Harlequin's Slash Fic

Season 5: 04 A Good Man

Title: Season 5: 04 A Good Man
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Merlin
Characters featured: Merlin/Arthur
Category, Word count: PWP; 896 words
Rating: NC17
Summary: Apparently Merlin has given Arthur something to think about.
Notes: Part of a series of episode codas that I hope will continue through the fifth season. Though I think the main problem at this point is that it’s just not as challenging as I’d assumed it would be!
Warnings: Spoilers for episode 504! Infidelity!



A Good Man

‘Stay tonight,’ said Arthur. ‘Would you?’

‘Yes,’ Merlin replied, ‘of course. If that is what you wish.’

‘It is.’ Arthur sighed.

The king was seated, as he often was in this last hour before bed, in his chair in front of the fire. Slumped a little, with his head propped on a hand, as if gradually shedding the day’s burdens. That night Arthur seemed particularly contemplative – and it hadn’t even occurred to Merlin that Arthur might be in the mood, so it was just as well that he’d asked.

A request that was eventually followed by the query, ‘And Gaius? He won’t be expecting you to return?’

‘No.’ Merlin shrugged. ‘He doesn’t need anything. He was already settling when I came up here.’


Another pause stretched while Merlin finished folding away the last of Arthur’s clean clothes that had come up from the laundry that morning. Once he was done, Merlin turned and headed vaguely towards a spot midway between the bed and Arthur. ‘You ready for bed, then?’

Arthur stood, and walked over towards Merlin. Let Merlin begin undressing him. Arthur remained strangely quiet.

‘Is something bothering you, Arthur?’

Those clear blue eyes glanced towards him, and then away. ‘Why do you ask?’

It was a prevarication, and they both knew it. Merlin bent to help the man off with his boots. ‘You seem to have something on your mind, sire.’

‘Well, there’s the small matter of a kingdom, I suppose.’ But Arthur’s heart wasn’t in the jest. He held onto Merlin’s shoulder for balance as he stepped out of his britches and linens, and then he simply stood there naked before a fully–clothed Merlin, and he glanced directly at Merlin once more. ‘I have reason to be grateful for the improvement in your skills with the sword.’

Merlin shrugged this off. ‘That’s what I’m here for, sire.’

‘You did well. I know I can… depend upon you, Merlin.’

‘Is that what this is about?’ Merlin asked, indicating the bed with a tip of his head. ‘You want to thank me for saving your life?’

‘And your advice has been… surprisingly worth listening to lately.’

‘Arthur –’

‘No,’ said the king, very quietly, dropping his gaze again. ‘That’s not what this is about.’

‘Well –’

‘Merlin, take your clothes off, and come to bed.’ And Arthur turned away and headed there himself, turning the covers back and lying there waiting, his gaze apparently on the bed’s canopy as if he were pointedly ignoring his lover while Merlin undressed and snuffed the last candles.

Yet when Merlin climbed onto the bed, Arthur welcomed him into his arms, and drew him close, encouraging Merlin to lie over him – and they were kissing, Arthur’s mouth hungry and his eyes closed, his embrace insisting on Merlin’s complete involvement. So there were no words and no looks, but only the gentle hints of Arthur shifting until at last the tender flesh of the inside of his thighs encompassed Merlin’s hips, and Merlin knew what he was expected to do.

Merlin wasn’t prepared, however, to take such action without some kind of verbal consent. ‘Arthur…’

A frustrated little groan was the only response, and Arthur’s arms so very unwilling to let Merlin pull away enough to see him.

Merlin insisted, and although Arthur kept his gaze lowered, he didn’t turn away; Merlin discovered that the man’s expression was surprisingly soft and vulnerable. ‘Arthur,’ he murmured again. ‘Not if you’re not sure.’

‘I’m sure,’ Arthur managed, with a flicker of his eyes that might have been a glance.

‘Well, have you – I mean, it’s been years since we last – I don’t want to hurt you.’

‘You won’t.’

Merlin couldn’t deny his heart sank. ‘There’s been others? Other men?’

Arthur shook his head, just once, emphatically.

‘Well, maybe –’

The man’s gaze had turned harder, though there was a brittleness to it. ‘Don’t deny me, Merlin.’

‘But if you –’

‘I don’t have to explain myself.’

‘Oh, I think you do. About this, anyway.’ And Merlin implored, ‘Let me take care of you, Arthur!’

Arthur’s eyes closed, and he seemed to sink away in embarassment, though Merlin clung on, refusing to let him really hide. ‘Sometimes,’ the king confessed in a whisper, laying himself utterly bare, ‘when I’m on my own… with my fingers…’

Merlin groaned at the wanton images that invoked in his imagination.

Then Arthur’s gaze opened and flew to his, and it was hard again, as perhaps it had to be for Arthur to declare, ‘I thought of you!’

Which was all the incitement Merlin needed. He groaned, and with the bare minimum of preparation he was pushing inside his king, his love, his destiny, and Arthur was arching back below him, a cry reverberating through him, Arthur’s hands grasping him tightly, his heels digging in, and his thighs gripping Merlin as if he were a runaway stallion.

It was over in moments, of course. Arthur didn’t seem to want it any other way. Merlin had reached down between them to bring him to completion, and Merlin followed as soon after as was decent. And then they lay there together, simply holding on, for a long long while until at last they had to admit to discomfort. Though once they’d shifted to lie together side by side, still holding on, they were nigh as close as ever.

‘Arthur?’ Merlin eventually asked, his voice hoarse. ‘You all right?’

‘You’re a good man, Merlin,’ the king murmured in reply, before slipping away into sleep.

Posted in: Merlin, Slash fic

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