But for some reason the thought of leaving the room did not please her. As Merlin left, so did the burning sensation that had spread through her opening way for her own sense again. Her own fear came back first apparently she thought bitterly. Left to her own devices it seemed her mind would be the one to betray her.
What would she even do now? She thought. Morgan could leave this room…but where would she go in Camelot? And looking like she did she didn't doubt what people would think of her. People who were easily swayed from one thought pattern to another, when their own fortunes were threatened by some force they couldn't control. Morgan sighed now that no one was around to hear it. Rubbing her new tattoo absently, aware that there was no pain from the gesture despite what she thought, she stood up. She fought the urge to seek out a mirror to see her newest addition. Instead deciding to stay put, Morgan took up the project she had started. She gave a hollow smirk when she thought about Arthur's reaction to her not leaving this room. It would certainly throw a small curve in his plan. Any inconvenience was going to be her new mission, she was sure she could cause quite the trouble from within the walls of Camelot.
But it was that thought that struck the smile from Morgan's face. Why? Why should she cause any more trouble for Arthur? She thought as her mind turned on her. She wouldn't be queen. Not after she had saved Igraine and disgraced herself so thoroughly in front of the people of Camelot. But if she wasn't going to be queen, what was she going to be? She thought she would die in her pursuit of the crown. Morgan thought long and hard on what she should do then as her hands worked over blood stained fabric absently. The sun faded behind her, but Morgan remained dead to the world. She had never had cause to pause and think about what she wanted to be, should be. She didn't acknowledge when a young woman came in to place a tray of food beside her timidly. It seemed no answers would come to Morgan as she continued scrubbing as only more questions arose in her mind. Why was she even seeking the crown? Why did Merlin always say she belonged here? Crickets chirped in the cool night air below her but still Morgan scrubbed. She did not notice when the water began to stain her gown more instead of aid in the removal of blood. She did not even notice when her hands began to grow raw from the repetitive motion. Her make shift wound coverings grew soaked, but still she did not notice. Her whole world flashed behind her eyes, every word Sybil had said in encouragement. Every drop of blood that she had shed on Uther's ring. Nothing made any sense anymore. She had never been without someone telling her what the right direction in her life was save for those brief weeks before Sybil had arrived from the nunnery. Even then she'd had Mother Superior's spirit wolf. Why was she even thinking like this? Did any of it even matter anymore?
Morgan heard the same young woman from before open the door again, but she just couldn't meet the woman's eyes. She didn't even know the woman, a fact that haunted Morgan. She had roamed these halls, basking in the inhabitants love as Igraine not long ago, but now this castle held nothing but cold facts. She was alone. She could never leave Camelot again or Merlin would know. She had no skills that would help her break such a powerful spell. She knew no friendly face here and she didn't think that was going to change anytime soon. She was going to die lonely, in this room, without anyone. That thought stalled her tired hands. She had finally found her deepest fear about her current situation. She was alone. Arthur knew more about torture then she ever would she surmised sarcastically.
Finally looking up to an empty room Morgan felt her neck groan in objection. The moon, alone it seemed would see her end. But then Morgan realized why she had looked up. A crow sat on the sill of her window. Morgan's breath caught in her throat at the sight. She was not naïve enough to believe it was simply a bird trying to find a place to land for a rest. It had been a very long time since she had seen this particular bird. Rising slowly, half way afraid of what the beast would look like up close, Morgan took three hesitant steps to the bird. The winged spirit did not so much as ruffle its midnight feathers at her approach. Morgan suppressed the shiver the predator's red eyes caused in her spine when they locked gazes.
"Sybil." Morgan whispered half in fright and half so that Merlin would not be able to hear. Her answer came in the form of an ear spitting caw that made Morgan flinch. Morgan did not possess the beast magic the nuns had despite all they had tried to teach her, but she understood that well enough.
"I have no answers Sybil. I don't know what came over me." Morgan whispered back, knowing that if she showed any evidence of the day's thoughts that she would regret it with this woman. Morgan had learned long ago that if she showed even the slightest weakness to Sybil that it would be exploited. The woman still played on Morgan's insecurities about her mother to that day. Sybil's piercing eyes seemed to search the truth from Morgan's very soul, but to her credit she did not move. Morgan was nothing if not stubborn. After what seemed a lifetime, Sybil extended her talon toward Morgan forcing the woman to break eye contact. Morgan untied to note attached with utmost care, the back of her mind scared of being slashed by Sybil. As soon as the note left Sybil's leg she startled Morgan by unfolding her intimidating wing span and exiting through the window in a single breath. Morgan watched her soar over Camelot by the moon light before she unrolled the letter in her hand with a sense of dread in her stomach that she could not place. She should feel elated that Sybil had not forsaken her after what she had done, but all she seemed to be able to feel that day was fear.
You stupid girl! After all our hard work, how can you be so naïve? To allow Igraine of all people to trick you out of your rightful crown. I am very upset with you my child, but all hope is not lost. I thought for sure Merlin would have put you to death. Instead you are given the perfect opportunity to cause a rift between the man and the boy. If you have not lost all sense you will see that I am right. I will be watching you Morgan. Do not disappoint me again. You will not like the consequences. I am not as naïve as those who harbor you of what you have done, what you are capable of.
Watch yourself my child.
The words, which once would have been comforting, did little to ease Morgan's mind. Sybil was angry. There was no denying that now. When Sybil grew angry Morgan had always suffered. Morgan did not doubt that the woman would let her stew for an undetermined about of time before she contacted her again once she had figured out what she could do to Morgan in punishment without being where Merlin could get to her. It was reassuring to have at least a little bit of her old self back however as the feelings of resentment toward Sybil seemed to creep back up with the relief. Sybil had been the only mother Morgan had ever known besides Igraine. Igraine's name brought a whole new list of thoughts to her mind. She vaguely remembered Merlin saying she had gone to Pendragon for a while. Morgan sat in her previously vacated spot with a giant sigh. Rereading Sybil's note, Morgan held it to her heart. Though the words were harsh, the action to come cruel, Morgan still wanted to believe that Sybil loved her. She was the only one who ever had shown her even an ounce of affection even if she was playing off Morgan's insecurities. Deciding to follow Sybil's orders Morgan stood with a new resolve in her step. She'd had thoughts of giving up all day, but now she had something to do. She wouldn't just sit in this room and wither away. She would cause the trouble she'd originally thought about. Arthur brought this on himself. Morgan reassured herself, rereading Sybil's note again before stashing it securely in the cleavage of her undergarment.
With her resolve back in tact Morgan shuffled her way to the wardrobe and chose a gown at random. White, how appropriate she thought with a smirk as she threw on the sleeveless gown. She ignored the chill that threatened her as she tore the hem off this gown as well. Morgan looked down at herself in disgust but she would make due. Removing the festering wound coverings with a small hiss of pain Morgan threw them into a corner. Perhaps it would lull Arthur into seeing her as surrendering in a white dress, she pondered bitterly before she pushed the door open. She knew everyone was probably asleep, but she felt that she needed to start reaffirming herself with the castle so not to be thrown off during her mission. The halls held the moon light in the same eerie fashion she noted as she moved down them silently. She let her fingers graze the cold stone and ivy as she passed, taking care to make her foot falls as silent as possible when she begun to notice several torches lit the further she went. She begun to notice she had wandered to the great hall when voices reached her first. However it was the heat that suddenly spread through her upper arm that made her pause. Glancing down startled Morgan felt a moment of pure doubt. She did not know where it came from, but in that second she didn't think about Sybil, but of herself. She suddenly wondered what she was doing. Did she really want this or was it simply something to do? She had no idea why the sudden heat brought such thoughts but she shook them off in anger when Merlin gave away her hiding place in the shadows.
"You are up late Morgan." He chuckled, turning toward the pillar she hid behind, causing her to flush before stepping into the light as if she had meant to be seen the entire time. Arthur, Kay, and Gawain turned their attention to her as well.
"The same could be said of you Merlin. I find the night air soothing, do you not?" Morgan asked, feeling very strange in the gaze of these men. She did not understand at all the feelings coursing through her, but she did her damn hardest to keep them from her face.
"Well I hadn't expected to see you for day's sister." Arthur told her, a bite still in his voice which both saddened and delighted Morgan. If he only knew the danger he was in, even still. That thought gave Morgan pause from biting off a quick retort. He was glaring at her, but not with complete loathing like she expected. The sudden desire to speak with him over came her. Sybil's note seemed to add to the heat over coming her, but this seemed to burn rather than sooth.
"No clever retort?" Gawain broke the silence and Morgan made a split decision. She needed to know why Arthur spared her life. All day she had thought about the boy, his decision, what hers should be. She had been beaten, but she suddenly came to the knowledge that it had been Sybil's game she was playing and not her own that she had been beaten at. Thinking got her in this trouble, her resolve to follow Sybil's orders blindly as she had always done waivered in that instant as Merlin's magic seemed to encase her in a level of comfort she had never known.
"Does this fade?" Morgan turned her attention to Merlin instead, not bothering to sensor her words as questioning glances followed hers taking in Merlin's small smirk.
"Would you like it to?" He teased back and Morgan had to use all of her will power to stay on her feet as he seemed to shoot a blast of heat through her. The feeling was pleasant beyond words, but Morgan grit her teeth against showing it.
"I want to talk to Arthur. Alone." Morgan growled out, not sure at all why she said it.
"Over my dead body." Kay stepped in front of his brother and Morgan resisted the urge to raise her eyebrow at him suggestively while Merlin seemed to back off whatever he was doing through his rune. The room fell into silence once again before Morgan couldn't help but clasp Merlin's rune on her upper arm with her opposite arm despite the power play it would seem they won with the gesture.
"It's okay." Arthur finally spoke, having never taken his eyes off Morgan.
"Arthur!" Both Kay and Gawain cried in both annoyance and warning only to be silenced with a wave that drew a smirk to Morgan's face. It was a very king like gesture. Just as Arthur had been sizing her up in the last minutes, she too had been taking him in. He seemed different than the boy who had broken when his mother was killed in front of him.
"Come now boys, I wouldn't hurt him. I couldn't even kill Igraine now could I?" Morgan chuckled as no one else seemed to find that funny. She saw Merlin's eyes flicker to her still healing wrists before he motioned Kay and Gawain out with him. Morgan met his gaze as he passed, not sure what she was doing, but feeling in the pit of her stomach that she needed to know something before she started back on the familiar path of Arthur's ruin. She had tried that so many times and failed that she wasn't sure anymore whether it was the correct path. She didn't know why she was thinking that way when she had been thinking something completely different in the hallway a moment ago, but Morgan had always been one to listen to her instincts. They had steered her wrong many many times, but she would not be convicted of ever denying herself.
"Well?" Arthur asked as Morgan continued to stare after Merlin. Morgan resisted the startled flinch she felt rise as he spoke and she realized that Merlin was why she was suddenly questioning herself. Taking a quiet breath Morgan lifted her eyes back to her half brother. She took several steps toward him, confident steps that caused him to shift Excalibur in his lap. A gesture she was proud of him for in a weird way. He wasn't naïve anymore, something that delighted her for some reason. She ought to be upset, it would take more to fool him, but she had always held mixed emotions about Arthur.
"I need to look into your eyes when you answer this question." Morgan replied, grabbing a chair harshly from next to him at the round table. She sat down, very unladylike but Morgan had been plagued with the question she was about to ask all day. If she cast Sybil aside, one thing had held her unwavering attention today. She didn't know why it mattered to her so much, why she was so irrational about this, but when she had thought it was all gone. When she had no shot at the crown that currently sat on the man in front of her, she had gotten to the root of fear.
"What question is that?" Arthur hissed back, Excalibur's point dangerously close to Morgan's stomach as he would not trust her for anything. Something she took in stride. No one had ever trusted her, and for good reason. Instead of asking what she desperately wanted to know however, Morgan leaned forward to place her chin on her hands, braced by her elbows on the arm rests of her chair and stared at Arthur. Morgan tried to see Uther in Arthur. She had never been in close enough proximity to Arthur to examine his face this way. Sybil had told her that Uther had to be Arthur's father since he was exactly like him, but in the fire light Morgan couldn't see it. She had avoided looking when he had dined with her. But here, where she expected to see Uther staring back at her cementing her opinion of Arthur and Sybil's plan, she saw Igraine. Not even his eyes betrayed that he was Uther's son.
"May I?" Morgan asked, knowing he would run her through if she just suddenly touched him. Arthur looked at her questioningly as she raised her hand to his cheek. He watched every inch she moved, as he should Morgan thought, but he let her touch him. That blew Morgan's mind. His skin was soft, almost unscarred from all she had put him through. He didn't even feel like Uther. Withdrawing her hand softly, somewhat fearing he would cut it off Morgan let out the breath she was holding and leaned back a little, unaware she'd moved that close to him. Letting her back hit the chair's Morgan continued to stare into Arthur's unwavering gaze.
"Why am I still alive Arthur?" She finally asked, fearing the answer but not taking her eyes away from his. Uther blinked when he lied. Igraine looked down and to the left. Merlin was the only man that could get away with a lie under her gaze. Morgan found her shoulders tense with each passing second that silence filled the room. She would have been insulted by an immediate answer, but this was torture. He didn't seem to know that his answer was going to determine everything, but then Morgan suspected he might as the minutes stretched by.
"I don't know. They all told me I should kill you. You have tried to kill me enough times. You would think it would be easy, but I can't kill you. I don't know why. If you wanted to hear that I can't kill you because you are my sister you are mistaken. I cast that title off you long ago. Something in my heart tells me not to kill you." Arthur replied, choosing his every word with slow clarity. Morgan felt something in her twitch. She did not know what to feel about his answer. She expected him to say that he needed her to get something done. To show the other kingdoms a united front or some bull shit. She never expected him to be so honest. And she knew he was telling the truth. Something about this changed something, but Morgan couldn't decide what it should be.
"You don't know anything about me Arthur. The things I've done to you are child's play." Morgan hissed, suddenly very angry. He didn't know? How could he not know? She had done nothing but evil, why the hell wouldn't he kill her? He should kill her! She was going to do more damage if he didn't…she would wouldn't she, she thought tearing her gaze away from his finally. That was really why she needed Arthur's answer. Sybil showing up had proven that she wouldn't be able to do anything but hurt people. Igraine had tried to help her as a child and she had hurt her over and over. Arthur had tried to be a brother, but she had let herself be manipulated into betraying him at every turn. She was only capable of harm. The nuns had taught her that. She couldn't believe she had let herself think she might be capable of anything else in the hours of the day she had spent alone.
"I killed Uther." Morgan confessed out of nowhere, a dark hope that he would strike her down where she sat then. Arthur for his part seemed startled by the words out of her mouth. It took him a moment to fully grasp what she had just said.
"What?" He growled, his anger fueling Morgan's resolve to correct his misjudgment. She was tired of hurting people. She didn't love anyone, she didn't know how to love, but she cared. Despite what anyone thought, she didn't get pleasure from causing true unhealing pain. It was why she had chosen to warn Arthur about the attack on his coronation.
"I killed Uther. I poisoned his stew." Morgan revealed again, her voice remaining smooth and unwavering despite the back of her mind screaming at her to stop. She wasn't going to be swayed, Arthur was going to kill her before this conversation was over or her whole life would mean nothing. She would have impacted no one of importance. She would have done nothing of true note unless she told them.
"Why?" Arthur growled, standing from his chair violently backing away from her.
"It doesn't matter. I killed every parent you have ever had. I tried to kill you. I failed. I've done more than you can even fathom. Don't believe me?" Morgan growled in anger. He was so fucking naïve still, she thought as she violently stood as well. Throwing herself into the magic without even a grimace at the pain she knew was about to come Morgan fell to her knees. Feeling her bones break caused the first scream to escape her lips. It was far from the last, which caused Merlin, Kay, and Gawain to come rushing back into the room. Each stopped in their tracks at the little girl that crawled to her feet using the round table.
"I snuck into his party. No one notices a child!" Morgan screamed, her eyes finding Merlin's. She was determined to die here. She was done; he could send whatever waves of heat he liked through her corpse.
"Morgan stop." Merlin growled back to her, taking a step toward her after he threw a glance to Arthur.
"Oh, you're still a naïve little boy aren't you!" Morgan screamed again falling to the floor in pain as her bones fractured and she screamed. Tears ran down her cheeks as she took Igraine's form.
"Worthless." She hissed with Igraine's voice before she started screaming again. There was no end to the agony Morgan subjected herself to as she took yet another form. Her second ever, the form of a young girl she'd once called friend before she'd accidentally killed her at the nunnery. It had been her first blood change. Blonde curls bounced from her skull as freckles seated themselves over her eight year old face.
"You are so naïve boy." Morgan growled through the sugary voice that flowed before she started screaming again. She almost begged for Arthur to end her, but she was determined to go out on her terms. She was going to get this puny boy to kill her, it was going to be the last thing she did. She would not go out as his prisoner, spending her days trying to trivially interrupt him at every turn. Blood began to leak from her eyes as her voice returned with her original form for a moment. The exhaustion almost overwhelmed Morgan, but she was determined. From her knees she would prove she was too dangerous to keep alive! But then she felt a pair of hands on her shoulders. Looking up into Merlin's gaze Morgan froze a moment. His fingers grazed her bare arms, causing warm spasms to overtake her.
"He's not going to kill you Morgan. No matter what you show him." Merlin coaxed and Morgan felt her sanity slip. Tears mingled with the blood leaking from her eyes already and she broke. She had sworn never to let one word slip from her lips but it came barreling out.
"Please…"She all but whimpered, seeking Merlin's sympathy. He didn't understand! She had nothing left! She needed it to be Arthur. She didn't want to do it anymore!
"No." Merlin whispered, his hand absently running through her hair to try to calm her. Gawain, Kay, and Arthur looked on with mixed emotions. Arthur's hand twitched on Excalibur until Morgan pleaded and he realized what he had been about to do. A sickening feeling began to develop in his stomach as he glanced at the bewildered faces of both Gawain and Kay. Arthur watched as Merlin and Morgan locked gazes for what seemed forever before anyone spoke.
"You don't understand. I don't want to do it anymore." Morgan whispered to Merlin, seeming to forget anyone else was in the room.
"Let me understand Morgan. You belong here." He whispered, blowing on his knuckles before her eyes, the runes drawn into his own skin gaining a meaningful blue tinge that only Morgan understood. He'd told her in a way, when he thought she was Igraine. Morgan understood what he was asking, but she didn't know how to give it to him, or even if she should. But his matching location rune, on the underside of his left wrist, was hitting hers and she couldn't even think straight. It was as if he was engulfing her. It had only been hours since he branded her with this rune and he had already turned her world upside down. It was as if he was a part of her now, his magic flowing through her freely. Morgan closed her tired eyes then, not caring anymore about dying or living, she just was. But then Sybil's letter began to burn her in an unpleasant way, the same pain as if her bones were breaking under it hit her and she cried out. Merlin looked on confused as Morgan let out a sob of pain. Kay, Gawain, and Arthur it seemed had been given enough time to at least suspend their feelings as they all bent to aid Merlin. Morgan could only look at Merlin and Arthur however, retrieving Sybil's note with a heavy heart and hand as the darkness threatened to consume her once again. She handed it to Merlin before her world went black.
"Why is it that she faints every time?" Kay managed to break some of the tension in the room after five minutes of solid silence from the trio.
(A/N Had the desire to write tonight and this was the result. I'm not real happy with it for some reason, but ugh might as well post it)