Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fandom Hopping: Merlin - Picture Maker 03/14/2012


Some may say we’re easily distracted.

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 Hopping, 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 canon someone else created.

Summary: Hipster: a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. Hipster: a group of people Arthur Pendragon despises.


Hipsters. Bah! They drive Arthur Pendragon crazy, so he can’t quite believe it when find himself instantly smitten by Merlin Emrys, a photographer and performance artist who lives an openly gay lifestyle, seemingly contrary in every way from Arthur’s privileged upbringing. Still, he finds himself seeking Merlin out, going beyond his comfort zone and learning a lot about himself in the process. What’s so endearing about Merlin is his dedication to his art and his refusal to compromise his beliefs. He’s not an ironic character at all (despite the hipster appellation) which makes me love him, and makes Arthur love him, too:

Merlin smiles so widely, Arthur's afraid he's going to strain something in his face.

"I missed you," Merlin says with a roll of his hips. "Let me show you how much."

Arthur wants to protest but he can only watch with hooded eyes as Merlin rotates his hips in the most alarmingly seductive way. Although, he manages to ruin the moment by taking another blasted picture. Arthur lets him before putting his palm on the lens, he'll buy Merlin a new one if need be, and pushes it away.

"Show me," he says and Merlin flails his limbs, managing to drop the camera on Arthur's desk before attacking Arthur's mouth with an intensity that he's almost forgotten Merlin possesses. His mouth tastes like licorice and the sweet tang of oranges. There's a hint of gritty dirt when Arthur licks at his teeth but he ignores it in favor of letting himself be devoured.

As you can see from the passage above, Picture Maker is steamy-hot, showcasing the intense attraction between these two seemingly polar opposites who in the end discover a synchronicity that’s truly beautiful. Merlin challenges Arthur to stand up to his father and overcome his longstanding repression, and Arthur grounds Merlin, gives him the devotion and acceptance he needs to flourish. Loved this fic and so will you!


This fic is gritty, beautiful, and owns my pants. I spent the entire time reading both riveted and swooning.

Arthur is ridiculously stuffy, and uber professional. His step-sister Morgana makes him to let loose every chance she gets by forcing him to attend the openings at her art gallery. On one such occasion, he meets Merlin, who blows his mind, and..... other things. Their questionably chance encounter sends Arthur down the rabbit hole of the artistic underground and lands him in a pile of dirty hipsters in Merlin’s flat. That’s where the fun really starts.

"Oh fuck," Arthur hisses out of his mouth without his permission and the man moans, eyes locked with Arthur's and his body rocking with the cadence of Arthur's hips.
Arthur licks his other hand, sucking on his fingers and then replacing his dry hand with his wet. The slide is delicious and dirty and oh god he has no idea what he's doing but everything about him feels charged with electricity. The pace of his hips picks up, the finesse of his earlier thrusts gone in favor of his coming orgasm, blazing up his belly from the heavy presence of the man's gaze all over him.
Arthur's hand flies over his cock, hips twisting and fucking up into his ever slick hand from his leaking cock-head. The man at his feet moans along with Arthur, the breath in the exhaling making Arthur twist his body in pleasure. He was so close.
"Please," the man whispers, just centimeters from the tip of Arthur's weeping tip. "Please give it to me. Please."

PhotobucketThe smut is scorching, and so much is said with the details, such as the description of what Arthur sees when he looks in Merlin’s eyes. Their connection is amazing, and it’s completely believable that their visceral attraction would transcend their opposite lifestyles.

This is some of the most graphic and realistic depiction of artistic counter-culture I’ve read in fic. There is drug use, blatantly open sexuality, and some downright seedy characters (I’m looking at you Gwaine). There is also love. Sweet, beautiful, I can’t believe I found you in amongst all this mess, love.


PhotobucketI think you guys know I am a shameless slag by now. I discovered this fic by doing a search looking for come-play in the Merthur fandom.... :) Boy-oh-boy am I SO glad that I did! GAH. I just ADORE this fic. It is deliciously hot from the get-go. But has so so so so so much substance its unreal.

JUST LIKE CANON, Arthur is privileged and has to meet certain expectations, whereas Merlin is on the outside of his society, embracing his own society and refusing to play by the rules. AND just like canon Merthur (IT’S CANON IN MY BOOK ALRIGHT?!!!!) these two have a connection that transcends expectations and restrictions, including their own.

How could I not fall completely in love with a love story that begins from a facial? I ask you. I am so glad I stumbled upon this fic, and I KNEW that Chele would love it too, and that we hooked Jen into the rabbit hole that is Merthur/Brolin? Perfection!

Arthur does not like the art scene, Arthur is not interested in gay or queer subculture. His sister, Morgana, who’s an Art Dealer/Collector drives him up the wall (and back down again). So why or how does Merlin get under his skin so? Merlin is just Merlin. A believable and enchanting mix of innocence and debauchery mixed with unyielding devotion to and fierce passion for Arthur. It burns and blazes from the screen as you read the words. This is such a visual fic, it plays behind your eyelids as you read, and then hours later it will haunt you still.

At points in the story, you feel so much for Arthur. Going to a party, without knowing why, feeling so uncomfortable in his own skin and so past his comfort zone, particularly at Merlin’s flat warming dive and fucked-up antics of a party. Feeling like such a square and such a stiff. Being jealous and insecure because of Merlin's touchy-feely friends. But then you sense the subtle shift in him. The comfort he cannot explain or rationalise away that he gets from Merlin's mere presence, from his skin, from his touch, from his art, from his love? But how will their two worlds EVER marry? Suited, respectable, businessman Arthur and wild, free, creative, drug-using Merlin, can they really belong in each others worlds? But how can they not?

My girls are giving all the swoony, sexy stuff in quotes, so I am gonna share a scene I love that shows how out of his depth Arthur is from the get-go, yet how its an unstoppable force...
"That doesn't make any sense and is quite frightening," Arthur says with a blink as Merlin rearranges himself to his will, straddling Arthur's lap and curling his hands around Arthur's neck and shoulders.

"I took them off."

"I see that."

And Arthur does. He sees the pale, too-skinny definition of Merlin's legs and the sharp jut of his hipbones underneath the band of his white underwear. Arthur ignores the bulge of Merlin's crotch because he's not sure his mind won't actually explode if he doesn't.

"Why are you making that face? That is not a sexy face."
Arthur glares. "I make it a rule not to fraternize with people who wear underwear like that."

"It was laundry day," Merlin whinges, his lips pouting and his brow creasing. "I didn't know you were going to be here." Then he smirks. "You owe me an orgasm anyway."

Arthur blinks. "Pardon?"

"Goodness you're posh!"

Arthur squirms. He's never really been ashamed of his wealth before. Not that he's particularly ashamed now but it's certainly uncomfortable how everyone here is decidedly poor and fine with it., more than enjoying this vagrant-bohemian life-style. Not that Will or Merlin are anywhere nearpoor because Arthur knows exactly how much Morgana pays her artists but Arthur's fairly sure that the money doesn't go to rent or groceries considering how thin Merlin is.

"You're not going to punish me for wearing ugly panties are you?"

Arthur is trying to keep up, he honestly, is but Merlin is shifting and moving over his lap like he's doing a very awkward dance—nevertheless, it's very distracting. It isn't Arthur's fault that he's very drunk after being left alone for so long. Plus, Merlin's pretty, which is obviously Merlin's fault.

"If I would have known," Merlin says with a pull from the wine bottle popping off his lips. "If you would have said, 'no shagging in ugly pants' then I wouldn't have worn any."

Arthur clears his throat. "That so?"

Merlin's eyes are glassy but bright and unblinking. "That is very much so," Merlin imitates.

"Well," Arthur says, sliding his palms up Merlin's thighs. "I guess I can forgive you."

"I'm glad." Merlin smiles, all teeth and hungry, before tipping the wine into Arthur's mouth. It's white and disgustingly cheap causing Arthur to grimace and physically force himself to swallow.

"That was terrible."

"Fuck me," is Merlin's response.

This time, Arthur chokes on his tongue, vividly aware of Merlin now grinding tiny circles onto his half hard cock. He looks ridiculous and not at all sexy because the little motions look funny in the position above Arthur and yet, Arthur finds himself getting harder by the moment.

"You owe me an orgasm," Merlin says with a palm pressed to cock. "And I want it with your cock up my arse."

Arthur looks frantically around as Merlin starts to suck on his lower lip and work both their cocks with the solid circle his hips keep making over Arthur's groin.

"Merlin," Arthur finds himself panting. "You're drunk."

"So are you."

"I'm not fucking you in front of him," Arthur hisses and glares at Gwaine who is grinning like a maniac porn addict on drugs.

I love how in this fic, Merlin’s art is the mirror that shows his feeling for Arthur. It starts off blatantly sexual, he’s gagging for Arthur. Then it turns curious, seeking - little flashes of trying to figure Arthur out. Then comes the persistence, the constant need, to see, to feel, to experience, to catalogue. Then comes the worship, the adoration, the need to make others believe, the need to wrap himself up in Arthur. The need to not lose a single shot, or minute of Arthur. But right until the very end, all of this is laced with uncertainty or fear, not of Arthur or his feelings for Arthur, but that he might not be enough, that he might be too Merlin for Arthur. Not realizing just what a smitten kitten Arthur is for Merlin.

Gah. Its such a sexy, swoony read. Just writing about it makes me want to reread it (again). Yes I have read it more than once already...... And you will too. Merlin seduced Arthur with his version of innocence and his guile, and I swear he will seduce you too.

Its the sweetest, swooniest and sexiest slash I have read, yet it also has an edge that is believable and so convincing.... **whispers** I want to join their road trip...Ssssh. ….


I’m not sure what it was that Em & Chele said that got me to read Picture Maker, but they enticed me to pop my Merlin fic cherry. This is hot and swoony and so yummy.

Arthur is attending an opening at Morgana’s gallery, under duress. He doesn’t get art people, doesn’t get why Morgana’s gallery would have immaculate white walls only to be spray-painted on by some hipster. And he really doesn’t get why he’s drawn to Merlin.

Merlin immediately knocks Arthur on his ass arse with his blunt and forward inquiries--inquiries which are made just as Arthur is washing his hands in the restroom. I can’t say it better than Arthur himself … (the atmosphere) has shifted from 'odd bathroom conversation' to 'scandalous bathroom encounter' in a matter of minutes.

The encounter is indeed scandalous, and Arthur just can’t forget about it, or Merlin. He finds himself doing things he would never ordinarily do, like attend hipster parties in hope of spending more scandalous time with Merlin. He’s adorably out out place and completely awkward as he interacts with Merlin’s friends. Despite all that, they both feel a connection when they manage to . There’s flirting, UST and touching; adorableness and sweet, swoony words.

Their courtship, if you will, is just so dang adorable. Merlin photographs Arthur, and shows him just how he sees Arthur. And that’s just the thing about this fic that makes it so loveable: Arthur stops questioning what he sees in Merlin, and gives himself over to the way they make each other feel.

There’s such a sense of romance and adoration between them, I really don’t see how anyone could read it and not swoon. I mean really, can you resist this?

PhotobucketFor once in his life, he's aware of how important this moment is between them. He tries to imagine Merlin without a camera in his hands or without the smile that slides onto his face after he's taken a picture that he's particularly pleased with and it all feels wrong. It feels wrong for Merlin to ask Arthur for anything when Arthur knows that he should just take it because Arthur wants to give it to him. He thinks about his life before Merlin. He thinks about Merlin's fingers pressed against his and the way he gulps down cheap beer, drunk off the people around him. Arthur thinks about the way Merlin gasps his name when he's buried inside him, both of them on their sides in the early morning light and realizes that if there is anything to fight for, it might be everything Merlin stands for.

"Merlin," he says with equal softness. Merlin looks up from where he was staring at their fingers. "You never have to ask because the answer is always yes."

The water splashes all over the tile floor when Merlin climbs in, still half-clothed, to take Arthur's picture and to kiss him.

I honest to goodness swooned from this bit.

Picture Maker is a love story that I can see myself reading again and again.


I’m a sucker for artistic boys. Even married one and wrote about two, so when I read the summary of this story, I jumped in feet first and didn’t come up for air until it was read.

I loved it.

I loved it for all the reasons the Pervs talked about above. I loved the visual way it was written so that I could literally step into that world and feel the gritty nature of Merlin’s life and Arthur’s palpable discomfort with it.

More than anything though, was how Merlin was portrayed. Initially, I thought typical emo, starving artist type, especially when Arthur goes over to his flat for a party. It’s scary for Arthur, but he doesn’t tuck tail and run, which I was thrilled about. But as the story unfolds you see that while Merlin is someone who thinks outside the box and is open to new experiences, he is also very much an innocent despite the depth that he shows through his work. I loved this juxtaposition. It was fresh and inspiring.

It’s little characterization moments like this, that totally had me in a puddle of melted goo.

It's May. It's raining buckets of drizzle that annoy Arthur to no end because he has trouble sleeping, his shoulder wound from university bothering him. He slips out of bed, where Merlin is drooling on his pillow and kicking like a puppy.

Arthur places a kiss on his shoulder and then leaves the bedroom.

The romanticism of communicating love through art will always suck me in, because you can say things through visual media in a way that can’t be achieved in other formats. Obviously, I think words are pretty damn powerful, but images stick with you forever. I honestly think this Merlin will stick with me forever.


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