Morgana watched from her window as prince and servant clattered into the courtyard. Stable hands came quickly to lead the horses away as the two men strode side by side in the dusk of the sunset towards the castle steps.
How could two men be so different in personality and physicality, yet still be as similar as silver and gold? She wondered.
So many contrasts: prince and peasant, blonde and dark, slim and broad (shouldered)…had it not been for that fateful attack on Arthur and Merlin’s impulsive bravery, it was doubtful that their paths would ever have crossed.
And yet…as she watched, Merlin stopped dead, frantically shaking his head at whatever the prince was saying. Morgana knew that Arthur was rolling his eyes as he turned back, even though she couldn’t actually see it from her window.
They conversed animatedly, Arthur clearly saying ‘Go’ and Merlin just as vehemently saying ‘No’. A consensus was eventually reached though, and they resumed their trek, disappearing into the castle depths.
Morgana sighed and turned away from the window, absently fiddling with her bracelet as she paced. It was strange—she was so used to indulging in quick naps throughout the day to ward off the nightmares at night, that the energy from two nights worth of rest only made her more restless.
She wished that she had gone riding with the others, for all Uther had wanted was to lecture about how she was growing up into a beautiful young lady who had certain duties and obligations to king and Camelot. She assumed this particular lecture was in response to Morgause’s visit and the residue of the witch finder’s betrayal. Uther always hauled her in to berate for some imagined slight and to reconfirm her loyalties after an encounter with some form of magic or sorcery. Although, for some reason he had been just as furious when he had learned that Arthur had left on an overnight hunting trip. Surely the paranoia of his obsession with magic had begun to take over his everyday life, if he was worried about the best warrior in the kingdom going out on his own for a routine excursion.
A soft knock at the door interrupted her musings.
“Who is it?” She called, clutching her dressing gown closed at the throat. She had sent Gwen home early, not wanting company in her pensive mood.
Morgana’s brows shot up, and she strode to the door, opening it just enough to allow him to slip in.
“Gaius asked me to bring you your sleeping draft,” he explained while holding out the bottle, although his eyes kept flickering irresistibly towards her wrist. He could feel the subtle magic emanating from it, and his own magic thrummed under his skin in response.
“Oh! Tell Gaius he needn’t have worried; I’ve slept better these past two nights than I ever did,” she responded carelessly, once again twisting and turning the silver band on her wrist. “I only wish that I could thank Morgause for her gift.”
“Gift?” he repeated.
“She gave me her mother’s healing bracelet. Said it would help me sleep, which it did.” Morgana cocked her head, those green eyes assessing him closely. “I feel as if I know Morgause from somewhere. Has Gaius mentioned anything about her?”
“No. I’m sorry, my lady.” Merlin shook his head, both in response to her question and to clear it from the increasing urge to tear the bracelet from her wrist and bury it far, far away. “However, I do know that he would love to examine your bracelet, to try to figure out how it works and possibly replicate the effects for the future, in the event that you lose it, or…” He trailed off.