Title: To Hell with Tradition
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur finally listens to Merlin’s advice.
Word Count: 1,000
Prompt: #17 - Tradition
Author's Notes: Canon compliant through episode 3x06 The Changeling.
"Arthur, you're not making sense. You must be under an enchantment or spell. Let me go get Gaius-"
Merlin stopped talking at once as Arthur slammed his palm down on the table. The force of it rattled the candles in their holders, which threatened to topple onto the wooden surface. Arthur paid them no attention. Merlin was not afraid of Arthur, of course, but he did know when it was best to just shut up and listen to his prince. This was most certainly one of those times.
Arthur took a deep breath and stood. He began pacing his chambers, not saying anything for some minutes. Merlin didn't dare move from his spot by the bed, let alone try to sneak out. He and Arthur clearly needed to talk; and besides, what in the world would he say to Gaius even if he went to him?
"Listen to me, Merlin," Arthur stopped pacing and fixed him with a piercing glare. He looked so determined, like he was preparing for battle, and Merlin found himself flushing under his regard. "I am not under any enchantment. I am merely listening to good advice. Yours. One day I will rule Camelot, and it will be my choice how I do it and who is sitting beside me, not my father's. If I marry it will be for love."
"But don't you want something traditional, something permanent?" Merlin's voice was barely above a whisper. He didn't dare speak any louder for fear that if he did, it would make this conversation real and he might start to believe what Arthur was saying. "The people will expect to see a queen by your side, Arthur. The kingdom will need an heir. I...no man can give you that."
Arthur had moved closer as Merlin spoke, and was now right in front of him. They were so close, in fact that their noses were almost touching. Merlin gulped.
"I do want something long-lasting. Permanent, as you say," his eyes flicked down to Merlin's lips and Merlin felt his face heat further. "But I have no intention of following with traditions simply because they are so, if they interfere with my happiness. Nor will I care about anyone's expectations besides my own." Their eyes met once more, and Merlin was surprised to see Arthur’s face so vulnerable. It was very rare indeed that Arthur was anything less than his usual arrogant, cocky self. Merlin had the terrifying urge to hug him.
"Arthur..." he wasn't at all sure of what he wanted to say, but he was spared coming up with something when Arthur's hand came to rest on his shoulder. Merlin was overwhelmed by Arthur's heat, his nearness, his smell. It was all too much, yet not nearly enough.
"Merlin..." it was spoken softly, almost reverently, and it snapped the last of Merlin's thin resistance. He lunged forward and caught Arthur's lips with his own, smashing their mouths together eagerly. Arthur moaned and pushed against him until Merlin found himself lying on the soft bed with Arthur straddling his thighs. Their hands were quick to divest each other of their clothing, and soon both were shirtless and Merlin was about ready to pass out from lack of air.
"Arthur," he panted, running his hands down Arthur's tanned and chiseled chest. His prince gazed down at him through half-lidded eyes, his hair disheveled from Merlin's hands and his lips red and swollen from their kisses. Merlin's heart threatened to beat right out of his chest at seeing him like this. The stone wall Merlin had built around his feelings for Arthur was torn down, and he could no longer deny, to himself at least, that his heart belonged to this man. “Arthur, I want you.”
Arthur growled and attacked Merlin’s neck with teeth and lips and tongue. Merlin’s eyes rolled to the back of his head as strong hands immediately found their way into his breeches, stroking along his cock. After a few moments frantic fumbling, his cock was free and Arthur tore away from this throat to inspect it.
“Beautiful,” he whispered, kissing Merlin’s lips sweetly. “You’re so beautiful.”
Merlin was sure that if he blushed any more he would combust on the spot. He cleared his throat lightly and attempted a challenging look. “Let’s see you then, Sire.”
Arthur chuckled and kissed him again before taking care of his own breeches. Soon enough Arthur’s cock was out and rubbing alongside his own, the friction causing them both to moan loudly. It was truly a thing of beauty, but Merlin could not have spoken coherently in that moment if his life depended on it.
They rubbed together desperately, tongues battling and hands gripping too tightly, and not tightly enough. The sensations blurred together until Merlin had no concept of time, of anything that wasn’t Arthur.
After an eternity, and yet all too soon, Merlin felt the end approaching. Before he could warn Arthur, he felt warmth spread over his groin and heard the other man moan. Seeing Arthur’s face screwed up in pleasure and hearing his name from those lips triggered his own release. He hurtled over the edge, screaming Arthur’s name for the entire castle to hear.
He had no idea how long he lay there boneless. He vaguely registered a pillow under his head and covers wrapping around him, but he did notice when Arthur’s arms wound around him and pulled him into his chest. He sighed contentedly as he heard Arthur whisper, “sleep, my Merlin.”
His last thought before sleep claimed him was that Kilgharrah and his mother were right: he and Arthur were two sides of the same coin. Their paths lay together, and no one, not even Uther could do anything to change that. Merlin curled closer to Arthur’s side and smiled when his prince’s arms tightened around him. Maybe this destiny thing wasn’t so bad after all.