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Week Seven Uther & Morgana Betrayal
Title: He bestrode the world Rating: PG Warnings: death of a canon character Notes:
From their vantage point on a hill to the north Morgana and Morgause could see the smoke rising thick and grey in a cluster of columns until the wind caught it, high above the burning towers, smearing ash across the desolate, bloody sky.
In Morgause's scrying bowl Morgana could see Uther's shattered throne room, cast open to the winds, and with the body of the King sprawled lifeless across the smouldering dais. With quick gestures Morgause changed the viewpoint again and again, savouring the victory with relentless intensity. Morgana watched with vague eyes, her breath slow and deep between slackened lips.
Uther was dead. She could not seem to comprehend it. Her entire life had been dominated by the man - her father's absences throughout her childhood always explained as on the king's business, then growing up under his daily scrutiny - never daughter (ward) - never as precious as Arthur, but never for one moment free of his relentless dominance, his suffocating presence.
Uther never valued her for the things she wanted to be valued for - her fiery spirit, her strength. Her very essence - her magic - was anathaema in his eyes. He saw only a pretty doll, his doll.
It would have been better for both of them if she had married, but Uther didn't... ever... let go of what was his.
Arthur would testify to that.
She spared a thought for Arthur, days away on his mission to Powys. He would return to... freedom. Grief, but also freedom. She wondered what he would do with it.
Goddess grant that he never know who sent the rain of fire on Camelot.
Morgana's element was ever fire.
Week Six Gaius & Merlin Potions
Title: A Revelation in Pink Rating: PG Warnings: none Notes:
"Gaius!" Merlin sounded quite panicked as he came hurtling into the workshop, nearly colliding with Gaius' distillation equipment. "Gaius! Is there a disease which turns people pink?"
Gaius turned slowly, distracted by the wobble of the delicate vials behind his wayward apprentice. Finally satisfied that they were in no further danger he frowned reprovingly at Merlin. "Reddened skin is a fairly common symptom..." he began, but broke off as Merlin proffered two hands. His right palm and fingers were an iridescent pink that nature certainly never intended human skin to blush.
"What have you done?" he grumbled, taking both hands to compare them. The left bore light pink streaks whilst the right was an even, deep hue over most of the fingers and palm.
"It looks as if you've been dyeing your hands!" he exclaimed. "Have you dipped them in any kind of potion in the last 24 hours?"
Merlin shook his head reflexively before a horrified expression spread over his features. “Oh!” he gasped. “Oh - it’s - er, I have to go.” He backed away babbling and took off at a run before Gaius could protest.
Four more patients with the same symptom over the next hour eventually enabled Gaius to identify a recent batch of saddle oil containing a new variety of heat-sensitive lichen as the culprit.
Remembering Merlin, Gaius sighed. He knew the imaginings a young man might get up to in bed at night that might result in the waste of good saddle oil. So it wasn’t until Arthur stoicly revealed his unusual hand-shaped rash in... an unexpected place... that Gaius' eyebrows hit his hairline.
My oh my! His apprentice was braver than he had realised! Gaius allowed himself one quiet smirk before vowing to forget the entire incident.
Like father, like son, after all.
Week Five Arthur/Gwen Duty
Title: Patience and Roses Rating: PG Warnings: canon love Notes:
Uther watched them from his window, hand in hand among the roses. Did they really think themselves unobserved? In Camelot? Surely Arthur must know better, and the girl had served Morgana for years; could she honestly believe that she could conduct an affair with the Crown Prince without anyone noticing? He snorted, shaking his head at such foolishness. No doubt Arthur was just amusing himself.
He wouldn't spoil the boy's fun; when the time came he would do his duty.
* * *
Gwen's stomach churned with guilt. Of course Arthur would see her in the rose garden at this time of day; he always passed it on his way to the armoury. She didn't think that she had consciously waited there for him, but... it was nice that he had stopped to say hello. His sword calluses were firm against her fingers, sending a thrill down her spine with every moment their hands lingered together. She should send him away. She knew her duty.
Her brown eyes lifted to meet his intent gaze and she knew that she wouldn't.
* * *
Arthur should have been at practice ten minutes ago but he could rely upon Leon to cover for him. Guinevere's warm smile was all that he could have looked for and her shy attempts to remove her hand from his were so half-hearted as to make him smile. "A rose for my lady?" he said, presenting a crimson bud with formal grace. She tucked it into her bodice, making him ache to follow it with his own fingers, but she was not some lightskirt who would laugh if he caught her to his chest and slid his fingers under her petticoats. Their time would come - if she would only wait for him.
Reluctantly he let his hand slip from hers. Duty called.
Week Four Merlin/Morgana Power
Title: A long time coming Rating: PG Warnings: Spoilers for Season 2 Notes: 300 words, and that was NOT easy.
She remembers when one word from her privileged lips to the king's ear would have had him executed for whatever reason she chose: thief, rapist, sorcerer. Not that she would have.
Weeks it had taken him - just a few short weeks - to gain the Prince's trust, her maidservant's affections, her own respect. Then, mere months until she had cast aside dignity and safety to fight for him and for his village. From the very beginning they had chosen him for their own, surrounding him with their love and trust.
They had given him power.
In return he had given her ... nothing: not loyalty, not love and certainly not his trust. Even as he poisoned her she had thought him simple and misguided. "Why?" she would have asked him, if she had been able to speak; even then she had not grasped his full duplicity.
Today she faces him across a teeming valley. His army - Arthur at its head - is lined in ranks two bowshots from her own. Mordred waits upon her signal.
He has taken all that she once had - her friend, her foster-brother, her country - and she has fought back with all the strength that is in her. Even the loss of Morgause has not stopped her, although the envoys Arthur sent after her sister's death spoke sweet, poisoned lies to tempt her back to Camelot.
Now they will see who holds the power! She raises her hand to grasp the sky, sending a bolt of crimson fire swooping towards the sun. The armies far below begin to shout and an overwhelming grey tide sweeps in to meet the scarlet stain of Camelot.
She knows how this day will end. Arthur will die in her arms - her arms, not Merlin's - and she will finally have possession of the field.