Pairing(s): Mainly Arthur/Merlin, with some Guinevere/Lancelot and a whole lot of canon background pairings, past and present.
Final Word Count: A little under 60K. I know, I know, I promised 100K, but it turns out that my document was copy-pasting in on itself and doubling the actual number of words I was writing. Shenanigans!
Summary: In which Lord Arthur Pendragon loses everything and gains a magician.
BIG ASS NOTES SECTION: OH MY GOD, BITCHES, I MADE IT. WITH TWO HOURS TO SPARE. I THINK I WILL GO CRY IN A CORNER.
Despite mental breakdowns, technical breakdowns, breakups with my story, breakups with fandom, a busy work schedule, changing from my original idea to this one mid-stream, and all sorts of melodrama, I can't believe I'm actually fucking posting this thing that was just a teeny tiny idea in my head less than six months ago and now is half a novel. It's... kind of beautiful. Or would be if it wasn't also a little terrible. Honestly, I don't even know if I love this story and it's the greatest thing I've ever written, or I hate it and should burn it and apologize profusely for inflicting it upon you. I suspect I'll never know, but it's done, and I've been told it doesn't suck, and I have pretty art, and when it comes down to it, I pretty much signed up for Big Bang solely so I could have pretty art. Which I will totally never do again, at least until next year.
Obviously, I couldn't have done this without the help of a ton of amazing, perfect, fantastic people, so huge kisses (with a little tongue, when appropriate) to the following:
My family, which means my mom, dad, brother, sister, gerbil, and dog, who put up with me disappearing to write for at random hours during two (TWO!) vacations, only to have me appear several hours later to power-eat my way through a pile of baked goods and rant at them (about what I referred to as "my current magnum opus which is basically a gay Pride and Prejudice, but with magic"), and then disappear to do it all over again. Thank you for putting up with my crazy, putting up with me, and still hugging me (or licking my face or giving me a love nip on my thumb) at the end of the day and telling me no matter what I wrote, it would be amazing, and then being understanding when I told them thank you, but no, they would never get to read this. Ever. Because no matter how much I loved them, this contained a gay sex scene and... awkward.
Also, my pets can't read.
My Cheerleaders: creativepseudo, my wife (or one of them), my love, the light of my life for nearly two years now, my soulmate, and my fellow ogler of all things JGL. I would never be able to write anything in any fandom without your constant encouragement, faith in me, and all caps every time I wrote so much as a new sentence. I love you so very, very much, Wheezy.
i_claudia, who squealed about Victorians with me in spite of her lack of internet connection, parasitic stomach bugs, and occasionally going through her sister to just pass on the message of OMG YAY VICTORIANS. Boo, the fact that you still can egg me on from another hemisphere only makes me love you more.
Everyone at paperpushers, and especially the_muppet: Your constant encouragement over my snippets and your palpable excitement every time I posted a new one was like my crack. I'm sorry this isn't as long as I promised, and if I had the time and brain power, you would be getting way more than just this, because you deserve it. And especially to the_muppet, for letting me keep writing those last few sections after my technical and emotional meltdown and way past the deadline date, for having faith I'd finish and being a general goddess, and for being an amazing, organized, understanding, super-sexy mod.
My Artist: thedeathchamber, you were everything I hoped for when I signed up for this crazy challenge and more. Thank you for your amazing art, your putting up with my nitpicking, and for generally being just so awesome I can hardly stand it. I love love love love your art. I want to print it out and frame it. And maybe make out with it a little.
My Rock: ninja_orange, I love you. I love you so much. Thank you for listening to me bitch and moan every damn day, for spending so many hours with me online talking about everything and nothing, for being willing to read through what I'd written the second I demanded it, for generally helping me keep my sanity, and for everything else you've done which honestly I can't remember it all, because it just melts into one hazy ball of awesome. You deserve sainthood, and I am working on sending it to you post-haste.
My Extraordinary Beta: ems, for showering me with ideas, encouragements, recommendations, and love, for filling my Google doc with that ubiquitous and always insightful pink text. I'm sorry I will never, ever, ever even bother attempting to spell things your way with the u's and stuff. You deserve better.
And finally, the two women who made this all possible:
rayslady, my other Julia, my British half, my Dickens expert, partner in Victorian squee, my resident brainstormer, my love. You are amazing and perfect and basically wonderful, which is probably why your name is so awesome. May the rest of your life be spent in a cabana filled with Bradley James clones with perfect nipples that feed you peeled grapes while clothed only in loincloths, because you deserve it for staying up so late for so many nights with me, working on this monster.
AND MOST ESPECIALLY, ella_bane, who midwifed this story from day one to the very end, who pushed me when I could push no more, who encouraged me when I was crying over my keyboard going OH GOD THIS SUCKS I'M GOING TO DELETE THIS ALL AND NEVER WRITE AGAIN, who went so above and beyond the call of duty that anything I textually render seems trite in comparison to all the work she did. There would not be one word of text without her, and as soon as I can afford it, I'm buying her a small island nation, because honestly, that's the least of what she deserves.
Master Post|Art Post