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The Cupbearer drabble series (Merlin/Arthur half-brother AU, PG-13 for incest)

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Aug. 4th, 2009 | 08:54 pm
mood: exanimateexanimate


ETA 07/13/10: Added "A Constant Strain"
ETA 10/14/10: Added "Secrets Under Your Skin"

This LJ post will be updated as I write more drabbles in this 'verse.

Because all the cool Merlin kids did it, and I saw givemethebook (IIRC) did a ten-drabbles version & b_hallward (?) did a CONTINUOUS storyline.
This was hard. How did people do it in order, stick to the storyline, and make all of them Merlin/Arthur? =O


To keep track of new drabbles in this 'verse:
a) track this LJ entry by clicking on the thumbtack icon on top and ticking "Notify me when... [ ] Someone comments on...",
b) subscribe to [info - personal] cupbearer,
c) create an LJ feed of [info - personal] cupbearer (if you have a paid LJ account), OR
d) ask me to notify you via comments, and I shall do so.



"The King's Bastard" (Uther AU gen, PG-13, 100 words)

Pain cut through Uther like a sword. Igraine had bore him a son at the cost of her life, but one night’s folly had left him with a bastard.

The dark-haired four-year-old looked nothing like golden-haired Arthur. Uther would suspect deception, but Hunith had left Camelot two months after that fateful night and was never heard of again. Until her neighbor arrived with the newly orphaned boy.

“I could say he’s my nephew,” Gaius said. “Train him to be a physician’s apprentice.”

Uther looked at the boy, eyes blue as a clear summer sky. “Arthur would benefit with a companion.”


"The Anniversary" (Uther & Merlin AU, PG, 100 words)

Six months had passed since the boy came to court. Gaius gave Uther weekly reports on the boy's progress, which he acknowledged with a brief nod.

Tomorrow was Arthur's birthday, and he had purchased a dependable horse with a steady gait.

This didn't explain why he was currently at Gaius' quarters, watching the boy, who gazed back.

“Why do you look sad?”

He started. This was the first time he heard the boy speak.

“Mum goes to sleep one night and didn't wake up. Gaius said your wife didn't wake up. Is that why you're sad?”

Uther went still. “Yes.”


"The Cupbearer" (Merlin & Arthur AU, PG, 100 words)

Everyone knew that the cupbearer title was created to give the king’s bastard a court position.

Nobody expected the cupbearer to willfully drink poison meant for the crown prince.

Some would expect Prince Arthur to resent Merlin’s existence, or Merlin to envy his half-brother’s lot in life; however, growing up motherless with a distant father, the two had turned to each other for companionship instead.

The king had not approved of Arthur’s quest to save Merlin, but he wasn’t surprised at Arthur’s disobedience. In a way, he was glad that his one-time mistake had provided Arthur with a lifelong bond.


"Shared Breath" (Merlin/Arthur pre-slash AU, PG-13, 100 words)

Merlin was unconscious for their first kiss.

Cradling the Mortaeus flower with great care, Arthur bypassed concerned knights and entered Gaius’ quarters.

He listened to Merlin's breath rasping in his chest as Gaius mixed the potion in the adjacent room. If Gaius looked guilty when he returned, Arthur was scarcely aware of it. They fed the potion to Merlin and waited.

"He’d stopped breathing." Disbelieving, Arthur held his fingers over Merlin's nose.

In desperation, and with half-formed thoughts of giving Merlin his soul, Arthur bent and pressed his lips against Merlin's warm mouth.

"Merlin, please stay," he whispered. "For me."


"Secrets Under Your Skin" (Merlin AU, PG, 100 words)

The trees were the vivid red of Arthur's cloak as he climbed a hill that morning.

Yesterday Merlin had saved Uther and Gaius' lives: one his father in blood and the other in deed. Gaius had almost left Camelot because Edwin held Merlin's secret.

He exhaled, puff of breath visible against the fog.

He needed to tell Arthur his secret.

Arthur had always protected him, even after learning his parentage. He thought he was protecting Arthur by not telling him. He reasoned that he wasn’t using it for anything important, but that time had passed.

Tonight. He’d tell Arthur tonight.


"Stranger" (Merlin/Arthur AU, PG-13, 100 words)

Merlin froze when Arthur announced his intention to elope.

Arthur had been paying too much attention to Lady Sophia, but Merlin had thought it was part of his ruse to avoid Merlin.

Aside from a short-lived infatuation with Morgana, Arthur had never formed an attachment to any noblewoman or visiting princess. How did this perfect stranger worm her way into Arthur's heart without Merlin's knowledge?

From Uther's rigid expression, Merlin knew that their guests were seconds away from the dungeons.

"My lord." He stepped forward. "I believe Prince Arthur is unwell. He was clearly not speaking with a clear mind."


"Lovers" (Merlin/Arthur AU, PG-13, 100 words)

"Don't talk," was what Arthur said to him before capturing his lips.

So. No longer ignoring me then, was Merlin's last thought before he began kissing Arthur back.

They shouldn't be doing this; a pyre was the least of Merlin's problems if Uther were to find out. "Arthur, I really don't think—"

"What did I say about not talking, Merlin?" Arthur breathed out before nipping Merlin's earlobe.

A pleasurable heat started to spread from Merlin's stomach. He just hoped he didn't inadvertently set anything on fire.

Arthur Arthur Arthur—brother lover prince.

My lord and king, Merlin's mind whispered.


"A Constant Strain" (Merlin/Arthur AU, PG-13, 100 words)

"We cannot."

Merlin looked at Arthur's strained expression and let him go.

As much as he wanted to persuade his brother, Arthur needed to struggle over this himself. It might take weeks or months, but in the end Merlin knew that Arthur would choose him.

When it came to their relationship, Merlin never worried about right or wrong. Arthur had always been his most important person. When they kissed, his mind had shifted easily to call Arthur "lover."

His destiny was to stay by Arthur's side. Why shouldn’t their bodies, meeting in shared pleasure and warmth, be part of it?


"The Mask" (Merlin/Arthur AU, PG, 100 words)

At first glance, many mistook Merlin as a boy on the cusp of manhood. Merlin facilitated this illusion by wearing clothes two shades too big for his frame. Wide blue eyes and a disarming grin completed the picture of an innocent, unschooled boy. (Village idiot, Arthur would sometimes grumble).

Merlin's impenetrable mask often unnerved him. I keep no secrets from you, Arthur, never again.

How does he explain to Merlin that more than the magic, more than the political machinations that the sorcerer set out among Arthur's enemies and allies alike, he feared the mask that encompassed all of Merlin?


"Forever" (Merlin/Arthur AU, PG-13, 100 words)

When they were alone, Arthur would ask quietly, "Stay." Merlin would answer Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Merlin had bound himself to Arthur with words, with magic, with every strand of destiny known to man.

He would offer Arthur a cup of spiced wine on his wedding night, and honeyed mead as bards sang.

He would hand Arthur his sword before every battle, shielding him from harm.

He would shift the balance of the world if that meant he could stay by Arthur's side for another day, another night, another lifetime.

With each uttered "Yes," he pledged himself anew.




Extras:

"The Half-Brother Plan" (cameos from Aziraphale & Crowley, PG, 100 words)

"I thought his half-sister* was the one who’d betray him?"

"That was the initial plan, but with a half-brother we can have rivalry, backstabbing and all those fun** court machinations."

Below, Merlin dropped to the floor, still clutching the poisoned chalice. The look on Arthur's face could only be described as utter panic.

"Oops," Aziraphale said, sloshing wine on his companion's tunic.

"Bite your tongue, angel," Crowley groused.



* Rumours say that Morgana was Uther’s daughter. But anyone could see that King Uther was completely besotted with his queen.
** Fun for Crowley. Not as much fun for the pawns.



"Not an orphanage" (Uther, Arthur, Morgana AU, PG, 100 words)

Uther: "Where do they grow these orphans anyway? In a farm? There's a limit to a king's generosity, you know."

Arthur: "We-ll, technically Merlin and I are only half-orphans."

Merlin: *nods in agreement*

Uther: "I’m such an emotionally distant father you two are practically full-fledged orphans anyway. This girl is the third and last orphan I'll raise up. I'm running a kingdom, not an orphanage. Stray orphans can go to the next kingdom over."

Several years later…

Morgana: "There's this druid child whose father died because you EXECUTED him."

Uther: *shrugs* "Can't be helped. Just say no to orphans. Next."

(Post a new comment @ LJ | DW )




ETA 10/14/10: This drabble series was remixed by clevermonikerr for camelotremix:
The Cupbearer (Brother's Keeper Remix) (Arthur/Merlin sibling incest, Teen, 3,338 words) [ LJ link ]
Arthur meets his half-brother Merlin when he is six. Arthur is not all that impressed, but soon changes his mind. A canon!verse AU.

Link | Ring a bell |

Comments {9}

Florence & Calamity & Joan of Arc

(no subject)

from: spiderstars
date: Aug. 5th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
Link

These are amazing and I can't wait to see the rest of them! Are you only posting over at Dreamwidth now, or is this just for the series?

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lilian_cho

(no subject)

from: lilian_cho
date: Aug. 5th, 2009 07:46 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you <3

Nah, I'm a x-posting h0r, so I'll keep on updating this post as I write more, and link to it every two new drabbles or so.
I created a separate DW acct for this series because I felt it was getting ridiculously spammy O_o (IMO a drabble series shouldn't exceed 10 X 100 words. This one could easily go up to 20+ drabbles)

Reply | Parent | Thread

morrighan

(no subject)

from: morrighan_sai
date: Aug. 5th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
Link

I'm loving every single one! Can't wait to read more! It's going to be looong breakfast :D

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lilian_cho

(no subject)

from: lilian_cho
date: Aug. 5th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you =D

I'll be on a two-month hiatus starting tomorrow, but if I write any drabbles in the meantime I'll link you to it ;-)
(With boxofmagic tomorrow, I doubt my teeny drabbles would be missed, haha)

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Ender

(no subject)

from: enderwiggin24
date: Aug. 5th, 2009 09:30 am (UTC)
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all of them are awesome, but the last one, hahaha ohh Uther!

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lilian_cho

(no subject)

from: lilian_cho
date: Aug. 5th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
Link

Uther: "Dammit Confound it, Gaius! I'm a doctor monarch, not a philanthropist!"

Gaius: *eyebrows* "Indeed, sire."


Thanks! =D

(HTML fail...)

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Singapore firewolf

(no subject)

from: firewolfsg
date: Aug. 5th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Link

This is really a neat series.

I'm loving every post that you make for it. So, yeah I'm tracking this now. :)

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lilian_cho

(no subject)

from: lilian_cho
date: Aug. 5th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you for all your encouraging comments throughout =D

Thx for letting me know. I'm starting to feel ridiculously spammy with this series.

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lilian_cho

A Constant Strain

from: lilian_cho
date: Jul. 14th, 2010 09:14 am (UTC)
Link

X-posted @ slashthedrabble here.

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