Disclaimer: I don't anything including the name Korella but the character's I made up do belong to me.

FAMILY

"My only weakness and regret is loving you!" A voice shouted.

Isolde sighed over the top of her book and watched her mother Emile run into her separate quarters followed closely by Tristan, her father, whose face was blank.

"Mother and father are fighting again," Shadow informed her big sister in case there was a chance she hadn't heard. Shadow's twin Dowanna nodded worried. She was the emotional ten year old. Isolde didn't acknowledge them. Her mother was always fighting with her Father now that Larx had been born. Vanora said it was hormones but Isolde thought they were beginning to realize they didn't love each other and that they were complete opposites. Her mother was a giggling fool and Tristan was a stoic man.

Dowanna held little baby Larx in her arms and cooed to him. There was a sudden shout and the three youngest looked up. The sixteen-year-old Isolde just flipped another page in her book. She didn't feel the need to act excited. These fights had been going on forever.

"I wish they would silence themselves," Isolde muttered with disdain. Shadow slapped her big sisters knee.

"Don't talk about them that way," She snapped. Dowanna nodded her head in agreement. She was the much quieter twin.

"Well I wish one of them would just kill the other so it would all be over," Isolde insisted cruelly. Dowanna looked aghast.

"Aunt Kel says love is blind," Shadow insisted.

"And stupid," Isolde said as another yell omitted itself from the room. It was only her mother who shouted. At that time the door flew open and both parents flew out but this time they had swords pointed at each other. Isolde actually spared a look from her book and coolly watched her parent's juvenile behavior.

"Don't be stupid, Emile," Tristan was saying.

"Who was she?" Emile demanded.

"Nobody of consequence and you know that," Tristan said in his monotone voice. Isolde surveyed her parents. Age had been kind to them and neither of them looked old. In fact Isolde knew that her parents were both still incredibly attractive people.

Emile took a swipe with her sword. Tristan knocked the sword out of his hand. Isolde had predicted that would happen. Her mother had never fought a day in her life. She was just some queen of a tiny country near Fiji.

At that point Emile had become aware of the children. She looked over and took in the looks. The pained face on the infant. The frightened twins and the disregard on Isolde's face. She threw her hands up in the air in frustration and walked into her room. She shut the door and sank down with her back against the wood. She was barley forty. Too young to deal with this stress. She closed her eyes and tried to forget the look in her children's eyes.

"It would be easier if you told them," a voice said smoothly.

"Oh great because my day wasn't bad enough," Emile snapped looking at the patron god of stealing. Kyrilla kissed both of her cheeks and sat down in front of her. He was a man about her age today. He seemed to age with her even though Emile was aware of his eternal youth.

"Why don't you tell them of your role as queen of thieves?"

"Because I don't want that life for my children," Emile said leaning forward so she was now lying on her belly.

"Just suggesting!' Kyrilla said.

"Well as always I love suggesting. If you have any more feel free to put them in the suggestion box," Emile groaned.

"You know they might not turn out like you," Kyrilla pointed out.

" Isoldes is so much like my mother," Emile said softly reflecting on her childhood as a woad, which her children had been kept in the dark about as well.

"You're a rogue at heart. You're going to be lying to at least one person your entire life."

"Why did it have to be my children?" Emile had a pleading look in her eye but it didn't procure sympathy of Kyrilla. He looked at her with disgust.

"Where is the old Emile?" He asked before disappearing. Emile didn't get insulted. Well not anymore. Gone were the days when she used to exchange witty repartee with the god. She had lost herself having children.

At that moment Tristan walked in. He looked at her and sat on the ground. Emile rolled over so she was lying in his lap. He put a hand on her belly.

"That time?"

"Yes. How can you tell?"

"I wonder if the children notice we only have one fight a month?" Tristan mused. Emile snorted.

"If Isolde ever takes her eyes out of her book maybe she would," There was a pause before, "she hates me."

"No she doesn't," Tristan reassured his wife.

"Yes she does. Have you seen the way she stares at me with utter contempt? She thinks I'm just a fool."

"Well we knew there would be consequences when we let them think you were a queen here to establish good relations."

"Why did we do that again?" Emile asked. Tristan just shrugged and began a massage. Emile sighed in delight as his hands worked over her body.

"I thought after I had children the pain would go," Emile stated looking up a Tristan.

"Well the pain is less bad," Tristan said stroking her stomach.

"Yes but instead I'm a compete psycho. Serious mood swings, crazy sword brandishing and all."

Tristan's face remained impassive as he said, "yes you do some strange things."

Emile scrambled out from under his hands before kneeling in front of him. "Do you love me?"

"With all my heart," He stroked her face before kissing her.

Meanwhile Isolde had put down her book and left. She was going to find her best friend Korella. She found her in her room. Korella looked very grateful when Isolde appeared. She raced out of the room.

"Why are you so eager to escape?"

"They're doing it," Korella said shuddering.

"What?" Isolde questioned.

"You know… IT," Korella spelled it out for her innocent friend. Gawain and Lyndaal were her parents so she had been exposed to a lot of sexual activity.

"Oh," Isolde said comprehending, "Mother tried to stab dad."

"Again?"

Isolde nodded. They moved to the stables. Isolde reached up to pat her mothers very old horse Trepidation. No one rode him anymore. She moved to her own horse Wisdom and set about saddling her. Korella began saddling her horse Spirit.

"Where do you want to go?" Korella asked mounting up.

"How about the fort?" The old fort had been abandoned since Camelot had been built and king Arthur had taken the throne.

They had just ridden out of the stables when Korella paused on her horse.

"Do you think we should invite Shazara?

Isolde shook her head, "she wouldn't come and besides I'm not in the mood for her." Shazara was the daughter of Alera and Lancelot and Isolde's cousin but they rarely got along. Shazara was a bit of a loner. It baffled Isolde. Lancelot and Alera were so popular and charming. She shrugged it off and enjoyed the ride. Korella entertained her with, what she found disgusting, recounts of her parent's interludes.

"At least your parents have interludes. My parents couldn't be less in love."

"My mum thinks they are in love but they have a complicated relationship and secrets that aren't for us children."

Isolde rolled her eyes, "That may be so but I don't wish for confusing parents. I want normal ones."

They arrived at the fort to find three horses tied up. Isolde groaned.

"It's Garrett, Kaye, Armand and Baltimore," Korella said unnecessarily.

Garrett the son of Arthur, heir to the throne. Kaye was one of the sons of Bors and Vanora. Armand was the son of Dagonet and Fulicina. Baltimore was Kel and Galahad's boy. The knights and their wives had more children but these were the ones closest in age. Kaye was the oldest having graduated from simply being called Eleven to actually having a name. Then Garrett, Isolde, Korella, Armand and Baltimore was a day younger the Shazara.

"Isolde," Garrett said bowing his head. Isolde just snorted and moved into the fort. Korella shot a sympathetic smile at the men Isolde ignored. She knew her friend possessed a haughtiness, which came from being the daughter of a queen. Garrett couldn't be more opposite. He was so humble and kind. There was a silence, which Armand broke as usual.

"Alecto is coming home soon," He told the group as they began moving into the fort. Alecto was his elder half brother. Of all the families Armand's was the most interesting. He had a half-brother Alecto who had gone to Rome to study. An adopted brother called Lucan and for some strange reason Emile, Isolde's mother, always referred to him as little brother. As if reflective of his family Armand was the odd one in the group. Always a bit quirky.

"Why is he coming back?" Kaye asked. Kaye was robust but not fat. Built like his father. He was the ringleader in the mischievous things the teenage boys got up to. Armand shrugged his shoulders.

Isolde tossed her brown hair and sighed out of boredom. This wasn't exactly her topic of choice.

Baltimore grinned and shoved her gently, "Cheer up, Grumpy." He was absolutely gorgeous with his curly hair and sparkling blue eyes. Many mistook him for the son of Lancelot. He was forever in a good mood. Korella smiled and linked arms with him.

"Leave her be. Her parents had a fight," Korella defended her best friend.

"Another one?" Kaye demanded. Isolde nodded ruefully.

Baltimore placed his hand over his heart and pretended to swoon at the mention of Emile. Isolde suspected that many of the boys had an infatuation with her mother. Goddess knows why. She was just a runaway queen from some small country and now she was just a lady of the court. A silly woman who cared nothing for anything but balls and clothes.

"Did she try and stab him again?" Armand demanded and again Isolde nodded. She was so embarrassed talking about her mother's insolent behavior.

"That's my sister," Armand said proudly.

"She is not your sister," Isolde snapped, "she is my mother and she behaves as if it were not so." And with that she stormed away. No body followed her including Korella. When Isolde was upset about something people avoided her like the plague. Even her best friends.

"Why does she hate her mother?" Kaye demanded as if the question had never occurred to him before now.

"I have no idea but I love her mother," Baltimore said wistfully.

"You all do," Korella accused. None of them denied it and Korella rolled her eyes. They were all talk and they only said such things far away from the castle because if they loved Emile they were terrified of her husband Tristan.

"No seriously thought… why?" Armand questioned Korella.

"Why is everyone asking me?"

"You are her best friend," Kaye pointed out.

"I don't know why," Korella, admitted, "where's Garrett."

During the conversation Garrett had left to follow Isolde. He caught up with her easily.

"Go away," was the first thing to leave her mouth.

"No," Garrett defied her command.

"Make like a tree and leave," She snapped.

"Oh that's clever. Did you make that one up?" Garrett said sarcastically. Isolde hated it when people were sarcastic. It reminded her of Emile.

"No," Isolde defended herself, "Fox made it up."

"My parents fight all the time," Garrett didn't hesitate to start the discussion he wanted to have.

'Yeah well your mother isn't insane."

"Neither is yours. I think your mother has a secret. Something she can't tell."

"I don't want a secretive mother," Isolde cried.

"Well I have decided that we should take matters into our own hands," Garrett said loudly sitting down.

"What matters?" Isolde asked suspiciously remaining standing.

"Parental matters. They don't tell us anything and I think we need a parent committee made up of their children. For their own protection of course," Garrett announced.

"Do you always talk so much," A smooth voice interjected. Garrett jumped to his feet. In front of them was an attractive man who appears to have materialized out of thin air.

"Oh don't get up young prince," the stranger cooed. Garrett's hand drifted towards his dagger.

"Who are you?" Isolde demanded.

"None of your concern. I think I should by rights warn you that something is going to happen. It is necessary and of my manufacturing but it is required to return a certain person to their normal state."

"What are you talking about?" Garrett asked slowly. The man in front never answered. A voice like a whip cracked through the air.

"Kyrilla," Tristan's voice grabbed everyone's attention.

"Ah Tristan. How delightful. I just saw your wife."

Tristan ignored the man for a while to turn back to his daughter and friends son, "Garrett if you would escort Isolde back to the fort and collect the others. It's time to go home."

His tone left no room for argument. Garrett grabbed Isolde's wrist and they walked away. They almost passed out of earshot but Garrett heard what Tristan said next.

"Kyrilla you know my wife's wishes!"

They rode home quickly. Isolde and Garrett were obviously unsettled. They immediately divulged their companions. Garrett retreated back to his normally quite manner but Isolde was happy to describe the unnerving feeling the man called Kyrilla.

"I can't describe it," Isolde had said.

"He wasn't human," Garrett said simply. And then there was silence.

Korella had said goodbye to Isolde and gone to her rooms by herself. Tristan had appeared next to his daughter by the time they got home and didn't look like he was going to let her go to the rooms by herself. Korella had narrowed her eyebrows at that and watched as they walked off. Tristan was hardly the over protective father type.

Korella pushed open the door and was confronted with her parents on the floor in a passionate embrace with nothing but bed cloths over the top of them. Korella shrieked immediately and threw her hands over her eyes.

"Goddess protect me. Can't you do that in your rooms?" She demanded of her parents. They didn't move.

"Now Korella," Gawain began, "it's nothing to be ashamed of."

"It's perfectly natural," Lyndaal insisted. Korella threw her hands in the air and walked into her room. She heard giggling as she shut the door. She loved her parents very much but sometimes she found them just too sexually active.

Armand had walked most of the way home with Kaye but his mother had seized him as soon as she saw him to look after one of the younger children. Kaye shot Armand a pained look as he walked inside. Armand caught the screams of children and Bors yelling. Gods knew why they had so many children. And didn't appear to be stopping anytime soon.

He walked inside his rooms within the castle and was welcomed with a strange sight. Emile was sitting on the ground with a dagger talking to Lucan.

"It's all about the position of the wrist," she was saying before she caught sight of him and became flustered, "so you can best admire the quaint little design and know whether you want to buy it to put on your wall or use it to uh stab perhaps." There was another pause before she muttered, "we'll talk latter."

With that she stood up and hugged Armand, "Gods little brother, you are getting taller than me now."

"What are you doing here?" Armand asked kissing Emile on the cheek, as was their custom.

"I just had to talk to Dad for a little while," She explained gesturing over her shoulder. Dagonet had come into the room. He clasped his son's shoulder.

"Well that being done I think I will go. There is things to be done before tonight," Emile took her leave.

Armand watched her leave and couldn't help but notice that she slipped the dagger under a slip of her clothing.

Emile sighed. That had been close. Lucan knew about her warrior background but he had been sworn to secrecy. He had been taught all the usual weapons but he had never learnt daggers. It was Emile's twenty-first birthday present to him. She walked along in a better mood. The children had all found something to do and Nimue was looking after Larx. Emile still marveled at the fact she was still alive and able to run after infants but she banished this thought from her mind lest Nimue read her thoughts. She had had a day entirely to herself.

Emile was grinning to herself about this when she crashed into a girl who looked similar to her but different. Her unruly brown hair curled at every angle and fell across her face. Emile smiled at her niece Shazara.

"Hello Shazara. Did you have a good time at the fort?"

Shazara wrinkled her nose in confusion, "Fort?"

Emile opened her mouth, just about to tell that all the children had gone to the fort, when she paused. Shazara may have been a bit of a loner and introvert but if invited she would have gone. Emile revised her plan.

"Oh I heard you went down to the fort today with Nimue but I see I was mistaken," Emile knew that Shazara had taken up tutorship with Nimue in the art of healing.

Shazara smiled at her aunty, "No, Nimue looked after Larx."

"That's right. And here I was thinking I had left him with Tristan," She feigned confusion.

"Well I have to go. Mother wants me to help look after the little ones while father goes out," Shazara referred to her siblings and Emile's other nieces and nephews.

"Of course. Give a kiss to Alera for me."

"And father?"

"Been there," There was a pause, "But don't tell your mother that."

Shazara laughed, "Of course not aunty Emile."

As she walked off Emile had a sinking feeling in her stomach. She had a good guess why Shazara hadn't been invited. It was beyond her why she had raised such an exclusive child. Shadow and Dowana weren't like her. She was quite close to her rooms when Tristan appeared beside her.

"Kyrilla appeared to Isolde and Garrett today," He told her.

Emile held up her, "Tristan I have bigger things to worry about," She stopped as his words sunk in. "what?"

"At the fort today. He was talking to them just as I happened to be passing by. His braids fell in his eyes and it gave Emile comfort that some things stayed the same.

"Probably attempting a little show and tell. I will deal with it," Emile reassured her husband before opening the door. Isolde was in a chair reading.

"Isolde what are you doing?" Emile demanded.

"Reading mother. You know a book. You can learn things from them and fill your empty brain."

Emile resisted the urge to tell her daughter just how many books she had read, and in how many libraries and in how many different languages but she didn't. Tristan opened his mouth about to tell Isolde off but Emile held up her hand to stop him.

"I meant to Shazara. You are excluding her. Why?"

"Oh I don't know why. Perhaps it's because she seems irritatingly too nice. There is a word for it I'm sure," Isolde said not really looking up from her book.

"Yes there is. Bitch!"

Isolde's head snapped up to gaze at her mother who looked very different. She practically had sparks flying off her.

"Bitch, Isolde. And it pains me to have to connect that word to my own daughter but I am," There was silence for Isolde was quite speechless, "You're to look after your sisters and brother. Your father and I have to attend a meeting."

And with that she flounced out of the room into her own private chambers that she shared with Tristan pushing her husband before her. She shut the door smartly and smiled at Tristan. His face was blank but she could tell he didn't approve of what had gone on back in the other room.

"You can't call our daughter a bitch," He said slowly.

"Why not… my mother called me that. And besides she thinks I am a fool so any reasoning I may have done with her will be rendered worthless due to the assumption that I am an idiot."

Tristan gazed at her from behind his dark eyes and slowly shook his head.

"Oh Trissy, don't be like that."

A smile quirked his mouth at the mention of his old nickname which had been created in less friendly times. Emile took advantage of his distraction and kissed him firmly on the lips. He brought his hand up to stroke the part of her shoulder, which held the tattoo. Since children Emile had covered the tattoo with clothing at all times unless among people she knew well.

He helped dress her in the gown she would wear to the meeting. He deliberately moved slowly and enjoyed the view of her body, which was still the most attractive thing for him.

She cupped his face and ran her thumb over the tattoos on his cheek. A third line had been added on each side when his mother had died.

They made there way down to the room, which held the round table. Emile was the only woman present being the only female knight. If only Isolde knew that. Maybe then she would treat her with some respect.

Her hand was seized by Lancelot who kissed it grinning.

"Emile you look ravishing," Gawain said. Galahad winked.

"For the Gods sake you're all married now! Stop it!" But her tone was a light one and the knights knew she was joking.

She settled into a seat across from Arthur and laced her fingers together. She rested her head on those fingers and gazed intently at their king. He looked back at her.

"That's a lovely ring, Emile," he noted before narrowing his eyes, "you wouldn't be aware of the fact that the pope's favorite ring has gone missing would you?"

"I think he's accusing you." Bors noted in his ear as he arrived late.

"Bors how are the children?" Emile swiveled in her seat to greet her old friend.

"Loud, messy, you know how it is," He said whilst Emile nodded sympathetically. Arthur coughed to regain attention.

"Do you know anything about it?" Arthur repeated his questioned. Galahad coughed but his cough sounded a bit too much like yes.

"Rome is Zephyrus' domain. I never touched it," She paused and leaned forward holding the ring up to the light, "besides if you look closely you can see the engravings marking it as the emperor of China's."

Gawain snorted and Dagonet closed his eyes. In the entire time he had known her he had never stopped hoping she would give up stealing.

"Why did you call this meeting?" Lancelot asked Arthur hoping to get everyone's attention off the triviality of the ring.

"Yes the Saxons are planning another march," Arthur said depressed.

"Another kill and conquer all?" Galahad asked. Arthur nodded.

"Wait, I thought we had peace with the Saxons," Dagonet looked puzzled.

"Well there was this thing with a thing and…" Arthur began.

"Basically a Britain slept with the high kings daughter," Tristan explained tired of Arthur forcing himself to say it.

"Bet it was a woad," Lancelot suggested. For some reason he always had a prejudice against woads despite their nations unification.

"Moving on now," Emile announced.

"How did we get this information?" Gawain asked though his eyes wandered straight to Emile. She was blushing.

"From the Irish," Was her short reply.

"I thought the Irish weren't on good terms with us either after the thing with this thing," Galahad asked intimidating Arthur. The Irish thought Britain would be coming to steal their land. They were under the impression Arthur was a want to be empire owner.

"They aren't," Emile, said getting redder.

"Ah it's stolen information," Bors said comprehending.

"I don't steal any more," Emile said indignantly holding up her hands.

"The ring," Dagonet said pointing at her fingers.

"I said I don't steal any more. The Rouge non inclusive in that statement."

"Well I just wanted to inform you that the Saxons may end up here. Emile is there any way you can dissuade them from invading Britain and just stick to the out siding countries?"

"I'll see what I can do," She sighed. More spy work.

"Tristan, Can you send your scouts out to search for any sign of Saxon's in the country?"

Tristan inclined his head. Since Arthur had become king he had gotten a small army of scouts.

"Knights I need you to make sure your regiments are well trained too."

"Is that all?" Bors asked after the knights had agreed to double training, "Vanora asked if I could come home soon because fourteen…I mean Fieth has been sick lately."

"Of course. You're dismissed."

Arthur watched his knights leave. He felt envious that they went home to big families. After Garrett Guinevere had been pregnant once more but there had been complications and they had lost the baby. After that there had been no more children. Arthur suspected that Guinevere still hurt. He sighed and eventually got up after all his knights had left. At least he had them to be his family.

AN: Hey guys. This may be a pretty bad first chapter but I'm still getting the feel of my old characters. I just wanted to establish the new ones etc. I had writers block from Traitor and my blade fic but hopefully this will revitalize me. Things have changed heaps. In got in a fight with my friend, I have to work so hard as school and I died my hair black. So I haven't had time to update much. Sorry! Review please guys!

MD666