I was seriously considering it. I really did want to poison him just to see Arthur's reaction. But, then, I thought of how I'd feel if someone did that to Gwen and I just…stopped. I wouldn't have let him die; I would've had an antidote (and administered it just when he was on the brink of death). Then, Arthur's crying would've stopped and he'd go and hug him…at least, in private. The entire court would know what went on late at night in Arthur's chambers (and it would give me enough time to bring down Uther while everyone was distracted about what Arthur was doing with his servant). An added bonus is that Merlin would stop moping around like someone just died because he thought Arthur didn't think that he was important enough to announce their relationship to the world. In fact, the only reason I knew was because one night as I snuck out to see Mordred – the little druid boy that I'm helping bring down Uther's reign – I saw Merlin walking, or rather skulking, to Arthur's room and I passed him without a word. Then, I doubled back and heard the two of them talking. I told Merlin I knew and I presume he told Arthur, although maybe not.
"Morgana, is there something I can help you with?" Merlin asks as he opens the door to where he and Gaius live.
"No, Merlin I'd just like to talk, if that's alright," I tell him.
"Of course," he replies shakily. He's practically shaking himself, although I can't tell if that's from me showing up or what happened last night.
I walk in and drag him into his room. He looks around nervously as I lock the door.
"Morgana," he says, sounding even more nervous than before.
"Merlin, calm down would you?" I ask him, annoyed. He looks like a puppy that just found himself lost from the people he knows. "I just want to talk to you about you and Arthur," I tell him. He sighs, but doesn't visibly relax.
"What about us?" he demands.
"Just, doesn't it bother you?" I question.
"Doesn't what bother me, Morgana?" he says, just to annoy me. He knows what I'm talking about, but he wants me to say it.
"That he won't tell anyone," I elaborate.
"About what?" he asks, baiting me. All right, I'll bite, but just this once, Merlin.
"About the two of you and what you're doing late at night," I tell him.
"What exactly are we doing?" he responds.
"Goddamnit Merlin! You know exactly what you're doing or Uther doesn't hate magic," I exclaim.
"Say it, then," he tells me.
"No, I already have. You know I know, and you're just trying to annoy me," I reply angrily, my fists clenching and my jaw tightening.
"Yes," he answers.
"Yes, what?" I demand, having forgotten what I'd originally asked and somewhat thinking that he's talking about trying to annoy me.
"Yes, it bugs me that he won't tell anyone about us," he explains, his eyes brimming with fresh tears.
"Merlin, there are so many better men and women out there," I tell him.
"I know, but I love Arthur," he says, the tears beginning to race down his cheeks.
"I know, I know," I tell him, repeating it like a mantra. "I know, I know, I know." I pull him in for a hug, caressing his hair. "I know, I know, I know, I know."
"He doesn't love me does he?" he asks me. I shake my head.
"Has he said he does?" I ask him.
"Yes, but…" he trails off.
"I know, I know."
"He needs to become the next King," he explains.
"And I his Queen," I add disgustedly.
"And I just his servant," he says dejectedly.
"Once he's King, he can change the laws," I tell him.
"But not the people," he replies morosely.
"I hate to kick you out, Morgana, but I need some time alone, please," Merlin pleads.
"Of course," I tell him, getting up and leaving. "Feel better." As I make my way back to my chambers, I think of all that Merlin and Arthur have gone through.
When they first met:
Arthur: I could take you apart with one blow.
Merlin: I could take you apart with less than that..
Just after Merlin became Arthur's servant:
Arthur: Like Gaius said, he suffers a grave mental disease.
Arthur: He's in love.
When I discovered Merlin's secret:
Morgana: Merlin, I wanted you to know your secret's safe with me.
Merlin: My secret?
Morgana: Come on. Don't pretend. I know what you did.
Merlin: You do?
Morgana: I saw it with my own eyes.
Merlin: You did?
Morgana: I understand why you don't want anyone to know.
Merlin: Well, obviously...
Morgana: I won't tell anyone. You don't mind me talking to you about it?
Merlin: No. It's... you have no idea how hard it is to keep this hidden.
Morgana: Well, you can continue to deny it but...
When Arthur came to rescue Merlin's village and Merlin was talking about him with his mother:
Hunith: I know where to find you. You have to go, Merlin. You belong at Arthur's side. I've seen how much he needs you, how much you need him. You're like two sides of the same coin.
Hunith: He must care for you a great deal.
Merlin: Arthur would do the same for any village. That's just the way he is.
Hunith: It's more than that. He's here for you.
Merlin: I'm just his servant.
Hunith: Give him more credit than that. He likes you.
After Arthur drank the poison:
Merlin: You've killed him! I was meant to protect him!
Anhora: He is not dead. He has merely consumed a sleeping draught. He will come round shortly.
Anhora: A unicorn is pure of heart. If you kill one, you must make amends by proving that you also are pure of heart. Arthur was willing to sacrifice his life to save yours. He has proven what is truly in his heart. The curse will be lifted.
When Arthur got a new servant:
Merlin: Everything I do is for him (Arthur) and he just thinks I am an idiot.
During the rescue of Gwen (during which they weren't actually talking about Gwen):
Merlin: Who is to say nothing can happen?
Arthur: My father won't let me rescue a servant. Do you honestly believe he will let me marry one?
After they rescued Gwen:
Merlin: Look on the bright side, you've still got me!
Arthur: Was that supposed to cheer me up?
Merlin: Thought it might.
Arthur: You really are a complete idiot, aren't you Merlin?
"Have you seen Merlin?" Arthur asks me, killing my memories.
"Yes," I reply.
"Where is he?" Arthur demands urgently.
"In his quarters," I answer.
"Is he alright?" he questions.
"No," I respond simply. I watch as Arthur's face falls.
"What would make him happy?" he interrogates.
"Tell him you love him, make him believe it," I order. Arthur takes off, trying to get to Merlin as quickly as possible without running. "Oh, and Arthur," I say.
"Yes?" he answers.
"Tell him I'm sorry," I tell him.
"Of course," he responds, looking confused. I smile at him as he leaves. Once in my chambers I look out the window sadly.
"I'm so sorry Merlin, I wish you could have him all to yourself," I mutter.
"And I wish I could have you all to myself," a voice whispers from behind me.
"Gwen!" I exclaim.
"Lunch, My Lady?" she asks.
"For two," I tell her.
"Anything special?" she replies.
"Sandwiches, let's have a picnic," I say.
"Yes, of course, My Lady," she answers.
"That's right," I say out of nowhere, as she's walking out the door.
"What's right?" she asks, freezing where she is.
"I'm yours," I explain. She smiles and continues down to the kitchen. Out the window, I see Merlin and Arthur crossing the courtyard, side by side. Arthur appears to be saying something very important and Merlin is watching him like a hawk. But, as they pass right under my window, Merlin looks up and smiles at me. I race out the door to get to them. "Would you two like to go on a picnic with me and Gwen?" I ask them. Arthur looks at Merlin for guidance, something that almost never happens. Merlin smiles back at him.
"We'd love to," Arthur answers. I run to the kitchens.
"Gwen!" I exclaim.
"Yes?" she replies.
"Make it a picnic for four," I tell her.
"Merlin and Arthur?" she asks me quietly.
"Yes, I think they need to escape the rules as much as us," I tell her. The four of us set off. Gwen and Merlin are on one horse and Arthur and I are on the other. Once we're away from prying eyes, Merlin and I switch. After we eat, Merlin and Arthur wander off and when they come back Merlin's glowing, a smile on his face, and Arthur looks exhausted.
We walk around, discussing all sorts of things. Gwen and I hold hands, everything is equal. Arthur throws his arm around Merlin, making sure that we know Merlin belongs to him, in a very protective manner.
"Arthur," I call out to him.
"Yes?" he replies.
"We're not going to steal or attack Merlin, you know," I tell him.
"I've waited forever to do this, Morgana. Don't ruin it now," he answers. Merlin simply smiles as if he knows exactly what is going on. I give Arthur a look that tells him to go on. "Every day I watch Merlin with all kinds of people. People that are allowed to touch him, to be with him, to laugh with him, to hug him, and I can't. Now, I can. Now, I can do everything I want with him, provided he wants to, if only for a moment," he explains.
"Arthur, are you trying to say something?" Merlin teases.
"Yes, Merlin, I'm trying to tell you I love you," Arthur says, blushing.
"I love you, too," Merlin replies.
"I suppose that will have to be enough," Arthur sighs.
"What do you mean?" Gwen asks.
"The people would never accept this," Arthur answers.
"He really loves him," Gwen whispers to me.
"I really love you," I tell her.
"I-I love you, too," she responds, sounding surprised.
"…oh, and Merlin, if Lancelot comes back around, you're taken," Arthur tells Merlin.
"What?" Merlin asks, sounding confused and surprised.
"Oh, forget it," I tell Merlin. "Arthur's just claiming you."
"Damn straight," Arthur answers.
"Because that's not contradictory," Gwen says sarcastically.
"Don't even start," Arthur warns her.
"Don't talk to her like that," I say to Arthur.
"Would you all calm down?" Merlin pipes up, sounding exasperated.
"Anything for you," Arthur tells him.
"Sure," I reply.
"Good," Merlin tells us. A few minutes later, I look back at the two boys. Arthur's brow is furrowed and Merlin is nearly in tears again.
"Arthur!" I yell
"What?" he asks me.
"What did you do to Merlin?" I demand.
"Nothing, I just…I mean, he…I don't know," he answers, sounding horribly depressed and hollow. "He won't tell me."
"Merlin?" Gwen says tentatively. He snaps up to meet her gaze. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing, it's not important," he answers, brushing off our concern. I hear a growl from behind me. I tense, wondering what kind of wild animal it is. Then, though, I realize it's coming from Arthur.
"It is important," Arthur insists, his voice low.
"It's just, I wish I could tell Will about this," Merlin tells us. Arthur stops him and turns Merlin to face him. He pulls Merlin towards him and whispers to him about it being all right. Then, I hear Arthur repeating our mantra.
"I know, I know, I know," he says softly.
"It hurts so much," Merlin explains.
"I know, I know."
"Gwen," I say, grabbing her by the sleeve. "I don't think we should intrude."
"Of course," she replies, as we walk away. "I wish we could all be together, you know, publicly."
"I know," I answer.
"We should go," Arthur announces from behind me.
"Yes, we should," Gwen answers. We mount the horses and go back to Camelot.
"Where have you four been all day?" Gaius asks when we get back.
"We had a picnic," Merlin answers.
"You could get into serious trouble for this, you know," Gaius informs us.
"I know," we all reply. Our mantra, for once, isn't comforting.