, pulse speeding up, wondering vaguely if Arthur had a thing for pushing people up against things (though actually, scratch that, even without experiencing it three times in a single day, Merlin would’ve been entirely sure that he did). 

„But where would I bring pretty little things like you then?” He leant into Merlin’s neck, purred the next bit right into his ear, lips brushing against the shell. „When I needed some privacy to ravage them?

A soft kiss brushed against the skin just under the ear, and then Arthur’s broad hands were sweeping slowly up over his stomach, warmth seeping through the rough fabric of his shirt, making Merlin dizzy and way more aroused than what was reasonably from a simple touch like that. When they reached his shoulders, they started sweeping down over his back, travelling towards his arse while Arthur stepped closer, pressed his body against Merlin’s with one thigh up against his crotch. Merlin whimpered, felt the way the cool door against his back contrasted the heat at his front, and then, more or less consciously, let his head fall to the side to give Arthur access to his neck. Arthur chuckled against it, trailed his lips up over the skin, then dragged his teeth down hard, leaving a burning trail that sent a shiver through Merlin, one that stayed in his body, resonated with the part of his mind that hadn’t been able to keep up with what was going on, that was still entirely too overwhelmed to ground itself in everything that was happening.

Merlin forced himself into coherency, breathlessly said,

„Oh well, I- I expect they have rooms especially for that. Dungeons probably, full of needy, willing virgins just waiting to be ravaged by unfairly handsome, deeply overpriviliged upper class prats like yourself.”

Arthur chuckled, started laughing with his face pressed into Merlin’s neck, then brought it backwards to look at him. 

„Fuck, Merlin, I missed you. You say the most ridiculous things, do you know?”

Merlin smiled, felt heat blossom in his stomach, felt something urgent and desperate drawing him into the azure of the eyes locked with his.

„I try, Arthur. I try.”

„Mmh,” Arthur said again, leaning forward for a moment to almost brush his lips against Merlin’s, making Merlin’s breath hitch, making time stand still, probably, as he was suddenly millimeters from something he had wanted for so, so long, something that he could get, would get if Arthur would just come a little closer, if he would just- 

Arthur withdrew and stalked off, leaving Merlin bereft and empty with the sudden distance between them.

He stood there frozen for a moment, then frantically put his parts back together, and forced his feet to move, following through the living room, into the kitchen, where Arthur was uncorking a bottle of red wine and pouring two glasses, one of which he pressed into Merlin’s hand.

„So…” Merlin said, smiling slightly, taking a quick sip while he kicked his brain hard and mean, not having time for the kind of nervous flailing it was trying to do, „This for making me all pliant and willing for you?”

„No, Merlin,” Arthur said sweetly, entirely falsely so, „I don’t need to work on that when it’s you. This-” He grabbed the stem and turned it upwards, forcing Merlin to start drinking at a steady pace that would have him downing the glass in a couple of seconds. „-is for making you relax so it’ll be easier to pound that pretty, little arse of yours without damaging it.”

Merlin choked on his wine. Arthur laughed and let go, beaming unapologetically while Merlin sputtered an indignant, „God, Arthur,” and coughed, swiping his lips to keep the colourful liquid from dripping down and ruining his shirt.

Arthur leant in then, carefully licked the wine from the edge of Merlin’s jawline up to his mouth, his tongue so warm, so wet, so ridicously arousing when it briefly touched the corners of it. Then he grasped Merlin’s hands, sucked it off his fingers (and if his tongue had been bad, his mouth was an absolute inferno of slick heat, full of ideas of what else it might envelop), and hollowed his cheeks pornographically around them, eyes dancing with mirth at Merlin’s glass-eyed expression. He pulled off of the last one with a lewd slurp, said, „Come on, Merlin,” and dragged him by the wrist out of the kitchen, making Merlin stumble after, thinking he was unlikely to survive a whole night (or was it an entire, fucking weekend?) of Arthur toying with him like this.

In the living room Arthur plopped into a heavy leather armchair, looked up at Merlin with a lazy,

„Strip,” and prodded him lightly with a foot.

Merlin internally slapped himself out of his daze and pointedly rolled his eyes. 

„You can’t be serious.”

„Come now, Merlin. You were gonna be good and obedient, were you not?”

Merlin snorted at that, meant to say something witty, but then found himself standing alone on the floor, uncomfortably exposed with Arthur’s eyes on him, nervous without his heat, without his hands to take charge. He paused for a second, giving his bottom lip a nervous lick, trying to find the right words, something to move the situation along, but then… fuck this. Fuck this, he thought quite firmly as he started chucking off his pants, stepping out of them and his socks too. Fuck Arthur if he thought he was gonna rattle him and he was gonna stand there and blush for him like a fucking… 

A low growl escaped Merlin and he jumped onto the chair, straddling Arthur rather forcefully, which just made Arthur smile beatifically, looking entirely too pleased with the situation, as he grasped the top button of Merlin’s shirt to open it. Merlin slapped his hands away.

No. You wanted me to strip, didn’t you? So, I’m stripping.” He started opening his shirt, stubbornly slow, glowering at Arthur. 

Arthur, however, remained entirely unperturbed, just started caressing the inside of Merlin’s thighs, which very quickly, all too easily melted the irritation away and pulled Merlin right back into the blur of ’oh-god-he’s-touching-me’ that he’d just managed to get a tiny break from. When the final button came undone, Merlin slowly, slowly pushed the shirt off his shoulders and let it fall to the floor. Arthur’s hands swept up and explored the expanse of pale, newly revealed skin, stopped at the nipples to twist them slightly.

Fucking gorgeous, Merlin,” he said in a low voice, pushing Merlin’s hands behind his back, which Merlin would’ve complained about, if he hadn’t been entirely side-tracked by the compliment. Instead he smiled sweetly, said,

„You really think so?”

„Yeah.” Arthur returned his smile. „But then, a lot of people think so. You know that, don’t you? Did you think I wasn’t one of them?”

„Hmm,” Merlin said, trying for casual but grinning like an idiot, feeling intensely happy and a bit relieved. „I don’t know. I thought maybe you were straight. Or that maybe you were just too pretty for me. Gwaine thinks you’re out of my league.”

„Only dull people are straight, Merlin. As for Gwaine, he’s an idiot and a lying bastard who’d give his right arm to have you.”

„Gwaine? Really?

Arthur dragged his nails over Merlin’s chest, langorously taking in his body, feeling the dips and curves of him, the fairly well-defined, rather lean muscle.

„Mmh. You should see the way he looks at you.”

Merlin gave up on keeping his arms behind his back, threaded them fondly though shiny, golden hair instead.

„How’s that, Arthur…? Is it the same way I look at you?”

Arthur smiled, caught somewhere between soft and self-satisfied. „No… No, no-one looks at anyone the way you look at me.”

And there was that intense heat again, curling up from Merlin’s stomach, pervading his whole system until he was a bit breathless, a bit too emotional, and leant in to rest his forehead against Arthur’s, feeling his heart crack a bit, in sort of a good way, felt it leaking pulses of warm, aching affection into his chest.

„Have you…” He sighed, gave himself a moment to steady his voice. „Have you… always known?”

„Yeah,” Arthur said again, running his hands over Merlin’s back, motion somewhat soothing, somewhat comforting. „Been a lot harder to ignore it lately. Not that I ever wanted to, mind you, just- It’s been more… distracting, have been wanting to…”

Merlin drew in a shuddering breath, exhaled a wavering,

„… fuck me?

„Mmh.”

Merlin sat back, ran his hands over Arthur’s shoulders, down over his bulky arms, trying to get his breathing to even out, to contain the quivering that kept moving through his body.

„Well you can, you know,” he said, fingers dancing at the top of Arthur’s shirt, nervous grin playing on his face.

„I do know,” Arthur said, smirking again, tensing his arms around Merlin’s back, somehow managing to stand up with Merlin curled around him. „And I very much intend to.”

He walked through the room, holding Merlin with one arm, used the other for a door handle and then Merlin was being carried into Arthur’s bedroom, which had to be something he was imagining, had to be a thing out of his overactive imagination. 

When, however, he was thrown very, very carelessly on the bed, only just keeping himself from bouncing chaotically off it unto the floor, he had to concede that, no alright, it was entirely real, it was more Arthur than he could ever have made it in a fantasy. It was especially so when Arthur turned away without even looking at him or gracing Merlin’s disgruntled protest with any kind of apology, instead rummaged through a couple of drawers before exclaiming a delighted, „Ah, there it is!” and returning with crimson-coloured rope in his hands.

„You can’t be serious.”

Arthur smiled again, haughty and arrogant as ever. Infinitely prattish.

„Oh, I’m entirely serious, Merlin. I assure you.”

He pounced forward, grabbed Merlin’s right wrist and started tying it to the bedpost. Then some sort of reason seemed to find him and he paused for a moment, said a slightly hesitant,

„Unless… you don’t want me to?”

Merlin just rolled his eyes again.

„Just stop pretending you think I might say no.”

Arthur snickered. Snickered shamelessly and deftly finished tying the right wrist, then did the left one.

„How’s that? Too loose? Too tight?”

Merlin testingly pulled on the rope and suddenly, instinctively understood the consequences of it. He was trapped, helpless, he was screwed is what he was, in the figurative sense and the literal one, in any sense, really, and oh if that wasn’t way more exciting than it should’ve been, if that didn’t go straight to his cock and make him let out a pathetic, little whimper before he managed to stop it.

„No, it’s- good. Feels good.”

„Does it?” Arthur said, lips curling up with a bit of amusement again, the rest of his features dragged down by something heavier, something hungrier that stopped the smile from reaching his eyes.

Merlin didn’t back down, forced his words to be steady when he answered, „Yeah. It does.”

„Hmm,” Arthur said and shuffled down, hooking his fingers under the edge of Merlin’s boxers and pulling them down to reveal his cock, lean and long and uncomfortably hard as it was.

It hit Merlin then how very, very naked he was, how he wasn’t made any less so by the deep-red bonds over his wrists, the way they forced his body to remain stretched out in complete exposure. How he especially wasn’t by the way Arthur, still fully clothed, was staring at him, at his body, like he was learning every curve, every plane of it, deciding on what region to conquer first.

Gorgeous,” Arthur muttered, bending down to mouth at the v-shape leading to Merlin’s groin, trailing a tongue into the slanted lines of it. „Completely, fucking gorgeous.” He looked up, found Merlin’s eyes. „And only ever mine.”

There was a tug at those words, a pull at Merlin’s core, the same one that had always turned his head towards Arthur, but felt unbearably strong now that it was Arthur himself who wielded it, now that it wasn’t just Merlin gawking helplessly, but Arthur right there, staring back at him.

„Oh, I am, am I?” he said shakily, never one to concede already-lost battles, not when it came to this. 

The challenge wasn’t well received. It pulled at Arthur’s expression, drew it into thin, dangerous lines. 

Yes, Merlin,” he said, firm and menacing, crawling back up, sinking his head into Merlin’s neck. His teeth pulled slightly at Merlin’s earlobe for a moment, then he whispered for Merlin to, „Spread your legs,” and Merlin did almost automatically, feeling his cock twitch at the command. He took advantage of the close proximity to press a careful kiss into Arthur’s neck, getting just a slight taste of the warm, smooth skin there. Then he felt Arthur shift to have his own legs inside Merlin’s, saw a glance of a hand moving to the bedside table for a moment and then-

Oh.

Then a finger, slick and warm, pressing against his entrance, demanding entry as it circled over his rim, stimulating a thousand over-sensitive nerve endings, sparked them into action until they were threatening to fry every single cell in his brain. Merlin took a deep breath, tried hard to relax against the way he felt like he was being torn right open, body and heart and everything laid out like an offering, one that Arthur was greedily claiming as his voice trickled into his ear so molten and sweet, so enticing and entirely hypnotising,

You always were. Were always looking at me, always wanting, always yearning. Always too obsessed with the idea to consider anyone else.” The finger pressed in and Merlin moaned, pressed his head backwards into the mattress, as he felt waves of pleasure crash over him from the tight intrusion. „And now I get to have it all, get to- What was it you said? Break you in. Any way I want.”

Yes,” Merlin gasped breathlessly, mindlessly, wanting very, very badly to be broken in any way Arthur could think to do it, any way he would want to.

„Yes,” Arthur parrotted, still firm, still tempting, but not quite able to hide how his own voice was going a bit hoarse, a bit breathy as he pushed further in, gently started pumping his finger.

Merlin let out a stuttering exhale, reveled in the startling, wonderful sensation of that movement, that slightly burning stretch, the sense of having Arthur’s body, perfect and warm, hovering just above him. He felt Arthur’s teeth move from his ear to his shoulder, felt them sink deeper into his skin, the pain that emerged there, the intense way it contrasted the pleasure below.

A loud groan rumbled through him and he couldn’t help tensing up, couldn’t help the, „Fuck, Arthur, I’m not- Might not- last that long.”

The biting stopped and Arthur’s eyes were there again, piercing and commandeering, making their way deep into Merlin’s mind while his finger breached his body.

„You don’t need to, love. We’ve got all the time in the world.”

The words were almost uncomfortably soft in contrast to Arthur’s gaze, to his actions, to his voice even, and the term of endearment rang through Merlin’s ears, made his heart throb painfully, wonderfully with the sweet sound, the sheer, endless possibility of it.

„You’re really- really gonna keep me here all weekend?”

Arthur kissed the corner of his mouth, travelled down to his ear again.

„Gonna keep you here till you’re so fucked out, you’ve forgotten your own name and your voice is broken from screaming mine.”

Merlin laughed, had to, despite how he was panting, despite the jolt he felt from Arthur whispering ridiculous filth like that into his ear.

„Quite the line, that one.”

Arthur snorted, sarcastically said „Thank you,” and then twisted his finger in some wicked way that had Merlin gasping as an overpowering bolt of electricity shot up through his spine.

Shit,” he mumbled, panted, and reached out to touch Arthur, to drag him down into a kiss, except he didn’t, couldn’t, because those stupid ropes were blocking his movement, so he just pulled ineffectually on them, endlessly frustrated while Arthur watched him, said an amused,

„Ah… So close and yet so far, eh Merlin?”

Fuck. You,” Merlin hissed and doubled the effort, knowing full well Arthur would untie him if he would just ask for it.

„Mmh,” Arthur said lazily, „Fuck me, indeed,” and then he withdrew his finger for a moment, only to return it with another, the stretch of them so overwhelmingly good that Merlin went crazy with it, lost whatever grounding he’d had, the sensation so much, too much, not at all enough.

Arthur,” he said desperately, „I need, Arthur, I need-

„I know. I know, Merlin, just-”

„But I can’t- Please, I can’t-”

„Shh, Merlin, calm down.” Arthur cupped his face, caught Merlin’s frantic eyes with his own. „You’ll have everything you want. Everything you need. But you need to slow down. Be patient for me. Can you do that?”

„I-” Merlin’s frenzy stilled in the oceans of blue before him. „Yes,” he said quietly, suddenly sure he could do anything if Arthur would only ask like that, with his eyes so calm and beautiful, his voice so steady and certain.

„Good.” Arthur placed a kiss on his forehead, muttered, „So good for me, Merlin,” and testingly scissored his fingers for a moment before he started moving them in earnest, working Merlin mercilessly towards his orgasm, hitting his prostate on every damn thrust of them.

„Fuck, fuck,” Merlin panted, closing his eyes to cut back on the stimulation only to feel Arthur shift down and start licking his right nipple, sucking it into his mouth and then biting down hard on it. The pain of it was so perfect and so sharp, and when he simultaneously felt Arthur’s tongue brush over the top of it, it was absolutely the final straw and he groaned, shuddered, started coming all over his stomach. He opened his eyes to see Arthur watching him attentively as pleasure cascaded over him, to see him studying his face like he was carefully cataloguing every reaction, every movement across it. Which to be fair was probably exactly what he was doing, but was also entirely unhelpful, only served to strengthen Merlin’s orgasm, hard and unrelenting as it was, almost a bit uncomfortable from how his cock was still so woefully understimulated, had been forced into this by the onslaught of sensation from the rest of his body.

As his climax slowly ebbed out, the fingers slowed down with it, were drawn out carefully, wiped clean on Arthur’s come-soaked shirt, before he tucked it up over his head and carelessly threw it away. And oh. Oh, that made Merlin tug on his ropes again, despite his post-orgasmic wooziness, which in turn made Arthur smile again, except it wasn’t quite the same as before, wasn’t quite as superior, had some kind of… Something more serene, something almost reverent to it.

Arthur brushed some hair out of Merlin’s face, looked at him in a way that made Merlin’s heart skip a beat, and mumbled,

„So good for me. So pretty. Christ Merlin, you look so pretty when you… I’m never gonna let-”

Then there was a sigh, a kiss to Merlin’s forehead, one on his nose, almost one against his lips. Merlin chased hungrily after that one but was held back by those ropes and really, Merlin was starting to have a serious issue with those.

„Gonna let me go? Now that you’ve had your wicked way with me and all that.”

And alright, ok, Merlin had asked for the smirk this time.

„Haven’t had it yet, have I?”

And that was a no then. Merlin sighed, considered asking to be let out in earnest, then remembered that he was a complete sucker for the smug, beautiful bastard above him and instead laid back in resignation.

„Fine. Keep me locked up here all night then. Pervert.”

The way Arthur raised his eyebrows at that carried an eerie similarity to someone who was thinking ’Why, yes, that’s exactly what I was planning on,’ and Merlin whined, pouted, said,

„Oh, really?” which he subsequently wished he hadn’t because suddenly Arthur looked all serious, playful attitude crumbling, brows frowning together. He looked serious and… he looked guilty, which was just as weird and uncomfortable as it had been in the car, didn’t get any better when he said,

„No, I… I can let you out if you want, Merlin. It doesn’t have to be like this, we can- I don’t have to be… I’m sorry.”

Really, he was the most fickle person Merlin had ever met.

„Why are you- Don’t be… Don’t be sorry. Why would you be- sorry?

„Because I’m- I’m doing this all… I want you all…”

„Arthur-”

„No, I do. I want you in the wrong way, and I want… too much, want you too… I just… want you all- I want all-” 

He paused, then sighed out, 

wrong.”

Merlin’s stomach clenched at the expression on his face.

„Arthur, that’s not-” he started, paused for a moment as he changed his mind, then went with, „I… I like this. Like… the way you want. Like- you like this.”

Arthur paused for a moment, searching his face, then left abruptly, was gone from the room for a minute, before he came back with a small towel and straddled Merlin to carefully wipe down his stomach, the fabric soft and warm and damp against his skin. Then he leant down, licked the remaining drops of white off, which was entirely too arousing to be happening so soon after Merlin’s release, didn’t get any better when he moved his tongue to Merlin’s very confused cock that sent distressed signals to his brain and made an involuntarily, uncomfortable attempt at getting back to hardness. It especially didn’t get better when Arthur wrapped his lips around the head and Merlin yelped, said,

God, Arthur I just- just came, it’s too- You can’t, it’s not- ready.”

Arthur looked up at him with a slightly dazed, slightly puzzled look on his face.

„Oh… Sorry,” he said, and crawled up until he was looking Merlin in the eyes again. „I, um- I… thank you, Merlin, that was… that was a very sweet thing to say.” 

His lips curled up in one side as a bit of teasing returned to his face with the, „I like you like this too,” and he kissed Merlin on the nose again.

That could have been a sweet thing to say as well, would’ve been a great deal sweeter if the ’like this’ didn’t currently mean ’tied up and helpless’, but there was something genuinely grateful in Arthur’s eye, something that made Merlin warm, so he graciously let it go, accepted the thank-you. 

Arthur held his gaze for a moment more, then he was shuffling out of the bed, draping the duvet over Merlin, saying that he was, „just gonna go to the living room for a little while,” and then, with a wide grin spreading on his face that, „You can just come out and join me if you want.”

He was out the door before Merlin had the chance to shout anything like, ’No, Arthur, you complete bastard, don’t you fucking dare!’ and then Merlin was tragically alone, tragically completely unable to join Arthur in the living room or absolutely anywhere that wasn’t on this exact spot where he was still tied up quite skillfully and decisively.

„I fucking hate you,” he mumbled pointlessly to the room and sighed, thankful that he at least had quite a bit of length to his restraints and could rest his shoulders and wrists completely against the mattress. That the ties around his wrists weren’t really tight, only just enough to make sure he couldn’t slip out of them. 

Only just enough to make sure he couldn’t, and oh, oh then the conspirational part of his mind was suddenly active and oh shit, it wasn’t just Arthur being home that specific weekend, not just the driving Merlin here, was it? It was the wine and the ropes and the specific way they were tied, the not-touching-his-dick, the not-kissing-him, the leaving-to-the-living-room and everything, everything except for the god damn, out-of-nowhere guilt trips that were suddenly starting to make a great deal of sense. It was one long power demonstration is what it was, one very well-thought-out, highly detailed plan for how to take someone’s virginity when you know they’ll give you everything and you’ve had years to plan it. 

Fuck.

Arthur had wanted him for years. Had fantasised about him. For years.

And Merlin really was such a pathetic idiot, because that was ultimately his take away from the whole thing and all he could do was grin to himself, laugh slightly with the wonderful, wicked depravity of it all, immediately starting to plan how he was gonna sabotage Arthur’s plans, so he wouldn’t be tied up all night, tortured with pleasure until he was crying and begging for Arthur to just fuck him already. 

Not that the appeal of that plan was… entirely lost on him, but Merlin had a very strong principle on spoiling Arthur’s schemes whenever he hadn’t been included in the makings of them, and he told himself quite adamantly that this wouldn’t be the exception.

Bits of dialogue, taunts and cheek started appearing in his mind and he laughed to himself whenever he thought of something especially mischievous to say, felt himself go halfway back to hardness whenever he thought of an especially evil response from Arthur, whenever he imagined that tightly contained hunger break out of its prison and paint his face stormy with want. Soon, strategy melted into fantasy and gradually that fantasy got less coherent, as Merlin’s tired body grew heavy, started dragging his mind into a rest it hadn’t been able to find on its own, and he murmured, 

„Oh, that’s what he wanted, I’m meant to… to-”

Then his eyes fell shut and he was gone in sleep, shakiness dissipating, overworked mind resting, the parts of it that hadn’t been able to keep up slowly repairing themselves, leaving him warm and pliant and relaxed. Warm and pliant and perfectly tranquillised for anyone who might have designs on his virtue.

Chapter Text

Merlin was warm. Warm, fuzzy, cosy, the feeling wound snugly around him, wrapping his mind in a comfortable haze. There was a soft brush against his skin, up over his arm and his heavy eyelids lifted slowly as a soft, „Mmmh,” left his throat.

His vision sluggishly started back up, found a soft focus to reveal locks of blond hair shining in the dim glow of a bedside lamp, to reveal a solid, clean-shaved jawline and full, coral lips that were currently lifted in a small, fond smile.

„Hey,” Arthur murmured. 

And Merlin got warmer.

A white, thin shirt was wrapped around Arthur’s shoulders, buttons left unopened to reveal his stomach in all its tight, smooth glory. The tip of a finger ran over Merlin’s wrist, under the rope that bound it, then Arthur pressed two fingers into the palm, told Merlin to,

„Squeeze,” and Merlin did.

Arthur nodded, did the same with the other hand and mumbled, „Good,” apparently satisfied that neither of them were about to fall off anytime soon.

He slid out of his shirt, shucked off his pants and then Merlin had a moment to catalogue stunning planes of bulging muscle and gold-tanned skin - grateful for the remaining sleep as it shielded him from the worst rush of arousal - before Arthur was lifting up the duvet slightly, making Merlin shiver, first with the cold air that snaked in, then with the extensive skin-to-skin contact as he crawled under, slipping his own legs between Merlin’s, bracing himself with an arm on each side of his head.

„Hey,” he said again, smile a bit wider now.

„Hey,” Merlin replied in a rough voice, drowsily smiling back, feeling his arousal stir under Arthur’s weight, under the delectable press of his body, while his mind tried to claw its way back to sharpness and deal with how close Arthur was, how naked he suddenly was.

One of Arthur’s hands touched lightly on Merlin’s cheek, went down to his shoulder and travelled up over his arm, passing the rope to brush against his fingers.

„You’re lovely like this.”

There was a little flutter in Merlin’s stomach, a quirk to one side of his smile when he said,

„Tied up in your bed?”

„Mmh,” Arthur murmured, rolling his hips languidly into Merlin who let out a moan from the immediate pleasure of it, from the dizzying feeling of Arthur’s filling cock pressing against him. He wondered hazily, hopefully, if he’d been wrong and Arthur didn’t actually have any plans to tease him, or if maybe Arthur had simply changed his mind, had decided that he didn’t want to wait and was just gonna take him then and there. The idea of it was almost as lovely as it was daunting, but was made a great deal less daunting by how Merlin was almost entirely sure that it was utterly wrong.

Still, a man could hope, and he wrapped his legs around Arthur’s hips, tilted his own up to make the movement more suggestive, pulled with his legs to press them together. 

„And warm. And pliant. And sweet,” Arthur continued, going down on his elbows to breathe deeply into Merlin’s neck, press soft kisses into it, then did a bit of shuffling to slide off his boxers before he did another roll of his hips, making the bared length of his cock press against Merlin’s perineum, almost gracing his hole, and it was surreal having so much of him so close so after so long, after so much wanting.

Merlin groaned, low and heavy, felt that simmer of arousal turn into a slow boil and blurted out a slurred, „Fuck me,” that might’ve been in one sense or the other, but was either way very likely to be a horribly stupid thing to say. In response, Arthur chuckled into his neck, then shifted down, trailing kisses over the side of Merlin’s throat, sideways over a collarbone, down to a nipple, which he started licking as he had earlier. 

Thoughts of strategy gradually started reappearing in Merlin’s mind, but were heavily blurred with the remnants of sleep, were muddled much further by the shared warmth, the searing contact with Arthur’s body, the wet movement of his tongue. Merlin squirmed, bit back the needy moans that were pressing against his lips, told himself that whatever nefarious, torturous plans Arthur (probably) had, he meant to ruin them, not encourage them. 

It was hard though, got increasingly harder when Arthur went further downwards, dragging the blanket down with him, trailing that blazing-hot mouth over Merlin’s stomach, hands finding the insides of his thighs and almost, almost grazing his balls when they started stroking upwards. Merlin spread his legs further, not because he wasn’t increasingly sure that Arthur was gonna use the access to very slowly murder him, just because… well, he wasn’t entirely sure to be honest, thought it might be some instinctual, involuntary reaction to the man. 

Arthur’s mouth continued its way down, took way, way longer than what was remotely reasonable with its path over Merlin’s groin, excluding Merlin’s cock in a manner that was very precise and most certainly deliberate, and alright, okay, there was no way Arthur was going to be remotely merciful about this. When he got down to the inner thighs, he started doing little nips and bites that Merlin couldn’t help making high-pitched whines at, and Arthur smiled against his skin, looked unbearably smug as he meticulously marked every little section he could reach. After far too much of that, far too much pathetic whimpering on Merlin’s part, Arthur started shifting his attention where Merlin wanted it, brought his head up to hover just over Merlin’s prick, and let his fingertips skim over the top of Merlin’s thighs, before he did the world’s smallest, little kitten lick to the length in front of him. 

If Merlin’s hands had been free, he liked to think he would have just grabbed Arthur by the hair and pushed his face into the damn thing to stop him from being such a wicked tease about it, but as it was, he was just lying there, fighting to force some kind of clarity upon his mind, trying to snap himself out of his helplessness (or maybe just try to enjoy it a little bit less). Then, when Arthur carefully grabbed the base and tilted Merlin’s cock upwards, when he let his tongue trail up from the base until it was doing one, excruciatingly slow lick over the slit, there was a tiny, little snap somewhere in Merlin’s mind, and before he could stop it he heard himself say a pitiful little,

Arthur.”

Arthur raised his head, flashed him a wide, stomach-flipping grin and looked incredibly obnoxious even for his standards (which was impossibly obnoxious on the scale of ordinary people) as he drawled,

Yes, Merlin?”

Merlin bit his lip, tried and failed to stop himself from asking an incredibly ill-advised,

„If I… If I just say please… Will you ple- Will you just- fuck me?

Arthur laughed (the fucking arsehole) loud and delighted, and then, without answering, without any show of pity whatsoever, pushed Merlin’s legs further apart, started nosing, licking, kissing along the inside of them, all the way down to the ankles before going back up in the same, diligent manner. When he had finished with that, he put his hands under Merlin’s knees and pushed up, folding him together, exposing him, grabbed the little bottle of lube on the bedside table with one hand, held one of the knees with the other, and started dribbling just under Merlin’s balls, because he was actually, actually evil. Merlin whined, loud and pathetic, as he felt the cold, sticky liquid slowly moving, slowly, slowly gliding over his skin, travelling down until it was going over his hole.

Arthur started dragging his finger through the same path, moved even slower than the lube had, trailed down not to move actually onto (or into) Merlin’s hole, but to tease just on the side of it. Once he had passed it, he changed direction, trailed that same path upwards, made the distance just a tiny bit smaller than before, and kept doing that, kept going up and down, going closer and closer until he was lightly skimming Merlin’s rim, and Merlin’s frustration was building up steadily, becoming louder and louder in his mind, telling him to do something, anything, that would make Arthur stop this nonsense and give him some real pleasure. 

When Arthur started passing right over it, when he started doing slight pauses to dip just the tiniest bit of his fingertip inside, that frustration was screaming, yelling, assaulting Merlin’s resolve until there was another snap, a louder one this time, accompanied by another whiny, horribly undignified,

Arthur.”

„Mmh,” Arthur replied, not actually bothering to shift his attention from the torment he was very deeply focused on inflicting.

„You won’t, will you? Won’t fuck me until I’m out of my bloody… mind,” Merlin concluded aimlessly, voice wobbling a bit, needing to say something, do something to distract himself from Arthur’s finger trailing over him, around him, only-very-slightly into him, „But you’ll make me… make me beg for it anyways?”

Arthur looked up for a moment, entirely unaffected by Merlin’s tone, or - if anything - appearing rather ravenous with the sound of desperation. Then he pounced upwards so he was suddenly in Merlin’s face again, purring,

„I don’t know, Merlin,” with his dark eyes glowing dangerously, „Will I?”

And Merlin almost surrendered to it, almost lost himself to the undercurrent in that gaze, dragging him down, making him want to give up, let go, be reduced to a sobbing, pleading mess for him. He bit his lip again, mostly to keep any ill-advised words from slipping out, but it turned out to be a mistake when Arthur’s focus shifted and a grim smile played on his mouth.

He lowered himself down, let his own lips graze Merlin’s, so that Merlin could feel the heat of them, could feel his breath as it moved soft and sweet over his own, and he didn’t dare to move, knew he’d lose that nearness as soon as he did. Arthur pressed in a millimeter, tilted his head slightly to let Merlin feel a slow, sideways drag between their lips and with that, Merlin’s control slipped from his fingers and he chased up to get the kiss that he wanted so badly, so very, very badly, had wanted for years, and naturally didn’t get at all because Arthur very predictably pulled away while his evil smile went wider and more wicked.

„Riight on the-” Arthur drawled, lowering himself a tiny bit back down, „-tip of your tongue now. Isn’t it?

„No,” Merlin said, breathlessly, unimpressively, and Arthur chuckled, whispered,

Liar,” before he let his tongue trail over the lining of Merlin’s bottom lip then his upper one, made Merlin whimper pathetically as he felt the last bit of resistance melt away and a small, capitulating,

Please,” forced its way out of him.

Arthur didn’t even have the decency to be smug about it, just looked immensely satisfied and entirely unsurprised with the surrender. He brushed Merlin’s hair away from his face, said a firm, shameless,

„Again,” that Merlin only just managed to stop himself from making an affronted huff at, instead used to finally force his mind into a bit of strategy (into what was essentially plan D or E, if he were to be completely honest, but was the only thing that felt remotely feasible at this point). He let his voice be unsteady, let himself say another,

Please,” and then, when Arthur started nuzzling into his neck, chuckling happily to himself with the too-easy victory, he added a soft, „Sir.

Arthur froze.

He drew back, looked at Merlin with a curious expression in his eyes, but was squinting them a little like he was getting a bit suspicious already.

Sir…?” he said sceptically, rolling the word around his mouth, tasting it.

„Do you like it?” Merlin said, making his tone unsure, his eyes wide. „I figured with all this.” He waggled his hands a bit. „I- I figured you would.”

A bit of amusement found Arthur’s features and he opened his mouth to say something, but Merlin spoke again before he had the chance to foil his tactic.

„But if you-” He chewed on his bottom lip, let himself slip into something slightly overdramatic. „If you don’t… I could- I could call you something else? Like, um… Like… master?

Amusement bloomed into a full smile, but Merlin didn’t miss the spark in Arthur’s eyes, the hunger that was waking there, despite whatever efforts he was doubtlessly making to keep it down. And when he tried to stop him with a reprimanding,

Merlin-” 

Merlin interrupted again, said,

„Please. Master,” making the title audibly sarcastic now, thinking a bit of provocation would mix well with the tease of submissiveness. Then he let himself get a bit more earnest, fairly dirty with the following, „I want you to kiss me. Want your fingers inside of me, driving me crazy, opening me for you until I’m perfectly stretched and you can take me, drive into me like you own every fucking-”

Merlin.”

Arthur’s smile was faltering, all the wicked teasing rapidly replacing with something much more dangerous. 

Something much more fun.

Merlin smiled at him, said a mockingly sweet,

Yes, Arthur?”

and Arthur’s lips went into a straight, angry line, while his eyes darkened into a perfect thunderstorm. The challenge hummed through every inch of his expression, of his body, all of it taut and ready to pounce and this, this was Arthur after Merlin pushed a ton of snow straight into his face while looking him clear in the eye, this was Arthur after Merlin had refused to give him the remote control, had told him to just ’come and get it if he wanted it’ (innuendo pre-calculated and fully intended). This was Arthur who’d pressed him up against a wall after, had told him with a little snarl that he was a ’mouthy, little brat’, had looked at him in a way that had made Merlin so, so sure that this time it had to be desire moving over his face, that this time, this time he had to kiss him, had to take him. 

This was Arthur, beautiful and hungry and challenged, except it was more, except he was starting to look almost unhinged with it, looked like he was holding onto sanity by a very thin thread, and Merlin would’ve gone crazy with it, would’ve been positively delirious, if he hadn’t been so intensely focused on snapping that last, stupid, little thread.

He very, very carefully folded his legs around Arthur’s hips again, very, very slowly dragged him down, and Arthur went, frozen into pliancy, face falling into Merlin’s neck, cock sliding into the cleft of his arse (which was still slick) and Merlin turned his face into his ear, murmured,

Actually… I’m probably still slightly open from before, you probably don’t even need the prep, could probably just slide- in.”

Arthur shuddered against him, breathing going fast and uneasy, murmured a half-pleading, half-reprimanding,

Merlin,” into his neck, before slowly rolling his hips again, hard cock gliding against Merlin’s hole, which was incredible except for how it wasn’t at all enough, and so Merlin mumbled,

„Besides,” with his mouth still pressed to the shell of Arthur’s ear, with every word vibrating right into him, „If you do it like this, if you do it right now without using your fingers first, without opening me properly, I’ll be all t-”

Arthur sat up in a flash, pressed a hand to Merlin’s mouth to drown the last word, had a stretched arm on the side of his head again. 

„Shut up,” he said, eyes wild, frantic and utterly, brilliantly terrifying. „Just- Shut up.”

Merlin smiled under his hand, hoping he could feel it, then licked the palm of it, and Arthur withdrew like he’d been stung, and then - without warning, with none of the careful control he’d exercised through the previous parts of the evening - he pressed two fingers into Merlin, making him shudder and groan in surprise, sweeping him away on an overwhelming wave of pleasure, as he revelled in the burn of that rough entry, in finally getting Arthur to touch him properly, touch him like he wanted to.

God, Merlin, look at you, look at you. You’re so… so fucking- 

A low growl swallowed the last word and Arthur pumped his fingers frenetically, leant down to press hard, delicious bites to Merlin’s chest, to his nipples, twisting them between his teeth and God, that really hurt and Merlin groaned and whimpered, went positively dizzy with it all, suddenly felt grateful for the restraints as they kept him in place, kept his body locked down so all he could do was lie there and feel, feel, feel, accept that relentless, wonderful onslaught as it took over his senses. 

„You’re such a… such a slut, aren’t you? Just taking it. You want it so bad, don’t you, you want- You want me, you want me to-”

Merlin almost found himself laughing at that, probably would have, if his mind hadn’t been so foggy with pain and with pleasure, if he hadn’t been so delirious with everything that was happening, with the crazed sound of Arthur’s voice, the desperation that was barely contained in it.

Arthur’s mouth, his teeth, started travelling up from Merlin’s chest and Merlin tilted his head backwards into the mattress to expose his neck, maybe on instinct, maybe just because he wanted, wanted his whole neck red and bruised from Arthur’s mouth, wanted so much it was pooled low and hot and needy at the bottom of his stomach. Arthur didn’t seem to like that though, or actually, probably, liked it much more than he wanted to, and he growled again, louder and angrier now, not exploiting the newly exposed skin with his teeth, but slowing down his fingers, withdrawing them from Merlin’s arse, propping himself up with that hand and trailing the other one up over Merlin’s stomach, up over his chest and then, eyes glazed over, expression far away-

He wrapped it lightly around Merlin’s throat.

A thousand alarm bells made shrill, frightened sounds in Merlin’s mind, but he firmly told them all to shut the hell up, insisted on tilting his head further backwards.

Look at you,” Arthur said again, slower now, more dazed than angry, every single bit as dangerous. „You’d let me do anything, wouldn’t you?”

He lowered himself, pressed his hand harder down, pushing Merlin’s nape against the mattress, making his head going back to neutral so he could meet Arthur’s eyes, which somehow, somehow was both more frightening and more exciting than the fingers that were wrapping tighter and tighter around his airways, almost blocking his breathing now.

Wouldn’t you?” Arthur near-hissed, wanting an answer apparently, or maybe just for Merlin to tell him to stop, tell him no.

Yes,” Merlin rasped.

„Yes,” Arthur parroted, voice wavering and then-

He clenched his hand.

And it wasn’t that it wasn’t terrifying, it certainly was. 

Merlin’s hands were tied up above him, Arthur was by far the stronger of them anyways, and he looked so very far away, looked so completely out of it, and still, still, Merlin was scared more because his instincts made him, less because he had any actual, conscious doubt of his safety. Because Arthur’s eyes were right there, locked with his, more beautiful and stormy than Merlin had ever seen them, and Merlin’s breath was in his hands and it was so, so safe there, would be no matter how wild Arthur got, no matter how crazed Merlin had made him. 

So Merlin just let himself go in his hold, drifted into the utter exhilaration that was Arthur, had always been Arthur, let himself melt into the hazy frost of those eyes, into the ever-present, ever-piercing assault of them. 

Then, slowly, the haze seemed to lift and Arthur let Merlin go, making him heave for breath as his lungs expanded to refill. He fell forwards, letting his supporting arm go slack, face landing ungracefully in Merlin’s shoulder with a frustrated, muffled,

Ugghhhh, Merlin… You make me… make me lose it. You make me crazy.”

A soft smile played on Merlin’s lips as he tried to deepen his breath, tried to let his heart understand that it could stop beating so damn fast now.

„’M very sorry ’bout that,” he said, slightly hoarse, trying to get his cheekiness back from the adrenaline saturating his blood.

„You’re not,” Arthus said in a strange mixture of petulance and admonishment. „You’re a horrible, wicked, little fiend and you’re never, never sorry.”

Merlin pressed a soft kiss into Arthur’s hair, inhaled deeply to flood himself with the half-familiar, completely intoxicating scent of him.

„Well, maybe if you didn’t insist on teasing me like you’re-”

„Maybe if you would just let me. Maybe if you could just… just be nice to me, just this once.”

Gentle, incredulous laughter bubbled through Merlin.

„I’m always nice to you, Arthur.”

Arthur grumbled in disagreement, and Merlin thought to himself that it had to be mostly true, couldn’t be too far off when he’d been in the love with the man since he was twelve, but then… Alright, maybe sometimes, maybe him being fourteen (or fifteen or sixteen or seventeen) and flirting shamelessly while Arthur was two years older, maybe that could’ve been somewhat frustrating if it had actually been working, if Arthur had been trying to ignore him. To resist him.

„Alright,” Merlin said, letting his voice soak in something over-sweet, „You want me to be nice?”

„Mmh.”

„I would really like it, please, if you would fuck me with your fingers again. Maybe with one more this time, if you don’t mind terribly. And if you’re gonna choke me again - and you can, if you’d like, it was really quite lovely - just… Try not to actually murder me. Please.”

Arthur lifted himself up by his arms again, frustration still narrowing his eyes, but his mouth trying to curl up with something amused, something slightly fond.

„You’re the worst, Merlin, do you know that? You’re the actual- worst.”

Merlin laughed, chuckled really, but it was enough to make Arthur’s eyes a bit brighter when he continued,

„I should just go back to teasing you. It’s better when you’re all… sobby and… desperate. All helpless.”

„Mmmh,” Merlin said, mouth curving up to match Arthur’s playful smile, „And how do you think that would go?”

Arthur narrowed his eyes slightly, licked his lips thoughtfully.

„I could gag you.”

„So you could… And I’m sure having my lips stretched around a ball gag, seeing me drool around it, whimper into it… I’m sure that would do absolutely nothing for you.”

Arthur considered this, considered Merlin for a moment more, then sighed in a long-suffering way, said,

„Fine. Fine. You wanna moan for me, Merlin?”

He pumped some lube onto his right hand again, let his fingers circle Merlin’s rim, lowered himself down to whisper in a menacing way that had Merlin’s stomach bubbling with excitement.

You wanna squirm around my fingers?

Yes,” Merlin gasped, fighting to hold onto his thoughts as Arthur’s fingers slid into him, two for a moment, then three, the sensation almost getting him where he needed to go, Arthur almost how he wanted him to be. 

„Thank you. Sir,” he forced out, trying to keep the game going, trying hard not to slip up and lose himself.

Arthur snorted.

Sir,” he echoed, like it was silly, or maybe just like it was kinda nice, like he was tasting it again.

„Or did you prefer-” Merlin was cut off by a mean twist of Arthur’s fingers, clenched his hands hard around the robes. „Did you prefer master?”

A crude laughter escaped Arthur, and he drove his fingers further in, made Merlin whimper at the strange sensation of it, at the way his cock was becoming increasingly, uncomfortably hard.

You know, Merlin…” he said, voice changing into that silky-smooth, hyper-dangerous, I’m-going-to-eat-you-and-spit-out-your-bones thing that had shivers running down Merlin’s spine, inspired a vague thought that that was not good, was not- „I think I like both.”

Oh. Shit.

But tell me…” Arthur’s mouth was at his ear now, words murmured into it, and Merlin shut his eyes, held onto himself and the ropes so, so tightly. „If I’m your masterWhat- does that make you?

A high-pitched sound escaped Merlin at that, and he knew, knew he was gonna lose this, kind of, sort of, really very much wanted to lose it, but couldn’t bear getting teased again, couldn’t bear having to wait and wait and wait and-

„My servant?” Arthur thrust with his fingers. „My pet?” Did it again. „My slave?

And his voice was going into that near-hiss, so angry, so hungry, every ensnaring, filthy word resonating so loud in Merlin’s head, drowning out everything else, dragging him down, down, down, until all he could think was, Yes, yes, anything you want me to be, anything, anything, anything for you, but he couldn’t let go just yet, had to take this a little further, just a little, little bit, and he could do that, could say,

„Your-” Except Arthur interrupted him, hit his prostate in a way that had him seeing stars, had his head swimming, so it felt like an impossible effort to go on with, „toy. For you to- enjoy, as you please, any way- you please,” and Arthur growled with dissatisfaction, made the movement of his fingers meaner and rougher, as Merlin continued, „The perfect- one too, so completely- devoted. Obsessed even. Isn’t that- what you said- sir?

Merlin.”

„Letting you have- everything without… without asking for anything in- return. All of it perfectly untouched by… by anyone else. Always reserved, always meant only… for you.”

Arthur was hovering over him, eyes burning wild and furious, fingers thrust all the way in, held still in a tense curl.

„Merlin,” he said again, voice lower, colder now, and there was that warning again, that ’you’d better stop this right now’ that made Merlin want to never stop it ever. Especially not right now, because he knew how thin that thread was getting, could feel it grating away under his words, and he had one more thing, one little ace up his sleeve that he had to use before capitulating.

„Letting you have my virginity, before…” He licked his lips, reached for his courage. „Before I’ve had my first kiss.”

Arthur’s breath stuttered. 

All the colour drained from his face.

He withdrew his hand, making Merlin whimper at the loss, at the strange emptiness it left him with.

And this time, this time when Arthur said,

„You haven’t been kissed?” his voice was actually in a hiss, sounded almost disgusted with the idea, positively frenzied with the obscenity of it.

No,” Merlin said, voice quivering a bit from the look on Arthur’s face, slight tremble coming back to his body at the breathtaking view from the cliff he was jumping off. „No, it’s- like you said… sir. I was only ever- yours.”

Arthur looked at him for a moment, expression dead and terrifying, playfulness gone entirely.

„Ok,” he said then in a flat voice, crawling off the bed, going through a few drawers before finding a little silver package. „Ok, Merlin. You win.”

He knelt down on the bed again, crawled up to Merlin, tore the package with his teeth and rolled the condom onto himself.

Merlin watched him, breath caught somewhere, mind losing any motivation to hold onto any form of control, and he was just flooded, with Arthur, with longing, with the increasing tremors going through his body, and, fuck, shit, God, Arthur was actually gonna fuck him, he was just going to do it, and he wasn’t going to be any kind of nice about it either, not now, not after everything Merlin had done to unravel him.

A hand pressed under each of Merlin’s knees, folding him together again, this time not to tease, not to play and Merlin was shaking now, shaking properly and Arthur had to be able to feel it, had to feel it clearly too, but didn’t seem to care anymore, let his arms slide from Merlin’s knees to the outside of his legs, hands coming down to bracket Merlin’s head again, shoulders pressing Merlin’s legs up by the ankles.

Merlin bit back a ’Wait’, bit back an ’I need a moment, please just-’, bit back all the pleas that might snap Arthur out of it, might make him think that he didn’t want this, but he couldn’t just do nothing, had to buy himself a second, just a second to be ready for this and stuttered,

„Does it- Does it hurt?” before he could stop himself, instantly regretting it, instantly afraid that he’d ruined everything.

He hadn’t though, didn’t need to worry about that at all, because Arthur’s mouth was just curling up in a cruel, little smile as he said,

Sometimes,” while lining himself up, the feeling of it making Merlin so dizzy he was afraid he might faint and miss the whole thing altogether. „But it doesn’t matter, does it, pet?” and there was a little snarl to that last word, an angry little thing that made Merlin’s toes curl. „It doesn’t matter, because you’ll let me anyways, will let me fuck you even if it does- hurt. Won’t you?

Merlin let out a broken little whimper, let his head do a tiny little nod, then felt the girth at his entrance move, just a tiny, tiny bit, stretching already, hurting a little already, and he gasped, closed his eyes hard, trying to find anything inside of himself to hold onto.

No,” Arthur growled, „No, look at me. Merlin. Look- at me. Now.

And Merlin did - opened his eyes to be flooded by blinding azure, by years and years of affection, devotion, longing, by everything Arthur meant to him, every little thing he wanted him to have.

Arthur brought up a hand to stroke his hair, more commanding than soothing, but it was good, so good, and Merlin melted into his touch, his voice, his eyes, and when he said a soft,

Breathe,” while brushing his fingers over a cheek, when he said, „Relax for me, love,”

Merlin melted entirely, allowed the intrusion into his body, and as soon as he did, as soon as he let that guard down, Arthur pushed forwards, entering completely in one smooth stride, his body falling into Merlin’s.

Merlin stuttered on his inhale, whimpered with the explosion of stimuli, with thousands, millions of nerve-ends going off, assaulting his mind until he could barely contain it, until he was afraid he was gonna break under the pressure, under the sensation, the idea of Arthur’s cock buried deep inside of him, stretching him so impossibly wide.

Arthur groaned into his ear, deep and heavy, mumbled,

God, Merlin, you’re- You feel so… Fuck.”

He did a tiny movement with his hips, and Merlin gasped, instinctively tensed up with the unfamiliarity of it all, said a distressed, overwhelmed,

Arthur,”

which thankfully made Arthur pause, prop himself up to look at him, to brush his fingers over a cheek again.

„Does it hurt? It shouldn’t hurt, I was just being… mean.”

Merlin shook his head slowly, licked his lips nervously.

„No, it’s just- I’m just so… full.”

A dry chuckle left Arthur at that and his lips curled up with a lascivious smile as he said,

„Yeah, you’re all… tight,” which made Merlin echo his chuckle a bit, except that vibrated through him, made him move just the tiniest bit, and a jolt of sensation went through him, made him do another little whine.

Arthur sighed softly, shifted his balance to one hand, deftly untied one of Merlin’s wrist with the other and repeated the movement to the other side, freeing Merlin while keeping his lower body as still as he could.

He took one of Merlin’s hands and placed it on his shoulder, the other on his neck, then started manoeuvring Merlin’s legs down so they were on his hips instead of over his shoulders, which couldn’t help but cause movement, had Merlin concentrating hard on relaxing and not sounding too pathetic, but ultimately left him in a much more relaxing position.

„There,” Arthur said, almost gently, „And then you just breathe-” He looked at Merlin, waited for him to do so, to make it deeper and less strained, „And I’ll start moving, but I’ll be very slow. Okay?”

„Okay,” Merlin agreed softly, and Arthur did move, pulled out a bit, slow like he’d said, but still so intense, and Merlin inhaled sharp against it, held onto Arthur, his fingers digging into soft, warm skin. Then Arthur pushed in again and the first shock of pure, unmistakable pleasure pulsed through him, made him moan, made Arthur smile and say a sly,

„That’s more like it,” before he repeated the movement, had Merlin muffling a groan into his neck, clinging to him with his arms, his legs, with everything that could help press his body up against Arthur’s.

After a bit more of that, a few more careful thrusts, Merlin started somewhat relaxing into it, started dissolving into that dizzying pleasure, into the thought that this was actually happening, that it was Arthur, Arthur inside of him, nipping at his neck, carefully letting Merlin settle into the sensation of it all. Arthur, who was being much gentler than Merlin had expected him to be, much nicer than he’d given him any reason to be.

„Thank you for- Even though I’d been all… Thank you for making me relax. Letting me touch you.”

Arthur snorted.

„Oh, don’t say that.”

Merlin’s words replayed in his mind and he heard how that sounded, smiled a bit and made his voice that fake-sweet thing when he said,

„But it’s ever so kind of you to let me, master, I’m so very, very grateful that you’d-”

Arthur thrust in hard, replaced Merlin’s next word with a startled whimper and said,

„Quiet. Pet,” which had Merlin’s cock twitching, had it acting way more revealing than the traitorous thing had any right to be.

„Like that, do you?” Arthur purred, and, Fuck it, Merlin thought, said,

„Yeah,” and then, „Yes, sir.”

Arthur chuckled into his neck.

„Careful, Merlin. Almost sounded like you meant it there.”

Merlin kissed his neck, kissed the lobe of an ear, whined a bit when Arthur went in a bit faster, a bit harder, had it angled so it almost brushed against his prostate.

„Maybe I do.”

Arthur withdrew a bit to look at him. He took hold under one of Merlin’s knees again, brought the leg carefully up to hook the ankle over his shoulder, then sank in, dreadfully slow, deeper with the leg up, and all Merlin could do was watch him, drown in those eyes, in every excruciating, marvellous detail of the penetration.

„So flexible,” Arthur muttered, „So flexible. Could’ve just… tied your feet right up there with your arms.”

He did another harder thrust and Merlin moaned again, felt that thing in the bottom of his stomach wake, that hunger that seemed to develop exclusively for Arthur, the one that made his blood prickle in his veins, made it simmer like it was affected by some strange, exotic fever.

Utterly delicious,” Arthur murmured and leant in closer, nose brushing against the side of Merlin’s, his lips less than an inch away, and Merlin wanted, needed, said,

„Kiss me,” only to see that little smile again, that cruel one that accompanied the responding,

„No.”

Merlin whined, moved up to try to take it anyways, but Arthur moved back, put a hand in Merlin’s hair to keep him down.

„No, Merlin,” he said sternly, „Your first is mine and I’ll take it when I want to.”

And, oh, that possesiveness, it did things to Merlin, made the fire in his stomach that much hotter, more urgent, made every bit of pleasure he was experiencing sharper, and when Arthur continued with,

„But I’ll make you a deal, darling… If you promise not to kiss back…”

when he grabbed Merlin’s jaw and forced it open, when he enclosed Merlin’s bottom lip in his own and said,

I’ll have your mouth while I fuck you,

it was searing, scorching, completely unbearable and Merlin said a pitiful, half-pronounced,

Please,” that did nothing but make Arthur’s eyes shine with malevolence, made that smile more toothy and merciless.

He kept holding Merlin’s jaw, kept thrusting in slowly, kept pressing kisses along the line of Merlin’s bottom lip while he drawled,

„Do you… promise, Merlin?”

Yes,” Merlin replied (or tried to despite how his mouth was held open), because he wanted the soft warmth of Arthur’s lips so bad he’d take it any way he could, wanted to dive into that surrender too, no matter how agonizing it’d be, no matter how excruciating this too-slow pace was becoming, how utterly impossible it was not to move his mouth when Arthur let his jaw go and kept mock-kissing him, kept teasing with little little nips to Merlin’s upper lip, to his bottom one.

When he kept taking and taking and taking with a tongue over each lip, with a slow lick into the middle until Merlin opened for him, let him dive into his mouth, and it was obscene, lying there, being so passive while Arthur fucked him leisurely, unhurriedly, like Merlin really was a toy, a brand new one that Arthur had finally gotten hold of, could take his time exploring in whatever way he found most interesting, most enjoyable. 

Merlin let his arms fall down to the side and twisted his fingers into the sheets, focused on feeling, on not doing, on that idea ringing through his head, the dirty, thrilling, riveting one that he was Arthur’s, Arthur’s, Arthur’s, a pretty plaything for him and such a good one too, because he was, was gonna be so good, so very, very good, was gonna lie there and keep his promise and let Arthur enjoy him as slow and torturous as he liked.

After a while Arthur withdrew a bit, murmured a little, „You didn’t even try…” with something slightly surprised or just slightly awed in his tone.

„You told me not to.”

„Mmh, and you’re so obedient and subservient so naturally you wouldn’t-”

„I could be. I can be.”

Merlin said it seriously, earnestly because he meant it, really did, would happily be obedient if that’s what Arthur wanted, if that’s what he needed from him.

Arthur stroked his cheek with his fingers again, stopped moving in him for a moment.

„Merlin, I want… Tell me- Tell me who you belong to. Tell me.”

„You.” Merlin returned his touch, felt the soft texture of his hair, the sharpness of a jawline, said, still so serious, „Only you. Always you.”

Arthur’s breathing seemed to turn a bit strained at that and there was a frown pressing on his brows, a soft, troubled thing that Merlin didn’t understand. 

Then he was sinking into Merlin’s shoulder, pressing his teeth deep, deep into it, and Merlin groaned loudly with the sharp pain, felt his eyes rolling back, felt a slight stretch from his leg as it was pressed up, almost touching his ear, and Arthur was still doing small, shallow thrusts, sending ripples of pleasure through him and it was… glorious. Was especially so when those thrusts started becoming hard, started becoming properly hard for the first time of the evening, and it wasn’t just pleasant then, it wasn’t just nice, it was- good, it was satisfying, it was forceful enough to exercise that fire in Merlin’s gut, it was so brilliant, and- 

Arthur slowed down, pulled back to rest his forehead against Merlin’s, to breathe hard and mumble,

„I can’t- can’t, I thought- Thought it would be- but you’re too… I can’t-”

„Hey.” Merlin ran a hand over his nape, fought stubbornly through the haze of pleasure to say, „Are you alright? What is it that you can’t?”

„No, it’s… nothing, it’s-” Arthur sighed, sat up a bit, sent Merlin a forced smile and a, „It’s nothing, It’s fine, let’s- We’ll change position.”

He sat up the rest of the way, back on his knees, shifting them to be on the outside of Merlin and started moving again, gentler and more controlled now, leaning forward to have one arm in the mattress again. Merlin wanted to ask him again, wanted to make him say what was bothering him, but then Arthur was wrapping his free hand around Merlin’s cock, touching it for the first time of the evening, and any attempts of forming words were immediately forfeit with the rush of sensation.

Arthur,” Merlin gasped, shivering with the feeling of it, with how his orgasm was suddenly drawing up in his body, drawing closer and closer with every stroke of Arthur’s hand.

Arthur’s smile turned more genuine at that, got a little bit softer, a little warmer, as his voice did when he said,

„Are you gonna come, Merlin?”

And, Yes, Merlin thought immediately, Yes if that’s- 

„Is that what you want?”

Arthur bent down to kiss his forehead, his nose, to murmur,

„Yeah, that’s… That’s what I want,” and then, looking into Merlin’s eyes, speeding up slightly with his hand and his hips, „Wanna see you, Merlin. Wanna feel you around me when you do.”

Merlin moaned, filtered a hand into Arthur’s hair, wrapped the other around his nape and started moving his hips up into Arthur’s hand, back into his cock.

„Please, will you… Harder, Arthur, please.”

Arthur growled at that, softness slipping from his features again, and he bit Merlin’s lip, did go harder, just a bit at first and then more, more, more, until it was almost as good before, until his pelvis was crashing into Merlin’s arse with every thrust, and it didn’t take long from there, didn’t take long until Merlin was moaning,

Arthur, Arthur, Arthur,” and going dizzy, going higher, higher, higher, pleasure going wilder, moans growing louder, until- 

He tipped over the edge and his body was contracting, spasming around the girth inside it, fingers clenching hard into soft hair, into warm skin, and Arthur watched him through all of it, slowed down as the orgasm ebbed out, but didn’t lose the ferocity crackling through his eyes, didn’t look sated or finished at all, which was either very exciting or a little bit disappointing.

Eventually he stopped moving entirely, and there was a little moment of Merlin floating in warm, fuzzy pleasure, strangely content with how Arthur was still hard inside him, before Arthur brought up his hand, covered in Merlin’s come, brought it up to Merlin’s mouth, and didn’t need to say anything, didn’t need to issue any instruction when his eyes were still so stormy, and Merlin could tell what he wanted so easily. 

Merlin opened his mouth, licked a stripe off one of the fingers, then sucked it into his mouth, sucked it clean and tasted himself, not breaking the eye contact, not pausing from his task until he’d cleaned all of Arthur’s fingers, all of his hand, and Arthur was still just looking at him, still not going softer in any way.

„You can keep-”

„No.”

Arthur abruptly drew back, rolled the condom off and laid back into the bed next to Merlin, staring into the ceiling above him.

„But-”

No, Merlin, don’t. I can’t…” He sighed, reached out for Merlin and pulled in him, urging him to drape himself over Arthur’s side, head coming to rest on his chest. „Can we just… just lie here for a moment? …please?

Merlin glanced up at him, was certainly going to figure out what was bothering him, but didn’t think it would be any use to try to pry right now, so he sent him a soft smile and,

„Yeah. Yeah, of course we can,” while settling into the curves of his body.

Arthur returned his smile but with that forced little thing again, then wrapped his arms around him, drew him in with a sigh, a deep breath pressed into Merlin’s hair.

They lay there for a little while, and it was incredibly nice in most ways, with the orgasm still buzzing pleasantly through Merlin’s body, with the unmistakable affection in Arthur’s hold, with the shared body heat. But it was hard to ignore the tension in Arthur, the way it pressed against the silence that otherwise might have been comfortable, and eventually Arthur shifted a bit, said,

„I’m sorry.”

And Merlin didn’t like that, didn’t like it at all, felt a heavy flip moving through his stomach, a thousand continuations to that sentence, a thousand versions of ’I’m sorry, this isn’t working’, ’I’m sorry, you have to go home’, but when he forced himself to say,

„For… what?

Arthur replied with, 

„For the… the kissing thing. It was… cruel,” and relief immediately washed over Merlin.

„Yeah, it was,” he agreed, then gave Arthur a look from under his lashes to go along with the following, „It was pretty hot though.”

Arthur snorted and looked at him in an incredulous way, like he was being purposefully obtuse, like he didn’t want to understand what Merlin was trying to tell him.

He did look a bit brighter though, looked a bit relieved that Merlin wasn’t upset, and Merlin felt encouraged, shifted to sit up, to swing a leg over his hip and straddle him.

„Did you think I would be mad?”

He brushed his fingers over Arthur’s face, appreciating having time (and the free use of his hands) to touch him. To admire him.

„You should be,” Arthur replied softly, grasping the hand trailing over his face and pressing a kiss into it. „Should probably be mad about a whole number of things.”

„Perhaps,” Merlin said, smiling, shrugging a bit. „’M not though.”

He bent down to hover over Arthur’s face, to brush their noses together, give him the kind of chaste, fond little kisses he’d been giving Merlin all evening, but avoiding the lips carefully, still feeling like… like he wasn’t allowed to, honestly, and it was a nice feeling somehow, an alluring thought still, that it wasn’t his to give anymore, that first kiss, but Arthur’s to claim when he wanted to.

„You’re so pretty,” he murmured, mouthing at a jawline, „So pretty. Look at you.”

He drew back again, combed his hand through downy, blonde locks, stroked over the line of a lip.

„Like you’re… shining… Really taking the whole golden boy thing to the next level.”

A frown pressed on Arthur’s brows.

„Don’t idolise me, Merlin, I’m-”

„Oh, I’m not, believe me. I know you’re an arrogant arse.”

That made Arthur laugh a little, had him pinching Merlin lightly in the side, muttering that he was a, „cocky, little bastard,” and Merlin squirmed and laughed and tried to escape his fingers, saying,

„You are, you are, but you’re…” He caught Arthur’s hand, brought it up to his face to wrap their fingers together and press little kisses into Arthur’s. „You’re so much more, you’re… So sweet and clever and strong and you’re…”

He caught Arthur’s eyes and held them, felt all the words at the tip of his tongue, all the incredible things that Arthur was, everything that he meant to him, and when he tried to express all that, when he tried to find words that could contain it all, he ended up saying,

„And I love you.”

Arthur stiffened immediately, eyes blowing up, something concerned, worried folding his mouth.

„Merlin-” he said, a bit warning, admonishing again, but with none of the anger it had held earlier.

No,” Merlin countered, „No, it’s… It’s always, ’Oh, Merlin, you’re just a kid, you don’t know what that means, you don’t know him well enough to say that.’ It’s always everyone thinking I’m being stupid and young, that they know my feelings better than I do, and I’m… I’m sick of it Arthur, I’m sick and tired of being told what I can and can’t feel, and YOU… You just- You fucked me, and YOU-” Merlin took a small pause to breathe, to contain the rising volume of his voice, the anger building in it. Then he looked at Arthur, finished with a seething, „YOU don’t get to tell me that.

Arthur lay still for a few seconds more, still a bit wide-eyed but more surprised than concerned now.

Then his wariness seemed to melt away and there was a little smile, a fond one, and,

Christ Merlin… You’re so… so fierce,” before he flipped them over so he was on top again. „You know, the truth is, I’m really… really very happy that you love me.”

The anger bled out of Merlin, was quickly replaced by something warm and shiny, something that started bathing him in glowing affection, spread out on his face in a mirror of Arthur’s smile.

Close your eyes,” Arthur whispered, and Merlin did, felt him move closer, felt his hands coming up to cup his face, and then-

Then Arthur’s lips were against his, velvet-soft and warm and perfect, and Merlin was almost entirely sure that he was supposed to kiss back now, decided that he was just gonna assume that and let his own move to meet Arthur’s, felt that light explode inside of him, beam throughout his entire being, filling him with boundless, overwhelming ecstasy that buzzed through every muscle, soaked into every little fiber of him.

They kissed like that for a while, all slow and sweet and gentle, then Arthur murmured,

„Merlin, would you… I want- Could you say it…”

And oh, oh Merlin should’ve known, should’ve known Arthur of all people wouldn’t feel uncomfortable with it, would feel the exact opposite, if only he allowed himself to. He smiled into the next kiss, said another,

„I love you,” and then there was something like a soft, little growl from Arthur, some hungry little thing that made Merlin want to provoke him again. 

He tried to tell himself it was probably a bad idea, that it probably wasn’t such a nice thing to do when Arthur had looked so troubled before, and the compromise became that he opened his mouth a bit, darted out a tongue, not knowing exactly how that worked but having some idea that that was a way to make a kiss more dirty.

Arthur accepted the invitation eagerly, let his own tongue meet Merlin’s, started rolling his pelvis into him, murmuring,

„You love me,” and then it was a bit too tempting, with that little edge of giddy intoxication in Arthur’s voice, then Merlin couldn’t quite help taking Arthur’s hand, putting it over his heart and mutter,

„All yours,” which seemed to be quite effective, had Arthur growling again, properly now, biting Merlin’s lip, complaining that,

„You can’t just say things like…”

Merlin grinned, said a smug,

„Clearly I can,” and then, nipping at Arthur’s bottom lip, he whispered a little, „Fuck me.

There was a noise almost like a whimper at that, a weak protest that,

„I did.”

„Fuck me properly.”

Arthur shook his head into the next kiss, body getting tense again, the movement of his mouth, his teeth getting wilder.

„No.”

Merlin met his advances in full, wrapped his legs around his hips, mirrored the rolling of his hips.

„Yes.”

The assault stopped and Arthur started withdrawing, tried to disentangle himself from Merlin’s limbs, saying,

„No. No, Merlin, I can’t-”

But Merlin was having none of it, followed him as he sat up, as he tried to crawl backwards, then pounced on him with,

„Yes. Yes, you can,” while he pinned his arms by the side of his head, pushing them into the mattress, trying to make him understand that he had no intention of letting him run from this.

No,” Arthur said again, face full of rising panic, body squirming under Merlin’s hands but not fighting him off properly, „No you don’t- don’t know what that… You don’t want-”

„I do.”

Merlin caught his eyes, tried to convey the strength of his intention, the certainty of it.

No, you don’t, no one… No one wants that, no one wants…”

And, God, the insecurity streaming through the cracks of his fascade, the sheer vulnerability unveiling on his face, it was so…so utterly heart breaking, it was so… so unnecessary, he was so-

„Oh, Arthur, you… You lovely, silly little… You… absolute moron.” A bit of outrage spawned on Arthur’s face at the last remark, but Merlin answered it with a little smile, kissed it off his face, said, „I want you.”

Arthur shook his head a little, insisted that,

„No, you just-”

„I want you. Alright?” Merlin let his wrists go, brushed some hair out of his face, kept staring insistently into his eyes. „I want you… wild and hungry, want you cruel, violent, ravenous, I want… Fuck, Arthur, I need-” He cupped his face, assaulted his mouth in what was probably not an entirely skilled manner, but that couldn’t possibly matter now, not with the way Merlin had to taste, had to have, made a pleased little groan when Arthur finally responded, cupped his face back and joined in on the kiss. He withdrew an inch to mumble, „Need you to take, Arthur, you’ve no idea, no idea the way I… I crave you, how fucking mad you’ve driven me- all these fucking years.

You,” Arthur said incredulously, „You, I’ve been driving you-” He bit Merlin’s lip again and trailed off into a dry chuckle, pushed Merlin to make him sit on his knees, then sat up on his own to face him.

He ran his hands over Merlin’s face, down over his shoulders, let his eyes roam, search him.

„You’re sure about this?”

„Yeah,” Merlin said, soft, leaning in to give him a quick kiss, „Yeah I’ve been… I mean, I think I had my first fantasy about you- spanking me when I was like… fifteen or something.”

Arthur’s mouth quirked up in one side while his eyes started darkening, while his voice filled with that eerie-smooth thing and he said,

Did you now…?

„Mmh,” Merlin said, getting nervous again, feeling fifteen suddenly, fifteen in his room with his hand on his cock, with Arthur’s name on his lips and that bottomless hunger burning in his blood. „Yeah, you had those… those gloves, the black, leather ones and you would… Would look at me sometimes, touch me sometimes, and I would go mad for it, Arthur, would need it so fucking much. Would imagine being over your lap, squirming while you said all these filthy things to me, told me I was such a horny, little slag, such a needy, dirty whore, because I’d get so hard for you, would moan so loud when you hit my arse, would beg you to-”

Arthur’s hand flew up to cover his mouth again, eyes behind it a perfect pitch-black now, but he didn’t tell Merlin to shut up, didn’t seem angry as he said,

„You’ll tell me if it’s too much,” and Merlin slowly nodded behind his hand. „No, really Merlin, you have to, you have to tell me. You’ll promise.”

Merlin smiled, took his hand down from his mouth, gave it a quick kiss and agreed that,

„I promise.”

Arthur caressed his face, returned his smile with an uncertain one of his own.

„Do you know the traffic light thing?”

Merlin shook his head.

„Right, so… So I can ask you for your colour, and if you say ’green’ then you’re good and you want me to keep going.”

He paused, looked expectantly at Merlin, and Merlin supressed a little eye roll, repeated,

„Green for ’I’m good, keep going’.”

Arthur nodded seriously, continued,

„If you say orange, you’re at your limit and you want me to slow down or do something else.”

He paused again and Merlin sighed, said,

„Orange for ’slow down’.”

„And if you say red, then it’s too much and I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and I’ll take care of you.”

Merlin smiled again, warm and affectionate, pressed more kisses into Arthur’s hand.

„Red for you’ll stop and take care of me.”

Arthur returned his smile properly, promised that,

„I will… I will, Merlin. And you can say that - or any of the other ones - even if I’m not asking. We can stop any time you want.”

„I know,” Merlin murmured, still playing with Arthur’s hand, kissing up over his arm, biting lightly into his tricep, trailing up until he was peppering kisses into Arthur’s neck like an attention-seeking puppy.

Arthur made a noise that sounded almost like a giggle, batted at Merlin’s head.

„This is important, Merlin, you need to- Really, can you focus for just-”

„’M fine,” Merlin assured him, „Know all your words. You can stop talking now.”

He made the rest of the way to Arthur’s mouth, started licking into it, made an unhappy whine when Arthur grabbed his hair and dragged him backwards.

„If you can’t speak,” Arthur said sternly, „You’ll tap twice to get me to stop.”

„And why wouldn’t I be able to speak?” Merlin said sweetly, smiling broad and faux-innocent, fighting ineffectively against Arthur’s hold, mostly to feel the sharp pain against his scalp that resulted from it.

Arthur rolled his eyes, let Merlin go with a little shove and slipped out of the bed to stand next to it, and oh, oh he was so naked, so utterly exquisite with all that muscle and all that skin, with that beautiful, mouth-watering cock that was completely hard, was at the same height as Merlin’s head now.

„Why don’t you get up here… and I’ll show you?” he said, voice going smooth again, carrying that dangerous little purr that had Merlin’s stomach twisting up on itself.

Merlin slowly crawled off the bed, carefully keeping distance, adrenaline flooding back into his bloodstream with the gleam in Arthur’s eye, with the ready-to-pounce tension in his body.

„Get on your knees.”

Merlin meant to, tried to tell his body to do that, but it was vetoing the movement, locking up, so he just stood there, watching Arthur warily, trying to keep his system from launching into some fight-or-flight system that would be entirely unhelpful.

Merlin…” Arthur said, voice thick with threat, dripping with that you-better-obey-me-right-now thing that never failed to flood Merlin with heady arousal. „Get on your knees… Now.”

Merlin didn’t, still couldn’t and when Arthur took a step towards him he immediately stepped back, heart beating wild and loud in his chest, pulse beating faster and faster in his throat.

Arthur cocked his head, smiled smugly and said an amused,

„Merlin, are you… scared of me?”

No,” Merlin said, petulant and automatically defensive, stepping back as Arthur stepped forwards again, clumsily opening the door behind his back without ever taking his eyes off Arthur, needing to feel he couldn’t be trapped against it.

Yes…” Arthur said, smile growing wider, more predatory by the second, „Yes, you are. All that bravado, Merlin, all that cheek, and you’re… you’re so scared… aren’t you?

And well, maybe Merlin couldn’t quite get a hold of himself, maybe he couldn’t manage to calm down, but he could at least be a little less pathetic about it, could admit that,

„Yeah, I’m… I am,” with a nervous little smile to answer Arthur’s, a reassurance that he wasn’t scared in a bad way, not in a way that meant Arthur had to disengage from this lovely, horrifying thing and check up on him.

Arthur took another step forwards, Merlin took another step backwards, and that thing playing on his mouth was barely a smile now, was more like some toothy, terrifying parody of one, some hungry, haunting thing like a lion snarling, and, really, he was so beautiful like this, was everything Merlin wanted, was something to get lost in, to dissolve into, and when he said,

I’m gonna have you, Merlin,” when he was purring, drawling, promising that he was, „gonna have you on your knees and fuck that insolent, filthy mouth of yours until you’re gagging for me. And you’re gonna be so good for me, Merlin, gonna feel so fucking good for me,” 

Merlin was melting, searing, blazing, couldn’t possibly hold on any longer, wanted, needed to let go and said a stumbling,

„Arthur, if I just… run, if I let myself be… scared, do you promise to- catch me? Promise you won’t start holding back again?”

Arthur chuckled, wry and mocking, said,

„If you run? Now, why… would you do that?”

while he took another step, which made Merlin take another step as he tried to ignore the taunting, kept pushing for that promise he had to get, saying,

„Will you, Arthur? Do you promise- You have to… have to promise that you’ll-”

„Yes,” Arthur interrupted, taunt gone from his face, expression cool and deadly, „I promise, Merlin.”

Merlin licked his lips slowly, said a little, „Good,” and kept walking back with every step Arthur took forwards, felt every bit of rationality, every piece of higher-order thought activity bleed from his brain, all of it replacing with some primitive escape protocol that was priming every muscle, monitoring every little movement Arthur did, every advance he made as he stalked towards him.

I’m gonna hurt you, Merlin,” he said, hushed and low, making Merlin’s obedient heart skip a beat for him, „And you’re going to love it, aren’t you? You’re going to moan so prettily when I take you… when I fuck you. Aren’t you?

Yes,” Merlin agreed, barely able to hear his own voice for the way his heart beat was pounding through his ears. His eyes roamed over Arthur’s body, greedily tried to drink in every little curve, every stretch of glistening skin, every bead of sweat that was lingering from when he had been…

Oh, and he had been, hadn’t he, had been in Merlin, and that was still so completely incomprehensible, so utterly impossible, and now he was looking at Merlin like he was starving, famished, ravenous, like he was going to-

There was a blur of movement.

Arthur’s feet shot forward, the rest of his body followed, attacking, and Merlin rushed backwards, right foot connecting with something- 

the threshold of the door, he thought vaguely somewhere- 

and he stumbled-

nearly stumbled, hands coming up to grab the frame around him and he stabilised himself, sure that he was finished, caught…

Only to see Arthur standing still again, slight smirk on his face, and it had just been a ruse, a feint, he was just playing with him, and Merlin’s heart was going so, so fast now, beating so hard it was near painful, and he was shaking again, trembling wildly, while he waited for the next assault, waited for Arthur to-

He did.

Feet moving again, body pouncing forwards, he was coming closer, closer and now it was a complete collapse in Merlin’s mind, thoughts speeding up and scattering, dissolving completely, while he used his arms to spin around, so he could let his legs shoot out in front of him, could charge forwards into the living room, sure Arthur’s hands would reach his shoulder any moment, almost feeling them there-

sensing him there just behind him-

imagining his grip so vividly he was…

almost sure he had been caught already and-

still his feet padded underneath him,

still they carried him away, 

still he kept moving,

still he-

ran.