Freedom Hangs Like Heaven

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Title: Freedom Hangs Like Heaven
Author(s): derryere
Date(s): 30 March 2009
Length: 9,000 words
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: Freedom Hangs Like Heaven (Livejournal)

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Freedom Hangs Like Heaven is a Merlin/Arthur slash story by derryere (~9,000 words). It was written as a reply to lizardspots's art for kinkme_merlin, Trusty Steed, (NC17) and maybe also Afterglow.[1]

Trusty Steed by lizardspots. This image has been marked as sexually explicit and has been minimised.
Afterglow by lizardspots

The story won the Spring 2010 Merlin Slash Awards in the "Arthur/Merlin Fanfiction" category Best Short.

Summary: It's happened five times and they don't talk about it.


  • "HUZZAH FOR FIGHTING-TURNED INTO HATE SEX-TURNED INTO LOVE. This is my summery of this story: In denial!Arthur repeatedly does something like this: 'Oh...hai there Merlin, lets fuck, yeah? Oops. THIS DIDN'T HAPPEN'. With outraged Merlin finally going, 'Wait! No. This fuckery shall stop here and you shall admit you have a thing for me. Because I love you. You bloody idiot.' And then they cuddle. The end. *glee*" (aossi)[2]
  • "Incredibly hot. My skin quite possibly burst into flame. Even BEFORE the angry!porn started, it was ridiculously amazingly wonderfully hot. (The second time is beautifully written, by the way. I read that and I was just like "yes, actually, that is EXACTLY what Arthur Pendragon would do, I can practically SEE him doing that." And then I stopped and visualized for a moment. And then I continued to read.)" (epiphanyx7) [3]
  • "Holy shit. Holy motherfucking shit. I don't think I've ever seen a fight scene turned into a sex scene quite this elegantly and with quite so much delicious angst and confusion. Arthur's insecurity was painful and beautifully written. I just... guh I'm obviously still having some coherency issues here after that mindblowingly hot sex scene." (mandy_croyance)[4]
  • "Wow. This is so very amazing. The setting of the main bit, with the rain and the two of them in some roman ruins and the fighting (with pushing against walls and everything), and sex itself, and Arthur being an idiot, and well Arthur and the kissing. And their relationship as a whole is perfect. And the ending too. Loved everything." (aramis_chan)[5]
  • "I've seen that emotional device -- Arthur refusing to believe that Merlin wants it because he thinks he ordered him into it -- used a couple of times in this fandom, but never as brutally and effectively as here. And then of course I have a real thing for fights turning into sex (as does half of fandom, I expect) and you handled that brilliantly; it never rang false or seemed like you were pushing the characters somewhere implausible simply for your own gratification. It was so slow and painful and two-steps-forward-one-step-back that it seemed real. And hot. And gripping. And did I mention, hot." (fahye)[6]
  • "This fic went places I wasn't expecting. Arthur believing he's taking advantage, forcing Merlin makes sense, especially since there's never any talking about what the sex means, though it keeps happening. The immediate aftermath always feels like rejection and their stations always give Arthur the upper hand. Arthur's anger at Merlin fighting him on every front but this attraction triggered the violence and it was uncomfortable and hard to read these two so angry and just this side of out of control. When the fight devolves into sex, I wasn't sure how you were ever going to get them back to a good place, but you did a fine job forcing the words from them both without them slipping out of character." (brunettepet)[7]


  1. derryere. Freedom Hangs Like Heaven, 30 March 2009. (Accessed 17 July 2010)
  2. aossi. Comment, 31 March 2009. (Accessed 17 July 2010)
  3. epiphanyx7. Comment, 31 March 2009. (Accessed 17 July 2010)
  4. mandy_croyance. Comment, 31 March 2009. (Accessed 17 July 2010)
  5. aramis_chan. Comment, 31 March 2009. (Accessed 17 July 2010)
  6. fahye. Comment, 09 April 2009. (Accessed 17 July 2010)
  7. brunettepet. Comment, 23 June 2010. (Accessed 17 July 2010)