“Excuse me, but are you sleeping with someone who isn’t me?”
Arthur whipped around, frowning, cheeks a faint pink color, as Merlin never put it that bluntly. It was only a matter of one Beatle-manic fan to overhear that and they’d have a lot of explaining to do.
“What on earth are you talking about?”
In answer, Merlin held up a scrap of paper, the back of a fish and chips receipt, it turned out, and scrawled almost illegibly on it were what looked to be a series of lyrics. Arthur took it and scanned the words, trying to make it out.
“You wrote this last night when you were sloshed, mate.” Arthur told him helpfully, looking up to see Merlin’s confused eyes.
“What! This is your handwriting!”
Arthur shook his head, raising a brow, “Merlin, I couldn’t write like that if I studied it for ten years and was made to do nothing but eat chips and write that on the receipts.” He laughed at Merlin’s increasing frown, “What does it say, anyway?”
Merlin took the piece of paper back, smoothing it out and reading it as best he could “Lovely Rita, meter maid, nothing can come between us, when it gets dark, I tow your heart away.” He looked up, “What the bloody hell is a meter maid?”
Arthur burst into laughter as that, remembering now what had inspired the drunken scrawl. “You asked that last night—it’s those women who give out traffic tickets. You were complaining how it’s just another way the establishment wants your skin, and then after talking about how much you hated this woman, because it’d turned into one woman, by that point, you said you were going to write her a love song.”
Merlin looked at the paper incredulously, “We were not just putting away pints, last night, were we?”
Arthur got up and grabbed his acoustic, strumming a fast-paced and entirely inappropriately cheery tune. “Lovely Rita meter maid, may I inquire discreetly: When are you free to take some tea with meeeeeee?”
Merlin threw his hands over his ears, the sounds cutting straight to his hungover brain, retreating to the living room and burying himself in the cushions of the couch until Arthur had actually finished the song, damn him, and, bursting into the room making a racket with a comb and paper, proclaimed it’d be the perfect touch. Merlin hid his smile in a long groan and chucked a pillow at him.
The day Merlin brought home Martha, he did nothing besides feed her and play, all afternoon-long.
“She’s too huge for your place,” Arthur said, slumping in his chair on the small porch, strumming a few chords absentmindedly.
“Don’t listen to him, my dear!!” Merlin bear-hugged her to him.
“Indeed. Martha my dear.”
“She’s a dog.”
Merlin ruffled the fur between Martha’s ears, and she closed her eyes in pleasure, tail wagging vigorously behind her. He smiled fondly at the Old English sheepdog pup. “She’ll be my inspiration.”
Arthur snorted. “I’ll bet you ten quid she can’t give you anything resembling a song.”
At this Merlin stood and put his hands on his hips. “By the end of the month?”
“By the end of the week.”
Arthur inhales deeply, consciousness lazily threatening to invade. He turns over and lets himself fall deeper into his sheets and pillows, sinking down and down, blissfully floating along in the dark, upstream perhaps…
There is a muffled sound somewhere beyond the void, but he pays it no heed, and keeps drifting.
It is not until there are footsteps down the hall that Arthur begins to remember he is in a room made of lines, some of which are probably real.
A dark mop of hair appears in Arthur’s doorway; he doesn’t need to be conscious to know who it is or why it’s here.
“Arthur,” the voice whispers, lilting and sweet along the waves of a dream, threatening to spoil the day, after all sleep is so hard to come by when he’s not on tour, and who was it hurting, anyway. “Arthur,” it says, again, nearer to his face, and he knows they’ve sat on his bed, beside him.
“Please don’t wake me,” Arthur mumbles, clinging to the dream, but hands are on his shoulders and everything is getting more and more real by the second. Gently, the hands move, and he knows he is being shook.
“Arthur, we’ve got to practice, today…” It is Merlin’s voice, of course, as magical as the unconscious realm which Arthur was quickly leaving.
“M’not being lazy,” he argues, but Merlin giggles at this.
“I never said you were! You’re just late, is all. It’s gone tea time.”
Arthur’s eyes finally open and he stares at the ceiling, wishing, waiting, for those moments of drifting to come back to him, to carry him away on another dream. He yawns a little as he sits, pulling an arm around Merlin’s waist.
Merlin sighs and shifts, so that he is lying next to Arthur, on top of the duvet, one leg reservedly nudging over them both. He is wearing slim black trousers and still has his shoes on, but Arthur could care less. This will be one of the days Merlin gives in and admits there’s no need to move so fast through life and they will lay there taking each other in for hours until finally someone says something brilliant and they’ll write a song.
Little does Arthur know he already has.
So far I have written three. Here they are in the order I have posted them, but eventually I hope to be able to organize them by album/timeline.
The premise is that Merlin is Paul McCartney and Arthur is John Lennon. I have yet to decide who the other band members are (though I might have an idea), but there is an overarching idea I want to get across. The fics are so far generally lovely and happy and adorable, but they will not always follow this pattern, as I explore other songs.
All songs are researched on the Beatles Bible website, and the events of writing and recording each song are taken into account for each story. I’ve tried to make them as authentic as possible! :)
Feel free to leave a song in my ask! Be as creative or random as you wish; there will be no discriminating against songs, albums, eras, etc.
Merlin bobbed his head in time with the drums, as their mate brought his usually quiet mouth to the microphone.
“I want to tell you…” Merlin glanced across the room to Arthur, who was just now leaning in to sing the backup, and Merlin did the same, “My head is filled with things to say.” They harmonized and backed off for their friend, “When you’re here… All those words, they seem to—” They came in again, “Slip away.”
Arthur looked up from his mic and their gazes connected briefly, before Merlin focused on his fingers, making sure they didn’t slip up on the keys for the third time that day. His cheeks burned a little as they all three launched together into the next verse.
“When I get near you, the games begin to drag me down. It’s all right; I’ll make you maybe next time around.”
Arthur pulled off the tambourine to let the maracas shake, and he smiled as their friend set on to the words.
“But if I seem to act unkind, it’s only me, it’s not my mind... that is confusing things.”
The music picked up and Merlin was smiling, too, tapping the buildup notes on the piano playfully.
“I want to tell you,” They joined in, “I feel hung up and I don’t know why.” They met eyes again and after “I don’t mind; I could wait forever—” they sang to each other, directly: “I’ve got time.”
“Wow, I love that,” Merlin commented on the picture tacked to Arthur’s ugly yellow wall, the words “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” written above it on another piece of paper.
“I know—it’s brilliant.”
“Is that what you called me over about?”
“Yeah, just say it, huh! It’s perfect.” Arthur leaned against the opposite wall, hands in his pockets.
Merlin stepped closer to the drawing, crudely illustrated, but full of color. He touched it and said aloud, “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.” He smiled at the words, “Yeah, definitely something there.” In the corner was a small “M” drawn in purple, the first initial of Arthur’s son’s name.
“That boy’s going places,” Arthur said fondly. “What’s that make you think of?” He gestured up the stairs and they made their way to his music room.
“Childlike things,” Merlin mused, “Newspaper taxis.”
Arthur shut the door behind him and handed Merlin the lefty-stringed guitar, smiling excitedly, “Yeah, go on!”
Merlin pulled the strap around his neck and arm, tapping on the body, finding a beat. “Cellophane flowers…” He closed his eyes.
“Looking-glass ties.” Arthur moved close and placed Merlin’s fingers in a chord, strumming to hear what it would sound like. “More, more,” he whispered, resting his their foreheads gently together.
“Plasticine porters,” Merlin said, smiling, the ideas only getting stranger and stranger, but more and more beautiful. He looked up and met Arthur’s gaze.
Come on, if you please
I’ve got no time for trivialities
“That’s rather bleak for a love song, ain’t it?” Soft lips pressed the words to the top of his forehead, and Arthur looked up.
“Oi, it’s my song, all right? I’ll sing what I like.”
Merlin lifted his hands, truce-like, and backed away a step, “Sure, sure.” They’d been recording for three months on Hard Day’s Night, and things were starting to get a bit hectic. Perhaps the song was about the album, Merlin thought, giggling to himself.
As if reading his mind, Arthur set down his pencil and ran fingers down his fringe, saying, “It’s not about a girl.”
“Smarter than I look, you know,” Merlin gave him a playful nudge of the shoulder before finally leaving him alone. At the door, he stopped and turned, unable to resist: “I’m singing backing for that one, Artie.”