hope: Art of a woman writing from tour poster (merlin - gwaine & merlin)
puddingsmith ([personal profile] hope) wrote2011-06-06 11:25 pm

Fic: Along a Wandering Wind (Merlin (BBC), Gwaine/Merlin, NC-17)

Created using the Fanfiction Header BuilderTitle: Along a Wandering Wind
Author: [personal profile] hope / [livejournal.com profile] angstslashhope
Fandom: Merlin (BBC)
Wordcount: ~64,000
Rating: Mostly PG-13, eventual NC-17
Pairing: Merlin/Gwaine, peripheral Arthur/Gwen/Lancelot
Notes: This story could not have been completed without the support of my various alpha, beta and gamma readers: [personal profile] winterhill, [personal profile] vanessarama, [personal profile] true_statement, [personal profile] doro, [personal profile] msilverstar and the amazing [profile] neifile7, who helped me make the major changes that carved the story into a much better shape (and also came up with the summary. Seriously, thank you). Title is from Tennyson.

Summary: Just when Gwaine finds a reason to end his roaming, he must leave Camelot again, this time on royal orders. Whether and how he returns may depend on the secrets Merlin—and others—are keeping from him. (A romance of letters, intrigue and knightly apprenticeship, set post-S3.)

Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four - Part Five - Part Six

Note: due to length restrictions of LJ posts, all parts are posted on Dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment on the Livejournal masterpost if LJ is your preferred feedback space!


Read the whole thing on the Archive of Our Own

ETA: Also check out the lovely fanart by [livejournal.com profile] waltzing_mice: Thinking of the Quill and Merlin's Letter.
derryderrydown: (Default)

[personal profile] derryderrydown 2011-06-06 02:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I am so looking forward to putting this on my ebook reader and WALLOWING EPICALLY in it.

[identity profile] paradox18.livejournal.com 2011-06-07 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
This was just amazing. I loved the premise, and the very epicness of this fic and it was merlin/gwaine, i think this is the longest fic i have read with that pairing and it delivered so well. I loved the neat solution of arthur/gwen/lancelot pairing.

[personal profile] lymnilia 2011-06-09 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
I was hooked by your fic for the last 24 hour. It was epic and sweet and I could feel Gwaine's sadness and doubts. I really like the way you managed to put depth in both plots - the romantic and the politic one. It's not that common in fanfiction and it makes yours even better.
Thank you for this wonderful read!

ART: Merlin's Letter

(Anonymous) 2011-07-25 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
User [livejournal.com profile] waltzing_mice referenced to your post from ART: Merlin's Letter (http://merlingwainebar.livejournal.com/62052.html) saying: [...] Title: Merlin's Letter Summary: This is another illustration for the epistolary fanfiction [...]

[identity profile] wistful-fever.livejournal.com 2011-06-07 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow. This is so amazing I am left scrambling to put together feedback to suit it, but I think I'll fail. Just totally fail. I can only say that somehow I've been sitting locked in the same position for at least twenty minutes, and my back hurts, simply because I was so invested in reading this wonderful fic and not blinking. Great, great read. I'll come back to this again and again.

[identity profile] vesperdivum.livejournal.com 2011-06-07 06:55 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, so I just sat here and read this without stop because I was so completely hooked. This was nothing short of incredible. Really gorgeous and plotty and just. God. Amazing. I loved how unbelievably perfectly fleshed out everything about this was. The take over and the court politics and intrigue and all of the characters and just. Holy shit. I am left completely speechless over how truly beautifully fantastic this was. Epic epic story.

I loved the letters and the slow build. I loved the courting and the sharing and mutual insecurities and the back drop of this important take over and tension between countries and courts and just. Everything. Absolutely every single thing. This was truly amazing. &hearts

[identity profile] luisadeza.livejournal.com 2011-06-07 05:37 pm (UTC)(link)
So, I just finished the first part and omg, it's soo soo good so far and I'm completely torn between just reading it all in one go or making it last for as long as I can.
*flails a little*

(no subject)

[identity profile] luisadeza.livejournal.com - 2011-06-09 08:52 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] alba17.livejournal.com 2011-06-08 12:03 am (UTC)(link)
I'm downloading it from AO3. Can't wait to read it!

[identity profile] luztremula.livejournal.com 2011-06-08 12:17 am (UTC)(link)
Oh wow, I absolutely loved this. It was just so epic, romantic, and I loved the slow build of their relationship and how perfectly they consumated it. :) Thank you for such an awesome story.

[identity profile] iichristinll.livejournal.com 2011-06-08 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
Lovely! Just absolutely brilliant. ♥

[identity profile] archaeologist-d.livejournal.com 2011-06-08 11:41 am (UTC)(link)
Loved this. It was so full of plot and intrigue. Loved the letters and how the reader could tell what was going on back in Camelot while Gwaine was away. Loved the tension between Arthur and Merlin for a while even though we don't see it! Great job.

[identity profile] lewisian-gneiss.livejournal.com 2011-06-08 09:10 pm (UTC)(link)
This has been on my mind for the past 24 hrs: while I slept, drove, ran, googled and wiki'd (starting with Dr James Barry). 24 hrs ago I'd have said how I loved the letters gradually revealing Merlin and Gwaine to each other. 12 hrs ago I was pondering identity. Now, I'd say how everyone (?nearly everyone) in this fic had secrets, “So much of survival relies on keeping secrets,” . By the end, identities are revealed, and while Gareth's past remains generally unknown, who he is is, and always has been, known, "I’m not her, I’m Gareth!". (apologies for missing the point, and gazillion apologies for inadvertent disrespect on gender identity issues). Thank you for provoking my thinking.

[identity profile] fuzzytomato02.livejournal.com 2011-06-09 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
oh, i loved this so much! the letters back and forth were precious and you built up the tension and the ust so nicely. loved Gwaine being so loyal and smitten with Merlin and Merlin's love in return. loved Merlin's blue paint. loved the arrangement between Lancelot/Arthur/Gwen. loved really everything about this. thank you.

[identity profile] kattale.livejournal.com 2011-06-09 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
This was ... one of the most utterly beautiful love stories I have ever read. The characterization was amazing, I was so caught up in Gwaine's hopes and fears and self-doubt. Gods, long distance relationships are a bitch, even in Arthurian times, I guess! The story underlining the romance was compelling, I loved Gareth - you had me fooled, even though all the clues were so obvious in retrospect, you'd think I'd never read any Tamora Pierce, because I didn't know until you deliberately revealed the secret. Good on you for spinning out the clues at the right pace that nothing was given away, but it was all there to see. :)

The depth of love in this story was immense, and intense, and just leaves my heart overflowing. Truly a beautiful tapestry that you have woven. Thank you.
slightlytookish: (Merlin: Merlin & Gwaine - Smitten Look)

[personal profile] slightlytookish 2011-06-12 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
This is so beautiful and epic! I loved the letters Merlin and Gwaine shared, and their reunion, and Gwaine's friendship with Lancelot. And Gareth! His true identity was such a nice twist. I hope he becomes a knight soon!

[identity profile] carolinmescalin.livejournal.com 2011-06-12 11:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I LOVED this. Coherence probably escapes me, but it was just all so wonderfully paced and the tone was perfect. (And Gareth wanting to be a knight! I have such a thing for female knights, it's ridiculous.) Just...amazing. Kudos!

[identity profile] myworldmytrue.livejournal.com 2011-06-14 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
OMG, this was perfect. PERFECT. I've been waiting for someone to write a long Merlin/Gwaine fic for...God, forever, and now it's here and it's JUST. SO. EFFING. BEAUTIFUL.

I mean, seriously, I love everything about this fic. Gwaine's doubts about his knighthood and his first fumbling, unsure attempts at wooing Merlin, their long separation and the letters and the ardour and earnestness that came with them, Gwaine's friendship with Lancelot (also, really appreciated the Arthur/Gwen/Lancelot arrangement, since I don't like to see Lance unhappy :)), and the trials and hardships that befell all of them during the year. Also, GUH, the reunion, with Merlin all BAMFy and dominant (OM NOM NOM). ♥________♥

I really loved the OCs, particularly Lady Bronwen and Gareth (didn't see that twist with Gareth coming at all, and it was a wonderful surprise! I really like the idea of Gwaine having such an...unusual squire. :)).

Such an engaging, compelling and rewarding story! Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it with us. ♥

[identity profile] gilli-ann.livejournal.com 2011-06-21 05:41 pm (UTC)(link)
A truly impressive, epic fic!

I admire the prose and narrative style, so restrained and so deceptively effortless, never seeming forced or strained and never wavering in the consistently high quality. It is no minor feat to keep the lovers apart for the main part of your tale, and to stick to the POV you have chosen, and to nevertheless hold readers' keen attention and keep them glued to the screen. I wanted to read it *all* - the pace was perfect and the unfolding of the story just right - I experienced no impatience nor wish to skip ahead. Under other circumstances that might seem like faint praise - but with the demanding challenge you'd set yourself here, it really is much, much more.

The characterization of Merlin and particularly Gwaine was excellent; they were recognizable as their canon selves, as were the other canon characters. But with a keen eye you built Gwaine up to a living, breathing, complex, sometime-moody and interesting person, and Merlin too - as filtered through Gwaine's mind. I loved the gentle and slow unfolding of the long-distance M/Gwa courtship through the exchange of the letters. The increasing intensity and boldness and longing in their exchanges, the insecurities and uncertainties a long parting will necessarily bring, the magic reveal happening so far away that we, like Gwaine, can only guess at what truly went down between Arthur and Merlin: There's such a big story here, and one that yet leaves much yet unsaid and open to conjecture. I like ambiguity in fics and stories that leave room for interpretation. This is one such.

Fascinating how restraint, duty, caution and alertness seemed to be the order of the day all around while cold winter took hold, while Arthur was regent only and his hold on Camelot and more so on Cenred's kingdom was yet tenuous and open to challenge and treachery. And then once Uther died it was like opening veritable floodgates to an entire new era and new life at court and throughout the lands; the heat and lushness of summer, magic allowed, a sense of giddy relief and happiness, new chances and sensuality, with more than a touch of hedonism transforming the once-austere court. It seemed rather abrupt, but to me that made sense - once a long-lasting and severe barrier breaks, so much that was held back will burst forth eagerly and joyfully.

I enjoyed Merlin and Gwaine's reunion, obviously - very satisfying conclusion to their ever-increasing long-simmering love and longing! I particularly liked Merlin's total BAMFyness once he's come into his own and is out into the open. I would have *loved* to see a manip or illustration of him with those blue swirling druidic symbols and the oak leaf crown.

I should also mention a couple of the OOCs: Both Gareth and Bronwen were interesting and likable characters, with poignant and engaging life and family backgrounds leading to their respective current situations. The show is lacking in multi-dimensional "good" and competent female characters. I was happy to see you adding these two.

I suppose this comment has gotten overlong, so let me just end it with saying a big Thank You. It's rewarding and wonderful when a Merlin fandom writer is inspired into writing something as epic as this.

[identity profile] marguerite-26.livejournal.com 2011-06-23 07:55 pm (UTC)(link)
This was an amazing story. I love that you didn't rush it, that you made the story as much about Gwaine's journey as a knight and all the politics as you did the relationship between Merlin and Gwaine. So much here was fascinating.. the spell on the letters they exchanges (I was like MERLIN WHY YOU WRITING DOWN SO MANY SECRETS!) and the whole story of Gareth. !!! ♥!!!

and the Merlin still focused on his destiny and his place at Arthur's side.

The entire thing - very nicely done.

[identity profile] waltzing-mice.livejournal.com 2011-06-26 01:57 am (UTC)(link)
I was so excited that someone wrote a long m/Gwa so I downloaded it to read when I was without Internet access in costa rica. Who knew I'd be fighting everyone for the one plug to the generator so I could charge my netbook over and over so I could reread it over and over. I love this so much, and a few of the letters brought me to tears (I'm not a weepy person). I was going to wait until I got back in the states and a reliable Internet connection to post a response but I couldn't wait. I wish I had time to quote the most heartrendering passages but let's just say I was deeply moved by all of it. I hope you write more of them like this. I might draw a scene after I finish the BB and have a better handle on some other work. An image of gwaine reading merlin's letter doesn't leave me so perhaps I can neglect my duties a get to it in the coming months.

Thanks again.

[identity profile] leashy-bebes.livejournal.com 2011-07-02 11:19 am (UTC)(link)
Okay so I'm finally (possibly haha, no promises) coherent enough to leave feedback. Hope, this is just such a gorgeous world you've created for the boys and I love that, although they're at the heart of it there are so many wonderful other characters. Gareth in particular was a perfect addition and I love Gwaine's acceptance once he learned the truth.

I know that Arthur and Merlin often get the epic label, but the scope of this fic gave Gwaine and Merlin their own epic romance (you were not wrong in calling it that haha) without ever taking away from or ignoring the things Arthur and Merlin have done and will do together, which is not the easiest line to tread, but you did it perfectly, setting their romance against the backdrop of all this wonderful (and very plausible, I can really imagine something like this as the canon future) political stuff.

I've always had a weakness for epistolary fiction and the letters in particular were just so beautiful, the kind of thing you'd treasure for absolutely ever. Much like this fic haha, which I will be rereading on my commute today anyway because it's so great. Well worth finishing, switching off the light, and it being bright outside haha.

[identity profile] stardust-made.livejournal.com 2011-08-03 07:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to say that I dearly hope you write for a living, because this was flawless!

[identity profile] goobalicious.livejournal.com 2011-10-07 11:19 pm (UTC)(link)
This. Fic.

Merlin/Gwaine my second favorite ship on Merlin (which is saying someone, as this is Merlin and I ship all the things,) but I've been struggling to find fic for them. This fic made up for the small number of fics available by being one of the best Merlin fics I've ever read. I love that you told this story through Gwaine's POV, because though it excludes the readers from some Very Important Happenings in Camelot, it also works to make us really invested in the love story. I cannot tell you how many times I had to switch tabs while reading this just because it made me so happy and giggly.

I don't even know how to explain how excited I was to find a fic that was so romantic and lovely and where polyamory and and trans* issues are written so delicately and with so much thought and consideration. The fact of Gwaine listening to Gareth explain his gender identity and willingly accepting it even in his internal monologue (where he repeatedly calls Gareth he) is so so refreshing.

I began to read this fic for Merlin/Gwaine, without any idea that it would touch on all my other favorite ships in the series. Lancelot/Gwen/Arthur was handled so beautifully and I can't wait to have time to read their sequel. I love the acknowledgement of Gwen's relationship with Morgana and Gwaine's friendship with Lancelot. I am honestly stunned but the amount of my favorite things you fit into one fic. This fic was a huge surprise for me and I really appreciate the time and thought you clearly put into it.

In short: Your fic is great and you are great

[identity profile] kurokaze-89.livejournal.com 2011-12-27 09:23 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow. I'm absolutely breathless after reading it! The political intrigue, the long days out in Escetia, the letters which sound absolutely charming and very medieval (haha). As well as the thread of longing you can always feel below the surface! I love it all. And Gareth being a girl! What an awesome twist, that. :D I loved Bronwen as well. The fact that you never had Merlin run away from his duty to Arthur, and that both Arthur and Lancelot could be happy and together with Gwen, was wonderful. Wow. I love this.

[identity profile] destina.livejournal.com 2012-02-11 04:46 pm (UTC)(link)
You know, I was just getting ready to leave you a gushing comment about your writing elsewhere, and I realized I had not ever commented on this story, despite having raved about it for months now to other people, and having recced it ten or twelve times in various places. I am a little behind the curve. *g*

I think this story was one of the formative stories for me in Merlin fandom (as I was burning through fic like wildfire late last year), because it is so spectacularly good. I mean, I was not about Gwaine at all, and then I read this, and I fell in love with him completely. It's almost like you breathed life into Gwaine, made him a full and rounded character with dreams and desires and connections and skills and doubts, and I was so invested in him by the time this story was over that I could not imagine Merlin being with anyone else, because he was Gwaine's. Considering how hard-core OTP I was before that moment, it's kind of amazing. *g*

Everything about this story is stunning, really. It has such an epic feel, such beautifully drawn characterizations. Lancelot! Gareth! Gwaine's pining and longing for Merlin, and their eventual reunion, is so gorgeous. I don't know. I'm not really doing the story justice; my feedback isn't adequate to the amount of love I have for the story. It is one of my all-time favorites, in any fandom.

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