Merlin felt his blood run cold as he raced towards the beach. The cries of the sirens as the caves behind him crumbled were deafening. It seemed as though someone had ripped them all apart and had taken their beating hearts out of their bodies before stitching them back together. Thus leaving only corpses to swim and torment the living in hopes of finding the missing piece in order to become whole again.
"You miss her already." The Encantado suddenly said as Merlin neared her.
The look of revulsion was evident on the warlock's face. It did not make her sadistic and triumphant smirk falter though.
"You may have even been able to fall in love with her one day." She chuckled, making Merlin's eyes blaze into gold and a roar to escape his trembling lips.
She was caught by surprise as the gust of wind threw her into the water. Merlin then sent daggers flying her way, not caring that he would kill her and possibly not receive an answer as to where exactly the antidote was seeing as it was not within the caves where he'd just been.
"Emrys, you need to stop this!" She shouted but Merlin did not heed her words. All he was hearing and seeing was the explosion which resonated throughout the Caves of Nymphia as parts of it tumbled down burying Morgana alive.
The Encantado kept screaming as the daggers kept falling upon her, breaking every shield she managed to conjure. Her energy had been used up on all the illusions she'd created, trying desperately to make the young warlock come to her side. Her efforts had been fruitless. Merlin would never betray those he loved.
The sirens' cries intensified as they started gathering around the Encantado which was trying to swim away from her attacker who simply stood on the shore tucked safely away from the clutches of the mermaids whose energy and life had been taken away from them.
"You did this to them, didn't you?" Merlin said as he used his power to make the waves bigger and stronger and directed them towards the evil creature.
"You've taken their energy and even their lives just so you could preserve your youthful appearance and your power. You need to get back to your world in order to survive but you can't because it's been destroyed." Merlin said as his eyes filled with tears, "I do realize we've wronged you. But killing innocent beings is not the way to avenge your family's death. Murdering everyone when only one is responsible for your misery would not bring you happiness nor bring back the dead."
A cry was heard as the sharp teeth sunk into her flesh and Merlin turned his head away his tears falling down his face as the victims devoured the creature which had taken everything away from them and turned them into the monsters they were today. Instead of swimming freely the sirens were now the perpetrators of all the myths which haunted this Island. They were monsters which hunted the deep blue in the hopes of crushing every living creature which came within their territory. The worst part was they were not even aware of their actions.
She was dead. They were both dead. Those two sentences kept running through Merlin's head as he clutched his face into his hands, tears of regret and anger running down his face. He'd killed the Encantado, let the sirens handle what he could not. He had indirectly tainted his hands with blood again. He was responsible for the full extinction of this specie yet he could not help but feel a twinge of relief mixed with contempt for Uther, for the now dead magical perpetrator, for himself. He wished he could snap his fingers and make things turn back to the way they were.
He wished he'd never let Morgana find out he had magic. He wished he'd never felt the connection, the wondrous feeling of having someone understand him, the desire for more, to know her, to feel her, for her to want and need to be with him. It was all lost now. Parts of him were never going to be the same again.
It was difficult using Magic to go back. Now that he was alone and having read his father's farewell letter. How the man had made it appear right in his last passing seconds Merlin did not know. He'd killed Ronove, sealed him away in his own dimension for good, but the strong incantation had taken away his life. He'd needed to make a living sacrifice to rid this world of that rotten creature and Balinor being the selfless and kind-hearted man he chose himself.
Perhaps it was partially better this way. Who knew but God and himself what nightmares were haunting him and ruining his peaceful slumber every night? Would he have been able to live with himself now that he had seen his son? Would he have been able to stay away from Camelot, keep his identity hidden, pretend Merlin was not there - alive, breathing, waiting..behind those walls to catch a glimpse of his own father after all this time?
Balinor did not deserve to go through that miserable and lonely existence. Somewhere in a more just and peaceful world Merlin would have grown up with a father and Balinor and Hunith would have been happy. They would've been together - like a normal family.
Merlin felt tears run down his cheeks as he felt a green liquid swirl in a bottle nearby. He rubbed his eyes furiously and gulped some much needed fresh air. He was away from the poison that the Caves of Nymphia carried, he was away from that hell hole that only existed to feed creatures' misery, anger, and hatred.
This was the cure or so it seemed. It was all too easy to grab it and throw it away and leave Uther and everyone else to wither away under the Encantado's spell. The King did deserve it, but not the others.
For a small second Merlin entertained the idea of doing just that - if he did, he would not have had to explain what had happened to Morgana, why he had been unable to save her - at least not to Gaius, nor live with the guilt that was eating him away.
At the end of the day though again he would swallow the bitter pill that life threw at him and continue living as he always did. He was the one that saved everyone. The sorcerer that was hated, despised for what he was born with, ridiculed, feared, shunned. He was the protector from the shadows that always gave something away so that others could take. He was always the one that seemingly won the battle against evil, but no one ever asked what price he paid to do so, nor even wanted to do so.
"I cannot imagine what you must be feeling, Merlin." Gaius uttered as he took the potion from the warlock's hands and began administering the antidote. The entire ordeal was conducted in such an elusive way that Merlin humored himself with the thought that the Encantado wanted to have everyone wither here and for their corpses to lay in what was to become no man's lands for centuries to come. They would've gone away quietly, silently, like a small whisper falling on deaf ears and lost in the night.
"Then don't," Merlin replied, ignoring the frown that crossed Gaius' face.
He could not handle it. Everyone's emotions, everyone's concerns, fate's games that always toyed with his heart. Gaius had managed to stay awake for so long only because he'd managed to sustain a magic barrier around himself, his blood was even filled with some strange potion he'd concocted that was supposed to keep sane until Merlin came back. Now that everything had fallen into place it was time to merge this potion with the air and have everyone breathe it in and wake up from their nightmares. That was all it was going to be for them - a nightmare that would only haunt their thoughts from time to time but was never going to be real.
Uther would forget he'd ever welcomed his bastard child into his private chambers and had even been played by her, risking the life of his only son that was supposed to unite Albion and bring peace into this world. They would all forget until they noticed one ward, in particular, was missing - a sinfully beautiful woman with a magnetic gaze. Who knew what had become of her?
Merlin was flabbergasted when he saw her walking about her mysterious smile gracing her features as she nodded - a sign of greeting and an acknowledgment of his presence. Arthur was training with his knights and Merlin had chores to do, just another ordinary day - that was supposed to have her missing from it. She'd died. He'd seen it with his own eyes yet for some reason, she was still here or rather her body was. Her mind and soul were different.
Merlin wondered how much she remembered as it seemed everyone had forgotten the events around the Encantado's appearance. She'd left abruptly just as she had graced this world. Hopefully, somewhere out there she'd been reunited with her close ones.
Merlin felt a twinge of guilt for feeling sympathy for the creature that had been a product of a young man's lust for power and a warm body to spend the night with. In some strange, distant way they were connected. They were both magical beings that were shunned by the world. Merlin was simply one of those that chose to use their force for good.
Merlin was surprised when Morgana had asked for him specifically to bring her sleeping draft. He did so without thinking too deeply about the sudden request. A nagging part of his mind ate away at him that it was too odd and he ought to be careful, but Merlin banished that thought to the darkest recesses of his mind. He wondered…how much did she recall? How much did she know?
"Merlin…" Morgana whispered in surprise as she rounded the corner and nearly ran into him.
"Milady, you've requested to have your sleeping draft brought." Merlin omitted the part that she'd specifically wished for him to fetch it for her in case someone was passing by.
The woman simply nodded and soon locked eyes with him. The piercing gaze told him more than he could've wished for. She knew. She remembered, but to what extent he still did not dare to hope.
"Yes, thank you. I was just on my way to see what was taking so long." Morgana replied.
Anxious. It was not like her. Something horrid must be plaguing her mind. Merlin's brows furrowed as he motioned for her to go to her room and soon followed after.
Once they were in the safe confines of her chambers and he set the draft on her night stand, Merlin said, "It's good to see you again."
"Merlin…I…"Morgana started, but soon simply shook her head and embraced him. She buried her head into his shoulder and cried. She let out all the frustration, pain and confusion that had been building up within her for the past couple of days and Merlin let her. It was the least he could do.
"S-she saved me," Morgana whispered.
Merlin brought his head back and brushed a few tears away from her eyes and gazed at her. She was shaking. It was not in fear though. She interlaced their fingers and Merlin kissed her knuckles. She smiled sadly.
"God, you're the only good thing that's happened to me lately."
Merlin smiled sadly as he nodded, "Likewise."
The genuine smile that graced her features was soon replaced with a grim expression which made Merlin frown once more. She drew away from him and began pacing. She was biting her lower lip and looking around the room - anywhere but at Merlin.
"Morgana, what's wrong?"
"The reason as to why she did it. I asked her and she.." Morgana answered, but choked on a sob once more.
"Yes?" Merlin chanced as he tried moving towards her, but halted when he noticed that she fell down a corner and clutched the fabric of her nightgown. She drew her knees to her chest and rested her head upon them. He'd never wanted to wrap someone in his arms this badly.
"She mentioned it was because we were the same blood," Morgana whispered.
~I do not own the TV show Merlin. Please excuse the sporadic updates and any mistakes that I've made.