AN: Mercy, my first fanfiction! I apologize in advance for any OOC-ness. Like I said, it's my first.
Arthur was used to the whispers, the sympathies of others. He could hear them now: "Poor boy, the Queen died during his birth. Only saw her alive for mere moments. Never knew his own mother, and his father was always distant after Ygraine's death."
He heard them when he should have been training, or when he was supposed to be studying. When he was younger, it had bothered him. Arthur knew he didn't have a mother, and their gossip didn't soften the blow. And the whispers hadn't ceased, even though he was much older, well past his mother's death. If he grew angry with a servant, if he was harsh or rude, the whispers started up again. "He can't be blamed for it, he never had a mother." He hated how his mother had become an excuse.
Merlin's heard the insult ever since he was a boy. He remembered running around the forest, climbing trees, when a pack of older boys came through. They taunted him.
"You're that little bastard, aren't you? Your mother's the biggest whore I've ever seen, and your father wised up to it. That's why he left you! He didn't want you! You shouldn't have been born!"
Merlin defended his mother, defended his father, defended himself, but it was no use. The flow of insults only stopped when it grew dark and the boys grew bored. He never told his mother of that incident. Why worry her? He dealt with the abuse until he left for Camelot.
They were two sides of the same coin in more ways than one.
AN: Please tell me what you thought. Constructive criticism is welcome and much appreciated. :)