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No, not now!

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Merlin could curse himself for his stupidity. All this time in Camelot, and now was the time he made a mistake? It was one thing, having the Knights of Camelot aware that he was a sorcerer. Another entirely for them to know his secondary gender, which was a serious risk if he couldn’t get his fever under control.

**

They were out on a Hunt. Knights did love hunting, and dragging Merlin along was always a way to make sure they got stew to eat. Merlin didn’t mind, he quite liked the fact that they included him. Now, however, was a different story. Being a Beta amongst a group of Alphas was fine, there were no issues then.

Being an Omega, amongst a bunch of Alphas, was a very bad idea. Merlin had been ever so careful, to keep up on the herbs that Gaius prescribed, to wash his scent away with the strong-smelling plants that his Uncle assured him would hide his smell. It worked, nobody but Gaius and Morgana were aware of what he really was, a secret he thought he had kept rather well.

He’d brought the wrong herbs. Usually not an issue, he’d done that before, summoned them to his hand and began to try and craft. Unfortunately, he’d been disturbed by the Knights, had placed down his healing equipment to hurry across to their side to help them. When he’d come back, their camp had been raided. The Knights had been furious, angry that someone had dared to steal their clothing and food and waterskins.

Merlin had been terrified. They’d taken his herbs, his equipment to make his potion that he needed to take. Despite the fact that they knew he had Magic, he still moved away from them to try and summon the items. Herbs were alright, he could concentrate on them, but he couldn’t make the equipment needed to break them down. As his panic rose, his Magic became less and less helpful, and Merlin had considered what to do.

He could flee. Running back to Camelot would take over a day, but he might be able to make it without running into anyone. Make it to Gaius, and the Beta would be able to help him. Or, he could just hope that his scent would remain unchanged for a short time. That had been the option he had chosen, returning to the fire to cook food for the group, who had salvaged one waterskin and a couple of blankets.

They had to share the one bowl that they had for the stew, taking it in turns to eat. Merlin, of course, waited till the Knights had finished before daring to take the bowl, giving himself a small portion and snacking down.

‘And then Elyan crept up,’ Percival looked enthralled with the story, leant forwards on the log he was sitting on,

‘With my sword drawn,’ Elyan added to the impressed group,

‘And took the three of them by surprise. All dead, and the ladies swooned!’ Gwaine exclaimed, clapping his friend on the shoulder.

‘Pretty as well, a load of Betas, but then,’ Elyan began, Gwaine cutting him off,

‘An Omega.’ Merlin almost choked on his mouthful of stew, smiled at Leon when the man clapped him on the back.

‘Yes, Merlin, they do exist.’ Arthur teased, which was supposed to make him feel jealous. Any Beta should, Omegas were creatures to be treasured, honoured in society beyond belief. There weren’t many in Camelot, only three, and they were all married and had children.

‘Course, we’re both Alphas.’ Elyan stated, the group nodding along with the story, understanding what he was hinting at. Omegas couldn’t bond with Betas, usually didn’t find them attractive at all. An Alpha, however, was a very good prospect.

‘Now Elyan looked good, he’s been flaunting his muscle and all that, the poor Omega’s giving him starry eyes.’ Merlin’s gut twisted miserably, and he put down the stew. Muscles and strength, weaknesses to any Omega, even him. He hid it well, especially considering his current company.

‘Gives her name, Helena, offers out her hand.’ Elyan added this bit, now looking slight embarrassed.

‘What happened?’ Leon asked, handing the waterskin to Merlin. He took a sip, noted that he could almost taste Leon on it. He blinked, it hadn't been that long since he missed a dose of medicine. He was supposed to take it yesterday morning, but then he had realised he’d lost it. This morning had been the bandit raid, and he’d never missed a day’s dose.

‘Asked if we knew the King!’ Gwaine cackled, and the others started laughing. Even Arthur looked amused, chuckling along, while Merlin eyed up the waterskin. He guessed it was because he was around the Alphas, the affects of his usual medication must be slipping faster than he thought.

‘Aw, Merl, don’t look so down!’ Gwaine cooed, Lancelot nudging his shoulder from where he was seated on the other side. It felt rather nice, to have a Knight on either side, he mused. Then shoved the thought down, swallowed.

‘You’ll never get why Omegas are a big deal, but surely you’ve seen a pretty Beta you like the eye of? Even an Alpha?’ Merlin hated his secondary gender. Omegas were subservient, bowed down to an Alpha and did nothing but obey. He was mouthy, talked back whenever he could, demanded the respect of the Alphas around him. He didn’t act like a Beta, let alone an Omega. Plus, with him being a male Omega, it made life all the more difficult.

Attraction wasn’t easy. Alphas, obviously, were the main thing that occupied his thoughts. But he tried to ignore that, shoved it down and tried to settle for a Beta. Will had tried to be enough for him, just as Freya said she would when he admitted his secret to her. But he knew, deep down, that an Omega couldn’t settle with anyone but an Alpha.

‘With all the chores I’ve got to do for you, prat, I barely have the time.’ He lied, and Arthur threw him a glare. Merlin was eyeing up one of the blankets, feeling an urge to tuck himself up in it, to curl up by the fire and listen to the chatter of the Alphas.

This was bad. Omegas comforted, nested in a way, and he usually was alright with that. It wasn’t him. Yet the blanket looked soft, and Merlin wanted it so badly.

‘Eyes off my blanket.’ Leon joked, ruffling his hair in a way that made his heartrate pick up.

He was so screwed.

**

Waking up on the cold floor wasn’t nice, nor was looking across to see Arthur wrapped up. He settled back, the strong scent of Alphas filling the clearing, and Merlin relaxed into it. Honestly, he wasn’t sure why he hated it so much, it smelt like all the most delectable things. Sweets and honey and pastries, yet strong and muscular and…

He shook the thoughts away, decided that it was time to get ready for the day ahead. He relit the fire, warmed up some of the remaining stew and moved down towards the stream to fill the waterskin up. He got there, managed to fill it up before settling down by the side of the river.

He felt a little hot. Flushed, almost, in a way that made his skin itch, and Merlin grumbled. Rubbed at it, placed his hands in the water and sighed. Then came a sharp pain in his stomach, and wondered if the stew had been slightly dodgy.

Heading back to the clearing, he put the waterskin down and moved to where Leon had rolled around in his sleep, staring at the blanket he’d left behind longingly.

Another sharp stabbing pain, and Merlin placed a hand to his stomach. The skin was hot to the touch, burning even through the shirt, and it took the Omega a moment to understand.

Oh shit.

Leon grumbled in his sleep, reached out and began to stir. The other Knights were doing the same, waking up, and Merlin decided he was either about to flee, or die on the spot.

He was in heat, in the middle on a forest, with six Alphas that were about to wake up.

He’d never been more terrified.

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Gwaine was having a nice dream about apple pie when he woke up, annoyed because he was still tired. He did love a good Hunt, but having all their stuff stolen by bandits had left them fighting over the remaining blankets, and he had not been lucky enough to win one. His cape was warm enough, it was a nice summer’s day, after all.

The thing that woke him was the unmistakeable scent of an Omega in heat, strange, because they were in the middle of a forest. Still, Gwaine was never one to leave a stranded person in need, looked around and got his bearings.

Only to become very confused. The Knights around him, his brothers, if he was feeling emotional, were looking horrified. Arthur was pressed as close to the tree he was resting against as possible, each Alpha looking bloody terrified of what was, in Gwaine’s opinion, a normal thing. He knew Omegas were pretty rare, but he had experience with them, his half-sister was an Omega. He was quite happy to deal with them, if the Alphas feared their own reactions.

Until he realised that the delicious smell, rather like the apple pies he had been dreaming about, was indeed coming from the very panicky manservant in the centre of the clearing. Gwaine startled, realised with a sinking horror that Merlin was the one producing the sweet scent, that he looked moments away from turning and racing into the woods, never to be found again.

Well, with nobody else looking like they were going to do anything, Gwaine decided to take charge of this situation.

‘Merlin, deep breaths, you look ready to pass out.’ Despite the symptoms of the fever that was hitting, the Omega looked awfully like he was about to faint, eyes jittery and hands trembling. Gwaine looked around briefly, tried to understand if any of them had any clue what was going on. Upon finding a bunch of confused Knights, he looked back to Merlin.

‘We need to get you somewhere covered, alright? Leon, pass me that blanket. Carefully.’ He added, the Knight slowly stretching his hand out. Merlin tracked the movement, watched as Leon threw it to Gwaine, and the Knight picked it up.

How to approach him? Gwaine had experience of doing this with his sister, of getting her somewhere where she could try and nest, but he’d never stayed past that. His Mother was always responsible after that, and even with the vague idea of comfort and lots of water and ignoring everything that a fever-induced Omega could ask for, he was lost.

‘That’s it, we aren’t going to hurt you.’ He murmured, held his hands out like he was approaching a spooked horse. Merlin trembled, muscles tensing like he would flee, but he held still as Gwaine stepped closer. He was rather impressed, not only because Merlin had managed to keep this secret for so long, but he was fighting every urge in him that would tell him to flee. To get as far away from them as possible.

Omegas, unless bonded, usually only spent a heat with family members. Gwaine knew they were close, but they were nothing like family. Eventually, he was close enough that he could spread the blanket, slowly moved it around Merlin’s shoulders.

‘Princess, we could do with finding a shelter of some sort. A cave, a protected hollow, anything defendable.’ He didn’t take his eyes of Merlin, watching the battle of the fever, fear and the old sassiness that was trying to break through.

‘Shouldn’t we try and get back to Camelot?’ Leon questioned, while Arthur was finally standing up.

‘No time. If the heat’s started, he won’t make it back.’ Arthur muttered something about this being impossible, before the group agreed to split up and search for shelter.

‘Hang on,’ Gwaine called, turning back to Merlin, ‘You’re going to have to stay with one of us, while we look for a place to camp. Any preference on who?’ The Omega shuddered, looked between them, but didn’t try and speak. Lost, confused, and Gwaine figured his best chance was the gentlest of all of them.

‘Percy, watch Merlin.’ The Alpha nodded, Gwaine carefully backing away, and watching as Percival approached. He settled not too far away, and Merlin hesitantly dropped down by the fire, tightened the blanket around him.

**

‘Why didn’t he tell us?’ Arthur snapped, while Gwaine deemed the Cave suitable for the Omega to stay in.

‘Because we’re a group of Alphas.’ Leon pointed out, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Elyan finished clearing the nettles from their temporary-home, while Lancelot investigated the perimeter.

‘And he’s obviously been hiding it. He always smells like a Beta, until now.’ Gwaine added, before looking back at the group.

‘We should get him moved.’

On the walk back, it was agreed that two of them would head North and try and find the nearest village, to ask if they could borrow some items for comfort. They had some money between them, and would need to keep Merlin comfortable. Blankets, his own waterskin and bowl so that he could eat without their scent being everywhere.

Merlin was still wrapped up tightly, but he was obviously getting worse. He barely responded when they came crashing into the opening, Percival looking thankful for their arrival.

‘He said anything?’ Elyan asked softly, looking at Merlin with concern.

‘No.’ Still scared, then.

Gwaine crouched down, gaining two bright eyes staring at him. Unsure, the dark blown in them, yet trying to trust.

‘Think you can walk? Or d’you want one of us to carry you?’ He shook his head firmly at the last part, looked positively terrified of anyone touching him. He rose on unsteady feet, kept his shaky hands on the blanket that swamped him.

They had treated him like a Beta for so long, that nobody knew how to act. The kind of behaviour… it would be considered cruel to an Omega, yet Merlin had never said anything.

He walked behind them, trailing after and keeping a distance like he was still afraid. To be honest, Gwaine expected this to be a lot harder. A frightened Omega usually fled, or worse, would roll over and bare their neck in hope of saving themselves. Merlin did neither, which was proof that there was still a little piece of him behind the startled gaze.

‘Right, uh, here we are.’ Arthur announced, a pleading gaze sent in Gwaine’s direction. Right, it was his job to deal with the Omega. He walked into the cave, placed down the other two blankets they had, then exited the space.

Merlin waited until he’d backed away, before cautiously staring at the space. From the point of view of the group, it was a great place. Defendable, only one entrance, easy to keep Merlin protected. From the Omega’s perspective, it was a place where he could be trapped very easily. Lancelot had already expressed worry over how they were going to get him into the Cave, let alone keep him there, but they needn’t have worried.

The Omega walked over, plopped down onto the blankets and stared miserably at the wall of the Cave.

‘Percival and Leon, take our coins and find the nearest village. We’ll set up a fire and… think.’ The King finished lamely, looking slightly lost, but the group understood. Splitting up, it left them to light a fire, staying outside of the cave.

‘How’d you know so much?’ Elyan asked, nudging at the fire with his sword.

‘My half-sister is an Omega.’ Gwaine remarked, never usually offering information about his family, but it was an explanation.

‘So what do we do?’

‘Hope he doesn’t run. Keep him hydrated, and any other Alphas away. His Heat should only last for 3 to 5 days, we can last out here.’ They would sometimes stay hunting for longer, it wasn’t like they couldn’t manage. Arthur nodded, staring across at his manservant, then shifting uncomfortably.

‘He smells good.’ Lancelot admitted, looking slightly startled by the fact. That was the only other thing Gwaine was worried about, it was quite clear that they were all fond of Merlin. In fact, they treated him like one of them. With his now-exposed secondary gender, how would the relationships change?

‘Merlin? Do you want any water?’ Gwaine hoped that he was still in control enough to understand, watched as Merlin turned to look at them. His eyes showed fear, but he uncurled ever so slightly, and Gwaine reached for the one waterskin they had.

He made sure the lid was on, gently threw it half-way across the clearing, watched Merlin stare at it, then back to Gwaine.

The Knight turned back to the others, encouraged them to at least pretend like they weren’t watching him. A short while later, Gwaine heard Merlin begin to move, reach for the waterskin and drink.

He was more surprised when Merlin approached, carefully handing it back, scanning between them before his gaze settled on Gwaine.

‘Thanks.’ Whispered, like he was afraid of talking, but Gwaine just smiled.

‘Do you mind if I ask how long your heats usually last?’ He kept his tone calm, waited to see if Merlin would speak, or if he’d move back to the cave.

‘I… I don’t know. Only had one…’ He trailed off, and Gwaine’s stomach tightened.

‘This is your second heat?’ Lancelot muttered, shocked. Merlin flushed, ducked his head and returned to his cave.

‘That’s not good.’ Gwaine concluded.

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Merlin woke with his body in pain. It was centred in his stomach, a coil that was winding tighter and tighter, with his skin burning to the touch. He vaguely noted that more blankets had been brought, and that he was now swaddled in the different layers, before focusing back on the issue that had woken him.

Between his thighs, the slick heat was already beginning to form, and he shoved his head into the blankets in annoyance. He’d dealt with this once before, and it had been the worst thing he’d ever experienced. He already knew that it wouldn’t help much to relieve the pressure in his groin, would do nothing but give him a few moments of relief. Still, it seemed better than laying in a sweaty mess, so he gathered the fabric between his thighs slightly and rutted.

It felt good, the friction driving away the thoughts of the ache in his belly. The quicker he rutted, the more the pain of the heat faded, but the more his body produced the slick. He figured it was because the faint scent of the Knights remained on some of the blankets, the scent of an alpha overpowering on its own, let alone more than one. He grumbled, tucked his head into the one that he identified as Leon’s, let his hips try and chase the relief that might help him fall back to sleep.

Until he became aware of the fact that the Alphas were getting closer, and Merlin forced his body to stop. The Omega inside protested, but Merlin rose up, blinked away the haze of the heat to try and identify where they were. The fire was well-stocked, with pans set out for what he presumed was dinner, but there wasn’t a lot of food. They must have been hunting, he concluded, before noting that he could now spot a flash of red.

Elyan was the first he spotted, taking lead with what looked to be a boar of some kind.

See, they can provide for you!

He shoved the thought down, tried to pull the blankets up to cover himself, only to create more friction between his thighs. It was embarrassing enough, and Merlin hid his head the second Elyan’s head snapped across, no doubt able to smell his arousal.

Fuck, this was awful. There was a reason he pretended to be a Beta, so he didn’t get in crappy situations like this. He grimaced, rose his head again when Gwaine wandered across with a waterskin.

‘Thirsty?’ No, not really, he just wanted to sort out the, ah, issue between his thighs.

‘Bloody hot.’ Merlin grumbled, pleased he’d managed to speak, before studying the Alpha. He was obviously affected by Merlin’s scent, his eyes were dark and his trousers slightly too tight, but he was trying to be nothing more than friendly. That didn’t seem to matter to the Omega-half of him, which offered out when Gwaine lowered the waterskin.

He drank hungrily, gulped down the liquid while Gwaine kept the waterskin steady. When Merlin was done, his brain lazily provided him with the knowledge that the Knight was focused on the point where the blankets were bunched between his thighs, his cheeks darkening slightly.

‘Thank you, Alpha.’ Merlin whispered, unable to help himself, and Gwaine swallowed. Stood up sharply, returning to the fire and leaving Merlin to flop back onto the blankets.

**

‘This is ridiculous.’ Arthur muttered, looking at his men. Each one of them was struggling to control the Alpha in them, the part that was telling them that an Omega needed them. It was odd, usually they would be angry at each other, would scrap and fight for the attention, but strangely, that wasn’t happening at the moment. It was like his Alpha was telling him that he could share, that they could each protect Merlin, could all be there for him.

‘He smells so good.’ Leon said quietly, a bowl of stew in his lap to try and hide the affect Merlin’s scent had on all of them. In fact, they were all trying to hide, apart from Gwaine, who was leaning back against a tree with his trousers tented.

‘We should be fighting.’ Lancelot pointed out, looking around the clearing, and the others were nodding.

‘Merlin’s one of us. It’s natural that our Alphas would think we could all be around him.’ Gwaine grumbled from the side lines. Arthur didn’t know how he did it, got so close to Merlin without being tempted to reach, to touch and see if Merlin would respond. He would, it was in an Omega’s nature to find an Alpha attractive, especially when Heat took a hold.

‘Why didn’t he tell us?’

‘Because he was afraid we’d judge him. Or that we’d send him away.’ Lancelot concluded, which actually made perfect sense.

The scent shifted, turning sweeter, of strawberries and honey and the flowers that Merlin always brought to his Chambers. From the cave, small breathless whimpers that left little to the imagination, Arthur swallowing heavily and pressing the heel of his hand down into his crotch. Now was not the time, he thought, even if it seemed like it was.

‘Fuck.’ Gwaine wasn’t happy either, the others looking across to Merlin. They could barely see him, hidden under the blankets that they’d brought back from the village.

Percival and Leon had told them that the Village had been more than sympathetic to their plight, they understood that Omegas were treasured creatures that needed certain luxuries. Apparently, they had been concerned that the Knights had taken Merlin against his will, hence why they had no supplies. Leon had been the one to think of saying that the bandits had taken their supplies, which may have been true, but they didn’t have anything that would help Merlin. All their scents would be mixed onto everything, and if Merlin had that, it could be bad.

He wondered if his manservant was even going to be able to look him in the eye, once the heat faded. Lying about his secondary gender, presumably because an Omega would never be allowed to be the manservant of the Prince, let alone the King. But then again, Merlin hadn't come to Camelot with the intention of being his manservant.

‘We can’t stay this close.’ Elyan had a point, but then again…

‘We can’t leave him. His scent will attract any Alpha or Beta in this area.’ Percival shot back, strangely protective over him. Arthur knew his men were all fond of Merlin, that they considered him to be a part of this group just as much as any of the others.

‘I’m going to go insane.’ Leon said, and Arthur laughed briefly. They were all going to go insane, especially listening to the Omega just across the clearing, panting like his life depended on it. Another press to his groin, telling himself that Merlin would be alright in a couple of days, that they’d talk to him about the fact that he could be an Omega, that when his heats came, they’d find somewhere for him to stay so his scent didn’t attract half of Camelot.

Just when Arthur thought he had it under control, the scent exploded, burst through the clearing as Merlin groaned, the blankets rustling and the word echoing out.

‘Alphas.’

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Merlin was gone. He knew that the moment his legs gave out, panting down into the blankets that had offered little help with his issue. Now he was a mess, sticky and sweaty and wanted nothing more than somebody to curl up with him, to reassure him that everything was going to be okay. So, he dragged himself up, forced his legs to hold his weight and staggered out.

‘Merlin…’ That was the King, he vaguely noted, saw the hesitancy on all of their faces. They were terrified, just as scared of this as he was, but luckily, Merlin could always rely on one of them to understand.

‘Come here, Omega.’ He did just that, sunk down to his knees and then tumbled onto Gwaine’s lap, clambering up and settling on him, tucking his head under the Knight’s chin and breathing in the strong scent of an Alpha. The pain faded slightly, especially when an arm wrapped around his waist and pulled him flush against the man.

‘Gwaine,’ Someone began, it sounded a little like Leon, if Merlin had to guess.

‘He’s in pain. Confused. He’s our Omega, our friend, and we’re going to take care of him.’ His words left little room to argue, and Merlin smiled against his skin.

‘Liked that, did you?’ Gwaine said with a chuckle, and Merlin made a weird sound that he hoped showed how pleased he was with this situation.

They weren’t abandoning him. They didn’t hate him, they weren’t going to run away or judge him for what was happening. For something he couldn’t control, and had tried so long to hide.

He only noted that he was crying when Gwaine’s fingers dipped under his chin, tilted his head so Gwaine could study him.

‘What’s wrong, Merl?’ Nothing was wrong, he was happy, he never thought he’d get a chance to show them this side of him.

‘Pleased y’don’t hate me.’ He slurred, focusing on each word to get the message across. Gwaine just smiled, pressed a kiss to his head that Merlin tilted up to, the affection making his stomach swirl.

‘Never.’

**

They were waiting for him to act. Unlike Gwaine, none of the other Knights would go against Arthur, and the King had never been so annoyed at that fact until now. Here was a situation that he didn’t quite know how to handle, a situation that he had to think about. Merlin was curled on Gwaine’s lap, scent damn-near irresistible, yet oddly familiar. Like he’d always known that Merlin was something special, was theirs.

He should have been surprised when Merlin’s head turned to him, like he could read his thoughts. It should have shocked him, but it didn’t, because Merlin was anything but ordinary. He had a habit of knowing everything about all of them, of being able to read them better than they knew themselves. The Omega was waiting for something, a sign that Arthur was alright with this, that he wasn’t going to reject him.

The thought had never even crossed his mind. He was more worried about how he’d treated Merlin, the things he’d said and the long lists of chores that he always threw in the Warlock’s direction. Then again, he knew Merlin would have said something if he was unhappy. That, just maybe, he was scared of being treated like an Omega should.

Who were they, to treat him anyway other than what he wanted? Merlin could decide, and if he wanted their affection, then so be it.

Slowly, Arthur nodded, kicked out his legs from where they’d been drawn up, giving Merlin the option.

He didn’t take long to decide, left Gwaine and cautiously moved across, while Arthur just smiled. It felt natural, to have Merlin close to him, for the two of them to be slightly more than the norm. His scent was overpowering, entwined with his own as Merlin hesitantly curled against him, like he was waiting for rejection.

Arthur hadn't got much experience with this kind of affection. He’d bedded both men and women before, betas, the occasional Alpha, but never an Omega. Too much risk, usually, that they’d get attached. Or his Alpha would.

Merlin knew him far too well, understood that the affection didn’t come easily, reached for his arm and tucked it around himself. Arthur got used to the feeling, let his hand rest on Merlin’s hip and his thumb brush over the edges of the sweat-soaked clothing.

‘Ours.’ He said, the only word needed, and Gwaine gave a lazy grin of approval. The others just looked pleased, happy, and Merlin was beaming up at them.

**

Gwaine knew that, just because the touchy feely stuff had been done, it didn’t mean the others were confident with their newly found-out Omega. Merlin was currently asleep on Percival’s lap, while the others tried to stay quiet, all looking unsure as Merlin’s heat-scent increased again.

He, personally, didn’t see the issue. They would ask Merlin what he wanted, and give him anything that should be. Well, almost anything, a mating claim would have to wait until the heat faded.

‘Don’t all look so terrified. You know how to bed a man.’ Even if this one was an Omega, so was slightly different from the normal Beta. Spluttering commenced, but it was Arthur that quieted them.

‘We let Merlin decide how comfortable he is with us, and follow that.’ The Princess was starting to get it, and Gwaine was glad. The last thing he wanted to do was have to point out the obvious.

The only question was, with an Omega naturally falling to submission, which of them would lead the way?

**

Merlin woke to that awful feeling in his stomach again, to the tight heat that was threatening to burst free. He grumbled, it hurt more than anything, but was comforted a moment later by strong hands. Lancelot, he realised, and smiled up to his Alpha. The Knight smiled back, before gesturing to the waterskin. He reached with shaky hands, tried to drink as much of it as he could, then handed it back.

Could he ask for something? His body ached, and they were all right there, perfectly suited to him. Alphas that knew him, that he could trust.

‘Want something?’ Lancelot asked carefully, and Merlin decided that was his opening. He was gentle, unsure of whether his request would be denied, leant up and pressed a quick kiss to the other man’s lips.

He was surprised by the rush of hunger he felt, especially when Lancelot gripped him, tugged him up onto his lap like he weighed nothing. It felt good, sweet kisses that drove him insane, and he wriggled impatiently. Not quite sure what he wanted, just knowing it had to be something, to end the ache in his stomach.

‘Easy, we’ve got you.’ He assured, kind as always, but Merlin didn’t want kind. He didn’t want gentle hands taking their time, he wanted the ache gone. He vaguely registered the fact he’d snapped his teeth at the Knight, a gesture usually only done between Alphas, or occasionally a confident Beta. Lancelot looked amused, and from the chuckle that went around the circle, he was not the only one.

‘Someone’s bossy.’ Elyan teased, and Merlin glared across at the Knight, decided he’d be the next victim. With his legs rather weak, crawling across was his best bet, grinning victoriously when the Alpha swallowed and looked rather shy at Merlin’s approach.

The kiss was nice, he tasted so familiar, his scent soothing in a way that had the pain fading for a moment. Long enough to pull back, to study the Knight, to make sure that this was accepted. He was rewarded with another kiss, with hands that held his hips and rocked him gently, the fire in his belly flicking back to life at the action.

‘Should have known he’d still manage to look adorable.’ Leon muttered from Elyan’s side, and the Omega gave his best smile, pleased that his Alpha found him attractive. He supposed it might help with convincing them he was sane enough to be theirs, that he could make the decision for himself. Elyan’s hands were replaced with Leon’s, Merlin wasting no time to explore the new space. The lips were slightly more chapped, yet the taste was intoxicating.

Leon’s hair was also fun, his hands could run through it so easily, and he could tug at it to reveal the neck where his scent was at its strongest.

‘Your hair’s become a tactical weakness.’ Percival joked, the other Knights laughing. Merlin decided that if they were laughing, he wasn’t quite doing his job right, moved to Percival as he turned his scent sweeter.

The affect was brilliant, he even heard a couple of growls, but focused on the largest of his Alphas. Usually quite shy, but Merlin was more than aware of how to tease Percival, nipped lightly at his lips and peeked up at him from beneath his lashes. His Omega purred at the display of coyness, and Percival seemed happy as well. These kisses were longer, stole his breath and left him aching just about everywhere.

Finally, he turned to Arthur. The King was watching him, waiting, and Merlin knew that most of the Knights would wait on his decisions, that to convince him, would mean the others would follow.

But how best to persuade?

Chapter Text

Arthur knew he was screwed, from the moment Merlin’s eyes turned to him. Caught, like a deer on a hunt, watched as Merlin made his way over and carefully straddled him. Arthur studied him, looking for any signs that the heat was driving his decision, that he didn’t really mean for his affections to get out of place.

Finding none, he let himself kiss him, marvelled at how well they pressed together. Like Merlin had been made to rest against him, for his legs to perfectly straddle his hips, for his chest to press flush. Arthur kept his hands on the Omega’s hips, pulled him down firmly against the arousal he’d been keeping hidden for so long. Swallowed down the hungry whine that fell from Merlin’s lips, let him rock against him.

‘Fuck, please…’ Such a crude word, from someone that looked so delicate in this moment. So utterly delectable, and Arthur growled, his Alpha breaking free.

Merlin yelped, clutched onto him as they went back onto the dirt, hooked his legs around Arthur’s hips and settled them at the small of his back. The King set to work tasting and licking into Merlin’s mouth, of drawing more pretty whimpers from him, urged the Omega to rut up against him. He was surprised by the fight, by the way Merlin nipped at his lips and demanded the same energy back, at the way he fought for dominance rather than bowing his head in submission.

‘Back to the furs.’ He managed to get out, knowing if he didn’t stop now, he’d take Merlin on the dirty floor. Not that he looked bothered by such a thing, eyes blown and skin flushed from both the heat and the kissing.

The Omega wobbled up, and Arthur lost his patience.

‘Leon.’ The Knight obeyed, scooped Merlin up and carried him across, before the rest exchanged looks. With so many Alphas, how would they do this? Arthur had never bedded any more than one person at a time, and regretfully had to defer to someone who had more experience.

Gwaine’s grin was damned-near feral.

**

Merlin liked the weight pressing him into the furs, spread his thighs wide and smirked when Leon groaned, kissing him harshly and thrusting up against him. Shit, Merlin hadn't expected it to feel so good, knew that his body was producing more slick just at the thought of one of the Alphas taking him.

Or more than one, he wasn’t fussy, just wanted somebody to shove him down into the furs and knot him before the pain came back.

He protested when Leon left, chased up after the warmth, only to realise there were now quite a few people sitting on his furs. The Knights had lost their shirts, any armour they had on, stripped down to just their trousers. Merlin didn’t know where to look, so much exposed skin and then there was the fact that the trousers were tented, and Merlin felt his cock twitch.

‘Still with us, Merlin?’ He was, although his Omega was definitely in control. He managed to nod, just about, let his eyes dart between them and resisted the urge to roll over and present. He was still dressed, although the clothes were soaked, the shirt with sweat, and the trousers with… well.

‘Want to be a good Omega and strip for us?’ Us, he liked the sound of that, didn’t try to fight the strange noise that rumbled from his chest at the thought of pleasing all of them. His shirt was easy to strip off, discarded somewhere over the far side, and Merlin worked on getting out of his trousers. He knew the second the scent of slick hit them, flushed when most of them growled out his name, Gwaine just looking pleased.

‘That’s it, sweetheart, come over here.’ He didn’t have the ability to feel embarrassed about his nakedness, not when his stomach was burning and his thighs were soaked, moved across to where the Knight was sitting.

‘Look at you, so pretty.’ His Alpha’s compliment had Merlin tilting his head up, demanding affection to go with it, gasping when a hand began to track up his thigh.

‘How far d’you want to go, little one?’ He wasn’t that little, he thought, until noting how tiny he was compared to the mass of muscle facing him.

‘Want your knot.’ He replied with, grinned when Gwaine cursed, the Alpha looking awfully horny. Good, he had to be doing something right, let himself kiss along the Knight’s jaw and down to his neck. He tasted good, let his fingers work on the laces on his trousers.

‘You ever done this before?’ Gwaine breathed out, and Merlin tried to stop his Omega from answering that question.

‘No.’ The Knight looked surprised, but quickly forgot about it when Merlin got a hand wrapped around him. Freeing the Alpha from his trousers, getting annoyed with how the fabric caught and then deciding just to use his Magic to get rid of them.

‘Shit, Merlin.’ He agreed, he should have done that a lot sooner. He briefly contemplated how he wanted to do this, before his Omega made his mind up for him, moved to wrap his mouth around the head of Gwaine’s cock.

‘Fuck.’ Someone else was moving, to run a hand along his spine, dipping to where he was leaking fresh slick.

‘So wet for us.’ Elyan, Merlin hummed in response to the question, peeked up at Gwaine and found the Knight watching him.

‘Want him inside you?’ Merlin nodded quickly, pleased with the suggestion, heard the Knight move behind him.

‘C’mere, up on your knees, want you to sit back on him.’ Sadly, that meant pulling off from Gwaine, but Merlin did as told, shuffled back and tried not to whimper when something brushed up against his hole.

‘Steady.’ Elyan whispered, moving a hand around to Merlin’s chest, pressing lightly to encourage Merlin to sink down. He did it in one smooth movement, gasped at the feeling of being stretched so wide. The Alpha behind him swore, and Merlin just whimpered, kept his eyes on Gwaine.

‘Doing so well, Merlin.’ The Knight praised, hands coming to rest on the Omega’s hips and beginning to move. His knees went weak, allowing the Alpha to fuck up into him, let his head drop back and felt the pain of his hear recede.

‘Shit, so tight, I’m not going to last…’ That was a good thing, his Omega told him, if they were going to have all of the Knights. Merlin focused on bouncing, clenched around the Knight and grinned when teeth bit his shoulder, not quite a mating claim. The Knight moaned, jerked up twice more, heat filling him as Merlin rocked back.

He turned his attention to the others, licked his lips when he caught sight of the King watching him.

**

Gwaine watched in amusement as Merlin completely wrecked an entire group of Alphas. He should have figured it out sooner, that Merlin would be perfect for them, that he’d suit them so well. Like now, with Arthur shouting out as he spilled down Merlin’s throat, while Leon mouthed at his back and canted his hips up once more, the Omega a mess between them.

They weren’t knotting him. It wouldn’t help Merlin, he needed a knot in heat, yet when Lancelot took Leon’s place, Gwaine already figured they wouldn’t. It was something that was supposed to tie them to the Omega, and they couldn’t do that if they were all sharing. Merlin whined as Lancelot pressed in, before his hands went back to where they were working Percival.

The Omega wouldn’t finish until he was knotted, and Gwaine figured he’d do it if Merlin asked. After all, none of them would be able to leave an Omega unsated, it wasn’t in their nature. They were being so gentle, so careful with Merlin, and it was adorable to see the attention they spent on him.

When the two had finished, Merlin’s gaze found him again. His eyes were still blown, cock heavy between his legs, and Gwaine swallowed hard at how tempting he looked. He wanted to try something, didn’t know if Merlin would protest it or not, worried that it was pushing the Omega too far. After all, he’d never acted like an Omega until now.

‘Present, Omega.’ Merlin’s head cocked, before a smirk crossed his swollen lips, turning his back and slowly lowering his front down, offering himself up. Arthur swore, and Gwaine pressed the heel of his hand to his crotch, now was not the time to finish early.

‘So good for us.’ Gwaine pressed, shuffling across and slowly guiding himself into Merlin’s body, shuddering as the Omega stretched around him.

‘Ohhh.’ Merlin moaned, head down in the blankets, letting his arms drop from under him and letting Gwaine push deeper. His hips, already marked from the others, proved to be the perfect place to hold onto as he pulled out, admired the sight as he snapped his hips forwards.

Merlin yelped, then shoved back against him, and Gwaine took that as all the invitation he needed. He built up a quick rhythm, driving himself into Merlin’s pliant body, listening to the tiny ah ah ah’s that came as his Omega tried to keep up. Merlin’s hands spread into the blankets, gripping tightly until his knuckles went white, sobbing as Gwaine sped up.

‘Please, please, Alpha,’ Fuck, he was never going to get used to that, ‘Harder.’ He didn’t deny him, couldn’t, his Alpha refused to leave his Omega begging.

‘Shit, look so good around me, pretty little Omega.’ Merlin tightened around him, whining as he drew closer, and Gwaine pressed a hand to Merlin’s spine and forced him to stay down.

‘Alpha, c’mon, need it. Fuck, knot me!’ Gwaine growled, felt his knot swelling just at the thought, yanked Merlin back as it began to catch on his rim and listened to Merlin’s scream.

The blankets were flooded, Merlin falling limp beneath him as Gwaine tied them together, dropped down and resisted the overpowering urge to bite down on his neck.

He rolled them to the side, continued to work his hips as he filled Merlin up, listened to the Omega gasp.

‘So full.’ He mumbled vaguely, and Gwaine nuzzled at the back of his neck, dared anyone to try and take him away.

**

Merlin woke in the night, winced as the cock slipped free from him, followed by a sticky mess that spread down his thighs. His heat was almost gone, a Knot did wonders for an Omega, and Merlin looked around. The Knights were all asleep, curled up with a blanket thrown over them, clothes a complete mess and each one of them needing a very long bath.

He figured that going back to Camelot would be interesting, now that they knew he was an Omega.

‘Come back to sleep.’ Gwaine protested, a hand wandering across to wrap around his stomach. He snuggled back against the Alpha, smiled slightly when fingers dipped down between his thighs.

‘Mm, all wet.’

‘I’m a mess.’ Merlin whispered back, trying not to wake the others.

‘M’going to lick it out of you, in the morning.’ Gwaine informed him, very matter-of-factly, and Merlin felt his cock make an attempt to fill. That had his Alpha chuckling, and Merlin hid his head.

‘Sleep, Merl.’

Chapter Text

Heading back to Camelot had never been more… upsetting. Merlin had woken each of the Alphas and demanded more attention, his heat still taking over most of hid judgement, before he’d dozed back to sleep. This time, waking was different, because he was pressed against someone, who he quickly realised to be Percival. The Knight was carrying him, and the Omega in him purred in delight at the thought of his Alpha being strong enough to do such a thing.

Honestly, his head needed clearing. It was difficult to think, with the six of them right there, with Merlin’s head still foggy from the hormones and the left over fever from the heat. If they were going back to Camelot, then it meant returning to a life where everyone knew him as a Beta. Opinions would change, and he’d be forced to leave Arthur’s service, kicked out of his position as manservant to the King.

‘Merlin?’ Percival questioned, looking terrified, and the Omega realised he was crying. He shook his head firmly, tucked closer into the embrace, aware that they had stopped moving and the others were talking.

‘It’s the post-heat, we need to get him back. Emotions are unpredictable.’ Gwaine explained to the group, which Merlin snapped at, annoyed that they’d judge him by his gender again, that they thought this was just because of his stupid body. The Knight apologised, but Merlin wasn’t having it, kicked from Percival’s grip and stumbled when he realised his legs weren’t quite ready to fully support him.

‘Merl…’

‘I’m not just some Omega that you can fuck with!’ Okay, so that wasn’t what he’d been planning on saying, but it was what came out. His throat clogged up, eyes blurred slightly with tears as he tried to calm himself, knowing it wasn’t wise to get stressed out. His Magic was already protesting, burning under his skin, determined to prove that he wasn’t weak.

‘We know. And I promise you, once we get back to Camelot, we’ll sort all of this out. Our Omega, remember?’ Gwaine’s voice was soothing, and he was doing something weird with his scent that had Merlin trembling. Their Omega, yet there was no mark on his neck, no claim that they had made on him. What happened when he got back to Camelot, and everyone knew what he’d done? That he had let six Alphas take him, and had nothing to prove for it other than his sticky thighs?

‘I… I need to wash. Now.’ He didn’t like it, wanted the scent gone, didn’t want to think about what had happened in that cave. It was his fault, he’d forgotten his suppressors and then seduced them, and now they were trying to find a way to politely tell him that they couldn’t keep doing this.

‘A bath once…’ Leon began, but Merlin snarled.

‘Now.’

‘There’s a stream just north of here, Sire.’ Elyan piped up, and Merlin didn’t wait to see if he would be allowed, stalked off in that direction. They were following, hesitant, muttering beneath their breaths and whispering words he couldn’t pick up on.

The moment he found the stream, he stripped off his clothes. He didn’t care if they were watching, just needed their scent gone, needed the cold water to purge all the memories of having their hands on his skin.

He wanted them so badly, but how stupid was he? He was a servant, not worthy of their attention usually, and he’d lied to them for so long.

‘Merlin.’ Arthur was speaking, and Merlin was scratching at his skin, desperate to stop the ache in his chest.

‘Merlin! Look at me.’ He did, bright blue eyes filled with concern, and Merlin sobbed. Sobbed, because he wanted the King to like him for who he was, not for the stupid gender that had been forced. Arms wrapped around him, lifting him without protest, and Merlin tucked his head under Arthur’s neck.

‘M’sorry.’

‘Shh, deep breaths. It’s okay.’ It wasn’t okay, Merlin knew that, but he was content to let Arthur pretend.

‘How long have you been taking suppressors for?’ So, he knew what they were. Merlin was surprised he wasn’t being shouted at, the drugs weren’t exactly the healthiest things to take.

‘Since I was fourteen.’ After his first heat, and his Mum decided that it was dangerous enough having a sorcerer for a child, let alone one that was also an Omega.

‘You’ve never gone through post-heat?’ Arthur asked, tracing circles onto his lower back. Merlin tilted into the touch, let his Omega calm as the others came to sit down next to them. He vaguely wished he still had clothes on, then remembered there wasn’t anything they hadn't seen.

‘No. It sucks.’ His first heat had come and gone, but he’d been on the drugs from the day his body started burning up.

His sentence was meant with chuckling, Arthur’s eyes filled with amusement.

‘It’ll get better. You’re not used to it, which is why it feels…’ Arthur paused, looking to Gwaine, who had obviously been teaching the group about Omegas.

‘Crappy.’ Gwaine supplied, and Merlin snorted.

‘Understatement.’ He felt so confused, all his thoughts focused on the Knights around him, on the fact that once he went back to Camelot, everyone would know.

‘Merlin, you know that Camelot requires a Queen,’ Merlin’s heart sunk, he’d known that, of course, but it still hurt to hear.

‘Listen! Camelot needs a Queen, but we still want you. And… and we’ve been talking.’ Arthur gestured to his Knights, then looked back.

‘You know Morgana and Guinevere are together, and such a marriage cannot happen.’ Two Betas were fine, but it was more the issue that they were both women.

‘I had already made the suggestion to Gwen, that I marry her so she is Queen, and so they can be together.’ Morgana had told him about this suggestion, which Merlin thoroughly supported, it made sense. Gwen would be a great Queen, and she loved Morgana.

‘But I want you as mine. As ours.’ Merlin looked to each of the Alphas, so patiently waiting for his response.

‘And, should it happen…’ Arthur paused, a look of determination crossing his face,

‘Then any Pup would be my heir.’ Merlin felt his heart stop, he was pretty sure it must have done, because he could hear nothing but those last words. Gwaine was talking, scolding Arthur for bringing up such a thing in post-heat, while Merlin was thinking.

A Pup. He’d never considered one, what with the fact he was pretending that he was a Beta. Male Betas couldn’t have pups, he’d pretended to be one for so long that he had entirely forgotten that he could conceive. He paused, wondering what it would be like to do such a thing. Omegas were rare enough, but a male Omega?

A cape was wrapping around his shoulder, Leon by his side, and Merlin smiled.

‘C’mon, let’s get you back to Camelot. We can talk about all of this later.’

**

Gwaine kept an eye on Merlin, who was walking in front of them. The Warlock seemed to be thinking again, quiet as he kicked at the leaves beneath his feet. His scent was fading, retreating back to the delicious honey-taste and not the heat. It had to be confusing, being a Beta for so long, only to remember that he was in fact an Omega. One that needed some affection, needed to understand that they thought no less of him because he was an Omega.

‘We should stop here for the night.’ The Princess was talking, and as he spoke, the group obeyed. Merlin wandered around, presumably collecting firewood, and Gwaine shot the Knights a look that told them not to stop him. As much as their Alphas were telling them to coddle Merlin, to wrap him up and keep him safe, that wasn’t what Merlin wanted.

When the Omega came back with the firewood, he placed it into the centre and lit a fire with Magic. He didn’t usually show them, it was a rare treat that Gwaine absorbed, focusing on the golden eyes that would never fail to turn him on. Was that weird?

‘What food do we have?’ Merlin asked, beginning to search through the packs.

‘Do you want me to cook ins…’ Elyan didn’t manage to finish his sentence, mostly because Merlin was levelling a glare that made the Alpha flinch. Trust Merlin to be able to make an Alpha submit, Gwaine thought.

‘Not much. Just leftovers.’ Arthur admitted, and Gwaine could see that there wasn’t much. Merlin considered this, spread out the food and then paused.

‘Can I use Magic?’ He was staring at the King, who looked confused, but nodded. Merlin muttered some words, hand outstretched over the food, and Gwaine watched in surprise as the food began to multiply.

‘Woah…’ Percival muttered, eying up the slice of cake that had survived, now becoming an entire cake.

‘I didn’t know you could do that.’ Arthur remarked, his voice showing his shock, and Merlin shrugged.

‘Neither did I. Came naturally.’ Gwaine didn’t point out that it was because an Omega’s instinct was to provide for an Alpha, that his Magic might have picked up on that, and tried to do the same.

He valued his head, so instead thanked Merlin with a quick kiss, before snatching the slice of cake Percival cut for himself.

Chapter Text

Gaius caught his scent first. His eyes widened, and Merlin hesitantly started towards him, wondering how on earth he was going to explain all of this to his Uncle. He stopped, however, when Morgana came rushing down the steps towards him. Her eyes showed she identified his scent, and from Gwen’s shocked expression from behind, Merlin was exposed to all of them in a way he hadn't been.

He caught the Lady with ease, her familiar scent soothing after all that had happened.

‘You knew?’ Arthur snapped, confused, but Morgana ignored him in favour of studying Merlin. First his eyes, then down to his neck, presumably looking for a claiming bite.

‘Is everything okay?’ She whispered, but anger laced the tone, letting Merlin know that she would hurt them if needed.

‘I think so.’ He muttered back, let Gwen hesitantly come forwards.

‘Merlin?’ She sounded so hurt, and Merlin hung his head, ignored the way that his Omega cowered away from her.

‘M’sorry.’ He was, really sorry, but Gwen didn’t let him get anything else out. Her arms wrapped around him, and Merlin sunk into the touch, let the two of them hold him for a moment before Arthur broke the silence.

‘Merlin, up to my Chambers. You need to bathe, I’ll fetch clean clothes for you.’ His tone left little room for argument, and Merlin found himself obeying before he even had the chance to stop himself from doing so. Gwen and Morgana came to flank either side, while Gaius just watched the proceedings with one eyebrow raised.

**

The water was nice, cleaned away the last hints of what had happened last night, and he climbed out to dress. Arthur had been polite enough to give him some space, but now Merlin was unsure of what to do. He wandered around, started to tidy the mess that Arthur always made, frowned when he picked up one of his shirts and froze.

It smelt good. Really good, like Arthur had last night, and Merlin sighed. Before he was quite sure of what he was doing, he was on the large bed, staring at the shirt in his hands. It smelt safe, that was what his body was telling him, and he didn’t have much choice but to let the exhaustion begin to set in.

**

‘I would NEVER!’ Arthur snarled, appalled that his sister could even think such a thing. Morgana raised an eyebrow, a move so close to what Gaius had done that Arthur was almost concerned.

‘We want what’s best for Merlin.’ Gwaine cut in smoothly, and Arthur had to admit his approach worked better, Morgana settled down.

‘You cannot expect an unclaimed Omega to roam the Castle!’ Gwen protested adamantly. She had a point, Merlin was in danger if they did such a thing, even Arthur had to agree.

‘Then we talk to him.’ Gwaine shot back, Arthur having already figured a solution to this. Only if Merlin was open to it, of course, this was all reliant on what Merlin wanted.

‘We’ll go and speak to him.’ Arthur stated firmly, before nodding to his Knights. Morgana and Gwen didn’t look impressed, but they allowed him to leave, walking towards his Chambers and knocking on the door. No answer came, and so Arthur opened it, peeking around and freezing at the sight.

Merlin, curled up on the middle of his bed, with a selection of Arthur’s clothes already wrapped around him. Definitely asleep, and Gwaine chuckled quietly.

‘Nesting. Post-heat will do that, we need to find him somewhere he feels safe.’ Arthur felt a flash of pride at the fact that he felt safe enough to do it in his room, before deciding Gwaine was right.

**

Merlin was woken by Gwaine, fought back the urge that told him to shove the Knight away and to go back to sleep.

‘C’mon, we’ve got you somewhere comfier.’ Merlin frowned, wondered when his head got so blurry and his limbs stopped obeying his own brain, but followed after the Knight. It was a short walk to a spare set of Chambers, usually used for visiting nobles. He didn’t question it, allowed Gwaine to lead him into the room, then paused.

The bed-frame had been taken out, leaving behind the mattress and what looked to be the comfiest furs he’d ever seen. Then there were a collection of different clothes, all scattered around the outside of the bed itself, scents that Merlin picked up on as he walked across.

He was glad he wasn’t wearing shoes, climbed onto the mattress and into the blankets, sighed at how soft they were. Not quite perfect, he thought, letting his Magic reach out. Cushions multiplied at his demand, before he was practically swamped in them, and Merlin began to reach for different clothes. One shirt that he recognised as Arthur’s scent, picking through some that were too faint to linger over, before realising what this was.

The Knights must have each donated things that smelt like themselves, to see if it would help comfort him. Merlin would have been annoyed, had he not been thoroughly down for the idea of being wrapped up in their scent, grumbling as he picked up an armful.

‘Greedy.’ Gwaine teased, from where he was standing at the edge. Merlin froze, waited for the Knight to say something else.

‘You know what this is, right?’ He wasn’t coming closer, and Merlin wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

‘A nest.’ Something that Omegas built, not that he’d ever had one.

‘It’s yours. Nobody can come it without your permission, and you can put in whatever you’d like.’ Merlin liked the sound of that, snuggled down slightly but kept his eyes on Gwaine.

‘Arthur’s talking to the Council, seeing if they’d accept your position as Consort, if Guinevere was Queen.’ More words he should have a reaction to, but all he could think about was how much he was craving sleep. That he wanted it, and from the look on Gwaine’s face, the Knight understood.

‘Rest, we’ll be back later.’ Merlin watched the door shut, then turned back to the many clothes he had to sort through.

He could think after a nap.

**

‘Would you object to such a thing?’ Arthur inquired, looking between Gwen and Morgana. His sister had an arm wrapped around Gwen’s waist, protective, daring any of the Councillors to defy her. But Arthur didn’t need to worry, they wouldn’t go against his word.

‘I will be your Queen, yes, as long as you promise not to abandon Merlin.’ It wasn’t heard of very often. A King could take lovers, usually did so frequently, but to promote one to such high status… But Camelot had needs, and a female Beta as Queen was a better option than a male Omega. It didn’t mean he was willing to let Merlin stoop to anything other than Consort. They’d accept his children, if Merlin was willing to have them, as heirs.

‘He will be Consort. Just as Morgana will be yours.’ Unheard of, four people under the legality of one Crown. Then again, this was not a normal situation, and Arthur dared anyone to tell him he couldn’t change the rules to make it this way. Surely they recognised the benefits, the strength that would come to a close royal family.

‘And you will claim him?’ Morgana asked, Arthur hesitating.

‘Multiple bonds are not unheard of.’ Gwen reminded him, while the King looked to his other Knights. He had heard of multiple bonds, but six? If anyone could do such a thing, it would be Merlin, he concluded.

‘If he wishes it to happen, then we’ll make it work.’ Arthur stated firmly, before looking to his Council, waiting. Slowly, they bowed their heads in acceptance, in the acknowledgement that, after the paperwork had been finalised, Camelot would have a King, Queen, and a Consort for both of them.

‘Sire, a word?’ Gaius asked, and the Alpha turned. He didn’t miss the way the Beta was staring, ready to become protective over Merlin if needed. He inclined his head to the table, dismissing them, before following the Physician from the room. He could only hope it wouldn’t take long, the Knights had agreed to go to Merlin as a group.

Chapter Text

‘Omegas aren’t as simple as they may seem, Sire.’ Arthur blushed, ducking his head away from his Court Physician, who raised an eyebrow at him.

‘I’m afraid I know little of them, just what Sir Gwaine explained.’ Gaius knew that to be true, Uther had very little time to explain such things, had never even bothered to give Arthur a talk about the affections of others. It had been Gaius who had to sit the young Prince down, on his thirteenth summer, explaining to him that he could not lay with a female without the woman taking something the day after, to prevent conception. Arthur had blushed, just as he was now, to the same colour of his cape.

‘They can be complicated…’ He halted when the door opened, Sir Leon poking his head around the door with an unreadable expression. It opened wider, to reveal the Knights of the Round Table, each looking rather… shy.

‘Could we… listen? We don’t know much of Omegas.’ Gaius took note that Gwaine was with them as well, hanging near the back of the group, and he gestured for them to come in.

‘I was aiming this towards Merlin’s mate but…’ Gaius halted, the thought coming to his head so quickly he almost dismissed it. Then he focused, levelled a stare at each of the men in his room, watched the Alphas recoil and try and avoid the confrontation. It took him another moment to realise what must have happened when Merlin went into heat, and he swallowed hard.

‘Merlin could never do things normally.’ He muttered, more to himself than anybody else, but watched the Knights relax. So, somehow Arthur was willing to share his mate, and that was what Gwen had whispered to him when they were in the Council Room. Not only was Merlin to become Consort to the King, but he’d act as a Mate to all five of the Knights as well. Not unheard of, if the old stories were anything to go by.

‘We would never harm… it was his decision. And if he decides he does not want us now…’ Sir Leon had never looked more flustered, and Gaius had known him for a very long time. Ever since he was a boy, actually, with tiny curls of hair and a curious smile. He’d grown into his role as Arthur’s friend, had become a good Knight, one that would never lie to him in such a way.

‘I know. It is not unheard of, for an Omega to take more than one mate.’ Six may be slightly excessive, but it was Merlin. If anyone had room in their heart for so many, it would be him.

‘There have been others?’ Gaius settled back, wished that he’d taught Arthur properly from the start. That he’d sat him down and explained these things, so that when the day came, he’d know how to treat Merlin properly. He supposed he should be thankful that Sir Gwaine had some idea on the matter.

‘Kings quite often would take a Queen, and an Omega as their consort. In times of War, the King would be unable to take his Queen to battle, but his Omega would go by his side. Usually to… entertain the Knights that went along.’ That was before Omegas became valued, until people realised that they could not treat them like animals, just because their heats made them lose some senses.

‘And claiming?’

‘One Alpha will always have primary bonding rights to the Omega. The mark will be different, the bite will heal almost on instinct, won’t need time to fade.’ It would leave behind the shiny mark of a claiming bite, which usually took time to begin to heal, but not when there was more than one Alpha involved.

‘Whoever goes first?’ Arthur asked, but Gaius shook his head.

‘It might be random, but it is certainly not who goes first. Some Royals found that their Omega would have a primary Alpha that wasn’t them, which usually caused issues.’ Arthur frowned, he wouldn’t disown Merlin for such a thing, which Gaius was pleased with. Just because he had been raised under Uther’s guidance, did not mean he’d adopted the same backwards thoughts.

‘Does the Primary Alpha get treated any differently?’ Elyan piped up, having stayed relatively quiet up until this point. Gaius shook his head, wondered where Merlin was now, if they were all here.

‘No. Unless two Mates both give an order, in which case, the Primary Alpha is obeyed. It’s their job to maintain order, amongst those who have claimed an Omega.’ He said it like they weren’t talking about Merlin, mostly because he was still unused to being able to admit that his nephew was one. Word would get out, that Emrys was an Omega to Arthur’s Alpha, and Gaius would be surprised if any of the Druids doubted that Arthur was the Once and Future King after this.

‘Merlin, he could still control his Omega. I didn’t know such a thing was possible.’ Gwaine cut into the conversation, looking more curious than anything else, and Gaius had to chuckle.

‘It sounds like Merlin. It may be because of the suppressants, or the fact that he has Magic. Or just his sheer will, he’s never exactly been what you’d call ordinary.’ That made Arthur huff fondly, a smile crossing his face.

‘It doesn’t mean he won’t need the affection of one. Now that he’s experienced a Heat, he’ll still suffer from the normal afflictions that an Omega does.’ When Hunith had written to him all those years ago, Gaius had never believed that the suppressants would work for long. She’d begged for his help, stated that her son had just gone into his first Heat, and that he would need help. That all the people in the Village were Betas, apart from two Alphas that both had mates.

‘Like?’ Gaius didn’t blame them for their lack of knowledge, Camelot had very few Omegas, and they were mated. And older, easily Hunith’s age, with Pups of their own.

‘Comfort. Praise. A nest.’ To name but a few, he thought.

‘Gwaine already thought of that.’ Lancelot nodded to his friend, and Gaius raised an eyebrow at the man, waiting patiently for an explanation.

‘I found the softest furs and blankets that I could, had the bedframe removed. Just the mattress left, along with shirts belonging to all of us.’ Clever, a trick used to help Omegas settle when they had no home.

‘In the nest?’ He asked, but Gwaine shook his head.

‘Outside. He gets to choose which clothes he brings in, and I told him none of us come in without his permission.’ The Knight knew a lot, Gaius already knew that, but this was knowledge he hadn't expected.

‘How was his Heat?’ He didn’t need to know why it had only lasted for a couple of days, he was more focused on the symptoms. Luckily for him, Gwaine understood perfectly.

‘Symptoms came on quickly. Fever was effective, although he didn’t need to be forced to drink. Pain that faded with closeness, more lucid than I was expecting. It sounded like Merlin had better control than he always feared, Gaius mused.

‘And his Magic?’

‘Controllable.’ Even more fascinating, he’d have to make notes on this later.

‘That might not always be the case. Upcoming Heats might have him losing control. Or after a Mating claim.’ Gwaine gave an understanding nod, before noting that the King was frowning at him.

‘You know a lot.’ Arthur said, and Gwaine looked amused.

‘Like I told you, my half-sister was an Omega.’ He hadn't known that, but Merlin must have known. He always stayed suspiciously quiet when Gaius questioned him on Gwaine’s family, especially on their secondary gender. It had been one of his thoughts, when Gwaine had first turned up, that the Alpha was remarkably well-controlled around all those that met him.

‘Sire, I should give you warning that Omegas, especially those that aren’t used to being treated as one, might not react as expected to an Alpha’s advance.’

‘He tried to wash our scent off.’ Arthur whispered in understanding. Gaius figured that it had insulted them, perhaps, that they’d thought Merlin was rejecting a claim. His poor nephew, he had to be so confused.

‘He’ll need affection, although he won’t want to ask for it.’ Arthur nodded firmly, looked to his Knights, then back to Gaius.

‘Thank you.’

‘Just… keep him safe. I can’t deal with all this stress, Sire.’ He joked, before watching Arthur’s face falling again, and Gaius waited for the question.

‘Pups…’

‘Yes, he can sire more than one Alpha’s Pups at a time.’ That was something he didn’t really need to think about too much, but he knew how it roughly worked.

‘Will… will we know?’

‘He will. He’ll be able to tell the moment they’re conceived.’ That word had most of them looking away, not a conversation they wanted to have in general, let alone with him. He found it amusing, considering he was the person they came to when they needed oil, always using the same excuses of muscle pains. Like he was that much of a fool, Merlin may be, but Gaius knew perfectly well what they were using it for.

‘Won’t that be an issue?’ Elyan quietly stated, and Arthur stared at him in confusion. Gaius understood his fear, watched the King finally understand, before his anger showed.

‘No. They’ll be our Pups, and Pendragons.’ Gaius smiled, Arthur was quite the King. He had grown up a lot since Merlin had been in his service, not that Gaius would ever suggest the two things were related.

‘If that’s all your questions, Sire, I have my rounds…’

‘Of course. Sorry for keeping you, Gaius.’ There was the nervous boy once more, a smile that was hoping to please, and Gaius smiled right back at him. Not quite his son, he’d never dare to call him that, but he was proud.

‘One more thing, Sire. You might want oil for the first time.’ He ignored Arthur’s spluttered understanding, just chuckled to himself and moved towards the storage shelves.

**

Morgana hesitated in the doorway, looked to the Omega curled up tightly in a variety of blankets and shirts. Ever since she’d found out what Merlin was, both a sorcerer and an Omega, she’d considered him her friend. No, more than that, Merlin had been like a brother. He’d trusted her to keep his secrets, knowing what she was supposed to become in destiny. Knowing that his secondary gender meant that, should she choose to, he would be kicked from the Castle.

Not that she ever would. She loved Merlin with all her heart, he came second only to Guinevere, and now she wished she could do something to settle his nerves.

‘Gana?’ His voice was sleepy, yet so confused, and Morgana felt her heart pine for him. He didn’t know how much everybody adored him, he still thought that he was about to be dropped. She could see it in his eyes, the fear of rejection.

‘Hey. How are you feeling, Merlin?’ She kept her tone soft, mindful of the fact that he had to be exhausted. Post-heat, and it had only lasted a couple of days, with the addition of the removal of suppressants?

‘Like crap. Excuse my language, my Lady.’ She scoffed, took one step into the room and clicked the door shut. She knew not to go any further, to enter the mound of blankets that already smelt so much like him, honey and fresh flowers and a minty tang.

‘Nonsense. Is there anything I can do for you?’ His eyes gave him away. They had always been expressive, but now they made him an open book.

‘I’d like… a hug?’ She crept forwards, slowly removed her shoes and hesitated, before he nodded. Crossing into his space, into the nest he had made, and crawled up to his side. Merlin sighed, let his head rest in her lap while she ran fingers through his dark hair.

‘Rest, I’ll keep watch.’

Chapter Text

Arthur halted at the sight, watched as his sister rose a finger to her lips. On her lap, Merlin was curled up and definitely asleep, chest rising and falling gently. He looked peaceful, nothing like the worried Omega they’d brought back, and it made his Alpha happy to see him so… content.

Morgana extracted herself carefully, padded across and slipped her shoes back on, before following him into the corridor. She was greeted by the other Knights, waiting to see Merlin, and then looked to him.

‘You’re not going to be an idiot, are you?’ Only she would dare to speak to him in such a way. Well, her and Merlin, although Arthur wasn’t sure about the latter anymore.

‘No. We spoke to Gaius, and… We have some things to discuss.’ An understatement, Arthur had to apologise for being such an idiot when it came to Omegas. For not understanding what Merlin needed.

‘Don’t overwhelm him.’ Morgana stated simply, turned and walked down the corridor like she was the Queen of this Castle. Arthur looked back to the others, silently asking them how they wished to do this.

‘We’ll come when you call.’ Gwaine stated cheerfully, turning and walking away like he hadn't got a care in the world. The others were more hesitant, but turned to walk away, leaving Arthur to stare at the door.

**

Merlin watched as Arthur crept in, shut the door and smiled.

‘I’ve never seen you be conscious of sleeping people.’ He snarked, rubbed the exhaustion away and sat up. Arthur frowned, but his eyes showed amusement.

‘I get it from you.’ True, Merlin usually woke the King by dragging him from the bed or throwing open the curtains.

‘Are you here to reclaim the room?’ Merlin asked, looking slightly nervous at the thought. He had made a nest, and Arthur was pleased to note that he could see one of his shirts in with the mess of fabric.

‘No. It’s your nest, I just wanted to talk.’ He watched the Omega startle, before becoming wary of him. Waiting for the trick, but Arthur was being honest. He didn’t expect anything, if Merlin told him to leave, he would do it in a heartbeat.

‘Okay.’ Acceptance, and Arthur moved in the direction of one of the chairs, away from the nest that Merlin had built in the corner. Once he’d sat down, he turned back to Merlin, swallowing down his pride.

‘I’m sorry.’ Two words, so much more difficult than he’d expected.

‘Did you just… apologise?’ Merlin looked lost, and Arthur had to fight a chuckle at the adorable expression.

‘Don’t get used to it. But I am, for not understanding. For judging Omegas when I barely knew the facts about them.’ Merlin went from confused, to angry, to judgemental, and then confused again in such a short space. Arthur watched each emotion, Merlin was so expressive right now, whether he realised it or not.

‘Okay.’ Not what he’d been expecting, but he could work with it.

‘I would like to be your Mate, one of them, if you’d have me. I’ve spoken to the Council, you would be my Consort, you wouldn’t have to hide anymore.’ The word Consort got a reaction, a weird scrunched up look, before Merlin sighed.

‘So I can’t go back to pretending?’ It stung, but Arthur had to respect that.

‘If you wished to, I wouldn’t stop you.’ His Alpha howled in protest, demanded that the Omega stay as he was, but it wasn’t his decision.

‘One of my Mates?’

‘The other Knights share my affections.’ He wasn’t quite sure what would happen if Merlin wanted some but not all of them, whether that would even be possible.

‘And you wouldn’t mind sharing me?’

‘No.’ Truthfully, he would not mind. It would take some organisation, but it could be possible.

‘I’m not good at acting like an Omega.’ He looked worried, gnawing on his bottom lip as he spoke, and Arthur fought down the urge to comfort.

‘We want you to act like Merlin.’ Whether that was an Omega, Beta, or whatever the hell he wanted to be.

‘Could… will you come over here?’ Into the nest? Arthur rose, walked to the edge, and watched as Merlin nodded. Off came the shoes, and he carefully made his way into the mound of blankets, careful not to disturb it too much.

‘I take it that you like the idea?’ He teased, Merlin using him as a pillow and curling up.

‘If you’re going to be so smug about it…’ He warned, but his eyes showed the playfulness that was so Merlin, that it had Arthur’s heart skipping.

**

Merlin laughed as Gwaine nuzzled at his neck, muttering something about staking a claim. The other Knights just looked amused, Merlin wiggling free of his hold and running away from the grabby hands that chased him. With Arthur’s blessing, it gave him the confidence to go and tell them that he would be quite happy to be their Mate, although it was a terrifying thing. Six Alphas, all wanting to stake a claim to him?

His Omega was preening, demanded he strut around with the smuggest look on his face, wanting to show off to the whole of Albion that he managed to have such reputable Alphas.

They went tumbling into the grass, Gwaine’s bodyweight pinning him, and any Omega would submit to such a thing. Merlin, now that he was past the exhaustion from Heat, would do no such thing. He kicked out with his leg, sent a sneaky spell that had Gwaine being shoved off, straddled the Alpha and wrapped a hand smoothly around his neck, nails lightly pressed against the skin.

‘I win.’ He teased, before Gwaine, the smug Knight that he was, bucked his hips up slightly in a way that had Merlin blushing.

‘Personally, this is right where I want to be.’ Merlin scowled, climbed from his lap and tugged him up, Gwaine sniggering as he tried to control the blush.

‘Idiot.’ If anything, the Alpha just looked happier.

**

‘What happens during ruts?’ An Alpha only had one a year, a time when they had to be kept behind locked doors. They would fight anything that tried to get in their way, and if an Omega was present? It could be a blood bath, Arthur worried.

‘I’ll keep the door locked with Magic, and the scent confined to the room?’ Merlin offered, snacking on the food that they had brought out to this picnic. He was lying between Percival’s legs, head resting against the Knight’s stomach, looking utterly at peace.

‘If more than one of us…’

‘Stop panicking. We’ll figure it out.’ Merlin interrupting him was the funniest thing, because it never failed to impress him. Followed by the fact a strawberry was pelted at his head.

‘Have you had anyone else?’ Gwaine piped up from out of the blue, and Arthur realised he hadn't even thought about such a thing. Merlin choked on whatever he was currently eating, glared at the Alpha hard enough that even Arthur was tempted to apologise.

‘Not really. I mean Will offered, when we were younger.’ That stabbed right in the guilty spot, Arthur had been there when the man had died. A beta, so logically his Alpha had no need to be jealous, but it didn’t stop the feeling.

‘And then there was Freya, but she was a Beta as well.’ He’d never heard of her, cocked his head and was tempted to ask, but Merlin was changing the conversation. It was quick enough that Arthur suspected the story was a painful one, probably to do with Magic.

‘What about you, Gwaine? Should I ask about all your conquests?’ It was teasing, Merlin didn’t seem jealous at all, although he doubted his Omega was happy with the thought of Gwaine being with others. The Knight smirked, seemingly wishing to invoke Merlin’s anger.

‘Oh yes. So many Omegas, you see, that’s how I’m so understanding of them.’ Arthur wanted to assure Merlin that, even if the first bit was true, the second bit wasn’t. Strangely, he had no need to.

‘You learnt from your sister, don’t lie.’ Merlin shot back, smirking. Gwaine pouted, which earnt him a strawberry lobbed at his forehead. Arthur looked around, could tell that the others were just as curious about Gwaine’s family. And how Merlin already knew.

‘Mm. But you’ll be able to help me on their biology, I’m sure.’ This time, nobody was surprised when Merlin threw something at him. Arthur only wished it had been something bigger than the apple that was at hand. 

Chapter Text

Merlin rose his head from his nest, found Gwaine studying him curiously.

‘What?’ He questioned, stretched out and tried to rise. Over the past fourteen days, he’d settled into his nest and secured the place for him, spread his scent over the fabrics. He continued acting as Arthur’s manservant, uncaring that looks lingered on him, that the Guards would occasionally watch him for slightly too long.

He was becoming Arthur’s consort. He thought people would be angry, but instead, they seemed more fascinated in his secondary gender. Male Omegas weren’t common, and so he drew attention a lot more than he had when he was a Beta. Gaius had offered to help him reduce his scent, but Merlin shrugged.

There was no point hiding, if everyone already knew what he was. With Morgana and Gwen’s help, he’d got used to the fact that the women within the Castle came to talk to him a lot more often. He didn’t find it offensive, they were obviously a lot more comfortable with him than a male Beta or Alpha, and he was more than happy to communicate.

He’d never lived as an Omega before. It felt strange, to be able to smell his own scent, to not have to push down on his Omega-side.

‘Arthur sent me. Your scent’s beginning to change.’ He knew it would happen. After coming off suppressants, Heats could be within a week of each other quite easily. Merlin wasn’t sure he wanted to go into Heat yet, he hadn't even decided whether or not to let the Alphas into his nest. Arthur had come in, once, but hadn't been in since. Gwen and Morgana were frequent visitors, often bringing with them sweet treats to eat or books to read while he sorted out the space.

‘I… I’ll spell the room.’ That had been agreed, an unclaimed Omega couldn’t wander around the Castle. He would block the scent from leaving, so that no Alpha got tempted to try and reach him. The issue was whether or not Merlin allowed them into the room.

He wanted to. He wanted his six Alphas, but he was also scared. Being Consort to the King was something that terrified him, and he also knew that they would one day want Pups. During his Heats were the only time when he could conceive, which meant that when it started, mating with them would bring the chance of Pups.

They hadn't claimed him though. He hadn't brought it up, because he had presumed they wanted to give it time. But he didn’t want Pups when he wasn’t claimed, and he was so confused.

‘Merl…’ He was crying again. Dammit, this happened more and more often, and Merlin was just… lost. He wanted them to want him, but he was worried it was just because he could sire Pups for them. That he was something unique, that the Knights wanted to conquer.

‘I don’t want you to use me for breeding.’ He wasn’t sure why he said that aloud, slapped both hands over his mouth in shock, watched as Gwaine’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.

‘Oh, oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…’ He was babbling, his heart was speeding up and he felt so unsure. Confused. He didn’t understand why Gwaine wasn’t angry at him, why the Knight looked so worried.

‘Merlin, can I come in? I promise you, I’m not angry.’ Merlin looked to his nest, the place where he felt so safe, and then to Gwaine. He’d just admitted to something that might make his Alpha angry. But he’d promised.

‘Yeah. Yeah, okay.’ Gwaine moved very slowly. He first unlaced his boots, stepped out of them and placed them by the wall. Next he took off his jacket, left that by his boots. He walked across to the edge, and unlike any of the others that entered, he halted. Crouched down until he could offer out his hand, his wrist, where the scent gland was.

Merlin wasn’t sure why he was so happy about such a thing. He scented him though, felt his nerves calm and smiled warmly, shuffled over to make room for the Alpha. Only then did he come across, taking a seat beside him.

‘You want to tell me what you’re worried about?’ His mind was a jumbled mess, but with Gwaine’s hand reaching for his hair, Merlin calmed. He rested his head against the Knight’s shoulder, breathed out deeply.

‘I don’t want to have Pups when I’m unclaimed. I… I don’t want you all to run away.’ And leave him. Because one thing he was terrified of, was being alone.

‘Because your Mother raised you alone, and you know how hard it was on her.’ Merlin didn’t even realise that was true until Gwaine had said the words, looked up to his Knight and found a gentle smile on his face.

‘I understand, Merlin. How would you like us to deal with this? Would you like to spend your Heat without us? Or would you like to discuss claiming?’ He was being given options. Him, an Omega. Merlin could have laughed, could have praised the Goddess for giving Gwaine to him.

‘I’d like to be claimed. But I wasn’t sure if you just wanted me in Heat, when I’m more…’ He halted once more, but Gwaine’s fingers never stopped soothing, his scent relaxed.

‘Like a girl.’ He finished lamely. Gwaine tensed, before he sighed.

‘Oh, Merlin.’

‘I’m sorry.’ He was, for everything.

‘It’s me who should be apologising. For… for not making it clear. How perfect you are, like this.’ Gwaine turned, and Merlin halted.

‘I think I fell in love with your eyes first. The bright blue, it’s like the sky on Camelot’s brightest day. And then there’s the golden, sunlight, it never fails to make my heart skip.’ Merlin didn’t know what was happening, why Gwaine’s thumb was coming to brush along his cheek.

‘And your cheekbones. Damn, they are the cutest thing. The way you blush, all the way to the tips of your ears. These plush lips, so kissable.’ He proved it by lightly pecking them, before Gwaine continued.

‘Your hair’s always so soft. Fluffy, I could run my fingers through it for hours. Then there’s all this pale skin, so many places I want to explore. And here,’ He tapped Merlin’s neck lightly, ‘This’ll be where my Claim goes, when you’re ready.

Your collarbones, who knew I’d find them sexy? You’ve got so much skin to explore, so… muscular, despite these clothes you try to hide it with.’ A hand was lifting his shirt, stripping it off his body with ease.

‘Each of these scars, I’m going to spend a lifetime trying to memorise them. I want to know each one, to learn everything I can.’ Fingers linked into his own, turning hand up.

‘You’ve got such long fingers. I know they’re going to come in handy,’ A lewd wink, ‘And I’m going to teach you just how to use those.’ He was dropped back to the blankets, Gwaine settling between his legs.

‘This hair is just as soft, plus it’s guiding me down to these damn hips, which I’m going to spend hours marking.’ Fuck, Merlin had never been more turned on. He watched as Gwaine pressed a kiss to his hip, his hands working at the lacing on his trousers, before tugging them off.

‘Long legs, good for holding on. Perfect for riding.’ He had a feeling they weren’t talking about horses, either.

‘I would go for your toes, but we all know you’re ticklish.’ Merlin squirmed under his hands, spread his thighs slightly.

‘And that’s it! Everything I adore about you!’ He was teasing, Merlin realised. The Omega was practically bare, save for the smallclothes doing nothing to hide his hardening cock.

‘Gwaine…’

‘Not yet, Merl. This is for you.’ Yes, and he wanted… he wasn’t really sure what he wanted. Gwaine was back at his mouth, kissing him properly this time.

‘We want you, for who you are, Merlin. Omega, Beta, it wouldn’t matter. And if you want us to claim you, we’ll do that too. Before this Heat, during it, after. It’s down to you.’ The arousal was fading, turning into adoration, and Merlin snuggled closer. Gwaine was quite happy to tuck an arm around him, rolled them until Merlin was spread out on top.

‘I’d like it before. And… could we do it individually? I don’t mind who wants to go first, I just… I’d like some time with each of you.’ Gwaine pressed a kiss to his forehead, smiled.

‘I’ll talk to the Princess. Now get some rest, Merl. Your Heat can’t be more than a week away.’

Chapter Text

Elyan hesitated, before raising his hand to knock. Twice, just to be polite, before a voice invited him in. He wasn’t sure why he’d been suggested to go first, it had been clear that everyone was nervous about that position. The King had stayed quiet, Gwaine had been the one to do the talking in the first place, so Elyan had volunteered to speak to Merlin.

Speaking of, the Omega was dressed in just his trousers, drying his hair on a towel. He halted when Elyan smiled, before a shy grin spread across his face.

‘Hey. I guess you were forced to come first?’ Oh, he couldn’t have that, he felt the way the Omega tensed as he spoke.

‘This isn’t a burden, Merlin. Honestly, I… I was more worried that you would not want me.’ The Omega scoffed, before moving across to his side without hesitation. Very un-Omega, and the Knight loved it.

‘How could I not? Girls fall left, right and centre for you, Elyan.’ But Merlin was so much more than any of them, he wanted to point out. After everything they had been through, it was always Merlin that bound them together. Merlin, who smiled brightly. Merlin, who could calm their tempers with nothing more than a single raised eyebrow.

‘You’re not a girl, Merlin. And the only one I want falling for me, is you.’ He dared to reach out, moving his hand slowly to give him time to react. When Merlin just leant into the touch, a red dusting taking over his cheeks, the Alpha knew he’d made the right move.

‘And say I did fall for you, what would that mean?’ He asked, biting on his bottom lip and looking so damn delicious, that he had to hold his Alpha back.

‘It would mean a lifetime of me proving my worth to you. Of showing you just how much I care for you.’ He let his hand move around to the small of Merlin’s back, marvelling at how soft the skin was. The Omega took another step, the towel abandoned, and Elyan breathed in deeply. Underneath the scent of soap came something so typically Merlin, a smell he’d never get enough of.

‘This… showing. Could we do it now?’ Elyan chuckled, before pressing a kiss to Merlin’s lips. Different from anyone else he’d ever kissed, he didn’t have to duck to do so, and the thought was thrilling. The Omega stepped closer, hands hesitantly coming to rest over his shirt, gripping the fabric and pulling him closer.

‘We could. If you’d allow me the honour.’ Merlin took a moment to understand, then smiled.

‘Come on in.’

The nest looked like the comfiest thing he’d ever seen, if he was honest. He caught sight of one of his shirts, proudly smiled as he grabbed Merlin’s hips, demanding another kiss. The Omega laughed, hooking a hand around his neck and guiding him down, until they fell in a mess of limbs onto the soft mess below.

‘Oh Gods, it’s so soft.’ Only he would stop to admire the bedding. Merlin looked amused, giggled as Elyan got distracted by the blankets.

‘I know. C’mere, feel this one.’ A soft pillow, it practically sunk under his touch, and Elyan was definitely using that one to sleep on.

‘That’s now my sleeping pillow.’ He informed the Omega, who grinned up at him, lying back onto the pillows.

‘What if I want a pillow?’ He joked, Elyan moving between his thighs and gripping one to hook over his hip.

‘You can use me.’ The offering was then sealed with a kiss, the Omega sighing against his lips. It was strangely relaxed, nothing like the frenzy of heat, and his Alpha was happy to have the time to explore. So much skin that he’d never seen, exposed to let his hands wander across, thumbs tracing down his sides.

‘I thought… I thought you’d just want to claim me, you know, like get it over with.’ He looked frightened, worried that maybe this wasn’t enough. Elyan kissed him again, just lightly, before smiling.

‘I’d prefer to take my time with you. If you still want my claim at the end, then that’s fine.’ Another kiss, Merlin looking confused, before it was replaced with a shudder as he brushed his fingers over the Omega’s chest.

‘Sensitive?’ He tested the theory by pinching, just lightly, listened to Merlin’s yelp.

‘I’ll take that as a yes.’ He moved his kisses down, hands moving to steady Merlin’s hips, which were already beginning to rock up against him. When his lips sealed over one nipple, he was rewarded with a gasp, before a hand was on the back of his head, pressing him closer.

‘Ohhh, that’s nice.’ Nice was alright, but he was aiming for so much better than that. He let his teeth graze over it, slipped a hand beneath the waistband of his trousers and round to grab a handful of that damned-near irresistible arse.

‘Nice?’ He growled out, rocked Merlin up against the pressure between his thighs. The Omega whimpered, wriggling in an attempt to get more friction.

‘More than nice. Good. Oh, better than good.’ Elyan smirked, moved his mouth down his flat stomach and tugged at the fabric. Gods, his hips were so tiny! The fabric was shoved down, long legs kicking it off, and Elyan admired every inch of skin.

‘Just going to stare?’ Merlin teased, confidence in his voice that made Elyan proud.

‘Nope.’ And with that, he wrapped his lips around the head of his Omega’s cock, watched as Merlin fell apart. It wasn’t normal for an Alpha to do this to an Omega, but Merlin deserved it. Deserved to understand that he was so much more than the average Omega.

‘Elyan, oh Gods, so good.’ He hummed, kept a steady grip on the Omega as he tried to buck up. With his other hand free, he let it drop between Merlin’s thighs, felt him tense.

‘What’s wrong?’ He asked, pulling off and gently licking, eyeing up the man.

‘I… Do you need me to do it?’ Of course, a male Omega didn’t produce slick outside of his heats. Not that Elyan cared, at all, growled at Merlin and flipped him over in one smooth movement. The Omega made a sound of protest, then a gasp as he brought his hand down to the man’s round arse, watched the skin redden.

‘Nope. I’ll have the pleasure of doing that, thank you.’ He had brought oil. Slicking up his fingers, he distracted the Omega by kissing up his spine, pushing a digit against his hole carefully. Merlin’s legs spread wider, if that was possible, determined to make space for him in the most adorable way. One finger was easy enough, the oil helped it slide in, before he pushed a second alongside.

‘Fuck.’ Merlin whimpered, arched back into the touch, and the Knight nipped at his skin lightly.

‘Patience.’

‘Or you could just bugger me.’ He shot back, mouthy as always. Elyan ignored him in favour of searching for that spot that would make Merlin’s toes curl, knew he’d hit it when the Omega rutted forwards onto the blankets.

‘Nngh, g’nna cum if you keep doing that.’ He regretfully needed to stop, then. Stripping himself of clothing quickly, watching as Merlin rolled back over and took the oil, spread some onto his hand and then reached for his cock.

‘Slick me up then.’ Merlin snorted with amusement, but did as told. Wiped his hands onto the blankets, and Elyan was about to wonder who had the unfortunate task of cleaning them, before remembering that he was about to bed a Warlock.

‘Ready?’ The response he got was a leg hooking around his waist, reached down to guide himself into Merlin carefully.

Tight. Really tight, a wet heat that wrapped around him slowly. He dropped his head to Merlin’s shoulder, resisted the urge to just thrust in, took his time to spread Merlin open for him.

‘How d’you feel?’ He asked, once he’d bottomed out. The Omega’s eyes had rolled back, lips parted, and the flush was all the way to the tips of his ears.

‘Full. Oh, so full. Move.’ Doing as told, he pulled back before urging his hips forward in a smooth motion. When Merlin encouraged more, he set up a rhythm of driving into the warmth, angling his thrusts until…

‘Shit!’ He had such a mouth on him, Elyan laughed as he bent to kiss him, sweaty and fierce, a mixture of teeth and tongue.

He dared to look down, to where Merlin was stretched around him, swore at the sight of the Omega under him. Merlin’s response was to clench, a grin that was wiped off when he reached out to grab Merlin’s ankle, moving it to rest on his shoulder. The next snap of his hips had Merlin’s back arching, a shout falling from his lips.

‘Please, oh Gods please, want it. Elyan!’ Yeah, he understood, kept his thrusts going as he bent down, stretching Merlin nearly in half. The Omega just moaned, tilted his head to the side to offer out his neck, and Elyan felt the heat in his stomach building.

‘Merlin, fuck, I’m close.’ He prided himself on stamina, but with Merlin beneath him, he felt like a teenager all over again. The Omega didn’t seem to mind, tugged him in for a kiss while his nails dug into Elyan’s back.

‘Knot me.’ Shit, he was done for, felt his knot begin to expand and catch on the rim of Merlin’s hole, focused on his neck before sinking his teeth in.

Merlin screamed, before the sound ran out and he just bucked up silently, heat spilling between their bellies. The Knight groaned around the taste of blood, his knot tying them together, licked at the wound he left as he emptied into the Omega.

When he finally finished rocking his hips, he realised this hadn’t been the best position to tie himself to Merlin in. Carefully, he lowered the leg over his shoulder, a mild huff of discomfort coming from his lover.

‘Sorry, hang on.’ He moved so that he was on his side, Merlin doing the same, let Merlin’s leg rest back over his hip.

‘There we go.’ Merlin just sighed, lips seeking out his own, and Elyan responded happily. When he drew back, there was enough light filtering through for him to see the mark he’d left on Merlin’s shoulder, the claiming bite that made Merlin his.

‘My Mate.’ He couldn’t stop the words even if he tried, but to his surprise, the Omega just purred in response.

‘Yours.’

 

Chapter Text

Merlin watched in amusement as Percival offered out the flowers, a blush on his cheeks.

‘I figured… well, seeing as you cannot go outside at the moment, I would bring it to you.’ With his heat coming up, Gaius had forbidden him from leaving the Castle, especially with the way Merlin had been drawing attention from multiple people.

The flowers were beautiful, picked by someone that evidently understood the beauty in nature. He shouldn’t be surprised, Percival was raised by Druids, he had the connection to nature that the others lacked.

‘They’re stunning, thank you.’ The Alpha looked so nervous, and Merlin understood. It had to be hard, going second in this process. Already, he had a mark on his shoulder, a bite that was healing steadily.

‘How have you been?’ The Knight was careful to sidestep around the edge of the Nest, which Merlin was thankful for. After Elyan had spent the night in it with him, Merlin had used his Magic to clean the sheets and get rid of the scent of the other Alpha, back down to a minimum.

‘Alright. A little stir-crazy. How’s life on the outside?’ The joke made Percival laugh, the Knight settling on one of the chairs and Merlin leaving his nest to join him. With the food and wine that had been brought earlier, there was a perfect feast for the two of them.

‘Boring without you. Arthur’s stroppy, Gwaine has nobody to flirt with.’ Merlin couldn’t help but blush, not just because of Percival’s words, but because he was pulled up onto the Alpha’s lap. He was quite happy with the change, reached across for a plate of food and offered some to the Alpha.

‘Gwaine flirts with all of you anyway.’ He pointed out, pleased when Percival let himself be fed. An Omega’s urge to provide for his Alpha, it was amusing to see. Merlin never thought he’d be a stereotypical Omega, but the more he settled in, the more he wanted to fulfil that role.

‘I think he’s too busy moping.’ Percival remarked, eating another bite and running his fingers through Merlin’s hair.

‘Where did you find the flowers?’ Merlin inquired, feeding the two of them with ease. The foods were sweet, Gwen must have convinced the cook to be generous.

‘Morgana advised the colours. I went in search through the woods.’ The thought of Percival, a giant Knight, picking flowers made him laugh. Percival joined in, before Merlin kissed his lips sweetly.

‘You picked them well.’ The thing about all of his Alphas, they always looked so unsure when he complimented them. He’d have to make sure that continued.

‘It… they called to me. Pretty ones.’ Merlin looked back at the Knight, found him blushing.

‘It’s how you were raised. You understand… magic, better.’ It would have been a dangerous thing to say, but Arthur was accepting of Magic now. Percival had nothing to fear, his heritage wasn’t a threat. The Knight looked proud of himself, kept the hand in Merlin’s curls moving. The Omega tipped back into the touch, surprised when his hair was tugged. It exposed the bite that Elyan had left, Percival humming as his fingers moved across it, lowering the collar of his shirt.

‘It’s healing nicely.’ Gods, Merlin was so hard already. It was ridiculous, one hand in his hair and he was ready to drop down to all fours.

‘Y-yeah. Feels good.’ Percival, the smug bastard, was smirking as he lowered his lips to it, kissed over the mark of his other Alpha.

‘I can tell. Your scent’s turning sweeter.’ He wriggled back, let his back press to Percival’s chest. The hand that wasn’t in his hair went to his thigh, gripped it tightly and pulled it over Percival’s thigh, spreading his legs open.

‘Dinner’s turning into something dangerous.’ Merlin teased, sighed as hands trailed under his shirt.

‘Strange, I’m rather hungry for something else.’ It better be him, otherwise Merlin was going to cry. He let his shirt be stripped off, then fingers move to his trousers.

‘Well, I’m always happy to help.’ Breathless already, his trousers stripped down and Merlin wriggling them off, gasping as a hand wrapped around him.

‘Oh Merlin, practically dripping for me.’ Percival’s voice had dropped lower, if that was even possible, and Merlin let his head fall back to the Knight’s shoulder. He was spread obscenely, if anyone opened the door now…

‘Alpha…’

‘Shh, it’s alright, I’ll give you what you need.’ Merlin knew he’d take his time, and he was already impatient. His Magic crept out, Percival chuckling as he made the shirt and breeches vanish.

‘Impatient little Omega.’ Kisses to the back of his neck, the hand around him working a steady pace as he rubbed back against the hard length pressed to his back.

‘Can you open yourself up with Magic?’ Percival questioned, Merlin responding by getting his knees up beneath him, his Magic doing as asked. The Knight chuckled, moved Merlin forwards to free his cock from the confines of his smallclothes, before encouraging him back.

‘Gently, work yourself down.’ Merlin obeyed the command, shuffled back and whined when the blunt pressure pressed against him. It stretched more than expected, an ache that was almost as bad as the arousal that came with it.

‘Fucking hell.’ It was nice to know he wasn’t the only one affected, used his Magic to stretch himself wider, the pain ebbing away as he sunk down. The hand around him never stopped stroking, keeping him firmly on the side of pleasure. When he was finally settled down, the Alpha nuzzled against his skin, pressing kisses anywhere he could reach.

‘Gods, Merlin, I’ve wanted you like this for so long.’ That was enough to have Merlin rocking, working himself up into Percival’s grip, then back down onto his cock.

‘Oh please, Alpha, feels so good.’ Percival’s grunting made something in him proud, his Omega had such an effect over his Alpha. The Knight reached for his hip with his free hand, using it to push him down harder, the seat creaking under the thrusting.

It was hot. He was stretched so wide, could feel nothing but the pressure inside of him growing, the coil in his stomach tightening. Percival was so big, Merlin was crowded by muscles and strength, and he absolutely loved it. So did his Omega, purring in content at the display of strength as the Alpha managed to wreck him completely.

He was hitting so deep, Merlin had to grip the thighs keeping his legs spread to stop himself from falling. Percival was getting rougher, hips jerking up while his hand slammed Merlin down, the Omega’s muscles screaming in protest but he didn’t dare stop. Not when he was so close.

He wanted him to bite, let his head fall back and offered out his shoulder, felt Percival growl as he tempted him.

‘C’mon, bite me. Want you to claim me.’ It was Merlin’s time to make a sound, a squeak as the Knight’s knot filled, caught as he slammed back down and tied them. Heat splashed deep inside him, his name being shouted out by the man behind, while Merlin whimpered. Teeth dug into his skin, the hand around his cock moving until Merlin cried out, the claim slowly taking hold of him.

When he came back around, he was sprawled out on top of Percival’s lap, the Knight murmuring praise and his hands running over his skin.

‘Ohhh.’ He sighed as he rocked against the knot, felt himself being filled. Fingers entwined with his, led his palm down to his slightly full-feeling stomach.

‘Mm, can’t wait till you’re filled with pups.’ Merlin giggled, although his cock jerked at the thought. Percival noticed, kissed his shoulder sweetly.

‘At least we’re within reach of the food.’ The Knight then stated, reaching out for a plate of something, and Merlin laughed.

Chapter Text

This time, Merlin had anticipated the next Alpha. Leon was the strictest of the Knights, the one that Merlin would have to work harder to help relax. It was a simple start, Leon agreed to escort him for a walk around the Castle. Merlin had always respected him, he had known Leon for the longest, and the Knight was nothing but a gentleman. With an arm looped through his, they made their way through the corridors.

He loved the tales of a younger Leon and Arthur, of the two of them getting in trouble. Pranks that they played, Leon being the closest to Arthur’s age.

‘Did you not miss your family?’ Merlin stepped closer when he realised a couple of the Alpha Guards were scenting him, Leon’s arm moving to wrap around his waist. A head ducked to his neck, to leave his scent on Merlin, and the Guards averted their eyes.

‘Not really. I grew up knowing that being a Knight was the greatest honour. This is my family now.’ Merlin smiled up at the Knight, who looked so deep in thought that he had a tiny frown.

‘Well, I’m glad you’re here.’ He teased, and Leon chuckled. He took them up the stairs and back in the direction of Merlin’s new Chambers, an eye over his shoulder the entire time.

‘Merlin, you mustn’t leave the Chambers without one of us present. I don’t like the way the Guards are watching you.’ Merlin sighed, unlocked the door with a spell and invited the Alpha in, then locked it behind him.

‘I can manage myself. But if it makes you feel better, then I’ll stay in here.’ Leon’s frown slipped away in an instant, arms wrapping around Merlin’s waist.

‘I know you’re strong, Merlin. Let us take care of you for once.’ His stubble scratched at his neck, a feeling that was enticing enough for him to relax back into the hold. The Alpha was careful as he moved them towards the edge of the nest, pausing briefly.

‘Yes.’ To both the taking care, and Leon stepping over the boundary. Gentle hands ran up his arms, then down to his waist, slipping under the fabric.

‘Let us do the work for once.’ He murmured low, Merlin shuddering under the command. He let his eyes shut, let his shirt be lifted from his skin and then felt the Alpha drop down to his knees.

‘So beautiful.’ He praised, kissed his stomach once, Merlin reaching for the curls. The Knight chuckled, continued his mission of stripping Merlin, until he was awfully exposed.

‘You’re tense.’ Leon whispered, guiding him down to the mattress. Pressed underneath a fully-dressed Knight, Merlin was practically shaking.

‘Nervous. I… what if I mess this up?’ Leon halted in his movements, bright eyes looking up to his.

‘You won’t. Because all you have to do is settle back, let me work you over.’ His grin was contagious, and Merlin giggled as stubble scratched at the side of his neck, over the newest mark.

‘They’re almost symmetrical.’ He commented, while Merlin wriggled under the grip to try and convince the Alpha to focus on a more important issue than the bites already on his neck.

‘Patience! We’ll get there.’ Soon, he hoped. The Knight looked like he was on a mission, eyes tracking every inch of skin, fingers mapping out the curves. He halted on each scar, eyed it up curiously before continuing his trek downwards.

Finally, just when Merlin thought he might burst from anticipation, a hand wrapped around him. Nimble fingers that stroked just once, before falling between his thighs. Lips closed around the head of his cock, a soft heat that was far too tempting, Merlin almost missing the movement of Leon reaching for oil.

Steady fingers worked him open, first one, then a second to scissor into him. All the while the Alpha paid attention to him, small licks and a skilled tongue that had Merlin reduced to a mess of confusion, wanting to buck up into his mouth but back down onto the fingers spreading him.

The thing about the Knights, they were so gentle, despite the fact they didn’t have to be. He adored it, let all thoughts of everything else drift away as he focused on the slick sound between his thighs.

‘Look at you, perfect.’ Leon praised, Merlin tugging him up impatiently.

‘Would look even better stretched around you.’ He cheekily retorted, the Knight laughing but kissing him in agreement. He rolled them so that Leon was underneath, began the work of stripping the Knight down. Light armour was easy to remove, kicked off and out of the nest, revealing endless skin and marks that he’d take note of later. A dusting of hair over his chest, Merlin paying particular attention to how it felt under his fingers, before they were both bare.

He reached for the oil with one hand, made quick work of spreading it over the Alpha’s length, before rolling them back. Hooking both his legs around his waist, admiring how they looked together, before waiting for the pressure.

It was easier this time, a lot less pain than he felt with the others. The stretch was still there, enough to have Merlin feeling full, but it was a nice ache.

‘You’re right, you do look good like this.’ Leon whispered, and Merlin clutched at the Knight. He moved gently, the two of them rocking together carefully. The first time of many, the Warlock hoped, mouthing at the Knight’s shoulder to try and stop his cries.

‘Gods.’ Leon muttered, Merlin agreeing as the mattress shifted under them. Close, sweat between them and heads pressed together, Leon reaching to kiss. It was nothing more than a brushing of lips, panting heavy against each other.

‘Leon…’ The Knight responded with a smile, by reaching for his hand and linking their fingers together, continuing the gentle movement of his hips.

‘Will you let me claim you?’ He murmured, voice the sweetest thing Merlin had ever heard. He nodded, squeezed their fingers as Leon’s lips moved to his neck, kissing along the line.

‘Only if you knot me.’ The Alpha chuckled, but did as told, his knot swelling and stretching him further.

Merlin whimpered, tilted his head to the side and smiled when teeth bit down, felt himself spill between their bodies. Leon groaned, licked at the wound while he tied himself to Merlin, the two sinking back into the mattress.

‘Alright?’ The Knight asked, and Merlin snuggled against him, resting under his chin.

‘More than alright. Perfect.’

‘That’s what I always want to hear.’ And he would, because Merlin couldn’t imagine this situation going any differently. A life with all his Alphas, safe tucked up with them.

‘C’mere. Want you close while we’re knotted.’ Leon muttered, pulling them back into the sheets. Merlin let himself be smothered by him. He kept his legs wrapped around like a limpet, Leon pressing more kisses to his lips.

‘Wish we could stay like this forever.’ Merlin admitted. The feeling of finally being close to someone, of having someone else to help him, it was beyond anything he’d ever felt.

‘If you think I’m letting you go after this…’ Leon teased, shifting inside him in a way that had Merlin gasping.

‘Round two?’ He inquired innocently, the Knight laughing with the brightest smile he’d ever seen.

‘Mm, who needs training when I’ve got this to keep me fit?’

Chapter Text

‘It feels weird, now that there’s no secrets left.’ Merlin took the offered fruit from Lancelot’s fingers, chewing on it slowly and savouring the taste. The Knight hummed in understanding, reached for a piece of apple while Merlin considered everything that had happened.

‘The Dragons?’ Oh, Lancelot had a good point.

‘I guess I should tell Arthur about those at some point.’ Lancelot’s laughter was enough to have Merlin giggling as well, snatching the fruit from his hand as he moved to straddle him.

‘Not funny.’ He said, even though he was laughing just as much. The Knight looked offended as he popped the fruit in his mouth, reached to kiss him and steal it back, Merlin grumbling in annoyance.

‘I like apple.’

‘You’re turning into Gwaine.’ Merlin shot him a look of mock-horror, tumbled from his legs and back into the mountain of pillows.

‘A horrific thought.’ He was sure it came out mumbled, considering his head was buried into the pile of soft furnishings. A second later, Lancelot joined him under the weight of them.

‘I never thought I’d ever be able to afford things like this.’ Lancelot murmured, tracing the edge of the pillow so affectionately that Merlin almost felt jealous.

‘You know what I’m thinking?’ Merlin tempted, peering across to the arguably-softest Alpha of the group. Lancelot’s grin was heart-stopping, eyes sparkling with the same mischief that Merlin adored.

‘Pillow-fort?’

‘Precisely.’

**

Lancelot clutched at his side as he wheezed out another laugh, barely able to make a sound. Merlin’ frown deepened, tongue peeking out from between his lips as he looked at the fort they had made. It was kept up with a mixture of Magic and well-placed items, such as the chair from across the room. The sides draped down to reveal the pillows they had stuffed inside, and the current object of Merlin’s annoyance, the reclining chair. Merlin hated it, had moved it with Magic to its location as the side of the fort, and was now bent over it trying to tuck the fabric in.

It gave the Knight a nice view of Merlin’s arse, wriggling as his head disappeared under the tent once more.

‘Are you going to stare, or help?’ The snarky tone had him chuckling, before he moved across towards the Omega. After all, why just stare at the enticing sight, when he was now able to act on his feelings?

Merlin squeaked in the most adorable way as Lancelot ran hands up his thighs, then arched his back into the touch and shuffled backwards until they were pressed flush.

‘Like me bending over, huh?’ Merlin teased, looking back over his shoulder at him. Lancelot responded by kissing him, a slightly awkward angle, but doing wonders for the fact that he could rut against Merlin. The Omega responded by spreading over the chair, knees apart so the Knight could settle between them.

‘Mm, want me to take you like this?’ From the shudder, the answer was a yes. Merlin turned quickly to kiss him, to tug at clothes and demand more, which Lancelot found endearing.

The Warlock had always been a bit different from everyone else. From the moment they had met, Lancelot had known that they would be friends. He could respect Merlin’s loyalty to Arthur, to the secrets he had to keep to make sure that his King was safe. He’d watched as the Warlock flourished once Morgana’s Magic was revealed, saw his happiness build every day. One thing he had never figured out was the fact he was secretly an Omega, and it just made Lancelot prouder of him.

Plus, he wasn’t a typical Omega. Lancelot knew Merlin was special, but this was just further proof of the fact.

Clothes were discarded in a hurry, Lancelot guiding him back over the seat and taking the oil he’d had in his pocket. Merlin was impatient, kept staring over his shoulder with a challenging gaze that demanded he speed up, that wanted Lancelot to rush.

But he had no need to. He could spend ages spreading Merlin open, first with one finger, then slowly adding a second. Could watch as Merlin’s head dropped to his forearm, sweat glistening along his spine.

He reached out, stroked a hand down his back and paused on the dip, encouraged Merlin to work back onto his fingers.

‘You have no idea how good you look like this.’ Lancelot murmured, bent to press a kiss to his back. He’d spend a lifetime praising Merlin’s looks, his brilliant mind and his incredible mind. Now, however, he just wanted to be buried inside him, to feel the heat wrap around and his mind to drift away.

Merlin made the most delectable noise as he pushed in, a gasp that turned into a moan, teeth biting down onto the fabric beneath him. His hands gripped the edge of the chair, while Lancelot gave him a moment to adjust.

‘Ready, sweetheart?’ In response, the Omega rocked backwards, Lancelot groaning as the heat wrapped around him. Addictive in all the best ways, a brilliant feeling that he began to chase with his movements.

It wasn’t rushed, like the actions during his Heat. This had a pace, a rhythm that Lancelot worked to as he drove deeper, Merlin making little pleased sounds as he angled his thrusts towards the spot that had the Omega tensing up. Although he couldn’t see his eyes, he knew when they would roll back, following a particularly rough movement.

‘Lance.’ Sighed, and the Knight responded by letting his knot slowly fill, watching as it caught on his rim. The Omega continued to push back onto him, even when the pressure became intense, and Lancelot wrapped an arm around his waist to reach for his cock. It took no more than a couple of strokes for Merlin to cry out, clenching around him.

Lancelot followed over the edge, let his knot settle inside his Omega and dropped his forehead to Merlin’s back, working the two of them through the orgasm.

‘Still want it?’ He asked, because he needed to be sure that Merlin wasn’t just thinking with the arousal in his body.

‘Yeah, want you to mark me.’ Merlin, whether he realised he was doing it or not, exposed the side of his neck that had only one mark, and Lancelot bit down with care. A shallow bite, licking at the wound as soon as it was made, staring in satisfaction at the claim to his Omega.

‘Should have known you’d be gentle.’ A blissed out voice muttered, and Lancelot chuckled. Careful not to jolt the two of them too much, he pulled Merlin back with him onto the mattress, then shuffled them up towards the fort.

‘We made a sex fort.’ The Omega mumbled.

‘But had sex outside it.’ Lancelot pointed out, nosing into the dark curls. His scent was so overpowering, yet strangely he could never get enough of it.

‘Next time?’ Merlin questioned, already wriggling in his lap and sighing at the pressure.

‘Sounds like a plan.’ He agreed.

Chapter Text

‘I wasn’t expecting it to be you.’ Merlin remarked, watching as Arthur entered the room. He was dressed in full-armour, looked slightly sweaty like he’d just come back from training. The boots were kicked off, the King slumping down into the same chair that Merlin had been bent over yesterday. That thought had him blushing, clearing his throat and focusing back on Arthur.

‘We flipped a coin.’ He admitted, Merlin snorting with laughter. Of course they did, both too stubborn to openly have a conversation with each other. Honestly, he was surprised that they even managed to get along.

‘Before or after training?’ A knock at the door sounded, Arthur looking hesitantly to Merlin, before it swung open. A couple of servants, with a bath and buckets of water, Merlin smiling when he realised that Arthur had wanted to come and see him immediately.

‘Thank you.’ The King briefly stated to them, a thing he usually never bothered with until Merlin had pointed out how a little praise could go a long way. They bowed, hurried from the room as Arthur eyed up the bath.

‘After training. Would you care to join me?’ Like he’d say no. Merlin left the comfort of his nest to move to Arthur’s side, beginning the long process of undoing the many buckles that kept his armour on. He didn’t actually mind the job, it gave him an excuse to stand close enough to breathe in Arthur’s scent. Overpowering at the moment, enough to have his stomach tightening slightly. His heat was no more than a couple of days away, but with two claims left, he didn’t want it to come early.

‘Did you beat them?’ Merlin asked curiously, already knowing that Arthur wouldn’t have left the training field if one of his Knights had managed to best him. He finished stripping off the armour, reached for the buttons on Arthur’s shirt when he was stopped.

‘Of course. Let me.’ Vulnerable, in the way that Arthur now reached to undress him. Merlin held still as he worked, admiring a bruise forming on Arthur’s shoulder.

‘Leon.’ He guessed, watched the King’s smirk grow.

‘How did you know?’ Because he watched them train so often that he knew which one would be able to place a hit in such a place?

‘Because he’s a good swordsman. And, unlike you, he has braincells.’ A hand clipped his ear, while Merlin laughed and wiggled out of his shirt. Arthur’s eyes roamed to the mating bites, cocking his head as he traced over Lancelot’s.

‘This one’s healing quicker.’ Merlin had noticed that as well, wondered if it was a sign that Lancelot might be the primary Alpha. He knew he had to wait for all of them to bite for his body to choose, for the claims to solidify.

‘Jealous?’ Merlin teased, watching as Arthur stripped off his shirt.

‘Of course not. I’m still the one that gets you as my manservant.’ Arthur’s hands moved to the laces on his trousers, Merlin studying the movements before giving him a cheeky grin.

‘See! I knew you could dress yourself.’ The natural playfulness that fell between them got rid of any nerves he felt about being stripped bare in front of the King, barely even noticing the way Arthur’s eyes trailed.

‘Shut up, idiot.’

‘Prat.’ He retorted, before turning to the water. A quick look was enough to have it steaming, stepping in and making room for the King behind him.

‘I have no idea why I put up with you.’ Arthur joked, settling into the water and tugging Merlin back against him. It felt rather nice, to be sitting between Arthur’s thighs, pressed back against him.

‘Because of my many charms.’ Merlin told him, which earnt him a hand tugging at his hair. The moment changed when Arthur shifted him forwards, began to work on washing him.

‘Feels like a role reversal.’ He muttered sleepily, let the cloth drag over his skin as Arthur bathed him. This was sweet, Arthur had never made an effort like this.

‘Don’t get used to it.’ He warned, but the threat was empty. Merlin knew he could ask for this any day, and Arthur would give him what he wanted.

‘C’mere, let me wash your hair.’ Merlin requested, and with a bit of shifting, he had access to the thick golden mess. Arthur’s face held a frown the entire time he worked the water into it, a little help from his Magic to lather soap into it.

‘You look like a child at bath time.’ He chided, barely hiding a gasp when rough hands ran up his thighs.

‘Just wondering if you’ll get soap in my eyes like usual.’ Merlin usually only did that when he was being a prat. Not now, not when they were wet and slippery and pressed up against each other in the most delicious ways.

Merlin rinsed the King’s hair, then realised just how they were positioned. Arthur leaning back against the metal tub, Merlin straddling his lap, their chests almost touching.

‘You look confused.’ Arthur drawled out, tracing a pattern onto his hip. Merlin shuffled back slightly, then halted when he felt the hardness that he’d rocked back onto. Swallowing heavily, he looked back to Arthur, found the dark in his eyes rapidly expanding.

‘Just enjoying bath-time?’ He tried, before his eyes shut as Arthur leant forwards. The kiss was brief, Arthur’s true destination was kissing along his neck as hands gripped his hips, rocked them together so that Merlin’s rapidly filling cock was pressed to the King’s.

‘You want me like this?’ Merlin asked, awed that the King wouldn’t just get impatient and take. Arthur drew back from where he’d been kissing, smiled in the softest way. It was so unlike him that Merlin faltered, had to grip Arthur’s shoulders to stabilise himself.

‘I want you anyway I can have you. Plus, there’s always next time.’ Another rocking of hips, Merlin feeling his stomach flip at the quickly-building arousal.

‘Bold of you to assume I’ll let you back in my bed.’ He shot back, reaching down to wrap a hand around the both of them, just lightly. Arthur grunted, tipped his head back briefly before resuming the kissing.

‘We both know you can’t resist me.’ Arthur’s smug tone was lost the second Merlin arched forwards, water sloshing around them as he began to move. One hand stayed on his hip, the other moving around to his back to push them together, his knees raising out of the water to give himself some leverage.

‘You’re a clotpole.’ Merlin dared to call him such a thing, Arthur responding with a nipping bite to his neck.

‘Now, now, Merlin. Your mouth could be doing better things.’ Merlin agreed, tugged at the golden hair and demanded Arthur’s mouth against his. The kiss was fierce, teeth tugging at his lower lip and Merlin parting them willingly. They never stopped rocking, Arthur gripping at his wet skin while Merlin rutted against him, panting into the King’s mouth desperately.

‘That’s it, keep going.’ Arthur praised, lowering his head down to Merlin’s collarbone as the Warlock looked up the ceiling, gasping as teeth grazed over the sensitive skin. It was far too much, the hot water around them, easing the slippery movement of their hips. Arthur’s cock, heavy and hot against his, the friction beautiful and so utterly addicting.

‘Think you can finish like this?’ His Alpha growled out against his skin, Merlin whining as he nodded an affirmative.

‘Yeah, oh Gods… so close.’ Arthur smirked against his skin, moved the hand that was on Merlin’s back to close around Merlin’s, where it was gripping the two of them together.

It was too much, yet not enough at the same time. Merlin cried out, the coil in his stomach snapping as his hips chased the feeling of Arthur clasping the two of them. The Alpha purred out a filthy praise, before his teeth were digging into the side of Merlin’s neck and the Warlock was desperately grabbing at him, drawing him closer.

Arthur spilt shortly after, coating both their stomachs as the Alpha attended the mark he’d made on Merlin’s neck. Unable to hold himself up any longer, Merlin slumped against his chest, sighed as the water-level rose once more, his Magic working without his permission.

‘You better not fall asleep on me.’ Arthur warned, but it was an empty threat, Merlin snuggling closer. 

Chapter Text

Gwaine didn’t turn up. Merlin waited, and waited a little longer, but the sun was setting and he still wasn’t here. The Omega reached for his neck, to Arthur’s claiming bite, then looked back out of the window. This was ridiculous, if Gwaine didn’t want him, he only needed to tell him the truth.

Merlin dressed quickly, grabbed his cape and left the door in one quick movement. The Guards eyed him slightly oddly as he ran past them, but Merlin had a more important mission. With the claiming bites to soothe him, he could smell each of them close by, but no scent of Gwaine. His room was Merlin’s first destination, but finding that empty, he decided he’d gone to the Tavern.

Camelot was cold this evening, Merlin grateful for a cape to wrap around his shoulders. Walking briskly through the town, he made his way to The Rising Sun Tavern, avoided the looks from a couple of Betas at the door as he entered the building.

Gwaine. The Knight was laughing, draining down a drink with a pretty Beta sitting on his lap, a group of men around him that he didn’t recognise. His Knight whispered something to the girl, who giggled and pressed a kiss to his cheek, and Merlin halted.

How stupid could he be? Of course Gwaine didn’t actually want Merlin. He’d just seen him in pain, aided him, then left him with the others. He wanted no part of this arrangement.

‘Omega like you shouldn’t be round this part.’ He turned to the door, to find an Alpha eyeing him up curiously. Nothing dangerous, Merlin took note of the mating bite on the man’s neck.

‘That was supposed to be my Alpha.’ Merlin nodded across to where Gwaine was drinking yet another mug of alcohol, the man beside him chuckling.

‘Owed the Tavern a debt. Came in earlier, in his Knight’s wear. Drinking to within an inch of his life, something tells me he’s nervous.’ Nervous? Gwaine was the one that had told him… no. It didn’t matter, Merlin had been stupid to think this was going to work.

‘I was an idiot, believing him.’ The Alpha sighed, took a step closer to him as several heads were beginning to turn.

‘Listen, we can beat the guy up later. For now, you need to get out of here. Your scent is shifting.’ Merlin could feel it as well, the ache in his stomach that was building rapidly. People were beginning to stare, most of them curious, but the Alphas in the Tavern looking ready to lunge for him.

Then Gwaine turned. Merlin had never felt so exposed, staring into the eyes that he thought were genuine. He watched the Knight startle, his mouth dropping open, before he stood up so sharply that the girl slid from his lap.

‘Can you walk me out?’ The Alpha got the hint, wrapped an arm around him and led him from the building. To anyone that didn’t know him, it looked like he was claimed by him. Safety, it was nice.

‘John. By the way, my name.’

‘Merlin. Nice to meet you.’ The Alpha chuckled, guided him out and back into the night. Several people had gathered by this point, but John stayed close.

‘Merlin!’ Gwaine, the Alpha currently running after him. The Omega halted on instinct, looked back to Gwaine and tried not to flinch when he saw the rage.

‘Who’s that?’

‘That’s what you ask? No mention of the fact I was waiting for you?’ John looked like he regretted ever getting involved, Merlin taking a step away from the Alpha and towards the Knight.

‘I… I can explain. It wasn’t what it looked like.’

‘Maybe you should let him go, Sir. Merlin’s close to heat, and he needs to be somewhere away from…’

‘I can take him back to the Castle. Thank you.’ John waited, just long enough for Merlin to nod his head, before the Alpha nodded and left.

‘Explain.’

**

Gwaine waited for Merlin’s verdict, walking back in silence. The Omega was crying, although he didn’t think Merlin had noticed that his eyes were wet. He was too busy trying to contain his anger, which Gwaine understood.

He had debts. Denying his family name, he had nothing. Coming to Camelot had been great, but he had to clear his name for those that would otherwise come after him. That would come after Merlin, if he dared to claim him without repaying.

‘You should have told me.’ Merlin whispered, and Gwaine’s heart broke a little more. He’d hurt him so much, the Omega didn’t deserve this. He didn’t deserve any of this, and if Gwaine had half a bone of courage in his body, he would let the Omega settle with the five mates he already had.

‘I didn’t want you to judge me, Merlin.’ The Guards at the gate watched them curiously as they walked back in, Gwaine knowing word would have reached the King already. Merlin wasn’t allowed to leave the Castle without Arthur being informed, no doubt he was ready to send out a search party.

‘You were with somebody else, Gwaine. You… how could you do that? To me?’ The last bit was all Gwaine could take, he felt his own tears spill.

He’d only ever wanted to keep Merlin safe, but instead, he’d done the opposite of that. The Beta had been the daughter of the man he owed a debt to, he was supposed to be keeping them happy. Then, when he’d caught sight of Merlin in the door, all of that didn’t matter.

‘Merlin, I swear to you…’

‘Just leave it. I… I don’t want to hear it.’ Merlin’s sadness was quickly escalating, the scent of heat spreading. Gwaine spotted the Knights in the Courtyard, Arthur with them, ready to ask what the hell Merlin had been doing out of the Castle.

‘Let’s go inside, we can talk about this. I swear, I’ll make it up to you.’ They were now close enough for the group to hear, he could see them begin to realise Gwaine must have messed up.

‘Just leave me alone, Gwaine. I… I don’t want your claim.’ He’d been expecting the words, but it still ached. The Omega was crying, the Alphas behind him staring with wide eyes and open mouths, and Gwaine rocked back in shock.

‘What’s going on?’ Arthur demanded, Merlin looking up at him one last time, but Gwaine didn’t have any words to explain it. He couldn’t… there was no excuse. Merlin had been waiting for him, and he’d messed up.

‘Gwaine found somebody else.’ Merlin spat out, then promptly fled into the Castle while trying not to sob.

The Knight could only watch as five angry Alphas turned towards him, Merlin’s cries echoing in his mind.

**

Merlin sealed the door with Magic, then looked to his nest. It smelt of Gwaine, the shirts that were in there, the pillows that the Knight had brought for him. Every inch of it belonged to the Knight, he had been the one to make it, and Merlin hated it. His body screamed at him to run, to disappear until nobody could find him.

Instead, he let his Magic out, watched as it attacked every inch of the room. Furniture thrown back, his nest destroyed, and Merlin slumping down to his knees at the centre of the devastation.

Then he cried, screamed and didn’t bother to hold it back. Six claims were supposed to be sitting on his neck, but he only had five, and now they burnt like fire against his skin.

It was all six of them, or none.

Chapter Text

His heat made him miserable. Or, that was what he was pretending was the source of his tears. Merlin lay on the stone floor, nothing between him and the cool ground, rolled onto his back and clutched at his stomach. It burnt so badly, his thighs sticky and his smallclothes already soaked, but Merlin couldn’t do anything about the ache.

The claims did nothing, not in this moment. There was supposed to be another one, he was supposed to have six claims on his neck when he went into Heat. A Heat solidified a bond between an Omega and his Mate, but Merlin was alone. So very alone, with the door locked and at least ten different spells blocking anyone from coming close to him.

He wanted Gwaine. He wanted the Knight to be here, to comfort him like he had before. To curl up on his lap, to feel the warmth that came with being close to him. But every time he thought of it, the tears fell quicker.

The hours stretched on, Merlin writhing in agony as he watched the sun rise, then the day progress. He ignored the people that knocked, the ones that tried the handle or the gentle promises from each Alpha. He didn’t want any of them, he wanted to go back to how it had been before. To him being a Beta, hidden away from their gazes and never having to worry about anything.

Was he not enough? Or worse, was Gwaine telling the truth? Did he want Merlin so badly that he was trying to change who he was, desperate to prove himself worthy? How did he make the Knight see that all he wanted was the Gwaine that he’d first met, the one that was carefree and charming and the one that could make Merlin’s heart flip.

A knock at the door, brief rapping against the wood. Merlin rolled over, studied the sound and waited. He knew nobody could hear him, the room was spelled silent, but he did try and stop the tears as he waited.

‘My boy, could I come in?’ Gaius. Oh, his Uncle hadn't forgotten about him! Merlin had always been able to rely on him, knew that Gaius would know exactly what to do.

Then there was the problem that he’d wrecked the room, was lying in just his breeches on the cold floor, and he was pretty sure there were bruises on his body from where he’d been venting out his anger.

He unlocked the door with his mind, at least his Magic hadn't abandoned him. The door opened, the physician slipped in, then Merlin re-locked the door.

‘Oh Merlin…’ He rose his head, tried to convey how sorry he was that Gaius had to deal with this. His Uncle rushed to his side, slowly knelt on the stone and reached out. A hand on his shoulder, Merlin curling into the Beta.

‘You should know, Gwaine was brought in.’ Merlin’s head snapped up, staring at his Uncle in worry.

‘Easy, he’s alright. A black eye, split lip. Nothing bad.’ He didn’t need to ask who had done it, it could be any of the other Alphas. Merlin may be in pain, but so was the last of the six.

‘I don’t know what to do, Gaius.’ He admitted, let the man press a cool rag to his burning forehead.

‘I’ve never seen Gwaine so sad.’

‘You think I should go to him?

‘I think nobody can tell you that. Listen to what your heart tells you.’ He wanted to point out that he was in heat, that his heart was telling him that any Alpha would do. Gaius seemed to understand, offered out a cup with some foul looking liquid in it.

‘It should keep the heat at bay for long enough to have a conversation.’ Merlin hesitated, knew that Gaius was giving him the option to do as he wanted.

‘I hate this.’

‘I know you do, my boy. But it won’t always be like this.’ He had to hope not, he didn’t think he could deal with this for much longer.

**

Gwaine’s face hurt. He deserved a lot worse than the black eye and his swollen lip, however. He sat in the Physician’s room, waiting for the man that had hurried out quite suddenly. He was surprised that Arthur hadn't come by yet, the King hadn't yet had a chance to hit him. That had been Leon.

He’d betrayed Merlin’s trust. The others didn’t even know the worst of it, if they knew that a girl had been sitting on Gwaine’s lap… He was pretty sure Percival and Lancelot wouldn’t have hauled Leon away. With his friends angry at him, and the Physician working in a cold silence, Gwaine had realised just how much he’d messed up.

Maybe it was better this way. Merlin could have his five mates, people he could rely upon, and Gwaine would never have to worry about hurting him. It may ache to begin with, it may crack open his heart but it would be better like this.

He didn’t want to leave Camelot. But Merlin had been the reason he had stayed in Camelot, and now he’d hurt him.

He also hadn't missed the way Morgana had glared, eyes flashing golden when he’d been escorted to Gaius. Arthur refused to look at him, did nothing other than bark orders for someone to get Leon away from him, and to have Gwaine leave. Had told Gwaine if he went anywhere near Merlin, that it would be the last thing he’d ever do.

He’d been such an idiot. The Knight laughed bitterly, ran a hand through his hair and tried not to let the emotions well up.

Merlin was his family. But he’d hurt him, he could still see Merlin’s gaze on him when he was in the Tavern. Heard Merlin rejecting him.

The ache in his stomach wasn’t normal. It felt like he was about to be sick, apart from the fact that his body wouldn’t let him. He had an awful feeling he might be approaching his rut, which would only be made worse by the fact that he’d just broken an Omega’s heart.

No, not an Omega. Merlin. Because Merlin should never be defined by his secondary gender. He deserved the world, and all Gwaine could give him was an alcoholic lover with self-destructive tendencies.

The door opened, and Gwaine tried to swallow down the tears that threatened to spill.

‘I can just go, Gaius, I don’t…’ He halted mid-speech, because standing in the doorway was a wide-eyed Merlin, tear-tracks still clear on his face.

‘Merlin.’ When he spoke, the Warlock winced, his smile briefly turning the corner of his lips up.

‘Gwaine.’

Chapter Text

The Alpha had no idea what to do, sunk down to his knees, looking up to the man that had stolen everything he had. Merlin’s eyes were already showing signs of heat, but it was held at bay by whatever had hidden his scent. Impressive control, Gwaine thought, but Merlin had always surprised him.

‘Gods, Merlin, I’m so sorry.’ He choked the words out, felt fingers running along his jawline, tipping his chin up so he stared up at Merlin. His Alpha, strangely, wasn’t protesting at the show of submission to the Omega. In fact, it wanted more, to tip his neck to the side and wait for judgement.

‘Such a good Alpha.’ Merlin purred, and Gwaine halted. His eyes were tearing up, he knew what Merlin was trying to do.

‘No, no Merlin you have to be angry at me…’

‘Trying to provide for me, oh Gwaine.’ The Omega had a hand in his hair, running through it and soothing him, his scent softer than all the pillows in the world. Gwaine’s chest tightened, tears spilling before he could stop them.

‘I need you to hate me.’ He deserved it, but Merlin just shook his head gently, raised a hand to his bruised eye.

‘I could never hate you, Gwaine. You hurt me, but you were acting because you don’t think yourself worthy of this. Of us. A family.’ He wished the Omega didn’t know him so well, watched as Merlin’s eyes flashed golden. Warmth spread across his body, the sting of his lip vanishing, his eye no longer aching. Leon wouldn’t be impressed, some part of his mind provided.

‘Forgive me, Merlin.’ He pleaded, stayed on his knees and looked up to him. The Warlock’s eyes were still golden, even as he sunk down to kneel in front of him.

‘Only if you forgive yourself, Gwaine.’ He drove a hard bargain, and Gwaine found himself torn between loving and hating him. Of course, it didn’t last for long, his love for Merlin quickly overpowered it.

‘I’d do anything to make it up to you, Merls.’ Anything, whatever he asked. But Merlin was so trusting, even after everything he’d done to hurt him.

‘Claim me.’ Merlin quietly asked, took his hands and linked their fingers together. Gwaine’s breathing hitched, eyes naturally moving to the spot on Merlin’s neck that hadn't yet been bitten.

‘You’re going into rut.’ The comment wasn’t unexpected, Gwaine had suspected such a thing. Something about denying his Omega, about breaking his heart and then not fighting when another Alpha hit him.

‘And you’re in Heat.’ He pointed out, Merlin chuckling.

‘What a terrible team we make.’ The joke had Gwaine hesitantly smiling back. All this fear of being in a family, but Merlin wanted him here. Wanted to create a bond between them that couldn’t be broken.

‘Pretty crappy.’ He acknowledged, before his Omega crawled closer.

‘How about we go somewhere where Gaius is less likely to walk in on us?’ He noticed that Merlin didn’t suggest his heat-chambers, probably because Gwaine had lost that privilege. It didn’t matter, he’d spend his entire life working back up to that.

‘My room?’ He offered, the Omega flashing him a brilliant smile.

‘We’ll have to be sneaky.’

‘I’ll have your back.’ He promised, and Merlin’s smile shattered every last defence.

‘I know you do.’

**

Merlin laughed as Gwaine slammed the door behind them, the two of them breathless from running through the Castle. It had been difficult to avoid the Guards, worse to avoid Gaius who had been walking back in the direction of his room. Now, as his heat threatened to return in full force, Merlin took a deep breath.

‘Spells, Merls. Don’t need anyone catching scent of you.’ He did as told, his eyes flashing golden to spell the room shut from anyone outside. Blocking scent and sound, his Omega demanding they keep the Alpha safe. After all, he was going into rut, clear by the dark in his eyes.

‘Let me make it up to you.’ Gwaine pleaded, needing to apologise for something that Merlin had already forgiven. The Omega stood tall, watched as his Alpha dropped back to his knees, head resting against his stomach.

‘Make it good.’ He teased, trying to control his racing heart at Gwaine’s feral grin. Hands moved under his shirt, Merlin aiding it as it was thrown to the ground.

‘You smell so good, Omega.’ Blushing darkly, Merlin watched as Gwaine’s hands wandered down to his stomach, marvelling at the soft skin. A flash of something dark took over, at the thought of what might happen by the end of his Heat.

The hands moved to his trousers, tugging them down impatiently. Gwaine stayed on his knees, eyes flicking up to Merlin to ask permission, and he responded by curling his fingers into the dark hair.

‘Go ahead.’

**

Gwaine figured the Omega regretted teasing him. The Alpha had decided he would prove his devotion by drawing as many orgasms as he could out of the Omega, which was working well. The scent of heat was overpowering, Gwaine had swallowed him down and let Merlin do as he pleased, his Alpha retreating back as the Omega took what he wanted. Then he’d decided to investigate the sweet scent and the sticky thighs, had flipped Merlin over and cleaned him up as best as he could with his tongue, which turned out to make a bigger mess.

He was in rut. He hadn't had one in a while, the last one had been spent at a brothel with a female Beta that had all the wrong curves. Now, as he forced the third orgasm out of his sobbing Omega, he decided that this was much better.

‘Alpha, please! Want you in me.’ He begged so prettily, but Gwaine was determined to make the Omega never doubt his affections again. He pushed a third finger into him, was rewarded by more slick to ease the way, stroked his other hand down Merlin’s spine.

‘How you feelin’, Omega?’ Merlin moaned, clutched at the bedsheets that were already ruined beyond repair. White-knuckling them, Gwaine watched as his breathing hitched.

‘So good, oh Gods, fuck me!’ A bossy little thing, Gwaine mused. He removed his fingers, Merlin clambering up and Gwaine offering them out. The Omega grinned, took them in his mouth and licked them clean, eyes fluttering shut.

‘See how you taste? So good for me.’ He praised, watched as Merlin preened at the words. His cock had filled up once more, hung heavy between his thighs as his heat demanded more, and Gwaine chuckled.

‘How d’you want me?’ Merlin paused, then moved to straddle his thighs. Gwaine got the hint, held himself steady so Merlin could sink down onto him. He watched every change, the way Merlin’s head tipped back and the gasp of air, the way his skin flushed.

‘M’gunna take what I want, and then you’re going to claim me.’ Merlin told him very seriously, so Gwaine sunk down onto the bed and let his hands go to Merlin’s hips. The Omega did just as he promised, began to move his hips in a steady rhythm as he took what he needed. It was incredible to watch, the red travelled all the way down to his chest, his lips swollen from rough kisses.

‘Oh, so full.’ The Warlock breathed out, and Gwaine had to agree. The pressure around his cock was exquisite, hot heat that he wanted to drive into until Merlin was whimpering beneath him. But this was his punishment, to sit still as Merlin drove him to desperation. His rut was getting harder to control, his Alpha demanding that he take control, but he held it back.

‘Doing so well.’ Merlin praised him, and Gwaine was surprised when he found himself smiling at it. He watched as Merlin took a hand to himself, started stroking in time to his thrusts, before urging Gwaine up. He went willingly, reached for Merlin and gave in when his knot began to catch, let the blood rush.

‘Can I?’ He begged, and Merlin looked down at him lovingly.

‘Go ahead.’ His neck tipped to the side, and Gwaine was gone. Biting down onto the soft skin, felt Merlin shudder under him as they both rocked over the edge.

‘Good Alpha.’ He praised, and Gwaine cleaned the wound carefully, kept his hips moving even though they were locked together.

**

Merlin felt it when the knot deflated enough for him to move, let Gwaine curl against his chest. The scent of his rut was strong, and Merlin knew that they shouldn’t let any other Alphas close for a bit. Plus, he was wanting a second round, his heat demanding it. The others would figure out he wasn’t in his Chambers soon, would also see the devastation he had wrecked when his Magic burst.

‘You’re thinking too much.’ Gwaine mumbled sleepily, pressing a kiss over his heart. A smooth-talker, soft lover, everything Merlin wanted in an Alpha. His heart burst with love for Gwaine, knowing that he was an idiot, but he wanted what was best.

‘I love you.’ Merlin wasn’t quite sure he’d been planning on saying that, but Gwaine just eyed him up curiously.

‘I love you too.’ Any remaining anger was gone, the moment that the words were spoken. Merlin’s Omega was practically melting, and because it was in charge at the moment, Merlin melted.

Gwaine chuckled, nuzzled against him and littered kisses over his skin, already rutting against his thigh even if he didn’t realise it.

‘Hot sex now?’ The Alpha questioned, and Merlin laughed.

Chapter Text

The door opened, and Gwaine growled out a warning that had Merlin snorting with laughter.

‘Shut it, Gwaine.’ The Knight hmphed, hid under the blankets in annoyance at Alphas entering his space while he was in rut, but he didn’t attack. Impressive, but then again, the scents were familiar. Arthur looked from Gwaine, to Merlin, and then back. It must have been a sight, blankets wrapped tightly around them and Gwaine not caring that he was naked, too hot to be covered.

‘He’s in rut.’ He pointed out, and Merlin looked between his Alphas.

‘He’s alright. A couple of days, and he’ll be fine.’ Gwaine didn’t like being spoken about, grumbled something about Alphas being too close to his Mate, and Merlin sighed. Ran his hand through the sweaty locks, before scolding him gently.

‘Be nice. They’re my mates too.’ That had Gwaine falling silent, his head moving to rest on Merlin’s lap.

‘Are you alright?’ Lancelot questioned, stepping around Arthur and moving to Merlin’s side. Gwaine gave him a long stare, before deeming him acceptable for Merlin, going back to breathing in the Omega’s scent.

‘Yeah. My Heat’s not bad.’ He knew that wasn’t what the Alpha was asking, he wanted to know why Merlin had forgiven Gwaine. They wanted to know what happened, and Merlin hesitantly looked to Lancelot.

‘He didn’t mean it.’ If Gwaine had been able to speak, he’d have been defending himself. No, actually he would have been saying that Merlin shouldn’t have forgiven him. The Alpha was stubborn like that, but it was part of why Merlin loved him.

‘Merlin…’ Arthur bit out, evidently still angry.

‘He didn’t. And I’ve forgiven him. He was doing it for the right reasons.’ Merlin stared lovingly down to the Alpha that was dozing in his lap, wondering when Gwaine would learn that he would do anything for him.

‘Then we forgive him as well.’ Lancelot stated firmly, before leaning in to kiss the Omega. Merlin smiled, pressed his lips firmly to Lancelot’s. His heat would pick up soon, and Merlin wanted to go back to his Chambers and fall into bed with his Alphas, but he also had Gwaine to take care of.

‘Go on. Sort your room out, I’ll keep an eye on grumpy.’ Merlin pecked his cheek, would thank Lancelot later for being such a good Alpha. He crept out from under Gwaine, the Alpha’s eyes flicking open and studying him. Merlin dressed quickly, winced as his stomach began to cramp already.

‘I’ll be back soon. Don’t eat Lancelot.’ He kissed Gwaine’s damp forehead, then looked up to Arthur hopefully. The King sighed, before unclipping his cape and wrapping it around Merlin’s shoulders, probably because he was trying to keep his scent over the Omega.

**

The room was a mess. When Arthur had first seen it, his anger for Gwaine had almost exploded. To have hurt Merlin so badly, for the Omega to have wrecked the nest that was supposed to be his safe-space…

He watched as Merlin’s eyes flicked to gold, as his Magic crept out to reverse the damage done to the room. The other Alphas padded around the edge of his recovering nest, took a seat and watched as Merlin used his Magic. It was rare that they’d see it, he never really exposed himself like this, and Arthur wondered when Magic had become such a turn-on for him.

‘Sorry. About all of this.’ Merlin gestured to the mess, looking at Arthur like he was worried it would be taken away.

‘You don’t have to apologise, Merlin.’ The Omega ducked his head, his scent already turning sweeter as his heat took over.

‘But my Magic…’

‘Reacted to your emotions. Not an issue.’ Arthur stated firmly. He wasn’t good with the emotional half of this, and was thankful when Leon came across to comfort him.

‘Relax. We aren’t mad at you, we just want you happy.’ Merlin nuzzled back against him, let Leon’s hands hold him steady before they kissed, and Arthur felt like he was intruding.

Then Merlin was jumping back, entering his new nest and smiling up at them all.

‘Come on in.’

**

‘Gwaine…’

The Alpha growled, and Lancelot rolled his eyes.

‘Save the drama. You’re lucky Merlin didn’t slap you.’ That had him quieting down, and Lancelot kicked his feet up onto Gwaine’s bed.

An Alpha in rut was uncontrollable, would rip apart any Alpha that dared get into his or her space. Gwaine was a miserable bastard, but he wasn’t yet at the dangerous stage, still satisfied by Merlin’s scent that was spread all over the room.

‘Plus, I’m currently missing out on bedding Merlin because of you.’ He added. Gwaine snorted, turning to rest his head on Lancelot’s thigh. He hesitantly reached out for his friend’s hair, watched the Alpha narrow his eyes.

‘Easy. I’m just offering comfort. Ruts suck.’ Gwaine obviously agreed with that. The two of them settled down together, and Lancelot could only hope that Merlin hurried up.

He didn’t fancy facing an Alpha in rut, especially not one as strong as Gwaine.

**

Merlin felt his Magic warning him to get up, slowly climbing out from under Arthur’s arm. The Alpha mumbled something that sounded like a complaint, but Merlin could feel Gwaine’s scent shifting from all the way over the other end of the Castle.

He stole Arthur’s cape, wrapped it around his shoulders and tugged on his breeches, before slipping out of his nest. Luckily, the only person he ran into was one of the Guards, who dutifully pretended that he didn’t see Merlin running around half-naked and drenched in the scent of other Alphas.

Opening the door, he sniggered as he took in the sight. Lancelot had been kicked to the smallest part of bed space, with Gwaine sprawled out across the rest. Both Alphas looked up as he walked in, shut the door and locked it behind him, before dropping the cape and moving across.

Gwaine looked pleased, reached out with grabby hands, but Merlin tutted.

‘Patience.’ It wasn’t wise to make an Alpha in rut wait, but Merlin liked to live life a little dangerously. Lancelot was more than happy to kiss him, hands moving to Merlin’s thighs as he climbed up to straddle him.

‘He’s growling at us.’ Lancelot murmured against his lips, and Merlin looked back to Gwaine. The Alpha looked like someone had stolen his favourite toy, sitting on his knees with a ridiculous pout that Merlin absolutely adored.

‘Oh Gwaine… play nicely. You can share.’ The Alpha paused, looking to Lancelot curiously, before his eyes darkened.

An acceptable offer, then.

Chapter Text

Merlin peeked up at Lancelot, who was dozing on Gwaine’s bed. It was a mess of limbs, Lancelot lying on the bottom, with Merlin sprawled over him. Then there was Gwaine, who had an arm around Merlin but was resting against the other Knight as he slept, uncaring of the fact that they were all very much naked.

The Omega smiled, let his fingers run through the coarse hair on Lancelot’s chest. It had been thrilling, to be pressed between the two of them, to have their claims seared into his mind as their bond solidified. He wanted to go back to the others, to have them again and feel their hands over his skin, their lips on the marks along his neck.

If he’d ever thought that he’d end up with not one but six Alphas, he’d have laughed at the person that tried to tell him. It was weird having them know who he was, what he was, without the fact that they also still wanted him around. His Mates, the people he loved more than anything, and Merlin felt happy.

Sneaking out from under them was easy, he managed to leave Gwaine and Lancelot tangled up together, watched them as he moved across to grab his clothes.

A sudden cramp in his stomach had him gasping, but it wasn’t his heat. That had faded quickly, too quickly to be normal, but Merlin had presumed it was his Magic doing something to alleviate the pressure. Now, as he pressed a hand to his stomach, his Magic was telling him something very different.

Oh. Oh, he was about to pass out. He stumbled back, sunk down onto the floor and kept a hand to his stomach, his Magic already weaving around him to keep them safe.

Reaching for his cloak (that was technically Arthur’s), he slipped out of the door in a hurry.

**

Morgana blinked back sleep, watching as the newly-appointed Consort of the King entered the room in such a hurry that she could tell something was wrong. The scent of heat was wrapped around him, but it wasn’t as overpowering as it should be. Gwen sat up quickly, climbed out of bed to reach the shaking Omega, asking him what had happened.

She knew that Merlin had been in the nest-room earlier, she had walked past and poked her head around the door, only to find four very fucked-out Alphas sprawled in different locations. That wasn’t something she really wanted to focus on, instead hoping that Merlin knew what he was doing, forgiving Gwaine so easily. Then again, the Alpha was an idiot that had self-worth issues, so she knew he was the most likely to get cold-feet about the entire thing.

The marks on Merlin’s neck caught her attention, and it didn’t take a genius to work out which one was the Primary Alpha. Lancelot’s claim stood out amongst the others, she’d been slipping into Merlin’s room early after each of the Alphas visited, just to figure out where their mark had gone.

That wasn’t why her mind was telling her something was different, however. Merlin’s Magic was wrapped around his body so tightly she feared that it might be trying to hurt him, until she realised it was the opposite.

‘Oh my…’ Gwen halted, looked away from the tearing-up Omega to Morgana, who had gone quite still.

‘What is it?’ She asked, and Morgana saw Merlin’s terror.

‘A Pup.’ Gwen’s eyes widened, looking back to Merlin, who looked equal mixtures of excited and terrified.

‘Just one?’ Omegas usually didn’t have a singular baby, but with Merlin’s Magic coiled so tightly, she couldn’t identify if there was more than one.

‘Three. I think.’ Gwen was squealing, bouncing around and clutching at Merlin who hugged her back just as tightly. Morgana rushed across as well, embraced the both of them and waited until Merlin felt confident to express his fear.

‘How do I tell them?’ He was so worried, she could tell. But there was no need to be, Arthur had already got the paperwork legalised, any children of Merlin’s would be heirs to the throne of Camelot. She knew that Merlin would be able to tell which child had been sired by who, but it was his decision on whether he shared that information.

‘However you want. We can help!’ Gwen took his hands, and Merlin smiled.

‘I’ll wait till Gwaine’s rut is over. Once we’ve all settled back down… I’ll bring it up.’ Of course, with Merlin’s new title as Consort of the King, it would be the first time that he walked around the Castle in a position of power.

‘We’ll keep the secret till then.’ Morgana promised, and Merlin’s smile was blinding.

**

Arthur woke up to Merlin snuggling against him, rolled over in the nest and took the Omega with him.

‘You’re cheerful.’ He commented, blinking up at Merlin. His eyes drifted to the claiming mark on his neck, Lancelot’s already healed and a shiny silver. The most loving of the six of them, the one that understood Merlin perfectly. It made sense, and Arthur was surprised to find that his Alpha was pleased at the fact.

‘Just happy. I brought you all breakfast. But first, I’ve got something to show you.’ Arthur realised the others were awake, half-dressed and looking to the breakfast with hungry eyes. Almost the same as how they looked at Merlin last night, Arthur mused.

‘Something?’ Merlin’s gaze was wicked, and Arthur was glad that the Omega was on their side. He didn’t fancy getting on Merlin’s bad list.

‘Blackmail.’

They got a couple of odd looks as they made their way to Gwaine’s Chambers, Merlin unlocking the door with a muttered spell that Arthur tried to save for later. The more he knew, the more he could investigate.

He had to stop himself from laughing, because it was quite the sight. Lancelot peacefully sleeping, although there was a frown on his face as Gwaine shifted. The other Alpha had his mouth open, snoring gently as he lay slumped over Lancelot, the two completely tangled up.

‘Now that is blackmail quality.’ Arthur muttered to himself, before glancing across to Merlin. The Omega had a fond look on his face, lips quirked into a smile as he eyed them up.

‘We’ll grab breakfast, and leave you to wake them up.’ Leon smoothly suggested, noticing Merlin’s longing to go to the two of them.

If Arthur stayed just long enough to see the Omega’s expression when Lancelot and Gwaine started to stir, it was only by chance. Nothing to do with the fact that he’d never seen Merlin look so happy, nor felt his own heart swell so much.

Chapter Text

Merlin kept his pace up, swerved around the corner and trotted up the steps towards the King’s Chamber. He didn’t bother knocking, threw open the door and walked into the room, locking it with his Magic. Arthur grumbled something under his breath about being disturbed so early, but the Warlock paid no attention.

Ever since his Heat ended, he’d let his confidence grow. Settling into the position of the King’s Consort was slightly difficult, he still didn’t like the people that bowed to him as he moved through the Castle. Merlin shook away the thought, made his way across to where Arthur was still buried under the covers, kicking off his boots and climbing under the sheets.

His Alpha liked that, let his legs fall open as Merlin settled between them, kissing the soft skin of his stomach and watching as Arthur sleepily opened his eyes.

‘I suppose this is the nicest way of you waking me up.’ Arthur’s voice was in that delicious tone, the one still heavy with sleep, and Merlin smiled. One hand rested on the King’s thigh, the other moving to his slowly filling cock, wrapping gently around it. Of all his Mates, Arthur was the best to wake with sleepy sex. He was entitled like that, liked to lie back as Merlin wrapped his lips around the head of his cock and peered up to his King.

Arthur’s head hit the pillow, arching into him in a way that exposed his neck, marked up from where Merlin had sucked and nipped at it last night. This bit was always his favourite, slowly letting his throat relax and taking Arthur further, until his nose hit the coarse hair at the base.

A hand reached for his hair, tugging and urging him to move, but there was no rush at this point. He hummed, let his tongue move while he kept his lips tightly wrapped around him. The taste wasn’t the nicest thing he’d ever had, but it certainly was growing on him, especially when Arthur made such pretty sounds when he did it.

‘That’s it, got such pretty lips.’ Merlin grinned, began to bob his head up and down and work up a rhythm. Arthur groaned, going boneless under him as Merlin worked him over, before a knock sounded at the door.

‘Sire?’ Leon, probably with the other Knights, wondering why Arthur wasn’t down at the training grounds yet. Merlin didn’t need to stop licking to unlock the door, Arthur throwing the covers back enough so that Merlin’s head would be revealed.

Leon opened the door, Merlin continuing to work on getting Arthur to his climax. He could feel Leon’s eyes on him, the shifting scent as the Alpha watched. There were two others, Elyan and Lancelot, he recognised them purely on their Alpha-smell.

‘Keep going, sweetheart.’ Arthur praised, pushing Merlin back down until his cock hit the back of the Warlock’s throat. Merlin did as told, listened to Arthur as he asked Leon what he wanted. The poor First Knight stuttered, mentioned that they should be down on the training field.

‘Hear that, Merlin? We… oh, we’re late.’ The Warlock took that as an invitation to speed up, let his throat go lax as Arthur’s hips bucked up and chased his finish. The King gasped, Merlin’s name falling from his lips as the Omega swallowed every drop that he was offered.

Once Arthur was done working through the aftershocks, Merlin slowly moved off of him. The King stayed on the bed, looking more than pleased after his orgasm, and Merlin looked over his shoulder to the others.

Leon looked a mixture of turned-on and embarrassed. Elyan just looked horny, and Lancelot looked thoroughly amused by the entire thing. Of course he did, of all of his Alphas, Lancelot was the hardest one to wind up.

‘Mm, apologise to Leon for me, Merlin.’ Arthur stated, before rolling over into the pillows. Lazy sod, he fully intended on going back to sleep, and Merlin rolled his eyes fondly. He climbed out, let his Magic tuck the sheets back around the King and walked across to Leon.

‘Want to be even later?’ He asked with a smirk, kissing the Knight softly.

‘We’ll go and let the others know.’ Lancelot remarked, gripped Elyan’s arm and dragged him from the room, while Leon looked like a startled doe.

‘I… yes.’ Leon finally managed to stutter, and Merlin sunk down to his knees while keeping his expression the most innocent he could manage.

**

Lancelot watched as Arthur and Leon approached the training grounds. Merlin was nowhere to be seen, but from the happy flush on Leon’s cheeks, he figured the Omega had made it up to the First Knight.

‘Did you enjoy your apology?’ Elyan teased, and Leon scowled. Arthur ignored them, picking up his sword from the rack and gesturing to the space.

‘We’ve got to make up for our late start.’ Lancelot chuckled at the groans that came from each of them, moving across to take his usual position with Gwaine. The Knight hadn't bothered with armour, not that Lancelot would ever let the hits get close enough to do damage.

‘Lancelot!’ He’d only been training for a short while when Arthur called him across, the Knight lowering his sword and looking to the King.

‘Yes, Sire?’ Out on the field, he was still the King. Even if he saw Arthur when the King was being soppy in love.

‘Go and grab a crossbow from the armoury. I’ve got a point to prove to Elyan.’ Lancelot snorted, jogged back in the direction of the armoury.

He got close enough to know that Merlin was in there, probably cleaning chainmail. The Omega was humming to himself, hips swaying slightly and his jacket laying over the side. Lancelot took a moment to just observe him, Merlin always looked adorable when he wasn’t aware people were watching.

He knocked on the door once, just to let Merlin know he was there. The Omega jumped, turning to look at him, before a bright smile crossed his face.

Something had happened to Merlin’s scent recently, something that Lancelot couldn’t get enough of. He had asked the others if they had noticed it, but apparently it was just something that he could pick up on. He figured it was part of what came with being Merlin’s primary Alpha, shook the thought away as he swanned across to his Omega.

‘Hey.’ Merlin squeaked as he wrapped arms around his skinny waist, nuzzling into his neck. The sweet scent had become deeper, more complex in a way that made Lancelot want to remain with his nose pressed to the scent gland for the rest of his life.

‘Hey yourself. You smell delightful.’ Merlin chuckled, abandoned the rag he was using to clean Arthur’s chainmail and jumped back onto the bench, dragging Lancelot with him. Arthur would have to wait for the crossbow, Lancelot had more important priorities. Like snuggling into Merlin to get better access to the scent gland.

‘I washed.’ Merlin joked. Lancelot wanted to point out that it was something more than that, but then Merlin was kissing him, and he forgot all about it.

After all, Merlin’s lips were downright sinful.

Chapter Text

He turned one way, then the other, before looking to where Guinevere was seated. She cocked her head to the side, eyes falling back to his stomach and she frowned.

‘Definitely noticeable.’ He copied her expression, grumbling as he tried to work out how he was going to tell his Mates that he was expecting Pups. Worse, that he’d been hiding it for four weeks now, a quarter of the gestation for these little ones. They wouldn’t be impressed, but he couldn’t hide it for much longer. One, his shirts were beginning to catch on the bump. Secondly, his Heat was due soon, but he wasn’t going to go into Heat thanks to the Pups.

He knew Lancelot could tell. The Knight may not have figured out the signs meant pregnancy, but he was acting differently. More protective, able to scent Merlin from ages away, keeping closer to his side when they were together. An urge to always be the last to bed him, so they could snuggle up afterwards. Unconsciously, his hand would drift around to his belly, even if his mind hadn't caught up to the fact that Merlin was pregnant.

‘You should just tell them.’ Morgana suggested, and Merlin took a deep breath. It was time, he needed to tell them now before he let his nerves get the best of him.

He made his way to the training grounds, figuring he could talk to them once he had finished. He didn’t know how they would respond to the news that there were pups on the way. Three of them, Merlin’s Omega proudly reminded, preening at the fact that he was able to carry half of his Mates Pups at once.

Arthur was teaching some of the younger Knights, they buzzed around him like flies while he tried to demonstrate how to attack an opponent. For a moment, Merlin just watched, before moving closer towards the King.

Lancelot was already moving towards him, abandoning the match against Elyan without looking back. The Warlock hid his smile well, tilted his head up to the Knight and was surprised to receive a proper kiss in greeting. Across the field, Arthur frowned, the younger Knights getting slightly distracted.

‘Lance…’ Merlin breathed out, noted the way the Alpha was studying him in confusion.

‘Merlin, I can… your scents shifting again. I…’ He looked lost, and Merlin quickly realised that this would end up in a scene if he didn’t get them off the field. He took Lancelot’s hand, uncaring of who might see the King’s Consort and the Mate of the Knights of the Round Table running along, dragging a Knight behind him.

They made it to the armoury before Lancelot’s nose was pressed back to his neck, hands tugging and twisting at his hips like he couldn’t decide whether he wanted Merlin closer or further away. The Omega in him loved it, demanded the attention and purred in contentment when a hand tracked to his stomach.

Apart from this time, he halted. Merlin sucked in air, watched as it dawned on Lancelot. The way his eyebrows shot up, lips parting slowly as he glanced down to where his hand was resting, then back to Merlin.

Merlin, who was crying already, silent tears that were cooling on his cheeks as he waited for a reaction. For anything, hope, adoration, rejection.

‘Merlin.’ Whispered out, before the door opened and Arthur came storming in, the Round Table Knights in quick procession.

Lancelot’s lips curled into a snarl, the sound breaking from his chest before the Knight could stop it, tugging Merlin behind him in a move that would have been protecting.

‘What in all of Albion…’

‘Is he going into rut?’ Gwaine broke in on Arthur’s statement, and then they seemed to realise Merlin was crying. The Omega swore quietly, scrubbed at his eyes and then looked up, only to see Arthur’s anger.

Oh, he thought Lancelot was bothering Merlin? The Omega yelped as one of them lunged, Elyan, he realised belatedly. That Lancelot didn’t bother blurting the secret out, seemed more than happy to tackle, before Gwaine tried to get in between them. Arthur just looked lost, Leon joining the scrapping Alphas while Merlin shouted at them to stop. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot that could break Alphas from their “who’s got the biggest dick” competition, so Merlin had to do the only thing that would get their attention.

‘I’m pregnant.’ It sounded more confident in his head, but instead it came out wobbly and terrified, each Alpha halting mid-motion. Lancelot stumbled from Elyan’s grip, returned to Merlin’s side and lowered his head back to where his Mating mark lay, sniffing. All Alpha, less Lancelot, but Merlin could soothe that with his scent.

The others hadn't spoken yet, and Merlin was honestly ready to panic. Only when Lancelot’s hand came to cradle his cheek did he realise he’d started crying once more, that the Knight was fighting back for control.

‘Oh, Merlin.’

‘I’m so sorry! I just didn’t want you to all start acting differently around me and I was worried that you wouldn’t want them and then there was the fact that I’m pretty sure at least one of them will have Magic like me and I…’ Lips hit his, firm yet gentle, and Merlin stopped babbling. The kiss ended slowly, Merlin chasing after the feeling before realising that he was still in the armoury and there were still six Alphas all staring at him.

‘How many?’ Lancelot murmured, hand reaching back for his stomach.

‘Three.’ Another kiss, just gentle, and Merlin dared to look to the others.

Then he had an armful of Alpha. Leon, he identified the sweet scent and the curls that he ran his fingers through, laughed as he was swept up and kissed with such energy that it snatched his breath away. The moment he was let down, Elyan was by his side, and Merlin initiated the kiss that time. Then came Percival, hands reaching for Merlin’s stomach like he was afraid that he might hurt him. He laughed, tugged the gentle Knight into his arms and rejoiced in the fact they weren’t mad at him.

Then he looked to where Gwaine and Arthur were standing, the two of them both looking shocked. Arthur then smiled, the brightest smile Merlin had ever seen, before he came across. Just like Percival, he seemed hesitant to touch. The Omega took his hand, placed it over the growing curve, watched as Arthur looked mystified.

‘Pups.’

Gwaine looked ready to run. Terrified, which Merlin had expected. He took a step towards his Alpha, watched as every muscle in the Knight’s body tensed.

‘Gwaine.’ Merlin knew Gwaine would be the very best father that any Pup could ever want, but he also knew that the terror came from Gwaine’s family.

‘It’s alright.’ Merlin murmured, finally reached his side and waited for Gwaine’s decision. It came a moment later, in the form of shaky fingers reaching out and pressing to his stomach. Gwaine’s eyes darted from the slightly-taut shirt to his eyes, unsure but so utterly loving.

‘A family.’ His voice was so low Merlin almost didn’t hear it, spilled like a secret that he was so very afraid of.

‘The very best family.’ Merlin argued, placing a hand over Gwaine’s. The Alpha looked up, and the smile was so sincere it split open his heart.

‘There’s nothing I wanted more.’ The kiss had the very last piece of his fear vanishing, before Lancelot was back up in his space, Gwaine’s arm surprisingly slipping around the Alpha as well.

‘Easy, Lance, we can share.’ Oh, Merlin could tell his cheeks were darkening, knew the other Knights would be looking between them.

Lancelot paused, looking up to Gwaine in confusion, before the dark-eyed Knight wiggled his eyebrows in the most ridiculous way.

‘Idiots. All of you.’ Arthur muttered under his breath, although loud enough for them all to hear.

‘My idiots.’ Merlin snapped back, content to rest between the two dark-haired Knights.

The very best family.