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Fic: A Foregone Conclusion (Mo/A) R

Title: A Foregone Conclusion
Rating: Light R
Fandom/Pairing: Merlin: Morgana/Arthur
A/N: Written for ayleecambell for help_pakistan. 2,581 words.

A Foregone Conclusion

It is the summer of her tenth year when her father dies.

Morgana’s mother is visited by every noble family within the kingdom, but the most prestigious and surprising is none other than Queen Igraine, a recent widow herself. The Queen, of course, is tall and regal, with high cheekbones and flawless skin. Morgana is captivated by her beauty, one that rivals her mothers but in opposite ways; the Queen has light blonde hair while Vivian has dark flowing locks. One would be hard-pressed to find more beauty than either of them in the kingdom.

“My child,” Queen Igraine says, crouching down to Morgana’s eye level. “Do not be sad. Your father is at peace now.”

Before this, she understood little of the Druid’s ways. Her father had always been opposed to such things, as had the late King, but now there is a swift turn in the tide. She should be too little to comprehend the enormity of such a change, but Morgana has always been destined to be a catalyst, and even at such a tender age, her eyes see more than they should.

“Morgana,” her mother calls. “Let me introduce you to someone.”

There is a boy behind the Queen, not a year younger than Morgana’s age: he is Arthur Pendragon, the prince and heir apparent to the throne when he reaches his majority. He is slim, with blond hair and light eyes that match his mother’s, and there is an inescapably bored continence to him. He is less than thrilled when his mother pushes him ahead. Morgana steps forward, curtsying into a graceful bow. Arthur returns it, stiff and forced.

“My, look at them,” Igraine says, fondly. “Quite the match.”

Her mother smiles. “Indeed.”

When the women have their backs turned, Arthur makes faces at Morgana.

When Morgana is twelve, she visits Camelot for the first time. The span of the kingdom is no small width, but here, in the heart of the Pendragon reign, Morgana cannot deny the impressiveness of it. The castle looms over her as they approach through the gates, and to Morgana it looks like a mountain made of pillar and stone, and equally as cold.

“Come, child,” her mother says, “Remember to make our best impressions.”

But Morgana’s impressions of the place have already formed. She does not like it here. She wants to go home. They approach through the Great Hall, where the court greets them; first her mother, and then Morgana is paraded forward. The King’s throne would normally sit empty, but Queen Igraine now occupies the space, and the chair immediately left of it is filled with a boy she remembers, none too fondly.

The dinner is mostly uneventful, except for the nuisance Arthur makes of himself. He tugs at her hair frequently when the adults are looking away. Morgana tries to ignore him, but the fifth time, she swears vengeance and lobs a green pea back at his head.

Arthur Pendragon is a prat, and Morgana was never one to suffer fools gladly.

She spends four months there, and quickly from the start, it’s almost a daily occurrence for them to quarrel about something or another. Morgana finds it perversely fun, managing mischief heretofore unheard of, savoring the antics of antagonizing the Once and Future King, simply because she can.

“I’ve never seen anyone act like that with him,” Gwen says, a servant that has befriended Morgana in the months during her stay. “You two are worse than two boys fighting over toys!”

Morgana smiles. “He’s too used to getting his way. He needs to learn not everything will fall into his lap just because of his mother.”

Gwen shakes her head and laughs, setting freshly cut flowers in a vase. “If you say so.”

When they leave Camolet, Arthur certainly isn't one to shed tears.

“Well, goodbye!” he beams. “Try not to trip and fall on your way out of my kingdom.”

“Arthur!” Queen Igraine scolds.

Arthur scowls, muttering against his will, “I mean, I wish you a safe and pleasant journey.”

Morgana gives him a dainty smile as she curtseys, ever the prim and proper lady. She waits until the adults are looking away before she leans over and does the one thing that would upset Arthur more than any name calling or hair tugging or physical roughhousing – she places a soft kiss on his cheek.

“Oh my god! Ewwww!” His face is horrified and outraged, and Morgana just laughs. “Why would you do that? Mother! She kissed me! I have her spit on my face! Oh my god—”

“Arthur, calm down!” His mother scolds again. “Honestly, you’ll have to adapt to this girl kissing you at some point.”

Arthur is too busy scrubbing his cheek with his robes – and Morgana is too busy laughing hysterically – to pay much attention to the words. But, well, it’s a mark of how little children pay attention to the hatchings of adults when they don’t realize the makings of an arranged marriage when there are the first hints of it.

She has her first vision at the age of fourteen.

A billow of smoke, a scattering of leaves; she smells repugnant fragrances and there’s a bitter taste of medicine in her mouth, and then a fire engulfs a building she cannot see.

The next day, the small apothecary down at the end of the village market place goes down in flames.

“Did you see it, child?” her mother asks. “Is this what you dreamt last night?”

She is sent to Avalon, an island beyond the misty mountains of the west. The journey is twice as long as the ones it takes to reach Camelot, and the entire way, Morgana stares out through the drapes of her carriage, watching the scenery of rivers and forests and villages drift past.

“What will I do there, Mother?” she asks.

Vivian smiles. “Learn the ways of your ancestors, Morgana. You will be so happy there, I can tell. So much in you, and so much to learn. Magic is something only a few rare people can do, and you hold such a special gift.”

It is to her shock that Avalon proves to be everything her mother claims; rich and wonderful and elegant and mysterious, Morgana is instantly captured by every scent and sound. She can feel something in her veins, something that thrums through her body like blood – but more powerful.

Her teacher is introduced, a Druid woman wearing a striking red dress with fair skin and rick dark hair woven into elaborate locks. “Such a little thing,” Nimueh marvels, “and such talent. The women of your blood are gifted, indeed.”

“Morgana,” Nimueh calls. “I want you to meet someone. A man whose talents might rival your own. He hails from Astolat.”

She steps forward and finds a boy her age, tall and skinny, light colored eyes. The magic in him thrums though his veins like drums deep in the woods, and Morgana can feel it resonate from across the hall.

“Hello,” she greets, tentatively.

And such an unassuming meeting is how she is destined to greet the greatest sorcery in the history of time: Merlin Emrys.

Two years pass in Avalon, and Morgana finds peace.

It is a strange thing to find at the age of sixteen, when most children are as lost as ever in their search to discover oneself. But Morgana – well, she has always been apart. Her tutelage under Nimueh skips along merrily, and her friendship with Merlin grows stronger by the minute; each new day feels like the discovery of some tiny new morsel of magic, a small twist to a familiar taste, until she feels like there is nothing outside her grasp.

Her mother returns to Cornwall, and the Pendragon kingdom lays claim over territory to the north, expanding and exploring into the Norwegian lands beyond the sea. Queen Igraine makes for a conquering queen the likes of which this land has never seen.

“Have you ever thought about what you’ll do when you leave Avalon?” Merlin asks. “I think I might try seeing Camelot.”

Morgana smiles. “You’d hate it there. The future King is an arrogant git.”

She returns to Camelot a woman, and this catches Arthur’s eye.

It’s almost amusing how quickly he changes his tune when he sees her approaching in a simple and elegant red dress, the material hugging around the curves that were not there years ago when they last met. She wonders if he even remembers who she is, the little girl he so liked to tease – but a few seconds after pleasantries, she cannot help but fall into old patterns no matter how charming he tries to be.

“You know, it’s quite surprising.”

“What is?” he asks.

“How quickly a woman can forget the unadmirable qualities of a man, if he’s handsome enough.”

Arthur smirks, and she can almost see his chest puff out in pride. “Handsome, eh?”

“Yes,” she nods, then looks to one of the knights behind Arthur, who’s flirting with a young maiden. “Sir Urien looks quite dashing tonight, even though he’s rumored to be a tad too flirty.”

Arthur looks over his shoulder, and frowns. “He’s what you’d consider handsome?”

Morgana smiles. “More than most.”

Arthur rolls his eyes. “Well, I suppose there’s no accounting for tastes.”

The first week she’s there, Camelot has a troll on the loose. Morgana volunteers to help hunt the monster down with magic, but the prince seems to think he can handle it on his own, no matter how many times Morgana insists that a mere bludgeoning over the head almost never works on magical creatures.

Arthur scowls. “You should stay here, where it’s safe.”

“I’m coming with you.”

“No! You’re not!”

“Scared I’ll show you up?”

“Mother will slam us both in chains if she knew I’d endangered you.”

Morgana shrugs and looks past him. “Good thing she doesn’t know about it, then.”

“I’m telling you, Morgana, turn back. You could get hurt!”

Morgana glares. “So could you… if you don’t get out of my way.”

Two hours later, he owes her for a dead troll – not that he’ll ever admit it.

At some point, she starts dreaming of Arthur.

The staccato sound of their breathing and the steady rhythm of their fucking ripples through her, tightening her body, and pleasure starts to mount again as she loses herself to the sensation of him buried deep inside of her. It continues for a mindless time until one of his hands grips her hips and tilts her pelvis aside, a different angle, and the shift in position shatters her control completely. It forces her release to rip through her like something possessed.

When she awakes, she’s never sure if the dreams are a vision or just her overactive imagination.

She’s not sure which one she wants it to be.

In winter, hijinks ensue when a decrepit blind witch puts a curse on the Pendragon castle that forces all men to break out into fits of song and dance at odd intervals. Sometime after Arthur serenades Morgana – completely against his will – with verse after verse on her virtues, Morgana is fairly convinced he likes her.

“I do not!” he protests later, looking so red in the face she wonders if there’s any blood left in the rest of his body. “It was a spell, Morgana. I had no control over my actions!”

“And yet, you seemed to find a great number of rhyming words to go on about my feistiness and beauty.”

Although not all of them were charming. There was that one line that remarked both upon ‘her beauty being one of kind, especially that of her round behind.’

But Morgana chooses not to focus on that.

“Admit it, Arthur Pendragon,” she teases. “You like me.”

Little did she know their union was a foregone conclusion.

Later, she feels a touch of embarrassment for it, but Morgana is the one that breaks.

She does not know when she gives the command but her legs propel her across the room towards Arthur. They’re fighting – they’re always fighting – but one second she is yelling and the next, she is grabbing a fistful of his thick hair to drag his mouth to hers.

At some point, he pushes her backwards, frantically and quickly, and Morgana is driven across the room until the back of her knees hit the edge of the bed. She falls backwards, body splayed across the bed, and Arthur is on top of her almost immediately, crawling his way up to capture her lips in another brutal kiss that threatens her sanity. His hand feels deliciously warm as he lifts the skirt of her dress higher, a palm blazing up her thigh. When he begins to undue the strings that criss-cross over the front of her dress, Morgana breathes his name and begins removing his clothes in return.

Afterwards, Arthur says, “This is perhaps the first idea of yours that was bloody genius.”

It becomes a thing in the dark between them. At night Morgana comes to his room (he never dares to come to hers), and before the morning she is gone. She’s just as adept at slipping out as she is at slipping in, or so she thought, a notion that is rudely awakened one day when the Queen catches her in the morning in his bed.

“Did you think this could go on forever?” The Queen asks, quite calmly. She tosses Arthur his shirt. “It does not have to be so illicit, this thing between you two.”

Morgana can barely speak, except for four words. “What do you propose?”

“Exactly that,” Igraine returns. “A proposal.”

Merlin visits when she is two months away from marrying Arthur.

“How do you like it here?” he asks.

She smiles, coyly, but it would not fool Merlin. “There are certain charms.”

“Yes,” he remarks wryly, “I imagine being the future Queen has its privileges.”

“Will you stay?” she asks later of him, rather desperately. “Oh, Merlin, you would love it here! You could be the Wizard of Camelot. Your name would be renowned.”

He grins. “I don’t know. Your future husband is a bit of a prat. I don’t think he likes me much.”

“That’s just a front,” she dismisses. “You’ll be the best of friends in no time.”

He snorts. “Highly doubtful, that.”

A week before the wedding, she insists on a picnic. Arthur and Merlin join her, as does the servant girl and ever-closer friend Gwen, but as Morgana sits on the grassland and picks at her berries, she is overcome with a strange sensation – a sense of déjà vu – of how things past could have been very, very different. She catches the people around her in a different light, hypnotized by the sensation. Morgana’s father had a saying: There but for the Grace of God. There will be many versions of their tale to tell. None of them, truth be told, will be completely accurate. Some, Morgana knows, will be outright lies. Others, more hopeful, some damning.

She does not know yet what this one will be, but for now, it is filled with a promise of a greater future.

“Do you, Arthur Pendragon, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

Morgana smiles at him when he says, “I do.”



Oh! I loved this. Not many Arthur/Morgana fics out there these days, let alone happy ones so I had a huge smile when I saw this. Especially since I've loved the other stories you've written.

Thank you! &hearts

(by the way, I hope you don't mind that I've friended you)

Edited at 2010-11-13 03:23 am (UTC)
Friended back! (Though I must warn you that I'm horrible about being on LJ these days.)

And, yep, the prompt basically required a happy story. Which was, like, reaaaallly difficult for me to write, esp. with this couple. Glad you like it!
I loved this! Their meeting as kids and Arthur's reaction to Morgana kissing him was so hilarious XD
I love the idea of a happy AU for them. Really interesting idea, I like your take on this and their relationship. The push and pull, the give and take, it's still very them.
yay, it's so great to read an Arthur/Morgana story that has a happy ending :) awesome stuff x
Lovely, just lovely. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you!
No better way to start a saturday morning!!! Love it :) Thanks for writing xxx
Thank you!


This was beautiful. Your language and the imagery and just... it's so poetic, almost. Your choice of words and the richness of it all and just... everything. Fantastic. Guh.
Glad you liked it! Thanks!
awwwwwwwww this was superb!!
I am usually a merlin/arthur fan, but I have always always wish for AU fics, where morgana and arthur would be happy together, and are all friends with merlin and gwen!!
you had this sooooooo perfect!!
made my sunday!!!
thank you!
Sorry for the late reply, but I'm glad you liked and thanks for the lovely review!
Sorry for the late reply, but I'm glad you liked and thanks for the lovely review!
ASDKFJ!!!1!! WHERE IS THIS AWESOMENESS IN CANON?! This was a nice refreshing take on the Kingdom of Doom. Thanks!
Sorry for the late reply, but I'm glad you liked and thanks for the lovely review!
This is amazing, and might have made me sniffle rather a lot in that second last part. God. Happy ArMor stories, so few, so precious.
Sorry for the late reply, but I'm glad you liked and thanks for the lovely review!
*g* Thank you so much for the kind words!
♥ I love this fic. So cute. And the banter they cannot stop, no matter how many years pass. ♥
Thank you!
This is lovely. Haven't watched the show since S1, but these two were always my favorite. I love your version of their story.

I love an Arthur whose mother is still alive. I love the transition from them as teasing kids to lovers.

One of my favorite lines: Afterwards, Arthur says, “This is perhaps the first idea of yours that was bloody genius.”

Hah! Wonderful fic. Thanks for sharing!
Sorry for the late reply, but thank you for the lovely review!
Wonderful story! I know you wrote it a while back but i just found it. It was so cute and i loved the idea of how differently it would have been if the mothers were the ones to live. I especially loved the ending bit about multiple versions.
I LOVE this story! Their moms being alive and directing their future with a match. The gradual innocence of their relationship from squabbling kids to married couple. What a wonderful idea. Nicely done! :)