“Secretary” by Candymacaron (AO3)
Pairings: Merlin Emrys/Arthur Pendragon
Word Count: 26756
Warnings: Mind the tags. Heavy mentions of self-harm and dom/sub mentalities.
Job-hunting has familiarized Merlin with rejection. Most of the listings in the paper require qualifications he lacks, or prior job experience no eighteen year old would have. One listing sticks out at Merlin—a simple advert, with the word ‘Secretary’ written in bold typeface.
(A Secretary Movie/BBC Merlin AU in which a fragile Merlin learns to love his job, himself, getting spanked, and his boss. All in that order.)
The Collectress sent me this rec last week, and I was immediately intrigued. I have a fondness for the 2002 film Secretary, in which James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal embark on a kinky office relationship. When I saw that this Merthur AU was inspired by the movie, my expectations were high. I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed. Candymacaron used the themes from Secretary to tell the story of a young, depressed Merlin who has lost his path in life. It’s only after meeting the elusive, temperamental solicitor Mr. Pendragon that Merlin realizes he has something to live for—something to love.
(If you are squeamish about cutting, or find that self-harm is an emotional trigger, then this probably isn’t the story for you. Please be wary of the tags.)
-The Collected Mutineer
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