The dating website’s name was ‘The Great Dragon’.
It really should have clued Arthur in.
But Morgana —hard to please Morgana— had found Leon through it and they were now happily married, and Gwaine —who was the most anti-commitment person Arthur had ever met— had also miraculously settled after meeting Percy on the website. So there had to be something in it.
Arthur had recently turned thirty, and try as he might, he was still single. All his relationships wouldn't last more than a few months and the ones that had in the past had been for convenience, like Vivian or later on Cenred. Arthur was tired of being alone, of one night stands. He wanted a stable and permanent relationship, something more fulfilling than a hook up.
So, he gave the website a try, wanting to know what the fuss was about.
‘Do you believe in destiny?’ the page asked when Arthur had just finished signing up.
Arthur passed a hand across his face, sighing onto it. “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” he mumbled to the empty room before grabbing his beer from the coffee table and taking a swig, staring blankly at the question on screen. His only response was the weatherman babbling about tomorrow's heavy rainfall.
‘Yes.’ Arthur typed in finally when he realised there was no button to click and that that should be the expected answer.
Another sentence popped up right away. ‘Finding your destiny. Hold on.’
So Arthur did. He went to wash the dishes in the meantime, distantly listening to the telly next room. He soaped, scrubbed, and rinsed, and once he finished drying, he flopped back down on the sofa and checked the page.
There was a new message.
‘We have found your destiny, congratulations. Your destiny is Merlin Emrys.’
For a moment, Arthur stared at the words on screen, at the name. Arthur was pretty certain that was a guy’s name, weird as it was. Arthur was alright with that, lately he had been pulled more strongly toward men than women. Immediately, Arthur wondered about this Merlin, wished that he could see something beyond a white background and black letters, like perhaps a picture or some more information about the bloke, such as his age, his hobbies.
And then suddenly a new message appeared.
’Merlin Emrys has accepted to meet you. Organising a date with your destiny. Hold up, it’ll be worth it.’
Arthur rolled his eyes, closing the lid of his laptop when he decided meeting someone online, falling in love with someone he had found on a website, was stupid.
He knew how to find someone without the help of a machine.
The next morning Arthur followed his schedule as usual; attending the morning meetings on his agenda, having lunch with Morgana, and updating their father afterwards.
His phone vibrated as he was exiting his father's office, and upon checking it out, Arthur came across a notification from ‘The Great Dragon’.
’This is a reminder that you can meet your destiny at The Rising Sun this evening at 6PM.’
Arthur stared down at it a little bit thrown. He hadn't checked the page again after having closed the laptop yesterday, and he was doing so well keeping the whole date thing off his mind. He had only thought about it twice, and both times because Morgana had sarcastically reminded him the perks of being alone over lunch.
Arthur discarded the notification and decided he wasn’t going to go to the meeting. He told himself that he didn’t need to. That he wasn’t curious to know this Merlin and why the page had matched them together. Arthur told himself he could do better than a blind date an algorithm had randomly selected as his match. But truth be told, not even his own judgement seemed to be reliable lately, every new date was worse than the last.
Maybe that's why his curiosity got the best of him.
Maybe that's why Arthur rushed out the building half an hour earlier than usual, ignoring Gwen's shocked look and unnecessarily letting her know that he had somewhere important to go.
The Rising Sun was a small, hidden pub in a narrow street Arthur had never been to before.
As he stood before the door, Arthur told himself to venture inside given that he had already come all the way here.
The place was ridiculously empty save for three people; the barman, a grey-haired man sitting on a stool by the bar and some young bloke sitting at a table.
The door clicked closed behind Arthur, so the three blokes turned to glance Arthur’s way. The bartender snuck Arthur a quick look before he returned to his drinks uninterestedly, the grey-haired man with the dragon t-shirt straightened just so, and the guy from the table glanced over his shoulder at Arthur, an unreadable expression on his face.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Arthur mumbled under his breath, slowly approaching the guy at the table. He was clad in black and seemed to have a small dragon tattooed on the back of his neck, a couple of small black piercings on his right ear, and really messy, longish black hair.
Once he was standing before the bloke, Arthur asked, “Have you seen anyone else coming and leaving? I'm supposed to meet this bloke.”
The guy stopped playing with the rings in his fingers and —those were honest to god dragon and snake rings. Arthur wondered what was the fascination with dragons, anyway— raised his eyebrows. “Yeah, you're supposed to meet me,” he answered in a deep voice, deeper than Arthur expected, before raking his eyes up and down Arthur’s body. “I'm Merlin.”
Arthur couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows.
He considered whether to sit or not before he decided it was for the best. The longer he stayed standing, the wonkier his knees felt. It’s not as if Arthur had put many hopes in the page, but Leon and Percy were average blokes, so he was expecting to come across someone normal, too, and not— whatever Merlin was. Arthur was having a hard time processing the fact that this Merlin character was the ‘destiny’ the page had found for him. Whatever guidelines the page had followed to match them were slightly deficient.
“So, you’re Merlin,” Arthur said dumbly for a lack of anything better, looking into the defiant blue eyes staring right back at him. There was black eyeliner in there. And if that wasn't enough, as the light from the window fell on a portion of Merlin’s head, Arthur saw that the tips of his fringe were dyed blue. “How old are you anyways, seventeen?”
Merlin’s eyebrows drew together in a funny, exasperated manner and there was this spark in his gaze. “Excuse you, I’m twenty-four.”
“Oh, great,” Arthur said, voice dripping sarcasm. He glanced away. Not only was his destiny a punk or an emo, or whatever they were calling it these days, he was also barely out of university. It just kept getting better and better.
Arthur caught the man in the dragon t-shirt peering at them from below the rim of his pint. When he saw Arthur’s scowl, he turned around to his business with something of a smirk. Arthur sighed. He couldn't believe he had really left the office to come here. That he had come here to find this.
“You’re a bit of an arse, you know that?” Merlin said abruptly and Arthur didn’t gawk, but it was a near thing. He was not used to people other than Morgana insulting him and even his sister was more suave about it. “I was expecting more too, but I’m stuck with you. Can’t do much now.”
“More?” Arthur asked, outraged, lifting his eyebrows. “I’ll have you know I’m considered a very attractive man.”
The bloke’s lips twitched in something like a smirk. He leaned backwards against his chair, crossing his arms over his chest so it suddenly pressed tightly against his torso, and assessed Arthur openly. “I guess you’re not too bad for your age, I'll give you that.”
“Pardon?” Arthur snorted, glancing away with an offended eye-roll. “This is unbelievable,” he muttered.
Merlin surprised Arthur by cracking up, so Arthur turned his head to look at him. Much to his annoyance, Arthur didn’t fail to notice Merlin had an infuriatingly irresistible smile, and a vivid laugh, and perhaps, below all that tangled black and blue fringe, the piercings and such, he really wasn’t so bad-looking.
“Anyways,” Merlin said when his laughter had died down just so. “I won’t ask about your age, because that’s not proper, but like, where do you work at?”
For a beat, Arthur felt struck at the fact that Merlin actually wanted to strike up a conversation with him and get to know him. Up to now, Arthur was almost certain Merlin wasn’t going to stay. He was sure this wasn’t going to work, but Merlin did look as though he was actually willing to try.
Merlin had leaned closer over the table and was looking at him with softer eyes. Arthur gave him another once over, saw a black and golden sword tattooed on the inside of Merlin’s forearm, taking almost the whole length of it, its blade inscribed with some odd writing. Arthur stared at the tattoo, finding the contrast between Merlin’s pale skin and the dark ink pleasant for some strange reason, liking the tattoo choice and its design. Merlin touched it softly with the pads of his fingers and Arthur became aware of himself and snapped his gaze away.
“You like it?” Merlin asked with a small lopsided smile.
Arthur didn’t like tattoos, so the obvious answer would be no. However, his only response was a scowl.
“You’re a bit uptight. Just relax,” Merlin surprised Arthur by saying. “Let's talk for a while, yeah? And then we can go over to my place, see how we work together in bed.”
Just when Arthur was sure he was starting to get used to Merlin’s snarky comments, Merlin did it again. Arthur’s eyes widened at Merlin’s forward proposition.
Merlin smirked before he laughed again at Arthur’s face.
He glanced down at the table, licked his lips. When he looked up at Arthur again, he did it from beneath his lashes and Arthur considered if Merlin was flirting with him or if that was his usual behaviour. “I’ll start, since you’ve suddenly gone quiet,” he offered, grabbing at the serviette holder and toying with it. “I have a degree in electronic engineering, but I’m sort of taking a break from it. I was sacked a year ago from this company when I told the boss he was a bully, so I’m sort of an artist now, and I work at this tattoo place called Albion with a friend.”
Arthur stared at Merlin.
There was something about him, but Arthur didn’t know what it was. Although he was slightly impressed with Merlin’s degree, Arthur wasn’t about to admit it. Judging by Merlin’s attitude so far, Arthur could really see Merlin telling his boss that, and him working at a tattoo shop seemed quite obvious. It wasn’t exactly Arthur’s comfort zone, but he guessed that, in spite of the initial shock, Merlin was alright.
“I work for my father,” Arthur said shortly when Merlin raised his eyebrows at him, urging him to speak. “I’m an accountant.”
“Boring,” Merlin told him and for the first time, Arthur felt a laugh bubble out of him. Merlin really had cheek. He smiled when Arthur chuckled before adding, “Though I’d sort of pegged you for a businessman already, what with the suit and all that. You’ve come straight from work, right?”
Arthur passed a hand across his face, smiling slightly behind it. Even if nothing came out of this, at least Arthur would have an amusing date. It had been too long since the last one, and even then, Arthur only remembered awkward dates. At least, Merlin could hold a conversation and get a smile out of him.
“Yes, Merlin, that’s very observant of you,” Arthur told him, teasing Merlin as well.
Merlin’s smile widened. “You must have really been eager to meet me, then. I’m flattered.”
Arthur found himself laughing again. He shook his head, looked down at Merlin’s hands on the table. They were stretched now so Arthur noticed how knobbly and spindly his fingers were. Arthur thought that if Merlin took off his rings, he would have elegant hands. When he glanced up, Merlin was staring at him with something unrecognisable in his eyes. “What?” he asked, voice kind and somewhat fond.
Arthur lifted his eyebrows. “So, the rings, the tattoos. And the clothes. It’s a bit too much, don’t you think?”
Merlin’s cheeks dimpled as he smirked, and for a beat, Arthur was sure Merlin’s cheeks had got a tad red. “Arse,” he said again, lowering his gaze. The word rolled off his tongue like he had already insulted Arthur a million times before. “Here I am, wearing my best clothes for you, and you don’t like them.”
Arthur rolled his eyes, attempting to hold back his smile. He signaled to the barman and asked for a pint once he approached. “It’s on me,” he told Merlin. “Order what you want.”
“Thanks,” Merlin replied after he had ordered another pint for himself. “I’m sort of broke lately.”
Arthur smiled at Merlin's spontaneity and they talked for a while. Merlin flirted with him openly a couple of times, and it made Arthur feel good to see that, even though Merlin was playing hard to get, Arthur had genuinely impressed him.
“Why did you log into the page?” Merlin asked him after taking the fourth sip from his beer.
“I want to find someone,” Arthur replied honestly. It seemed like an obvious enough answer, however Arthur felt like there was something else behind Merlin's question, because Merlin fixed his eyes on his. For a moment, Arthur believed Merlin was going to ask him if he thought he could find whatever he was looking for in him, but he didn’t.
Instead, Merlin asked him, “So.” His eyes were a little darker, full of intent. “You want to come over to my place?”
Arthur searched Merlin’s face again. It wasn’t hope, but there was something in it, definitely expectation, maybe want as well. The experience hadn’t been as disastrous as Arthur had deemed it would be at first glance, but Arthur wasn’t really sure Merlin was for him. He didn’t seem to be a bad bloke, but he was some years younger, his personality was strong enough for them to clash at some point, and there was the issue about his sense of fashion, and his work— thing is, Arthur didn’t really picture them together. They were completely opposite in so many aspects, the page must have been mistaken about them.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Arthur replied, feeling slightly regretful to be turning Merlin down. In spite of their differences, Merlin was a bloke definitely worth getting to know.
Merlin’s face fell a little and his confidence vanished. There was something in his gaze, like disappointment, before he quickly schooled his features and offered a smile as bright as the ones he had been flashing Arthur before. He shook his head, mumbling something that sounded suspiciously similar to 'arse'. “I’ll see you soon, Arthur,” he said clearer, standing up with a smile.
Arthur glanced up at him in bemusement as Merlin began walking backwards. “You know where to find me.” His tone was matter-of-fact and his gaze lingered on Arthur for a beat too long.
There was not a hint of spite in Merlin’s voice, he actually sounded assured that Arthur would seek him out.
Arthur tried to forget about Merlin, he really did. He spent two weeks pushing Merlin off his mind, but he seemed to have got somewhat stuck there for some reason.
Arthur went to the page and tried signing up again, reloading it, but every time he attempted to get matched up to someone else, the Great Dragon would tell him his destiny was Merlin Emrys.
Arthur almost started to believe it himself, thinking that he had perhaps rushed to dismiss Merlin and acted wrongly by rejecting him so soon without giving him an actual chance. If there was a reason Arthur was still mulling over it was because Merlin was the only date Arthur had had in years that had made him have a good time and made him feel good about himself, and he should have noticed that sooner. Perhaps Arthur had a few years on him but Merlin had proven to possess enough qualities to appeal to Arthur, and he shouldn't have let his inner fears and his run of bad luck take control.
A week later, when Arthur finished his last meeting at the office a little earlier than usual, he looked up Albion on the internet, wrote down the address, and went to see Merlin.
He parked his car outside the small shop. The brick wall surrounding the door was graffitied colorfully, and so were the glass and the door, both full of stickers with vast tattoos glued to them. When Arthur pushed the door open, the bell above rang.
The shop was very small. There was a white counter by the left and a door to the right where Arthur assumed the tattooing took place. The counter was empty, so as Arthur waited to be attended, he busied himself by flipping the pages of the book with the tattoo designs in it.
The door on the right bursted open some minutes later and Arthur whirled his head to see Merlin coming out. Merlin’s steps wavered when his eyes met Arthur’s, and he paused. “Hey,” he greeted, sounding shocked to see him, but also pleased, if his smile was anything to go by.
Arthur closed the book and turned to face him properly.
Merlin was still the same. His shirt was navy blue today, not black, and Arthur realised he had changed his piercings and had cut a little of his hair on the back. He looked good, better than Arthur remembered.
“So, I’m guessing you aren’t here to get a tattoo.” Merlin broke the ice, smiling tentatively. He pulled off the gloves he was wearing and tossed them into the bin by the desk. Arthur noticed that he wasn’t wearing any rings today, but his nails were painted black.
Arthur felt his mouth go slightly dry, felt a buzzing in the pit of his stomach.
When he shook himself, Arthur mirrored Merlin’s tiny smile, glad that Merlin still had that teasing edge to his voice. “Not my thing,” he replied quietly. “Do you think we can talk, though?”
Merlin nodded his head and motioned for Arthur to follow him inside the door he had come from.
A shirtless woman was lying on the bed in the middle of the room, facedown. She had a couple of tattooed wings on the center of her back, its edges red and swollen. There was also another girl around Merlin’s age sitting on a stool, talking on an old phone, and twirling the pen she was holding around the cord. Her hair was black and pink and gathered on the left side of her head in small braids. She wore a grey shirt with a skull on it, opened on the sides so her red bra poked from underneath, and a short black skirt with ratty black Converse.
“Can you take over for me for a sec, Frey?” Merlin asked the chick.
“Sure.” She glanced up from the paper she was drawing on, blew a pink bubble of the gum she was chewing and had it bursting with a pop. “Got it. Come by on Friday evening, I’ll tattoo you,” she said before hanging up. Her eyes landed on Arthur and she gave him a quick once over as she put on some latex gloves before uninterestedly approaching the woman lying on the table and grabbing the needle.
Arthur was, thankfully, dragged away by the lapel of his suit before he could witness anything else.
Merlin slid a curtain closed before turning to face him, hopping to sit on a countertop with scribbled tattoos on it. His white, knobbly knees peeked from beneath the cut fabric of his frayed black jeans and Arthur found himself looking at that patch of Merlin’s skin.
“So?” Merlin asked, straight to the point.
Arthur dragged his gaze up to Merlin’s face, forced himself to speak. “Thing is you keep showing up as my—destiny in the website, and I keep telling myself there must be some sort of mistake, but I haven’t managed to get you out of my head, so . . . “ he trailed off, unable to come up with a proper way to finish the sentence.
Merlin seemed a bit struck at Arthur’s words. He curled and uncurled his hands in his lap and Arthur couldn’t help but stare at his black nails. “I still firmly believe we should shag first,” he said, glancing up at Arthur. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like dating, but I sort of like dating knowing I’m not wasting my time. It’s kind of obvious that you and I don’t move in the same circles. If we have sex and it works, then we can figure things from there. If it doesn’t, well, then you won’t have to chase me anymore.”
“I’m not—chasing you,” Arthur told him sullenly, frowning. Merlin shrugged with a small smile, like he doubted it, and Arthur just let him be.
Merlin gave him a moment to think it over. And Arthur couldn't believe he was truly considering the possibility of sleeping with Merlin, but maybe Merlin was right. Maybe they would happen to have some mind blowing sex and they found a way to work things through. Arthur wasn't really into the emo style, but if he looked deeper, overall, Merlin was certainly attractive. His eyes were kind but playful, his smile was charming and bright, and his body, underneath the mixture of baggy shirts and skinny ragged jeans, seemed alright. Arthur was pretty certain he could learn to like Merlin’s personality, as well, if he bothered to get to know him some more.
“Alright,” Arthur said when he realised he had nothing to lose. If this didn’t go well, they didn’t have to see each other anymore.
Merlin didn’t look surprised, in fact, he looked satisfied. “Good. I’m a top,” he said and Arthur just stared at him, slightly caught off guard at Merlin’s bluntness.
“Well, so am I,” Arthur replied, standing his ground as well.
Merlin gazed at him up and down with something of a smirk playing on his lips. “Yeah, I sort of guessed, with you being so stiff and all. But we’ll work something out.”
Arthur ignored the insult, and instead fixed his eyes on Merlin’s challengingly. “Good.”
Of course, when Merlin said they would work something out, Arthur wasn’t expecting he would mean magic sex.
“You’re a sorcerer,” Arthur stated, glancing at the half-naked Merlin standing in front of him.
They were at Merlin’s flat —if it could be called a flat—, in his poky room with his rusty furniture and wonky bed. It was all really alluring for setting the mood for sex.
Merlin finished pulling his skinny black jeans off all the way, as if what he had just proposed wasn’t really a big deal. He shrugged carelessly. “Yeah, so what? You’ve never met one?”
Arthur looked skywards. Emo, young and magic. He wondered what would come next. Not that he had any problem with magic people, but it made things just this shade more complicated for Arthur to ever introducing Merlin to his family if they got that far.
“Yes, how wouldn’t I have? You’re everywhere,” Arthur told him. Merlin didn’t take Arthur’s response the wrong way, he just shrugged again, shredding his baggy navy tee next and standing only in his black boxers.
Arthur caught sight of a thousand more little tattoos spread across Merlin’s body. There were some words written over the sides of Merlin’s torso Arthur couldn’t quite read. He spotted some strange symbols on his calves and the back of his thighs as well when Merlin turned around to grab some lube and condoms from his wardrobe.
“Are you cold or something?” Merlin asked deadpan when he whirled around and saw Arthur still hadn’t begun undressing. "Heating's broken but I can use my magic."
Arthur told himself he was really going to do this before he swiftly began tugging at his tie and kicking his shoes off at the same time. "I'm good," he said.
So Merlin plopped down on the mattress, bouncing as he learnt back on his elbows and watched Arthur undress.
When Arthur had left all his clothes on the crinkly desk chair and only stood in his boxers, Merlin pushed to his feet and came straight towards him. He snuck his hand across Arthur’s neck and pulled Arthur into a very unexpected and filthy snog.
Arthur was so gobsmacked that he didn’t respond. He was still sort of dubious about this whole magic sex thing, dubious as to what it would involve exactly. But then Merlin’s other hand came up to grab at his hip and his fingers felt oddly tingly for some reason and Arthur’s breath hitched slightly before he forced his lips to move.
Merlin towed him to the bed, shoved him down before quickly climbing on top of him and placing his arse over Arthur’s crotch. Arthur stared at him in wonder. Truth was, Merlin taking the lead was quite—hot. Arthur was a bit startled when he looked down at himself and saw he was tenting his boxers. It usually took something more than a kiss for Arthur, perhaps some foreplay, before getting this hard. Arthur couldn’t help but wonder if it was because magic was involved or if it was just Merlin.
“I’ve been thinking and I guess it’s only fair that if I let you fuck me, you let me fuck you afterwards, right?” Merlin suggested, his voice pitched low. He licked his lips, fixed his gaze on Arthur.
Arthur was slow to react to Merlin’s words, especially after Merlin jerked his boxers down his thighs and, lifting one leg after the other, flung them across the room.
“Yeah,” Arthur managed to reply through his dry mouth.
Merlin smirked, freeing Arthur from his boxers next before lying atop him and taking his mouth in a kiss.
His gaze was dark, his hands were firm and his tongue playful.
Arthur let himself explore Merlin’s mouth just for a while longer before he flipped them around, lying Merlin down on the mattress and looming over him. Merlin’s eyes were blown wide. “It was about time. I was starting to think I was going to have to do all the work myself,” Merlin told him in a breathy, raspy voice.
Arthur snorted a laugh and then leant down to gnaw at the soft bow of Merlin’s bottom lip. It was full and lush and felt incredibly soft beneath his tongue. Merlin brushed his thumb over the tender head of Arthur’s dick and Arthur gasped, glancing down at Merlin’s fingers stealthily, at his painted nails moving over his skin. The sight of it took Arthur’s breath away.
Merlin pumped his fist leisurely as though he had all the time in the world to satisfy Arthur, as though he wanted to tease him but make the most of his pleasure all at once, and Arthur closed his eyes and went along with the tingling jabs of pleasure that coursed through his body and pooled hotly at the bottom of his spine. There was something about Merlin’s touch, maybe the magic, that was making Arthur feel really on edge.
“Come on, open me up,” Merlin breathed against his mouth.
Arthur looked Merlin in the eye. His eyelids felt heavy with lust whenever he blinked and his cock was straining so uncomfortably that when Merlin pulled his fingers away for a beat, Arthur almost dragged Merlin’s hand down to touch him again. But then Merlin turned around underneath him, lying on his stomach and widening the stance of his legs to give Arthur better access and Arthur had to grip the base of his dick for a moment. He couldn’t believe he was already so worked up over barely anything.
He grabbed the lube from the pillow and squirted the content over his fingers.
As Arthur teased Merlin’s hole, he couldn’t help but let his eyes trail down the length of Merlin’s body. It was all sharp angles and dips and pale skin painted in rich colours. Arthur couldn't help but observe closely at the tattoos on the small of Merlin’s back and thighs now that he was closer. There were words in another language —perhaps the language of magic, Arthur deduced— on the side of Merlin’s flanks and the inside of his thighs. There were some triangles and pagan stars and other symbols alike, all black and green and red, spread across Merlin’s white skin at random places.
The more time he spent looking at Merlin’s body, at his tattoos, the more time Arthur looked into Merlin’s eyes, the stronger the pull towards him became. There was something so familiar about him, about the way he felt beneath Arthur’s fingertips, that for an instant, Arthur had to remind himself that Merlin was nothing but a stranger.
But then Merlin pushed back into the steady thrust of Arthur's fingers and Arthur shook himself. He reached for the condom, then moved down to grab at Merlin’s hips and pull him up to his knees. Before Arthur could position Merlin the way he wanted, Merlin pinned Arthur against him just like that, lined himself up and guided Arthur’s cock inside his body with his hand, with his magic.
Arthur watched a bit in awe at Merlin’s fingers around his cock, Merlin’s rim swallowing him slowly, wholly.
Merlin began to move first, pushing his arse back against him and then forward, and Arthur found it easy to fall into the rhythm he set, wrapping both arms around Merlin’s chest to secure him snugly against him, pulling a pant out of Merlin when his fingertips brushed against the piercing on his nipple.
Knowing that Merlin liked that, Arthur took the lobe of Merlin’s ear in his mouth, sucking softly at the tender skin, feeling the metal of Merlin’s piercings cool against his tongue.
When Merlin tossed his head back and moaned this time, Arthur felt a thrill run through his back, a moan break past his own lips.
Arthur realised then that whenever Merlin felt a stroke of pleasure, so did he. Whenever Arthur did something to make Merlin shake in his arms, Arthur would tremble as well. He knew it was a magic thing. It wasn’t just about getting pleasure for himself, magic sex was about the two of them getting the same amount of pleasure at the same time. Arthur realised they were somewhat connected; Merlin’s sensations were Arthur’s sensations and Arthur’s were Merlin’s.
Soon Arthur was feeling as though there was someone behind him. As though someone —Merlin— was inching his way inside Arthur’s body, too.
He quickened his pace when, at each drag of his cock inside Merlin, Arthur felt the same inside his own body. It dawned on him just then that he was, in a way, fucking himself. The thought alone was maddening, but the sensations felt like nothing Arthur had ever experienced before. He didn’t know sex could feel so exhausting, so satisfying.
Once Arthur had become aware of that, though, it didn’t take him long to lose control.
His hips rocked without rhythm. The room filled with the snapping sound of flesh against flesh, with the echoes of their loud breathing. When Merlin’s fingers crawled at Arthur’s arms and he squeezed himself inside them, Arthur felt a buzzing in the pit of his stomach. Merlin gave a broken moan and, with a shake, Arthur emptied himself inside Merlin as he hid his face in the crook of Merlin’s neck and bit at the burning skin there.
Coming back to his senses took Arthur a little longer than usual. He could sense the erratic beating of his own heart mirrored in Merlin’s chest, the pulsing of Merlin’s arse still around him, and small threads of magic dancing around them.
Something warm tugged at Arthur’s heart because the shape of Merlin's body was the perfect fit for Arthur’s and the feel of him in his arms was better than anything he had ever experienced. Arthur found himself pressing a quick, dry kiss to Merlin’s temple. Merlin tasted sort of salty like sweat, but he tasted wonderful to Arthur.
“That was—” Merlin began, voice wrecked and pleased, a smile playing around his lips. “Fuck.”
Arthur concealed his own smile against Merlin’s cheek before he untangled his arms from Merlin’s torso and reluctantly slipped out of Merlin’s body.
Merlin whirled around, easing the condom from Arthur’s cock before making it disappear inside his fist. Arthur stared down at Merlin’s hand in shock, but he found himself smiling at Merlin’s cheeky trick.
Pressing his hand flat against Arthur’s chest, Merlin shoved him down to the mattress. “My turn,” he breathed, sounding eager.
Arthur lied down comfortably on his stomach.
He felt a pleasant humming inside him at his post-orgasmic haze, though it accentuated when Merlin began nosing at his rim, placing careful kisses there. At the first lap of Merlin’s tongue, Arthur thought he wasn’t going to be able to take it. It was too intense, and he was already too sensitive after his orgasm. But Merlin’s tongue worked him open so gently, with his usual edge of playfulness, that Arthur could do nothing but seek his touch.
Merlin moaned quietly as he licked at Arthur’s crack, and Arthur wasn’t sure if it was because he was also feeling it on himself or because he was really taking pleasure in rimming Arthur. Either way, Arthur had never seen anyone enjoying themselves as much as Merlin did when he pressed the blunt edge of his cock against Arthur’s hole and finally inched his way inside him.
He had made Arthur lie facing him, had insisted he wanted to see him and kiss him.
When Merlin started working his hips in and out, he looked like he had been longing for it, like he belonged there within Arthur’s body. There was nothing casual about the hand he curled around Arthur’s ribs, about the fingers that caressed Arthur’s chest and skated their way down to tease his dick as though he knew exactly what Arthur liked.
Arthur soon began feeling like there was a phantom hand rubbing across all the places where he touched Merlin, a wet warmth enveloping his dick as if he still were inside Merlin. Merlin covered him with his own body as he kissed him, and Arthur grabbed two handfuls of Merlin’s arse, enjoying the soft skin beneath his fingertips and the ridges of his tensing muscles at each thrust.
Merlin stared into his eyes whenever he wasn’t kissing him, fucking Arthur with shallow, fast motions of his hips, and Arthur could perfectly see the times when Merlin had to give himself a small break so as not to come, because he closed his eyes and his head came to rest against Arthur’s shoulder.
The third time Merlin did so, his eyes were faintly golden when he reopened them and Arthur couldn’t tear his eyes off of him after that. He wanted to see Merlin’s face when he finally gave in.
He lasted longer than Arthur expected, but he came when Arthur’s gaze zeroed in on the small, red crown tattooed above his left nipple, right over his heart. He held tightly at the side of Arthur’s neck, at the inside of Arthur’s thigh, his fingers digging against his skin and his eyes set on him like he couldn’t look away.
Arthur, too, came for the second time at the intense pulse of Merlin’s magic overpowering him.
Merlin stayed still for some time with the palm of his hand splayed over Arthur’s heart, with his head tilted close and his nose caressing Arthur’s temple softly until he finally inched away, making the condom evaporate once more and then cleaning Arthur with a spell just before lying next to him.
Arthur cocked his head sideways to face him, but Merlin’s eyes were shut and his chest was heaving up and down in rapid motions. “So, what do you think?” Merlin asked him nonetheless, as though he could still feel Arthur’s gaze on him. “Ever felt something like it?”
Arthur swallowed, letting his eyes travel across the length of Merlin’s limp, flushed body. He was lean but long, and he was stronger than Arthur had given him credit for. It was strange, but naked, Merlin didn’t seem so young anymore.
Merlin had seen the pure bliss on Arthur’s face, so even if it took some will to admit it, Arthur realised he didn’t want to lie. He didn’t want to dismiss Merlin again, especially not if he hoped to repeat this. “No,” he said quietly. “It was slightly nicer than usual.”
Merlin’s eyes snapped to him before he laughed and then laughed some more. He laughed like he was delighted at Arthur’s response, at having Arthur there beside him. “You’re such an arse, really. Like, the biggest arse I’ve ever met,” he said once he wasn’t shaking with laughter.
Arthur thought his own smile would give him away. And maybe it did, because Merlin chuckled softly again like he couldn’t hold all the joy inside him.
“You know it’s been the best sex of your life, you’re just too proud to admit it,” Merlin added, sounding assured, like he knew what Arthur was thinking. Like he knew him.
Arthur stared at Merlin’s grin, at his disastrous hair and his wrinkled eyes and dimpled rosy cheeks, and considered if maybe the website’s mistake hadn’t been such a bad thing. If maybe it hadn’t really been a mistake. Arthur had certainly felt some connection with Merlin from the start, but he had attempted to conceal it. Now it was too strong to deny it, too deep to let it go. He wanted more of it, all of it.
“Maybe,” Arthur told Merlin and then Merlin moved into Arthur’s personal space and snogged him with the same intent he had showed earlier, now without rush, but still with as much hunger. When they drew back, Arthur touched their foreheads together and Merlin glanced up at him.
“I have normal clothes, too, y’know, and I can remove my piercings and stuff if you want,” he commented casually with a hint of hope in his voice. Arthur was pretty certain that was an invitation for more and again sometime.
It warmed Arthur’s heart the fact that Merlin was willing to do that for him, but if Merlin didn’t ask anything of him, Arthur wasn’t going to ask anything of Merlin.
“On second thought, your clothes are really not that bad,” Arthur told him quietly, like a secret.
Merlin seemed amazed. “Wait, is that a compliment? Can you say that again?”
Arthur gave a snort, stroked his fingers across Merlin’s neck. “They are actually a bit sexy, but only a little. Like your tattoos.” Arthur looked down at the sword, at the crown and touched the dragon before gazing up at Merlin’s eyes, knowing there was something important to it. Something related to him, to them. “I want to know all the stories behind them.”
Merlin’s eyes glinted with affection and only just a little bit of mischievousness. For a second, he seemed a bit too smug for Arthur’s liking, but this time, Arthur realised he really didn’t mind.
It was worth it if only to see the knee-bending smile Merin shot him.
The next morning Arthur got up from Merlin’s bed half an hour after his alarm had gone off. Apparently, Merlin had a lot more magic tricks up his sleeve that he insisted on showing him, so only by the time Arthur managed to get dressed and digged in his pockets for his phone, did he notice a new message flashing on his screen.
It wasn't from his father demanding to know where he was and why he was running late, as Arthur had expected, but from The Great Dragon. It read:
’Congratulations on having reunited with your destiny successfully, Arthur. We promised you it would be worth it. May you two find happiness together once again.’