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Merlin Fic: Comfort

Two in one day, stop me. :)

Title: Comfort
Author: astri
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: ~ 1.000
A/N: Now moving on from emo-porn to some mild slash. :) Many thanks to nachekana for a super-speedy beta and encouragement

Summary: The Aftermath of "Whipping Boy". The punishment is over, what happens now?




Comfort

Once the punishment is over, Merlin can feel Arthur take a deep breath before his arms disentangle themselves from Merlin’s waist. He steps back and reaches up to cut Merlin loose from the post he is still tied to while Merlin fidgets, anxiously twisting around to gauge Arthur’s face. It’s tight, guarded, and Merlin can see the movement causes Arthur some pain.

When he is free once more, Merlin, too, steps away from the post and turns to Arthur fully. Behind the young prince, he can see the guard, flogger still in hand and wearing a slightly shell-shocked expression at what he just did. Merlin glares at him.

But Arthur’s voice remains carefully indifferent when he speaks to the man. “Tell my father punishment has been met.” Arthur fixes the guard with a stern look. “For both our sakes, tell him only that.”

In answer he receives vigorous nodding before the guard takes off.

Merlin puts a tentative hand on Arthur’s arm. “Thank you.”

Arthur shrugs but almost immediately winces at the action, though he does his best to suppress it. Merlin tries to step around him, to see the extent of the damage, but Arthur evades him.

He frowns. “What are you doing?”

“Your wounds, I wanted to see. I…” Merlin trails off, unsure of what he really meant to do. Or say.

Arthur snorts, now every inch the prideful prince again. “It’s nothing.” He waves his hand in a dismissive manner. “You should have Gaius treat yours, though.”

There is no denying the fact that Merlin’s back still painfully throbs, but that has to pale in comparism to what Arthur must be feeling after taking the brunt of the lashes. And prideful or not, Merlin won’t let the fool suffer in silence as he obviously intends to do.

Determinedly, he takes a step forward. “So do you.” He grins. “Or I’ll be forced to tell your father how neglectful you are towards your own health, Sire.”

Now Arthur gapes. “Does the fever still wreak havoc with your brain? More than normal even? If you tell my father, I can assure you, you will get another beating.”

Merlin folds his arms in front of his chest. “I know.”

Arthur looks heavenwards in an exasperated manner. “You are being ridiculous, Merlin. I’m a trained warrior. I have had injuries much worse than this. So, you run along now and have Gaius take care of you before you ruin all my valiant efforts while I’m going to enjoy some peace and quiet in my chambers.”

The words are spoken as a clear order, one that any good servant would obey. Thus, it probably doesn’t come as a big surprise to either Merlin or Arthur that soon enough a grumbling Arthur finds himself be led into Gaius’ chambers, though void of the physician in question.

Then again, this might be just as well, Merlin thinks. He knows enough about dressing wounds to do this himself, and Arthur might be more comfortable with that arrangement anyway.

“Take off your tunic,” he says authoritatively.

Arthur rolls his eyes but complies, wincing again as the muscles in his back are stretched with the movement. He sits down on the bed and Merlin takes place behind him, one knee perched on the mattress. At the sight of the angry, red welts criss-crossing Arthur’s back; Merlin takes in a sharp breath. He had hoped that the prince’s clothing would have absorbed the worst of it, but apparently the flogger cut clear through the garments in various places. Too bad Arthur hasn’t been wearing his armour, Merlin figures with a slight tinge of hysteria. Or that his skin isn’t as thick as his head obviously is.

Immediately, Merlin feels bad at the thought. After all, Arthur’s stubbornness just saved him. He moistens the rag and gently begins to clean the wounds, only half aware that his left hand falls on Arthur’s shoulder in the same comforting manner Merlin had used when Arthur had first became ill.

Of course, back then, the young prince had been unaware of such improper behaviour. Now, he turns his head to look at Merlin. “What are you doing?”

Merlin blushes. “Oh, I’m sorry, I…” He tries to remove the offending limb but Arthur’s own hand strikes out lightning-fast and keeps Merlin’s fingers trapped against Arthur’s warm skin.

Cocking his head slightly, Arthur seems to be trying to work something out in his head. “Did you…were you with me when I was sick?”

Merlin can feel the heat in his cheeks rise up a few notches. Did Arthur know? Had he felt Merlin’s presence? He swallows heavily. Their faces are now only inches apart and something is building between them, something Merlin can’t yet identify. All he knows is that Arthur’s lips look soft and inviting, and that Merlin longs to touch them with his own. So he does.

The feeling is unlike anything Merlin ever experienced because as far as Merlin can tell, Arthur is not only a great swordsman but a talented kisser as well. And these full, pouty lips of his really are that soft. Sweet-tasting, too.

A shrill sound drifting in from the courtyard below causes them to hastily break apart, looking at each other in shock. Merlin doesn’t know what to expect, probably for Arthur to punch him clear across the face. A servant doesn’t go around kissing his master. It’s just not done. But Arthur only clears his throat and turns back around, facing the wall again. Merlin blinks in confusion, and then finally decides to follow Arthur’s lead and pretend that nothing happened. He clamps down on the sudden feeling of disappointment at the thought and goes back to his task of tending to the welts.

Yet he notices one thing, Arthur never asked Merlin to take off his hand from where it still rests on Arthur’s shoulder. So Merlin doesn’t. Sometimes, he is an obedient servant after all.

Comments

( 34 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
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lastling
Oct. 29th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
This is so much win for me.

It has all my favourite things - Arthur protecting Merlin, him being stubborn, Merlin tending to Arthur... XD
astri13
Oct. 29th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
It has all my favourite things - Arthur protecting Merlin, him being stubborn, Merlin tending to Arthur... XD

Hehe, definitely my favourites as well. Thank you muchly. I'm glad you enjoyed this. :)
(no subject) - flamestone - Nov. 1st, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - astri13 - Nov. 1st, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
_profiterole_
Oct. 29th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
Ho ho ho! Silly boys, but they're so adorable! ^__^
astri13
Oct. 29th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
So true. *pets them* Thank you so much, glad you liked. :)
(Deleted comment)
astri13
Oct. 29th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
I love this! The awkward sort of "Um, yes, that didn't happen, but it did, we're just not going to talk about it...yet. Ahem" brilliant!

Heh. Couldn't make it too easy for them. :) Thank you muchly, glad you liked.
aeroport_art
Oct. 29th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
Eeee, hurt/comfort ftw! This is adorablecakes.
astri13
Oct. 29th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you. Glad you found it so. H/c is one of my kinks.
gregisamazing
Oct. 29th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
Awesome and so very much in character.

However, I have the impulse to bash their heads together after this. xD
astri13
Oct. 29th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Awesome and so very much in character.

Thank you so much, that's such a great compliment.

However, I have the impulse to bash their heads together after this. xD

Hehe. What can you do? Menfolk. *g* They make it up for it by being pretty and adorable though.

duskwillow
Oct. 29th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
Aw, another wonderful fic!
Do you maybe plan to continue this? I'd love to read more. :D
astri13
Oct. 29th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
Aw, another wonderful fic!

Thank you muchly, glad you're still liking it. :)

Do you maybe plan to continue this? I'd love to read more. :D

I have something longer in the works Merlin-wise but I don't know yet if it's gonna fit right in this verse.
demon_faith
Oct. 29th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Ooh! Progress!!

I do like this little series of ficlets. I hope you write more.
astri13
Oct. 29th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
Ooh! Progress!!

Hehe, snail-pace like but they're getting there.

I do like this little series of ficlets. I hope you write more.

Thank you muchly. Glad you still like it. Am already working on more Merlin-fic. *types furiously*

nachekana
Oct. 29th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
Oh.My.God. You changed the end. They're kissing now. OH.MY.GOD!! *flails*

This is even more perfect! And the line about Merlin being "sometimes" an obedient servant is funny and adorable and manages at the same time to bring kinky thoughts in my head, but that has more to do with my dirty mind than anything else... *g*

I love this change and the rest of the fic is just great. I really can't wait to read more of your work!
astri13
Oct. 29th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
Oh.My.God. You changed the end. They're kissing now. OH.MY.GOD!! *flails*

Yeah, I thought I should give them a little bit at least. :)

And the line about Merlin being "sometimes" an obedient servant is funny and adorable and manages at the same time to bring kinky thoughts in my head, but that has more to do with my dirty mind than anything else... *g*

No, I was totally meant to be ambiguous so you're right on. *g*

Thank you.
bleu4bleu
Oct. 29th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
Aww, yay. I wondered what could have happened next...this fits perfectly. :D
astri13
Oct. 30th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Aww, yay. I wondered what could have happened next...this fits perfectly. :D

Thank you muchly, I'm glad it didn't disappoint. :)
caiyene
Oct. 30th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
It's a good thing Arthur is stubborn. Then again he can be as sweet as he is stubborn too!

Great job in writing this, I really enjoyed reading both parts!
astri13
Oct. 30th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
It's a good thing Arthur is stubborn. Then again he can be as sweet as he is stubborn too!

Perfect description. :) Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed the ficlets.
enderwiggin24
Oct. 31st, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC)
sighs, this was a perfect sequel!
astri13
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you, glad you weren't disappointed. :)
tamid_levad
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Amazing :D Loved it!
astri13
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks muchly, glad you enjoyed. :)
jade_dragoness
Nov. 1st, 2008 07:37 am (UTC)
*squeaks in delight* Oh, oh, what a wonderful continuation of the story first set up in Whipping Boy.

And the last paragraph, *sighs happily*
astri13
Nov. 1st, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
*squeaks in delight* Oh, oh, what a wonderful continuation of the story first set up in Whipping Boy.

Thank you so much. I'm so glad the follow-up didn't disappoint. Yay.
kuhekabir
Nov. 23rd, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
this was just so awesome...thanks for sharing :)
astri13
Nov. 23rd, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
No, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
feral_faerie
Dec. 2nd, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
he is an obedient servant after all.

Just love it!

More please.
astri13
Dec. 4th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed. :)
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( 34 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )

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