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The Kingdom's Rich Tapestry

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My contribution to our first drabble challenge: "An Interesting Use for a Scarf"

Category: Slash (Canon AU)
Characters/Pairings: Merlin/Arthur
Rating/Warnings: M
Word Count: 280

"Merlin," Arthur growled impatiently, pushing aside the folds of blue fabric as he leaned forward to nuzzle the other man's neck. "Must you always wear these ridiculous things?"

"What do you care?" Merlin responded, attempting to sound nonchalant as Arthur's warm breath tickled his sensitive skin. "I like them."

Arthur trailed his lips higher to nibble at a soft earlobe, giving a small, satisfied smile as he felt the other man shiver with pleasure.

"Yes, well," he whispered in a husky voice. "They make you look like an idiot... well, even more than you usually do."

Merlin suddenly pulled out of his arms, stepping back to study his face with an enigmatic sparkle in his deep blue eyes.

"Don't tell me you're offended," he said with a scoff. "Weren't you telling me just last week that my new red coat made me look like a..."

"Turn around," Merlin interrupted softly.

He raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Merlin, how many times do I have to tell you that I'm the one who gives the orders around here?"

"Turn around."

Giving a resigned sigh, he presented his back. "Now what? Really, Merlin, if you're..."

Arthur's voice trailed off as he felt Merlin press firmly against him from behind, groaning low in his throat at the enticing hardness that nudged insistently at his backside through the fabric of his trousers.

Long, graceful fingers reached around to wrap a length of blue fabric around his eyes as hot breath tickled his ear.

"If you don't like the way I look," his servant whispered seductively. "Then you don't have to look at all."

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My contribution to our second drabble challenge: "A Different Perspective"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Elyan
Rating/Warnings: K
Word Count: 300
Author's Note: Set at the end of episode 4x09. Elyan reacts to his sister's banishment.

Elyan stood atop the battlements, staring sadly down at the tiny figure of his sister as she passed through the gates of the city and into the unknown world beyond.

Oh, Gwen, let me come with you, his mind cried in silent anguish. Let me keep you safe, as I did when we were children.

It had been so easy when they were small. A scraped knee could be fixed with a bandage and a kiss on her dirty, tear stained little face. He could chase away a bad dream just by tickling her between her toes until she howled with laughter, forgetting all about the monsters that had haunted her sleep.

It was not so simple now.

I destroyed that trust, he reminded himself. I was young and thoughtless, leaving her behind when she needed me the most.

Elyan had seen the love and pride in Gwen's eyes as she'd watched him from afar... silently cheering him on as he'd transformed himself from a selfish young man into a worthy Knight of Camelot, determined to make amends for his past mistakes by devoting himself completely to the kingdom he served.

But the closeness they'd once had was gone. Gwen had turned to others when she no longer had himself to rely upon, transferring her faith to people like Arthur and Merlin. She'd learned to confide in people who'd never betrayed her trust like he had.

People like Lancelot, perhaps? Elyan didn't know anything about the relationship that had led to her tragic banishment. The secrets of his sister's heart had been closed to him in the years since his return.

All he could do was watch from afar, a confused jumble of fear, love and, regret hidden behind a stoic face.

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My contribution to our third drabble challenge: "The Chains That Bind Us"

Category: Het (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Arthur/Gwen
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 300
Author's Note: Set during episode 2x02 "The Once and Future Queen."

What would it be like to live this way? Arthur wondered as he layon the narrow bed in Guinevere's tiny home.

letting out a weary sigh, he shifted onto his back, trying in vain to find a comfortable position on the hard mattress. The ceiling was cracked in places, showing the same wear and tear he'd seen all over the house. Arthur had noticed it everywhere, from the slightly chipped dishes at dinner to the blanket that covered him now, beginning to fray at the corners.

And yet the home was neat and well cared for, scented pleasantly with the fragrance of clean laundry and fresh baked bread. His bedding smelled of sunshine and flowers, an aroma that was very much like the subtle scent of Gwen herself as she'd leaned over him at dinner to fill his cup with cider.

... that same moment his gaze had lingered on the gentle curve of her neck, noticing the softness of her skin for the first time.

A life here might come without large, soft beds, fancy clothes, and grand feasts... but it would come without a looming destiny or the constant obligation to live up to standards that seemed so overbearing they threatened to smother him at times.

What would it be like for a man to live this way? he wondered again. A simple life, where all he has to do is work hard and come home to a hot meal and a welcoming smile every night?

He smiled as he heard Gwen sigh softly in her sleep from the other side of the wall.

It might not be so bad, he decided, letting out a contented yawn just before he closed his eyes and joined her in the land of dreams.

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My contribution to our fourth drabble challenge: "The Young Pendragon"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Arthur, Agravaine, Uther
Rating/Warnings: K
Word Count: 278
Author's Note: "I've known my uncle since I was a child. I refuse to believe that he would ever betray Camelot!" - King Arthur (Series 4 Episode 11 "The Hunter's Heart")

"Lord Agravaine... allow me to present Prince Arthur, my son and heir," King Uther announced with a great deal of pride in his resonant voice.

Agravaine watched dispassionately as the tiny princeling toddled forward on wobbly legs to greet him. He didn't feel even a hint of warmth as the little boy tilted his head back to look up at him with guileless blue eyes... fixing him with an inquisitive stare that bore no resemblance to his mother's soft brown gaze.

The child gave him an appealing smile as he tried to emulate a respectful bow. Instead, he lost his balance and toppled over, letting out a squeak of surprise as he found himself sprawled on the ground at his uncle's feet.

No true child of Ygraine's would ever be so clumsy, Agravaine thought resentfully. My sister possessed a natural grace in everything she said and did.

A heart that had been turned to stone by grief and hatred was unable to see the sweetness in that little face, an open, trusting vulnerability that uncannily resembled traits that had once belonged to his mother. The bitter man never noticed Ygraine's determination or her quiet courage in the way the toddler struggled to his feet without shedding a single tear over his scraped hands and knees.

All Agravaine knew was that Ygraine was lost to him forever, and that this drooling miniature of Uther standing before him had been the cause of her tragic demise.

Some things could never be forgiven... not even when the innocent young princeling slipped a tiny hand into his own and called him "uncle" for the first time.

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My contribution to our fifth drabble challenge: "Resurrection"

Category: Het (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Uther/Catrina the Troll
Rating/Warnings: M for sexuality
Word Count: 300
Author's Note: This isn't explicit, but references to troll sex strike me as mature subject matter nonetheless.
Dedicated to Ryne, with thanks for the (unintentional) inspiration.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," Lady Catrina had said, just before Uther had swept her into his arms and laid her gently on the bed.

The king tossed and turned, muttering fretfully in his sleep as the memories haunted him... the same nightmare that had tormented him throughout the weeks since his son Arthur had slain the vile creature.

"And I shall behold it," he heard himself declare passionately.

Remembering how overwhelmed he'd been by his lustful desires, Uther saw himself rip Catrina's wedding gown from bodice to thigh. He couldn't forget how tenderly he'd run his trembling hands over her sweet, rose tipped breasts, nor the way he'd marveled over the silky softness of her skin.

The only reality he'd known that night was the blissful experience of making love to a beautiful woman. If only his memories could end right there.

Unfortunately, the dream always shifted, exposing the truth he'd remembered all too well once the powerful enchantment had faded.

The truth was, the King of Camelot had made love to a troll.

Uther made a noise of repulsion deep in his throat as a woman's soft, fragrant skin transformed into a stinking, filthy hide, covered with warts and coarse black hair. He muttered a curse of denial as he saw his mouth curve into a smile of pleasure as it descended upon a grotesquely misshapen lump that must have been the troll's breast.

And then...

"No!" Uther shouted in horrified disgust as he bolted upright and struggled to control his panicked breathing. "No…"

"S-sire?" a serving boy said as he tentatively pushed the chamber door open. "Are you unwell?"

"Fetch me another hot bath!" he snapped impatiently. "And soap... lots of soap!"

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My contribution to our sixth drabble challenge: "What Might Have Been"

Category: Gen (Canon AU)
Characters/Pairings: Merlin, Morgana
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 295
Author's Note: Set during episode 2x03. Merlin decides to trust his own judgment and tell Morgana the truth about her magic.

"Then you believe me?" Morgana said in a shaky voice, staring at him with innocent blue eyes full of tears and desperate hope. "You think it's magic, too. Please, Merlin, I just need to hear someone say it..."

Yes, that's exactly what you need to hear, he mused sadly as he studied the bewildered face of his friend. You need to know that you have a gift. You need to understand that you're not evil or cursed, or any of the things you must be starting to believe about yourself. Most of all, you need to know you're not alone.

Instead of speaking the words, however, he could only rail in frustration at Gaius for commanding his silence.

He doesn't know what he's asking. How can I condemn an innocent person, a friend, to suffer alone... when I could do so much to help her?

"I really wish there was something I could say," he said regretfully.

The awful look of betrayal on Morgana's face was like some terrible premonition of the consequences of so much secrecy, suffering, and shame. Merlin saw flashes of a life of tragic isolation, years of pain he could easily prevent with nothing more than a few well chosen words.

Don't you see, Gaius? I have to tell her. I'll be betraying everything I am if I punish her through my silence. I'm sorry, but this is the way it has to be. Otherwise, I couldn't live with myself.

"Morgana, wait!" he cried aloud.

When she didn't stop, he took a deep breath and boldly uttered a spell that caused the door to slam shut and prevent her escape.

Morgana slowly turned and looked at him in amazement.

Amazement... and hope.

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My contribution to our seventh drabble challenge: "A Random Episode"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Gwaine, Merlin
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 262
Author's Note: This is based on Episode 3x08 "The Eye of the Phoenix"

"You can't keep living like that."

Merlin's sobering words stayed with Gwaine long after he'd parted ways with his companions, echoing in his mind as he passed through the vast, silent forest that lay between himself and his destination.

Right you are, my friend, he mused to himself with a wry smile. But what other choice do I have?

Gwaine had been plagued by such thoughts for months, melancholy notions that had never occurred to him before he'd met Merlin. Sentimental fool or not, he'd found it impossible to forget the time he'd spent in Camelot. He couldn't help missing those unusually pleasant days of friendship and camaraderie he'd enjoyed before that vile boar's ass of a king had banished him.

Those feelings had returned with a vengeance when Merlin had sought out his help, giving him another chance to feel a sense of purpose he'd never realized he desperately needed... not until he'd discovered it in the only true friend he'd ever known.

Truthfully, he already missed that friend more than he cared to admit to himself, but that didn't change anything. Not for now, but maybe someday…

As a shoddy building came into view in the distance, Gwaine put his wistful thoughts aside and affected a careless grin. The pretty face of a barmaid greeted him as he walked through the door, and before he could even sit down, there was a frosty tankard of ale in his hand.

He tipped his head back and drank deeply, then gave her a roguish smile.

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My contribution to our eighth drabble challenge: "The Finer Details"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Sir Percival
Rating/Warnings: K
Word Count: 297

Percival cast a surreptitious look around the dark, empty street before knocking softly on Gwen's door.

"Good evening, Percival!" she greeted him with a lovely smile, not bothering to lower her voice. "Have you come for...?"

"Shhh," he whispered nervously, cringing at the bright light that flooded from the room behind her. "May I come inside?"

She looked a little abashed. "Of course, forgive me."

The door swung wide to admit Percival's unusually large frame, and of course, it had to creak so loudly it could've woken the dead in the process. He muttered fretfully under his breath, convinced that everyone in Camelot would know exactly what he was up to by the time the night was over.

"Here you go!" Gwen said brightly, handing him a covered basket. "Feel free to ask for more when you need it."

"Thank you," he responded a little uncomfortably. "You won't tell anyone that...?"

She shook her head with an indulgent grin. "Not if you don't want me to. But I really don't see why it's anything to be embarrassed about."

No, it's nothing shameful, Percival thought as he walked back toward the palace a few minutes later. But if the other knights ever found out, I'd never hear the end of it.

He reached his destination, letting himself into his chamber with a sigh of relief. There was always the risk of discovery, but at least his secret was safe for the time being. He slid the bolt firmly into place, then rummaged through the contents of the basket Gwen had given him, running his fingers over scraps of silk, velvet, and lace.

And with a smile of happy anticipation, Percival sat down to sew himself another decorative pillow.

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My contribution to our ninth drabble challenge: "Sunshine and Rainbows"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Hunith, Merlin
Rating/Warnings: K
Word Count: 300

The baby toddled forward on wobbly legs, letting out a happy gurgle as he showed his mother the object that was clutched tightly in his little fist.

She knelt beside him, smiling as she tenderly ran her fingers through his soft black curls. "That's called a rock, Merlin. Can you say rock?"

"Rock," he piped up in a high, clear voice. "Rock!"

The young mother clapped her hands, grinning in delight. "See, Alice? My boy's a genius."

"He's learning to talk. That's what babies are supposed to do, Hunith," the woman beside her pointed out, seeming unimpressed.

"Yes, but not like my Merlin," Hunith informed her confidently. "Barely a year old and he can already speak a dozen words. Can you name another child his age who can do that? No, my baby's special. He'll accomplish great things someday, I just know it."

"Hunith, all mothers think that about their offspring," Alice said with a patronizing smile, aware that logic could never touch maternal pride. "It doesn't mean..."

"Merlin?" Hunith interrupted in a panicked voice, casting her eyes frantically at the empty space beside her. "Merlin!"

In response, there was a peal of childish laughter that allowed her heart to resume beating, even as she rose to her feet and rushed inside the nearby barn.

She found the baby seated comfortably on a pile of hay, grinning mischievously as he touched his fingers to an object lying beside him.

"This is a shovel, Mother," he announced with twinkling blue eyes. "Can you say shovel?"

Hunith burst out laughing, shooting Alice a satisfied look as the other woman stared down at the infant in shocked disbelief.

"As I said," she murmured in a loving voice. "My Merlin is special."

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My contribution to our tenth drabble challenge: "Wish Fulfillment"

Category: Het (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Gwaine/Mithian
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 300

Princess Mithian sat regally at the banquet, nibbling daintily on a strawberry tart as she exchanged pleasantries with Queen Guinevere and King Arthur.

As soon as there was lull in conversation, however, her eyes drifted, immediately settling on Sir Gwaine.

He was seated nearby, laughing uproariously at Sir Percival as the other knight clumsily attempted to wipe spilled sauce off his cloak. Despite herself, Mithian envied their boisterous fun. She desperately wanted to join them, forgetting all about tedious state matters, courtesy and proper protocol.

Had Gwaine had been so handsome the last time she'd visited? If so, how had she not noticed? Such warm eyes and that smile...

"Pardon me," the voice said softly, and at first it didn't register that Guinevere was speaking to her. "Mithian?"

"I'm sorry, your highness!" she hastily responded. "I didn't hear you."

Guinevere smiled. "It's quite all right. Arthur and I are about to retire. Shall we see you to your chambers?"

Mithian felt a surge of excitement, seeing the path to her escape. "Thank you, but I'd like to stay down here a while longer, if that's all right?"

"Of course," the queen said warmly. "One of the knights can escort you upstairs when you're ready."

As soon as the king and queen departed, Mithian sauntered over to the knight's table. "Good evening. May I join you?"

The knights scrambled all over themselves to extend the proper courtesies, an amusing feat in their intoxicated condition.

"Shall I send for watered wine?" Gwaine asked respectfully.

Mithian smiled and took the flagon of strong ale from his hands. She drank deeply, then handed it back with a grin and a satisfied belch.

And that was all it took. Sir Gwaine was in love.

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My contribution to our 11th drabble challenge: "A Beautiful Character"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Merlin, Lancelot
Rating/Warnings: K
Word Count: 272
Author's Note: Lancelot has been my favorite character since the end of Series 4, but Merlin is the overall reason why I've loved this show from Series 1. This is a tribute to them both, and the beautiful friendship they share.

"You know, Merlin, you're the one Arthur should knight. You're the bravest of us all and he doesn't even know it."

Lancelot's words had been filled with respect and sincerity, finding their way into a place that had lain hollow inside Merlin's heart for as long as he could remember. They'd wrapped around him like a heavy fur on a frigid winter night, evoking feelings of warmth, comfort and security.

Under the circumstances, it was strange to feel so deeply reassured, but as Merlin listened to his friend's slow, even breathing in the darkness, he could no longer find it in himself to be afraid. It ceased to matter that they were just a few short hours away from facing an immortal army, with only the smallest hope of survival. No, all other emotion seemed insignificant compared with the recognition he'd seen in Lancelot's gentle brown eyes.

I might die tomorrow, he thought to himself. But if I do, it'll be beside a friend who understood who I really was inside and still loved me despite all my flaws. I'll die knowing there was one person who knew the truth behind my secrets, saw through all my defenses, and never thought any less of me for the things I kept hidden from the world. I'll know I had a friend with a generous heart, who always recognized the value in others, even if he was far too humble to see it in himself.

Merlin closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep, never knowing that the man lying beside him was thinking something quite similar in that moment.

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My contribution to our 12th drabble challenge: "The Loveliest Couple"

Category: Het (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Lancelot/Guinevere
Rating/Warnings: K
Word Count: 279
Author's Note: I decided to try something a little different with this challenge. The result is 20 "stanzas" of haiku, composed in tribute to the beautiful and tragic love story between Lancelot and Guinevere.
Special thanks to Ryne, for actually believing I could pull this off.

She smiled so sweetly
As she introduced herself
And his heart was hers

He said "my lady"
Though she was just a servant
And she adored him

From that first moment
Destiny gently whispered
Of love meant to be

She saw loyalty
And honor in deep brown eyes
Faithfulness so pure

He sensed the beauty
Within a truly kind heart
And felt her goodness

The deep bond between
Lancelot and Guinevere
seemed unbreakable

Lost through circumstance
And tested by solitude
Their hearts remained true

Reunited by chance
Passion burned ever brightly
Her love gave him faith

Then one hundred times
He pledged he would die for her
If she'd live for him

With a kiss she swore
her feelings would never fade
Then she was running

He fought for her life
Desperate in his devotion
But to no avail

Hands clutching tightly
Bound together in despair
They waited for death

Then a prince appeared
Helping them flee to safety
Blue eyes filled with hope

Upon Guinevere
His eyes fell with tenderness
And a choice was made

Lancelot gave up
He would not come between them
Though it broke his heart

He chose to walk away
In hopes of a better life
She'd never asked for

So sure that Arthur
Was a better man than him
He never saw the truth

In the darkest hour
He gave up his life for love
The ultimate gift

He sacrificed all
Wishing only happiness
For his Guinevere

But what might have been
If she'd h been allowed to choose
We may never know

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My contribution to our 13th drabble challenge: "Ink upon Parchment"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Merlin, Arthur, Mary (barmaid from 3x04)
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 293

To the handsome fellow in the red neckerchief,

I know it's been more than a year, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about you since the day you came into my tavern. Unable to resist any longer, I decided to send you a letter just a week ago, and could hardly believe it when Prince Arthur himself responded!

First, he honors me by patronizing my fine establishment. Then he proves himself to be a mighty, fearless warrior by single-handedly defeating all those horrible bandits who meant to rob a poor woman like myself!

And as if that weren't enough to prove that he's truly a man without equal, he offers to help make my greatest fantasy come true!

Well, my third greatest fantasy. After all, I can't exactly have him or that fine dark haired fellow with the saucy grin, can I? Bet he knows how to pleasure a woman until her toes curl!

Anyway, enough of that. Let's talk about us.

I could hardly believe it when Prince Arthur told me you'd fallen desperately in love with me, and how much you longed to see me again. I nearly spilled an entire tray of drinks when he informed me that he would graciously relieve you of your duties so that we might be together. Now that the shock has worn off though, I am beside myself with joy!

The prince tells me you'll be beginning your journey tomorrow. I look forward to holding you in my arms, my love, and kissing those sweet, sweet lips.

Your future wife,

Dear Arthur,

This isn't funny anymore.


PS - Did Gwaine help you write this one, too?

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My contribution to our 14th drabble challenge: "The Voices Unheard"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Unidentified
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 300 (100 for each)
Author's Note: This drabble response was inspired by the song "Three Queens" by Heather Dale, which is based on the significant roles women play in every stage of the lives of men. I chose three minor characters to represent "Maiden, Mother and Crone."

~ Maiden ~

Her eyes were as bright as the fresh morning dew, positively shining with eagerness as they fell upon the handsome young prince. How noble he was, so fine and strong as he faced his opponent on the tournament grounds. She studied the slight pout of his lower lip, cheeks turning scarlet with pleasure as she remembered the intoxicating sensation of his mouth covering hers only the night before.

Seeming oblivious to the cheering crowd, he caught her eye and gave her a warm, tender smile that spoke of their shared infatuation.

And in that moment, she loved him.


~ Mother ~


Her eyes were dull with pain as she wearily struggled through the final stages of a long and difficult labor.

It wasn't thought of the unborn child that made her so determined to bring him into the world before relinquishing her grip on life. No, she could only think about the man who'd fathered him, consumed by the need to fulfill her promise to bear him a son.

But when the infant finally slipped from her body, she gently whispered his name before closing her eyes for a final time.

And in that moment, she loved him.

~ Crone ~

Her eyes held a sad, ageless wisdom, having borne witness to the demise of countless unknown souls throughout the eons.

Some went willingly – weary old men who no longer felt any purpose in the land of mortals. Others came to her with piteous screams, not ready to surrender their fragile human existence to the darkness beyond.

But none had been quite like the handsome young man in the prime of his life, who smiled and extended his arms for her embrace as he walked into her gaping black chasm.

And in that moment, she loved him.

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My contribution to our 15th drabble challenge: "The Meaning in a Kiss"

Category: Het (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Cenred/Morgause
Rating/Warnings: M
Word Count: 270

Morgause had always taken special pride in the fact that no man on earth could hope to control her. She had the gift of magic, it was true, and her powers were formidable enough to hold most threats at bay. But more than that, she'd been born with a force of spirit that had never understood the meaning of submitting to another person's will.

And yet everything had changed when she'd made her alliance with Cenred.

It had never happened during their heated debates, nor when he'd been unwilling to go along with her plans for one reason or another. Morgause had always fearlessly pressed her point, and without fail, he'd submitted to her wishes.

But there had been one place that Cenred, unlike any man before or since, had found the power to dominate her utterly. During those warm, smoky nights alone in his chamber, she'd lost herself in his arms, despite all of her valiant attempts to maintain control. Just one demanding kiss from his intoxicating lips, and she'd been his slave to command,, naked and writhing, pleading like a condemned man on his way to the gallows for the pleasure that only he could give.

And that's why he'd had to die.

It wasn't because he'd questioned her authority, nor due to his general lack of usefulness after she'd gained the army she'd wanted. That might have been what she'd told her sister, but it wasn't the truth.

No, the real reason behind Cenred's untimely death was that Morgause had refused to allow a single kiss to be her undoing.

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My contribution to our 16th drabble challenge: "Magic Goes Awry"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Freya
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 300

"Bind me tighter, Mother!" Freya gasped, trembling in pain as the rough cords bit into her delicate wrists.

The older woman's gentle brown eyes filled with tears. "No," she protested vehemently. "I cannot do this to my own child!"

"You must! This is the only way to stop me from..." Freya couldn't say it aloud.

Killing you.

"You'd never harm your own family," her mother whispered soothingly, reaching out to gently stroke her forehead. "I don't care what curse that witch thinks she put on you. It isn't real."

Freya cringed away from macabre images of bloodied bodies, shuddering as she remembered the terrified screams that had come to her beastly ears as a sweetly beckoning call that had been too powerful to resist. When the madness had taken her, all traces of humanity had simply melted away in the face of savage hunger.

If only she could cling to the faith in her mother's eyes, a trust that remained unsullied by the knowledge of the terrible night of violence she'd been too ashamed to reveal. How wonderful it would be to believe that a comforting touch would make it fade away, as if it had been nothing more than a nightmare.

But night was swiftly deepening, and the restless energy began to pulse through the young girl's veins like an approaching thunderstorm.

"I'm sure you're right, Mother." she murmured quietly. "Release me?"

"Sleep well, Freya," the older woman whispered, untying the ropes as she placed a gentle kiss upon her daughter's soft cheek.

"Goodnight," Freya responded for the final time.

An hour later, she silently made her way outside, hoping to put enough distance between herself and her beloved family before it was far too late.

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My contribution to our 17th drabble challenge: "A Score to Settle"

Category: Het (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Arthur/Gwen
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 300
Author's Note: Episode 4x13. Gwen meekly accepts Arthur's forgiveness.

A faint breeze caressed Gwen's face as she sat at the window, gazing down at the slumbering city in melancholy silence.

She was to marry Arthur in the morning, and soon thereafter, would be proclaimed queen of the vast, rich kingdom that lay before her. It would be the triumphant culmination of all her years of lingering in uncertainty, hardly daring to dream that such a thing was possible for a girl who'd been born as nothing more than a humble peasant.

Was that the reason she'd held her tongue when he'd forgiven her? Had simple gratitude silenced the voice she'd once possessed, not allowing her to vent her anger at being banished in the first place?

Somewhere inside, it still simmered, the insidious reminder that he'd treated her not as a man dealing with an unfaithful lover, but as a king stripping his subject of everything she'd had in order to soothe his own hurt pride. It frightened her… not that Arthur had the power to do it, but that he'd chosen to rely on his own authority in their relationship rather than treating her as an equal.

It didn't matter; Gwen's shame wasn't based on the betrayal she'd committed against him, but in the promise she'd broken to herself. When she'd chosen to be with Arthur, she'd sworn on her soul that whatever lingering emotions she still felt for Lancelot would remain buried deep in her heart, where they could never hurt the man who deserved to be her only choice.

She'd broken that vow, and for that, no punishment had seemed too harsh in response. Without feeling as if she even deserved Arthur's forgiveness, she could never allow herself to admit that it should have been coupled with an apology.

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My contribution to our 18th drabble challenge: "Seven Deadly Sins"

Category: Het (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Lancelot/Gwen/Arthur
Rating/Warnings: K+
Word Count: 296
Author's Note: Wrath/Lust/Envy. Set during Episode 3x13, Lancelot burns for the kisses that once belonged to him.

Arthur bent down and kissed Gwen... his Gwen, and unbidden, fury boiled up inside of Lancelot like a tidal wave.

Ever since he'd received Merlin's urgent missive and had set off for Camelot with all due haste, he'd spent every waking moment silently repeating all the things he needed to remember in order to cope with the pain of seeing her with someone else. Arthur could grant her all the things that were not in his own power to give. Arthur was the better man, and destined to be king. Arthur would make her happy, and with him, she'd have the life of safety and comfort she so richly deserved.

Arthur... for the blink of an eye, when all his good intentions lay buried beneath raw emotion, Lancelot hated him. His hands curled into fists, and for a mere heartbeat, he was overwhelmed by the urge to storm over to the couple and tear the prince away from the woman he was still passionately in love with. He wanted to cry out with the all the righteous fury of a spurned lover, then pull her into his own arms and reclaim the kisses he'd been a fool to ever leave behind.

He wanted her. Damn his better judgment and unselfish hopes, his sense of honor, and nobility, everything in the world that wasn't Gwen herself. He wanted her.

But then she smiled, her beautiful face alight with joy and tenderness as she gazed up at the man he counted as a friend. In a flash, the jealous anger in Lancelot's heart melted away as if it had never existed at all. He sighed heavily as the much more familiar sensation of hollow acceptance filled his chest, then turned and left the room.

Chapter Text

My contribution to our 19th drabble challenge: "The Full Spectrum"

Category: Het (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: Gwaine/Morgana
Rating/Warnings: M
Word Count: 300
Author's Note: I received Morgana/Brown/Aroused from the random generator, so this was basically inevitable. :)

"Another chance to sing for your supper," Morgana cooed to the filthy, bare chested man who stood before her, grimacing tiredly as he waited for her to unlock his manacles.

Gwaine silently watched as she sidled around him, brushing up against the hard muscles of his body once, twice, and then a third time, taunting him mercilessly with a cruel glint in her eyes.

Morgana was beginning to think he was immune to her charms, when a light she instantly recognized flared in his otherwise scornful brown gaze. It was there for only an instant – a tiny spark of desire that lay just beneath his careless disdain.

It was enough.

She pressed up against him again, choosing to ignore the fact that he was her enemy, that she was hell-bent on destroying him for the crime of loyalty to her treacherous brother. Her breathing became a little uneven as she felt the power of him... the barely restrained fury of sheer humiliation that vibrated almost imperceptibly through his taut muscles, along with the desperate, almost animalistic hunger that would've driven a lesser man to his knees in supplication.

Morgana wanted to break him, just as she had all along. But in that moment, a pleasant chill skittered up her spine as she imagined allowing him to be the one to break her. What would it be like to unleash all that pent-up aggression in a different way?

For the merest instant, she leaned closer, intoxicated by the thought of commanding him to follow her to her chambers and satisfy her until dawn the following morning. But then she remembered herself, gave a haughty sniff, then turned and walked away.

There were far more important things to worry about than her own lust.

Chapter Text

My contribution to our 20th drabble challenge: "Grumbles and Gripes"

Category: Gen (Canon)
Characters/Pairings: The Knights
Rating/Warnings: T
Word Count: 300
Author's Note: Dedicated to all those folks who believe that Sir Lancelot is just a little too perfect.

"Why must you always complain about my feet?" Gwaine muttered, giving Elyan a wounded look. "You don't exactly smell like roses either."

"The man's got a point," Percival snorted in agreement, not quite managing to hide a grin.

Elyan whirled around to face him, positively bristling at the insult. "Like you have room to talk!"

"I wash more than both of you," Percival countered defensively. "There's nothing wrong with the way I smell."

"No..." Leon chimed in. "But you do snore loud enough to wake the dead. Thought someone was slaughtering a pig last night when it jarred me awake."

Percival looked affronted as the three knights burst into uproarious laughter, his face turning red as Gwaine flopped over dramatically and began to let loose a series of loud grunting noises.

"Oh yeah?" he shot back. "Why don't we talk about what I caught you doing last night, Leon?"

Leon turned pale.

"You mean the way he gropes himself in his sleep?" Gwaine questioned with an innocent expression.

Elyan howled with amusement. "Seriously, Leon," he sputtered through his chuckles. "Never quite sure if it's a woman you're needing, or some really strong ointment."

The knights were still bantering back and forth, gleefully enumerating every shortcoming they could find in one another, when they were interrupted by a soft, rustling sound. Four pairs of eyes fell eagerly on Sir Lancelot as he shifted onto his back.

"Sleeps so quietly, I forgot he was there," Leon admitted reluctantly.

Gwaine frowned. "Smells nice, too. Always so clean."

Percival mused thoughtfully, then shook his head in defeat. "Not a single thing to criticize."

"Yeah," Elyan agreed with a haughty sniff. "I can't think of anything more annoying than that."