Before we get onto the story, I'm going to let you all know a few things that are important. This takes place right after 5x13, so you may not want to read this if you haven't seen it yet, or else you may be slightly confused. This is a Modern!AU fic, but I suppose it's not technically AU... I like to keep my stories close to cannon, but since there is no more cannon to follow, I can do whatever the hell I want with this! TAKE THAT, BBC! And don't worry, I plan to update my other fics soon. I've just been on a little hiatus due to school. :)
DISCLAIMER: I sadly do not own Merlin. :( Also, I do not own the cover. That goes to Eleonor280 on deviantART.
This is the end
Hold your breath and count to ten
Feel the earth move and then
Hear my heart burst again
"Skyfall" by Adele
This is the end, Merlin thought as he watched the boat that contained Arthur's body sail away. He couldn't bring himself to carry the body all the way to Camelot to see Gwen's broken heart, nor could he set fire to the body. He sobbed as his greatest friend moved farther away. Things would be different now. He would tell Gwen about his magic. He was sick of hiding. He hoped she wouldn't take it too harshly.
"We meet again, Emrys," a cold voice spoke out. Wiping away his tears, Merlin looked over to see the Cailleach. The sky was now darkened from her presence, and the wind rapidly spun around the area.
"What do you want?"
She let her staff bury itself into the ground as she took a step closer to him. "To help."
His voice turned bitter. "And why would you care to help me?"
Her lifeless eyes narrowed. "All mortals have something that they were born to do—I believe you call it destiny. But some fates are not sealed. Your's can go in an endless direction from here, as can nearly everyone else's in existence, including the dead."
"What do you mean?" This disagreed with nearly everything he had learned from Kilgharrah.
"I have come to give you a choice; one that will alter all of Albion now and for all of time."
"No pressure there," he muttered under his breath.
"But remember this, Emrys, no matter which fate you choose, Arthur will rise again."
"What is this choice between?" he asked curiously.
"Patients, Emrys. I was getting to that. As you may suspect, it will be many years before Arthur rises once again, and I'm not talking a few measly mortal decades—I'm talking centuries. If you continue this mortal life, there is a possibility that you may not be reborn along with the mighty king; and if you do, you will not remember this life. You will have to start from scratch, along with the others."
"What do you mean by 'reborn'?"
"Did you really think that Arthur would live his second life without his loyal knights and wife? And he must have enemies." Merlin's eyes widened. "So here is where the difficult choice comes into play. You can choose this mortal life and risk not being able to help Arthur, or you can become immortal, for a price."
Merlin angered. "A price other than living eternally alone, to watch all my friends wither and die whilst I remain young and healthy? You're asking me to choose between that and not being able to help Arthur?!"
"Oh, you'll be far from alone. That's the price. In order to become immortal, you must make another immortal with you."
Merlin scrunched his brow as he thought it over. This didn't sense. Surely the Gods would want a punishment for defying the balance of life. Wouldn't he have to kill? Unless, immortality was essentially a living death. He thought over his possibilities. "Then I picked Gwen, if she agrees. I could not stand to watch the two of them away from each other simply because they would not remember."
"They will find each other in the next life, no matter if they remember or not, as will everyone else. I am talking about someone else; someone who is dead."
It took him a while to think it over, but he ended up smiled at her words. They would all find each other. But he would still need to guide them. "Freya?" he said a bit excitedly, "Unless she's stuck to Avalon forever. Maybe Lancelot?"
She slammed her staff into the ground, causing a booming noise to silence him. "No, child! I'm talking about someone specific! It has already been decided that if you choose immortality, she would be the one to be along with you!"
"Who is it?"
Silence filled the air. Maybe immortality wasn't the best option after all.
"You have got to be kidding."
"I do not kid, Emrys."
"But it would be absolutely insane! She would probably kill all future babies in existence named Arthur!" Merlin practically screamed at the Cailleach, who remained calm.
"No, she would not. She would surely be trouble, but she would eventually come to her senses. Look at her." She pointed at the lifeless body of the witch.
Merlin stumbled around as he realized that they had been transported to the forest. He looked at Morgana. She seemed so...scared. She laid there with widened eyes and open mouth. He knelt down and rested a hand over her face to close her eyes. He closed his own eyes as he remembered stabbing her with Excalibur. A single tear left his watering eyes as he bent to press his lips her softly onto her own. It was meant to be a kiss that apologized. He pulled away. "I'm sorry it had to end like this. I hope you forgive me one day, even if it takes until my dying breath. Which may be a very long time for the both of us."
"So which fate do you choose, Emrys?"
"Well, I'll have centuries to reason with her if we were immortal," he tried to joke.
"Very well," she said. Then she vanished.
He was left in the forest with a dead body. He felt nothing. "Oi! Is that it? She's still dead, and I'm pretty sure I'm still mortal over here!" he screamed out into nothing as he kicked a nearby tree in frustration. He sagged down and sobbed softly. Arthur was dead. Kilgharrah was dying. Aithusa was nowhere to be found. Who knew what happened to Gwen and the knights? And Morgana...he murdered her in cold blood. And he did it without any remorse. He screamed, pounding his hand against the tree.
He looked up. Morgana's body was gone.
It didn't take very long to find her. She sat on her knees on top of a grassy hill. In front of her was an elegant sword plunged into the ground beside a clump of freshly picked flowers. He heard her weep, "Your death did not come in vain. Arthur is now dead, by your hand. I only wish that you could sit beside me as we rejoice together. But there's something wrong. I'm not happy. The only emotion I'm feeling about my dear brother is sadness. I think it may be because it came with such a large sacrifice.
"I should be dead right now; in Avalon with you. I think Emrys has something to do with it because I woke from peace to see him sobbing near me. Truth is, I'm not sure if I want to be alive."
Merlin watched and listened to the heartbreaking conversation. He waited until she finished before approaching her. "Morgana," he started.
She looked up into his eyes. Her fear was apparent. "Please, Emrys. Please just leave me alone," she pleaded as she backed away.
He tentatively held a hand out towards her in truce. "I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to talk." Morgana continued to walk backwards until she tripped over a root. He knelt down and straddled her and grasped her arms before she could run away. "I mean you no harm."
Morgana screamed. "No! No! Please, Emrys. Haven't you hurt me enough!?"
"I'm not planning to hurt you unless you keep squirming!" he roared. Her eye widened before she settled down in fear. His grip softened at her reaction. "I'm sorry. I just need to talk to you. As Merlin, not Emrys—like the old days."
She nodded. Shoving him hard on the stomach, she stood up. "We can talk, but don't you dare touch me again."
"And answer me something. How, or rather why, am I alive?"
"I was offered a choice: mortality or immortality. The only issue was that whatever I picked, you would be linked with the same."
"Excuse me? You chose my fate? I would rather be in Avalon rather than spending a lifetime with you!"
"Morgana, you wouldn't be dead forever. All of us were going to be reborn. You'd have to go through all the heartbreak again, and you wouldn't even remember who you are! Since I was tied in this, I chose what I thought was best."
Morgana scowled. "What you thought was best, huh? Well, since I'm not going to be able to kill you any time soon, I best be going now. I suppose you did me a favor. I now have all the time in the world to capture Camelot and become queen," she said sarcastically. He grabbed her arm as she moved past him. "What part of 'do not touch me' do you not understand?" She pulled her hand away.
"Morgana, please don't do this. You forget that I have immortality too, so I'm still more powerful. But we need to stick together. No one should have to live for eternity alone."
"Well, maybe you should've thought of that before you took the offer," she snapped, "And I would rather be alone then with you."
Feeling bold, he pit his hands firmly on her shoulders. "I could make everyone in Camelot forgive you for your sins. You would be welcomed back. You would be home."
He saw a shine of hope in her eye as she took in his words. She wanted to be part of a family who cared for her again. But she knew that Camelot would never forgive her. She brushed off his hands. "They all hate me too much."
He looked at her sadly, the whispered, "I don't hate you." She stared at him for a long moment. "I never have." Her bottom lip quivered slightly as she blinked back tears.
"I find that hard to believe," she finally said. She was met with silence. "Go back to your precious Camelot. I want nothing to do with you or redemption."
"I'm not going to leave you out here just so you can plot to take it for yourself!"
"Dammit, Merlin!" she screamed, "I'm done with plotting against Camelot! Sure, the throne is mine, but I don't give a damn anymore! I've lost everything that I love!" She calmed. "If I promise you that I'll leave Camelot in peace for at least a century, will you leave me alone?"
He pondered for a minute, looking into her eyes to see if there was any catch. One century seemed so long. He only saw sorrow. "Fine." The corners of her lips lifted ever so slightly. He took it as a thanks. "Goodbye, Morgana Pendragon."
And that was the last time they saw each other for nearly a decade.
There will be a chapter or two more with Camelot's rise and fall, then it'll get to more of a modern day. I really want this to be a story I can read in the future without thinking, "I'm an idiot! What was the point of this chapter? It needs more description. It skips to much. Blah blah blah, this is absolutely horrible!" like I do with all my other fics, including TIADES.
As you may have wondered, Merlin will look the same in our modern day, unlike in the show's epilogue, where he was shown as an old man. I may find a little loophole of why he was an old man at that moment, but we'll see!
Now I need an opinion: this will definitely be Mergana, but should it be platonic romance, friendship, friends with benefits, complete romance, enemies in lust, or something else? I sorta already have an idea of what I'm going to do, but I highly value all of your opinions! So please just leave a review to tell me what you think, whether if it's about the writint, the plot, or the opinion. :) Please and thank you!