Author's Note: I legitimately have no idea where this came from. It's completely random and rather... odd. Initially I pictured these characters like the three hags from Hercules, but that's not quite how it turned out. Just for the record, the pairings in this fic are not actually endorsed by me, I just got to wondering 'What if?'.
The woman appeared middle-aged, not particularly attractive, and she was dressed in a simple pale frock and white cloak. Her thick frizzy black hair was cut off at the shoulders, and was interspersed with several braids of white. She sat upon a stool, working, as she always did, on the masterpiece before her.
Well, if anyone else were to see it, they would not be so quick to call it a masterpiece. Indeed, any mortal that laid eyes upon the tapestry would think that it looked to be the thread equivalent of flinging paint upon a canvas and calling it art. The colors intertwined seemingly randomly, and there was no distinguishable pattern or depiction.
Not to the naked human eye, at least. The eyes of an immortal goddess, controller of the fates, could see what was not clear to others: that there was a pattern. Indeed, there were thousands upon millions of patterns, all intricately woven together in one flawless humming ensemble. Every thread was wrapped around its perfect match, and joined together with the sea of colors to create the perfect picture.
Or at least, they had, until four of the threads simply refused to behave.
The woman gave an animal cry of frustration as the four threads—which she had very recently tied together properly—split apart once more, fraying and breaking the song of the tapestry.
Marching off, the immortal being huffed and puffed angrily until she found herself standing in a dark room. It was impossible to see the walls or the floor or the ceiling or the door, and indeed, it was quite possible that none of those things existed here. The only things that did exist, for certain, were a grand fireplace, roaring and spitting flames, and a huge black armchair, upon which another middle-aged woman was seated, though this one appeared older, and she wore black clothing instead.
In front of the hearth was a mess of lines and boxes and strings and little figurines that made up some sort of game that the white-clothed woman had never managed to understand, and didn't truly care to.
"Sister of Death," she fumed, "they still refuse to follow the paths I set for them. These four mortals simply will not accept the call of true love. There is no appreciation for all the hard work I do!"
The other deity remained silent, and indeed showed no sign of having noticed any other presence in the room. Undeterred, the woman continued,
"Nothing I do seems to have any effect! I send them a dragon with the wisdom of the gods, who tells the boy, Merlin, that he and the other, Arthur, are entwined in destiny, are two sides of the same coin, and yet they do not heed the call!" she hissed. "I pluck the strings of fate-"
"Our Sister of Fate will be angry if she knows you tampered with her work," intoned the sister in a low voice.
"Oh, what does it matter! It did no good! With the tune of the strings, I placed the man, Lancelot, in the very place where his true love, Guinevere, was to be taken, and yet he left her after their escape. I even, with your help, dear Sister of Death, if you do recall, persuaded the witch Morgana to bring him back from the dead so that he could try once more to be with his true love, and leave Arthur to unite with his true love, but this plan was spoiled as well."
"That is because you did not listen to me," was the response. "You have ever been ignorant of the ways of death. Had you striven to learn more of my work, you would have known that death cannot be changed or unwritten. A soul once taken is lost forever. The body may return, but it shall never be the same. Your mortal man could never have joined with his woman in love, for it was not he that you sent back into that world."
"It still would have worked had Guinevere chosen him once more over Arthur, and if Arthur had chosen the one he was always meant for. Merlin."
"For what reason do you tell me this, Sister of Love?"
"Well, I have decided I shall simply give up!" cried the enraged immortal being. "Their stubbornness has ruined my beautiful tapestry! Never before have I encountered such awful, blind humans. If they will not accept their destined true love, then I must cut them loose, or lose all my precious work."
"You wish me to kill them?"
The woman smiled cruelly. These four mortals had destroyed the perfection of her eternal life's work. It would take a very long time to fix the bruises they had cast on the aura of true love on the mortal world. It would be arduous work, and she wished them to suffer dearly for giving it to her. No longer would she try to nudge them towards the right path. Now it was time for them to receive their just rewards.
"No… I wish you to hurt them. Teach them pain, and heartbreak. From each take something they hold dear. For Arthur, give back his father from the grave to plague him. For Guinevere, take away the only family she has left. For Merlin… steal the last breath of Arthur Pendragon at the hand of a friend. I suppose nothing can be done to punish the one that has already died."
"I can do as you ask. But our Sister of Fate would not allow me to take the Once and Future King before his time."
"And is his time coming soon?"
"Very. For now, I can send the boy a vision of the Once and Future King's end. Will this be enough to satisfy you, Sister of Love?" she asked, her voice resonating in the emptiness.
"No. But it is all that you may help me with. Thank you, Sister of Death," the woman said graciously. "I must seek the help of our Sister of Fate. There are other cruel tricks I have in mind for these puny humans, such things as will make them wish they had never thought to meddle with the path I laid before them."
As the ideas swam in her mind, she grinned evilly, already forming plans to request of her Sister of Fate.
"Perhaps a second betrayal by his chosen loved one will prove to Arthur that he chose the wrong path, and that he should have been wiser to follow the pull of mine. And when the woman sees what she has done, perhaps she will be so stricken that she will wish to rejoin her true love. In death."
"What of the third? The boy."
"He has suffered much in his life, but before he is quit of it he will know what it is like to watch your one chance at happiness and true love be destroyed by your friends. Friends who will betray Camelot, and kill her king." The woman smiled sweetly. "What better revenge could there be for ruining my life's work than ruining his life's work? The life of a king for a tapestry of the gods."
"And this will set your tapestry to rights?" asked the figure in the armchair. The woman smirked. As little as she knew of the workings of death, just as little did her Sister know of the workings of true love.
"No. But it will make… me… happy."