Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fandom Hopping: Merlin 1/25/2012


Some may say we’re easily distracted.

Some may accuse us of giving up on Twilight (NEVER).

We say, “Why limit ourselves to just one fandom full of smut when there are soooo many other possibilities out there?!?!” And so we give you Fandom Polyamory, a place to poke your nose into another universe, meet some new characters, and enjoy all the pervy possibilities when a writer fucks with the universe someone else created. Don’t worry, friends, Edward & Co. will all be there waiting for you when you get back, but for now, take a walk with us down a different path.

Fic: Good News (is on the way)
Author: derryere
Summary: Arthur, a travelling businessman, decides to rent a room with the Wyllt family while in town. Hunith is charmed. Her son, Merlin, is not.

There were points at which I thought that reading this fic was going to give me a heart attack. The intensity between Merlin and Arthur is stunning, and the knife's edge they balance on as their relationship unfolds is like a razor.

Arthur, 29, is renting a room from Merlin’s mother. Merlin is 16 when they meet, and you’ll be reassured to know that there is no instant attraction, though there is an affinity that makes the reader glad that their lives have intersected, even if we’re not yet comfortable with where we suspect their relationship will lead. The moral question of age is not clearly cut and dry for the major portion of this story. I kept having to re-evaluate the circumstances, put myself in their positions, and depending on the angle at which I looked, right and wrong were close, personal friends.

Good News (is on the way) is provocative as much for the age difference between our two main characters as it is for the desperate longing and loneliness that we feel from Aurthur himself. He is in such a miserable place in his life, that his professional success feels hollow and tertiary to his personal emptiness. As his friendship builds with Merlin, he finally develops a purpose that brings color to his otherwise greytone existence.

PhotobucketThe smut is amazing, because it’s totally interwoven with the intensity of the emotion between its participants. By the time the first touches take place, I was squirming in my seat saying “no, no, no” and “yes, yes, yes” en equal measure. When the touches became intimate, I went to a private room to read. It is loving and sexy and bold and unsure. In short, amazing.

This story has pulled me completely into the Merlin Fandom. Though I never thought I would have a moment’s interest in modern AH Arthurian context, Good News (is on the way)
has such amazing writing and lush, beautiful, and intense characterisations that it made me a believer in the same way that Fics like Neverending Math Equation earned my love for AH Twi-fic. If you’ve even a remote interest in age gap attraction, or a blossoming curiousity about the Merlin fandom that people are talking about, you MUST read Good News (is on the way)

Christ. WHAT. CAN. I. SAY. about this fic? How can I impart just HOW much I want you, no NEED you to read it? Seriously this fic owns my fecking arse. Too good. Once you get sucked in you cannot start reading it and stop. Oh no no! THIS fic, makes me want to just type with caps on, with two hands smashing the keys - I feel like I cannot articulate the brilliance of this fic. Or my love of it. Not with any clarity, conviction or credence at least.... So that is my conundrum, how can I convince you, dear eager, pervy pervlings to read this fic? What will make the difference to you?
Will it be the brilliant weaving of the story? How its effortless flow moves you between perma-drizzly Little England to grimy America. How we become so immersed in Arthur, his burgeoning feelings, his crisis, his unhappiness - his lust, his fears, his desperate hopes, his desperation........ GAH! How we see how his and Young Merlin’s lives and hearts become so entwined. Even whilst Arthur cannot accept nor admit it? Even whilst Arthur fights to do the *decent* thing?Meanwhile the slow burn chemistry slowly creeps forward until everything is alight, and burning bright:
It's a little heartbreaking when Merlin's eyes screw shut at that, and Arthur reaches out to grab at the hem of his jumper, pulling him in for a resigned hug with a, "Christ, come here." The boy pushes against him awkwardly at first, but Arthur folds himself around him, tucking Merlin's face in the crook of his shoulder. His glasses mesh and skew on his nose, cold against Arthur's skin. Merlin breathes in, shakily, and slowly wraps his arms around Arthur's waist—clinging on to the fabric of his shirt. Arthur closes his eyes, presses his lips to the boy's ear and tells him in the quietest voice that he's stupid, such a, "stupid kid, Merlin," but that it's, "fine. It's okay." Merlin burrows into his neck, fisting the back of his shirt, and Arthur's not sure who he's talking to, presses a brief, mindless kiss to the nape of Merlin's neck and says, "I've got you." And, "Child. I've got you."

Perhaps instead it will be insolent Merlin. Bullied, young innocent and love-struck Merlin. Merlin who is petulant and willful (oh so canon!) and initially acting indifferent. But secretly somehow always seems to be around. And somehow seems to care a smidgen tooo much that his mum is making the play for Arthur... Oh heartbreaking, earnest, beautiful Merlin. How adorable you are. How confused you become by Arthur’s desperate battle with his own morality....

PhotobucketSo if an amazing storytelling, brilliant characterisations and heart-wrenching storyline’s won’t make you read this absolutely amazing, hands down one of the best ever, fics. What will? How about the Lemons? Intense, tender, desperate, sad, emotive and just wow! Surely you must be sold now! Thought so! But seriously. I don’t want to be flippant here, I just don’t know quite how to communicate how much I fell in love with this fic. How much I want you all to read it. If you read slashy twi-fic, you must read this story, regardless of whether you know the delights that are Merlin and Arthur (or Colin and Bradley) or not you must read this fic. If you ever read a fic for those heart clench moments you must read this fic. (Seriously - I read all this fic with my heart in my throat, in some parts I read on so much, so quickly, I had to reread, but I was so feart to know what happened next, I wasn’t prepared to dally. So I did reread at a leisurely, decadent pace the second time). I’m too emotional and in love with this fic to make any sense to you dear pervlings, or to convince you adequately just why this fic is so very tip-top. So please do read the reviews above and below mine. As their eloquence explains all the elements I have missed, the age difference, the need to give in to love, the need to invest emotionally. The need to just live. And how the gift of making others happy, of completing their soul? Well that is the very best of gifts, and the key to completing our own.....

It is such an honor to recommend this raw, intense, beautifully real story that is one of only a handful of stories in any fandom that I have read more than once.

Good News (is on the way) is a deeply powerful read, leaving one overwhelmed with intense feelings and continued reflection. It stays with you. It is a slow-to-unfold, deep, aching love story about finding true connection in an impossible place. It explores the raw nature of feelings and the bleakness of a life lived without emotional risk, where success is dictated by modern society in terms of wealth and power rather than by contentedness of heart.

This story played out for me like a movie. The author made it feel so familiar and real even without anything in my own personal history that would make it so. The access we’re given into the characters is so consuming that I felt part of their journey, as if I was there in each room they inhabited, I was the air they breathed.

Arthur is a shell, unable or unwilling to make meaningful connections with the people around him. His life is rich with success but lacks meaning, a fact that is revealed subtly and masterfully by the author through a series of shallow interactions that are kind and friendly, but desperately sad, magnifying his aloneness. Arthur finds a connection with Merlin that is surprising and disturbing and impossible, yet rings with truth and ultimately, love. A terrifying love.

Arthur’s situation leaves the reader filled with compassion. He battles with his heart and his mind yet succumbs enough to bathe in the feelings and be present to them for a period of time. It’s hard to fault him for his choices that make up the most gutting parts of this story. In essence, it doesn’t feel like he has much choice when it comes to the relationship he develops with Merlin. It’s wrenching in ambiguity that way, that you can't pass judgment on the characters for their actions because they are so human and their feelings so strong and deep.

These characters love in the way of older people, wiser people, they learn each other and become known in a way that is epic and important and beautiful. The challenges they face are great beyond measure, yet there is a clear sense of completion in their togetherness. Merlin is beautifully written. He’s so open, so expressive, and such a teenager! I’m truly blown away by the author’s ability to capture such an honest, authentic youthful voice. Ultimately, it’s Merlin’s truth, his strength, and his bravery that carry this story to a satisfying finish.

And satisfy, it does. Though the tone of this story can feel bleak and melancholy, it only serves to make the reader desperate for the characters to find happiness and love. And the author doesn’t disappoint. I can’t remember ever feeling more satisfied with a story’s conclusion.

On a larger scale, I love how many insights about the world we live in are buried in the subtext of this story like hidden treasures revealed upon reflection. This story made me think seriously about things like loneliness. The sham that is modern life. The way people can barricade themselves against connecting with others by hiding their feelings, their love, deep inside of themselves to form a wall between themselves and others. And ultimately, I can equate Merlin and Arthur with two distinct types of people: those who are living full-out, open and daring, perfect disciples to their hearts and emotions. And another type who live a disembodied paper-doll existence, going through the motions and doing all the expected things but never risking a real connection with anyone else, letting money and status and power be their benchmarks of success, yet remaining miserable.
This story is so full of love and simply stunning. Go. Read. Now.


Merlin and Arthur have stolen my heart. Truly. I was already in love with derryere when I started reading Good News (is on the way). Her story Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death stuck with me for weeks after I finished the story. The moment I heard about Good News (is on the way), I dropped everything, leaving a dust cloud behind me. I love the way derryere writes. Stories unfold slowly, you have a chance to fall in love with the characters and see how Arthur can fall in love with Merlin despite the age difference. There is no loud, splashy soundtrack in the background, no crazy seduction scene, just honest to goodness connections being made. Her words soothe and practically hypnotize me. Perhaps she’s using magic on me! ;)

Arthur’s already been burned prior to the start of this story. He and Gwen were to married, but she met Arthur’s best mate, Lance, and left him for Lancelot. How awful! This left Arthur a shell of who he used to be. Now he has no friends, no family. Everyone seemed to move on. He left the UK for the US and has lived the last many years moving from place to place to place for his job, setting down very few roots. He’s avoided the UK until he moved in with Merlin and his mom.

What really struck me was how Merlin and Arthur came together because of Arthur’s desire to help protect Merlin from three bullies who are beating him up at the start of the story. Arthur could easily ignore the irritating kid who lives in the house where he rents a room, but he doesn’t. As much as Merlin despises Arthur to begin with, it doesn’t stop Arthur from doing what he thinks he can to help, even if everything he does is the wrong thing. But it’s through those moments of assistance and the help offered post-bullying that Merlin’s tetchy teenage masque begins to fade away. It’s fun to watch Arthur be the uncool one too, working to be accepted by Merlin.

PhotobucketSlowly, Arthur and Merlin start to become friends, realizing they each have someone to lean on. They share a tenuous friendship where Merlin pushes Arthur back one moment but pulls him close at others. It’s obvious that Merlin is young, and almost without thought, “wizened” words come out of Arthur’s mouth, only to be ignored or challenged. Yet as time goes on, we see Merlin has a maturity in him that Arthur doesn’t. Merlin isn’t afraid of taking risks like Arthur is.

I could go on and on, honestly. I would love to, in fact, but I don’t want to ruin this story for you. You need to go on this journey with these beautifully rich characters and feel where they take you.

I read this in a day. Like Chele, I felt that razor’s edge tension and I had to know what was going to happen next. I was broken in places, laughing in others. I’m still thinking about this well over two weeks after I finished it. I want to read it again, in fact.