Summary: AU bodyguard. Getting shot is an occupational hazard for Morgana; she’s grown used to it over the years. But this time the bullet is cursed with ancient magic, meant for her client Merlin and now Morgana finds herself bleeding out wishing there wasn’t so much left unsaid between them.
Morgana stumbles through the doorway, in a daze. The room around her, which over the last year and a half has become as familiar to her as her trustee gun, is now only a blur of colour and shapes. Her weakening body sways from side to side, feet dragging across the floor, tripping and stumbling over air. The only thing keeping her upright is Merlin.
Warnings: brief mentions of a wound, though nothing gory.
Word Count: 1,588
Author's Notes: So this scenario/scene literally sprang to mind the moment I read you’re prompt and flowed together quickly and simply, which is usually unheard of for me. So thank you for giving me a prompt that really inspired me. I really do hope you like and enjoy what I came up with as I certainly enjoyed writing it. Happy Hoildays!
Disclaimer:Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons.
Morgana stumbles through the doorway, in a daze. The room around her, which over the last year and a half has become as familiar to her as her trustee gun, is now only a blur of colour and shapes. Her weakening body sways from side to side, feet dragging across the floor, tripping and stumbling over air. The only thing keeping her upright is Merlin. His arm is around her waist, holding her as firmly as his anxiety filled uncertainty will allow. Morgana clutches at her lower abdomen, the feel of sticky warmth covers her palm, seeping through her fingers and dripping onto the carpeted floor red and angry. Her other arm is slung around Merlin’s shoulders. She leans into him as he manoeuvres them towards the couch. Morgana wants to protest, knowing she will stain and ruin it forever. She didn’t realise she had spoken her thoughts out loud until Merlin speaks, his voice hazy and faint in her ears, as if he were speaking to her through water.
“Fuck the couch Morgana!” He grunts, slowly lowering her onto the dark blue upholstery. Morgana makes to laugh but the sound gets caught in her throat and instead she erupts into a coughing fit, spluttering and spitting up blood. A flare of searing pain spikes in her lower abdomen and she groans through gritted teeth, tears pricking in the corner of her eyes. The pain is unlike anything she has felt. Before when she’d be shot, there had been an initial blazing sensation, as if she’d been stuck by hot iron and then the adrenaline would kicked in and it would subsided to a dull throbbing. That particular sensation had become familiar to her in the years of her career, getting shot was merely an occupational hazard for a bodyguard.
Morgana had known this bullet was different from the moment it had ripped through both the bullet proof vest and the flesh that followed. Perhaps she’d known before then. Morgana had been dreaming of event for weeks now. The only difference being that in every recurring nightmare she had suffered it had been Merlin lying on the floor, the life draining from him as death came to claim him. It had haunted her daily, leaving her restless and uneasy to the point where she had even requested Merlin to cancel the conference. He’d declined.
Merlin was different from any other client she had served. He was the Emrys; a powerful magic wielder and the leader of the largest unified magic clan. He sought unity between all magic clans, who often fought with each other over customs and laws and peace between magic wilders and the non-magic community. These political ideals made him many enemies from both sides. They sought his death eagerly. It was common knowledge however that in order to kill Merlin one would need something more powerful than metal and fire; they would need an ancient spell of death, which was something very few could cast.
Morgana had taken only applied and taken the job as Merlin’s bodyguard, to rebel against and spite Uther, a simple fuck you, after learning he was in fact her biological father yet had failed to claim her. Uther hated magic and wanted nothing more than to wipe it and its wielders from existence. Morgana hadn’t honesty expected Merlin to choose her for the job, but he had and thus began the start of their complicated relationship. Merlin had challenged her ideals from their very first meeting, confronting her harsh cutthroat nature, with a compassion and kindness that she had never known. He’d never flinched; never faltered, simply waited and listened to her, speaking to her with truth and understanding. His words became a lifeline of oxygen to a drowning woman who hadn’t even realised she’d been suffocating. Merlin had connected Morgana back to the world around her, but more importantly to herself once again. Another coughing fit takes Morgana from her thoughts, bringing her back into her current surroundings.
“Shit! Just hold on Morgana, I can fix this.” Merlin says voice low and controlled, but Morgana senses the fear and panic he is trying desperately to control. She reaches out her hand, in an effort to ease his worry, her fingers ache from the effort it takes to move them. In the end she only manages to brush them lightly against the back of his palm, as he rises from his kneeling position beside her. Hurriedly Merlin makes his way to the book shelf and pulls out a large, ancient, leather bound book. Morgana doesn’t recognise the object, her vision impaired by the loss of blood and blinding pain caused by the bullet still buried inside her flesh and the curse now running in her veins. It’s not until Merlin is kneeling beside her once more, flicking through pages in haste that she realises what book he is holding. The magic of the ancient ones. Although in Merlin’s hands the book has served the light, doing nothing but good Morgana still finds herself recoiling away from it; a lifetime brought up on hate and ignorance still lingering in her mind.
“No.” she splutters on a reflex instilled in her by her narrow-minded father. For someone who has spent the last year re-educating herself about magic, this moment feels like a failing. Morgana curses herself inwardly, wanting to explain but having neither the strength nor words to do so.
“Morgana.” Merlin breathes, looking down at her tenderly and cupping her cheek in his hand. “Magic is the only thing that can save you now.”
The truth of that is all too real. Morgana can feel it in her body, the way it pulls her down as if she were weighted down by an invisible force, hear it in the wheeze of her hitched breath as it struggles to pass her lips. She sees it, in the vision that now swims and splinters into fragments of kaleidoscope colour, smells it, in the metallic pungency surrounding her and tastes it in the blood that spills from her mouth. Death is hungry and she is its meal.
“Trust me.” His voice hitches, and Morgana feels more than sees, the unshed tears in his eyes. Morgana can’t help feel as if this is some sort of role reversal. Merlin has trusted her with his life for over eighteen months and now it seems it is her turn. For someone who has spent their whole life behind a self-built fortress wall, it strikes her at how easy it is now, to give complete control over to him. A year and a half ago she would have laughed at the idea, probably killed whoever suggested it. She has long since left the lost woman in the wilderness she used to be behind her. Merlin doesn’t wait for her to reply, turning his attention back to the book and flicking through the pages with urgency.
“Found it!” He exclaims suddenly a few moments later, stabbing his finger against the inked pages, eyes lighting up with renewed hope.
“Mer-lin.” Morgana says, her speech broken into symbols as she stretches out her fingers in another attempt to reach for his hand. She’s fading fast now, only moments left. Merlin’s eyes flicker towards her outstretched hand and he smiles, soft and gentle. Reaching up he takes her hand in his, lifting it towards his lips and kisses her palm.
“It’s going to be ok.” He says, using his free hand to cover the gaping wound. “I’m going to save you.”
“Merlin.” Morgana says and it sounds a lot like “you already have.” Merlin hesitates for a second, pausing to look at her with such an intensity Morgana feels stripped bare.
“Merlin.” Morgana says again and she wonders if it will be the last thing she ever says. The thought lingers, filling her heart with tragic sadness. There is so much left unsaid between them. Feelings she hasn’t had the courage to convey, both from fear of rejection and the complication of their working relationship. She’s not supposed to fall for her clients, it’s unprofessional, unethical. Expect it happened.
Morgana can’t pin point the precise moment she had fallen for him. She’s always been an M-80, the explosive ready to blow off a couple of fingers if you held her tight for too long. Morgana had lit her own fuse a long time ago and had neither wanted nor thought anyone could put it out. Her whole life she has been waiting to detonate. Yet somehow Merlin had managed to navigate his way through the mine field of her mind and the barbwire ribs that contoured so tightly around her heart. He’d slipped through with his tender eyes and bright wide smiles, seeping into her pores till he had embedded himself so fully into her, she could no longer escape.
“Morgana,” Merlin says, leaning over her body to press his forehead to hers. “Don’t you dare leave me.” His voice is gentle but commanding, frim in his demand.
“Don’t leave me.” He repeats on a whispered breath, his lips brushing against hers in a ghost of a kiss as his eyes change from blue to blazing gold. The magic surges between them, flowing from him into her. Morgana lips tug upwards and her eyes flutter closed. Maybe it’s wishful thinking or the fact she’s dying, or being saved, she can’t tell anymore, but Morgana can’t help but think that his words “don’t leave me” sounded an awful lot like “I love you.”