Arthur wins the tournament, of course.
He steps back into the tent with his blood high, his veins roiling with victory and pride and lust. Merlin is waiting, babbling, his face red up to his stupid ears as he helps Arthur wriggle out of his breastplate. He won’t stop talking about how amazing Arthur was, and that in itself should be something to store up for a different day, one of the many when he won’t stop talking about what a bloody prat Arthur is.
But this feels different, somehow, between the way Merlin is moving around him, careful not to stand still too long, and the way Arthur is still so on edge and on fire.
He knows what he’s going to say a split second before he hears his own words. And it’s hubris, or spoilt whim, and possibly even appalling, but victory is swimming in his ears, he’s invincible, and Arthur just doesn’t care.
“Shut up,” he says, and at the note of command in his voice Merlin’s eyes snap to his face, waiting.
“I want you on your knees and I want you to suck me.”
He grants Merlin one moment of complete blank astonishment before he’s pushing Merlin to the ground, right there before him on the damp cold grass. Merlin’s eyes stay fixed on his—his jaw gone perfectly slack—and Arthur notes with satisfaction that this may be the first time since they met that he’s gotten Merlin to go totally silent.
The tent flaps are drawn, which isn’t necessarily a guarantee of privacy, but right now Arthur is made out of gold, Arthur is invulnerable, and even if his own father were to walk in on them Arthur wouldn’t care—he has every right to have this after his victory and every right to order his most trusted servant to carry out his duties. He runs his hand appreciatively through Merlin’s hair, and then he’s lifting his hauberk and removing himself from the constraints of the unforgiving mail.
Merlin’s gaze finally shifts away from Arthur’s face to what Arthur is offering him, and his jaw falls open a little more. Arthur’s hand is still in Merlin’s messy hair, and when he tugs on it gently Merlin lets out a small strangled sound that makes Arthur harden even more and laugh at the same time.
“Go on,” he orders, as casually as he can despite the roughness in his voice. Merlin crouches forward uncertainly, and places his hands around the back of Arthur’s calves, fingertips brushing the joints of his greaves, before he leans in.
And then he takes Arthur’s cock in his mouth as though this is his prize, not Arthur’s, and that’s—oh, oh, oh. His mouth is perfect, hot and wet, and his lips are stretched around Arthur’s head like he’s actually taking pleasure out of this, like he’s trying to be a good and dutiful servant for once.
Arthur murmurs, “God, Merlin, I had no idea you were competent at something,” and Merlin hums in response, eyes flicking up to meet Arthur’s. They are black, almost totally dilated, hungry , and the sight hits Arthur like a slap. Merlin wanting him , Merlin going on his knees like this for him any time Arthur asks—he shivers and his cock twitches and hardens, and Merlin gasps around it and closes his eyes with a look on his face like—well.
Arthur threads Merlin’s hair—thick, soft—through his fingers and rasps out, “Go on, take it if you want it so much,” and pushes forward, as slowly and gently as he can bear, further inside Merlin’s beautiful, hot little mouth. Just the act is almost enough to make him come, but he wants to wait. Let Merlin enjoy this, he thinks magnanimously.
Except Merlin is making tiny, throaty sounds around him as Arthur moves, almost as if he were trying to drive Arthur over the edge. Arthur almost lets go and pulls him off just to make it last, but he doesn’t get a chance—Merlin pulls off himself all at once and licks a long firm swipe up the base of Arthur’s cock, his eyes sill closed. Cheeks flaming, lips still spread, Merlin bends his head and wraps his tongue around Arthur’s sac and Arthur gasps, “Merlin—” and spreads his legs wider to give Merlin a better time of it.
Arthur can’t even hate his own loss of control, not when he’s giving it to—to Merlin, of all ridiculous people, Merlin who is swathing him in hot moist pressure until Arthur has to shift his weight yet again to avoid his knees giving way altogether. He stares down at Merlin. Does he have no idea—it’s as if—as if Arthur is his to touch and handle any way he wants, and Merlin is kissing the underside of his cock sloppily, sliding his tongue over every ridge and wrinkle, and Arthur’s never thought of himself as particularly impressive in that way, but either Merlin is impressed and can’t help himself or—or he just wants to make Arthur feel good , and suddenly a wave of hot deep pleasure cascades over Arthur, and he has time to warn Merlin with a sharp, guttural cry before Merlin’s hand moves up to cradle him, warm and rough, and Arthur comes, splashing all over the ground and over Merlin’s hand. He doesn’t know when he closed his eyes, but when he opens them and looks down Merlin is looking back, his mouth open, swollen and still perfect, his eyes still dark and hungry.
Then he pulls his hand away from Arthur and licks his thumb free of fluid, and Arthur swears “ Christ ” most effectively and drags Merlin up to his mouth to be kissed before he can think twice about what he’s doing, before he can think about the very crucial difference between making a servant suck you off in a semi-public area and kissing a servant in a semi-public area, where anyone could walk in, anyone could see—
But Merlin just sighs and cups Arthur’s head and leans in close to be kissed, sweetly and softly, a perfect contrast to his earlier display of complete and total lewdness, not that Arthur is complaining. Arthur slips his fingers down to brush the head of Merlin’s cock—thereby confirming that Merlin had not been driven to give Arthur a spectacular sucking-off merely because he was impressed by the size of Arthur’s assets, about which fact Arthur isn’t sure how he ought to feel. And if Arthur is driven to wrap his fingers around Merlin and stroke him steadily, and if he also whispers Merlin’s name against Merlin’s (stupid, ridiculous, overlarge) ear, and if he also also kisses his way down Merlin’s throat when Merlin jerks into his hand, clearly it is only because he is a generous employer who rewards his servants for a job well done.
And if Merlin only laughs and rolls his eyes later when Arthur tries to insist upon as much, well, Arthur supposes that perhaps with this particular servant he has been taking his charity a bit too far.
Clearly Arthur will need to work out a routine plan of strict discipline so Merlin won’t go getting (any further) airs above his station.
“Now shut up and go to sleep,” he snaps, and he wraps his arms securely around Merlin, who he notes, just before shutting his eyes, is smiling at him as though he’s happy to obey.