life is short, and you are hot (iamtheenemy) wrote in polyfandomrecs,
life is short, and you are hot
iamtheenemy
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Merlin Recs

SOME of us have to work all night, but those that aren't so lucky, here's a shitload of stories for a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Merlin Recs
Merlin/Arthur- 48 Recs


Treason, Love, Magic by Harlequin--Arthur goes on a quest without Merlin, and Merlin is not happy. Ends a bit sappily, but I didn't mind it. NC-17 (~8900 words)

So late on that dull grey afternoon, with nothing else to occupy him, the crown prince had apparently taken it into his head to go deal with the animal once and for all. Merlin growled again, and pushed himself along; he crested the last hill and ran down the narrow track. He could only hope he got there in time.

Arthur's Sword by Kaneko--Merlin has a little magical accident involving Arthur's sword. No rating (~1800 words)

Merlin sucked his burned fingers. "Oh, really, Sire, should I change it back?" He tried very hard not to roll his eyes but from the familiar 'Did you just scoff at me, Arthur, the crown prince?' look on Arthur's face, he suspected he might have failed.

Lord Drake's Bequest by pennyplainknits--This is a forced to marry and pretending to be boyfriends, modern day au. I haven't enjoyed a lot of the modern day fics so far, but this is one of my favorites. R (~10,000 words)

They all sat in silence for a while. Merlin was having a hard time not laughing at the thought of Arthur, Arthur, who adored his friends but had a different person in his bed every night of the week it seemed, staying with the same someone for six weeks, let alone six months.

Down Among the Saints by sevenfists--Merlin finds out that he has an unusual parentage that makes him irresistible. NC-17 (6300 words)

"Oh, I'm sure we'll be able to take care of it for you," the boy said, propping his elbows on the counter and leaning toward Merlin. His eyelashes were very dark against his pale skin. "Was there anything else you needed?"

In A Yellow Wood by emilyray--Merlin, Arthur and a Druid walk into the woods...Ain't no party like a sorcerer's party, 'cause a sorcerer's party don't stoooop. PG (4400 words)

Next to him, Merlin was on his feet and brushing himself off, but he went still when he saw the sorcerer. "Don't be afraid, Merlin," Arthur murmured, half under his breath. "It's not you he's after."

"I seek the one called Merlin Emrys," said the shadow in the dust.


Despoiled by astolat--Arthur won't give into Merlin's advances because he has a ~duty to his country. Merlin gets some help from an unexpected source. No rating (11,400 words)

"Well," Merlin said, marching into Arthur's room to dump the brilliantly-gleaming re-cleaned chainmail on the table in front of him, along with his cold supper, "I hope you're happy. Now Lamorak thinks you're queer, too."

slán sábháilte by dotfic--The many and varied ways that Merlin and Arthur save each other. PG-13 (6400 words)

Oh, hello, Merlin," he said, feeling very thick in the head. He realized that Merlin had his long arms around him, had drawn his woolen cloak about them both.

The torchlight was upon them, the heat bringing pain and life. Hands covered in leather gloves grabbed him--his knights, surrounding him and Merlin, pulling them both to their feet.


Arthur and the Lust Potion by ionaonie--Arthur gets slipped a lust potion, and Merlin is forced to take care of it. What a hardship. R (no length given)

Merlin glanced over at Arthur, who was leaning seductively against the wall, surrounded by women. He made sure that Uther was looking at the same spectacle as he was. ‘I don’t think it can, Sire,’ he said carefully. Really, it should be illegal for anyone to be able to lean like Arthur could.

The Ravishes of Age (Or the Complete Reversal Thereof) by Ali-chan--Gaius gets in the way of one of Merlin's spells, and ends up twenty-three years old again. Arthur takes a particular interest in Merlin's new friend. PG (no length given)

Merlin had turned Gaius twenty-three. Twenty-three, skinny and pale, with a thatch of brown hair a few shades lighter than Merlin’s. Long, gangly limbs, but still that exact same expression on his face, still his mentor and yet at the same time, so very not.

The thin chain of next moments. by blincolin--Merlin and his magic through the years. PG-13 (~1700 words)

His mother drops his favourite toy – a roughly hewn horse that Will’s father carved from the last of the winter firewood – and it freezes before it hits the ground.

Fleet of Foot by enjambament--This is the story of how King Arthur becomes himself again, told in snippets in reverse order, from the point of view of several different characters. PG (~5000 words)

That evening there is a great feast. Undine has yet to see the King, but upon asking each of her friends, and even some strangers, what all the celebration is for, they give her an answer equal to Lynolin’s. “The King - when you look at him, you will see. He is made of light again.”

all I wanted was a white knight (I got a prince instead) by cf33--It's the coldest winter in Camelot in recent memory, and Arthur makes a strange demand. PG-13 (6000 words)

"No!" Merlin protested, trying to snatch them back. His hands weren't quick enough, so he let the magic flow, floating the blankets back on top of himself. But the warmth was gone and he shivered against the cold touch of the cloth. "No fair," he pouted.

Woke Up New by Zee--The next in what I hope is a long, illustrious line of bodyswapping fics. The sex, when it finally happens, is phenomenal. So hot omg. NC-17 (~22000 words)

Arthur's already horribly accustomed to getting what he wants. How long before he glances at a glass of wine and the glass floats to him from across the room? Merlin can't even trust himself in his own skin to keep his magic hidden, half the time--how can he possibly trust Arthur to?

No Ordinary Servant by sarcasticchick--Arthur takes care of Merlin after a hard day. My heart, it is aflutter. NC-17 (4000+ words)

Then Prince Pain-in-the-Arse wanted his armor polished (to remove the bunny fluff from the killer hare attack - not that the hare had truly been a killer, but it had made more noise than a hare ought and Arthur had been certain it was a vicious attacking ... something other than a hare - Arthur had sworn Merlin on pain of death never to tell a soul), his boots shined, his fall cloak - the scarlet one with the gold crest, not the red one with the yellow crest - freshened as Arthur had detected a faint chill in the air which could mean the weather changing or that there had simply been a bloody breeze, and his sword sharpened.

Onfindan by astolat--Arthur is angry about Merlin's magic, so Merlin vows to stop. Only that isn't as easy as he thought it would be. An interesting concept, with some very funny accidental magic from Merlin. No rating (~16200 words)

"Obviously you've got to get it out of your system," Arthur said. "So use it until you're tired enough you won't be magicking strawberries from some godforsaken country at night. Now come on, I do want to get some hunting in sometime thttp://www.livejournal.com/update.bmloday."

I'll Be Here by ionaonie--A pre-slash, post-ep tag for the finale. Arthur wakes up and wants to know where Merlin's been. PG (~2800 words)

He could well imagine how Merlin would have felt watching him die. In some ways he and Merlin were very similar, he realised; they would prefer do be doing something, anything to save the other, instead of sitting around, waiting for the inevitable to happen.

Two Short Interludes in the Nature of Possession by Alsoa--Merlin gets possessed by the spirit of an unhappy ghost who has a score to settle with the royal family. R (no length given)

“Don’t call her a witch! If she was a witch she would never have drowned!” Oh, where has that come from? He’s practically yelling in Gaius’s face, fingertips literally spitting fire. “If she drowned then she couldn’t have been a witch and if she was a witch then she shouldn’t have drowned.”

Very Nearly by kageygirl--Training with Arthur is more trouble than it's worth. PG (1400 words)

Gaius was bent over him, of course, giving him a look that was part sympathy and mostly amusement, and shouldn't that have been the other way around? "Welcome back," he said, and offered Merlin a vial before saying anything else.

Questions Better Left Unanswered by phantomjam--Post-ep for the finale. Arthur has some questions that he wants answered. G (no length given)

Merlin stared, transfixed, trying to work out what to do. He felt that he was on the edge of a narrow precipice, an endless freefall to either side. He closed his eyes, feeling the too-fast beating of his heart and the wild fluttering of his stomach, and it was like calling the lightning again, the limitless possibility flowing in his veins. He could tell Arthur everything right now, show him who he really was and what he’d done, leave no secrets between them in the clear dark night; he could step into infinity and give him the truth.

House of the Rising Sun by d--Uther appears to die while Arthur is away at battle, and only Arthur can see his ghost. Arthur gets a taste of what it's like to be King. G (~14000 words)

Arthur looked across at Merlin, unsure of what possible words he had for anyone right now. He absently nodded, letting Merlin leave and hearing the doors close behind him. It felt an eternity before he could move and slowly make his way around the bed, coming to his father's side, seeing him looking as if he were simply sleeping. Even in death Uther Pendragon appeared troubled.

He sat down on the edge of the bed. "You should have waited," he said flatly. "It's not time yet."


Feast of Sticks by Merry--Arthur gives Merlin an unusual birthday gift, pre-slash. No rating (1550 words)

Advancing on him, Arthur grabbed the box away. He pulled the stick out of the bed of satin cloth it had nestled in, and slapped it into Merlin's right hand. "It's not a stick," Arthur said, in the kind of low, calm voice he typically used on enemy soldiers he was preparing to eviscerate. "It's a staff."

Dirty Laundry by elandrialore--Arthur catches Merlin in a compromising moment. Quick ficlet, I think every fandom has at least one of these, not that I'm complaining. G/PG (~750 words)

It was the smell of sweat and leather and skin that clung to the fabric better than the rest. It was the memory of the way it looked on Arthur: stretching over his broad chest, dipping to a deep vee, the warm color bringing out the golden tone in his skin.

A Feeling We Don't Know Yet by ladyflowdi--Merlin and Arthur take a trip to Mercia, and Arthur's paranoia over their last, unfortunate meeting color the whole affair. PG-13 (no length given)

“I know this is an irrational fear. I know it has no basis in reality. I know it was that witch that tried to poison me, and not King Bayard, but a part of me can’t help but be suspicious. It’s a trait I fear I got from my father. In so saying, for the rest of our time here you will eat here with me.”

Treason to Us by janne-d--This story starts with Arthur finding out about Merlin's secret and goes from there. A grimmer and more realistic take on the way Arthur would react to the news, but it still ends well. PG-13 (4700 words)

"Get up and walk," Arthur commanded and Merlin stared at him blankly. "I said walk," Arthur shouted and Merlin stumbled to his feet. He flinched away as Arthur gestured him in front with the sword, and started back towards the castle.

Sick Leave by waldorph--Merlin is sick, and Arthur comes to visit. Told from Gaius's point of view. PG (1030 words)

The point is, just because Merlin is laid up in bed with a fever, having retched up everything he’s ever eaten (and, Gaius suspects, most of the bile in his stomach and larger intestine), Gaius did not expect Arthur to come looking for him.

To Be Known by esohpe--On a hunting trip, Merlin and Arthur enter a part of the woods that is said to strip the magic from anyone who has it. Arthur discovers Merlin's secret. Pre-slash. PG (no length given)

The cold point of Arthur’s sword rests against the nape of Merlin’s neck in emphasis. Merlin needs no further encouragement. He stumbles forward, willing one foot after another, focusing on the pervasive emptiness eating up his insides. Rather that than think of what Arthur’s face had looked like, split apart by Merlin’s betrayal.

Downfall by stellarmeadow--I know that it makes sense that Merlin will never willingly leave Arthur's side, but I want more stories where Arthur tells him to leave and he DOES IT. Merlin's on the run from Camelot and Uther's armies. G (2400 words)

"Yes." He hears the shuffling of feet, then Gaius is close. Merlin conjures a ball of light and sends it flying into the space between them, noting the new lines on Gaius's face. "I...I didn't think it would be you they sent."

Today We Are The Victors by nightanddaze--Arthur knows that he can have anything he wants - well, except for one thing. NC-17 (4800 words)

At the next feast Arthur goes overboard. Merlin's there, refilling his cup, his fingers brushing Arthur's when he hands the goblet over and his own mouth stained lightly from the wine he's been sneaking. Arthur stares, and then he goes to work drowning the dragon's hungry cries.

Weight of Words by waldorph--Arthur has mastered using words to get people to do whatever he wants, then Merlin comes around to bring him down a peg or two. NC-17 (~7000 words)

And then Merlin comes along, and firmly refuses to give in to Arthur. Refuses to become part of the landscape, and Arthur finds himself becoming accustomed to Merlin's presence. Easy in the back-and-forth, in having to do more than merely expect; with Merlin he has to articulate, demand, cajole, and sometimes threaten. Merlin he can insult without sending a ripple through the servile hierarchy, because Merlin (astonishingly) insults back.

The Accidental Seduction (or, De Nile Ain't Just a River In Egypt, And Arthur's Drowning In It) by Ras Elased--Arthur's out to prove that Merlin's got a crush on him, and ends up accidentally proving the opposite instead. NC-17 (9000 words)

The answer, oddly enough, came to him on the training field. The day was hot and Arthur had been training for hours under the bright sun. He could feel the sweat clinging to his face and neck as he called Merlin over to fetch him a drink of water. Arthur tipped his head back and drank greedily, droplets escaping in his haste and trickling down his chin and throat. When he had drained the glass, he started to hand it back to his manservant, only to find Merlin's eyes had turned a little glassy, and he was gaping like a fish. Arthur raised an eyebrow, then licked his lips experimentally. Merlin's eyes tracked the movement with avid interest.

Accidental Magic by themollyedge--Merlin gets a cold and begins accidentally granting Arthur's wishes. PG (~2400 words)

He opens them again when he hears the sound of Arthur’s open palm striking the wall. Arthur is looking at him, his eyes intensely blue. “You’re fine,” he says, and the words are quiet, inexplicable, with the air of a question. Without giving Merlin a chance to answer, however, he continues venomously, “Morgana needs to learn to stay out of my affairs and out of my way.” He gazes through the window at the rain-drenched kingdom. “I wish she’d just disappear.”

Soldered by julesoh--Merlin develops a strange new power that helps him protect Arthur. PG-13 (10300 words)

Merlin stood straighter and concentrated on the battle, the last of the day. If Arthur won this match, he would compete in the final tomorrow, against the fearsome Lord Avery, a giant of a man whose stature had made Merlin gulp and shiver when he had first laid eyes on him.

Four Times Merlin Cock-Blocked Arthur, and One Time He Didn't by Signe--Like the title says. Poor, oblivious Merlin. R (~3700 words)

The bad is that he's pretty sure Arthur doesn't want to be rescued. The look on Arthur's face is definitely not the look of a man who's pleased to have been found. It's the look of a prince who's very pissed off indeed. Which is understandable, really, considering that his britches are around his ankles, as are Sir Meliot's. And—oh. Merlin lifts his eyes up quickly.

Not in the Room by franticsga--Merlin's a bit homesick during the holidays. G (no length given)

He couldn't prevent the glare he cast at his (completely, totally shite) servant. Servants, now, servants should be beneath a prince's notice. A good servant was silent and humble in his duties, thinking only of his master's comfort, deferring in every instance.

Hunith's Yule by doomcanary--Merlin and Arthur go to Ealdor for the holidays. NC-17 (no length given)

“Excuse me a moment,” says the Prince. He marches off to the mass of servants and guards, and his voice can be distantly heard giving orders. Hunith catches something about pack up and don't let me catch sight of you again before Merlin speaks, more loudly than is strictly necessary given that he's standing next to her.

from the Poker to the Prize by lo0o0ony-lauren--Merlin meets an interesting fellow. pre-slash no rating (no length given)

In his own clothes, Arthur was impossibly quick, and used that breath of a moment to drop down and sideways in an odd sort of roll, retrieving his weapon. They began again and, after only a minute or so more, Arthur disarmed the challenger with a few well-aimed strikes, to rapturous applause from the stands – and yet, Merlin knew, clay-face had nearly had him. He had relaxed his grip at the crucial point, and slowed down in the final stages, and he had allowed Arthur to win.

Anything Secret by one-dreamery--Merlin finds it hard not to keep THE secret from Arthur, but to keep ANY secret from him at all. PG (no length given)

And Merlin, being Merlin, finds himself distracting the both of them by telling Arthur of the time his own king was infuriated by the threat and prophecy an enemy sorcerer had lain on his head. Merlin tells Arthur of how the king sent out a decree for all newborn daughters to be drowned - "No," Arthur gasps, horrified - and of how the people of the kingdom had joined together against the king and his decree.

Polishing Buttons by skellerbvvt--This story is hilarious crack. Arthur all but climbs to the top of the castle and declares himself to Merlin, but Merlin misses every possible sign. In other news, Merlin has a secret admirer. PG-13

“Think so.” Merlin pushed himself up. Today had been a bath day, he no longer had a perfectly healthy layer of dirt on his hands, and his arms weren’t feeling up to holding his weight. Oh, and tomorrow they got to practice wrestling, and Merlin was positive no one else had to take off their shirts. It was getting chilly out, and he thought he was coming down with an illness. There was a suspicious allotment of chores he had to do shirtless.

Those Deep Places by sveillficrecs/Kate Andrews--Merlin and Arthur, after Will's death. NC-17 (3500 words)

"I'm cold," Arthur says. Merlin swallows hard, lips pressed together, and God he's too easy to read. Arthur must be mad to think Merlin's got secrets. "I'm cold, and you're shivering."

In Light of Recent Events or Why One Should Never Take the Piss With Royalty by hackthis--Arthur doesn't like to be teased, and he's also kind of an idiot. R (7000 words)

In light of recent events, Merlin felt he'd reached his quota of very, very bad things happening to him, what with the three-headed dog and the carnivorous trees and Arthur kissing him and then not talking to him and the red dress of infamy and the hangover of death, so when a nine-headed snake emerged from the lake near where Arthur was unceremoniously beating the snot out of Merlin with a bloody great stick in the name of sword practise, Merlin really couldn't be bothered to cause a fuss.

Who's Counting Anyway? by phantomjam--Merlin and Arthur have a bit of a contest going. NC-17 (no length given)

They play out this careful dance from a distance; even during their fleeting touches there is a definite feeling of boundaries, until one day Arthur turns up at Gaius’ quarters. Merlin’s there alone, flicking through a book on herbs – innocent enough, but some of them have alternative magical properties that might come in useful; Gaius is out checking up on a recovering patient. Arthur leans carelessly in the open doorway, sprawling against the frame with casual arrogance and predatory grace. Merlin rakes his body with an appreciative glance, quietly enjoying the racing in his own blood.

The trouble with being an idiot by allemande--Merlin and Arthur encounter a sorcerer in the woods, and he accidentally reveals Merlin's secret. no rating (no length given)

Arthur looked back and forth several times between him and the place where man and beast had vanished. “He was... mad, right? Just blethering.” He sounded hopeful, and Merlin felt his old cowardice surface. But then Arthur shook his head. “But it doesn't make sense. Why would he have restrained that creature?”

Three Tasks by syllic--Arthur does his part as the Royal Arbiter for Suitable Suitors' Disputes when three men show an interest in Merlin. It's ridiculous, but also very sweet. PG-13 (~15000 words when you add up all the parts, I would guess?)

So when Merlin had said “Tests?”—a little mockingly, he would admit, but certainly not in any sense attempting to goad Arthur—he knew, as soon as Arthur got that glint in his eyes, that there would be repercussions. Merlin was used to repercussions. He was not, however, used to having someone else suffer them for him.

The Joye of Sexe by aleathiel--Arthur has lots and lots of sex. Merlin is less than pleased. NC-17 (8700 words)

And that squire. It took a lot of careful effort on Merlin’s part not to think about the slim, dark haired youth who’d ducked bashfully out of Arthur’s chamber when Merlin arrived that morning. And what they might have been doing together.

There Are No Legible Signs by franticsga--After the battle at Ealdor, Merlin, not used to fighting with a sword, finds his body not willing to cooperate. Arthur helps him (after mocking him, of course). G (no length given)

"I can't get off of my horse." He spoke through gritted teeth, not daring to open his mouth as even his jaw hurt. His arms were so stiff he couldn't unclench his fingers from his horse's reins, his back was on fire, and all of his muscles were being ripped apart slowly. "It's a giant. A giant tearing all my limbs off of me."

The Chatter of Britain by lynnmonster--Camelot is full of gossip that Merlin likes to think himself above. Adult

He made certain to look impressed whenever someone "favored" him with any such tidbit, but he rarely gave them a second thought anymore and never, ever passed them along.

Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown by hackthis--Arthur gets turned into a baby dragon. Whoops? PG

Except it was rather hard to digress with the lizard –- dragon -- okay, fine, yes, it was a dragon. A small flying lizard was a dragon, Merlin could admit this. Especially when the dragon was currently flying around Merlin's head, bellowing in the way only a very small, very angry dragon could.

The Dragon was a Babble-mouth by J.D. aka [info]jade_dragoness--Merlin isn't the only one who talks to the Great Dragon. PG-13 (6700 words)

Arthur wrinkled his nose in thought. “Oh, justice, laws, and something about my destiny as the future king of Camelot. I don‘t really remember. It‘s not like I didn‘t already know that. I didn‘t need a flying reptile to tell me about it.”
Tags: merlin, pairing: merlin/arthur
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