Morgana and Arthur sit together at the back and middle of their world history class. It is just after lunch, and the instructor has yet to show up.
Morgana is about to snap what Arthur thinks has to be her 85th selfie of the day when a loud bang from across the room catches her attention.
The loud chattering of the other students in the room drops off.
Arthur pops up from his relaxed position on top of a pile of his textbooks. What he sees banishes his food-coma fog in an instant.
The room has turned silent.
"Whatcha gonna do about it, huh scholarship?"
One boy, whose uniform jacket is perhaps a little bit too big for him, as though it was originally bought with a few years of his potential growth in mind, sits in his desk in the front row farthest from the door. His face is a bloody mess. His hands are up at his nose trying to minimize the flow, so he doesn't reply to the latest taunting question from the closer of the two boys in front of his desk. This is his strategic mistake.
The boy standing closest, whose name is Tristan, roughly grabs the seated boy by the hair and pushes his head back so he has to look up at Tristan.
Tristan brings his face in close and says in a loud whisper, "I asked you a question, you parasite. What are you going to do for us to make this stop?"
The boy in the seat, while still bleeding and with his head bent back at a painful angle, glares up at Tristan. He does not say anything.
Tristan says, "It seems I am going to have to come up with the terms of our arrangement, since you're all out of ideas."
Quicker than lightning, Tristan again slams the side of the seated boy's head against his now blood droplet-covered desk.
The boy puts one of his hands up against the right side of his head, but pulls it away quickly and hisses in a pained breath.
Tristan continues, "And here I thought a scholarship bug like you would be able to come up with something new and interesting! Same old story, then, I guess. Let's give the class a show, eh?"
In the few seconds the seated boy was distracted with the pain in his head, he didn't notice Tristan unzipping the fly of his black jeans or reaching into his black underwear to pull his dick out.
The second boy, who seems to be Tristan's back-up muscle, has already grabbed the seated boy's head and is holding him firmly with his mouth open before the seated boy can react. The seated boy's scrabbling fingers can't seem to get purchase on the second boy's strong grip.
Morgana's sharp fingernails are digging into the flesh of Arthur's hand. Her eyes are still frozen in horror looking on at the scene in front of them, but her plea to Arthur to do something is clear.
Arthur stands up, and Morgana's hand falls away. He shouts, "Tristan, put that disease-ridden toothpick away!"
Tristan's and Tristan's friend's attentions switch from the seated boy between them to Arthur at the back of the room. Tristan sneers and starts to reply, but two more boys, who Arthur knows from the backs of their heads as Lance and Elyan, have taken the opportunity to tackle Tristan and his friend to the ground.
Morgana is up and across the room in a flash to help the seated boy to the safety of the nurse's office.
Gwen and Mithian follow them to go look for a teacher, and Arthur goes over to the wrestling pairs on the floor to help keep Tristan and his friend pinned until a teacher can be found.
Halfway to the nurse's office, Morgana feels the boy under her arm slip down to the floor. His legs trail out in the direction they came from, and his arms shake as they try to support his torso, which is turned the other way. His breathing is labored and his eyes are squeezed closed.
Morgana kneels down in front of him. She says softly, "Hey, it's over. Please breathe." She starts to make exaggerated breathing noises so that he can copy her and follow along.
His breathing gets better in a few minutes.
He gathers a stronger breath and asks, "What's your name?"
"It's Morgana," she replies. "Yours?"
"I'm Merlin," he says.
"Hi Merlin. Do you think you can stand up?" Morgana asks.
Merlin pushes himself into a more upright position, but immediately puts his hand to the uninjured side of his head.
"Woah. Dizzy," he says.
"That's alright. Just sit here until it passes," Morgana says.
They sit together on the floor in the middle of the empty school hallway for a while longer.
"Okay," Merlin says eventually, and Morgana offers him her hands to help him stand back up.
They make their way to the nurse's office.
"I can wait, if you want," Morgana offers to Merlin.
Merlin nods minutely, but then he looks at the nurse to ask, "Is it okay if...?"
"That's fine," says Nurse Finna. With a smile to Morgana, she says, "Sit over there," -she indicates a few chairs against the wall to the right, - "and we'll write you both passes when we're done."
As Morgana heads for the chairs, Nurse Finna starts asking Merlin about what happened and his pain levels.
They learn that one of their classmates called the police while Elyan and Lance were pinning Tristan and his friend to the floor. Every student in that class is asked to describe the incident.
It also came out that Morgana recorded the entire assault on her phone up until the point when she went to check on Merlin.
Tristan is arrested for assault. His friend is arrested as an accessory.
Merlin's mother is very grateful to the kids who stepped in, and, once Merlin is recovered enough, she hosts a dinner for the six of them and their parents. Morgana makes sure everyone brings a different dish to share.
Merlin finds himself with an entire group of new friends. Morgana and Arthur become his best friends.