My MMOM Master List 2010
Title: The Affairs of Elves
Fandom: Merlin (BBC)
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by the BBC. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: explicit sex
Summary: Visitors to Uther's court are not what they seem and are meddling in Arthur and Merlin's relationship.
Author's Notes: Thanks to Soph for the beta.
Word count: 4,060
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Uther had visitors again, a delegation from the North, and they were a little odd in Merlin's opinion. To start with they didn't really dress normally; their clothes were less covering than Camelot was used to. It was the height of summer, so it could be excused, but the material of some of the ladies' dresses left little to the imagination. Then there was the fact that Merlin was a servant, but the whole party seemed to notice him, all the time. Some of them even spoke to him. At times he felt almost as if they were paying more attention to him than Uther or Arthur, which was unsettling.
In the end Merlin just decided to get on with his job and try and ignore the crazy people visiting.
It was day two after the delegation's arrival that the first odd thing happened: Arthur and Merlin ended up locked in one of the food storage cupboards for two hours. The door just would not budge and no one seemed to hear them calling for help. It had then started to become uncomfortably warm, which was very strange, because the supply cupboards were built to stay cool, even in summer, and Arthur had started to strip down to his shirt sleeves. Merlin had been quite taken with the view and he might have done something stupid, except he'd managed to back into a shelf and dump a bag of flour all over himself. Arthur had teased him mercilessly, which had thankfully removed all strange notions from his head.
No one could explain how the door had become stuck, but it had taken three knights to open it once someone had finally realised they were inside.
Next was the tainted cup of ale. Merlin had walked into the kitchens to pick up Arthur's food and been jumped by one of the baker's boys, as in literally jumped; it had taken two people to pry the young man off him and nothing would dissuade him of his amorous intentions. Gaius had first suspected a blow to the head had addled the poor lad's brains, but in the end it had been ascertained that a potion had been added to the ale that should have been Arthur's and the boy had taken a sip to taste it. It wore off in about an hour, so Uther ordered it tested on someone else, who had immediately tried to jump Merlin too. For a while there it had looked like he might end up on the chopping block for trying to enchant the prince, but luckily Arthur had been able to prove he had had no chance to get to the ale to taint it. The incident was put down to someone wanting to embarrass the prince with his manservant in front of the guests.
When the door to Arthur's chambers mysteriously locked itself and all clothes from inside and on their person's vanished, Merlin had just about had enough.
"This is ridiculous," he yelled at nothing in particular, pretty sure that whoever was doing this would be listening.
He was now naked and standing in the middle of Arthur's rooms and Arthur was sat in his chair in a very similar state.
"Sorcery!" Arthur declared angrily and stood up.
Merlin tried not to be distracted; he had seen Arthur naked before of course, but usually he had time to mentally prepare. It wasn't really a surprise when Arthur grabbed one of the swords that had been hanging on the wall, but it didn't help Merlin concentrate, because Arthur just looked so brave and strong. It took quite a man to be able to look intimidating naked, but Arthur managed it and Merlin's heart beat a little faster.
With some effort, he managed to drag his mind back on track as Arthur prowled around the room looking for an assailant. Things began to add up in Merlin's mind and he could only come to one conclusion.
"I don't think we're in any danger," he said and sat down on the edge of the bed, attempting to cover himself up a little.
"Merlin, you're an idiot," was Arthur's unsurprising reply; "someone has made us vulnerable and it would be the perfect time to attack."
"If they're powerful enough to do this," Merlin pointed out, "they could have just killed us."
That didn't seem to have occurred to Arthur and Merlin made another mental note to see if he couldn't train Arthur into using his brain before his brawn more. Sometimes Arthur was just a little bit too much a soldier for his liking.
Arthur lowered his sword, but kept it in his hand.
"Why would anyone do this if not to attack me?" Arthur asked, but he at least seemed to be thinking now.
Merlin went over everything in his head.
"Let's see," he said, turning over the facts slowly, "somehow we get stuck in a cupboard together and it mysteriously becomes incredibly hot in a cool room. Then someone add something to your ale that, if you had drunk it, would have made you insanely attracted to me. Those both failed and now, somehow, we're locked into your room and we're naked. I don't think they're being very subtle."
It was more than obvious that Arthur had not looked at the situation like that before and now that Merlin pointed it out, Arthur put the sword on the table and sat down.
"Someone wishes you and I to have sex," Arthur said bluntly.
"It would seem so, Sire," Merlin replied and carefully arranged himself so his modesty was covered, even as he tried to think unsexy thoughts.
"It's not going to work," Arthur declared to the air and crossed his arms over his chest while glaring at nothing.
Merlin felt strangely disappointed and hideously attracted at the same time; there was nothing quite so sexy as Arthur in stubborn mode.
"I told you it was a waste of effort," a female voice said and Merlin found himself scrabbling for a pillow to clutch in front of him as he turned and found a man and a woman standing in the corner.
They were Lord Seiran and Lady Thea from the delegation and they appeared a lot less human. Both had sweeping points on their ears and their bone structure looked almost too delicate to be real. They were also wearing even less clothing than they had done while pretending to be human.
"Who are you?" Arthur demanded, standing up and grabbing the sword again.
"So primitive," Seiran, if that was even his real name, said and waved his hand.
This time Merlin felt the magic and the sword just vanished.
"Merlin, get behind me," Arthur said very firmly and moved to his side.
It was very brave and very noble, what with being naked and unarmed, but Merlin was far better equipped to deal with this situation and, rather than doing as he was told, he put himself in front of Arthur.
"I won't let you hurt him," he said, feeling his own magic shifting inside him at the threat.
That made Thea smile and it did not look like a malicious smile.
"Merlin," Arthur complained and tried to pull him back.
"He does you high honour, Prince of Camelot," Thea said and Merlin had a sinking feeling that she was not going to stop there; "very few can call one so powerful a friend."
"If he would just ensorcel him this would all be done with," Seiran said with a sigh.
"I would never," Merlin said instantly and Thea looked reproachfully at her husband.
Arthur was worryingly quiet behind him.
"Go away," he said firmly, ready to defend them if need be.
The fact was, keeping Arthur safe was far more important than his own wellbeing and he would drive away the interlopers if he had to.
"We cannot do that, Wild One," Thea said and smiled at him; "we were sent here to make sure that destiny remains on track and we must do so, or the world will descend into chaos."
For the life of him Merlin could not figure out what the antics of the past few days could have to do with destiny or, for that matter, what the hell Thea's form of address meant.
"What are you?" Arthur finally spoke again, sounding angry and cold.
"We are elves," Seiran said with a little bow of his head; "we are guardians of the natural order."
"Why did you come here?" was the next question.
Thea walked forward and Merlin lifted his hands, feeling his magic rippling.
"Peace, Wild One," she said.
"My name's Merlin," he replied and did not lower his hands.
"Merlin," she said, stopping and smiling at him; "we wish you and your prince no harm. There are forces at work in Albion who seek to divert the true course, we are here only to restore the correct path."
After all he had gone through with the dragon, Merlin did not like all this talk of paths and destiny.
"And that would be?" Arthur asked, still sounding as cold and hard as his father, so much so that Merlin almost turned to look at him.
"The union of you and Merlin," Thea said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world; "to bring this kingdom into a new age."
Merlin felt his heart beat speed up even more.
"Before the pawns of chaos interfered everything could be left to nature," Seiran explained, although he sounded far more imperious about it than Thea did, "but too many things have been placed in motion now to leave it to chance."
"Great danger is coming," Thea took over, "and you must be united to face it."
That did not sound good at all.
"Your games did not work," Arthur replied to that.
"No," Thea replied and sounded almost apologetic, "they were a mistake, but you are both in love with each other and we sought only to make you realise this."
Merlin couldn't help himself then, he had to look at Arthur. Blue eyes, as cold as a lake in winter, looked back at him and he felt all warmth leave his soul as Arthur stared at him.
"Prince of Camelot," Seiran said in a voice just as hard as Arthur's; "do not become your father; that is what chaos wishes."
Arthur's eyes blazed then and Merlin was glad his prince was looking at the elf.
"My father is a good man," Arthur all but snarled.
"Your father is a man twisted by grief and pain," Thea said in a very matter of fact way; "he was misled into sacrificing his only love for an heir and it blackened his soul with hatred. Your soul should not carry the same taint. Magic is powerful, magic is dangerous, but magic is just like any other force and it has saved you and Camelot many times. Judge those around you not by what they are capable of, but what they actually do."
It was all true, but Merlin knew Arthur would not like it.
"Such as lie?" was Arthur's angry response.
It was like a knife in Merlin's heart.
"Lies become necessary when there is the shadow of injustice," Seiran replied without hesitation, "and some lies are designed to protect. There can only be truth when all the shadows are gone."
"Go away," Merlin said simply, feeling his relationship with Arthur slipping away with every word the elves spoke.
There was only one person who could face Arthur's fury and that was him and, whatever came with it, it had to be alone.
"Merlin," Thea said, stepping towards him, but he brought up his hands again.
"Go away," he repeated, willing to back up his demand if necessary.
He locked gazes with her and she finally nodded, just once.
"So be it," she said and held her hand out to Seiran, "but remember, Wild One, much rests on you and your prince."
Then they were gone, as silently and completely as they had arrived and their clothes came back. Not on their bodies, but piled neatly on the table in two stacks; his and Arthur's. One other thing reappeared as well; the sword and it was sitting between the two sets of clothing. For long seconds silence held in the room.
"Tell me why I should not kill you right now," Arthur said, sounding just as furious as Merlin had thought.
"You couldn't," he replied and then held out his hand, lifting the sword and placing it back on the wall.
He was not going to hide anymore; there was no point, and he was not going to let Uther execute him. Arthur was all he cared about and if he had to protect him from afar, that is what he would do. It was too dangerous for Arthur to be without magical protection, no matter the cost to him. He finally turned to face Arthur properly for the first time, eyes still glowing with the magic inside of him.
"This is who I am," he said and there really was no way he could be more open; he was naked and his magic was revealed; "it is who I have always been."
What he really, really hated, was the touch of fear in Arthur's face as he looked at him; it was the last straw.
"Don't you understand?" he said, exploding with everything he was feeling. "You don't have to be afraid of me; I have never hurt you, I will never hurt you; I love you and I will protect you even if it kills me."
He wanted to reach out, he wanted to let his magic free and show Arthur everything, but he just stood there.
"Why did they call you Wild One?" Arthur asked, voice still cold, but it was not the response Merlin had expected.
"I don't know," he replied, perfectly honestly; "no one's ever called me that before."
It was not as if he understood the minds of elves.
"Are you even human?" Arthur asked and it stung.
"You've met my mother," he said, not able to hide his hurt at the question.
"But what about your father?" was Arthur's response and Merlin had no answer for that.
"I never knew him," he replied quietly and for the first time in his life it occurred to him that his mother might not have told him everything.
His mother never talked about his father, ever, and he had just accepted that, but it finally dawned on him there might be a reason he was the way he was. He sat down, feeling as if his whole world had just tilted to a different angle. It was as if his life was falling to pieces in front of him and he couldn't even catch the parts to try and hold them together.
"Merlin," Arthur's voice dragged him back, but he was a little shocked to realise Arthur was now standing next to him.
He looked up, confused and lost and without any idea what to do.
"You really have no idea?" Arthur asked, coldness back and anger put away.
Merlin didn't know what he was supposed to say; he didn't even know if there was anything to say.
"I'm just me," he said, trying to hold on to that at least.
He was a little shocked when Arthur sat down next to him.
"How do we know they were telling the truth?" Arthur finally asked, sounding confused, and Merlin had to do a little mental backstep to realise Arthur was talking about the elves.
"The dragon always used to tell me you were my destiny," Merlin said, without even considering lying, "and Nimueh seemed to find the pair of us worrying."
It was easier to talk than to think about everything.
"The dragon?" Arthur asked incredulously.
"Yes," Merlin replied with a shrug; "he said you will be a great king and I'm supposed to make sure it happens. So many magical things keep trying to kill you."
Arthur was a focus of something, that much was clear to him, it could have been destiny.
"So you're here because of the dragon?" Arthur asked, voice going hard again.
It was his turn to give Arthur a stare.
"I am showing that question the contempt it deserves and not answering it," he said, feeling just a little annoyed, which was better than lost at least.
"The elves could still be lying," Arthur pointed out, looking just a little lost himself.
"Well I know one bit we can know for sure," he replied, since it was the one thing he had to hold on to; "they said we were in love. Well I'm in love with you, have been for far too long. How about you?"
The expression on Arthur's face said everything really; confusion, indecision, a little fear.
"I'll take that as a yes, but I really don't want to be," Merlin said, feeling like laughing a little hysterically.
The elves had been right, Arthur had been in love with him, but it looked like he had blown that chance as well. He stared at the floor, not knowing what to do next.
"Shows what an idiot you are then," Arthur said and Merlin waited for the scathing remarks.
Arthur was very good at hiding behind words when he wanted to be, only the words did not come and Merlin found a hand taking hold of his chin. Then his head was being turned and there were lips against his own and his mind caught up just in time to let him kiss back, or rather part of his mind did, because the rest was doing somersaults and cheering and being generally incoherent.
He'd been having dreams about this moment for months, all the different possibilities, and the reality was better than any of them.
He reached back for Arthur, desperate and needy as hope blossomed in his heart. Right then the only thing he was sure of was Arthur; everything else had been rocked, but Arthur was real and there and kissing him and Merlin never wanted to stop.
"Please," he begged, not really sure what he was begging for.
His sexual experience with other human beings was not large, in fact it had consisted of him and Will and some drunken fumbling. He'd heard that knights and servants quite often had liaisons in Camelot, but he'd never actually been part of one. There had been one new knight who propositioned him and he'd considered it, but by the next day the knight had seemed to not be interested anymore; in fact he'd run the other way on seeing him. It was only as these things ran through his mind that it occurred to him maybe the knights thought he and Arthur were already doing this, which just made him want it more.
When Arthur's hand moved down his body and slid over his leg, he actually whimpered. It made Arthur pull back just a little.
"Merlin," Arthur said and talking really wasn't what Merlin wanted to be doing, "have you been with a man before?"
"No," he replied, but really not giving a damn; he just wanted Arthur's hand to start moving again and them to be kissing again.
Arthur did move back in when he reached up and pulled and he was more than happy to shuffle back onto the bed when Arthur urged him to, but Arthur was being nowhere near as forceful. It was ridiculously romantic and appealed to the side of Merlin that was a thirteen year old girl, but he liked forceful Arthur.
"I'm a man," he said firmly as he broke the kiss.
They were now lying on the bed, him on his back and Arthur half leaning over him and Arthur had the gall to smile at that and then run his gaze all along Merlin's body.
"Oh, I noticed," Arthur replied and Merlin felt himself blushing; he couldn't help it. "Don't worry, Merlin, I intend to take full advantage of everything that makes you male."
Merlin believed him, he really did, especially when Arthur reached down and gently urged his legs apart, cupping his balls in one hand and slowly caressing them.
"Okay," he just about managed to say, head falling back onto the bed at the wonderful sensations.
The drunken groping had been nothing like this; that had just been a matter of hands on cocks and see who could get off the fastest. It seemed Arthur wanted to take his time. Not that Merlin was complaining, because it felt so very good.
"I suppose I only have myself to blame for your inexperience," Arthur said, caressing him slowly and making it difficult to think; "shortly after you became my manservant I made it very clear that if anyone had you they had better be good to you. I think it may have scared them away."
Merlin's mind boggled a little at that, but most of his brain power had moved south, so it didn't take much.
"You just wanted me for yourself," he managed to say, well the words nearly came out in the right order.
"True," Arthur said and began kissing along his collar bone.
Merlin, of course, knew Arthur was experienced at sex; he'd seen the morning after a couple of times and been hideously jealous, but he hadn't realised quite how good Arthur was. Possibly it was because he was so horribly inexperienced, but everything Arthur did had more and more pleasure swirling through him. By the time Arthur actually touched his cock, he was so hard and so sensitive that his hips lifted completely off the bed, pushing him further into Arthur's curled fingers.
"I..." he tried to say something, but by the time the thought reached his mouth he had forgotten what it was.
"Time to come, Merlin," Arthur told him in a husky voice; "I want you to come for me."
All it took was three smooth strokes of his cock and he was bucking up even more forcefully, totally losing control as he shot his seed onto his stomach. When he was a boy, just discovering the secrets of his maturing body, he had found his magic sometimes got away from him when he released, but he had trained himself to have control, only he seemed to have managed to forget it all under Arthur's touch. His magic jumped and flowed and Arthur gasped beside him, shuddering just as hard as he was and pushing towards him.
He had no idea what he had done as his release went on and on and his mind sailed free just for a while.
"Well that was interesting," were the breathless words which brought him back down to earth and he opened his eyes to see Arthur looking somewhat dazed.
"What did I do?" he asked, suddenly worried as he remembered the out flux of magic.
Arthur just smiled at him in a very frustrating manner.
"What?" he asked, glancing around the room to see if he broke anything.
"I think I would call it passing on the pleasure," Arthur replied and moved away just a little and Merlin realised that his hip felt a little damp, "and we are going to have to wait a little while to continue."
Arthur had come all over him and everything finally added up in his head to show him what he had done.
"Sorry," he said, feeling a little sheepish.
Arthur kissed him before climbing off the bed, pouring a little water into a basin, wetting a cloth and coming back.
"Nothing to be sorry for," Arthur told him and carefully began wiping him off.
It was so weird to be the one being washed, but most of his thoughts were chased away by quite how sensitive he was feeling, so he didn't have much time to dwell on it. Arthur seemed to be enjoying making him squirm, holding him down when he tried to get away, so all he could do was lie there and gasp and pant as Arthur cleaned him up.
"Bastard," was about all he managed to say.
"That's bastard, Sire," Arthur replied and Merlin began to think he might be in for a very long morning.