Title: A ray of light through the clouds
Pairing/s: None yet
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine
Summary: Merlin dread the moment Arthur will come to take him.
Warnings: mention of sexual slavery
Word Count: 1142
Prompt: #85 Relief
Author's Notes: Thanks to derenai for the beta! Part of my serie : "My Special One"
The first night in Camelot, Merlin hadn’t been able to sleep. For hours he had dreaded hearing the door opening and Arthur coming and taking him. He had only felt relief when the sun had rose behind the mountains surrounding Camelot.
The next day, after Gwaine had left, a serving girl had brought him his supper. He had eaten it automatically, barely tasting what he was eating. Once again, the fear had settled in his mind. During the day, with Gwaine he had managed to relax slightly. The fitting of his new clothes had been quite annoying but Gwaine was a funny guy and he even made Merlin smile once or twice. But alone in his room, with the night surrounding Camelot, Merlin was left to wait for Arthur again. He couldn’t imagine that the Prince would not come. He was his new acquisition and the Prince would want to try him…
Once again, Merlin felt like a mere object, a thing without feelings or soul. An object made to be used for Arthur’s pleasure.
Merlin stood up and went to look through the window of his chamber. The courtyard was only lit by some torches but he could see the guards patrolling. A reminder of his prisoner condition. Thinking about it made him sick. Was he destined to spend the rest of his life in that room? His only escape the night he would spend in Arthur’s chambers? Or would the Prince let him go when he would be bored of him? Merlin had never heard about a slave set free so he supposed they were kept prisoner for their whole life or… killed.
Afraid and hopeless, Merlin went to his bed and hid under the cover. It was foolish and childish but he hoped that everything would be different when he would go out of his bed…
In the end, he fell asleep, worn out by the events of the last days. And Arthur didn’t come.
The next day, Gwaine came back, carrying a lot of books about Camelot and his history.
“I thought you could want to know a little more about Camelot.”
But Merlin just put the books in the shelf. He didn’t want to know more about Camelot. Camelot was not his home and he didn’t want to stay there.
“Hum… Arthur had asked me to tell you he’ll come tonight,” Gwaine continued as Merlin came back to sit in front of the fire.
No emotions showed on Merlin’s face but inside the fear had awoken. That was the day, then. That night, he’d be Arthur’s toy. He felt so helpless… He couldn’t do anything to prevent that.
“So… Hum… A serving girl will draw you a bath later and… You should eat before, too.”
Merlin nodded. He felt Gwaine’s hand on his shoulder.
“Merlin… I… If I could do something to make it easier I would do it, you know…”
It was a heartfelt thanks. Merlin was glad to have someone like Gwaine with him. In the end it wouldn’t change anything but it made him feel less alone. And who knew, perhaps they would become friends…
Gwaine didn’t move and Merlin kept watching the fire. It was soothing. For a moment the fear wasn’t so overwhelming and Merlin felt the courage to ask some questions.
“How… How is he?”
“The first time, you mean?”
“With me, he was very gentle but… It wasn’t my first time…”
“I thought all the slaves were virgins…”
“No… Some are sold because they have other…abilities.”
Merlin wondered what special ability Gwaine had but he didn’t ask.
“He was very gentle with Percy, too… I… I know you don’t want this, Merlin, but you shouldn’t be afraid of Arthur…”
A knock on the door interrupted them. It was a steward coming for Gwaine. The other “toy” left with a sad smile towards Merlin who kept his eyes on the fire.
After the bath and the supper, another servant came to help Merlin dress. He had to wear a fine linen nightshirt. It was beige with small golden embroideries around the neck and the wrist. It was more beautiful than any other garment Merlin had never owned.
When the servant left, Merlin sat on his bed. Gwaine had said that Arthur would come. He thought he was supposed to go to Arthur’s but perhaps it was different for the first night?
Not for the first time that day, Merlin wished that Gwaine was there to answer his questions and help him get rid of the knot in his stomach.
He waited for what felt like an eternity before hearing the knock on the door. Arthur came in without waiting for an answer. Merlin didn’t lift his eyes from the floor as the Prince came in the bedroom. If he had to be this man’s toy for the night, he would not fight. He knew it was useless but that didn’t mean he would make it easy for Arthur.
The Prince’s voice was soft, not what Merlin was expecting. Though, he didn’t answer.
Arthur came in and stood at the feet of the bed.
“Merlin… Look at me.”
Of course, Merlin didn’t obey. He knew he was taking some risks by playing that game. Arthur seemed gentle but Merlin’s stubbornness could make him angry.
“Ok… I see.”
Merlin heard the noise of a chair being pulled and the wood that creaked when Arthur sat on it.
“Merlin… I understand you don’t want to be here even if I don’t know why…”
Merlin had to call all his self-control not to react to that statement.
“I will not do anything to you tonight so you can relax.”
He couldn’t believe that… Was Arthur serious? It was his third night in Camelot and Arthur didn’t intend to spend the night with him? That didn’t make any sense.
“So why are you here, then?” Merlin finally said, his eyes still avoiding Arthur’s.
“Because I want to know you more, Merlin. So I hoped we could talk.”
“I don’t have anything to say to you.”
Merlin’s tone was cold and firm. He wanted to be strong, to let Arthur know he would not yield easily.
Arthur sighed. It didn’t betrayed annoyance rather deception.
“Ok… As you wish.”
Arthur stood up and went out of the room.
Merlin looked up at the same moment Arthur turned back. For the first time since Merlin’s arrival in Camelot, their gazes met.
“I!ve let some parchment and a quill on the table if you want to write a letter to your mother. I’ll make sure she receives it.”
A without another word, Arthur left.
For the first time in three days, Merlin felt hope blooms in his chest and later, when he had finished his letter, he went to bed relieved.