Merlin's breath escaped from his lungs as he fell against the unforgiving ground. Drawing in much needed air he waited for his vision to clear. The sky above him was slowly darkening as he tried to gain his bearings.
Closing his eyes he reached out with his mind, sighing in relief when he felt Mordred's presence. Sending word of his safety he relaxed upon the grass. He couldn't go back to Camelot, not after what he'd done. Uther wouldn't have it.
Time. They all needed time. How much? He couldn't say. He just hoped that it wouldn't be long.
A shuffle to the left caught his attention in the otherwise silent region he'd landed in. Turning his head to the side he saw Morgause gasping for air as she fidgeted upon the grass.
"You okay?" He asked hoarsely casting his eyes over her frame for any injury. Morgause gave a harsh laugh as she turned to stare at him.
"Why do you care?" She spat turning to look at the sky than him. Merlin raised himself up on his elbow as he stared at her, waiting to continue when she met his eyes.
"Because Morgana cares."
"You care about what she thinks? After what I've done?" Morgause asked softly, watching the warlock as he tried to stand upon shaky legs. He came over to her once steady and held out a hand.
"Maybe it's time to turn over a new leaf." He said waiting patiently, nervously, with his hand extended. After several agonising moments Morgause latched onto his hand and allowed him to help her up. Falling into him on her own shaky legs she glanced up at him with narrowed eyes.
Merlin shrugged in response, not knowing why he wanted to help her. She had caused him to be separated from those he loved, from his destiny, all for her own selfish reasons.
"No you must have a reason. Everyone has a reason." Morgause stated tugging out of his grip and stumbling back on a stone altar. The stone against her hands caused her eyes to dart around the courtyard she found herself in. She gazed at the ruined wall, the overgrown weeds before turning back to Merlin.
"Isle of the Blessed." She whispered.
"Uther wouldn't dare come here. I thought it was safest." Morgause glared at him, wanting an answer to her previous thoughts. "We shouldn't fight. You may not think it but we are on the same side."
Morgause huffed in amusement at his proclamation. "Same side?"
"We both care for Morgana. We both have magic. And we both want it brought back to the realm." Merlin's calm statements whipped Morgause's eyes to his. Merlin's open honesty was foreign to Morgause. It worried her, for reasons she didn't wish to think about.
"Yes, but we both have different views on how that will be achieved." Morgause said, pushing from the stone to walk in between the stones, her hand grazing along to feel something tangible.
"Do you really think that it won't happen my way?"
"Do you think that it won't happen my way?" Morgause retorted steadily, sending a smirk his way before passing behind another stone.
"We tried your way. Wasn't very successful if I remember correctly." Merlin said smugly, watching her from the corner of his eye as he lifted himself upon the altar. His eyes darted over the barren patch of grass with regret.
"Well, I wasn't expecting you now, was I?" Morgause's steel returning to her voice as she came around to stand in front of the warlock.
"They never are." Merlin replied sadly, his eyes straying to the spot where a great sorceress once stood, another example of being underestimated.
"Tell me." Morgause blurted quickly, catching the warlock by surprise.
"Tell me." She said nodding toward the patch of barren grass. Merlin slumped on the stone, his feet knocking against the altar like a guilty child.
"I don't want to talk about it." He said, sliding from the stone. "Maybe in time, if you work with me." He said stepping toward her hesitantly. Morgause watched his approach cautiously, but not afraid or angry. It surprised her that she hadn't sued magic on him yet she had had the opportunity, but didn't take it.
"Why would I work with you?" She asked, raising her chin. Merlin's lip twitched as he spotted her resemblance to Morgana in that one gesture.
"Because you could never beat me, and I'm all you have." He said spreading out his arms to indicate the empty wasteland of the isle.
"I have Morgana."
"No, you don't. And neither do I. Because of your actions neither of us can have her." Merlin spoke harshly. Morgause flinched back from his hard demeanour before realising how true his words were.
She couldn't go back. He wouldn't let her, and no one in Camelot would let her near Morgana. Merlin watched her face as his words sunk in. The despair in her eyes spoke volumes as they reconnected with his.
"We have to make do. Here. Until the time is right for us to return."
"You'd let me return?" Morgause questioned quietly. He continued to amaze her with his words and magic. He was so different, so special, compared to anyone she'd met. He was Emrys.
"She's your sister. I couldn't keep you apart for longer than necessary." Merlin said with a small smile. "Work with me. Teach me what you know. Then we can go back to Camelot, to them." Merlin spoke earnestly, hoping she would agree. He needed a tutor. There was only so much you could learn from a book.
Morgause gave him a small nod, watching a smile break out upon his face as he stumbled back to lean against the altar.
"Why are you doing this?" Morgause asked as he turned his bright grin upon her. She only just managed to force her lips into not returning the smile.
"Morgana. Do you think she wants us to fight?" Morgause shook her head. For Morgana, that was the only reason she was agreeing to this.
Morgana watched Arthur trot ahead with a fond smile, Gwen coming up beside her. Morgana relished in the miniscule freedom she had out in the forest. No doubt Uther was giving himself a heart attack.
The sooner the better. She thought darkly.
"Nice to get out, isn't it?" Gwen asked quietly, sending a quick glance at her friend.
"Yes it is, finally away from Uther." Morgana said, her tone darkening at the thought of the man who had masqueraded as a guardian, the man who was supposedly her father. The truth about her parentage had finally come out, especially after Merlin's cryptic comment in the hall. Morgana had ruthlessly questioned Gaius and Uther until they broke.
For weeks she'd locked herself away in her chambers, vowing to get revenge, until she had received a letter from Merlin. His words were able to calm her, but without him there she still felt lost.
"Morgana, stop thinking like that." Gwen said softly reaching out to place a hand on her forearm.
"It's hard not to."
"But it's not good for your health." A strange voice called from her right. Halting her stead she cast narrowed eyes over the small ridge, watching with bated breath as a figure rose from the shrubs.
"Arthur!" Gwen called out, halting her horse behind Morgana's, waiting for the prince to return to their side. Galloping back, Arthur slid his horse in front of Morgana's, sliding from the animals back and unsheathing his sword.
"Show yourself!" He called out advancing toward the bushes, sword out.
"Is that any way to greet an old friend?" the voice asked as the man stepped from the bushes. Morgana gave a happy gasp sliding form the horse and rushing over to the figure.
"Mordred!" She bundled him into her arms, hugging him tightly. "Where have you been?" She asked, finally releasing him from her hold.
"The Isle of the Blessed. Come." He said walking off down the track they'd been following.
"What?" Arthur asked standing with his stead just watching the druid walk ahead.
"Come to the Isle." Mordred said impatiently.
"That place is no good." The prince spoke, wearily watching the druid as though he were a threat.
"I thought you would like to see them. Apparently I am mistaken. Enjoy the rest of your journey then." Mordred spoke, before walking back down the path.
Arthur sent a glance at Morgana. She glared heatedly at him before trotting off after the druid. Sighing to himself Arthur lifted him up and followed. "See who?" He asked as he slowed beside the druid.
"He said you were a prat, I just didn't realise you were an idiot too." Mordred spoke with a smile.
"Merlin?" Gwen asked, hope seeping into her voice. Mordred turned to face the three and sent them a grin that had Merlin written all over it.
"Come on. He's been anxious for a while."
"I have guests!" Mordred yelled as he stepped off the small boat. Arthur helped Morgana and Gwen out of the boat and turned to follow the druid as he weaved his way through the ruins.
"-doing it wrong!"
"I'm not doing it wrong!"
"Stop acting like a child!" Merlin cried out in exasperation.
Morgana's smile broadened as she recognised the bickering voices. Shoving her way past Mordred she stepped into the great courtyard. Her eyes found the two people she had heard, standing apart and glaring heatedly at each other.
"All you have to do is reach up and guide it down." Merlin spoke slowly to the witch who was practically seething at his tone.
"Easy for you to say!" She spat at the warlock.
"It's not that hard!"
"Not everyone is you, you know!"
"Will you just-" Mordred cleared his throat earning their stares.
"They're here." Merlin whispered as he spotted the three people standing with the druid. "You're here!" He yelled running toward them. He swept all three of them into his arms, much to Arthur's dismay.
"Sister!" Morgause called pulling Morgana from his arms and into a hug. Merlin hugged Gwen then Arthur before waiting on Morgana. She turned from her sister's arms and flung hers around his neck.
"I missed you." She whispered in his ear. He held her tightly, not wishing to let her go, not again.
"I missed you too." He whispered back, relishing her in his arms once again. It had been too long. Pulling back he quickly bent down to capture her lips in a long awaited kiss. Her hands moved to his face as his tightened around her back.
"Well, this is nice. But what the hell is going on here?" Arthur spoke, effectively ruining the moment and grunting when Gwen elbowed him in the ribs.
"We live here." Merlin said placing his forehead on hers and sending her a smile. Morgana moved reluctantly out of his hold but he keeping an arm around her waist.
"Live here?" Gwen asked curious as to how anyone could live in a ruin.
"Our magic keeps us sustained. Plus no one ever comes here anymore, so we are safe to practise without harming anyone." Morgause said with a tiny smile toward the prince.
"Mordred found us a few days since we left, and has been here ever since." Merlin spoke proudly, sending the druid a nod, which was received with a warm smile.
"Will you come back?" Morgana asked, her eyes meeting all the magic users. Merlin cast a glance at Morgause before meeting her eyes again.
"Not until it is safe. Uther's still us."
"How do you know?"
"Magic." Morgause said obviously with a roll of her eyes.
"I can scry." Mordred spoke up stopping another argument between Merlin and Morgause. "Something I learned with the druids. That's how I knew to find you."
"We've been keeping an eye on things. Can't leave my destiny to chance. You manage to almost get yourself killed once a week." Merlin said prodding Arthur in the arm.
"I do not!" The prince replied indignantly slapping Merlin's hand away.
"You do so!"
"You!" Arthur growled lunging at the warlock, who quickly dodged out the way and ran off around the courtyard, fuming prince not far behind.
"You're getting slow, Arthur! Need another notch in your belt!" Merlin yelled with a laugh as Arthur tried lunging after him again. Morgana and Gwen burst out laughing at the antics they had so missed in Camelot while Mordred and Morgause shared a look and rolled their eyes.
Morgause took Morgana's arm and began to lead her around the courtyard. Mordred offered his own to Gwen, smiling when she accepted. The sounds of laughter echoed around the ruins as the friends were reunited after so long apart.
"You will come back, right?" Arthur asked Merlin as they leant against the altar, breathing heavily from the chase.
"When you're king I will be there, by your side. Like I always am." Merlin spoke determinedly.
"But you're not at the moment."
"I may not be there physically, but I'm watching you. Helping you, protecting you. I'm there." Merlin spoke sending a fond smile to ward the prince as he laid a chainmail arm around his former servant.
"Good to know there's some I trust looking out for me." Arthur said before pulling Merlin's head in and rubbing his hair. Merlin struggled out of his grip but glared at the prince who just smiled.
"That is something I have not missed."
"You wound me, Merlin!" Arthur replied dramatically, pushing himself from the altar. "Now, show me around. Need to make sure this place is safe."
"So you do care." Merlin replied triumphantly as he bounded after the prince, who was desperate to get away.
Merlin laughed and flowed the prince into the maze of corridors, reaching out for his mind to find the others. Merlin grabbed Arthur's arm and turned him around. "They're that way."
"Knew that." Arthur said rushing off down the path with his chin stuck in the air. Merlin chuckled at his behaviour. He'd missed this. But soon he would be back, Uther couldn't live forever, no only he could. He thought with a sigh before brushing off his sullen thoughts to follow the prince.
"No you didn't, prat!"
"Did too, idiot!"
AN: So.. wow. We made it. The end. Everyone's safe, separated but safe... Not for long though.
Took us a while, a lot of rewrites - especially this chapter- but there will, most probably, be an epilogue of some sorts. It will be a few weeks before I can get to it, final exams coming up.
I really hope you enjoyed it, I can't believe that this story managed to get over 100 followers! Thank you all for putting up with me! I love everyone of you, especially those who review... ;)
Review, tell me what you think.