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MERLIN: Waiting was Dull but Luckily Alcohol had Improved
Bioshock 2
sezso wrote in sezso_fiction
Baby's first fic in the Merlin fandom. However, unlike most people who ask you to be gentle, I'd actually like you to be harsh if you can. I'm rusty, American, and looking to improve, so please, tell me what you REALLY think. I'm tough and stubborn, I can totally take it.

EDIT: I REALLY should have mentioned this, but I forgot. Thanks to mrs_leary because this started on her journal as what my ideal ending for the show would be, and also to auroraprimavera for the hand holding. XOXO to both of you! :)

Title: Waiting was Dull but Luckily Alcohol had Improved
Word Count: 2,275
Rating: Mild PG-13?
Characters/Pairings: Merlin/Arthur, Nimueh, mostly gen
Warnings: Date rape drugs mentioned. No offense intended to any frat boys who, let's face it, probably aren't reading this anyway. This story may have been lightly hit with the crack stick. Also, the ending is a bit... abrupt. *shrugs* Sorry.
Disclaimer: I don't own our boys. Or Nimueh. I might own the toucan. But you can borrow him if you like. He's usually pretty grumpy, though.
Summary: Future!fic. Merlin's got a bit of angst, but mostly he's just bored. Friday nights, he and Nimueh get together for a drink. Occasionally, they try to kill each other.


1999 had been a fun year because of all the yapping about the computers crashing and the world exploding. He hadn't really expected it to, but he couldn't quite stop the tiny voice that said wouldn't it be lovely if it did because that would be a catastrophe worthy of his king, right? The more deaths the better!

The world changed very little, and he went and got shitfaced for about a month because of his disappointment. Then he stayed shitfaced for the rest of 2000, wondering when in the past whatever centuries, he'd become a selfish bastard.

Nimueh finally set him on fire and told him he was boring and if he didn't shape up she was going to go blow up Yugoslavia. He then buggered off to the US because Britain was a bit too much for him just then and ended up working at a hospital. In July he helped implant the world's first self-contained artificial heart in Robert Tools. He hovered anxiously, but didn't end up needing to cheat. The doctors' precision, grace, sheer genius was breathtaking. Brilliant, that's what it was, the amount of concentration and determination that they put into it. Merlin was truly proud to have been a part of it, even though he had done very little.

When Robert died just 151 days later, Merlin quit and buggered off to South America.

2002, 3, 4, and 5 he spent in various rainforests, listening to endangered animals. Well, listening to them whine was probably more accurate. But they got him riled up enough that he bought a large patch of rainforest, bundled it up neatly in a pocket universe, and carried it around with him. He popped in various animals who showed up and asked politely to join. Eventually he'd divided it up and thrown in some arctic lands too because there were these penguins, and they'd just been so sweet about the whole thing, and it wasn't like he had anything important to do so...

Anyway, the short of it was that he'd bundled up quite a bit of the world and was feeling rather smug about it. It didn't really fit in a pocket anymore, because he'd bundled up quite a bit of the world, so it was more like his backpack universe, but whatever. The point was that that had been a good couple of years and he wondered why he hadn't done that before.

Animals still kept popping up out of nowhere and asking to join. (The squirrel that found him in a Starbucks was particularly amusing. He bent down, offered the backpack to the squirrel who leapt in, and then returned to his latte before noticing the looks. He'd decided to ignore the looks and calmly finish his drink, but had to give that up and leave to have a nice, long giggle.) He'd gone by Noah for several years before the novelty of it had worn off. Nimueh had asked if she could pop in and have a look, but he'd merely raised an eyebrow at her and told her that he preferred his rainforests to be not on fire, thank you. Then he'd collapsed the ground underneath her and sent her tumbling about 100 feet downward.

One particular animal, a little toucan, joined him about a year into his exile. Merlin had offered him the entrance, still pocket sized at that point, but the toucan and blinked at him, then flew to Merlin's shoulder and happily started being grumpy in his ear.

He didn't seem to want to leave either. He seemed to enjoy hanging around and calling Merlin a "bumbling blockhead" and berating him on his flying attempts. "It is a delicate art. Purely aesthetic. Poetry of motion."

But Merlin had spent the best years of his life being insulted by a prat, so this was actually some of the best fun he'd ever had.


In 2006 he started working again on his Project again because the toucan kept chattering at him that he'd feel better if he did. Surprisingly, he'd managed to find someone to take interest this time. When he got confirmation, he called up the only person who could possibly get it.

"So what's this all about then? A BBC series with Merlin and Arthur the same age?" Nimueh said as she squinted into her glass. "Also, please tell me you didn't resort to arsenic. Don't I rate something more creative?"

"You always complain that aniline poison tastes like rotten fish, and I didn't feel up to anything complicated. Besides, you can't really talk, you've slipped some kind of date rape drug into this, and that's just sad," he said after taking a long swig and making a face.

Nimueh looked affronted. "I'll have you know I invented that formula. It's twice as effective as what the frat boys usually use and it tastes wonderful and you know it. Stop making that face, you're irritating me. Tell me about the BBC, Johnny."

He'd only just switched over to Johnny. A few weeks before it had been Jack, partially because he liked it, and partially because that Jack Harkness fellow was really bloody attractive. Nimueh had looked at him with a raised eyebrow when he had related this bit of incredible logic to her, and then thrown a javelin at him just before his creeping vines got her by the throat.

"Seemed like a good time to do it. And I'm bored. We got Michelle Ryan to play you."

"Does she have a good rack? I refuse to be portrayed without a good rack." Merlin casually set fire to her hair. After a good eye roll, she doused it. "Oi. We're in public and we're pissed. Now is not the time to go trawling through people's thoughts to remove us."

Merlin flapped a hand at her vaguely. "You aren't going to be shamed by her rack. She'll be lovely and psychotic and the audience will love hating her and pair her extensively with Uther, who will be played by Anthony Steward Head."

"That Buffy chap? Ooooo," Nimueh leaned in, intrigued. "Who's you then?"

"Still working on that bit. Christian Bale is busy."

"Well just," and she waved her hand at him, knocking his glass over. The liquid began slowly to eat into the wood. Merlin looked at it, then up at her. She grinned at him. "So, it's maybe a bit more effective than I said."

"People generally like their dates to remain alive."

"Details, details." She mopped up the mess and didn't look up at him as she said, "so, you're doing it right this time?"

Merlin stole her glass and downed it in one. "Figured I'd spent enough time fucking around. Time to do it right."

She didn't smile, but her face suggested that she might think about it.


He'd spent a long time playing with the legends. And by a long time, he meant, you know, a long time. He was also, quite possibly, angry with them all for dying. (And he was often drunk. No more whiff's of barmaid's aprons, no sir! More like 2 whiffs now. But that was beside the point.)

The end result was that Arthur ended up cuckolded by Gwen of all ridiculous things, and Morgana and Arthur ended up related and with a kid. His mother and Gaius, well, history didn't seem all that interested in them. At first that had rankled. They were important! But after awhile, it didn't seem to matter anymore. History remembered Arthur's goodness, but not that he was a total prat. He was a golden king instead of a flawed human who became more. Morgana was evil rather than a conflicted, passionate woman, and Gwen, dear sweet, sensible Gwen, was a weak, lovesick woman who ruined everything. If history was going to remember them like that, his mother and Gaius could stay safely forgotten.

And of course, he'd suffered too. Tried to make himself look distinguished and wise, and ended up with a floor length beard and trapped in a rock for all eternity. Although he quite liked that living backwards bit. Original, that. But there was something deeply disturbing about being a father/mentor figure to his dearest friend. And the sword thing was ridiculously played up. How it ended up in a rock, Merlin had no idea. People just liked things being trapped in rocks, he supposed. Merlin had tried it for a few years, but personally, he didn't see the appeal.

Nimueh had laughed herself sick over that.

Then she'd gone and messed with the time stream and made this absolutely, effing ridiculous movie in the 1960s called The Sword in the Stone or something like that. He'd been particularly vicious in attacking her after that. C4 in her birthday cake, nitroglycerin in her afternoon tea.

When she swanned back into the 21st century, Merlin looked up at her and smirked as she looked at Archimedes and fidgeted. "Pretty sure that he's ignoring you, Nimmy." Archimedes fluffed his feathers and shuffled on his perch so that his back was facing her.

Nimueh looked shifty. "Look, I told them I wanted a toucan and they just thought that was too weird. There was nothing I could do. Without, you know, even more cheating. And you both get so mad at me when I mess with people's heads!"

Archimedes continued fluffing his feathers.

"I'm sorry okay? Really! I didn't mean to make fun of you."

Archimedes turned finally and looked at her. "But... an owl? They're just so..." he shuddered. "They don't really flap their wings when they fly you know, they coast along on air currents. It's not like how I fly at all." He pouted, which is quite impressive when one has a beak.

"I know, I know, but what did you want me to do about it?"

"But an owl!"

Nimueh sighed, used a small thread of magic to smack the back of Merlin's head and flounced out.

"Hey! What did I do?"

"AN OWL!"

"IDIOTS."


The whole Nimueh thing had been a bit of a surprise, really. He'd known, of course, that she'd come back from the dead after the Isle of the Blessed (nobody could have missed that vengeful return). He just hadn't expected her to come back forever. When he'd come across her centuries later, he'd been shocked by the intense emotion he felt after centuries of nothing. There had been nothing for so long that he couldn't find a name for the emotion, and merely stopped to look at her.

And then she'd shrieked and thrown lightening and fire at him. That at least, he knew how to respond to.

They fought off and on for another hundred years or so, he lost track really. Some of the battles lasted days, even months. They rearranged geography, and accidently started quite a few religions. They got involved in politics and wars and battled each other in every arena they could think of.

Then, one day she showed up and Merlin just said, "want to get a drink down at the tavern? First round on me."

Nimueh had straightened from the battle pose she'd taken immediately upon seeing him. Her blue eyes were wild, her brown hair whipping in the wind, her blood red dress still in tatters around her feet. Then the weariness crept into her eyes, the ache of too much life and she followed him to the tavern, muttering, "at least you'll be a cheap date."

She mixed deadly mushrooms in with his regular ones when he went to the bathroom. He snuck cyanide in her salt shaker when she turned around to wave the barmaid over to their table. Afterwards they crawled outside and were ill for a while, then arranged to meet the next week at the same place.

The thing was, she couldn't die. Merlin had hated her from the moment he knew who she was. She'd tried to kill him. She'd tried to kill Arthur. She was a liar, a murderer and many other things. But she knew who he was and he would never have to bury her. No secrets, no lies, just a mutual desire for sleep.


It was, sometime in March? Merlin settled himself on the bench. The birdseed was there when he reached for it, and he tossed some at his feet. A large red robin promptly sailed down and pecked at it, then abandoned the food for Merlin's left knee. He cocked his head at Merlin and then began to sing, telling Merlin all about his courtship of the pretty girl robin from last week, and the wonderful flight over the river he'd had this morning. Merlin offered his finger to the robin who hopped on, and continued to sing as Merlin brought him closer to his face.

A few more birds sailed in and a handful of squirrels, some eating, and others perching on or around Merlin, adding to the tinkling cacophony, and Merlin listened.


When the sun had slipped a little further in the sky, his friends had all departed and Merlin sighed. He leaned his head back on the bench, closing his eyes against the bright sunshine. For a few moments he kept his mind blank, trying to meditate, but his concentration was shattered when someone sat down on the bench beside him. He shifted slightly and sighed. Should've used the avoidance spell.

There was quiet for a moment, and then Merlin stiffened and sat white and still, as the man said, "you really are the worst warlock ever, Merlin. You're really going to need to pay more attention if we're going to get it right this time."

For a moment there was nothing and then, haughtily, "which we will, of course." A hand crept into his.

Merlin smiled.

AN: Why yes, I DID make Johnny Capps Merlin. XD
AN2: Also, I borrowed Archimedes' lines about flying from the Sword in the Stone movie.


What I really think...

So... I made a list of everything I love about this:

1. The more deaths the better!
2. Nimueh and Merlin casually assassinating each other while carrying on normal conversations.
3. Nimueh blowing up Yugoslavia.
4. NIMUEH!!
5. Merlin's pocket wildlife reserve.
6. Merlin's alcohol tolerance.
7. The Arthurian legends, written by Merlin. People just liked things being trapped in rocks, he supposed. Merlin had tried it for a few years, but personally, he didn't see the appeal. AHAHAHA~!!
8. Archimedes! The toucan! XD
9. Merlin creating Merlin
10. ALL OF IT.

You should definitely post it at the comms!

Re: What I really think...

Um.... *clings* Thanks. I feel much better now! :)

#2 was like, the very first thought I had when I imagined Merlin living into the future. IDEK. *shakes head at self*

#4 I have a bit of irrational love for her. I DO hope she comes back. I really REALLY do, lol.

This is awesome. I love Nimueh and Merlin's relationship here. They are just hysterical. And I love his backpack universe - very creative. And the toucan! Oh adorable.

Great job sweety, I really love it!

Yay! I'm glad you like it. I'm off to post it now! Eep.

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!So excellent it defies words

*amused*

This was lovely. I know you said be rough, but honestly I don't really know anything to be rough about. It was hysterically amusing, bittersweet and adorable, and so wonderful at the end. Like most other people so far, I have to say - Nimueeeeeeeeeeeh. I love how you did her!

In short, excellent work.

Aw thanks! *blushes* I'm glad you were amused!

I don't know what it is about Nimueh, but I have quite the irrational fondness for her. I hope she comes back.

Oh! This was delightful. So much fun, so casually! And then just a breath of destiny at the end. :'D What a way to make a day!

Oooooo. I like the way you put that. And then just a breath of destiny at the end. That's kinda what I was trying for, but you put it so succinctly. And thanks for the compliments. Hee. :)

Hahahaah! Absolutely brilliant! I love this!

I like how blase Merlin is about the whole thing, with the mutual killing with Nimueh. The pocket forest thing is just adorable. ♥

Really, well written. :)

The pocket forest thing has been living in my head for a while, lol. And the mutual killing with Nimueh was one of the first thoughts I had after I finished the series. IDEK, my brain is a weird place, lol! Thanks! :)

This was FUN!

I loved the idea of Merlin and Nimueh casually attempting to kill each other over the centuries and comfortable in the knowledge that they can't. And the Toucan! BWAHAHA!

Brilliant!

It's a messy relationship, but I've always figured that being immortal would be so BORING. You'd have to be so careful all the time, and with each other they can really just do whatever. And my dear Toucan! I think I'm going to have to use him elsewhere, he seems to have been well recieved, lol.

Thanks a lot! :)

LOL, love Merlin carrying a part of the world in his pocket and trying to sleep in rocks. His relationship with Nimeuh is both funny and pretty sad because, in the end, they'll only have each other. I love that Merlin gets angry that his loved ones left him and gets revenge by making up the legends.

I'm still curious how the real Johnny Capps is going to work in the whole sword in the stone thing. Cause they keep saying that you have to pay homage to the old legends and then bringing up excalibur as one of the big ones and I'm like... you totally changed excalibur, how are you going to do that? lol.

Thanks very much! :)

Wonderful. I love the casual familiarity Merlin and Nimueh achieved, although it was also sort of mournful - But she knew who he was and he would never have to bury her. No secrets, no lies, just a mutual desire for sleep.
The pocket universe was great. And the toucan *laughs*
Of course they'll get it right, this time. I'm glad it didn't really take an apocalypse to bring him back... it didn't did it? *looks around* I don't see one.

That's what I was trying to achieve with them, glad it worked for you!

And my toucan, lol. I think he's going to complain if I don't use him again somehow.

LOL. I sure hope not. That's kinda why I wasn't sure about the ending. Merlin spent the whole time being bored and more or less pining and I didn't want to end it that way, but I wasn't prepared to go into a whole plot, because that really wasn't the point, ya know? But yeah. lol.

Thanks a lot! :)

Ohhhhhhh ♥

I can't possibly decide what I love most about this. But it may mutually be Nimueh and Archimedes.

Hee! Thanks, that's a lovely thing to say. I have trouble deciding between them myself, lol. Thanks a lot! :)

:DDDD This? = WIN! What is it with all the amazing fic today! The one day I have to do something and you guys keep spouting all this out!!

Nimueh finally set him on fire and told him he was boring and if he didn't shape up she was going to go blow up Yugoslavia

Oh Nimueh. I loved this! The ending especially, Merlin waiting for Arthur and then him finally showing up on a bench!

Loved it! ♥

I know what you mean! RL man, totally overrated. XD

I've got a bit of irrational love for Nimueh. Can't explain why exactly, lol.

I'm so glad the ending worked for you! It was the only part that I really waffled about.

Thanks for reading! :)

Ahahaha... This was brilliant ♥ it cracked me up, but sweet too. Love the part where Merlin 'collected' the animals XDD

Hee. That was the bit that was the most fun to write, I think.

Thanks for the compliment! :)

This was so bursting with clever ideas and great lines that I don't know where to start without quoting the whole thing. Not sure what I enjoyed most - Merlin's pocket universe, his relationship with Nimueh, his playing with the legends and it rebounding on him or the ending. I really hope to see more fic from you :)

Oh! Wow, thanks for that last sentence a lot. Heh, I was really nervous about posting this, lol. 10 years of being a fandom lurker is a hard habit to shake. I'll do my best not to dissapoint! ♥

My sweet, that is just brilliant! Funny and different and very clever. You go, girlfriend! XD

Oh my gosh! I totally forgot to mention you, and I really should have because this started on your journal when we were talking about our quest, lol. And the endings we want? This kinda grew out of that. Eep. *fixes* lol.

Thanks for reading it! ♥♥♥

This was so creative and fun to read. Besides the pocket universe, I guess I like the making up stories for people the best along with creating BBC Merlin. The end was truly lovely.

Creating BBC Merlin was the last idea that came to me and it made me giggle inanely. So I figured, why not? XD

I'm really glad the ending worked for you, that's the part I was most worried about.

Thanks very much! :)