Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin


"I win." Morgana stood over Arthur, sword held to his chest.

"That was just… an exception."

"Oh? Really?"

"Yes, actually I am feeling quite under the weather. If I had been up to usual performance standards, that would not have happened."

"I see." Morgana withdrew her sword and smiled mischievously. "Even the best must resort to excuses sometimes."

"Now, hang on," Arthur protested.

"Another round?" she asked, twirling her sword in air.

Arthur pushed himself off the ground. "Actually, we don't have time," he said somberly. "Another sorcerer has been convicted, and my father wants us to attend the execution."

Morgana stabbed the ground with her sword furiously and scowled.

"Morgana…"

"Don't."

They stood there in silence for a few moments, Morgana still fuming. Arthur risked a step towards her and asked, "Why does it bother you so much?"

She sighed in frustration. "I don't know. It's just… for some reason, I feel like Uther is talking to me when he talks about sorcerers. And I don't know why."

Arthur paused thoughtfully. "You know, you're not like them. You never will be."

Morgana huffed. "Maybe not. But he's killing innocents, don't you see?"

"Morgana," he warned.

"What will it take for him to stop? Sometimes, I feel like I should teach him a lesson. Make him stop killing."

Arthur held his head. He had to make her see reason. He just had to. What she had been saying was in fact treason. He took a deep breath. "Morgana, their execution is necessary. They pose a threat to the kingdom." He stopped at her icy glare. "Morgana, you need to learn to not care for them. Let them go."

Morgana looked away, and her voice broke. "You know, maybe one day, I will. Maybe one day I'll learn not to care for the lives of innocents."

Arthur stared worriedly at her.

She looked back at him, a questioning but nervous look on her face. "You won't continue your father's path when you become king, will you?"

Arthur almost couldn't answer. He swallowed. "I'll have to, Morgana. I'll have to keep Camelot safe."

Morgana turned away and nodded slowly. "Well, in that case," she walked over to her sword and pulled it out of the ground, "it's a good thing I can beat you." She twirled her sword in the air several times.

Arthur snapped out of his mood. "And why is that?"

"If you insist on being a monster, someone's going to have to make you pay." Then she turned away and a slightly wicked grin crossed her face.

Arthur gave a nervous, short laugh at her joke, shrugging it off. He knew she would never go that far. But during their short walk back to the courtyard, he couldn't help but notice that his legs felt a little heavier and his heart beat a little faster.