syllic: ([merlin] whyever pass up a crest icon)
[personal profile] syllic
Title: Seven Magpies

Pairing(s)/Character(s): Merlin/Arthur

Word Count: Roughly 33,000.

Summary: Arthur opened his eyes a minute later to the sight of seven magpies streaking across the top of the clearing, their shapes dark against the white clouds and the muted grey of the sky. He tried to remember what it was that seven magpies meant—he’d had a nurse who had sung the rhyme to him as a child—but couldn’t.

Written for [ profile] shiny_starlight for [ profile] camelotsolstice.

In response to her wanting an AU, or maybe some sort of meet-the-family fic, or maybe something that was somehow blue. Born simultaneously of all three prompts. Set at wintertime because it’s Solstice fic. Y, politically forward Hunith is for you.

With many thanks to [ profile] arlad for her willingness to take a look at this on short notice.

Arthur wakes up somewhere he doesn’t recognise, but where he clearly belongs.

Er, I called this “The Family Man Story” while I was writing, if that helps.

Season Two has been difficult for me: I just can’t make sense of the dynamics I once thought I knew well, and writing these characters in a canon-compliant way has become more and more of a struggle. This is partly an attempt to deal with Arthur’s weirdo character regression this season.

David Diamond and David Weissman wrote The Family Man. I… apologise.

I wrote this story in a desperate two-day rush the day before my deadline (having grown very unhappy with an original draft) and it's not the thing I'm happiest with. In some ways, though, all creative endeavours are good creative endeavours, and so here it is.

One             Two             Three             Four            

(Read the story in one file at Archive of Our Own.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-24 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
See, I'm watching 1.10 right now with a friend (oh, god, Moment of Truth was SO good to us) and this is what I was telling my friend: Arthur’s weirdo character regression this season.. I AM SO ANGRY at what they did in season 2, because this episode is ALL about how much Arthur cares for Merlin, AND Merlin says they're friends! AND IT IS EPIC AND AWESOME and leads to more epic and awesome episodes, like the one with the super slashy labyrinth. SIIIIIGH, M. WHY DID THEY RUIN THIS FOR UUUUSSSS????

The writers better step up in season 3, is all I'm saying. (and maybe dial down the arthur/that person we're not too crazy about)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-24 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Arthur’s weirdo character regression this season..

It was weird, weird, weird; it's almost as if, save for the last few episodes, they not only decide to regress the character back to 1.1 but to a very cartoonish version of 1.1 (Yes, yes, I meant to say that, and I do not know how they did it, though I do realize that doing so was an achievement, though one of dubious merit).

I think, had they wanted to place some distance between the characters, they were so many different and valid ways to do it and to advance the characters' development, Merlin's as well as Arthur's. And let's not talk about Morgana and Gwen, because I'm irked at how they've diminished both characters.

Oh, sweet syllic, I loved this story when first I read it (and suspected you might have written it). There are so many wonderful things about I'm going to have to write a proper review, but, in the meantime, let me say that this story made me smile (and think) for days and that your version (all apologies to BJ and none to the Merlin showrunners/writers) of Arthur is very much my own personal canon of the character. (Take that, season 2.)

And I cannot believe you wrote it in two days (!!!!??), and I know how fast you write.
Edited Date: 2010-01-24 08:43 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-24 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow. Just... wow. As above, the first thing I did when I read that was babble "Who writes 30,000 words in a two day rush, OMFG."

And then I read it (er, yes, I read fast) and came away with "Who writes 30,000 words like that in a two day rush?"

That was wonderfully-built AU, and a wonderful Arthur coming to terms with his own life/world/relationships by exploring it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-26 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was fantastic! I loved how Arthur gradually came to see things about his own world through his experiences in the other one. ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-10 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was FANTASTIC. I have much, much love of this fic. Thank you.

I squeed in more detail in my rec here:

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-21 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hiya, just to let you know that I'm about to rec this amazing fic in a merlin/arthur discussion post:

Let me know if you'd rather I didn't!


(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-22 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi, [ profile] red_cortina--that's incredibly kind of you! I'm really flattered and grateful; you never have to ask for my permission to discuss my stories anywhere. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, though--I really appreciate the heads up, and your kindness in reccing this.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-04 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, I've no idea how I managed to miss this fic (thank goodness for rec lists), but it was fantastic. I love parallel worlds/timelines in general, but the idea that Arthur might take a lot of his ideas about being a good king from having lived in one for awhile is really intriguing. And also, even though things are so different, the relationship between Arthur and Merlin being mirrored (if reversed), is really awesome. ♥


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