merry_gentry: From 'Merlin' (Merlin/Arthur)
[personal profile] merry_gentry
Title: All The Good Things In Life That Are So Hard To Find
Author: Katty, aka [personal profile] merry_gentry
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Slash - Arthur/Lancelot, Arthur/Merlin/Lancelot, established-Merlin/Arthur, blink-and-you'll-miss-it Morgana/Gwen
Rating: 18/nc-17
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, they do not belong to me. They do conjure up rather pretty images in one's mind, though, don't they? ^_^
Author's Notes: Written for Merihn on LJ's prompts over on Comment_Fic (also of LJ) - many, many prompts, although most of 'em were three-sentence ones, so...put into one long story. Title is (via. Merihn) from a song called 'A Quiet Mind' by Blue October.

Originally posted on LJ on 7th April 2009.

Summary: "Arthur knights him with Lancelot’s own name, standing tall and proud and golden-haired before his throne in front of the entire court."

Warnings: Featuring sex, slight blade/blood play (but very slight), double-teaming, sex and, oh. Did I mention the sex? ;p


Lancelot comes back to Camelot in the second year of Arthur’s reign – just passing through, or so he says, but Arthur presses him to stay, at least for a while. Gwen – Queen Guinevere, now – and Merlin smile at him from either side of Arthur and Lancelot smiles back, notices the lack of the lady Morgana.

He doesn’t mention it.

Arthur knights him with Lancelot’s own name, standing tall and proud and golden-haired before his throne in front of the entire court. Lancelot kneels at his feet, his head bowed and his eyes fixed on the floor as Arthur presses the sword lightly to each shoulder.

That night, after the wine and ale have been drunk dry and the lord and ladies of the court have stumbled off to bed – their own or other people’s – Arthur looks at him over the rim of his goblet, then stands. He holds out his hand and Lancelot talks it, lets his King haul him to his feet and lead him out of the Hall.

In his chambers, the King pulls Lancelot’s tunic and shirt off, baring him to the draft – pushing Lancelot back until his knees hit the edge of the bed, then more so he falls onto his back on the covers, staring up at Arthur and harder than he ever thought possible. Arthur grins, drawing his sword and Lancelot feels a flicker of complete panic watching the candle light bounce off the sharp edge of the metal.

“Lie still,” Arthur says, his smile bright and eyes wide and dark with the drink and – Lancelot hopes – lust. He moves the sword easily; it looks like an extension of his body as he wields it, drawing the very point in a line from the hollow at the base of Lancelot’s throat to the top of his trousers. Lancelot hisses at the sharp pain and forces himself to hold still, keeping his eyes fixed on Arthur’s.

“Your majesty…Arthur…”

“Hold still,” Arthur reminds him, pressing a little more weight onto the sword, increasing the pain and Lancelot’s eyes leave Arthur’s to look down the length of his body and see the bright red of his own blood as it beads out of the wound. He bites at his bottom lip, looking up at Arthur again and the King’s eyes are wide, and his mouth has fallen open a little. Cursing under his breath, Arthur throws his sword to the side and he’s on Lancelot before the metal has finished clattering on the stone floor.

“Please,” Lancelot begs, arching up into Arthur’s touch as he pulls and pushes at the King’s clothing, wanting bare skin against his own.

Arthur pulls back at that, looks down at the red marks he put to Lancelot’s skin, and reaches to touch them, running his fingers lightly over them until he gets to the deepest, pressing his nail in until Lancelot gasps out his pain and drags Arthur into a kiss.

***


In the morning, Lancelot wakes after his King, the sun already risen high enough to shine through the window and right into his eyes. He opens bleary eyes, his head still pounding from the amount of wine he drank the night before, only to see Arthur propped up on one elbow beside him, staring down with a strange smile on his face.

Arthur just looks at him for a minute as Lancelot’s brain valiantly tries to wake up, then he lowers his head, tongue coming out to lick along the slight scarring from last night’s play, licking away the dried blood that decorates his First Knight’s body. The King rolls on top of him, running his hands down Lancelot’s sides even as he leans in for a kiss. When Arthur pulls back, Lancelot finds his arms stretched above his head as he lies on the bed, hands pinned to the pillows and restrained by Arthur’s grip on his wrists.

It’s possible he should be scared, should demand his freedom and leave while he still can – but he can’t, and he arches up into the hold, moaning as Arthur’s grip tightens to one that will leave purple bruises ringing his wrists like bracelets.

But Arthur pulls away from him at the knock on the door, grabbing for the blankets to cover them both and leaving Lancelot lying dazed and sex-stupid against the pillows.

The door opens, without waiting for an answer, and Merlin enters, breakfast tray in hand, though he's no longer a servant. He looks up, does a double take at the two men lying in bed, and then one eyebrow rises as he smirks and Arthur falls back to lie beside Lancelot, covering his face with his hands and groaning in embarrassment or amusement. It’s probably something in between.

“Had a little too much to drink last night, sire?” Merlin asks, and Lancelot knows he’s not imagining the amusement and insolence in the tone of voice – but, then, Merlin and Arthur were always different from anyone else Lancelot has ever encountered in all his travels.

Arthur’s noticed Merlin’s tone as well, and he sits up slowly, one hand resting almost possessively on Lancelot’s shoulder as he holds the other out to Merlin slowly and what might be casually if Lancelot hadn’t glanced up to see the hunger in his King’s eyes. He swallows against a suddenly dry throat and his eyes widen with shock as Merlin places the tray on the table and walks towards them with a smile on his face.

Arthur grabs for Merlin when he comes close enough, pulling him onto the bed so that he ends up sprawled over Arthur legs. Lancelot moves – he doesn’t know where he’s going, but this seems...private, somehow...

...But...

“Stay,” Arthur commands, and he reaches for Lancelot’s suddenly-nervous hand, placing it on the smooth slope of Merlin’s back – Merlin, who lies there with that damnable smirk while Lancelot forces his hand not to shake when he strokes down the curve of Merlin’s spine.

Merlin arches up into Lancelot’s touch like a cat, his eyes falling shut as he’s trapped between the King and the First Knight – although he doesn’t seem too worried about it.

“Play with him,” Arthur says, grinning when Lancelot looks at him before he leans into Lancelot and claims a kiss. The movement tips Merlin off his resting place with an indignant squawk, and he ends up nestled between the two men as Lancelot crowds in closer behind him, his fingers tracing patterns that spill from Merlin’s body to Arthur’s.

“Who do you want first, Merlin?” the King whispers, but the words carry easily to Lancelot, less than a foot away.

The younger man whimpers between them as Lancelot scrapes his blunt nails down his side just to see his reaction, and he bucks into Arthur’s hand, wrapped loosely around his cock.

“Both...” he manages, “anything, just...please...” he trails off as Lancelot leans in, gaze locked with Arthur’s, to press a kiss to Merlin’s pale throat, his tongue flickering out almost of its own volition to taste the skin there.

Arthur rolls onto his back again on the soft mattress, taking Merlin with him, and Merlin ends up straddling the King, legs spread letting Arthur pull him slowly down onto him with barely a whimper from the…what? Servant? Advisor? Companion?…while Lancelot watches Arthur bite his lip to keep some form of control.

“Come here, Lancelot,” Arthur says, voice low and sex-rough, and Lancelot goes – unable to resist his new King – his Lord in all things, now – at any time, but especially now and here.

Merlin is already loose, loose enough for both of them, and Lancelot wonders if he was expecting this, if he was that obvious in the Hall last night – and he leans back against Lancelot, his body trembling with the effort of keeping still as Lancelot guides himself inside, one arm wrapped around Merlin even as he falls forward, pushing Merlin down onto Arthur.

***


Arthur catches sight of Lancelot’s surprise over Merlin’s shoulder when the knight eases his way in, and he reaches for Merlin, pulling him down into his arms and watches Lancelot follow, the three of them joined together.

“Did you stretch yourself this morning, Merlin? Did you get yourself ready for me like I told you to?” he asks, keeping his eyes on Lancelot to mark his reaction, because he absolutely refuses to let Merlin take criticism for this or anything else from anyone but him.

“Y-yes, Arthur...just...” Merlin nods against his shoulder, mouth slack against Arthur’s skin and he whimpers as Lancelot pulls back slightly and thrusts in just as gently, and Arthur reaches one hand up, finding and tugging on Lancelot’s hair to pull him into a kiss, Merlin sandwiched between.

***


Lancelot moves his hand from Merlin’s hip down to where the three men meet, tracing around the edge of that stretched, slick skin. Merlin gasps in his hold, a sob of desperate need, and Arthur swallows the noise when he pulls Merlin into a kiss, although his eyes are open still, staring up at Lancelot.

He licks at his lips, trying desperately to moisten his dry mouth, and thrusts just a little harder next time just to feel Merlin’s breath hitch – because he’s far, far beyond talking, now – and Arthur lose control just a little bit more, bottom lip almost white between his teeth.

***


Merlin can’t remember a time before this; it feels like he’s always been here, suspended on the edge of oblivion and caught up between a King and a knight. He’s beyond talking, now – he knows that, words lost and replaced by gasps and mewls of need that Arthur muffles every time he reaches to take Merlin’s mouth, swallowing down noises that might have been promises and pleas before this

He’s so warm and stretched and full, and Merlin remembers making himself yield in his little room that morning, reaching back with slick fingers and quelling any noise with an arm covering his mouth – he realises, now, that he had been hoping for this, and he sucks in as deep a breath as he feels he can manage, his entire body shaking until it feels like he might fall apart from the sheer overload of sensation.

***


It’s Merlin, unsurprisingly, that comes first, jerking in their hold with a stuttering moan and shivering with the force of it, leaving Lancelot to look down at the two beneath him, dark and golden hair blending together when Merlin hides his face in the crook of Arthur’s neck.

Arthur looks up, holds his gaze with eyes dark with desire and lust, and there’s words pouring from his lips – words that Lancelot can’t hear because of the rushing in his ears, but he thinks Arthur might be urging him to hurry up, and he’s so close

The King comes next, his body arcing up despite the collapsed, fucked-out weight of Merlin on top of him, and it triggers Lancelot’s own orgasm as he snaps his hips forward and holds it, buried deep in Merlin…he only just has the presence of mind to collapse to the side onto pillows when he pulls out, instead of on top of the pile.

He takes a minute to catch his breath, after, arms wrapped loosely around both Arthur and Merlin, the youngest buried between them and still out of it. The King reaches for him, running his hand down Lancelot’s side in a manner that’s as much soothing as it is possessive as he presses a kiss to Merlin’s forehead.

“Are you alright with this?” the King whispers, and it could – does – mean so many things, but Lancelot finds a smile from somewhere in his exhausted mind, and he presses his hand into the small of Arthur’s back, inching closer on the bed until the three of them nearly form one solid mound under the blankets.

Much later, Lancelot wakes to find that Merlin’s already awake, sitting at the base of the bed cross-legged, but still as naked as the day he was born. In his absence, Arthur and Lancelot have rolled to meet in the middle of the bed, and he finds himself spooned up behind the King, Arthur pressed back against him and one possessive hand wrapped around the arm holding him.

“Do you want this?” the youngest of them asks quietly, and Lancelot can see the apprehensive shyness in Merlin’s eyes while a thousand answers rush through his mind and the only thing he can do, now or ever, is to reach out and pull Merlin back into their hold, linking hands with him over Arthur’s hip.

Camelot, or rather the castle itself as opposed to the town and the kingdom around it, stays fairly quiet throughout the day – the lord and ladies and servants are all exhausted after what had been a very long night, after all – and the three men in the bed fall in and out of sleep, although Lancelot remembers the mattress shifting when Merlin got up to open the window, letting a breeze in before sliding back into the bed.

He doesn’t really wake again, not properly, until the evening, and by then the candles are already lit, flickering light dancing over bare skin, and he pulls Arthur a little closer in his arms, smiling when the King murmurs in his sleep.

A hand brushes against his shoulder, fingers trailing along to his neck, and Lancelot looks up to see Merlin smiling down at him, fingers pressing in just enough to remind Lancelot of the bruised bite-mark that he knows is colouring the side of his neck.

“Good evening,” Merlin murmurs, blue eyes lit up with mischievousness, and Arthur – who Lancelot could have sworn was still asleep – reaches to swat at Merlin, the smack of flash against flesh echoing through the room.

“Hungry,” Arthur complains, and Merlin rolls his eyes with a smile, and somehow contorts his body enough to remove himself from the bed without disturbing the other two even more. Lancelot watches him move about the room, gathering his breeches and shirt and boots, and then Arthur pushes himself up in bed, leaning back against the pillows. He reaches for Lancelot, and Lancelot goes willingly, although he watches for Merlin’s reaction – but Merlin just grins and slips out of the door into the main chamber. A moment later, they hear the thud of the heavy, outer door, and Arthur leans in to press a sweet, slow kiss to Lancelot’s mouth.

Merlin returns with food – just as things are getting interesting – and Arthur pushes Lancelot gently away with a chuckle, reaching to grab a slice of meat which he folds and feeds to Lancelot, and Lancelot grins back and relaxes as the bed bounces and they have to grab for the tray when a very naked Merlin joins them.

***


Arthur has to be King the next day – the day after they’ve started up whatever this…thing…is between the three of them – which means both Merlin and Lancelot have to attend court as well. He sits on the throne in front of the courtiers to hear the cases and pleas brought before him, with Gwen seated on his left and his Court Sorcerer standing on his right. On Gwen’s other side stands Lancelot, now First among the King’s Knights, because Arthur likes having someone protect her and if Merlin insists on standing to his right…well, she needs someone there, if only for appearance-sake, because God knows Merlin would never let anything happen to her.

He steals a glance at his wife – she looks happy enough, and attentive to the political matters, but Arthur has known Queen Guinevere since she was simply Gwen and first appointed as a young girl to be maid to the Lady Morgana, and he knows when she’s hiding something. Privately, he swears to himself that he’s going to track Morgana down at the first opportunity and beg her, on bent knee if he has to, to return to Camelot because Gwen hasn’t been the same since Morgana rode out of here in the middle of the night after a blazing row.

Beside him, Merlin clears his throat, accidentally on purpose poking the King with his bony finger, and Arthur rolls his eyes discretely and returns his attention to the rest of the court.

Afterwards, Merlin grabs for Lancelot, catching the man’s wrist and hauling him out of the throne room with the rest of the court, leaving Arthur to the protection of the Royal Guard with a grin tossed over his shoulder. Arthur would shout after him, but kings don’t do that, apparently…unless the Court-appointed Sorcerer and most loyal advisor has been exceedingly annoying.

He takes his leave of Gwen – she says she’s planning to re-decorate the entire series of royal chambers in pinks and purples, but she has a particular glint in her eye when she threatens it, and Arthur gets the feeling she’s delaying him on purpose. The last time Gwen had that particular glint, Arthur found out later that Merlin had confided his plans to her and begged her complicity in them.

When he finally, finally, gets away, Merlin and Lancelot are long gone, and Arthur bites his lip to hold back a curse. He’s glad he did when he feels the ghost-touch of Merlin’s magic on his cheek and then his hand, feeling the slight tug of it. He follows – what else does he ever do when it comes to Merlin? – and he’s led along corridors and up on to battlements in quick succession. He’d just go to his quarters, but the last time this happened (which, yes, before Lancelot’s triumphant return, but still) Merlin had actually managed to persuade Arthur to take him up against the wall of the balustrades of the highest tower, looking down over Merlin’s shoulder and crumbling stonework at Camelot with his heart in his mouth.

Eventually the magic leads Arthur back inside and down, disappearing as he nears the door to his suite of rooms, and Arthur rolls his eyes. Yes, there’s something to be said for anticipation, but taking the King on an impromptu tour of his own castle is a bit much.

He plans to say as much to Merlin, throwing the door open with a bang, but the words die on his lips when he sees Merlin naked and on his back on the long, heavy table, Lancelot equally naked between his legs, and Arthur shuts the door behind himself, leaning back against the solid wood when his knees threaten to give out at the sight before him.

He doesn’t mean to just stop, right there with his back against the door, but Merlin’s arching up against Lancelot, and Lancelot’s hands are gripping Merlin’s hips, hiking the younger man up and against him, and Arthur moans – because kings definitely don’t whimper – and fists his hands at his sides to keep from touching himself.

Merlin whines, high and from the back of his throat, and Arthur knows that sound, has heard it muffled into pillows and swallowed by his own mouth, but he holds still, leans against the door and just watches, his eyes darting all over the other two men as Lancelot pulls back and then thrusts in again.

His breathing is getting more frantic, now, and Lancelot turns his head, glancing over his shoulder as if he’s only just realised Arthur’s there. There’s a look of complete dazed lust and suprise in his eyes that Arthur knows so well, if only because he has a feeling that’s exactly what he looks like when he’s in Merlin.

“Please,” Merlin begs, gripping the side edges of the table to stop himself from being shoved along it by Lancelot, and Arthur finds himself walking over, unable to stop himself from reaching out and running the very tips of his fingers down Merlin’s skin. He’s hot to the touch, slick with sweat and desperation, and Arthur wonders how long Merlin was like this while his magic was leading him around the castle. He looks at Lancelot, takes in the glazed eyes and slack mouth and can’t help but grin when his gaze travels down the line of Lancelot’s body. He wonders how long the raised welts from the cuts will last before he’s hit with the sudden need to touch, leaning forward to lick up the long line marking the front of Lancelot’s body from his lower stomach to the hollow at the base of his throat.

“Finish it,” Arthur orders, mouth close to Lancelot’s ear and hand splayed at the curve of the knight’s back. Lancelot’s shudders beneath his touch, thrusting once, twice more before freezing with a moan, jaw clenched and eyes tight shut, as Merlin sobs out wretched pleas under his weight. “Don’t you dare, Merlin,” Arthur hisses out, so desperately hard himself. “Not yet,” and Merlin nods, eyes screwed shut and body trembling with need and lust and want as Lancelot pulls out.

When Lancelot steps back – but not away, one hand still resting flat on Merlin’s leg – Arthur crouches down slightly beside the table, his face close to Merlin’s, his eyes taking in every flicker and feeling passing across Merlin’s face.

“What do you want, Merlin?” he asks, the same question asked so many different ways in all the time they’ve known each other and he reaches out to cup Merlin’s cheek, heart swelling when Merlin turns slightly to nuzzle into the touch. Dazed eyes open and Merlin has trouble fixing on Arthur, but he manages it after a couple of seconds. Those eyes are gold, lit up and molten with magic, in a way that they only ever are when Merlin’s completely gone, drunk on lust, and there’s this particular thrill that Arthur gets every time he’s confronted with it – it’s running down his spine right now, and he straightens up, looking over at Lancelot to grin. “Oh, you’re good,” he praises, and he thinks Lancelot would be blushing if he wasn’t already flushed with exertion.

“Thank you, my lord,” Lancelot murmurs, eyes darting away, and Arthur chuckles and stands to pull Lancelot into a kiss, running his fingers through Lancelot’s sweat-damp hair and marvelling at the softness of it.

He almost gets lost in that kiss, but Merlin’s fingers tangle with his where he’s still touching the younger man, and Arthur breaks away from the kiss to see Merlin still lying there on the table, looking fucked out and debauched with his legs spread and ready and Arthur loses his balance for a second at the sheer need that hits him, catching himself against Lancelot.

“Bed,” Merlin whispers through chapped lips, and he lets Arthur help him off the table and onto his own two feet, only swaying slightly until Lancelot’s there on Merlin’s other side. He looks at the contrast between Merlin’s pale, milky skin and Lancelot’s rather more tanned, stronger body, and Arthur’s mouth goes dry, torn between which of them he wants, although it’s not a contest, and never has been – never will be.

“Bed,” Arthur agrees, and ends up having to practically carry Merlin to the other room, dumping the other man on the bed so he can strip his clothes off – with Lancelot’s help and guiding hands – and then he’s kneeling between Merlin’s spread legs, Lancelot close up behind him with one hand on his hip and the other slicking him up, getting him ready, before he slides into Merlin, surrounded by heat beneath and behind him.

“Gorgeous,” Merlin hisses through clenched teeth, staring up at them both with hooded eyes that glitter with his magic and lust. Arthur grins and leans in for a kiss, pulling Merlin up with him instead of breaking apart afterwards, heaving the other into his lap. Merlin almost shrieks at the change in position, his eyes wide and head tossed back, and Arthur would laugh at his ridiculous lack of control but he’s more concerned with holding on to his own, leaving it up to Lancelot to reach around him and hold Merlin steady while Arthur fucks up into him.

“Now,” Arthur says before biting at the skin covering Merlin’s collarbone, and Merlin comes with a scream less than a second before Arthur does, his fingers clenched on Arthur’s shoulder and Arthur shudders with delight, imagining the bruising that will be marking his skin later.

They collapse to the bed after that and it’s left up to Lancelot to sort out the pile they fall into, because god knows Arthur’s not up to it. A good choice for his first among generals, Arthur thinks with the tiny part of his brain that’s not currently killed by sex, and he leans in to swallow Merlin’s hiss with his mouth as he pulls out, his fingers entwined with Lancelot’s over Merlin’s hip as they curl up together under the blankets.


My fic masterlist is here.


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