It was a sunny and calm afternoon - calm, that is, until Arthur bellowed "Merlin! What the devil have you done to my best shirt? I need this for tonight for the ball! Do you honestly want me to show up looking less than my best?"
Merlin would prefer that Arthur didn't wear clothes at all, or leave the bedroom. Still, you can't always get what you want. As in a nice prince-knight sandwich, perhaps in the bathtub...
"Arthur, after that fit you had in the council chambers, I don't think anyone will be paying attention to what you are wearing."
"Fit? I did not have a fit." Arthur stepped out from behind the screen, an expectant look on his face. "Well? Are you going to help me dress?"
Merlin gulped. Helping Arthur dress was both his favorite and least favorite thing. Merlin took a deep breath to steady himself as he stepped closer to Arthur. Slowly, he reached up to tug at Arthur's sleep shirt, lifting it over his head.
"Merlin, if you are not going to drag me off to bed this second, would you PLEASE get me some decent clothes. We are going to be late to Kitty's party at the tavern. You know—the tavern where you seem to spend all your time?"
Merlin scoffed. "I've never been to that tavern as much as Gaius says I have!"
Arthur raises an eyebrow. "No? Then where do you go all the time, hmm? Perfectly nice bed right here. Plenty to do during the day. But no. You're off somewhere else!"
Merlin bit his lip guiltily. He didn't want Arthur to know his secret. But it was growing bigger all the time, and it was becoming difficult to hide a no longer so small white dragon. In all honesty, given their proximity, a dragon was not the only thing that was growing bigger and difficult to hide. Honestly, Merlin could not understand how Arthur could be so oblivious to his... Preferences... And after so many years of awkward boners.
Merlin nervously cleared his throat. "Don't you worry about me. I'm just doing my job and making sure your royal bottom doesn't get you into any trouble. You really have no idea how much trouble taking care of you can be."
"I'm sure it's so much trouble. And you've been mentioning my royal bottom quite a lot recently, haven't you?" There's a knowing glint in Arthur's eye, and Merlin's heart stutters. Ok. Maybe not as oblivious as Merlin thought.
Arthur continued. "But if it's honestly too much trouble for you to handle by yourself, I'm sure some of the knights would be happy to help. Gwaine always seems willing....Maybe you should go find him. Or Percival. Maybe Elyan. Heck, bring them all.”
Suddenly, a loud squeaky roar sounded from inside Arthur's closet. Arthur twirled around in search of the sound. "What was that?" he asked.
Merlin jumped to distract him. "It's um... That was just my stomach," groused Merlin. "You've got me running around so much that I haven't eaten anything all day."
"Merlin, let's get back to my shirt. Why does it look like my best shirt was tattered by the claws of a large animal?"
"I don't know, Arthur. With the way you've been going on and on about Kitty, maybe she's got her claws into you?" said Merlin. His jealousy over Arthur's obvious attraction to Kitty slipped out in his attempt to deflect Arthur from finding out about Aithusa. He had been almost sure that his attraction to Arthur was reciprocated, almost ready to make a move... But now, since Kitty's arrival, Merlin was less sure of Arthur's interest in him. He wasn't sure what to make of Arthur's suggestion that Merlin invite all the knights to help out. Maybe Arthur was kinkier than he seemed?
Arthur smirked. "Jealous, Merlin?"
Merlin scoffed, cheeks red with a blush. "I think it was you who first mentioned the knights. Maybe you're jealous."
Arthur growled. "I am the king, Merlin. I don't get jealous. Now step aside!" He drew his long, prominent weapon out of its sheath and strode over to the closet.
"No," Merlin gasped, but it was too late. Arthur flung open the doors and for a moment, there was a lot of rummaging.
And then Arthur came out of the closet.
"Merlin," he called, his eyes huge. "Care to explain why there's a baby dragon in my closet?" In between those words, Arthur's voice went from faint to slightly hysterical. Merlin had never seen him so undignified, and couldn't help but laugh.
Merlin, his throat dry, swallowed a few times. "Erm, well, that's a rather long story that might take a while, Sire." he said this last bit with his voice raised, as if asking a question.
That caught Arthur's attention, and before Merlin realized his slip, Arthur was in his space. "And why, Merlin, is this a story you know? What would you have to do with dragons?"
Crap. Merlin would have to talk fast. "Erm..." he stammered. "Well, you see... When a mommy dragon and a daddy dragon fall in love... They have a special... Erm... Hug. And then..."
"MERLIN! Get to the point! What is this dragon doing in my rooms?"
"I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. But she was all alone in the world. She needed...uh..."
"Yes, yes. She needed a Dragonlord. Obviously."
"Whuh!?" Merlin gasped. "You know?"
"Merlin, how much of an idiot do you really think I am? Wait, no, don't answer that!" Merlin's face was in his hands, but he dared to peek at Arthur, who was...snuggling with Aithusa in the middle his perfect Pendragon red bedspread. Arthur sighed. "I really don't want to miss this party, Merlin."
Merlin bit his lip. Between cuddling Aithusa and looking put out over missing the party, every bit of worry, jealousy, and anger fled from Merlin's body. With a sigh, he crossed to the bed and sat in front of Arthur. "She likes it in your closet. I'm sorry."
Arthur half smiled. "It's ok. She's kind of cute." Arthur didn't look as if he was going to put Aithusa down any time soon. And the little dragon looked very comfortable snuggled in Arthur's arms. In fact... there was a gentle snoring noise coming from the tiny form.
Merlin reached over to pet Aithusa, who was most definitely asleep, but his hand brushed against Arthur's. Merlin started to pull it back but Arthur stilled his movement. Merlin opened his mouth, but nothing came out.
Arthur moved Aithusa from his lap, careful not to disturb her. She curled her body tighter in the nest of blankets, and Arthur smiled. He turned to look at Merlin, and something in his expression made Merlin's hands shake and his breath catch. "We're already late for the party, Merlin. I'm sure there's no harm in waiting a little while longer." He cupped Merlin's jaw, breath tickling Merlin's lips. "Is there anything else you'd like to discuss, while we're here?"
Merlin shivered with the gentleness of Arthur's hands on his face. He felt all his muscles slowly warming from the inside out, till he thought they must be ready to melt and leave him a pile of goo on the floor. But—there was just one thing left. One more secret that he needed to confess to, although Arthur obviously already knew. Feeling impatient to hurry things along, however, he decided to reveal it in a creative way.... His eyes glowed golden and... Arthur's eyes grew wide as Aithusa gently floated to the floor in the nest of pillows, and he found himself with a lap full of gorgeous sorcerer.
Merlin bit his lip, waiting in anticipation. Arthur took a deep breath and wrapped his arms around Merlin's back. "I'm not surprised though I thought you would have just said something."
Merlin shrugged. "Figured you wouldn't believe it otherwise."
Arthur licked his lips. "Does that mean that I can...?"
Merlin nodded eagerly. He'd been wanting a kiss from Arthur for so long. He tilted his head and closed his eyes as Arthur leaned in for a sweet, gentle kiss that rapidly deepened. Merlin wasn't sure how, but the next thing he knew he was beneath Arthur, on the bed, and he was feeling entirely too clothed. He needed to do something about that. He knew they were going fast, but it was too late now.
Arthur's hands fumbled at Merlin's belt, and Merlin caught his breath.
"There's an easier way to do that," he said, whispering a spell.
His clothes vanished – he hoped not permanently. Arthur blinked down at him for a moment before leaning down to kiss Merlin again. Merlin's legs spread wide as Arthur settled between them and deepened the kiss. Lining their bodies up together Arthur rotated his hips, moving smoothly against Merlin. With a gasp, Merlin's head pushed back against the pillows. Arthur leaned down and kissed his throat, nipping and licking and sucking. Merlin's eyes closed tight, overwhelmed. He'd never imagined it would be this good with Arthur. Never.
"Merlin," Arthur gasped. "I'm -- "
Merlin opened his eyes and met Arthur's dark stare. "Arthur?"
Arthur smiled. "Never mind. I'll tell you later."
Merlin frowned, but Arthur kissed him again. He ran his hand down Merlin's side to his leg; Merlin let him lift it so it was wrapped around his waist. Arthur groaned and shifted his hips, lining up their cocks. Merlin swore and grabbed Arthur's shoulders.
"Shit, shit," Arthur whispered. "I'm close. Merlin?"
Merlin's breath caught as he gave in to the pleasure. Arthur bit off a curse and followed after him. Merlin smiled and rolled them onto their sides. As he fell asleep, he thought that though it was Kitty's birthday, they had all gotten a gift today.
Hours later, Merlin was awakened by something hot, wet, and rough against his cheek. It took him a few minutes to make sense of his surroundings. He grinned as he realized that Arthur's arms were wrapped around him, and Aithusa was perched at the head of the bed, licking both their faces. He turned in Arthur's arms, and was a bit awestruck by the look of intense affection in Arthur's eyes.
"Oh gods, Arthur, I think I still have one last secret. I love you, you know. I really love you. I am so fucking in love with you, and your royal backside, too."
Arthur smirked at Merlin. "Gee, well, you know, I might just love you too. How many sorcerers do you think I allow to slink around under my nose? How often do you think I let people keep pets in my wardrobe and get away with it? You great fool. Of course you love me. And of course I love you."
Merlin rested his chin on Arthur's shoulder, trailing a finger down his spine. "I'm sorry we missed Kitty's party," he said softly. "Maybe we can make it up to her. Why don't we ask her to join us here for dinner some time soon? I'm sure we could keep her entertained, make up for missing her birthday party with a little private celebration? What do you think?"
And Will died.
Happy Birthday Kitty!
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Chapter by bunnysworld, Moonflower999, Polomonkey, rotrude
The next day...
The morning after Arthur bent over the basin for a wash as he did every morning. He cleaned his face, dabbed at his armpits, and rubbed behind his ears. Not forgetting Gaius' advice, he used the paste the physician had given him, and massaged it over his teeth. Then he gulped some of the rinsing solution Gaius had also concoted, gargled and spat. On his shoulder Aithusa made a noise in her throat, hissed some spit, then breathed fire.
The bed hangings, Arthur thought as Merlin sprang up from the bed, were a goner.
Some hours later, Arthur sighed when Aithusa flapped her wings, thereby messing up all the papers on his desk, and landed in front of him. “Not now, Aithusa.”
The little dragon snuffled at his face and blew out some smoke rings that Arthur had learned were a sign of affection. Nevertheless they made him sneeze, which in return, caused the dragon to scurry backwards and fall not so gracefully onto the floor.
“Sorry about that.” Arthur tried to gather his papers again but couldn’t ignore the look on her face. “What is it now?”
The white dragon just looked.
She made a little sound that sounded like a ‘yes’. Some days, Arthur wished she could speak. Merlin said it would take quite a while before she would be able to form whole sentences and even though she had grown quite a bit since the day he first found her in his closet and already reached the seat of a chair, she could only utter sounds.
“I can’t help you with that, I need to finish this speech.”
Aithusa huffed and seemed to frown at him before she started padding around the room, looking at different things.
Arthur tried to concentrate on the speech, but he couldn’t help watching her. Even though she was a dragon and would get quite large, she reminded him of an overgrown puppy at times. What was so interesting about the bedpost was beyond him, but she stared at it in fascination.
Finally he was able to write a few more sentences and knew he could just wing the rest. Or let Merlin finish it.
“Alright, you won. What do you want to do?”
Aithusa was right next to him with an excited shine in her eyes.
“How about…we’ll go give Leon a little scare?” The look on Leon’s face when he had first seen the dragon had been priceless but now they were good friends and Aithusa would hardly scare him anymore.
“Steal some food from Percival?” Arthur suggested.
Aithusa sat down.
No, that wouldn’t work either. Even though she was fond of any kind of food, she had taken a particular interest in Percival, some called it a crush.
“Alright, alright, no stealing food from your boyfriend. How about…we could see what Elyan is doing in the blacksmith’s shop?”
The little dragon threw him a look. She had had one adventure in the blacksmith’s shop and hadn’t liked it at all that her nice white scales had been grey and dirty when she finally found the exit. She avoided the shop since then, walking as far on the other side of the street as she could when they passed it.
“Hmm…not Elyan either. So how about Gwaine? We could go find him?” Arthur grinned, he knew what her answer to that would be. And he was right, Aithusa made a face. The last time they had gone looking for Gwaine, he had been in the tavern and quite drunk. Aithusa hated the smell of alcohol and had obviously taken Gwaine off her favourites list.
“Who else is left? What do you want to do?”
Aithusa got up and walked to the door, where she stood and looked back at Arthur.
“Oh, I know where we could go! We could go to the woods and find Merlin where he is collecting herbs for some potions. Would you like that?”
As soon as he had opened the door, the little dragon already swooped down the corridor.