Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin. If I did, the events of Season 3 would not have had Morgana going evil, and she wouldn't be utterly psychotic in season 4 either, which so far she seems to be.
Author's Note: Inspiration for this fic is 'I Hate Everything About You' by Three Day's Grace. I don't own it.
Its an idea that I had, and it refused to go away, so I finally put fingers to my keyboard and just wrote it.
This takes place in some nebulous point after season 3, but before season 4. Slightly AU, in that Morgana found out about Merlin's magic at the tail end of "The Coming of Arthur Part II". And Morgause died in that episode as well.
I Hate Everything About You
He had been her friend. Or so he acted.
She had thought she could trust him. She had trusted him. She'd told him about her fears that she had magic. She had let him in...come to care about him. Care for him.
She had trusted him.
And he had repaid that trust with lies and betrayal. He had poisoned her.
And he had lied about his own magic. He had had magic that entire time...and never told her. While she had been terrified of what she was, while she had been drowning, thrashing for a way to save herself from her growing despair, he had had the knowledge, the power to help her. Instead, he had lied, turned his back on her, and when that wasn't enough, he had poisoned her, and left her for dead.
He had magic.
And yet...he defended Uther, a man who had, time and again, proven that he was a heartless monster who sought only to eliminate all magic from the world, in his paranoid quest for power. All magic – all people like her, like her sister. Like Merlin. Merlin was so willing to defend Uther that he had killed magic users to protect him. He had been responsible for the death of her sister.
Merlin defended, supported, protected a man that had denied his own daughter. Merlin stood for everything she opposed: Uther, Arthur, Camelot. She hated everything he stood for.
She hated everything about him – his lies, his betrayal, his ability to seem so utterly innocuous and useless. His stupid, goofy smile. That knowing look he had sometimes. His ability to ruin her plans time and time again.
And yet...she knew that her hatred was not all she felt. When she thought of him, her heart beat faster, her breath caught in her throat. Conflicting emotions dueled within her everything she thought of him. She wanted to kill him...she wanted to kiss him.
She hated everything about Merlin.
So why did she love him?
Merlin was not a man who liked to have regrets.
He had never regretted many big things – not really – in his life. But there was one regret. One thing that dominated his thoughts. One regret that he would never overcome.
When Morgana had come to Gaius's chambers that night...he had seen how terrified she was, how much she needed help. When she told him about her fears that she had magic – which he had already known – he hadn't told her. He had shunned her fears. He had gone through everything Morgana was going through now, and he hadn't helped her. He had, in effect, driven her away.
Even now, sitting as he was on his bed, looking out the window into the starry sky, Merlin wondered what would have happened if he'd been honest with her. Had told her about her magic...helped her deal with it. Been there for her.
He had known, but the time Morgause woke the Knights of Medhir, that he loved Morgana...and yet he was still lying to her. If he had told her...helped her. She might never have turned to Morgause and her plans to kill Uther and Arthur and all of Camelot. Never have been so lost, so alone as to accept Morgause's twisted, hate-filled help. And he had solidified that sense of loss, of loneliness that he had caused when he poisoned Morgana.
He'd told himself at the time it was the only way. He loved Morgana...but he could not just let all of Camelot die for one person. But he should have tried harder. He should have pressed Kilgharrah for more options. He knew the Great Dragon hated Morgana. He was so caught up in the prophecies that he was unwilling...unable, perhaps, to look past them. Obsessed with his own freedom, he had taken Prophecy for its own truth. But Merlin knew...at least now, that prophecy was a tricky thing...his experiences with the Crystal of Neahtid, with the Crystal Cave had shown him how muddled the future was. Interpreting future events was next to impossible.
He should have tried another way. Found some way to end the spell without killing her, or defear Morgause, or the knights...anything. He was supposed to be Emrys, the greatest warlock in history.
And he had instead betrayed the woman he loved.
When she returned, he had been so elated that she had forgiven him...that he didn't realize just how far gone she was...he should have been more suspicious of her easy forgiveness.
He had once loved Morgana. But now...after everything she had done – raising the dead to undermine Camelot from within, trying to kill Arthur with the Eye of the Phoenix, trying to kill Gwen, trying to kill Gwen and Arthur, trying to kill Uther...leading an army of immortal soldiers to conquer Camelot.
Turning those soldiers against the innocent people of Camelot. Killing them, just because the Knights of Camelot had refused to side with her as she took power for herself.
She was now, as Kilgharrah had said, the darkness to his light, the hatred to his love...but he had caused that.
As much as he loved...as much as he wanted to forgive her, he couldn't. She had used magic for evil, again and again. Been responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people. He couldn't forgive her. Everything she stood for was everything he stood against.
It pained him to admit it. He hated her. She was not the Morgana he had fallen for, but still...
He hated her, hated Everything about what she had become.
And still he loved her.