The first time it happens, she's not sure it's real.
It has been a very bad night, filled with dreams of horrors too terrible to contemplate in the light of day. She pretends she's fine when Gwen asks to visit her father for the afternoon. There's no sense in worrying her maid when these dreams are just part of life as normal now.
But as soon as Gwen is gone she feels faint from lack of sleep and worry. She doesn't even hear the knock on the door, or Merlin's voice as he speaks to her. All she can see is a blurry vision of his worried face above her, and the draught she requested in a glass vial in his hand. Caught between waking and dreaming, she swipes a hand out to ward away the phantom, and the vial goes flying...
...and stops in mid-air.
Morgana blinks and suddenly the vial is back in Merlin's hand. "Drink, milady," he says gently, and she obeys.
The second time, she's sure it's real, but she can't believe it.
Merlin and Arthur are arguing, as they always do, over something at the other end of the hall. She smiles quietly at their antics -- most of the castle has learned that Prince Arthur treats his manservant almost like an equal, and has learned to accept it. Morgana does the same with Gwen, but they are less obvious about it. She does not shrug off Uther's frowns as easily as his son does.
As they continue down the hallway, she has an odd premonition, as if she knows what will happen next. Afraid to follow, but equally afraid of what might happen if she doesn't, she trails them for a while. She keeps quiet, slipping out of sight when either of them turns in profile toward her.
They walk out onto the parapet, still arguing about some or other point -- she daren't get close enough to know for sure -- when the image of the two men she sees before her converges with the image from her dreams. She reaches out a hand to cry out -- Arthur, watch out! her mind screams...
... and right behind Arthur's head, a black-flocked arrow floats only a hand's-breadth from his head. Merlin's hand reaches out to pluck it from the air and hides it behind his back. Then he directs Arthur's attention toward the lone assassin, who is easily caught.
She flees, both excited and frightened by what she has seen, but she can't help but take a quick look back as she hurries off. Merlin only catches her eye for a second, but she recognizes the look of worry. It's the same one that greets her every morning in the mirror.
The third time it happens, there can be no doubt it's real.
Merlin tiptoes around her for the next few weeks. He is more careful with what he says when he knows she is near, he searches her eyes longer than necessary when they do speak directly to each other, and he stops delivering her medicine himself.
But after many days pass without him ending up in the city square to be beheaded for using magic... he seems to relax. He probably decides that she did not see the arrow. Why else would she not confront him or turn him in?
He does not know that she harbors her own dark secret.
She wakes one morning in a cold sweat. She has dreamed that she is falling, falling fast and far. The dream has the glow of reality to it -- she is slowly learning to differentiate between dreams that could come true and dreams that are only that: dreams.
She determines that she will not leave her room this day. Or any day, for that matter. If she does not leave, then she cannot die.
She tells Gwen that she is unwell, to ask that her meals be sent to her room, to give her regrets to the King for the evening meal. Gaius comes to see her, Merlin trailing behind. He tries to diagnose her illness, but he cannot. How can one heal a premonition of death?
Gaius leaves, and she sits on the edge of the bed with her head in her hands. But she hears footsteps approach her, and Merlin's soft voice. "Is something troubling you, milady?"
She starts and straightens her skirts, not meeting his eyes. "Only my poor health, Master Merlin."
He does not come closer. "Are you certain...?" He comes almost too close for comfort.
She jumps up and backs toward the window. "Yes, quite certain..." She hopes that a little space will clear her head. Her lack of good sleep combined with her confusion over Merlin and her promotion is making her woozy again. She trips over her skirt and falls backward, just as in the dream...
...and she never hits the ground.
She realizes that she is held in place. "Merlin..." she breathes.
He floats her upright again. "Morgana," he returns, his voice full of resignation.
"You really do have magic." Her own voice is barely above a whisper.
"Milady," he pleads. "Give me a chance to flee before you tell the King. I promise I will never trouble you or this court again." He turns and hurries toward the door, stopping for a moment. "And Arthur as well, tell him..."
She halts him with a hand. "Merlin," she says, her voice a soft command. "You can tell him yourself, in your own time." She walks slowly toward him. "I will not tell a soul."
Merlin blinks. "You... you won't?"
She touches his arm. It's funny, now that she knows, she can almost feel the power crackling between them. "I dreamt I would fall... you saved me." She leans in to give him a grateful kiss on the cheek.
As soon as she does, though, she feels the falling sensation again, even stronger than the dream. Was she... falling for Merlin? She keeps her lips close to his cheek, her breath gentle against his skin.
She lifts her hand to his cheek, and suddenly they are kissing fully. His arms encircle her waist and she puts her hands around his neck. She can feel this spark of power, almost a golden glow surrounding them, and she doesn't know if it's love... or magic.
They break apart. "Whoa..." Merlin says, eyes wide. "That was..."
"...magical," she finishes.
He nods. "I... I should go, it isn't seemly..." He hurries toward the door once more.
"Wait." He looks back, and she sees hope in his face. Hope that she feels in her heart as well. She does not have to bear this burden alone. "You are not the only one with a secret to tell."