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Merlin stood at Arthur's side as they watched the Knights gather around the exhausted but radiant Lancelot. He brushed a bit of dirt off Arthur's chain-mail and said, casually, "So he beat you, then."

"He met the challenge, if that's what you mean."

"I don't know, it looked like a pretty convincing win to me, what with you being flat on your back with his sword at your throat and everything."

"It was a test, Merlin, not a duel."

"Right. 'Course."

"And take that grin off your face."

That was impossible, so Merlin turned his face away instead and busied himself picking up Arthur's shield and helmet.

"He's very handsome, isn't he," Merlin mumbled into his armful of things.

Arthur glanced over his shoulder and held Merlin's gaze for a moment, then said, quietly, "Is he staying with you? In... in Gaius's chambers?"


Arthur considered this for a moment, while Merlin tutted over the dents in Arthur's shield.

"Well," said Arthur. "What you do in your free time is your business, Merlin. So long as you don't get so distracted you get even worse at your job."

With that he vaulted neatly over the rail around the training ground, and sprinted off to join the Knights in congratulating Lancelot, leaving Merlin staring after him, his arms full of battered metal.

"What was that about?" Merlin asked the empty air.


"I suppose you'll be moving into some posh new chambers somewhere, now you're a Knight and everything."

Merlin sat on the edge of his bed, watching Lancelot wash. Lancelot was stripped to the waist, leaning over a large bucket as he scrubbed the dirt out of his rather lovely hair.

"Prince Arthur said he'd find me suitable quarters." Lancelot's voice took on a deep timbre, vibrating in the bucket. "I'll soon be out of your way."

"No! I didn't mean it like that. You're welcome here as long as you like." Merlin smiled at him, although of course Lancelot couldn't see, not when he was bending over like that.

"You're very generous, Merlin."

"I just like to help. D'you need a hand with that?"

Lancelot was flailing one hand out towards where he thought the jug might be, his eyes blinded with soap. Merlin didn't wait for him to answer; he picked up the jug and gently poured the water through Lancelot's hair.

"Thank you," Lancelot said through the splashes. Merlin re-filled the jug with a flash of gold and a whisper, and rinsed Lancelot's hair again, taking the time to ease the suds out of Lancelot's hair with his fingers. Lancelot made an appreciative sort of grunting sound, and before he knew where he was Merlin was rubbing rhythmically at Lancelot's scalp. Lancelot seemed to be very tense, and Arthur had owned up to enjoying this once or twice. Even when it didn't lead to Other Things. Although, often it did.

At this realisation Merlin bit his lower lip, suddenly confused. But he didn't stop until Lancelot said, in a strangled sort of voice, "thank you, Merlin. You're very kind. That was nice."

"Arthur likes it," Merlin blurted out.

There was a pause and then Lancelot said, "yes, I would imagine he does."

Merlin passed him a drying-cloth and waited anxiously while Lancelot rubbed at his hair to get rid of the worst of the drips before standing up. Merlin went to pick up the bucket, ready to dispose of the dirty water, but Lancelot put a hand on his shoulder. "It's alright. I can do that."

"But you're a knight now," Merlin grinned at him. "You don't have to do chores like this any more. You'll have a squire and everything."

"I hope I always remember what hard work means," Lancelot said. "Whatever I become."

"You haven't seen the training Arthur's going to put you through. Believe me, I'd rather empty buckets any day."

Lancelot gave Merlin a wry grin as he tugged the drying cloth around his shoulders. His hair curled around his face, still dripping a little at his temples. Merlin smiled back.

"Does Prince Arthur treat you well?" Lancelot asked. His voice was soft and serious, his eyes kind.

"Yes," Merlin said, but couldn't resist adding, "Well, you know. For a prat."


Merlin shrugged and grinned, and reached for the bucket of soapy water again. This time Lancelot didn't stop him. But by the time Merlin got back, bucket all emptied and rinsed, Lancelot was dressed, the drying cloth was hanging on the little line in the corner of the room and somehow the laundry that habitually littered Merlin's floor was assembled in a neat heap ready for washing.

Merlin decided he was really going to miss Lancelot when he went. Even if the bed was a bit small for two.


There was something very odd going on.

Merlin was aware that he'd had quite a bit to drink - more than he was used to, anyway - and he was in high spirits. He'd put his magic to good use, Lancelot was happy, Arthur was happy and everyone was having a good time. Some of the knights had taught him some songs about wenches and maypoles that they certainly didn't sing in Ealdor. All in all it was a very good night, except that Arthur and Lancelot were both being a bit, well, strange. Not with each other - they were backslapping and ranting on about armour and swords and battle tactics like they were old friends. But neither of them could quite look Merlin in the eye. They were being nice to him - even Arthur, which was a bit disturbing in itself - but it was almost as if it was because they were feeling guilty about something. Or possibly angry.

It was possible that having a few pints of whatever that was he'd been drinking might have clouded his powers of perception. But Merlin couldn't shake the idea that things were a bit off.

He was leaning against a wall by the door contemplating Ruth (one of the prettiest serving girls: out of bounds due to being betrothed but still very very nice to look at), who was helping Gwen clear one of the big tables, when he became suddenly aware of Arthur and Lancelot approaching. They were talking to each other in whispers that were a bit loud to be really secret but maddeningly too quiet to actually hear. They were quite animated.

They both had really nice hair, Merlin thought to himself. Lancelot's was thick and long, and fell across his face in a very interesting way, while Arthur's was the colour of sunshine and tended to stick up in clumps, often when Arthur was trying to intimidate his servant, which Merlin found endlessly amusing.

"Ah," Arthur said. "Merlin!"

"That would be me," Merlin agreed.

"Yes," Lancelot added. "Merlin."

The three of them looked at each other for a moment: Arthur wearing an awkward sort of expression, Lancelot looking vaguely regretful and Merlin was just plain confused.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"Nothing!" Lancelot and Arthur said in unison, then Lancelot added, "I should retire and let the two of you, um..." He stared awkwardly at the floor.

"No, really," Arthur said, "I insist, I shouldn't... what Merlin does in his own time is entirely up to him."

"What?" said Merlin.

"But..." said Lancelot.

"Seriously," Arthur said. "Don't let me interfere."

"I couldn't possibly," said Lancelot.

"You couldn't possibly what?" Merlin said.

"Um," said Lancelot.

"Have sex with you," Arthur said.

"Have.. what?" Merlin felt suddenly glad of the support of the wall behind him.

"Please," Lancelot in a strangled sort of voice. "We shouldn't even be discussing this."

"No, we shouldn't," Arthur said.

"No!" yelled Merlin. "Actually, no, we really bloody shouldn't!"

Arthur and Lancelot blinked at him, as if surprised he was still there.

"I can't believe you're discussing this! What do you think I am, some kind of... thing? A possession? Like a really good sword you're swapping in a training session? Well I'm not! I'm a person! And it's really not nice of you," he jabbed Arthur in the chest, "to lend me out to your friends, or you," he waggled his finger in Lancelot's face, "to tell Arthur what he can and can't do with me! Don't I get a say in any of it? Because if I do it might interest you to know that I don't particularly want to have sex with either of you right now!"

There was a stunned silence. Arthur glanced over his shoulder and cleared his throat. "Keep it down Merlin."

"Keep what down where?" Merlin snapped.

"The noise, you idiot. People may be drunk, but they're not that drunk."

Merlin took an irritable glance over his shoulder. There were a few guards nearby giving them some very odd looks.

"Well," said Merlin, grumpily. "I don't care. If it's alright with you, Sire, I'll go and turn down your bed and then I'll retire. And you," he poked a finger in the direction of the mortified Lancelot, "don't make too much noise when you come in. I'll be asleep!"

Merlin left them standing by the big oak doors, and stomped off to Arthur's room.


The bed didn't really need turning down. Arthur was perfectly capable of putting himself to bed, and usually on feast nights Merlin would leave him to it, all too grateful to slink off to his own bed once the evening entered the rowdy phase. But Merlin pulled back the sheets and plumped the pillows anyway, pausing briefly to consider popping a toad in for good measure. Or perhaps a few leeches.

He was giving a pillow a particularly good thump when the door opened. Arthur and Lancelot stood there in their stupid armour and stupid surcoats, looking stupidly handsome.

"I'll be done in a minute," Merlin said, chewing on his bottom lip.

Lancelot came forward, clasped Merlin's shoulder and said, very earnestly, "I'm very sorry if I've done anything to cause offence, Merlin. I owe you so much, and I respect you a good deal. The last thing I intended to infer was-"

"'S fine," Merlin said, unable to stay cross with Lancelot for long.

"I was trying to do the right thing," Arthur said. "If you weren't too stubborn to-"

Lancelot kicked Arthur in the shin just as Merlin started to explode with "I'm stubborn?! That's something coming from you, Mr Never Fucking Wrong-" and then Lancelot's palm was clapped over Merlin's mouth, and Merlin was resisting the urge to either bite or lick it.

Once convinced that Arthur and Merlin were not about to try to kill each other or hurl any more insults, Lancelot clasped each by the shoulder and said in his soft, clear voice, "the two of you clearly have a great deal of affection for each other, even if you do have unusual ways of showing it. If I did anything to come between you, I couldn't live with myself. It's a question of honour, Merlin. Not just to Arthur, but to yourself."

Merlin blinked at him.

"Contrary to what Merlin believes," Arthur said, pointedly, "I have only his best interests at heart. Perhaps the fairest thing would be for him to choose."

Arthur and Lancelot exchanged a long look, and a nod, and then turned expectantly to Merlin.

"Choose?" said Merlin.

Arthur nodded. "Which ever one of us you wish to," and he made a nondescript sort of gesture with one hand, "tonight. We will agree to abide by your decision."

Merlin flopped back against a handy bedpost. "You really don't get it, do you?"

"What?" said Arthur and Lancelot, in unison.

"It's not a matter of..." He paused, searching for the words, and then a wicked grin curved his lips and he said, "What if I want both of you?"

"Both..." Arthur started, his face carrying the expression of a landed fish, and

"... of us?" Lancelot finished, plainly astonished (if not, thought Merlin, a little hopeful).

"Yeah." Merlin shrugged. "Why not?"

Lancelot and Arthur exchanged glances, and shuffled their feet a bit, and Merlin was wondering if perhaps he was drunker than he'd thought and had gone too far. But to his delight Arthur smiled and said, "You're completely impossible, Merlin, and hopelessly inappropriate, but..."

"It is a celebration," said Lancelot.

With that Arthur grasped Merlin by the front of his shirt and pulled him in for a hard, punishing kiss that left them both breathless. "You're sure?" he whispered in Merlin's ear.

"Yes," Merlin whispered back. "Alright?"

Arthur kissed him again by way of reply. Softer this time. Merlin reached for Lancelot's shoulder and pulled him in, slid trembling fingers into Lancelot's long, glossy hair before turning to kiss him too.

He felt dizzy and exhilerated, suddenly full of ideas. He ducked back from the kiss, encouraging Lancelot and Arthur to pick it up. There was a brief moment of hesitation, just a moment, before Arthur leaned in and caught Lancelot's lower lip between his teeth. Lancelot's eyes fluttered shut and he tipped his head, captured Arthur's mouth with his own. Merlin watched hungrily as their tongues twisted together until Arthur gave him a sharp smack on the backside and dragged him in.

Merlin had had no idea it was even possible to kiss two people at once. It was amazing. Three tongues, dancing and darting and licking; noses bumping, everything wet and noisy.

Then just as Merlin was settling into the rhythm of it, Lancelot pulled back. For one awful moment Merlin thought he'd changed his mind, but Lancelot wound his fingers around Merlin's and squeezed. "The door."

Merlin's voice came out as squeaky and unpredictable as it had when he was thirteen. "Oh. Right. I'll get it."

"I'll get it," said Arthur, and to Lancelot, "start getting his clothes off."

Merlin stared, wide-eyed, from Arthur who was already striding towards the door, to Lancelot who looked pleased as anything and still had hold of Merlin's hand. He reeled him in, their hot palms pressing together, and hooked his fingers in Merlin's belt. He wasn't very good at undressing, it turned out, but Merlin was getting to be quite the expert and gave him a hand. When Arthur came back from closing the door he didn't join in but sat on the bed to watch, one leg crossed over the other, head tipped a little to one side. Merlin wouldn't have been surprised if he'd given them marks out of ten.

"I should have given you a head start," Merlin said, obediently raising his arms so Lancelot could slip his shirt off. "You're both in armour."

"Maybe we're not going to take our clothes off," said Arthur, with a wicked smile. "Maybe we'll take you without."

"No," said Merlin. "You're not getting that chainmail anywhere near my... me. It's cold, for one thing."

Lancelot chuckled, and kissed Merlin's neck as he fumbled with the laces on Merlin's trousers. He was hesitant, a little unsure of himself, and Merlin found himself wondering if he'd done this before. Probably not, he'd guess. Well, certainly not with a third party watching his every move, anyway.

Merlin leaned into Lancelot's kisses, curling his fingers around Lancelot's arm and giving him a little squeeze of encouragement.

There was a noise behind him, a rattle; Arthur seemed to have actually been listening for once and was bent over, tugging his armour over his head. Of course he wasn't doing it properly; if he wasn't careful it would all bunch up at his neck and... yes. Like that.

"Fuck," said Arthur, his voice muffled by the curtain of metal covering his face.

"Hang on," said Merlin, kissing Lancelot lightly on the lips before turning his attention to Arthur. "You'd be useless without me, you know that?"

"I hardly think-" Arthur started, but the rest of his sentence was lost in an incoherent blur of grumbling as Merlin wrestled with his armour.

"I don't see why you have to wear armour to a party anyway." Merlin finally wrenched the mail shirt off Arthur's head and dumped it in a jingling heap on the floor.

"It was a Knighting ceremony," said Arthur. "Knights wear armour."

Merlin rolled his eyes and turned his attention to Lancelot, who sensibly hadn't even started to try and take his off. Lancelot didn't have Arthur's lifetime of experience wearing armour, never mind getting out of it after a certain amount of ale. Merlin bent him over and peeled the chain off him, letting the weight of the armour do most of the work and taking a moment to admire the strength and beauty of Lancelot's back, muscles shifting under his linen shirt as the mail slid away.

"I'm not cleaning it," Merlin told Arthur, dropping Lancelot's armour unceremoniously on top of Arthur's. "Just in case you were getting ideas."

"Shut up and get on the bed," Arthur replied, and gave him a little shove to his chest.

"Please," added Lancelot, chivalrously. Merlin considered explaining that the rules of courtly love didn't really apply in this sort of situation, but Lancelot looked distinctly nervous now and he didn't want to make matters worse. Besides, it set a good example. It wouldn't hurt Arthur to learn a few manners.

Merlin climbed on the bed and watched, nibbling on his lower lip, as Lancelot finished helping him out of his trousers. Arthur loosened the buckles on Merlin's boots so Merlin could toe them off, then his socks, and then Lancelot was peeling his trousers down his legs and Merlin shivered, not so much from cold as from the acute awareness of two pairs of eyes surveying his pale, naked self. It was at once embarassing and exciting; gentle hands settled on his hips and shoulders as he lay back and Arthur leaned in to kiss him; Lancelot stroked Arthur's back and watched as the kiss got deep and wet and messy. Merlin's fingers stroked through Arthur's hair, drew little circles at the nape of his neck, tugged on the collar of his shirt. But Arthur didn't seem interested in getting his own clothes off. He just nipped at the tip of Merlin's tongue and whispered, "Lancelot. I want to see your mouth on him."

The thought of doing that to Lancelot was enough to make Merlin's spine melt. Hearing Arthur suggest it was almost too much.

Merlin pushed Arthur away and dragged Lancelot closer, tugged him down to kiss. Where Arthur was all tongue and teeth and everything, Lancelot was almost chaste; he parted his lips only a little and treated Merlin reverently, cautiously. His head jerked back at first when Merlin ventured his toungue into Lancelot's mouth, but once the surprise was over he responded enthusiastically, opening his mouth a little wider and making small but heartfelt little groaning noises. Merlin slid his tongue slowly along Lancelot's, flirting with teeth and the soft inside of his cheek; sucking Lancelot's tongue into his own mouth; wet, gentle pulls.

"Oh," Lancelot gasped, when they paused for breath.

"Good?" Merlin grinned at him. Lancelot nodded, lost for words.

Merlin sat up, winding his arms around Lancelot's neck for leverage, and kissed him again. He felt the bed dip as Arthur knelt behind him, still fully-clothed (although when Merlin snuck a sideways glance he was relieved to see that Arthur had taken his boots off). Arthur slid his hands across Merlin's hips to his middle, one stroking his belly in smooth, territorial sweeps while the other settled on his hip. Merlin's cock was stiff and eager to be touched, but he knew (and Arthur had probably guessed) that giving it any attention just then would end quickly and messily, and Merlin really wanted this to last.

"Merlin," Lancelot managed to say, the words vibrating against Merlin's lips.

"Mmm," said Merlin.

"I should, are you, do you-"

"Shhh," said Merlin. "Let me...."

Kissing him again he stripped off Lancelot's belt and then tugged his shirt up to his armpits. Lancelot pulled away for just long enough for Merlin to rip it over his head before he pressed his mouth to Merlin's again. Merlin reached down to the laces on Lancelot's trousers, but Arthur's fingers curled over his.

"Don't take them off," Arthur's voice purred in his ear. "Work around them."

"What d'you mean work around-"

Arthur squeezed Merlin's knuckles hard and whispered, "just get his cock out and suck it, okay?"

Lancelot made a shocked squeaking sound.

"Oh! Okay," said Merlin, cheerfully, and slid his hand in the opening of Lancelot's trousers. He met with a small hitch in the form of underwear, but with Arthur's help he managed to shove enough clothing out of the way to release Lancelot's cock.

Lancelot looked down in total amazement, as if he hadn't even known he'd had such an appendage to his person. Merlin wrapped his fingers around it, appreciating its length and girth, its even proportions and the smooth, glossy head straining out of its foreskin. "That's really nice," he said.

Arthur laughed and Lancelot sort of whimpered and blushed. Merlin kissed his way down from Lancelot's shoulder to his chest, pausing to toy with a nipple, but that didn't seem to do very much for Lancelot so Merlin kept going, down past his ribs to the firm ridges of muscle across his belly and finally....

... Merlin stuck out his tongue and tasted the very tip of Lancelot's cock, licking at a bead of clear fluid that glistened there; smacking his lips before kissing his way down the shaft. Lancelot gasped; he touched Merlin's hair gently, hesitantly, hips straining with the effort of keeping still. Merlin's kisses turned to licks; little, darting presses at first then broad wet stripes up and down the length of it, swirling around the silk-soft skin at the head and sucking along the ridge on the underside that ran from root to tip. Lancelot was breathing hard, muscles quivering, and Arthur's hand was firm on Merlin's belly, tension building in the arm that held Merlin in place. Even through Arthur's clothes Merlin could feel his erection, digging into Merlin's back like an iron bar.

Merlin looked up to check Lancelot's expression: his cheeks were flushed, his eyes firmly closed, teeth clenched. Merlin waited a second longer, licked his lips and tenderly took the head of Lancelot's cock in his mouth. Lancelot swore (which was so unexpected and dirty it made Merlin grin around the thick heat in his mouth) and Arthur murmured, "Hell, Merlin that's....", and Merlin gave Lancelot not quite enough time to adjust before he settled his tongue flat and relaxed his mouth and throat and took Lancelot all the way down in one smooth, wet slide.

Lancelot's fingers twisted in Merlin's hair and for an instant every muscle in his body went tight. Merlin stroked, soothing, at the small of Lancelot's back, and waited for a moment before pulling back, all the way, swirling his tongue around the head of Lancelot's cock before taking him in again, just halfway this time, and giving it a soft suck.

"Careful," Arthur said. "You don't want him to-"

Merlin pulled off Lancelot's cock and glared at Arthur. "I do know what I'm doing here, you know!" he hissed. "Unless you want to give us a demonstration?"

"I was just saying-"

Lancelot whimpered. "Merlin, I... please?"

He looked so desperate; his cock throbbed in Merlin's fist. Merlin mumbled "sorry," and took it in his mouth again, slow and gentle, swirling his tongue around.

Arthur gave Merlin's hip a squeeze, which Merlin chose to interpret as approval. At any rate, there were no further interruptions as he took to the task of sucking and licking Lancelot into a frenzy. There was just hard slide and warm skin and Lancelot's tight, panting breaths. He stood in front of Merlin absolutely rigid from head to toe, staring in a state of near-disbelief at what Merlin was doing to him.

Arthur's hand trailed down Merlin's spine from neck to arse, and settled on his backside. He folded himself over Merlin's body for a moment to whisper to him.

"Up," he said, breath hot just behind Merlin's ear, lips wet on his neck. Merlin raised his hips obediently, eagerly. He stilled on Lancelot's cock for a moment, fingers wrapped around the root, tongue circling the head, focused on what Arthur was doing.

Arthur stroked down the outside of Merlin's thigh, then trailed his knuckles up the inside. He cupped Merlin's balls in his palm and very gently squeezed, fingertips stroking the sensitive skin in the crease of thigh and pelvis. Merlin's eyes fluttered shut and he moaned shamelessly around Lancelot's cock.

"Don't let me stop you," Arthur said, his thumb settling over Merlin's hole, sending a shudder of pleasure through Merlin's body.

"Arthur," Merlin whispered, pleading.

"I know." Arthur's voice was low and rough. "I'll take care of you. Go on. Lancelot's waiting."

Merlin looked up blearily at Lancelot, who was watching with wide eyes, absently stroking Merlin's hair. He looked wild, a little desperate. Merlin was a blur of need and pleasure; without thinking he took Lancelot's cock down his throat again, sliding inch after inch past his lips as Arthur's thumb circled his hole, his fingers stroking his balls, just whispering at the root of his cock. Merlin coiled his magic carefully, deep inside, grateful for the control that was growing in him all the time. It didn't stop him longing to set it free, to be free, but at least now he could relax and enjoy this without fearing that the bed linen (and ultimately himself) might get singed.

Oil drizzled on his skin; Arthur held the bottle high and poured it into the dip of Merlin's back, down the crack of his arse. Merlin might have complained that he was the one who would have to get the stains out of the bed covers, but his mouth was full and anyway, it felt too good. Arthur dragged his fingers through the oil and slicked Merlin's hole, slipped a finger inside. Merlin shifted his legs, raised his hips, aware that his body, at least, was shamelessly begging, even if his voice was silenced. Arthur gave an approving little grunt and started to fingerfuck Merlin; slow, steady strokes, two fingers now, twisting and sliding, and Merlin forgot to breathe and started to choke on Lancelot's cock.

Lancelot pulled back with dangerous speed and little heed of Merlin's teeth.

"I'm sorry, Merlin, are you alright?"

"Of course he's alright," said Arthur. "He's just greedy. Aren't you, Merlin."

Merlin gave Arthur a brief glare over his shoulder. "I'm overworked, that's what I am. As usual."

"Oh, stop it. You love it." Arthur's fingers found exactly the best place inside Merlin and pressed, and Merlin could do nothing but moan loudly and close his eyes and let the stars play behind his eyelids.

"I'm fine," he told Lancelot, when he could focus again. "Just forgot to breathe."

"You don't have to...." Lancelot was flushed and confused and his cock was twitching.

"I want to," Merlin said, and took Lancelot in his mouth again.

"Told you," said Arthur. Merlin decided not to dignify that with a response. Besides, his mouth was full again.

There was quiet for a while apart from Lancelot's soft, fast breaths and the slurp of Merlin's mouth and the sticky wet smack of Arthur's oiled fingers, the occasional creak of the bedframe as Merlin's body shifted from Arthur to Lancelot and back again. Merlin's cock was almost painfully hard and he battled with twin desires: the blissful pleasure of fucking itself and the potential release of orgasm. Arthur made no move to touch his cock and it was all Lancelot could do to keep his own under control; Merlin was, for now, happy to be in their hands. Or, not in their hands.

Arthur bent over him again. His cheek felt hot against Merlin's.

"You want more?"

Merlin nodded, his mouth still stuffed with Lancelot's cock.

"Tell me."

Merlin growled incoherently, unwilling to release Lancelot but wanting so very much for Arthur to just stop being all masterful and bossy and get the fuck on with it. A complex sentiment to convey with a wiggle of his backside and a rock of his hips, but Arthur got the message. Another pop of the cork from the oil bottle, another drizzle of slick around Merlin's hole and Arthur was pressing into him; his cock so much thicker than his fingers but every bit as welcome. Once he was all the way inside Arthur rested there, one hand firm on Merlin's shoulder, the other stroking gently down his flank as he whispered, "okay?"

Merlin nodded, Lancelot squeaked and Arthur started to fuck. Swinging his hips in a smooth, slow rhythm, all the time gentling Merlin with his hands. It was sort of relaxing, in a strange, bunching-tension kind of way. It took Merlin's mind to another place, where very little mattered except the pleasure flowing through him and the feelings he had for Arthur that were intense and nameless and lived deep in his soul, twined with magic and power and everything that Merlin was.

He opened his eyes and looked up at Lancelot, saw the strain in his shoulders and hips, deep concern in his eyes.

Merlin drew back, replacing his mouth with his fingers, stroking and twisting a little. Lancelot's cock was slick and wet with Merlin's spit, the head purple-red from Merlin's sucking.

"Are you alright?" Lancelot asked, full of concern.

Merlin smiled; somewhere behind him Arthur laughed.

"I'm fine," Merlin said. "You can move, you know. You can fuck my mouth."

Lancelot blushed to his roots. His lower lip was bruised where his teeth had been bothering it.

Merlin stroked Lancelot's cock gently, affectionately. "Seriously. You won't hurt me."

"But, I, you can't-"

"I like doing it," Merlin insisted. "It's good, sucking cock. Isn't it, Arthur?"

Arthur stopped fucking, and Merlin could picture the expression on his face. He probably wasn't too keen for his knights to know he had, on occasion, let Merlin take such liberties with him - never mind that he'd enjoyed it so much.

"I'm sure it is," Lancelot said, and trailed his fingertip wistfully over Merlin's wet, friction-swollen lower lip. "But I don't want to hurt you."

"You won't," said Merlin, insistently, and nipped at Lancelot's finger, sucked it between his lips.

Lancelot was lost. He slid his cock back into Merlin's mouth alongside his finger, then slid in another finger besides; Merlin slithered his tongue over cock and fingers all together, mouth open wide, his hands on Lancelot's hips. He pulled Lancelot in, pushed him away, sucked and sucked on fingers and cock and pushed and pulled until finally Lancelot got the message and let his hips move.

When he did, it was glorious. Lancelot fucked as if he was dancing; long rolling movements from head to foot, sinuous and graceful, a contrast to Arthur's far more down-to-earth approach, although Arthur was far from clumsy. The three of them moved together in an easy rhythm, excitement building stroke by stroke, until Arthur said, "How about a wager?"

Lancelot said, "I beg your pardon, Sire?" and Merlin made a muffled sort of noise that had started life as a "what?"

"First one to come has to buy the other two drinks," said Arthur.

Merlin pulled off Lancelot's cock with an obscene sucking noise. "Thought you couldnt be seen buying drinks for your servant, Arthur?"

Arthur cuffed him around the ear. "What about you, Lancelot? You in?"

"I'm not sure I-" Lancelot said, staring down at Merlin's mouth, which was showering his cock in licks and wet, slurpy kisses.

"Right, that's settled then. A yard of ale to the winners." He started to move again, angling his strokes to hit the places most likely to make Merlin lose all control. Merlin grinned to himself. Arthur might know how to press his buttons but Merlin knew Arthur's, too.

He licked the head of Lancelot's cock and rubbed it against his cheek. Kissed the shaft. Pressed his mouth against it with closed lips, resisting when Lancelot tried to get inside and instead teasing just under the head with his thumb, wet lips and tongue darting out to taste precome and tease heated flesh.

"Oh God," Lancelot whispered. "Merlin, no, if you don't stop that I'll, it'll, all over your face, I-"

"You'll what?" Merlin asked, looking up. He could feel Arthur's eyes on them both.

"I'll spill my seed," said Lancelot, with excruicating modesty that made Merlin's belly flip. "On your face."

Arthur shoved inside Merlin with a roar, hips jerking in an unmistakable rhythm once, twice, three times before he collapsed on Merlin's back, still twitching. Merlin chuckled, looked up at Lancelot and winked.

Lancelot winked back.

Merlin sucked him back in; Arthur was still panting, spread over his back, hand sliding down Merlin's belly towards his cock and just when Merlin's confidence at winning their bet was severely shaken by Arthur's careful fingers wrapping around him, Lancelot let out a long, harsh sigh and thrust deep into Merlin's mouth.

Merlin gave one last suck as the first jet hit his tongue, then pulled off quickly so Lancelot could fulfil his promise. Lancelot mumbled a weak sort of protest, but he was cupping the back of Merlin's head in one broad palm, the fingers of the other smearing his come over Merlin's cheekbones as he spurted thick, white streams of the stuff all over him.

"Come on, Merlin," Arthur breathed in Merlin's ear, and as soon as Lancelot was done Arthur tugged Merlin back until he was sprawled in Arthur's lap, thrusting up into Arthur's hand. It didn't take much; Merlin's balls crawled up tight; leaning back into Arthur's warm body, Arthur's softening cock worrying at Merlin's sensitive hole; the taste of Lancelot fresh on Merlni's lips, Arthur's tongue darting out to lick Lancelot's come off Merlin's cheek; and Merlin came hard, shaking in Arthur's arms. He was dimly aware of Arthur pulling Lancelot in for a final, sticky three-way kiss before he collapsed into exhausted, stupid-grinning bliss between them both.

"You play dirty, Merlin," Arthur said.

"I wouldn't say so," said Lancelot. "I think we won fair and square, My Lord."

"'S a good thing some of us've got restraint," said Merlin, everything a bit blurry around the edges still.

"I'll give you restraint," growled Arthur. "Pass me that neckerchief, Lancelot!"

"No!" Merlin laughed, wriggling out of Arthur's grasp. "Ale first! You promised ale!"

"You see what I have to put up with, Lancelot?" said Arthur.

"It must be a constant trial, My Lord," said Lancelot.

For once Merlin didn't protest. He felt sticky and deeply content and happy, and at that moment in time his biggest challenge was to locate his trousers.

Which, considering what his life was usually like, didn't seem like such a bad thing, after all.