So I was kind of shocked to discover that some of my fics were nominated for the MAFAs, including a couple for best PWP, and my reaction (as usual) was to think 'hey, this calls for MOAR PORN!' Looking at my competition I don't have a hope in hell of taking any victories, but I wasn't even expecting to get near the nominations list this time around so as far as I'm concerned that counts as an excellent excuse (as though I ever really need one ;p) for belated celebratory porn!
Title: Intermediary Moments
Word count: 2, 237
Spoilers: Incredibly small blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to 1x11
Summary: In daylight Arthur gets whatever he wants by ordering, by commanding, but for this Merlin likes to hear him beg.
A/N: Shameless porn. Featuring bottom!Arthur, vague hints of character study and a couple of emotional kinks for good measure. I regret nothing.
The room is lit by fire- and candlelight, warmly gilding the occasional jagged white of Arthur’s scars and pooling shadows in the dips and contours of his body. He leans back on his elbows, head cocked and arrogant in the flickering half-light; Merlin doesn’t have to see the smirk on his face to know it’s there.
‘Get a move on, Merlin,’ Arthur drawls lazily. ‘Sometime tonight, if you please.’
Merlin doesn’t dignify that with a response – he’ll have plenty of time to make Arthur pay for it later. He can feel Arthur’s eyes on him, feel the weight of all the dirty thoughts he knows are playing out in Arthur’s mind saturating the air, dense and suggestive, and he grins to himself as he strips down, the slow burn of arousal stoking steadily higher the longer Arthur watches.
The bed dips as he straddles Arthur, the sheets rustling softly against his knees as he settles. Arthur shifts under him, reaching up to run his fingers along the back of Merlin’s neck and pull him in for a lingering kiss. Merlin hums into it, the familiar pressure of Arthur’s mouth, hot and wet, and the insistent sweep of his tongue. Arthur is restless, his hand carding through Merlin’s hair, slipping down to bracket his cheekbone, moving to roughly cup his jaw, his chin, angling Merlin’s head just the way he wants it.
Merlin allows Arthur to take command for a little while – he likes to have Arthur sucking at his lips and licking into his mouth, hungry and demanding and letting Merlin know exactly what he wants – but then he pulls back and pushes Arthur down flat on the bed, one long-fingered hand splayed wide across his bare chest. Arthur complies, pupils wide and dark with anticipation, wetting his lips. Merlin trails a hand down the line of his sternum, pressing down and leaving white marks behind that fade as he watches. His skims his hand lower over Arthur’s stomach, unhurried and thoughtful, enjoying the way the muscles of Arthur’s abdomen tense under his fingertips and the way Arthur’s breathing quickens, his cock stiffening and swelling blood-heavy between his thighs.
Arthur’s hands tighten and relax impulsively around Merlin’s hips and Merlin can tell from the rigid set of his jaw how much self-control it’s taking for Arthur to hold himself back – it’s not easy for Arthur to give, not like this, not even when he wants it so much that there’s already pre-come beading at his slit and fine tremors in his thighs.
‘Are you actually going to do anything or are you just going to look?’ Arthur asks, covering his discomfort with trademark impatience, and Merlin smirks and shuts him up with a touch, rubbing the flat of his thumb lightly over the head of Arthur’s cock. Arthur thrusts up with a groan, seeking more, and Merlin lets him rut against his palm, relishing the slip-slide of skin on skin in his hand, the weight and heft of Arthur’s cock and the heated friction building with each pass. Just watching Arthur trying to get himself off like this is wreaking havoc with Merlin’s mental capacities and he has to remind himself firmly that there’s more to come as he pulls away and shifts to pin Arthur’s hips under him. Arthur makes a frustrated noise and pushes up, trying for more contact, but Merlin holds him firmly down.
‘Arthur,’ he says warningly and Arthur rolls his eyes, his feigned nonchalance belied by the ragged, shallow rhythm of his breath. ‘You know how this goes,’ Merlin murmurs, leaning down over Arthur’s body to mouth up his neck and along his jaw until his reaches his ear, his voice dropping low and rough as he says, ‘tonight we do things my way.’
He feels the shudder that runs through Arthur where their chests are pressed together and he’s so close that he can even feel the bob of Arthur’s throat against his cheek when Arthur swallows.
‘Alright,’ Arthur says, ‘alright,’ and his voice is gratifyingly hoarse.
Arthur’s warmth, the press of his body is so tempting that it takes a conscious effort of will for Merlin pull back and put even a brief distance between them. He noses at the side of Arthur’s neck at the point where his pulse thrums just below the skin, tasting the salt of his skin and inhaling the heavy, masculine scent of him – metal and leather and fresh sweat; when Merlin finally forces himself to move the night air feels cold and empty against his bare skin.
He sits back and considers his options through half-lidded eyes, rubbing his fingers idly through the sticky smear already forming on Arthur’s stomach. Merlin rakes his gaze across Arthur’s body, over the toned lines of his abdomen, the powerful breadth of his chest, and marvels that all this physical strength can be tamed, unravelled like a puzzle with a touch, that even Arthur’s stubborn pride and an entire lifetime of being taught the hard way that submission is an intolerable disgrace can be wound back for the space of one night. He feels it like a rush of power, like adrenaline singing in his blood that this can be his, that for him Arthur can take this, but then Arthur catches Merlin’s hand and brings it to his mouth; when he licks his pre-come from Merlin’s fingertips with bold, wet strokes of his tongue it strikes Merlin like the fall of an axe, slicing away all rational thought with one clean blow and sending barbs of want melting like liquid down his spine.
Merlin has no choice after that but to shove Arthur’s thighs clumsily open and kneel between them with giddy arousal, Arthur looking up at him, eyes dark and bottomless with thirst.
‘Well?’ Arthur asks challengingly and Merlin smiles as he picks up the slim vial lying next to Arthur’s shoulder and coats his fingers with oil. He knees Arthur’s legs farther apart, leaning over as his hand drifts down to tease at the sensitive skin below Arthur’s balls and then lower still, keeping his eyes trained on Arthur’s face and wanting to drink in his every reaction.
Merlin loves this, the feel of all that taut muscle coiled underneath him and Arthur’s hands bruising on his hips. Merlin loves the way Arthur clenches tight and then slowly gives as Merlin’s fingers slip inside him, loves the way Arthur opens up by slow degrees even as his grip shifts and winds tighter against Merlin’s back, blunt nails digging deeper into the muscle of Merlin’s shoulder. He loves the noises Arthur makes, choked off in the back of his throat, low grunts and groans trapped behind his gritted teeth. He loves it, the sensation and the reality of it all, but it’s the knowing that really undoes him – knowing that Arthur could easily overpower him or throw him off; knowing that Arthur doesn’t want to.
It gets better when he curls a hand round Arthur’s knee and lifts his leg, when he lines himself up with a firm hand on his own cock and pushes inside. He groans helplessly at the long, tight slide – pressure and friction and Arthur
, below him and around him and so impossibly good. There’s a long, suspended moment where Merlin holds completely still, the sound of his own blood pounding loud in his ears and ragged panting, Arthur’s and his own, rasping together into the quiet air. Arthur’s thigh locks hard against Merlin’s side, and Merlin can feel the muscle flexing tense against his ribs as Arthur adjusts; Merlin’s head drops down and he swears quietly, concentrating only on regulating his breathing and not coming on the spot. It feels like an age, an eternity and no time at all, less than a heartbeat before Arthur’s hand presses flat against his shoulder-blade, tacitly encouraging, and Merlin moves, finally moves, drawing stifled, hitching moans from them both.
He knows that Arthur likes it fast and hard so he goes slow, takes his time and makes Arthur feel every second of it, ignoring the searing blue of his desperate glare. Arthur always starts out pushy and demanding, biting out terse orders in that sharp, combat-bred voice – ‘faster, Merlin, hurry up’ and ‘harder, now’ and ‘more’ and ‘there, there
’ – but Merlin breaks it out of him with long, slow rolls of his hips and teasing, abortive strokes of his hand along the swollen length of Arthur’s cock. He’s learnt over time just how to do this just right, how to push Arthur to the edge by slow increments and keep him there, learnt to find the angle and the depth that will break Arthur’s self-control until he can’t hold back his moans any longer and can’t stop himself from pleading, offering anything, things he’d never voice aloud anywhere but here with Merlin driving it out of him.
In daylight Arthur gets whatever he wants by ordering, by commanding, but for this Merlin likes to hear him beg. He likes to watch him surrender, shed all those tangled layers of prince and leader and all those other bright ideals that are required of him. Merlin wants Arthur the king, the destined champion blazing fiercely in his armour like a dawning star, but he also wants the man buried down beneath, the one who likes to dress Merlin in stupid clothes and feed him rat stew and who laughs at Merlin when they’re hunting alone, chagrined and soaked to the skin. He sees it in the turn of Arthur’s head against the pillows, the fan of his sweat-darkened hair and the desperate, helpless wanting in his eyes: just a man, still young and really no more prepared than Merlin for the weight settling on his shoulders, heavier and heavier with each passing day. Merlin swallows back the sentiment and closes his eyes as he rocks into Arthur again and again in a slow, deep grind, biting his own lip bloody to stave off his release until Arthur’s twisting underneath him, swearing and cursing him over and over.
He could take this, Merlin knows, with his magic; he wonders about it sometimes, gets off to the thought of it alone in his room. He thinks about holding Arthur down, pinning him to the sheets without even touching him and spreading him out, completely at Merlin’s mercy. He imagines all the things he could do to a captive Arthur, all the hundreds of ways he could drive him out his mind with need – watching him buck and fight, truly vulnerable for all his strength, pushing inside him with fingers and tongue and magic, burning him up with pleasure from the inside out until he pleads for release. He prefers it this way, though, letting Arthur give himself over and knowing that he submits not by force but by choice.
Thinking about it makes Merlin clench up inside and makes his hips stutter forwards, breaking his careful rhythm, and Arthur pants and arches underneath him, head rolling back and eyes squeezed shut, so tense that the tendons stand firm in his neck as he grates out a frantic, hoarse ‘Merlin, please’. Merlin reaches down and trails his hand against Arthur’s flushed cheek, runs a nail across his bitten lips, thinking that no matter how deep he pushes inside it won’t be enough to stem the wellspring of yearning in his chest.
The truth is that sometimes Merlin wants Arthur so much – wants him face-down on the bed, on his back, on his knees, blindfolded or tied to the headboard or just as he is. Merlin wants his mouth, wants his hands, wants anything he can get from him, to fuck him or be fucked by him, wants Arthur’s cock pushing right up inside him just as much as he wants the tight, endless heat surrounding him. It wells up in him at odd moments – a word or a glance, sunlight in Arthur’s hair or flashing down his blade, the simple movement of Arthur’s shoulders under his clothes or the brush of Arthur’s knuckles against Merlin’s hand in an empty corridor. It tugs low at his belly and lodges in his throat, something needy and empty that makes his pulse race in excitement and anxiety. The truth is that sometimes he only feels like half a person until he can lay his hands on Arthur again, skin-to-skin, and feel the answering thrum of his blood.
He can’t help it – and god knows he tried enough during that first long, frustrating year of being trapped in that perilous relationship, not truly Arthur’s servant and not his friend but not quite anything else either – but Merlin wants everything, wants more than he really knows what to do with. He’s been spun a good line about inescapable destiny and fated coins, and if he’s honest then he still doesn’t understand much of that; what he does know is this: if his and Arthur’s futures truly lie together then they have time to figure it out, so he goes slowly, rocks forward a little more, slides just that little bit deeper to wring another hoarse moan from Arthur’s lips. They have time, so Merlin holds Arthur’s wrists flat against the mattress and draws it out, makes each second stretch and last to the fullest. He leans down and thrusts, careful, deliberate, swallowing Arthur’s pleading groan along with his own. They have time, after all.