Bonjour! Here's a little one shot that I was (slowly) working on over the summer. (I may have hit a small bought of writer's block for a little while there). But anyway it's my first dabbling in Mergonana so please let me know how I did! Anyway, enjoy and review please! This is also a little dedication to Val_Creative. Who isn't actually a huge fan of this pairing but, reading her Merlin stories definitely got me through my writer's block and helped me get this story done. Not to mention the fact that she's always super supportive and a sweetheart all the time!

Her glare is frigid, chilling his bones and stilling him in his tracks. Merlin shifts his weight, taking in the cold woman in front of him, sprawled out like death had already taken her soul (or what remained of it) over to the other side. Thick rags wrapped around her like layers of snakes, slithering about her frame in oddly appealing ways. Had the material been of better quality and dyed a more appealing color she might have even looked sensual. His eyes lingered over the small bits of pale skin not covered in hideous cloth, as he remembers her in silken greens, rich purples, and (on rare occasion) deep reds, skimming across the long patches of dirty material.

She reminded him of snow at the end of winter, long set and hardened, right before it began to melt into dirty slush. But the word fragile, which Merlin often associated with snowflakes, didn't suit her. Not with the hard anger etched in dark lines all over her features. And her eyes, never could he remember a time when he hadn't distinctly noticed her eyes, how they grew colder and more accusing with each passing day of winter. The skin of her lips was nearly blue, dried and permanently sculpted into a deep frown.

His heart clenched, longing for her in an odd show of pity. His thoughts must have been plain on his face, because her cracked, half-hearted laughter wheezed out of her. And Merlin finally noticed that for the first time since she had left Camelot, Morgana looked weak.

He knelt down next to her despite the quiet scoff she made in protest. She tensed when he reached for her, and remained tensed as he gently brushed the neglected midnight locks out of her eyes.

She hated him. It was a whisper as his thumb stroked her cold cheek in a show of misplaced tenderness. It wasn't appropriate, this affection. "I hate you." She hissed, making no move to escape his caress.

His eyes fell closed, steeling his nerves. Morgana choked out another laugh. "If you have come to poison me a second time…you're too late. My time is short." Her eyes, heavy with exhausted anger, turned up toward the sky.

Merlin said nothing at first, mouth falling open several times but failing to produce any helpful sound. Her groan surprised him. His brief show of panic got another dry laugh from her.

"I was going to save them." She whispered, for the first time with a touch of sadness. He didn't have to ask for her to clarify of whom she spoke, she just continued on, as she had been doing for all the years she spent lost to the kingdom. "All of us who have had to hide our magic. I was going to…"

Her eyes fell closed.

And just for a moment, Merlin thought she might finally be dead. His fingers fell to her throat, searching for a pulse, wondering bitterly why he even cared about this horrible, cold woman. Her cough, a sad blend of tiring lungs and a sob, is what finally breaks his heart. He won't let her die here. Not in this random, meaningless hut with the holes in the roof, the hut that belongs to an evil witch. She will be surrounded by beauty, in memory of the once beautiful and kind woman she was.

First he thinks he might carry her as a groom does a bride, but that thought feels horridly intimate and he doesn't have much faith in how long his arms will last holding her that way. So he urges her to sit up on her ratty excuse for a bed, framing her face in his hands. "I won't let you die here. Not…not like this."

He means to be sincere, from the bottom of his heart. Because some foreign part of him wants to take care of her the way he cares for Arthur. And by some miracle, she doesn't protest, only grumbles as his hands slip away from her. Morgana refuses to move when he prompts her to get on his back, dismissing him with another scoff. Which makes the gasp as she's magically urged off the bed all the sweeter to his ears.


She feels so small. Much lighter than the equipment he was used to carting around. Perhaps he had more strength than he gave himself credit for. The rags on her arms, now loosely wrapped around his neck, don't feel as itchy as they look. He is actually surprised she doesn't try to strangle him with the opportunity. He's surprised she didn't put up more of a fight against his advances in general. With the number of times she had tried to murder the Pendragons, he thought she would exploit any opportunity to harm one of Arthur's friends (if he could really call himself that). Why should he worry about such a trivial matter now anyway? Perhaps death had a firmer grip on her than he had thought. She must be on the brink of death if she can't find it in herself to try and take at least Merlin with her.

He feels the ghost of movement on his back, Morgana was shifting herself closer to him, and that thought alone stalled all the others. "Hatching a plan to kill me?" he tries keeping his tone light, but the underlying wariness makes that task impossible.

A chilled kiss to the back of his neck was one move he hadn't expected her to make. At least not toward him anyway. His immediate response is to blush, an action that feels so misplaced that at first Merlin wonders if this might be a dream. Which would have meant they wouldn't have to carry on this way. They didn't have to be enemies, and Morgana wouldn't be killing herself trying to wage war on the rest of the world. It would have meant they could have been happy.

He shudders when she speaks, each of her words a cool kiss. "You are a strange man."

A part of him wonders if she intends to keep pressing her lips to him that way or if the action is only an accident. He has to stop walking when she pulls herself high enough to mouth the shell of his ear, her voice a sultry whisper. "Why do you treat me with such care? Do you harbor feelings for me?" She nips his ear, and Merlin has to focus all his energy on the act of just breathing. "Or is it just pity?"

"It's...not like that." He tries to force the heat in his face away with thoughts of chores and other unpleasant things, but her mouth is too soft, too gentle as it trails a path down his ear and the line of his neck. Maybe this is when she will kill him. When he lets his guard down in the face of such sudden affection. Merlin sighs, the air rushing from his lungs and pouring over his lips. A spell falls like water off a cliff from his lips, tumbling out in quiet but steady syllables. And the cold woman on his back watches with a distinct sort of fascination, blanketing a sense of betrayal. Her arms tighten around his neck for a moment, but she still does not move to choke the air from him.

"Emrys." She whispers grimly, stunned. How had she not seen it before? This fact seemed so obvious in the light of reflection. Why could she not sense his magic when she was in the kingdom? Suddenly all her failures made sense. He had foiled her time and time again with the very thing she had been fighting to protect. She wanted to kill him then. More than ever. Her arms tightened, but she wasn't strong enough to strangle him properly.

Tears burned her eyes, water swelling as she pressed closer to this horrid man. "How could you? I…" She pressed her face into his hair. Hidden and ashamed, she let the budding tears fall. "I was fighting for you. You…you traitor." Her nails bit into his shoulders, scraping against the thin material of his shirt as her hands clenched. She seemed so very much like a child in that moment. Cursing him, wishing him dead, trying in a futile attempt to tighten her weak arms around his neck.

He doesn't try to look at her. Or loosen her arms. He instead pushes his head back against her face, closing his eyes once again. "Morgana…"

She doesn't move to acknowledge that she's heard him, so he continues speaking after a moment. "I never wanted it to end like this…I knew from the start that there was going to be trouble with you—I had a vision."

He felt her lift her head, the water from her eyes smearing warmly on the back of his neck as she moved. "You knew. You knew about my magic." She hissed her accusation as vehemently as she could manage, her anger fueling the fire in her veins.

Merlin has trouble confessing this. But as the affirmation leaves his lips he feels lighter. As if the words pull from him one of the many burdens he was forced to keep secret. Finally. Someone besides Gaius knew about him. They knew about him and about the things he could do.

"Why didn't you tell me?" She sounds so incredibly angry and betrayed. Her voice has fallen to the same low scrape it had when he had poisoned her. As if she could only force out her words in small shallow gasps. "I was so afraid of anyone finding out. And you could have easily—"

"Nothing about this is easy, Morgana." Merlin finds his anger, his fingers dig into her legs, but she doesn't make another sound. "Nothing involving magic is ever easy."

A beat.

"And I wanted to tell you. I did. But Gaius advised against it."

And then she exploded. A rock to their left cracked, splintering like cheap wood under the force of an axe. A sudden gust of wind sweeping about them both, ready to cart them off and fling them into the distance. Merlin doesn't budge as she screams at him. "What does that old fool know of magic? He has no idea! How could you listen to that—"

"Gaius is more family to me than you could ever understand."

They fall into a tense silence.

With Morgana's nails a centimeter away from drawing blood from his shoulders. Merlin thinks that if he grips her legs any tighter he might snap the bone. He adjusts his hold on her, and begins walking again when she doesn't speak. "I wanted to tell you…I did. I thought of telling you several times. When you would come to Gaius, mentioning the nightmares…I came so close to saying something."

His next breath felt so deep he could feel it at the bottom of his stomach. "But I was afraid."

Morgana huffs out a chuckle, moving to press her face against the back of his neck once again, pretending she felt comfortable.

"I was." He insisted, frowning at the thought of her not believing in his confession. "I didn't know how you would react."

She closed her eyes, really and truly exhausted with this entire conversation. Although somewhere along the way the pain had begun to fade, and for the first time in a long while she felt…almost at ease. "Why did my reaction matter?"

"Because I like you."

Because I like you. He said it so easily as if it were a plain fact, as obvious as his stupid cheek bones. Her eyes shot open, her head jolting away from him. She leaned back as far as she could, making Merlin nearly stumble in an effort to keep from dropping her. "You what?"

He must have realized his mistake, because he adjusted her against his back unnecessarily, the movement awkward and sudden. "Well—I mean I did. I uh. I don't—I mean things are…different now."

From what he could see of Morgana from over his shoulder, she looked torn between disgust and mild curiosity. An expression he hadn't seen in years. Had it been that long? That version of himself felt so young and distant, he had matured greatly since then. His magic more potent and powerful, his medical skills had become impressive. And now he was looking at her in this moment, so weak and worn from years of fighting. Years of bloodshed and war had chipped away at her until she had become a mere shadow of her former self.

He felt more than saw her drag in another long breath, and openly shivered when she leaned forward and breathed against the shell of his ear. "Are things so different now?"

"…they are." Merlin tried to sound stern, to distract himself from the mouth caressing his skin. Morgana laughed against his neck, the warmth of her breath tickling him, teasing him as she once did. All at once he remembered her in her former glory, smiling and laughing. How these images turned to troubled looks and nightmares. And ultimately declarations and murders.

He swallowed, the spit a heavy lump as it slid down his throat.

They had come across a small clearing, full of blooming flowers and a soft carpet of grass. He knelt down beside a tree and lowered her to the ground as gently as he could manage. She went without resistance, and for a moment Merlin thought she might have died because of it. But the moment he turned to face her he was met with a hard glare that seethed with a cauldron of emotions. Anger, fear, sadness, hunger.

Facing her now, he felt irrationally uncomfortable. Like the child he was when they first met. He fidgeted with the ends of his tunic, uncertain. Should he stay and wait for her to die or leave her in peace? He began shifting to stand, but her body straightened suddenly, her eyes narrowing.

"Stay." She hissed. It wasn't a request.

Merlin frowned petulantly at her, but did as commanded and sat down. He watched and waited as she did nothing but breathe and glare at him. And regardless of the waves of hatred rolling off of her, he found that he still did not wish to go.

"…I thought you'd try to kill me. Just for old times sake." He offers in a feeble attempt to lighten the mood. He isn't entirely sure why he feels obligated to. Some demented part of him wants Morgana to leave this earth on a high note rather than a low, bitter one.

She chuckles, her whole body heaving out the sound tiredly, her head falling back. For a moment she is quiet, and then reaches for him with a shaky, ragged arm. He doesn't move at first. He can only stare at her quizzically.

"Come." Morgana frowns, impatient. Merlin moves toward her until he is underneath her palm and then stills again. He is abruptly pulled forward by her magic, weakened, but still very much present. And nearly falls upon her. He catches himself by bracketing his arms on either side of her head, and she is left looking up at him through hooded eyes. "Why, Merlin?"

"Why what?"

Her eyes close, the only sign of life the sluggish rise and fall of her chest.

Merlin takes this as a sign to figure it out for himself.

"You're beautiful." He says, because he can't think of anything to comfort her in this moment. He doesn't know what will put her at ease. I don't know what you want to hear.

She smiles despite the anger that runs so deep it has set in her bones. "You're a fool."

"I know."

"What will you do when I die?"

He doesn't hesitate when he says, "Mourn."

This pulls another laugh from her. "Out of pity?"

"Out of love." He corrects easily.

Morgana opens her eyes wide. There are confused and outraged. And she frowns deeply at him. "I hate you."

She reaches for him again, arms curling around his neck. And he lets her. He lets his own arms fall around her, scooping up her weak body, pulling her to his own. "I know."

"I should have killed you the moment I had you under my control."

Morgana's lips were mere inches from his.

"You should have."

Her kiss is cold and clumsy and vengeful. As his trembling fingers tangle in her dark hair, he pictures her young and beautiful and untainted by magic. Their mouths move together until they cannot go a second longer without air. Foreheads flush, lips tingling, eyes closed.

Her voice is soft and almost loving when she says, "You will not forget me, Emrys."


Originally when this was on word "Never." was on an entire page by itself and it looked SUPER dramatic. I fear it might have lost some of its impact in this layout but oh well haha. Anyway I felt like writing a pining Merlin and a really angry Morgana and...this is what I came up with. It was difficult making it flow like I wanted it to but I finally finished this story the other day and I just got so excited I thought I'd have to post it as soon as possible! Again lemme know what you think of the portrayals in a review!