After Lancelot leaves the second time, Arthur suggests Gwen get a flatmate to keep her company and Merlin suggests she gets a cat. Gwen gets a Morgana, who is a human flatmate and not a cat, not that it’s always easy to tell from all the time she spends sleeping on the couch and the amount of hair she sheds in the bathroom.
Sometimes Morgana tries to help with the housework, but honestly it’s easier when she doesn’t. She seems to find the very idea of ironing endlessly confusing. She’s the sort of girl, Gwen’s Dad would have said, who was born to be a lady only they didn’t need any.
“Why don’t you ask her to leave if she’s that bad?” Arthur asks over coffee with Gwen and Merlin.
“Because she’s not actually all that bad, she’s just odd.”
“You can learn to live with odd. Merlin’s odd.”
“Hey!” says Merlin.
“Anyway, I already used the rent she gave me in advance to pay down my overdraught.”
This is the third night running that Gwen’s been kept awake by Morgana clattering around the flat. She thinks she’s been very patient but it’s half past two and she’s got an early start, and then she hears something shatter in the kitchen.
She finds Morgana crouched over a broken glass. “Don’t you sleep?” Gwen asks crossly.
Morgana looks up at her with wide, sad eyes and says, “No, not much.”
Gwen feels her annoyance dissipating and she kneels to help Morgana clear up. “I’m sorry. My Dad used to have sleepless nights, so I know it’s awful. Do you have to be up early for work tomorrow?”
“Er, no, not really.”
The next morning Gwen opens her bedroom door and immediately trips over the mug of lukewarm tea sitting on the floor. Gwen kneels and picks up the tea-stained note which says: I’ll try to be quieter in future – Sorry, Morgana.
Gwen smiles despite herself.
“I think my flatmate might be a criminal mastermind,” Gwen tells Merlin, who laughs as though she’s kidding. “No, really. She’s always got a lot of money, in cash, but she never seems to work.”
It seems unlikely, but Gwen thinks she should make sure that Morgana isn’t a surprisingly scatterbrained evil mastermind.
“Morgana, are you a criminal mastermind?”
“No, I’m a psychic.”
“Oh. You mean those telephone hotlines or something?”
“No. I have visions.”
Gwen laughs. Morgana’s joking, obviously. “Of buried treasure, X marks the spot, that kind of thing?”
“More winning lottery numbers, which horse is going to win the Grand National, that kind of thing.”
At least, thinks Gwen, Morgana’s not an evil genius in disguise; or if she is, it’s a very good disguise.
The next morning Gwen’s expecting the cup of tea outside her door so she avoids stepping in it. There’s also a note with a series of numbers scrawled on it. She’s running late so she shoves the slip of paper into her pocket and doesn’t think about it till Wednesday evening when she’s cooking dinner and the national lottery draw is on in the background.
Yep, Morgana had written down the winning numbers two days earlier. Okay, so that’s weird.
The three month trial period they’d agreed when Morgana had moved in is up and Gwen’s all set to tell her that it isn’t working out. But when she opens her bedroom door, instead of a mug of tea on the floor, she finds Morgana offering her a cup with a bright, hopeful smile on her face.
“Look, I know I haven’t been the world’s best flatmate. That I’m a bit… er, housework challenged. And I know the psychic thing can be a bit much. But I like it here, I like you. I feel better around you and I’d really like to stay if you’ll have me?”
“I hadn’t thought of asking you to leave.”
Gwen gets to thinking of living with Morgana as living with an overlarge housecat who sometimes makes the tea.
She does have a certain sort of feline grace, after all. And her hair looks like it’d be nice to stroke.
Okay, the cat metaphor’s going to have to go.
“Still living with your mad Irish girl?” asks Arthur one day.
“She’s not mad, she’s just eccentric. It’s actually quite charming once you get used to it.”
“Nothing. I’m just glad you’re feeling better after Lancelot.”
Morgana does try to do better at the flatmate thing. She’s still mostly rubbish at the domestic side of things, but sometimes Gwen comes home from a long day at work and the flat looks like it’s been gone over top to bottom by he housework fairies. Gwen doesn’t ask about it because she’s not entirely sure that isn’t what’s happened.
Morgana even tries to cook for her once, which would have been quite sweet if she’d remembered to get rid of the takeout containers.
“I’ve been thinking,” says Gwen, “as you’re staying here permanently, we should do something to mark it. Decorate your bedroom, maybe?”
Gwen comes home to find that Morgana has draped all the furniture in her bedroom with sheets and has splashed three of the walls with wide swashes of clashing colours.
“You’ve got paint on your nose,” Gwen says, reaching up to wipe it away. Morgana catches her fingers and brushes her lips against the inside of Gwen’s wrist.
“Oh?” breathes Gwen.
Gwen turns into the kiss. Morgana tastes of coffee and apples and, for some reason, paint. Gwen laughs into her mouth.
Afterwards, when they’re lying tangled up in the sheets that Morgana had been using to defend the helpless furniture against her attempts at decorating, Gwen strokes Morgana’s bare arm and says, “I like you.”
“Oh. Good. I like you too.”
“What I mean is, I don’t do this, not with people I’m living with. And I like you, and I’ve got this history with people that I like and them leaving, please don’t move to Peru?”
“I’m not going to Peru.” Morgana muses for a moment. “Paraguay, maybe.”
“Oh, now you think you’re funny.” Gwen pulls the sheet over their heads and sets about shutting Morgana up.