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fic: Being Human

Title: Being Human
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 745
Pairings: Arthur/Merlin
Warnings: um...Merlin is a robot? So possible dubious consent but that line is iffy
Summary: Arthur runs his hands along Merlin's body. But it's not a body. Not really.
Notes: Written for summerpornathon for the challenge of "non-human characters". In this, Merlin is an android.



Arthur runs his hands along Merlin's body. But it's not a body. Not really. It's an industrial strength alloy skeleton; a mould that’s snapped together seamlessly with plastic and glue, interwoven with electrical sensors to duplicate human-like sensory experiences, over which lays a pale gelatine. It's a body in the shape and texture under Arthur's fingers, a magic trick that gets Arthur every time.

But Merlin is not human.

**

Arthur tinkers with the programming. He is no expert, but he knows what he wants. It's trial and error to change anything in the myriad of wires and synaptic tubes. When he's done, Arthur experiments.

They sit close together. Merlin is telling him about his duties for the day.

"I don't mind changing your sheets," he says. "I like it when the hospital corners are tight and-"

Merlin stops talking and looks down at Arthur's hand, which is rubbing between his legs. But other than the brief pause before Merlin describes why hospital corners are better than regular old tucking and folding, Merlin doesn't seem bothered. Arthur fondles him. Merlin is unresponsive.

When Arthur finally pulls away and rises to leave, he runs his fingers absently through Merlin's hair. The look on Merlin's face would be perfect, if only his eyes weren't so empty.

"I care about you, you know," Arthur admits.

Merlin smiles. It's in his programming to smile when Arthur compliments him.

There's nothing there.

**

Arthur's tinkering borders on obsessive. He ignores half of his duties as captain of the spaceship just to toy with Merlin's robotics. He's already put First Officer Lancelot in charge three days in a row. But Arthur sees what's necessary. It's not the wires or the tubes—it's the chips in Merlin's positronic brain. The technology doesn't quite exist for what Arthur needs, but a few electrical impulses later, he knows he's on the right track.

"Shall I kneel too?" Merlin asks. He's watching Arthur below him with interest.

"No," Arthur says shortly. He clears his throat, hands trembling on the clasps of Merlin's uniform trousers. "No. Please. Stand there...and tell me what you feel."

Merlin looks confused. He watches Arthur take the head of his prick between his lips. It may be flaccid, but Arthur moans around it nonetheless, the taste still exactly what he wants.

"But, sir, I don't feel."

Arthur's head stops bobbing, his fingers linger on the soft curve of Merlin's bollocks. It takes a moment to gather the strength necessary to pull away, to bow his head in front of Merlin and tear at his own hair in agitation.

"Sir?" Merlin asks. There is something like worry in his voice, because he is programmed to protect Arthur.

"I'm fine."

But he isn't. Falling in love with an android—a servant droid—is not something any sane, rational man would be fine with. And damn it, Arthur does loves him. But how can he love something that isn't capable of understanding or returning the emotion? Any emotion.

Merlin may not feel yet. But he will.

**

"Like this?"

Merlin bends over the bed. It shouldn't be possible for something inhuman to look so beautiful. Arthur takes his time running his hands along Merlin's flanks, the exquisite architecture of his body. Beneath his fingertips, Merlin feels so...real. Human.

After weeks of electrifying positrons, embedding data, and manoeuvring programs, Arthur has vowed this will be his last attempt. He cannot waste his life on a fruitless endeavour, no matter how tempting.

"Just like that," he whispers, kissing Merlin's spine. "Close your eyes. Tell me what you feel."

Arthur spreads Merlin's supple cheeks, uses both thumbs to pry his tight, furrowed hole wide open. He looks at it, dizzied by his want, and then leans in to lick it, to draw his aching tongue along the crease and delve in as deep as he dares go. His tongue wriggles, saliva spills, and moans tumble unbound from his lips.

Above him, Merlin shudders. Some hoarse sound like a grunt fills the air, chilling Arthur's bones. When he pulls back enough to observe Merlin, he sees his body hunched, his long fingers gripping the sheets wrinkled, and a look of pure pleasure stretched across his face.

"I feel....oh," Merlin gasps. "Don't stop, sir. Please."

"Arthur," he insists. "Call me Arthur."

Merlin is shaking as he cranes his neck, meeting Arthur's gaze over his shoulder. "Arthur," he moans, the spark of life in his voice, in his eyes.

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