Title: Learning Curve
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin,
Summary: Arthur needed Merlin to learn how to defend himself.
Word Count: 1000
Author's Notes: More flirting than plot, but there we go.
“Are you ready?”
Merlin’s answer didn’t sound certain to him but Arthur knew he was never going to sound confident with a sword in his hand. Arthur stretched out, hitting his own sword with Merlin’s. It was no surprise that Merlin’s clattered from his hand and Arthur picked it up even as the servant nursed a sore wrist. Arthur forced it back in his hand and told Merlin to take up a defensive stance again. He ran a hand over his eyes when Merlin did.
Arthur stared in exasperation at his servant. After a mission had almost gone fatefully wrong, the prince knew it was time to teach Merlin how to defend himself. Seeing how he was gripping the sword, Arthur was amazed that Merlin had lasted this long. Even if Merlin was the worst student he had ever had, Arthur was determined he was going to teach the man to hold his own.
He reached out, pushing Merlin in the shoulder. The man stumbled backwards and by the time he had regained his balance, Arthur had a dagger to his throat.
“And you’re supposed to be teaching me,” Merlin scowled, a familiar pout making Arthur smile. He sheathed his dagger and moved behind Merlin.
Grabbing his hips, he shifted him until the balance was alright. Nudging Merlin’s foot with his own, Arthur tried to make him widen his stance before he realised he was having to hold him up.
“Little hard,” Merlin muttered. He pressed back against Arthur and the prince realised how closely they were pressed together. A smile tugged at his lips and he shifted his own hips, rewarded with a stutter of breath from his lover.
“Get this right and I’ll reward you later.” Arthur hoped that a new tactic might work. He corrected Merlin’s stance again and this time, Merlin held the position. Arthur kissed the back of his neck.
Arthur ran his hand down Merlin’s arm, smirking when Merlin shivered under his touch. He was glad he was positioned behind him as Arthur knew he would never be able to keep this up if he could see the expression on Merlin’s face. He extended Merlin’s arm, gripping his wrist lightly even as he placed his fingers in the correct position.
“Relax your wrist,” he murmured. Merlin remained tense and Arthur rocked into him again. This time, Merlin relaxed with one long exhale and Arthur kissed him again.
He made Merlin hold the position for a moment, making sure that he could stand firm even when Arthur shoved him again. This time, Merlin remained steady and Arthur felt they were making progress.
“You have to move with the blade,” he instructed. Resuming his position behind Merlin, he placed his hands on his hips. “Your body is one with the sword. You must move as one.”
He kept one hand on Merlin’s hip and the other on his wrist. As he made Merlin move the sword, Arthur pressed into him, guiding Merlin’s body as he taught him how to move. He was fully aware that this wasn’t necessary, that he had taught squires who were worse than Merlin without having to touch them. But right now, Merlin was safely cocooned in his arms and Arthur wished he could keep him there. At least there, he knew that Merlin wasn’t in harm’s way.
“Concentrate,” Arthur scolded. His hand slipped up Merlin’s shirt, caressing his stomach and feeling his servant flinch as his fingers danced. “You must be able to focus on what you are doing regardless of the situation. A battle field is not a peaceful place.”
When he felt Merlin’s fingers grip the sword with more certainty again, Arthur decided to reward him.
“Focus,” he breathed in his ear, but let his hand travel from Merlin’s stomach until his fingers dipped into the top of his breeches. It was enough for Merlin’s legs to give way and Arthur was certain he heard a whimper.
“You’re supposed to be learning how to defend yourself,” he teased. His fingers inched further down and Merlin’s patience snapped. He spun, his eyes blazing gold and Arthur only had time to grin before he found himself on his back, sprawled across his bed. He tried to sit up, but an invisible force held him down.
Merlin stepped towards him, smirking. “Maybe I should be teaching you,” he said quietly. The tip of the sword came to rest under Arthur’s chin and the prince knew that no matter how weak Merlin’s hold was, Arthur had no chance of disarming him.
Arthur gulped and it was enough for the sword to vanish and Merlin to suddenly be on top of him. The force holding Arthur down and he quickly rolled them, pinning Merlin below him. Now he could see his expression, Arthur drank in the look of excitement and arousal in Merlin’s eyes. He dipped his head and kissed him deeply.
But even as Merlin arched into him, his hands gripping Arthur’s shirt, the prince drew a knife, concealed by his boot. He placed a hand on Merlin’s chest, shoving him backwards and once again holding the blade to his throat.
Merlin’s eyes glinted challengingly. Arthur grinned.
The knife went soaring out of his hand and Arthur felt the bedpost hit his back. His hands were drawn above his head and the curtain ties snaked around his wrists, binding him. Arthur finally relaxed.
“I guess you’ll survive,” he admitted. Knowing Merlin had magic didn’t mean he knew his servant could survive using it. Merlin grinned and scooted closer, his own hands now roaming Arthur’s body. Arthur tugged at his bonds, but they didn’t give.
“Lesson over, Merlin, you can let me go now.”
“Oh no, Arthur.” Merlin had a wicked grin on his face and with one wave of his hand, Arthur’s clothes vanished. “My lesson has only just begun.”
Before even a candle mark has passed, Arthur was begging.