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Present for seekintoyou, merlin_santa

Title:  Getting What One Wants
Medium: Fanfic with incorporated fanart
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Pairings: Merlin/Arthur, Morgana/Gawain, Gwen, Lancelot, Uther
Warnings: Mind control
Comments: 1. I made Morgana a (semi-)main character because a) it fitted the plot and b) you asked me not to kill her so I assumed you liked her.
2. I couldn't write a canonical 'reveal', so have an AU one!
3. If it's not angsty enough, pretend they were wrong.
4. I'm sorry it didn't arrive on Christmas morning.
Summary: If one always gets what one wants, how can it have been given freely?




Morgana, Arthur had come to accept, often got what she wanted. He was contemplating the idea that maybe she always got what she wanted, but that was too scary a world to be conceived of, so she only almost always got what she wanted as far as Arthur was concerned.

So it was unusual for her to enter the family house that year in a bad mood.

On December twenty first, an hour after Arthur had sat through a near silent lunch with Uther and guests, she whirled into the hallway in a cloud of translucent overcoats, anger, and snow.

“What’s wrong?” Arthur hedged, taking her scarf – her only piece of wintery clothing – and handing it to Gaius, who left it on the hallstand and went out to get Morgana’s luggage. Arthur was left with a distinct feeling of having been callously abandoned, which was ridiculous, as Gaius was simply doing his job.

“My guest, Merlin? He isn’t arriving until very late Christmas eve, even though I told him we start celebrating tomorrow.”

“I’m . . . sorry,” Arthur tried to comfort while suppressing his incredulousness, she truly got everything if she didn’t know how to deal with people cancelling on her. “I’m sure he has a valid reason.”

“Well, yes I’m sure he does, but it’s Christmas. Everyone can get off at Christmas.”

Arthur kept his mouth shut and kissed her on the cheek, and, ten seconds having passed (ten seconds being the amount of silence needed to be able to start a new subject without prompting) asked, “Would you like to come and meet Gawain and Lance?”

“Come one then, but Gwen should arrive soon.” Morgana glanced back at the door.

Arthur took her by the arm and led her through to the sitting room, where the only two scholarship students (Arthur had found they were far more interesting than the sons of his father’s friends) from his old school sat ever so slightly awkwardly. Morgana smiled and made eyes at Gawain, because she had a thing for grunge.

Morgana spent a happy ten minutes being entertained by Gawain, before Gawain was offered a drink, turned away from her and Arthur leant towards her ear and asked Morgana why her sisters weren’t coming.

“They have other places to be, they have no connection here at all, to be honest. Only me.” She smiled by only raising one corner of her mouth and turned back to Gawain, who was ready to entertain her with some story involving an ‘I wouldn’t say stolen’ boat and several drunk rugby players from another school team.

Out of a vague sense of being snubbed, Arthur leant back and told Lance their entire family history, because it was in no way embarrassing to him. He spoke mostly of Morgana’s refusal to speak to her half sisters, Morgause and Nimueh, due either to legitimate disagreements, a rift caused by their lack of a shared father or the fact that they were the only people Arthur had ever met who had a chance of stealing Morgana’s limelight, by using their ability to get what they want to stop her getting what she wanted.

The doorbell went, and Morgana rose and swept from the sitting room to answer it. Gawain, who hadn’t been apologised to, smiled and didn’t look offended in the slightest.

Gwen came in wearing a coat, like a normal person, one who could feel things like the cold which lead Arthur back towards his hope that women weren’t all the inhuman superbeings that Morgana, Morgause and Nimueh made them out to be.

Gwen smiled and the cold sting was still evident in her cheeks, and Morgana held her arm, happy to see her, wearing a rare small smile, and Gwen beamed back and introduced herself to the room.

As is the norm in certain British circles, the moment she opened her mouth most in the room who had not met her could place her perfectly on the class scale; intellectual with middle class money, but working class roots. Gawain and Lance visibly softened towards her, losing some of the polished act of ‘gentleman’ that public school had gifted them, and seeming more comfortable in their surroundings.

Gawain playfully offered her the flower from his lapel. Arthur caught only a flash across Morgana’s face at losing Gawain’s interest, but immediately Gawain stole the flower from Lance’s lapel and placed it in her hair. It clashed horribly with her dress, but she smiled her half smile and dragged Gwen to sit with her on the sofa, ignoring the boys now that her own guest had arrived.

Arthur rolled his eyes, and leant back into his armchair, satisfied that the atmosphere was at least a little merrier than before.

***

Merlin, as Morgana had predicted, arrived very late Christmas Eve. Arthur, having drunk two glasses of port and been soaked in the festive spirit, greeted the stranger that he assumed was Merlin with a hug, and led him into the drawing room with a slap to the arse.

Merlin, to give him credit, took it all in his stride, and headed over to Morgana, who kissed him on the cheek and introduced him to Arthur and his friends. Gawain, who had been talking to Morgana, Lance, who had been talking to Gwen, and Arthur all then took it upon themselves to make Merlin feel comfortable. Arthur brought him a small glass of port. Lance sat with his arm over the back of the sofa behind Merlin and asked him about himself. Gawain joined in the conversation for a little, then took out a sketchpad.

Morgana, slightly jilted, turned to Gwen, who continued an earlier conversation with Morgana for a while, before excusing herself and asking Merlin how he’d been. She had been the one to introduce Morgana to Merlin. She attracted a certain type of person, people who had people circulating around them tended to circulate around Gwen.

Merlin talked with his hands and could snark like he’d spent his life poking people away from him.

He had a sense of humour that could sometimes be described as casual abuse, and he could spot a person’s flaws within minutes of meeting them.

And still people flocked to him, and enjoyed watching him trying to keep them away.

Morgana went to sit by Gawain, and peered over his shoulder to start a conversation on something he was thinking about.



“They’re really good,” Morgana whispered, feeling slightly left out of the Merlin attention.

The rest of the company looked up, across the fireplace that had caused the shadows on Merlin’s face. Gawain awkwardly handed his sketchpad over to where the others were ready to mob him to see. Gawain valued his personal space more than secrecy.

“Well, that’s not at all stalkerish,” Merlin commented, eyebrows high, handing the sketchpad to Arthur, who was trying to get a better look. “No, they’re lovely.”

The others made various noises of agreement, and Morgana made eye contact with Lance, inviting him to sit next to her without a word. He complied, sitting facing the fire at an angle to her, their knees touching. Gwen followed, leaning forward and listening to whatever Morgana had started to talk about.
Merlin glanced up from his conversation with Arthur (he had passed the sketchpad back) to see all eyes now focused on Morgana, who was looking far more pleased with herself than she had been before. “Attention junkie,” he accused.

She raised her eyebrows for a moment, “wallflower.”

“Player.”

“Arse.”

“Well, I know it’s pretty and all, but I didn’t realise it was that distracting when talking to me.”

Morgana laughed in a way that made others in the room half forget she’d been bested, and turned back to her companions on her side of the fireplace.

***

Arthur kept his attention on Merlin as all other eyes turned to his half sister. Having half grown up with her he was able to resist the ‘look at me now’ power she had over most people. It didn’t stop her eventually getting what she wanted out of him, but it meant he was conscious of when he was paying attention because she felt like socialising and when he was paying attention because he was polite or interested in whatever she had to say.

He kept one eye on her long enough to see the now common annoyance in her eyes that Arthur was over the adoration stage, and gave her a smile before turning back to Merlin, who was waiting to continue talking about some time when Morgana had disgraced herself, because Arthur was never there when Morgana disgraced herself, and Merlin could tell the things people want.

After Merlin had finished the Morgana story, and he and Arthur had moved onto cruelly mocking the Christmas singles that had just been released, Gwen pulled them over to Morgana’s side of the room with a look.

Merlin went first, which meant Arthur wasn’t joining Morgana’s orbit because of her. Gwen pointed over Gawain’s shoulder, where sketches of Morgana had materialised.






“They’re not as good as the ones he did of you,” murmured Arthur in Merlin’s ear.

Merlin raised his eyebrows, which were remarkably close to Arthur . . . as was the rest of his face.

“But maybe that’s just you,” Arthur finished, quieter, with less breath.

“You are ridiculously cliché,” Merlin whispered, stepping back, away from the fireplace and the sofa with Morgana’s group.

The shadows were different away from the fireplace. At this end of the room there was only a side table with the drinks on it and the Christmas tree with lights that turned on and off slowly, softly. The lights highlighted and shadowed Merlin’s face, his eyes glowed and dimmed.

The inside of Arthur’s arms grazed Merlin’s sides, Arthur’s hands were pressed against the wood panelling, and Merlin’s lips were, most remarkably, pressed against Arthur’s.

“Oh, look at that!” Gwen was, probably, too slow to stop her own mouth, but that wasn’t enough to excuse the invasion of what little privacy they had.

Merlin’s hands left Arthur’s shoulders, one went to the back of his neck to hold him there, and one left Arthur’s body entirely. The only real thought Arthur had on this movement was a sense of loss, but a vague, floating consciousness that normally didn’t connect at all to Arthur’s brain during situations like this registered Merlin was probably flipping them off.

Lance and Gawain whooped then laughed at Merlin’s movement, Gwen giggled and Morgana said something about ‘what Merlin wants’.

The hand at the back of Arthur’s neck immediately relaxed, and Merlin’s swearing hand dropped to his side, which Arthur only felt as a rustle at his side and a vague ripple through where their bodies were pressed together.

The hand that had been around Arthur’s neck dropped to his chest and pushed him softly away.

Merlin’s voice was far softer than it had been before, “I can’t.”

Arthur turned his hands in, held the bottom of Merlin’s ribcage and pulled him into the drawing room. The room was dark, but Arthur knew the layout, and steered Merlin after him onto the sofa, pulling Merlin down onto him.

“No, I . . . can’t.”

“What?” Arthur pulled himself up half onto his elbows, which was quite an unstable position. Merlin shifted back and Arthur pulled himself up fully. “Why?”

“Well, you know Morgana . . . gets people to get her what she wants?”

“You’ve noticed that too?”

“I didn’t notice it . . . I recognised it. I’ve got it.”

“You’ve -”

Merlin cut Arthur off, “I’ve got it, I can’t control it like her though, it’s stronger. It just . . . attracts what I, what I want and it makes other people want to . . . give it to me?”

“Oh –” Arthur started.

“I’m really sorry to put you in such an awkward pos-” Merlin cut himself off and adjusted himself so that Arthur wasn’t so physically dominated.

Arthur let out a breath of laughter.

“I really am sorry, I shouldn’t have responded, I sort of . . . forgo- no, I didn’t forget. It slipped the smallest amount, but I just . . . ”

“Look, look,” started Arthur as calm as he could, “you didn’t, didn’t, take advantage of me.”

“Yeah but I was going to –” Merlin was still vaguely forlorn, but was letting himself be comforted.

“And you’re not going to.” Arthur trailed a hand up the beads of Merlin’s spine.

“Oh, no, no no no no,” Merlin pushed backwards off of Arthur in what was obviously meant to be a quick move but actually took a bit of shifting and feeling about, due to the fact that compromising positions are like that and the drawing room still didn’t have any lights on. “You’re still all . . . loopy.”

“No, no I’m not, Merlin.” Arthur had a talent for sounding convincing. It worked especially well when he meant it. “I’m used to that thing you and Morgana have. When Morgana moved in I spent a year following her around like a puppy. Which was really messed up, because of the reasons that we would be messed up if I wasn’t immune, but I am immune.”

“No-one’s immune.” But Merlin sounded unsure.

“Everyone thought my ‘crush’ was the cutest thing they’d ever seen, but it was obsession. It only works when you or Morgana – or either of her sisters for that matter - is there, did you know? Once you’re out of the room we mortals come back to ourselves.”

“So I should –”

“I spent a year flip-flopping between crazy what can I do to make her happy and vague annoyance and admiration – which was far more . . . realistic. I know the difference, I swear.”

“What if mine is different?” But Arthur could almost see the straws Merlin was grasping at, and he smiled in the darkness.

“You said it was like hers.”

“But -”

“I’ll tell you what,” Arthur leant past Merlin’s hip – Merlin pulled away and Arthur shushed him – and turned on a table light. “It’s late, if you really were in control of my emotions, it’d be gone by the morning. I’ll tell you in the morning that I want you.” Arthur pulled his hand back from the light, wisping his fingers over a gap he created just over the hemline of Merlin’s trousers.

Arthur smirked, and Merlin blushed.

***

Arthur and Merlin returned to the party by the fire. Merlin went to bed first, then Gwen, then Lance – soon after, very soon after – and Arthur pulled Gawain aside before leaving himself, and told him to wait ‘till morning, because if he didn’t Morgana wouldn’t spend more than one night with him, and to tell her he wanted her before she was fully awake. And to trust him.

Gawain thanked him. And went to bed.

Morgana turned, horrified, to Arthur, who kissed her on the cheek and wished her a Merry Christmas.

***

Arthur was waiting outside Merlin’s door in the morning. Merlin let out a swallowed shriek and accused Arthur of being a creep and a stalker.

Over the top of Merlin’s accusations, Arthur said, “I like you because you’re really funny, even if you think you’re doing it to get people to stay away, which you’re not, you do it because it entertains them, and because you’re really quick to spot what someone wants and you don’t seem to think twice about pleasing them, and because you cared enough to try not to have sex with me, even though that was a bad idea in my opinion, and also because, well, as you said to Morgana, the arse . . .”

Arthur grinned and couldn’t kiss back properly because he couldn’t stop. Not that it deterred Merlin at all.

***


Epilogue


Morgana woke to find three folded up pieces of paper had been shoved under her door.

The first was a note;

Morgana,
Arthur said to wait until you were awake, but not fully, but I’m an early riser and I can’t wait that long.
Also, sorry the sketches of you I did last night were a bit sloppy. These are at least a little better.
(Well, you’re smiling. Properly. That would make anything better.)
-Gawain


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
seekintoyou
Dec. 27th, 2010 01:32 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you. I'm gonna be honest, that's the last thing I expected to get but I love it! You took it to this whole other level and it's very refreshing. This power of Merlin and Morgana, the drawings (love them!).. Arthur being immune, the little crush (that made me laugh).

And yes, I do LOVE Morgana AND I ship Gawain/Morgana so all in all: great job! THANK YOU!

Happy Holidays!
Sabrina.
ang_the_adverse
Dec. 27th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you enjoyed it, I felt it had to be a little out of what you intended (I guessed you expected canon-verse) to have an original reveal.

I'm happy you liked the drawings, and Morgana and Gawain and thank you for the lovely review!

Happy Holidays :)
archaeologist_d
Dec. 29th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Loved the idea that Merlin and Morgana had the power to make people do what they wanted and that Merlin was trying to keep from using Arthur that way. Well done.
ang_the_adverse
Jan. 3rd, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! ^.^
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )