title: ash on the windowsill (hundred years, hundred more)
notes: written for comment_fic; prompt: any female character, song: woman king (iron & wine)
disclaimer: not mine
summary: blackbird claw, raven wing, under the red sunlight. or: in which morgana takes to exile like a trooper.
Her first morning outside of Camelot, the sensation of cold hits her like a physical thing.
It's early spring but the green is not quite there; bits of frost lay scattered by her feet and she clutches the hilt of her sword close, hidden under the oldest, most tattered cloak she could find.
She knows that she needs to not look the part.
Three weeks later, she's roasting rabbits and slitting the throats of two bandits, quick shadows in the dark. It's new, yes, but not impossible.
They never expect a woman to know how to fight. It's always a thing of remarkable surprise (and always, always leads to their demise). She sits on a log by her campfire, pushes back her hair from her face and bites into overcooked meat.
In three weeks, she has just begun to learn the art of fire. Self-instruction is not easy but it is something to do to pass the time.
(Survival is not easy but also not really a choice.)
She winks at the flames and they dance before her, for her, and in the darkness, she feels less alone.
She dreams and dreams, of skin stretched tight over bones of the ones she loved. They grow paler by the day, Camelot's future fading into Camelot's past.
Merlin is older now, maybe, probably. In her mind's eye, he is thinner than ever, haggard and worn, embroidered robes hanging off the lines of him like drapery.
They are all biding their time, the royals in their castles and Morgana in the woods.
Four months and she has moved to the coast.
She has taught herself the art of water, how to twist it at will, raise the tides and make it swirl in whirlpools. It whispers like the caress of a long lost friend, the crash of the waves, the surf between her toes.
She is working on the rain.
She dreams of the once and future queen, the girl who was once sand in her fingers and flowers in her hair, all 'Morning, my lady's and hushed goodnights.
She sees the gilded metal of the crown, the heart inside, the burning want of Guinevere to save all that the last king destroyed.
Morgana wants to love the memory of her but that is a ship long sailed. The feel of it is foreign to her fingertips, a ghost in her mind.
She has never been fond of chasing ghosts.
She does not allow herself to dwell upon Arthur.
Five years and she will return.
Just five and she will stand before them.
She will set fire to the throne and wash it away with a rain that rains for days.
There will be nothing more of kings, of queens, just those who dream
(by the woods, by the sea, on the frost, in the rain)
and she will be home. At last.