Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin.

Kissing Summer's Brave Dawn

I have kissed the summer dawn.

- From 'Dawn' by Arthur Rimbaud

You live in a world where fire is wine and love can turn to dust in the blink of a second. Madness. This place of magic and miracles will always be wild, and you cannot help but thrill each time a butterfly cast of moonlight or a gaily-painted sprite flutters silently through the honey-laden air.

You're out on this cool, clear night in nothing but a slip of a dress, and you know that if anybody saw you, they would be shocked at the impropriety of it all, and that is exactly why you think the you are so much more beautiful in the arms of the wind. It blows all of that away, and leaves only you. This girl with sable hair and ashen skin who dances through the dark like there are wings at her back.

Sometimes when you sleep, something slithers deep into your mind, breathing poison on to your furrowed brow as your mouth opens in a silent scream. Closed eyes, and shut lips, you are locked in the eyes of a serpent. Abaddon comes for you, and you breathe deeply as he invades the most sacred corners of your being. When he bleeds you dry, it is those blueblue eyes that you see. You've always wondered why.

That's why you are here, in this little moonlit garden, with beauty shining from every pore of your being, and death in your verdantly green eyes.

Strong, silent little girl. It is this night that you decide, as you look into the purple, pregnant sky, that you are destiny. Close your eyes, and you see the small auburn servant girl with daffodils in her hair. Standing beside her, shining in a halo of kingly glory, is this beautiful mess of sapphires and flaxen-gold fields, this man that is just a boy. Please don't clutch her so tightly. Please don't hold her like she is the only thing in the world. You aren't sure you can bear it.

Right then, right there, you see your future spelled out so plainly that you cannot look at it anymore. You will not be her. You will not be remembered as that beautiful little girl with something so very broken in her eyes, the one who was cheated by destiny and forced to stand aside as a woman with nothing but vicious fate on her side takes your beautiful throne and your gilded cage and your love, without so much as looking back at what she left behind.

There is radiance in your eyes and darkness in your heart, and this night as you scoop up a handful of rich, coffee-coloured soil, you cannot help but smile. Anybody looking at you right now would see a luminous woman with dirt in her hands, providence in her eyes, and a heart that is dying on the ground before her, begging for another chance at love.

You've never been one for oaths or vows, those silly declarations that mean nothing when death is staring you in the face. But today, you swear. You make a promise in this fragile moonlight, in the tentative obscurity of the night. This mad, magical world needs a villain. Someone to hate, someone to hate them. Someone to make their king glorious and their queen that much more beautiful. Someone to kill viciously and with no remorse. Morgana Le Fay, this night you are beautiful and you are young and you are so, so doomed. You know that in the end, you will die with a knife in your back, left to rot in a ditch on the side of some cow path, but today, you are glory itself.

Be dark, my love. Be black and violent and make them hate you so hard that they practically die for you because of it. Staring at your heart lying dead at your feet, you realize that love is never enough, and this makes you laugh out loud because love should always be enough.

It should be everything.

It should fly with us in this sad excuse for life like an angel over our shoulder, closing our eyes when we see death prowl towards us with her curled talons and broken kisses.

Waiting.

~()~

Over the years, there is sadness and there is hate and there is love so fierce that it burns in that vacant place where a bloody, beating thing once rested. You watch as they fall in love, auburn and azure, and it breaks you in pieces because you can see what happens to them, and how undignified and lawless and sad they will be in the end. It's curious; actually, how you can still love this stubborn, beautiful, golden-haired boy even though your heart is gone somewhere you didn't even know existed.

You stay beautiful. Always so lovely that any man who looks upon you is reduced to nothing at your feet. Isn't that what you'd always wanted? Beautiful girls always get what they want, so that's why this just doesn't seem fair. You're the most beautiful of them all, and you laugh and hide behind winking green eyes and silk-paper skin, when all you want to do is pretend destiny is nothing and jump into those blue eyes and drown.

Unfortunately, you are merely a pawn in this giant, bloody chess game. It's funny how it's always the beautiful ones that are condemned. You suppose it is your penance for your lovely skin and your enchanting eyes, not to mention the power you command, the power to destroy or create in the palm of your hand.

There are so many sweet, horrible nights, when you lay between your silken sheets and cry boiling tears until there is nothing left but nightmares and destiny. You cannot move, because this day, you have nowhere to go. You begin to wonder, sometimes, if there is actually anything else but clammy fate and those blood-spattered nightmares, their long-reaching fingers prying you open for the world to abhor.

You weren't planning on leaving the castle until another season had passed, but all it took was one kiss, one intertwining of two beautiful minds so egregiously unalike, witnessed at the wrong time, for you to feel that small thump, as your dead heart beat its last.

For good, this time.

You see the changes in the mirror. The way your eyes brighten, your skin pales, and your hair darkens to blacker than dusk itself. Is it the magic flowing through your veins? Or maybe, just maybe it is the only way you can continue to put one foot forward when you love this bold, beautiful boy, and he just doesn't love you back.

It's a cool, foggy morning when you steal away from the castle, your heavy velvet cloak fading into the haze as the sound of your horse's hoof beats fade. Galloping away, Arthur is all you can think about. There is no mincing words. Not now, after all that has been left unsaid. You are in love, so desperately, violently, passionately in love, that you can feel the world fracture and explode just a little bit more with each wet hoof print that separates you.

You are about to leave the castle gardens when you pass by that spot where you stood so many years ago with dirt in your hands, providence in your eyes, and your bloody heart lying dead at your feet. You stop and dismount, and you can feel your hands shaking as you gingerly press your waxen fingers to the cool, hard ground. The soil has long since been raked and hoed, but you swear you can feel a steady thumpthump which tells you that maybe you aren't so dead, after all. Even though there is no heart beating in your chest, you suppose that it will always be here, in this mad, magical place that you called home for so long. With Arthur.

With Arthur.

Before you leave (for good this time), you bury your hands deep into the wet soil, your lips shaping fantastical, magical words as you feel thrilling energy leave your body and curl hollowly through the earth. Pulling, squeezing, growing, it feels like something so big and beautiful and all-encompassing that you can very nearly feel the tears that long to drip down your cheeks.

You do not let them fall.

Instead, you get up, wipe your eyes, and leave your home and your heart behind as fast as your horse can carry you. Once, just once, you look back at the place where you left your only love to live forevermore.

Growing in a small, lonely patch of dirt is a single, flaxen-gold acacia flower, reaching plaintively towards the sun.

FIN