Warnings: You’re quite a dark little bunny when feverish! (just quoting issy5209)
Word Count: 393
Thanks to issy5209
Notes: No fluff from me this week. Well, at least for now. My mind is a scary place as it is…you never know what it might come up with when the fever continues…
“Merlin, stop being such a girl! You knew this was coming!”
“No!” Merlin eyed the branding iron in the fireplace fearfully.
“Every servant has it.”
“I’m not a horse!”
“No, you’re a servant, so strip, the iron will be ready soon. Father is displeased that you don’t wear the crest as it is.”
Merlin stared at Arthur. He couldn’t mean that! Brand him like a piece of cattle? The clotpole should be happy that he was still willing to work for him.
Pressing against the wall by the door, Merlin checked his options. He could…run? But Arthur had the knights of Camelot positioned outside the door. He could…knock Arthur out with the pitcher on the table? That was treason and the punishment would be worse than a branding. He could…burn the castle down? Which would contradict his destiny in building Albion with Arthur.
As he pondered, Arthur came over and cupped Merlin’s cheek. “I like this as little as you do, but I thought you’d rather have me do it than anyone else.”
Slowly, he started to undress Merlin, who struggled but couldn’t come up with the right return. “Arthur…” Tears were building in his eyes.
“Bend over the table and don’t move.”
Merlin was so scared that for once he obeyed. If this was what he had to do to fulfill his destiny, he would take it. He wouldn’t move and he would try not to make a sound. Maybe then Arthur would see that he wasn’t the coward he thought he was. He grabbed the edge of the table and closed his eyes.
Arthur took the iron from the fire and brought it over to the table, Merlin could feel the heat.
Merlin’s senses took in the stink of flesh burning, but for some reason, he didn’t feel the pain. He heard the iron clatter to the ground and gasped when he felt Arthur’s fingers on his naked skin.
“Get up,” the prince whispered.
Slowly scrambling up on shaky legs, Merlin didn’t dare to move as his mind tried to process what just happened. His eyes took in the chunk of meat on the table that clearly bore the Pendragon crest now, the corners still scorching.
Blinking, he reached for his breeches and tied them up before he dared looking at Arthur.
“I hope you can keep a secret, Merlin.”