Lancelot: How long have you been in love with Merlin?
Arthur: That’s disgusting. And wrong. I don’t even get - why would - I’ve never been in love with anyone, anywhere. It’s none of your - you have - the nerve, the audacity!
Arthur: Merlin is my manservant, technically. And he is terrible, face-wise. And how… h-how do I know, frankly, that you’re not in love with him? Maybe you are. Maybe you’re trying to throw me off. Hmm! Check and mate. This is an outrage! Who do I call?
OK, so I have no idea whether there’s any crossover between Merlin fans and Parks & Rec fans in my followers, but I could not get the idea of a Merlin Parks & Rec AU out of my head. Just:
Arthur Pendragon works as the deputy director of the Parks department in Pawnee, Indiana. Blonde, little bit selfish, charismatic, begrudgingly loved by all the other workers- could describe Leslie or Arthur both honestly
Gaius, the director of the Parks department, who’s known Arthur since he was a child and gives him the difficult advice he needs to hear
Arthur’s half-sister Morgana is the dark, antisocial intern who later becomes Gaius’ assistant
And Gwaine is Tom, obviously. Imagine Gwaine selling Snake Juice and being a club promoter. Gwaine running Entertainment 720.
Anyway, at a public forum, a Pawnee citizen and beautiful nurse named Guinevere asks Arthur to fill in the pit behind her house. Arthur vows to make it into a park and he and Gwen soon become best friends.
Then who should come into town but Kilgarrah, an upbeat rule-maker, and Merlin Emrys, a sarcastic little shit, two state auditors in charge of evaluating Pawnee’s budget.
Merlin gets stuck figuring out the Parks budget, which would be fine if he was just working with the practical director Gaius, but he has to deal with deputy director Arthur’s constant badgering to not cut anything from the Parks budget.
Arthur complaining to Gwen about the new state auditor being a “cute fascist hardass” (word for word from Leslie Knope, because the more I think about it the more these two have identical personalities)
Merlin and Arthur slowly grow to like each other, but when Merlin asks Kilgarrah if he can date someone in the Pawnee government, Kilgarrah says it’s against the rules
AND! Gwen tries to comfort Arthur about Merlin rejecting him by setting him up on an online dating site and he gets matched with Gwaine. Who gets such a kick out of it that he pretends he and Arthur are in love until Arthur kisses him to shut him up.
(bonus: Morgana tries to set up Gwen and Gwaine and it’s an utter disaster. Then… ignoring all Parks & Rec canon… Morgwen happens because that would be wonderful. I do not ship Ann and April but can you imagine the dynamic of goth local government intern Morgana with friendly and beautiful nurse Guinevere… this AU is everything to me)
Gwen telling Merlin, “You’re nice. I can see why Arthur likes you” and Merlin absolutely losing it the way that Ben did in that one episode
Kilgarrah sends Merlin and Arthur on a road trip to Indianapolis. Take this moment to imagine Gwen saying, “Oh come on, you’re clearly dying to be together. You could literally get a room,” and Arthur replying, “Yeah and I could literally get a-fired!”
Merlin and Arthur go to dinner and Merlin launches into the, “Pawnee is a very special town… with nice blonde hair… and I look forward to the moments in my day that I get to spend with the town…” speech.
Imagine every single iconic Ben x Leslie moment, but with Merlin and Arthur instead. EVERY SINGLE ONE GAH I’M DYING, I’M DEAD
“In this round, you will be given a recipe to recreate.” Arthur paused for a smile, “However, there is a catch.”
This elicited impatient groans from the two competitors left remaining.
“You will be given extra ingredients to incorporate into the deserts, and you will have ninety minutes to complete this task.”
Arthur waited as the recipe cards were delivered to the two remaining contestants. He would do a voice-over later, but as of now, he would pause and give them a moment or two to read what was given to them.
See, this was the sad part. With round seven, there were only two contestants left, and Arthur liked to think he knew them. He liked to think the weeks he’d spent hosting them had softened him a bit, just a little bit, yes.
However, with this case in particular- Arthur cast a glance in Alfred’s direction as the man looked up from his instructions, a beaming smile spreading slowly on his features-
Arthur decided Alfred Jones had softened him up more than just a bit.