03 March 2009 @ 11:51 pm
Just another Merlin rec list.  
Me, to Aja: I also think I've read too much fic since I read half a fic, get to the point where Merlin and Arthur start to kiss, and then I close the window because I'm already bored. LDKJFS WHEN YOU'RE TIRED OF ARTHUR/MERLIN PORN YOU KNOW YOU NEED A FIC BREAK.


A Primer on Merlin, or How I've Spent the Past Two Weeks


I'm not going to waste my time trying to convince you to watch the first season, though it is only 13 episodes, which is only like 9 hours and 45 minutes of your time. That's hardly a commitment! I can't even count how long most other fandoms' canons take to get through. In other words, you should watch it. Okay, I'll convince you a little bit:


That's Merlin on the left. That's Arthur on the right. Arthur is the prince, and his father Uther is the king. Uther forbids magic. Merlin has magic, but he, ahem, has not come out to Arthur about this yet. Currently he is Arthur's manservant. Oh, and they're in love. They even have a dragon who says as much. They almost die for one another all the time. As many have commented, the whole Arthur/Merlin fandom wave is like H/D circa 2002, except without the hate to overcome (mostly), and without the bad fanon characterizations (mostly). In other words, no leather pants.


That's Morgana. She's the king's ward, has either a sibling-like or flirtatious way of needling Arthur, can handle a sword, possesses a self-righteous sense of morality, has prophetic dreams, and is totally gorgeous. I kind of love her.


And that's Gwen, who is sweet and stumbles over her words and brings Morgana flowers. Oh, Guinevere. And here's a castle:


I feel a "Welcome to Camelot, bitch" reference coming on (which basically happens, except in this version Ryan and Luke would fall madly in love? or something). Anyway, I would show you more pictures, but why spoil it? Obviously you need some incentive to watch the show.

After you're done watching all 13 eps, you could optionally watch the DVD extras, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. How can you miss Bradley carefully selecting strawberries for future pleasure! Or explaining how much of a Buffy fan he is! Katie telling Bradley how well he kneels! Colin and his stubble and how much Bradley teases him! Part 3 is obviously the best, and I'm just saying, you might be into RPS when you're done. Just saying.

And now, actual recs! Warning: this is by no means comprehensive, it's just me, on my whims, telling you things I like. There are far more comprehensive rec lists out there, but this is not one of them. That said , they're all alphabetical, if you couldn't tell.

FANVIDS:

I am not a fanvid person. I never watch fanvids. Sometimes Reena sends me the most ridiculous, cracked out H/D fanvids with Sims animations or hysterical fanart spliced in, and I watch those and snort a little bit, but that's it. Once I watched a ROME fanvid of Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo and that was pretty epic. Seriously, though, my fandom intake rarely includes vids. Not so with Merlin, however!

7 Things by voldything: Seriously, when I watch these vids, I forget they aren't in love in canon. EXCEPT THAT THEY ARE.

10,000 Nights of Thunder by mamoru22: This is nothing but infectiously adorable Arthur/Merlin the entire time. And it's catchy.

Between the Bars by kiki_miserychic: Haunting; their other selves. Incorporates clips from other sources.

Beverly Hills by giandujakiss: The opening is awesome, every clip of Arthur is awesome, the way all the knights swing their swords in time with the music is awesome.

The Bitch Prince by wistful_fever: You can tell these vids are a mixed bag, because it's like, RIDICULOUS, gorgeous, serious, RIDICULOUS. Actually, I think this is brilliant and a great character study, but also . . . well, it's Meredith Brooks' "Bitch".

Elemental by wistful_fever: This seems like one of the most commonly recced vids. It's lovely, sad. "Merlin is of nature, Arthur of man."

If (I Was Your Girl) by danegen: All the looks! The way Merlin flops onto the bed at the end! Janet Jackson, come on.

Night at the Opera by such_heights: The Queen vid. The first time I saw this I couldn't get into it because of all the transitions, but the brilliance of Queen won me over in the end.

Red by obsessive24: Sad, stunning. "You burn too bright."

You're So Damn Hot by loweryourwand: Pretty awesome on its own, but totally worth it for the Uther moment at 1:45.

If you want a really full list of more vids, look here.


MEANWHILE, FIC:

The Accidental Seduction by ras_fic: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. I'm a bit embarrassed that this is the first fic on the list, but it's alphabetical, so! Arthur seduces Merlin while telling himself it's just a prank. He eats fruit obscenely. That's all. I'm not a huge fan of the last two paragraphs and the tacked-on reveal, but that's just me. Another one of those fics that make me go, "Oh, Arthur." Merlin visibly snapped back to reality, and he hastily snatched the cup out of Arthur's hand, glaring for show as Arthur watched a flush creep up Merlin's cheeks and all the way to his ears. Arthur smiled. This was possibly the most entertainment he'd had all day.

all I wanted was a white knight (I got a prince instead) by cf33: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. Maybe a little dub-con in the beginning, depending on how you read it. But I love this passage so much it almost makes me cry, so yes, I am copy/pasting all of it: He could play the servant, give Arthur his intense loyalty and love, he could kneel and dress and wash his skin where Arthur himself couldn't reach, and hand him his sword before a fight, wishing him luck; he could even warm his bed if it was required from him, stay the night if Arthur needed such comfort and could not find it anywhere else. But he couldn't kiss and offer his body, because Arthur hardly ever knew what he wanted, and Merlin was risking everything as it was, his life, his position, his home. Arthur understood titles and addresses, proper bows and the fact that he had the privilege to get served, but he'd never understood that as prince and servant they were two different types of humans, one worth more than the other. And as long as that difference existed, Merlin could not give him everything he had.

August by rageprufrock: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. Merlin and Arthur go back to Ealdor in August. All the little details are perfect, and the Arthur-finds-out plot doesn't feel old here, it feels real. “The village looks well,” Arthur said, voice soft, admiring the fields, the new-made fences and the well-thatched roofs. Ealdor was filled with small, meaningful lives, and Arthur only wished he could fold them into Camelot’s care.

Burn by spiny: Arthur/Merlin, PG. So short but so effective. I just love this. Later he remembered the day they went hunting, just the two of them, slipping through the cool woods as the canopy flushed red with sunrise.

The Common Touch by lamardeuse: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. Arthur pretends to be a peasant and goes to a fair. So lovely. “Arthur, those people are not going to remember you in a week,” he said, sobering. “To them, you're just another stranger who came to town for a fair.” He paused, regarding Arthur in that profoundly unsettling way he had, the way that said he knew all of Arthur's secrets, including a few that not even Arthur knew about. “You do know, don't you, that most of us go through life completely unremarked and unremarkable? Our deeds aren't engraved on plaques or commemorated in song and story. We're born, we live, we die, and in time, there's no one left who knows that we were ever here.”

Cost/Benefit Analysis by derryere: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. Arthur tries to figure out how much Merlin is costing him. At first this fic threw me off because I'm rarely a first-person fan and it is in a different style than what feels like canon, but please don't let that turn you away too soon, because it's one of the best things I have read in this fandom. It is original and insightful and so sweet, somehow, without being at all sappy. Oh my god, Arthur. And the most frustrating part is how there's no discernable pattern to the equation, to how it grows but I know it grows, it's—it's in the most ridiculous things. We could sit for hours, me against the headboard and him between my legs, back to my chest, and he'd be reading and I'd just spend all that time running my lips along the line of his hair—smelling it, only because it has a scent and not in particular because it's him—and at the end of that I'd still feel the same about him. Still have the same amount of sentiments. Not less, or anything, but also not more. But then some time later he'd get up to pad across the room to put the book away, and his toe would catch on the edge of the carpet and he'd stumble a bit, cursing, and would balance himself on the back of a chair while inspecting his foot. And something about that, about seeing that, I have no idea what but it would just make it all expand.

The Crown of the Summer Court by astolat: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. The one where Merlin is pushed into competing to be king of the elves and Arthur is his champion. If anyone else wrote this fic I'd probably skip it, but it's Shalott and it's so well-paced and the plot is gripping. The whipping porn bit is a little—well, yeah, but if you're into that kind of thing? The mulish look slid away from Merlin's face as though it had been washed off. Arthur's heart was beating oddly quick. He even thought for a moment that a golden glow of light whirled brilliant and dazzling in Merlin's eyes, and the bell above their heads was already clanging, even before Merlin had finished saying, "Prince Arthur of Camelot, I name you my champion before the throne."

Damsel in Distress by thehoyden: Arthur/Merlin, R. Another dragon kidnaps Merlin and Arthur pursues. And yes, there is plenty of talk about their ~destiny~. Merlin was no expert, but the minstrel troupe's performance in the courtyard seemed to be going fairly well until the dragon landed on the roof of the Great Hall.

Despoiled by astolat: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. In which Arthur is jealous and full of self-control until he's not supposed to be and they have sex everywhere. Uh, this is really nothing but adorable, hot, well-written Arthur/Merlin, what do you expect? "It is your destiny to be by Arthur's side," the dragon said. "I am afraid I cannot tell you whether that extends to his sleeping hours."

Drastically Redefining Protocol by rageprufrock: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. THE AU that everyone talks about, i.e. the one where Arthur is modern day royalty and Merlin has a long-term crush. Complete with brilliant Photoshop additions. "And you're stuck with me now," Merlin cheered, not at all perturbed. "You've given me the watch—no taking it back." / "No," Arthur said, and his voice was strange with wonder as he said it, "I suppose not."

Easy There by syllic: Arthur/Merlin, R. Oxford rowing AU, supposedly filled with cliches but really just sweet and awesome. The actual summary says, "Arthur is an Oxford Blue. Merlin is an Oxford cox. Lancelot is Merlin's romantic-dalliance-loving friend. Morgana is horribly clever; Gwen is cleverly waiting for Lancelot to grow up. Merlin and Arthur rub each other the wrong way, at first, but it soon becomes clear that Arthur is a university-class rower with a world-class heart (yes, I typed that). Clichés ensue." I mean, come on, how can you not love it already? He’d turned to Merlin and raised his eyebrows, as if to say, See what I did there?, and Merlin had rolled his eyes and thought, Jesus, Arthur. I’m sort of in love with your awkward ways.

Excalibur by suaine: Arthur/Merlin, R. After Merlin throws Excalibur into the lake. Mind-reading, magic-sharing, two-sides-of-the-same-coin metaphors, just like the best Arthur/Merlin should be. The magic reared and bucked in his hand, the sword vibrated with revulsion, but all Uther seemed to feel was the slight imbalance in its weight, the slight hesitation as it cut through the air. Excalibur screamed as it slashed and cut at an invisible enemy, and Merlin could hear every single note as if it was uttered by his own heart.

Externality by zarathuse: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. Explicit sword porn. Do I really need to add anything else? Three months after Uther’s death, Merlin leads Arthur out to the lake where he cast away the sword that defeated the Black Knight and tells him about his magic. Or, well. He tries, at least.

Fall Off The Earth by torakowalski: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. Aww. Arthur adapts well. Arthur turns his head, looking for an explanation and at Merlin by default, and stops, blinking. Merlin's eyes are gold. "Am I hallucinating?" he asks. He can feel the warmth from the fire starting to thaw his ice cold feet. If this is a hallucination, he'd rather like to remain inside it.

Favorite by astolat: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. In which Merlin becomes Arthur's mistress, except it's so much better than that. Like fifty times better. It's worth it for all the sex, but even moreso for the ending. "I'm—what?" Merlin said, his voice rising even more. "I'm not moving into your chambers! People will think I'm your—your—mistress or something."

Fostered by rageprufrock: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. In which they raise a dragon. It sounds a little like crack but it's actually lovely and stretches into the future. It's written by Pru, so it's good, okay. When Merlin returned with more wood and a thin frosting of snow, it was to see Arthur, still in his armor, gleaming in the orange light of the flames, sitting cross-legged on the rushes running one rough finger down the curve of the egg. Merlin didn’t bother to smother the smile that tugged at the corners of his mouth, just set the wood down and went over to the prince, gently pulling at the freezing metal of his armor until it was just Arthur, his golden hair gleaming in the firelight and the soft, worn red of his shirt.

Fruition (or The Education of Arthur) by spiny: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. In which everything is Sir Wynston's fault, except when it isn't. Yeah, another one of those fics where they dodge around it for a while and then they have sex. "And you'd rather stay in Camelot than give me a moment's peace," Arthur returned, pushing away his empty plate with an approaching sense of contentment. / "Definitely," Merlin said.

Give Me Miles and Mountains, and I'll Ask for the Sea by hackthis: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. Well, it's Zahra. And it's Arthur . . . basically having a crush. Perhaps Merlin is an infectious disease, and Arthur has no hope of cure.

The Golden Hours by saucery: Arthur/Merlin, PG, Peter Pan AU. Arthur is Wendy! Merlin is Peter! This is a WIP but the first part is delightful beyond all reason, so I have to rec it anyway. The boy's ears were larger than normal, and had little elfin peaks to them; his hair was a wilderness of dark, wet-seeming curls, each polished by the moon until it shone. His face was triangular and stubborn and somehow very vital, very vibrant and unthinking and complete, like the faces of infants or madmen or people in love. Maybe he really is an alien from a distant star, Arthur's stunned psyche reflected, for a moment.

The History of Two Conversations by takadainmate: Arthur/Merlin, R. This fic feels a little clumsy in places, but I have to rec it for the Spell for Reattaching Heads bit, it really is a clever and moving way to illustrate just how Merlin feels about all the beheadings. Oh, Merlin. Also, snarky conversations in books. As Aja said, hello H/D of 2002. When the witch who turned her ex-beloved into a halibut was found and beheaded Merlin wrote on a clean page at the back he was sure had not been there before, Spell for Reattaching Heads. And he meant to find one.

House of the Rising Sun by dvswraatins: Arthur/Merlin, PG. This fic does things no other fic has, so how can I not mention it? The Arthur and Uther relationship just makes it for me. Uther was silent for a long time, just watching Arthur as if he'd never seen his own son before. Arthur considered this a rather odd welcome home, but also oddly welcome nonetheless.

Incentive Plan by lamardeuse: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13, in which there is gift-giving. Merlin obeyed immediately, feeling foolish. Of course Arthur hadn't meant for him to have it; it was clearly terribly rare and valuable. “I'm sorry,” he said, holding it out to Arthur as he came toward him. / “No, you idiot,” Arthur murmured, taking it from him gently, “you have to peel it first.”

Job Orientation by seperis: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. Set in the not-so-distant future, when Merlin builds a tower. In which Merlin is a little dense and Arthur is a lot loyal. ♥. "Years ago," Arthur says because he's an utter, utter bastard, "I, too, suffered the indignity of incompetent help. It's a trial, I know, but rank has its burdens—"

A Kind of Balance by derryere: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. I almost always dislike gender bending fics but this one is just made of awesome, I love it so. Half-ridiculous and somehow also wholly moving. OH BOYS. "You can't be my manbreasts," Arthur says. Then—"I mean, breastservant. I mean—Oh, for fuck's—"

Lord Drake's Request by pennyplainknits: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, modern!AU in which Arthur gets an inheritance and a fake husband. Um, guh. I don't know why, but I totally love this fic. (Also, this is exactly how I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry should have turned out.) "To my great-nephew Arthur I bequeath Tintagel Distribution, wholly and without reserve, save for one condition. You must marry, and stay married, for a period of no less than six months. You're a wonderful businessman Arthur, but a full life needs love and companionship, not just a string of affairs. Settle down young Arthur, and your life will be the richer for it."

Marwnat by ignipes: One of those fics where Merlin must leave Camelot, while Arthur waits. This fic feels very—mature, I'm not sure how else to explain it. When night falls a fog fills the forest where they make camp. At the edge of the ring of firelight, Arthur sees the ghosts from the fen watching and waiting. The men walk by them, around them, through them, and never know they are there. Arthur wonders if his father had ghosts following him about as well, hollow-eyed and cowering, perhaps carrying their own heads away from the executioner's block.

MERLIN by moonythestrals: Arthur/Merlin, R, the fratboy AU. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THIS FIC, WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE. Two hours later, an updated copy of the script with a new scene would show up in his inbox. "The snakes, dude, they come out of the motherfucking shield," would be the body message under the attachment. "Sick, right?" And yeah, Merlin would have to agree that that's pretty fucking baller.

Meteorology by fahye: Arthur's a prat, Merlin doesn't really mind. In retrospect, it had taken a surprisingly short time for Merlin to decide that Arthur Pendragon was not actually a complete prat. No: through careful observation and pattern-spotting of which he felt Gaius would have been very proud, Merlin had concluded that Arthur was in fact a selective prat, and predicting the worst fits of prattery was no more difficult than looking out of the window and predicting rain based on the presence of charcoal clouds.

Misrule by thehoyden: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. Merlin is the Maiden of Misrule and wears a dress. Um, so cute it'd be painful if it weren't so cute. "Well," Morgana said, looking pleased, "Maybe Arthur won't actually throw the tourney this year."

miss the train before by fahye: WiP, AU, in which there is a heist. Plus Singapore, utterly gorgeous prose, and photos. I can't say much about it plot- or character-wise yet, as there isn't much, but the writing is so lush that I'm sure it will be good? The city air was hot and mad, slapping against the skin like a damp flannel that left one feeling dirtier instead of cleaner. It was November and thirty-two degrees and in Merlin's opinion the whole experience was altogether bizarre; the only familiar thing was the steady drizzle of rain, as though someone had taken England and stretched it skywards, tossed down a handful of palm trees, and then kicked the thermostat up to tropical heights and stood back to watch everyone melt.

Never Pay the Reaper with Love Only by little_giddy: Arthur/Merlin, AU for reel_merlin, based on The Incredible Hulk. I cannot explain my rabid love for these AUs but Hulk!Merlin is pretty great. "You think they're making Merlins," Morgana commented very quietly.

Not Even Slightly Dickensian by little_giddy: Arthur/Merlin, WiP 19th century AU, Merlin picks pockets and Morgana writes Penny Dreadfuls, R. "Great," Merlin heaved a sigh and leaned back in the chair. "I think I prefer living with my own fictional selves than some Prince Prat." Morgana drew him a look. "What? It's not like you were actually going to call him Arthur."

Onfindan by astolat: Arthur/Merlin, R. The one where they team up to fight crime monsters together and Arthur grows kinglier. Stretches into the future. Arthur was still smiling at him in the very same way, clear even through the vision's haze, and Merlin thought, we will be those men, and raised a cup to him in answer. (Also with a sexy epilogue).

Pavlov Penis by derryere: Arthur/Merlin, R-ish. Merlin can't get enough of Arthur's bed and Arthur can't get enough of Merlin's scent. WHY IS THIS SO AWESOME. Merlin says something in reply to this, but it's lost on Arthur. He's sighing, sinking into a deep and relieved sleep, the ease of closing your eyes somewhere where there is no thought of danger easing the tightness out of his muscles. His bed smells like home, like laundry and his room and also something else that's familiar, making him smile at knowing how close he is to where he's been wanting to be.

Practical Volitation by allothi: Arthur/Merlin, PG. In which Merlin learns to fly, literally, by thinking happy thoughts of Arthur. "Come on," Arthur called to him, glancing over his shoulder to smile at Merlin one more time. Merlin's magic flickered to life, and he had to fight not to shoot several centimetres into the air.

Privileges of Rank by seperis: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. In which Arthur protects Merlin, in his own way. Arthur's biggest problem to date, Merlin thinks darkly as he carries yet another load of suspiciously not-really-dirty clothing down the stairs, is an unaccountable fear of anyone, anywhere, suspecting he's capable of being other than a complete and utter prat.

Prophesy by nekare: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. Merlin dreams (and dreams within dreams), and sometimes they're true. Nice interweaving of legend, haunting. Merlin wakes with a gasp. He rolled closer to the fire in his sleep, and there’s sweat on his face and neck, pooling at his collarbones. Arthur is sitting beside him, knees drawn and elbows on them. “What did you dream about?” he asks, face in a frown. “Destiny,” Merlin says, still half asleep, and Arthur stares a bit but says nothing.

Quickening Days by fahye: Arthur/Merlin, R. In which they re-live the same day multiple times but are the only ones who know it. Plotty and well-paced and funny and lovely. The Dragon laughed. The sound set Arthur's teeth on edge. "The unravelling of this knot will be a great and important step in your journey together."

Reciprocation by astolat: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, in which Arthur is clueless and insufferable and it's AWESOME. Also, porn. "You know, I'm beginning to think there may be something to these notions of yours," Arthur said.

(Self-)Preservation by esohpe: Arthur/Merlin, PG. I didn't expect to like this fic but I do, so much. It’s a gradual realisation. But a month after the attack, five days after the fever breaks and his mind is finally his own, Arthur realises Merlin is long gone.

So Are They All, All Honorable Men by seperis: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. My favorite part might be Arthur taking mathematics. Okay, not really, my favorite part is probably the Gwen/Morgana. Anyway, Merlin makes the word "Sire" sound like "chamber pot" about a thousand times, challenges are issued, and they protect each other, like always. "How is it you have an obedient maid and I have--" Arthur searches for a word to describe Merlin. There are no words to describe Merlin. "Merlin."

Springs The Wood Anew by sevenfists: Arthur/Merlin, PG. They pick flowers. Yeah, that's pretty much it. Cute, short. Arthur was furious when he found out about the whole magic thing—and hadn't that been a debacle, with the chandelier and Morgana's dress and the hideous bat-like creature spitting black goo everywhere, and Arthur vanishing into the thing's maw—and he didn't speak to Merlin for an entire week; and then there was that terrible conversation after the midsummer feast, when Arthur drank too much wine and cried and talked a lot about horses and chivalry, or something; and the morning after that, when he cursed at Merlin for a solid ten minutes, and then said, "Oh, quit looking at me like that and bring me some breakfast; I hate it when you go around like that, all—with the eyes, and," and then turned red and refused to say anything else. So Merlin didn't think he was entirely unreasonable in concluding that Arthur was clearly a complete girl.

The Stars With You (Anytime) by flamebyrd: Arthur/Merlin, R. A space!AU! Lancelot is an android. Merlin supposed that being the son of Uther Pendragon was probably not that unlike being an artificially-intelligent robot, at least when it came to relating to normal human beings.

There Are Only Walls to Hold Me Here by little_giddy: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. For once, established relationship fic! (And I usually hate those.) It was fear, but not fear of him. Fear of the fall and the edge that they saw him courting.

Those Things That Change Us by anna_zee: Arthur/Merlin, PG, post-episode 10. Things are different now--they have no choice but to be different now because they’re different. Will’s death has changed Merlin, and through him, Arthur. He’s seen Merlin at his worst; he has no doubt that in time, Merlin will see him at his. Whatever barrier existed before that made it inappropriate to show weakness is gone. He can’t bring himself to regret it.

Three Tasks by syllic: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. It seems like a fact that a little bit of ridiculousness has to be present in all Merlin fic, which it is in this one, and yet this fic is just so amazing and transformative, it's all great. Arthur is the Royal Arbiter for Suitable Suitors' Disputes; Merlin has suitors. I can't fully explain the way Arthur changes and grows in this fic, and how earnest and wonderful Merlin is, just read it. Arthur, who had carried himself like a king and dispensed a fitting and truthful justice to three people who had looked to him for guidance, making Merlin as proud as he always seemed to, in the end, and Arthur, who had saved Merlin’s life more than once, and who had done so happily, and Arthur, who laughed when he thought Merlin wasn’t looking, and really, a little foolishness was a small price to pay to stand behind this man: looking foolish, perhaps, but with the Pendragon crest emblazoned on his chest.

Tintagel by seperis: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. This fic is really intense and wonderful. "This is how it began," she says, and for a second, the young girl who loved Ygraine looks out, lost and broken and left behind to be both witness to Uther's madness and executor of Ygraine's will. "This is what you are, Arthur Pendragon. This is what you cost us all. And knowing this is the price you pay for it."

The Tower by astolat: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. This fic is a little terrifying, to be honest, and like Aja said, so much to unpack! The room seemed different than the first time Arthur had come through it, and he realized he didn't see the stairs down anymore. Merlin was standing in front of the only door, his eyes the only light, glittering with magic and rage. "You should have been afraid to come here," he said.

a tree and a bee and a flea, fiddle-dee-dee by oxoniensis: Arthur/Merlin, R. In which Merlin has a lot of plans involving magic, and Arthur goes along with them. I strangely really wanted this to be gen, actually, and could have done without the gratuitous "Princess Arthur" jokes, but altogether it's cute and I just love the idea of Merlin and all his plans. Merlin just smiles. "Trust me," he says, and damn it all, but Arthur does trust him. So he doesn't try to move, just stands there and watches his feet grow roots, and then feels himself grow, taller and taller, and his arms split into branches.

vengeance built me hastily by thoracopagus: Arthur/Merlin, role reversal, PG? His cloak is stained with each and there is a livid bruise forming on his side, but this he attends to first, the man and the weapon that keep him alive to do it. "Not everything," he answers, voice low. Arthur is already dozing, adrenaline drained away by the summer sun. He looks up into the harsh white of it, eyes gold and bold with the understanding that no one taught Arthur mercy.

A Very Serious Business Story by syllic: Arthur/Merlin, Gwen/Claudia Morgana. This is complete crack, in which Merlin merges with the Babysitters Club in an epic crossover AU. There are narwhals. There is surfing. There are Kid Kits. Mordred is a brat, Arthur is Stacy. It's not all that serious or specifically IC but how could it be? It's hilarious, I'll give you that. “The narwhal was dead?” screeched Mrs. Anhora indignantly. She whirled and looked directly at Arthur, whom she evidently held directly responsible for this tragedy. “But—narwhals are the unicorns of the ocean! Precious to behold!"

The Weight of Words by waldorph: Arthur/Merlin, NC-17. Thoughtful and meaningful. When he was six years old, Arthur learned that he could not get things by wanting them and asking. If, however, he expected things to be given to him, but acted as though he neither wanted nor needed them, he would be offered the world.

What You Carry With You by ras_fic: Arthur/Merlin, PG. Set between 1x10 and 1x11. Arthur angsts about knowing about Merlin's magic. Haven't seen this done before (which is funny because, well, H/D fics are overflowing with it). He sees Merlin's magic everywhere, and it makes him want to shut his eyes. His bones ache with the weight.

The Wrath of Grapes by penknife: Arthur/Merlin, PG-13. Basically, four times alcohol failed to solve Merlin's problems (and one time it did). Drunk boys, what could be better? "I want to make it clear I could stop being drunk any time I wanted to," Merlin said, and poured himself another glass of wine.

Things I Have Read That Are Popular But That I Don't Feel Inclined To Fully Rec: No Magic Necessary (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, dub-con for a while), Backfire (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, spells gone awry), We're A Storm In Somebody Else's Teacup (Arthur/Merlin, PG-13, modern!AU, so intense!), You Say Tomato and I Say Tomahto (Arthur/Merlin, PG, adorable/hilarious misunderstandings), Woods for the Trees (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, modern!AU, classic Zahra), The Kingdom of the Blaggers (Arthur/Merlin, modern!AU/RPS/Entourage, super classic Zahra), Next Time I Will Remember This And I Will Say No (Arthur/Merlin, PG-13, Merlin pretends to be Arthur), Peach, Plum, Pear (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17?, future!fic in which they are looking for Merlin), Treason To Us (Arthur-finds-out-and-reacts-badly fic), And Still (they go on a quest and get together), an arse is an arse, of course, of course (Arthur/Merlin, sex), the tale of the sea serpent (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, I'm only not reccing this because I'm too lazy to re-read it right now), Loss, And The Finding (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, Merlin is kidnapped and Arthur goes after), The Joye of Sexe (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, that one where Arthur has a ton of sex), Unknown Side Effect (Arthur/Merlin, R, drugged!Arthur and cuteness), A Discussion on the Breeding and Training of Horses (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, blowjobs under the table), Today We Are Victors (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, Arthur's need), Epistemology (Arthur/Merlin, R, short piece), Mirrored Glass (Arthur/Merlin, PG-13, a lot of telling but still great), Past Imperfect (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, a little bit of time travel!), The Problem We All Live With (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17, Arthur makes a bargain with Nimueh for Merlin), Arthur's Sword (Arthur/Merlin, R, Arthur's sword is a lizard and he kills a bear), And None But We Can Be Such Kings (Arthur/Merlin, R, Arthur attends feasts and Merlin picks out his clothes), A Young Warlock's Guide to Fated Destiny (Arthur/Merlin, interactive, hilarious), Into His Own (Arthur/Merlin, Merlin leaves and learns more about magic), In A Yellow Wood (Arthur/Merlin, sorcerers abound and they kiss), Accidental Magic (Arthur/Merlin, PG, Merlin grants wishes AWW), slán sábháilte (Arthur/Merlin, PG-13, they save each other), Something Quite Special (Arthur/Merlin, PG, Arthur gets a new manservant), A Feeling We Don't Know Yet (Arthur/Merlin, PG-13, one of the many in which they end up in bed together for a variety of reasons), Midwinter (Arthur/Merlin, PG-13, Midwinter gifts).

(To be clear, all of the above are still recs, I enjoyed them all, I am just lazy and only wrote about so many. None of the above descriptors are meant as snark or criticism, they are just meant as descriptors and/or compliments.)

I don't know, there are more, like 50000 thousand fics where they switch bodies or wear dresses or just fight monsters and realize eventually they are in love (and that Merlin has magic), but you can just find them yourselves. In every single one of them, I'm willing to bet that there are three to a hundred anachronistic elements, that Arthur goes all dreamy when Merlin's eyes turn gold, and that the words "prat," "idiot," and "worst manservant ever" are used multiple times.

Oh yeah, and there's that fic where Arthur ~dazzles~ everybody.


SOME OTHER RANDOM THINGS OF NOTE:

The RPS of Doom by derryere: The best Colin Morgan/Bradley James RPS I've read so far. Oh, boys. On the way back, sitting in the back seat because he was—as Katie put it— 'too bloody filthy to drive', Bradley falls asleep against the window. He wakes up twice because his cheek is freezing, and each time finds his thoughts flittering between the question of when you tell someone they're your friends, if at all, and the warm pressure of Colin's thigh pressed against his in the small seat of the car.

Uh, except for this RPS by spiny which is, well, NC-17 and probably shouldn't be allowed to be that hot. There's also this; I just love it so much, the line of sadness running through it, but the, well, hotness and joy of it, too.

Or And Nobody Wears A Crown by coffeejunkii, also NC-17, also Colin/Bradley, also amazing. Bradley never discovered what Hancock was about. He tried to focus on Will Smith's superhero problems, but all his mind cared to explore was the memory of how solid Colin's hand had felt on his back.

Or The Horse and His (Co-Star's) Boy by spiny, NC-17 and OMG, BRADLEY AND COLIN. "And Katie thinks I fancy you." / Colin ran one slim finger down the page. "Katie?" he said distantly. / "Yes," said Bradley, and went to sit in his trailer and sign photos of himself.

Or Rain Wakes Me by spiny, NC-17 and also, holy fucking heartbreak. These days, Bradley only touches Colin when they're filming, when the cameras are rolling and they can both excuse the slip of Bradley's fingers along the cuff of Colin's shirt as something that belongs to two different people entirely.

There's also Anaphylaxis by frantic_allonsy, which is adorable and all about allergies, and Accented by antihysteric, in which Bradley can't understand Colin's accent. AND THE MANWHORE ONE.

THIS IS ALSO THE BEST RPS FIC EVER. TEACHING THE INDIE KIDS TO JOUST AGAIN BY AJA. NO, I WILL NOT STOP CAPSLOCKING.

All the art of trolleys, but hello, especially Hush (click the larger version) and well, ARTHUR IN GLASSES (modern!AU).

I love these sketches (scroll down) by steam_pilot because I love the idea of Arthur thinking about fish with that worried look on his face. God help me, I am not going to make a Tom Felton joke here, I really am not.

BOND!AU ART, how can you resist. Especially when Aja wrote fic for it.

Colin Merlin Colin in Wonderland art. UM, CRACKTASTIC CROSSDRESSING BUT ABSURDLY HOT.

Merlin comic by glockgal. HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT TO BE IN THIS FANDOM.


All screencaps in this post from In A Dream Caps.

 
 
( 78 comments — Leave a comment )
let's get the seven lines.: pic#79489688bookshop on March 5th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)

GUH

POST IT

POST IT

MAKE IT PUBLIC RIGHT NOW

I WANT TO SHOW THE WORLD

ALSO YOU HAVE READ SO MANY FICS THAT I HAVEN'T

DID YOU REC A YOUNG WARLOCK'S GUIDE TO DESTINY? I DON'T THINK YOU DID, WHICH IS FINE, BUT I JUST WANTED TO POINT IT BECAUSE HELLO SLASH DRAGON <3333

POST POST POST
kc.loftily on March 5th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
ldkfjs anything for you, apparently. I wasn't even going to make it public because of my comments on half these fics but I did anyway.

This post is pretty embarrassing, actually. HOW HAVE I READ THAT MUCH.
(no subject) - bookshop on March 5th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 5th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on March 5th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 5th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 5th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
let's get the seven lines.bookshop on March 5th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)

also i think your post needs more Gay Castle Picspam. PLZ REMEDY.
kc.loftily on March 5th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
YOU WOULD THINK THAT. MAKE YOUR OWN GAY CASTLE POST.

(Or I'll remedy such ailments when I get home from office hours.)
kc.loftily on March 6th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
I refuse to post this on your journal, everyone else is being REALLY SERIOUS


trudy trulygodspoodle on March 5th, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
...I am a little scared. But intrigued. o_0

I'll have to set aside some time to watch it, though my desire to be in any fandom is... is what it is (like, below low and into 'barely there'), and I definitely never do it *on purpose*. But how I define 'in fandom' is like, commenting on fics, friending people, following comms, etc-- I'm likely enough to read some fics/watch some vids, hehe :D
kc.loftily on March 5th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
IT'S ONLY TEN HOURS OF YOUR LIFE, THAT'S LESS THAN HALF A DAY.

YOU WANT TO BE IN THIS FANDOM, REENA, I KNOW YOU DO. It actually kind of baffles my mind that you aren't already.
(no subject) - godspoodle on March 5th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 5th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - godspoodle on March 5th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on March 5th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - godspoodle on March 5th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 5th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on March 5th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 5th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 9th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - godspoodle on March 9th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on March 20th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - godspoodle on March 20th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 25th, 2009 04:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - godspoodle on March 25th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - godspoodle on March 25th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
the puzzlerthexpuzzler on March 5th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
uhm, okay, I have no idea what the protocol is for this *sighs* and I know this is probably, like, forbidden by penalty of fandom-homicide or something, but - like.
I found this rec list through a link and I went through the fic you linked because I love reading good stories and then I saw you recced my story, and. feel free to just ignore this, kay? but I'd really love to know which parts didn't work for you. if you have the time or inclination to tell me, I'd really, really like some concrit. I always hope someone will take pity and give me some, so I can check it out, improve this particular story, or do better next time, but sadly, most people probably just don't have the time or don't want to or have some other reason (which is okay :)).

Yeah. So, if you feel like it.
Also, thank you so much for this post, some of these I haven't read yet and most seem to be excellent quality :) it's amazing of you to put so much work into something like this :) I'll definitely be saving this one to re-visit lots of my favourite fic, nicely sorted as it is here.
Thank you!


kc.loftily on March 6th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Hi! Not forbidden at all; in fact, I'm really glad you commented, and also, I know I really need to do better about giving writers feedback, so this was a very good reminder. I really liked your fic, actually, and some parts I especially loved, particularly Gaius and Gwen—Merlin's interactions with both of them were perfect, and a really nice touch. I get sad when there are Arthur/Merlin fics that don't focus at all on the other characters! And I pretty much love Gwen, yours especially. Also, I love this line, just because, lkdjfs oh Merlin:

"Yes, why not," Merlin said, grumpy. "Gwen wants to sleep in his bed, too. Let's make it all four of us. All together. Why, do you want to join as well? Let's invite Uther. Oh no, wait, we can't, he will burn us all for defiling his son."

I think what felt off to me about the fic was that at times it felt a bit like dub-con in terms of Arthur continually ordering Merlin into his bed, which is more my own fic-preferences than your fic, so that's not really concrit! Mostly what I mean is, I loved this part, just loved it, felt it was really, really important and said so much:

He could play the servant, give Arthur his intense loyalty and love, he could kneel and dress and wash his skin where Arthur himself couldn't reach, and hand him his sword before a fight, wishing him luck; he could even warm his bed if it was required from him, stay the night if Arthur needed such comfort and could not find it anywhere else. But he couldn't kiss and offer his body, because Arthur hardly ever knew what he wanted, and Merlin was risking everything as it was, his life, his position, his home.

Arthur understood titles and addresses, proper bows and the fact that he had the privilege to get served, but he'd never understood that as prince and servant they were two different types of humans, one worth more than the other. And as long as that difference existed, Merlin could not give him everything he had.


I just think all of that is so weighty and eloquent and says so much, and it made me want to underline it three times, and then it's wrapped up all-too-quickly, with no chance to really explore that—because I think it is true, what Arthur doesn't understand about their relationship and how right now it isn't a meeting of equals, especially not when he's ordering Merlin to keep him warm. I guess I just hoped the latter half would stretch out more, to really unpack the tension in those two paragraphs, because they were by far my favorite part, and something I haven't seen explored enough in fic.

Anyway, thanks so much for coming over here, and also for commenting! I don't know if you have written other Merlin fic but I will definitely check it out.
(no subject) - thexpuzzler on March 6th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thexpuzzler on March 6th, 2009 12:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 6th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
let's get the seven lines.bookshop on March 7th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)

*HAS JUST WATCHED FIRST VID*
kc.loftily on March 7th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
WHICH ONE(S) DID YOU WATCH!
(no subject) - bookshop on March 7th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 7th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on March 7th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 7th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on March 7th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 7th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on March 7th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 7th, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on March 7th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 7th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on March 8th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
let's get the seven lines.bookshop on March 7th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)

OMG ARTHUR ARTHUR ARTHUR
let's get the seven lines.bookshop on March 7th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)

AND DFD KLFD OF COURSE HE MAKES MERLIN LOVE HIM OF COURSE MERLIN HATES IT OMG

FASKJFDJFD *CLASPS HANDS, DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH LOVE*
ellecainellecain on March 17th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Came here via Aja, this is fantastic! Thank you for the Guide To Good Slash, it makes navigating this fandom so much fun!
kc.: this is aja's faultloftily on March 17th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Haha, thank you for stopping by! I haven't been reading as much fic lately, but I try to keep this updated when I do, so I hope it proves helpful!
the purple light of a summer night in Spain: bbc: jocko says yes & I believe himthemis on March 19th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
I don't remember how I found this rec list, but thanks for putting it together! It is very helpful in my attempts to avoid writing my research paper. :)
kc.loftily on March 21st, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
I HAVE NOT, OMG I LOVE IT
Spunk Ransomhypomnema on April 5th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
It's almost 4am and I hate you
kc.loftily on April 5th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
I SHOULD NOT BE GLEEFUL ABOUT THIS BUT I SO AM
(no subject) - loftily on April 6th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hypomnema on April 6th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on April 6th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hypomnema on April 14th, 2009 09:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on April 14th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hypomnema on April 14th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on April 15th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hypomnema on April 15th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on April 15th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hypomnema on April 15th, 2009 04:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on April 15th, 2009 05:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loftily on April 15th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hypomnema on April 15th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
Spunk Ransomhypomnema on April 26th, 2009 06:40 am (UTC)
RE: DRP
LOVE

LOVE LOVE LOVE AJDKLAKJD SO MUCH

I RECCED IT TO PETE EVEN

AJLFKAJDKADKLADKALKD LOVE!!!!!!
kc.: this is aja's faultloftily on April 26th, 2009 07:06 am (UTC)
Re: DRP
LDKFSDKF AMAZING

THE ARTICLES, OHNOTHEYDIDNT, ALL OF IT

DKFJS SEE IT'S GOOD I CHECKED UP ON YOUR READING, MISSY

ALSO I SAVED YOUR FIC ON MY DELICIOUS, WHERE ONLY THE BEST GET SAVED. I seriously loved it, I hope you know. ♥
Re: DRP - hypomnema on April 26th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: DRP - loftily on April 26th, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
humanoidmegg: battlehumanoidmegg on June 11th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting such a great list of recs!! - not to mention a brilliant summary of why everyone should love Merlin :D

Also just wondering if you had a local copy of 'all I wanted was a white knight (I got a prince instead)' cos it sounds like a fantastic read but the author seems to have deleted his/her journal and i can't find it anywhere else on the web :(
kc.loftily on June 12th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
Hey, I am glad you found this list helpful! I haven't updated it in a while, but if I did, it would probably just be with derryere's fics. And, unfortunately, I don't have a copy of that fic or know how to get in touch with the author. Sorry! I get so sad when people delete their journals and fic is lost forever.
(no subject) - humanoidmegg on June 13th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Pst. - inthekeyof on June 29th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Pst. - humanoidmegg on June 30th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
elusiveflightelusiveflight on August 4th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
Love this list! on a side note, have you run across a big compilation of songs someone made? It has some awesome music, but the only thing I can remember is a song by Grizzly. Very sad to lose it :(
( 78 comments — Leave a comment )