cyus: (Camelot)
[personal profile] cyus
Title: Sic infit
Fandom: Camelot
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Rating: R
Length: 2500 words
Summary: And so it begins
Notes: Beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] b_b_banana

Arthur likes the courtyard because it's all blue skies above when it's not raining, and he's grown fond of the weeds and bushes all over that ruin playing at castle in Merlin's grand sweeping statements and fantasies because it means he can find places to hide from Merlin's insistent whispers and Kay's chatter and these men he doesn't even know giving him those nods of respect when he walks past.

Respect for exactly nothing he’s done right thus far.

"There are plans to make," Merlin says from the arch and Arthur doesn't flinch and doesn't drop the sword he's been fighting a phantom opponent with because kings did shit like this, yeah? Kings knew how to fight and he-

well- he didn't. Really.

"Plans?" he presses out, sword heavy by his side and Merlin cocks his head at him and smiles and smiles and smiles, and Arthur doesn't want to behave like a twelve year old boy so he pushes his chin out and clears his throat and repeats, "Plans?" with a twist to his lips that should be playing at a sneer.

"Time doesn't pause for anyone at will," Merlin says as he steps closer and closer, and he takes the sword from Arthur's fingers and raises it and levels it at Arthur's phantom opponent.

"It could for you," Arthur says under his breath and to his shoes, and Merlin chuckles, wistful, and Arthur glances at him, straightens his shoulders and tries to feel kingly and strong and then one thought to men out there, real men with real swords who ran people through like that and didn’t bother to lose any thought or tears, and he deflates and watches Merlin, watches everyone else, just watches and doesn't know what to do with himself other than react, always one step behind.

"You’re not a fool," Merlin replies. He turns and levels the sword at Arthur’s chest, pokes at the leather straps and lower until the point rests over his heart and the sword cuts through the fabric and scratches over Arthur’s skin. Arthur flinches back and rubs at the spot, narrows his eyes at Merlin who is watching him. Merlin bends down and lays the sword at Arthur's feet, smiles at him like he knows everything else and Arthur knows nothing of anything.

"You are," Arthur says as he picks up the sword, one hand pressed to his chest to ease the sting. "You're a-"... and he can't quite bring himself to say fool even as he thinks it. "I don't know how you can see your future with-" he gestures to himself, "-this. They'll run us through and carry our heads for trophies."

"Everyone trusts in you, Arthur," Merlin says, standing too close and it drags at Arthur, makes his limbs heavy and puts these giant rocks on his shoulders, big enough to make him buckle and want to crawl back to his home, back to the stream, back to playing over girls' naked skin and bathing in their laughter.

"Not everyone," Arthur says quietly, and thinks he should take the sword to his own throat and end the charade.

"I trust in you," Merlin says, and reaches up and pushes Arthur's hand away and rubs at the spot where he ripped Arthur's tunic and split the skin with the sword. He smiles, dragging his thumb over the cut just above the heart.

"It's not enough," Arthur whispers.

"It will be."

***

"I hate this!"

The clang of the sword to the stones is satisfying, only slightly muffled by the moss blanketing everything and Kay, to his credit, doesn't even flinch when the handle of the sword jams against his ankle, only steps to the side and crosses his arms in front of his chest and waits.

"I hate this," Arthur repeats.

"Stop playing the fool," Kay replies and walks off, taut lines in the set of his shoulders and the grimness of his mouth. He steps around the sword and steps around Arthur, jostling him hard with the shoulder, and leaves Arthur be with his shoulder aching, his arm on fire, palm sore with the skin broken.

Arthur stares after him and then walks to that sword, his father's sword, and kicks at it with his toes and it clatters across the stones.

"You've chosen the wrong one," Arthur says, just knowing Merlin is somewhere, that Merlin listens somewhere in the damp darkness of the ruin at night where they played at kings to be. "You haven't even given me a crown. Shouldn't I wear a crown for this?" He turns, flicks the hair back that hangs into his face.

The steps are loud in the night and Arthur doesn't flinch anymore at least when Merlin stands too close, when his breath is too warm past his ear, when his arm rubs along Arthur's side as he bends to pick up the sword and inspect it.

He presses the sword back into Arthur's hand, catches his face with his fingers and keeps him looking at Merlin, digging fingertips into his jaw when Arthur tries to pull away. "I'm never wrong," he says with utter conviction as if it wasn't total bollocks and Arthur twists away but Merlin grabs him by his clothes and hauls him back in, pressed thighs to crotch to hips to chest to spit-wet lips. "Even if you don't know yet, and I don't blame you," Merlin says, voice worming into Arthur's head, body tight and hot against his, "I know this is the right way, the only right way to a future so golden and bright and-"

"-you've chosen the wrong champion," Arthur replies and lets the sword fall to push his palm into Merlin's face, the skin stripped to raw flesh, his other hand set to Merlin's shoulder to make him go away.

Merlin catches the hand and drags his thumb over his palm, hard enough to make Arthur give that small cry in his throat that makes him sound all of fourteen when he's crying uncle as he's roughhousing with Kay.

"I haven't." And Merlin steps back and back and leaves Arthur standing there with a smarting palm and more questions than answers.

Arthur picks up the sword and levels it, ignoring the pain in his arm, and he thrusts forward and parries, and waits for another dawn.

***

What Merlin doesn't know that is that Arthur knows he's there, every rustle of every bush, a small rock skittling across the courtyard, and then everything goes still like nature inhales and holds its breath until the sounds pick up again as normal. What Merlin doesn't know is that for every moment he is watching Arthur from the top of the broken ruin, across the stream when they wash up and Arthur and Kay are naked within moments and Merlin stays clothed until they've left for something else to pass their time, what Merlin doesn't know is that Arthur is watching him right back pouring over scrolls, watching everyone else and shrugging out of robes to wade across the rocks into the stream.

What Merlin doesn't know is that Arthur sneaks into his rooms at night, with the door left ajar so it doesn't make a sound, and he slides to the ground in a corner and watches the rise and fall of Merlin's chest.

He sits in the dark and waits for some of Merlin's conviction to soak through his skin and into him and make him the king everyone thinks he already is.

"You're not very good at not thinking out loud," Merlin says from the bed.

Arthur freezes, caught with his thoughts still elsewhere and Merlin sits up and on the edge of the bed and he's naked and Arthur is wearing his tunic and the moonlight plays across the scar on Merlin's face and the ones on his chest.

"Go on, ask," Merlin says.

Arthur shakes his head.

"Say what you need to say then."

Arthur remains silent, worrying at the bottom hem of his tunic and-

"We don't have time for you to be afraid."

"I'm not afraid." Arthur juts his chin out and rubs his face on his shoulder to dislodge the hair caught between his lips. "I'm not afraid," he repeats and opens his mouth to say more, to say all the things ever that come to mind, how Kay is different and how he's feeling like he's losing the one friend he had, the one person to share everything with and how it's been replaced by all that false sense of respect and crap and how can't stop watching Merlin as long as Merlin is watching him.

"They will slaughter us come dawn," Arthur says and straightens from that undignified crouch against the freezing floor. "They will kill all of us, they will kill me, and it will be your fault."

"You are afraid."

"I'm not." Arthur shakes his head and watches Merlin through the strands of hair as Merlin steps closer-

Merlin draws him in, hand hard on the back of his neck as he pulls him close against warm skin, broad chest. He brushes the hair from Arthur's ear. "I have faith in you," he whispers, and holds him as Arthur tries to struggle out of the grip just for a few moments longer and then lets him go, watches him fall flat on his arse and catch himself on his hands.

"You can't just say things like that, they're-"

"I can. I have," Merlin replies and lies back down on his bed, pulling his blanket over himself.

"You can't," Arthur repeats but Merlin is either asleep or ignores him or both. Probably both.

***

"I won't do it and you can't fucking well make me!"

"I can't-" Merlin laughs and it's booming and louder than Arthur's outburst in the small room and Merlin takes a step forward as Arthur takes a step back. "I can't?" Merlin asks, all quiet and there's something in his eyes, something that Arthur can't calculate and escape even as he steps back again and again until his heels hit the wall. "I can do everything," Merlin says, his voice low. His breath fans out over Arthur's face, his fingers splayed on Arthur's chest, fingertips digging in just a little over his heart.

They both look down at it and they both look up and Arthur doesn't flinch now. "No, you can't," he says, quiet and controlled and he touches his fingers to Merlin's hand on his chest, traces the tendons and shape of the knuckles. "You wouldn't," he adds. He breathes in, feels his chest expanding under Merlin's touch and exhales again.

"You don't know who I am."

"No?" Arthur clasps those fingers on his chest and drags them down and lower, shoves them into his trousers and closes them around his cock, half-hard, half-interested, half on the way of being all the way there. "I won't do that because I think it's wrong, I think you're wrong, but it doesn't mean I won't let you have this," he closes his fingers around Merlin's around his cock in a slow squeeze, "or this," he kisses Merlin, "or this," and he sinks to his knees in front of Merlin, Merlin's hand pulling from his clothes and dangling next to his bowed head before his fingers find their way into Arthur's hair. Merlin tugs and Arthur looks up. "It's yours," Arthur says, and he doesn't flinch when Merlin pushes him away and Arthur catches himself before kissing the floor.

"You're not making me do any of it," Arthur calls after Merlin, his words echoing through the castle. "I know what I want."

There is no reply but Arthur still smiles and licks his lips for a taste of Merlin and splayed on the floor as he is, he closes his fingers around his cock and jerks himself, moaning loud enough to make Merlin hear and make him listen. It's all for him anyway, at least in that one moment of bravado.

***

"I know you're there," Merlin says without turning around.

Arthur steps forward, naked, freezing in the cold but he is making a statement here, something grand and sweeping, and he walks past Merlin to his bed and slips under the blanket.

"No," Merlin says.

Arthur's shoulder throbs with pain from the endless routines, building strength and building character and finding himself on the ground as the men stand and judge and doubt, and he can't very well be disappointed with that. He's spent too many nights thrusting his sword at a strawman, cursing when he misjudges speed and accuracy again and again and again.

He can't very well be disappointed when they still beat him one by one down to the smallest squire.

"I deserve this," Arthur says and adds, "I'm your king," without hesitation because maybe, maybe he can make himself believe it this way.

"No," Merlin says again and Arthur ignores him, closes his eyes.

Merlin's fingers are hesitant on his shoulder, the nape of his neck, following the line of his spine to his arse.

"I will only break you," Merlin says to the back of Arthur's head, into his hair.

Arthur turns. "You are already, and I'm letting you," he says and takes Merlin's hand and drags it over his chest and down and to his crotch, and then he lets go and closes his eyes.

"You're my king," Merlin says, with fingers squeezing around Arthur's cock.

"Yes," Arthur says simply as he thrusts into the touch and forces himself not to react to Merlin's lips pressing a kiss to the spot just above his heart, the one spot he's marked out, carved out and is the only one to own.

Date: 2011-02-27 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] b-b-banana.livejournal.com
THIS IS STILL A LOT OF LSKFJOWuer90SLJLFKjlknf lkejlka jlksdfjlkei!@fkdsfd

and also, THIS, STILL:

"It's yours," Arthur says, and he doesn't flinch when Merlin pushes him away and Arthur catches himself before kissing the floor.

"You're not making me do any of it," Arthur calls after Merlin, his words echoing through the castle. "I know what I want."


feljkalkdnf

Date: 2011-02-28 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
The epic-destiny twist towards the end still strikes me as a bit over the top, but hey, first fic with those character, I think I'm allowed to go a bit overboard with the gestures :D

Date: 2011-02-27 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kirusai.livejournal.com
Oh my goodness, this is utterly, insanely seductive and gah, very erotic. It fits into the darkly atmospheric world of Camelot, and I am so very much in love the fic. OMG there are fics! No time to leave a comment because I have to run now, but I'll come back, re-read, and leave my thoughts properly. Your Merlin/Arthur here managed to hit all my relationship kinks. ♥ so many of them

Date: 2011-02-28 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
Thanks so much :D Yeah! Fics! Well - I hope there will be more soon, I do want to read things about these characters, but I'm glad it works. We know so little about the characters at this point, that it's all about speculation and exploration, I suppose, but yeah, loving the Merlin & Arthur dynamic in this show. Thanks for commenting.

Date: 2011-02-27 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paragraphs.livejournal.com
Oh, yes... :)

Copy Banana's flashing \O/ here (I wanna steal that!)

Date: 2011-02-27 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] b-b-banana.livejournal.com
you won't have to steal it, it's so easy--show it a < blink > tag and it'll come running >__>

Date: 2011-02-27 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paragraphs.livejournal.com
Ohhh clever! Thanks!

Date: 2011-02-28 08:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-02-27 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luisadeza.livejournal.com
Wow, you're fast.

God, the power dynamic in this is delicious. Hits my age difference kink very hard as well. Definitely keysmash-worthy.

(On a side note, it also stresses very well how different the relationship between Arthur & Merlin on Camelot is to that on Merlin.)

Date: 2011-02-28 08:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
More like obsessed. I pretty much spent the weekend in a Camelot-bubble fandom-wise. Glad the dynamics work, I do think they're really intriguing and interesting in the show, so yeah, good to know it translates. Thanks!

Date: 2011-02-27 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neifile7.livejournal.com
WOAH.

This is...wow. Um. Something you've made me wanna watch.

Beautiful and fraught, and very different in feeling from The Other Arthurian Fandom.

Date: 2011-02-28 08:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
It's worth watching I think because a number of things are still shrouded in darkness at the moment. It makes me curious for more and to see how they will develop the characters and the plotlines. Especially the Merlin & Arthur dynamic does it for me because of all the differences between the characters but you know, a lot of people are way into Morgan. Definitely a different feel to the show compared to Merlin, and it probably shows in the fiction.

Date: 2011-02-27 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sheswatching.livejournal.com
Holy shit, dude. No lie, the last bit left me breathless mainly because I think I was holding it back as I read and didn't want to ruin the moments they shared with my inhales and exhales, all that you've carefully woven for them so precious and fragile. I like your characterizations and I love how Merlin holds back as much as he can, until he can't. Or maybe he can but he's doing it to build Arthur up, to be the first one not to just give in and give him exactly what he wants and when he wants it until he's not afraid, until he feels his own power in spite of the doubts he still has. Lovely.


psst, wrong 'then': "more questions then answers"; and also dunno if you do promos for fics but you should totally be the first to post in camelot_fic, js.
Edited Date: 2011-02-27 03:00 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-02-28 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
Glad the flow works, and yeah, Merlin and Arthur intrigue me in the show, just curious where they will end up and how they will get there and how much Merlin's vision of the new breed of king will come off without a hitch or how much Arthur will just go in and go 'yeah, not so much, dude'. And then there's Kay and Morgan and hmmm- hope the actual series lives up the promise of the pilot.

Date: 2011-02-27 08:40 pm (UTC)
sparklespiff: (hinata)
From: [personal profile] sparklespiff
Oh, wow. That ending, and the power dynamic, and the way you've nailed needs here-- awesome.

Date: 2011-02-28 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
Thanks very much :) Glad you enjoyed it.

Date: 2011-02-27 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_profiterole_/
This is wonderful! It fits the show so well! :D

Date: 2011-02-28 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
Thanks very much, and I'm glad to hear it works with the canon :)

Date: 2011-03-01 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thecomfychair.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed this, especially how you wrote the dynamics between them. Thanks for sharing it :)

Date: 2011-03-06 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
Thanks! It's early, early times yet and probably a bit premature but I'm glad it worked for you.

Date: 2011-03-04 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eldee.livejournal.com
Goodness me, this is wonderful and GUH. I love the dark, uncertain tone of it, very much fitting with the show. And the power dynamics between Arthur and Merlin are just perfect. Beautiful, beautiful writing here.

Date: 2011-03-06 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyus.livejournal.com
Thanks :D It certainly felt like the thing to write after the first ep. I'm really curious where they go with the story as the season develops.

Date: 2011-04-17 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] candesgirl.livejournal.com
Begged for Arthur/Merlin recs on twitter and [livejournal.com profile] paragraphs sent me here and my goodness it was just what I was looking for. It definitely fits the early tone of the series and of both Arthur and Merlin and I can't wait for more.

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