hope: Art of a woman writing from tour poster (merlin - merlin's hands)
puddingsmith ([personal profile] hope) wrote2011-09-12 10:44 pm

Writing update - cheerleading, plz!

So, since last week I've written about another 8K words - the uni AU is now at about 34,000.

I've finally written to the end of the major plot points/conflicts that I knew I wanted to hit/had planned out, so I'm taking a few days to figure out where to go next (though I think I've got it, now). I'm still not sure how it's going to be concluded, though.

Though, I have some concerns for my pacing - the first 15K spans over two weeks; the second 15K covers a single day. Doh. Ah well, that's what beta reading is for :D

Here, have another snippet:
When Arthur gets to the house, the mouthwatering smell of roasting pumpkin greets him, and after shedding his suit he heads to the kitchen to peer into the oven. It’s Merlin’s turn to cook, and Arthur finds him in the living room, sprawled lengthwise on the couch, covered in papers: it’s marking season again, then. Gwaine is sitting on the floor with his back against the couch, staring transfixed at the TV while he crunches loudly through a packet of corn chips, Merlin’s sock-clad toes scritching idly against his nape.

Arthur’s stomach rumbles, and Merlin looks up, smiling around the pen he’s holding between his teeth. He gives Gwaine’s head a light shove with his foot, and Gwaine glances up at Arthur before scooting forward without comment.

“What’s for dinner?” Arthur asks, leaning down to lift Merlin’s feet before sitting on the couch; Merlin settles his legs back over Arthur’s thighs. The floor is warm under Arthur’s feet where Gwaine was sitting.

“Pumpkin something,” Merlin mutters distractedly, frowning as he scribbles another note on the essay he’s marking. He wriggles his toes in Arthur’s squeezing hold.

“The one from the garden?”

“Mmm. It was ready, so I chucked it in the oven. Morgana went to buy risotto rice.”

Often Merlin’s cooking nights turn into Morgana-has-a-better-idea nights. “It’s not going to have that vegan cheese in it this time, is it?” Arthur asks.

Merlin wrinkles his nose. “You can put whatever cheese you want on it. It’s post-production cheese, this time.”

“Good-o.” Arthur watches the TV for a while in silence, rubbing Merlin’s feet absently. Home and Away ends, and Gwaine flips over to Masterchef. Arthur’s stomach is going to eat itself.

Finally, there’s the sound of a key in the lock, and Merlin is off the couch and in the kitchen before Arthur can blink, leaving essays fluttering in his wake. Arthur goes to the front door, holding it open as Morgana stumbles past, laden with green bags. It’s getting on dark outside, just the last hints of the hot-pink sunset left in the sky, and the air decidedly chilly. The light over the front step is busy with gnats and tiny moths; Arthur spots a huntsman poised for a feast on the wall nearby, nearly invisible on the red brick. He pointedly doesn’t tell Gwen about it.

Steadying the trolley at the bottom of the steps, she passes him a bag and he peers into it: it’s full of wholemeal pasta and rice cakes. “Cheese?” he finds himself asking plaintively as she hefts up another two bags and hands them to him.

Gwen looks very sad and apologetic for a moment, and then, as if suddenly realising something, she gasps and reaches into the pocket of her parka. She pulls out a triangle of shrink-wrapped parmesan with an overplayed how-did-that-get-there expression.

“My saviour,” he says with fervent gratitude.

She grins, pleased with herself. “Your knight in shining armour, am I?”

“You have my eternal devotion.”

“Hmm, sounds like something I could use.” She lets her eyes skim down his body, beaming playfully all the while, corner of her lip caught between her teeth, then flicks up her gaze to meet his again.

Arthur flushes, abruptly feeling out of his depth. It’s far from the first time he’s felt it since he’s moved in with Merlin; usually, though, it’s Morgana being intimidating and opinionated that triggers it, rather than affectionate, approachable Gwen.

Arthur shifts the weight of the shopping bags in his grip. “I’m letting the bugs in,” he says, looking up to the light again. When he looks down at Gwen, her smile has shifted into something that almost looks rueful.

“Suppose I’d better stable the trusty steed, then,” she says, and pushes the trolley around to its parking spot down the side of the house.

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