Rating: NC-17 ( D: )
Warning: Minor character death
Word Count: ~46, 500
Summary: Merlin is content, but not exactly happy, in Ealdor, so when his mother's friend Gaius' shows up with a tale of dragons under castles and priestesses and an exiled prince, Merlin is thrilled to listen. The reality, however, isn't so great: the priestess is a killer, the prince is a prat, and the dragon sure does have some curious ideas about them. But Gaius is saying it's Merlin responsibility -- destiny, even -- to help Arthur win back his kingdom, and to evade all the forces amassing against him on the way. This would, of course, be a whole lot easier if he could stand to be in the same village as Arthur for enough time for them to stop arguing.
His highness Prince Arthur – for it could be no other -- paused a little longer, obviously for no other purpose than to keep Merlin squirming on his back in the dirt, before he sheathed his sword with an unnecessary flourish and stepped back.
“Do you know these woods well?” he asked, imperious.
“I’ve lived here my whole life, what do you think?” Merlin bit back, scrambling to his feet and eyeing his dirty clothes ruefully.
“Well,” Arthur returned, with one contemptuous raised eyebrow. “If that’s the case, you’ve just been ambushed in your own backyard. Is that how they raise you around here?”
“Around here, we don’t exactly need to fear ambushing, except apparently by big-headed refugee princes—”
“I’m not a refugee!”
“Merlin, please,” said Gaius calmly, making it clear with the sweep of his eyes under one raised brow that he was including Arthur in the rebuke. “I should like to get back in time to put the comfrey to good use.”
Still a little miffed, Merlin led them back to where he and Will had gathered the comfrey the previous day. Gaius was instantly absorbed, keeping his gaze to the ground as circled a particularly thick growth.
Merlin had meant to help, but he kept getting distracted by Arthur -- who didn’t offer any assistance. He chose instead to prowl the undergrowth like a stalking cat, hand near the hilt of his sword.
“You’ve really got nothing to fear,” he informed Arthur after the prince appeared next to him, apparently satisfied with the perimeter of this particular croft. “The people who attacked Camelot don’t know you’re here, do they? Did they follow you?”
“Who knows what sorcerers can do?” asked Arthur. “My father has been proven correct; they’re always capable of the worst.”
The real point of this is the soundtrack. These are the majority of the songs I listened to while writing; they're about the mood and flow of the story as much as the lyrics. It's divided into two parts mostly just because it was too big a file as one. The covers are meant to be companion pieces, not to denote POV. All twenty songs flow in a playlist with the story.
To be honest, I wasn't planning on including anything else until I realized everyone else was (oops), mostly because I kind of do consider it representative of the story. It starts off with songs about responsibility and destiny, magic and power. How much can you give? Can you do on your own?
They sang to me, this is yours to earn. You're the chosen one, there's no turning back.
As the relationship between Merlin and Arthur progresses and their plan starts to fall into place, they relax, lose their urgency and their edge.
Maybe it's not about the words at all, like an instrumental track or one in a language you don't even speak.
Bat for Lashes - Horse and I
Ladyhawke - Magic
Yeasayer - Tightrope
Prince Rama of Ayodhya - Everything
The Maccabees - Can You Give It
The Horrors - Scarlet Fields
The Knife - Forest Families
Fire on Fire - Heavy D
Fred Thomas - Rabblerouser
Paavoarju - Tytto Tanssii
But the future has to confronted, as do the secrets between them. Suddenly, you're back into all those things you wished to undo, and everything you thought might actually be simple isn't. You have to think about what's more important to you, tradition or your own feelings?
People say that you'll die, faster than without water -- but we know it's just a lie, scare your son, scare your daughter
And then there's still the task at hand. How are you going to do what you need to do, especially when you don't actually want to endanger the one person who can truly help?
Of course, if things are leading to a happy ending, that calls for a whole new set of tracks.
You've never left me, have you?
You've never left me at all
Whatever happens to you, whatever happens to me, I hope that I'll fall asleep knowing you'll always be
The story with no ending
Woods - The Number
Bat for Lashes - Trophy
The Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
Grizzly Bear - While You Wait for the Others
Broken Social Scene - Fire Eye'd Boy
Bat for Lashes - Siren Song
Micachu & The Shapes - Turn Me Well
Put the Rifle Down - Architekt
Passion Pit - Live to Tell the Tale
Bat for Lashes - The Wizard
Instructions for XML Playlist: Once you have the directories unzipped, you'll see a text file in each. In itunes, go to file --> library --> import playlist and select the text file. It will load all the files into your library and into a smart playlist. They should be formatted by playlist order, but if they appear alphabetically just click on the album tab at the top within the itunes window and they'll be in the correct order.
Once they're all in your library, if you so desire, there is an additional playlist in the second zip that will pull them all into one playlist.
It's easy. It's awesome.
Also, re-upped second disc with a fixed version of Arcade Fire!