Easy There

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Title: Easy There
Author(s): syllic
Date(s): 21 September 2009
Length: 49,826 words, 4:41:49 hours
Genre: slash fanfiction, Modern AU
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: Easy There (LiveJournal)
Easy There (AO3)
Easy There (Audiofic Archive)
Easy There (Ebook Library)
Podbook cover by revolutionaryjo

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Easy There is a Merlin/Arthur AU by syllic (49,826 words). The story was written for harlequinmerlin.

Summary: Arthur is an Oxford Blue. Merlin is an Oxford cox. Lancelot is Merlin's romantic-dalliance-loving friend. Morgana is horribly clever; Gwen is cleverly waiting for Lancelot to grow up. Merlin and Arthur rub each other the wrong way, at first, but it soon becomes clear that Arthur is a university-class rower with a world-class heart (yes, I typed that). Clichés ensue.

revolutionaryjo podficced the story for Podbang 2010.[1] The audiobook is 4:41:49 hours long.[1]

Recs and Reviews

  • "Otherwise known as: The Rowing AU. Loved this world. Loved the rowing and all the details of training and connecting and working together. I loved the little group of friends and how they all 'fit' together. Lancelot was a bit of a fanon!Blaise which I thought was really amusing. But mostly I loved Merlin, awkward and insecure and hiding his secrets."[2]
  • "It’s literally shameful that I haven’t read this until now. Like I said earlier, Syllic is my favorite Merlin fic author. Not only is this Syllic’s most known story, it’s also an absolute classic in the fandom, always on people’s rec lists. [...] “Arthur is an Oxford Blue. Merlin is an Oxford cox,” meant nothing to me. It turns out it’s about rowing. And damn if I didn’t want to go watch rowing when I finished. So good."[3]
  • "An amazing entry for harlequinmerlin where Arthur, Merlin and Lancelot are rowers at Oxford and Morgana and Gwen are there and Will is somewhere nearby and Merlin has his powers but doesn't really get it. It pulls things from the show and from all sorts of other places together neatly in one bundle that is strangely addicting. I don't think you fully need to read all of the explanatory notes, though I'll admit I've gotten some of them confused because of not reading them. There's a lot of specialized language for rowing and Oxford, apparently. Who knew?"[4]
  • "Merlin/Arthur fic as boy's own sports story (except that Gwen and Morgana are still awesomer than them.)"[5]
  • "The One in Which Merlin Is Even Worse at Magic Than He Is in the Canon. Yes, It's Possible. Easy There, by syllic. Merlin, Merlin/Arthur Pendragon. Okay, yes, this is the second sports AU in this set, and there is a reason: I love these. I love when someone takes another hobby of hers, a fandom outside of the usual run of media fandom - NASCAR, equestrian events, figure skating (although right now this probably counts as a mainstream fandom, thanks entirely to sparklepower), crewing - and writes a massive AU in it. (But where are all the non-sports alternate fandom AUs? I'm patiently waiting for the choral singing and competitive orchid growing ones. Surely there are fans with these hobbies! Surely they long to write epic AUs featuring said hobbies!) The writer loves the characters, and she loves the subject, and this pretty much always leads to glory. It certainly leads to glory here. I had, prior to this, pretty much no interest in competitive rowing of any kind - seriously, a whole bunch of boat crews practice at the lagoon where I often take the earthling, and my only vague interest has been in what happens when you get sand under all that Lycra - but this gripped me. I cared deeply. And not just about getting Arthur's tab inserted in Merlin's slot without anyone breaking any fingers. (I am actually not a huge fan of awkward sex in most fandoms - I mean, I appreciate the realism, but I tend to cringe with embarrassment for the characters - but Merlin is wholly an exception, because Arthur and Merlin are just so incredibly dorky. And young. And speaking as someone who is dorky and was once young: the combination leads to a lot of hilariously awkward sex. Also hilariously awkward visits to medical professionals afterward, but there's none of that here, for which I am grateful.) And Merlin (the show, although also the guy) lends itself especially well to AUs, I think because there's kind of an "AU goes here" label inserted into the canon itself. (I'm sorry, Malory and White and all the rest of you King Arthur writers, but what are we supposed to think with all the time jiggery-pokery and vague references to Arthur's return and so on? It's like you're begging us to write modern AUs, and future AUs, and also AUs set in Regency England (oh my god someone please tell me there's already Arthur and Merlin in Regency England), and we are just not that good at resisting temptation.) These are classic characters, and they work anywhere, and they definitely work so very well here. (Which is on boats. In case you forgot what I was writing about.)" [6]


  1. ^ a b revolutionaryjo. for crinklysolution! from revolutionaryjo! Easy There by syllic, 20 December 2010. (Accessed 31 December 2010)
  2. ^ marguerite_26. Modern AU Arthur/Merlin Recs, 16 August 2010. (Accessed 31 December 2010)
  3. ^ fuckyeahmerlinfanfic. Easy There, 13 October 2010. (Accessed 31 December 2010)
  4. ^ CRASH AND BURN: Fanfiction Recs. BBC's Merlin (2008). (Accessed 31 December 2010)
  5. ^ melannen. Longfic recs for Stellar_dust (and anybody else who wants them), 12 January 2011. (Accessed 12 January 2011)
  6. ^ rec by thefourthvine at 204: Two Worlds in Which We Dwell, June 2, 210