Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Magical Meanderings Stumble Through Mists and Time 6/12/12

In our ongoing quest to seek out new smut fic to entertain and delight our readers the pervs have created the Magical Meanderings. Here we will spotlight sexy fics with a magical theme, from any number of fandoms. Fairies, dragons, wizards, shape shifters and even knights will take center stage in these magical and sometimes even mystical tales. Bring your imagination and prepare to be enchanted by some enchanting, erotic fan fiction.

Our latest Magical Meanderings pick is...

Title: Stumble Through Mist and Magic
Author: RuffleFeather
Words: 35,351
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin aka Merthur
Summary: Arthur and Merlin's destiny is much more entwined than even the Dragon predicted but it has consequences neither of them are prepared for.

I stumbled [← see what I did there ← ?) upon this fic, quite innocently when perusing what other fics rufflefeather had written, I’d been enjoying all her fics and thought hmmmmn, not read that one before and blundered in. Initially I was thinking, ‘well this is a good fic’, and ‘oooh fun times with slashy princes and hapless manservant’! And then Whooomph! Out of ruddy nowhere, this fic completely suckerpunched me in the ghoolies.

Ok, so before we get to the body slamming of the shock type we get to the body slamming of the other.  Merlin and Arthur’s romance develops slowly and with humour and wee touches of magic:
They sit in silence for a while but he knows Arthur won’t talk until he is ready. On occasion, Merlin’s mindless babble will draw him out, but this is not one of those times. ‘Have you ever… been with a woman Merlin?’ Arthur asks eventually and Merlin gulps, turns red, then white, then red again. Of all the scenario’s Merlin had imagined, ranging from quite ordinary but no less painful (I miss my mother, what was it like to grow up with one), to terrifying (I know you have magic Merlin, what do we do now), to downright paralyzingly embarrassing (why did you touch my hand like that and would you like to do it again), he would take any of those over the conversation they are about to have. He realizes his eyes must be just about bulging out of his head, but Arthur’s face is so vulnerable in its sincerity, Merlin can do nothing but answer him. 

‘Yes,’ he breathes. ‘Yes I have.’ He doesn’t know why those are such difficult words to put together, with the prince gazing at him so intently, so Merlin does what he always does in moments of uncomfortable silences. He fills them. ‘There was a girl in the village, and she took me to the barn a few times. At first it was just a bit of hands and kisses you know, but then she wanted more and she told me how her mother made potions to stop women from conceiving. So one night we eh, well, did it.’ He swallows, his mouth so dry now he couldn’t continue even if he wanted to elaborate further. Which he doesn’t. Instead, he goes for shifting and pressing his thumbs into his eye sockets until the inside of his eyelids turn red. 
‘Did you enjoy it?’ 
His hands fall down limply to his side so he can stare at Arthur. If his mouth is open in silent question, making him look slightly dimwitted, well there is nothing he can do about that right now. ‘Eh,’ he says when Arthur just looks and looks, the blue in his eyes wide enough to reveal the grey swirls, eyebrows tilted in question. ‘Eh, yeah it was eh- all right, I suppose, yeah.’ 
Arthur nods briefly and stares out in front of him, his elbows still resting on his pulled up knees, hands swinging between them in apparent relaxation, which would have fooled Merlin if the muscles and tendons of Arthur’s neck didn’t stand out like painfully taut ropes. Merlin swallows twice, wishing he could go drink from the river so his mouth would feel less like it has sand in it. Or maybe he could just stick his own head underwater until he drowned. ‘Why?’ he croaks out eventually. ‘Haven’t-?’ He leaves it hanging, physically unable to finish the question, because he is about to ask the crown bloody prince if he has ever been shagged and that is just too unhinged for words. 
‘Yeah,’ Arthur tells him, chin almost pressed against the dip between his collarbones. ‘Yes
I have.’ Merlin lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, because for a moment there he was afraid he would have to give Arthur Pendragon the talk (well, he could hardly see him going to Uther for it and who else would inform him?), but apparently the release of air is a loud one and Arthur glances at him beneath heavy eyelids, and snorts. ‘I just didn’t think it was all that, that’s all.’ 
‘Oh. Well. They say it is different, I mean- with different wo-.’ ‘Yeah I know that. I just-.’ Merlin sees Arthur swallow, as if there might be sand in his mouth too. ‘Never mind.’ Arthur goes to shift away but something, the curled up creature in his gut Merlin thinks, makes him grab the prince’s arm and say no, a little louder than he intended. Arthur looks at him with astonishment, but without anger, so he continues. ‘You can talk to me. You know that don’t you? For all the crap that comes out of my mouth- you know you can trust me, right?’ 
At this Arthur’s eyebrow rises higher, as if implying, really? Can I now? But he doesn’t say it, just sinks back and Merlin’s hand lingers a little longer on the bare arm than is strictly necessary. ‘Okay,’ he says at first, like a question before saying it more forcefully again. ‘Okay. But Merlin I swear to the Gods, if you ever breathe a word of this to anyone,’ and some of the fighting flame is back behind his blue eyes. Merlin is almost poked in the face by a pointy finger when Arthur leans close enough for his breath to skitter over Merlin’s nose. ‘The merest hint of a word Merlin, and you will spend an entire week in the stocks before I make your life so miserable, that week will be a happy memory.’ 
‘Right,’ Merlin gulps. ‘You have my word. Not a word.’ He wants to grin but a steady look from Arthur tells him that would be a mighty bad idea. Arthur breathes out slowly and the air comes out a little shakily, so Merlin frowns, worried now. ‘Arthur, what is going on?’ 
Arthur ignores him, stares ahead, and his jaw clenches as if he makes up his mind. ‘Have you ever been with a man?’ His eyes harden at Merlin’s silence and he knows it is being misunderstood so he answers, his voice steady. 
See how cute and hesitant they are? Arthur is all crap with his feelings, and Merlin is oblivious! Its great. We even get a very good magic reveal. And the first half is a really great story as we read of Merlin and Arthur’s almost innocent time together. Fear not though dear Pervs its not tooooo innocent:
Arthur’s thumb tracks a slow path over Merlin’s jawline. His lips press unhurried and deep on his cheekbones, his eyelids, his neck. His teeth graze lazily over Merlin’s earlobe, who sighs, feeling every bone in his body turn into something warm and liquid. When Arthur murmurs I want you, against the shell of his ear, Merlin places a hand on Arthur’s chest and pushes. The prince’s eyes widen a little in question but a small smile plays around his lips, tells him okay, let’s do it your way. 
He has stripped prince Arthur off his royal garb many times, but never like this. He turns Arthur around, so he faces the window, the setting sunlight a sharp contrast to his outline, casting a long shadow across the stone floor. Arthur’s hair is like molten gold and Merlin is filled with a sudden ache he can’t explain.
Now there are loads of smuttier quotes than that, but I wanted to leave you the good bits to read yourself.

Then the story takes a different turn. And I will not spoil the breathtaking amazing that this story is for you by telling you what happens. But I was left gasping and shocked. Willing my eyes to read faster so I could get it finished as I HAD to know how it ended. But almost too feart to read it, just in case all my worst fears came true...

We had a wee debate amongst us pervies as to whether you could call this fic a happy ending or not. I still think it is, of sorts...But I will leave you to make up your own mind. Do feel free to share with us, and the author your thoughts on it. I love to discuss this with people! And for the love of god, please do review and tell the author you found it here and what you think!

This is an INCREDIBLE tour de force of a tale. It has everything in it a good magical story should have. Magic in spades, beautiful adorable boys. Heartbreak and agony. Hope - both dashed and blooming. Betrayals, losses, fear, and epic, intense sex and love and passion and Oh! Oh!Oh! It is just wonderful. I am begging you to read this fic. It. Kills. Me. Please go read it. Please?

Stumble Through Mist & Time is one of those rare fics that can make you feel completely immersed into the canon world as it steers you off course in another direction. In this case, rufflefeather combines our favorite boys from the TV series with the legendary storyline we all know, while giving Arthur the type of love, in Merlin, that is worthy of a King.

The writing is excellent. It is both lyrical and gritty, taking the reader on this magical roller coaster, and holding tight with a level of realism that anchors you when you want to float away with the fluff, or run away from the agony. This story will give you all the emotions, and will hold you en rapt while imparting them.

I love the way that we begin in Arthur and Merlin’s youth. Their friendship is so easy, and later, their love so carefree despite the seriousness of their station and the intensity of the world around them. It’s as if they reside in their own bubble of safety, support, and exploration -of the world and of each other - where no harm can come to them.

As we know it must, this bubble bursts, but it is the strength of this forged bond, and the intensity of their connection that imparts a faith in their intertwined destiny. The smut is plot-driven. It is interspersed throughout the story at various times of Merlin and Arthur’s relationship, and serves to illustrate their connection. The tone and intensity of their relationship mirrored perfectly in their interactions.

It also serves to light my pants on fire.

If you’re ready for a masterful blend of canon universe and willing to let yourself experience the full gamut of emotions that comes from being in love and living a long life, I’ll be holding a space for you here on my fainting couch when you’re done.

Put on your seatbelts before reading Stumble Through Mist & Time. It’s a wild ride of humor and banter, UST, suspense, beautiful true love, angst, longing, and of course super hot sexing. While it may seem incongruous for a fic that’s so genuinely funny to turn so heartachingly angsty, rufflefeather does it in a way that just flows and is not jarring at all.

Stumble Through Mist & Time is so deeply canon, that as I was watching Merlin the other day I honestly could not recall if Merlin and Arthur’s scenes with Kilgharrah were something I’d seen in the show or had read in a fic. The scenes were so realistic and vivid that *I saw them in my head* and totally forgot that in the show, magic has not yet been revealed.

The other Pervs have done a really fabulous job extolling the virtues of rufflefeather’s writing and the plot of the story, so I won’t delve too deeply into it. This story is going to give you ALL OF THE FEELINGS, and they will definitely stay with you long after reading.

I LOVE when authors describe the physical effects of magic during sex. This is so erotic and so vividly written. Unf!
His eyes flash golden again and he hears the small intake of breath but there is no fear in those large eyes, only wonder. 
A soft breeze plays across Arthur’s arms, ruffling the hairs ever so lightly. It could come from the window, but it moves in a pattern that is by no means natural. It curls around Arthur’s neck, cooling the sweat that is pooled there, before moving down his chest, following the trail across his stomach, until Arthur has to arch into the bed because it feels like a dozen soft hands caressing him all at once. When the breath of wind tickles the hair that forms a path to where all the lines of his stomach come together, Arthur groans, his hands tightening on Merlin’s arms and- 
‘Shit Merlin, are you doing that?’ 
‘Yes,’ he says, with a half-smile, because it started out as teasing but the sight of Arthur, God the sight of him. 
He allows the breeze to thicken into a silvery strand of comfortable warmth, curling down until it enfolds Arthur’s erection, probing further still into that secret place of pure pleasure, drawing a cry from Arthur’s throat. When Arthur can’t stand it any longer, he drags Merlin down until their mouths meet in a kiss that is promise and fulfilment all in one.
So, block off a some time this weekend, get comfy, maybe grab a tissue or two, and fall into the world of Stumble Through Mist & Time. You won’t regret it.

This was one of my first ever Merlin fics last summer and after reading it, I fell hard and fast in love with Merlin/Arthur. The first time I read it wrecked me, but I was a snot sobbing mess this time around.

rufflefeather starts off by bringing us into the world of Merlin and Arthur that we know from television. But we get to go far beyond that. This is an entirely epic retelling of Arthurian legend where destiny and duty are truly at the heart of the story.

It is that destiny—which is so much deeper than the dragon, Kilgharrah, ever realized—that brings Arthur and Merlin to a place where very tough choices have to be made. Then, both men have to live with the after effects, and we, as readers, have to read through the aftermath. Yes, I’m going for a more dramatic word aftermath for the readers because I fell so thoroughly in love with these guys and wanted them together so badly that I felt ripped apart at times. Characters are rich and deeply developed. The are conflicted and genuine. And they are not perfect, which I so appreciate.

I loved this story and I know I’ll read it again and again (which I so rarely do, btw) because it not only ripped me apart, it put me back together—it made me feel like this is what really happened. And the story will stick with me for days again like it did the first time I read it.

Okay, I’m seriously going to go and get in the tub so I can cry like a baby and no one will be able to tell the difference between tears and water. But don’t let my tears freak you out. These are tears of not just sadness—because I won’t lie, I have those too—but tears of happiness too. Also tears because I don’t have time to go back and reread this again right away.


rufflefeather said...

Oh my god, I can't believe my eyes. If I had to speak right now, I'd sound like a hoarse frog. This was my very first Merlin fic (RPF doesn't count *cough*) and I know it's far from perfect, but it's my baby. I can't tell you how much this means to me.

I never imagined my writing would affect people like you've described here, or that they'd even go back and read it twice. Thank you so, so much, this makes me ridiculously happy. It means the world to me. <3

rufflefeather x

PS: I know the ending is ambiguous, and it's meant to be, but I always considered it to be a happy one.

Emmy said...

Dear RuffleFeather
Thanks SO much for your lovelu comment. It means so much to us that you were pleaed with it.
We hope new readers have found their way to this story, as it's so very special to us. I hope you can tell that it left a huge impression on us all.
We are huge fans of your writing.
So please keep writing! (I'm tempted to venture into Avengers fandom, to read your new stuff!)
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Much love