heofona_gehlidu: (arthur merlin by your side)
[personal profile] heofona_gehlidu
Title: Hiersumnes
Fandom: Merlin
Warnings: Mild kink
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Wordcount: 2042
A/N: This all started with a prompt on the kink meme: In the course of what should be everyday events, possibly some form of taunting or punishment, Arthur accidentally discovers Merlin's secret kink (spanking, hair-pulling, his ears, something like that) and developed from there. With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] fanged_angel who liked the first version :p

Arthur didn't notice his reaction the first time it happened, and for that small mercy Merlin was profoundly thankful. Thankful too that Arthur - unobservant as ever - was so busy berating Merlin for failing to sweep under the royal bed that he failed to notice the blush that Merlin felt sure stretched from the roots of his hair right down to his toes.

Rant finally complete, Arthur turned back to his contemplation of his new scabbard and Merlin had time to scuttle over to the other side of the room, turn his back very deliberately on Arthur and think about Gaius naked until he regained some measure of control over his traitorous body.

He thought about it again though, later that night, alone in his bed, until he came with the memory of Arthur's hand in his hair bright in his head and Arthur's name on his lips.


The second time it happened Arthur didn’t notice his reaction, something Merlin would have been more pleased about if it wasn’t for the fact that Morgana did notice.


She didn’t say anything about it to him for a few days, letting Merlin stew, while shooting him little amused, knowing glances from time to time and looking pointedly between him and Arthur whenever they were all in the same room. She began coming to Arthur’s chambers three or four times a day with trivial questions or requests, enough that Arthur confided in Merlin one morning that he thought her crush on him was becoming rather overwhelming. Merlin didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“I’m not going to say anything to him,” she murmured to Merlin one evening as she passed him on her way to the royal table. “But you should.”


The third time it happened Arthur did notice. Merlin saw the surprised double-take, the start of what Merlin thought might have been some crushing remark, and then Arthur looked at him - properly looked at him - and his lips twisted into something halfway between a smile and something else Merlin wasn't sure he could put a name to.

There was a moment of awful, stunned silence. A moment that went on for far too long, long enough for Merlin to mentally list every possible consequence of Arthur’s discovery.

"Are you going to clean it up?" Arthur said at last, and that certainly hadn’t been on Merlin’s list.

Arthur’s voice was at least an octave higher than it normally was and Merlin wasn’t imagining the flush that tinged his cheeks. Merlin felt oddly reassured by that; at least he wasn't the only one feeling something other than the normal reaction to a servant dropping a bowl on the floor of the crown prince’s chambers. He started to nod, and stopped abruptly as he realised that Arthur's fingers were still entangled in his hair. Arthur didn’t seem inclined to let go.

“Well?” Arthur demanded.

"Y-yes,” Merlin stuttered, willing Arthur not to look down again.

Of course Arthur did, and this time it was definitely a smile that touched his lips. "Get on with it then. And make sure you don't leave any bits on the floor; I don't want to cut my feet." He relinquished his grip on Merlin’s hair and stepped back.

"Yes, sire," Merlin mumbled as he got to his feet. He didn't dare look at Arthur - who was showing no signs of leaving the room - and this time there was nowhere for him to hide, no breathing space for him to regain any kind of composure.

"Make sure you get those bits under the table." Arthur, to Merlin's horror, sat back down at the table, lounging indolently in his chair in that particularly aggravating way he had which Merlin did not think about at all in the privacy of his bed at night, biting down on the knuckles of his free hand so that Gaius would not hear him call out Arthur’s name. And Arthur kept watching Merlin with that thoughtful expression and furrowed brow that inevitably meant that A Conversation was imminent. In Merlin's mind such talks thoroughly deserved the emphasis because, while Arthur was not necessarily quick on the uptake, he did have a certain relentless persistence when it came to getting the truth - or a near approximation to the truth - out of Merlin, and Merlin most definitely did not want to talk about this particular incident.

Walking was exquisitely painful in his current condition so Merlin settled for an inelegant shuffling while he fetched the broom and began carefully sweeping up the shards. Some had gone under the bed and it was while he was on his hands and knees fishing those out that Arthur spoke again:

"You couldn't drop a plate, could you?" He tapped his fingers against the nearest pewter dish for emphasis.

"That was you, at the feast for Lord Aedilred," Merlin pointed out.

"Morgana kicked me; what was I supposed to do?" Arthur's foot connected rather solidly with the heel of Merlin's boot and he yelped. "See?"

"Point taken." Merlin backed up, shards held carefully in his hand. He'd have to throw them away later but for now he unknotted his neckscarf with one hand and spread it out on the floor. It would serve to keep the shards together and while he was busy with the tidying he could be grateful that Arthur was choosing to ignore Merlin's problem in favour of baiting him for his clumsiness instead.

"That bowl was a gift. Did you stop to consider that it might have sentimental value for me before you smashed it?"

Merlin bit back the retort on his lips and concentrated on retrieving the remaining shards, most of which seemed to be under the table.

Which meant he had to crawl under the table too. Next to Arthur's legs.

It was ridiculous for him to get aroused again - it was - because he dressed Arthur and undressed him and bathed him and there should be nothing remotely sexual about him being on his knees with Arthur sitting there with his legs sprawled out, his firm, well-muscled legs...

oh hell...

Merlin glared furiously at the floor and cursed his own fevered imagination. Just because he'd imagined just such a situation - albeit with less clothes - on more than one occasion, didn't make it right. Arthur was surely as mortified as Merlin was by the whole situation and the last thing he would want now was Merlin getting ridiculously turned on just from kneeling on the floor in front of him and imagining Arthur's fingers in his hair and...

Merlin froze.

He wasn't imagining the touch.

Arthur's fingers ghosted down the side of his face, sweeping up across his ear, and surely Arthur had magical powers himself for all at once every scrap of air in the room seemed to have disappeared and it was all Merlin could do to breathe at all.


"Quiet." Arthur's hand moved again, more decisively this time. Fisting in Merlin's hair, tugging his head back so that he had no choice but to look at Arthur, hands flailing ineffectually at his sides as he was drawn up. "You like this, don't you?"

Like seemed like a fatuously inappropriate word for what Merlin was feeling; if there had been any part of his brain still capable of coherent thought he might have tried to make sense of the mental jumble of acute embarrassment, the discomfort of kneeling on a cold, hard floor, and being more turned on than he had ever been in his life but as it was he was helpless to do anything except gaze up at Arthur as Arthur tugged on his hair so hard tears sprang to Merlin's eyes and the world imploded and shattered as he came.


Left to his own devices, Merlin would probably have slumped to the floor afterwards – that horribly cold and uncomfortable floor – and taken a few minutes to get his breath back and regain control of his trembling limbs before doing something about the sticky, damp mess he’d just made of his clothes, but Arthur still had hold of his hair, albeit more gently than before, and didn’t seem to be in any hurry to let go.

Arthur waited until Merlin was breathing at least halfway normally before he spoke again.

“Look at me.”

Oh, he wanted to disobey that command so badly. As long as his eyes were closed Merlin could pretend this was all some desperate, private fantasy; otherwise he was quite certain that Arthur was never, ever going to let him live this down. Arthur would probably tell the entire court about Merlin coming in his britches like an over-eager boy and that wouldn’t do much for his already-shaky reputation. Uther tolerated him these days but Merlin had noticed the king still eyeing him with a certain wariness from time to time, as if anticipating a sudden outbreak of idiocy on Merlin’s part. Knights, serving girls, messenger boys … even the warm-hearted cook who sometimes let him steal treats earmarked for the royal table on the grounds that he was too thin and pale for his own good would mock him mercilessly and Uther would probably have him put in the stocks just for distracting the denizens of Camelot from their rightful business. Merlin winced at the thought and screwed his eyes up as tightly as he could. With any luck Arthur would get bored of this – whatever this was – and leave him alone.

“Merlin, look at me,” Arthur told him, and that, there, was that quiet, intent tone of voice Arthur used when instructing his knights, the one that had led to more than one instance of Merlin having to hurry away to the stables on the pretence of having forgotten something important before he embarrassed himself in public. It was, Merlin thought furiously, deeply unfair of Arthur to use it on him now. Arrogant too, and so typically, infuriatingly Arthur in expecting Merlin to do what he was told just because it was Arthur telling him to do it.

Merlin opened his eyes anyway.

Arthur was watching him closely but his expression was annoying inscrutable. “Say thank you.”

Merlin blinked. Whatever he had been expecting it certainly hadn’t been that. He opened his mouth to say something scathing. “Thank you,” he mumbled instead.

“That’s better.” Arthur kept hold of Merlin’s hair but his other hand was stroking Merlin’s cheek and whatever composure Merlin had regained was rapidly disappearing. “You know, that’s a very good look for you.”

Merlin didn’t want to think about what he looked like. He was blushing so furiously it felt as if he might spontaneously combust at any moment, he was uncomfortable and sticky, and his head was really starting to hurt from where Arthur still had hold of his hair…

…and he was getting hard again. Merlin moaned softly. It was mortifying.

“Now you can pour me some wine.” And, just like that, Arthur let him go.


“Wine.” Arthur held out his goblet. “Now, Merlin,” he added, when Merlin failed to react.

Merlin got dazedly to his feet. He felt light-headed and dizzy and the cooling stickiness was becoming quite unspeakably horrible and all he could think about was how Arthur’s hand had felt against his face, thumb brushing against his lips.

"Try not to spill the wine." Arthur looked and sounded amused again.

Somehow Merlin managed to pour out Arthur’s wine for him without spilling a drop. Arthur settled back in his chair and sipped the wine appreciatively, while Merlin fidgeted and tried to look anywhere but at Arthur, and think of something other than his cock straining against his britches.

“I think I’ll eat here tonight,” Arthur said eventually. “I’m not in the mood for my father’s company.” He pulled a face. "Or Morgana's."

“All right.” Merlin scrambled for the door, giddy with relief. Back to his room, a change of clothes, a few minutes with his right hand … he could surely get through the rest of the evening without any more embarrassment.

“And Merlin?” Arthur’s voice caught him at the door, in the very act of reaching for the door handle.

“Yes, sire?”

Arthur smiled and raised his goblet. “Don’t take your time.” His eyes flickered to Merlin’s crotch. “I haven’t finished with you yet.”

Merlin whimpered.

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heofona gehlidu

April 2011

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