Harlequin's Slash Fic

Consequences

Title: Consequences
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Merlin
Characters featured: Arthur/Merlin, Arthur/Lancelot/Merlin
Category, Word count: Short story; 5483 words
Rating: NC17
Summary: Arthur starts having sex with his man servant, thinking there can be few consequences to such a relationship. However, their shared attraction to Lancelot helps provoke stronger emotions.
Notes: Draws on elements of episodes 1×02 Valiant, 1×04 The Poisoned Chalice, and 1×05 Lancelot. Written because wiccaqueen quite rightly said there wasn’t enough jealous!Arthur or Arthur/Lancelot (with apologies if this doesn’t quite hit the right kinks).

Consequences

Bruising

Arthur strode into his rooms and found his man servant there with his shirt off. Which certainly seemed like a significant step in the right direction, as Arthur was feeling unbearably restlessly on that afternoon.

Not that Merlin seemed to have any particularly salacious intent in being partially disrobed. He was standing with his back to the large mirror, twisting his torso and peering around his shoulder to examine the bruises mottling his skin. ‘Impressive,’ Arthur observed.

Merlin looked up, startled, and then favoured him with a sour look. ‘I don’t know why you call them self–defence lessons, when you land every single blow.’

Arthur let out a laugh. ‘If you can’t learn to parry the hard way, then you’ll never learn.’

‘Oh, so you’re just motivating me, are you? Yeah, thanks for that.’

Merlin was about to shrug his shirt on again, but Arthur lifted a hand to stop him. ‘Come over here.’ And Arthur headed towards the bed.

‘What do you want?’ A sulky reluctant tone, although Merlin obeyed readily enough.

A huff of breath. ‘The way you talk to me…’ Arthur grumbled.

Merlin was standing beside him now. Beside the bed. Half naked, with his shirt rumpled up in one hand. Adding an insolently amused smile to the mix, Merlin asked, ‘What do you want, sire…?’

Arthur grasped him by the upper arms, turned him around. Bent a little to press a kiss to the bruise on a shoulder–blade. Merlin stifled a gasp – of surprise, Arthur thought, rather than pain or pleasure. He lent down a little further, pressed another kiss to the bruising on his servant’s ribs. A third kiss to a dark purple bruise in the hollow of the small of his back. That one must have hurt. ‘You’re braver than I took you for,’ Arthur commented. ‘Standing still for all this.’

Merlin guffawed. ‘What? The hitting or the kissing?’

‘Both.’

‘Do I have a choice? In either?’

‘No.’

‘Anyway…’ Merlin sighed as Arthur kissed the tender skin at his waist despite the fact there wasn’t a bruise there. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’

‘Isn’t it obvious?’

‘No.’

An older, yellowing bruise trailed down under Merlin’s britches. Arthur reached his hands around the man to start working on the fastenings. Fumbled the britches open somehow, and pushed them lower. Knelt to trail soft kisses down along the bruise as it ran onto one of Merlin’s narrow buttocks.

‘Arthur…’ he murmured, as if Merlin was starting to get the idea, but still wondering whether he should quite believe it.

Arthur stood, turned Merlin around again. Cupped that long pale eldritch face in one hand, and leant in to kiss those oddly pretty lips, which responded somewhat ineptly. Slipped his other hand down to grasp Merlin’s half–hearted cock, and tug it into a rather more respectful attitude towards its prince.

‘Arthur…’ Merlin murmured again as Arthur began mouthing at that long throat. ‘Please. What are you –’

‘Damn it, Merlin, you can’t be that dense. I’m going to fuck you. All right?’

‘Oh!’ Surprised, but intrigued – that’s what his response sounded like. And Merlin’s cock was definitely involving itself in the situation. ‘But I… Arthur…’

He wasn’t in the mood for talk. It had been weeks since he’d last had the pleasure, and he was impatient to get this done. Merlin was hardly his ideal choice for a tumble, but he’d do well enough.

Arthur hefted Merlin down to lie across the bed, and fetched the small bottle of oil from the nearby drawers. Merlin obviously didn’t quite know what to do, lying there leaning back on his elbows, his britches round his thighs and his cock standing proud from thick black curls. ‘On your side,’ Arthur told him. ‘Facing that way,’ he added when Merlin started to turn towards him.

‘Arthur… Please, I haven’t –’

He undid his own britches, lay down behind Merlin. Swiped a handful of oil over his own hungry cock. It twitched, and strangely he thought, Merlin… Merlin! Trying not to remember his father’s harsh advice. Bed whomever you choose – but remember, there’s always a price to pay. ‘Merlin…’ he murmured.

‘Yes, Arthur. Yes –’ Then Merlin’s breath snagged as Arthur pushed inside. A low protesting cry from deep in his throat. He clenched around Arthur painfully.

‘God damn it, relax, would you?’

Harsh panting breaths as Merlin visibly tried to comply. Arthur could see one of his hands fisting the sheets, and his thighs were trembling. A groan, and then Arthur’s name again.

‘Touch yourself,’ Arthur told him. ‘Take care of yourself.’

His breath snagged again, but then Merlin seemed to force himself to take his own cock into his hand – the change in Merlin’s focus allowed Arthur to push further home – then Merlin was teasing himself back into interest with a distraught moan.

Despite which, Arthur was done far quicker. He’d been needing this for so long, and Merlin was so very tight, murmuring his name whenever he had the breath for it. Soon enough Arthur was pulsing into him, crying out. It was relief, it was pleasure, it was unexpectedly compelling. Then he reached around to help quickly finish Merlin off.

Afterwards Merlin watched him, bemused. Those blue eyes, usually so candid, were veiled with uncertainty.

‘What?’ asked Arthur. ‘Are we done here? You can go, if you want.’

‘Arthur –’

‘Yes?’ Here it came. The consequences. The insolence.

Merlin considered him some more. But then he sighed, and grumbled, ‘God, you really are an utter prat, aren’t you?’

‘And you really are an idiot,’ he ground out. ‘You can go now.’

‘Yes, sire,’ came the mocking reply.

Moments later Arthur was alone. Had he expected anything else? He certainly hadn’t wanted anything else. Had he?

Within a week of that encounter – and after more such encounters, perhaps at least once a day, if anyone had cared enough to pay that much attention – Merlin was drinking from a poisoned goblet intended for Arthur. And Arthur was risking his life to find the plant that would provide the antidote. There’s always a price to pay, Uther had told him. The problem being that the prince hadn’t quite anticipated what kind of cost would be involved in bedding his own man servant.

Celebration

It was getting on for midnight, and the celebrations were starting to mellow into something quieter. The more sensible sorts had already headed off for the night, while the hardened drinkers were settled in small groups around the hall with the necessary stock of flagons and goblets and bottles. talking or joking in a constant murmur that occasionally broke out into raucous laughter. Others had paired off, and had either found suitable shadows in which to make out, or somewhat more discreetly left for their own rooms.

Arthur looked around restlessly. He was sitting alone on a table, two goblets of wine waiting ignored beside him. He’d had plans to take his new knight back to his own chambers to continue the celebrations in a slightly different manner, but there was no sign of Lancelot anywhere. Arthur looked for Merlin instead, as the two were pretty much inseparable, but couldn’t see his servant either. Perhaps they’d headed for Merlin’s room already, where Lancelot was apparently still sleeping despite being told he could move to the knights’ quarters; Merlin never did have a head for drink, so perhaps Lancelot was seeing him safely home. Arthur pondered whether he should go track down the knight himself, or send a boy to fetch him.

He got up and headed out of the hall, in the vague direction of the forecourt, hoping to find someone to send before he got too far. But he discovered both his knight and his man servant far sooner than anticipated. They were standing in a corridor, nowhere in particular, and Lancelot’s hands were cupping Merlin’s face reverentially, and Lancelot was kissing him. Merlin’s hands were half raised, hovering in the air as if he’d been startled. And as Arthur watched he saw that Lancelot’s kiss was sweet and gentle and respectful and loving. All the things that Arthur’s kisses weren’t.

All the things that Arthur never would be, if his fury had any say in the matter. He – Arthur Pendragon, Prince of Camelot – had been planning on having Lancelot that night. He would not see his rights usurped by a mere village boy, a man servant – a servant, moreover, already belonging to Arthur. Who on earth did these two think they were?

The kiss broke at last, and Lancelot smiled happily. One of his hands dropped to Merlin’s shoulder, while the other thumb traced Merlin’s cheekbone, that sharp beautiful cheekbone lit by torchlight and by his delighted grin. Lancelot murmured, ‘My dearest friend…’

Merlin was just about to respond in kind when he saw Arthur standing there not three yards distant. Merlin’s head went down, though not quite quickly enough to hide a flare of anger and resentment. He knew he wouldn’t be allowed to have this for himself now – but he and Lancelot had already had their chances, sharing a room for these last few nights. If they were only getting around to it now, that was hardly Arthur’s problem.

Lancelot had turned to face Arthur, to bow his head with the utmost respect. ‘My lord.’

Arthur said to Merlin, ‘My chambers. Now. And bring your friend.’ He strode off down the corridor.

The two men followed him.

They had all drunk more than enough already, so when Arthur told Merlin to pour wine, he added, ‘Make it well watered. And one for yourself.’

‘Yes, sire,’ Merlin murmured, his obedient tone not betraying his awareness of the fact that the prince only offered the servant this small hospitality when he intended to bed him.

Arthur took off his own jacket, then waited near the table while Merlin brought over the goblets. He lifted his own in a toast to the knight. ‘To Camelot’s newest knight, Sir Lancelot.’

Merlin echoed the toast – ‘Sir Lancelot!’ – while the knight bowed his head and murmured his thanks.

Arthur let the other two take a mouthful of wine before he said, ‘Well, Lancelot, now you’ve practiced your skills on my servant, why don’t you try to impress me…?’

Lancelot was startled. He understood well enough, but apparently hadn’t expected anything of the kind. Needing confirmation, Lancelot glanced back at his friend Merlin, who rolled his eyes and shrugged, before turning away with a sour set to his mouth. Then Lancelot looked back at Arthur. ‘Yes, sire.’ And there was everything in the knight’s expression that the prince could want: hunger, humility, a sense of wonder. When Lancelot finally stepped close to kiss him, all of that and more was expressed in the way his mouth moved against Arthur’s, in the tempered passion, in the devouring tenderness.

When they finally broke apart, Arthur noted that Merlin hadn’t been able to help watching. He was envious, and it seemed he was annoyed with all three of them; Arthur was pleased, in a bitter kind of way. ‘Merlin,’ he said. ‘Lancelot requires your assistance in disrobing.’ And he sat in his chair to watch as this beautiful man was revealed.

Lancelot stood there, cooperating with Merlin, casting him an occasional compassionate glance. Which Merlin didn’t appreciate, as he was never one who liked to be pitied. By the time he was done, Merlin was merely looking unhappy – all the rebelliousness had been knocked out of him. He kept his eyes lowered while Arthur gazed unashamedly at his friend, revelling in the compact virile nut–brown strength of him.

‘Wait there,’ Arthur advised Lancelot. ‘Wait where I can see you.’ Then he stood, and said to Merlin, ‘Now undress me as well.’

Merlin set about the task with a quiet efficiency that was almost unprecedented. When he was done, he carried Arthur’s clothes over to the cupboard where they belonged, pointedly turning his back, occupying himself with folding and shelving.

‘Well,’ Arthur said to Lancelot. ‘What do you think?’

Lancelot’s mouth quirked in a smile, but he said with the utmost sincerity, ‘You are very beautiful, my lord. You are the perfect knight. The embodiment of the perfect prince.’

‘And what do you want to do about that?’

Again, Lancelot responded exactly as he should. He took two long strides over to Arthur, fell to his knees, and proceeded to worship him: mouth taking in Arthur’s cock, hands spread reverently on Arthur’s stomach, a contented moan resounding through Arthur’s every nerve.

Arthur growled his pleasure. Looked up from that dark head to see Merlin watching them, absolutely glowering. Dissatisfied. Disgruntled. Good. Merlin wasn’t as much fun when he was respectful. ‘Merlin,’ Arthur said. Then he gasped and shuddered as Lancelot suddenly doubled his efforts. ‘Merlin!’

‘Yes, sire?’ Almost insolent. That was more like it.

‘Merlin, turn down the bed, would you?’

‘Yes, sire.’

‘Lancelot,’ he murmured. ‘Oh God…’ It seemed Lancelot was prepared to finish things right here and now. ‘Stop! Come to bed, for God’s sake.’

‘Yes, my lord.’

Arthur took one of Lancelot’s hands in his, helped him to his feet. Led him to the bed. They lay down together, shifting into a loose embrace.

Then Lancelot – the hitherto perfectly obedient Lancelot – murmured, ‘And Merlin, my lord…?’ in Arthur’s ear.

Arthur snorted, and then echoed, ‘Merlin!’ in his most authoritative voice.

‘All right, all right,’ Merlin grumbled, heading for the door. ‘I’m going.’

Arthur let him get as far as reaching for the door handle. Then he announced, ‘You don’t have to go. You can stay.’

Merlin kept his back turned. ‘I’m not staying if I’m just watching.’

‘Come here, you idiot. You don’t have to watch.’

Merlin glared murder at Arthur. But he looked at Lancelot, and he softened a little. Then he was striding back towards the bed, discarding his clothes along the way, letting them drop to the floor. And he climbed in on the other side of the bed, and shifted directly up against Lancelot – who moaned, reached an arm back to encompass Merlin’s head, to drag him close – and they were kissing, while Arthur looked on bemused, and he might almost have felt like he was being dangerously ignored, but then Lancelot’s other hand slid down in between them, made a strong fist around Arthur’s cock, and started a slow deliberate pump.

Lancelot was lost in the pleasure of it, which was no surprise with his prince on one side and his friend on the other, both paying him a great deal of attention. He was hot and dark and beautiful – and incredibly sexy. ‘I’m going to fuck you,’ Arthur muttered in his ear.

‘Sire…’ Lancelot sighed in a fraught kind of surrender.

‘Merlin. Prepare us both.’ Once Merlin had turned away to find the bottle of oil, Arthur grinned to himself. There were obvious benefits to this kind of threesome, for Merlin could do all the work and Arthur could reap all the rewards.

He watched while Merlin eased a careful finger inside Lancelot, while Lancelot gasped for breath, his body taut. ‘That’s it,’ Merlin was murmuring, ‘just let it happen. Just let me in. There… Is that hurting?’

‘No, my friend,’ Lancelot managed in reply. ‘No, my dearest.’

Merlin regarded him for a long moment while gently thrusting that finger within him. Then he bent to whisper something in Lancelot’s ear. Lancelot looked at him, and shook his head in reply. Merlin glanced at Arthur. ‘You’re not going to insist, are you? If Lancelot would rather not.’

Lancelot was staring up at Arthur in horror as he heard this. ‘My lord! Of course you must do as you will.’

‘What’s the problem?’ Arthur asked Merlin.

‘You’d be his first.’

Arthur’s heart pounded. He wanted it all the more now. ‘Lancelot…?’

‘Yes, sire – please – you do me great honour.’

‘Do you hear that, Merlin? I do him great honour.’

Merlin gave him a sardonic look, still carefully working away at his friend. ‘Be gentle, if you’re going to insist.’

Arthur ground out, ‘Get me ready.’

Lancelot was on his back, cradled in Merlin’s arms, and Arthur was thrust deep and still within him. He held himself up at arm’s length so he could see them both – both beautiful men, Lancelot all dark and smouldering, and Merlin all pale and intriguing. Lancelot fraught, strung out on too much pleasure and pain, and Merlin loving, excited yet concerned for his friend. Merlin murmuring in Lancelot’s ear with those too–pretty lips, Merlin watching Lancelot’s face with those too–blue eyes. Merlin was never so solicitous of Arthur’s pleasure when it was just the two of them. Something dissatisfied churned within Arthur’s chest.

Well, he was almost done anyway. ‘Merlin,’ Arthur said. ‘Finish him off.’

And without even deigning to look at Arthur, Merlin reached down to take his friend’s cock into his grip, and to slowly gently tug him towards the inevitable end – pressing kisses to his friend’s face, and taking his own sweet time, forcing Arthur to hold on and hold on and on until he thought the self–control would turn him to stone. But then at last Lancelot spilled over with a half–protesting groan, his seed pouring across Merlin’s long fingers, and his body tightening unbearably around Arthur – who yelled hoarsely as he came with too much pleasure and too much pain.

He collapsed back into his place on the bed, and let Merlin take care of Lancelot. There was much soothing and murmuring, and cleaning of seed. Lancelot pushed his hand down to hold one of Arthur’s hands in his, just a loose reassurance, an expression of gratitude, a wish to not yet be parted. And yet Lancelot was murmuring, ‘My friend, my dearest, what of you…?’ And despite Merlin’s demurral, Arthur was sleepily aware of Lancelot bringing Merlin off with his other hand, coaxing him to a quiet sweet stuttering finish.

He let them have a few minutes, but then Arthur said, ‘All right, we’re done here.’ He wanted his bed back, he wanted his rooms back, he wanted himself back. ‘You can go.’

‘Sire,’ Lancelot murmured. He presumed to lift Arthur’s hand to press a kiss to it.

Arthur shifted just far enough to return the favour with a kiss to Lancelot’s temple before he let him up. ‘Thank you,’ he said.

‘Thank you, my lord.’

‘Merlin,’ Arthur found himself saying.

‘Yes, sire?’ He was clumsily getting back into his clothes, helping a tired Lancelot back into his. At least enough to see them decently back to Merlin’s room. But in the midst of that Merlin paused, and awaited orders.

Arthur wondered what he’d been going to say. It was gone now, whatever it was. Sleep was rushing down on him. ‘Merlin…’ he said again.

And he slipped under.

Farewell

Arthur stared after Lancelot as he walked out of the throne room for what might well be the last time. After a long moment, he turned back to his father. They had been shouting at each other a moment before, but their anger had been undercut by Lancelot doing the noble thing and refusing to create an issue between king and prince. Instead, he was leaving the kingdom.

‘Father,’ Arthur said quietly, ‘Camelot is losing the most naturally gifted knight I’ve ever seen.’

‘He lied to you, Arthur,’ Uther responded in the same reasonable tones. ‘Why do you still think so well of him?’

‘I can forgive one mistake, when it was made with the best of intentions. He is not a bad person at heart. In fact, he is quite the opposite.’

Uther considered his son with a mixture of impatience and compassion. ‘There are some things that cannot be forgiven. If you only had yourself to think of, you might be lenient. But for you and me, the welfare of a kingdom is at stake.’

‘Yes, father. It’s not that I don’t understand your point.’

Uther rested a hand on his shoulder. ‘If this is a lesson you must learn the hard way, my son, I am not looking forward to the day on which you do.’

Arthur sighed. Then he nodded a goodnight to his father, and left. It was late.

He found Lancelot and Merlin in a corridor, talking quietly as they wandered along with their heads together. Judging by the set of their shoulders, they both felt utterly defeated. ‘Merlin,’ Arthur said clearly before he got close enough to overhear them. ‘Fix me a bath, would you? And, Lancelot, come with me.’

Merlin sighed and turned away towards the kitchens to start fetching hot water. Lancelot cast his friend a regretful glance, then murmured, ‘Yes, sire.’ He walked along at Arthur’s shoulder now. They did not speak.

‘You could probably do with a bath, too,’ Arthur observed once they were alone in his rooms. ‘Killing a griffin can raise a sweat, I suppose.’

‘Yes, sire,’ came the polite response. ‘I suppose it must do.’

‘Come on, help me off with this.’ And the two knights dealt with each other’s armour and chain mail and clothes while Merlin got a bath sorted out in front of the fire. ‘There’s room in there for two,’ Arthur said once they were naked.

Lancelot looked doubtful, but it was true. He ended up sitting with his back to Arthur, snugly fitting between Arthur’s thighs. Once they were settled, the two of them sank lower, letting the hot water ease the strains of fighting, of disappointment.

Merlin knelt on the floor beside them, and ran his hand back through Arthur’s hair. ‘There was blood before,’ he said when Arthur opened his eyes to look at him.

‘It’s fine,’ he replied.

‘You were knocked out. Um, that’s what Lancelot said. It must have been a hard enough blow to take you down!’

‘Don’t fuss, Merlin…’

But the man had some of Gaius’s healing balm, and insisted on gently working it into the slight wound. ‘Anywhere else?’ he asked.

‘Come here,’ Arthur said – and dragged him close with a hand round his nape, dragged him close for a kiss. Some silly impulse. It was nice, though. Once Merlin had gotten over his initial hesitancy and ineptness all those weeks ago, he’d soon learned how Arthur liked to be kissed. ‘There isn’t room in here for three,’ Arthur observed with an unexpected piquant twinge of regret.

‘No,’ Merlin agreed, his mouth quirking. He set to work washing Lancelot down, and then Arthur – as best he could in the cramped conditions, with two rather slothful knights to deal with in a small tub.

‘Sire,’ Lancelot murmured after a while. ‘There’s room in the bed for three.’

‘Mmm,’ Arthur agreed. ‘I do believe you’re right.’

Lancelot and Arthur dried themselves and each other off, while Merlin had a quick turn in the lukewarm bath. Then once again he followed them into bed, drawn to Lancelot, who was lying on his back in Arthur’s embrace. Merlin pressed the length of his body against Lancelot’s, resting his forehead against Lancelot’s, and confessed in a fraught whisper, ‘I can’t bear you going.’

‘But I must, my dearest friend. I can’t stay.’

‘I don’t want you to leave…’

‘None of us do,’ Arthur said, cutting across them. He pressed closer against Lancelot, shifted his arm to encompass the small of Merlin’s back, held them all three together.

‘I’m sorry, sire,’ Lancelot murmured. He closed his eyes for a long moment, lifting his hands to either side to grasp the shoulders of his friend and his prince. ‘I’m sorry, Merlin.’

A bereft groan from Merlin, and suddenly the two men were kissing lovingly desperately while Arthur looked on. Lancelot became more and more involved in the kiss, eventually rolling up onto his side to face his friend. Which Arthur would have really taken exception to, but Lancelot pushed his rear back against Arthur, shifting his hips to provocatively graze those strong buttocks against Arthur’s cock. And Arthur was sorely tempted to take what was on offer. To lose himself deep within his best knight’s dark tightness. But tonight he wanted more.

‘Lancelot,’ he said, not even caring that his voice was husky with need. ‘I want you to do for me what I did for you.’

A long still moment passed before Lancelot turned his head to look at him doubtfully. ‘My lord…?’ From just beyond him, Merlin stared at Arthur intensely with those clear blue eyes.

Arthur gave Lancelot a wry smile. ‘Come on, where is your courage, man?’

‘You were my first, my lord.’ Which was apparently as close as he could get to asking directly.

‘And you’ll be mine, likewise.’

‘My lord…’ Lancelot turned within the shared embrace, pushed in to kiss Arthur passionately. That was more like it; surely every man, every fighting man, had a strong urge to possess.

As Lancelot mouthed hotly, wetly down Arthur’s throat, Arthur found himself murmuring, ‘I don’t want you to forget…’ me… us… ‘You mustn’t forget Camelot.’

‘I won’t, sire,’ came the fervent promise. ‘I could never forget.’

‘Merlin,’ Arthur said, letting himself slowly ease from top to toe as Lancelot worked at his pleasure. ‘Merlin, get me ready.’

He was lying in between them, and Merlin was working a hot oiled finger within him while Lancelot pressed ardent kisses to and took passionate bites of every bit of Arthur’s skin he could reach, both of them shifting against him, softly thrusting hardness against him, treasuring him. Arthur had never felt more princely than now, caught between Lancelot’s worship and Merlin’s thoroughness. Merlin started trailing kisses down Arthur’s throat, knowing by now exactly how to provoke Arthur’s needy groans. Lancelot began gnawing at Arthur’s nipples – something Arthur hadn’t cared for before, but now found intensely pleasurable. ‘Merlin,’ he muttered after a while, as Lancelot began lapping soothingly at the hard sore nubs of flesh, ‘you could learn something here.’

‘Could I, sire…?’

Arthur glimpsed cheeky grins exchanged between the two men. ‘Yes.’

‘You’d better show me,’ Merlin suggested to Lancelot.

And before Arthur could protest, Merlin had pushed himself up, and Lancelot had leaned over Arthur to meet him, and Lancelot was demonstrating his technique directly on Merlin, who moaned happily.

He let them have a minute or two, but then Arthur cried, ‘Hey! I think you’re forgetting who outranks whom around here…’

‘Sorry, sire,’ Lancelot muttered – though Merlin just laughed. Laughed and wriggled his fingers, making Arthur gasp. ‘Sire…?’ Lancelot said.

‘Mmm…?’ Arthur felt half strung out with the expectation of more, and half satisfied with exactly what he already had. ‘Mmm, get on with it, would you…’

‘Sire, I thought… perhaps Merlin should have the honour you offered to me.’

Arthur looked at him. Looked at Merlin. Lancelot was humble, and Merlin hungry. Both of them so beautiful, each in their own ways. Both of them his. ‘Well, uh…’ Then something awful occurred to Arthur. ‘Lancelot, I grant you this great privilege –’

‘Yes, sire.’

‘And you want to pass it on to my servant…?’

Lancelot flushed. ‘Yes, sire. Not because I do not want it, you understand.’

‘No? Why, then?’

‘Because he deserves it, my lord. He deserves it more than I do.’

Arthur looked at them both again. God, he thought, they must care for each other so very deeply. His heart felt utterly wrung out by now, or else maybe it would have yearned for feelings that apparently could never be his. God… He could be magnanimous. ‘Well, uh… Merlin can have his turn,’ Arthur said. ‘When you’re done. If I’m –’

‘I’ll be gentle,’ Lancelot vowed. And he was.

Strung out, full and breathless, lightheaded with the pleasure that wasn’t quite pain, the pain that wasn’t quite pleasure. Both of them finally focussed wholly on him. Lancelot carefully pressed against him, pressed into him, murmuring prayers and imprecations in his ear. Merlin’s mouth roaming, kissing, biting, salving, gnawing. Not letting Arthur come. Not letting him come. Arthur groaned, but Merlin knew it wasn’t a protest. Not really.

Lancelot finally pulsing into him, the prince’s thighs and rear suddenly wet with his knight’s seed, Lancelot forgetting his gentleness at last.

‘All right…?’ his servant was murmuring needily. ‘Arthur, are you all right?’

He was sore, but he didn’t care, he really didn’t care. ‘Yes,’ he managed. And he was rolled over – and Merlin was pressing into him, slick yet still tight, and Arthur almost lost his grasp on the here and now, except that Merlin was there holding him, owning him, and Lancelot was soothing him, hot and tender and grateful and satiated, Lancelot was showing him mercy, slowly tugging at his cock and his balls, promising him an end to this.

The end looming – every last part of him aching with intrusion, aching with lust – the end overwhelming now, crashing through him at last, Arthur crying out fraught, and Merlin echoing him as they shuddered together into darkness.

‘Stay,’ Arthur muttered when it seemed he would be left cold and alone. ‘Stay.’

‘Sire?’

‘Arthur…’

‘Stay the night. Both of you.’

And they wrapped him up warm in their limbs again, shifted damp skin against his. Soft clumsy kisses were exchanged, and then sleep blessed him.

Arthur woke first. He clambered out of his bed over Merlin, who muttered something and rolled over into Lancelot’s embrace. Arthur cleaned himself up, found a warm robe. Sat in his chair eating fruit, drinking water. Watching his lovers, regretting the loss of one of them. Perhaps both. It was disconcerting to realise that he had no idea whether Merlin would stay with him or leave with Lancelot.

One day, perhaps… One day Camelot would be the kind of place where it wasn’t considered untoward for a prince to risk his life for his servant. Where a man could be made a knight for the sake of his talents despite his humble birth. But that day was not yet today.

Lancelot woke eventually, and held Merlin for a while. Pressed kisses to his face. The long pale face that had seemed strange to Arthur at first, but had latterly become beautiful.

After a while Lancelot got up, and came over to Arthur. Pressed kisses to Arthur’s face, too. Arthur caressed Lancelot’s cheek, his jaw, his throat, his shoulder – with his hands as well as his eyes, wanting to remember him through touch and sight and every other sense.

‘I must leave soon,’ Lancelot murmured, crouching at Arthur’s feet.

‘I’m sorry,’ Arthur offered.

‘Thank you, sire.’ Another kiss, pressed intimately to Arthur’s palm. ‘Perhaps one day I will be able to return.’

‘I trust that will be so.’

‘Until then, I have a favour to ask, sire.’

‘Anything,’ Arthur replied, meaning it. ‘Anything that is in my power to grant.’

Lancelot looked up at him steadily. ‘You could have no more loyal or loving servant than Merlin, sire. He would do anything for you.’

Arthur sighed. Looked at the sleeping form sprawled in his bed, hair dark against the sheets. ‘What of him?’

‘I suspect you will find one day that he should not be lightly dismissed.’

‘Is that so?’

‘There is more to him than meets the eye. Be kinder to him, sire, and you will be repaid a thousand–fold.’

Arthur looked back at Lancelot. ‘Are you, uh… Is he not going with you?’

‘No.’ Lancelot shook his head, bemused by such a notion. ‘No, sire, of course not. He belongs here with you.’

‘Then why do you –?’

‘Why do I what?’

But Arthur hardly knew himself what he’d meant to ask. ‘All right,’ he said.

‘Take care of him for me, sire. That is the favour I beg of you.’

‘All right.’ He could, perhaps, do that. That was quite possibly in his power. ‘All right. I will.’

‘Thank you, sire.’ And Lancelot kissed him in gratitude and farewell.

Starting Over

It wasn’t only Lancelot’s good opinion that had transformed Merlin, Arthur was sure of that. There was something more at work here, something else making Merlin seem substantial, beautiful, essential. Worthy of respect. Worthy of –

‘Merlin,’ Arthur murmured one afternoon, at no particular moment, for no particular reason. ‘Merlin…’

‘Yes, sire?’ came the reply.

Arthur walked over to him and kissed him. Slowly, reverently.

When they parted, Merlin was smiling in a profound kind of delight. ‘Arthur…’

‘I’m glad you didn’t go,’ Arthur told him.

‘Where would I go? I belong here.’

‘Just so. With me.’

‘Yes.’ Those honest blue eyes staring directly into his. Those delicious lips smiling – amused, happy, loving.

Arthur’s heart pounded. And he realised it was already far too late. He was in way over his head, paying far too high a price for a regular tumble. And he didn’t even care. ‘Merlin…’ he murmured again. And they kissed, and held each other. And the consequences didn’t matter at all.

Posted in: Merlin, Slash fic

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14 responses to “Consequences”

  1. avatar Starrienite says:

    ‘My chambers. Now. And bring your friend.’
    ZOMG! That is an awesome use of a Prince of Thieves line! (whether it was intentional or not I have no idea…) But yes – fabulous and woo baby my brain melted a litte lol. I liked the gradual gentling of Arthur and the final dialogue between him and Merlin. Absolutely lovely *_*

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Starrienite – Hee! It’s years since I watched that, and I’d forgotten the line, but no doubt it was rattling around in there, just waiting for the right story… Now I have to write something with Uther shouting, ‘And cancel Christmas Beltane!’

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so glad this worked for you! (I was gonna say, ‘I’m so glad this melted your brain!’ but that doesn’t sound quite right…) ‘The gradual gentling of Arthur’ – perfect! That’s it in a nutshell.

      Thanks again… :-D

  2. avatar Lara says:

    Yes making me melting into goo is the perfect way to describe this fic! :)

    Oh Harley, how I have missed you and your stories. I was wondering what masterpiece you were working on. What a great surprise. A wonderful threesome fic with Arthur growing into MerlinxArthur.

    I must ask, will we get more of this fic? From Merlin’s pov, a sequel perhaps. There are so many possibilities.

    Again, Great fic!

    Lara

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Lara! How nice to hear from you, my friend! I have missed you, too. And I’ve missed writing my fic! :-D I’ve been back at work this week, and the previous week I was feeling poorly. :-( I’d much rather just be a happy, healthy, fulltime slash writer…

      Well, ‘masterpiece’. You flatter me! I am rather proud of a couple of my efforts, I do admit, but I don’t think this one is really very good. I had to write it in bits and pieces while doing mundane stuff, and I feel that shows. Oh well! As long as it made you melt into goo, then it can’t be all bad!

      I love that you ask for sequels… That’s the best compliment! I don’t really have anything in mind for this one, but I’ll make a mental note that you asked. Thank you!

      Hope to catch you again soon. XOX

  3. avatar Cristal says:

    Oh man, I usually don’t go for “Arthur is actually kind of a douche” fic, but I’m really glad I kept reading because there’s seriously very few things hotter than Arthur getting double-teamed! And then he turns out not to really be douche! All is right with the world. :D

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Cristal – So glad that all is now right with the world! If you knew me – and of course how could you? – you would know you could rely on me ensuring that our Arthur does not stay a douche even if he starts that way. In my years of reading Arthuriana, I have always adored Arthur as the noblest of souls – but I was fascinated by the first ep of ‘Merlin’ in which he’s little more than an utter prat. Ah, I thought, what potential for great character development! Interesting contrast between how Uther brought him up as prince, and how in other versions Ector brings him up as a humble nobody… Well, the show skipped ahead through a lot of his growth quite quickly, but I still like that he started there. So I thought I’d explore a bit of that journey myself. Plus, you know, the whole double-teaming thing. I enjoyed that, too. XD

      Thank you for commenting! I’m really glad you liked the story.

  4. avatar Mei says:

    Every day that has a story from you on my friends list is already made. And an Arthur-Merlin-Lancelot threesome! Right up there with chocolate mousse and Ferris wheel rides.

    I did love the angst, and the contrast of Arthur’s matter-of-factness with the sweetness Merlin and Lancelot treat each other with. I loved the description of pleasure and pain, because it mirrored the story so well; reading Arthur’s first advances towards Merlin hurt, it really did. And still managed to turn into something good and beautiful. Thank you for the lovely story.

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Mei – Thank you so much! What a sweet thing to say. I wish I could make your day every day… (Drat this whole Real Life / Working lark! I am so unimpressed with it at the moment.)

      I’m delighted that all the contrasts between angst / sweetness and pleasure / pain worked for you. I might have overdone it with Arthur’s prat-ishness in the first part, though, as I didn’t mean for it to be hurtful! That Uther has a lot to answer for… But the wonder of it is that Arthur has a good heart despite his awful upbringing. I love him for that, I really do.

      Thanks again for commenting!

  5. oooh. I LOVE emotionally-inept Arthur (god knows why, but I do). Excellent work!

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Hee! Someone has to love the poor dear, so I vote for you and Merlin! Oh, OK, and I admit I’m rather fond of him, too… :-) Glad this one hit your kink!

  6. avatar ravenflight21 says:

    I loved the development of Arthur from domineering master to … what?… loving friend.

    Alsot thoroughly enjoyed the line: “Killing a griffin can raise a sweat, I suppose.” It feels like one of those lines that could be used in all sorts of situations!

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Thank you! I’m glad the development of Arthur worked for you. That’s what I was writing about, of course, but I was under such mundane-life pressure at the time that I wasn’t sure if I was really giving the storyline its due.

      And I wrote A Line! That’s truly wonderful. :-) I hope you have cause to use it one day. :-D

  7. avatar d says:

    hmm somehow i don’t see merlin being how arthur seems to imagine him

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Hello, d! So sorry not to have replied before now. Especially when – oh my! – you speak the truth. I’m so glad that I managed to convey there are at least two or three different ‘truths’ here. ♥

      Thank you again!

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