No money is being made from this. I only wanted to play in my own sandbox and invite the characters to join me. I own absolutely nothing that may seem familiar to you in this story. I only own Reagan and Ivy though difficult they may be.
THANK YOU BETA TEAM! You know who you are :)
Reagan, Lancelot, Galahad and Ivy needed their Happily Ever Afters- They can stop bugging me now. WARNING! FLUFF AHEAD! Enjoy ~S
"They gave each other a smile with a future in it."- Ring Lardner
Chapter 28 (epilogue)
"Oh Ivy!" Reagan exclaimed as Vanora gently placed a crown of brightly colored leaves intertwined with dried purple heather on her curls, "you look so lovely. Galahad won't know what to do with himself when he sees you tonight." At her words Ivy's pale face turned a distinct shade of green and she barely managed to cover her mouth with her hand before she darted to the washbasin on the other side of the room.
"I suspect he'll know what to do with himself," Vanora whispered to Reagan with sly smile. "The question is will she let him?"
"Apparently she did once already. The damage is done. It was a perfect way for Galahad to lead Ivy to the altar. Though you have to admire the man's determination." Reagan waggled her eyebrows at Vanora and the woman laughed.
Both Vanora and Reagan grimaced in sympathy at the sounds of Ivy's retching. After she had been given enough time, Vanora handed her a wet cloth to dab her face with and patted her on the shoulder reassuringly. Ivy abruptly turned around and glared at the other women.
"Stop talking about me like I'm not here!" She snapped. Reagan and Vanora wiped the smiles off their faces, biting the insides of their cheeks. "Not that it's any of your business, but I seduced him! A girl can only take so much wooing."
"It'll get better, dear. It always does, the first months are always the hardest." Vanora replied wisely, ignoring Ivy's outburst. The healer looked at the woman with narrowed eyes.
"It's only been a month and a half, you mean I have more of this to endure?" Vanora gave her a knowing grin, but sensibly kept her mouth shut. Ivy had been a bit on edge since she'd discovered she was expecting.
"Ivy, you're a healer, you would should know that better than anyone," Reagan chastised. Instead of walking on eggshells while in her presence Reagan had decided to treat her exactly as before. For some reason she suspected that her friend needed that. Vanora gave her as much advice as she could and Galahad treated her as if she were a fragile, precious thing. While it was sweet, it was completely irrational and Reagan could tell it drove Ivy crazy.
Ivy gave her a dark look in response and Reagan smiled despite herself. Vanora redirected the bride back in front of the dressing table, pushing her a bit too forcefully back onto the stool. After a few more moments of primping, fussing and making sure Ivy wasn't about to get sick again, Reagan and Vanora stepped back and surveyed their handiwork.
To say that Ivy looked beautiful would have been an understatement. The woman practically glowed and her bridal wear was made of nothing but the best fabrics. She looked resplendent in her cream and peach gown. The crown of autumn leaves and flowers offset the dress, and they both agreed that Ivy would be a sight to see walking down the aisle.
Reagan hadn't worn white to her own wedding which had taken place weeks before. Since it had been so hastily arranged she had not really had the time to choose her own gown. Instead she'd worn a dress of deep blue, spun from wool so fine and soft it had felt like silk against her skin. The yellow roses she'd had tucked into her short hair were the perfect accompaniment, not that it had mattered. The day had been a happy blur and the whirlwind of activities had left Reagan more than a little exhausted. Once the short ceremony and the celebrations afterward were over, Lancelot had divested her so quickly of her apparel Reagan doubted he'd even taken notice of how nice she looked. Not that she had minded.
Smothering a grin at the memory, Reagan helped to ready the bride for her walk.
Finn arrived to accompany them to the chapel, and Ivy looked at both women who gave her reassuring smiles and led the way. Very little was said as they stood in front of the large wooden doors. The sounds of people milling about and subdued conversation floated toward them as they waited. Finally the doors opened and the warm light of the chapel spilled out.
Everyone inside stood and turned to look at Ivy. Dagonet stepped toward them, placing himself next to the bride. Reagan braced herself, knowing full well how Ivy hated being the center of attention. A silly thing really; as a bride all eyes were on her and Reagan had hoped Ivy had prepared herself for this eventuality. Apparently she had, and gripping the hem of her gown with white knuckles, she reached for Dagonet's outstretched arm, her head tiled at a proud angle as the big man gently placed his hand over hers and began to walk her down the aisle toward the nervous yet eager looking groom.
Ivy and Galahad only had eyes for each other throughout the ceremony. When Reagan happily stepped aside and found her place next to her husband, Lancelot looked at her with his eyes glittering merrily and a smile pulling the corners of his mouth. He surreptitiously fisted a hand in her skirt, pulling her ever closer to his side. Reagan grinned at his not-so-subtle hint and reached for his hand, intertwining their fingers in answer, and as she turned to watch the bride and groom exchange vows she had to admit it really was a beautiful day for a wedding.
Lancelot was beginning to really enjoy weddings. The celebrations were in full swing and Lancelot watched with pride as Reagan managed to keep up with Arthur during one of the more spirited dances of the evening. Her red skirts swirled about her legs as she moved in time with the music. Her bright grin was telling enough and he could tell Arthur was enjoying himself immensely. Reagan's cheeks were red enough with exuberance to match her dress and Lancelot was once again struck anew at how comely his wife was.
"How can I get me one of those?" A grating, slightly slurred voice cut into his reverie and Lancelot turned with narrowed eyes to glare at Bors, who was clutching onto his tankard as if it were a lifeline.
"You have a woman. At least, the last time I checked you did. Has Vanora finally come to her senses? A pity, that, as I'm married. Gawain's been looking a bit lonely, though--do you think he's caught her eye?" Lancelot offered with a smirk, watching in satisfaction as Bors' expression twisted in disgust before he scanned the crowed room and spotted Vanora prying one of their many children off the other. It seemed that the mother hen was always breaking up a fight. Vanora and Bors' children had "spirit," as Reagan liked to call it. Spirit indeed, Lancelot thought, they were insane to have so many in the first place.
"Not a woman, you ponce. I keep my Van satisfied." Bors sneered before jabbing a finger toward his chest. "I want one of those fancy tunics you're always wearing." A genuine smile spread across his face as Lancelot looked down to see exactly which 'fancy' tunic he was wearing at present that had caught Bors' eye. He couldn't fault the man's taste. Reagan's latest creation was one of her finest and he was proud to be wearing one of his many newly embellished black tunics. Well, that and it had been a bit of a dare on her part. She didn't think he had the stones to wear such a frivolous concoction to a courtly affair. Lancelot was determined to prove her wrong and while the bright yellow coneflowers that adorned his sleeves and hem didn't suit his taste they apparently did Bors'.
"You like this, do you?" he asked plucking at the tunic, unable to disguise the mirth in his voice.
"Yeah." Bors answered plainly. "Do you think Reagan would make one for me?"
But before Lancelot could answer Gawain and Dagonet joined them, drinks in hand, and passing one to Lancelot, sat down without ceremony.
"Well, Gal's finally done it. Got himself shackled, just like you," Gawain pointed his half full glass at Lancelot, his upper lip curling. "Sorry sods, the both of you," he stated bitterly before proceeding to drink his goblet dry.
"Gawain doesn't really mean that," Dagonet offered, trying to smooth whatever tension was brewing. Gawain was spoiling for a fight and Lancelot wouldn't be the one to give it to him.
"You keep your grubby paws off my Vanora!" Bors shouted and Gawain choked on his drink, obviously caught off guard by the comment.
"What in the name of the Gods are you on about, you drunken ass?" The blond man asked, undoubtedly nonplussed.
"You know exactly what I mean. I'm watching you…" Bors' threat trailed off as Vanora approached him looking harassed and exhausted.
"Get up! We're leaving. Now!" Her sharp tone was enough to break through Bors' haze of alcohol; the alarmed look that crossed his features was almost amusing. It was clearly understood who was in charge when the burly man didn't hesitate to obey.
The dance ended just as Vanora dragged Bors away, and a slightly out of breath Reagan shuffled toward the table. Lancelot pulled her down next to him, forcing Gawain to scoot across the bench in the opposite direction. Dagonet, ever the gentlemen, offered the very winded Reagan a drink, which she heartily accepted.
After finishing her goblet and making a good attempt at Lancelot's, Reagan looked around the hall and noticed that one person in particular was missing from the festivities. She had spotted Tristan hovering near the back of the chapel during the ceremony but she'd not seen hide or hair of him since.
"Has any one seen Tristan?" she asked with as much innocent inflection as she could muster. Dagonet shrugged his shoulders, while Gawain managed to polish off another goblet of wine in one long swallow. Lancelot gave her a sidelong look and half smiled at her question.
"Probably wandering that bloody forest again. You remember, the one you're not supposed to go into." Reagan rolled her eyes at him. Gawain slammed down his goblet and wiped his mouth on his sleeve drawing their attention his way before she could form a sharp retort.
"He's always in the forest these days," he exclaimed, leaning on his forearms as if he were imparting a great secret to the three of them nearby. "He says there's something in there'." Gawain lowered his voice and wiggled his tawny eyebrows for effect and Reagan couldn't help but laugh.
"What? Like trees, for instance?" Lancelot asked incredulously before he added, "oh yes, the mist." He whispered the last word as if it were a curse and Reagan looked at her husband curiously.
"What mist? What are you talking about? Isn't fog a common occurrence, especially this time of year?" Gawain scoffed at her question, while Lancelot remained studiously and uncharacteristically silent. Dagonet gave both his brothers-in-arms a long-suffering glance.
"Not according to Tristan, Reagan. I think its best to give him the benefit of the doubt. I can't remember the last time I've seen Tristan so…" the knight paused as if searching for the right word, "distracted." Gawain gave a great bark of laughter at Dagonet's words before he patted the healer heartily on the back. The movement barely made the big man flinch.
"Distracted is a nice way of putting it. Did you know a few days ago after I'd managed to ply him with a few tankards, he told he he'd heard a woman singing while he'd been hunting. Singing, in the forest, at the first light of dawn. Apparently when he went to investigate the source he came up empty handed. Can you imagine?"
No one had any reply to this and Reagan found herself wondering if indeed there was someone playing tricks on the scout. No woman in her right mind would openly court the wrath of Tristan, but there were some that would go to great lengths to garner his fickle attention. Lancelot waved Gawain away in disbelief before returning his attention to his wife.
"Are you going to worry about Tristan's desire to roam about a forest all night? Or would you like to dance with your husband?"
Lancelot looked to the dancers having a merry time before them, as if to provide an example and Reagan watched as Ivy and Galahad raised their goblets toward them from the other side of the room. Reaching for his outstretched hand, Reagan didn't hesitate, and was in fact surprised to find herself pulling Lancelot behind her in her haste to join the others in having such a good time.
Soon enough caught up in the rhythm of the dancers and the fluid graceful movements of her dancing partner, all thoughts of mysterious mists and taciturn, solitary scouts were forgotten. As Lancelot turned and reached for her, Reagan relished the feel of his strong warm body against hers and knew a feeling of timelesness so strong she knew she'd remember this simple moment her entire life.
Gazing up into his smoldering dark eyes, Reagan wondered how she'd gotten so lucky. Lancelot gave her a lupine grin as if reading her thoughts, before wrapping his hand firmly around hers and pulling her behind him. Leaving the raucous festivities behind them Reagan felt herself smile and knew they were about to start a whole new kind of dance. She hurried behind him to keep up with his haste not wanting to miss a moment.
AN: Things have changed slightly since I promised you a cliffhanger in the last chapter. Don't worry you'll still get it, but you might have to go back to the main story page to find out where it is *wink* Go on, take a look after you've read this short fluff-tastic epilogue. You know you want to :) Ah Tristan, you didn't think you'd escape my clutches for long did you? Please, if you haven't already let me know what you think now that "complete" is finally stamped on this story. I would love to hear from you!