Harlequin's Slash Fic

where you once belonged

Title: where you once belonged
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Merlin
Characters featured: Merlin/Arthur
Category, Word count: Short story; 1380 words
Rating: NC17
Summary: In the showers after a game, Arthur’s footy mates notice something a bit odd about him…
Notes: Written for yorkshirewench in return for a favour… She suggested I might find this prompt at kinkme_merlin inspirational.

where you once belonged

It had been an awesome game to cap off an awesome week. Arthur stood under the shower, face lifted and eyes closed as the hot water pummelled his scalp and flowed down his well–used body. He thought about the two goals he’d kicked, and the cheeky one Gwaine had snapped into the back of the net just on fulltime; he thought about Leon’s steady presence, and Perce’s imposing defence, and Lance’s quiet yet stirring words when Arthur had asked him to speak to the team at halftime. He thought about Elyan’s joy as at last he debuted for the Albion Knights…

What Arthur most definitely did not think about was the young man he’d met while jogging along the tracks of Wyndham Woods. He did not think about the fact that within an hour of their meeting Merlin had kissed him; within a day, as they watched some old movie on Arthur’s sofa, Merlin had slipped one of those beautiful long–fingered hands down into Arthur’s jeans and brought him off gasping and completely undignified; within a week he’d… yes, only last night Merlin had…

Arthur groaned – and then coughed to try to cover it – looked furtively around. But his team were mostly minding their own business, still too intoxicated with victory to be paying much attention to anything but their own crowing and bantering. Arthur turned away, reached for the soap, and got on with the business of cleaning up. He always tried to be cool and focussed in these situations. What his team knew or guessed about Arthur’s sexual preferences, he didn’t care to discover, but he felt he owed it to them not to discomfort anyone with untoward reactions.

Which was next to impossible with Merlin on his mind, and the still present ache of Arthur’s recently plundered rear, and he even fancied that he could still feel Merlin mouthing down his backbone, muttering guttural nonsense; Arthur could still feel Merlin’s hands warmly grasping Arthur’s hips with unexpected force, and –

There was a crash and a shriek as Gwaine tipped the ice bucket over the team’s newest member, followed by mad laughter, and a minor skirmish of naked male bodies from which Arthur averted his gaze. And then Leon murmured from surprisingly nearby, ‘What’s that, Arthur?’

He glanced back to find Leon gazing down at him with a mild query which didn’t quite mask his real concern. Just beyond him, Lance was frowning in worried puzzlement. ‘What’s what?’ Arthur asked in turn, not deigning to visually check that he wasn’t hard, because he wasn’t, he was sure of it.

‘It’s like… a tattoo…’ Leon continued, not lifting his gaze from Arthur’s nether regions. In fact, he took a step forward, tilting his head down a little – wanting to see, but too polite to get any closer. ‘Except that it’s gold!’

‘What is it, Arthur?’ Lance echoed, his worry growing. He crowded up behind Leon, peering round his shoulder.

Arthur’s face was bright red, he could feel it. And yet his sense–memory of Merlin’s hands wrapped firm around his hips was warmer still. He looked down at last, and saw that his hips were indeed marked with gold.

He stared, while one by one the showers shut off and his team approached, wary and curious in equal measure.

‘It looks more like paint,’ Elyan commented into the silence. He was shifting around, as if trying to catch the light against the marks.

‘It can’t be paint,’ Leon observed. ‘It’s too finely done.’

‘Yeah, look at it,’ Gwaine insisted, crouching close so that his nose was hovering right at Arthur’s hipbone. ‘All those fine lines… and whirls…’

‘Whorls,’ Lance corrected. He’d crept closer, but couldn’t quite let Arthur even glimpse his face. ‘They’re whorls.’

‘They’re handprints!’ Perce announced. And the endearingly clueless guy actually echoed with his own hands – from ten feet away, thank heavens – just how the prints might have been shaped.

Which made it perfectly obvious to them all that someone had been behind Arthur at the time, and hanging onto his hips. It was also a fair assumption that Arthur had been naked. Even if the rest of it remained inexplicable, some things were oh so very clear.

‘Arthur…?’

Merlin deep inside him, thrust in up to the hilt, his balls jostling and pressing against Arthur’s tender skin, his mouth damp against Arthur’s backbone as he muttered imprecations, as he groaned nonsense – ‘I’ve missed you, by the gods I’ve missed you!’ – as he finally arched tall, grasping Arthur’s hips to mercilessly ram home as he came, crying out something that made no sense, but was seared in Arthur’s memory – ‘Toloca!’ – and the veins of fire had spread not just through the skin under Merlin’s hands, but through Arthur’s balls and cock and rear, and he had come and come and come as if to make up for a lifetime without. Which again was arrant nonsense.

‘He cried, Toloca,’ Arthur found himself explaining, when five minutes before they hadn’t even known for sure that he was gay.

‘What does that even mean?’ Elyan asked, hushed.

There was a low chuckle from the door, and they all spun around or looked up to see Merlin standing there, leaning with his clumsy nonchalant ease against the jamb. ‘Well, Arthur, I guess I’ll always find you surrounded by your loyal menfolk…’

The others weren’t too embarrassed, but those of them on their knees or crouched down now stood. They didn’t move away, though. None of them seemed to dislike or distrust Merlin on sight, just as Arthur hadn’t – but his Knights remained hovering protectively around Arthur. Nevertheless, Gwaine, the great flirt, was smiling at Merlin with lazy provocation, and even Lance seemed disposed to fondness. Leon was the most careful. ‘They’re my team, Merlin,’ Arthur explained in the simplest tones. ‘The loyalty goes both ways.’

‘And so it should.’ Merlin pushed upright, but he didn’t step closer. ‘It means you’re mine,’ he continued conversationally. ‘It was a binding spell. It means you belong to me. It doesn’t always…’ Merlin tilted an eyebrow at Arthur’s hips, ‘have such a physical effect.’

‘I see,’ said Arthur.

Now Merlin began approaching Arthur, just very casually. The others shifted a little, uncertain but ready to protect him. It wasn’t that Merlin was physically a match for any of them, but there was something about him…

‘Arthur?’ Leon murmured, asking for orders.

‘I hope none of you are going to have a problem with this,’ Merlin said.

Perce flexed his biceps, rolled his massive shoulders. ‘Arthur? Do we have a problem?’

‘No,’ Arthur said at last. ‘No. There’s no problem.’

They let Merlin through, though they still didn’t move away.

But then Merlin answered any lingering concerns: he dropped to his knees before Arthur with surprising grace, and reached for his hand, pressed a kiss to the back of it. ‘Good,’ he said huskily. ‘Because the belonging goes both ways as well.’

Arthur didn’t say anything, but he knew his acceptance and his answering offer were plain in his gaze. He reached to lift Merlin to his feet, and returned the kiss to Merlin’s mouth. For a moment there were echoes; centuries of echoes of this their shared pledge.

But then they were just Arthur and Merlin again, and the Albion Knights were tactfully drifting away back to the changing room, Elyan and Gwaine bantering and mucking about, and Perce silent but sure, while Leon said over his shoulder to Arthur, ‘Are you still coming down the pub? Bring Merlin with you.’ And Lance was last to leave, lingering to cast a longing glance over Arthur or maybe Merlin or maybe just their obvious understanding.

Merlin and Arthur were finally left there alone, grinning at each other, watching each other. Knowing. But when Merlin finally spoke, it wasn’t of anything loving or lofty. ‘The pub, did he say? I could do with a nice cold tankard of mead.’

‘Mead? They haven’t served mead for a hundred years.’

‘Now that’s a problem we need to solve.’

Really, Merlin?’ Arthur asked as they walked off together, following the others, shoulder to shoulder. ‘Is that as noble as it’s going to get, this time round?’

Merlin’s grin grew impossibly cheekily wider. ‘It’ll do for a start.’

Posted in: Merlin, Slash fic

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10 responses to “where you once belonged”

  1. avatar yorkshirewench says:

    Thank you for this, hun – so, so good. I love how cheeky and confident Merlin was. I started wondering where you were going with the story and then yay! Surprise reincarnation fic! Such a lovely, natural moment when Merlin kissed Arthur’s hand and the “goes both ways” thing was perfect. Also, the Knights! ♥

    Thanks again. I loved it! :D

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      Hey there, yorkshirewench! So very glad you liked this. You are being far too kind for my little offering, of course – but don’t ever stop! :-D

      I am in two minds about whether it’s a good thing or not when it feels like a fic doesn’t know where it’s going, until eventually it does fall into place… Almost inevitable, I suppose, if the pov character doesn’t quite realise what’s going on – but, still. It can try the patience of the reader! But that’s just me musing. So very glad you enjoyed confident!Merlin. And, indeed, the Knights. ♥ :-D

      Thank you again for helping me out when I needed it! You’re the best. ♥ ♥ ♥

  2. avatar Tama-abi says:

    Very beautiful and nice! I loved it! Thank you!!

  3. avatar owensheart says:

    This was a wonderfull story and I Kind of felt the past bleeding into the present with this.

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      owensheart – Thank you for your lovely comment! I really love what you say about ‘the past bleeding into the present’, as that is exactly what I was hoping for – but you put it so much better than me! :-D ♥

  4. avatar ravenflight21 says:

    Lovely story as always! I particularly love the image of Merlin leaning nonchalantly against the door jamb and chuckling at finding Arthur surrounded by his menfolk. <3

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      ravenflight21 – Thank you so much, my dear. I’m delighted that you liked the fic, and that that image resonated in particular. ♥

  5. avatar elirwen says:

    Lovely!!!

    ‘The pub, did he say? I could do with a nice cold tankard of mead.’
    Nice use of quotation. :D

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      elirwen – Hee! Thank you so much. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the fic, and indeed the quotation. ♥

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