Kaneko (kaneko) wrote in merlin_flashfic,

Arthur's Sword by Kaneko

Title: Arthur's Sword
Author: kaneko
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Size: 1,771 words

With many thanks to astolat, pimp extraordinaire. ETA: WHO ALSO MADE A PICTURE, eee!

It started when Merlin added stinkweed to Arthur's fireplace. "Is there a dead fish in this room?" Arthur had said for about three days, until he finally caught Merlin smirking.

It started when Merlin added stinkweed to Arthur's fireplace. "Is there a dead fish in this room?" Arthur had said for about three days, until he finally caught Merlin smirking.

Or maybe it started when Arthur left a mass of tangled sticks in Merlin's bed shaped exactly like a spider. It came with a note. The note said: 'I saw this and thought of you squealing' in Arthur's elegant formal hand. Merlin scrunched it up along with the not-spider. He had yelped, he thought. He had not squealed.

Or perhaps it started when Merlin changed Arthur's sword into a lizard just as Arthur was drawing it to check the sharpness of the blade. Merlin had possibly mispronounced something towards the end of the spell.


"Change it back right now!" Arthur said.

Merlin sucked his burned fingers. "Oh, really, Sire, should I change it back?" He tried very hard not to roll his eyes but from the familiar 'Did you just scoff at me, Arthur, the crown prince?' look on Arthur's face, he suspected he might have failed.

"I can't believe you escalated from a pretend spider to magic!" Arthur hissed. "It's- it's cheating." He held up his hand before Merlin could protest. "And if that thing escapes, if it's traced back to you-"

"It won't escape!" Merlin said. He looked at the sort-of-lizard, which was now menacing them from under Arthur's bed. "Um," he said to it. "You should probably go back to being Arthur's sword now. Apparently-" he glanced at Arthur "-His Royal Highness doesn't find amusing pranks amusing unless he's putting them in someone else's bed."

The thing answered with a lazy yawn. Just before its jaws snapped shut, a small fireball rolled out of its mouth like an afterthought.

"You'd like being a sword again," Merlin told it with slightly more urgency. Behind him, he could hear Arthur frantically stamping fire from his bear rug. He winced. Arthur loved that rug. It had been his first trophy. Aged three, he'd toddled alone into a mirk and deadly wood, and killed the beast with his bare hands and then skinned it with only his teeth and the righteous glow of his pure heart, or whatever.

Merlin crouched down by the bed. Metal, he thought at the lizard. A sharp metal blade. He closed his eyes. He opened his eyes. The thing blinked at him.

Merlin looked over his shoulder. "I'm not sure it wants to change back."

Arthur looked at him. There was a singed hole in the rug. It was surprisingly big considering the size of the fireball. Arthur's expression was as injured as if the hole were in his leg.

"Ah," Merlin said. "I can-" probably "-I can fix that."

Arthur raised his eyebrows.

"Or possibly slay an identical extremely large bear for you?" Except, he quite liked bears. Especially from afar. "Or maybe we could find a table to cover it up. I think there's a nice one in Morgana's-"


"Um. Should I- perhaps I'll concentrate on the sword first, yeah?"

"Please," Arthur said. "Because I'm not about to ask Gwen for a spare sword to slay my sword."

Merlin spent most of the next three hours dodging fireballs, putting out spotfires, and trying to coax the sword out from under Arthur's bed - with tiny bits of chicken, then a mince pie, then an apple, then Arthur's second-best scabbard.

"Dare I ask about the scabbard?" Arthur said, when he returned from an impromptu hunting trip. He'd killed - he said - an extraordinarily large bear, a bear so vast that Merlin would have wet himself just looking upon its beastly glory. His mood seemed improved.

Merlin hastily wiped pie crumbs from his mouth. "I thought it might be familiar to it. Like a childhood home."

"Oddly logical," Arthur said. He started to unbuckle his boots. "Perhaps you could take a break now, though, and fetch a few more of those mince pies - assuming you haven't scoffed them all. And after that-" he wrenched the first boot off. "After that, take care of the bear. I've put it in the cool room."

"Take." Merlin's heart started to sink. "Care?"

Arthur turned to the second boot. "Skin it," he said. "Obviously." His face showed only mild expectation, but in his voice there was the tiniest hint of glee.


Merlin went to Gwen for help.

"I don't know how to skin a bear!" she said.

"Um. Neither do I!" Merlin said.


"Ah. Wish I could help," said the gardener's boy, backing away.


The cook's assistant gave Merlin a hearty clap on the back. "Not my thing," he said, as though it were Merlin's thing but he wasn't passing judgement. "But I can get you a cleaver." He looked at Merlin's unmuscled arms with a dubious expression that verged on insulting. "A very sharp one."


"Oh, marvellous!" Gaius said. "A practical lesson in anatomy! I'll get my butcher's apron!"


What followed were four very instructive hours during which Merlin silently plotted several peasant uprisings in quite a lot of detail. Afterwards, he trailed after Gaius, who seemed to be in a state of academic bliss. "Astounding," he said to Merlin. "What a marvellous opportunity. You must thank Arthur for me. You really must."

Merlin went back to his room to clean up. It took quite a long time, even with the aid of sorcery.

After that, he made his way to Arthur's room to help him with the sword. He cheered himself up with mental images of Arthur nursing a couple of minor burns. Just on unimportant parts of his body. His toes maybe.

He opened the door.

Arthur was sitting on his bed with the creature on his lap. Its head was tipped back, and Arthur was stroking it under its treacherous little chin.

Merlin opened his mouth. He closed it. "How did you get it to come to you?" He tried to say it casually, but he had a feeling the outrage was leaking through. He'd given it life. He'd offered it chicken.

"I just ordered it to come." Arthur rubbed the creature's head. "Didn't I?" he crooned at it. "Didn't I?" It tipped its head back further, eyes blinking shut. A little curl of smoke drifted from its nose.

Merlin gritted his teeth. He wasn't jealous of Arthur, he told himself. It was just a stupid little sword-lizard, and he didn't care who it liked better.

The lizard made a happy chirping noise and Arthur smile turned brilliant. Merlin's breath caught in his throat. Oh, he thought. He swallowed.

Arthur chose just that moment to glance up. And Merlin's expression must have been wide open, because Arthur's eyes sharpened.

Merlin grasped for something - anything - that might wipe that terrible, dawning look from Arthur's face. "I- um. I thought that bear would be bigger."

It didn't quite do the trick. Arthur's face reddened a bit, but he looked more amused than annoyed. "The head groom said it was the biggest trophy he'd ever seen."

Merlin shrugged, and tried to look as though he saw larger bears every morning on the way to the privy. "He's just sucking up to you."

"So did Sir Lucan and his page."

"Sucking up, sucking up. That page doesn't even like you."

Arthur raised his eyebrows. "But you do."

Merlin swallowed again. Arthur was stroking the creature's head absently with the pad of his thumb. The knot binding his tunic was a little loose.

Arthur put the lizard down carefully. It stood uncertainly on the blanket for a moment, and then huffed a little ball of annoyed steam. Merlin held his breath, waiting for a fireball, but the thing just skittered back to its spot under the bed.

He looked back and saw that Arthur was still watching him.


"You have a look on your face like-" Arthur shook his head. There was an edge in his voice. He stood up and strode over. Merlin fought the urge to back up a step.

"Like what?" Merlin said.

Arthur opened his mouth, and Merlin thought for sure he was about to say something smug and lordly, but instead he leaned in a little hesitantly and covered Merlin's mouth with his own.

For a second, Merlin could only gasp into the kiss. Then something clicked in his mind - he was kissing Arthur, he thought. He was kissing Arthur, he was kissing Arthur. He pushed back to meet him halfway. Arthur's hands came up to rest on his waist, and Merlin's whole body tingled. He could hear Arthur breathing shakily.

When they came apart, Arthur's face was gratifyingly flushed. He rested his head against Merlin's. "I've wanted this for so long," he said. "You have no idea."

The bit after that was a blur with bright sharp moments in between.

Merlin gasped for shallow breaths while Arthur traced the column of his throat with his mouth.

He grabbed the laces of Arthur's tunic, tugging carefully at first, and then impatiently as the cord tangled in his fingers. Arthur laughed at him shakily and then stopped laughing when Merlin gave up on the tunic and began to work loose the laces of his trousers.

Merlin stumbled backwards onto the bed. Arthur's trousers were gaping loose, the head of his cock peeking out behind the laces. Merlin pushed his hand inside, greedy for that first touch.

Arthur was driving him insane with his mouth. He was holding Merlin's hands against the bed in a tight grasp and Merlin couldn't do anything but moan and moan and moan until he came.


Afterwards - quite a while afterwards - Merlin dozed in Arthur's stunningly comfortable bed. What a day, he thought sleepily. What a disgusting, wonderful, disgustingly wonderful day.

Arthur nudged him. "I was thinking," he said. He shifted, and his shoulder slid under Merlin's cheek.


"I was thinking, I want you to have the bear rug."

"Oh," Merlin said. "Hmm." He hadn't received many - okay, any - romantic gifts before, so perhaps he wasn't in a position to be picky. But. He scrambled for something to say. "Um. I don't think it'll fit in my room."

Arthur turned over with a bounce. "So you admit it was enormous!"

Merlin rolled his eyes. "I'll admit only that-"

Arthur cut him off with a kiss.

The End.
Tags: transformation challenge
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