Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact

In the Forest

Notes: Decided to indulge myself and the boys in some naughty shenanigans.

No one is sure when or where they took the wrong turn, but they are all in agreement that they are lost and that they will have better luck finding the trail in the morning. So it is decided that they will camp for the night in a small clearing by a river. The temperature dropped significantly when the sun went down an hour ago, and Merlin is doing his best to unsaddle Arthur’s horse, shivering in his thin coat. His numb fingers fumble with the buckle on the saddle and he swears quietly under his breath, wishing that Arthur and the few knights that came on this hunting trip would find something endlessly fascinating at the other end of the clearing so he can use his magic to deal with his chores.

“Merlin, aren’t you done yet? You still need to lay out my bedding,” Arthur says in that slightly imperious way he uses when giving Merlin orders. “Not to mention make dinner. I’m famished.”

“S-s-sorry,” Merlin stutters, his teeth chattering – too cold to even make an effort at talking back to Arthur. The horse snorts at him as his fingers slip again.

“Merlin, what’s wrong with you?” Arthur asks, frowning. He reaches for the buckle that Merlin is struggling with and their fingers touch. “Good gods man, your hands are like ice!” he exclaims.

Arthur looks at Merlin, and takes in the thin cotton coat and the slight blue tinge on Merlin’s lips. He sighs and shrugs out of his brown hunting coat. “Here,” he says holding it out for Merlin.

Merlin looks at the coat, and really wants to take it, but says, instead, “I couldn’t. What are you going to wear?”

“Don’t be an idiot, Merlin,” Arthur replies and swings the coat around Merlin’s shoulders. “I’ve got another one in my saddle bags.” While Merlin’s putting his arms through the sleeves, Arthur pulls his other coat – the red one – out of his saddle bags and puts it on.

Merlin tries really hard not to think of how the soft, warm leather smells of Arthur as he pulls it around himself, but with no luck whatsoever. The scent fills him with a wave of longing so intense that he almost loses his footing.

Arthur looks at him and his face twists like he’s trying not to laugh.

“What?” Merlin asks, warily, terrified that Arthur noticed his reaction.

“You look like a child playing dress-up,” Arthur says, laughing.

“I do not!” Merlin exclaims indignantly. Except that there is a lot of truth to the statement. Although he and Arthur are of a height, Arthur is significantly broader through the shoulders and chest and his coat hangs off Merlin at odd angles. Merlin crosses his arms and scowls at Arthur.

“If I didn’t know any better, Merlin, I’d say you didn’t get enough to eat, but since you’re my servant, I know there’s plenty of food for you. You don’t have a worm do you?” Arthur asks, with a grin.

“No, Arthur, I do not have a worm,” Merlin replies, rolling his eyes. “Maybe I’m just wiry. Not all of us need brawn to get through life, you know. Some of us rely on other things, like brains.”

“Let’s see how your brains help you getting that saddle off my horse,” Arthur replies, giving Merlin a slap on the back that nearly knocks him over, before he heads over to the fire where his men have gathered.

“Prat,” Merlin mutters under his breath and continues his tasks. By the time he’s finished, unsaddling his and Arthur’s horses, he’s almost warm. Merlin brings their bedding near the fire and sets it down. He sits at Arthur’s feet to be closer to the fire, and opens up the leather pouch containing their travel food. He hands Arthur some bread and cheese and then starts nibbling on his own share. Arthur hands him a mug filled with warmed wine.

“Thank you,” Merlin says, taking the cup and curving his hands around the heated metal.

“Can’t have you freezing to death, I’d have to train a whole new servant,” Arthur replies and bumps Merlin’s shoulder with his knee. He leaves his leg there, resting against Merlin’s side.

Merlin sits quietly, reading a book on herbs that he borrowed from Gaius, and listens to Arthur and his men gossip over their meal. There really is no other word for it – they talk about which serving maids they’ve tumbled, which knights are all talk, but no action on the tourney field and off it, which tournament was their favourite, and which towns have the sweetest mead.

“What about you, Merlin?” asks one of the knights. “Any conquests you’d care to share?”

“What?” Merlin looks up startled. The knights usually ignore him. “Oh, um, well, no….” he replies, blushing.

“Not even Lady Morgana’s pretty little maid?” the knight – Sir Malcolm, Merlin thinks – presses, eyebrow raised suggestively. The other knights hoot and whistle appreciatively.

“What? Gwen?! No! I would never…she’s…she’s just a friend.” Merlin can feel his face burning and he really hopes the knights mistake it for the fire. He glances at Arthur out of the corner of his eye, hoping for rescue, hoping he’ll make them stop talking about Gwen in such a fashion. If she knew, she’d be mortified. And then furious. And somehow, it would be all Merlin’s fault.

“Hopeless! He’s hopeless, Sir Malcolm!” Arthur says and slaps Merlin on the back. And then he turns the conversation to the last training session. Merlin heaves a quiet sigh of relief and valiantly keeps the grin off his face as Arthur gives Sir Malcolm an earful about all the ways in which his performance during the last training session was terrible.

Soon the conversation drops off and the men get ready for bed – pairing up and lying back-to-back in order to share cloaks and blankets. Merlin lies on his side on his blanket and curls his arms around his tightly tucked legs, trying to keep as much warmth as possible. He startles when Arthur lies down behind him, his back a strong line of heat, all along his own.

“Stop squirming,” Arthur mutters, and flips his blanket over them. Merlin lies still, convinced he’s never going to fall asleep, so hyper-aware of Arthur’s every movement and sound, and yet he must have fallen asleep, because he wakes suddenly when Arthur’s breath snuffles softly in his ear. At some point during the night Arthur rolled over and he is now curved completely around Merlin – his face buried against Merlin’s neck, his arm thrown over Merlin’s body and curled up against his chest, his lower body tucked tightly against Merlin’s. Merlin hardly dares to breathe. He doesn’t know what to do. He should wake Arthur – Merlin’s sure that Arthur would never want to be caught in such a compromising position with a servant – but he doesn’t want to. He wants to lie in Arthur’s arms and pretend that it is something that Arthur wants, to soak up the heat and the scent of Arthur’s body and the way it feels pressed up against his own. And he tells himself that in a few moments he will move or cough, or do something to alert Arthur.

And then he notices that the once still hand against his chest is moving down his body, that the quiet breathing in his ear has become more alert, and that soft lips are pressed against his neck.

“Merlin,” Arthur whispers softly. “Say no and I’ll stop.”

Merlin shudders as a thrill runs through him. His breath catches in his throat and he can’t speak. Arthur must feel how fast Merlin’s pulse is racing, must feel the yes in the way Merlin’s body arches back against him, but Arthur says thickly, “I need to hear you say it’s okay, Merlin.”

Merlin replies, “Please,” instead, and Arthur presses a gentle kiss under his ear.

Arthur’s hand moves down Merlin’s body. He gasps softly when Arthur cups his erection. Arthur chuckles in his ear and deftly unfastens his breeches one-handed. Merlin has to muffle his moan with the palm of his hand when Arthur curls his fingers around his erection. Arthur shifts even closer, rocking his hips against Merlin’s ass in time with the slow, teasing rhythm of his hand on Merlin’s cock.

Arthur is as good at this as he is at everything else, strong fingers stroking down and around and over with the just the right amount of everything to drive Merlin towards the edge and keep him there, gasping and whimpering for longer than Merlin thought was possible considering how much he’s dreamt of this moment. Arthur sucks wet kisses all down the column of his throat and rubs the slit in his cock with his thumb in maddening circles, and suddenly Merlin is shuddering and shaking trying not to cry out loudly as he spills hot and wet across Arthur’s hand. Arthur releases his cock and curls his arm around Merlin’s body and holds him tightly and thrusts frantically against him. Arthur’s breath coming in short, sharp gasps that match the movement of his hips. Merlin twists at the waist until he can capture Arthur’s mouth with his own. Arthur kisses him back desperately, breaking for air long enough to gasp, “Merlin,” before his hips stutter against Merlin’s ass, and a wet spot spreads between them.

They lay twisted together, spent, catching their breath for several minutes before Arthur cups Merlin’s face in his hands and kisses him one last time before rolling them back over so that they are once again lying on their sides, Arthur spooned up behind Merlin.

They are both asleep within minutes.