Title: Don't make me play the fool
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, others
Summary: Merlin is Arthur's "toy" for six months now and he has to be presented to the Court.
Warnings: Attempted rape, mention of sexual slavery
Word Count:1895 (oops, I got carried away)
Author's Notes: Title from this song . Thanks to derenai for the beta. Part of my "My special one" series.
Arthur came to see Merlin early. The young boy had been living in Camelot for six months and Uther thought it was time to show him as Arthur’s slave to the Court. And as they were welcoming some nobles from Mercia, Uther thought Merlin needed to attend the festivities.
Arthur had convinced him to present Merlin to the Court first, to let him get used to the protocol. Uther had accepted. Now Arthur just had to break the news to Merlin and he wasn’t sure the young man would be pleased.
“You want me to what?” Merlin exclaimed when Arthur had explained the reason of his visit.
“It’s customary, Merlin. The Prince has to show his new “toy” to the Court…”
“I’m not a puppet you can show around, Arthur!”
“I know this Merlin. If I had a choice I wouldn’t inflict this upon you but…”
“But it’s the protocol? It’s the law? For how long are you going to hide behind these stupid customs?”
Arthur sighed. Deep inside, he knew Merlin was right, he knew things should change but what could he do? His father was the King, he was just the Prince. He had no power to change the law and he wasn’t sure he was ready to face his father’s wrath or the people judgment if he went against the customs.
“I… I can’t disobey,” he finally said, not able to look at Merlin as he was confessing his weakness.
He heard Merlin sigh and his footsteps on the stone. Then he felt the hand on his shoulder.
“I’ll do it but don’t think I’m approving this stupid tradition.”
Arthur looked at Merlin. The young man’s face was neutral but Arthur saw the flame of rebellion in his eyes. Merlin would not be tamed so easily.
“Thank you.” Arthur gently put his hand atop Merlin’s. “I’ll do anything I can to make it easier for you.”
Merlin nodded and took his hand away.
“Gwaine will tell you all you need to know and the royal tailor will come tomorrow to take your measurements for the clothes.”
“Of course… New clothes,” Merlin sighed.
A faint smile appeared on Arthur’s lips and before exiting the room he thanked Merlin again.
Merlin looked at the clothes on his bed. The red tunic was embroidered with silver threads. The black breeches were made from soft wool. But what caught his gaze was the red velvet collar. Merlin let his fingers touch it, it felt so soft. Though, it still was a proof of his enslavement.
Merlin waited for the maid that would help him bath and dress. He was slightly stressed about what would happen during the evening. Gwaine had explained everything to him and tried to reassure him but the mere thought of being showed like a mare in a faire disgusted him. Though, he was ready to do this if that meant Arthur trusted him.
In the past week, he had realized his only way to get out of his current situation was to win Arthur’s trust and convince him to free him. Without Arthur’s consent, Merlin would never be able to leave Camelot.
Merlin had hopes that Arthur would let him go. He knew that deep inside Arthur wanted things to change and even if he liked to be surrounded by his “toys”, he wasn’t as much as a selfish prat as Merlin had first thought.
Arthur seemed to really care about his “toys” and he was very protective. Merlin was still surprised he hadn’t tried to have more intimate contacts with him. It was like Arthur was courting him in the most courteous manner.
A soft knock on the door drew Merlin from his thoughts. It was Diana, the maid.
Merlin followed Arthur. He had to restrain himself from taking Arthur’s hand in his to be reassured. He knew what was awaiting him on the other side of the doors but he was unable to relax.
Arthur stopped in front of the Great Hall doors and turned to Merlin.
“Are you alright?”
Merlin nodded even if he knew Arthur wasn’t fooled.
“If… If anything goes wrong, just call me, alright?”
Arthur looked around them. There were two guards on each side if the doors. Arthur told them to leave and they obeyed.
“Merlin… You know what we will have to do, don’t you?”
“Gwaine told me.”
“I… I don’t want our first kiss to happen in front of the whole Court. You deserve better than that.”
Arthur put his hand on Merlin’s shoulders and drew him closer. Merlin understood what he was going to do. He didn’t move and looked at Arthur coming closer.
The kiss remained soft and gentle but Merlin shivered. Nobody had ever kissed him like this, claiming his mouth and intertwining their tongues.
When Arthur drew back, Merlin was unable to look at him.
All the eyes were fixed on him as Arthur and Merlin walked to the dais where Uther was waiting for them.
Arthur hand was holding Merlin’s firmly. Merlin tried not to hear the comments of the noblemen around him, talking about his butt, his eyes, his ears, his hair. He felt more naked than ever.
Finally they reached their seats. Arthur was at Uther’s right and Merlin sat on his other side.
Merlin didn’t hear a word of Uther speech. He was feeling far too awkward to pay attention.
Finally, the King finished talking and invited Arthur to stand up.
“Noblemen of Camelot, my son, the Crown Prince Arthur has taken a new boy under his protection. Arthur, would you present him to the Court?”
Arthur nodded and looked at Merlin.
Merlin took a deep breath and remembered Gwaine’s explanations about the ceremony. He stood up but stayed behind Arthur till the Prince invited him to stand next to him.
“Noblemen of Camelot, I present you Merlin, my slave.”
The word seemed so rough to Merlin’s ears and he knew Arthur wasn’t pleased to use it.
“He’s mine and mine only. He will obey me and see to my need. I will use him as it pleases me.”
The words were recited automatically, without emotion but they made Merlin shiver.
“Tonight, you will enjoy the sight of him but you will not touch him, talk to him or even take pleasure in the spectacle he will offer you.”
Merlin was feeling more and more stressed as Arthur continued his speech.
“Whoever disobey will face the sentence of death.”
Uther applauded then, soon followed by all the audience.
That was when Merlin spotted the small scene set in the corner of the hall. It was too late to back out.
Arthur voice was soft. Merlin took his proffered hand and they walked slowly to the scene. Arthur helped Merlin climb on it then he followed. The noblemen gathered around the scene but Merlin didn’t look at them. He kept his eyes fixed on Arthur.
“Merlin… It’s going to be alright. Just don’t look at them. I’ll be there, just look at me.”
“Yes… And… If…”
“If anything goes wrong I’ll be right there to help you.”
Arthur leaned against Merlin and murmured : “I’m sorry.”
Then he started undressing Merlin. His movements were slow and hesitant. Merlin realized Arthur probably felt as bad as him.
Merlin focused on the wall in front of him, not looking at the noblemen, not hearing their comments.
When he was finally naked, only wearing the collar, Arthur came closer again and kissed him possessively. Gwaine had explained it was a way for Arthur to tell the noblemen Merlin was his.
The kiss ended too soon and Arthur left the scene, leaving Merlin there, naked, a feast for the noblemen hungry gazes.
It had been the longest hour in Merlin life. When finally Arthur came back on the scene and put a velvet cape around him, he nearly fell, too exhausted to walk properly.
“Hey, hold on. It’s finished. A servant will lead you to your room. I’ll come to see you later.”
“Arthur… Don’t leave me,” Merlin pleaded, feeling raw and weak.
“I… I can’t stay. I… I want to stay with you, Merlin, but I need to hear the noblemen comments.”
“Why?” Merlin whined, clutching Arthur’s arm to stay on his legs.
“They… They must approve of your place as my “toy”. I...”
They were interrupted by the servant arrival. Slowly Arthur let go of Merlin who leaned against the man.
“Come with me,. You need to rest.”
Merlin followed him outside the hall, not looking were they were going.
It took him a moment to realize they were not going to his rooms.
“Where are we going?” Merlin asked.
“Shut up!” the servant replied coldly. Merlin stopped but the man pulled his by his arms.
They finally reached a dark corridor and stopped there.
“I told you to shut up!”
“Bran! Don’t talk like this!” A deep voice said behind them.
Merlin turned to face a man he didn’t know. Though, by the way he was dressed, Merlin guessed he was a noble.
“Bran, you can go now.”
The servant obeyed and Merlin was left alone with the nobleman. He leaned against the wall and tightened the cape around him. The stone floor was cold under his bare feet.
“So… You’re Arthur’s new toy?”
Merlin didn’t answer. The man came closer and Merlin could smell his sweat and the wine he had probably drunk during the banquet.
“And he thinks he can keep such a wonder for himself?”
Merlin tried to escape but he soon realized he was trapped in a small alcove with the man blocking his only escape.
He felt the man’s hand stroke his jaw and shut his eyes. He wanted to cry, to scream, to call Arthur but he knew nobody would hear him.
“You’re really pretty, you know that? And that little ass looks so firm and tight.”
The man’s hand had found his way around Merlin’s body and was now placed just above his ass.
“People say Arthur hasn’t claimed you yet… I wonder how he can resist you but that’s quite a chance for me! Deflower a beauty like you…”
The man groaned and came even closer. Merlin could feel his erection against his thigh.
“No…” he protested feebly, feeling so tired, so afraid he wasn’t able to resist.
“Shh… I’ll be gentle. Or as gentle as I can be!”
The man laughed then, just before kissing Merlin.
His breath reeked of wine and garlic and Merlin felt nauseous.
“Merliiiiiiiiiin!” The cry echoed in the corridor and Merlin felt his legs give way under his.
He fell on the floor. Around him, there were people shouting, armor clinging, boots squeaking. Though, he only noticed Arthur’s arms around him. He felt the softness of his tunic under his jaw, he smelled his soap, he heard his gentle voice.
“Merlin! I’m so sorry! I shouldn’t have left you alone! I should have been with you! I was a fool to think nobody would try to have you… I’m sorry, Merlin!”
“Arthur...” he moaned.
“’I’m here Merlin. I’ll not leave you now. I promise.”
Merlin slowly opened his eyes. He saw Arthur’s face. He looked so worried and tears were shining in his eyes.
“Arthur,” Merlin called again then, he fainted.