Title: Learning to Stand
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Locked wrists and neck in the stocks, Merlin couldn’t turn to see the person behind him. He also didn’t need to. “You lying ponce,” he hissed.
Warnings: Dubcon (but it's fiction so everyone has a good time with it), D/s, inappropriate things happening in public places
Word Count: 905
Prompt: #201: The Dragon’s Call
Author's Notes: Obligatory “in the stocks” follow up to the obligatory “on your knees” fic.
“There you are, Merlin.”
Locked wrists and neck in the stocks, Merlin couldn’t turn to see the person behind him. He also didn’t need to. “You lying ponce,” he hissed just loud enough for it to carry to Arthur and not the passing crowds. He wasn’t worried about the consequences of insulting the prince publicly, not in the slightest, but he hardly wanted to spread around the knowledge of what he’d done in the dungeon.
“I told you I’d be back in the morning, and I was!” Arthur protested, sounding for all the world like he was holding in a laugh.
“You said you’d let me out if I—not throw me in the bloody stocks.” He considered trying to kick Arthur somewhere soft and meaty, but he was pretty sure he’d miss and look like an even bigger idiot.
Arthur did laugh then. “You’ve Gaius and my father to thank for that, I’m afraid. This is their arrangement, and I was still comfortably abed when they made it. I take it you did hold to our arrangement, then?”
“Have you taken too many blows to the head for your memory to be reliable?” Merlin snapped. “You were there for it.”
“No, not that part.” A finger brushed against Merlin’s hip, feather-light and almost ticklish, and he jerked away as far as he could in surprise. It followed him, tracing under the curve of his hipbone towards his mortifyingly warming crotch, but stopping just short. “Did you touch yourself, Merlin?”
Merlin’s face flamed. No one was close enough to hear their conversation, but it was nonetheless a struggle to rein in his desire to blast the wood holding him in place and do... something, he wasn’t sure what, about the prince. Instead, he gritted his teeth and answered honestly, “No.”
“Well done,” Arthur praised, suddenly closer to his ear. “Since you didn’t get your promised reward for that, I think it’s only fair I come up with something else to give you, don’t you think?”
“You could let me out of here,” Merlin suggested, but the last word broke on an unmanly squeak as Arthur’s hand darted in to push against the most manly part of him.
“No,” Arthur drew the word out thoughtfully even as he kneaded at Merlin through the trousers, “I think this is a good look for you. I’ve got a different prize in mind.”
Merlin’s magic must have been acting up on its own, or maybe Prince Prat had his own tricks, because none of the passersby gave the slightest indication of noticing Arthur feeling up the peasant boy in the stocks. “Stop that,” he demanded anyway.
“No.” Arthur didn’t even make a pretense of thinking it through that time. Instead his movements grew even more deliberate, fingers curling around Merlin’s no longer deniable erection. “Your prince is giving you a gift, Merlin. Say thank you.”
Merlin didn’t know how there could possibly be any blood left in his body, given how hard he was, but apparently there was just enough to keep him blushing as red as the tomato bits scattered around him. “Not a chance.”
“Thank me, Merlin,” Arthur repeated, voice dangerous as his hand tightened and Merlin had to bite his lip to hold back the groan building in his chest. His mouth was pressed right to Merlin’s ear, breath hot and humid against him. “I know you just wandered in here from some poor, desolate farmland, but we expect manners from our subjects here. You’ll say please and thank you, or...” He let go and stepped back.
Merlin shivered, partly from the sudden lack of his body heat but mostly from the same need for response that had led him to pleasuring the prince the night before. Despite his humiliation and frustration at not being satisfied himself, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the encounter.
The other occupants of the courtyard continued to ignore them, going about their business as though nothing unusual was going on. It might as well have just been the two of them, alone again in the dark of the dungeon.
“Please,” he said with a roll of his eyes and as much sarcasm as he could muster given the state he was in, “and thank you.”
Arthur laughed and Merlin could picture him, mouth wide and head thrown back in surprised delight, and he felt a warmth that had nothing to do with the hand returning to his nether regions. “Close enough,” Arthur allowed; anything he said after that was lost as Merlin made a mess in his pants.
“You can let me out now,” Merlin said when he caught his breath.
“Of course I can't,” Arthur replied with undue cheerfulness. “I’m not the king, remember? I’m just his son. He put you in here, I don’t have the authority to undermine that. Enjoy the rest of your day, Merlin.”
He wiped his hand on the outside of Merlin’s trousers, right over his ass, then strode past his captive head towards the castle. His cloak billowing regally behind him, and Merlin once again experienced an uneasy duel of hatred and desire as he watched him go. It faded when he saw the group of fishwives coming his way with covered baskets and evil smiles.
Just Merlin's luck, the rotten splatters disguised the state of his trousers well enough for him to hobble back to Gaius’s without too much humiliation.