Spoilers: Upto 1x01
Summary: Morgana is trouble and Arthur thinks he knows why – past fic, with Arthur and Morgana as kids.
A/N: For rei17, prompt “Morgana/Arthur - emphasising their sibling-relationship ”. Thanks to sache8 for betareading.
It's Morgana's first winter in the castle and suddenly she was not doing as well as anyone had thought – she drove the servants crazy exploring the little-known areas, was forever getting lost for hours on end (Arthur thought this entirely intentional, though the adults never said as much) and broke about every rule she could as often as she could. If they'd punished her with the cane for every wrong she did she'd be practically dead, but they'd yet to try that with her; sympathy hadn't quite worn thin yet and it made Arthur jealous because they had never spared him the pain. No other less-damaging punishment made a dent in her resolve, everyone – everyone else that was – was baffled.
It was true she came from colder regions and was used to being cooped up for longer than you needed to be in Camelot, but Arthur knew she'd been spoilt by the long summer and the freedom they'd given her as much as by the kindness they tried to show her no matter what she did. He had wondered what they'd do if they knew she snuck into his chambers at night when his guard was asleep - as often happened - Arthur hadn't reported it, as he liked to make use of that flaw himself on occasion that he felt like escaping for a few hours.
Morgana sat in his window, ignoring the chill. The moon lit up her figure, made her look like a ghost, which was silly because she was alive. He wasn't sure it wasn't the right term though, because he wasn't sure he'd feel right if his father died like hers had and that was probably what bothered her, that she had a new father, who told her what was right when nothing could be.
“You could come in here, you know.”
He offered his bed – not that he was getting out of it - every time she visited, because it was the sort of offer he should make as a gentleman. He'd always been told his age was no excuse for bad manners, and of course that was the very opposite of the logic they applied to her, the exact type of behaviour that secretly enraged him. It didn't stop him offering though, to not do so would let up more than he wanted to show.
“I suppose I shall, since you offer,” she replied, more haughtily than he thought anyone should be when accepting a kindness.
That surprised him. She usually refused. He wasn't sure if it was because the chill at the window grew worse with the winter or if her pride was finally wearing down. She sprinted across the stones, kicking off her slippers before jumping in between the sheets.
“Argh! Your toes are freezing.”
“Shh! You'll wake the guard,” said the girl responsibly for almost making him scream. There was no reason for her to warm herself up on him, he was already sharing his blankets as it was.
“That's not my problem, I'm in my bed.”
“Do you really think they won't punish you? You did offer to let me in,” she looked at him, practically daring him to make a fuss and test their theories.
“Yes, yes, all right and don't worry he won't wake up. He never does. I'd probably be the only one punished anyway.”
“What do you mean?” she asked, defensive again. She had the audacity to feign innocence and he found he couldn't be bothered to play nice.
“As if you haven't noticed. They've been soft on you since you arrived. Have you even stopped to think they've never struck you, despite the fact it happens to me at least once a week.”
“I'm not like you,” she replied quietly yet defiantly.
“No, you're a girl,” he was exasperated and starting to get on a roll with all the repressed emotions blurting out. “A girl - with a dead father. Who they'll mollycoddle into her own dishonour -”
“You have a dead mother.”
“Exactly, and they never treat me differently.”
There's a second or two between the end of his rant where he feels he finally hit the point and might regret it, and her ever-so-soft reply as she shifts and turns over to face the window.
“Are you sure? Maybe it's just another type of different.”
Then they are both silent, lying in the moonlight, wondering what if tragedy had never struck. He realises they have something in common, something so simple, and it's not just that they live in the same place – he reaches out, takes Morgana's hand and they fall asleep willing to keep each others secrets.