Disclaimer: If I owned Merlin, I wouldn't be sitting here writing about it.
Author's Note: Spoilers for "Fires of Idirsholas" and "Tears of Uther Pendragon Part 1". This one is a little bit darker than my usual stuff, but it popped into my head while I was watching 3x01 and refused to leave until I wrote it down. And I think I kinda like the way it turned out just because it feels so... Morgana. Let me know what you think!

True Friends Stab You in the Front

There you are, Merlin. Hiding behind a log like the coward you are. Did you really think you could follow me all the way from the castle without my knowledge? Did you really think I was that stupid? I can see by your face that you did. You have much to learn. You seem surprised. You shouldn't be. I am not the naïve girl I once was. I've changed. You knew that much, of course. But your stupid, trusting mind had no idea exactly how much. I have learned much in the year I have been gone. And it was all thanks to you.

Go on then. Run like a coward. Run back to warn your precious Arthur. You'll never make it that far. Morgause won't let you. You know too much. You've done too much. But go ahead and try. I'll enjoy watching them hunt you.

How did we end up like this? There was a time when we were not so different, you and I. We were friends, once. You knew of my magic, and yet you told no one. I trusted you, Merlin, trusted you with my life. It was the biggest mistake I ever made.

I thought you cared about me once. I knew Uther was a fool and a liar, but you... I would have expected Arthur to cut me down himself long before you would. But I was wrong. I was young and foolish. I was so desperate to be understood that I was willing to put my trust in a foolish young serving boy. But you betrayed me. I was nothing to you. I was a mere pawn, a bargaining chip. You would have killed me to save your precious Camelot. To save the tyrant. I had no idea I was to blame for the sickness, and yet you were willing to sacrifice my life. And if you could betray me... you, sweet kind Merlin... If you could betray me, than anyone could. Gaius, Arthur, even Guen. I do not need you, any of you. I do not need friends who will guard my back only so long as it suits them.

But Morgause is different. She surrendered Camelot to save my life. I am not merely a pawn to her. I am her sister, and she treats me as such. Morgause would do anything to save me, and I would do the same for her. She is my true friend, the only one I need. You threw my life away like a worthless trinket. But she saved me. And now you will pay.

You say you had no choice, but I know better. There were other choices. But you chose the simplest: killing me. You fool. And now that I have returned, you pretend to seek forgiveness, saying how wrong you were and how sorry you are. I don't buy it for a moment. But even if you really believed that you had no choice, you could have at least taken it like a man. You could have watched my face as I drank my death. But you turned away like a sniveling coward. You could have told me that it was you instead of waiting for me to figure it out for myself. You could have told me the reason so that I at least understood why. But you didn't. You're a coward, Merlin. And cowards die.

I wish I could stay, Merlin, I really do. I wish I could see your face when you wake up and realize that you have failed to escape. I wish I could watch as Morgause explains to you that you are going to die and that Camelot will die with you. Oh, how I would enjoy it. To watch you struggle and cry for help, to see the agony on your face as you see the serkets coming for you. Which is worse, I wonder? To not see death until it is too late, and to die wondering why your friend has chosen to betray you? Or to watch death coming for you, knowing full well who has done this to you and why? How ironic that you will die of the poison in the serket's sting. I wish I could stay and watch. But unfortunately I must return to Camelot. The battle is not yet over, and I still have my part to play. But don't worry. I'll be sure and take good care of Arthur for you. As a final favor to you, I'll even be sure he dies a quick death. To you, on the other hand, I can give no such thing. I want you to suffer as I did. I want you to die slowly, like a coward should. And you will, Merlin. I wish I could stay. I want to see the agony in your eyes, the hurt, the betrayal. I want to know what I looked like as I died.

But I am not completely heartless. I am not quite as cruel as you seem to believe. I have granted you something you chose to deny me. You know who has sentenced you to death. And you know why. What is more, you will see it coming. Part of you has seen it coming from the moment I returned. I have not secretly slipped you a poison or brought a knife to your back. I am not as cowardly as you. No, you will see the blow as it comes. You will see the serket raising its tail to strike. You will see it, and you will know that you brought it upon yourself. Then, then you will truly regret turning against me.

There was a time, Merlin, when I cared for you. You were more than a bargaining chip to me. You were my friend. I trusted you. And you betrayed me. But because of what we once had, I will grant you the right to see the blow coming, to prepare yourself to face it. I will allow you to face it as a man, rather than the coward that you are. You, at least, will know that death is coming for you. It seems rather fitting, does it not? After all, you know what they say, Merlin. Only a coward stabs you in the back.

True friends stab you in the front.

What do you think? Good, bad? Strengths, weaknesses? PLEASE review! "Feed the bard," as they say.