Disclaimer: I do not own any of the character names, save my own original creations. I do not wish to be compensated for this work, nor do I wish to infringe on any copyrights held by any stakeholders of the movie King Arthur. This work is an original creation, based on the legend of King Arthur and his Knights.
Chapter 69- Epilogue: Home
Cerys opened her eyes as she heard the excited yells. She levered her position up from the windowsill in the clothroom.
She would recognize that voice anywhere. She had been waiting for it, and knew that the men were now home. She stood and dusted off her skirts. Really, she should not be sleeping in the middle of the day like this. She patted her swollen belly.
"Your father is home, young one." She whispered and rubbed it gently.
A young boy, being towed forward by a younger girl, trundled into the room, glowing, both with excited eyes, one set green, one set blue, sparkling.
"Mama!" the young girl shrieked, and launched herself at Cerys.
Cerys swung the young girl up and around in a circle, and sat her on her hip. She ruffled the young boy's hair with her free hand and they made their way out the door and through the alleyway, the young boy holding her hand now, pulling.
"Mordred, is your father home?"
The young boy nodded. A smile broke out onto his face. "They are all home!" He exclaimed excitedly.
"Then go, he will want to see you."
Mordred broke away from her hand and ran off down the alleyway as fast as he could. The young girl kept her head on her mother's shoulder, one hand tangled in the hair at the back of Cerys' head. The other reached down and patted Cerys' rotund stomach.
"Broffer?" She asked quietly. "Broffer soon?"
Cerys laughed, and danced her about as best she could.
"Yes, or a sister!"
The little girl squealed in delight and Cerys put her down, holding her hand as they raced down the alleyway towards the stables.
When they reached the yard, the cacophony of horses and wagons was rising the dust, making it hard to see. She shielded her eyes from the sun, holding onto her daughter's hand as tightly as she could. She saw Nimli with the basket of towels, handing them out. Perceval scooping her up as she reached him, her laughter bouncing off the walls as he kissed her neck, growling playfully.
Galahad was hoisting a small boy up onto his back, and bouncing him. The young boy was making a wonderfully ridiculous noise as he was thrown about, his hands grabbing onto the strapping of his father's armour, his little face beaming. Dory had a young baby in swaddling cradled to her chest in a sling, and she was smiling, her hand tapping softly on its back as it nursed.
Cerys spotted Arthur down on one knee, talking with his son, Guinevere with her hands on his shoulders, undoing his scabbard from the arming points. Bors had children hanging off his arms and legs like moss on a tree, while Lorina laughed and shooed them forward towards the exit from the yard. The entire mass was laughing, giggling, and talking all at once.
She was still scanning the crowd. Her eyes passed over Tristan and Wynn passionately kissing, her own rotund belly pushing into his leather armour. He jumped back suddenly, and put a hand out to her in amazement. Cerys giggled as she watched him bend and put an ear to the top of her belly, listening, then smiling as the baby kicked his ear. Wynn looked over, saw Cerys and winked at her. They shared a look of understanding.
They were due a week apart, and it was to be Wynn and Tristan's first child.
As she was scanning the crowd, a set of hands came around her head and covered her eyes. The familiar scent of horses, leather and mint came to her and she smiled widely. Her husband was home.
Cerys' hands came up to his, and she heard his deep laughter as his body came into contact with hers, behind her. As quickly as his hands appeared before her eyes, they disappeared, and scooped up the small child now burbling and pulling on his cloak.
Cerys turned and watched her daughter and her husband as they nuzzled noses and Lancelot pressed his forehead to hers, his eyes closing for a moment, her little fists bunching into his curly hair. Cerys folded herself under his free arm and looked up at him, he down at her.
"Love." he said and kissed her. She sighed happily. The little girl buried herself into the crook of his neck and played with the laces holding his scabbards onto his back.
"I am so very happy to see you." Cerys murmured into his lips as he again kissed her.
He bought his head back up and turned to his daughter. "And little Elaine, my sweet, were you a good girl while daddy was gone?"
Elaine stopped and her little face frowned for a moment. She blinked and looked at her mother hesitantly.
"Yes." She said in a tiny voice. Cerys poked the tip of her nose softly.
Lancelot raised his eyebrow at her and she giggled, batting her long eyelashes. "Was a vewy good girl."
"She's got you figured out." Cerys said, humour in her voice, and Lancelot sighed.
"Yes, I am afraid she does."
They walked a bit into the courtyard, Cerys waving hello's to the men, grasping hands and kissing cheeks. They had been gone such a long time, three weeks almost. It was good to have them home again, her family.
He much enlarged family, as she took in the happy laughter of children accompanying so many of the men's own, as they greeted their loved ones.
She gave Hector a pat on the cheek when he held a hand to her stomach fondly, and asked where Brinn was. He pointed towards the side of the yard, and as her eyes travelled over, she gasped happily.
"When did that happen?" She asked Lancelot, who chuckled.
"He's been seeing her since Fall last." He replied, grabbing a towel out of Nimli's basket as she passed.
Brinn was holding onto a beautiful brown haired girl by the waist, looking into her eyes, and the young girl had her hands in his long black hair, twisting it about her fingers. They were talking quietly, his hands slowly caressing her.
"That's Hywel's youngest." She said quietly. Wonders never ceased. Brinn had not mentioned a thing to her. She supposed that was standard. Young men didn't want their mothers prying, sometimes.
Lancelot set Elaine down by Cerys and strode over, patting Brinn's shoulder. He broke away from the girl and blushed, and Lancelot nodded to her. The young man straightened, and then nodded once. He reached for the girl's hand, said a word to her, and they parted. Brinn walked with purpose towards Cerys and the stable. Lancelot winked at the young girl before she sat on the wall surrounding the stable yard and bit her lip, watching him walk away.
"Broffer!" Elaine shouted, and ran out with her arms up, towards Brinn.
Brinn lifted Elaine up and swung her about, then lowering her to kiss her nose. She squealed. He laughed, and then settled her across his shoulders, carrying her back to her mother, and now Lancelot. He handed the girl over to his father and smiled.
"Glad to be home, son?" Cerys asked, winking. He blushed and ground his toe in the dirt.
"Yes. Must see to some chores for Gawain, but I will come visit later, alright?"
Cerys touched his cheek, and nodded. He gave a curt nod to his father and strode away then, his armour jingling, his sword strapped high to his back.
"When did he grow up?" She asked fondly as they made their way towards the exit themselves. Elaine was locked onto Lancelot's shoulder, and her eyes were drooping. She put a thumb into her mouth and settled herself in his arm.
Cerys glanced around the emptying courtyard one more time, and waved to Gawain, who was unloading his packs from Demetia, as Gilly led her away. He waved back, and trotted over to them, packs in hand.
He reached their side, and slung one pack over his shoulder.
"How went the first ride?" Cerys asked as they began walking in step. Gawain puffed his chest out and shared a happy glance to Lancelot, who was humming very softly and slowly rocking the now sleeping child in his arm.
"It went very well. Your Brinn did quite well. I would like to say we had no encounters, but he is a demon with his bow, Cerys."
It's all thanks to you." Cerys said quietly, and put a hand on his arm. He smiled.
Cerys was so very happy for him. He had been given the job of training all new recruits to the ranks, and had spent the past five years training the young men who streamed in from across Britain to ride, wield sword and shoot a bow. He was now considered the Master at Arms, and early mornings, the fort would wake to his loud and often time's sharp orders as the boys sparred in the armoury yard.
They streamed into this place, that Arthur had renamed Camelot, seeking out the legendary King, to be one of his "Knights of the Round Table". Many were turned away, the numbers were growing by so much. Gawain trained them all, and proved to be adept at teaching. He loved it.
It had given him a new purpose to his life. He still visited Gareth every day, but now, it was not to mope. Now, when Cerys was out visiting her own parents, she would eavesdrop, and hear him tell Gareth about his day, how much the boys were improving.
As she walked towards the apartments with her daughter and her husband, she reflected. Life was so different now, so vastly different. She had a daughter, and another child on the way. Most of her friends had children, were now expecting, married.
And, so it appeared, Brinn was in love.
She looked down at her hand, the iron ring around her finger, and smiled. She stopped and Lancelot stopped with her. Elaine raised her sleepy head.
"I love you." She said simply, and grasped his free hand.
"And I you." He said back, pulling her hand to his lips, kissing it.
A small sound turned their heads towards their daughter.
"How you know you love mama?" She asked sleepily, her eyes blinking. Lancelot tilted his head and looked up. He pointed at the moon just appearing in the sky and her eyes followed his finger. She asked this whenever she heard them say those words. It never failed.
"You see that? Your momma has such a pretty face," He hefted her slightly and continued, "And once, when I saw your momma at night, when there was a full moon, I fell in love with her, because the moonlight made her very pretty."
"At night." the sleepy girl said... "Like daddy? Like a knight?"
Lancelot laughed, and Cerys smiled. Each time, Lancelot would call her his Cerys at 'Knight' when Elaine confused the two words, to tease her.
"Well, not quite..."
Elaine was already back asleep; he had no need to finish the familiar story.
"You really are a charmer." Cerys said softly as they continued on. She opened the door to their apartments, and stopped on the threshold as Lancelot was still standing outside, his eyes to the sky, his daughter cradled in his arms. He smiled and then looked to her, chuckling softly.
"What?" She asked as their gazes held one another. She came back out, and he folded under his free arm again.
"Ah, its nothing." He said, and then kissed her softly, "Just wonderful to be home."
She nodded and they walked inside, closing the door behind them.
I am crying.
This was an emotional ride for me, all the way from chapter 1 to now. I have finished, for all intensive purposes, my very first book. It may never see a printing press, but it is an achievement and it is mine!
The wedding ceremony is purely made up, I wanted to show emotion with some symbolism, and I hope it worked. I thought it best to end our story there, with an epilogue, and please do let me know if it worked. It's always hard to find a place to end, isn't it?
And thus, our last loose end...Gawain has his calling and is happy. I know many of you wanted love for him, but this made more sense for me.
And to end, Brinn is in love, our knights have families. I hope you liked my explanation of the title of this work, which was one of the first things I wrote. It is both funny and touching, for me.
So, dear readers,now I leave this story with a sad heart, but with a happy sense of accomplishment. Cerys will forever be in my heart, as will many of the people in this story.
May your pens never stop moving on the page, and may you go on to inspire others with your reviews, as you have inspired me.
Thank you for reading my story, with all my heart.