Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin

A/N: Nevermind the last author's note. Freya is in this chapter.

Chapter 3: The Awakening of Lady Freya

For the thousandth time, Freya placed her hand against the damp wall. The cool, wooden surface was the only evidence she had to remind her that she was definitely awake, definitely alive.

She wasn't sure how long she'd been awake. Time didn't seem to exist in the place she was in. There were no suns or stars – even the windows near the top of the domed ceiling showed no change of light. The green light filtering through was constant, never dimming or growing, no matter how much time passed. The atmosphere reminded Freya of the space under a large tree and its canopy of leaves in the summer.

"In the autumn we fall, lazy and cold," she sang softly. The memory of her mother singing the lullaby had popped up, unbidden. It wasn't the first time a random thought had triggered such memories – memories she thought had been lost in the chaos of her later life.

Part of her was resentful. What right did such her mind have to betray her? She hadn't thought about the happy moments of her life in years, not until Emrys... no, Merlin had rescued her. It only reminded her of the happiness that had been stolen away from her.

Another part of her was relieved. At least she wouldn't be left alone to her miserable thoughts. Alone. She had never felt so alone. Even as a girl who was cursed to to change into a killer monster every night, she had still been around people. Now there was no one at all. No one to take her mind off the misery of the last two years... of her waking life, anyways. It was hard to tell how long she'd been asleep (or dead, she wasn't sure which).

Freya walked over to the door and stared at it. It wasn't really a door – only a carving – but she had a feeling that it would become real one day. At least, she was fairly certain.

Another memory came.

Camelot was in trouble. The witch was knotting the webs of magic and using it to their own ends. Freya wondered if they knew how thin she was stretching the veil between life and death when she did that. Maybe that was the point.

Freya knew that Emyrs... no, Merlin could tell. As he dipped his hands into a stream, the current washing away the blood of Arthur, Freya connected with him. His feelings were quite clear. He was worried.

It was time to repay her debt.

Freya had been aware of the powerful sword for a while. Now she focused on the weapon. To her delight, it was perfect. Not only was it covered in Merlin's signature, it also burned with fire. A single touch would unravel the magical knots, the living dead, so intent on destroying the kingdom.

There was only one matter of concern left to Freya.

How was she going to let Merlin know that she had the solution? He possessed ungated water from her lake, the only way to communicate with him, but he wasn't using it. Frustrated, Freya was forced to watch as the situation only grew more desperate.

As the days went by, her anxious signals must have reached him on some level. Merlin began to focus on the precious water. He knew it was important. This was only more frustrating to Freya, for even as he clutched it, and carried it about, he had no idea how to use it.

Then it shattered. The glass barrier between them shattered. Freya smiled to herself, relieved. She was going to see Merlin again! And more importantly, he debt was to be repaid.

Merlin appeared to be panicking. He probably thought that he had just ruined his only chance of saving his home.

Freya held her breath as the water formed a puddle. It was just big enough to allow her to project an image of herself through the water. He could see her.

"Freya?" Merlin stuttered.

"I've missed you," she said honestly. He tried to say something, but Freya interrupted him. This had to be said. "Merlin, we don't have long."

"Is it really you?" he asked, still looking dazed.

She nodded, loving the way his eyes focused on hers. She'd forgotten what that felt like.

"I swore that one day I would repay you," she reminded him firmly. "Now is the moment."

"I don't understand," he told her, shaking his head. He didn't know, did he? He didn't know that she was still bound to this world by magic. But there was no time to explain.

"There is but one weapon that can something which is already dead," she told him. The already dead. The knots in the magic.

His eyes widened. He knew exactly what she was talking about. "A blade forged in the dragon's breath..." he breathed.

"That weapon lies on the bottom of the Lake of Avalon," she told him, adding mentally, my lake. "...Where you hid it." He didn't contradict her, so she guessed she'd spoken true.

"But Morgana's army aren't dead," he said despairingly, "they're very much alive."

"Anyone who toys with the cup, pays a terrible price," Freya said. "The moment they entered their pact with Morgause they became the living dead."

Merlin considered what he'd been told.

"You must come to the lake," Freya advised.

Merlin gave her a look that seemed to pierce her very soul. "And you would give me the sword?" he asked, almost as if she were the main reason he'd be going.

She wasn't sure if she'd be able to. But she swore that she would try.

"In your hands it has the power to save Albion," she declared, making sure he got it in his head to retrieve the sword whether she was the one to give it to him or not.

"Thank you," he said earnestly, looking ready to cry.

Freya smiled widely. "No," she contradicted him, "it's given me the chance to see you again." To talk to you again.

They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. How Freya loved Merlin. Then he turned away, and their connection broke.

He was coming soon!

Freya spent the rest of her time trying to awaken herself. Her new being wasn't finished yet, she knew, but she only needed to be awake for a moment. A moment! she pleaded to an unknown power. Just a moment!

Something told her that she would be allowed. But just for a moment. Freya readied herself. She could sense the epicenter of Merlin's magic getting closer, he was riding fire itself. A dragon. The dragon that had made the sword, that was easy enough to see.

As Merlin dismounted onto her shores, Freya began pulling at the magic around her. Merlin was using a rowboat to reach the center of the lake, right above the spot he'd thrown the sword. The rowboat had been abandoned there by would-be fisherman, who'd decided that the lake was too creepy to stay around.

She almost didn't make it. Her eyes were open, but they couldn't see. There was a door in front of her, but it wasn't real. She needed to go through it! But it wasn't ready to let her out yet.

It wanted to keep her there. "But I'm helping Merlin!" she almost screamed at it, as though it would make a difference. A rush of magic came from the surface of the lake and rushed through the room. The door glowed slightly and cracked open. Merlin! Merlin's magic was letting her out!

For a moment.

As sense of life rushed into her. She was alive! Not alive in the normal sense – she could feel the water flowing around her but it didn't bother her at all. Feeling more free than she had in years, Freya picked up the sword, easily breaking whatever enchantments bound it to the bottom of her lake.

Now to get it to the surface... almost as soon as the thought had come, her body began to lift, the sword raised above it. As her arm broke through the water she felt a profound sense of achievement. She wondered if she could go higher and talk to him... face to face.

That's when she felt it again – the large wave of power that had come over her when the Sidhe had opened the gateway. Her bonds began to draw her back to her resting place, the rush of magic beginning to overwhelm her. NO! She almost lost her grip on the sword. Merlin, take it! she pleaded.

The last thing she was conscious of was the brush of his fingers against hers. She wondered if that was what death felt like.

Freya blinked.

She touched the carved door. So she had been outside, even if there was little of memory of what was out there. She smiled slightly, glad that she had helped Merlin, just as she promised.

Merlin had been the theme of most of her thoughts within the time she'd been awake. Not even the fond memories of her childhood compared to the memories she'd drawn up about him. His compassion, his loyalty, his clumsiness... Freya giggled out loud.

Then she sobered when she remembered the last detail: The fact that Merlin was Emrys.

At first, when the idea had presented itself to her waking self, she'd been incredulous. She didn't want her rescuer, so sad and beautiful, to be the all-powerful being of whom the druids spoke. It meant that she would have to share him, the best thing in her life, with Arthur... with everyone. But after a while, after reviewing the memories she had of him, the trials she had witnessed while she slept, she decided that if Merlin hadn't been Emrys, he wouldn't have been her Merlin. And more importantly, if Emrys hadn't been Merlin, then the world would have been doomed.

That was her opinion anyways. Perhaps she was slightly biased.

Freya reviewed this new memory. She was already aware that Merlin's magic had been the key to her revival from a near death. Now it was apparent that his magic was also what could open the door.

She stared at the fake door, willing it to open.

"Merlin," she begged aloud.