It happens by accident, the first three times. 1 Merlin thinks for a while that it could simply be the feeling of safeness, disgusting potions, and good rest that are doing most of the work. He's always healed incredibly fast, after all, and most people Gaius brings in are either dead or will mysteriously be so within a day. The rest are cured with magical remedies and are on their feet by evening. Merlin isn't quite sure how quickly people normally heal.
Then Arthur gets kidnapped by pirates in Evil Eyeliner. After an epic journey involving sea gods and tentacled new friends that this fill is too cracky to get into, Merlin gets him back very lightly injured, full of new kinks he wants to try, and in dire need of a welcome back fuck. There's no excuse for how fast Arthur heals that night, because they aren't safe, the rum Arthur managed to steal tastes far better than Gaius’s remedies, and neither of them get any rest.
Uncertainty clears: Merlin is a healing-sex god. 2
On Merlin and Arthur's return, they agree Merlin's unusual gift must remain secret. They didn’t count on the curiosity, debauchery, and resources of a whole village just out of a very boring winter. In Camelot, secrets lie about as low and discreet as the Dragon trapped underneath the castle, which everyone knows about because Uther yelled about capturing it in the first episode. One week after the Prince's safe return, Merlin’s healing cock is the talk of the fish market.
Of course, the citizens of Camelot have to adjust to Merlin's tastes first. As with many things, it turns out Merlin has a paradox of requirements for lovers. In general, having a big smile or wearing a dress works well, gender unimportant. 5 Other factors are harder to figure out, and this makes for the exact shade of improper subject everyone delights in discussing.
In fact, these conversations go on so often that the whole village soon knows what gets Merlin excited. A list of his tastes is made up and constantly revised. On one Tuesday, it goes:
- smell of leather
- fresh pastries
- try small fuzzy animals
Only to become by Friday:
If Merlin's tastes are mid-day talk, what exactly bears responsibility for his miracles is late-night kitchen gossip and subject to wild theories. 7
Merlin discovers this when Sigbert the glazier literally begs for it, ambushing Merlin in several alcoves throughout the day and sucking Merlin off quicker than a dehydrated leech. Sigbert then runs off with his cheeks bulging and his mouth pinched shut, disappearing before Merlin could even finish killing his afterglow with that leech metaphor.
It turns out, as Merlin reads from my author notes later, that Sigbert and the bottler had wondered if maybe the properties were in the juice rather than the meat. 8 Sigbert had even practiced holding liquids in his mouth for extended periods of time in preparation. 9 Sadly, bottling the stuff and ingesting it later hadn't cured anyone the way a night with Merlin would.
Merlin, not one for being torn between being disturbed and flattered when he just received one of the best blowjobs of his life, laughs a long time 10. Yet he never tells Gaius, in case it starts him on a string of experiments. It's embarrassing enough to receive new bottles of Knights-Yet (known on hunting trips as K-Y) from Gaius whenever Merlin brings a newly injured person to his room.
("No, it's just to keep an eye on them. Really!"
"Take it. Just in case.")
Things come to a head a few months later. These days, it looks like every knight from Camelot and beyond - past, future and fannish - suffers from some minor injury they say hurts enough that they cannot possibly be moved from Merlin's bed for the night. As the upsurge comes right after Merlin's cock cures Arthur's dislocated shoulder, Merlin doesn’t suspect a thing. He knows Arthur has been training his knights extra hard to test his new health.
So, when Lancelot asks for a night to rest his bruised rib, Merlin thinks nothing of it. It's comfortable and exhilarating to share a bed once more, with all these new experiences between then and now to share with each other.
The next day, it is Uther with a sprained joint. He doesn’t even know about the whole healing thing, just came for bandages and some hot comfort sex. Merlin is careful to fuck him so thoroughly he won’t notice for days that his joint doesn’t hurt anymore and won’t associate things. Uther is a bit older than Merlin's usual sleepover patients, but he's as vocal in his moans as in court, and he has a thing for keeping his leather gloves on in bed. Merlin doesn't need to think of Camelot.
Next, it's Leon and Percival, who both insist on staying for ‘overnight observation’ despite having to fit three in a space meant for one; they only make it work by sleeping in a pile. Percival bottoms for the first time of his life, as he’s bigger than the bed itself.
Then Kay appears with a giant frog’s bite. Then Elyan, with a stubbed toe and an impish smile. He decides against telling them what their sisters came for earlier on.
By the sixth day, Merlin's balls ache. He decides that enough is enough when Gwaine shows up with a mosquito bite, a waggling eyebrow, his own personal bottle of flower-scented oil, and no trousers. Merlin rides him out of habit because Gwaine has that irresistible unlaced shirt thing going on, but he kicks him out as soon as Merlin has come even though Gwaine hasn't yet. Merlin yells at him through the door to go find Arthur if he wants his stables mucked before locking it pointedly and limping back for some actual rest.
Merlin calls his unofficial business officially closed after that. Some people still ask, but Merlin stands stoic no matter how close to a perfect arse an arrow has passed or how dangerously low a cleavage goes. After a while, the requests grow sparser and sparser on their own, and Merlin rediscovers the pleasure of having free evenings and nights. He passes a lot of them running after Arthur, scaring unicorns away 11 or saving Camelot, but it's still a relief to be able to rush off at any hour without worrying about disentangling himself from an overnight visitor.
If at times Merlin still cures people with his prowess in bed, well, it's almost always sort of accidental. Plus, Merlin does need to test if it still works.
Years later, Merlin's diligence on making sure Arthur stays well-oiled proves to be an excellent plan when he changes the fateful tragic ending at Camlann.
Arthur says he’ll never forgive Merlin for the embarrassment of the very, very public sex, but it’s a lie. They rapidly discover that bending Arthur over Death has given him an infinite amount of Phoenix Down, and, well. Forever is a long time when Merlin makes it a personal challenge to recreate the experience every year. 12