Merlin AU - Bring Me the Horizon

They say that the Kilgharrah was the fastest ship to sail the seas, that her sails were always full even when there was no wind.

They say her captain used to be one of those rich boys, pompous and arrogant. Ran away he did, nobody knew where, wasn’t heard from for years. Until one day he came back, fully grown, tanned dark from the sun, hair gleaming gold under his hat. Called himself Pendragon. They were just about to hang a young man in the main square, all weird and whistling, shook the hangman’s hand, acted like he wasn’t scared of anything. “Emrys!” Pendragon called to him. They say the boy laughed when he saw him, rolled his eyes, called back: “Good Lord, took you long enough!”

They tried to stop them, the King’s guard and all, but Pendragon and Emrys just laughed their way through the fight, bickering like old maids and left on Pendragon’s ship. They say the Kilgharrah sailed on all the seas, went to all corners of the Earth, that its crew sang songs in the middle of storms. They called themselves the Knights, they did, even had women with them that could slice your throat as good as any men. 

When they got bored, when they had seen everything there was to see, they set sail for the Isle of the Blessed. No one has ever found it or come back to tell the tale. Some say they never made it, that the Kraken that lives at the edge of the world got them, and the Kilgharrah was sunk. Others say they did, that Pendragon and Emrys and all the Knights defeated the monster, set foot on the Isle, and found immortality.

“To the horizon and then beyond, Mr. Emrys”
“Aye, aye, Captain.”

Merlin AU - Meet me by the seaside.

This, Arthur expected: never to speak to his father again; cold silences, and ocean-wide distances the only things they ever agreed on. This, he did not expect: for Uther to leave him everything he owned in his will.

What Arthur discovers in the small town by the sea where once cosmopolitan Uther lived, are traces of a calm, quiet, even joyous man, who was in love with sailing and nothing like the estranged father he used to know. Curious, and with a strange need to reconnect to a man he had cast out of his life, Arthur stays.

At the local marina he meets Merlin who takes care of the boats and docks, and seems to know everything about the sea, about the town, about how they live one against the other. When Arthur finds out that Merlin has no home and sleeps in his car or in the boat house, Arthur makes him an offer: a room in his cottage in exchange for sailing lessons. 

Slowly Arthur understands–it’s the deep blue of the ocean and the salty wind and sharp cries of the seagulls. It’s Merlin and Arthur and how they wrap their fingers around ropes and wood, and the way they laugh loud and bright as the sails catch the wind and they both glide, glide, fast and relentless. It’s the sea, the creaking docks, and the rolling green hills. It’s Merlin and the crashing waves and the way they both collide with Arthur and how he never wants it to stop.


Merlin AU - Scholarly Pursuits
a university student/teacher AU for Caitlin

There are a few things Merlin knows for certain: he’s clever, he learns fast, he has an unhealthy caffeine habit and a slightly overzealous passion for old dusty stories, his handwriting is messy, he’ll never understand the rules of football, and his research supervisor is completely, unfairly fit. And off-limits.

But even knowing all that Merlin can’t help the skip in his heart when Pendragon praises him or his work. Or the warmth that pools in his stomach when he realizes they’ve been discussing Merlin’s thesis, and Pendragon’s–Arthur’s–work for hours without either of them getting tired. Or the shiver down his spine when Arthur leans over a book with him–tracing the words with his fingers, speaking low and close to his ear–and Merlin has to resist the urge to lean against Arthur, into the solidity of his body. 

And so there are a few things Merlin knows he wants and doesn’t want. He wants to finish his thesis with honours, and to publish at least one paper before the end of the year. He wants to work with Arthur, but he also wants Arthur, but he doesn’t want to get expelled, or for Arthur to lose his job, or to change program or school, or to stop coming into Arthur’s office with a coffee at the end of the day, and for Arthur to look up from the papers he’s grading, hair messy and tie loosened, and for his face to split into a grin at the sight of Merlin.

It’s a bit of a mess really, but Merlin’s up to the challenge. After all, he’s clever and fast and he might not know how to play football, but there are other games he’s willing to bet he can learn how to play.