AN: Hello people! This is my first Merlin fanfiction and I am excited about it! I love this show and like most people I'm sad its over soon, even if I have my problems, especially with that season. The lack of magic reveal for example...and of course Mergana. I probably will never forgive the writer's for the wasted potential for a Mergana romance. It was all there. The amazing chemistry between Colin and Katie and the whole destiny stuff that screamed for a tragic, beautiful romance against all odds...yeah...sadly we'll neve rget that.
So I decided to make my own little Mergana thing. It will be about four or five parts long and I hope you'll enjoy it. Of course, Arthur, Gwen, Gaius, the knights and others will show up as well and I'll keep soem Arwen and bromance scenes.
Please note that English is not my mother tongue an I'll make mistakes.
I'll hope you enjoy the first part and leave me some comments :)
Written in the Stars
Part 1: The Good In Her Heart
He was surrounded by darkness; he could barely see his own hand. He breathed heavily, where was he? He looked around. Trees, trees everywhere. Could it be? Was he in the forest? How did he get there? He walked through the thicket. He didn't know where he was heading to, but an inner voice told him it was the right path.
"Someone there?" He asked, confident enough that his magic could protect him from harm.
No one answered. He walked deeper and deeper into the forest. Suddenly there was a noise. A tiny rustle. He stood still, stared in the direction where the noise came from.
"Where ever you are, come out!" He demanded in a strong voice.
There was a noise again, but this time it sounded more like a cry. A feebly, painful cry that almost broke his heart. And then he saw her. Aithusa. The white dragon that somehow sided with her. She looked even worse than the last time he saw her. He still couldn't figure out what happened to her during the last three years.
"Aithusa…" he whispered softly and walked towards the young dragon. She didn't flinch when he reached out to touch her. "What is it?" He asked concerned, knowing he wouldn't get an answer, the dragon couldn't speak.
Aithusa was shaking. She was afraid. Merlin wished he could help her. Before he could speak again the dragon turned around and hobbled away. Merlin followed her quietly.
They reached a cave. Aithusa walked inside, Merlin hesitated a moment. That couldn't be a trap, could it? He shook his head. He was a dragonlord after all, there was no way a dragon could betray him now.
"Aithusa…" he said and walked inside.
The dragon lay beside someone. Beside a woman, she tried to keep her warm. Merlin forgot to breathe for a moment. It was her. "Morgana…" he said in a shock.
But the witch didn't answer. As far as he could tell she was barely alive. He kneed down beside her. There was blood, a lot of blood actually. "That was Mordred…" said thoughtful. "Mordred stepped you…."
Aithusa cried out again. Merlin looked between her and Morgana. "What do you want me to do?" He asked the dragon. No answer, obviously just another cry.
Morgana coughed. She wouldn't last much longer, he knew it. If she died it would finally be over. No. He banned that thought. She wasn't the main problem any longer. Mordred was.
Aithusa carefully nudged Merlin's arm. "You want me to help her…" He looked into the dragon's big sad eyes. "I'm sorry, I can't…"
His eyes fell back on Morgana. She briefly opened her's much to his surprise. "Merlin?" she asked weakly.
Merlin's eyes flung wide open. He sat up and looked around, his breath was heavy. He was in his room. Home in Camelot, in Gaius' chambers. He touched his forehead, he was covered in sweat. "Just a dream…" murmured.
He looked outside the window. The moon shone bright over Camelot. It was still in the middle of the night. He fell back on his bed and closed his eyes. Images from Aithusa and Morgana flashed before his eyes.
And if it wasn't? He thought and sat up again. If he learned one thing in his many years in Camelot than it was that things never just happened. There was always a deeper meaning, especially when he was involved.
So he did what his instinct was telling him. He got up, grabbed his clothes and made is way outside.
He sneaked out of Camelot. Really what where the knights doing all night? He wondered when it had become so easy to leave the town without anyone noticing.
He made his way to the way to the woods, letting his magic guide him or his connection with dragon or whatever strange force that reached him. He chuckled. "I must be completely insane." He whispered to himself.
Merlin wasn't sure how long he was walking. Minutes? And hour? Several hours? He lost his sense of time, but since it was still night, it couldn't have been that long.
Suddenly there it was. The cave from his dream. "Great Merlin, why do such things always happen to you?" He slowly walked inside. Afraid what he would find. If Morgana was indeed in there, insured from Mordred's sudden betrayal, what was he supposed to do?
As he walked further inside he already knew he dream was coming true. He felt her. Felt her magic. But more important he could sense Aithusa.
Something started to flicker right before his eyes. A small fire. And then he saw them. Morgana, with a step wound in her stomach, unconscious but alive. He wondered how she even ended up in that forest. Next to her lay Aithusa, protecting her.
"Aithusa…" he said calmly. The young dragon looked up. She was so fragile, so damaged. He would barely lay his eyes on her. "Aithusa." He said again.
The dragon got up, as fast as her broken bones allowed her to. She walked in front of Morgana, a certain fire in her eyes. Merlin knew she would protect her friend with her life. "Aithusa, let me –" Before he could say anything more the dragon attacked him. A weak flame escaped her mouth, but Merlin was quick enough to jump aside. Aithusa hissed angrily at him.
Merlin sighed. "Here we go again…" He reached his hand out and walked towards her, trying to calm her. "Ithi!" He hissed. Aithusa was suddenly shaking. She locked eyes with Merlin and after a short moment she bowed her head.
Merlin smiled. "It is alright, Aithusa. Just let me take a look at her."
She stepped aside, allowing Merlin to kneel down next to Morgana. She breathed irregular. He softly touched her forehead. "Fever…" Me murmured. Then he carefully took a closer look at her step wound. It was even deeper than he expected.
"What am I supposed to do?"
Aithusa lay down beside him, resting her head on his lap and looking a Morgana, sadness in her eyes. "I know what you want…" But could he do it? He couldn't right? She was a constant danger to Arthur and Camelot, a threat to their destiny, she was responsible for thousands of deaths. There was no reason to help her.
His eyes fell on her face. That beautiful pale face, the soft skin, the lips…he shook his head. For a brief moment he saw her. Morgana, the real one. The young woman that enchanted him from their first meeting all those years ago. But he knew she wasn't that woman anymore. She was cold and bitter, lost by any means.
And you're to blame for it. His inner voice spoke to him.
Aithusa moaned. She softly licked Morgan's cheek.
Merlin was conflicted. If he would just let her die Camelot would be save from her at least. There was still Mordred to worry, but she wouldn't be a problem anymore. But could he do it?
He grabbed her hand, stroking it. She was cold as ice, there was almost no life in her anymore.
"I should let you die, you know that?" He said. "I should have let die years ago…" He almost laughed at the irony that once more her life depended on him. "You would kill me in a blink of an eye…" She wouldn't, she had the chance more than once but she never used it.
His hand wandered to her cheek. He caressed it gently and for a moment he was in another time where the world was still in place, Morgana was still Uther's ward, smiling at him genuinely and he was back to wondering what could have been.
"I really am insane." He said and laid his hand on her wound. "Þurhhæle dolgbenn" he said. His were glowing in gold for a brief second and then Morgana's wound began to heal.
He looked at Aithusa, who watched him with a childlike curiosity. "I won't heal her completely, she cannot suspect my magic." He explained to the dragon, hoping she would understand.
Morgana's breathing slowed down. The fever almost vanished completely and the bleeding stopped.
Merlin stood up, his job was done, even if he had no idea why he did it. "I need to get back to Camelot." He said more to himself than to Aithusa, but the dragon wouldn't let him leave. She grabbed his tunic. "Aithusa….I can't stay here."
She wouldn't let him go. He stoked her head. She was so weak and yet she was trying to save Morgana. "Alright…I'll be back later on." He promised, not having any clue how he was going to manage that.
Merlin was polishing Arthur's armor, but his thoughts were still in that cave, still with her.
"Are you even listening, Merlin?" Arthur suddenly said.
Merlin juts nodded absentmindedly. Arthur had enough. Merlin was somewhat ignoring him all day and if there was something the king of Camelot hated that it was being ignored, especially by his best friend. He clenched his fists. "Merrrliiin…." He hissed warningly, but no reaction.
He shrugged and hit him hardly on the back of his head. "Ouch!" Merlin shouted and rubbed his head. "What was that for, you clotpole?"
Arthur laughed. Finally he got a reaction. "What did you expect me to do? Ignoring your king all day has consequences." He smiled triumphantly.
Merlin rolled his eyes. "Excuse me that I have more on my mind than just your royal brattish butt." He snapped.
Arthur tried to hide a laugh. He was slightly worried about Merlin all day, but if he was back ton insulting him everything seemed right in the world. "Normally I would throw something at you for that comment, but not today. I need your help."
Merlin nodded. He had no time helping Arthur, he needed a way to figure out what to do at Morgana. He knew that if he wanted to do the right thing he should just tell Arthur about her whereabouts and let him handle the situation, but somehow he couldn't. And yet another secret I'm keeping from him.
"You blacked out on me again, right?" Arthur suddenly asked.
"I'm sorry sire." Merlin said. "Now I'm all ears." He forced a smile.
"Well good. I suppose." Arthur eyed him suspiciously. Something was off with his friend today. "I was saying that it is Guinevere's birthday soon and I need some advice on what to get her."
Merlin took a deep breath. My problems are definitely bigger. "Didn't she tell you anything?"
Arthur scratched his cheek. "She might…" He looked away, slightly ashamed.
"She told you, but you were too busy being a prat to listen, right?" Merlin asked slightly amused.
Arthur blushed. "I was being….well you know…Shut up, Merlin!"
"Just give her a dress or jewelry…she's a woman, women like that." He really wasn't in the mood to help Arthur with his marriage problems. There was so much more on his mind. How did he get that dream of Morgana in the first place. He wasn't a seer like her. Was it his connection with Aithusa or something else? Why did he heal her, what has gotten into him? And most of all, how could he keep his promise to Aithusa?"
"You stopped listening again." Arthur complained. "Alright Merlin." He took the armor from his friend's hand. "Tell me what's wrong."
Merlin laughed nervously. He certainly couldn't tell Arthur the reason why he was distressed. But he didn't want to lie more than necessary either. "Wrong? What should be wrong? Nothing is wrong, you just bore me to death."
"Nice try." Arthur said. He knew Merlin, he immediately senses when something is wrong with him. "I am your friend and I want to know what's bothering you."
The oblivious prat Arthur was most of the time, sometimes he was indeed right. Merlin knew once Arthur wanted to know something he wouldn't leave him alone until he got his wish.
"It is Mor….Mo…." He just couldn't tell him. "It is my mother, sire." He blurted out. And the lying begins again.
"Your mother?" Arthur asked.
Merlin nodded a bit unsure. Great Merlin, how do you get out of this? Suddenly an idea came to his mind, it was risky and he hated it, but it would give him some time. "I got a message from Ealdor last night….she…she is sick and….it is serious." He really hoped fate would be kind to him and not punish his dear mother for his lies one day.
"She is sick, Merlin that is awful!" Arthur exclaimed. Knowing what a kind and gentle soul Hunith is he feared for her well being like she was his own mother. Probably because she was the only motherly figure he had ever known. "Then what are you still doing here?" He asked his friend.
Merlin looked up, his plan worked and he felt incredibly bad about it. "What…what do you mean, sire?" He played dump.
"Idiot. I mean you should go home and be with her." Arthur looked worried, Merlin never wanted to worry him but he had no other choice. He needed to take care of the Morgana situation.
"It could take several days, maybe weeks, sire." He needed all the time he could get, he was sure about it.
Arthur smiled sympathetically. "She is your mother, Merlin. She is the only family you have left." Pain flinched through his veins, he missed his father and the mother he never knew. "Your work will not run away, go home and make sure Hunith gets better." He patted Merlin's shoulder.
"Thank you so much, Arthur." He said and smiled at his friend.
Merlin was packing a few things, he needed to leave as soon as possible or he would change his mind. Gaius was out visiting a patient, so he needed to wait until he was back. He was conflicted to tell at least him the truth, but he figured it was not a good idea. When it came to Morgana, Gaius had his own views, much like Kilgharrah.
"I heard you heading back home." A smooth voice said from behind him. He turned around, his face hardened.
"Hello Mordred." He said reserved. The boy smiled. That ambiguous smile Merlin couldn't read. "You heard right." In his mind he was cursing himself. How could he consider leaving Arthur with Mordred in the castle?
"I'm sorry to hear about your mother, my friend." The way he said the word 'friend' let Merlin's blood run cold. "Thank you, I hope she will get better soon." They danced around each other. Mordred knowing Merlin distrusted him and Merlin knowing Mordred meant nothing more than trouble.
"Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on Arthur." He said and left.
Merlin felt his magic seething inside of him. He needed to calm down. His eyes flashed golden for a moment. Self control Merlin. He reminded himself.
He saw what Mordred would do in the future and he needed to prevent it by all costs, but he was sure that future wouldn't come true tomorrow or the day after tomorrow or next month. He had some time. Time for what exactly? He didn't know but he was eager to find it out.
"Merlin, are you sure I shouldn't come with you?" Gaius asked concerned. He cared a lot about Hunith and he felt bad letting Merlin go all on his own.
"Nah, it's alright. You showed me enough and if it is that bad I can still use magic to heal her." He assured Gaius, hoping his mentor would just let him go.
"If you say so, my boy." Merlin was sure that Gaius was at least suspicious, he couldn't recall Merlin getting any messages. But he trusted him and if Merlin needed to leave, he would have a reason.
"Gaius…keep an eye on Mordred for me, will you?" Merlin asked, looking at the castle knowing Mordred was lurking somewhere in the shadows planning God knows what.
Gaius nodded and wished him good luck.
It was almost nightfall when Merlin reached Morgana's cave again. He still wasn't sure what has gotten into him, but if he would heal her, he would do it the right way.
Aithusa wasn't so hostile as the night before, she actually seemed happy to see Merlin and stepped aside all by herself so he could take a look at Morgana.
She was still unconscious, but the fever was completely gone and the wound, or rather what was left of it wasn't dangerous anymore.
He reached into his bag, Gaius had given him a bunch of medicine to cure his 'mother' and he was thankful to have all this stuff. If he would heal her with magic, she would find out and that was something he could never risk.
He carefully ripped some of her dress apart to clean the wound, not exposing too much skin. He gulped. Even know, far away from the right part, his enemy, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. As he touched her, he remembered old feelings, old desires, but he quickly shook them off. She was his enemy, no matter what kindness he would show her now.
Her eyelids started to flicker. "Aithusa?" She said weakly as she opened her eyes. "The young dragon made a squeaking sound, to reveal that she was alright.
Morgana's vision was still blurry. She didn't know what exactly was going on. The last thing she remembered was crawling through the woods, Aithusa by her side. She needed to find a safe place after Mordred betrayed her. Then it went black.
She groaned, hoped to see clearly. Someone was definitely with her, someone was touching her, doing something with her wound.
"You shouldn't move." A familiar voice told her.
She blinked with her eyes a few times. Her vision got clearer. Then she realized who was with her. She looked straightly into his eyes. Those deep piercing blue eyes that haunted her dreams for years now. Eyes she trusted, eyes that betrayed her. Eyes she wanted dead, eyes she wanted to drown into. Eyes she hated, eyes a piece of her heart always loved.
"Merlin…" She gasped and tried to sit up. He firmly grabbed her shoulders and put her down again. She was surprised by his strength and wondered if he always had been that strong.
"Told you not to move." He sounded indifferent.
"What do you want…" She was afraid. She was too weak to defend herself, too weak to even use magic. If Merlin was with her than Arthur wouldn't be far away. And that meant she was as good as dead. She briefly looked at Aithusa. They would kill her as well. But one thing bothered her. Why wasn't Merlin freaked out by the sight of a living dragon. She hadn't time to think about it. Maybe he didn't know how weak she was, maybe she could still threaten him.
"If you want to stay alive, you leave now and better tell no one about me!" she hissed, trying to sound strong.
Merlin just chuckled. She was shocked. That weak serving boy dared to laugh at her? Her a high priestess of the Old Religion?
"You are too weak to threaten me, Morgana." He said calmly. "And if I were you, I would rest. I can help you, but I can't do magic." Okay it was funny to him saying that, but he couldn't stop himself.
If he was being honest with himself he certainly enjoyed her confusion.
"I don't want your help!" she snapped, her voice venomous. How dared he? Was he making fun of her until Arthur and his knights were coming?
Merlin still wasn't impressed. He was busy taking care of her open wound. "You maybe not, but I'm sure she wants it." He pointed at Aithusa without even looking at her.
Morgana was baffled. He really wasn't afraid of Aithusa. And how in hell did he know she was a girl? She stayed quiet, watching Merlin doing his work. He was good at it. She looked at Aithusa. She was completely calm and relaxed around Merlin. There has always something strange about him. He always seemed like he knew more than most people, but she always ignored it.
"When will Arthur come to execute me?" She almost laughed bitterly.
Merlin looked at her. Determined blue eyes met lost green ones. "He doesn't know." He answered quickly.
That surprised Morgana. She knew Merlin hated her, so why would he keep it a secret from his beloved Arthur when he found her. "You're lying." She knew he wasn't, but what else was there to say?
"If you say so." Was all he answered before he started to bandage her wound.
She was almost amazed by his coolness. Normally people were terrified when she even looked at them. After all she was Morgana Pendragon, a feared witch through all the kingdoms.
"That should do it for now." Merlin said when he finished. He stuffed the medicine away and sat down next to her. "But we have to change the bandage twice a day or it will get infected. You still need medicine and a lot of rest. But you'll be fine."
She didn't look at him. "Why?"
He knew she deserved an answer, but he couldn't give her one. He wasn't sure himself why he was doing this. Only a day ago he wished for her death, hated her, but seeing her injured and fragile like this reminded him somehow of the old Morgana, the Morgana he cared about and somehow that triggered something inside of him.
So he said nothing. He stared into the flames and shrugged.
When Morgana woke up the next morning, her head was aching. She carefully sat up. Was it all a dream or was Merlin really here? She didn't know when she had fallen asleep again, everything was blurry again.
She searched for Aithusa who was still soundlessly asleep next to her. But there was no Merlin. I guess it was fever dream. Why would Merlin of all people help me?
It was then when she realized she was wrapped in a warm blanket. She couldn't remember bringing one. She looked under it. Her dress was dirty and a part of it was ripped. But there wasn't any skin, just a white bandage. So it was real?
She was confused. She carefully touched her hurting head. Maybe I have a concussion?
"The headache comes from the medicine, a little side effect but it will pass." Merlin suddenly appeared in front of her. He looked tense, but not afraid.
"I brought some water. And berries. I have some bread in my back as well." He handed her food and water which she only took because she was really starving.
"You need to get your strength back." He said, chewing absentmindedly at a piece of bread himself.
Aithusa looked curiously at him. He knew that dragons were normally hunting animals, but maybe Aithusa never learned. So he broke the bread into two halves and gave one to her.
She made a happy sound and started eating. Merlin chuckled. He was only used to Kilgharrah and his neverending speeches about destiny, the innocent little dragon however was amusing to watch. Sometimes he wished he could see the world with such innocent eyes again. Like when he first arrived in Camelot all those years ago, but he knew he lost his innocence a long time ago, so did Morgana.
Morgana watched Merlin with Aithusa. She couldn't believe the way he treated her, like she wasn't even a dragon, but a normal animal or even human.
"What happened to her?" Merlin asked, gazing at her throat and crippled wings.
"Sarrum of Amata and his men held us captivated for almost two years…." She shuddered at the memory. "She grew up in a tiny pit…she couldn't grow up the right way….they tortured us…" Morgana didn't even know why she was telling him that, as if he would care. He only ever cared for his precious Arthur and Camelot.
Now Merlin understood why Aithusa was so attached to Morgana. For two years the only had each other. He knew he shouldn't feel sorry for Morgana, that it was against every logic, but he did.
"I'm sorry." He almost whispered.
She laughed hysterically, tears started to run down her cheeks. Enough was enough.
"What is this Merlin? A few days ago we were fighting and now I should believe you are just here to help me? What twisted game are you playing?"
He didn't know what to say. It was weird to him as well. He shouldn't be there, he shouldn't help, he should kill her as long as she wasn't able to defend herself, but still something was holding him back
Maybe it was the fact that he just wasn't ruthless enough. Stop kidding yourself, you killed Aggravaine and you wouldn't even blink to kill Mordred.
That couldn't be the reason, he was far from that innocent boy who could never hurt anyone and even felt bad about killing Nimueh. No, he would do anything now to protect those dear to him.
But what was it? He did not understand his own feelings anymore, but something deep inside him told him that helping her was the right thing to do.
"I wish I could give you an answer but I can't. Really, I'm as surprised as you are. I should want you dead, but somehow I don't. This is not a game, Morgana." He stood up. "Maybe having seen you hurt like that reminded me of the real you." He walked out of the cave. "I'm getting some fire wood."
She bit her lower lip. "You had no problem to poison me why I was still…." Bust she stopped. Tears were running down her cheeks. After years of pushing all those feelings of hurt away she finally broke down. Maybe Mordred's betrayal was the tip of the iceberg.
Merlin still heard what she said and it made him incredibly sad. He knew that it was his fault that she was this way, that she hated Camelot and trusted no one. It was his betrayal that turned her evil.
Arthur was sitting on his bad, ready to go to sleep, but he couldn't get his mind off Merlin.
Gwen sat down behind him, she tenderly started to massage his neck. "You worry about him, don't you?" she whispered into his ear.
He leaned back, relaxed in her loving arms. "I don't like seeing him like this…so worried. I just hope he is alright and that Hunith will be okay." He knew Gwen loved Merlin's mother as well, she even lived with her for some time.
"It will all be okay, he is Merlin. He always finds a way." She said smiling.
Arthur turned around. What would he do without her? His loving, precious Guinevere? He softly captured her lips for a chaste kiss. "I love you, my Queen."
She giggled and pulled him closer. "And I love you, my King."
Morgana shivered. She was surrounded by darkness. "Hello?" She asked scared. "Morgause? Sister, where are you? Why did you bring me here?"
No one answered her.
She tried to see something, but this place was darker than the night could ever be. She felt alone, lonely and incredibly sad. Why did this happen to her? Why did her sister bring her into such an awful place? Tears were falling down her cheek. Was there no one she could trust? She closed her eyes and saw him, Merlin, his goofy smile and his beautiful eyes.
"You betrayed me…" she whispered. "How could you do this to me?" She was broken. There was nothing left inside of her, just sadness.
Suddenly she felt something on her cheek. "What is that?" she touched it and looked up. Something was falling down on her. Something wet. "What's going on?" she shouted in panic.
"Morgana, Morgana wake up!" Merlin said desperately.
She screamed and yelled and kicked in her sleep. He was afraid she might open her wounds again. "Morgana, please!"! he shook her.
Her eyes flung open. He looked terrified, tears were falling down her cheeks. "It's dark…so dark….so cold…." She stammered.
Merlin cupped her face into his hands and tried to focus her. "Shh. Calm down….its okay." He softly caressed her cheeks, not even realizing his gentle gesture.
"Merlin…" she whispered and before he even knew what was going on she pressed her fragile body into his arms and cried.
He was just sitting there, not sure how to react. She was his enemy. She tried to kill Arthur. Tried to kill Gwen. She wanted to take over Camelot. She kidnapped Gwaine and Percival. But now, now she was here, in his arms, crying.
He gently wrapped his arms around her, pressing her even closer to his body. He cradled her like a little child, whispering sweet things into her ear.
It wasn't supposed to be his way, he was sure about it. That was against everything he believed in, against his destiny, but he couldn't see her suffering.
When she finally calmed down, he carefully pulled her away, to look into her eyes. They were red and swollen and it was an image he would probably never forget.
This wasn't Morgana, the sorcerers, this was just Morgana.
"When I came back you were asleep. And then you started screaming…." He said, not able to look away from her. Even in a moment like that she still was astonishing beautiful.
He briefly gazed at her lips, but no he just couldn't afford to think like that. So he started to caress her cheeks again. He softly put a strand behind her ear.
Morgana didn't know how she ended up in this situation. She never showed anybody her weaknesses, she never cried in front of people, but here she was with Merlin of all people and let him see through her disguise.
She should push him away. He was her enemy. He tried to kill her. He was Arthur's friend, but she couldn't. In a way she didn't understand she needed him. Instead of despising his touch, she welcomed it. His rough hands on her skin and those beautiful, deep eyes. She could get lost into them.
She leaned forward and pressed her forehead against his. They both were still, unable to move.
Merlin was confused. What was happening, this couldn't be good, couldn't be right and yet it didn't feel wrong.
"I had this dream…." She finally said. "I have it sometimes….I'm trapped into this dark place with no light….I think it is a tower….I'm all alone, afraid, cold….sometimes I see people….Arthur….Uther….Gwen….you." She pulled away, meeting his eyes. "You all stare at me….laugh at me and tell me what a failure I am….that I deserve to die."
Merlin didn't say a word. He just kept listening. His hands automatically grabbed for hers. She didn't mind it.
"Then there is this…this goo….I think it is black and it is dripping on me….entering my ears….my nose and my mouth….it makes me dizzy. Then I see Morgause….she talks to me…tells me that I can only trust her…that she is my only family, the only one who loves me. I know I shouldn't listen to her. Sometimes I yell at her, tell her that its not true, that I have Arthur and Gwen that they love me…I'll tell her about you….but she….she doesn't shut up." Morgana starts to sob again. "And eventually I give in. Then I wake up."
He studied her face. She looked so innocent in that moment. There was nothing left of the mad woman that killed so many people, including her own father.
"Morgana….maybe it wasn't just a nightmare." An idea came to his mind. A dark tale Arthur once told him when they were sitting by the fire side. If that was true, then maybe Morgana wasn't lost. He hadn't thought about saving her in years, he gave up on this a long time ago, but now he saw the light again, maybe there was hope.
She shook her head. "It wasn't a vision. Visions feel differently." She explained, thankful for his obvious try to help her.
"I wasn't talking about a vision…but about a memory." He said.
Arthur was sitting at the dinner table, it was one of those endless boring parties at the castle and even as the king he didn't know what the cause of it was.
Guinevere to his left was engaged in a heated conversation with another Princess, Arthur forgot her name.
He was bored. He looked at his substitute servant, George. "Hey George." He whispered. The boy immediately ran to him, almost falling over his own feet. "Yes, my lord?"
"You wanna sneak out for a while to annoy the good Geoffrey?" He asked and pointed at the old man who watched him argus-eyed. During the last party Arthur and Merlin disappeared suddenly for some midnight hunting, which of course was not acceptable from a king.
"My lord, I am afraid that is against my duty." He said and smiled shyly before he made his way back to the other servants.
Arthur sighed. It was unbearable without Merlin.
"I miss him too, brother." He turned to his right, were Gwaine sat, smiling at him. "It is lonely without our boy, right?"
Arthur nodded. If someone understood his friendship with Merlin than it was Gwaine. Of course Arthur liked all of his knights, they were his friends, but the bond between him, Merlin and Gwaine was always something special.
"Don't tell him I actually missed him." Arthur said and Gwaine laughed.
"Hey Gwaine…you wanna sneak out?" He asked.
"Sorry, mate. There a few ladies in here that need a special treatment from a royal knight." He smirked.
Arthur sighed again. Stupid Merlin, to leave me here bored all by myself.
Merlin made them a simple soup for dinner, but Morgana wasn't really hungry. She couldn't stop thinking about what Merlin said. If her nightmares were really a memory, hidden at some dark place in her mind, than she needed to know what she was obviously trying to forget.
She looked at Merlin who ate in silence. Aithusa was spending the night outside under the stars, so it was just them. Thinking about their intimate position earlier made her blush. But this was Merlin, he shouldn't have that kind of effect on her.
She mustered him. Whenever she thought of Merlin, she saw that goofy smile, the silliness and boyish charm. Things she cherished once upon a time. But now, now he was different. She saw him a few time during the last years, mostly in battles, but she never dared to look at him, really look at him. He had changed.
He no longer seemed goofy or awkward or silly. His features hardened, the softness and innocence was gone. The boy she once knew was gone, but the man in front of her was handsome and seemed so much stronger and confidant and her sudden realization of this alarmed her.
Merlin couldn't really concentrate on eating. The only thing on his mind was Morgana. Their former friendship, the unspoken feelings, his betrayal, her betrayal, how he healed her against all odds, her strange nightmare and his hands on her soft skin. There wasn't a clear thought on his mind.
He looked at her, only to discover that she was staring at him.
When Morgana noticed Merlin's eyes on her, she quickly looked away. She hoped he didn't see her blushing. It would be embarrassing. He was juts Merlin. He was Arthur's servant boy. Nothing more.
She unintentionally bit her nails. He was just Merlin. Kind, gentle and good looking Merlin who saved her life and held her in his arms. She looked back at him, his eyes still on her. She still couldn't understand why he helped her. There was something about this man she would never understand.
"I always blamed myself." He said suddenly.
She was confused. "For what?"
"For what happened to you." He smiled sadly. When he found her he never expected they would go down that route, talking about that fateful day, but somehow he felt like he owed her.
Morgana felt a sudden burning in her throat. She knew what he was talking about, but she didn't know if she was ready for it.
"Morgause enchanted you that day…and it was either you or Camelot….I had to make a decision." He knew he couldn't justify his actions, so why did he even try?
"And you decided that…my life didn't matter that much." She said sadly. All those old feelings, her hurt after his betrayal were coming back.
"Believe me if I could change one thing in my life I would go back to that day and…" What would he do? Back then there was no other way, but if he could change it maybe he would find one.
"Why? Why would you change it? To feel better about yourself or because you think I would have never left and your precious Arthur would be safer?" She asked bitterly. There was still so much hate in her, so many feelings, it felt like a thunderstorm was building up inside of her.
Merlin didn't need to think about the answer. He had this discussion with himself for several years now and there was only one reason why he would change it. "I would change it, because you didn't deserve such a betrayal. Because I killed you that day…may not physical, but emotional." He looked away from her, too ashamed for her reaction.
Morgana's heart was beating so strong, she felt like it would jump out of her chest. So this wasn't about Arthur or Camelot? That was really just about her? About them?
"We cannot change the past, Merlin." She said surprisingly softly.
He turned back to her. She seemed so exhausted. "We both did things we're not proud of." She admitted. There it was out. She admitted that she didn't exactly like the person she had become. When Mordred stepped her, she knew he was right in a way. She was insane, out of control and needed to be stopped. Her revenge was killing her.
She lay down on the blanket and closed her eyes. "But just so you know…your betrayal may hurt me more than anything I have ever experienced…."
He flinched. Anything? Even more than discovering the truth about Uther or losing Morgause?
"But you are not to blame for my actions. I made the decision to meet Morgause before you poisoned me…I made all the decisions afterwards…this is on me, not you."
The next two weeks they fell into a sort of routine. Merlin did his best to nurse her wounds and keep her healthy and Morgana recovered, slowly but she did.
To Merlin's surprise she never once lashed out, threatened to kill him or tried to run away. She was actually being nice. It reminded him of the old Morgana more than he liked and he actually enjoyed being in her company more than he should.
Morgana felt strange towards him. There was still the pain and hate inside her, but it felt like it was more fading away each day. There were no thoughts of killing Merlin or Arthur or taking Camelot. Each time she looked at Merlin, she felt something she hadn't felt in years, she felt good, safe and oddly home.
They didn't talk about that fateful day anymore, none of them knew how. It was a bad and painful memory for both of them.
Morgana kept having her strange nightmares, but everytime she got scared, she had Merlin by her side, assuring her she was safe.
Merlin still felt like something was wrong with her dreams, but away from Camelot and Gaius and his books, there was no way he could investigate it any further. He thought about Camelot and Arthur a lot, knowing that he couldn't stay with her forever, that he needed to go back soon, but he wasn't ready to leave her yet and that feeling scared him.
One morning when Morgana woke up, Merlin wasn't there, neither was Aithusa. She was feeling better, stronger and so she decided to finally get up and leave the cave for the first time in weeks.
The sun was shining brightly, it was a lovely summer day. She enjoyed the fresh air and a cool breeze on her face. How much she missed it.
"It is really easy Aithusa." She heard Merlin's voice and decided to follow it. He was standing in a clearing, Aithusa in front of him and for the first time she realized how much better the dragon looked. More healthy and happy.
"You just say Merlin. It is a Mer and a lin an easy name." He sounded frustrated. Aithusa just looked irritated.
Morgana chuckled. "Are you trying to teach her how to speak, Mer and lin?" She teased him.
He turned around, surprised to see her outside. She looked beautiful, standing there in the sunlight. What are you doing Merlin? This is still Morgana….you can't think of her like that.
"Yeah….but it doesn't work. I don't know if she can't or just doesn't know how…" He looked at the damaged throat of the dragon and it pained him. Such a beautiful creature, so hurt.
Morgana gently stroked Aithusa's head. "Maybe one day she will speak, isn't that right Aithusa?"
Merlin couldn't believe how gentle she was when it came to the dragon. A few weeks ago he never thought Morgana was even capable of love anymore, but how wrong he was.
She sat down in the grass. "God I missed this. Grass and sunshine and wind…" she closed her eyes, enjoying her surroundings.
Merlin sat down next to her. "It is a beautiful day."
She opened her eyes. "Feloge." She whispered and a few flowers started to dance around them. She laughed, a really heartfelt laugh. It was that kind of laugh Merlin missed all those years.
"I can feel the nature around us….I can sense it…it is a great feeling." She said and Merlin wished he could tell her he felt it too.
"How come you never freak out when I use magic? How come you are not scared?" she asked interested.
Merlin grabbed one of the flying flowers and looked at it. "Because I don't think magic is evil. It is with all forms of power, it depends on how you use it."
She smiled, surprised by his answer but incredibly happy by it. He never judged her for what she was, not back then and not now.
"Besides" he said smirking, "I don't think a flower will hurt anyone." He leaned closer to her, making her blush. Then he softly put the flower behind her ear.
She looked away and if Merlin wouldn't know it any better he would almost say shyly.
That is not possible, why would she be shy? She is Morgana and I am…me.
They lay in the cave, side by side but not touching each other. "Tell me a story." Morgana said.
He raised an eyebrow. "What story?" He asked.
She shrugged. "Don't know, just a story."
"Okay…when I first arrived in Camelot and became Arthur's servant…there was this big ball, I guess it was a ball and girl walked into the room. She wore that red dress and looked absolutely stunning. I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. Gaius warned me that she was the king's warned and that I would probably be send into the dungeon if someone would catch me looking at her like that…but I couldn't stop." He smiled at this memory that seemed life times ago.
Morgana giggled. She remembered seeing him for the first time. He was so clumsy and naïve, but he had a good heart and she always liked him for that.
"The funny thing is that she and I became pretty good friends and when she was having a bad time I brought her flowers….then her clotpole of a brother took me aside and was like 'No stay away from her, this is not good, this is bad…by the way I am a prat and you are a servant she is the king's ward…'" he tried to impersonate Arthur which made Morgana laugh out loud. It was a strange feeling to her to think about her brother without feeling the actual urge to kill him. In moments like this she actually wished she could go back, that everything could be like it once was again.
"He did not really say that…" she giggled.
Merlin nodded. "He did…trying to be serious and all. Because I was a servant and a servant cannot have a crush on the king's ward. Guess what….he married a serving girl…"
Morgana snuggled closer to him. She carefully rested her head on his chest, which was surprisingly muscular, after all Arthur's sword fight training and the many chores were good for something.
He enjoyed having her so close to him. He wrapped his arm around her, burying his head into her long raven hair. He knew that whatever they were doing was against every rule, betrayed everything they both believed in and could only end in chaos and tears, but yet he couldn't stop.
"Have you ever been in love?" she asked.
He was surprised by her question. He expected everything, not that. "Well there was a girl I really liked…" he said, a sad undertone in his voice.
"What happened?" she wondered who that girl was.
Merlin didn't answer for a while. "She was killed." He then said. Thinking of Freya still hurt him, thinking about how he failed to save her.
Morgana leaned over him, searching for his eyes. A few locks were tickling his face. "I'm sorry."
He softly pulled her hair aside. "And there was…this girl I…really don't know what I felt about her. She was beautiful and strong and so kind…but we never had the chance to find out what could have been." It was the first time he openly confessed in a way what he once felt for Morgana. Not even Gaius knew that he always felt more than just friendship for her. But it wasn't meant to be, destiny had other plans.
His one hand rested on her cheek, his other softly stroke along her back.
"Why did you never tell her?" She never ever expected that he really once had feelings for her and for some reason it made her happy and sad at the same time.
"I messed it up before I had the chance." He said. His eyes were filled with regret, she could see that.
"What about you?" He needed to know.
One of her fingers painted small circles on his chest. "I had a lot of suitors….but none of them seemed right to me….when I was about….14 I had this weird crush on Sir Leon…" she laughed. "But there has only been one guy that really made me feel special…but it was inappropriate ." she took a deep breath. "And I messed it up before it even began."
She waited for a reaction, but he said nothing. He was too perplexed to speak. Not in a million years had he ever thought that a gorgeous creature like would ever return his feelings.
They stared at each other, lost into each other's eyes. Captured in a mixture of shyness and a long forgotten desire that was just about to resurface.
Merlin didn't know what he was doing, his thump softly slid over her lips, making her shiver. He remembered the feeling he had back then whenever he saw her, he asked himself what it would feel like to hold her in his arms or how much he would give for just one simple kiss. But the feelings he had now were different. He didn't long for a hug or a sweet, innocent kiss. No, he wanted to taste her mouth, wanted to touch her, wanted to feel her soft skin on his. And it scared him. It scared him deeply. They were enemies. She was the darkness to his light, the hatred to his love. He shouldn't feel about her that way, he shouldn't desire her.
Morgana wanted nothing more than to scream out loud. They were so close, but still so far away from each other. When the world was still okay, she had a crush on him, a huge crush. He was a sweetest boy she had ever met, so kind and gentle and he always saw more in her than just the Lady Morgana, He saw her, the real her and it was the best feeling someone ever gave her. But now that boy was a grown man and the crush from another time started to turn into something more serious, something dangerous. She had a mission to fulfill, she hadn't time for this, she couldn't afford feelings like this, but they were there and she knew deep in her heart she couldn't shake them off.
She leaned closer, their faces were only inches apart. She closed her eyes, when suddenly Merlin lay her gently aside. "I check on Aithusa." He said and left the cave, leaving a confused Morgana behind.
Merlin walked up and down, while an innocent Aithusa was watching him, not understanding what was going on with him.
"What the hell am I doing?" He yelled at himself. "You are an idiot Merlin. Such an idiot. She is Morgana. She is bad news. She killed people…" But so did you. Is inner voice said to him. "She has no good in her…" He leaned against a tree. "Which is not true…there is plenty of good buried inside…" His head was hurting, that was all too much for him. "I can't give into whatever this is…it would betray Arthur and our destiny…"
Gaius was checking on a patient very early in the morning and when he entered his chambers, he saw a very bad looking Arthur sitting on one of his chairs.
"Sire, what can I do for you?" He asked.
Arthur groaned. His expression was similar to a little child who just got a 'no' from his parents. "Have you heard from Merlin, Gaius?" he asked.
Gaius understood immediately why Arthur seemed so depressed. Merlin was gone for almost a month now and it was the longest time they ever spent apart in almost a decade.
"I am sorry sire, I haven't heard from him, but I'm sure he will be back soon.' That was at least what he hoped. Gaius missed Merlin as well. Camelot was awfully quiet without the boy.
Arthur groaned again, making a pouting face. "Gaius?" he asked a bit unsure.
"Yes sire?" The old man asked.
"Can you…call me clotpole….or just insult me?"
It was the oddest question Gaius has ever been asked. "I'm sorry…sire?"
Arthur stood up and clapped his back. "Just one insult, please? Guinevere won't do it and Gwaine laughed at me."
Gaius smiled uneasily. "You are…a…clotpole….sire." he said.
Arthur looked at him, but his expression didn't change. "That just doesn't feel the same." He said and left a stunned Gaius behind.
Morgana couldn't get any sleep all night. Merlin stayed outside, he was obviously avoiding her. They were so close the night before, she couldn't understand what was wrong with him. Or simply didn't want to understand. Deep down she knew that what they were doing was wrong, that he couldn't betray Arthur like that, but the way he left her still made her furious.
She walked outside, determined to find him and making him talk. Even if it meant pinning him against a tree via magic.
Aithusa was jumping from tree to tree trying to catch a few birds, but there was no Merlin. She walked down a path they recently discovered, it led to a small lake. And there he was, standing in the water, his trouser legs pulled up to his knees, his tunic hanging behind him on a small tree.
She couldn't help and staring at him, she mustered his bare chest. Being Arthur's servant is really a good way to work out. She shook her head. She couldn't get distracted.
"Merlin!" she said angrily and stepped towards the lake, her hands put to her hips.
He turned around, a bit embarrassed that she could see him like this. He felt a bit exposed. But she didn't care. "We need to talk about it."
Merlin knew what she meant, but he couldn't. He wasn't sure how he would react. "I don't see the need to talk about…whatever that was last night." Mistake, I should have played completely dump.
"So you admit there was something last night?" Since he was obviously not leaving the lake, she decided to step into the water and walked towards him.
He gulped, the last thing he needed was having her close right now. "Morgana, your dress –"
"I don't care about my dress!" she snapped. "Why did you run out? Why did you avoid me? And don't tell me you didn't feel anything last night, you admitted you once had feelings for me!" She was in a complete rage.
"Yes, I said I once had feelings for you, as in the past!" he snapped back. He knew he was being harsh, but it just couldn't be.
"Don't lie to me, I've seen the look in your eyes." She tried not to sound too hurt. She couldn't have imagined it, could she?
"You really think there could be something between us after everything that happened?" He shouted.
Morgana laughed bitterly. "I should ask you that question! You were the one popping up out of nowhere and saving me without further explanation."
Was that it? Was all the progress they made ruined because of a fight? "I told that I –"
"What did you tell me?" she cut him off. "You told me nothing! Just half answers and pieces and you frustrate me to no end!" She stared into his eyes, at his lips, his chest. She felt her magic getting out of control inside of her, that much of an effect had he on her and she hated it. She hated it and it thrilled her at the same time. She wanted nothing more than to touch him.
Merlin growled. "I frustrate you? Excuse me but have you met you? One day you want to go on a murder spree and take over Camelot the next day you get an emotional break down and suddenly you act like the old Morgana? What about that?"
She stepped closer to him, they were standing face to face, glaring at each other.
He couldn't stand the closeness anymore. Every fibre of his body wanted her. He hoped his eyes wouldn't flash golden in front of her, it took all his strength to stay under control, but it was getting harder and harder.
"You betrayed me, fought me and suddenly you saved me…stop confusing me!" she hissed angrily.
"And you stop switching between being insane and sweet, I can't take it anymore." He moved even closer to her, knowing it could only get worse.
"You know what, I hate you Merlin." She shouted.
"I hate you, Morgana." He said back.
Her hands were shaking. "Fine." She turned around. Even angrier, more confused and most of all disappointed.
"Bloody hell…" Merlin cursed. He grabbed her arm and turned her around to face him once more. She was slightly shocked. "Merlin, what –"
She couldn't finish her sentence. He grabbed the back of her head, pulled her closer and crashed his lips on hers.
Morgana was too shocked to response at first, but then she kissed him back with all she got. She swung her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. His hands drifted down to her hips. His tongue slid over her lips, asking for entrance which she allowed immediately. It was a fight for dominance, which it always has been with them. Their kiss was filled with passion, anger, unresolved feelings and hope, hope they both tried to push away years ago.
Their magic was becoming one, water was flying around them, but neither of them noticed, they were completely lost into each other.
Miles away at some for humans unknown place the great dragon Kilgharrah felt something he never felt before. A clash of magic, an unusual one. The energies of Emrys and the witch combined in a way he never thought could be possible.
And it worried him. If this was true it could change the course of destiny forever.