Jill, hello! Here to spread some holiday cheer and also binge read your Merlin fics because.... well, I just realised I've been missing out on some absolutely fab stories. I mean, the reveal has always been a HUGE part of the show and it used to irk me so much that Arthur never knew how much Merlin had done for him. This is the first Merlin fic I've read and I love that it's around the reveal, I love everything about this so much. Everything.
The banter between Merlin and Arthur is so well written. The characterisation is just PERFECT in this. The line "For what? A move to Gaius's sickbed downstairs?" cracked me up - you've captured his pompous but caring tone incredibly well.
I was squeeing so hard when Arthur finally realised how cruel and unfeeling Agravaine was. When I watched the show, I was shouting at the screen with every episode, like "Arthur how can you listen to Agravaine and not Merlin, why are you such an idiot?" and you turned things around here, showed Agravaine's true colours, showed Arthur being a true friend to Merlin and moving past his blanket hatred of magic and just... my heart is content, thank you for this.
This fic is a gem, honestly, filled with all the best things about Merlin and a cherry on top. I love that you brought in the funny feeling, the way Gwen tells Arthur what happened, the murderous look she directs at Agravaine, Gaius being Gaius, the camaraderie, gosh everything was just so amazing and I had a goofy smile when I finished reading this.
Thank you for writing this, it was SUCH an enjoyable read. I'm going to creep through your page now and read the other Merlin fics you've written.
I’m here to shower you with love, because you definitely deserve it. You write the most beautiful Merlin stories, and I can always count on you to leave me smiling so widely while also feeling unbelievably touched. And this story was no different. It was eight thousand words of pure emotion from beginning to end, and I enjoyed reading it so so much. Someday, I definitely need to make may way through your entire AP, because your writing is just so wonderful to read.
That entire beginning scene between Merlin and Arthur is so hilarious! (I don’t know how tired you are of hearing this, but I love the way you write their bantering omg. I could gush on about it for centuries.) I love how Merlin is absolutely determined to accompany Arthur despite being half-dead. And I absolutely love this line here lmao-- "Packing?" Arthur repeated incredulously as he stopped, arms crossed. "For what? A move to Gaius's sickbed downstairs?"
Arthur is hilarious. His endless internal irritation at George is also hilarious.
And I feel like at this point, I should know your writing well enough to expect this (though it always takes me by surprise haha), that every time you start off happy, the story will gradually shift to a darker, more dramatic tone. So once again, my heart is full of sadness for Merlin, who suffers so much. He literally had only the best intentions in his heart, by using his magic (while ridiculously ill, the poor boy) to save the people from the boulders. My heart hurt for him while I was reading that, because he sounds so tired that the thought of him directing entire boulders away was exhausting.
Agravaine seemed like a pleasant enough guy at the beginning, but now I know better. Stupidly narrow-minded people can go ship themselves off to the middle of the ocean, for all I care, haha. I can’t believe he locked Merlin up for saving people’s lives? My goodness. The speed with which he turns against Merlin was so scary to see. He’s so ready to beat Merlin that it’s hard to believe he was ever pleasant-sounding, ugh.
Poor Merlin. He always suffers so much in your stories haha. <3
THANK GOODNESS THAT ARTHUR GOT THE DREAM, THOUGH. As he came charging through the castle, roaring furiously for his uncle to be brought to him, I was so so happy. I wasn’t sure how you were going to handle the reveal, if Arthur would have difficulty accepting the truth, or if Arthur would go along with it. I was glad you kept him a little bit in the middle, where he was slightly skeptical but that didn’t stop him from fiercely defending his friend to the end. Ahh I was so so touched by his actions. All the work and effort he put into pardoning his friend was just so amazing and positive to see, and I felt a million times more thankful to Arthur when I saw the effect that Arthur’s support had on Merlin.
Sometimes the world needs happy endings, and you write them spectacularly. Your characterizations are always beautiful, and the dialogue is always gripping and interesting. I always love reading your stories. <3