Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact

Promise of a New Day

Notes: An expanded version of "A Day Like Any Other". I was just going to write mini-sequels, but they fit together so well, that I decided to try something new (for me) and actually put them together in one story. Not betaed because I'm totally impatient. *smoochies* to skripka.

Prologue: A Day Like Any Other

The day starts just like any other day – Merlin arrives at his room late, as usual, and helps him on with his jacket – all that’s left of the clothes Merlin is supposed to help him into each day. They grab some food out of the kitchens and head down to the training field where Merlin buckles him into his armour and then watches from the sidelines with a silly grin on his face while Arthur knocks his father’s knights down one after another. There’s a break for some lunch and then hunting – Arthur making very sure that everything he shoots has two antlers. He really doesn’t want a repeat of the unicorn incident. After a quiet dinner with his father and Morgana – or at least as quiet as a dinner can be with those two nattering on at him about his supposed failings – with Merlin hovering over his shoulder, still forgetting to keep his cup full – Arthur and Merlin retire to Arthur’s room so that Merlin can help him prepare for bed.

It’s a day just like any other, just like every other, which doesn’t explain why he’s cupping Merlin’s face in his hands and pressing a kiss against his impossibly soft mouth. When the kiss ends, Merlin stares at Arthur wide-eyed. His face has gone red, right to the tips of his ridiculous ears.

“A-Arthur, what are you doing?” he stutters.

“No bloody idea,” Arthur replies and starts to pull Merlin in for another kiss, but Merlin stops him with a hand on his chest.

“Wait,” Merlin says, his eyes going wary. “This isn’t some kind of prank is it?”

Arthur puts his hand over Merlin’s where it lies against his chest and shifts it over to his rapidly beating heart. “No, Merlin, this is not a prank, I just....” Arthur’s not often at a loss for words, but he’ll be damned if he tells Merlin that he just really, really wants to kiss him right now.

Merlin looks at him closely, his face very serious, and then suddenly he smiles – a slow, soft, gentle smile – at something he sees in Arthur’s eyes. The tension goes out of Merlin’s arm and the next thing Arthur knows, their lips are together again – except this time, Merlin’s kissing him.

The kiss goes from tentative to downright filthy in a matter of moments as months of pent up (albeit unacknowledged) desire breaks loose. Soon the two are tugging at each other’s clothes in desperation to get to bare skin. It doesn’t take them long and then Arthur presses Merlin down onto his bed. Merlin lies there, looking up at him, his blue eyes bluer and brighter than Arthur’s ever seen them and his white, white skin stark against the covers. The sight takes Arthur’s breath away.

“What?” Merlin asks.

“Nothing,” Arthur replies, grinning down at Merlin. He kisses away any further questions that he’s not prepared to answer. Merlin curls his arms around Arthur and pulls his full weight down on top of him. Their kisses get heated once again as they grind against one another.

The room echoes with their moans of pleasure and the soft, sucking sounds of long, wet kisses. Merlin clutches at Arthur’s shoulders and winds himself tighter and tighter around him, hips grinding upwards, rubbing his cock against Arthur. Arthur buries his face in Merlin’s neck and can’t resist sucking a dark bruise into the pale skin. Merlin gasps and his back arches, his hips buck, and his head falls back as he comes hard against Arthur’s stomach.

Arthur is too busy trying not to pass out when his orgasm rolls through him to notice that Merlin’s eyes have turned bright gold.


Morgana moans in her bed as her whole body lights up with pleasure.

Gaius stares down at his lap in amazement – it’s been at least a decade since he’s had an erection.

Uther dreams of his beautiful, dead, Ygraine and cries in his sleep.

And deep in his cave below the castle, the Great Dragon laughs.

Part One: The Next Day

Arthur wakes first. Merlin is curled up tightly against his side, head resting on his chest and an arm thrown over his body. Arthur smiles fondly and strokes his fingers lightly through Merlin’s hair. Then he licks his finger and sticks it in Merlin’s ear. Merlin sits up abruptly and Arthur starts to laugh.

“Prat,” Merlin says, and rubs at his ear. He looks around and his eyes go wide with shock. He tries to get up out of the bed, but Arthur stops him by grabbing him by the arm and pulling him back down.

“Arthur! Let me go. It’s daylight! I’m dead. What if someone finds me here? What’s the King going to say? Oh, gods, what’s he going to do?” Merlin babbles in a panic.

Arthur starts laughing again.

“My impending death is funny to you?” Merlin asks, tugging unsuccessfully at his arm.

“Oh, Merlin,” Arthur says, shaking his head, a big smirk widening across his face. “Do you honestly think that my father doesn’t believe that you’re providing me with, shall we say, extra services? You are quite truly the most rubbish servant ever. There would have to be some reason why I keep you around.”

Merlin goes from shock to outrage to embarrassment in about ten seconds and then mutters, “Oh, shut up.”

“Such insolence,” Arthur replies, tugging on Merlin’s arm and pulling him down on top of him. “I think you should put that insolent mouth to better use,” Arthur says while rolling his hips up against Merlin.

Merlin goes a spectacular shade of crimson. Arthur grins at him and says, “Oh, such innocence,” and runs a finger over Merlin’s full bottom lip. Merlin tries to slap his hand away, but Arthur catches Merlin’s hand and doesn’t let go.

“Not that innocent,” Merlin replies a bit crossly. “I’m not completely inexperienced.”

Arthur rolls them until Merlin is under him and he’s looking down into clear blue eyes, holding both of Merlin’s arms loosely to either side of his head. “Let me guess, a few not so innocent fumbles with Will in the hayloft?” Arthur rolls his hips again. This time Merlin rocks back against him.

“How did you know?” Merlin asks, his face starting to flush again.

Arthur replies, “It was obvious from the way he looked at you.”

“Like the way you’re looking at me now?” Merlin retorts, grinning.

“More insolence!” Arthur replies, grinning. “Obviously, I’m going to have to teach you a lesson. Now pay attention, you will be tested later.”

Arthur dips his head and kisses Merlin’s lips and then sucks a trail of soft kisses down Merlin’s body. Merlin arches into every single one. He pauses at Merlin’s left hip and gives him a bruise to match the one on his neck while Merlin squirms under him and gasps out his name. Arthur grins against Merlin’s skin and then looks at his target. He’s never done this before, but he’s had it done to him many times, and he’s a quick study, so he’s sure he can figure things out.

He takes Merlin’s cock into his hand and strokes it a few times before lowering his lips to the crown. He licks at the tip and Merlin whimpers. Arthur rolls his tongue around the edge of the foreskin and Merlin moans. Arthur grins and then takes the whole head into his mouth and sucks and Merlin writhes under him. Arthur figures he’s doing it right, holds down Merlin’s hips and starts alternating sucking and licking. The sounds Merlin makes spurring him on to get creative with his tongue, which just leads to more amazing noises.

One of Merlin’s hands weaves into his hair – not pushing or guiding, just resting gently. Arthur slides further down onto Merlin’s cock, trying to take more of it in. He slides his hand along Merlin’s thigh and down, searching for the place that an adventurous barmaid had introduced him to in his seventeenth year. Arthur knows he’s found it when he applies gentle pressure to the small, smooth area just behind Merlin’s sack and Merlin cries out rather loudly and the hand in his hair tightens, and his hips buck upwards. Arthur’s too distracted by the semen filling his mouth to notice the bed and pretty much everything else in his room shaking violently.

Arthur has no choice but to swallow. He makes a face and reminds himself to pull away next time he tries that little trick. He kisses his way back up Merlin’s now very limp body. Arthur claims Merlin’s slack lips in a long, wet kiss, so aroused that he climaxes as soon as Merlin’s hand brushes lightly over his erection.

“Well, that was a bit embarrassing,” he mutters.

Merlin grins at him and tugs him down for another kiss. They lie entwined, sharing slow, sweet kisses for several minutes and then Arthur says, “You’d better get back to Gaius, he probably thinks you’ve been eaten by dogs or something, and I should go make an appearance at breakfast. Mustn’t give the servants something to chatter about.”

“You’re going to dress yourself?” Merlin mocks. “I’m shocked. I had no idea you knew how.”

Arthur pushes Merlin out of the bed. Laughing, Merlin dresses quickly and then bends down for one last kiss before leaving Arthur’s room.

Arthur watches Merlin leave. There is just something about him. Arthur wishes he could figure out what.

Part Two: Later the Next Day

Merlin makes his way back to Gaius’ rooms with a ridiculous grin on his face. He tries to stop, but just can’t. He tries to concentrate on the fact that he’s lost control of his magic twice when he was with Arthur, but all that does is remind him of how he lost control, and the stupid grin comes back.

He walks in and finds Gaius sitting at the table going through a rather large book, muttering to himself and frowning.

“Oh, there you are, Merlin,” he says, glancing up at him. He pauses a moment and then snorts with laughter, “Good gods, boy, you look like you’ve been attacked by leaches.” But then he turns serious. “I do hope you’re being careful, Merlin, it wouldn’t do for you to get a poor girl with child.”

Merlin really wishes he wasn’t so pale skinned sometimes, and right now is one of them, as he feels his face heating up. “That’s not going to be…” Merlin realizes what he’s saying and stops abruptly.

“Oh, so it’s like that is it,” Gaius says knowingly. He gestures vaguely to a shelf behind him. “There’s a bottle of oil, third from the right, that should ease the situation – should it arise.”

“GAIUS!” Merlin exclaims, absolutely mortified, and flees for his room. He can hear Gaius chuckling behind him as he closes the door.

* * * *

Merlin really doesn’t want to think about Gaius and sex at the same time, nor does he want to consider too closely the knowing look that Gaius gave him, because that just leads to more images that Merlin would really rather not have in his head. Unfortunately, he knows he’s going to have to have some kind of conversation with his mentor about what’s happened, because he needs to find out if there’s a way to control his magic, and Gaius is his best source of advice. Except for the dragon, and there’s no way he’s going to the dragon with this problem.

He goes over to the small bowl and jug by his bed and strips out of his clothes. Without any effort at all, Merlin heats the water – he hates washing in cold water and avoids it whenever possible, despite his promise to Gaius not to use his magic recklessly. He gives himself a quick scrub and slips into his other set of every-day clothes. Merlin then starts looking for the small mirror his mother gave him – considering the state of his room, it takes him a lot longer to find than he would have liked. Mirror in hand, he takes a look at his neck.

“I’m going to kill him,” he grumbles. The vivid mark on his neck is unmistakably a love-bite. Merlin touches it briefly and then ties his neck scarf a lot tighter than usual. Merlin sighs, time to go back out there and face Gaius and his knowing looks.

Merlin leaves his room and grabs some of the bread and cheese that Gaius keeps in a corner of his work area. He checks the candle – he’s got a bit more time before he has to get back to Arthur to dress him in his armour for training.

“Uh, Gaius,” Merlin says quietly. Gaius makes a hmmming sound – still more interested in his book than in what Merlin has to say.

“It’s important. It has to do with my magic,” Merlin continues.

Gaius looks up and gives Merlin his undivided attention. “Oh?”

“Yeah, um, I sort of lost control – twice. It’s never happened before,” Merlin replies.

“And when did this occur?” Gaius asks. “If we go over the events, we can figure out what they have in common…” Gaius is about to go on a roll, so Merlin stops him.

“Both times, when I…” And damnit, Merlin can feel his face go red again. He grits his teeth and continues on, “...climaxed.”

Gaius’ expression goes flat for a moment as he thinks, and then he frowns deeply. “And that never happened before?” Gaius looks somewhat confused and curious at the same time.

Merlin gets it right away. “No, no, that’s happened before, I’ve just never lost control of the magic before.”

“Ah,” Gaius says. He pauses to think for a few moments. “And when did occur?”

“Last night and again this morning,” Merlin mutters, and shoves more bread and cheese into his mouth.

Gaius squints at him and then says, “Ah ha!” and closes his big book. “It was you. I thought it had to be magical in nature; I’m far too old for – well, let’s just say I’m too old and leave it at that. Needless to say, I think every magically sensitive person in the castle and the surrounding area had a very pleasant evening last night, thanks to you.”

Merlin nearly chokes on his mouthful of food. And then he tries really hard not to think about what Gaius may have gotten up to the previous night.

“But you say it happened again this morning?” Gaius asks. “There was no additional broadcast of emotion this morning.”

Merlin thinks about the bed shaking and says, “I felt it happening again this morning and managed to redirect it, somewhat, but I couldn’t stop the magic from coming out.”

“Hmmm. It would be best if you stopped any sexual activity until you’ve figured out how to keep better control. I suppose it’s out of the question to ask you to stop seeing this person?” Gaius asks.

Merlin says, “Yes,” without any hesitation.

“I assumed as much. Judging from the daft look on your face, you’re well and truly infatuated.” Gaius smiles fondly at him.

Merlin glances at the candle and sees that it’s almost burned down to the mark. He’s going to be late. “Oh crap! I’ve got to get to Arthur. I’ll see you later, Gaius.” Merlin turns to dash off.

“Merlin,” Gaius says and waits until Merlin turns back to him. “The person you were with wouldn’t happen to be Arthur would it?”

Merlin has absolutely no idea how he should answer the question. “Um,” he utters, knowing that his fair complexion has once again betrayed him.

Gaius laughs and waves his hand. “Off with you, boy. Don’t keep him waiting – he gets cross when he has to wait.” Gaius’ face becomes serious. “But, Merlin, please, be careful.”

“I will, Gaius, I promise,” Merlin answers. For some reason, though, he doesn’t think Gaius is talking about his magic.

Part Three: The Rest of the Day

“It’s about time!” Arthur exclaims when Merlin rounds the corner of the training tent. “You’re late!” He’s already wearing his surcoat and chainmail, so all that is required is his plate.

“I’m sorry, I was talking to Gaius,” Merlin replies and picks up Arthur’s half-breast plate.
He straps Arthur into it quickly. He’s turning to get a vambrace when Arthur’s hand on his arm stops him.

Arthur steps into his personal space and Merlin’s breath catches. Arthur reaches up behind his neck and loosens the knot in his scarf, so that it falls to its usual place lower down on his neck. Arthur’s tongue is hot and wet against his skin and he has to put his hand on Arthur’s waist to steady himself as his knees go a bit wobbly.

“I want to see it. Don’t cover it up again,” Arthur orders in a low, deep voice that gives Merlin goose bumps. Arthur sucks another kiss over the bruise, sending a jolt of pleasure straight through Merlin to his groin, and then he steps back and gestures for Merlin to continue.

Merlin composes himself and continues putting on Arthur’s armour, fingers trembling slightly. When he gets to the greaves, he kneels – right in front of Arthur. He looks up at him from under his lashes and Arthur’s cheeks flush. Merlin grins and finishes the job with a few extra caresses of his fingers up Arthur’s calves and some completely unnecessary ones up his thighs.

Arthur grabs him by the arm and hauls him up. Merlin really hopes that Arthur doesn’t notice how much being man-handled by him in his armour is arousing him, but sadly, it is blatantly obvious through his thin clothes. Arthur grins wickedly at him, and then kisses him hard – all tongue and teeth and possession. He lets go of Merlin and reaches under his layers of armour and clothes to adjust himself, grabs his sword and walks onto the field.

Merlin leans against the table and tries to steady himself before going out to watch Arthur fight. A thrill of anticipation runs through him – he’s always enjoyed watching Arthur knock his father’s men around the field, but now, after last night and this morning, there’s an added frisson of excitement of watching Arthur’s muscled body move so skillfully. Merlin grins. It’s going to be an interesting afternoon.

* * * *

And Merlin is right – he spends the rest of the day bouncing between embarrassed, flustered, and aroused beyond all decency. First, Arthur spent the training session showing off his fighting prowess even more than usual, going through all of his father’s knights in half an hour, and then grinning like a mad-man at Merlin, who is so painfully hard he can barely follow Arthur back into the room where his armour is kept. He then completely dashes Merlin’s half-formed plans to rub himself off against Arthur by inviting Sir Melfan into the room for conversation while Merlin removes his armour.

Arthur decides he wants to go hunting next. Merlin is still incredibly useless at being silent in the forest, and Arthur tells him so, and dismisses him to go see if Gaius needs any help with anything. Merlin heaves a sigh of relief – maybe now he can get himself under control. He’s hoping to have a few moments to himself in his room to take the situation in hand, but as soon as he gets back to Gaius’ work shop, Gaius hands him a potion and asks him to bring it to Lady Morgana.

Merlin makes his way to Morgana’s rooms and knocks.

“Lady Morgana?” he inquires. “I have a potion from Gaius.”

The door opens and Gwen’s head pops out. “Hi, Merlin! Lady Morgana is out at the moment, but you can leave the potion with me. I’ll make sure she gets it.”

“Thanks, Gwen,” Merlin replies, handing her the vial. He sees Gwen’s eyes travel down his neck and resists the urge to cover up the mark Arthur left him.

“Oh, that’s, oh,” Gwen stutters, her smile faltering. “I didn’t know you had...uh...”

“Merlin, how nice to see you,” Morgana’s voice says behind him. “Did you bring my potion?”

“Yes, my lady,” Merlin says, turning to look at her. “I gave it to Gwen.”

“Merlin, what is that on your neck?” Morgana asks, taking him by the chin and tilting his head up. He wishes the ground would open up and swallow him. She grins and says, “Oh, my, someone’s a bit enthusiastic.” She looks over at Gwen and sees Gwen’s pinched look, and her smile fades. Morgana releases Merlin’s face. “I think that will be all for now, Merlin. Thank Gaius for me,” she says coldly and takes Gwen by the arm, guides her through the door and shuts it in Merlin’s face.

Merlin gapes at the door trying to figure out what just happened. What he does know is that, despite everything that’s going on with Arthur, he still obviously likes girls. He can still feel Morgana’s long, elegant fingers on his face.

He heads back to Gaius’ in a haze and stays there the remainder of the day, helping with potions and reading his book of magic. Night soon falls and he has to go help Arthur dress for dinner. He’s rather looking forward to it, if he’s honest with himself. Just before he leaves, he glances over at the table to make sure Gaius isn’t looking and he calls the bottle of oil that Gaius had mentioned earlier in the day into his hand. He puts it in his pocket and heads to Arthur’s room with a bounce in his step and a grin on his face.

As soon as he enters the room, Arthur pins him to the door and kisses him soundly. Arthur pulls back and frowns at him.

“Is that Morgana’s perfume I smell?” Arthur says suspiciously.

“Yeah, well, Gaius asked me to deliver a potion...” Merlin begins.

“And delivering potions requires you to get perfume all over you?” Arthur asks, crowding closer.

“No, no, but she saw the stupid mark you put on my neck and got curious.”

Arthur grins smugly at him. “Ah, I see. That’s all right then.” And then Arthur kisses him again – a long, slow, wet kiss that makes Merlin’s toes curl. Arthur steps away and opens his mouth, probably to tell Merlin to help him dress for dinner, but Merlin doesn’t give him a chance to say anything – he steps forward and wraps his hand around the back of Arthur’s neck and pulls him into a searing kiss, sliding his tongue into Arthur’s mouth and pressing his body tightly to Arthur.

Arthur’s arms curl around him and hold him tightly, one hand wandering down to curve around his backside and haul him in even closer. Groaning, Merlin works his hand under Arthur’s tunic and then slides it up Arthur’s chest. He runs his thumb over Arthur’s nipple, teasing it with light touches until it’s a firm point. Arthur moans and shoves him away before pulling his shirt off over his head.

Merlin trails his hands up and down Arthur’s body, appreciating the way the muscles twitch under his fingers. He kisses Arthur’s mouth, sucking lightly on his bottom lip until Arthur grabs his head and kisses him hard. Merlin undoes the stays on Arthur’s breeches and loosens them so that they fall to the floor. He runs his hands down Arthur’s sides and gives Arthur’s erection a long, firm stroke. He really wants to continue this, to take them to Arthur’s bed, but he knows that Uther will send someone shortly. So, gathering up all of his will-power he squirms out of Arthur’s embrace and heads for the cupboard.

“Merlin!” Arthur exclaims, clearly frustrated. “What in all the hells are you doing?”

“You have to get ready for dinner, Sire,” Merlin says, putting on the dutiful servant voice he’s heard other servants use, figuring it’s the best way to deflect Arthur’s irritation. “Your father will be most cross if you do not go.”

“Fuck my father!” Arthur says, striding towards Merlin like a rampant bull.

“I’d really rather not, Arthur,” Merlin replies, unable to suppress the shudder.

“Then do something about this!” Arthur replies waving a hand at his erection.

“Oh, I will,” Merlin says with a wicked glint in his eye. “Just not right now. Your father’s servant, Geoffrey, is bound to turn up any minute now with a demand from the King wanting to know what’s keeping you. Do you really want him to see? He’s worse at knocking than I am.”

Arthur narrows his eyes. “Oh, you will pay for this, Merlin.” Arthur grabs some clothes and puts them on quickly. He stomps all the way to the dining room, Merlin trailing him, trying to keep the smirk off his face.

And pay he does. All throughout dinner, Arthur finds ways to fondle Merlin without anyone noticing. At least until Arthur runs his fingers up the inside of Merlin’s thigh, while he’s pouring wine – which of course goes everywhere when Merlin startles in surprise.

“Merlin, really,” Arthur declaims in his snottiest voice. “You really should be more careful.” He flicks his hand so that some of the wine spatters onto Merlin’s face. “You are dismissed from the table. Go wait for me in my room.”

It takes every ounce of self control Merlin has not to make Arthur’s cup fall over onto his lap, but he manages. He says, “Yes, Sire,” and leaves the room, barely remembering to pass the wine jug to Gwen.

He reaches Arthur’s room and fidgets. They were only on the third course, which means that even if Arthur skips the last course, he’s going to be at least another half an hour. Merlin sits at the table, and then bounces up and paces, and then he kicks off his boots and goes and sits on the bed. He thinks about waking up that morning in the bed and smiles. He flops back and stretches out.

He has no idea how long he’s been lying there or when he fell asleep, but the next thing he’s aware of is Arthur kissing him.

“You fell asleep,” Arthur says.

“Comfortable bed,” Merlin replies, tugging at Arthur’s tunic. Arthur lets him pull it up over his head. He runs his hands over Arthur’s chest and over his shoulders. Merlin pulls Arthur down for a long kiss.

“You have been driving me mad all day,” Arthur murmurs against his mouth, his hands working removing Merlin’s clothes. When he gets to Merlin’s breeches, Merlin stops him to pull the vial out of his pocket. He presses it into Arthur’s hand.

Arthur looks down at it, dumbfounded. “Merlin?” he asks breathlessly, another question buried in that one word.

“Yes,” Merlin replies and kisses Arthur, softly, gently. “Yes, yes, yes.” Each yes punctuated with another soft kiss. Arthur moans and presses Merlin down into the bed, and claims his mouth in a heated kiss.

It’s a matter of moments before the rest of their clothes are removed and they’re arching against each other, Arthur’s oil-slicked fingers searching out the entrance to Merlin’s body. Merlin gasps when the first one breaches him. Arthur stops, looking a bit panicked.

Merlin makes a sound of frustration. “Why did you stop?”

“Merlin, I don’t know what I’m doing here,” Arthur confesses. “You have to tell me if I hurt you.”

Merlin smiles and cups Arthur’s face in his hand. “It doesn’t hurt, it just feels…weird, keep going.”

Arthur presses in slowly, frowning in concentration. Merlin kisses his forehead and cheek before sliding his lips down to Arthur’s mouth. “Yes, like that, more, please. Put the other one in,” he murmurs in a low, husky voice against Arthur’s lips.

Arthur groans and his hips jerk forward. Merlin feels the dampness from Arthur’s cock sliding along his skin. “Keep talking to me like that and all you’re going to get are fingers.”

“Then hurry up and get your cock in me,” Merlin replies. He can’t believe he’s just said it, but it’s true, he really, really wants Arthur inside him, the sooner the better, preparation be damned. But Arthur’s got other plans and he pushes a second finger into Merlin with agonizing slowness. He slides his fingers in and out a few times and Merlin shifts his hips into the motion, making Arthur’s fingers graze something inside him that makes his nerve endings light up.

“Oh! Oh, gods do that again,” Merlin moans, clutching at Arthur’s shoulders.

Arthur grins down at him and obliges. Several times. Merlin is a trembling wreck by the time Arthur pulls his fingers out and applies some of the oil to his cock. He positions himself and presses in slowly, pausing, allowing Merlin’s body to open for him. By the time he’s fully inside, they’re both covered in a light sheen of sweat. Arthur reaches down and brushes Merlin’s hair off his forehead. He trails his hand down Merlin’s face and over his kiss-swollen lips. Merlin nips at Arthur’s finger tips. Arthur cups his jaw and leans down and kisses him, and at the same time, he thrusts forward with his hips. Merlin arches his whole body into Arthur’s.

“Yessss,” Merlin hisses in pleasure, gripping Arthur tightly and pulling him closer.

“Merlin,” Arthur groans softly and then starts to move. There’s no slow build, just Arthur driving into Merlin again and again and Merlin begging for more. Every thrust sends arcs of pleasure shooting through Merlin and he can feel his magic building with his ecstasy. He clutches at Arthur and rolls his hips up to meet every thrust. He reaches down and grasps his cock, stroking urgently – the need to release some of the pressure building in him is getting to hard to bear.

And then Arthur changes his angle and Merlin’s vision whites out when Arthur’s cock hits that spot inside his body. Merlin’s orgasm rolls through him and he only has seconds to decide. He weaves his hands into Arthur’s hair and pulls him down into a brutal kiss, and pours his magic through him – creating a feedback loop between himself and Arthur.

The air around them crackles and they both cry out again and again as each of their orgasms rebound through the other. Arthur collapses on top of him boneless, twitching slightly as the magic continues to ripple down his body.

Merlin can barely move, but he needs to breathe, so he pushes at Arthur until he rolls off to one side. He keeps one arm wrapped tightly around Merlin and falls immediately asleep.

Merlin knows he’s going to have a lot to answer for in the morning, but he’s too worn out to worry about it right now, and he joins Arthur in sleep.

Epilogue: A New Day

Arthur wakes up when he feels Merlin leave the bed. He reaches out and grabs Merlin by the arm. “Trying to sneak off?” he asks, opening his eyes.

Merlin turns his head and looks at him a little guiltily. “Er, no, I was…”

“Merlin,” Arthur says stopping the lie before it’s out of Merlin’s mouth.

Merlin sighs and ducks his head. “Yes.”

Arthur tugs on his arm and Merlin sits down on the edge of the bed, not looking at Arthur.

Arthur sits up. “So, what was that last night?”

“I don’t suppose I can say really good sex and leave it at that?” Merlin says, flashing a quick glance at Arthur.

“Merlin,” Arthur warns.

Merlin sighs again and pulls his legs up and wraps his arms around them. Arthur is struck how vulnerable Merlin looks and can’t stop himself from putting a hand on Merlin’s arm for comfort.

“I can do magic,” Merlin states quietly, still not looking at Arthur.

“Merlin, look at me,” Arthur demands in a tone that even Merlin obeys. He hates the frightened look in Merlin’s eyes. He takes a deep breath, pushing his anger away before speaking again.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Arthur asks, not able to keep the hurt from his voice. “You know I’m not like my father, I wouldn’t have…”

“Not when we first met! You were an arrogant bully. I couldn’t trust that person with something like this,” Merlin interrupts, finally meeting Arthur’s eyes.

“What about now?” Arthur says with some trepidation, needing to hear the answer, hoping that in light of everything that has changed between them, that Merlin trusts him.

“I wanted to, I almost did, but then Will lied for me…and I should have after that, but I got scared,” Merlin says looking miserable. “You’re an honourable man, Arthur, I didn’t want you to have to lie for me. Especially not to your father. You already struggle enough with trying to live up to his expectations and yet staying true to yourself.”

Arthur’s a bit stunned by Merlin’s words. He hadn’t realized that Merlin knew him quite so well. He should take Merlin to task for lying to him, but he has to admit that he’s right – this new knowledge is going to make things with his father even more difficult. Instead, Arthur strokes Merlin’s hair gently and then says softly, “Will you show me?”

Merlin holds out his hand and his eyes flash golden momentarily before a swirling blue ball of light forms just above his palm. Arthur startles when Merlin’s eyes first change. He knows he should be afraid. Merlin is obviously a sorcerer, one who has been hiding right under their noses, one who has lied about it for months. But Arthur isn’t afraid. His eyes are drawn to the ball of light – it’s beautiful. He reaches out with one finger to touch it, but stops as he feels a slight amount of heat coming off of it. It looks familiar…Arthur’s head snaps up and he looks right at Merlin.

“It was you! You were the one! When I was trapped in the cave,” Arthur exclaims.

“What?” Merlin asks confused. The ball of light disappears. “What are you talking about?”

“The light! The light that guided me out of the cave when I was looking for the cure for the poison you’d taken. A light just like this one appeared and showed me the way out,” Arthur replies. “It was you!”

“I was delirious,” Merlin says. “I...”

Arthur waves his hand at him to cut him off and he suddenly starts putting things together – all the close calls since Merlin’s arrived, all the times something inexplicable has happened, Merlin’s always been there. Each time he’s survived against all odds.

“It was you every time, wasn’t it Merlin?” Arthur asks quietly. “You’ve been keeping me safe.”

Merlin nods, and then reaches out and lightly touches the scar on Arthur’s chest where the Questing Beast had injured him, and his face falls in sadness. “I almost didn’t.”

Arthur puts his hand over Merlin’s. “But you did. You did something, not Gaius. What happened, Merlin?”

Merlin shakes his head, his eyes pleading with Arthur not to ask again. Arthur reaches out with his free hand and cups it behind Merlin’s neck and draws him in to a soft kiss. “Will you tell me someday?” he asks, their lips still brushing.

“Yes,” Merlin murmurs and kisses him. “I promise.”

Arthur pulls Merlin down into his arms, content with that answer. For now.

Gaius checks Merlin’s room and sees that it’s empty. He smiles fondly at memories of first love and then sighs quietly, hoping that Merlin won’t get too hurt when Arthur’s duties take precedence over everything.

Morgana and Uther sit at breakfast, and Morgana, having figured something out, is trying to convince Uther not to send a servant to fetch Arthur.

The Great Dragon sits and hums contentedly to himself, knowing that despite Merlin’s current anger with him, he is one step closer to freedom.