Steady Heart, Steady Hand
Cover for Steady heart, steady hand
Beautiful cover done byNicci_mac

Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Category: Smut, porn, romance, fluff
Rating: NC17
Summary: An early winter morning in a cold castle.
Notes: I was fiddling with a sketch when I took an extra look and a sort of scene just unfolded, completely with meaningful glances and good intentions. I'm so sorry, I think it turned out a little cheesy...
Thanks to Nora_Charles for her thorough beta and to Nicci_Mac for the lovely cover image *g*

Merlin wishes he could give Arthur the sword that the Dragon helped him strengthen. He remembers how it shone, how it was light and heavy at the same time, filled with power.

He can't though. He had promised and he... well, he hadn't been able to prevent Uther from wielding it, and so breaking his promise that only Arthur would.

It's winter solstice and it's early in the morning. Outside it's still dark and quite frankly, Merlin should be up and out of bed by now, but Arthur's very good at convincing him that he's really doing his duty by staying under the furs for as long as possible. Those nice, warm furs, that Arthur makes use of when the chill is just this side of too much to fend off with blankets and sheets.

Arthur sits up and stretches, before climbing between Merlin's legs, almost sitting in his lap. He slumps back against Merlin, who is thankfully used to this behaviour. It doesn't mean Arthur's not a bit too heavy for this, but Merlin doesn't mind.

"I have to go to the blacksmith's and get a new sword," Arthur mumbles, still obviously not convinced that he should get out of bed. "And I liked the old one," he says with a pout.

Merlin traces Arthur's arm, feeling the warm skin under the thin night shirt. Merlin doesn't know why Arthur even bothers to put it on when they go to bed. It gets in the way anyway, covers up Arthur's skin when Merlin doesn't want it to. It speaks of Arthur's abilities when it comes to distracting Merlin in bed, that he's still wearing it this morning. Merlin grins to himself, because, even for the shirt, the rest of Arthur, below the covers, is all sleep warm, naked skin. And the shirt's hanging half off his shoulders and Merlin contemplates pulling it down a bit more, to bare more of that lovely skin.

"It was an impressive tournament," Merlin says quietly. It had been. In celebration of solstice it had been merely a show of valour and abilities, and as had been the case for most of these tests of strength and honour in the past, Arthur had won.

And what a fight the finale had been. Merlin had felt his whole body thrumming with energy, and once he and Arthur had finally been alone in Arthur's chambers they had gone for each other as if they would never have the opportunity again.

"Tell me I was magnificent," Arthur demands, humming contentedly as Merlin leans forward to press his lips lightly against the warm skin where Arthur's neck and shoulder meet.

"A magnificent prat as always," Merlin replies sweetly, licking a strip up along the tight muscle, finishing with a quick nip at Arthur's earlobe.

Arthur moans and pushes back against Merlin.

Some days Merlin has to ask himself why his brain chooses such moments to come up with its insane ideas. "Would you allow me to try something?" he asks quietly, lips brushing against Arthur's ear.

"Mmmmm, anything," Arthur sighs. "You don't have to be so formal, Merlin. You know I won't turn you down."

Merlin swallows hard. There are days where he's more than glad that he's not an evil warlock, mind set on world domination. "Can I have your broken sword?" Merlin asks.

There's a moment's quiet, then Arthur's shaking with barely suppressed mirth and he takes Merlin's hand to guide it down between his legs.

"I know that sword isn't broken," Merlin sputters, but he can't help but laugh as well.

Arthur goes quiet, then he nods.

Merlin reluctantly removes his hand from Arthur's erection. He'll deal with that later. His own, snug against Arthur's arse, twitches at the thought.

Reaching out, Merlin closes his eyes and breathes in the scent of Arthur, heavy in his arms. He opens his eyes again and in front of them are the two pieces. He quite likes Arthur's sword as well. It's not overly ornate like some of those of the other nobles in Camelot, and although the blade is broken, it's easy to see that it's been cared for over the years.

Arthur rests his hands on Merlin's thighs, one on either side of his hips. Merlin can feel the tension in his body. There was a time when he would have feared doing anything like this inside of Camelot, but Arthur knows and the door is locked.

The half with the hilt aligns itself with the other half of the blade. The two pieces fit perfectly and Merlin feels his magic rising inside of him. It's a rush every time. He wonders, sometimes, if this is how Arthur feels when fighting. The rush of power through his body.

He can feel Arthur's fingers digging into his thighs as he chants, voice barely a whisper and his lips brush against the shell of Arthur's ear.

It's a simple mending spell that Merlin's been perfecting, tweaking, ever since he found it. It comes in handy when he's clumsy and drops a bowl that breaks. However, he always has to adjust how much power he puts into the spell because an ordinary bowl really doesn't need to turn from clay to crystal clear glass.

This time he pours much more into the spell. Arthur shakes against his chest, breathing as heavily as Merlin is.

The blade shines and Merlin closes his eyes for a moment, seeing the cracks within his mind's eye. He imagines the cracks mending themselves, molten metal runs through the vein of the crack.

He pours his love and determination into the blade, the metal an amalgamation of his feelings for Arthur: his pride for him, lust, love and adoration. Mixed with his fond exasperation and his expectations for the man he will grow into.

Merlin opens his eyes again, breathing as if he'd run through the forest, and he can tell from the sweat on Arthur's skin that he's in much the same state.

Arthur's hand shakes as he lifts it from Merlin's thigh. Merlin winces as he knows he'll have finger shaped bruises there later.

Almost reverently, Arthur touches the sword, slides his finger up the flat side of the blade until he can wrap his hand around the hilt. He holds it out in front of him and Merlin can hear the magic. There's no sign of it anymore, the glow from his power having faded, but it sings to him, of perfection.

It might not be a sword enhanced by dragon fire, but he's pretty sure it will outdo anything made in any blacksmith's forge.

Arthur doesn't say anything, and Merlin can tell he's speechless as he stares wide eyed at his weapon. He places it flat down on the fur, across his thighs. "This is..." he breaks off, his voice a little unsteady.

Reacting purely by instinct, Merlin reaches forward, and puts his index finger down on the flat side of the blade, right where it meets the hilt. He swirls his fingertip upwards, leaving burning letters in its wake.

The shine fades and Arthur grows still as he reads the words.

"Steady heart, steady hand." Arthur's voice is barely audible and Merlin has to wonder if that might have been a stupid thing to do.

Arthur silently picks the sword back up, slides from the bed and Merlin's embrace. He walks over to where the scabbard hangs, empty on the back of a high chair. He looks magnificent in the glow from the fireplace and Merlin shivers as he is left alone in the bed. It shouldn't feel this cold, he had strengthened the fire, fed it, when he had woken earlier. It never ceased to amaze Arthur, and amuse him, that Merlin could do his chores while naked in the bed.

Sheathing the sword, Arthur hangs it back onto the chair and turn around. His face is unreadable and Merlin holds his breath. If there ever was a time where he would call Arthur beautiful, this would be it. Illuminated by the fire as he walks back to the bed, dropping his nightshirt on the floor.

Merlin can't look anywhere but at the muscles playing under Arthur's skin as he moves, back up onto the bed and up along Merlin's body. His erection is tightly curved up against his belly and Merlin stares at it for a moment, then he blinks and turns his gaze upward. Arthur's eyes are wide open and full of intent.

"I hope you don't mind," Arthur whispers, bending his head down to drop a soft kiss on Merlin's chest. "That I thank you for your gift. Show my appreciation."

Merlin holds his breath for a moment, then lets it out with a soft moan as Arthur lies down on top of him, his heavy body pinning him down. They fit, energy and heat is all there is between them as they move.

Arthur writhes against him and Merlin holds onto him as hard as he can. His thighs part without even thinking the thought and Merlin gasps as Arthur urges his hips and legs upward.

Where Arthur gets the oil from, Merlin doesn't care, but the air is suddenly scented with herbal oil, and Merlin arches back as Arthur's fingers slip inside of him. Nothing around them is important, and Merlin focuses for a moment on the magic running through his veins. He knows Arthur can feel it, because it never fails to arouse him, and Arthur's breathing hitches in Merlin's ear.

Merlin shakes as Arthur slides into him, his shaft thick and burning. Arthur looms over him, breathing hard and shaking as well. Merlin stretches his legs up over Arthur's shoulders, and feels his hitched breathing and thrusting into him.

A low, drawn out moan escapes Merlin.

"Please, lie still," Arthur gasps, his eyes closed in concentration, a frown marring his face.

Merlin feels elated as his body accommodates Arthur and he refuses to do as he's told. Which Arthur really should be used to by now.

He reaches up and brushes his thumb against the frown line between Arthur's brows, before he cups Arthur's face in both hands and draws his head just that inch closer which allows him to seal his mouth to Arthur's.

It's as if that were all Arthur had been waiting for. It feels as if they're going to shake apart, two young men, in a bed full of fur, sheets and blankets, on a cold winter morning, in an equally cold castle.

Arthur rolls into him, pulls back and repeats his movements. He's sweating and panting much like when he's jousting and Merlin is lost. He can't tell what's up and down anymore, where he ends and Arthur begins.

The constant nudge against the spot inside Merlin is something Arthur excels at. He unerringly rubs against it with every thrust and twist of his hips. Merlin cries out and, much to his surprise, he doesn't even have to touch himself to reach completion. The wet heat spreads between them, and Merlin can do nothing but moan with pleasure and stare into Arthur's eyes.

Arthur grinds into him and then stills, his hips trembling as he comes inside Merlin. There'll be a bit of a mess later, and Merlin knows very well that he'll be the one cleaning it up. He couldn't care less right now, because there's a bead of sweat on Arthur's upper lip that he has to lick off.

The lick turns to a messy kiss, and Merlin can taste the salty sweat and he can smell them both. The heady scent fills his nostrils, and if his body could, he would be ready to go again.

Arthur slips from his body, but he doesn't move away. Just slides down to get a little more comfortable, and rests his head on Merlin's shoulder. It might grow uncomfortable in a little while, but Merlin doesn't care. He hangs onto Arthur as hard as Arthur hangs onto him.

Merlin buries his nose in Arthur's damp hair, and closes his eyes. Just for a little while longer. It's still dark outside, still cold, and he doesn't want to leave his warm, safe haven.

The End