Okay... another rec from the ongoing High School Merlin (hs_merlin) fest...
Word Count: 13k
Link 1: http://hs-merlin.livejournal.com/23172.html
Link 2: http://archiveofourown.org/collections/HighSchoolMerlin2012/works/422059
Author's Summary: Arthur is a recruiter for a branch of the Special Forces and goes to give a talk at Ealdor High School. Merlin is in the audience.
And, because I think they're not so much warnings as promises...
Warnings (from the author): size!kink, military jargon, soulbonding, age gap (Merlin is 18, Arthur is 29), virgin!Merlin, dirty talk, mild D/s, mentions of war, some violence (not sexual).
So... I really didn't focus too much on the warnings, which is good because I don't usually enjoy any type of D/s story, but bad because I really love anything that has to do with "soulbonding" or any type of bonding as it's used in this fic. I also don't really have a thing for age difference, but I don't care much either way as long as it isn't sleazy. But in the end, it doesn't matter one way or the other because I read this almost right away and it was completely awesome. Awesome to the point that I've read it twice now and I will cry if the author does not continue this after the fest is done. All of it was good--the minor-minor-minor D/s, age diff made sense, the size!kink was not cracky, the war stuff was interesting... it was all GOOD.
[Incoherent nonsense about (and an excerpt of) this amazing story...]
There's Big Shot Military Arthur (code name "Pendragon"). Magic users are put in classes like alpha, beta, and gamma--and a certain someone is an uber-powerful "theta" level. Magic users (magickers) are segregated in this world. There's this whole soul-bonding thing, where two people basically mate for life in some sort of magical soul-deep way. And that's really just the tip of the iceberg in this extremely captivating world the author created and wrote about and drew us all into with only 13k of words. There's much more I want to read about... what happens the next day, what happens with Merlin and Arthur and the army, why there's war, what happens in the wars, what's up with Arthur's relationship with Uther, BALINOR, the Dragonlords, EVERYTHING. Seriously, I will CRY if this fic isn't continued and it will be horribly embarrassing.
Not only are Arthur and Merlin amazingly drawn, but Freya, Gaius, and Gwaine (all with fairly small parts, with the exception of Freya) are all awesome, too. There's great setup for Gwen and Lance. There's all sorts of interesting parent-y stuff that involves things like Merlin having to call his dad to prevent another "national incident."
There is so much potential in this world, for a long novel-length fic or a series or something.
I hope you're listening, whoever you are! Listening and laughing that you have us all up in a tizzy.
Here's a little excerpt:
“Speaking of team mates,” Arthur abruptly segues. “Sergeant Katz is one of my finest. She, along with one other member of our squad, is a military magicker.” Freya steps forward and smirks as the entire audience turns to her in fascination. “We were the first – and are still one of the only – branches of the military to be unsegregated. We have always felt that a mixture of non-magic and magic users make for the strongest Special Operative squads. Sergeant Katz here will be happy to tell you about her experiences as a magicker in the military.”
“Hello girls and boys,” Freya says teasingly. “I’m a ‘shifter and was recruited by Captain Royce three years ago.”
Arthur steps back, allowing Freya to take centre stage. He skirts the edge of the auditorium, cataloguing the faces that hang on every word Freya says. There are only three teenagers Arthur would rule out entirely as recruitment material just on looks alone. These are better odds than he could have hoped for – particularly at a mixed school. Recruitment for magickers is always harder than for non because there are less of them in the population and even fewer who want to join the Wars.
He continues trying to spot the Dragonlord heir who Mr Whyte had insisted would be easy to recognise. They all look like run-of-the-mill teenagers to Arthur, a bit pimply and ordinary.
And then Arthur catches sight of one particular boy and all thoughts of Dragonlords are swept away. He’s young, they all are, but there’s something particularly beguiling and honest about this teenager’s face. He has dark hair with a natural curl to it, light eyes, sharp features and the most appalling ears. He is sitting in the back row and the far wall, which is made entirely of windows and faces out onto a depressing concrete court meant for tennis, is letting in all the afternoon sun and lighting him from behind. Those ears… they’re glowing red from the backlighting and Arthur has the sudden and overwhelming urge to roar with laughter. This is swiftly followed by the near crippling desire to go over and run a thumb along the rim. It’s… alarming.
His feet take him slowly closer to Ears. The teenager is watching him intently, which sends a staggering thrill of sexual excitement that starts at the top of Arthur’s spine and ends somewhere in the region of his dick. Ears is paying no attention to Freya, his eyes – blue, shocking flame blue – are tracking Arthur’s every move. His mouth is hanging open. He looks idiotic and Arthur wants to…
“ – aptain Royce.” He just catches the end of Freya’s handover and whips his eyes to her. Freya’s giving him a look that nobody but a member of his squad would recognise. She knows something is up and is asking him with her eyes if he’s alright. Arthur clears his throat.
“Questions?” he barks. A dozen hands snap into the air. Arthur deliberately turns his back on Ears.
Also, "Gamut" just sounds cool.