[personal profile] eco
Once upon a time a princess had married the most handsome, most brave, the best man of that time, and they had loved each other and everything around them a lot. And they had been very happy, and had dreamt of living together with their children and grandchildren in their big castle for a long long time.

But God doesn’t like that you like anyone more than you like him. Adam fell because he loved Eve more than he should have. But we are always told that God loves us.
Loving too much is possibly the first sin. But whose it was is not known.

So it went for our couple. One of them became more dear to God. And the other lived resentfully ever after, whether jealous of his God or of his wife we do not know, but certainly jealous of all joy around him.

And this hero – of admirable qualities, the most magnificent of men in his time – had a little boy. And this boy had held God dear, because God had his mummy, and maybe through him he could talk to her. As his father had once praised him, he was a good negotiator!

===

Once upon a time, a poor orphan girl ran from the castle of the evil step-mother. She knew if she was caught, she would be beaten again, made to recite prayers all through the night on her knees in the draughty chapel, and put on a bread and water diet throughout the week. But, she ran from a greater horror, a terrible fate that no beautiful little shepherdess, or goose-girl could accept, and she ran.

She also had something too precious with her, richer than all the clothes, jewels and promises in the dark castle she had left behind. She had stolen the ogre’s treaure.

And when she was across the sea, she brought out her jewel. A little boy with big blue eyes and fuzzy black hair. And he grew up to light up the world.


The widow’s son



Arthur Pendragon was standing in front of the world-renowned Liber Foy Laboratory, at the foot of the large statue of Thomas Malory, the founder of the Heart-Stone University. And waiting for his assistant George to give him the probable field-plan of the new Ex-Libris laboratory that the nervous idiot had left back in the hotel-room. George was gone with the car, and Arthur was getting annoyed with Belvedere, and Bedivere, both standing on alert around him as if every student walking across the campus was a mortal threat to him.


Merlin Emrys was walking towards the lab with eyes on the newspaper in his left hand, and the other hand was trying to push in his t-shirt inside his jeans.

The news was a bit nasty. A protestor at Brazil’s indigenous properties auction had been shot at during the slightly violent riots and had died. According to most creditable news agencies, the activist had been about to lob an egg at Uther Pendragon whose Camelot Petrochemicals was buying the biggest chunk of the virgin forest displacing thousands of people. Security agencies fearing an assassination had shot the young man before the egg had left his hand. Three guards had been suspended for the duration of the investigation. The weeping mother in the photograph had the dead man’s rosary clutched in her palm.

Merlin suddenly collided with another young man who seemed to be rushing without keeping his eye on the road. They both fell down.
Dark curly hair topped a sweet anxious face, and at Merlin’s own smile grinned back showing an impish sense of mischief. Merlin found he liked him immediately.

A pair of feet walked across his line of sight, and he heard a very English posh voice drawl “Can’t even walk in a straight line, can you?” Merlin looked up at the familiar accent and put a hand up saying, “Hello, friend?”
A strong grip pulled him up to his feet but was a bit too forceful and Merlin tumbled into the guy’s arms. An electric shock passed through him, almost certainly the result of the rubbing of his slinky hoodie against the guy’s argyle sweater. The cornsilk-blond man pushed him off and looked intently at him with cornflower-blue eyes, and said, “Do I know you?”
The edge of a sneer in that sentence woke him up, and he looked at the blond man who had turned to berating the curly-haired one – George, he surmised from the tirade – for being a careless idiot who had gotten him late…

“…and I am never late! What would the assembled professors think? They are nobel winning, elderly, very busy men!!!”

“But, sir, we aren’t…” George whimpered.

Merlin spoke up, “Stop bullying him!” The blond turned towards him, with an expression as if he remembered a bit of dirt stuck on his shoe-sole. “And apologize!”

The jock-built man loomed over him, smirking, as if though to overwhelm him, and said, “Who’s going to make me?”

Merlin had never backed down from a challenge in his life and said, “I am.”
So the man presented his cheek with an infuriating grin towards him, and he wanted to punch him so bad, but suddenly his arm was pulled into his grip and the man’s lips were at his ear, the curve of that hard body pressed to his back, he was forced to bend under the pressure of a strong thigh that crooked his knees.
“You look so much better on your knees!” that bastard laughed warmly at his ear, and let him go so he stumbled back on to the ground.

Merlin saw George give a look of misery as he ran after the blond prat, ranged around in perfect jock fashion by two other square blocks of jock, and he looked around to see that a good number of students had gathered around who were laughing at him. Deeply mortified he stood up, rubbed his sore, stretched arm, and walked on, furious, to the lab.

Merlin had just started to complain to Gaius who was a visiting professor this semester on the unfairness of jocks existing on earth, when a junior called on them to attend to the head, Geoffrey Monmouth’s office. Merlin had never had any interest in the administrative side of running a lab, and so he trudged off with Gaius, a bit worried about why he was called in for a meeting that had to deal with the plans for the new building.

The moment he walked into the head’s chamber, he saw that blond prat sitting in front of Prof. GM’s desk, and he knew he was being complained against and he tried to slink out, but that horrid prat turned and drew everyone’s attention to him by crying out in a mocking tone, “Don’t run away…”
“From you, you ass?!” he hissed at that smug rascal, as he went and sat facing him, where Gaius indicated he should, and gave a saccharine sweet smile when introduced by his godfather as “Arthur…”
Gaius also attached a lot of qualifications to both their names, but they stared at each other like two cats who had taken an instant dislike to the other, the kind of dislike that made the skin tingle and the hair at the neck stand up; and did not hear anything else the older man said.

Arthur, it turned out was some office lackey who had come to talk about the new building of the lab which was going to house the extended Genetics and Reengineering department, of which Merlin was the professor-in-charge.
And hence Merlin, to whom a Doric column and a cumulous cloud had the same proportions, was left nodding most of the time, only to towards the end of the discussion suddenly exclaim, “But that is too little space for such an operation?”
Arthur was getting very annoyed, his cheeks flushing, and he as running his hand through his hair. Merlin was liking this very much.
But, Gaius elbowed him in the side, and gave him Angry EyesTM. So Merlin had to stay silent, and Gauis, and Prof. GM and Arthur Pratface decided on his new work-place. And then Pratface turned to him and said, “About his office? I think the space should look onto the Malory statue, third floor, with a view of East Park, and of east Stone campus.”
Merlin was astounded to find that the prat had chosen a good position and layout for his office, despite obviously disliking him, and inclined his head in agreement.

Later when the plans had been ratified by the governing body, the dean and the university registrar and principal, Merlin turned to Aarthurr, as Gaius called him and said, “Um, nice plan.”
Arthur, who seemed to be able to get on with elderly gentlemen very well indeed, in spite of being ‘very late’, turned and said, “Hm. Seems silly to continue a childish spat.”
Pretty amazed by His Smugness being sensible, he paused, but whatever he was going to say was lost in the “It is bad form to quarrel with a mere functionary”.

Merlin was at the end of his tether, “I am Merlin Emrys, youngest professor in Biogenetics in the US and UK. Watson-Crick chair, and the head of the department, whose plans you brought so I could check over them! You are the lowly message-bearer.”

Arthur laughed, delightedly, as if he had manipulated him into this outburst, and said, “You are standing in the Pendragon wing. My father is the main sponsor of your new building, in which your department would be placed.”

“I don’t work for you. I work with your father.” Merlin could only say this after that terrible revelation.

“Oh no! Camelot Pharmaceuticals belongs to me. You”, Arthur paused, as if to savour his words, “work under me.”

Merlin wanted to shout, I’ll die before I work for you, you bastard! But, that Royal Ass had already disappeared around the bend.



Merlin had been keyed up the whole day with barely suppressed rage. His mother had told him to ‘breathe…’ and ‘forget that stupid rich daddy’s boy’, and laughed. Gwen agreed that Pratface had terrible manners and Merlin could go on hating him, but severely objected to hearing his rant on jocks who have fatheads, and thuggish accomplices, who hate intelligent people just because.

And when he went to Gaius in the evening for their customary Friday dinner, he found a blond head watching the football, Sevilla vs. Valencia, on the t.v. Kanoute missed a cross horrifyingly mispassed by Joaquin which would have led to a certain goal, and Pratface groaned.
“Eww!” he couldn’t help exclaiming.
“You like football?!”
“It is a bit hard to escape, when you are a student in London.”
“You’re from London?!”
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eco

June 2012

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