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054. Nowhere


Gwen was three when her physicians diagnosed her with leukemia. That had been twenty years ago, and with no further signs of relapse in tests.

Nursing became an obsession when she turned fifteen, studying for university courses and the brutal entrance exams for medical schooling, longing to work alongside the hospital and its staff who saved her life in the end. Maybe she could help save someone else. It only feels right.

Her hospital staff badge ID sits proudly on her bedside desk, along with Gwen's reading glasses and the picture of her and deceased family.

Elyan passed away during a hiking accident, taking a quick, crushing blow to his skull during his fall along with a deep puncture-wound. They said it was likely without any pain.

Her mother died of a similar cancer to Gwen when she was only an infant, and her father Thomas died in his sleep. Heart failure.

She lives alone, gossiping with her next-door neighbor Merlin who got his wages for his independent business — performing magic tricks. Gwen has seen him practice. He's very good.

"How are we feeling today, Morgana?"

The chart says thyroid disease tacked on with a list of symptoms including fatigue, menstrual abnormalities, dry skin and brittle nails, sensitivity to the cold. At first, her patient had experienced unexplained weight gain, around 13 kilograms, and now Morgana has lost close to 20 kilograms.

"My hands still feel tingly, but I can sketch," Morgana whispers, glancing up. Her dark, thick hair is tied loosely with a regal purple ribbon.

Gwen offers a dimpled, humming smile, walking to her. Ripped out pages from Morgana's notebook has been plastered all over the walls of her room, held together by clear, packaging tape.

Morgana's father disapproved, ordering Gwen and the other nursing staff to remove them while his daughter slept. Gwen would do no such thing. Morgana's drawings are fantastical — vivid and engaging, full of white dragons and sorcerers, golden-magical eyes and queens and forests.

"Who is this?" she asks curiously, gesturing towards the drawing Morgana focuses intently on.

"It's you, you silly goose," Morgana chuckles, holding it up. Indeed it is. Gwen wears the same regal purple from Morgana's hair-ribbon, in a lovely, patterned gown, her ringlets shiny and free. "A lady-in-waiting, noble in both the heart and the mind. But soon, you'll be the Queen of Camelot."

Gwen laughs, strapping the blood pressure reader to Morgana's forearm. "I thought you would be the rightful queen in your own story."

A soft, tutting sound. "Who says there can't be two Queens of Camelot?" Morgana replies.

"You're right." Gwen examines the other woman's colouring while sitting down with her, not liking how ashy Morgana's face looks. Or how feverishly-warm her cheek feels as Gwen touches it wistfully. "That was my mistake, my lady."


Uther Penn rips down every wonderful, magnificent drawing from Morgana's hospital-suite walls, after he's informed of her critical state.

"He's a monster," Gwen sobs out, quivering in the bathroom as Sefa pats her elbow, hushing her.


Morgana wakes up in another few days, recovering enough to be discharged by Sunday.

"My brother Arthur is going to be in charge of overseeing my hospital care from his mother's estate," she tells Gwen, craning her neck from the wheelchair to glimpse up at her, being rolled to the front doors. "Ygraine is far more kinder than my father. And richer. I'll be in good hands."

Gwen's eyes well up.

"I'll miss you seeing you," she admits, going to her knees and allows something her nursing profession would frown upon — she lets Morgana kiss her on the mouth.

It's fleshy and dry, and softer than the hovering of a butterfly's wing.

"You'll see me again, Gwen," Morgana says lowly, nudging their foreheads together.


There's never a crown of gold and amethysts upon Gwen's head — instead, she accepts it on the engagement ring sliding to her left hand, mirroring another ring on Morgana's delicate finger.