Harlequin's Slash Fic

Spring Came Early (alternate ending)

Title: Spring Came Early (alternate ending)
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Merlin
Characters featured: Uther/Arthur
Category, Word count: Short story; 1588 words
Rating: R
Summary: This is an alternate ending to an alternate universe story, which suggested that after Igraine’s death, Uther could not bear to raise his son himself. Instead, he gave Arthur to Gorlois, to raise as his ward. Eventually, twenty-one years later, a golden-haired knight named Lucius rides into Camelot for the spring tournament. Uther doesn’t recognise him, but is nevertheless strongly drawn to him.
Notes: This was written a while ago for a couple of dear friends who insisted on a happy ending to Spring Came Early.
Warnings: This features father/son incest… but this time, no one dies!

Spring Came Early (alternate ending)

They had made love twice during the dark night, and then the young man slept soundly: the privilege of youth and an untroubled conscience. Uther woke early, as he always did.

After lying there a while watching his love, his beautiful love, Uther got up and got on with the day’s business. There was that correspondence to read, for a start. He threw on a robe, poured himself a goblet of water, and made a start.

The third letter in the pile was from Gorlois.

Your Majesty – my dear friend Uther –
     Your son Arthur has now come of age, and we could no longer keep him here. It broke us to let him go, but it would have broken him for us to confine him any longer. He is riding out to test himself. I believe that his skills as a knight are such that he will soon prove himself, and win himself honour in his own right. Eventually, I am sure, he will arrive in Camelot. We have taught him to consider it the finest kingdom in the land, and so that must be his goal. Arthur and I spoke of him fighting in the summer tournament. You will know him at first sight, for he has all his mother’s beauty and honour, and all his father’s strength and courage. I have never told him his true name. We thought it best if no connection could be made at all between the prince of Camelot and my ward – whom we have raised as Lucius, which means ‘light’ or ‘king’, as you will. You have trusted us with this most precious charge. We pray that we have fulfilled your hopes. We know that you will be proud of him.
     Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall

Uther sat there for a long while, too shocked to think.

At last he carefully put the letter back on the table. Geoffrey would add it to the previous twenty letters from Gorlois, which he kept safely with other records, so that all could be used to authenticate Arthur’s right to the throne.

‘Uther…?’

He looked over to the bed, to see – Lucius – he was still Lucius, for now at least – to see Lucius leaning up on an elbow, looking back at him.

‘Is something wrong?’ Lucius’s gaze took in the various letters. ‘You’ve received bad news.’

For a moment the king thought of shrugging him off, but what was the point? The truth wouldn’t change; the effects would not be mitigated by delay. Eventually, Uther said in a heavy tone, ‘We must talk.’ He closed his eyes, hardly able to bear that the man was still in his bed, still lying on the sheets on which they had made love only hours before. ‘Get up, would you?’ he asked. ‘We need to talk.’

But when Uther opened his eyes he saw that Lucius was already approaching him. Naked, unashamedly naked, and looking concerned. Before Uther could prevent it, Lucius knelt before him, right there with his knees between Uther’s feet, and the young man’s hands resting on Uther’s thighs, that beautiful face looking up at him. ‘What is it that’s displeased you?’ And he was perfect – his attitude not demeaning nor craven, but quietly confident, gently considerate. ‘Uther, how can I make it right?’

Oh… Uther shuddered through to his very soul. He loved this young man. He loved him.

And Lucius obviously knew that – he was pushing up close, leaning in for a kiss, a hand lifting to slide around Uther’s nape to draw him near – and they were kissing again, kissing, Uther’s arms winding around Lucius’s waist, and lifting him up – and all was as hot and as passionate as it had been in the dark of night, before the cold light of day had destroyed Uther’s hopes –

But how could he even think that when – beyond any wistful dream he’d ever had during those years he’d been trying to beget an heir on Igraine – his son had been restored to him, and had proven himself to be everything that any father could ask for, everything that any king could desire in a prince?

‘Stop it,’ Uther said. ‘Lucius, stop this.’

And the young man broke away, sank back to sit on his heels, his hands falling to rest again on Uther’s thighs.

‘Please –’ he was forced to say.

Lucius understood. ‘I’m sorry, Uther.’ With no further ado, he stood. Found his shirt and britches, and drew them on. Stood waiting a few yards away, with the table between them. And he quietly asked, ‘What did you wish to talk about, sire?’

Uther took a moment. Rubbed a hand over his forehead, then down over his stubble. He was going to start with, I have a son, but he realised that the context permitted a different beginning, and one that would seem less irrelevant. ‘I have known love – real love – twice in my life now. The first was my wife, my queen, Igraine. She was –’ He wasn’t used to speaking of her. It was difficult to find the words. ‘She was my heart and my soul.’ Uther sighed, aware of Lucius standing there as a blur at the edge of his vision. ‘She bore me a son, but she died the same day. You might not understand,’ he said, knowing full well that Lucius might end up hating him for all of this, for all that Uther had denied him. ‘You might not understand, but I felt as if, between us, we had killed her. My son and I had killed her.’

He paused. Glanced at Lucius – who waited there solemnly listening. After a moment, the young man whispered, ‘Yes, I understand.’

‘I had loved her so much. So I could not bear – I could hardly even look at him, let alone touch him. I gave my son to my best friend to raise as his ward, and I buried my wife. And I thought that was an end to it.’

Another pause. Lucius eventually prompted, ‘Yes, sire. Go on. I’m listening.’ It was obvious he had as yet made no connection between Uther’s story and his own.

Uther picked up the letter from Gorlois, and held it out towards Lucius. ‘Read this, then. It is all true. You mustn’t doubt that it is true.’

Lucius looked at him for a long moment, before taking the letter. As he read it, he slowly paced away towards the far window. Eventually he shot a glance back at Uther – who could guess exactly why: my ward – whom we have raised as Lucius… Then Lucius turned away, finished the letter, and then carefully read it through again.

Uther hardly knew what to expect. He allowed for hatred and resentment, he guessed at newly raised ambitions, he feared Lucius’s disgust at what they had done together the night before… What he hadn’t quite envisaged was the smile that shone from Lucius when he turned back around. And the young man simply asked, ‘Then I can stay…?’

‘Yes,’ Uther blurted. He checked a reaction that might have been a laugh, might have been a sob. ‘Yes, of course you must stay now.’

Lucius was at Uther’s feet again, looking up at him joyously. ‘I belong here in Camelot.’

‘Yes, you do.’

They looked at each other for long long moments. Uther tentatively tried feeling paternal. Stroked a fatherly hand across that golden hair. Gazed down upon his love – no, his son, his beautiful son. You will know him at first sight – with his mother’s beauty and her golden hair and her deep blue eyes as open to him as a summer day. How had he not seen it before? His infatuation had blinded him. His love…

‘I can train to be a knight of Camelot now,’ Lucius said, as if he couldn’t be more delighted.

‘You are the prince of Camelot,’ Uther gently reminded him.

‘Uther, you have no idea how much I’ve yearned to be your knight, your champion…’ He frowned for a moment. ‘But who were the people I thought were my parents?’

‘I don’t know. Gorlois never told me how he’d explained it to you.’

‘They were buried together in the same grave. A man and wife – he’d been the duke’s steward. I used to visit them every Sunday…’ He shook his head, a bit dazed. ‘I’m sure they were fine people.’

‘I’m sure they were.’ Uther caressed that beautiful face. ‘Gorlois did a far better job in raising you than I could have,’ he commented.

Lucius looked at him. ‘He always spoke of you in the most glowing terms. I understand why now. But it’s no wonder I fell in love with you…’

Uther huffed an ironic breath. ‘Hardly what he can have intended.’

‘It’s what happened.’ And Lucius was pushing up again, reaching for Uther, murmuring his name – and for a moment their mouths met again, and their hands ran across each other’s skin, and found a hold – for a moment they loved each other.

Until Uther forced himself to put Lucius aside. When the young man pulled away, Uther got up, stepping past him. Went to the nearest window and gazed unseeing out across Camelot. ‘Lucius –’ he said. And then he forced himself to see this how it must be seen. ‘Arthur.’

‘Yes, sire?’

‘I – I am your father. We must forget what has happened between us.’

‘But how can we?’

Uther shuddered, a soul–deep reaction. How could he forget, indeed?

‘You said…’ Lucius’s voice close behind him. Who else would be brave enough to approach Uther again, when the king had quite deliberately walked away? ‘You said you’ve known real love twice in your life.’

‘Yes.’ He added harshly, hoping it would scare them both into sense, ‘Your mother was the first.’

‘And I am the second.’

‘Arthur,’ he said. ‘Arthur…’

‘Father.’

And Uther turned, and they were in each other’s arms again, kissing, kissing, as if they would never be able to quit. He tried one last time. ‘Stop. Please. Arthur. If you fear you’ll have any regrets –’

‘None.’ Those hungry lips and tongue and teeth on Uther’s throat when he wouldn’t let Lucius have his mouth.

‘I’ve been a king for so long. I do not have a talent for – for denying myself. Anything. Anything I want, I must have.’

‘I am already yours. You must have me.’ Lucius’s hands at his waist, at his hips, then around the small of his back, and that strong body pressing against his.

‘If we don’t stop this now, then I won’t ever let it stop. I know myself well enough to know that.’

‘Uther. Father. I’m yours. I was your love yesterday. I’m your son as well today. You’re everything to me.’

‘Arthur…’ His own hands at Lucius’s waist, lifting him up into Uther’s embrace.

‘We didn’t know,’ Lucius was saying as they stumbled together towards the bed. ‘It’s too late to change anything now.’

One last moment of clarity: ‘Gorlois is going to kill me,’ Uther muttered. But this was what it was. There was no use resisting it. There was no use trying to rationalise it or explain it. No one else would ever understand. But he didn’t care. Uther was the king, and Arthur was his dominion.

The passion took Uther, and all that mattered was the strong body in his arms, the eager mouth against his own, the hands and the skin and the cock and the balls and the thighs and the arse of this beautiful man, his love, his son. His heart and his soul.

Posted in: Merlin, Slash fic

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2 responses to “Spring Came Early (alternate ending)”

  1. avatar antychan says:

    Oh yay, you put this up as well! Actually prefer this version, as I’ve said previously…no tragic loss for Arthur and I love how he’s all, “Pendragoncest, we’ll make it work”. xD

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Hey there, Anty! I’m glad you’re glad I posted this… as I seem to recall it was you and Ender I originally wrote it for. :-) I have to admit to rather liking this version, too… Hhhmmm… well, actually, I suppose I like them both for different reasons! :-D But yeah, I enjoyed writing Lucien-Arthur as reacting with little more than, ‘Hurrah! So I can stay?’ ♥

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