Summary: It's Arthur's first Yule as king, and when he realizes that he's forgotten about a gift for Merlin, he turns to Kilgharrah for help.
Word Count: 4900
Author's Notes: hogwartsvixxxen, I hope that you like this. I had a lot of fun writing it for you.
Disclaimer: Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons.
“I believe this is as good a stopping point as any,” Arthur tells King Olaf’s delegation. “If we stop now, you will all have ample time to prepare for the feast.”
Arthur has been sitting in on negotiations between Camelot and the northern kingdoms for as long as he can remember, so he feels a certain amount of comfort with these men and is more than happy to include them in Camelot’s Yule festivities. The feast will begin in a few hours, followed by the traditional king’s dance, and finally (Arthur’s favorite part) spiced cake and wine in front of the dining hall’s roaring fires while the children and minstrels sing Yule hymns.
The men are all preparing to leave, the drafts of treaties carefully being rolled and stored, when Bertrand, one of Arthur’s father’s closest advisors, pats Arthur on the back and says, grinning, “I hope you enjoy your first Yule as a king – and as a married man.”
The others join in on the gentle ribbing. Arthur knows that they mean nothing by it – Merlin is universally popular, and every kingdom bordering Camelot appears to be charmed by him. In fact, Geoffrey has informed Arthur that he has never heard of a kingdom more in love with its king’s partner than Camelot is right now.
It’s not until Arthur overhears an innocent comment about Yule gifts that he realizes just how unpopular he is about to become with the citizens of Camelot – he has forgotten about a gift for Merlin.
The king’s gift to his partner is one of the oldest of Camelot’s Yule traditions, albeit one that Arthur has never truly experienced, Uther choosing each year to present Arthur with a small gift instead. Now, though, Arthur knows that his people are expecting an amazing traditional display. In fact, he remembers Gaius reminding him just a week earlier that he needed to find a gift for Merlin.
Arthur had agreed and then promptly forgotten – and now he is in a serious bind. The king’s gift is meant to represent the kingdom’s appreciation for the king’s partner, so the gift must be just right. Art this point, the only person Arthur would trust to help him (and to know what a colossal mistake he has made) is Gaius, but he is visiting a friend a full day’s ride from Camelot. Arthur must thing of something – and fast.
Unfortunately, as he leaves for his quarters and prepares to change into his court finery, he’s forced to admit that he can’t think of a single gift that he can find in just a few hours. He’s resigning himself to his first failure as a ruler when it hits him – he can ask Kilgharrah for advice!
He’s going to have to ask carefully, though. Arthur and Kilgharrah’s relationship has been contentious at best ever since they were introduced. They have never seen eye-to-eye, and despite Merlin’s insistence that they learn to tolerate each other, Arthur still finds Kilgharrah too condescending and cryptic, and Kilgharrah thinks Arthur too stupid to rule a kingdom and spends much of his time devising ways to make Arthur look foolish.
At first, Kilgharrah outright refuses Arthur’s request for assistance. It’s not until Arthur quite literally falls to his knees and begs for help that Kilgharrah is even willing to listen. But as Arthur continues to beg that Merlin not be embarrassed by Arthur’s own stupidity, Arthur catches a strange gleam in the creature’s eyes. Sensing that Kilgharrah’s resolve might be wavering, Arthur pleads, reminding the dragon how much everyone loves Merlin and how much he has done for all of them (this said with a pointed look at Kilgharrah). Finally, Kilgharrah nods his giant head, and if dragons could smirk, Arthur is pretty sure that’s what he would be doing right now.
“You are correct, young Pendragon,” Kilgharrah bellows, his voice echoing. “Merlin does not deserve to be embarrassed before the whole kingdom simply because you lack the brainpower to complete a simple task. You, however…” he trails off, pensive. “Actually, I believe that I can suggest a worthy gift.”
The festivities have, thus far, gone perfectly. The people of Camelot seem happy in a way that Arthur can’t remember seeing before. Perhaps it is that their merriment is tinged with hope – with a new ruler, a new age has begun, one in which anything is possible. To a one, they seek out Arthur and Merlin to offer their congratulations on the marriage, growing more and more boisterous until a loud chant begins: “The gift! The gift!”
Grinning, Arthur raises his hand. The crowd’s noise ceases instantly, and all eyes are on him. He allows himself the luxury of a few deep, calming breaths before offering his arm to Merlin. Together, they make their way to the impromptu stage erected behind the head table, where Merlin’s throne sits alone. Arthur presses a chaste kiss to Merlin’s cheek, and the crowd roars its approval as Merlin takes his seat.
It is time for Arthur to present his gift.
There are traditional words that he could be using, words that have been spoken by a dozen kings before him, but Arthur doesn’t feel that they are right for this situation. Most of those men had been presenting gifts to women to whom they had been promised in marriage as children. Those men hadn’t been speaking to the love of their lives. Merlin deserves something special.
“Merlin, on behalf of the kingdom of Camelot, I would like to thank you for everything that you have done for us this last year. I do not think that there is a single soul in this kingdom who you haven’t helped in some way. Camelot is strong today because you are strong, and for that, we hope to honor you today with a gift that represents the love and respect of all of Camelot’s citizens. Will you accept it?”
Merlin’s smile is blinding as he reaches out to squeeze Arthur’s hand. “Of course I will.”
Arthur can hear the crowd’s confused mumbling as he produces a simple slip of paper from his pocket. He is quick to explain: “I have consulted one of the greatest magical minds in history, and he has provided me with a list of spells that he believes Merlin will love. The first one is to be performed now.”
Merlin looks up, clearly nervous at performing unknown magic, but Arthur quickly leans in to tell him, “I promise that it is safe. These spells came from Kilgharrah.”
He hands Merlin one of the papers on which he’d frantically attempted to transcribe all of the foreign-sounding spells. Merlin wrinkles his nose adorably as he attempts to decipher Arthur’s spelling. It takes just two attempts before Merlin manages to say something that sounds like “Festum.” As soon as Arthur hears the gasps from the crowd, he knows that it has worked.
Snow is falling inside the castle, gently drifting down to gather on the tabletops. Wreaths of holly are forming around everyone’s heads, and the air is suddenly rich with the scent of pine. Almost as one, the crowd begins to cheer and chant Merlin’s name. Merlin’s eyes are bright with emotion as he stands to pull Arthur into a hug. “Thank you,” he whispers against Arthur’s cheek.
Merlin has made so many people so happy – Kilgharrah had truly chosen the perfect gift for him.
“More!” the crowd chants, and Arthur indulges them. By the time Merlin is finished, all of the children of Camelot have wooden toys, the women have beautiful woven bracelets, and the men have warm winter hats. The people’s love for Merlin has reached unprecedented levels by the time he completes the final spell and what appears to be a band of woodland creatures begins leading the crowd in Yule carols. Merlin waves to the crowd, elated, and the singing and dancing begins again.
“There are a few more spells,” Arthur whispers, handing over the rest of the list, “but Kilgharrah says that they are just for us and that their effects will be more subtle.” Merlin wastes no time, and soon “Perfectionis” has Arthur feeling as though he’s been struck by lightning.
“Maybe I’m not saying it correctly,” Merlin suggests, but when he turns to face him, Arthur sees that the spell has definitely worked.
Merlin, who Arthur has always found frighteningly appealing, is now positively radiant. His skin gleams with the luster of a pearl, his hair is as black as coal, his lips are as red as berries – Arthur wants nothing more than to stare for hours at the gorgeous creature in front of him. He is reminded yet again of just how much he loves this man.
“It worked,” he whispers. “Gods, I love you.”
Merlin smiles and draws Arthur down into the crowd, which instantly parts and makes space for them at a large table and provides them with drinks.
Arthur is the happiest he’s been in a long time, content to sit among his people and absorb their goodwill. He turns to tell Merlin this, and Merlin – Merlin is naked!
He’s not actually naked; Arthur can still see Merlin’s clothing, but everything is transparent, and Merlin’s strong, gorgeous body is shining through. Arthur reaches out to cover Merlin, but his hands encounter cloth instead of the skin that he is anticipating. He dares a glance around and sees that though many people are looking at Merlin, no one is reacting as though there is anything remarkable going on. Perhaps the spell is just for Arthur?
Merlin is already pronouncing another spell before Arthur can stop him. “Veritas,” he whispers. This time, Arthur doesn’t feel or see anything, so perhaps this one didn’t work.
“Merlin! Arthur! How are you enjoying your evening?” It’s Leon, and he is more drunk than Arthur has ever seen him. “Did you like your gift, Merlin?”
Arthur is speaking before he even realizes that he has opened his mouth. He’s horrified, but the words just keep pouring out. “He’s certainly going to like what happens later when I bend him over the bed and – ”
“Arthur!” Merlin gasps.
“I can’t help it,” Arthur says, “I just want to talk about how much I want you and how watching you get on your knees for me is – ”
This time, Arthur claps a hand over his mouth as he realizes what he is saying. Merlin is blushing so hard that his skin looks like it would be hot to the touch.
“Merlin, please fix this,” Arthur pleads, moving his hand just long enough to let out a few words. “If you don’t stop this, I’m going to end up telling the whole kingdom how much I love when you use your tongue to – ”
Leon is laughing so hard that he’s practically rolling around on the floor. The only upside to all of this, Arthur realizes, is that Leon is so drunk that he may not remember it in the morning.
Merlin is frantically scanning the list of spells, and Arthur knows that he has found the correct one when the compulsion to wax rhapsodic on Merlin’s arse disappears. Thankfully, Merlin also appears to be fully clothed again.
Leon is still howling with laughter.
Merlin, now starting to look more amused and interested than embarrassed, signals one of the other knights who arrives to lead a now-crying Leon back toward the casks of wine.
“Let’s dance,” he tells Arthur, pulling him up by the hand. Arthur, content to do whatever his gorgeous husband wants, follows him into the line of dancers.
For all that Merlin seems to be awkward and clumsy, he is actually a very skilled dancer. Arthur didn’t realize that Merlin even knew these dances, but then he’s always been full of surprises. They dance for what feels like hours, spinning and twirling with the rest of the people of Camelot. As time passes, the crowd’s energy levels drop, and fewer and fewer people continue to dance. The musicians are exhausted, and it’s now just a few flute players and drummers half-heartedly attempting to keep the festivities going.
Merlin and Arthur have abandoned any attempts at continuing the formal dances and are simply swaying together, arms wrapped around each other. Arthur can’t stop marveling at Merlin’s beauty; he has to keep running his hands over Merlin’s back as though he needs to make sure that Merlin is real, and not just a product of his wildest dreams.
“Merlin,” he whispers, “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I am at this moment.”
Merlin grins at him, and Arthur is expecting to hear something like, “Oh, Arhur, of course I feel the same,” but instead, Merlin mumbles something that Arthur can’t quite hear.
“What?” he asks. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. I was too busy staring at your lips, imagining the way they would look as you kissed your way down my chest so so slowly before you paused for a moment to lick them – looking up at me in that way you know makes me crazy – and then bent down to wrap those lips around me. Your tongue, Merlin, you have this way of just hitting this one spot and making me want to beg you to never stop, never stop until I’m screaming your name because I can’t stand it a moment longer and –”
It takes a few seconds for Arthur’s brain to catch up to his mouth. Gods, he had been spouting filth at Merlin again, and he hadn’t even realized it until he heard King Olaf’s scandalized gasp behind him.
“Merlin, please make this stop,” he hisses.
Merlin whispers the spell again just as Olaf says, “I know you are excited to spend your first holiday with Merlin, but a king should not be heard saying things of that nature. You must behave more discreetly.”
Arthur is mortified. He now understands why Kilgharrah was willing to help him. The dragon has given Merlin some wonderful spells, gifts that made the whole kingdom happy, but he has also been able to indulge in his favorite pastime by using some of the spells to publicly humiliate Arthur.
“Can we please go upstairs?” Arthur asks, too embarrassed to spend more time socializing.
It takes a few minutes to say his goodnights to the visiting dignitaries and his friends, but soon Arthur and Merlin are finally alone behind Arthur’s locked bedroom door. Merlin still looks as inhumanly beautiful as he did before, but Arthur is starting to think that it might not be a spell after all – Merlin is just that appealing to him.
They’re drawn to each other, as always, the moment the door closes behind them. For minutes, it’s nothing but the sweet slide of their mouths against each other and the soft gasps for air that do nothing to break the building intensity. Arthur feels like he’s burning up from within, made desperate by the fantasies he had been forced to confess earlier, and he slips one of his legs between Merlin’s, aching for more contact.
“Hold on,” Merlin tells him, pulling away. This is the exact opposite of what Arthur wants, and he opens his mouth to complain, but Merlin silences him by placing a finger on his lips. “This isn’t one of Kilgharrah’s spells, but I’ve been waiting for the right time to use it.”
Arthur will never get tired of seeing Merlin’s eyes glow as he performs magic, and he’s so focused on watching the shift from blue to gold and back again that it takes him a moment to realize that he is completely naked.
“Merlin!” It’s shocking to be stripped so quickly, the magic making it feel as though his clothing had simply blinked out of existence. He feels a sudden bizarre urge to cover his nakedness. Though Merlin has seen him nude hundreds of times before, he feels too vulnerable like this – stripped by magic with Merlin fully clothed in front of him.
In tune to Arthur’s feelings as always, Merlin repeats the spell, and Arthur watches as Merlin’s tunic, trousers, and underclothes disappear like smoke. “Better?” Merlin asks, stepping forward to cup Arthur’s face in his hands. There’s nothing Arthur can do but nod and lean back in for another kiss.
They kiss like they’ve been together for decades, not just years, their chemistry undeniable. Every little tilt of the head, every tiny inhalation, every swipe of the tongue – they’re all in sync, and Arthur can feel their heartbeats increasing as well, together as always.
Despite Arthur’s protests, Merlin pulls away again, this time to find Kilgharrah’s list. “Let’s try the rest of these,” he says, smirking. “I’m sure that we’re going to find them very exciting.”
Arthur doesn’t quite catch the words of the spell, and he doesn’t immediately notice anything different. Merlin must, though, because he smiles and pulls Arthur by the hand over to their bed. Arthur watches, mouth dry, as Merlin lies down and stretches, his gorgeous long limbs turning their blanket into a work of art. He wants nothing more than to put his mouth on every bit of that body.
Again, Merlin demonstrates his uncanny knack for knowing just what Arthur is thinking. He runs one hand along his own ribs and slides the other up and down his thigh, then just stops and says, “Come on, Arthur. I’m all yours.”
Arthur nearly swallows his tongue in his haste to throw himself on the bed next to Merlin. He takes a moment to decide where to begin, and ultimately ends up sucking a bruise into the thin skin covering Merlin’s hip. The second his tongue touches Merlin’s skin, he discovers what the spell has done and he wildly thinks that no force on Earth is going to be able to stop him from spending the rest of his life worshiping Merlin’s skin with his mouth.
Merlin tastes like everything Arthur has ever loved: the spiced cakes that one of the cooks used to sneak to him when he was sick or sad, the wine that he and Leon had been sneaking out of the cellars since they were teenagers, the herb-rich vegetables served at the most formal of court dinners – the list goes on and on. Every bit of Merlin’s tastes so delicious that Arthur feels almost drugged by it. He chases the tastes across Merlin’s chest, around his neck, down his sides, and up and down his legs before returning to Merlin’s mouth.
Merlin’s mouth tastes like home, and Arthur could weep from the joy he feels at being here, sharing this moment with this man that he loves so very much.
His movements are becoming frantic, but Merlin gentles him with a hand on his shoulder.
“Shh, it’s all right,” he whispers against Arthur’s mouth. “Slow down.”
Arthur normally prefers to take the lead in their bedroom, but tonight he has no problem allowing Merlin to guide him. Kilgharrah’s spells have made him feel off-kilter all evening, and his confidence is shaky, so he doesn’t protest when Merlin threads a hand in his hair and directs Arthur’s mouth down his stomach.
And, oh, the taste is stronger here – Arthur swears he can even smell it on Merlin’s skin, and he kisses and sucks his way across Merlin’s belly before dropping down to nose at his cock.
Merlin’s groan reverberates through his chest, and Arthur can feel the muscles in his thighs and stomach tense in anticipation. He chooses not to make his husband wait any longer than he has to (after all, this night is supposed to be all about showing him how loved he is) and licks his lips before leaning in and taking in as much of Merlin as he is able to.
The candles begin flickering in the wake of Merlin’s decreasing control of his magic. He buries both hands in Arthur’s hair and thrusts up into Arthur’s mouth, setting such a quick pace that Arthur can do little but keep his cheeks hollowed and try to breathe around the thrusts. Arthur is so aroused, but all he can do is thrust against the mattress, desperately seeking some stimulation while Merlin simply uses his mouth. His skin tastes of cake now, the cake that was served at their wedding feast, and Arthur is so caught between his helpless desire and his all-consuming love for Merlin that his thoughts are nothing but a steady stream of Merlin love hot touch Merlin love taste Merlin. His groans sends Merlin over the edge, and before Arthur even realizes what is happening, Merlin is pulling out and spurting hot across Arthur’s chin, and the smell of cake is everywhere.
It’s disappointing, Arthur’s brain dimly registers as he attempts to catch his breath. He had hoped for more tonight, but Merlin almost always falls asleep as soon as he has come, so it is a shame that he didn’t have the foresight to make it last longer.
“What’s wrong?” Merlin asks drowsily, perhaps seeing that disappointment in Arthur’s eyes. “Are you all right?” he continues, glancing pointedly at Arthur’s hips, which are still moving restlessly against the bed. Arthur nods, but he can’t prevent the tiny whine that escapes from his lips as he realizes that their evening may be over.
Merlin allows his head to drop back onto a pillow, and he extends one long arm toward the bedside table. Arthur thinks that he is going to extinguish the candle, but he is surprised to see Merlin reaching for Kilgharrah’s list. With just one quiet word, the smell of cake is gone (Arthur misses it instantly), and the air – the only way describe it is that it just feels different. Like the shock to the skin and the hair standing on end that comes from removing a shirt on a cold, dry winter’s day. It feels as though sparks are crackling in the air in the small space between their bodies, and for a moment, Arthur is actually afraid of what’s going to happen next.
But when Merlin reaches out a hand and runs it down Arthur’s spine, Arthur forgets any of his worries and moans at the sensation – it feels as though Merlin’s fingers are trailing tiny bolts of lightning across his skin, setting all of his nerves on fire and reducing him to a quivering mess.
“How does it feel?” Merlin asks, and Arthur can only groan and gasp as Merlin rolls him over onto his back and slowly drags his fingers across his chest. “Is it good?”
He tries to answer, he really does, but Arthur simply can’t form a single word through the waves of lust that he’s sinking under. He feels completely boneless, pliant under Merlin’s wandering hands, and the only thing he knows is that he’s never felt anything this amazing before.
Merlin takes his time, teasing Arthur with gentle touches and then surprising him by grabbing hard at the muscles of his shoulders, chest, and thighs. It’s almost too much, this ever-increasing shocking touch, but Arthur is gradually becoming used to it. That is, until Merlin, without any warning, wraps his hand in a tight first around Arthur’s cock and Arthur screams. Merlin lets go instantly, worried that he’s hurt Arthur, but Arthur just gasps and pants while he tries to explain that it was just too good. He wants to come, but he doesn’t want it to be over just yet.
“You could try again, though,” Arthur tells him. “I’ll know what to expect this time.”
But Merlin is already reaching for Kilgharrah’s list. He says something that causes the weird charge in the air to die down, and then something else that sounds like “UnctusetSempiternus,” but doesn’t appear to have an immediate effect.
“Are you ready?” Merlin asks, grinning. Before Arthur can even question him, Merlin is straddling his lap, and guiding Arthur’s cock into his body.
“Merlin, no!” he gasps, “Not yet! You’ll hurt –”
It’s immediately evident that Merlin isn’t going to hurt himself, for he is so wet with slick that it feels as though Arthur spent hours opening him up with oil, preparing Merlin’s body to take him in. There’s not a bit of drag of flesh against flesh; instead, Arthur’s cock glides in and out of Merlin’s body in a silky, effortless slide that he feels he could keep up for the rest of their lives.
Arthur was wrong earlier. He had thought that the shocking charge across his skin was the best thing that he had ever felt, but this…this is something that men would kill for, something that people would travel the world to find – this is actual heaven. He feels his eyes roll back in his head, and he can’t find it in himself to be embarrassed when the words start pouring out.
“Gods, Merlin…love you so much…never want to stop…love this, love you…”
Merlin moans and says nothing, so focused is he on rising and falling on Arthur’s cock, but he reaches down to thread their fingers together.
For what feels like an hours, the only sounds in the room are the light, slick slapping sounds of flesh against flesh and their dual moans and gasps. Arthur can feel it building in him, though, the powerful need for release, and he knows Merlin must be close as well when the rolling motion of his hips turns into small, grinding movements that force their bodies even closer together.
“Kiss me,” Merlin gasps, leaning down, and Arthur obliges as he feels Merlin gasp and spurt between their stomachs. Merlin’s muscles contract so strongly that Arthur is sure that he will follow Merlin over the edge, but to his surprise, the need to come doesn’t appear to be quite as strong as it had been just moments ago. He slows his hips, confused, as he watches Merlin try to catch his breath above him.
“That’s the last spell,” Merlin mumbles against his lips. “You’ll be able to go forever.”
“But you won’t even – ” Arthur starts to protest, but Merlin stops him with a kiss. It starts chaste, just a dry, exhausted press of Merlin’s lips against his, but it quickly turns heated again. Merlin takes just a moment to separate their mouths to say, “I’ll be able to go as many times as I want. I love this spell.”
There’s nothing Arthur can do but flip Merlin onto his back and slide into him again, sucking love bites into the thin skin of his throat. Merlin grins and pushes back against each thrust, and before long they’ve completely lost themselves to all of the ways their bodies can move together.
Arthur vaguely recognizes that they change positions a few times, moving from their stomachs to backs to sides and from the bed to the floor to the table and back to the bed. He loses count of the number of times Merlin gasps and moans and screams his way through orgasm, but the smell of sex in the room is overpowering, and by dawn, their muscles are so exhausted that they can barely manage to do more than press their bodies together.
Finally, Merlin removes the spell. He falls over the edge one last time, and this time Arthur tips right over with him, the orgasm that had been building for hours and hours finally exploding out of him in a scalding wave that quite literally knocks him out, his body completely unable to handle the sensations coursing like liquid fire through it.
Arthur doesn’t wake until late in the morning, when a messenger knocks on the door to remind him of his afternoon schedule. Merlin is already awake, but he is still lounging in bed, combing his fingers through Arthur’s hair.
“Good morning, my king,” he says, blushing as he presses a kiss to Arthur’s forehead.
Arthur can’t hold back a chuckle. “Only you, Merlin, could be powerful enough to help us do what we did last night and shy enough to still blush about it in the morning.”
Merlin ducks his head, but Arthur can see his smile, and he can’t help but reach out and pull Merlin in tight against his chest.
“I love you, Merlin. I hope you enjoyed our first Yule together. And I hope that you realize how much the people of this kingdom love you. I don’t know what I would do without you.”
“You know I love you,” Merlin says in return. “I have just one question.”
Merlin stretches, bringing their bodies in line from head to toe. “Last night, I lost count after ten times. Now that we are well rested, do you think we could surpass that?”
Arthur just stares at his husband for a few seconds before swallowing and saying, “I’ll be right back.”
Then, uncaring that he is completely naked, Arthur runs to the hallway to summon a messenger to cancel all of his activities for the day.
“Better make it a week!” Merlin calls from behind him, and Arthur’s knees go weak.
“Yes,” he tells the messenger, “it would be best to cancel my scheduled activities for the next week. I believe the people of Camelot would wish me to do everything within my power to keep Merlin happy.”
“Of course,” the messenger agrees. “Everyone loves Merlin. You’re very lucky to have him, sire.”
“I am, indeed,” he agrees, closing and locking the door behind him.
Before he can even turn around, the scent of wedding cake is filling the air.