Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact

In the Pond

Notes: Part 3, now they get wet. Big thanks to llaras for the beta when I had the panic attack about the ending.

It’s hot – shirt sticking to the sweat running down your back hot. And it has been like this for weeks. It’s been so bad that Uther has Gaius investigating whether or not it’s a spell. Merlin’s not sure exactly how he knows, but he knows it’s not – the heat is completely natural, unusual, but natural. He wishes it were magical – then he’d hunt down the bloody bastard responsible and put an end to it.

He’s standing by the small window of his room, hoping to catch a breeze and trying to figure out a cooling spell that wouldn’t be too obvious – all the ones he’s managed so far coat the object he’s trying to cool with ice – when Arthur barges into his room.

“There you are!” he exclaims. “Come on,” Arthur says and nods his head towards the door.

“Where?” Merlin asks.

“Honestly, Merlin, do you have to question every order?” Arthur asks, the smile on his face belying the exasperated tone.

“Yes,” Merlin replies, “That’s what makes me special.”

“You’re special, all right,” Arthur retorts, rolling his eyes. “And one of these days, you’re going to special yourself back into the stocks. Now would you stop being impertinent and come on?” Arthur turns and walks out of the room, obviously expecting Merlin to follow. Of course he does.

Arthur takes them to the stables where two horses are already saddled and ready to go. Truly curious now, Merlin doesn’t ask another question and just follows Arthur out of the city and into the forest. They follow a narrow, meandering path through the trees and stop just at the edge of a clear, deep pond. Arthur hops off his horse and starts disrobing immediately.

“Hurry up, Merlin!” Arthur exclaims and runs into the water – he dunks down and stands up. Merlin has managed to get off his horse, but that’s about as far as he gets as he stands dumbstruck watching Arthur. Merlin traces the path of water droplets gliding slowly down Arthur’s neck and curving down his muscular shoulders and chest, some getting lost in his chest hair, while others continue their path down Arthur’s tight abdomen and down and down to his cock. Sunlight streaks through the canopy of leaves, limning Arthur in a golden-green glow. Merlin catches his breath, his mind turning vaguely to images of pagan forest gods that he’s seen in Gaius’ books.

Arthur notices Merlin’s gaze and puts his hands on his hips and grins smugly at him, as his cock begins to swell under Merlin’s regard. “If you’re not in here in the next minute, Merlin, I’m coming to get you,” Arthur threatens.

Merlin knows it’s not an empty threat, so he gets to work on his clothes. He’s kicking out of his pants and pulling his shirt over his head when Arthur’s voice says in his ear, “Time’s up,” before Arthur grabs him and throws him over his shoulder. Merlin does not squeal. At least, that’s what he tells himself as he struggles against Arthur’s hands which manage to find every single one of his ticklish spots on the five steps to the water.

Arthur tosses him into the water and Merlin comes up sputtering. “You are such a bastard!” he exclaims, pushing his hair out of his eyes.

“Not according to the birth registry,” Arthur retorts and splashes water at Merlin.

Merlin narrows his eyes and splashes back. After that, it’s all out war as they try to wrestle each other under the water. They are fairly evenly matched – although Arthur is stronger physically, Merlin is faster and more flexible and manages to eel out of Arthur’s grip a few times, but eventually, Arthur just tackles Merlin into the water and pushes his head down. When Merlin pops out of the water, Arthur is nowhere to be seen. Pushing a wave of panic away, Merlin tells himself that Arthur is just having him on. A couple of minutes pass and Arthur still hasn’t resurfaced and Merlin can’t stop the panic now.

“Arthur? Arthur?” Merlin calls out and starts flailing through the water, trying to find him.

A couple of seconds later, Arthur grabs him by the shoulder, laughing. Merlin spins and shoves Arthur with both hands hard enough to make Arthur take a step back. Shock flits across Arthur’s face, followed by confusion. “Merlin? What’s wrong, it was just a joke.”

Merlin takes a deep breath and tries to compose himself. He steadies his shaking hands against his thighs and opens his mouth to say that he’s fine.

“If you say nothing’s wrong, I’m going to hit you,” Arthur says and steps closer to Merlin. He reaches out and cups Merlin’s shoulder. “Talk to me, Merlin. You’re trembling and you’re even whiter than usual – which I wouldn’t have believed possible if I hadn’t seen it myself.”

Merlin smiles shakily at Arthur’s attempt at humour. He looks down and then back up at Arthur. “Remember when you ran off with Sophia?” he asks.

“That’s a little hard to forget, Merlin, I made a total arse of myself over her,” Arthur replies, his cheeks going pink. “I still don’t know what possessed me. She wasn’t even that pretty.”

“You haven’t remembered any more of what happened before you woke up in your room, have you?” Merlin asks.

Arthur frowns. “No…”

“She tried to kill you,” Merlin states flatly. He hates lying, but he’s not about to tell Arthur that Sophia was a faerie, so he goes for the easiest lie. “She drugged you and led you into the lake in full armour. By the time I got there you were already underwater. I…I had to pull you out. I barely got there in time –you nearly died. So you see why it’s not so funny.”

Arthur blinks at him slowly, processing the new information. “You’re telling me, that you, with these skinny little arms,” and at this point, Arthur takes one of Merlin’s arms in his hand and jiggles it up and down, “pulled me, fully armoured, out of the lake? I’m supposed to believe that?”

“Yes,” Merlin says, refusing to back down.

“And why didn’t anyone tell me at the time?” Arthur demands.

“Gauis decided that it was better that you not know – less trauma and all that,” Merlin replies. “It was for the best. Sophia and her father disappeared and everything was back to normal.”

“So, you saved my life again,” Arthur says.

“Apparently. You’re such a prat, though, some days I wonder why I even bother,” Merlin replies, but his words lack their usual stinging tone.

Arthur reaches out and touches Merlin lightly on the cheek with his fingertips and then leans in for a soft, gentle kiss. “Thank you,” he whispers against Merlin’s lips before kissing him again. Something in Merlin breaks and suddenly he turns the gentle kiss hard and desperate.

Merlin clutches Arthur to him, their bodies molding together from shoulder to knee. Merlin curls one hand into Arthur’s hair and kisses him like his life depends on it. Arthur wraps his hands around Merlin’s hips and pulls him closer. As they grow hard, Merlin hooks a leg up over Arthur’s hip, and Arthur grabs Merlin’s ass and grinds their erections together, desperate for friction. Merlin’s certain he’s going to have bruises on his ass, but he’s far past giving it more than a glancing thought as Arthur sucks hot kisses down his throat. He tilts his head back, giving Arthur full access. Arthur takes advantage, nibbling his way up and down Merlin’s neck, stopping just long enough to suck a bruise into the skin just below his ear.

“Arthur!” Merlin exclaims breathlessly, “that’s going to show!”

“I know,” Arthur purrs in Merlin’s ear before stopping any further words with a breathtaking kiss.

Entwined, they rock slowly against each other, the water rippling away from them in wobbly concentric circles. Arthur pulls Merlin even closer, as though trying to occupy the same space, and moans Merlin’s name softly as he comes. Merlin follows moments later with a quiet whimper. He rests his head on Arthur’s shoulder and Arthur holds him close and runs his fingers through Merlin’s hair. They kiss and clean each other with scooped handfuls of water before turning and heading back to their clothes, Merlin in the lead.

Arthur starts to chuckle. “Oh, Merlin, you should see your backside. It’s all over bruises. It looks like one of the tomatoes that would be set aside for the prisoners in the stocks.”

Merlin twists and tries to look at his own ass. He catches sight of at least two fingerprints. “Yes, well if someone didn’t insist on manhandling me like a barbarian, then maybe I wouldn’t have a bottom that looks like mishandled produce!” he retorts.

“Oh, admit it, you like it when I go all barbarian on you,” Arthur says slyly and grabs Merlin’s ass. Merlin laughs and shoves Arthur away playfully. Arthur catches him by the arm and pulls him into a kiss that goes from teasing to serious in the space of a breath.

Arthur breaks the kiss slowly and says, “Come on, we’d better get back to the palace before my father sends out a search party.”

They dress reluctantly and mount their horses, leaving the small glade with the sun shining down on them.