7kto10k

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Best Man

Rating: Teen+
Type: Modern!AU 
Word Count: 9,826

Authorlamardeuse

Summary:

Arthur needs a date for Gwen’s wedding. The rest is history.

Comment:

Fluff, fluff, fluff, fluff, fluff, and adorableness. Loved Merlin and Arthur’s dynamic, and the banter, and that there was just a smidgen of misunderstanding and no huge drama. And no wedding cheesiness. Oh, and Gwen and Lance were lovely.
Cute, and feel good, just when I needed it.

archiveofourown.org
This Dance of Days // by kianspo

rating: mature
type: modern!AU
word count: 8,090

SUMMARY:
In which people get married, Arthur is confused a lot, Uther gives relationship advice, and Merlin isn’t scared, except when he is, but only a little bit. Also Merlin steals things, and Gwaine is up to no good.

COMMENT:
lovely, lovely, lovely established relationship fic where the boys are being idiots, but not really. Loved all the details of their relationship and how they got together and how fucking much they love each other. Pulled at my heart in all the best of ways. I especially loved Arthur’s process and his thoughts on their relationship and marriage and YES. There should be more established relationship fics. I love them.

archiveofourown.org
The Reason That I Laugh and Breathe // by glim

Rating: Mature
Type: Modern!AU
Word Count: 8,309

SUMMARY:
Wherein Arthur falls in love with his best friend. (His best friend with benefits.)

COMMENT:
ugh. That was so fricking lovely. And well-written, all lyrical and thoughtful. Beautiful. Will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Maybe sigh dreamily, too.

RE-READ OCT. 2013: Oh, fuck, I’m so glad I re-read this because I had entirely forgotten how fucking lovely it is. First, friends-to-lovers trope (yessss) and then the pining inside Arthur. I love how the author describe this ache inside of him that he can’t quite put his finger on until he realizes what it is and then tries to back away from it without success. I just LOVED how Merlin and Arthur truly know each other and their little quirks and the way the other likes to be kissed and touched and all those lovely details. It’s just so sweet, and quiet and beautiful. 

social-retard86.livejournal.com
Mental Note

Rating: PG
Type: Canon
Word Count: 9,708 

Authorsocial-retard86

Summary:

“No, I mean…” Merlin paused, running a hand over the cover of the book. “The old woman that gave them to you… You didn’t think she was a little, I don’t know…” he waved a hand vaguely, “creepy?”

Comment:

Arthur is given a set of (magical) notebooks for his birthday and he gives one to Merlin. What they don’t realize right away, is that everything they write in one is automatically copied to the other. 

I found this really entertaining. I especially liked when Merlin just started venting his anger at Arthur in his notebook (with colourful insults and threats) and Arthur read them without knowing it was Merlin (and Merlin’s subsequent panic). Then how they used the books to stay connected and talk (and deal with a bothersome old witch).

I thought it was sweet and fun.

archiveofourown.org
A Story of Love and Menswear.

Rating: G
Type: modern!AU
Word Count: 8,643

Authormagog_83

Summary:

Modern AU set in the menswear department of a large store (and shamelessly based on my own part time job at BHS during my A Levels where weekend menswear was always ridiculously quiet and staffed by a team of two). 17 year old Arthur is the Saturday supervisor on Menswear, and takes his job very seriously indeed. Merlin is the new boy who Arthur falls in love with at first sight. Emotional constipation ensues.

Comment:

Oh this was JUST what I needed. It’s funny and witty and all kinds of adorable. Grumpy Arthur is potentially the best Arthur ever, and this one is just so spot on in his CLEAR adoration of Merlin, but his steadfast refusal to admit it. You just want to pet him on the head and say ‘there, there, dearie, it’s okay to feel things sometimes’. 

He takes his job very seriously after all. But oh, he’s so in love. And in the end, Merlin just sets out to make Arthur love him more. Cuteness galore. I could not stop smiling.

glomp-fest.livejournal.com
Arthur's Great Paper Chase

Rating: G
Type: Modern!AU
Word Count:  8,800

Authorcyus

Summary:

When Arthur receives the first strange envelope, he’s mildly curious. That’s only the beginning.

Comment:

I thought this was really fun and original. It’s the story of a lonely Arthur (and his adorable dog) going on a little adventure–against Arthur’s better judgement–by following paper clues left by an unknown person all over London. Along the way he gathers a motley crew of followers that help and encourages him.

I really liked Arthur’s evolution from scepticism and reluctance to hope and enjoyment, as well as all the lovely people accompanying him. It was charming and had me smiling a lot.

camelotsolstice.livejournal.com
Love in the Time of Scholar-a

Rating: Mature
Type: Modern!AU
Word Count: 9,063

Author: itachitachi

Summary:

In which there is something resembling a modern AU. Merlin characters as professors (except for Geoffrey of Monmouth, who is a respected academic source)

Comment:

I loved this so much! Arthur was such a socially inept, grouchy jerk that made me laugh, and Merlin was sweetly clumsy and nice. But most of all I loved the setting. It’s not only a university fic, it’s an ACADEMIA one! YAY!

I especially loved that the author treated this not as modern day Britain, but as modern day ALBION. With all the magical history it implies.Merlin is trying to bring back the Magical Studies department, because Uther is the Dean and courses have been absorbed by the History Department instead, And Arthur is writing a book about kings and warfare (Oh and Gwen is a specialist of like Camelot metallurgy and magical weaponry or something) and…well, it makes me happy.

Also loved Arthur’s dream that referenced The Poisoned Chalice, but not in a reincarnation kind of way.
Absolutely delightful.

archiveofourown.org
No Business Like Show Business // by lady_ragnell

Rating: Teen+
Type: Modern!AU
Word Count: 8,599 (11,952 in series)

SUMMARY
In which Merlin is promoted from production intern to talent, is easily mortified, and has Post-It arguments with Arthur while the art department watches in glee. Also, there are gay dragons.

COMMENT:
This was fun and absolutely delightful. I had a smile plastered on my face the whole time. Merlin is an intern and Arthur is a Shakespearean actor and they both do the voice acting for a new animated show featuring gay dragons. Gwen and Morgana are not helpful and Merlin is a bit clueless and adorable.

Note: part 1 in the Show Business ‘Verse. Has 3 short sequels, but can be read on its own as well.

RE-READ NOV. 2013: I needed a pick me up fic and decided to revisit one I had read a long time ago. It was still as delightful as the first time, all banter and cluelessness and boastful!Arthur. I couldn’t help smiling at how overwhelmed Merlin was. I think I enjoyed the little sequels even more this time aroun. Adorable established relationship moments. I especially loved the part where Arthur discovers fanfiction and *gasps* RPF :P

archiveofourown.org
Arthur Thinks Words Are Pesky (And So Is Morgana)

Rating: Mature
Type: modern!AU
Word Count: 8,480 

Authoringberry

Summary:

A drunken kiss complicates the relationship between best friends Arthur and Merlin. The problem is that Arthur is suddenly not on the best of terms with words and he also has terrible ideas when drinking. He also thinks that Morgana is frankly just no help in sorting it all out (why does Arthur call her again?)

Comment:

OMG THE FLUFF.

I really like ‘friends-to-lovers’ stories, especially when they’re as sweet and funny as this one, and leave me with a huge smile on my face.

Merlin and Arthur really aren’t good at all this talking stuff, and sharing of emotion. In fact, Arthur isn’t even good at figuring out his emotions in the first place, which is strangely endearing, poor boy. Two complete morons perfectly suited for each other.

 Precious, adorable, and sweet, I just want more damnit.

archiveofourown.org
merlin_hols 2013: Hidden Light // by Destina

rating: teen+
type: canon!AU
word count: 9,496

SUMMARY:
During a winter hunting trip, Merlin finds he still has much to learn about Arthur.

COMMENT:
(from my comment to the author) This was truly truly gorgeous. All my Arthur feels, ALL OF THEM. I loved the atmosphere: the village, the winter and the cold, the simple intimacy. I was both happy and saddened to see Arthur so carefree and happy far from Camelot.

The way Merlin and Arthur came together was absolutely beautiful, and I loved all the little details included in this that made it feel so in character, for everyone. It tugged at my heart in the best of ways (and included my favourite kind of magic reveal done to perfection).

note: all merlin_hols fics are anonymous until the end of the fest. This entry will be edited to include the author’s name once the fest is over.

archiveofourown.org
Mind the Gap

Rating: mature
Type: modern!AU
Word Count: 8,472

Author: lamardeuse

Summary:

This time, Arthur has a secret.

Comment:

Arthur meets Merlin on the tube where Merlin proceeds to explain how he hates rich, pompous gits. So Arthur sort of avoid telling him that he’s basically a multi-millionaire. Except it goes beyond a first date/one night stand, and well, now he’s fucked and doesn’t know how to tell Merlin the truth. Until, of course, Merlin find out.

This was sweet and light. I mean, of course Arthur was being a bit of a bastard, but you can sort of sympathize with him (or maybe it’s just me, after all my favorite romcom is While You Were Sleeping. So maybe I have a thing about love stories where people are lying liars who lie, who knows. But I digress.)
It was cute and I liked it. 

archiveofourown.org
Snapshots: Summer 1999 // by glim

Rating: mature
Type: Modern!AU 
Word Count: 8,279

SUMMER:
Wherein Arthur and Merlin work at the Camelot diner, drive down the shore, and manage to fall in love the summer before they leave for college. Modern AU, set in New Jersey at the end of the ‘90s

COMMENT
I really liked this. Like the title suggests, it’s only little snapshots, little tableaux of Merlin and Arthur and their summer together. It was filled with happiness and longing and maybe a bit of nostalgia. It was often lovely, and it had an edge to it, the way things do when you know something is coming to an end and you wished time could stand still.

RE-READ JUNE 2014: My original comment is much more subdued than how I actually feel about this fic. It’s is one of my favourite “summer” fic in the fandom, ngl. I just really love this author’s work and their ability to convey small, mundane moments in a beautiful and meaningful way. Merlin and Arthur finally got together at the beginning of the summer, and they’re both going to different colleges in the fall. It’s the laziness of summer days, and the energy of new discoveries, and wishing things would never ever come to an end.

archiveofourown.org
Coronation // by rageprufrock

rating: teen+
type: canon
word count: 8,469

SUMMARY: -

COMMENT:
This was so beautiful. I loved the relationship between Arthur and Merlin. Arthur is getting ready to go to war against Cenred’s Kingdom and refuses to take Merlin with him. He even has to lock Merlin away for a few days so that he doesn’t follow. There’s longing, and a desperate need to protect each other, that they’ll go to any lengths to make sure the other one stays safe. Idiots in love really. I just absolutely loved this, and it’s well worth the read.

archiveofourown.org
When the Clock Strikes Twelve // by lamardeuse

rating: mature
type: modern!AU
word count: 7,481

SUMMARY:
A modern AU in which Merlin agrees to help a friend and finds his destiny instead.

COMMENT:
Nice short fic that deals with Arthur’s fake engagement to Mithian once he’s back from Afghanistan, his coming out to his father, but most of all his own coming out to himself, and Merlin, the man that he couldn’t stop thinking about while he was oversees. 
I particularly loved the relationship between Arthur and Mithian, and his reunion with Merlin. Sweet.

archiveofourown.org
Post-it Note Romance

(on AO3)

Fandom: Merlin
Rating: Teen
Ship: Merlin/Arthur, Modern!AU
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 9,963

Author: fuzzytomato

Summary:

(High School) Merlin has never had a secret admirer before so he’s fairly certain this one has the wrong guy.

Comment:

Very cute. I especially liked the addition of pictures throughout the fic showing us the post-it notes Merlin finds in the books in the school library where he works. And Merlin was such an oblivious little boy.
It was just all very adorable.
(warning for bullying)

derryere.livejournal.com
Pavlov Penis

(on LiveJournal)

Fandom: Merlin
Rating: Mature
Ship: Merlin/Arthur, canon
Chapters: 1
Word Count: ~7000

author: derryere

Summary:

In which Merlin is hot for Arthur’s bed,
Arthur’s hot for the laundry
and there’s this big fucking heatwave
all over the place (?!)

Comment:

So wonderful. Really nicely written, fluffy and, well, hot. And I’m not talking about the heat wave.

archiveofourown.org
We Can Fall (but the fall won't hurt us)

Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Rating: mature
Type: modern!AU - university
Word Count: 9,206 

Author: glim

Summary:

Between seminars, paper grading, Friday trips to the grocery store, alternate Thursdays at the library, and the crunch of the fall semester, Arthur and Merlin settle into each other’s lives.

Comment

I just…I love uni fics and I love ones that deal with academia even more. So. Not surprisingly I LOVED this. Merlin and Arthur are close friends and grad students (in literature: even better). It’s soft and calm and there’s pining and some UST. It’s nice and sort of warm and cozy in an every-day-life sort of way. 

social-retard86.livejournal.com
Heady Days of Youth

Note: read the prequel All That Clinton’s Crap (~2,400 words) – not necessary, but makes the story better.

Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Rating: mature
Type: modern!AU 
Word Count:  ~8,800

Author: social_retard86

Summary:

Arthur’s always got himself into trouble. Merlin’s always copped for it.

Comment

Merlin and Arthur used to know each other in high school. Let’s just say Arthur wasn’t the nicest toward Merlin (repressed feelings and all that). Now they are older (and better) and meet again, and there’s still something there. 

I liked the back and forth between the past and present. I like the exploration of how a person can change (and not change too). The ending was adorable. I liked that Merlin was never a pushover and could stand on his own and that Arthur was always, always a prat, even if he became a better person.

junkshop-disco.livejournal.com
The Could In People

Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Rating: mature
Type: modern!AU 
Word Count: 8,500 

Author: junkshop_disco

Summary:

As Christmas approaches, Merlin wonders how on earth he’s going to introduce his boyfriend Arthur - son of the infamous Tory cabinet bigwig Lord Pendragon - to his lefty, CND protester, egg-throwing, mum.

Comment

Beside being really sweet and also about Christmas/the holidays (because there’s no way I’m not going to like that), what I love about this fic was how it explored a little the class division between Merlin and Arthur. How Arthur was so very adorable, but still sometimes blinded by his privilege and how it made Merlin doubt that it could really work, but they both wanted it to work. It was all kinds of nice and lovely.

archiveofourown.org
{Arthur/Gwaine} A Slight Omission // by giselleslash

rating: mature
type: modern!AU
word count: 8,708

SUMMARY:
Based on this Kinkme prompt: Gwaine dislikes the upper class with a passion. He tells Arthur as much after (or during) their one-night-stand. Arthur keeps quiet about his wealthy background, assuming it will never work out between them anyway. When it does seem to be working out, keeping his richness secret becomes more difficult by the day. Bonus points for BFF Arthur/Merlin.

COMMENT:
Absolutely delightful from start to finish. Hilarious and sweet. I loved the back-and-forth between Arthur and Gwaine, and I loved how Merlin was written and his deep friendship with Arthur.
Just–a really fun read and I just need more of it.