Title: Mother's Day, Rating: G
Type: Fluff, Spoilers: None
Happy Mother's Day everyone.
There was not much that could exhaust the bubbly energy of the Maou. She could dance the entire night, sit through her brother's boring lectures and lessons, and travel across countries without getting a single golden hair out of place. So how was it that she was so easily defeated by this little, demanding creature? It wasn't-
The baby woke with a start, crying almost instantly, and Celi pushed herself up from her desk to her feet so that she could retrieve him from the bassinet. He coughed harshly, his little body shuddering from the force, and continued to cry miserably. Celi rubbed the little back and placed a kiss on his hot forehead. "Oh Wolfram," she sighed, resuming the steady back and forth pace across the floor that had put him to sleep only half an hour ago. "I know, I know, it hurts. But you're never going to get better if you don't sleep."
Wolfram's only response was an unhappy wail and another coughing fit that forced his mother to turn his face out of her shoulder so that he wouldn't suffocate. Celi had first noticed that her baby was getting sick two days ago, but had foolishly hoped that it was only a light case of the sniffles. Gwendal and Conrad always got those when they were his age. A spoonful of a sweet medicine and a little sleep and they were their normal selves in the morning.
But Wolfram was sick.
Her brother was angry with her, Celi knew. He had planned a big banquet months ago and couldn't understand why she had insisted on skipping it to care for a sick child that she could have easily handed over to his nurse if only to attend the party for a few hours. He said it was embarrassing to have celebration in the Maou's honor where the Maou declined to even grace them with her presence.
"One day, when he has children on his own, he'll understand," Celi told Wolfram, rubbing at the tear tracks streaking his chubby, flushed cheeks with her thumb. "I promised Gwendal, I promised Conrad, and I promise you, Wolf-dear. You will never grow too old for me to hug in public. You will never have a hurt that I won't try to heal. There is nothing you can do that will make me love you less. Because you are my child, created with love and precious with me." She smiled and carded her fingers through his fine, damp hair. "And I would give my life for the three of your. My boys, my dear boys."
Wolfram yawned, his eyes forced shut with the effort, and sneezed. Celi laughed softly at him and lay him down on her bed, curling protectively around his small body. "Sleep," she whispered, pressing her index finger to his nose. "Sleep and dream of sweet things." Her baby yawned again and twisted his tiny hands into her blouse, holding fast. Celi smoothed his blonde curls back from his face and closed her eyes, intending to only take a short nap.
It was several hours later when Celi's door was pushed open and a bright pair of eyes scanned the dark room, searching for his mother who hadn't shown up to say goodnight to him.
On quiet, bare feet, Conrad padded across the floor and climbed up on the bed. With one hand he pat the huddled mounds on the bed, first finding his baby brother and then his mother. At his touch, Celi's eyes fluttered open and squinted at the dark.
"Conrad?" she inquired sleepily, just able to make out his outline. Impulsively she reached out for his hand and pulled him down onto the mattress. "Goodnight, Sweetie," she whispered, stroking his hair and pushing herself up to kiss his forehead. Once he was settled against Wolfram's back, she wrapped her arm around the two of them and drifted back to sleep.
Gwendal wandered in later, looking for his missing siblings. It was most unnerving to check in on your little brothers and find both their beds empty and cold. At seeing them both curled up like puppies with their mother, Gwendal turned to go, but a short cough from the baby stopped him and instead he went and found a blanket to spread over the three.
Then he just stood there for a moment, watching them. He was a youth of some years, no longer a child. Somehow if just didn't seem dignified to copy the actions of his younger brothers. But he couldn't make himself leave.
"Gwen," Celi murmured, "Get over there or I will give you to that nice little girl as a playmate for a whole week. What was her name? Anastasia? Annisa? Anissina?"
And so with all her children nestled safely with her, Celi smiled and fell into a comfortable sleep. Of all the roles she played in her life; ruler, lover, warrior, sister, wife, she enjoyed being a mother the most.