hope: Art of a woman writing from tour poster (merlin - arthur running)
puddingsmith ([personal profile] hope) wrote2011-09-05 10:31 pm

I'm sure I left my momentum around here somewhere

I just had a random procrastinaty 45 minutes of reading back through my entries of the past few months, and of course came upon my endless squeeful in-progress posts about writing the Epic Romance. And boy, that was fun!

And I realised I haven't talked much about my latest story, the Uni AU, despite it also rapidly climbing into the tens of thousands. In fact, right now it's just over 26,600 words. And probably has at least another 10K to go. And then lots of re-writing of early scenes, because it took a little while just to get a PLOT going.

Anyway, even though I have the next scene or three all cued up to be written, I'm having trouble getting enthused about writing at the moment, so figured perhaps fishing for some encouragement might help.

So here's a scene. Please read and get excited at me, if you're thus inclined! Naturally, I'm super-freaking-verbose, so the shortest one I could snip and still make reasonable sense still ended up over 1K.

Background for this scene: Arthur lives in a sharehouse with Merlin, Morgana, Gwen and Gwaine. The pairings in the house are Merlin/Arthur, Merlin/Morgana, Merlin/Gwen, Gwen/Morgana, Merlin/Gwen/Morgana, and previous-one-night-stand Merlin/Gwaine. The story is basically about Arthur broadening his horizons and them (Morgana/Arthur/Gwen/Merlin) forming a foursome. This scene is fairly early in the story, where Arthur pretty much considers himself monogamous with Merlin (the polyamory side of things is all fully disclosed and agreed upon with all involved).

Arthur’s phone goes when they’re on the tram heading northwards and home. When it first buzzes against his thigh he assumes that it’s a message from Leon—because of course, Arthur’s the kind of guy who only realises after the fact that he’s being flirted with.

The message is from Merlin, though. where r youse? footy n burgers in edinb gdns.

Arthur tilts the screen towards Gwen to show her, and she looks quickly out the window and back, taking the phone off him and rapidly typing, on tram past piedemontes.

get off, Merlin returns in an instant, and Arthur stands to yank down the cord, making the buzzer chirp.

They hop off at the next stop and head back southward through the wide, terraced streets of North Fitzroy. The streets are quiet this long after rush hour, at least of human noise; every so often they pass a palm tree or eucalypt whose canopy hides a flock of lorikeets chirruping out their raucous pre-sunset chorus. After a few blocks, the street they’re on spokes down to the rounded top of the Gardens, its huge elms rising impressively against the early evening sky, branches still thick with green leaves.

Where r u? Arthur texts.

playground near dog lawn, look 4 goal posts

He and Gwen walk down the stately avenues, past the empty plinth for the missing Queen Victoria. Arthur spots the goalposts first—clearly the patchy, well-trod oval gets more use from impromptu games, rather than the fancy fenced-off one on the other side of the park. Enough dogs to make up a pack cavort on the lawn on the other side of the path, the city rising serenely beyond, glassy buildings gleaming like polished metal in the golden light of the sinking sun.

“Oh, fuck me,” Gwen says abruptly, clutching his arm.

Arthur whips his head around, looking for what’s startled her. “What?”

“Over there, the playground.”

Arthur looks, but it’s just to see familiar figures standing around near the bike rails; Merlin leaning back against one—his fixie chained to the other side of it—with his arms folded over his chest, Gwaine bouncing a football expertly on the asphalt path, and Morgana with her hands on her hips nearby, chatting to some other dark-haired bloke that Arthur doesn’t recognise. Morgana’s facing in their direction, and as Arthur scrutinises them for a hint of what’s got Gwen digging her fingers into his arm, Morgana catches sight of them and waves.

A moment later, the guy Morgana’s standing with seems to see them too; his arm lifts in a hesitant wave as well.

Gwen moans. “That bitch.”


“That’s Lance.”

“As in…”

“As in Lance from the co-op. Who I have an enormous crush on. Who Morgana knows I have an enormous crush on.”

Arthur can hear the underlying delight in her mournful tone, and he smirks. “How awful for you.”

“You have no idea.”

She makes a beeline for them, and Arthur watches as she enfolds Lancelot in a no-holds-barred hug immediately. He wanders over to Merlin.

“Hey, you,” Merlin says cheerfully, hands smoothing up Arthur’s lapels and then gripping them to pull him in for a kiss that’s over far too quickly.

“I believe I was promised burgers,” Arthur says haughtily, not backing out of Merlin’s personal space.

“Footy first, Danny’s after,” Merlin says firmly.

“You can’t expect me to play in a suit,” Arthur protests.

Merlin reaches behind him, yanking forward the bag that must have been tucked in the milk crate octo-strapped to the back of his bike. It’s Arthur’s sports bag. Merlin tilts his head towards the public toilets across the way, and Arthur sighs, feeling about as resentful as Gwen did for Morgana bringing Lance along. So he takes the bag.

“If I die of some horrible public toilet related disease, I’m blaming you,” he warns Merlin.

“Fuck off, you ponce,” Merlin says on a laugh. “Those toilets are probably cleaner than half the lecture theatres you’ve been sitting in for the past four years.”

“Not in the law school, they aren’t,” Arthur retorts. “Don’t know what it’s like for you filthy arts students.”

“I said, fuck off,” Merlin says around a grin, shoving him in the direction of the toilets. “Unless you want me to throw you down now, pretty suit and all?”

“I love it when you talk dirty,” Arthur says, mainly just to rile him, and it works; Merlin chases him half the way across the lawn.

By the time he walks back to them—feeling far more comfortable in teeshirt and trackies, suit folded into the bag as carefully as possible—they’ve already picked teams. Arthur’s with Merlin and Gwen; Lancelot, Gwaine and Morgana forming their opposition.

“Is that a Collingwood jersey?” Arthur asks incredulously as he watches Morgana do elaborate stretches that he’s half-sure are meant to look intimidating.

“Carn the ’pies!” she roars in response, startling a laugh out of him that tapers of when he realises how deadly serious she is.

By the time she knocks him down with a running tackle for the fourth time, he’s less amused by it, especially after watching Lance gradually take more liberties with ‘tackling’ Gwen, her helpless giggles getting louder and louder every time.

Arthur just feels more and more bruised. “Come on,” he says in desperation as Morgana takes him down again, this time straddling his chest with her knees pinning his arms to the ground, her spine victoriously straight. “Don’t you think you’re maybe taking this a little bit too seriously?”

She bares her teeth in something he thinks is meant to be amusement, and he goes still and quivery, like a baby rabbit caught in the shadow of an eagle, as she swoops down until her face is scant centimetres from his. “Don’t you think you might be playing for the wrong team?” she says, just loud enough for him to hear it though her voice far from soft; and then she dismounts and struts off, fists in the air.

Merlin helps him up this time, helpfully patting the grass and dead leaves off Arthur’s arse. “She hates me,” Arthur can’t help but blurt, and, “Can I have my hamburger now? Can I?” Saturday morning grammar school soccer had never been this vicious.

“There, there,” Merlin says kindly. “She’s just pulling your pigtails.”

“Merlin, you think everyone is flirting all the time.”

Merlin shrugs. “Mostly, everyone is.”

“It must be nice in your head.” Arthur didn’t mean for that to come out without any of the fondness that seasons their usual teasing, and Merlin looks at him, gaze sharper than it was moments before.

“Mostly, it is.”

Before Arthur can respond, the game starts up again.

“Oi, Mezza, keep your eyes on the ball!” Gwaine goads from half-way across the oval, jogging forward as he lines up for a kick.

“Are you fucking serious? Gwazza?” Merlin shouts back, ignoring the footie as the kick goes wide; Gwen catches it in her arms and woops victoriously.

“Yeah, Merlin’s always got his eyes on the balls!” she shouts. “Arthur, pay some fucking attention!”

Arthur manages to get into position just as she’s passing the ball to him, moments before Lance tumbles her to the ground again. Arthur only gets to the chance to take a couple of steps, though, because instant later he’s down, Morgana’s weight bearing down on his back and the ball bouncing off erratically out of Arthur’s sight.

“You never learn, do you?” Morgana whispers gleefully, breath hot against his ear.

“You will pay,” he mutters as she clambers off again and he can finally get his breath back. He climbs to his feet to find her still dancing around a few paces away.

“I look forward to it.” She winks, then skips backwards rapidly, eyes focused beyond him and up; the ball falls gracefully into her arms.
copracat: gwen from merlin (gwen)

[personal profile] copracat 2011-09-05 02:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I am so desperately in love with this AU I cannot tell you.

... okay I will.

It's fixing all the pain of Monkey Grip which had too much junkie and not enough North Fitzroy.

Of course Morgana is a Pies supporter. She couldn't be any other kind. And how she flirts with poor Arthur!

“Don’t you think you might be playing for the wrong team?” she says, just loud enough for him to hear it though her voice far from soft;

That's just great. And Merlin's fixie with a milk crate. It's home spray-painted black, too, isn't it?

Anyway, feel FREE to write MOAR.
mrkinch: vampire Viggo (Default)

[personal profile] mrkinch 2011-09-05 03:45 pm (UTC)(link)
This is great! Even missing three-quarters of the references (at least).^^ because of course, Arthur’s the kind of guy who only realises after the fact that he’s being flirted with. Poor Arthur! He'll figure it out eventually, right?
msilverstar: merlin ot4 (merlin ot4)

[personal profile] msilverstar 2011-09-05 05:02 pm (UTC)(link)
the details are fabulous! The tram, the texting, the lorikeets, Morgana being a killer rugby player, poor Arthur wanting his burger... I love it lots.

[personal profile] nixwilliams 2011-09-05 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
ooh, i like the little bits of editing that you've done since i last read it! (or perhaps i've just forgotten what i've read!)


i hope people come and be excited, because omg, i love it so hard!

[personal profile] nixwilliams 2011-09-06 02:31 am (UTC)(link)
Yay! I love to watch works get drafted and re-drafted. The process is delicious.

[personal profile] nixwilliams 2011-09-06 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
Also, when I'm done with this thesis I will totally have more headspace and time to be more of a cheersquad and editor-type! :)
ess_jay: (random: heave ho)

[personal profile] ess_jay 2011-09-06 09:37 am (UTC)(link)
Morgana. Collingwood. Morgana. Collingwood. *heart eyes*

This is the AU of my heart; the references, the characterisation, the flirting, the footy. I need all of it immediately.

Hee. Pies supporter.
ess_jay: (random: heave ho)

[personal profile] ess_jay 2011-09-06 09:39 am (UTC)(link)
also, legitimate opportunity to use my Dockers icon. Win.
yue_ix: Chibi of Merlin with tentacle arms (Follow your heart)

[personal profile] yue_ix 2011-09-08 07:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Add me to those who don't get all the references while loving how many homey-feeling details there are in here. Yet, just by reading this:
The story is basically about Arthur broadening his horizons and them (Morgana/Arthur/Gwen/Merlin) forming a foursome. This scene is fairly early in the story, where Arthur pretty much considers himself monogamous with Merlin (the polyamory side of things is all fully disclosed and agreed upon with all involved).

I knew to be ridiculously excited. The way you handle relationships makes me fuzzy inside. ♥
filomena: (Default)

[personal profile] filomena 2011-09-10 11:13 am (UTC)(link)

<3 Anya