into the grotto

aprincesswholovesinsects  asked:

♡+ swimming (for Merlin - Merthur) ^_^

• Merlin learned to swim from his mother in Ealdor, and it was the only exercise he really enjoyed. Learning to swim was a necessary skill in a village where a leap into the water might be the only escape from bandits or wolves, and he was a frail and sickly child. Swimming gave him some constitution.

• Sometimes, when he and Arthur are journeying alone for an extended period, they make camp by a lake or grotto with clear water to swim and bathe. Merlin always discreetly uses magic to warm the water first to a comfortable temperature, not too warm to be suspicious, but pleasant enough to keep it from causing any chill.

• When the other knights are with them, there’s too much showing off and splashing around for Merlin’s liking, though he laughs with them from the side of the water. The others leave the water before Arthur, every time, and then Merlin joins him. No one questions this, though Sir Gwaine always flashes him a knowing grin that leaves him a bit mortified.

• Arthur, despite his athleticism, did not know how to swim until Merlin taught him. Merlin cherished the trust and intimacy Arthur showed him in these lessons, and he guided the prince’s arms and legs until he was almost as skilled a swimmer as the country boy.

• After sending Arthur (and all his hopes) to Avalon, Merlin lives beside the lake, unable to bring himself to return to Camelot for long, except to visit his friends and uncle, or when the kingdom needs his help. His grief and hope keep him anchored to the lakeside. Sometimes, when bathing in its waters, he swims out as far as he can, stopping short of the depth from which he might not return, just to feel closer to Arthur. He wonders what would happen if he could swim across to the Isle, or if he simply let go in the middle of the lake.

• When Arthur is gone, Merlin stops bothering to heat the water. Eventually he stops swimming, too.

• When the lake has dried up, centuries later, his dreams are haunted with memories of teaching Arthur to swim, and dragging the tired and floating prince back to shore while Arthur laughed.

• And when Arthur rises from a lake that is both there and not there, Merlin leaps into the water and struggles to swim out to him. Arthur’s first words to him, before passing out in his arms and being dragged to shore, are “Since when are you such a bad swimmer?” But Merlin has no retort, simply laughs until he cries, kissing his forehead and using all the strength his body has to pull the one he loves back to the shore, and both of them back to the land of the living.

(Send me a 💙 + word + fandom for a headcanon.. or several oops)


on the first day of GAMINGMAS the video dan and phil give to thee:

your annual new year’s greeting card from the grotto 

usually it’s just the captain and milady but after 2016 i think it’s best to keep the first illustration sunny and cheerful

eta: not moana, not ariel, these are my ocs (as you can probably see in the tags). thank you

The way sadness works is one of the strangest riddles in the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black.
You may find that happy things are tainted with sadness, the way smoke leaves its ashen colors and scents on everything it touches. And you may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.
—  The Grim Grotto, Lemony Snicket
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