Disclaimer: Not mine
I know, another one.
Regis got out of the car and looked around, Cor at his back and very unhappy. He had not left the city since becoming King, it was too dangerous, but for this, he had to. The reports of the sudden, strange storm and flashes of green lightning sounded far too much like the Astrals or magic. The Astrals were meant to still sleep, though at least if it was an Astral it was likely to be Ramuh, one of the more reasonable. The cars around them emptied of their Crownsguard occupants, fanning out to not only search but ensure Regis' safety.
They had been searching for some time when Regis paused, hearing something. Where…he turned to some bushes and pressed in, leaning down and reaching out.
"Regis?" Cor called in alarm and then his King stood, a bloody bundle in his arms.
"Call the doctors and have them ready!" He yelled even as he called an elixir from the Armiger and broke the bottle over the bundle.
It took several seconds for Cor to realise it wasn't a bundle but a child in his King's arms even as one of his men made the call to the Citadel. Cor opened the door, helping Regis in before getting in beside him. Using an Elixir on such a young child was risky, but from the wounds still present it had been a necessary risk. Cor shrugged out of his own jacket and held it out and Regis carefully unwrapped the bloodstained and ripped blanket from around the small body, wrapping it back up in Cor's uniform jacket.
Regis gently ran his fingers through messy black hair, trying to offer comfort to a child he wasn't sure was aware. The child had fallen silent, limp in his arms, and he prayed they had found it in time. He gently rocked the child in his arms, murmuring softly even as he tried to work out what was going on. The child had to be linked to the strange storm somehow but why?
The drive back to the Citadel felt like an eternity and twice he thought they would be too late, the child's breathing shuddering and slowing to almost a stop, but they eventually pulled in and he rushed out, handing the child over to the doctors. He followed them, moving to the observation room as they went to work. It was the last observation room left, he had the others converted into more beds and waiting rooms, he did not like what they represented, and it had been many years since an enemy was taken alive. He watched the controlled chaos as blood-soaked clothing was removed; the child cleaned so they could find the wounds.
"Regis?" a much loved voice called, and he turned to see his wife approaching, worry clear in her eyes. He held his hand out to her and she took it, squeezing gently. "What has happened?"
He pulled her in close, kissing the top of her head. "We found a child, he… I thought he was dead at first." He hadn't even realised what he was seeing was a child at first, till he moved. Then he'd been concerned with getting the child back in time to help. Seeing such a young child like that… they had been trying for a baby since they had married two years ago with no luck yet. How could anyone do this to a child and what of the storm, a mark by the Astrals to get the child help? Why? Or had it been coincidence? He shifted to look into the room and Aulea followed his gaze, unable to see much due to the medical equipment and personnel surrounding the bed. He was glad she remained with him as they watched and waited. Finally, after several hours, a doctor joined them. He bowed to the King and Queen, but Regis waved it off.
"How is he?" Aulea asked, glancing over to see the child now tucked into the bed, thankfully with less machines.
"Stable," the doctor assured them. "His wounds are extensive and exacerbated by long term malnutrition. It will take a considerable time for him to recover. If I may ask, who is he? Having access to previous medical information would be helpful, he reacted to one of the medications we used."
"We don't know who he is," Regis answered. "We will need photos for an investigation as well as anything that may help identify him."
"Of course Sire,"
"May we see him?" Aulea asked and the doctor nodded, opening the door.
The Royal couple entered the room and moved to the bed, looking down at the unconscious child. "How old do you think he is?" Regis asked.
"No more than five years old, although I would not think younger than two and a half."
Aulea reached out and gently brushed back messy black hair to reveal a nasty looking scar on his forehead.
"That has resisted all attempts at healing, magical or not. Even simple stitches would not work, the thread dissolved. We were hoping you may know something Sire."
Regis frowned and stepped closer, placing his hand over the scar. He felt the Ring on his finger heat up, surprising him by reacting…to the child or the scar? The stone began to glow, tendrils of white light emerging to sink into the boy's skin and Regis went to pull back in alarm, worried it was going to kill the child, but no…this was purifying power, not that of death. The boy shifted, face scrunching up in pain despite being sedated and on pain medication. The scar broke open, bleeding black, viscous fluid and Regis felt the Ring heat up further, more magic seeping out in brilliant streams of white light. The boy jerked on the bed and then there was a horrendous scream and Regis pushed Aulea back as something came from the scar, only for the Ring to absorb it. He looked down to find the scar bleeding normal red blood even as the Ring settled and the doctor moved in to see to the wound. "Try a potion," he offered, calling one to hand and it was broken over the wound, the three watching it heal to a barely visible mark.
"What was that?" his wife demanded shakily.
"I don't know," Regis admitted before looking to the doctor. "Speak of this to no one," he didn't want the boy treated badly and whatever it had been, his ancestors had dealt with it. He would need to speak with them once in private, to find out what had happened. Now that the boy had been cleaned up, his appearance was surprising.
"He looks like you," Aulea whispered and he looked to his wife, the love of his life. She smiled and leant in to kiss him. "I know he isn't yours, but is it possible someone in your family had an unknown child. If he is five then your Father might be a possibility?"
Regis shook his head. "Father was too ill to have a child in his last years. I suppose it is possible that my somewhere in the family tree someone strayed or a sibling though dead actually lived to have a family. If it is a close enough relation, the identity checks should reveal it."
"What will happen to him now?"
"If he is a relation then I will acknowledge him as such," Regis answered, running his fingers through messy black hair.
"Of course," she agreed. She knew many in her position would not, but she had studied the family tree, had seen the trend to fewer and fewer children in the family. There had not been more than one child born to a ruling King or Queen in generations which was very dangerous should anything happen to the heir. If this child was related then Regis had an heir until she bore a child, if she did, they had been trying hard since they married. When she had a child then they would have what people tended to call 'the spare'. Not that she would let this child be treated as if he was just a backup. "And if he is not?"
"Then we ensure he finds a good family to raise him," he promised. One in the Citadel would be best, allowing him to watch over the boy from a distance.
He didn't hurt much, that was the first thing he was aware of. He should hurt more, he knew that. Uncle Vernon had been really, really mad this time. He didn't know where he was, he could tell it wasn't his cupboard. It was too bright, even with his eyes closed, and way too soft. Was he dead? He could hear voices, but he didn't understand them and that scared him, his breathing coming quicker. Then the most amazing thing ever happened, someone was gently stroking his hair and it felt so good he couldn't help opening his eyes. He blinked up at the prettiest lady he'd ever seen, and she actually smiled at him! She said something, but he didn't understand. "Sorry," he whispered.
Aulea smiled as the child calmed as she gently stroked his hair before the most incredible green eyes she'd seen opened, staring up at her in awe and she smiled at him. "Hello little one," she kept her voice calm and quiet, not wanting to scare him. He said something back, looking confused but it was not a word she recognised. She looked up and spotted a nurse. "He's awake," she called, and the woman hurried over, smiling at the boy who looked confused and scared now. She gently took his hand and smiled again. "It's alright, you're safe," she whispered despite suspecting he couldn't understand her.
The doctor soon arrived and began looking the boy over, trying to ask him question but it was obvious he was becoming distressed and could not understand them. as he began to panic she moved to the edge of the bed and carefully cradled him in her arms, feeling him stiffen in terror and she hated the suspicion that was growing in her mind as to what had happened to him. she rocked him gently and ever so slowly he relaxed until one small hand came up to clutch her gown as he whimpered softly.
Cor entered the room to find his Queen sitting on the child's bed and the boy himself in her arms as the medical staff hovered. He approached slowly and she looked up at him, managing a small smile. "Has something happened?" he asked quietly, and the dark head turned, shocking him with the shade of green of the boys eyes. Not the same as Regis' but still, the resemblance was there. He began mentally making plans on how to protect the boy because he had to be related somehow.
"He doesn't seem to speak or understand Lucian," she admitted just as quietly, and he felt a flash of uneasiness.
"Gralean?" he asked, and she shrugged slightly. He smiled at the child and bent to be more at his level. "Can you understand me?" he asked in the main Imperial language, using the Capitals dialect but the boy still looked lost and confused. That was good, the last thing they needed was the Empire using children to get to the Royal family. "That he doesn't know either main language is strange."
"Brought up in a remote region of Tenebrae?" She suggested hesitantly and he shrugged.
"We'll have to ask Scientia," he offered since he was the only one he could think of who may know that language. He studied the shy looking child, seeing the thin mark left from the scar that the family magic had reacted to, wondering how the boy had received it. All Regis had been able to say that it was something foreign to the boy and dangerous, the Lucii were staying quiet beyond that, no mention of if the kid was related, though why would they act for someone who wasn't? He slowly reached out and ruffled the messy hair, feeling the boy flinch as if expecting a blow.
If the boy did end up related, and ended up heir should they not be blessed with a child, then at least he would have a Shield, Clarus' boy was a year old, so there was no more than four years between them, maybe less. Cor was already mentally revising the various protocols in place to protect the Royal family to include one malnourished child who didn't speak Lucian.
Regis smiled as the boy grinned shyly at him from where he was sitting up in bed. He was amazed by how quickly the boy had come to trust them, enough that he did not flinch from them and seemed eager to see them. they couldn't keep calling him boy and had tried various means of showing they wished him to say his name, but he seemed hesitant to do so. He already looked much healthier, several days of gentle yet nutritious meals working their magic on him. it would take time for his body to recover and he may never gain the full height he should have but he would recover. For now the child was content playing with some wooden blocks that had been brought in for him or looking at the pictures in children's books.
A doctor walked in and bowed to him, the boy instantly stopping his fun with the blocks to watch the man. "Initial test results are finished Your Majesty."
"Very well," he then looked to the boy who was starting to look nervous, holding out his arms in offering and the child climbed into his lap.
"Considering his condition when he arrived, he is in good health overall. No sign of illness, although there are many healed injuries, some that have not healed quite right as well. However, we would wish for him to be at a healthier weight before considering surgery. It also appears that congratulations are in order Sire, the child is related to you, although we are having trouble working out how closely. He carries several markers that are found only within the Lucis Caelum line, however, so he is a relation."
"You aren't sure?"
"We can confirm that he neither your son or your brother."
"I see…" he looked down at the boy who looked up with him, eyes still so innocent despite the horrors he had lived through. "Thank you, Doctor," he nodded, and the man bowed before leaving.
"Well little one, it seems we are family," he murmured to the boy, stroking his hair. "We shall need to find a name for you."
"Pax Lucis Caelum," came the answer and Regis turned to see Aulea watching from the doorway, dressed in simple pants and blouse today, though still in Royal black. She walked over and picked the boy up, mindful of the IV in his arm.
"Are you sure Aulea?"
"He may not be mine by blood, but he will be my son nevertheless."
"Pax, I like it," Regis smiled at his wife and newly claimed son. He did not know if the Crystal would accept him, though the Ring had reacted to protect the boy once so likely it would. Either way, young Pax would be a Prince of Lucis. "Welcome home son." He knew there were still many unanswered questions, that Cor was still investigating but it seemed the child had appeared as if by magic. It appeared the Astrals had acted to save a child of the Lucis Caelum line and that was all he needed to know, though if he ever found who had Pax before he would not be merciful.
"Our son," Aulea kissed the faint scar and Pax smiled at her, able to tell they were happy with him.
Pax Lucis Caelum = Peace to light the sky (according to Google)
Too many ideas!