Here are some of my favourite Merlin stories.
Click on the author's name for a link to where the stories can be found on the net.

Warning: Descriptions may contain spoilers.
Stories marked with    are highly recommended.
I'm happy to supply a copy of any story that has no link supplied - by email on request.
All stories are dated and the latest added to the site are marked  

These recs are sorted alphabetically by author name, then story title.


A FALLEN SISTER: "There'd Been A Time...."
Episode related tag to Season 1:10 "The Moment of Truth", the episode where Merlin needs to save Ealdor from bandits.

There’d been a time when Arthur, like his father, held grudges with an unyielding persistence. If Arthur felt he’d been wronged, no reconciliation was possible unless the other party was agreeable to groveling in abject subjugation.

"You shouldn’t have kept this from me, Merlin,” Arthur had said, but even as the words had left his mouth, quietly spoken and without heat, Arthur had known that he’d already forgiven Merlin.

He looked at Merlin now, watched him stare into the fire with a look of such grief on his face; grief and something more that troubled Arthur for reasons he couldn’t quite understand, made him more bothered than a prince should be on behalf of a servant. Merlin looked completely dejected and there was an air of weary resignation about him, but mostly, Arthur thought, he looked lonely. He looked utterly alone, as if he were the last man on earth, despite Arthur sitting right beside him. Arthur had never seen Merlin like this – it wasn’t at all Merlin’s usual countenance – and he realized that it wasn’t an apology he wanted from Merlin, but a smile.

Sweet, gentle little sex story.

AJA or BOOKSHOP: "Teaching The Indie Kids To Joust Again."
RPF. While filming a scene of Merlin, the guys gradually edge closer to a relationship.

The thing with Bradley starts (more or less) in broad daylight one afternoon three hours into filming a scene where they have to climb a giant beanstalk.

Cute, funny story with a wonderful "Epilogue" by Suaine.

ASTOLAT: "An Exile In Albion."  
Arthur, Merlin, Dinadan, Kay and Gawain have been exiled for treason from Camelot. What do they do now?

Arthur in Ealdor was like a tame lion at the dinner table: you weren't necessarily worried you were going to get torn to pieces, but it was still dangerous, decidedly out of place, and made the neighbors nervous.

This is a wonderful story by astolat which deals with the fallout from their exile from Camelot but still manages to set things up for the glorious Arthurian legend.

ASTOLAT: "Beltane."
Merlin is shocked by a story he overhears about Beltane Eve.

"There is a story that is not told in Ealdor anymore, not for many years now. It is told commonly elsewhere in Albion, though, in many variations, one among the many folktales that while away the cold dark span of the winter nights, as often in castle as in tavern. One night Arthur is sitting at drink with his knights, and a squire pressed into service as storyteller for the night offers it up.

There is an audio file for this fic at audiofic website: http://audiofic.jinjurly.com/

ASTOLAT: "Coming Of Age."
The dragon warns Athur that this Beltane Eve holds particular dangers for Merlin. Will Arthur be in time to save him from Herne and the wild hunt?

"I have called you to give you a warning," the dragon said. "A red moon rises over Camelot this night. The Wild Hunt will ride."

"The Wild Hunt is a fairy tale," Arthur said.

Quick as lightning, impossibly fast for so huge a beast, the dragon thrust its head down and almost into the passageway. "So are dragons, in Uther's realm," the dragon hissed, and damn, Arthur really hadn't remembered it being this big.

Having startled the breath out of him, it drew its head back, settling back on its rock like a self-satisfied cat. Arthur glared at it. And then it said, incomprehensibly, "Merlin is not in the castle."

"Er," Arthur said. "All right?" Then he frowned. "How do you even know who Merlin is?"

The dragon ignored him. That was the other reason Arthur had stopped coming. Bloody infuriating creature. "If he does not return within these walls before sunset, no mortal power can bring him back to Camelot, and he will ride with the Hunt forever."

An interesting and well-written story, as I expect from the talented Astolat, and one that captures Arthur's 'voice' perfectly. This is the second story in a four story sequence: sequel to Beltane and prequel to "That Shall Achieve The Sword." and "An Exile In Albion."

There is an audio file for this fic at audiofic website: http://audiofic.jinjurly.com/

ASTOLAT: "The Crown Of The Summer Court."
Elves comes to Camelot to choose their new king from a number of candidates who need to compete for the honour - and Merlin is revealed as one of the candidates, a natural-born son of the last king of the elves.

Lord Eldren looked down his narrow nose and said coldly, "Name your champion, or stand as your own."

Arthur stepped forward out of his father's range and said, "He names me." Merlin turned to stare at him.

"Arthur!" Uther snapped.

"I know what I'm doing!" Arthur said, jumping the rest of the way down the dais, and walking past the elves whose heads were turning to look at him. "Go ahead, name me," he told Merlin, stepping down the stairs.

"I'm not going to get you stuck in this!" Merlin said, and then waved an utterly insulting hand at the six elven warriors who'd already been named. "Look at them!"

Arthur glared at him, almost speechless with indignation. "And what are you going to do on your own, bleed on them? Shut up and name me, and that's an order."

I love this story. It's long and plotty and full of Arthur/Merlin snippiness.  Lots of love and sex and Arthur sacrificing himself for Merlin, as well as references to future mythology.

There is an audio file for this fic at audiofic website: http://audiofic.jinjurly.com/

ASTOLAT: "Despoiling."
Merlin is caught in Morgana's chamber's at night and Arthur has him thrown in the dungeon.

"You aren't going anywhere!" Arthur said. "The honor of the king's ward is the honor of Camelot."

"It's my honor and mine to defend, not yours!" Morgana said.  

"But I didn't do anything to her honor!" Merlin said.

"Don't say another word, Merlin, I refuse to even defend myself against such accusations," Morgana said.

"Yes, but, I'm the one in the dungeon," Merlin said.

"You might as well save your breath," Arthur said, still glaring at her. "I wouldn't believe anything you said anyway."

"I'm queer!" Merlin said.

This story ranges from the comedic - as above - to the dramatic to sweet and back again. It has a basic plot that involves Arthur and Merlin, who have acknowledged that they want each other but have chosen not act on it because of Arthur's position, having to pretend they are lovers for dynastic reasons at Uther's order. Very amusing and charming.

ASTOLAT: "Injukyoshi."
Arthur is attacked by a ravening octupus monster by a lake and he demands that Merlin clean him up. Smutty sex ensues.

Drops of opalescent muck were dripping, slow and viscous, from his hair and down his naked shoulders and his chest. His thighs were sticky where its tentacles had—except he was not thinking about that at all. In fact, it had never happened, he decided.

"If you ever," he said, by way of preamble, and then turned around, and stopped, because the look on Merlin's face wasn't the shock of seeing your prince stripped and violated and losing all respect for him, which Arthur had been steeling himself for. It also wasn't 'what have you got yourself into now' or 'I want to laugh except you'll probably execute me' or even the utterly intolerable 'I told you not to charge at the giant tentacle monster, didn't I?'

Instead it was a sort of half-blind, dazed, reverential look and Arthur had never seen that on Merlin's face before, that was for certain. It made him want to straighten his shoulders back and blush, for the love of God. He glared at Merlin. "What are you staring at?"

Lighthearted, smutty story.

ASTOLAT: "Onfindan."
Arthur finds out that Merlin is a sorcerer.

Arthur grabbed him by the collar and shook him. "Are you out of your mind? What if someone had come in?"

"Sorry—" Merlin said, "sorry, I didn't—I didn't do it on purpose!" he managed finally, and Arthur stopped.

"What, you just do magic by accident," Arthur said sarcastically. Then he stared at Merlin.

"Well, not all that often," Merlin said. Arthur's expression suggested that the situation called for a little bit more than that. "Just since—last week."

Arthur didn't say anything, which confirmed Merlin's understanding that they were not talking about the whole incident involving the horde of shambling corpses, and the giant wall of fire, and the three evil witches. Or the bit where Arthur had carried his unconscious body back to Camelot and deposited him with Gaius with a short command to keep him covered up until he stopped glowing.

Lovely plotty story which starts with Arthur discovering Merlin's secret and ends with the beginning of Merlin and Arthur's partnership in establishing the kingdom of Albion. There is nice celebration sex in "Onfindan: Epilogue."

ASTOLAT: "Reciprocation."
Arthur is not the most considerate lover in Camelot and he is not happy when Merlin points it out to him. 

"I really want my cock sucked," Arthur announced wistfully, stretched out on his cot and staring up at the pavilion roof while Merlin puttered around getting the armor cleaned and put away. The rain was still drumming away on the fabric, everything was wet, the hunt had turned into a mess and they'd lost three separate deer, and two of his knights had twisted their ankles and needed to be supported limping back into camp in an embarrassingly undignified way.

He only meant to complain; you didn't take serving girls on hunting trips, and the alternative interpretation didn't even occur to him until Merlin said indignantly, "I'm not going to do that!"

This is a lovely story of an Arthur who learns the subtle arts of reciprocation and consideration.

There is an audio file for this fic at audiofic website: http://audiofic.jinjurly.com/

ASTOLAT: "Sweltering."
Arthur is hot. Very hot. Merlin cools him down.

The castle is sweltering in the midsummer heat, stones breathing damply under the sun's height when even the air lies still. Training and necessary drill is a thing for the morning, to be endured; now at last the armor has been discarded, and Arthur's flung himself naked over the crushed red expanse of his coverlet, his hair untidy against the crimson and his back sticking to the wool beneath him. Thin shining lines of sweat trickle down the side of his face and his arms as he breathes only shallowly, resenting even that much movement.

Your basic, well-written Arthurian smut. 

ASTOLAT: "The Trouble With Unicorns."
Merlin discovers how Arthur got close enough to kill the unicorn.

Merlin came over and started unbuckling him. "I don't understand. You know it's going to take the better part of an hour to get you back into it."

"It'll be worth it," Arthur said, working off his gauntlets.

Merlin's hands abruptly stopped, and Merlin eyed him up and down with an insultingly dubious expression.

"What?" Arthur said, "Get on with it!"

"I'm pretty sure this isn't part of my duties," Merlin said.

Arthur glared at him. "Guinevere does it for Morgana!"

"Morgana's really nice to Gwen," Merlin said. "I don't think I like you that much."

This is a cute little story that's just about getting the guys to have sex. And why not?

ASTOLAT: "That Shall Achieve The Sword."
Camelot is attacked by twelve sorcerers and Merlin has to reveal himself to save Arthur - and face the consequences.

'The sorcerors were half turning away, looking at the side door, barred with iron and with old heavy wood, and suddenly it shuddered and burst wide open, and Merlin was standing there in the doorway, Guinevere and Morgana frozen behind him, their eyes wide. 

And that was just what this cesspit of a situation had been wanting, everyone else Arthur cared for in the world, there to watch him be tortured to death and probably follow after in short order. He was still half-blind with pain, dizzy with it, but he managed to croak out, "Damn you, get out of here."

So naturally Merlin came closer instead. Arthur was struggling to wind himself up for enough of a yell to get him the hell away, and then Craddag said, "You cannot defeat all of us."

It made so little sense Arthur paused and squinted at him, even through the pain. Craddag was looking at Merlin, skinny little Merlin, and there no unexpected army behind him or anything. The idiot didn't even have a sword.

"We'll have to see about that, won't we," Merlin said, just as ludicrously. And then all twelve sorcerors raised their hands and blasted at him across the hall, huge red-golden leaping arcs of flame, and their light glowed yellow on Merlin's face and in his eyes as he raised a hand and all the fire spilled away from him like a river parted by a stone.

The fire died away, but the gold in his eyes didn't. Arthur propped himself up, panting, and stared at him. Merlin's eyes flicked at him for just a moment, and Arthur saw his throat work—his lying, traitorous, sorceror's throat

This is not a happy story as Arthur and Merlin face up to the consequences of Uther's hatred of magic and what that will mean for Merlin the sorcerer, and an Arthur who supports him.  Nicely done. The sequel is An Exile in Albion.

There is an audio file for this fic at audiofic website: http://audiofic.jinjurly.com/

BEREN: "To You I Pledge."  
Merlin saves Arthur's life again - but in front of Uther and the court. He is incarcerated in a magic-proof room that separates him from him magic and causes him pain.

Almost the moment the brace was closed, Arthur saw a change in Merlin. He had seen many men wounded and drifting just under consciousness as Merlin had been, but when the first brace was put in place it was almost as if life flowed out of Merlin completely. Merlin's features relaxed totally and any tension just flowed out of him and Arthur didn't like it at all.

The second brace went on and this time there was no sign Merlin knew anything was being done at all.

"Gaius, what is happening to him?" Arthur asked, afraid that they were doing something terrible.

"Merlin is not just a sorcerer, Sire," Gaius said, picking up the third and final binding; "he is magic. I have met no other man or woman like him. These are the ultimate imprisonment for one such as he; I cannot begin to guess what they are doing to him.

"Then we must take them off," Arthur said, ready to remove them himself.

Gaius looked at him them, full of sorrow and worry.

"And your father will have Merlin executed," Gaius pointed out simply. "We must do as the king wishes for any chance to save him."

Nicely done.

CASSPEACH: "Obeisance."   [No Link]
I love the author's own summary for this story: "It's not that Arthur won't share his toys, just that he expects to get them back undamaged."

He wants to ask if everything's okay, but this close up he can see it isn't. It's not just the kneeling thing. Merlin's back is held stiff and he flinches away when Arthur goes to clap him on it, to welcome him home.

"Glad to be back?" he asks, as obnoxiously as he can manage and he's horrified when Merlin just nods. "It wasn't my idea, you know, lending you to Lord Sprowston until his man was fit to serve again."

That's an understatement. Arthur vigorously opposed the idea, but Uther had insisted. Sprowston's man had had a nasty fall from his horse on the way to Camelot - thrown himself off it, Arthur suspected - and Sprowston couldn't be fobbed off with just any old servant. Unfortunately Merlin had been particularly Merlin that day and so Uther had decided to punish everyone by reassigning him and refusing to see reason.

Charming story. I love reading about Arthur protecting Merlin and this satisfies me thoroughly.

FAYJAY: "The Student Prince."
I couldn't do better than the description by the author at the beginning of the story itself: "A Modern day Merlin AU set at the University of St Andrews, featuring teetotal kickboxers, secret wizards, magnificent bodyguards of various genders, irate fairies, imprisoned dragons, crumbling gothic architecture, arrogant princes, adorable engineering students, stolen gold, magical doorways, attempted assassination, drunken students, shaving foam fights, embarrassing mornings after, The Hammer Dance, duty, responsibility, friendship and true love.."

Why are you sharing a room in Sallies?”

Arthur frowned. “Because I lost a bet, if you must know. With my father.” He stared at Merlin, looking puzzled and a touch irritated. “You weren't expecting this, then? They didn't get you to sign things – Official Secrets Act, all that?”


“Oh. Bugger. Well – I expect someone will be along in a bit. That's – I don't quite know how that happened, actually.” He looked increasingly annoyed, but was obviously trying to hide it. “Well – sorry if this sounds, you know, rude, but basically if you touch any of my stuff, or take photos of me or my friends, or tape conversations, or sell your story to the press, or – basically, if you act like a dick, right? Well, we're talking Tower of London, pretty much. That's the Cliff Notes version.”

Merlin blinked at him. “Okay?” he said, shakily. “Tower of London. You're joking, right?” Arthur looked back expressionlessly. “Um. That's – that's great. Glad we've got that straight, then.” Merlin could feel himself starting to get pissed off. “What about if you touch my stuff?”


“Like, if you borrow my music, or spill coffee on my books, or – well, if you act like a dick, basically. Can I perform a citizen's arrest? I mean, this is a democracy, right? We're all equal in modern Britain, aren't we?”

“Oh, bloody hell, he's a communist,” muttered Gawain, looking entertained. “You've got a right one here, Arthur.”

“If I act like a dick?” repeated Arthur, staring at Merlin as though he'd just crawled out from under a particularly disgusting rock. “If I mess with your things?” He looked Merlin up and down, taking in his Primark t-shirt and his ancient trainers with one eloquently arched eyebrow. “I really don't think you need to worry, but if it helps I promise I'll replace anything I damage with something of equal value.”

“Like a stick of gum,” murmured Kay, sniggering.

“I can see why you have to swear people to secrecy, if this is how you act when you're not around a reporter,” blurted out Merlin, feeling cheated. “You really are a massive prat, aren't you? A smug, self-entitled, patronising git.”

Long (yes, that is 942kb!!), romantic story loosely based on the fact that Prince Willian attended the real University of St Andrews and the movie The Student Prince. Fayjay's writing is unabashedly romantic and I liked this one quite a bit - a good, long, enjoyable read.

There is an audio file for this fic at audiofic website: http://audiofic.jinjurly.com/

JANNE_D: "A Little Fire To Warm."
Arthur has fallen through the ice and Merlin and Gaius try to warm him back to consciousness.

"Is he going to be all right?"

"I hope so," Gaius said, gazing down at the lump in the middle of the bed. "We've done almost all we can."

"Almost?" Merlin asked.

"Yes, almost," Gaius said. "Now, get your clothes off and get in there with him."


"You heard me," Gaius said, lifting his head and glaring.

"Have you gone mad?" Merlin said incredulously.

"Another body is one of the best ways of warming there is," Gaius said impatiently. "Get on with it, boy."

"But… naked?"

Warm, cosy story of Merlin taking care of Arthur.

JANNE_D: "And None But We Can Be Such Kings."
Arthur is exhausted from his royal duties and Merlin finds a way to help him.

In the daytime there were hunting parties and luncheons in the gardens, and miniature tournaments that Arthur had insisted weren't to be taken seriously, though Merlin noticed that hadn't stopped him fighting like his life depended on it. If Arthur wasn't discussing something serious with a nobleman at the feasts, he was dancing with his daughter; if he wasn't besting all the other men in the fighting during the day, he was walking groups of ladies through the gardens and making them all laugh like a group of chattering peahens. Merlin was exhausted just watching and he could tell how tired Arthur was from the fact that he had barely mocked Merlin all week and hadn't even made him wear the insane feathered hat with his ceremonial uniform after the second banquet.

And every day, before every event and sometimes after as well, King Uther would send for Arthur and every time Arthur would come back looking a little more tense. He hid it well, but Merlin could feel it when he was helping Arthur don his armour and he could see the tightness in Arthur's jaw and shoulders the rest of the time.  

This is a lovely gentle story about Merlin taking care of Arthur with romance and sex as the ultimate reward. Read this when you want something soothing and romantic with a happy ending.

There is an audio file for this fic at audiofic website: http://audiofic.jinjurly.com/

JANNE_D: "First Night"
Episode tag to "The Dragon's Call": the first night of Merlin's service to Arthur.

"Since you are to be my servant, you need to learn what's expected of you. You will address me correctly, you will do what I say when I say it, and you will wipe that insolent look off your face right now," Arthur snapped. "As your prince, you owe me respect."

"No," Merlin said stubbornly.

"What did you say?" Arthur asked, moving in menacingly and Merlin stood up straighter and refused to step back.

Nothng much happens in this story. it's just a "get to know each other conversation" between Arthur and Merlin, but it's very well written and I enjoyed it.

JANNE_D: "Treason To Us."
Arthur discovers that Merlin is a sorcerer and feels totally betrayed.

Arthur snatched his sword up from the ground, rolled back onto his feet and lunged forward quickly to bring the point to Merlin's chest and keep him away. "Stay where you are," he said and Merlin stopped, his eyes going wide in panic.

"I –" he started and Arthur stepped in and backhanded him in the face, knocking him down and keeping him there on his knees with the sword when Merlin tried to stand back up.

Arthur kept his eyes on Merlin's hands and his mouth, waiting for any sign that he was going to act, but he could still see the bodies scattered all around the glade in his peripheral vision. Only half of the bandits' deaths were to his account.

He'd been on the ground when the man who'd disarmed and knocked him down had suddenly clutched at his own throat and choked, dying at Arthur's feet and Arthur had seen it: Merlin standing with his hand out, his eyes gone golden and their attackers collapsing all around.

Merlin was a sorcerer.

Arthur does not treat Merlin very well in this story so be prepared. This Arthur struggles with a sense of betrayal and all that he has been taught to believe about sorcerers by his father.

1 LANNAM, CORI: The Tournament Of All Magicks."   [No Link] 
Merlin is invited to compete in a tournament of magic. Sure, he'd like to become the champion of all Albion, but first he has to get past giant creatures, a seductive sorceress, and the crown prince of Camelot.

"I didn't want to be so blunt about it, but really, Merlin, you should have asked me to come with you in the first place. How did you think you were going to defend Ealdor from sorcerers all by yourself?"

He stopped with his fingers in the shoulder buckle and stared at the side of Arthur's face. Had Merlin actually been going to Ealdor, the answer would have been that he could defend it considerably better without Arthur's presence.

"I can't imagine," he said after a beat, deadpan.

Arthur grinned at him. "See, you need me," he said as the plate armor came off into Merlin's hands. Arthur took it from him and set it aside, confirmation that he was in the mood for friendly companionship more than servitude.

That should have been enough to make Merlin's day, but it only deepened his frustration. Usually he worked hard to sustain this kind of mood for as long as possible, but right now it only meant that Arthur would be that much harder to get rid of.

"But you said yourself there was probably nothing to worry about," he tried. "And don't you think the king is going to be a bit peeved that you've skipped town right now?"

Arthur's jaw tightened, then relaxed. "Let me worry about my father."

"Right. Let me rephrase that. Don't you think the king is going to throw me in the stocks for a really long time for using you as my personal army? Again?"

"Merlin." Arthur looked at him with a mock frown. "I'm starting to think you want to get rid of me."

Beneath the feigned pout, Merlin caught a glimpse of genuine hurt. It made him ache, as it always did. He was completely screwed.

"Of course I'm not," he said and tried to smile. It would be nice to see his mother. He didn't need to be a champion, or have sex, ever again.

His reward for crushing his own dreams was another happy smile and staggering clap on the shoulder.

Hijinks ensue as Merlin tries to take part in the Tournament of All Magics while attempting to hide it from Arthur.

SHINE: "In Time Of Trial."    [No Link]
Arthur is displaced as heir to the throne of Camelot and he and Merlin are forced to flee from the castle.

Arthur spun around, looking shocked, still disheveled from patrol, dressed--thank god, still dressed--in breeches and coat, face dirty and smudged. "Merlin, what on earth--"

"Shut up, shut up, shut up," panted Merlin, kicking the doors shut and flinging himself at Arthur. He put one hand over Arthur's mouth and pushed them both back against the wall behind the bed. Arthur was rigid underneath him, stiff and outraged, but Merlin guessed some of his desperation was showing because Arthur didn't immediately throw him off, tolerated his touch for just a second, and that second was enough. He clung to Arthur, heaving for air, hand still over his mouth, pressing him flat to the wall, as the clatter of mail became louder in the corridor outside.

Arthur went very still, and Merlin took a deep breath and focused and breathed "Dirgelaeth nyni," praying that it would work, as Kay kicked the door open and entered, sword drawn and face grim.

Arthur looked at the armed men under his father's banner who were coming into his room, and then turned his head to stare at Merlin in disbelief. Merlin flushed, but he didn't drop his gaze, and he didn't drop the spell. He felt the magic prickling on his skin. Arthur's eyes reflected golden fire, and Merlin dropped his head to brace it against Arthur's shoulder, listening to the men only feet away and praying that Arthur wouldn't speak, wouldn't move, wouldn't reject his help, as furniture scraped over the floor and men cursed and fabric tore.

Arthur never moved a muscle.

Finally, after what felt like years, Kay stopped them. "All right, that's enough. He isn't here," he said, and Merlin raised his head, turning to look. Kay was gesturing the men out, his sword sheathed, and Merlin felt his heart lurch back into something like a normal rhythm. "You," Kay added, tautly, pointing to one of them, "take a man and report back to the king. We'll search the stables next, and then the armory."

Arthur was trembling now, so finely that Merlin would never have noticed if they weren't touching from neck to knee. His face was painfully expressionless. Merlin fumbled his free hand to Arthur's shoulder, and squeezed helplessly, as Kay led the way out.

Merlin waited until the sound of footsteps had faded, and then let go of Arthur, stepping back to let the spell fade. He swallowed dryly at the state of the room, which looked like a windstorm had hit it, but Arthur was already moving past him, staring at the disorder, and when he turned around his eyes were wide, dazed.

"My father," he murmured, almost absently.

"Not now," Merlin said tensely, and yanked open a listing cupboard door to pull out a pack. "We have to get out of here," and Arthur was shaking his head when Merlin grabbed his arm, desperately. "He said to kill you, if you resisted," and Arthur inhaled quickly, looking stunned. "Arthur, please, we have to go now."

An exquisitely interesting story about what happens when Arthur is forced to confront his father openly in rebellion. Loved this story.

STORYTELLER, SAM: "Adviser To The King." 
Merlin helps Arthur shape the world of  Camelot.

"Come on, Merlin, speak your mind," Arthur said, just a hint of command in his voice. "You're thinking so loudly I can almost hear you."

"No, honestly, my head's one big empty echo chamber," Merlin said, giving Arthur really the perfect setup. Arthur ignored it.

"Is it Morgana again? Look, I miss her too, but those rumours come round every few months and they never come to anything. She doesn't want to be found, and after what she did to my father -- " Arthur chewed on his lip. "I miss who she was. Before. You know. I don't want her back in Camelot now."

Merlin ducked his head. "She's dead."

"How are you always so sure of that?"

"It's just a thing -- " Merlin set Arthur's boot down and raised his head, staring at the swords above the fireplace, exhaling. "No, you know what? I don't want to talk about Morgana."

"Fine, neither do I," Arthur agreed. "So? Then? What?"

"Do you ever think," Merlin said slowly, "about, you know, all the stories we tell each other, they're all about adventure and battles and stuff. Enchantments. Dragons stealing princesses and knights getting them back. Do you ever think that none of that's what it's really about?"

Arthur was silent for a while before he finally weighed in on this thought: "What?"

"I just think, you know, the real...stuff, like, all right..." Merlin sighed. "When we actually change things, most of the time I don't think it's in battle. I think people change things quietly, in little rooms. Like we are here. You and me, talking. I think this is where the world is shaped."

Bamf!Merlin in this story which holds no angst but plenty of sweetness.
This author is also known as Copperbadge.



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