all I wanted was a white knight (I got a prince instead) by orphan_account [Merlin/Arthur]
Arthur makes Merlin warm his bed.
"- has probably gone to bed and anyway, don't tell me you've never stayed out past your bedtime, don't make me laugh. Get us some wine and I'll prepare the chess board and teach you."
Merlin raised his eyebrow.
Arthur halted, then he pressed his lips together and swallowed. "I mean if - if you wanted to play."
For the first few seconds, it felt good to watch Arthur's face redden as he fought with his pride, but then Merlin started to grow uncomfortable. It was mean to pretend he didn't see Arthur was struggling to wrap his head around the fact that Merlin wanted him to treat servants as something akin to equals, with respect and some value. It also stopped being funny when he realized that Arthur was trying, for him, to lose the preconceptions, to unlearn what he'd been taught to think since his birth.
"I'd love to," he said, and smiled slightly. "I'd love to learn. I'll check for the wine in the kitchen. Would you like it warmed, my lord?"
Arthur opened his mouth, then breathed in. "It's Arthur. And yes. Thank you."
The One With the Poetry by misswinterhill [Merlin/Arthur]
"I like reading," Arthur said, tipping all of the little sugar packets out of their holder on the table and lining them up, soldiers in an advancing army across the formica and coffee-stains. "I just don't understand why I can't write."
This was how, sitting in his room but unable to sleep, Arthur had ended up getting out his laptop and searching and fitting clues together and drinking about half of a bottle of Baileys until he finally found Merlin’s blog. Merlin hadn't been lying about being sort of a wizard with words; Arthur immersed himself in the glow of the screen, the alcohol taking the edge off it. Writing on the internet was so...dangerous; it was light and electricity, not the solidity of a book. It looked as though Merlin had embraced the danger, though, filling in pages and pages with sparse scraps of poetry. He’d sort of thought that Merlin might be a free verse writer — there was something marvelously unfettered about him — but he hadn’t expected to see page after page of comments as he read, anonymous readers pulling the little pieces apart like animals feasting.
He read the comments to the entries voraciously; everything from praise to blame to pushing metaphors until they broke into a million tiny shards. Did Merlin really think that pop culture references cheapened his work? Had he really burned dinner? Was the fact that he was writing about sad things an indicator that his life was sad? Could the commenter help?
Pride in Merlin’s work warred with a sense of possession — Merlin was a hard taskmaster and he made Arthur write and write, but praise from Merlin eased the hard knot in Arthur’s chest. He was jealous, suddenly, of these people and their screen-names and their anonymity, who could say “You know, you’re really very lovely” without it being weird.
Is This Seat Taken? by bevinkathryn [Merlin/Arthur]
Merlin and Arthur meet over coffee, and then again at a wedding.
Merlin hummed again as he scrolled to the next photograph, when his phone went off.
1 New Message: Arthur Pendragon
“It’s the bloke from the café again, isn’t it?” Will sighed. “You’ve gone all moony-eyed.”
“His name is Arthur,” Merlin protested, fighting a blush. “We’ve been seeing each other for two weeks, don’t pretend not to know his name.”
“How could I not know his name? You’ve not stopped going on about him since you met him.” Will adopted a sing-song voice. “Oh, Arthur said the funniest thing…you’ll never believe what Arthur did—“
“Shut up, Will,” Merlin cut him off, now distinctly red-cheeked. “I really like him.”
- Merlin: all I wanted was a white knight / The One With the Poetry / Is This Seat Taken?