Arthur had a theory that the reason his father insisted on using good china when he and Morgana came to dinner was partly in order to cover up the silence they sat in. The gentle chinking of metal hitting plates seemed to mock the playful conversations they should have been having. It was Arthur's second time eating at his father's this week. Uther seemed to be under the impression that if he left Morgana and Arthur alone together, out of his range of influence, they would either starve to death, kill each other, or start some sort of terrorist organization. Not, he thought, looking over at his adopted sister, who was stabbing at her food with a vengeance, that those fears were entirely unfounded.

"So," Uther said, sawing off a piece of his steak. "How are you enjoying your summer?"

Morgana opened her mouth to speak, but Arthur, sensing trouble, cut her off.

"It's been fine," he said, refusing to meet Morgana's glare. She was still seething from a blistering argument between her and Uther about her plans for the summer. After months of slammed doors, raised voices, and empty threats, Uther had finally consented last year to let Morgana major in photography as well as her more practical math major, but her artistic pursuits were still a major source of friction in the family. Uther saw her interest in photography as just another form of rebellion, a view strengthened when she attempted to intern at the notoriously liberal studio The Druid Camp. Its impressive photography credentials aside, the studio was largely acknowledged as a front for a group of liberal activists who defied everything Uther and his company were out to eradicate. Uther had forbade Morgana from working there this summer. The ensuing fight had resulted in Arthur getting a new flatmate. Uther and Morgana had barely spoken since. She had found excuses to avoid Uther's dinner- a party, a lecture, an "oh-tell-him-anything-Arthur-I-just-don't-want-to-go"- and Uther had been content, for the most part, to let her avoid him. Until now.

"I spoke to Anis again today," Uther said. "Did you ever call her son up, Morgana?"

Arthur gritted his teeth. Morgana rolled her eyes. Arthur grabbed the bottle of wine from the center of the table and poured about half of it into his wineglass.

"No, I didn't," Morgana said coolly.

Uther lay down his fork and knife, carefully, precisely. "Why not?"

"I'm not interested," Morgana said through tight lips.

Arthur emptied the rest of the bottle into his glass.

"He's a very nice boy," Uther said. "He's majoring in engineering at Oxford right now. He volunteers for that charity you like. The homeless one."

"He sounds like a lovely person. Unfortunately, he's just not my type," Morgana said.

"How would you know?"

"Because he's not a girl, Uther."

Uther banged his fist down on the table, startling Arthur, who nearly spilled his absurdly full wineglass down his front. "Morgana!" he barked. "I have had just about enough of this pointless rebellion-"

"Rebellion? It's who I am, Uther-"

"And I refuse to tolerate it any longer."

"Right, god forbid you tolerate something. You might be mistaken for a decent human being."

Uther's jaw worked as he glared across the table at Morgana. "I don't need a lecture on morality from the child I took in out of the goodness of my heart," he growled.

"If I don't lecture you on morality, who's going to?" she snapped. "You don't listen, and you refuse to learn-"


"I'm not going to sit back and let you continue down your ignorant, self absorbed-"

"Silence!" Uther yelled. Morgana stopped speaking. Her lips were pulled together in a tight pout. She looked murderous. "That's enough," Uther said. Arthur could hear the strain of not yelling in his voice. "I will not be spoken to like this."

Morgana glared at him, her eyes deadened with hate. "Then you'll not be spoken to at all." She stood. "I'm leaving, Arthur. I'll see you at home." With that, she stormed out of the room. The door slammed behind her. Uther and Arthur were left in silence.

"Tell me," his father said. "Am I unreasonable?"

A thousand answers came to Arthur's mind. He wanted to tell him that yes, he was being unreasonable, that Morgana was not rebelling but being braver than he, Arthur, had ever been able to, that being gay was a gene, a gene he and Morgana had in common, it seemed. He wanted to tell him the real reason he'd broken up with the parade of pretty blondes Uther had been setting him up with since high school. He wanted to stand up and follow Morgana out of the room, to see the way her face would light up when he tossed her the keys and promised to get her into any club she wanted, just drive us somewhere that isn't here. He wanted to tell his father how much he hated his new job, and how he couldn't stop thinking about the boy Merlin's fingers against his chest- but instead he just took a long sip of wine and shrugged.

Morgana was the brave one, he thought, more like Uther than Arthur, his biological son, had ever been. But he was his father's son, and for that reason he sat in his chair and said nothing.