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Merlin: Crooked Heart by Shanti - I have this fascination with potential interaction between Merlin and Morgana, I want to see it played with and I'm not sure I necessarily need it to be romantic in nature, but I'm not running for the hills screaming, either. So, I picked a fic with a summary that sounded interesting (Fate makes for difficult choices, and difficult goodbyes. Set in the not-so-distant future.) and some Arthur/Merlin implied, and I figured I should be okay. What I didn't expect to get was one of the most breath-taking fics I've seen in the fandom yet--this portrayal of Morgana is stunning and fits with her character so very well. The strength of character she has shown us more and more, the gorgeous turns of phrase in this fic, the way it clenched my fangirl heart and wouldn't let it go, the emotion of the piece just as lovely as anything. It's beautifully written and beautifully executed, I just... you know the ending is coming and yet it's no less impactful for it, rather more like... being inevitable, which the author does beautifully with. (Merlin/Morgana, some implied future Arthur/Merlin, Arthur/Guinevere, and Lancelot/Guinevere.)

Merlin: Their Fortune by gnimaerd - I just. I need to get this Merlin/Morgana thing out of my system just for a little bit. And I was attracted to this fic by the summary: Some years down the line, Merlin pays a visit to his favourite former pupil. And I'll grant that the Arthur/Guinevere in the background kept throwing me off (because the show has shown zero signs of that so far and, yet, what am I nitpicking over when I'm reading Merlin/Morgana, which is all about the possibilities that could maybe happen there? XD) but I liked what the author did with their characters here. The future she set up for them, the little details of Morgana's life away from Camelot once her gift has really started to shine, the way Merlin sees so much about her, the way they treat each other, for all that they're very different from who they are in the series, I could still see them becoming these people. And it satisfied my need for Merlin and Morgana interaction, okay? XD (Merlin/Morgana, implied Arthur/Guinevere.)

Merlin: Revenge of Oother by niceperson - It's difficult to explain the magic of this fic and why I loved it so much... possibly the only way to really give one context of why I liked it so much was that I found the link on the Merlin capslock comm, which ought to tell you a lot about what you're going to be reading right there. Just. a;lsdkjfa;lskj the reviews make it even better, it's so great. (No real warnings/pairings.)

Merlin: The Handmaids of Fate by Lassiter - asl;dkfjal;ksj AHAHAHAHA, the dragon from merlin meets Aslan from Narnia and just. YES. Beautiful, so much beautiful in just a short little thing and it never gets old how much I fucking love that dragon. This plays wonderfully on everything I love about him and is just. I could read Aslan and the dragon trying to out-vague each other all day. (No warnings/pairings.)

Merlin: No Idea Why by doomcanary - Meg pointed this link out the other day and do you know what I love about Merlin fandom? That there are stories with opening lines like The annoying thing about Merlin being drunk, reflects Arthur, is that he tends to start thinking magic is really, really funny. and Merlin gives himself a tail and the best part, the best part is that neither I nor Meg had to drag anyone into this! The fandom volunteers for stuff like this! It's kind of amazing, like England is single-handedly making up for all of Japan's slack in this. This fic was very amusing and a very cute read this morning, I adored it. (Arthur/Merlin, some implied Morgana/Gwen.)

Merlin: The Dragon was a Babble-mouth by jade_dragoness - [Note: There may be spoilers up through 1x11 in this fic.] After reading the author's previous fic, I wanted to give more of her stuff a shot and al;sdkfjals;kj I am so glad I did because this is another one of those fics that's just. Deeply satisfying to me and all about the old-school-esque slash fanfic button-hitting that I love so very much--Arthur gets it into his head, through a series of trains of thought crossing each other, that he'll know the person who's right for him when he kisses that person. And he goes around kissing everyone in Albion except the one we most want him to kiss and as;dlfkjaslkjs it's so fabulous. It's light-hearted and funny and utterly delightful and charming, the fic has some really great characterization and the build-up just makes the ending so, so much more satisfactory. *happy sigh* I could be happy in this fandom forever with fic like this. (Arthur/Merlin, Arthur/everyone.)

Merlin: The Seventeen Uses of Elder by rivier - I clicked onto this fic to read about little baby Arthur, I was actually expecting something more rooted in the first days of his birth, something more about Uther and Gaius. Which it was sort of about, but actually more about Arthur as he grows up, the way Gaius watches Camelot and its prince and thinks about all of this. The voices are spectacular, the author captures Gaius so incredibly well, balancing what he must have been like pre-series, before Merlin came into his life, with how this is so very Gaius. The scenes of young Arthur as a child were fantastic, I was just about dying at the beginning of this fic and so totally in love with fandom all over again, but then the fic turned totally epic and went right up to just before Merlin's arrival and it was. So brilliantly written that I could see every moment of this, it was a gorgeous fic, right down to the way Uther treats his son and just... everything about Gaius here. (No warnings/pairings.)

Merlin: Weapons by asprosdrakos - Wolfie pointed this fic out to me, which is a good thing, because I haven't yet gotten around to reading merlinslash much, but. But. *__* Possibly it might make me a terrible person to find this fic so delicious, but the way Mordred could come back to haunt this universe is so full of potential and this is so dark and it's painful and yet this Merlin felt right and it's just. *__* (Adult!Mordred/Merlin, R-rated.)

Merlin: She Walks in Beauty by jade_dragoness - So, for a fandom that often puts Gwen/Morgana in the background of its fic, I haven't run across that many stories that focused solely on them, so I was curious about how this would go. And just. as;ldkfjal;skjal yes, it's such a lovely and simple concept--Gwen becoming the best seamstress in Camelot for Morgana--but pulled off beautifully so that you can feel how much these two love each other. I only wish it had been longer or that there were more like this that were easily found. *__* (Gwen/Morgana.)

Merlin: Bookends by lo0o0ony_lauren - I have a great fondness for this style of fic--two halves, each one dedicated to a different character (Arthur and Merlin, in this case), showing their circumstances and getting inside their heads. The Merlin one is very solid, I like what doesn't need to be said yet is still so clearly said about him in the second half, but it was the first half, the Arthur piece that really impressed me. His interactions with Morgana when he was younger were especially stunning and it's just so easy to see this as background for him. (This is gen, but you could easily see Arthur/Merlin in this.)

Merlin: In Confidence by kageygirl - [Note: There are spoilers for 1x07 in this fic and this rec.] This is a lovely coda for the episode with the evil fairies, where Arthur nearly drowned and Merlin had to drag him out of the water, because Arthur really remembers very little of what happened there, so this situation makes sense and I could easily see it happening. But the best part is the really lovely Gaius point of view/narrative, the author really nails the voices of the characters wonderfully. (This is gen, but you could easily see Arthur/Merlin in this.)

Merlin: Who Is Tied to Someone Else's Glove. by allira_dream - I get so very wary of Arthur/Guinevere fics in fandom because it's so hard to see the characters as they are in the show coming to that particular conclusion, but... I've liked this author's work in many other fandoms, so I gave it a shot. And this is. This was rather breathtaking in how much it fit these characters and how things could have gone in this direction, how things could have wound up so terribly wrong here despite the best of intentions. The portrayal of Arthur and Gwen's relationship felt painfully spot on here, both in the way it was good and bad, in the way they connected because of their shared ghosts. The writing is gorgeous and I wish I could do a better rec for this one, because it was such an amazing piece, as much as I have become wary of this particular genre, I'm so glad I read this one. (Arthur/Gwen, implied Arthur/Merlin and Gwen/Morgana and maybe Lancelot/Gwen.)

Merlin: In a Minute There Is Time by celeste9 - [Note: This fic contains spoilers for 1x10.] a;sldfkja another angsty one, but! It's from a genre I love! Where Arthur knows that Merlin is a sorcerer, but keeps silent for his own reasons and yet wants Merlin to tell him the truth about it. I really liked this Arthur here, I liked the way his reactions swung from one to the next, from frustration to anger to protectiveness to hurt to everything else. It was a really solid little fic and the kind that I totally keep coming back for more of. *__* (This is gen, but it can be read as Arthur/Merlin pre-slash.)

Merlin: Time Yet for a Hundred Indecisions by celeste9 - [Note: This fic contains spoilers for 1x10.] I don't think this fic is directly related to the previous one, despite that they share similar concepts (in this one, it's Merlin who is torn on whether or not to tell Arthur the truth after Will's death), but it does work really well as a look at the other side of the situation, at Merlin's hesitance and fear about telling Arthur the truth. I liked this characterization of Merlin, the reasons why he just hasn't been able to bring himself to tell the truth yet. It was a nice read this morning. (This is gen, but it can be read as Arthur/Merlin pre-slash.)

Merlin: Playing on the Edge of Forever by phantomjam - Admittedly, it was a little difficult for me to imagine the Uther part of this story, but everything else was just exactly what I wanted after the more angsty fics I'd been reading. Just something playful and in the mood of the season, making it so easy to feel the bite of the cold and the crisp snow underfoot and it was just an utter delight to read snowball fight fic. And of course Arthur and Merlin's snowball fight would go exactly like that, it was really easy to see the whole thing playing out. Just. a sd;fkljasljk I still keep coming back for more exactly like this. ♥ (This is gen, but it can be read as Arthur/Merlin pre-slash.)

Merlin/xxxHOLiC: untitled by Meg - as;dlfjkaslkj I know, more ficlets, but--! It's so perfect the way it is! God, I love Meg's HOLiC fic because she captures the characters so perfectly and I want her to cross everything over with the series, especially if Watanuki is going to briefly meet Arthur and the last line of this is so true omg. Also, I love Watanuki a whole lot. ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)

Merlin: Familiar (part 01) by Honooko - asd;lkfjasl;kdjalksj Merlin gets a cat familiar. It's reasons like this why I love the fandom so very much. It's a really great blend of cat antics (one of my favorite things in the world) and really great characterization/dialogue from the characters and an interesting set-up for where this might go next. I loved each and every scene, it's adorable and there's Arthur/Merlin bickering yet they clearly care about each other, there's Merlin being just spot on and it's really so very easy to see all of this happening in one's mind's eye. Plus, you know. KITTY KITTY KITTY. I LOVE THIS KITTY SO SO MUCH. And lol to so many of the scenes here. ♥ (No real warnings/pairings.)

Merlin: Refuge by flecalicious - I still get wary of Arthur/Gwen in this fandom, but I'm also sort of drawn to the idea because I want to see how people might make it work and I really liked this one because it balances really well between being about Merlin's ghost between them and yet not just using each other, there's something genuine there, even if it's not quite what they try to make it. Gwen has a lovely pov here, I really adore her as a character and this fic does very nicely with her. (Arthur/Gwen, background Arthur/Merlin.)

Merlin: Camlann by Ankaret - For all that I crab that I spend too much time reading fics that try to bring the BBC series back towards Arthurian legend proper, I still find myself reading a surprising amount of them. And after awhile it does get a little difficult, because I want my shiny happy gay BBC series, but... I can hardly resist the lure of well-written fic. Set in the future, what the writing of this piece does is show their age and how they've grown, both separately and as friends, how Camelot has changed and there's this sense of foreboding that just sort of lingers over everything and is really beautifully written. Even if I have to go read a bunch of shiny happy gay fic to make up for it now. XD (No warnings/pairings.)

Merlin: The Feast of Sticks by Merry - This is another one of those fics where I honestly don't think I stopped grinning for pretty much the entire time I was reading, because it was just so much fun and the characterization/banter really sparkled between the two characters. It's wonderful for all the little touches, it's one of my favorite stories for the fanon idea that Arthur has known about Merlin and why he's not said anything (asd;flkjasl;kj his reasons for knowing why it was Merlin in Ealdor! so hilarious! so true.), but also just because this fic made me feel... just... happy. It's a great day all of a sudden. ♥ (This is gen, but reads as Arthur/Merlin pre-slash.)

Merlin: Beltane by astolat - You know, I don't think I've read much of astolat's fic before, I don't think we've crossed fandoms (or at least not pairings) much before, but since she's starting to write Merlin fic and I recognize her name, I decided to check her fic out. And this was an intriguing story within a story, which is a style I'm very fond of, about a possible origin for Merlin and I felt it fit the style of the series really well. It was entirely too easy to imagine both stories unfolding at once--the scene in Camelot as they listen to the story, the events of the story itself, with a mother hiding her baby away. All wrapped up in lovely language and plays with mythology and I really liked it a lot. (No warnings/pairings.)

Merlin/Kingdom Hearts: Everyone Who Casts A Shadow by Meg - You know what's amazing? The ability to cross a video game with a live action series like this, yet have it work so seamlessly. I adore this crossover, Arthur and Riku and how similar they are, even when they're so different, too. Meg does a fantastic job of winding everything together--Riku's "magic", his search for Sora, his connection to Arthur, an actual semblance of plot going on here, actual action scenes, and a whole lot of things unsaid. I adore the characterization of both of them and there's just this. This undercurrent of something charged, partly the attraction between them, but even more than that, it's the things they just don't need to say. (No warnings/pairings.)

Merlin: That Shall Achieve The Sword by by astolat - So, I always meant to get started on the Merlin fics at Yuletide, since they were apparently a pretty good crop this year, and then Wolfie linked this fic and so I started to read. as;dlkfjalskjalskj yessssss, this is what I wanted from fandom! And from the show, but honestly I suspect the eventual reveal won't be half as satisfying as this fic is. XD Because it's just what I wanted--an amazing action scene where Merlin gets to show off the full extent of his power and shown from Arthur's point of view and a really, really fantastic ending and just so easy to see in my mind's eye, both for the descriptions and turns of phrase as for the characterization and dialogue. This was a really intense fic and a really great read, one of the more satisfying ones in fandom so far. <3 (This is gen, but you could read Arthur/Merlin pre-slash into it.)

Merlin: This Earthly Fire by Laura H - So. The longer I am a fan of this series, the more I become a fan of these two characters. And the more I become a fan of these two characters, the more I'm fascinated by the relationship between them and the more I realize that, huh, maybe I do ship this after all. It helps that I've started reading gorgeous fic like this one, it's a beautiful look at Morgana's time in Camelot, it fits brilliantly with her character and the way she changes and things change her. It's a gorgeous look at her relationship with Arthur, but even more than that it's a brilliant look at how traditional Arthurian legend could play out in this universe, it's almost all too easy to see her turning into Morgan la Fey this way, all while never losing what it is that makes Morgana herself. The writing is amazing and the insights into her character are beautiful, the entire fic is breath-taking. (Arthur/Morgana, maybe not quite SFW.)

Merlin: The Sun Shines Not by Laura A - [Note: This is a companion story to This Earthly Fire, but can be read on its own as well.] You know, for as much as I'm a firm believer that canon is very much not nailed down to the Geoffrey version of Arthurian legend, I also find fics that play with the idea to be really intriguing. This is more gorgeous writing, set around the events of Mordred's introduction in the series and how it could turn out that he might be Arthur's downfall. The word usage is amazing, but there's also something really insightful and really chilling here. Something powerful here. It was a gorgeous read. (Implications of potential Arthur/Morgana, but it's not the point.)

Merlin: For the Kiss of a Prince by V.M. Bell - *sigh* So apparently the het has truly gotten me with this fandom, because I'm still seeking fic out for them. But I can't help it! This was adorable and had a great Morgana characterization in it, and it was just light-hearted enough (the way they interacted with each other) and yet filled that need I had for makeouts with them. <3 (Arthur/Morgana.)

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