A/N: Btw... before I start... yes, I am an Arwen-er, so I know that, really, Arthur wouldn't ever besmirch Gwen by associating her with something this shockingly sexist... but... I'lll just ask you to suspend disbelief for a minute, okay? Please review and tell me if you like it at all!
Merlin and Arthur sat, hoods over their heads for the sake of anonymity, watching the women of Camelot as they went by.
"What about that one?" Merlin asked, indicating a passing peasant with a flick of his finger.
Arthur paused, scratching his chin thoughtfully, eyes boring into the girl's face. "She's a Gwen."
Merlin narrowed his gaze; scrutinising the girl, trying to find a reason to disagree with Arthur. "You're right," he conceded. "Definitely a Gwen."
They sat for a while longer, until another pretty female made the mistake of walking down the street they were observing. Both young men tilted their heads to the side simultaneously and agreed, "Gwen."
Arthur let out a very obvious yawn.
Along came another woman, who seemed slightly different to the previous two. Her face was sharper, her hair longer and the fabric of her dress swished alluringly as she walked.
"Her?" Arthur asked Merlin, grinning a little, as though he already knew the answer.
"Oh; she's a Morgana."
The prince nodded in agreement.
They would have got extremely bored - and Arthur would have probably quickly resorted simply to either throwing insults or objects at his manservant - had a whole gaggle of giggling girls not suddenly erupted onto the street.
"Gwen… Gwen… Gwen…"
"Gwen, Gwen, Morgana, Gwen, Mor-"
Arthur gave Merlin a look of serious disapproval. "There's no need to get quite so excited, Merlin… That's a Gwen…"
"I already did that one."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah - the one in the yellow dress?"
"Oh… I thought you hadn't done her… So which one have we missed out?"
"The one in the pink dress?"
"Did you say pink dress?"
"Well, then. That settles it. She's clearly a Gwen."
The girls passed by, throwing the two hooded men having a peculiar sounding argument odd looks - they did not know their rude whispers could be considered treason if they were heard: they could not see Prince Arthur's face.
The two of them sat for a while longer, having exhausted any interest in their game, staring uncomfortably at each other now that they had run out of both alcohol and things to talk about.
And what game is this that the Prince of Camelot and the Great Warlock Emyrs had been playing so avidly for about half an hour, I hear you asking?
It had all started that morning, when, in one of his rare moments of intellectual promise, Arthur remarked to Merlin that, "All of the women in Camelot are rather similar, aren't they?"
Merlin had frowned, and asked the prince to please explain himself (preferably minus the throwing of boots, if at all possible).
Arthur had gone on to explain that he believed that all of the women he had ever met seemed to fit into one of two categories: Gwen or Morgana; they all seemed to be either sweet, pretty, non-magical damsels in distress (like Gwen) or stunning and seductive but ultimately evil witches (like Morgana).
Merlin (after getting over the initial shock of hearing Arthur describe his own sister as being 'seductive' and resolving to check his room for any more of that incestuous ArMor magic Gaius had warned him about) shrugged, and said, "Yeah. I guess so."
Arthur had then frowned, scratched his chin, and begun to think dangerous thoughts, "It's almost as if someone has written all of the characters… And just can't be bothered to write the women any other way… Don't you think?"
All of a sudden Arthur's body had done a sideways backflip, and he turned to Merlin with a totally blank expression on his face.
Merlin had been particularly concerned, but upon attempting to work out what was wrong, discovering that Arthur seemed to have no memory whatsoever of what he had just said… "It's almost as if someone's erased your memory… Perhaps, someone who doesn't want you to be pointing out character defects…" Merlin had pondered aloud, before his body too jerked around manically, and his face registered total memory loss.
Arthur, naturally, had been concerned, and, in trying to help Merlin, his thoughts had wandered down a similar path, "Is someone doing this to us deliberately?"
Arthur was struck again.
This had continued for quite some time, until they were so confused, they could hardly remember which way was up and which way was down; who was Merlin and who was Arthur; and all they wanted was a nice cold drink…
When they had reached the tavern, they remembered enough of the conversation for Arthur to establish his little game: Is she a Gwen or a Morgana?
It was proving to be oodles of fun…
And then a girl walked past who defied all of their explanations.
This girl who walked past was, undeniably, unquestionably, and indisputably on OC.
She fit none of their criteria.
Her hair was short and blonde and a bit messy - a sure-fire indicator of a Gwen; but her bone structure was so stunning, she could but be a Morgana; the girl was dressed in head-to-toe pink, so she had to be sweet and innocent, definitely a Gwen; but the golden glimmer in her eye, and her slightly cheeky grin told Merlin that she simply had to have magic: surely a Morgana…
This girl defied them…
Merlin looked after her retreating form in wonder, a sappy grin on his face.
Arthur turned his nose up at her. "What? Does she think she's too good for the fundamental laws of Camelot? There's nothing wrong with being a Gwen or a Morgana. Well… There's nothing wrong with being a Gwen…"
As Merlin got up to go after her, suddenly struck by an inexplicable love for someone he'd never met before (all thoughts of Freya laid aside for the minute); Arthur extended a cautionary hand.
"I'm warning you… Merlin… There's no such thing as a nice magical woman… It just doesn't happen…"
"What about Alice?" Merlin murmured, beginning to pad after his lady love.
"If trying to poison people isn't a fair indication of evilness, I don't know what is. Besides, she was old…."
Merlin had given up the pretence of looking as though he were listening; he was humming a (somewhat anachronistic) love song to himself, and swaying a little as he wandered off after the odd girl.
"Mark my words, Merlin…" Arthur grumbled in the distance. Unfortunately, Merlin was by now too far away to hear what the words were that Arthur wanted him to mark, and probably wouldn't have marked them anyway, even if he hadn't been.
A week later, when Merlin returned broken-hearted from his fling; clothes tattered, eyes bloodshot and life barely intact; after his lover turned out to be an evil witch in disguise trying to kill him, Arthur simply laughed at him.
"I told you so!"
Merlin glowered. "I know…. I know… All women are either a Gwen or a Morgana…"
"And don't you ever forget it!"
A/N: Bet for a minute there you thought I'd gone soft on you, and was introducing a Merlin/OC romance... But no.