Title: Your Mouth Is Lovely (Not That I'm Looking)
Word Count: 987
Summary: One of the king's knights has got it bad for Morgana, and Arthur thinks it's hilarious. At first.
One of his father's knights has fallen madly in love with Morgana. Arthur thinks it's the stupidest idea he's ever heard of. To be turned into a stuttering fool, to stare with such raptness, to lose one's appetite and toss and turn instead of sleeping, all for the sake of Morgana!
It's lunacy, and he tells her so. She doesn't say anything back, which is the truly annoying thing. Just says, in tones all airy and even, that she's flattered by the attention. That it's sweet.
He wonders if she likes it.
That would just be …
Well, it's not like he cares or anything. It's just that it's a pain, being surrounded by people who're acting so dumb. (Over Morgana.)
And yeah, okay, so she's gotten quite … decent to look at. Arthur hadn't really noticed at first. When he thinks of Morgana, he thinks of the mad little girl who stole his toy sword and walloped him over the head with it. He'd liked her because she wasn't stupid about stuff the way most girls were. Then she'd gotten stupid about stuff, a little, but she was still Morgana. It's just that most of the smacking around has turned verbal instead of physical.
Secretly, he's always been glad about that part. It definitely wasn't right, having a prince get beaten up by a girl.
Not that he couldn't have taken her. He was just being a gentleman.
But now they're both fifteen, and he realizes that it probably won't be long now before she's off and married to someone. Not to Sir Lathrop, obviously. Sir Lathrop's an idiot. Morgana would never settle for an idiot.
But to someone.
He's not sure he likes that.
For the poor husband's sake, that is.
Still, one day he's walking with her through the corridor after supper, and he sees that she's got something in her hand. Parchment. With writing on it. Oh, God, it's a letter. And there's little doubt of who it'll be from.
Arthur snatches it. Morgana seems like she's going to put up a fight for a minute, but once he's unfolded it, she resigns herself to her fate. She stands there looking every bit the elegant lady, but her eyes are burning with fury. It'd be a lie to say he didn't enjoy that.
"'Milady,'" he begins in a grand, ridiculous voice. The words bounce off the stone walls. "'I have tried to suffer in silence, but no longer can I contain my feelings. I know I am only a humble knight' – yeah, a humble jackass more like—"
"Oh, you're one to talk," Morgana snaps, her resolve melting as she makes a grab for the letter. He lifts it easily out of her reach.
"—'but I must strive to tell you what I feel. My every thought is of your grace and beauty. Your hair—' Oh, this is too good, '—your hair is like the blackest of midnight skies, a sky in which I yearn to drown.' Drown in the sky. Right. He's a regular poet, isn't he? Forget knighthood, we've clearly got the next royal bard on our hands. 'Your eyes are bright as diamonds. I long for their sparkle to fall upon me.' Ha! Be careful looking at him next time he's around, Morgana. You might sparkle him to death with your beauty. 'Your lips...' Your lips?" His stomach does a weird twisting thing that he doesn't think can be blamed on supper. He stares down at the sentence, which likens her lips to ripe fruit. And roses. Suddenly, it's stopped being funny. "Morgana, this is unacceptable."
"I doubt that," Morgana replies, sounding not the least bit concerned. "The man's too shy to speak to me without stammering."
"Yeah, but – Morgana, come on." He can't believe she's being so calm about this. Is she completely mad? Does she want to get herself ravished or something? "It's inappropriate."
"It's sweet," Morgana says. She has the nerve to look at him like he's the one being crazy. "It's nothing to worry about."
"I'm going to have to talk to him about this," Arthur declares, more to himself than to her. It seems really important. He'd planned on a hunt tomorrow, but giving Sir Lathrop a talk about how he's to address the king's ward suddenly threatens to take priority. "Get him to knock it off."
"Arthur, don't be stupid—"
"Morgana," he says, frustrated, wanting to grab her shoulders and shake some sense into her, "your lips."
"What about them?" she demands.
He stares down at her. At her lips. Which are … red. And parted, revealing glimpses of pearly teeth. The stupid comparisons – ripe fruit, roses, all that rubbish – suddenly seem disturbingly understandable.
It's hard to think about lips without thinking about kissing, even if the lips in question are Morgana's. That, that's just … nature. It's inevitable.
It's Morgana, for God's sake.
"I don't see what the lunkhead's going on about," he says, tearing his eyes away from her. He throws in a scornful laugh for good measure.
"Fortunately, they're none of your concern," she replies crisply. She doesn't seem unsettled. He wishes she did. It's just like her, to be completely annoying about something like this. She reaches over and slips the letter out of his hand. Her fingertips graze his skin for a second as she does it. "I'll just take that, thank you."
She turns, graceful as anything, and walks away. Her pace is unhurried – languid, almost. He's preoccupied by the side-to-side sway of her hips, thinks in a muddled, accidental way that there, there's something you could drown in, forget the midnight sky—
Oh, this is so not the thing to be thinking. Ever, in fact.
"You shouldn't encourage him!" he calls after her.
"Goodnight, Arthur!" She doesn't bother to turn around.
He watches her walk away until he realizes he's doing it.