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Finding My Way Home

Chapter Text

~

I loved

  And I loved

  And I lost you

~

 The news of Uther Pendragon's death seemed just like a lighting in the dark night sky in a mid-winter's day. Out of sudden, but with a feeling of hope for a bright new future... Or so Morgana thought...

 

Without an heir, the war for the throne was just beyond their doorstep. She was not the rightful heir, just the late king's ward. She had to get married soon, otherwise many innocent people would die because of her... Yet, she was not ready for such a thing, nor she would ever be, truth be told...

 

''M'lady.'', a voice across the room was heard calling for her.

 

She turned her face away from the green field that was laying just before her eyes and looked at the young man with the dark red cape around his shoulders. ''What is it, sir Leon?''

 

A sad smile was flirting with the corners of his lips. ''Another letter arrived this morning.'', he informed her, handing her the white enveloper with a knowing signal on it.

 

A sigh left her lips, as she looked at it. She forced a kind smile on her face and thanked him, taking the letter in her hands. ''Thank you, Leon. You may go.'', she turned around, as he bowed respectfully and left her alone with her thoughts.

 

She kept holding the letter in her hands for seconds, even for minutes. She hesitated to read it... She knew what it was about, after all... Eventually, after a few more moments, she sat on her desk and gently removed the red signal. And then, she started reading.

 

My Lady Morgana,

 

I know it has only been days since the last time I wrote you, yet still no sign of him. It has been over a month since the King's death and, even though he promised to show up to our meeting place, he never did. I fear that he never will...

Yet, even if I'm certain of that, I will not stop waiting till you order me to.

 

Until next time,

 

Respectfully yours, Lancelot

 

 

Once done, she gently put it down, even though she felt like tearing it to pieces. Damn you... She had thought that by now he would have made them the honor to light their days with his presence. But no, oh no... He was obviously not the same, not anymore. That day ruined him, she knew... How could she not? She had been holding him in her arms, crying and pleading for some mighty forgiveness, all through the night.

 

A sob threatened to rise from her throat, but she hold it back. Now was not the time for that. The council was pressing matters upon her, forcing her to either give up the throne or marry some highborn lord. She had days, but now it was over. It was time for a decision. And he had left her no choice...

 

God, how she wanted to hate him, for all he unknowingly had put her through... She had not choice left! Time and time again, she would find herself counting the times she had been left without any choice. And she hated it, how she hated it! And she wished to feel hate for the one person who had left her behind, leaving like a thief in the dark deep night. She wanted to scream at his face, it was all his damn fault! Though, she knew... He was not to blame...

 

A knock on the door woke her up of her daydreaming. ''Come in.'', she called, letting our an exhausted little breath while fixing her hair.

 

Her servant's black hair popped behind her closed doors. ''My lady.'', he bowed slightly. He then smiled with a smile that reached just a little above the corners of his lips. She knew what that meant. ''The Great Council awaits you.''

 

She almost felt like throwing up from the pressure. She breathed in deep and nodded. She tried to put on her best smile while walking past him. Almost in time, he gently touched her shoulder. She looked up at him with curiosity.

 

''Are you alright?'', he asked, his voice as smooth as velvet and she found herself yearning for this kind of behavior. It has been ages since anyone cared for how she felt...

 

She once again smiled, happy to see him care. ''Don't worry, Merlin. I'm fine.''

 

And then, she walked away. Once in front of the Meeting Hall's giant doors, she allowed herself to calm down and take in some deep breaths. Everything was going to be fine, she kept repeating to herself. She even kept saying this when all of council's member's eyes laid on her.

 

Everything was going to be bloody fine...

 

~~~

 

The Great Hall was filled with people dancing and gossiping around, and the sweet smell of wine. Everything was carefully made to impress, from the delicious food served on every table to the skillful orchestra send to entertain them, to Morgana herself.

 

She was sitting alone in the highest table, far from them all, watching and observing. Or so it seemed... She was more drown in her thoughts then paying attention to any of the men send here to win her heart -or actually, her hand in marriage and the power it would follow with it. She was already too tired of them all and yet, the night still wasn't half done.

 

Eventually, she knew, she'd have to pick someone out of her twenty suitors. And if she wasn't any wiser, she would swear this alone was the hardest thing she had to do. The Council's orders were clear:

 

You don't get to choose by looks, my lady, but by the power that comes with it. And you better choose wise.

 

And though she was never one to follow orders, she knew that this time she had no choice left. She was not the rightful heir, only a Regent until her future husband ruled as king. Unless...

 

No, that was not happening, she had to force herself not to think of it. He was never coming back. His actions spoke clearly of it.

 

Just as she was about to stand up and walk to the crowd of men, a tall shadow loomed over her. She raised her eyes and instantly came to meet a black pair looking right to her.

 

Cenred. She knew he would be here.

She offered him a soft smile. ''My lord.''

 

He bowed, giving her one of his famous smiles, his hair fell over his sharp cleaned face. It's been ages since she last saw his face clean of beard. ''My lady Morgana.'', his eyes glowed, with lust she could tell. And how could he not, she was a beauty; a temptation herself and she knew it. This was his favorite dress...

 

She shook her head, trying not to think of him. Instead, she focused on the man in front of her. ''It's been a long time since we last spoke properly. I hope your trip was peaceful.''

 

''Indeed it was, my lady, thank you for your concern.'', he let his eyes roam all over her and then stand on her own. ''I remember when you were but a little girl and I a boy of fifteen summers.I can say you've grown into a gracious woman.''

 

She smiled, truthfully this time. When was the last time someone made her feel beautiful? Probably a long, long time ago. She walked towards him, keeping her smile on. ''I can say the same thing for you.'', and it was true. He had grown into a handsome man and a just king for his kingdom. She knew he would be a great choice for Camelot.

 

He gave her his arm to lean on. ''Would you give me a dance?'', his voice was smooth, with an accent similar to hers. She liked it.

 

She nodded, embracing her arm around his. ''Of course.''

 

And she danced and danced like she used to, in the arms of a man who longed for her. And she flirted and smiled and allowed herself to have some fun. And she loved every minute of it.

 

Cenred was a tall and handsome man,with a mischievous glow in his eyes that matched hers and a soft smile. He was known for the peace he offered to his kingdom and how good of a job he did as king. And, of all men that danced with her, she knew he was the most fitting for the role of the King. And, perhaps, in time she would grow to love him as her husband.

 

It was almost midnight when she allowed herself to rest for a little bit. The candles burned low and her throat was in need of some liquor. As soon as she found herself a cup of wine, Gwen appeared in-front of her.

''Gwen!'', she greeted her beloved friend, laying a loving eye on her belly. ''I thought you were resting.''

 

The girl offered her a warm smile. ''I was, but I can only do so much with a belly this big...'', she almost frowned, but then she began rubbing it gently. Morgana only nodded, drinking more of her wine and offering her friend some food. As the wife of a Knight, Gwen herself was now a lady and allowed to enjoy the goods beside her friend without any fear of judgement. But still, she kindly denied her. ''I wished to ask... Have you any news of Lance?''

 

She smiled, putting her cup down and offering a sit. ''Yes, I got a letter from him this morning. He's fine and he's coming home soon.''

 

Even though the relief was evident in her friend's face, she still chose to ask. ''What about...him...?''

 

She turned her eyes to her cup, looking deep into it at her reflection. ''No news.''

 

Gwen opened her mouth, but couldn't find the right words to say anything. She found it terrible that he, of all people, who abandon Morgana in a situation like this. It was so selfish and she didn't deserve a fate like that! Yet, she knew, there was little to non she could do. She could only pray for him to come back, as she did every night from the moment he left. To set her friend free once again...

 

''My lady.'', a voice called behind them. Agravaine was all in black when he stood beside them. He only nodded to Gwen before turning back to Morgana. They all knew he still didn't think of her any higher than a mere servant and as far as Gwen was concerned, that was totally fine.

 

Morgana, on the other hand, had a different idea... ''It's not only I you see, my lord, so you better act like your respectful parents raised you to.'', she reminded him, raising a perfect eyebrow to him.

 

She could see him gritting his teeth annoyed, but still he smiled kindly. Turning to Gwen, he slightly bowed his head. ''My lady.'', she only offered him a tiny smile before excusing herself. Once all alone, he made known the reason he approached her in the first place. ''I hope you have a loving evening, your Grace. And, of course, that you have picked by now a suitable husband for your likes... and Camelot's...''

 

She sighed, too tired to have this conversation that very moment. ''Yes, Agravaine, inform the council that I'll announce my decision tomorrow morning.''

 

He only smiled -an ugly one, if she could say- and then left her all alone once again. Sighing, she made her way to Cenred.

 

Yes, she thought. She had made her choice. She only prayed to be proven right... For the sake of them all...

 

~~~

 

The next morning, she slowly made her way towards the Meeting Hall,alongside Merlin.

 

She let out a tired breath for the millionth time since they left her room. ''Are you sure about this? Like, one hundred percent sure? Because, if you're not, that's fine, we can ask Gaius to persuade them to grant you a couple days more or even a month! Or we could-''

 

She suddenly turned to him, cutting him off. ''Merlin!'', she almost shouted, glaring at him. He immediately stopped talking, offering her an innocent tiny smile. ''Could you please stop talking?''

 

He sighed, defeated. ''I only want the best for you. You're my friend and I ca-''

 

''I know.'', she cut him off once again. ''I care about you too, Merlin. But, it's my duty to offer Camelot the best I can. And if marrying Cenred can provide that, then I will.'', she tried to smile, a poor excuse of trying, but still Merlin gave up, bowing his head.

 

She was right and he knew it. He might not have encountered the prince more than a couple of times before he disappeared, but still, he hated him for what he was putting her through. He only wished he could help her and he knew he would have, if only she hadn't dragged him back to Camelot every time he went off in search of the prince.

 

''If you too leave me, then I'll have no one. And, I hate to admit it, but I won't survive without your support.'', she had told him the last time he had tried to leave and that was the last time they both spoke about him.

 

The big wooden doors closed behind them when they entered the Hall. He stood at the corner, watching her closely, feeling his heart beating slower and slower with sorrow.

 

Morgana stood before the council members, all mighty and gracious. Her red dress with gold details made her look like a Pendragon herself, a Queen even. It made her look so strong and sure of herself. She needed that.

 

''Good morning, my lords.'', she greeted them.

 

They all nodded in response. ''Good morning, my lady. We hope you had a great night. And that, finally, you have chosen our future king.''

 

She nodded slightly, taking a deep breath. ''Yes. I-'', but then, a sudden noise interrupted her just behind the closed door. The sound of clashing swords and grunts were heard and all lords took off their own swords, while she tightly held her dagger. She glanced towards Merlin and just as she was about to tell him to go hide behind the curtains, the doors opened wide.

 

A man entered the hall, half laughing at the unconscious knights behind him. ''Really, someone has to train them properly... They were two against one and they didn't even give me a single scratch!'', he almost complained.

 

And while everyone began murmuring and asking who the hell he was, she knew exactly. How could she not, after all? Even behind that blonde thick beard that now covered his beautiful face and his worn-out clothes, she would recognize those piercing blue eyes anywhere in the world.

 

''Arthur...'', she breathed, too shocked to properly speak.

 

He smiled to her, eyeing her. ''Red always suited you, 'Gana.''