Title: Bitter Memories of what was Lost
Pairing/s: Hint of Merlin/Morgana
Character/s: Arthur, Morgana and Merlin
Summary: Sometimes when we look upon our past we find that those bitter memories are better than the ones that are to come.
Warnings: Character death.
Word Count: 1053
Author's Notes: I really wanted to explore the relationship between Morgana and Merlin and this is what came to my mind when I thought about the prompt. The first story I wanted to write was a bit of a doozy and I ended up getting a block on it so I was pretty frustrated when I came up with this story.
Merlin remembers a time when everybody around him was happy and nothing in the world, no matter how sinister, could take their joy away from them. The first thing that he remembers is Morgana. Dear, sweet, beautiful Morgana with a catchy laugh, her voice as smooth as silk and a bright smile that could light up the room. He sees her eyes, so beautiful back then and filled with such life and when he compares her to the Morgana standing in front of him, with a sword held in her hands pointed at Arthur, he sees nothing but pain, misery and such a haunted look that Merlin feels his heart going to her.
What happened to you? He wants to ask her, his mind still remembering the darkhaired beauty whose personality reminded him of a young filly. Instead, he finds himself full of loathing, not only for her but for himself as well. Why didn't he save her when he found out she had magic? How did things get so bad between us that all we want to do is kill each other? Surely, she will remember that we were friends.
But Merlin knows better, he knows that he is no longer a friend of hers and that she sees him as a mortal enemy that is standing between her and her right to Camelot's throne. What she doesn't know is that Merlin will always think of her as a friend and as beautiful as the stars are when they come out at night and sometimes he remembers the things that had been because it was how he could cope with the loss of a beloved friend. She doesn't know that Arthur mourns for her loss everyday since she had him betrayed but like always, Arthur is too proud to admit that he thinks of her everyday and wishes that she will come to her senses.
Then there is Gwen and how she always gets such a sad look in her eyes whenever Morgana's name is mentioned and the young queen always finds herself in a battle between what she thinks and what she knows. Merlin knows she is haunted by the memories of their friendship and wonders if things could have been different had Morgana been taught by somebody other than Morgause and he feels so bad and guilty because he knows that he was the only one who could have taught her.
"Look at how the mighty have fallen," Morgana says now, her back turned to Merlin and he realises that there is something still there. Something that still makes her the old Morgana despite the sickening pleasure in her voice and for a moment Merlin hopes that she will see the damage she has caused and will return to them.
However, Morgana does not become what she once was. She is too corrupted to return back to the once kind-hearted and loyal young woman that they all knew before and it becomes painful for Merlin to even think. He finds himself trapped in the past that he falters, he doesn't want to hurt her or kill her for that matter because he always believes in second chances but when she raises that sword that was forged in Aithusa's fiery breath, he knows that he has to do it. To save her, to save Arthur and to save the future of Albion.
When he charges forward and stabs Excalibur through her body, he finds that Morgana gives him the same look that she gave him once before, when she had been poisoned by him in order to stop an enchantment. The look is a painful reminder of how he had lost her the first time and he blinks away tears as he looks away, unable to look at her for another minute because he knows that he has now lost her forever. The pain of finally killing her is unbearable and Merlin yells out in grief and rage- even if she isn't dead yet, he feels such agony that it is as if his heart is being eaten by the guilt that consumes him.
Before she dies, Merlin finds that Morgana is looking at him the same way she once did when they were friends. There was no more evil in her eyes, no more bitterness that would warn him that she was going to do something that she would regret and for a moment he forgets that moments before she was about to kill Arthur and he catches her before she reaches the ground and holds her tightly. He soothes her before she passes away and right when the final breath rattles her chest and her eyes get empty of the life she once lived, Merlin leans in close and kisses her on the forehead and tells her just how much she had meant to him and to everybody else in Camelot before she fell in Morgause's trap.
When her body finally goes limp in his arms, Merlin truly grieves and he soon finds those memories that he had thought were locked forever in his mind came back to him in a rush that left him overwhelmed. Morgana dancing with Arthur. Morgana helping Merlin with thieves in the village he came from. Morgana willing to put her life down for her friends. Morgana's eyes locked on his when she discovered that she had been betrayed by the only friend she could trust. Morgana becoming corrupted and smirking at him every chance she got. Morgana and the look she gave to him when she realised that she was going to die at his hand afterall.
Then Arthur is at his side, soothing Merlin while in his own pain. The wound that Mordred had inflicted and the poison that was going through his body didn't stop Arthur from helping Merlin with the grief that had built up within him. This time, there was no more pushing the other away during grief but instead both came together and supported each other because they had both been through too much to leave each other alone.
They had both lost so much that their memories became each others and for once Merlin was happy to grieve with Arthur present and looking on because they both lost the same thing.