Disclaimer: If I owned Merlin, you'd know about.
Summary: (OneShot) This was it. This was the moment he had dreamed of, imagined about. This was the moment he had looked forward to and dreaded all at once. Morgana stood before him, the corners of her lips slightly curled upwards into a vicious smirk.
Warnings: Spoilers all the way through series 3. It's a little bit Dark!Merlin, but not very much. Character!Death.
This is War
This was it. This was the moment he had dreamed of, imagined about. This was the moment he had looked forward to and dreaded all at once. Morgana stood before him, the corners of her lips slightly curled upwards into a vicious smirk. It was an expression Merlin had grown to despise, hate even. Her eyes spoke of lust, a hunger for blood and death. There had been joy in them, a long time ago, but now, now they could just as well be dead.
"You are making the wrong choice," Merlin spoke truthfully. His words resounded through the trees of the forest they were standing in. It had only just rained and the smell was fresh, clean. The situation they were in was anything but that.
"Arthur doesn't even know, does he?" Her voice was icy, her gaze even more so. When Merlin didn't answer, a low laughter escaped her lips. There was no humour in it, only an empty void that could never be filled. "Hah," her laughter died away, "he would kill you where you stand."
Her words meant nothing to Merlin. At least, that was what he told himself. He shouldn't be listening to her, but still. What if? What if? Would Arthur strike him down with his sword? With the sword that he had given him himself? Excalibur. Somewhere, Arthur was fighting with the mighty weapon. Morgana's army might already have reached Camelot's castle. Arthur might already have fallen. No!
"Arthur is a good man," Merlin said, "he fights for what he believes in. A righteous Camelot, a fair land."
"He is but a mere puppet to his father," Morgana sneered. Her green eyes had become hard.
"He is nothing like his father," Merlin's gaze darkened, "unlike you-"
"Don't," Morgana voiced menacing, "I am nothing like my father."
"Oh, but you are," Merlin felt how his his own lips formed a faint grin. He didn't mean for it to happen, but he liked seeing Morgana squirm before him. His words had touched something inside of her, they had stung her painfully.
"Arthur will never allow magic to return," she said, "he will never accept it, accept you." She took a slow step forward, her gaze stoic. All that she had felt only a second ago, was already pushed away and forgotten. It made Merlin wonder if she even felt anything at all anymore.
"I have chosen my side," Merlin said with determination, "and it is at Arthur's side."
"Then I have no choice," she narrowed her eyes at him, "this is war after all. Any last words?"
Merlin widened his eyes. "Last words?" he huffed, "I'm not planning on dying."
"You're nothing, Merlin, nothing compared to me," Morgana said. The line of her jaw was set hard.
This time, it was Merlin who grinned. Did she truly not now? She wasn't as oblivious as Arthur as for one, she was aware Merlin had magic. She didn't know how powerful he was, however, which gave Merlin the upper hand already.
Anger flooded Morgana's otherwise blank face. "Treisia!" Her magic lashed out, hitting Merlin unexpectedly fast. The warlock felt himself being pulled backwards, his feet lifting from the ground. A second later, his back slammed into the trunk of a tree and his world spun. Sinking back towards the ground, Merlin closed his eyes. All that he could hear was Morgana's shrill laughter and when it died away, Merlin opened his eyes. He watched how she came walked forward, no, more gliding with a deadly silence. His hand fell onto the moist ground below him, the magic inside of him twisting and turning. He didn't need to cast a spell for his magic to take form.
It send a ripple through the air, hitting Morgana full in the chest. She was flying backwards and landed a few yards away, her white dress instantly dirtied with mud. White, a pure colour. She should have worn black, as was the colour of her soul. She pushed herself up, staring in disbelief at Merlin. Bitterness swallowed her voice. "You," she spat, "you."
Merlin wanted to answer, he wanted to tell her that he was powerful, more powerful than Morgana would ever be. He wanted to tell that it was him who had killed Morgause, that he had stopped her army of the living dead. In stead, he rose his hands, but it was just a second too late.
Just one second.
As he spoke the words, Morgana pulled out a small dagger, one laced with red diamonds and rubies. It was the dagger Arthur had given her for her birthday. Merlin cursed the bloody gift. It brought nothing but trouble.
"Ahrosa analuy." He could feel the magic blaze away from him, escaping from him through the tips of his fingers like lightening dancing away from him. All at once, he could feel the sharp blade of the dagger rip through his skin, planting itself deep into his side. Fire rushed through his veins, sending an agonising pain from his side to every inch of his body.
Before him, Morgana fell down a last time, his magic having killed her. He had killed her and she had killed him. Merlin could feel it in every fibre of his being. His legs shook, becoming numb and eventually his knees buckled out. He dropped to the ground, grunting, and rolled onto his back. Slowly, he pulled the dagger from his side, moans escaping his lips. It hurt like hell! It fell into the ground with a soft thud.
The sky above him was a clear blue and it reminded Merlin of Arthur's eyes. Was the Prince even still alive? Had Camelot won or was Morgana's army too strong. Now that she is dead, they will have lost their strength, Merlin thought. Camelot still had a chance.
Shouts sounded in the distance, coming closer with every passing moment.
"Where are you, you idiot?"
A faint smile filled Merlin's face. It was Arthur. He lived. The warlock closed his eyes, knowing that he could rest now. After all, had he not deserved it? For years, he had protected the Prince. He had done everything he could, including defending Camelot from Morgana. She would never again be a threat.
"Sire, he is here. Hurry!"
Merlin felt a pull underneath his head as someone was lifting it. His eyes fluttered open and he found himself laying in Arthur's lap. Arthur's eyes were filled with worry and disbelief. "What have you done?" he demanded to know. His words were barely a whisper and Merlin could feel Arthur's hand press down on his bleeding wound.
How many times had he not joked that Merlin never got a scratch during a battle? That all his scars came from tripping or falling down stairs? Merlin chuckled at his thoughts, but he quickly stopped as pain seared through him. The laughter changed into crying.
"You're bleeding a lot," Arthur said as he examined the wound, panic slipping through his voice, "we have to get you to Gaius. What have you done?"
"I killed her," Merlin whispered. He would have spoken louder, but he didn't have the strength. His gaze shifted towards Morgana's lifeless body and Arthur followed it. For a long moment, nothing happened, but then Arthur focused back on his servant. "How?" he asked breathlessly.
"Arthur," Merlin gulped, suddenly not getting enough air, "Arthur..." He grabbed the Prince's hand and pulled it away from his wound. There was no use in postponing the inevitably. "I'm sorry," he exhaled.
Arthur shook his and applied pressure once more to the wound. Anger rose in his eyes and...hunger. A hunger for truth and Merlin would no longer deny him this. "Arthur," he breathed, "I'm..." Arthur's eyes widened in anticipation, "I'm a warlock."
Arthur's gaze wavered, a turmoil of emotion flooding him. Merlin wished he could recognize it all, but he couldn't. In stead, he closed his eyes. He was tired and longed for sleep. Whether it was forever or not was only just a detail.
And Merlin drowned in an all consuming blackness and the last thing he heard as his pain faded away, as he faded away, was Arthur calling out his name.
AN: Sorry, I was feeling down after an entire week of exams which I hate. I needed to venture and this came out... I hope it didn't suck.