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Merlin: Owning Up by The Hoyden - So, do you know how long I've been dragging my feet on watching Merlin? I tried the first episode (well, the first ten minutes of it) and it just didn't catch me at the time or hit my embarassment squick a little too hard or something. But everyone in fandom is into it lately and there's all this fic and I kind of pined, but I managed to keep putting it off. And then The Hoyden wrote fic and a;sldkjfalskjslkj goddammit. I mean, I knew there were a lot of good authors in the fandom, but this is the first one I recognize as an author I read a lot (not that I've been looking that hard, mind) and so I just-- caved. I'm about halfway through and I needed makeouts, okay. And this fic was so, so fabulous. The writing is clean and smooth, the kind that just sails right along, but even more than that, I was grinning the entire way through because she does a brilliant job at Arthur's characterization. Arthur surprised me by becoming quite possibly my favorite (after initially disliking him) and this fic absolutely does him justice, does justice to the delightful tone of the series and just. a;sldfkjalskjsl so good. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Past Imperfect by The Hoyden - a;sdlkfjals;kj she is going to spoil me for yet another fandom, but I find myself hard-pressed to really mind. Because. Because. Time travel fic! And it is so delightful, because it would probably happen just like this (aside from the on-screen makeouts and blowjobs and waking up in bed together, but that's what made this fic even more lovely) and it felt spot on for the show. Plus, I adored that much of the fic was from future!Arthur's point of view, which struck me as being tricky to pull off without suspending disbelief (that he wouldn't notice or that it would be too difficult to get the point across without making Arthur seem stupid for not noticing earlier) but was instead perfect. I loved this a lot. <3 (Arthur/Merlin, not quite SFW.)

Merlin: Today We Are Victors by nightanddaze - This was a very nice fic, I love that it touches on the... well, I wouldn't say that the show is particularly dark, but Arthur is not always a nice person and he is someone used to getting what he wants. He's an honorable man at heart, but there's also more to him than just that, which this fic did a really fantastic job of showing. I love the look inside his head, the way things stir in there, not just around Merlin, but focused largely on him. Plus, the sex was very, very nice and just that touch of something that's... well, even nicer. *__* (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17.)

Merlin: Droit de Seigneur by derryderrydown - Oh, another fic where I really rather liked the take on Arthur, how he's not precisely nice (and there are times when you should be afraid of him), but he's still a basically decent person. Who is becoming a better person, but sometimes that's not as much fun because it means he notices things now and I love how much this irritates him, yet it's obviously not in a bad way, mostly just amusingly frustrating. And a;sldkfjaslkj I love the interaction with Merlin here and the sex is perfect because of course Arthur would have to one-up Merlin after a hand job, couldn't let him think he wasn't better than that. XD (Arthur/Merlin, not quite SFW.)

Merlin: Fire Sign by moonythestrals - You know, one of the best things about the series has been the dragon, I fucking love that dragon and I am waiting to find the fic set from the POV of the dragon, especially because you know it totally ships Arthur/Merlin, and until I find that, this is a fantastic fic that's very close to that. Merlin is having dreams and the dragon is of zero help about them and it's just. This is Merlin's life, this is what it's become. And I love the sense of humor and the flashes of dream that are really hot, the way it all winds together in something that felt very right for the show and the characters. And the writing itself is fantastic, I loved this. (Arthur/Merlin, a light R-rating.)

Merlin: If Wishes Were Horses by takadainmate - It takes a certain talent to be able to pull off drunken groping fics--or, hell, just drunken pov fics in the first place--but this one did so marvelously. I loved the balance of just about everything it achieved--drunken, wobbly Merlin without trying too hard, the balance the show itself achieves between historical speech patterns and something more modern, and, oh, man, drunken Arthur was spot on here. I'm generally not one for drunk!fics, but this one was so delightful and charming that I couldn't help falling for it, plus Arthur and his... he's so... well, of course that's how he thinks and how he tries to get a message across, instead of, you know, just being sensible and saying what he means. Also, the drunken stumble back to the castle was A+ and I'm usually not a fan of that, either, but, man, this was fun. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: the problem we all live with by green_postit - You know, I'm sort of not sure how to react to this fic. Other than to say that I think it may have been the best thing I've read in the fandom yet, the writing was gorgeous and everything it was meant to be. It's almost understated, the writing, which made it all the more powerful a read and that's in combination with the... well, everything the author put into each scene. The emotion, the dread, the fear, the happiness, the silliness, everything came across beautifully. And, oh, some of the scenes. Where Merlin and Arthur find themselves connected, where they each feel/experience what the other does, the way they react to it, it was so spot on that I didn't even have to try to imagine the whole thing. The whole tone of this fic, the interplay between the characters, the scorching hot sex, the inevitable pull of the ending, all of it was just. Gorgeous, I can rest satisfied with Merlin fandom for awhile now. (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17.)

Merlin: Cry Havoc by suaine - So, I only intended to read a cute fic about the dog statue that came to life, I didn't expect to get a story with a budding plot! But it's hard to mind, when it had that tone the show itself has, when the characterization is solid and the writing really clean and wonderful, when the fic just sailed right on by. I love how much personality the dog got, even when he wasn't really the focus of any particular scene, just that he really made a fabulous addition to the whole thing and, a;sldkjfalsjks, I loved the background details put into this, the story with the dragons and Albion and just. It was a really nice read this morning. (Arthur/Merlin, maybe a little PG13.)

Merlin: And Still by imperfectcircle - It still delights me that Merlin fandom is getting their slashfics with plot sometimes, like aside from the kissing aspect (which wasn't really that much, almost incidental/about something else), it was really quite similar to an episode of the series. Which I adore, I loved the unfolding mystery of what happened with the disappearing children, I loved that Arthur was putting things together far more than Merlin initially gave him credit for, I loved that neither of them could have gotten out of their situation without each other, I loved that each of them had their moment to shine, I loved that there was teasing banter and bickering the whole entire time, even as they grew closer with every scene, I loved the resolution of this, I just. Loved all of it. <3 (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Arthur and the Widow by svilleficrecs - You know, this fic did a couple of things that I wasn't really expecting, one of them being that it's all about Arthur with an OFC while Merlin is caught in the room, unable to leave without giving himself away and... and that's not usually the kind of fic I read. But this fandom has been giving me a lot of things I don't usually read and I was kind of immediately charmed by the interaction between Arthur and the OFC. What I wound up staying for was the surprisingly depthful characterization of Arthur here, who is quickly turning into my favorite, because he already understands so much about his role in life and how others see him, a lot more than Merlin understands yet. The porn was actually very nicely done (for Arthur/OFC! which I didn't think I would like! but it was pretty good, made interesting by seeing it through Merlin's eyes) and the ending a lot harsher than I was expecting, making it all the better. (Arthur/OFC at least a hard R, implied Arthur/Merlin pre-slash.)

Merlin: Friends? by Beren - So, I've been reading a lot of PG-rated Merlin fic this morning and I needed some porn, okay. And this fic nicely fit the bill--it started out a smidge rough, but quickly got going much better and by the midpoint, I was pretty much reading through the whole thing in one piece. I like this characterization of Arthur, who knows what he's doing, is a little bit of a dick, but basically a decent guy around Merlin, even if they snipe at each other, and that's reflected through Merlin's point of view--even if he's not precisely putting it in those terms. I liked that the sex wasn't just over in the blink of an eye (which it shouldn't be, considering this fic is all about the porn) but didn't linger too long, either. Add in a few moments of humor and it was a nice read this morning. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: cor unum by thisissirius - So, sometimes, in order to balance out all the looks and non-resolution of the UST in canon, sometimes I just need fic where Arthur and Merlin are already in a relationship and it's established and I can skip straight to the snuggling. Especially if they're still bickering the entire way. I am totally, totally weak to the waking up in bed together and not quite ready to move just yet and the spooning, especially when Merlin himself is rather like, "....god, we're ridiculous." but doesn't actually move. alskdjfalskj this made me all warm and fuzzy, shut up. XD (Arthur/Merlin, not quite SFW.)

Merlin: Disguises and Imposters by Corona - Oh, god, crying. Just. Crying so hard. There are certain plots that always come up in fandom that I'm usually just not one that's much for them, the cross-dressing plot is usually one of them. But between this fandom and this fic, I just... I cannot resist. Especially when, oh, god, there were so many scenes here that had me practically crying with laughter, so many lines that I really wanted to quote because they summed Merlin's life up so completely and I could just see these scenes playing out. It's the kind of premise (Arthur wants to know what all the women say about him when they gather in groups and look his way, so he has to send someone in to infiltrate their ranks and it goes about as you expect it to) that really works for such a fic, it never forgets the humor but it also works in real characterization and there was some really hot dress!porn at the end and, oh, man, Morgana. She was so wonderful in this and I actually kind of want Morgana/Merlin interaction now, maybe even a light implied something, because it would be so fantastic, but mostly she's just super-awesome on her own here. And Merlin's interaction with EVERYONE. Oh, god. So, so much crying at the hilarity of it all. (Arthur/Merlin, sort of Merlin/Morgana, OMC/Merlin, Uther/Merlin, sort of... well.)

Merlin: A Discussion on the Breeding and Training of Horses by phantomjam - Well, I'm hardly ever one to turn down porn in a fandom, at least not while I'm in the middle of watching the show and really need some temporary resolution to all the UST. And it's another sort of thing that I don't often read, secretive blowjobs in public, but somehow Merlin fandom gets me to read stuff I otherwise wouldn't. And this was very nice, it was a good blowjob and asldkfjaslkj I loved how much fun it was and the face-touching at the end was kind of hot, too. *__* (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17.)

Merlin: Silver by Corona - After the author's previous fic, I kind of pined for more interaction between Merlin and Morgana, because it was so fantastic and full of so much potential. So when I saw this fic by the author as well, I had to zip over to read it and it delivered so, so much. I love every inch of this piece, it's the kind that would be so easy to see slipping into canon and makes me love both of them so very much. Morgana using Merlin to help her match her clothes, teasing him the entire time in that way she has, being so regal and lovely and wonderful, but not going too far, just being... the character that I'm steadily falling for. I loved the sense that maybe there might have been something there, maybe some beginnings of attraction, or it might have just been friendship, because it felt very much like their interaction in 1x08, just totally spot-on. I adored this fic beyond reason. (No real warnings/pairings, I wouldn't say.)

Merlin: the history of everything by green_postit - I know the series is a bit of a silly, fun romp that's not about anything particularly serious most of the time (dramatic plots aside) but there's something so, so gorgeous about this fic that the author is rocketing her way up my list of favorites in this fandom. It's a bit darker, it takes all the little touches that we occasionally see and winds them up to something that's almost a little painful here, Arthur's obsessive nature when it comes to Merlin, the sense of destiny and yet everything is almost sort of wobbly around them (as most Arthurian legends tend to eventually become, no matter how strong the start) and just a little off in this really delicious sort of way. There's a roughness to Arthur's character and while it makes me hurt for him (and Merlin as well), it's a gorgeous, fascinating look at the slightly darker side of things. And asl;dfjkalskj holy mother of christ it was hot, too. *__* (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17.)

Merlin: Possession by waldorph - So, I had to wander over here to read the fic that the previous one was a response to and it's not quite as subtly heartbreaking as the first, instead this one focuses more on the posessive aspect of their relationship in a way that leads to porn, rather than giving the sense of doom for everyone and not that that fic wasn't gorgeous but thank god for this one because I can only take so much before I need my super hot pwp without strings attached. And, man, I love that Arthur is this kind of person, he would be posessive and a little obsessive and Merlin obviously loves him a lot and does so for a reason but he's still long-suffering and, as;dlfkjaslkj, I cannot blame him for being kind of turned on by posessive!Arthur because that would be really hot. And it's up against the wall sex and Merlin is still very sure that he could probably kill Arthur if he wanted to, but he's kind of busy with this brain melting out his ears and all and just. a;lsjkfsljk I have needs and this fic did a marvelous job of filling them. *__* (Arthur/Merlin, implied Gwen/Morgana, NC-17.)

Merlin: Treason to Us by janne_d - With a premise like Merlin's--where magic users are executed, so of course one has to hide one's magic--of course there's going to be a certain amount of fics where people find out about Merlin's magic and aldskjfasl;jk I want them all. No matter how canon does or doesn't unfold, even if the fics get Jossed later on, I want them kind of a lot. And this fic did start a little roughly, but once I got really into it, it just sailed right along and I could not put it down at all. I loved it because Arthur's reaction wasn't pleasant, he'd been lied to and he's been raised to believe that sorcery is evil and how could he trust Merlin after this? The author played the situation up really well--not too much angst, but just enough to make it delicious. I love Arthur working through his responses, I love how much he obviously still cares about Merlin, I love how I could see the canon going this way (minus the face sucking, though, god knows there have been a few times when I've thought they were going to start making out on the show itself) and I love the resolution of it. So, so satisfying tonight. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Keeping the Magic Secret by fathomlessspite - I admit, I nearly ran screaming a little from the pairing listing on this one, but it'd gotten so many comments that I was curious about what had attracted people to it. And what was really interesting about this fic is the different take on Uther that it had--who is a character I loathed at first, but has become more and more interesting with each subsequent episode. This fic presents a slightly different look at him, an Uther who knows and keeps the secret for a reason, and I found that kind of intriguing and could buy this idea pretty easily. (Uther/Merlin.)

Merlin: A Thousand Words Unspoken by tigerlady - Wow, for a fic that's only ~800 words, this really packed a lot of punch into it. It's set post-1x10 (which means it would help to have watched up to that point, I think) and there's something quiet and tense about it, but not in a horrible way, just the atmosphere is a little different. Merlin going about the usual duties with the armor is lovely and the ending packs a gorgeous punch and it's... it's simple, but incredibly effective and lovely. (Technically this is gen, but you could probably read some Arthur/Merlin pre-slash into it.)

Merlin: Misrule by The Hoyden - I'd been sitting on this fic for awhile, because I wanted to get through 1x10 first (not that it's actually that spoilery, but just knowing whether or not it takes place after 1x10 does sort of give away one of the major questions of the episode, so I'm still glad I waited) and after marathoning the episodes last night, I pretty much dove straight for this one again and a;sldkfjaslkj god I love this author. The Feast of Fools and Merlin in a dress, no, wait, drunk Merlin in a dress, and it's just the most fabulous thing ever. It's so much fun, I don't think I stopped grinning the entire way through the fic, because it took the premise and just ran with it, working in all the main characters so very well, with such perfect voices for all of them (oh, god, I was crying at pretty much every scene Uther was in) and then even adding fabulous, fabulous porn into the mix. I cannot describe the sheer level of happy that this fic has given me. <3 (Arthur/Merlin, a light NC-17 or so, I'd say.)

Merlin: Anniversary by The Hoyden - a;sdlkfjasl;kj oh, this was just so much fun. I adore this fic because it's all about Arthur picking up on Merlin's homesickness and realizing the cause for it and just. It's not really even all that far into slash territory, but it's all about how much each of them cares about the other, how the little gestures mean the world to Merlin and how much Arthur has slowly come to care about how much Merlin cares. Plus, asd;flkjasljk god they're so adorable and so sweet in their own dumb ways and Arthur's attempts to get Merlin a present for his birthday was just. Oh, Arthur. I love him so much. And asld;kfjasljk Merlin. I adore him, too. And the ending of this one was just wonderful. (Arthur/Merlin pretty much.)

Merlin: Lost Talent by Triste - [Note: There are spoilers for 1x11 in both this fic and this rec.] Oh, god, crying. One of the reasons I watched to catch up on the show--aside from just being unable to stop watching, that is--was because I wanted to read this fic and I refused to until after I'd watched 1x11, which was probably a very good idea. Because it's so much funnier if you've watched the episode first and I-- Oh, god, I am so delighted that Triste is writing for this fandom, because she just totally nails Merlin's rambling to Gaius (who is also spot on) and uses the whole purity aspect with the unicorns and how exactly Merlin, ah, lost that particular talent to let the unicorns near and, god. I was practically shrieking with laughter through the entire thing, almost tripping over myself to read the next sentence before I'd hardly finished the previous because it was making me laugh so much. And it's so. PERFECTLY in character and what I would not give for THAT particular letter home to Merlin's mother, yes. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Carrots and Curiosity by Triste - You know, Arthur turned out to be a character I grew terribly fond of over the course of the series and part of that is because he's such a typical guy, which this fic demonstrates beautifully. It's Arthur wondering what Gwen and Morgana get up to and just. Completely having no idea what two women would do together and Merlin, poor Merlin is so long-suffering and it's just. It's done with so much humor and love that it was delightful. I think I may have nearly choked with laughter once or twice, too. XD (Arthur/Merlin, Morgana/Guinevere.)

Merlin: Polishing Buttons by skellerbvvt - Tammaiya pointed this fic out to me earlier and, oh, god, more crying with the laughter. It can sometimes be difficult to pull off a narrative of someone being completely oblivious while the readers get what's going through the other characters' heads, but this one was pulled off wonderfully. Merlin's obliviousness and Arthur's frustrated patience, it walked this really fine line where I could buy that Merlin just wasn't getting it. And als;dkfjasl;kj crying at some of the scenes, the gifts that have been suddenly appearing on Merlin's pillow at night and his reactions to them, the way he worries about everything and then the tirades that Arthur goes off on, the stuff he makes Merlin do that's so obvious and yet. Oh, Merlin. I love him a lot. It was a really satisfying read and, I swear, there were a couple of points in the fic where I honestly had to pause for a moment to just sit there and laugh, I love it when a fic can make me do that. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: A Tardis in King Uther's Court by ramtops_witch - [ part 01 - part 02 - part 03 ] - This was a fun little Doctor Who/Merlin crossover. It's not meant to be taken particularly seriously, I don't think, but it was just light-hearted and silly and all the fun things a crossover between these two series should be. The first part starts out especially well, I could really just see the Doctor making an entrance exactly like that. XD (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Those Deep Places by svilleficrecs - [Note: Both this fic and this rec will have spoilers for 1x10.] This is so much of what I have been waiting for with the series (well, not that I expect makeouts and porn from the series, but the resolution of this particular secret Merlin's keeping) and just so damn good that I'm ready to keyboardmash my way through this rec. Even from halfway through the episode, it was rather obvious how it was going to end and I started thinking, you know, I hope that Arthur starts putting things together pretty soon. Then along comes this fic and yes it is so easy to see it going just like this, so satisfying to have Arthur putting the pieces together and everything falls into place, so satisfying to have Merlin's secret finally out and they have to react to it. It's gorgeous for all the emotion in it and how painful it was to read some of the scenes because Merlin's grief is very real, his fear is very real here. And I love Arthur so, so much here, how much he needs Merlin and how strong he is to work through everything that threatens to tear him apart. Then you also throw in some really, really hot porn and this totally becomes one of my favorite fics in the fandom so far. (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17.)

Merlin: Controllable Things by Aria - This is another take on the idea that someone has long known about Merlin's secret, but doesn't let on and I really like the way the author writes Arthur here, the way his thoughts go round when it comes to Merlin, the way there is of course a fear of magic, but it also plays on how we've seen Arthur be the same as his father. I adored this fic because of the lovely writing and wonderful characterization, but also because it fits so well with their relationship, how they each balance the other one--what one is afraid of, the other is not. The way one protects the other is similar to the way the other protects him as well. A very nice piece to read this afternoon. <3 (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Rarer Than by averaird - Another one Tammaiya pointed out to me earlier and I kind of loved a whole lot. It was written before 1x11 aired, I believe, so it was all speculation about what the Merlinverse unicorns would be like and has since been Jossed, but that doesn't stop this fic from being a really great read. Because nothing is ever funnier than Merlin's life being full of pain, of being outed (well, not in that way) by a unicorn. A vicious, bloody-thirsty unicorn that takes a liking to him. as;ldfkjasljk crying at just the thought again. But it's not just the concept that's delightful, the author also pulls the fic off really well, the dialogue is well done and characterization is solid and the UST is very tasty. <3 (Future Arthur/Merlin implied.)

Merlin: Least Light by witheredsong - You know, for a series that's all about the silliness and the fun that you're supposed to have with it, I do often find myself attracted to some of the darker, more bitter/bittersweet fics in the fandom at times. And this is a more painful one, an Arthur piece as the banning of magic and Uther's lengthening age take their toll on everyone, how things seem to become harder every year. And it's not precisely a happy ending, but it's still a good ending, the writing lovely and I liked this Arthur, the one who is balanced between himself and his duty to his kingdom, his love for his people and what that means. It's not a long piece, but I'm glad I stumbled over it this morning. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: One Hand on the Wall by stripedpetunia - [Note: There are spoilers for 1x11 in this fic and this rec.] Just a short missing scene from 1x11, towards the end, where Arthur and Merlin have to make their way back out of the Labyrinth of Gedref and what I really liked about it was that it would have been so easy to slip right into canon. It's about on the same level of slashy as the show and it's a lovely little piece. <3 (Arthur/Merlin if you squint just a bit.)

Merlin: Epistemology by solarcat05 - This is a bit of a difficult fic to describe, it's not really so much about the plot as the way Arthur and Merlin's relationship winds its way over the next year or so, the way they grow closer, these little snapshots of emotion that Merlin feels around/about him. The sense of worry, the love, everything in between and it's just a really pretty fic, with several really lovely moments. ....and I continue to love that dragon a whole lot, even if it was only in the fic for a brief moment. (Arthur/Merlin, R-rated.)

Merlin: Snow Day by hils - Another brief fic (well, I was browsing the fandom quickly and there've been a lot of shorter pieces lately) and al;sdkjfalsk;j I couldn't resist this one. Arthur and Merlin and a snow ball fight, what I wouldn't give to actually see that in the show. And it's adorable here, it's sweet and you can see how much their friendship/relationship has come along. Very cute. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Bruises by solarcat05 - Oh, I adored this so much. I mean, Arthur's a bit of a dick in it, to continually make Merlin practice with him, even knowing that Merlin usually ends up covered in bruises, but he's still sort of a good person and it takes Merlin awhile to figure that out. I love the way Arthur's characterized here, really kind of a bastard about the way he's marking Merlin and yet still having come along way from when Merlin first met him and there were moments that were really kind of hot in this (despite that it was only PG13!) and I adore Merlin, who doesn't quite get it for awhile, I adore the way so much is said here without having to really say it. Plus, the lovely writing made this a nice fic to read this morning. (Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Solstice by xaritomene - I never know what to expect when going searching for fic and trying out new authors or when I'm reading NC-17 fic in a new fandom, because anime/manga fandoms have long made that an, ah, interesting experience. But Merlin fandom has been really fantastic about providing the lovely fic and this one is no exception, I adore both of them in this fic--Merlin's loneliness during the Solistice and his bone-deep weariness that he doesn't complain about, Arthur noticing in his own way and trying to be kind in a way that is so very... well, Arthur and even if it's just lead up to the sex, it was very nice and the characterization and voices for them were both fantastic. And, mmm, fandom provides some really fantastic porn, god bless. <3 (Arthur/Merlin, NC-17.)

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