This story will be 9 chapters long and follow the pregnancies of Emogen and Cordelia. The other ladies will be in different stages of pregnancy as well, but this will focus more on Lancelot and Emogen with Cordelia and Arthur to the side. I will mention the others and the Knights will get a dose of true horror and comedy at the same time. I hope you like it!
The Sun and Moon of House Lyon
Lancelot took a deep breath as the emerald green and silver carriage that had been presented to him and his new wife by their King and Queen on their wedding night came to a halt. The noise outside was clamoring and very familiar. He winced slightly; that meant that he probably had a stack of parchment waiting for him to read and sign.
Emogen laughed slightly at him and he playfully glared at her and asked, "Oh and what's so funny, if I may ask?"
Emogen's sparkling emerald orbs twinkled at him as she answered, "Oh, it's nothing really, just your face."
Lancelot glowered at her mockingly and said in a fake hurt voice, "My maiden shows her true colors! She thinks me nothing but a clown!"
Emogen laughed again and said, "Of course! But that's not what I was talking about."
"Oh, then what were you talking about?"
Emogen's smile softened and she replied, "You just looked like you had been given a horrid punishment that's all."
Lancelot blinked as said as the carriage's door opened, "I have, can you imagine all the paperwork I have to go through now?"
"Announcing my Lord Lancelot Shieldguard of the House of Lyon and his new bride, Lady Emogen Serenity of the House of Lyon, have returned!" called out a man's voice from his left. He barely glanced at the male announcer though-it was probably Norse, the runaway Saxon they had found a day before Arthur and Cordelia's return. Arthur took pity on the man. Norse, it turned out, didn't want to fight, but Cerdic made him by killing Norse's daughter right in front of him. None of the Knights could deliver the crushing blow after that tale. Even if it was a fake story fabricated to save his life, the Knights didn't care. They were all tired of war and bloodshed anyway.
Lancelot took another deep breath and said as he helped her out of the carriage, "Ready, My love?"
Emogen smiled at him and he marveled at their height differences. When they were on even ground, he towered over his wife by half a foot and it was very clear to him at this particular time because she was still standing on the carriage's step and he was on the ground and their eyes were even with one another.
As they turned to the people that awaited them, they smiled. Lancelot hid a grin-Arthur looked very frazzled. He had a funny feeling that Arthur was going to be spending a lot of time in his chambers tonight while the ladies hounded Emogen about their wedding night.
"Lord Lancelot, welcome home! You have been dearly missed." Greeted Arthur formally. Lancelot bit back a laugh as he thought, Yes, I bet I was. I don't even think Tristran's legendary endurance could compete against you when you truly let your frustrations go, my friend.
He replied back respectfully, "My King, your welcome is thanked."
Arthur turned to his friend's wife and said, "Welcome back Lady Lyon, your presence in our court has also been dearly missed. Your calming presence will once again shine in our halls."
Emogen smiled slightly at her husband's best friend and said with a curtsy, "I am honored you think so highly of me your majesty."
Cordelia had enough, "Emmy! It's wonderful to see you! Come! You must tell us all about your trip!"
She pulled Emogen away with a happy laugh. Lancelot eyed the two cousins warily. Something seemed different about Cordelia. Now that he though about it, Emogen seemed different too. Not bad, mind you, but something was different. It was as if their entire presence had gained a gorgeous glow and blanketed the entire area around them. It made him feel warm and strangely enough- protective. He looked at Arthur. He raised an eyebrow and tilted his head slightly in their wives direction.
Arthur shrugged and said, "I don't know, my friend, but I see the same thing that you do. I think the women know something though…and that's the true mystery."
Lancelot let it go and said with an exaggerated sigh, "Well Arthur, are you the lucky one to lead me to my doom?"
Arthur raised and eyebrow and Lancelot added with a grin, "Well, the others sure aren't in a hurry to welcome me back, so the paperwork on my desk must be horrendous!"
Arthur snorted and said dryly, "Oh yes, they were so frightened that they let their dearly loved King tell his second the good news."
The two friends laughed as they entered the first floor of the castle. It was very beautiful and Lancelot could tell immediately where the new additions were. After all, he had spent two weeks here conducting a legion worth of construction workers! He glanced at Arthur from the corner of his eyes. Arthur seemed to be exerting a restrained curious air about him to. He decided to hold off questioning his friend about his obvious, to him, curiosity and commented instead on the castle's progression.
He nodded and said, "It's coming along nicely."
Arthur nodded and said, "Yes, it most definitely is. Grandorf is very pleased with how fast things are progressing. At this rate, Camelot will be finished by the coming of the new year and Kameland by Beltane."
As they entered Lancelot's first floor chambers, he groaned. Upon his new oak desk, was a stack of parchment nearly a foot high.
Arthur grinned and said in a fake helpful voice, "At least it isn't three stacks like mine was!"
Lancelot just glared at his friend and grumbled as he tossed himself into his large dark oak throne-like chair with emerald cushions and stared morosely out his window. With a sigh he pulled the top parchment off the stack and began to read.
Arthur gave him five minutes before he said; "Cordelia has an important announcement to make to us before we conduct our very first public announcement to the kingdom as a whole. According to Merlin, Merkin, and Duncan, you, Emogen, Cordelia, and I will be in the front with the rest of the Knights and their Ladies will flank us from behind."
Lancelot looked up and nodded as he said thoughtfully but seriously, "It's a unification ploy to show the kingdom that we're united even in the most trying of times. This is probably one of the most important speeches you will make Arthur. This speech will show the entire kingdom, nay, the world, that you are King of Briton and will do everything in your power to protect it's people from those who would seek to destroy our newly won freedom."
Arthur sighed and said warily, "I know. I just hate to have all that weight baring me down."
Lancelot looked up from his second piece of parchment and frowned. Arthur looked more tired than he should.
He eyebrows furrowed as he said in a dark knowing tone, "You haven't been eating OR sleeping right, have you?"
He watched Arthur wince and knew immediately that he was right. He sighed and rubbed the area between his eyes. He could feel a headache starting to form and it was not even an hour into his real first official duties as Knight Commander.
"Arthur, you know that as King you MUST take care of yourself! You can't work yourself so hard that you'll be to tired to do normal everyday activities."
Arthur shot him a reproachful look and said a bit hotly, "I know how to take care of myself."
Lancelot frowned and thought He's much to tense. How long has this been going on? I know he wasn't like this before I left…what happened while I was gone?'
"Okay Arthur, lets have it. What's wrong?" he demanded as he stood up and marched right up into Arthur's face.
Arthur backed up on instinct and retorted back, "What makes you think anything is wrong?"
Lancelot grinned cockily at him and said in a voice he KNEW would make Arthur reaming mad, "Well, for one, you hardly ever show such emotions as pain or wariness-even in front of me. For me to see it as plain as day, WITHOUT having to really look for it, something is wrong. Two, I'm me."
Arthur growled at him and snarled, "Like you'd know anything of it!"
Lancelot smiled internally and thought, that's it Arthur, time to loose your famous bland look and show me your anger. Although, I hate the fact that you have to get this angry to actually show you ARE angry. Holding it all in, is your worst characteristic.
"Oh course I do, I know you inside and out…remember?" continued Lancelot cockily.
Arthur took a deep breath and yelled, "First I have to deal with Seamus and Dean! They are bloody ridiculous! Worse than Tristran ever was! Then I find out that Merlin had planned on smuggling Guinevere back into Briton, but was thwarted by Cerdiwen's group at the last minute! Following that, I had to publicly punish him in front of everyone AND THEN I find out that a group of Saxons-four hundred strong-is marching their way down here this moment!" His voice grew soft and tired, "Our troops aren't strong enough to fight them back Lance. We simply do not have the manpower to win this time."
Lancelot's eyes widened as Arthur's true problems laid themselves bare at his feet. So that's the reason he's so tense. Understandable. Now, what of Galahad…
"What of Galahad's training? Are the senior troops anywhere close to being ready? What is Tristran, Gawain, Dean, and Seamus planning?" asked the First Knight. He was, of course, referring to the group of fifty men and women picts that had immediately signed up to join the army when Arthur and Cordelia were crowned and Galahad's title as Arms Master had been made official. They had been eager to be trained by an ex-Knight of Sarmatia since the Sarmatian Knights were legendary warriors throughout the Roman Empire.
Arthur's rage shimmered out as he stared into his friend's concerned brown eyes. Emogen had once told him, before their weddings, that Lancelot's eyes could change colors with his emotions as easily as his did. At the time, he hadn't believed it. Now he did. He was amazed. Lancelot's eye color, when he arrived, had been a dark brown that held a strange inner glow that made them seem lighter than truly were. In fact, his eyes had made him seem years younger-like he was fifteen again. As they walked though the castle, his eyes had been burning with pride making the dark brown color shimmer. When he saw his desk and all the paper on it, they had dimmed but they still held the sparkle of joy in them. And now, his eyes were burning with anger, worry, and determination making his eyes change from dark brown to nearly black. He was angry with himself for not noticing that part of his friend a long time ago, but he also knew that, that was the kind of thing only a lover could truly see in a person. No matter how close he and Lancelot were, only Emogen would see all the sides of his First Knight for the purity that he was.
"Well, Galahad's increased the training and Gawain and Tristran have created a schedule for rotations for the guards. It's somewhere in all that paperwork. All it needs is your signature and mine before they can enact it though. At least, we have a month before they arrive here. That'll give us enough time to work out more details. Hopefully, with Emogen here now, we can arrange a nice quiet peace treaty with the Saxons." Stated Arthur with a tired wave at the stack of papers.
With a jump, Lancelot hurriedly shifted through the thick papers until he found the sheet he was looking for. It was three pages long and, as with Tristran's usual behavior, it was very detailed. Lancelot read through it quickly and signed it. He handed it over to Arthur and watched his friend read it and sign it too.
They were silent for a moment. Lancelot hated silence. That's why he enjoyed teasing Bors so much. It guaranteed an hour worth of noise. It made him feel safe. Plus, he was uncomfortable with this silence. He had never felt this with Arthur before- even when they had just met- and it unnerved him.
So, in an attempt to bring back the lightness of before, he asked, "So, when do you get to make a fool of yourself?"
Arthur cast him a knowing glare, smiled slightly, and said, "In a few minutes actually. You arrived later than we anticipated. Come on, time to put on the formal gear."
Lancelot groaned as he theatrically heaved himself from his place leaning against his desk and said, "The things I do for you, my friend. I could be half way to Sarmatia by now free of all this paperwork and fancy clothes."
Arthur chuckled and Lancelot smiled. While his friends, tenseness wasn't completely gone; he had managed to drain a lot of it out of Arthur's soul. He could tell because Arthur's eyes were once again a calming sea green that made even HIS knees quiver from time to time in admiration. AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO ADMIT IT EITHER! He thought to himself with a smirk.
Very quickly they found a spare room to change their clothes, and rushed through the hallways to find the other Knights of the Round Table, the Ladies of Camelot, and the Advisor's of State, Merlin, Merkin, and Duncan waiting for them with identical grins.
Lancelot threw his brother's-n-arms a mock hurtful look and said, "Well, I see I wasn't to badly missed since none of you were there to greet me."
The Knights chuckled as Galahad said jokingly as he placed a hand over his heart, "Oh the horror of it all! Lancelot has been missing for not two weeks and the whole of the world must come to an end! Since, of course, life cannot continue without dear, sweet Lance here to guide us all to happiness!"
The group laughed loudly as Lancelot stuck out his tongue at the younger man. Galahad grinned and returned to gesture.
Cordelia stepped in between them with amusement clear in her sapphire eyes as she said, "Now, now, as funny as this is I have something to tell you all."
Emogen stepped up to her husband's side and said, "Me too."
Lancelot looked at her in confusion. He didn't know of any announcements. Emogen simply smiled at him and winked. Ah, he thought with a smile, it's supposed to be a surprise for me too. I wonder what it is?
Arthur placed a hand on his wife's cheek and said, "Well, we're listening my wife, what is this announcement of yours?"
Cordelia's face bloomed to life and as she placed Arthur's large hand upon her still flat stomach said happily, "I'm pregnant my love."
Arthur's face blanched white and then rushed red with joy. He laughed, picked her up, and swung her around in a circle. The Knights, Ladies, and Dukes (title in last story…chapter 9 or 10 or something) cheered for their King and Queen. An heir to the throne was exactly what the group needed to motivate themselves. This was what was needed to lift the low morale of the Kingdom too. Lancelot cheered the loudest for his friend. He knew it had been a dream of Arthur's to have children, but upon his 'of Age' party, the appeal lessened when he realized he would have to leave his men for Rome to marry a Roman woman, and he didn't want to do that and leave his Knights to the fury of another Roman Commander.
When the cheering died down, Emogen stepped in and said, "I'm pregnant as well."
The group froze and turned to Lancelot. Lancelot felt all the eyes on him and for once in his life wished to hide under a very large rock and not come out until all of them were old and long beneath the earth. His tanned face paled dangerously, but then infused with a brightness that amazed everyone. Then his eyes grew terrible large. Pregnant…pregnant! PREGNANT! That makes me a f…f…fa…fath…father! I…I don't know how to BE a father…I…WAITAMINUTE! Why am I so nervous? This is Emmy! My wife! My love for al time! Of course I'd have a child with her! I want children with her! So why am I staring at her like she just told me she's my mother in disguise!
He watched her eyes lower and she asked timidly, "Lancelot, are you not happy about this?"
You idiot! Look at what you've done! Tell her how happy you are RIGHT NOW!
Yikes! I am I am!
Lancelot placed a warm hand under her chin and said sweetly, "Emmy, my maiden, I'm thrilled!"
Then he pulled her into a deep meaningful kiss right there in front of their friends. The group sighed in silent relief and started to cheer once more. With tonight's, announcement of the new Prince or Princess and the new heir of House Lyon, the Kingdom and Camelot had something new to celebrate.
When Lancelot pulled away from his wife, he stumbled slightly up to his friend and said in a dazed sort of tone, "Baby…me…father…"
Arthur placed a hand on his friend to stabilize him and said joyously, "Yes my friend, you're going to be a father."
Lancelot barked out a laugh and said, "That's what I thought."
He turned towards Arthur and said, "Arthur…"
Arthur turned to Lancelot in alarm as his friend fainted.
"LANCE!" he exclaimed with wide eyes.
Ula chuckled and said, "Well, what do you know? The First Knight of Arthur is a fainter. Who would have thought?"
The entire group burst out laughing at the plight of their friend and Knight Commander. They grinned at one another mischievously and Arthur read it correctly: We're NEVER going to let him live this one down! They laughed even louder when they saw his face. It had the biggest smile branded across it.
Emogen simply knelt down, placed her husband's head in her lap, and smiled as she caressed his brow.