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12 August 2009 @ 05:49 pm
Companion, Merlin/Arthur (PG)  
Title: Companion
Author: valderys
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,574
Notes: Written for my ‘roleplay/au (prostitution)’ prompt for kinkbingo. This was inspired by Firefly, btw, rather than being a direct crossover!
Art: Now with fantastic art by slanted_edges, OMG! Look here!
Summary: Camelot is a small colony out on the Rim, and they don’t get many luxuries, so when a Guild-trained Companion visits and Governor Pendragon buys their services for his son – well, Arthur is no position to refuse.

Arthur didn’t slam the door but he only managed to prevent himself by the slimmest of margins. It wouldn’t do, after all. Camelot might only be a backward Class III colony out on the Rim, but he was still Arthur Pendragon, only son of its Governor and occasional despot, as Arthur traitorously thought whenever his father had managed to put him in a towering temper. Such as now. Camelot might be small, but the Rim was a dangerous place – so he had to worry about pirates, and raiders, and rustlers, and all manner of likely chancers and thieves, all competing to be the ones that succeeded in taking away all that the colony had built. And that didn’t even include the potential for a Reavers attack. He didn’t have time for this.

He paused with his fingers still on the handle of the door, debating the merits of leaving, despite his father’s orders. Just because this was the first time a Companion had ever visited Camelot, and just because his father had some outlandish notion that Arthur needed some civilising - as though he were some bumpkin with a straw hanging from his lip! - that didn’t mean he wanted to be pimped out to some god’s-damned jumped-up excuse of a gao yang!

He took a deep breath and let it out in a steady stream, forcing himself to calm down. It wasn’t this girl’s fault that Arthur had… difficulties with his father, and it really was an honour and a privilege for someone Guild-trained to travel out all this way. However much Arthur wished it was someone else enjoying said privilege.

Feeling calmer, he nodded once, and pushed forward. The Companion travelled in a small converted scout-ship. In the war it would have been for a two or three man crew, but as far as Arthur knew, the Companion travelled alone. That was quite strange, because Arthur rather thought they travelled in packs, or at least with an entourage, but then what did he really know about the quirks of Companions? All he knew was that this scout-ship barely resembled a real vessel, and that Arthur was pushing through curtains made of silks and satins, each with a different scent. If he stared carefully, he could see bulkheads beneath all the finery, but even then, it wasn’t the standard grey, the walls seemed to be painted in a jewel-like topaz, bright and cheerful. It was a pleasant disguise, Arthur could grudgingly offer that.

The corridor finally opened out into what would be the main living quarters, a bowl shaped room that seemed filled with knick-knacks on every surface. Arthur’s eye caught on priceless antiques, some even from Lost Earth, all mixed in with modern trinkets apparently made of gold and gems - an intricate clockwork mouse with diamonds for eyes, model salamanders climbing the walls – the wealth in this room alone could buy Camelot itself. Arthur made a mental note to post another guard. And yet, the riches were scattered, in a pretty, artful way, he supposed, not being an expert, but certainly not as though their owner cared that much about any of them. Unless that was another art. Arthur was quite prepared for that.

There was a rustle and Arthur’s eye snapped back to the centre. What was he thinking, looking at gewgaws and expensive tat, when there was a person in the room? He shouldn’t have been looking at anything before assessing the potential threat, his father could have had him flogged for inattention, and Arthur wouldn’t even have argued.

There was a moment of utter stillness, as they stared at one another. Arthur was shocked into immobility, and the Companion was obviously moving carefully, in order not to startle Arthur even further. Arthur didn’t know where to look. He realised his mouth was hanging open, and shut it with a snap. He also took his hand off his sword, and the other off his gun, at which the Companion smiled, and relaxed back against the cushions.

“Thank you,” he said, and Arthur blinked.

The Companion was a man. What had Uthur been thinking? Had he even realised? Perhaps he had just automatically assumed that the Companion was female, before buying Arthur time with her. With him. Oh crap.

“My name is Merlin”, said the Companion, “And you must be Arthur? It’s good to meet you.” Arthur swallowed. This was ridiculous.

Merlin was curled up in the sunken bowl-shaped lounging area in the centre of the room. It was entirely filled with cushions and rugs and furs, and he was – draped, the only word for it – right in the centre. He was wearing something, Arthur couldn’t really see, something purple and translucent, that rippled and reflected the light every time Merlin even breathed. His long slim feet were bare, and the toenails were painted silver, but Arthur only noticed that in passing – his eyes were following hints of pale flesh that flashed and disappeared as Merlin leaned forward. His arms were bare, and as he held out his hand for Arthur to take, Arthur’s gaze travelled along creamy skin up to an amused pair of kohl-rimmed eyes set in a luminous face, topped with tousled black hair. A grey pearl earring completed the effect.

In a daze, without even thinking about it, he took the hand Merlin held out to him, and was drawn down into the cushions. He thought he probably ought to protest in some way, ought to explain that there had been some mistake, that his father would never have arranged such a thing had he known…

“It’s all right,” said Merlin, lightly, “We can spend time together in whatever way you wish.” He blinked at Arthur, and grinned. “I play a mean game of Go, if you’d like.”

Arthur realised with a start that he hadn’t released Merlin’s hand. That he was still staring, and that Merlin hadn’t looked away. That the pearl earring was trembling delicately in Merlin’s – rather prominent, now he considered it – ear.

The thought that Merlin too might be nervous gave Arthur back his courage. “No, it’s fine. We must make the best of it, I suppose. I mean…” Arthur could kick himself, he felt a complete prat, he hadn’t meant to insult the man, even inadvertently.

There was a spurt of quick laughter instead, and Arthur found himself grinning back into smudged blue eyes that had lit up with glee at his clumsy implication.

“Would it help if I said I was newly graduated from the Guild?” said Merlin, “I have few expectations – and even less now. Although it’s possible we could discover what we want from each other despite ourselves?”

Arthur snorted. “Of course I want to be practiced on by the worst Companion ever trained. Who wouldn’t?”

Merlin’s eyes crinkled even more, the overt insult seeming rather to give him energy, to amuse him more than any pretty words might, and Arthur felt dazzled by his smile. Merlin tugged lightly on their joined fingers, and Arthur knew he could resist. He could always let go, and they would laugh, and play Go, and drink tea, and there would be nothing more challenging or exciting than that. Somehow Arthur knew he was standing at a crossroads, but he also felt like he was falling, as though it was inevitable, fated. He searched and found nothing in him that even wanted to resist, as though the whole universe was glowing golden in Merlin’s eyes, and he wanted to throw himself into it, as though he’d somehow been waiting for this moment all his life.

“You’re right, of course, because the client is always right,” Merlin whispered into his ear, as Arthur shivered, “But I find that… experimentation, has much to recommend it.”

Arthur could smell exotic spice, a tinge of sweetness, a hint of musk - a heady cocktail that made him want to lick his lips. And then, adding to his dilemma, Merlin moved, a delicious ripple that brought him flush against Arthur’s taut body. Arthur gasped, he couldn’t help it, his senses all awash with overwhelming richness, the slight scratch of Merlin’s jewellery, the silken slide of his shirt against Arthur’s skin, the drugging heat of his breath next to his cheek.

“I’ve been told I should practice my knee-walking,” said Merlin, “In particular. What do you think?”

Arthur felt too hot, his body flushed and heavy, as though he was holding himself taut in some endurance competition. He wasn’t sure who was going to win. He wasn’t sure he cared much about losing.

All he knew, when Merlin lifted his hand and placed it on Arthur’s chest, where the laces of his shirt were parted, that the touch was electric enough that he couldn’t have stopped himself if he’d tried. He surged forward and captured Merlin’s lips with his own, drinking in the small sounds he made, and then pushing inside, capturing his taste to add to all the other overwhelming sensations that now meant Merlin, would always remind him of Merlin.

When, a lot later, Merlin wrenched his mouth away, only to skim Arthur’s throat with his tongue, to nibble and tease his way along his jaw, when Merlin took the time to murmur breathily, hesitantly, “Do you know? I think you are my destiny.”

Arthur didn’t actually reply, but if he had, if he’d felt capable – he would have observed that he wasn't at all surprised.
Yavanna: Merlin/Arthur - close by tyffiyavannauk on August 12th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I like the way you've merged the bits of Merlin and Firefly together. Very nice!
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 12th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
Just a little taster really! :) It probably deserves a longer fic, but I've got to bend my attention to my reel_merlin next!
(no subject) - yavannauk on August 13th, 2009 07:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 13th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - starrienite on August 19th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 19th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Enderenderwiggin24 on August 12th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
I don't know anything about firefly, but this merge really works for merlin and arthur!
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 12th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yay! For me it was the obvious fulillment of the prositute prompt, but they slip into these roles very well, I think.
archaeologist_d: Arthur and Merlinarchaeologist_d on August 12th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
Great job merging Firefly and Merlin. It worked really well.
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 12th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
They do, don't they? They slip into these roles really easily. I wish it could be longer but other writing commitments are looking at me with big eyes... :)
special_schizospecial_schizo on August 12th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Ah, two fantastic shows, together at last. Companion!Merlin is, er, quite the mental image. #brain explodes#
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 12th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
Hee. That was *precisely* the image that made me write this ficlet! I got as far as Merlin's description, and then I put this down and came back to it a long time later to write the rest. I would kill, or at least severaly maim, to see Colin Morgan done up in something like this! *fans self*
(no subject) - special_schizo on August 12th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 13th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
espresso bandito: Merlin/Arthurfresica on August 12th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
You did a great job combining Firefly and Merlin. I only wish there were more!
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 12th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
I may come back to it, but there's no guarantee - I have to write my reel_merlin fic next!
(no subject) - fresica on August 12th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 13th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fresica on August 13th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 13th, 2009 08:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fresica on August 13th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Michou: Slumdog Millionaire - It Is Writtenvirginhuntress on August 12th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
Great crossover! I love the image you painted of Merlin. :D
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 12th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was what I wrote this fic for, really. That image. *sigh* I'd dearly love to see Colin Morgan dressed up in anything near as fine...
slanted_edges on August 12th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
So I'll basically love anything that somehow manages to put Firefly and Merlin together, and this is certainly no exception -- especially since I have a horrible, filthy male!Companion kink.

But really, I just really loved this fic. It flows well and the entire set-up and situation is awesome -- I love how everything is described; the attention given to all of the gadgets and gizmos in Merlin's ship. And, of course, I love Arthur's thought processes and the interaction and chemistry between the two.

(Basically I am left craving more~!)

Thank you so much for writing this! ~♥
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 13th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC)
You are very welcome! I'm afraid it's so short and sweet because kinkbingo prompts are meant to be written in little 500 word ficlets, and really - 1500 words is a bit long for a ficlet :) I may yet come back to the universe, but I must confess, I more or less wrote this because the thoguht of Colin Morgan dressed up as a Companion? Pretty much blows my mind... :)
(no subject) - slanted_edges on August 18th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 18th, 2009 08:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Eliot Prufrock: Arthursrin on August 12th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Oh man, Arthur as the governor's son on a backwoods colony works so well. And, hee, I love Merlin offering to just play Go with him. Lovely crossover!
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 13th, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
Thank you! I loved Arthur as the Governor's son, because the characters do match up ever so well. I want to write more in this universe, because I want Merlin to help Arthur break his sister out of a certain psychic-exploiting facility, and she's a little bit broken, but the mercenary captain Gwen, whose ship they've hired, is fascinated anyway. And Merlin is all, hmm, I can help her, maybe, because they didn't catch me, and I am more powerful than they can possibly imagine...

I suspect Lancelot will end up as a more sane version of Jayne.

But I have no idea when I'll have time to write this :)
(no subject) - srin on August 14th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 16th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - srin on August 16th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - slanted_edges on August 14th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 16th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
olinima on August 12th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, you did it, well done! And it works perfectly. In fact, I'm awfully tempted to suggest that a bit more in this universe wouldn't go amiss - after all, what would Morgana and Gwen, let alone Uthur, make of Arthur bringing said Companion back to Camelot?

Oh yeah, and the description of Merlin's costume was everything I was hoping for from your hints of many moons ago...and you even got his 'rather prominent' ears into it. :)

P.S I'm pretty certain you will know of this already but I saw it and thought a) of you and b) let's hope Merlin will work out better that that of the last premiere we saw at the BFI!
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 13th, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, I got it done! And I bet you can tell the paragraph I wrote and then just got stuck, and couldn't get past just the image for quite some time! :)

As for the BFI preview *cries* I'm in the States at DragonCon, which I shouldn't complain about, because it will be great, but. I wish so much it hadn't clashed...
(no subject) - olinima on August 13th, 2009 10:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 13th, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
FayJaypandarus on August 13th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
What an interesting fusion! I loved your description of the interior of Merlin's ship, and I'm impressed by how well you managed to keep them in character even while putting them into this wholly different 'verse. (Are you writing 'Serenity' for your reel fic?)
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 13th, 2009 08:54 am (UTC)
Ooh, I could write Serenity, but I *think* sombody else snaffled it - if it doesn't get completed maybe I'll grab it for next round. No, I'm writing Hamlet, for my sins - I had another image, that I couldn't let go.

And I've realised I don't want the tragic ending for my boys, but I wonder if it would be too naff to give it a happy ending - I despise what the Victorians did to Shakespearean tragedies like King Lear, so I'm really torn...
(no subject) - pandarus on August 13th, 2009 09:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - valderys on August 13th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pandarus on August 13th, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
CallistianStarcallistianstar on August 13th, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)
I skipped the summary. lol. So when I saw "Companion" I just got all kinds of exited. This is quite lovely, and I adore Merlin here and how he makes Arthur react.
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 13th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
The seduction is a bit quick, I think, but Merlin is a Companion! And magic! It's an irrisitable combination! :)
(Deleted comment)
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 13th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, I thought that - Merlin is a lot less dorky, but he has been trained! In some way! Even if a lot of it didn't stick! :) God, I can just imagine Merlin's exasperated tutors - although the thought of Gaius as an elderly Companion is a disturbing one.
kopernik: merlin arthur bluekopernik on August 13th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was pretty. I really do hope there will be more when you have a chance!
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 16th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
There might be, but I'm not promising. It depends on my muses and what other things I end up signing up for!
(Deleted comment)
Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 16th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
That's my favourite paragraph too - I got stuck after writing it, and had to come back and finish the ficlet a week or two later :) I happen to think Colin is extraordinarily pretty, and would give much to see him dressed up in something like this... I know that the fandom particularly likes girl!Merlin, but that isn't quite what I want. Companion!Merlin would do me nicely however!
prochytesprochytes on August 15th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
This was lovely. My favourite bit was

as though the whole universe was glowing golden in Merlin’s eyes

which was a splendid way of bringing out that "magic" does not have to be all about fireballs and telekinesis (cool though they are).

I would love to see the extended fusion you posit too, involving Gwen as a mercenary captain and Morgana-River (sword-dancing, with any luck, at unexpected moments). It does strike me that even the Reavers have their analogues in some versions of the Arthur myth: there is a bit in Tennyson's Idylls of the King about a threat to Leodogran's kingdom from beast-men:

And ever and anon the wolf would steal
The children and devour, but now and then,
Her own brood lost or dead, lent her fierce teat
To human sucklings; and the children, housed
In her foul den, there at their meat would growl,
And mock their foster-mother on four feet,
Till, straighten'd, they grew up to wolf-like men,
Worse than the wolves...

Great stuff.

Valderys: Merlin - prettier than Arthurvalderys on August 16th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you. Actual poetry - that's rather appropriate for a Companion!Merlin story! I bet some of those kinds of accomplishments were forced into Merlin's head, since Firefly companions were rather Geisha-like, after all.

And I may write the rest of the AU, I don't know - I have a couple of deadlines coming up, but after that, I may look round, twiddling my thumbs, looking for something to write/sign-up to! :) We'll see.