I. Naming

Summary: Magnus and Cleo discuss what they should name their first child.

"Isn't there anyone you want to name it after?

Cleo watched as Magnus's brows drew together, a tight expression on his face. He folded his arms over his chest, leaning back against the wall of their bedroom. The low light of the setting sun hit him in contrasting shadows, a striking scene of pale skin, dark hair and eyes. He was wearing a thin shirt—black as usual—pushed up to his elbows, and the ties at the collar open just enough to expose the lean muscle of his chest.

She slid a hand over her stomach unconsciously, a habit she'd formed over the last few months. His eyes watched the movement, bringing his attention again to the matter at hand.

They had been married now for almost six years to the date, and every day of that time had given Cleo ample experience in dealing with her husband.

Of course, the news of Queen Cleiona's pregnancy had been a talking point throughout the kingdoms—the future ruler was about to be born. But to her and Magnus, this moment was of an even greater significance beyond the regular joys parents experience before welcoming their first child. Over the last five years, they had worked diligently to rebuild Mytica. They spent many long nights going through the laws, meeting with foreign dignitaries, and doing everything they could to get the kingdom—a united one—on its way from decay to prosperity.

They saw this child as an ushering in a new era for Mytica. A chance to set things right in the next generation.

"Not really. I hardly see a reason to dwell in the past." Magnus glanced out the window at the sparkling landscape. This had been a source of disagreement for them ever since she discovered her pregnancy. She constantly rejected his name choices, suggesting many options that felt unreasonable and foreign to her. On the other end, he was adamant against using names of people they knew. "It seems like a rather morbid concept to do so."

"I disagree. It's meant to show that we respect those who came before us. To honor them."

Cleo pouted at him, a gesture that normally rendered him completely under her will. As if concurring with her words, she felt their child thump against her touch.

At her pause, he moved to her side. He sat next to her on the bed and placed his hands on her stomach. His lips parted in awe, feeling his child move within her.

His gaze returned to hers and he smirked. "Honestly, do you think Corvin seems like a good name?"

She squeaked in surprise. Only Magnus could ruin a moment like this. "He was my father and a good king."

"Yes, but I hardly knew him. And I'd be resentful if my parents had given me that name." He traced small circles against her stomach, his gaze dropping to his movements. "Besides, using an Auranian name hardly seems appropriate."

They felt another kick, affirming his stance. His smile grew.

Traitorous child.

"Even if you don't want to use Corvin, I thought you'd at least want to honor your grandfather," she refuted. She sighed and placed her hands on top of his. "I know how much you loved him."

He chuckled. "We don't even know if it's a he. Then all this talk will be pointless."

That was true. Cleo had spent so much time wondering whether they were having a son or a daughter. The wait and uncertainty was driving her crazy. Their midwife, who was touched with some earth magic, was able to feel a single heartbeat in her womb. But even with her skill in detecting potential stresses to the child in utero, she couldn't determine the baby's sex.

"But you did promise that we could use Emilia as a name for a girl." She could negotiate for a boy's name, but not on this issue. It was from her older sister's example that she had grown into the confident queen that she was today.

"As a middle name, yes." He bent down to kiss her. Once again, their child moved and they both laughed. No words were exchanged as they shared the joy of the baby's stirrings.

"Are you nervous?" she asked as her mood shifted. Her hand moved to his right cheek to trace the outline of his scar, and his head leaned into her touch.

"Of course. Anyone would be." They spent many nights talking about the potential complications. Her mother had died giving birth to her. He swallowed and his jaw tightened.

"Don't worry. We're going to be fine." She hated seeing his discomfort, so she pushed down her dark thoughts for his sake. She forced him to meet her eyes and she grinned. "You'll have to deal with me and little Corvin for the foreseeable future."

At his blanch, she giggled.

"There's no way we're naming him Corvin. Or Davidus," he said sternly, fighting a smile. "We're going with one of my choices."

A few weeks later, Cleo had gone into labor in the middle of the night. Despite the midwife's concern, Cleo insisted that Magnus be with her the entire time, and he dutifully attended to her needs throughout the process. Holding her as a contraction hit, rubbing her back, placing a kiss into her hair and telling her how much he loved her. How strong she was. After nearly a full day, they were rewarded with the cries of their child—a son—who proclaimed his entrance to the world.

Magnus had never felt such a wave of pride as he had in that moment, for both his wife and his son. Cleo powered through the birth like she did with everything else—with perseverance and fire. He kissed her and stroked her sweat-covered hair as the midwife attended to their son. After what felt like an eternity, she placed child in Cleo's thin arms. She clung to him as she cried happily, and Magnus felt the tears swelling in his eyes as well.

His hands stroked their son's head, already covered with a shock of dark hair. It was hard to believe that in this small child, only moments into this world, he embodied the future of Mytica.

Mother and father checked fingers and toes, wondrously tracing smooth skin, and were pleased by perfection they saw.

Cleo's smile widened. "We'll name him Mathias." Her bright blue-green eyes, tired from labor and shining bright with moisture, met his.

A lump formed in his throat, and all he could do for a moment was nod. His attention shifted between her and their son. Finally, he pressed his lips against her forehead again, then to the baby's. "Mathias is perfect."

Because in that moment, he knew this was the greatest gift he and this kingdom had ever been given.

Author's Note: So I've been writing fanfiction on Tumblr for several months now, and I figured it was time to start migrating my stories over here as well. To anyone interested, more fics in this series and other FK fics can be found on my blog, Princeofbloodandgold. The version of this one might look a little different from what others have read if you've seen my blog. I decided to make some edits to it that I've been wanting to make for some time. I'll start posting other sections of the fics on here over the next few weeks.