Disclaimer: I still don't own Merlin, sadly.
Author's Note: Spoilers for season 3 (especially "The Coming of Arthur Part 1"). This one goes pretty AU, basically my take on how the season finale should go between Guen and Morgana. It may seem pretty cheesy, but I felt like they should have one last chance to make up before Morgana leaves Camelot. Enjoy!
***Special thanks to lily forever for reviewing Part 2.***
Morgana had long suspected that Guen would be her downfall.
Her maid was her one weakness, the sole chink in her armor. The only one who could get through her walls, the only one who could make her doubt, even regret. Guen was the one she believed in no matter what, the one who could still reach her when she was lost to all others. But Guen's heart belonged to Arthur. She knew that, she really did. But just as Uther had been blinded to her own potential for destruction, she allowed herself to turn the other way and hope that maybe, just maybe, Guen wouldn't betray her.
Morgause had warned her to watch herself, to not get too attached to Guen. But Morgana did it anyway. She knew firsthand how loyal Guen could be, how strong and steadfast, and a part of her was hoping that maybe that loyalty was still to her. In her heart she knew better. The gap between her and Guen had become a great gaping chasm, and there was no longer a way across. Guen was lost to her. She knew that. But she wasn't ready to accept it yet. And so she turned the other way. She gave Guen another chance, pretending that they could still be friends, pretending that she did not know that when the moment came it would be Guen's hand that held the knife.
They had their moment, she and Morgause. Their immortal army rained down on Camelot, and the battle was over almost before it had begun. Uther was usurped and the crown was placed on Morgana's head. Suddenly everything was right with the world. For a moment she allowed herself to believe that it could last, that the tyranny was over, that magic could finally be free. Finally the killing was at an end.
And then Arthur and his men came and it was all over. Merlin, idiotic bumbling Merlin, had somehow figured out how to break the immortality spell. One by one their great army fell apart. Someone had sent Arthur's men word, told them where everyone was and how the army was controlled. Someone had let them in to the castle and gotten them what they needed. Someone had pulled the carpet out from under Morgana. And as much as she wanted to deny it, she knew it had been Guen.
The attack on the throne room had been fast and furious. Morgause and Morgana had run, taking a series of side corridors and back hallways. The soldiers stayed behind, ready to fight to the death. They were mortal now. There was no going back. But they were still mercenaries at heart. They would live as victors or die in the attempt.
Morgause easily took out the few who got in their path. Morgana stole a sword from a dead body and fought beside her. The majority of the rebels were busy trying to retake the rest of the castle, and they met little resistance. Escaping was almost too easy.
They were nearly out when Morgause fell, a knife in her leg. Morgana turned, slicing through men like ribbons as she fought with sword and magic. She reached Morgause to find that her sister was unconscious and growing cold, fast. The knife had been poisoned.
Morgana pulled the knife out and began to work her magic as fast as she could, but she was running blind. Her powers were still weak, and she had very little knowledge of spells such as this. She could only hope it would work. They were in a little-used corridor far out of the way. If they just had enough time...
"Come on," she pleaded. "You have to be alright."
A group of men rounded the corner and Morgana sent them all flying with a single word. They crashed into the wall, their necks snapping. Morgause's breathing was almost nonexistent. Morgana was on the verge of panic.
Someone else ran around the corner and Morgana looked up, ready to crush them too. But her heart stopped when she saw who it was.
The maid looked at Morgana, then at the unconscious Morgause, and then at the dead men lining the corridor.
"Are you going to kill me too?" she asked, standing tall, her voice steady and her gaze unwavering. Morgana stared at her hard, trying to find the strength to do it.
"I can't," she whispered finally, her voice breaking as she looked down. Guen seemed unsure what to do with this knowledge.
There was the sound of more men running down the adjacent corridor and Morgana held her breath, but they raced on by.
"Will she live?" Guen asked, her face and voice carefully guarded as she tried to decide what to do.
"I don't know," Morgana confessed. She could feel tears stinging her eyes. Unless something changed soon, her sister had very few breaths left. She touched the wound, trying another spell. Her eyes blazed, but there was no way of knowing if it would work.
"You let them in, didn't you?" Morgana asked, looking back up and trying to use the distraction to hold herself together. Guen said nothing. She didn't have to.
"Damn it, Guen!" Morgana cried suddenly, looking back down. "This is all your fault!"
"My fault?" Guen asked incredulously. All the lives lost in Camelot most certainly did not rest on her shoulders! She could feel her anger rising, but Morgana beat her to it.
"I could make myself hate Merlin, and Gaius, and even Arthur!" Morgana cried. "But you... You were the one person I could never hurt." She looked back down at her sister, desperate for some reaction. There was none.
Morgana was trapped, and she knew it. She could not run and leave her sister to die, but neither could she kill Guen. And yet if she let Guen go, the maid would surely alert the others and their chances of escape would vanish. She was going to have to decide whose life she valued more.
"Morgana?" Guen asked softly, taking a very tentative step forward. Something about the conflicting emotions warring on Morgana's face had reawakened her old instinct to protect her charge.
And then suddenly Morgause began to breathe again. It was barely noticeable at first, and then the rise and fall of her chest gradually became more obvious. She was coming back around. Morgana looked ready to cry with relief.
Morgause's eyes opened and Morgana helped her to sit up.
"You should have left me," Morgause said, trying to sound stern and failing.
"I couldn't," Morgana said softly. Morgause touched her sister's cheek, and Morgana smiled just a little.
"You should go," Guen said.
The sisters' heads jerked up as they suddenly remembered Guen. Morgause stiffened, trying to decide how much of a threat the maid posed.
"I'll buy you some time," Guen said softly, her mind suddenly making itself up.
"What?" Morgana asked, looking utterly confused.
"You asked me to choose between you and Arthur, and I can't do it," Guen said. After all that Morgana had done, there had been something in that moment that reminded Guen of the old Morgana. Suddenly she had realized that person was still there. She was hiding behind walls of stone, but she was there nonetheless. And something in Guen could not bring herself to hurt that Morgana, much less kill her. It would probably be the biggest mistake she ever made, but Morgana had risked everything for her more than once and it was time to return the favor.
She turned to go as Morgause got to her feet.
Morgana stepped over to her as if to touch her, but then she froze, not sure what to do.
"Thank-you," she said finally. Guen nodded and smiled sadly.
"Morgana," Morgause said quietly. "We need to go."
"I'm sorry," Morgana blurted, catching Guen's hand as her friend turned away again. "I'm so sorry for everything." There were unshed tears glistening in her eyes.
Guen hesitated a moment, and then reached out and hugged Morgana tightly. Morgana returned the embrace. They both knew this would not be the last time they saw each other, but it was the last time they would be together as friends. The next time they met they would both be on different sides of a war. They had shared so much together over the years. But this was where it finally ended.
Morgana gave her friend one final squeeze before making herself let go. She forced a smile, and Guen smiled back despite the two tearstains on her cheeks. For one precious moment she had her Morgana back. For one precious moment they were together again.
"You're a good friend," Morgana said sincerely, taking Guen's hand in her own. Her face was dry, but her eyes were wet. "Far better than I deserve."
The sound of running footsteps echoed up the corridor.
"Go," Guen said, squeezing her friend's hand before stepping back. "Hurry!"
Morgana turned and she and Morgause took off running down the corridor. At the corner she looked back for a moment. Guen was still standing there, watching. As soon as they turned the corner she heard Guen running out into the main corridor and taking off in the other direction, shouting that Morgana had gone that way.
Soon the sisters were outside the city. They headed into the forest, Morgause already forming a plan of where they would go and who they could trust. At the edge of the forest Morgana turned and looked back for a moment. Once she entered that forest she would be leaving everything behind. Her memories, her life, her friend. Her rescue by Morgause had been the start, but this would be the real thing. She would no longer be Morgana the king's ward. She would be Morgana Pendragon, sorceress and very real threat to Camelot.
Then again, maybe she wouldn't have to be a threat. One way or another Uther's reign would end, and then Arthur would be king. Between Arthur and Guen, maybe magic stood a chance. Maybe there would be no need to defy a king who meant their kind no harm. Maybe then the bloodshed would finally stop. Maybe then she would finally be able to be the person she had always wanted to be but had never had the chance to: herself.
After a moment she turned and followed her sister into the forest. There was no way to know what the future held, but at least she and Morgause were both alive. It was a start.
Morgana had long suspected that Guen would be her downfall. It had never occurred to her that her friend would also be her salvation.
Please review and let me know what you thought! :)