Summary: Teenage Arthur and Morgana are sword fighting. "Morgana, if you don't yield, I'm going to have to kiss you."
~ Beauty of Losing ~
"Spar with me, Arthur?"
Arthur nearly choked on his food as he regarded Morgana with wide eyes. "What?" he asked.
Morgana rolled her bright green eyes, hand moving to rest lazily on her hip. "Don't pretend like you didn't hear me," she said. She raised her chin defiantly. "I want to sword fight."
"Have you gone mad? Absolutely not!" Arthur stood up then, using the advantage of his height to intimidate her.
It didn't work.
Morgana's red-tainted lips – and no, Arthur was truly not staring – curved into an amused smile. "What now? Afraid to lose against a girl?" she whispered teasingly.
He stiffened. "I would never lose against a girl. Especially not you," he said, voice laced with disgust.
Morgana pretended it didn't hurt.
She raised her eyes to his instead, using the full force of them on Arthur. "Fight me then. You have nothing to lose, do you?"
His ire rose with every word she said. She was provoking him he knew, but damn it, it was working. "Fine," he snapped, glaring at her. "Meet me at the training grounds in half an hour."
Her eyes lit up, and they sparkled in such a vivid shade of green that Arthur was reminded of prairies in the summer and fiery emeralds. He swallowed. "Perfect; I'll be there!" Morgana lifted her hand in a mock wave before she left his chambers, a new bounce to her step.
Arthur continued watching her incredulously, wondering how it was emotionally possible for sixteen year old girls to switch from one mood to another in a matter of seconds. He shook his head as he drank from his goblet. Some questions were better left unanswered, and this one was probably one of those.
Besides, he had a fight to prepare for.
She was at the training grounds exactly half an hour later, but Arthur wasn't surprised. Punctuality had always been one of Morgana's fortes.
"Ready to lose, Morgana?" He called to her cheerily. She scowled, and the expression was so adorable it made Arthur's stomach clench in a pleasantly foreign way.
Morgana clucked her tongue. "How about we get to it? I'm really starting to believe that your words speak louder than your actions, my Lord." She smiled sweetly, her tone acidic and taunting as she kneeled into a fighting stance.
Arthur's mood soured, and unsheathed his sword, glaring at Morgana. He'd make sure her loss will be one she'd never forget. "On the count of three," he said, and she nodded.
Their swords clashed together as they struck each other at the same time. They held each other there for a second – Arthur was heavier than Morgana, and was at an advantage – before springing back with a vivid snap of sword of sword. They circled each other, trying to detect an opening in the other's defense.
Whenever Morgana would hit, Arthur parried, and whenever Arthur would hit, Morgana parried. They met each other blow for blow and kick for kick. They aimed, deflected, dodged, and struck; they danced around each other's attacks.
They were choreographed swordsmen, and pretty soon, both of them were breathing heavily. Sweat trickled down both of their foreheads, and their muscles ached. But they wouldn't stop until one of them was down. They resumed their stances, eyeing each other warily; analyzing, calculating, deciding when to strike.
Morgana's stance was a bit feeble around the edges – she was probably tired, not used to the physical strain – and Arthur saw his chance.
Quickly, before she could react, Arthur spun around, and struck, successfully disarming her. Her sword landed less than three feet away from them, and Morgana would have gone to retrieve it, had the tip of Arthur's own sword not be pointed perilously close to her throat.
She was trapped. And she knew it. Morgana bit her lip to keep her frustration under control.
His triumphant smile only served to increase anger. "Do you yield?" Arthur asked softly.
Defiant greens met victorious blues. "No."
His eyes widened, and his mouth curled in indignation. "What? No – Morgana!" He protested. His sword was still at her throat.
"I refuse to yield."
"That's not fair! I won; you're supposed to yield!"
Morgana lifted one of her shoulders in a careless shrug and smiled. "I don't care."
Arthur growled, bright eyes darkening to a storming blue, and he tackled her. They wrestled briefly, but he managed to successfully pin her underneath him, despite her protests and threats. His sword was still pointed at the base of her throat. "Do you yield now, Morgana?" Arthur asked her, even more softly.
Morgana struggled to free herself, wild with rage. "No! Arthur let me go!"
"Not until you yield."
Arthur sighed exasperatedly, rearranging himself so that he was directly over Morgana, hands at her shoulders and foreheads almost touching.
Their eyes locked, and Morgana forgot how to breathe.
His voice was soft, dangerously soft – almost a whisper – when he spoke again, "Morgana, if you don't yield, I'm going to have to kiss you." He let his gaze drop to her lips for good measure.
She could only stare at him in shock, having been successfully robbed of words. What?
Her heart was thrumming in her chest, beating against it so hard it almost hurt.
"You have three seconds to stop me."
He was giving her time to back away, she realized. If she told him that she yielded, he wouldn't kiss her, and that would be the end of it.
But did Morgana want to say that she yielded?
This wasn't about her pride anymore, though. This was about having Arthur Pendragon's lips on hers. Involuntarily, her eyes went to his mouth, and she found herself mentally tracing its contours, wondering what he would taste like.
Did she want to kiss him?
Her heart was beating wildly in her chest now, and Morgana was afraid it would burst. She could force the words out now, and nothing would happen; she'd be safe.
She still wasn't sure she wanted that; she'd always found safety to be incredibly boring after all.
Her eyes locked onto his. "Arthur," Morgana began weakly.
He grinned wickedly. "Time's up," he murmured, and crashed his lips to hers.
A bolt of electricity ran through her when their lips met, and she found herself melting into his touch. He really was a good kisser, she thought dazedly, but then his mouth started to move, and Morgana couldn't think anymore.
Arthur almost groaned when he felt her shift beneath him, her hands coming up to tangle themselves around his neck. He let his own slowly move up, caressing the soft contours of her body and he bit her lip, relishing in the way she arched up against him.
More was the only coherent thought in their mind.
Morgana explored his mouth, moaning when Arthur tugged none-too-gently at her hair. One of his arms circled around her waist while his lips moved south. He kissed, sucked, and nipped at her neck, and Morgana could only gasp, turning her head to bite convulsively in Arthur's shoulder. He groaned, "Morgana," before his mouth found hers again.
The broke apart a little while later, and Arthur took in Morgana's flushed cheeks, swollen lips, and awry clothing with satisfaction, knowing that he scarcely fared better. Though he had far more experience in this domain than Morgana, no other girl had made him feel the way she did when he kissed her – like combusting fires and bright explosions and promises of new beginnings. He stared at Morgana for a split-second before he helped her up, brushing the side of her face tenderly with his knuckles. He smiled when she lent into his touch.
"We should spar more often," he said jokingly, and she smiled, pretending to think about it.
"How about after you bathe yourself, you meet me in my chambers? It's certainly more comfortable there." Her smile raised a fraction when she saw Arthur swallow visibly.
"Are you serious?" He asked finally. "Morgana, if you're joking –,"
"Oh I assure you I'm not," she replied airily. "But you better have showered."
"I'll be as clean as you have ever seen me be," he replied in earnest.
"Well then, meet me there in two hours." She winked, placing a soft kiss right at the corner of his mouth, before she left. Her fingers went to trace her lips absentmindedly, and Morgana smiled, blushing.
He tasted like strawberries and honey.
Author's Note: I've only recently started watching Merlin and I've fallen in love with the Arthur/Morgana pairing. A shame they destroyed everything in the second season (oh well, hopefully, they'll manage to redeem themselves in the third). I hope you've enjoyed my interpretation of the Armor relationship – drop in a review! I'd love to hear what you think about it.