Arthur travels slowly through the alleys of the Human world, taking no mind to the chill that settles deep inside his bones.
He tugs fruitlessly on the Human clothes, still not entirely used to them. The material is soft against his skin, which, in itself, isn't unwelcome, but it's still strange adjusting to it after all of this time. Humans are so strange, sometimes, with their funny clothes and strange customs.
Arthur mutters something akin to a curse underneath of his breath, excuses himself, then shakes his head. His eyes scan the darkened night alleyways, looking for his current mission. He's been assigned to a Human to be a Guardian—to watch over the particular human and guide them back onto the path of righteousness and good faith. He knows very little about them aside from their name, gender, and age, and what they'd been doing that had been deemed “impure”.
It's rare that Arthur gets assigned these cases—usually his missions are simpler, doing oddities here and there. The High Angels think him too childish to handle anything more complex, which bothers him to no end. But he accepts it without question, and does his best to prove that he can do good, no matter what he gets assigned to do. He'll be the best Angel he can be, and if that means babysitting a Human, then by all means, he'll do it.
But currently he's failing at that, too—the blasted darkness has practically taken over, and he can't even see his Human anymore. Irritation bubbles inside of him, but he quells it just as quick, taking deep breaths until he calms himself. He'll find them, easy, it's no trouble at all, he tells himself.
Arthur begins to walk again when another chill washes over him, and for some reason he knows it's not from the cold. He shivers, and lets out a sigh, before he glances around, the darkness creeping towards him. This isn't normal, this is...
He has but seconds to brace himself before lithe fingers pin him to the wall, trapping him by his arms with his back against harsh stone and his body only inches from another, living form. If there wasn't any darkness, he would've assumed this was just a human, thinking him an easy target, but he knows, oh, he knows better.
Merlin's dark eyes glitter mischievously, a familiar smirk painting his lips as he crowds Arthur's space, his face mere inches from his, so close in fact that he can feel the warm breath puffing onto his skin. He's dressed in Human clothing as well, mostly blacks and dark blues, which fits him, in ways that Arthur will never admit.
“Little angel,” he says, the nickname rolling of his tongue as if it sends a jolt of glee through him. “So nice to see you again.”
“Wish I could say the feeling is mutual,” Arthur grimaces, flexing his fingers, paying little heed to how Merlin's hands drift down from their grip on his forearms, and wrap around his own hands. “But it isn't, not really, as I'm sure you well know, Emrys.”
“Aww,” Merlin coos, his voice taunting, still managing to rile him up with each syllable. “I'm hurt. Or, well, I would be, if I knew you meant that.”
The way that Merlin goads him is infuriating, and Arthur grits his teeth, forcing himself not to struggle against Merlin's grasp. Struggling would only make the Demon tighten his grip, and by default excite him, which Arthur definitely doesn't want. If he could get Merlin to lower his guard enough, it would be easy to break free of him, and stow himself away until he'd gone...
“Let go of me,” Arthur says evenly, tugging ever so slightly against the fingers entrapping his own. “I have to get to my Human, I have to watch them.”
“I know you're on a mission,” the Demon drawls, almost sounding bored. “I have my shadows following them as we speak. They're safely home, and about to sleep, in case you were worried. So don't worry, we have plenty of time to spend together.”
The Angel huffs out a bitter laugh. “You say that as though I actually want to spend time with you. I don't know why you find it so hard to understand that I loathe you, quite possibly with all my being.”
Merlin hums, and releases one of his hands, cupping Arthur's face. He strokes his thumb gently over the chill skin. “Pity that I don't believe you. If you did, loathe me, I mean, I would be struggling to keep a hold of you. What's more, is that you purposely went into the darkness. You say you hate me, but yet, it's as if you're purposefully seeking my attention.”
“Don't flatter yourself,” Arthur retaliates, scowling. He resists the urge to lean into the touch. “I was merely following where my Human was traveling. It's not my fault the alley was a shorter way of getting to them. As if I would ever actively seek your attention.”
“Oh, but you do, little angel,” Merlin murmurs, still stroking his face. “With every breath you take, I yearn for you. You consume my thoughts without even realizing it.”
Arthur wants desperately to bite him. Or punch him, but the last two times he tried that, it didn't work. “Good. It would do you well to suffer a bit, you horrid Demon.”
The hand still on Arthur's clenches tightly, and though it makes him wince, it's not exactly painful—it's just startled him, is all. Merlin's eyes narrow dangerously, and he tilts his head.
“Such hateful things spill from those beautiful lips of yours, but in truth, they're really carefully concealed lies. It's so sad you can't even admit to yourself what you want. I know you feel it, deep inside of you. The longing, the feeling of needing someone, someone who will shake the very fabric of everything you know,” he says quietly, thoughtfully. “Why do you fight it?”
“Lies? You're the one who speaks nothing but lies. I feel nothing of that sort, and certainly I feel nothing for you,” Arthur spits. He yanks his cheek away from his touch. “And don't touch me. I fight nothing but you and your heinous ways to taint me.”
Merlin grabs him by the chin, forcing him to meet his eyes. “You didn't seem to mind me touching you all those weeks ago. In fact, you seemed to quite like it. Don't bother denying it—I saw it in your eyes. You like to be touched, to feel as though someone cares deeply for you, to feel intimacy. You crave it, but you hide it well. But you don't have to. I would give you everything, and you'd only have to ask.”
The Demon presses his body flush against his, and Arthur tenses, taking in a sharp breath of cold air. The feeling of it certainly isn't unwelcome—but he knows, he knows that this is some sort of test, something akin to a strength of will, and he won't, he won't give into this, not to him, not to Merlin of all people--
His heart thrums in his ears, and something stirs deep in his stomach. How does Merlin do this to him? Make him want to just give in, to lose himself completely. It would be so easy, he thinks, to just say yes, to drown himself in the sensations that Merlin would give him, that he knows Merlin could give him. His mind is whirring in a haze of desire and lust, cravings he's never felt before, and he thinks it might be because of the close proximity, the darkness that surrounds them, letting in little light. That has to be it, the darkness—he's a creature of the light, of course the darkness would sway him, bring out the worst in him--
But isn't the worst of him still part of him?
Merlin chuckles quietly, his lips close to his ear, and when he whispers, he shivers unconsciously. “All you need to do is ask, and I'll give you anything.”
Against his wishes, Arthur sucks in another breath, and slowly, his mouth forms words. “I want...I want you to kiss me.”
The Demon hums in barely concealed delight. “Yes, alright.”
Merlin leans in and kisses him, gentle at first, surprisingly considerate given his encouragement before. With his grip still on Arthur's chin, he tilts his head up just a fraction, pressing in further at his compliance. Without breaking the kiss, Merlin lets go of his hand and shifts, slipping a hand behind his neck, moving his other hand to cup his cheek, as he'd done earlier. Arthur, in spite of himself, feels a soft whine emit from his throat, his hands scrambling suddenly to the front of Merlin's shirt, pulling at him.
Merlin seems to take that as an initiative, as approval, as permission, as anything, apparently, because in seconds he's practically attacking his mouth, forcing his tongue inside and exploring every crevice. It's wet, messy, and filthy but it feels amazing and if this is what lust feels like, then Arthur doesn't care about how wrong it is. He can't bring himself to care when it feels like this, when it's hot and disgusting but oddly brilliant, the way their tongues fight against one another, how the saliva mixes in their mouths while Merlin's tongue continues to prod, plundering and more or less claiming his mouth for his own. He can't bring himself to care when their bodies fit together so nicely, how his fingers slot neatly into his hair, and how right it feels despite knowing that it's wrong, wrong--
Only when he needs to breathe does he shove at the Demon, and Merlin pulls back with hesitation, a groan of displeasure escaping his throat. Arthur pants heavily, his erratic heartbeat thrumming inside of him, his body shaking along with it. The fog in his mind clears, and he's thinking over and over, What have I done? What have I done...?
He gave in. That's what he's done.
The Angel finally looks up, and Merlin's eyes are staring into his, unblinking and narrowed, ever so slightly, as if assessing him. His hands are still on Arthur's body and he wants—but he tries to shuck him off, pushing at him. He looks away, face burning, trying to steady his hands.
“Arthur,” Merlin says, clearly displeased with his defiance. “Arthur, look at me.”
Arthur won't. He can't. This isn't happening, this didn't happen--
“Arthur,” Merlin hisses, and his voice is dark, dangerous, dripping with something that Arthur can't place. He glances back at him, and apparently the glance isn't enough before Merlin grips at him, forcing him to meet his gaze. “You have nothing to be ashamed of.”
The words spur a surge of anger. Arthur swings a clenched fist at him and Merlin catches it easily, pinning his arm to his side. “You've—you've done this! You've corrupted me! I didn't—I didn't want--!”
But he did, he did want that. And Merlin knows that, too.
“You think yourself sinful, that you're disgusting and treasonous to your own kind,” the Demon says, his voice softening. “But you're not. You look beautiful this way,” he gives him a wry smile, stroking his thumb over his cheek in the same familiar way. “You look beautiful, all panting and flushed. If only you could see yourself the way I see you. You've done no wrong, little angel, only given in to what's part of you, nothing more. Fret not, I'll take care of you.”
His voice reverberates over him gently, and Arthur wants to believe him. He sounds sincere, and for a second he can believe that Merlin isn't just a Demon, that he's not a creature of the night, but the problem is that he is a Demon and he is a creature of the night, his exact opposite in every way, and that he can't do this.
He grits his teeth, and shoves him roughly, which must've caught Merlin off guard because he lets go, and he backs away from him, towards the exit of the alleyway.
“Don't touch me! You're a Demon, you don't care about anyone!” Arthur wipes at his mouth, still feeling the press of lips against his own. “You're a filthy, lying, despicable creature and I don't care what you say, it's all rubbish! You don't care about me, you care only about yourself and what you want! Stay away from me! Get away!”
He's shaking again, but he backs away slowly, watching how Merlin's expression darkens, how the glint of blue is quickly recessing into black. He turns around and takes off running towards the end of the alley, ignoring how the tendrils of darkness chase at his heels.
Arthur reaches the end, relief filling him as the moonlight illuminates him in a pale glow. He glances behind him and sees nothing, and he lets out a sigh, gathering himself once more. He needs to find his Human, and then maybe he'll be able to redeem himself somehow--
“You can say whatever it is that you want, Arthur,” a voice drawls coldly from behind him. “But no matter what, you're mine, and mine alone, and nothing is ever going to change that.”
Arthur swirls just in time to see Merlin fading in a whirlwind of shadows, and he's gone.
But his words echo long after, even as he slowly makes his way to the little house of his Human.