A/N: This story is loosely based off of the song Cry by Mandy Moore. I do suggest that you listen to it while reading the fic. Enjoy!
There are a few references to Season 3, so if you have not watched the first two episodes (the two-parter) and would like to remain spoiler-free, you might not want to read this.
Disclaimer: I own no part of Merlin or the song and I am making no money whatsoever from this story.
Edited 4/11/11 for a few grammatical errors and to put in the lyrics. All come from the song Cry by Mandy Moore.
You were all by yourself
Staring up at a dark gray sky
I was changed
I wanted to hold you; I wanted to make it go away
Morgana sometimes wondered if she ever would have realized how she felt about Gwen if it hadn't been for that afternoon.
The day after her father died, Gwen didn't come to work. Morgana was beside herself with worry, but Arthur was distracted by something or other and wouldn't listen to her. So finally, in the late afternoon, Morgana put on a thick cloak and went out to find Gwen herself.
She was soon hopelessly lost in the Lower Town, having no idea where her servant might live or if she was even home. Eventually, Morgana gave up, turned with a heavy heart, and headed for the out of the palace complex altogether, despite the fact that grey clouds hung over the sky menacingly. There was one place she hadn't yet tried.
A figure stood at the edge of the lake, head bowed against the rain which was beginning to fall. The girl had no outer wrap, and was shivering in the cool late afternoon air, arms wrapped around herself in a feeble attempt for warmth. Morgana hesitated, unsure of how to approach her.
"Gwen?" she said softly, and then girl started violently and spun around. When she saw Morgana, her face creased with worry. Morgana was amazed that at a time like this, Gwen could still be worried about her.
"My lady? What are you doing out here?" Gwen asked.
"Looking for you, of course," Morgana answered, moving a few steps closer. "Come on, you have to go home, you'll catch cold being out here in the rain." Which was, in fact, getting heavier by the minute.
"I'm fine," Gwen insisted, turning her back on Morgana, but Morgana didn't believe her. She could only think of one thing that might make Gwen open up to her.
"I wasn't fine after my father died," Morgana said softly. "I cried for weeks. Weeks, Gwen. I was so miserable, and angry that he had been taken away from me. It felt like the end of the world."
There was a long silence. "You've never told me that before," Gwen whispered finally.
Morgana shook her head. "I don't like to talk about it. But Gwen, you have to believe me when I say that given time, you will heal, even if it doesn't feel remotely possible right now." She cast another an anxious glance at the sky. "Please, at least let me walk you back to your home." Gwen didn't answer.
"Gwen," Morgana said desperately, trying anything she could think of to get through to her, "I understand if you're angry at me. I tried my best to stop the king from executing him, but he wouldn't listen to me. I'm so sorry."
Gwen finally turned around. "Angry? With you?" She asked incredulously, voice carefully steadied but still shaky. Morgana understood then that it was not anger or hatred which was making Gwen lose control, but a terrible sadness and pain. "Of course not, my lady. I could never be angry with you." Her hands were trembling.
Morgana moved a step closer. "Gwen?" She saw a single tear roll down Gwen's cheek. Her whole body was shaking.
Morgana's heart broke for her friend. Without thinking, she ran the few steps remaining between them and enfolded Gwen in her arms. At first, the girl tried to pull away, but Morgana's held her firmly. Finally Gwen gave in and held on as tightly as she could, letting herself weep. And as Morgana squeezed back, a few empathetic tears of her own beginning to fall, she realized something that the now-dismantled barrier between lady and servant girl hadn't allowed her to know before. Guinevere had somehow worked her way into Morgana's fearfully self-protective heart, and Morgana was in love with her. The knowledge shook the foundations of her world, but she knew in her heart that it was true.
Gwen finally pulled away, a stunned Morgana letting her slide out of the embrace but keeping a tight hold on her hand, which Gwen returned. "My lady," she said, tears spent, "I'm so sorry, please forgive me. I didn't mean for that to happen in front of you."
Morgana shook her head, wishing with all her heart that she had the courage to tell Gwen how she felt. "Don't be silly," she said firmly. "You needed me. And I'll always be here for you, forever." Gwen could see in her eyes that it was true, even though she couldn't quite believe how much so just yet.
"Thank you, my lady," she said humbly. Morgana started to nod, but stopped.
"My name is Morgana," she said softly. "When we're alone, I would prefer that you call me that."
Gwen started to protest, but her heart wasn't simply in it. "I will," she whispered, giving a tentative squeeze to the hand that lay in hers and trying to ignore the way her heart fluttered. "Morgana."
You were always the cold one; But I was never that sure
"Arthur, where is Morgana?" Gwen asked breathlessly. "I haven't seen her all day."
"I have no idea," he replied, looking thrilled that he was talking to her. Gwen felt a twinge of regret that she had ever allowed to let herself lead him to believe she was interested in him when, in fact, the opposite was true. "I assumed she was in her quarters."
"She's not," Gwen said, worry making her short-tempered. "Thank you, sire." She hurried away without giving him a chance to reply, thinking furiously.
The only place she hadn't checked so far was out by the lake. She hadn't wanted to believe Morgana was really out there, but now she had no choice. Gwen grabbed two heavy cloaks, donning one and carrying the other, and hurried out.
Of course, she was there, standing with her arms thrown out and her face tilted back to embrace the rain, eyes closed and a look of peace across her face. Gwen's heart pounded to see her looking so vulnerable, yet stronger than ever, at the same time. And of course, stunningly beautiful. Gwen couldn't stop the feelings any longer – the truth of her love for Morgana crashed down upon her like a ton of bricks. She gasped, sucking in cold, damp air.
Morgana turned around, and only then could Gwen see that not only was her face wet with rain, it was streaked with tears. So she did the only thing she ever could have possibly done – opened her arms and held Morgana as she sobbed against Gwen's shoulder.
Gwen could never tell her how she felt, but at least she could be Morgana's friend, if nothing more. But then Morgana pulled back, and their eyes locked, black and brown, and Morgana could see forever in Gwen's eyes that she wasn't alone.
And then Morgana kissed her, and Gwen kissed her back, a gentle, caressing rain falling down upon both of them, and nothing would ever be the same again.
In places no one will find; All your feelings so deep inside
Gwen rushed through the halls toward the chambers she knew so well, ignoring the ugly looks she got from people as she blew past them. Morgana had just arrived back in Camelot, and she didn't have a second to lose. Gwen hadn't seen her for an entire year – Morgana had been kidnapped. Heart pounding, she knocked on the door.
Morgana pulled it open a tiny crack, saw her, and pulled Gwen into the room, shutting the door firmly. She flung her arms around her and held her as tightly as she could, Gwen returning the embrace. Then she pulled away, and Gwen instantly saw in her eyes that something had changed.
"Oh, my lady Morgana," Gwen said softly, unsure of where to begin, "I am so glad you are all right."
"More or less," Morgana replied without smiling. Her face was different, thinner and more closed than before, her eyes heavy-lidded. Gwen felt an uneasy twinge in her stomach. This was not the Morgana she knew and loved.
Gwen decided to act as though nothing was wrong. "Morgana, can I assist you with anything?" she asked as cheerfully as she could. There was no reply. "Morgana?" A chill ran down her spine as she realized exactly what was happening. Gwen took a deep breath and forced herself to speak the formal words she hadn't had to use in ages. "My lady? Are you in need of assistance?"
Morgana turned around, no expression whatsoever on her face. "No, thank you, Gwen," she said simply. "I am quite fine just as I am."
Somehow Gwen knew they were not just talking about Morgana's daily needs. While she had been away, something had changed within her, and Gwen understood that Morgana no longer wanted her in any way other than that of serving girl. This was the end of the tentative, yet strong, relationship they had managed to forge on love alone. Even in her worst fears of what might have happened during the kidnapping, she had never imagined this. It was all over now. Gwen curtsied and hurried out of the room, holding back the tears until she reached her home, where she and the sky both wept at last.
It was there that I realized; Forever was in your eyes; The moment I saw you cry
Thunder crashed beyond the window as Morgana lay motionless on her bed, hot, silent tears running thickly down her face and soaking her pillow. She hadn't known it would hurt so much to tell Gwen goodbye, despite the fact that she hadn't even said it in words. Gwen wasn't stupid; Morgana knew she had gotten the intended message.
Gradually, Morgana forced the tears to slow, then finally to stop. She had never cried so hard in her life, and Morgana felt exhausted, spent. She knew that Gwen had no place in the life she was now living. She would be much better off here, marrying Arthur – or not, depending on whether or not she and Morguse were successful. But no matter what, Gwen would be unharmed. Morgana was determined of that.
She went to the window and stared out at the black sky. The rain still beat against the windowpane, but Morgana was no longer crying. This was no time for second thoughts or regrets. Stroking Morgouse's bracelet, the only source of comfort left to her, Morgana smiled bitterly. She had lost the only thing for which she had ever felt pure love, untainted with anger or hate or fear, and the loss was all of her own doing. But she couldn't afford to dwell on the past or the way things might have been had she made a different choice. Standing at the window, Morgana swore that this would be both the first and the last time she would ever cry over Gwen. When she had embraced her destiny, Morgana had changed, and Gwen belonged with someone who could give her a future of light, not darkness.
Morgana went back to bed, and refused to let herself notice that her eyes, like Gwen's, were still red and puffy in the morning, standing out starkly against her bloodless-white skin.
I will always remember
A/N: Please leave a review!