Arthur got cursed because of some stupid thing his father did. Merlin is the hunter, though gatherer is probably more like it. He’s less a threat to the animals as a friend to them. Sometimes an old animal comes to him and he gives it peace but that’s about it. Anyways, Arthur got his stupid ass cursed and Merlin finds him in the forest one day, more than half feral. It takes months but he finally manages to get Arthur’s trust and help him. He can’t undo the curse but he can give Arthur control over it. Hot full moon sex ensues.
who’s the mermaid and who’s the fisherman
Merlin is the merman who was warned about going too close to the shore. But he’s too curious about the humans and ends up tangled in a fisherman’s nets. The man brings his find to the fisher king who has a liking for rare delicacies. The fisher king’s son discovers Merlin being kept in a bassin to star as the main course in the next feast. Arthur shouldn’t care but he can’t forget the beautiful but desolate creature he saw. He comes back again and again and finally manages to get Merlin to talk to him - in a way, since Merlin can only sign. His voice only works under water, which is why mermaids are thought of as animals rather than people. Nevertheless they communicate and Arthur decides he needs to stage a rescue. But the feast is already tomorrow night and the butcher is already sharpening his knives….
who’s the witch and who’s the familiar
Merlin is the witch. Arthur is a familiar but he doesn’t know it. He thinks he’s a normal human, but Igraine came from a long line of witches and familiars and Uther wed her because she had the power to turn into a dragon - which she passed into her son, but Uther had Nimue lock the ability down upon Arthur’s birth, killing his mother in the process. Once Merlin arrives in Camelot, the two feel inexplicably drawn to each other.
who’s the barista and who’s the coffee addict
Oh please, Arthur isn’t a simple barrista. He is an artist. He creates miracles from espresso beans and works wonders with steamed milk. He’s highly sought after for his exceptional skills. Which is why he’s completely thrown when one day a very absent minded man with a battered bag and smudges of paint over his nose walks into his posh high class café and orders “your biggest cuppa, mate, and I mean your very biggest, black, no sugar, to go please”.
who’s the professor and who’s the TA
Professor Pendragon feels vexed at the mere existance of TA Emrys. One of the reasons might be that Arthur is the youngest professor Albion university has ever seen, whereas TA Emrys is considered a sort of living factotum. There are a billion rumours as to why the admittedly brilliant man has never actually finished his dissertation and Arthur can’t figure out which of them is true. But the truth of the matter is, that Merlin is just a year or two older than him and manages to best him at every turn and he just can’t figure out what it is that is keeping Merlin back. But Arthur will see this man suceed, even if it’s the last thing he does…
who’s the knight and who’s the prince(ss)
Prince Merlin Emrys of Ealdor has never needed protection - until now. The three high priestesses have sworn vengeance because Balinor refused their demand to have Merlin as the Beltane King. Balinor has already paid the price with his life but the priestesses are still out for blood - Merlin’s blood. Cue Arthur Pendragon, sent in from Camelot to aid their ally in this time of need - if only said ally would welcome the help. Arthur has never met anyone more obstinate and baffling than Merlin of Ealdor, but once they’re on the run together from three vengeful priestesses, Arthur has to admit that a bit of magic comes in handy now and then - and his appreciation has absolutely nothing to do with how goddamn badass Merlin looks, when he’s busy hurling fireballs at their enemies, golden eyes ablaze.
who’s the teacher and who’s the single parent
Arthur Pendragon should have become CEO of his father’s company empire. Yet here he is, bright eyed and bushy tailed and itching to put his brand new degree as a certified teacher to the test. And tested it will be because in Arthur’s first class is one Mordred Emrys, who spells trouble with a capital T and not just because of his father, who is easily the most attractive man Arthur has ever met. But it would be terribly inappropriate to hit on the parent of one of his students, especially if said student has apparently made it his goal in life to kill Arthur - or at least drive him to madness.
who’s the writer and who’s the editor
Writer Merlin Emrys wrote that one book everyone talks about and then vanished into a hidden hermitage in a small village, happily tending to bees and flowers and slowly driving his publisher insane with increasingly elaborate and ludicrous excuses as to why the continuation of his bestselling novel still isn’t finished. It’s been years and in an act of desperation the publisher hires editor Arthur Pendragon, renowned for his ability to get even the most difficult of authors in line - he even managed to salvage that “forty shades of slate” hot mess. Arthur takes his expensive car to the small village of Ealdor and goes to find the elusive Emrys in his bespoke suit. But what he finds is so far from the ordinary that even someone who has read the term “Crucifix Nail Nipples” and survived, is put to a test…
And here are some of my favorite fics to get you started:
Shaggable Summary: Of Merlin in purple and ass-flattering jeans and made up words and Arthur deluding himself into believing that it is, in fact, innocent to fantasize about your best friend and he’s not at all gay. Except when he is. I loved Arthur’s internal monologue and the build up of the tension between the two of them. This is a great fic.
Castle (the rules by which we live). Summary:Merlin knows that getting off fastest when he’s got some BDSM porno playing loud on the computer doesn’t mean he’d really like to be that bloke, gagged and bent over and bound. Right? This is seriously HOT. Like damn. I feel like it’s really in character for Merlin to be a Sub and for Arthur to be a dom. Nicely done portrayal of a BDSM relationship, especially with the aftercare.
August Summary: Merlin goes home to Ealdor to visit his mum for her birthday and Arthur just HAS to come along. It was really interesting to have it set in Ealdor because we get a much better sense of his life before he left for Camelot.
Winterbloom Summary: Deep in the woods in the frozen heart of winter, a careless comment leads to a redefinition of Arthur’s relationship with his manservant. I mostly read AU fics, but this was just a beautiful fic.
You Better Put Your Kingdom Up For Sale Summary: After the events of 3x13, Merlin is feeling a little like a fifth wheel. Arthur is not at all okay with this. Tumblr never fails to let us know that Arthur really does care for Merlin, which is always appreciated, and I think that this fic does that observation justice.
The Wheels on the Bus Summary: They get the same bus to work every day and never talk, but they sort of fall in love. This was just adorable! I like how they start out with Arthur being a prat to Merlin and Merlin being his sassy self, but then they become friends and then that leads to more.
Post-it Note Romance Summary: Merlin has never had a secret admirer before so he’s fairly certain this one has the wrong guy. OH MY GOD THIS WAS SO CUTE. This is a highschool!AU and this was just really well done. Plus the pictures provided make it way better.
What Happens in the Tent (Can Keep on Happening Long After) Summary: Merlin is curious and Arthur is only somewhat reluctant. This was hilarious! Merlin being awkward makes my heart sing. Arthur’s disbelief is totally in character. I appreciate how at this point in their friendship, they were pretty open with each other. Well, to an extent.
Practice Kisses Summary: When Arthur finally gets a date, he practices kissing with Merlin and gets more than he bargained. I also happen to like pining fics. This one is a perfect example.
And This Is How I See You Summary: For months now they’ve been casually meeting in the lobby of their building, and Merlin’s been harbouring a (totally not creepy and perfectly normal and not at all pathetic) crush on his neighbour, Arthur. As luck would have it, they both suddenly find themselves on their own for Christmas, and well… They say there’s nothing like a bit of holiday cheer to bring people together. (And pancakes. And toys. And no matter what Arthur says peppermint tea is a legitimate thing. Also cake.) OKAY I READ THIS A FEW DAYS AGO OR SOMETHING AND THIS IS SO GOOD! We get to read Merlin’s thoughts and omg they’re hilarious. It’s a slow transition from merely neighbors to more than that and it’s absolutely great every step of the way.
Hopefully that’s enough to satisfy you! Let me know if you want more fic recs :)
Merlin: “As long as you are with me, [Y/N], Arthur will do nothing.” You: “What do you mean?” Merlin: “Oh… Well, it’s not my secret to tell. But you’ll find out eventually; perhaps soon, even.” BBC Merlin Arthur Pendragon | Merlin (Emrys)
I claim no credit for the gifs. All credit goes to their rightful owners and creators. You did well, you wonderful person, you :) xx