Remix: From Darkness (The Witches Will Be Dangerous Remix) [Nimueh/Morgana, 400 words, rated PG-13], by sophinisba
After the betrayal, the lightning strike and all the pain, there is nothing. Not even numbness or solitude, silence or eternity.
Not even floating, not even loss.
No line dividing darkness from dawn.
Loneliness is the first emotion to return, the ache of stretching fingers through the darkness and touching only night. There used to be a connection there. She concentrates on the memory of another woman's hand, reaches, and falls back.
After loneliness comes pain, and with it terror, as two more women join her in violent, burning death. Nimueh's sight grows stronger in the light of the flames. She breathes the smoke and hears the screams and when it's over she is overcome, but she remembers now who she is, and she is no longer alone.
She reaches, and at last she understands what she's reaching for.
Every time Uther's men build up the pyre, she burns on it and then climbs higher. She not only knows herself but makes herself known.
The girl is resistant, has been told all her life that her dreams are as dangerous as a knife's blade or a poisoned cup. She trembles when her spirit recognizes Nimueh's name, Nimueh's eyes, the purpose of Nimueh's altar.
But the girl is not a coward or a fool. She listens to the words Nimueh speaks in her mind. She looks around in her dream, learns the position of the mountains and the moon so she can return on a night when she doesn't sleep.
She is Nimueh's counterpart in the world of the living, drawing strength from her anger as the king murders their sisters.
Then one night Morgana comes to her in the flesh and cuts the hand Nimueh has tried so hard to touch, spilling her blood on the altar. Nimueh screams out loud because the pain is real this time, real as her own flesh recovered.
"Not like this," she says out loud, reveling in the sensations of real breath and sound. "I do not need another sacrifice. I need a hand to hold."
They come together in flesh and spirit, and no blade or torch will separate them from now on. This altar is not a pyre built for death. On top of it two living women's bodies tangle into one, reaching together toward the moon and stars.
"Like this," says Nimueh. "This is the how the balance will be restored."