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Knit up the ravelled sleeve of care

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There was a pleasantly tense feeling in Arthur's stomach. It had little to do with being naked in bed with Merlin. As much as he loved that, this was nothing to do with their bodies pressed together. Here, in the dark room, Merlin was sleeping, at peace. He always fell asleep quickly, and was breathing evenly next to Arthur. Everything here, the calm, the comfort, the lean, wiry body against his own, meant that sleep should come to Arthur, but it didn't. It rarely did. Most nights he worried about Camelot, about some aspect or other of being king. But not this night. This tension was different; not worry, but anticipation. All because Merlin had told him that in the morning, Arthur would still be his.

Being owned by Merlin wasn't something Arthur had ever seen himself playing at or desiring. It had been a slow progression from teasing and power games, and somewhere in there he'd found that peace, true peace, came only when he surrendered. That he needed to be stripped of a everything to feel free.

A king can't be weak, and he bears responsibility for everyone in his kingdom. Arthur bore the weight of the crown with as much dignity as he could muster. He poured all he could into being the best king he could be, yet never succeeded in being what he believed he ought to. Only here, in this room, with Merlin, could he steal moments where he had none of that weight on him. Here Merlin took it from him, took possession of Arthur, body and soul, and gave him what he needed. Release and redemption.

There were many ways to sate his need, and Merlin explored them all with him. Nothing, however, made him feel as thoroughly possessed and sated as being used for sex without any regard given to his own pleasure. The paradox in this was obvious, but it didn't bother him. The reason why no longer mattered. Truth was that he loved pleasing Merlin, no matter how.

Waking up owned, as Merlin had said he would, was what made Arthur tense with anticipation. There was a flutter in his stomach caused by those words. He was hoping for something specific now, because of them. There had been other signs too. Merlin had fucked him and didn't stop playing with his arse even after. He could still feel the slickness of oil, the looseness of the muscle. His cock was bound and wouldn't get hard now, wouldn't be able to swell more than a fraction before leather and metal would constrict and stop it. All of this pointed in the right direction.

Arthur turned over in bed, careful not to wake Merlin. The arm around his waist tightened subtly, but Merlin's breath didn't change, nor did he move. It was hard to lie here, staring into the dark and wishing. He was hoping so hard he was nearly praying. Asking for something wasn't his place or right in this game, so all he could do was hope. That Merlin would take what he wanted in the morning and not even bother to wake Arthur first. The mere thought, when he dared think it fully, made him shiver.

The first time hadn't been planned or especially thought-out. It just happened. Probably because they'd been playing for days; long enough that Arthur felt like his duties as king were increasingly unreal and the life as Merlin's slave his true existence. Merlin, he thought, probably felt something similar, and acted accordingly. One morning Merlin had simply felt like fucking Arthur, and did so though Arthur was still half asleep.

The feeling had blown his mind. Becoming aware of Merlin inside him as he woke up; waking with the knowledge that he had no choice over what happened to his body. It was the ultimate level of being taken. Taken for granted, taken over, taken down.

Of course Merlin quickly realised that Arthur's reaction was unusually strong. He questioned Arthur, but Arthur never could explain it. Not in words. Shame and years of hang-ups and guilt got in the way. But Merlin knew anyway. He always knew what Arthur needed.

So it happened again a while later. This time, Merlin had pushed into him while he was still fully asleep. It had been a lazy afternoon after a nap and Arthur had come so hard he'd been dizzy for several minutes. Merlin had smirked, pleased like the cat that got the cream, and told him he was a good little sex toy. Arthur had made sure to be extra attentive to him the rest of the day, and Merlin had kept wearing that pleased smile; every time he looked at Arthur it got a little warmer.

Arthur shifted against Merlin again, hoping to relieve some of the discomfort from the straps now tight around his budding erection. 'Please,' he whispered. 'Just. Please.'

. . .

Something pushed Arthur into the mattress. Heavy, firm against him, vices around his upper arms. Shifting, moving against him. Tight inside him. Fear hit him, instincts waking before consciousness. He struggled to move, but was held down. He tried to speak, but no sound came.

'Ssh. Lie still, boy.' Merlin's voice above him, half soothing, half commanding. It cut through his fear.

This was Merlin. On top of him, inside him. Arthur groaned. How long had he been at it? God, he didn't know. There was nothing he could do, no choice. Merlin was already moving fast and Arthur could hear soft pants. His arse was so full. Each thrust pushed him into the mattress. It was uncomfortable, rough, careless. Arthur bit his lip and tried not to moan too loud.

'That's better. Good boy.' Merlin pressed his legs against Arthur's, getting him to spread his thighs wider. 'Good,' he repeated, leaning down to kiss Arthur's neck. 'That's it. Open up for me.'

Arthur shifted, pushed his arse up towards Merlin. The change in angle brought on deeper, harder thrusts. His cock was straining in the leather straps, he could feel his pulse racing.

Above him Merlin groaned. 'Good, Arthur. Let me have that tight arse.' There was a sharp slap to Arthur's hip. 'Mm.' Merlin sounded so pleased, practically purring in Arthur's ear.

The thrusts got harder, to the point where it nearly hurt. All his senses were filled with Merlin. His voice, purring in his ears, his scent, musky and dusty from his books, his cock filling Arthur to the point where every nerve felt exposed. Every bit of skin burned with the slightest touch.

This was what he needed. There was nothing in the world but Merlin. Inside him, on top of him. He was still not fully awake, and the feeling bypassed any conscious thought, went straight to his basest instincts. Merlin taking him, possessing him, having his way with him. Pounding his arse hard and fast. The thrusts were relentless. It went on for what felt like several minutes until Merlin stilled and groaned, and Arthur could feel him come. Knowing that he was full of Merlin's come made him moan again.

'You love being my fuck toy, don't you?' Merlin murmured. Arthur could feel him slowly lie down, spread his weight over Arthur's back.

'Yes, sir,' he whispered.

Merlin kissed Arthur's neck, right below the ear. 'I know you do. My Arthur.' A soft touch along his side and Arthur sighed softly. 'You love when I take you, get what I want from you.' Merlin's voice was low and husky; it went straight to Arthur's groin.

'I do,' Arthur muttered back. 'I do.'