The doorbell rings at two in the night. Arthur wakes with a jolt, head flying off his pillow only to flop back again a second later. He sighs, flinches when the bell chimes again. Then abruptly he grins, before leaping out of his bed in a rush.
He opens the door wearing nothing but his sleep pants, barefoot and bed hair standing up in all directions. He greets his visitor with the usual smirk twisting his mouth. Not as biting as it can be in the day when he isn’t fighting off effects of his last REM cycle, but it does the trick.
“Let me guess, another nightmare?”
Merlin glares at him through dark fringes falling over his brandy eyes, but doesn’t respond otherwise. At this point it’s more a rhetorical anyway. He stands with his hands buried in his jeans pockets and, as always, waits to be invited in. Arthur rolls his eyes, his ‘gentleman’ friend’s manners continue to amuse him to no end. He gestures with a lazy tilt of his head and only then does Merlin step inside. He strides right past the living room and straight into Arthur’s bedroom on the right.
So much for being a gentleman.
“Come on in,” Arthur drawls as he follows the man, loud enough to cover up the steadily rising decibels of his beating heart.
Merlin still looks a little out of it. Usually the short run across campus from his apartment to Arthur’s gives him a chance to compose himself. Must have been some dream he’s had tonight.
Down boy, he tells himself. Arthur wants to be sympathetic, and he is. Obviously these nightly episodes aren’t fun for his friend. One he cares about very much. But he can’t help the selfish little grain of pleasure taking root in the pit of his stomach.
“What was it this time?” He asks, hoping the oddly high pitch of his voice doesn’t give him away. Merlin looks at him then, his eyes gleaming with something deep and… ancient and… painful.
“Asphyxia, I think,” he squints, shrugging out of his jacket and dropping it to an accent chair nearby. “Caused by the aspiration of fluid into air passages.”
“Pre-law, not pre-med, remember?”
“There was a lot of water.”
“Merlin, there is always a lot of water.”
“Right, but, usually you’re never under it.”
Arthur exhales heavily. He hates it when Merlin sounds like this… like a tired, old man, his voice so low and heavy with despair it breaks Arthur’s heart. He doesn’t know how to react in times like these, not verbally at least. Always been rubbish with words. That’s because he’s a physical guy; does his best talking with actions, not words.
Arthur pushes his hair back and walks over to his fellow collegian and boyfr… well, maybe not yet. The guy he’s been dating for about four months, let’s just leave it at that.
“Come here,” he orders, but he doesn’t wait for Merlin to comply.
Arthur brings his arms around the other man’s waist and presses himself flush against his chest. He waits, holding his mouth barely two inches away from Merlin’s panting, red lips. Waits to be granted permission, like Merlin does with him, every time. A second later, Merlin stirs into action.
The dark-haired man brings his arms up and holds Arthur’s face in his trembling, cold hands. Arthur doesn’t complain. Merlin looks into the blond man’s face like he’s seeing it for the first time in centuries. Still Arthur waits, but he doesn’t have to wait for long.
The kiss starts out gentle and slow, meant more as a way to deliver proof of life than anything else. Once Merlin is convinced that this is real, that Arthur is real (alive), he breaks the levee and lets the storm through.
Hands get in everywhere, tugging and scratching and stroking and squeezing anything they can reach without setting the other’s mouth free. Arthur backpedals, leading Merlin to the bed behind them. By the time his back hits the bed, he’s naked and watching Merlin step out of the last of his clothes. His breath catches painfully when Merlin leans over Arthur’s supine form, and they haven't even started yet.
“Top drawer, on your left,” Arthur reminds him, knowing the other man has very little patience for foreplay on nights like these.
He’s never reckless though, that is not in Merlin’s nature at all. So Arthur isn’t surprised when Merlin reaches for the lube first. His right leg is lifted and hooked up over one of Merlin’s shoulders, and a slick finger circles his entrance, making its intentions clear. No permissions are being asked for anymore, it’s kind of moot at this point.
“Open up for me, love,” Merlin whispers, carefully pushing one slender, knobby finger inside.
Arthur mewls softly, loving the sensation of being breached by this gentle, kind of eccentric, science nut who's come to mean so much to him. He relaxes at first to let Merlin in, then can't help but clench tightly around the finger pistoning through him. After a long, excruciating while, another one joins in. Together the fingers twist and rummage to seek out the spot that makes the blood in Arthur’s veins sing.
“Ahh!!” His knees lock up, and his toes reach for the stars. His buttocks lift up from the bed, wordlessly begging Merlin for more.
Soon enough there are three digits jammed inside, stretching him, prepping him for what’s to come next. His mewls turn into whimpers and whimpers into grunts. And when he’s cursing rather creatively, Merlin chuckles and captures his lips again. He works his tongue in and out of Arthur’s mouth in sync with his fingers thrusting in and out of the hungry orifice.
“Shit! Fuck! Enough! Merlin!”
Arthur squirms near violently, trying to get more of Merlin’s insanely talented fingers inside where they can do the most delicious damage. But fingers are only so long and so wide unfortunately, even in threes. His prostate feels sore, like it’s been nudged and teased for a millennium, but not enough to achieve that sense of completion he craves so much.
“Please… just… fuck me already…”
Merlin relents at last. “Alright, sweetheart, here we go…”
Usually Merlin likes to put Arthur on his hands and knees, pushing into him from behind and simultaneously stripping his cock with his hands. He likes to ensure Arthur is pleasured in every forward and backward thrust without pause, through and through. He also likes to see Arthur struggling to choose what he wants more – Merlin’s hands or Merlin’s cock. Although it’s the latter that wins out every time. But tonight he needs to keep his eyes on Arthur’s face, as if he’ll somehow disappear if Merlin wasn’t watching him every second.
Merlin rolls a condom onto himself. Then draping both of Arthur’s legs over his shoulders, in one swift, solid thrust he drives home. Arthur gasps, the powerful intrusion too much all of a sudden, even though it’s what he’s been asking for all night. Merlin holds himself still for a bit, tenderly licking the droplets of sweat from Arthur’s face.
“Alright there, love?”
“Shut up and move, Merlin,” Arthur is clearly annoyed that he even needs to ask.
Merlin laughs and does as he’s commanded. His hands close around Arthur’s knees, pulling them apart and folding him nearly in two, opening him up to be fucked thoroughly. Arthur moans his approval, his relief, his mortification, his outright joy and everything else he feels all at once every time he finds himself in this position. This position in which Merlin is his and he is Merlin’s and they’re reunited so soundly, so consummately, that no one can tell where one starts and the other ends.
“More… harder… harder Merlin… yes, right there, oh, right there… God!” Arthur instructs and implores in turns.
But “Arthur… Arthur… Arthur…” is all Merlin ever says. He pushes a finger or two into his lover’s mouth, and moans in pleasure when Arthur bites him hard enough to draw blood.
“God, Arthur, I’m going to…”
“No, not yet, just a little while longer… please!” It’s amazing the things he can get Merlin to do if he just adds the word ‘please’ at the end of his sentences.
Merlin sucks in a deep breath and gets himself under control, before going to town on Arthur again. Arthur throws his head back, closes his eyes, and lets the sensory overload melt his brains, illogically secure in the knowledge that Merlin wouldn’t let the night end until Arthur wishes it so.
And so Merlin fucks him for a long while, until his insides feel sufficiently and satisfactorily pulverized, and drenched in Merlin’s multiple releases. Until everything from his nipples to knees smarts and tingles like he never ever wants to be touched there ever again. (Which is not true, of course, he’ll want to do it all again obviously – just not right then.)
He feels wonderfully sated. And he is ready at last to call it a night. But he needs to check on one more thing first.
Merlin in the meantime gets up to go to the bathroom and cleans himself. He brings back a washcloth, soaked in warm water.
“The rubber broke,” he chuckles, as he gently wipes between Arthur’s ass cheeks while the blond man just lies there on his stomach, being utterly useless.
Arthur smiles back, studying Merlin’s face intently. The dark cloud has lifted at last. The voice is light, and full of youth’s curiosity and promise again. “Maybe that’s what your dreams are about.”
Merlin frowns, “What do you mean?”
Arthur props himself up on an elbow, “I read about it somewhere. According to some legends, dreaming of someone dying could be a sign foretelling their impending pregnancy.”
Whatever Merlin had been expecting Arthur to say, it surely wasn’t that. He stares at Arthur for a few seconds blandly. Then together they burst into giggles.
“Well, I am studying to be an MD PhD, you never know! I just might make it happen. Sure you want to keep seeing me?”
Arthur bites his lip at that. “Think it’s a little too late for second thoughts, Dr. Emrys. My mind’s been made up for quite some time now.”
Arthur watches as the last of the lines of pain and anxiety vaporize from Merlin's face. Like magic. Merlin pats his upturned bottom, urging him forward so he can slide into bed behind him, before tucking the covers around them both. “Time for you to sleep now, Mr. Pendragon.”
“No argument there,” Arthur drawls. But several minutes later, he’s still lying wide awake in Merlin’s arms. And so is Merlin.
“Hey, I have a crazy idea. Next time you have one of your… dreams, how about you stay asleep long enough to see what actually happens next? I bet you’ll just end up saving me.”
Merlin snorts. “Really? How can you be so sure, oh psychic one?”
“Well, it’s what you did the first time we met, remember?”
Arthur twists around just enough to look up into Merlin’s eyes. “You pushed me out of the way of that drunk driver’s car. That could also be why you have these dreams. Because you still feel responsible for me, maybe?”
“Hmm,” Merlin nods noncommittally, and Arthur suspects that theory isn't exactly news to him. The scientist is lost deep in thought, while he strokes the bridge of Arthur’s regal nose with a finger softly. Up and down, and back up again.
Arthur turns over after a while and plants his face into Merlin’s sternum. “I’m telling you,” he says, voice slurring with sleep he can no longer hold off. “Just wait until the end, see how it turns out. You’ve been wasting your precious angst all this time.”
Merlin presses one last kiss to the top of Arthur’s head before settling in to sleep.
“I hope you’re right, love. I hope you’re right.”
** END **