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you are nothing but a mask, my love

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When she wakes up, she is a world away from Camelot and all the people she had loved. When she wakes up, she is surrounded by different trees and different air, and even the light is different in this unknown place.

 

She spies a flash of gold hair at the corner of her eyes, and her breath catches.

 






Wrong sibling, m'dear.

 






On quiet nights the poison still roars in her veins, and this is what burns. Not the betrayal, not the curl of Merlin's lips, not her sister's hushed words. It is the physical remnants of the poison that burns, not some fabled bard's song of friends gone wrong and sides chosen. Morgana has never been a dreamer. Pendragons are not poets.

 

 

 

 

Her sister teaches her the ways of nature, how to curl her fingers and make the flames dance, how to cant her face up to the moon and have the stars twinkle in response. On moonless nights Morgana finds herself at the edge of the bone-white cliffs, and splays a hand across the empty space in front of her, willing the world to change.

 

It does.

 

She sees him less keenly now. Cannot quite trace the line of his jaw of the fall of that hair, Uther's hair, cannot quite imagine his steps in tandem to her own. Bit by bit, he falls away from her, so much that she cannot quite remember the tenor of his voice, cannot quite picture the swing of sword and the tensing of muscle when he lunges in the training yard. It is freedom, yet freedom is a bitter fruit.

 

She sees less of him in her own face now. There is no more of that unconscious mirroring of curved lips or tensed eyes, no more of him inside her now, no more of Uther. His name is no longer a thing she finds herself murmuring, but rather something she can curve her lips around and use. Bit by bit, she peels Arthur Pendragon away from her, pulls the skin clean away from hers, tight against her own face until finally, finally, she can finally breathe.


 




In the spring, her sister smiles at her, and says, "Uther must die, my love."

 

Morgana's blood hums in her veins. She smiles, and even now, it does not sit upon her lips like a frozen thing.