Harlequin's Slash Fic

First Night: 01 Someone Else

Title: First Night: 01 Someone Else
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Merlin
Characters featured: Merlin/Arthur, with a bit of Merlin/Will
Category, Word count: Short story; 2335 words
Rating: NC17
Summary: Merlin is delighted by Camelot, and especially by all the hunky men. He thinks he’s in luck when he sees the most beautiful of them all on his first night in Camelot: a golden-haired knight brushing down his horse in the stables…
Kudos: Nominated in the Best Merlin Characterisation category in The Camelot Awards, Spring 09. XD


Someone Else

‘You’re free, you know,’ said Will. And he wistfully added, ‘Of course you know. You were always free.’

Merlin looked over his shoulder and through the window. The eastern sky was already lightening, ending this last night they would spend together. He turned back to where Will lay beside him. ‘I’ll miss you,’ Merlin offered.

Will ran a hand through Merlin’s thick hair. ‘Not for long. You’ll find someone else.’

‘I won’t if you come with me.’

But Will just sighed. ‘You know I can’t. You’re too big for Ealdor, and I’m too… small and bitter for Camelot. Anyway,’ he added, ‘you’re not mine, and you never were, so it’s better I let you go now before you start hating me.’

‘I’d never hate you!’

Will didn’t bother arguing. He just reached for Merlin, and kissed him one last time. ‘There,’ he said. ‘Now we’re done.’

Despite the wrench of leaving home, despite missing his mother and his best friend – despite the first thing he witnessed in Camelot being the execution of someone who’d used magic, and despite immediately afterwards betraying his own magic to Gaius – Merlin loved being in Camelot. There was so much of it, in every way – so many people, so many buildings, so much going on. And all of it new and interesting and waiting for his discovery – not like Ealdor where the little there was was all so very familiar. He even had a whole room to himself, a round room in one of the turrets.

Merlin gazed out of his window that night at the castle and the town spread out below him in the moonlight, fires blazing and a general hubbub of conversation and activity rising with the wood–smoke through the cool air. There was no way he could settle yet, he was way too excited.

Gaius was already asleep and snoring on his narrow bed, with a book lying open across his chest and his glasses askew on his nose. Merlin crept past him and out into the corridor, then headed off exploring.

At first he wandered the castle, or the bits of it that weren’t guarded by soldiers. There were plenty of people about, mostly workers and servants. A couple of maids sauntered past him, arms full of bedding and quite possibly sizing him up from head to toe – then bursting into giggles and dashing off to safety when he smiled at them. He decided that was a good sign. There were plenty of pretty women around Camelot. But the men – oh, the men!

Here one came now, a sturdy servant of some kind. A bit old for Merlin, perhaps, but still very handsome with his dark brown curls and bright eyes. Merlin couldn’t help but return his good–natured smile, and as he walked past, the man winked mischievously. The man actually winked at him! Merlin thought he was going to enjoy Camelot rather a lot.

When compared to the thin, careworn men of Ealdor, the men of Camelot all seemed strong and sure and unburdened. Even the servants and townsfolk, let alone the soldiers and freemen of the castle. And then there were the knights… Merlin had glimpsed a couple of them that evening, and thought them just the most marvellous beings.

When he’d poked his nose around all of the castle that he could, Merlin wandered out into the forecourt. But it stretched emptily around him, so he headed off down a passageway from where he could see a glow of light and movement, and hear the clopping of a horse on cobblestones. And it was there, as he approached the stables, that he beheld a real vision.

As Merlin came out of the passageway and into a yard, everything around him was suddenly quiet, and there was no one else but the man he could see inside the stables brushing down a horse. The torchlight was gold, as was the man’s hair, and the skin of his hands and forearms was the palest gold. The horse glowed ivory, as did the man’s loose shirt. His tan britches fit snugly around strong supple thighs and an elegantly curved rear… Glints slid off a pile of discarded armour – the man was a knight! And the backdrop to all this was sunburnt hay, a whitewashed wall, and blackened wood beams. Beautiful. The whole scene was as beautiful as if it were a dream.

Merlin crept closer, eyes fixed on the figure working away before him. Then, as he reached the doorway to the stables, the man seemed to sense his presence, and began to turn around. Don’t let him be ugly, Merlin prayed. Don’t even let him be plain. He held his breath. But he wasn’t disappointed. The man’s profile was gorgeous, and then as he faced Merlin it was clear that he was the most beautiful being Merlin had ever seen.

The knight cast a look over him standing there, stranded, awe–struck, not quite daring to venture inside. Gaping, probably. Yes. Merlin shut his mouth.

‘Did you want me?’

Merlin’s mouth fell open again. Was that how it happened in Camelot? You hardly even had to ogle someone, and they’d casually proposition you…? Oh my! Merlin was going to love Camelot.

The knight read his thoughts, and snorted a laugh. ‘I meant, were you looking for me? Have you brought me a message?’

‘Oh! No, I don’t have any messages.’ He probably looked ridiculously disappointed.

Another laugh, and a shake of the head, before the knight returned to his task. But after a moment he glanced back at Merlin, and looked him over. Sizing him up, in much the same way as the maids had done.

Merlin smiled hopefully in response, and tried to imitate the upright, very masculine stance that the knights had displayed so effortlessly. He was sure he hadn’t quite got the knack of that yet.

‘I don’t know you, do I?’ It was a rhetorical question. The man had a perfectly clear speaking voice. Very cultured. Beautiful, like the rest of him.

‘No, you don’t.’ Merlin stepped forward, offering his hand. ‘I’m –’

‘No,’ the knight said, cutting him off. ‘I don’t want to know your name.’ But he was looking at Merlin, speculating. And he said, ‘Come closer.’

Merlin obeyed, stepping into the circle of torchlight. The man was looking at Merlin quite frankly now, though with a self–contained reserve that Merlin might have found chilling under other circumstances. As it was, the notion of where that gaze might lead warmed him through to his core.

‘No, I don’t know you,’ the man muttered. ‘I’d have remembered that pretty mouth.’

Oh… Merlin stepped forward. He was almost within arm’s reach now. ‘I like yours, too,’ he confided.


‘Your mouth. I like your mouth. It’s very nice. Better than nice. Pretty, like you said.’ It wasn’t a word Merlin had had much use for before. ‘Very pretty. I’m babbling, aren’t I?’

‘Yes.’ The knight smiled, still with that reserved air, but also as if he were intrigued despite himself. ‘I think you should quit babbling, and show me what else you can do with that pretty mouth of yours.’

Merlin moaned, and stepped forward again, lifting his hands to capture that beautiful face. The knight looked startled, and backed up against his horse, even though he’d just invited Merlin’s kiss. But then Merlin’s mouth was on his, and the knight’s lips parted as if to protest – for a moment hands came up to push at Merlin’s shoulders, but Merlin hung on – and then they were each kissing the other for real. Passionately. Clumsily. But learning each other quickly, so that by the time they parted they had already discovered a rhythm they could both lead with, they could both follow.

Merlin stared hungrily at this beautiful man, who gazed back at him with dazed blue eyes, his breath coming hard. After a moment, the man glanced downwards quite pointedly, and he said huskily, ‘What else can you do…?’

He didn’t need to be asked twice. Merlin dropped to his knees and fumbled with the fastenings of the tan britches. Found the hard golden treasure inside, and took it into his eager mouth. The knight muffled a fraught cry, groaned deeply instead. One hand reaching out to grasp the horse’s shoulders to steady himself, and the other cupping the back of Merlin’s head, forcing him though he didn’t need to be forced. But Merlin didn’t mind his partner being a bit rough and demanding. Didn’t mind at all.

Too soon, the knight let out another groan, and he was coming, shuddering, his seed pulsing into Merlin’s mouth. Merlin swallowed greedily, and stayed with him all the way. Until finally the knight was done, and Merlin wrapped his arms around those lovely hips, that beautiful butt, the strong thighs, pressing his face against the damp softening cock, the tight globes of his balls.

Once the knight had regained his breath, he stroked Merlin’s hair. ‘Well,’ he said, his voice still a bit shaky, ‘all things considered, that wasn’t so bad.’

Merlin scoffed, and sat back on his heels to look up at the man. It was perfectly obvious that his efforts had actually been greatly appreciated.

‘And you?’ the man asked distantly. ‘Not done yet, I suppose?’

‘Not yet,’ Merlin confirmed.

The knight sighed, and lifted his chin and rolled his eyes, as if there were no end to his tiresome duties. ‘Come on, then,’ and he held out his hand.

Merlin stood, and was led over to a pile of loose straw. They lay down together, but the knight insisted on Merlin lying with his back to him. Perhaps he didn’t want to kiss Merlin and taste his own seed. Oh well… Merlin couldn’t complain once the man’s hand worked its way down inside his britches, and began an insistent clever tugging motion. He groaned, reached behind him to grasp that beautiful body, and pressed back closer still. Oh, that’s good… Oh, that’s so damned good… And soon, too soon, he was coming in great crashing waves of ivory and gold.

They lay there together for a little while, until the knight stirred restlessly. He’d be gone in a few minutes, Merlin figured, which was a real shame as Merlin loved holding and being held afterwards. ‘You know,’ Merlin said, ‘I only arrived in Camelot today, but I’ve already discovered one very important fact.’

‘What’s that?’ the knight asked, though it was obvious he wasn’t particularly curious about the answer.

‘I have a bit of a thing for knights.’

That drew a surprised chuckle. ‘Ah, well. You’ll be disappointed from now on, as you’ve already had the finest.’

You’re the finest knight in Camelot?’ Merlin asked with some scepticism.


‘I thought Prince Arthur was meant to be the finest.’

A moment’s silence, and then a delighted laugh. Apparently the man didn’t mind being caught out. ‘All right. Yes, he is – but you can’t have him. I suppose you must be content with having merely the second finest…’

Merlin wriggled over onto his back, so he could look up at the knight, who had risen onto an elbow. ‘You’re very beautiful, you know,’ Merlin offered. ‘I’m sure you’re the beautifulest knight in Camelot.’

The man just looked down at him, and traced an idle finger down Merlin’s long face, and across the mouth he’d called pretty. But when he spoke, it was in his distant, self–contained tones. ‘It’s rather a shame, really – but, of course, if I ever see you again, I will not know you.’

‘What? Of course you’ll know me.’

‘I will not recognise you.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because it won’t do, you idiot. It won’t do for the finest knight – the second finest knight in Camelot to be tumbling a stable–boy in the hay.’

‘I’m not a stable–boy!’ Merlin protested. Then he frowned. ‘And even if I were –’

‘Either way, it just won’t do, all right? So, thank you, but that’s that.’ And the man finally pulled away, stood up, and began rearranging his clothing.

Merlin clambered to his feet, too. ‘Look!’ he cried, feeling completely outraged. ‘You can’t just dismiss me like that.’

‘I think you’ll find I just did.’

‘No, I won’t have it!’

The knight shook his head. ‘You’re really in no position to make demands.’

Merlin stared at him. Well, it hadn’t taken long for that idyll to bite the dust. ‘You arrogant twat,’ he said.

‘You’ve no idea how stupid you’ve just been. Imbecile,’ he added for good measure. The knight grabbed up his leather jerkin and sword, but left everything else where it lay. On his way out, he paused close by Merlin’s shoulder. ‘You’d better learn your place, stable–boy, or you won’t last two days around here.’

And he strode away, heading back up towards the castle. Merlin watched him go, with turmoil in his heart. In his head, though, there was little other than righteous indignation.

And on the very next day, Merlin discovered that his golden–haired knight, the most beautiful being he’d ever seen, was also a thug and a bully. He was making some poor fellow into a moving target for knife–throwing practice.

Merlin stopped him, and told him that was enough. ‘You’ve had your fun, my friend.’

But, as promised, there was no hint of recognition on that scornful beautiful face. ‘Do I know you?’

He held out his hand. Better late than never for introductions. ‘I’m Merlin.’

‘So, I don’t know you.’

Apparently not. He played along. ‘No.’

‘Yet you called me friend.’

‘That was my mistake.’

‘Yes, I think so.’

From there it escalated into insults and threats, until Merlin found himself thrown into the dungeons for swinging a punch at the prat. For it turned out that this beautiful arrogant twat was indeed the finest knight in Camelot. And Merlin had managed to fall in love with Prince Arthur himself.

This did not bode well.

Posted in: Merlin, Slash fic

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18 responses to “First Night: 01 Someone Else”

  1. avatar Tia says:

    Loved reading this. Fluidly written and good characters. Glad to have found you here from link in merlinxarthur on LJ.

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Tia – Thanks! So glad you liked this one. I very much enjoyed writing it, but comments like yours are the icing and the cherry on the cake. :-)

  2. avatar Betsy says:


  3. avatar Salem says:

    thank you for Merln/Arthur that does not contain a doe-eyed, demure, and submissive Merlin. That was extremely hot and fit totally seamlessly into the first episode. good job!

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Salem – Thank you kindly for commenting! I’m glad my Merlin is robust enough for you. :-D Someone wiser than I said it first (but I certainly agree), that he seems rather more confident and secure than Arthur within the show. I’m also glad the story was not only hot but canonical. I do try to be both!
      Thank you again.

  4. avatar mcicioni says:

    I second Salem’s comment – it fits beautifully within canon. A strong, if naive, gay Merlin is pure delight. So happy that you’re writing easily 8-)

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Thank you, my sweet! So glad you approve. :-) This one seemed to go such a treat, I am sure I’ll be doing a sequel soon…

  5. avatar Jenny says:

    Love it!!!

  6. avatar Corri_kun says:

    This was awesome! Loved the characterizations and the simple but foreshadowing intimacy, it worked really well with the actual episode.

    Have you written a sequel by any chance?

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Corri_kun – Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m really pleased this one worked for you – I have to admit I was rather pleased with how it worked out. Sometimes they just seem to write themselves, you know? It feels so good when that happens, but then of course it’s even better when other people like it, too. :-)

  7. avatar Dany says:

    WOW, reading this is like watching a better version of Merlin. Awesome!

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Dany – Awww… You’re too kind! :-) I’m delighted that this fic feels like the real ‘Merlin’ for you. That’s what I’d been hoping for, of course. :-D I am too humble to agree with ‘better’, but I don’t mind hearing it. XD Thanks for commenting!

  8. avatar Nagi says:

    The whole anonymity thing is pretty hot. The way you wove in canon was pretty awesome, too.

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Nagi – Thank you! I’m delighted that this one worked for you. I really enjoyed writing it, I have to say – and it did seem to fit into the canon fairly easily, I was pleased to find. (Will catch you again in the next comment…) ♥

  9. avatar da-cursednlucky says:

    :D This is one of my all-time favorite stories ever.


    • avatar Harlequin says:

      da-cursednlucky – Thank you so very much! What a delightful thing to hear first thing in the morning. :-) ♥

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