Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Category: writing exercise (timed), voyeurism, magic revealed
Rating: R
Summary: in which Merlin really needs to learn how to control his urges... eventually, maybe...
Notes: 45 minute writing exercise. To Nicci_mac's suggestions of voyeurism, because I couldn't be online that night for our usual wine/skype/insanity. Consider this a little payment for that.

Merlin hadn't meant to look. Seriously, he'd left the camp to gather some of the herbs he knew Gaius always needed, some of the basic ones. Wasn't like he had more important things to do.

All because Arthur had decided that a hunting trip would be the best idea ever. They'd left Camelot that morning and weren't due back until the following evening. So far Arthur hadn't seemed too interested in hunting apart from setting a few snares, and then he'd told Merlin to go do whatever he wanted to.

Which Merlin had done, returned to camp to find it empty and set out to find Arthur.

Just to make sure he wasn't in trouble or mortal peril, which tended to be the same thing and thus happened more often than Merlin cared to think about.

So, there he was. He'd found Arthur.

Maybe he should just turn around, walk back to their camp and... stop staring at Arthur who had found a lake with a waterfall. Which in itself wouldn't pose a problem, normally.

The reason why Merlin should turn around that very moment, was a. that Arthur was naked in the water, under the spray of the waterfall and b. while Merlin might be able to hide his magic for ages, his body gave him away when it came to Arthur. Control he had, when he handled a dressed or even semi dressed Arthur. It wasn't, however, fair to demand of his body to stay unaffected with a naked and wet Arthur, right there, less than the throw of a stone from Merlin.

It was warm and Merlin tugged at his scarf. It wasn't getting any cooler as he watched Arthur stretch with his arms above his head, the water pounding down over him, the sunlight catching the drops making it all seem unreal, almost dream-like.

Merlin rubbed the pad of his thumb along his lower lip. It wasn't as if he'd never imagined a naked, wet Arthur, but even though his imagination, at times horribly vivid, was extremely good with details, it had nothing on the real thing.

Nothing at all.

Biting his lower lip, Merlin watched Arthur rub his hands down over his chest and into the water, obviously... Merlin groaned. He was close enough to tell that Arthur's eyes were closed and there was a small, pleased grin on his face.

Self-satisfied prat.

Merlin shifted from one foot to the other, his body thrumming with energy. Some of it, he had to admit, was arousal, but as with any of his body's behaviour, it was tied to his magic and at that very moment Merlin felt as if he could uproot an entire mountain.

Without breaking a sweat.

Merlin's hand slips down, barely hesitating at the waistband of his breeches before slipping inside. Licking his lips, he stared at Arthur, watched the sun glint off the water, Arthur, water on Arthur, how the wetness darkened Arthur's hair, almost dulling the blonde shine but oh, how it made him look better than Merlin had ever seen him.

Closing his hand around his own arousal, Merlin forced his eyes to stay on Arthur, taking in the closed eyes, the way Arthur's bottom lip was caught between his teeth and Merlin wanted to do that too. Wanted to bite enough to sting but not draw blood, sink his teeth into the tendon in Arthur's neck that he could see as Arthur's muscles tightened and relaxed while he pleasured himself.

It was all Merlin could focus on. That he wasn't supposed to want this, even look at Arthur in such a way during such a situation, had all been forgotten. Following orders had never been his strong suit.

Gripping himself tightly, Merlin watched avidly what he shouldn't. The pleasure spiralled through his body and he nearly bit off his tongue when his climax hit. He had been so caught up in watching Arthur that his body had reached for it all on its own.

Merlin stared down at himself and couldn't even bring himself to be disgusted. Wiping his hand off on the leaves of a bush as best he could, he looked up and froze.

Still standing under the spray of the waterfall, though now with a look of wonder on his face, was Arthur, staring right back at him. Panic flushed through Merlin as he held up his breeches and turned, hastily making his retreat.

Unfortunately he hadn't been paying attention. He kept walking, worrying at the thought of Arthur having caught him out like that. If he was lucky, Arthur might just throw him in the stocks or into the dungeon for a while. The look on Arthur's face hadn't been one that had heralded Merlin's impending death.

Then again, Arthur's moods could change like the weather, without warning.

Merlin tied his breeches as he walked. He might be worried about Arthur's reactions and what he might do to Merlin, but he couldn't quite keep his mind on that. His memory, crystal clear, kept circling back to naked Arthur, wet Arthur, bringing himself off under the spray.

Finally, Merlin stopped and looked around. He could have sworn he'd already passed that rotting old tree trunk five minutes earlier. Listening to the quiet of the forest, Merlin realized that maybe, just maybe he was lost.

He was sure there was a spell that could help him find his way back, but his mind kept coming up blank... or rather, it kept coming up with other more interesting images.

Like Arthur. And Arthur's skin, wet...

Merlin shook his head with a small growl and stalked onward.

Half an hour later, he had to admit to himself that he was lost. Completely.

With a sigh, Merlin sat down on a large rock. His stomach growled at him and he winced. It was getting late in the day and as much as he could protect himself, he would rather be back at their camp. Even if it meant facing Arthur and... whatever repercussions there might be.

Merlin leaned back a little, closed his eyes and inhaled deeply.

Air, on which he nearly choked when warm breath brushed against his ear and a quiet chuckle sent shivers down his spine.

"It takes no skill whatsoever to follow you, Merlin," Arthur said, so very low. His voice was husky, but there was no mistaking the light amusement as well.

"I wasn't trying to hide," Merlin tried to defend himself. He refused to turn around to see the smirk he knew would be on Arthur's face.

"No, you were obviously aiming for lost, and for once, doing a very good job of achieving your goal," Arthur teased him. A hand landed heavily on Merlin's shoulder and when he turned his head a fraction, he could see Arthur's leather hunting gloves out the corner of his eye. He could smell the leather too, and Arthur as well, who was leaning on the stone behind him, almost plastered against Merlin's back.

Merlin opened his mouth to reply, but a yelp escaped instead as he was pulled back over the rock and down onto his back on the soft forest ground.

"I knew you were hiding secrets from me," Arthur said, pinning Merlin by flattening his hand lightly in the middle of Merlin's chest. Arthur was kneeling next to him, watching him with a curious expression.

"I can explain," Merlin said, fighting to find the right words, to apologize for being caught with his hands in his breeches, watching Arthur.... "I never meant to watch you covertly like that, or to... to...."

Arthur rolled his eyes. "That's not what I meant, Merlin," he said with exasperation. "You're only human; I don't begrudge you what you did, well... apart from..." Arthur's voice faltered for a moment. "Merlin!" he said with a soft growl. "You have to learn some control of your magic!"

Merlin didn't answer, just stared up at Arthur, who seemed to be expecting a reply. When he didn't get one, because Merlin's brain had decided that nope, it wasn't playing along anymore, he slid his hand up to grasp Merlin's chin.

"It's a little obvious when a waterfall reverses its flow and goes up instead of down for several moments," Arthur said.

Merlin blinked up at him.

"Can't you even pleasure yourself without it getting out of hand?" Arthur asked, sounding more curious than angered.

Merlin frowned and finally managed to open his mouth. "It's not normally like that," he sniped. He was getting fed up with Arthur acting in no way how Merlin had expected him to.

"Are you saying that it's my fault?" Arthur asked incredulously.

"Yes," Merlin snapped. "Like most other things, yes, damn it."

For a moment Arthur stared down at him, dumbfounded. Then his expression twisted into a wide grin, and then he was laughing, leaning in over Merlin.

"I don't see what's so funny," Merlin groused, but he didn't try to get up. He wasn't too uncomfortable and Arthur was leaning down over him, radiating heat and ...joy.

"Oh Merlin," Arthur said, laughter tapering off into a small chuckle. "You need a keeper," he said before leaning down and kissing Merlin.

Oh, Merlin thought to himself, Arthur's... and then Arthur tilted Merlin's head back and slid his tongue inside Merlin's mouth and gone were any coherent thoughts. The only things making it through were good and better and oh goodness! when Arthur's gloved hand slid down Merlin's chest, heading for his waistband.

Maybe getting lost wasn't such a bad thing after all.

The End