Aug. 29th, 2009

syllic: ([merlin] ha)
In Want of a Wife

Word Count: Roughly 43,000

Pairing: Merlin/Arthur

Rating: NC-17, young'uns.

Summary: When Merlin first hears that Arthur has been betrothed, his ribs pull inwards with an odd little hitch, and he only allows himself a second—which he needs in order to coordinate spinning in place without falling on his face—before he’s running to Arthur’s chambers.

Notes: Written for a lovely anonymous bidder in aid of Sweet Charity, posted two months after the fact because "I am [livejournal.com profile] syllic's recalcitrant immune system. Without me, [livejournal.com profile] syllic...", and also because I suck.

This is an experiment in turning a well-loved trope--the unexpected arranged marriage--around. It is as much about courts as it is about boys, so it behooves us all, I think, for me to say that Camelot's court in this is a complex construction, existing in an impossible time before the arrival of the printing press but after the advent of the professional book-making that may or may not have been taking place in the 1300s in Britain, with many a romantic practice being carried out even as Anglo-Saxon names for regions of Britain are used and pagan holidays are celebrated. In short, a chimaera not unlike the show's. I offer apologies and am at your service to disentangle it for those less fictionally inclined.

Thanks: Er. So this thing is a labour of love on the part of half a village, and as long as what follows is, I really can't use a cut.

Thank you thank you thank you:

To my wonderful, understanding, and encouraging bidder,

To [livejournal.com profile] lilith_lessfair without whom--and I say this with the utmost awe--this story would be another story entirely. She did characters, and sentence structure, and form, and pacing, and--everything. Thank you.

To [livejournal.com profile] nicolasechs, as always, because she holds my hand at all times of the night and I am definitely that kid that is not one with the road signals.

To [livejournal.com profile] arlad, whose eyes are sharp sharp sharp and who was fast as lightning in the middle of having her energy sucked away from her by a villain history teacher born in the 1920s.

[livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster made me turn Arthur around, and worked with a speed that defied belief in the midst of my floundering panic. I retreat from the field all the better for her punctuation volleys.

[livejournal.com profile] mamoru22 raised all the important questions about motives and expectations that needed to be asked, and shifted the axis of this story, in the middle.

[livejournal.com profile] staraflur took time away from doing very serious business things to work her way through the mood and pacing of this, while picking up stray commas, too--thank you.

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] suaine cheerled and commiserated about long stories, while getting me to think about atmosphere.




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(Chapter icons used in this masterpost by [livejournal.com profile] lemonpunch, [livejournal.com profile] lovepb, [livejournal.com profile] jadis_88, and [livejournal.com profile] cheshirefrown. Many thanks.)

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