Harlequin's Slash Fic

Merlin: 01 The Quick Learner

Title: Merlin: 01 The Quick Learner
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Merlin
Characters featured: Merlin/Arthur
Category, Word count: Short story; 1483 words
Rating: R
Summary: Merlin is surprised at some of the duties Arthur expects of his new servant, but Merlin is nothing if not adaptable… (Bless him!)
First published: 28 September 2008 on Harlequin’s Slash Site


The Quick Learner

Merlin sat back on the stool and put the last piece of Arthur’s armour down on the table. It was his helmet, and Merlin had polished it so well that a distorted reflection of his face peered back at him. He shook out the cramps in his hands, wishing once again that Arthur had let him take the armour back to his own room, where he could have completed the task with no effort at all. Instead he was in Arthur’s room, and the prince had been pacing distractedly back and forth throughout the whole ordeal.

‘I’m done,’ Merlin announced.

Arthur’s image loomed over Merlin’s reflected shoulder. ‘Good,’ he said brusquely. Then he ordered, ‘Now, take off your clothes.’

‘What?’ Merlin turned to frown at him. ‘Why?’

‘Because I wish it.’

‘Uh…’ Was there a tactful way for a servant to say that wasn’t in itself a good enough reason? Merlin was trying to learn tact.

‘Come on!’ Arthur cried impatiently, gesturing with both hands. ‘Take off your clothes!’

Merlin stood, and slowly undid his belt buckle while examining the prince for clues to his intentions. Arthur certainly seemed all churned up about something, and full of spoiled–brat urgency. He stood there watching Merlin with sharp devouring eyes.

‘Get on with it, boy!’

Boy. Merlin scoffed. That was rich, coming from a young man who seemed to be much the same as Merlin’s age. He let his belt fall to the floor, and then stood on one leg to take a boot off. He asked, ‘What is it you wish of me, Arthur?’

‘You can’t guess?’

What did one do with one’s clothes off…? Bathe? ‘You want me to bathe, my prince?’ He supposed it had been a few weeks now. Perhaps he was a bit on–the–nose for the future king’s personal servant.

But it was Arthur’s turn to scoff. ‘That won’t be necessary.’ He turned and walked away while Merlin dealt with his other boot. As he came back again, Arthur considered him carefully. Something dawned on him. ‘But you really haven’t guessed…’


‘I thought those piercing eyes of yours would see through everything, spy out all my secrets.’

Merlin shrugged. ‘Not a one, my prince.’

He’d made the mistake of quitting while they talked. Arthur gestured impatiently again. ‘Get on with it, would you!’

What else did one do sans clothes…? Merlin lifted his tunic up and over his head, and when he was free of it he found Arthur’s eyes devouring his bared chest. Ah… In that moment, Arthur’s face was entirely revealing. ‘Now I understand,’ Merlin murmured.

The mask of princely arrogance slid up, and Arthur’s chin tilted towards the ceiling. ‘Do not presume to imagine that you understand anything,’ he haughtily advised.

Merlin silently stripped off his britches, and then stood there tall and naked before his master. He looked at Arthur directly, honestly. Awaiting further orders.

Arthur could not face him thus. He reluctantly lowered his gaze, and threw a trembling hand toward the big bed with its feather mattress and velvet covers and tapestry curtains. ‘Lay there.’ His voice husky with need. ‘Prepare yourself, if you will.’

Merlin couldn’t suppress a smirk. ‘Will you not prepare me yourself, my prince?’

‘That is neither my intention nor my obligation.’ Arthur was divesting himself of his outer clothes.

Disdaining the steps, Merlin flung himself up onto the bed, and waited there on his back, leaning up on his elbows so he could watch Arthur.

Arthur finally approached in his linen shirt and undergarments, gaze roving over Merlin’s form. When he met Merlin’s answering gaze, though, he coloured in embarrassment and irritation, and looked away. ‘Turn over!’ he ordered. ‘I won’t have those impudent eyes on me.’

‘Will you not?’ Merlin murmured with half–feigned regret; though he obeyed, twisting over to lie on his front, still leaning up on his elbows. ‘I didn’t always think well of you, I admit, but I never once thought you weren’t worth looking at.’

The bed dipped a little as Arthur put his weight on it, but then the young man paused. They hadn’t even touched yet. ‘You’re very cool about this,’ Arthur observed.

‘If you wish to warm me up, my prince…’

‘I do not! I merely meant – Well, you must have more experience than I gave you credit for.’

Merlin snorted. ‘I doubt it,’ he said with a laugh. ‘A few fumbles. A long unrequited fancy. A kiss. Little else.’

‘Then why are you not afraid?’

Merlin dared to peek over his shoulder to where Arthur waited on his knees. ‘Should I fear you, Arthur?’

‘Yes.’ It seemed an affront to the prince’s dignity that he did not.

‘I would be glad for you to make me tremble –’

‘Stop that! I won’t have you being so suggestive. This is not… It is not…’

What isn’t it?’

Arthur growled. ‘Just shut up, would you?’ And then he threw himself over Merlin so their lengths matched from head to toe, and he was fumbling with his linens, freeing himself – pushing a knee between Merlin’s thighs and abruptly pressing himself against Merlin.

Merlin groaned, and lifted his hips a little, tilted by instinct, so that the blunt head of Arthur’s sword found the opening of its sheath. An agonised groan from Arthur, and then Merlin shifted again, learning as he went – and Arthur suddenly slid in up to the hilt, crying out as if he were the one taken.

‘Arthur,’ Merlin moaned, moving under him, exploring the sensations. A turbulent storm brewed deep within him. ‘Arthur!’

‘Oh dear god,’ Arthur whispered, thrusting himself, tender and trembling and brutal and bold all at once.

Merlin twisted round at the waist, tried to steal a kiss from those arrogant lips. ‘Touch me,’ he asked.

But Arthur pushed at Merlin’s shoulders, forced his face into the velvet of the bedcovers, held him there. Followed him down, mouthing and biting at the nape of Merlin’s neck and down his backbone.

Merlin was still moving though, meeting Arthur’s thrusts, answering them. Thrusting himself against velvet. It was soft, but he hardly needed any further sensation. The storm within him grew, broke, and he overflowed, pulsing out his seed, crying out and pushing hard back against his lover. ‘Arthur…’

Agonised moans, thrusts becoming ruthless, desperate, and then Arthur was done too. He didn’t sound happy about it even though it had all been his idea. His desire.

He lay there, spent, his weight bearing Merlin down into the accommodating mattress. Well, thought Merlin, who needs to breathe? But eventually Arthur turned away, lay on his back, and Merlin was free to roll up onto his side. He gazed curiously at his golden–haired prince, seeing him anew with those sharp features a little softened now with satisfaction.

But Arthur recovered quickly enough. He glanced at the damp mess Merlin had made, and said, ‘You’ll have to clean that up.’

Merlin grinned. ‘Yes, my prince.’

‘Will you stop –’ Arthur broke off, exasperated. He reached for a pillow, pummelled it into shape, turned away to hide his face in it. ‘Will you please stop enjoying yourself,’ he complained.

‘Was I not meant to enjoy that?’ Merlin asked with half–mischievous contrition.

Of course you were not!

‘I can’t apologise,’ Merlin told him. ‘Not for something I don’t regret.’

Arthur sniffed. Then he tossed a glance back over his shoulder. ‘Do you really expect me to believe that was your first time?’

‘Yes, my prince.’

‘Then is it…’ He was more hesitant now. ‘Is it in your nature, then? To enjoy such an act?’

Merlin shrugged. ‘I suppose it is.’ He’d long known that he liked boys as well as girls. It had been yet another thing that made him different, that set him apart. ‘Is it in your nature too, Arthur?’

‘No. No, I just… Well, I must take my pleasures somewhere. And it would not be princely to go around fathering a batch of royal bastards.’

Merlin laughed. ‘I would have thought that was a very princely thing to do!’

Arthur favoured him with a glare. ‘And I did not give you leave to…’ He tipped his head back towards Merlin’s spilled seed.

Merlin was grinning now, wider than he’d ever grinned before. ‘I meant it only as a humble tribute to your attractions, my prince.’

‘Oh god, will you please shut up!’ And Arthur grumbled, ‘Next time, we will do something else, and you will not be able to talk.’

‘I won’t…?’

‘No. Your mouth will be amply occupied with other duties.’

‘Next time,’ Merlin echoed with some satisfaction.

Arthur announced distantly, ‘You can go now.’

Merlin just guffawed at the notion. And despite Arthur’s half–serious protests, Merlin shifted up behind him, shaped his body to match the curve of Arthur’s, and held him closely wrapped in his arms as they dozed.

Posted in: Merlin, Slash fic

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4 responses to “Merlin: 01 The Quick Learner”

  1. avatar E.A. says:

    Ahaha! Impudent Merlin FTW! Exasperated Arthur is adorable. *g*

    (I’m reading through your past fics… why have I not read them before? *puzzled*)

    Anyway, am enjoying myself muchly. Thank you. *g*

    • avatar Harlequin says:

      E.A. – Oh! I’m so glad you like this one. It is (obviously) the first one I wrote – I dashed it off soon after seeing the second episode. And while bits of it no longer seem quite canonical, I captured something here of the charmingly impudent Merlin that I’ve never managed to quite write since. This is the Merlin I fell heavily in love with. This is the Merlin who stole my soul while I wasn’t even looking. :-D Oh, and darling exasperated Arthur, too, who complains and complains but is actually getting something that suits him better than he could have ever imagined… {happy sighs}

      Why have you not read them before…? I don’t know! I do cross-post to merlinxarthur as appropriate, but I am aware of having a rather small audience… Oh well, never mind. You are one of a small yet select group of people with excellent taste. ;-) I love that we found each other! :-D

  2. avatar BrighterLove says:

    *snorts with laughter* Okay this cracked me up

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