Title: Where the Heart Is
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: Morgana knows Camelot well, but it is no longer her home.
Morgana's room was dark as she lay in bed staring up at her canopy. A noise had rousted her from slumber some time ago, and though she was tired she found herself unable to fall back asleep. Nightmares no longer plagued her as they had before her sojourn from Camelot, but her nights since her return to the castle had often been restless. She was back in her old chambers, surrounded by all of the things that had once brought her comfort, but the luxurious bed she lay on had grown unfamiliar to her while she was away, as had sleeping alone.
As she watched the shifting shadows play over the silken sheets covering her, Morgana's fingers trailed lazily up her thigh, drawing the material of her nightdress higher and higher until her fingers were touching bare skin. A small, pale scar lay on her upper left thigh and Morgana gently ran her index finger over the raised flesh. Her eyes slipped shut as she touched the scar, and a soft smile touched her lips as she remembered how she had received it.
She had gotten the wound while sparing with Morgause. She had been so caught up in the match that she had barely registered the cut, but Morgause had been very aware of it. Morgana had protested that she was fine, but Morgause would not continue while Morgana bled and the practice swordplay came to a swift end. Morgana had been quite cross about that, but when Morgause had directed her to sit, she sat. Morgause had then kneeled before her, gallant and handsome as any knight in her chainmail, and softly spoke a few words in the old language. A wooden box appeared beside her the moment she stopped speaking, and upon opening it Morgause had silently gone to work treating Morgana's wound.
Morgause's lips had pressed together as she worked and her brows had furrowed with concentration. She had looked very serious and very fierce at that moment, but her hands were gentle and Morgana found herself reaching out to stroke Morgause's cheek as a powerful wave of affection for Morgause engulfed her. At the touch, Morgause's hands stilled, and a moment later Morgana's eyelashes fluttered as Morgause tilted her head into Morgana's hand and allowed her face to be cradled.
"I'm sorry," Morgause had whispered, her eyes slipping shut as she leaned into Morgana's hand. "It will scar."
Morgause's voice had been regretful but Morgana was not sorry at all. She liked the idea of being marked, of having something of Morgause carved into her body, and she told Morgause as much which made the blonde smile.
Blood was still smeared on Morgana's thigh when Morgause finished dressing the wound, but the blonde paid no attention to it as she pressed her lips to Morgana's leg, gently kissing the gash. Morgause's lips were stained red when she pulled back, but rather than deterring Morgana the sight of her blood on the blonde's lips spurred her on and she reached out for Morgause, drawing Morgause towards her as she leaned down to meet the blonde's lips in a kiss that left them both breathless.
Morgana's eyes were dark with passion when she and Morgause finally pulled apart, and she ran her thumb over Morgause's lips roughly, possessively as she gazed down at her.
"The wound will reopen," Morgause had warned, knowing what the look in Morgana's eyes meant.
"So be it," Morgana had replied.
Morgause's dark eyes held hers intensely for a moment after that, and then Morgana found herself on the floor with Morgause. Morgause's body moved to cover hers and her lips descended to take possession of Morgana's as the blonde's hips canted into Morgana's body, pinning her down.
Morgana had sighed contently as Morgause settled on top of her and the reached up to tangle her fingers in Morgause's hair as she relaxed into the soft fur of the rug beneath her and gave herself over to Morgause's touch.
Much later when Morgana crawled from between Morgause's legs and laid her head upon Morgause's stomach, she was exhausted yet serene as Morgause's fingers combed slowly through the long strands of her dark hair. They lay quietly for a few minutes as they recovered from their passions and then with a few softly murmured words Morgause transported them to the room and the bed that they shared. Once they were comfortably situated on the large bed, Morgause had drawn her arms around Morgana and held her tightly as she dusted Morgana's shoulders with sweet, loving kisses. Morgana's eyes had closed blissfully as Morgause's lips rained kisses upon her, and as she drifted off to sleep she had known without a shadow of a doubt that she and Morgause together was how things were meant to be.
The memory faded too soon and Morgana drew her finger away from the scar with a sigh.
Her heart ached and Morgana's eyes turned towards her window though she knew that she would not be able to see who she longed for through it. The sun was beginning to fill the morning sky as she gazed out her window, but the coming light did nothing to relief the ache in her heart.
Sometime later, though Morgana could not say exactly how long, the door to her chambers creaked open the way it had every morning during her life in Camelot, and Morgana knew that Gwen had arrived to begin getting her ready to face the day.
She closed her eyes and listened to the familiar sounds of Gwen moving throughout her room.
She knew that water would be poured into a glass for her before she heard the gentle trickle.
She knew that the squeaky sound of her closet doors opening would be followed by the gentle rustling of cloth as Gwen removed a dress from the closet and laid it out for her.
She knew all of the sounds Gwen would make before she made them, just as she knew where every candle in the room lay, where every piece of furniture resided, and where every decoration hung.
Uther had kept her room just as she had left it while she was gone.
Gwen approached the bed quietly as usual, but just before she reached Morgana she stepped on a squeaky floorboard, prematurely announcing her presence. Gwen was meticulous with her duties. She had hundred and one things to remember to do every day and managed them all efficiently with good humour and grace. The floorboard however, always slipped Gwen's mind and morning after morning her foot found it with unerring accuracy, waking Morgana a few seconds before Gwen's warm hand came to rest on her shoulder.
"Morgana," Gwen breathed out placing her hand on Morgana's shoulder.
"Good morning, Gwen," Morgana responded, blinking her eyes open slowly and then forcing a smile onto her face to greet Gwen as she always had in the past.
Gwen returned the smile a little shyly. Morgana had once thought herself and Gwen as close as two people could be, but a year was a significant period of time, and a distance had grown between them that Morgana was not sure they could close.
Gwen's eyes slipped away from Morgana's after Morgana spoke, and she began to draw down the sheets covering Morgana to make it easier for Morgana to get out of bed.
Once that was done Morgana knew that Gwen would tell her that she had brought a tray of food for Morgana to break her fast, and that then Gwen would offer her hand to Morgana to help her out of bed before they made the small walk to the table together.
Morgana knew these things and the knowing had once been a great source of comfort to her.
The first morning she had woken early and been able to tell what part of the room Gwen was in and what Gwen was doing from the faint sounds the girl made, was the first morning Morgana had felt truly at home since her father had died and Uther had brought her to Camelot. When she had discovered that she was able to close her eyes and walk through chambers without bumping into anything, and that she could tell which of the cooks had made her breakfast from the consistency of the eggs, or the presence of raisins in her porridge, or the crispness of the bacon, Morgana had felt that Camelot had truly become home.
Morgana still knew the sounds of the castle. She knew when Gwen was going to begin brushing her hair before Gwen moved. She knew that Beatrice had prepared her breakfast because her apple had been cubed instead of sliced. When the sound of clanging armour reached her through her open window she knew that Old Sir Owain was on duty at the castle steps.
Morgana knew these things. She knew the castle and people who inhabited it. She knew the sounds and smells of Camelot as well as she knew her room. Gwen began to brush her hair and Morgana knew from the way she drew the brush through her hair that Gwen planned on pinning it up that day.
Morgana knew these things, yet as her fingers crawled up her thigh to once again stroke the pale scar that lay there, she also knew that Camelot was no longer her home and never would be again.
She knew Camelot, but she yearned for the dark stone of Morgause's castle. She knew Camelot, but she longed for the heavy, ornate tapestries that adorned the walls of Morgause's keep. She knew Camelot, but she ached to breathe in and smell incense burning in the air. She wanted to be back where she could pull on breaches in the morning and spend her days practicing magic under trees so tall and so old that the blocked out the sun. She wanted to once again be able to slouch when she was tired, and say what was on her mind without fear or recrimination. She longed to awake to feel of Morgause's lips on her skin, and for the absolute safety she felt in Morgause's arms.
Morgana knew Camelot but it was no longer her home. Home was where the heart lay, and her heart lay with Morgause.
Morgana knew Camelot, but she could not wait to destroy Uther and flee. She could not wait to be back with Morgause. She could not wait to be home again.