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[personal profile] heofona_gehlidu
Title: Our lady's peace
Fandom: Merlin
Rating:
Warnings: None
Pairing: Merlin/Morgana
Wordcount: 764
A/N: [livejournal.com profile] fanged_angel inspired me to write Merlin/Morgana and this was the result. I didn't want them to be too fluffy, so I hope it's not


There comes a time of night when men must walk as close as they ever will to death and yet live, and it is at that time that Morgana sees. Rivulets of flame flash behind her eyelids; is it Camelot she sees burn and the ruins crumble to dust? She can never be sure, afterwards, if it is, or whether it is Arthur she sees being borne from the field of battle with life-red blood staining his tunic. She sees the march of centuries, soaked in blood and fear and the ruthless ambition of kings.

For months now she has walked in fear of the hours of darkness and the dreams her sleep brings. Once, in desperation, she decided to forego all sleep at night and take to her bed by day instead, but Uther soon noticed her absence and he had no patience for her awkward explanations. Much as Uther cares for her she could not risk telling him the truth and so she had reluctantly complied with his wishes. She has no defence now, not even the medicines Gaius diligently prepares for her. Nothing, it seems, stops her dreams.

Except this.

***

"You look tired," Gwen tells her, and Morgana knows it must be particularly bad today if Gwen comments on it. It has been months since she has needed artifice to add pallor to her cheeks but Gwen is kind enough to keep silent most of the time.

"I slept a little," she says, and turns away so that Gwen will not see her face.

"Shall I fetch Gaius?"

"No," she says quickly. No.

***

She dreams of her father sometimes. It is usually the same dream; her last, treasured memory of him. He had seemed like a giant to her as a child and in her dreams he is still so as she hands his helmet to him and struggles to lift his sword before he takes it from her hands. Ready for battle, he smiles at her then - his warm, open smile - and tells her he will return soon and she feels a burst of happiness so intense the pain is all the greater when she wakes, crying out at the wrenching loss all over again.

Gaius knows about those dreams. He does not know about the ones in which Morgana sees her father die.

***

"What do you think about love?" Gwen asks her one morning as they walk through the courtyard.

"Love?" Morgana tilts her head, trying to gauge Gwen's mood. She knows that Gwen likes Merlin; knows that Gwen is more attracted to Arthur than she would ever admit. "Are you in love?"

Gwen blushes and bites her lip and looks as if she wishes she had never brought the subject up in the first place. "I was only wondering if you ... if you and Arthur, perhaps..."

"No." Even Morgana is surprised by how emphatic her voice is. "Even if Uther does like to think he can convince us to marry."

"You would make a good queen," Gwen says simply. "And Arthur will be a great king."

Morgana cannot help a shiver of unease at the conviction in her maidservant's words.


***

Her dreams always come true. More often that not Morgana would give anything, everything for that not to be the case.

She sees Camelot rise to glory and Arthur rule in triumph; she sees Arthur's kingdom shatter and crumble without him. She sees men die screaming and castles razed, and a kingdom rent asunder by the hatred and jealousy and greed of those who follow. She sees invaders come from the sea, bringing death and destruction and a new world that has no time for what is gone.

She sees what even magic cannot stop.

***

"What did Merlin want this morning?" Gwen asks as she folds Morgana's clean linen in readiness for putting it away.

"What?" Startled, Morgana looks up from the letter she is writing.

"Merlin." Gwen is blushing, but she stands her ground. "I saw him leaving."

Morgana picks up her quill again and returns to her letter with a show of studied nonchalance. "He came to ask me something about Arthur, that's all."


***

The banked fire in the hearth flares when Merlin enters her room that night.

"Gwen knows," Morgana says, without preamble.

"She won't say anything."

She catches hold of his arm. "You can't be sure of that."

"You can," he says after a moment's hesitation, and in his eyes she sees what is and what will be and what can never be.

When Merlin kisses her she sees forever.


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