netgirl_y2k: (Morgana/Morgause)
[personal profile] netgirl_y2k
Title: Struggling to Find The Truth in Your Lies
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Morgana/Morgause
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1233
Summary: This Morgana knows: Merlin would have seen her dead and Morgause saved her life.

When Morgana was much younger she'd spent about a week labouring under the misapprehension that she was in love with Arthur Pendragon. She'd even gone so far as to give him a token to wear in a tournament.

"For luck," she'd said.

Arthur had laughed. "I need good luck, Morgana, not bad."

"Actually," she'd said, "it's to give Sir William something to aim at. With any luck he'll have your sword arm off at the elbow."

From a window high in the mysterious castle Morgana can see Morgause practicing swordcraft in the courtyard below, sunlight glinting off her armour and wheat-coloured hair.

Morgana was never in love with Arthur Pendragon the boy, what she wanted was the golden warrior to stand between her and the world.

*

These are the things that Morgana knows: she knows that Merlin would have seen her dead, and that Morgause saved her life. In the face of all the things she doesn't know she clings to this all the tighter.

*

She doesn't see much of Morgause at first, and when they do come together Morgause steps carefully around her, as though Morgana is a skittish animal she doesn't wish to frighten.

Morgana remembers when that would have been a wholly inaccurate description of her.

*

"Are you happy here, Morgana?" Morgause asks.

"Of course," says Morgana. What else is she going to say?

*

Despite Morgause's distance Morgana fills her days well enough. Wake up. Hate Merlin. Clothes and hair. Hate Merlin. Breakfast. Hate Uther - just to break up the day somewhat.

Sometimes she catches Morgause looking at her as though she wants something she doesn't know how to ask for.

What do you want from me? Morgana wants to scream. Why do you even care?

Not so long ago the second question would not have crossed her unworried mind. She knew that she was loved, by everyone, UtherArthurGwenMerlin.

Morgana can remember the precise moment she realised that Arthur couldn't be trusted. It was when he caught her attempting to smuggle Mordred out of Camelot. Cold steel at her back and cold words in her ear and she thought: You really would kill me if Uther ordered it, wouldn't you?

*

Her whole life Morgana has known what people want of her.

Uther wanted a beautiful court lady, one who could be used to tempt potential allies but nevernotever given away, an almost-princess to distract people from the gaping hole where a queen ought to be. What Arthur wanted was a practice girl, someone to flirt with and charm with no real feelings; what Arthur needed was a big sister. Maybe that's why their relationship was never entirely satisfactory for either of them. And Gwen, poor dear Gwen, she wanted Morgana to need her.

It troubles her that she doesn't know what Morgause wants.

Morgana thinks of Alvarr, if he had taken her from the jaws of Camelot, she'd assume she was expected to spread her legs in return.

She wonders if that's what Morgause wants, wonders if that's what she wants Morgause to want.

*

Morgana takes to wandering the island. There's freedom in being able to go where she likes without a squad of armed knights, and Morgause seems pleased that she's no longer haunting the castle towers.

The day that Morgana squelches back into the castle courtyard sopping wet from head to toe, Morgause looks up from her crystals, frowns and bursts out laughing. "I see you've met the kraken."

Morgana scowls, she's never liked being laughed at-- but then, she must be a fairly ridiculous sight, and she thinks this is the first time she's heard Morgause laugh.

"Yes," she says. "It's very... friendly."

Morgause's eyes flash and just like that Morgana's dress and hair are bone dry.

It gets easier after that.

*

Morgana lies on the grass while Morgause works and constructs an elaborate plot to take over Camelot by means of the over-friendly kraken.

"That's the worst plan I've ever heard," says Morgause.

"I'm new at this," says Morgana. "I'll get better."

*

Food arrives in her chambers at mealtimes, the dirty dishes vanish as though by-- Well. Yes. Soiled clothes disappear and are replaced by fresh. Morgana doesn't think about this overmuch, it's the way her life has always been.

Sometimes she finds gifts of sweet fruits, or twinkling jewels in pretty engraved boxes. Perhaps this is what being courted is like? Morgana wouldn't know, Uther kept her too close.

Perhaps it's an apology?

Blackmail?

Something else, as yet ill-defined?

*

Morgause seeks her out to ask if she wishes to learn to use her magic. Morgana can't help looking over her shoulder for eavesdroppers.

Morgause's calloused fingers are firm on Morgana's jaw, turning her to face Morgause. "Morgana, we are the only ones here, and you can trust me."

No, I can't.

You're a sorceress.

You're dangerous.

I trusted Merlin.

"I know I can," says Morgana.

"Still," Morgause withdraws her hand. "If you don't wish to learn..."

"No," Morgana snatches at her fingers. "I do. Please."

Morgause smiles.

*

Morgana had assumed that if she were ever given the opportunity to use magic it would come easily to her. She's come to realise that in this, as in many other things, she was wrong.

She's staring at a torch and willing it to light. Morgause says that elemental magic firewaterwind is the easiest kind to master because it's mostly instinctive.

"It's alright for you to say," snaps Morgana. "This is easy for you."

"Morgana, I was trained in the old religion since infancy, you cannot expect the same results."

Morgana is forcibly reminded of Arthur, knocking her down with a wooden sword and saying, "I've been trained to kill since birth, you know."

She'd hated that feeling of no matter what she did she was never going to be able to catch-up, and she hates Morgause for making her feel that way again. In that moment of hate the flame leaps from the torch and licks at the stone wall.

Terrified, Morgana flees before Morgause has finished the spell to douse the flames.

*

Morgana hasn't been able to stop shaking when Morgause finds her.

"I don't want to be afraid," she says.

"The fire was too much for you." Morgause reaches out and takes Morgana's wrist, where she wears the bracelet every day and all night. "What about your dreams?"

*

Bodiesskeletonsbloodscreamingbloodscreamingskeletons.

Morgana wakes gasping for breath and Morgause is there. She's all angles, and her fingers tangle in Morgana's hair, pulling and tugging and reminding Morgana that she's alive and awake.

And Morgana's feelings of fear and mistrust vanish under a wave of gratitude that Morgause is here.

She saved Morgana's life and she stays with her.

Morgana kisses Morguse, hard and desperate. She needs to trust Morgause, needs to love her.

Needs to know that Morgause loves her back.

"Morgana..." Morgause sounds hesitant but she's already pushing Morgana's nightgown off her shoulders.

"Please. Please."

*

Morgause is still there when Morgana wakes for the second time, naked and honey-coloured in the dawn light.

"Why did you save me?" Morgana asks.

Morgause's sleepy eyes rake over Morgana. "You're special. You were the only good thing in Uther's court. He did not deserve you and so I took you from him."

And if that's a lie then it's a lie Morgana can live with.

Date: 2010-09-02 01:20 pm (UTC)
themadlurker: (merlin >> morgana's on fire)
From: [personal profile] themadlurker
Lovely! ♥

Wake up. Hate Merlin. Clothes and hair. Hate Merlin. Breakfast. Hate Uther - just to break up the day somewhat.

I like that you can write all the unpleasant things Morgana is working through in her head and still make it fun to read. It's great Morgana POV.

Date: 2010-09-02 04:56 pm (UTC)
swatkat: (merlin: team evil)
From: [personal profile] swatkat
Oh, my poor Morgana! This was chilling, chilling, and made me ache for Morgana.

I could keep quoting, but this, especially: Not so long ago the second question would not have crossed her unworried mind. She knew that she was loved, by everyone, UtherArthurGwenMerlin.

Gah.

Date: 2010-09-02 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
OW. But oh, this is good.

Date: 2010-09-02 11:10 pm (UTC)
fly_to_dawn: (Merlin; Morgana/Morgause; bad romance)
From: [personal profile] fly_to_dawn
Oh, poor Morgs. Loved this fic <3

Date: 2010-09-03 01:26 am (UTC)
shaggydogstail: (Merlin: Morgana and Morgause)
From: [personal profile] shaggydogstail
Your Morgana is perfect, as ever. This gave me shivers. ♥

Date: 2010-09-03 06:24 am (UTC)
woldy: (Morgause & horse)
From: [personal profile] woldy
Very nice! I like the light-hearted tone, despite the seriousness of the situation, & Morgana trying to reason out the nature of their relationship. Lovely :-)

Date: 2010-09-04 05:03 pm (UTC)
ext_67745: off with its head (Default)
From: [identity profile] nilecrocodile.livejournal.com
Haha wow. This is great. It's simultaneously funny and sad; I loved how you wrote Morgana trying to puzzle out her life.

Date: 2010-09-04 06:04 pm (UTC)
oltha_heri: (flowers in the window.)
From: [personal profile] oltha_heri
This is fantastic. I love your Morgana POV, it is both full of levity and totally broken and perfect.

Date: 2010-09-05 09:32 am (UTC)
ein_papier: Gwen by window, black and white (Gwen b/w)
From: [personal profile] ein_papier
Oh, I love how you write Morgana! This is wonderful, as always.

Date: 2010-09-05 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] scarimor
Very nice indeed, thanks for writing it :)

Date: 2010-09-06 08:10 am (UTC)
lastwingedthing: (effy)
From: [personal profile] lastwingedthing
Okay, I gave up on Merlin (except for spoilers) a few episodes into season 2, but I couldn't resist clicking on this - and I was definitely rewarded for it, this is fantastic. Sometimes bittersweet, sometimes funny, except for how it isn't funny at all.

Food arrives in her chambers at mealtimes, the dirty dishes vanish as though by-- Well. Yes. Soiled clothes disappear and are replaced by fresh. Morgana doesn't think about this overmuch, it's the way her life has always been. And this is brilliant. &hearts

Date: 2010-09-08 03:44 am (UTC)
fiercynn: Morgana comforting Gwen [from Merlin] (seer&queen)
From: [personal profile] fiercynn
Oh, Morgana. This is lovely and so terribly ache-y.

Date: 2010-09-20 11:14 am (UTC)
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] zulu
Ooh, neat. I love seeing Morgana's progression and how Morgause both shapes and uses that.

Date: 2010-09-25 11:21 pm (UTC)
hibernate: ([merlin] morgana)
From: [personal profile] hibernate
Oh God, I think you just shattered my heart. This is so achingly MORGANA, and it made me hurt inside. In a horrible yet brilliant way. Ouch.

Date: 2010-10-04 09:28 pm (UTC)
tieleen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tieleen
You write Morgana beautifully.

Date: 2011-01-20 01:06 am (UTC)
saturnofthemoon: (Morgana - I Dare You)
From: [personal profile] saturnofthemoon
This is beautiful, I love the way you've wrtten Morgana. You do her far more justice than canon ever will.

Date: 2011-01-21 02:19 pm (UTC)
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
From: [personal profile] havocthecat
Yes, it's possible I will never forgive the show for the hash it made of Morgana's arc.

And this is why I just read fic like yours and avoid the actual show itself like the plague.

Date: 2011-01-21 03:29 pm (UTC)
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
From: [personal profile] havocthecat
Yeah, as a long-time watcher of many genre shows, I could see where it was going with Morgana's arc, and after the end of season one I just abandoned ship. The femslash fandom is way more fun than the show!

Date: 2011-12-12 01:46 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I just loved everything about this, especially this part: "These are the things that Morgana knows: she knows that Merlin would have seen her dead, and that Morgause saved her life. In the face of all the things she doesn't know she clings to this all the tighter." Because I think it describes how Morgana could turn against all she once knew and side completely with Morgause perfectly. Again I loved it.

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