Character/s: Morgana, Mordred
Summary: Merlin drags his friends along for a picnic because he doesn’t want to be alone with Arthur and his leather gloves.
Warnings: Very mild violence
Word Count: 1k
Prompt: #40 Leather
Author's Notes: Unbeta’d. I guess it could be called a prequel to this. It’s a Modern AU with illegal magic and prejudice against magic users. Also Merlin/Arthur has shades of D/s relationship.
‘I just don’t see what you even need us for,’ Morgana snarled.
She was rolling a cigarette between her fingers, the tip glowing ominously. Every once in a while she would put it to her dark-red lips and suck, causing even Merlin to squirm a little.
‘Company,’ he replied.
‘So that we can cheer you on while you make eyes at my brother?’ she said.
‘I’m not making eyes at him,’ Merlin replied. Mordred’s eyes flashed in his direction, unreadable.
‘Right,’ she said at that. ‘Right. It’s just that, all that verbal foreplay you two try to pass off as “banter” really confused me.’
Despite his best efforts, he could feel blood rushing to his cheeks. He took a few steps away, breathing in the bitterly cold air.
‘Your brother doesn’t like me,’ he said eventually, into the empty night. Farther down the road, he could see the sweeping arch of headlights as a car was taking a turn. He thought that might be Arthur.
‘Oh, he likes you all right. The better question would be, how does he feel about the magic?’
The car was getting closer. Merlin realized he had been rubbing his bracelets, the metal getting hotter the more he thought about Arthur. The sensation – the heat – was perplexing but not entirely unpleasant.
‘It’s fine,’ he said quietly. ‘He’s—we’re fine.’
The car pulled over.
It was some kind of an off-road vehicle – a huge, roaring machine donning the biggest set of tyres Merlin had ever seen on something other than Monster Truck. He never actually found out who it belonged to – Elyan was the chief mechanic, Lancelot the best driver, and Gwaine and Percival just liked to race.
Arthur was—Arthur was jumping out of the driver seat, the smile bright on his face, and—
He was wearing leather gloves. It wasn’t entirely fair, the way Merlin’s own hands inched to grab Arthur’s, to feel the smooth, supple leathers on his fingers, his face, his mouth—
‘Took you long enough,’ he said, out loud. Arthur gave him a lopsided grin.
‘What, is it too cold for your skinny little bottom?’ Arthur made a fist, the leather giving an almost audible creak, and punched Merlin lightly on the shoulder. Merlin suddenly wished for a lot less clothes and a lot more privacy, because even in the dim light, Arthur was breathtakingly gorgeous.
‘How are we even all going to fit into that?’ Morgana said loudly.
‘Don’t worry,’ Merlin said. He was carefully avoiding Arthur’s gaze, but he didn’t miss the way Arthur’s hand stayed firmly on his shoulder, the touch – warm, possessive, no—casual. Just casual. ‘If there’s enough room for Arthur and his big, fat head, there’s enough room for anyone.’
‘Very funny,’ Arthur said. ‘How do you come up with all that clever remarks, Emrys?’
‘It’s not that difficult, when you’re around,’ Merlin said.
Arthur helped with the packing – that is to say, he did all the packing – while Morgana urged him on. Meanwhile, Mordred slipped to Merlin’s site, quiet and thoughtful.
‘I think I found your word for you,’ he said calmly.
Merlin blinked at him.
Mordred gave him an odd little smile.
‘It’s “chaperone”, not “company”.’
‘And here I was, thinking we were living in the twenty first century,’ Morgana murmured, shamelessly eavesdropping. ‘Come on. Let’s get this thing over with.’
The conversation was stilted during the short trip, but Merlin’s attention wasn’t on it, anyway. He watched Arthur drive, the focused glint in his eyes and the tight grip of his leather-clad hands on the wheel.
The spot Gwaine and Percival had found was a little clearing in the forest. The air was clear and cold, and it was, most of all, quiet. Merlin breathed in and absorbed the silence, only half-listening to the talking and the laughter.
About half-way through the party he slipped into the forest, brushing off Gwaine’s drunken concern. When he thought he was far enough, he cupped his palms together and focused. He felt a sharp pain and the sudden heat from the magic-blocking bracelets, but then it subsided into pleasant warmth.
When he opened his palms, there was a small butterfly seated there. Its wings were a delicate web of silver and blue. He watched, smiling, as the wings fluttered and the butterfly took flight.
‘You know you could go to jail for that,’ said a voice behind him.
A warm hand settled on Merlin’s nape. The leather was indeed smooth and he leaned into it, savouring the feeling of a glove clenching tightly, fingers digging into his skin.
‘Are you going to report me?’ he asked quietly.
‘No,’ Arthur said.
Merlin half-turned his head, lips stretching into a smile. Arthur brought his other hand – cupped Merlin’s cheek, ran a thumb over the sharp bone.
Fuck. The glove felt incredible. His entire body was tingling with it, because he wanted it, wanted Arthur everywhere, preferably like this.
‘Thank you,’ he said.
The glove travelled down, a slight pressure on his neck that made him gasp, and up again, covering his mouth and nose. He breathed in the distinct scent.
‘You have to be careful,’ Arthur said urgently, his mouth and inch from Merlin’s ear. ‘You have to.’
‘I am,’ Merlin said, voice muffled.
He parted his lips. Arthur, taking his cue, slid a thumb over Merlin’s lower lip and then slipped it inside his mouth. The taste was odd – slightly bitter and intense. Merlin closed his eyes and focused his senses, barely noticing when Arthur replaced his thumb with two fingers, not moving them, just resting.
‘You’re kinky, Emrys,’ he said, wondering. ‘I didn’t know.’
Merlin couldn’t respond. He quite liked that, actually.
When Arthur slid his fingers in, deeper, Merlin’s knees actually buckled and he thought he would drop down onto the forest floor if it wasn’t for the leather glove at his nape, holding him upright.
Arthur leaned in, pressing his forehead to Merlin’s and planting a quick kiss to the corner of his mouth.
‘Not here,’ he said, voice rasped. ‘Home. I’ll take you home. I’ll give you whatever you want. Just—be careful.’
Merlin didn’t say that what he wanted was for Arthur to take him, right here – with the gloves and then again, without them. Because the only thing he could say was,