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30 May 2009 @ 04:08 am
If You Do It With Care  
Title: If You Do It With Care
Pairings: OT4! Focused mostly on Merlin/Arthur and Gwen/Merlin, plus Gwen/Morgana, a little Morgana/Arthur, and brief Gwen/Arthur and Morgana/Merlin.
Rating: PG, because everything rude is only alluded to.
Length: ~4700 words.
Summary: It’s midsummer’s eve in Camelot, and drunken debauchery is pretty much the point.
Note: With apologies to Terry Pratchett, historical accuracy, (Gaius has plenty of anachronistic science already, I don’t see why he can’t know about contraceptives and antiseptics too,) and anyone who was hoping for a plot.

In Ealdor, midsummer festivities basically consist of staying up all night, getting roaring drunk around the bonfires, singing rude songs you can’t remember more than the first verse to, and snogging, groping, and shagging anyone who will have you.

Merlin is pleased to discover that the custom in Camelot is about the same, judging by the fact that Gaius has him spend the morning running about delivering assorted contraceptive ointments to the denizens of the castle and town. When he comes back, Merlin finds Gaius setting up a table outside his door with further little pots and vials. Each cluster of concoctions is accompanied by a small sign which indicates, via words and diagrams, how it is to be used.

“Seriously?” Merlin asks, peering at one of the pictures.

“These must be applied correctly in order to be effective, and I would rather not spend my evening explaining this to every drunken couple who has suddenly remembered that actions have consequences,” Gaius says dryly.

“Oh. Makes sense, I guess.”

“Incidentally, Merlin, I shall be keeping company with the king tonight, so feel free to bring someone back here if you are so inclined.”

“Er, thanks,” Merlin says, trying not to think about what ‘keeping company with the king’ might mean.

“And Merlin?”

“Yes?”

“If it should be a young lady that accompanies you, be sure to make appropriate use of one of these.”

“…Right.”

Merlin suspects that that isn’t going to be an issue because Arthur will likely keep him far too busy fetching more wine all night, but then maybe Arthur will drink himself into a stupor early on, and maybe Gwen will be amenable, and… Merlin wanders up to Arthur’s chambers in a pleasant haze of speculation about Gwen’s lips, and also Morgana’s lips, and maybe Gwen’s lips on Morgana’s lips, while decidedly not thinking about Arthur’s lips or any orders they might happen to issue.

“Ah, Merlin,” Arthur calls. He’s buried elbows-deep in one of his trunks, with various garments hanging out and strewn around the floor. “Gaius is finished with you?”

“For now, he’s making up another batch of potions and he won’t need me again until they’re ready to be delivered.”

“Excellent. Then you can help me find my trousers.”

“Have you tried looking on your arse?” Merlin asks innocently.

“Quite the jester, aren’t you? Not these trousers, idiot, I want those dark ones with the funny laces, the ones that don’t show stains much.”

“Well you’re in the wrong trunk for a start, that’s all winter clothes and feast tunics,” Merlin says, going to a different chest.

“I frequently wear those trousers to feasts,” Arthur complains.

“Yeah, but they’re not a tunic, are they? They should be here, with the hunting gear.”

“Why are they there?” Arthur demands, stuffing the displaced clothing back into his trunk with no concern for order or, for that matter, folding. Merlin sighs and makes a mental note to redo it later, before Arthur can complain about the wrinkles.

“Because that’s where I put them. I’ve a system here, it’s not my fault you can’t understand it.”

“It’s not my fault your system is bizarre and incomprehensible.”

“It works for me,” Merlin says, brandishing the correct trousers triumphantly. “Planning to acquire a lot of stains, then?”

“Stains typically aren’t a matter of planning, but yes, I imagine there will be several before the evening’s out. Midsummer’s eve is not exactly an occasion for fastidiousness.”

“And will you be needing my services?”

“Bring up my lunch if Gaius can spare you, but otherwise no. It’s a celebration, enjoy yourself. I’ll be late to the festivities, anyway.”

“Oh?” Merlin doesn’t believe for a minute that Arthur will actually leave him free for the night, but maybe depending on the reason for Arthur’s tardiness…

“I’m on the second evening patrol.”

“What? Why?” As prince, Arthur has first pick of the duty roster, and really he isn’t even expected to participate in the overnight rota regularly, let alone tonight.

“Watch must be kept at all times, Merlin. Camelot’s enemies won’t rest simply because we want to have a bit of fun. It’s mostly the older knights that take shifts tonight, those who would not be indulging anyway, but I join them for the second round as a show of solidarity.”

“Oh.” And ok, maybe Merlin will forgive Arthur for the mess of clothes, because there’s something stupidly endearing about him being all noble and self-sacrificing like this.

…Plus, if Arthur’s patrolling, Merlin will theoretically be able to render himself drunk and useless before Arthur can turn up and start demanding things.

*

The sun still hangs low in the sky when the first bonfires are lit. Merlin feels a bit bad that Arthur’s missing this, but then someone presses a cup of ale into his hand and the singing starts and Merlin’s too busy trying to remember the fourth verse to the hedgehog song to worry about anything else.

It really is like being home, only on a much larger scale. They usually had one fire in Ealdor; here, there are half a dozen dotting the meadow outside the city, each of them twice the size of anything Merlin’s village managed. There are kegs of wine and ale in big heaps between the fires, girls and boys alike wandering about with flower wreaths on their heads, and the bard sitting atop one of the keg piles keeps getting drowned out by off-key, bawdy variations of his songs.

When Merlin’s companions have started the hedgehog song over from the beginning for the third time, he turns to find more ale and runs smack into Gwen. She’s grinning, eyes bright, absolutely beautiful with a neat crown of blossoms nestled on her hair. She has another wreath over her arm, this one made of flowers and oak leaves, which she promptly presents to Merlin.

“For you,” she tells him, and a swell of affection settles in Merlin’s stomach alongside the warmth of the ale.

“Thanks,” he says, ducking his head so she can put it on him.

“Morgana wanted to do all flowers but I said no, Merlin’s a man, he’ll want some leaves there too, I just hope it fits, we weren’t sure how big to make it-”

“It’s perfect. Come with me for more ale?”

“Of course. Incidentally, I thought you might like to know-”

“Yes?”

“Arthur’s? All flowers. Morgana would not be dissuaded on that count.”

Merlin nearly falls over from laughing, so Gwen throws her arm around his waist to catch him. When he’s recovered, she starts to withdraw, but he just loops his arm around her shoulders and they stroll off towards the ale like that, sniggering and smiling at each other.

*

The first time Merlin spots Arthur, the prince is standing ramrod straight, clearly sober, attempting to have a conversation with one of the younger knights who is clearly not sober. Merlin’s glad Arthur’s finally here, but he’s also unwilling to abandon Gwen’s company just because the royal prat is too lazy to fetch his own drinks. Even if they are in a field instead of a banquet hall, and even if Arthur did promise him the night off, Merlin doesn’t doubt for a second that Arthur would start ordering him about given half a chance. (Merlin thinks all of this, though it takes a while because there’s been rather a lot of ale at this juncture and his inner monologue is all stuttery and half-formed.)

When Arthur glances in his direction, Merlin hides his face in Gwen’s shoulder.

“Wha’?” Gwen asks, giggling into his hair.

“’S Arthur,” Merlin explains. “’S Arthur an’ he’s sober an’ he might try t’make me do, um, do somethin’.”

“Can’t have that,” Gwen agrees, twisting to conceal him better. Merlin’s head slips down, coming to rest against her bosom, and when Gwen just hugs him closer Merlin decides that he loves Gwen very, very much. And also her bosom is very, very nice.

*

The second time Merlin spots Arthur, Arthur is sat under the tap of a keg. The barrel in question is high enough in the heap that Arthur can sit upright beneath it with his head tipped back to receive the wine pouring out. There’s a flower wreath falling off his hair and Morgana’s leaning over him, working the tap, looking altogether too refined for someone with a stain down the front of her dress and grass stuck in her braid.

“Don’ think you havta worry about that sober thing ‘nymore,” Gwen says into Merlin’s ear, her breath warm and tickling.

“Guess not,” he agrees. Their view of the nobles is then obscured by a couple stumbling past, locked in a passionate if somewhat awkward embrace. Gwen and Merlin both watch them, speculatively, until they disappear into the crowd.

(Morgana spins the tap further open, drenching Arthur in wine, and Arthur sputters and drags her down into the puddle, both of them laughing and shrieking like children.)

Then Gwen and Merlin turn to look at each other, speculatively. There’s an uncertain moment of hesitation, and then Merlin catches Gwen’s gaze flickering to his mouth and he thinks what the hell and leans in to kiss her, because she’s Gwen and she’s lovely and it’s midsummer’s eve, this is what you do when it’s midsummer’s eve.

Gwen opens her lips against his instantly and her tongue tastes like ale and something sweet and his fingers get caught in her wreath when he threads them through her hair. Their noses bump when she tries to tilt his head, to lick deeper, and they giggle at each other a bit before diving back in. And Merlin decides that kissing Gwen is very, very nice, even nicer than Gwen’s bosom.

*

(The first time Arthur spots Merlin, he and Gwen are still kissing, and Arthur finds himself feeling sort of envious, which is a problem he opts to solve with more wine.)

*

The third time Merlin spots Arthur, he and Morgana are wrapped around one another. It’s finally fully dark, but there’s enough light from the bonfires to see that they’re both drenched in wine – through true to promise, it doesn’t show on Arthur’s trousers – and apparently singing. Someone’s belting out a rude ditty right behind Gwen and Merlin, so he can’t hear what Arthur and Morgana are singing, though the movements of their lips make it apparent that they aren’t on the same verse. Assuming they’re even on the same song.

Morgana’s braid is coming undone, her dress is a disaster, her face is flushed, and there’s a wild, untroubled glitter in her eyes. It’s the happiest Merlin’s ever seen her. Arthur’s in a similar state; the laces of his shirt aren’t so much undone as entirely absent, and his flower wreath sits crooked, down over one ear, and he’s grinning like a madman.

Merlin himself is sort of sprawled in Gwen’s lap, holding her hands in his and occasionally licking at her fingers to find the taste of ale and hear her lilting laugh. He feels pleasantly fuzzy from the drink, cozy in the contact with Gwen, content to stay like this indefinitely. Something Gaius said this morning drifts over his mind and he wonders vaguely if he should try to bring her home with him later. It’s not that he doesn’t want to, Gwen’s wonderful and soft and there’s still a gentle hum of arousal simmering under his skin from the kissing, but she’s also basically his best friend and he doesn’t want to make things funny.

Midsummer’s isn’t supposed to count, and back home it was always fine with friends as long as you only kissed and touched, but things tended to go a little weird the next day if you got all your clothes off with a mate and remembered it in the morning. He thinks of that one year, with Will, when they’d stumbled away together and stripped off and it was great right up until they woke up still naked and couldn’t look at each other and then it was horribly awkward for weeks after.

It was fine eventually, but Merlin hates the thought of going through that awkwardness with Gwen, no matter how nice it would be to peel her dress away and touch her everywhere and -

Merlin’s head rests against Gwen’s belly, so he feels more than hears the sudden hitch of her breath and looks up and – oh.

Morgana’s grabbed the open collar of Arthur’s shirt, hauling him against her, and he looks startled and she looks wicked and then she’s standing on her toes and pressing her mouth against his and – oh.

There have been people doing far more in front of them all night, but it still feels improper somehow to be watching this, watching Arthur’s arms snake around Morgana’s waist, watching her hand creep down to cup him between his legs, watching how Arthur freezes for a split second and then recovers, moves his hands to fondle her breasts. Improper, and incredibly hot, and Gwen thinks so too if the way she squirms under Merlin is any indication. And, ok, so maybe things wouldn’t have to get funny if he slept with Gwen, maybe it would be alright, maybe-

“Gods,” Gwen breathes. “Morgana and I – we said we would spend the – the night together,” and Merlin feels a profound pang of disappointment, “but if she’s- with the prince-”
Merlin squeezes her hands and says, kind of breathless, “D’you wanna-”

But before he can get the sentence out, Morgana’s drawing back – biting at Arthur’s lip until the last possible instant – and looking straight at them. Arthur staggers a little when she releases him, bumping into someone who captures his attention, while Morgana weaves her way towards Gwen and Merlin, still incredibly graceful in spite of everything.

Morgana drops to her knees in front of them, smiling broadly. She kisses Merlin’s forehead, then leans over to meet Gwen’s mouth – which Merlin really can’t complain about, because it leaves him up close and personal with Morgana’s breasts. (Though even with all the ale he’s had he isn’t brave enough to touch, because Morgana’s displeasure is not a thing he ever wishes to experience.) He can feel Gwen’s chest heaving when they separate.

“My lady?” Gwen asks.

“My Gwen. And Merlin,” Morgana adds, her expression fond. “Arthur’s been looking for you,” she tells him. Merlin groans, and Gwen giggles.

“We’ve been hiding him,” she confides.

“Very cunning,” Morgana says. “Though I don’t think you need fear, he’s had enough wine that you could probably push him over if he gave you any trouble.” She smells of the wine but doesn’t even sound drunk, which is really not fair.

“Did he give you trouble, my lady?” Gwen asks. There’s a husky timbre to her voice that Merlin’s never heard before, and he suspects that it isn’t all down to the ale. Especially since their cups ran dry some unspecified amount of time ago, and they haven’t been willing to move to get more. Morgana smirks.

“I wouldn’t call it trouble, no,” she says, and settles herself in at Gwen’s side.

*

Everything’s a bit wobbly and it takes Merlin a minute to realize that the hand combing through his hair must be Morgana’s, because he’s still holding both of Gwen’s.

It takes him a minute longer to work out that the wet sounds above his head are Gwen and Morgana kissing. From this angle, all Merlin can see is the underside of Gwen’s bosom and part of Morgana’s shoulder, but his imagination is more than happy to supply the rest.

He’s just getting round to wondering whether he should leave them to it or ask if he’s allowed to join in when Arthur suddenly appears in front of him.

“You’re short,” Merlin mumbles, before his brain catches up enough to point out that this is because Arthur is kneeling. It’s ok, though, because Arthur just gives him a dopey grin and pokes his nose.

“Foun’ you!” he announces gleefully, and then frowns. “Guess they foun’ you firs’, though.”

“Good evening, sire,” Gwen says. The wet sounds continue, so Morgana must be kissing down her neck, or something, Arthur has this dazed expression on his face and he’s watching very intently though he also leaves his finger on Merlin’s nose-

“G’evening, Guinevere,” he says, sounding kind of reverent. Morgana whispers something to Gwen and Merlin can’t hear it, too quiet and there’s too much slurred singing going on around them, but he feels Gwen’s amused huff. She sits up a little straighter, looming over Merlin, and leans forward to press a quick kiss to Arthur’s cheek. Arthur blinks in surprise, and then follows Gwen’s retreat to meet her mouth with his, Morgana giving a quiet cheer of delight.

Now it’s Arthur’s chest in Merlin’s face, which isn’t quite as impressive as Morgana’s, though his shirt is open and his pendant’s dangling right there and – and, ok, Merlin’s pretty much resigned himself to the fact that he’s lost Gwen to Morgana, and that’s fine, that’s fair enough, no one in their right mind would turn Morgana down and anyway the girls are sort of joined at the hip even under normal circumstances. But Merlin can’t help being a little put out over Arthur and Gwen kissing each other instead of him – at least until they break apart and Morgana sweeps into the empty space between them to catch Merlin’s lips with hers.

She tastes of wine and Gwen and elegance – not like elegance has a flavour, exactly, but if it did this would be it – and the angle’s too awkward for Merlin to really do anything apart from open to her and let her proceed as she pleases, but he neither wants nor dares to do anything else anyway, not with Morgana. There’s a gentleness to her kiss, not quite like the friendly intimacy he found with Gwen, but still delicate somehow, caring. It’s not what he would have expected from Morgana but it’s wonderful all the same, leaves him dizzy and pleased.

When they part, Arthur’s returned to that dazed expression and Merlin feels a little smug, never mind that he didn’t really do anything to earn it.

Gwen and Morgana engage in some more secret mumbling, broken up by a yawn on Gwen’s part.

“I’m afraid I shall have to disturb your pillow, Merlin,” Morgana tells Merlin sincerely, and he has no idea what that means until Gwen releases his hands – oh, that’s a shame, he’d forgotten they were still holding onto each other but it was nice – and helps him sit up. All the blood rushes out of his head and he sways a little until someone – Gwen, probably, maybe Morgana, steadies him.

“Leaving?” Arthur asks, pouting a bit. He looks dumb and Merlin feels like maybe he should kiss it off his face, as a public service or something.

“I’m sure Merlin will entertain you,” Morgana says. Now it’s Merlin’s turn to pout, craning his neck so he can do so in Gwen’s general direction.

“You are supposed to be hiding me,” he says, trying for indignant but not really reaching it.

“I think it’s a bit late for that,” Gwen replies kindly, and kisses him again, sweet and lingering, before getting to her feet and linking arms with Morgana. “Good night, Merlin, sire.”

“Don’t get into too much trouble, boys,” Morgana says airily.

“You can’t go to sleep, the sun’s not up yet!” Arthur protests.

“Sleep wasn’t really on the agenda, no,” says Morgana, with a smirk of pure sin, and Gwen shoots Merlin a suggestive wink before they wander off together. Arthur pouts some more, then shuffles around to bump sides with Merlin, who hasn’t moved from where the girls left him.

Arthur’s always sort of handsy, even more so when he’s drunk, so Merlin doesn’t think anything of it when he drapes an arm around Merlin’s back and tips his head against Merlin’s shoulder. It’s not Gwen’s lap but it is nice, comfortable.

“Why were you hiding?” Arthur asks after a while. He doesn’t sound as intoxicated as he did before, and Merlin feels a little more sober himself.

“Thought you were gonna make me work,” Merlin admits, letting his head rest on Arthur’s. There’s a little crunch of greenery as their wreathes meet. The meadow’s getting quieter, Merlin notices. The singing hasn’t stopped, but a lot of people have stumbled off, mostly in pairs, and there are several figures snoring near the keg heap, one of them in the puddle that Morgana and Arthur created earlier.

“’s midsummer, you’re free, I said.”

“’s never stopped you before.”

Arthur grunts. They spend some minutes staring into the nearest fire, and then Merlin asks,

“How was patrol?”

“Boring. I should make you come next year, keep me company.”

Merlin snorts.

“What?”

“See what I mean? What happened to ‘it’s midsummer, you’re free’?”

“Keeping me company is not work,” Arthur insists, and then adds, softer, “Although I’ll allow that you would probably find standing on battlements with me less enjoyable than lazing about in Guinevere’s lap.”

“Gwen’s lovely,” Merlin sighs.

“I suppose you wanted to leave with her tonight?”

“Thought about it. Her and Morgana, though…”

“…Yeah.” They share a moment of manly wonder at the ways of women, and then Merlin says,

“That’s not just midsummer, is it, with them?”

“I imagine not.”

“Speaking of Morgana, I think tonight’s the longest I’ve ever seen you two last without arguing.”

“Bit hard to argue with her tongue down my throat,” Arthur says, sounding slightly embarrassed. And then, “She kissed you too,” as if he’s only just remembered.

“…Yeah. You kissed Gwen.”

“Mmm.”

Another silence, punctuated by a group strolling by making a hearty if incoherent attempt at the hedgehog song.

“More drink?” Merlin asks when they’ve passed.

“We’d have to get up,” Arthur says, and Merlin’s rather pleased that it’s ‘we’ rather than ‘you’.

“True,” Merlin says.

“If not Gwen…”

“Hmm?”

“If not Gwen, was there anyone else you meant to leave with?” Arthur asks. His arm is a pleasant weight across Merlin’s back, and he’s warm all along Merlin’s side, and Merlin realizes that no, there really isn’t anyplace else he’d prefer to be, because Arthur’s quite lovely himself when he’s not being a prat.

“Nah. You?”

“I was thinking-” Arthur’s interrupted by the return of the hedgehog people, one of whom trips and collapses on top of Merlin and Arthur, sending all three into an untidy pile of limbs. Once the tripper manages to disentangle himself, the group has started over on the song again, so he just slurs a quick apology and flails off after his friends.

“Right, I don’t know about you, but I am altogether too sober for this crowd,” Merlin says.

“Agreed,” Arthur says.

There aren’t any more clean cups to be found, but they manage to locate an abandoned pair that at least don’t appear to contain anything other than wine.

“I’m going to get some kind of horrible peasant disease from this,” Arthur says dubiously.

“You will not.”

“How do you know?”

“’S wine, it’s a – what’s it called-”

“Weren’t you claiming to be sober a moment ago?”

“Shut up, no, it’s some funny word Gaius uses. Kills germs.”

“What’s a germ?”

“Dunno, another funny word Gaius uses. Point is, you won’t get sick from someone else’s wine.”

“I shall remember to blame you if I do.”

“Fine.”

“Fine. Cheers.”

*

Some time later, Merlin’s feeling soft and fuzzy and thoroughly sloshed again, and Arthur is draped over his lap, attempting to sing the hedgehog song. He can’t carry a tune or remember any of the words apart from ‘hedgehog’ and ‘buggered’, which leads to a lot of humming and mumbling, but he’s very earnest about it and supplements the gaps with emphatic if unenlightening hand gestures, and Merlin finds it all kind of charming.

“Arthur?”

“-something can be mfffnnffng something fnnnnnng- hmm?”

It takes Merlin a second to understand that that last sound is a response and not just another word Arthur can’t remember, so Arthur’s started humming again by the time Merlin answers.

“B’fore, y’said – I asked if-”

“Bzuuh?”

“If you were wantin’ t’, t’ leave, w’ some’un. I asked if – and then the hedgehog-”

“Can never be buggered at all!” Arthur proclaims proudly.

“Right, no, I mean-”

“Dun’ wanna go ‘nywhere,” Arthur tells Merlin’s thigh.

“’K. Good.”

*

“Merlin,” says Arthur later, after he’s given up on the hedgehog song. (Apart from one very dedicated group by a distant bonfire, everyone else has too. The meadow’s quiet now but for early birdsong and an occasional groan from an unconscious reveler.) Merlin’s leaning against an empty keg, Arthur still in his lap but a bit more upright, his head pillowed on Merlin’s chest, right over his heart. Arthur’s lost his flower wreath somewhere along the way, but there are still a few petals clinging to his hair. It’s sort of adorable, and Merlin’s petting him absently, without really realizing it.

“Hmm?”

“You asked did I want to leave with someone.”

“Yeah.”

“Well. It’s you.”

“Hmm?”

“I wanted to leave with you,” Arthur mumbles. It’s not a drunk mumble, it’s a shy mumble, Merlin can recognize that even through the haze of ale and wine and too many hours awake, and it makes his heart swell ridiculously.

“Not too late,” Merlin says.

Arthur twists his head to peer up at Merlin, his face soft and open. He doesn’t look dumb now but Merlin feels like he ought to kiss him anyway, so he does, dips his head and touches his lips to Arthur’s, because it’s midsummer and because it’s Arthur.

It isn’t like kissing Gwen or Morgana; Arthur’s stubble scrapes at Merlin’s skin, and Arthur’s mouth tastes a little sour after all the hours and all the drink, but his tongue is warm and slick on Merlin’s palate, and Arthur’s fingers are very gentle where they twine in Merlin’s hair – finally dislodging the wreath for good – and Merlin immediately decides that this, too, is very, very nice.

When they separate for air, Arthur’s grinning at him, satisfied but not smug at all, and that’s enough to make Merlin kiss him again. And a third time, after Arthur’s pulled himself upright and turned around to straddle Merlin’s lap.

“Hey, look,” Merlin murmurs against Arthur’s lips.

“What is it?” Arthur asks, not moving.

“No, I mean – look. It’s getting light.” Somewhere between the first press of mouth on mouth and this moment, the grey glow of dawn has washed over the meadow, with a hint of pink sunrise peeking between the trees on the eastern edge. For an instant Merlin remembers waking up with Will, how awkward it was. At present he’s perfectly comfortable and content, but he wonders if this is going to be like that later-

“Mmm. Did you want to sleep, then?” Arthur asks, sounding gravely and reluctant.

“Not really, no,” Merlin assures him, because even if it’s going to get funny later it’s still very nice now.

“Good. Because I’m not finished with you yet.”

“What happened to no orders?” Merlin teases, though he regrets it when a frown mars Arthur’s face and he starts to pull away.

“It wasn’t – did you think-”

“Arthur. Joke. It’s midsummer, I know it wasn’t an order-”

Arthur stops retreating, but the frown doesn’t depart.

“Midsummer. Right.” Merlin doesn’t get it at first, because he’s tired and still very slightly intoxicated, and everything’s all slow and fuzzy in his mind. But there’s something in Arthur’s eyes that’s reminiscent of every time he’s had a dressing down from Uther, something small and wounded, and then it clicks. Oh. Oh. That would be Merlin’s heart swelling even more, right there.

“Well, doesn’t really count as midsummer’s eve any more, does it?” Merlin says quickly. “Sun being up and all.”

“I suppose not…”

“And I’m still here, yeah? So relax and kiss me some more, and maybe tomorrow we can try it in an actual bed.”

Arthur’s clearly as bleary in the brain as Merlin because he doesn’t get that at first either, not until his lips work over the word ‘tomorrow’. But after a beat, when he understands, his smile is as bright as the new summer sun.
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lupus_malus on May 30th, 2009 09:27 am (UTC)
That was fun and so sweet at the end.
lupus_malus on May 30th, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
Oh, and now I really want to know what Gaius meant by: "I shall be keeping company with the king tonight"!
(no subject) - srin on May 30th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
fatchickengirl: merlinfatchickengirl on May 30th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC)
Debuchery is good for the soul!
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 30th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
Agreed! Thanks. :D
archaeologist_d: Arthur and Merlinarchaeologist_d on May 30th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
Loved how Merlin and Arthur ended up together. Very sweet. The way Merlin gets kissed by everyone is lovely, too. Well done.
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 30th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
:D Thank you.
mossylawnmossylawn on May 30th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
hilarious and so well written as usual. and just so so summery!
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 30th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Hurrah! I'm glad you liked. :D
gogo_didi: arthur merlingogo_didi on May 30th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
Hurray for the hedgehog song! Hehe. This was lovely :-)
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 30th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
The hedgehog song is the best! Thank you. :D
(Deleted comment)
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 30th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Fandom Lurker: Merlinfandomlurker on May 30th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
LOL. I wanna know the hedgehog song now. The Merlin/Gwen was so warm & cute, I just liked how comfortable they were with each other. And I like how Merlin wants to keep things innocent (kisses & cuddling), knowing that sex might change things. Of course, the Merlin/Arthur in the end is sweet (as is Arthur being a bit insecure).
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 30th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Someone wrote lyrics for it, available here, though I imagine our characters are familiar with a slightly different version. But you can see why no one can remember all the words. :D

And yay, I'm glad the dynamics worked! I love Gwen and Merlin together, and I'm a complete sucker for insecure!Arthur, so I'm thrilled you enjoyed those aspects.
crabby_lionesscrabby_lioness on May 30th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Sweet.
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 30th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
insideminds on May 30th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
Just gorgeous, I loved this! *mems*
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 30th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
\o/ Thank you!
The Hebridean Queen: Merlin_OT4gnimaerd on May 30th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was incredibly sweet and lovely. You characterised everyone so believably, as well. Put the show on after nine PM and i could TOTALLY see this happening. ^_^ I loved Gwen and Merlin's interactions and I loved Merlin's little stream of consciousness bits. Some of it was really hilarious, as well. Excellent, excellent piece. *memes*
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 31st, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
:D I'm thrilled the characterisation worked, and the humour! Thank you so much!
Know when to walk away: gwenbriar_pipe on May 31st, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Merlin’s too busy trying to remember the fourth verse to the hedgehog song to worry about anything else

YES. I've been to that party, the one with the drunken groping and terrible singing and the destruction of trousers and other articles of clothing. This was adorable from beginning to end. If I had an internet, it would be all yours.
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 31st, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Those are the best parties, aren't they? Glad you enjoyed! :D
just heather: Merlin: OT4heather on May 31st, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was so lovely, and sweet and warm and funny and perfectly characterised. I'll just go read it again now. *g*
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on May 31st, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
Aww, yay! Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :D
Never give up; it's such a wonderful life.: Merlin b/wrane_ab on June 1st, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha, the hedgehog song! I loved the sweetness between Merlin and Gwen, and awww, the ending with Arthur! Of course Arthur wanted to leave with Merlin.
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on June 3rd, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
:D Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And oh yes, the hedgehog song is the best, no?
Blueblue_meridian on June 3rd, 2009 07:15 am (UTC)
So wonderful!! I quite enjoyed. *g*
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on June 3rd, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear it! Thank you. :D
LizM: AMlightliz_mo on June 4th, 2009 09:27 am (UTC)
That was wonderful. I loved the easiness and the non-angst. HOw the girls were kissing with Merlin in their lap. And gwen getting turned on by seeing Arthur and Morgana kiss.
Mind if I ask if you would post this to merlin_ot4?
because there is not enough OT4 fic there!
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on June 4th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

And sure, I'll pop over there with a link. :D
(no subject) - liz_mo on June 5th, 2009 09:53 am (UTC) (Expand)