Pairing: Arthur x Merlin
Summary: Merlin finds a mysterious gauntlet in a pond, but what he doesn't know is that this artifact holds more than it seems. When Arthur's life is at stake, will Merlin be able to convince Arthur what's happening before it's too late?
SLASH! Don't care for it, don't read it.
He felt the warm sensation of rough hands, laced with years of experience behind a sword running up and down his shoulders, felt those warm hands dip into every contour of his own weak, but still there muscles. He felt the rush of hot breath and panting laced with such need it almost drove the warlock insane. The raven-haired man could feel the other against his body, wrapping his arms around him, holding him as if he never wanted to let go.
"Merlin," that husky voice called out, wanting. Merlin's hands reached up for Arthur's face, but he felt nothing there. The warlock was overcome with confusion as he watched Arthur's face disappear as his long fingers slipped through the air, curling the smoke that was Arthur's face.
Merlin shot up from his small bed as he stared at a disgruntled Gaius. His breath came to him in short, panting bursts.
Gaius raised an eyebrow at the boy, but didn't say anything on the subject. "Time for breakfast." He turned around and slowly left Merlin's room, going to sit down amidst all his work to his own bowl of creamed wheat.
Merlin sat up, rubbing at his eyes. He hated that dream. It was almost like Arthur was teasing him even while he slept. He could just hear Arthur's taunts. Oh if the prince were to ever find out Merlin's feelings... His cheeks reddened at just the thought, his heart panging as adrenaline shot into him, forcing him to stand up and try to think about something else.
"Looks delicious," he said sitting down to his bowl, picking up the wooden spoon and taking a scoop of the clumping meal.
Gaius analyzed him with a scrutinizing look, but again, said nothing on the subject. "You've been sleeping in late frequently. Are you having trouble sleeping?"
Merlin nearly chocked on his breakfast. He felt the sticky meal slide down his throat, catching here and there, forcing him to cough a bit. "Trouble sleeping? No. I'm fine. I just...was having a good dream." He knew Gaius would detect his lie. Hell, anyone could probably detect that lie! Good dream? Not quite... More like a desperate nightmare that had Merlin waking up each day with such gloom that he almost wanted to fall off the face of the Earth. Maybe he should go up to King Uther and admit his sorcery...
"Merlin...listen to me when I'm speaking!" Gaius chided, pointing his own spoon at the youth.
Merlin smiled apologetically, taking another shovel of his food into his mouth. "So-wy Gawus," he said through a mouthful of the wheat meal.
Gaius sighed heavily. Merlin was sure he was thinking how foolish or..."thick" Merlin could be.
"King Uther is preparing to hold a jousting competition. Of course his son will be partaking. You need to-"
"Polish his armor, work his horse, buff up his ego, yes Gaius, I know all of this." Merlin stood up, picking his red scarf off the coat hanger and tying it around his neck like usual. "I'm not new to Arthur. I know how he gets."
Gaius nodded, taking a sip of his water before standing up, taking both his bowl and Merlin's. "Then I don't suppose you need me to tell you that you're almost an hour late for work?"
Merlin's eyes snapped open as he ran to the door all the while yelling back at Gaius, "Why didn't you tell me that before?" He didn't wait for an answer as he flew down the stairs, nearly knocking over a guard. He hastily apologized, running full out toward the bright castle.
He skipped every other step, panting furiously, feeling his blood pulsing in his head as he made his way up the stairs and down the airy halls to Arthur's room. He paused right outside the door, trying to catch his breath. His side burned with a vengeance and he clutched it desperately, gasping like each moment was his last.
It wasn't he who opened the door, but the blonde whom tormented his dreams night by night. "Merlin?" that deep voice asked in disbelief. Arthur rolled his eyes, pulling Merlin into the room. "Honestly Merlin can you not do anything right? You're an hour late, you're sweating all over the place, and gasping like a drunken man in a state of panic! I don't even know why I put up with you?"
Merlin's heart was just starting to slow down and the ringing in his ears was beginning to subside. He swallowed a thick gulp of air down before saying, "It's because you like me." Unfortunately, that retort caused his heart to fall into the pit of his stomach, and the warlock could feel it fall every step of the way. Arthur kept him around for reasons unbeknownst to Merlin. He could only guess it was because Arthur liked his company and found him amusing. Arthur didn't "like" him the way Merlin "liked" him.
"Where's my breakfast? Or should I say lunch at this point?" Arthur asked, tapping his foot on the stone floor, his eyebrows raised. His lips were pursed, exposing their wonderful pouty thickness.
Merlin shook his head dejectedly. "I forgot it, Sire."
Arthur leaned forward a bit, putting a hand to his ear. "What? I couldn't hear you Merlin. Speak up."
Merlin closed his eyes and shouted, "I forgot it, Sire!"
Arthur leaned back, clasping his hands together. "Ah, so there's the truth. Merlin, you know what's happening in a few days right? In case you've forgotten that, I'll let you in on it again." He moved closer to Merlin, and shouted into his ear, "The jousting competitions you idiot! How am I supposed to train when all I can hear is my stomach growling at me?"
Merlin winced as the sound waves berated against his ear drum. His neck sank into his shoulders as he tried to get away from Arthur's shouting. He opened one eye when all became silent. He didn't have time to prepare when Arthur slapped the back of his head; His own hand going up to nurse the agitated area. "I know the jousting is coming up. I'm sorry." Oddly enough, Merlin didn't feel like fighting with Arthur. He felt like going home, back to his real home, curling up into his mother's lap and crying about how cruel the world is.
Arthur sighed, dropping his shoulders; becoming less formal. "Merlin, you know I don't like it when you get all sad. When you get sad, I don't get the satisfaction of being up on you, I just feel...guilty."
Merlin's blue eyes shined happily as his head perked up. "You feel guilty?"
Arthur slapped him on the back of the head, playfully this time. "Shut up."
All seemed to be back in its place, as Merlin smiled at his master. He walked out of the room, going to find Arthur something to eat. It was funny to think about, how one second they were teasing each other playfully, then really arguing, then back to teasing. He wondered if real friends did that or if this was just how Arthur was to Merlin, if it was...special. A warm feeling nursed Merlin's heart at the thought. He couldn't help but allow a large smile to grace his features, reaching his eyes, making them shine like crystal water at midday. He picked up some grapes, a piece of bread and a handsome helping of ham strips for the prince. Merlin prayed that this would make Arthur quit complaining.
He walked into the room, not paying much attention to where Arthur had gone. The man could smell food a mile away. He turned around and nearly yelped. Arthur had come in shirtless. "W-what were you doing out there without clothes?" Merlin asked in a panic. He had to fight the blush that was trying to force its way up his sculpted cheeks. It was a losing battle.
"Morgana wanted to talk to me, we just got to walking. It's not like I was strutting around out in public. What's with you today?" Arthur shot back, going to sit in his chair and finally eat his food.
Merlin nodded, afraid that if he spoke he would simply confess his undying love to Arthur. He watched Arthur eat, secretly enjoying how the other seemed to chew in an "o" like fashion; his lips stretching then pursing over and over again as he chewed. Merlin wondered if those lips were as soft as they looked.
Images of his dream flashed into his mind. The feeling of those hands, the sound of his voice... He started to breath quickly, turning away from Arthur, hoping that he could calm himself down. This was beginning to get out of hand...
"Merlin..." Arthur beckoned.
The warlock closed his eyes tightly, bracing himself as he took a deep breath, and turned around. He analyzed Arthur's utterly befuddled gaze. "You know, you always have that look on your face. I'm beginning to wonder if you're stupid."
Arthur's eyes narrowed and he angrily bit off a piece of his bread. "Ha, ha. You're so clever Merlin."
The dark haired man smiled triumphantly at his wit. He knew this moment was short-lived. Soon Arthur would be telling him a giant list of things he needed to do, but for the moment, he'd relish in his small win.
"Merlin, since you're just standing there, why don't I find something to keep you busy." Of course it wasn't a question. Arthur sat back in his chair, looking about his room. "For starters, you could change my bed sheets, scrub the floors and fetch me some firewood. My stock is running low." He turned his blonde head to the window, analyzing it for a moment.
Merlin knew better though. Arthur wouldn't just appreciate the day; he was plotting something in that thick head of his.
"And after you're finished with that, muck out the stables, polish my armor, and do my laundry."
"I never do your laundry," Merlin so foolishly stated in surprise.
"Exactly." Arthur stood up, and clapped him on the shoulder lightly. "Have fun." He walked out the room. Merlin knew he was proud of himself.
The poor wizard sighed heavily. He listened to the double doors shut, indicating that he was all alone in the room. He knew Arthur was going down to train. The prince pushed himself twice has hard when there was a competition coming up. Merlin looked at the large bed. He wondered what it felt like to lay in it...
He slipped off his shoes and jumped into the bed. The feathers inside the mattress greeted him warmly as the cushioned his body, caressing it lovingly. The silken sheets felt like they were giggling against his skin as he rolled about in them. The warlock inhaled deeply, taking in Arthur's scent. It was a mix between leather and sandalwood. A very masculine scent in Merlin's opinion. He giggled at himself as he continued to roll himself tightly into a cocoon, tucked away inside the sheets. He longed to feel Arthur's hands as they lay together at night. Would they feel like the ones in his dream? Rough, but strong and warm or were they different?
Merlin sighed heavily as his world crashed around him, spilling all his dreams and fantasies overboard. He would never get a chance to know. He would never truly feel Arthur's arms around his waist, or hear his voice, cooing softly into his ear. The closest thing he'd get would be Arthur yanking him out of the way of something, or the shouting into his ears.
He lay inside the cocoon, feeling his heart break off piece by piece. Merlin truthfully didn't know how much more of this he could take. It was self-inflicted torture.
The youth's eyes snapped open as he realized just whose voice that was. That deep voice, accented with a twinge of confusion at the end. Oh no... Merlin clumsily flailed about in the sheets, trying to find a way out of them.
His head popped out and he starred in horror at Arthur. The blonde had an eyebrow raised and was clearly waiting for an explanation.
"I can explain!"