It's wasn't even midday yet, but Merlin was already drenched in sweat and aching all over. Arthur was to compete in the tournament the next day, but rather than wake one of his better knights for practice, Arthur decided he could make do with Merlin. To him, it was only a minor tournament- more for show than anything else- and he didn't really need to practice.

Just Merlin's luck.

"Come on Merlin, you are such a girl! You aren't even trying!"

Merlin lay sprawled on his back on the grass. His helmet had flown off when he hit the ground and he prayed Arthur would let him find it before they started again. He didn't think he would survive another blow to the head. And his sword...he had no idea where that had gotten to...

"Can we stop now, sire? I don't think I can get up on my own, and I can't find my sword."

Merlin prayed to all the gods he could think of that Arthur would take pity on him. And then he remembered- it was Arthur.

Merlin looked up to see Arthur standing above him, his helmet under one arm. "No worries about the sword, Merlin. You can look for it later after we've finished. How's your mace-work coming along?"

Merlin could see the mace Arthur swung above him, and he wondered if it were possible for a person to pass out on command. He didn't get a chance to try before Arthur was dragging him to his feet and shoving a mace into his hand.

"OK, Merlin. Since you're being such a girl, I'll let you strike first," Arthur said, smirking at Merlin before he replaced his helmet and got into the first position. Merlin was beginning to get slightly annoyed with Arthur and his jibes and by the next time Arthur called him a girl, Merlin was determined to shut him up.

Merlin managed to strike a decent blow before he was flat on his back again. He couldn't remember how he'd gotten there. He could only focus on the odd sensation in his lower stomach. Shaking it off, he stood up again and promised himself that he would remain standing for at least the next two blows.

"Well Merlin, that was much better. At least your helmet stayed on straight this time."

Merlin could see Arthur smirking under his helmet, and it only served to make Merlin angrier. And much more uncoordinated. He swung out at Arthur, missed, and spun all the way around. Arthur took this opportunity to swing at Merlin's mace arm, causing Merlin to drop his mace for fear of having his hand removed. When had the feeling in his stomach had gone from odd fluttering to searing pain?

Merlin hesitated as he tried to regain his balance and Arthur took full advantage. He swung out with his mace again, knocking Merlin's shield from his other hand, then used his shoulder to throw Merlin off balance. As he hit the ground, Merlin felt pain rip through his lower stomach, and a rather large quantity of fluid soaked his britches.

Arthur removed his helmet and walked towards Merlin, laughing. "I say, Merlin, I'd have done better asking Morgana to spar with me. You're even more of a girl than she-"

Arthur stopped short, his gaze rooted to Merlin's crotch, where a red splotch was slowly forming. He didn't have much experience with women, but he was pretty sure of what he was seeing. And it only made him laugh harder than before, falling on the ground and clutching his sides.

"Well Merlin, I said you were a girl before, but I suppose you're a woman now."