Disclaimer: I don't own "Merlin"; the series belongs to the BBC, even if the legend is essentially public domain

AN: Just a quick one-shot reflecting my views on the current Merlin/Morgana dynamic and Merlin's motives for not telling her the truth about himself (Slight spoilers for "Eye of the Phoenix", but nothing overly significant and it's mainly based on my own speculation more than anything else anyway)

What If I Told Her?

Ever since that day we fought in Camelot's dungeons, I haven't been able to shake that possibility from my mind.

If I'd just told Morgana about my magic... would she have sided with Morgause?

It's not like there weren't so many other reasons for her to have gone with the other sorceress- her ability to learn how to use her magic, her anger at Uther, her connection to Mordred (Even if he hasn't been seen anywhere recently)-, but if I'd just been able to get past my own fear of discovery...

I trusted her, but there was always a line between trust and faith, and I was never certain about the last one.

Maybe I'd hoped that just showing her acceptance when she thought I was normal would help her avoid the fate of so many other people I'd seen wielding magic- if she thought I accepted her regardless I could help her see that people with magic weren't automatically feared by those who didn't have it; telling her that I did have magic could have left her with the impression that only fellow magic-wielders could be trusted-, or maybe I'd just enjoyed the idea that she trusted me because I was me, rather than because I was 'Emrys', or Merlin the warlock, or whatever term people wanted to use to refer to me as...

Whatever my motives, my intentions hadn't worked, and now, the two of us were on paths that would probably lead us to a direct confrontation sooner rather than later.

Still... even after Kilgharrah's warning about Morgana when I'd last summoned him...

A part of me still couldn't believe it of her.

I'd seen her willing to betray Camelot, I'd seen her try to kill Uther, and seen her arrange for Arthur and Gwen to die...

But, at the same time, I couldn't help but remember all those times when she'd helped me- either directly or indirectly- protect some of the innocent magic-users I'd encountered since coming to Camelot; helping me rescue Mordred (Back when I'd still seen him as the innocent boy rather than the killer he'd shown himself in our last meeting), accompanying me and Arthur to protect Ealdor, her anger at Uther executing Tom, her concern for Gwen after Hengist kidnapped her by mistake...

I couldn't believe that the Morgana I'd known then didn't still exist to some degree; if I could just find the right line of argument to convince her not to do things this way...

The problem I faced was that I knew there was one line of argument that might make more of an impact than any other; the fact that I had magic as well.

She wasn't alone in Camelot when it came to the burden of keeping such a dangerous secret; I had to keep it myself.

If I could just persuade her that the way she believed in was not the only option, there might have been a chance; maybe we could even work together to confront some of the various magical problems Camelot faced...

It wouldn't be easy, but there was a chance that could work.

But...

No matter how much I wanted to believe in her, I couldn't forget the ease with which she'd planned to lead Arthur, Gwen and I into a trap; even if she hadn't forgiven me for what I'd done to stop the Knights, Arthur and Gwen had never done anything to her.

For her to do something so callous...

Even if she was trying to justify it with arguments about how she would lead a Camelot that would not prosecute those with magic when she couldn't be sure that Arthur wouldn't just turn out like his father, I wasn't sure if enough of the old Morgana remained for me to be able to convince her to abandon her current path.

If I told her I had magic, and she still didn't listen to me...

That would be it.

There would be no going back.

After that...

If she still wouldn't listen to me... if she was still resolved to follow her path and destroy Camelot...

Then that would be it.

With no other hope that I could sway her from her path, either I would die at her hand, or I would have to kill Morgana myself.

And I...

I couldn't do that.

I wasn't sure if I could... kill her; it had been hard enough doing it the first time, and that had been when all available evidence had told me that killing her was the only way to end the sleeping sickness.

If I had to do it again...

But, when I remembered the words of the Fisher King, I had to wonder if there was another way.

"Albion's time of need is near, and in that dark hour you must be strong, for you alone can save her."

It might refer to Albion itself- the possibility that he was just using imagery was something I couldn't overlook-, but if there was an alternative... if he was referring to her...

I couldn't overlook that either.

I had to hope that there was a chance that she could be saved...

If I just judged everyone without giving them a chance, I was no better than Morgause (I couldn't tarnish Morgana with the same brush as the other sorceress; Morgana had shown that she had the potential to be more than what she was now, but Morgause had never shown any sign that she had any interest than her own goals), believing that everyone was guilty merely because of who they associated with rather than because of what they were...

I had managed to secretly stop her plans so far; all I could do for the moment was continue that strategy and hope that it would be enough.