Harlequin's Slash Fic

Season 2: 09 You’ve Still Got Me

Title: Season 2: 09 You’ve Still Got Me
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Merlin
Characters featured: Merlin/Arthur
Category, Word count: Ongoing story; this part 1810 words
Rating: NC17
Summary: Merlin is still unhappy, and Arthur tries to do something about it.
Warnings: Season two spoilers.

You’ve Still Got Me

‘You’re still not happy, are you, Merlin?’ the prince observed as Merlin undressed him that night.

‘I’m sorry, sire,’ Merlin mumbled, keeping his head down and hoping that Arthur didn’t notice the ever–present tears springing to his eyes.

Arthur just sighed. But once he was naked, he reached for Merlin and hauled him into a hug, one arm firmly wrapped around his waist, and the other hand pushing fingers up hard into Merlin’s hair, Arthur’s head pressed close beside Merlin’s. They were silent for a long moment. Merlin didn’t dare relax into it for fear of breaking into sobs.

Eventually Arthur said into Merlin’s ear, ‘It’s a compliment, you know. The way I treat you.’

And despite everything, that drew a great guffaw from Merlin. ‘A compliment?’

‘Yes. I have to be the prince for everyone else. With you I can just be –’

‘– the prat?’ Merlin supplied.

Myself, I was going to say.’

‘Yourself, yes. The prat.’

‘Shut up!’ Arthur exclaimed in that half–laughing incredulous tone that delighted in Merlin’s incorrigibility. He drew away a little so that they could see each other. ‘You know,’ the prince continued, ‘I take it as a compliment, the way you treat me.’

‘I certainly don’t mean it that way.’

Arthur ignored this. ‘The complete lack of respect you show me. The lack of fear. That means something.’

Merlin sighed, and lifted a hand to run his knuckles down Arthur’s cheek. ‘Yes,’ he said softly, ‘it means I’m an idiot.’ Then he added, a little more brusquely, ‘Come on, let’s get you settled for the night.’

‘Yes. Bed.’ Arthur stepped back, sliding his hand down Merlin’s arm to hold his hand, tugging on it to bring Merlin with him…

‘Arthur…’ Merlin protested. How could he? How could he? When Freya had… When Arthur had… Merlin squeezed his eyes shut, trying not to let the tears well up again. ‘No, Arthur…’

But Arthur was remorseless, getting into the bed without letting go of Merlin, insisting on him following despite the fact that Merlin was still fully dressed. ‘Come on,’ Arthur whispered.

Merlin groaned, with his heart wrenching so hard within him that it tore apart.

‘Come on…’ Then Arthur asked in the rawest murmur, ‘Did I really make you that unhappy?’

‘No,’ he blurted in instinctive honesty. Then he groaned again as he surrendered once more – surrendered his body, at least – to his destiny. Merlin heeled off his boots, and followed the prince down into the bed. Into his arms. Into Arthur’s welcoming arms…

Despite Merlin’s lingering sense of disbelief, it soon became apparent what the prince intended. Whether he wanted it for himself or for Merlin’s sake was a question unasked and perhaps unanswerable, but his eyes were soft and his mouth yearning, his arms encompassing, his body yielding under Merlin’s. And Merlin wanted it, he wanted so much to possess the only person he could now that Freya had slipped forever beyond his grasp, he wanted so much to lose any sense of himself in an act shockingly new, dangerously forbidden. He wanted to commit himself once more, to discover if there was still a place for him, within a destiny from which he’d almost walked away.

They shifted, and Arthur’s legs parted for him. Merlin knelt there on the bed between those strong thighs, fumbling with the fastening on his own britches while Arthur gazed up at him, solemn, calm. There was the slightest hint about the corner of Arthur’s eyes that meant, for one who knew him well, the prince was a bit afraid but was being brave. There was a hint about the corners of his mouth that meant he was determined to see this through.

‘Merlin –’ Arthur gasped as Merlin finally freed himself and was shifting down into Arthur’s arms reaching up for him. ‘Merlin!’ as Merlin positioned himself in ways he’d only witnessed before now. ‘Merlin…’ as Arthur arched back, his strong shoulders pushing down into the mattress as he lifted his hips, offered himself…

‘Arthur!’ Merlin cried out – and a sob wrung him, twisted him – and he pulled away with a bereft shout. ‘Oh god…’

‘No,’ Arthur was protesting, following him up as Merlin lifted away, Arthur’s hands trying to clutch at him. ‘No. Don’t stop, it’s all right, I promise it’s all right. Merlin, please –’

‘I have – I have to tell you something,’ Merlin gasped. Even now while he felt gutted with grief, he was also gutted by yearning for a possession that he’d just refused.

‘Merlin, please, it’ll be all right. Whatever it is can wait. Tell me afterwards.’

‘No. You might not want to let me do that, if you know.’

‘But I would, I would want you, I –’ The prince seemed to suddenly recall himself, and he stopped babbling so needily. He looked away for a moment, considering, his eyes becoming a little more guarded. And then he pushed himself up a bit to sit against the pillows. But he was still naked, still erect, his mouth was still yearning, his arms were empty, and his thighs were parted. He looked at Merlin, who knelt there on the bed, his britches pushed down his thighs, and his cock still rising hard. ‘What is it, then?’ Arthur asked, his voice rough with emotion. ‘What do you want to tell me?’

Merlin screwed his eyes shut, but the tears welled regardless, and spilled down his cheeks. ‘There was a – a girl.’

‘I see,’ said the prince in clipped tones.

‘I – I loved her.’

‘Yes.’ Difficult to tell what was behind that bitten–off syllable, whether it was hurt or impatience or anger. ‘I note that you’re speaking in the past tense.’

Merlin bowed his head for a moment, ground his hands up over his face and back into his hair. ‘She’s – She’s gone now. Forever. I tried – I tried so hard to – but I lost her.’

‘I see,’ Arthur repeated, though in slightly softer tones. ‘And do you – do you love her still?’

‘Yes.’

There was silence for a moment. Long enough for Merlin to sit back on his heels, and then lift his face to look at Arthur – who had slumped a little, and whose mouth was twisted a little in pain. The prince said, ‘Then it wasn’t me who made you so unhappy.’

‘It was you as well,’ Merlin reassured him with utter sincerity.

Arthur sat up, bringing his arms into a huddle, and even though he was now nearer Merlin he seemed more closed to him. A moment’s consideration, and then the prince said, ‘You told me not so long ago that you… You told me how you felt. About me. Is that no longer true?’

‘It’s still true, Arthur,’ he replied, returning the prince’s guarded gaze. ‘I love you. Probably in just about every way there is to love. I don’t think that’s ever going to change.’

‘Well, then.’ Arthur lay back down. Lifted one hand towards Merlin, though his expression was remote. ‘Get on with what you were doing.’

‘Arthur –’ he protested.

‘There was a time when you chose to stay with me,’ Arthur reminded him, ‘despite the fact that my… affections were engaged elsewhere.’

‘That’s different.’

‘Is it?’

‘Yes.’

Arthur sighed. ‘I suppose it should be. But it isn’t.’

Merlin looked at him. The prince looked more resigned than needy now, but he was also lying there, waiting for Merlin. Waiting for his lover. Waiting to be possessed. ‘Arthur…’ Merlin whispered with something like awe falling through him.

Arthur looked at him, and said, ‘Yes,’ in much the same tone.

Merlin lifted off his own shirt so that he was bare–chested, so there would be no barriers between them. And this time, when Arthur lifted his hand in an offer, Merlin accepted.

Moving over him, moving within this beautiful man in a rhythm both familiar and utterly new – Arthur entirely his, so tight around him it was almost painful, but a delicious kind of pain – and the veiled hint of real hurt in Arthur’s eyes was all that kept Merlin from losing his grip on civility and just fucking. The prince was hurting, yet he lay there completely open to Merlin, with his strong legs hooked around Merlin’s waist, and he was pushing down into Merlin’s thrusts as if wanting more deeper harder more. But the prince was hurting…

‘I’ll be quick,’ Merlin promised, closing his eyes, intending to concentrate on the pleasure alone for a moment, which was honestly all it could possibly take.

‘Don’t you dare!’ ordered the prince in a gasp.

Merlin groaned, and opened his eyes again, focussed on the pain he was causing as a preventative for the pleasure he felt. ‘May not – have much – choice.’

‘I want you to finish me while you’re –’

‘Are you sure – are you sure you can –’ Merlin hadn’t been able to, his first time.

‘Yes!’ Arthur cried, as if to say, How dare you even question that?

‘By the gods…’ Merlin groaned. He shifted up a bit so that he was propped at arm’s length over Arthur. He found a slower more deliberate rhythm, and he reached a hand down to wrap around Arthur’s cock which had remained obstinately hard. Began what, if applied to Merlin, would be a devastatingly all–encompassing stroke. Gazed down at Arthur, trying to remove himself from the immediacy of it. Looked down upon that sweat–dampened dark–gold hair, that handsome face almost distraught now with passion and pain, that amazing body honed by effort and discipline into something quite miraculous. ‘You’ve always been worth looking at, Arthur Pendragon.’

The prince moaned a little, and lost any last remaining sharpness in his focus.

‘You’ve always been worth being with.’

‘Merlin,’ he ground out. ‘Finish it.’

‘Hold yourself there,’ Merlin ordered, bracing himself with his knees a little further apart, leaning against the prince even as he thrust within him. He brought his other hand to Arthur’s balls, and tugged on them in exactly the way he knew that Arthur liked best.

God damn it, Merlin!

Merlin waited until he’d snagged Arthur’s gaze again, and then he said, ‘You’ve always been worth loving.’ And with a twist of one hand and a clutch of the other, he finished it. Arthur arched back like a drawn bow, crying out, and Merlin murmured, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you,’ until he was finally done.

‘Merlin,’ said the prince, lying there exhausted and halfway to sleep in Merlin’s arms.

‘Yes, Arthur? Oh! Thank you, sire. I really mean it. Thank you.

‘Oh, do shut up.’

‘Yes, my lord.’

‘Merlin –’

But a silence stretched. Eventually Merlin pressed a kiss to Arthur’s temple, and murmured, ‘I’ll be fine, Arthur. We’ll be fine.’

‘Good,’ said the prince. ‘I believe you.’ And then he slept.

Posted in: Merlin, Slash fic

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19 responses to “Season 2: 09 You’ve Still Got Me”

  1. avatar BecsX says:

    Oh yay! I really love these fics, I look forward to these almost as much as I look forward to the episodes lol.
    This was lovely. I could feel Merlin’s confusion; loving Freya and still loving Arthur… and Arthur’s hurt and desperation was so clear.
    Can’t wait for the next installment! :D

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      BecsX – Thank you so much! I’m delighted that you’re enjoying the fics, though of course I don’t believe for a minute that they’re as worthy of anticipation as the actual episodes… (Keep telling me that, though. ;-)

      I’m really glad you liked this one. I put a lot of thought and love into it. :-) See you again next week!

  2. avatar Dany says:

    ^________^ I was waiting for an update, refreshed this site several times every day, and tonight when I felt like I could die from how hard life is, you did next part. I LOVE YOU! Cause now I’m grinning like a fool, being so happy about boys, about how they still are together and don’t give up. And OMG, Arthur is hurt, but understanding, and poor Merlin *hugs Merlin*…

    Thank you for writing such a beautiful story and making me feel better. :) Can’t wait next episode and next update.

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Dany – Aw, bless you, my sweet! The more you hit that refresh button, the more I love you, too! :-) Sorry to take a while, but that was an episode I really had to ponder, and then I wanted to do justice to both the boys in a difficult situation… I’m so very glad it worked for you, and that it made you happy that they worked out how to stay together, and indeed how to love each other even more…

      See you next week, eh? Though heaven knows what I’m going to do with that ep!!! :-D

  3. avatar tetsubinatu says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you!

  4. I really should stop reading things like this at work, but I always look forward to your posts. I really enjoy the little shorts you write for each episode, so I just can’t help myself.

    As always, it’s beautiful, and brilliant.

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      notragicmercury – Thank you for your comment! It’s very flattering that you can’t help but read what you shouldn’t at work… :-) I’m so glad you’re enjoying this sequence of fics… It’s certainly an interesting process to be writing them! Thanks again.

  5. avatar reveuse2 says:

    ‘There was a time when you chose to stay with me,’ Arthur reminded him, ‘despite the fact that my… affections were engaged elsewhere.’

    Oh, your Arthur…deeper and deeper. But then you know that, don’t you? Loved it, sweetie. Thank you!

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      reveuse2 – Thank you, my sweet! Oh yes, deeper and deeper… At this rate I’ll grow him all the way to noble King Arthur by the end of the season, and I’ll have to do a total reboot for the third series! :-D So glad you’re enjoying these fics… See you next week? :-)

  6. avatar E.A. says:

    YES!

    Ahaha, yes, a thousand times yes. The lovemaking was sweet and *cough* nearly brought tears to my eyes with all the emotions inherent. *meep* Oh, Arthur, I am as smitten with you as you are with Merlin. Heh heh. (and I’m a Melin girl first and foremost too, huh)

    Beautifully written, and I love Arthur offering himself like that to comfort Merlin. And Merlin taking that offer because he has to hold on to the something that he nearly gave up on. Aaaaa. Lovely. Thanks so much for sharing. :) <333

    OMG 3 more eps to go! *wibbles*

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      E.A. – And you give me Jane Austen film quotes… I could seriously fall in love with you at this point. :-D

      I am so glad you’re enjoying these fics – and to the point of meeping! How wonderful that you are smitten with this Arthur… I wanted him to grow from prat to prince, at least in relationship to Merlin, and that seems to be working out nicely. I’m delighted that this one in particular worked for you, and I love how you describe it, with Merlin holding on to something he’d almost given up on. Yes!

      I don’t mean to be horribly pedantic, but it’s four eps to go… Though obviously, whether it’s three or four or forty, it is NOT ENOUGH and NEVER WILL BE. :-D {sighs} Thanks again for your comments, hon.

  7. avatar Nikki says:

    I’ve never commented before, but I read these every week and I have to agree with the above commenter that I look forward to these just as much as the episodes themselves :) I just absolutely love them! The progression of their relationship, how you tie it in with the story, everything. Just brilliant :)

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Nikki – Thank you so much! It is a real delight to me to know that people are actually looking forward to my little fics… I am grinning bashfully, and ducking my head – maybe not as endearingly as Merlin, but you get the idea. :-D I’m really glad that you’re enjoying the progression of the boys’ relationship, and how the fics tie in to the eps – because of course those are the two key things I try to get right each week. Alas, it may all come a cropper somehow by the end of the season, but I am having fun trying to keep up! Thank you again for your comment. You’ve made a good day even better still. :-)

  8. avatar Queen Mab says:

    I need a cold shower. ROFLMAO.

  9. avatar Queen Mab says:

    :) Looking forwards to tonight’s episode. Though I think in the previews last week I glimpsed Arthur jumping into bed with “Lady Vivien”. *tuts* Honestly, what is it with Arthur and Merlin this season, they’ve both been at the girls left right and centre! I swear it wasn’t like this in season 1. Am I imagining it or are the programme makers trying to be a bit pushy with all the heterosexuality? It’s most annoying as it gets in the way of all the slashy subtext. *glares at programme writers*

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Queen Mab – I’m probably not meant to reply seriously here, am I…? But I am. Too earnest for my own good, that’s me.

      I think we had a really clear run in the first season, and I blessed them for that. I think Arthur was initially genuinely attracted to Sophia, but then the rest of it could be explained away by enchantment, and once that wore off then he didn’t exactly regret her ‘leaving’. In fact he was horrified at how far he’d gone. The only real het love in the show was Uther’s for Ygraine, and she’s been dead for over twenty years! But it was never going to last. We were never going to remain that free of entanglements.

      What we do have, and I think probably will always have, is that Merlin and Arthur are the key relationship, no matter what. And their destiny is that they’ll be together forever. Arthur will marry Gwen at some point, either in the show or in its future, and they’ll probably love each other in their own way – but we all know she’s also going to love someone else. Merlin and Arthur remain the core. It’s a buddy show. We’ll always have the slash.

      And anyway, one of the things I love best about slash fans is that we’ll write our way around or over or through any obstacle that they throw at us, if that’s what we want to do. We’re an obstinate and creative bunch. Once we have our goggles on, there’s no stopping us.

      I love this show. And I think it’s always going to be slash heaven for me. :-)

  10. avatar Queen Mab says:

    You’re right, I wasn’t being too serious. But I feel that the obstacles are becoming far more numerous in this series, and I wish just for once one tv show or film would go against the mainstream. It gets kinda boring watching the same set up all the time, but my main irritation is that it’s unrealistic! I’m an historian by profession so I’m a stickler for realism and accuracy, and the unrealisticness (yeah, I know, not a word) of it bothers me.

    *grumbles*

    On another note, I also can’t believe we’re so close to the end of the season!

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