A/N: I took inspiration from the comment fic I did ages ago on LJ. I have been thrilled to see so many fics including the original A/G sons (Although a little sad for the lack of Llacheu) so I thought I'd be different. I had my friend stick a needle on my big 'comprehensive' personally made list of Welsh/Cornish/Celtic names to pick the name of the daughter. I also borrowed a tiny concept from 'The Once and Future King' series that some of you may note.
Summary: Arthur considers his children. He always vowed to be a better father than his own father had been, but connecting to one's children is so bloody hard.
Everyone had hoped for a boy.
It was considered a failure not to deliver one. Arthur hated the pressure they to put on Gwen, but she never complained. For months all the people of the court seemed to do was stare at the queen's abdomen, making guesses as to whether the bump was high or low because—apparently—it mattered. Many were keen for her to deliver a new prince and hoped she would while others, jealous of the 'commoner queen', hoped that she would not. They seemed to think for some reason that Arthur would lose faith in her should she not have a son. He could not understand why; he was not his father, after all.
Arthur was more concerned about Gwen's health and well-being than he was about the child's gender. He watched anxiously as she past through the stages of illness, tiredness and mood swings while steadily growing bigger. It seemed one minute she was her normal, chipper self and then the next minute she was crying her eyes out because she had put her shoes on the wrong way around. She also acquired a shorter temper than usual. Towards the end of her pregnancy Arthur watched his behaviour and tried to curb his 'annoying' habits from risk of unleashing her wrath and killing him before he saw the child he was enduring it for.
It was during the spring months that the child put it their appearance. It was during the feast of Beltane, three weeks earlier than people expected. When Guinevere subtly tried to indicate that the pains had begun to Arthur and Merlin, the entire court went into uproar.
In the hours after the queen's ladies had taken her away everyone stood around in the great hall, excitedly waiting for news.
Arthur had escaped to his private study with Merlin's help. He spent the hours pacing room, fearing the worst as well as the best. Every half an hour he sent grooms to ask after the queen, each time they returned saying that everything was fine. It was not until the early hours of the next morning that a messenger finally came with the news the king had longed for.
Merlin congratulated Arthur with a grin before he rushed off to see Gwen.
In the great hall there was celebration for birth of the new royal although there was a tinge of disappointment in the air. Arthur was perfectly content, thrilled. The thing he hated was that Gwen thought she had failed him. He was disappointed with at lot of things in his life, but not with the birth his own daughter.
Arthur sat on the bed beside Gwen, holding the small little synthesis of the pair of them in his arms.
It hadn't really dawned on his before then that the bump his wife had carried around inside her the last eight months was an actual person. He knew that Gwen had felt the same. Even when the baby started moving she had been more taken with the strange sensation she felt rather than the fact that within four months she would meet the child. It had frightened them a little, the thought that they would see this person every day for the next twenty-one years. But now she was here they were just grateful that this was just the first day of those twenty-one years.
"The only thing I hope is that she has the best of you and the best of me," Arthur told Gwen. "So, that's about three quarters of you and one quarter of me."
"Don't be silly!" Gwen chuckled. She leant over the warm and tiny newborn that was cradled in his arms, completely taken by the love she already had for her. "To be honest I see more of you in her than me."
"Yes, unfortunately, that is definitely my nose."
"You have a lovely nose," Gwen laughed quietly, tapping it.
"She has your temperament," he pointed out, surprised at how content and silent the little girl was. "I always thought babies cried continuously but she's not crying or making a fuss at all."
"But she's a fighter like you," she stated. "She seemed to enjoy all the kicking and screaming earlier."
The child opened her eyes without a sound. The parents both looked down at the child who looked at them quizzically. Gwen reached over and tapped her nose as she had a moment ago to Arthur.
"That's my girl," he remarked. Then he leant over to Gwen and kissed her.
And for the next three and a half years it was just the three of them, four if they counted Merlin.
Arthur walked along the cloisters when he stopped dead in his tracks.
He had simply glanced over to look across the courtyard absentmindedly when he noticed his daughter. She was sitting on the other side laughing amusedly as a young man Arthur did not recognise spoke to her. His eyes were immediately drawn to the youth with her—he was the same age as the princess with dark red hair and a pleasant smile. He seemed like a joker—whoever he was—as he made gestures with his hands while his animated face recited a story to the princess.
She clapped her hands joyously.
There was a lot about his daughter that reminded him of Gwen when she was young. They had the same hair, same eyes, and they laughed the same way. The way she was now reminded Arthur of how Gwen used to laugh at him during the early and tentative stages of their relationship when all they could do was flirt innocently and long for each other from afar.
Arthur had a sudden thought; was history repeating itself?
It might well be that this boy was something of a dueller for the princess's love. She seemed to like him, whoever he was. Arthur wished he could recognise him. There were many men who goaded each other for the princess's attention. She was beautiful and well-liked but most importantly she was the daughter of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, the High-Rulers of Albion; a grand prize. And the princess usually rebuffed most male advances; she knew they loved her money more than her person.
That was why seeing her being so pleasant with this youth rang alarm bells for Arthur.
He thought about this as he turned away; what if this boy were nobody? The kingdom was no longer the tiny place that Arthur and Guinevere had to overcome to be together but the entire island of Albion. There were princes throughout the realm who sought for the king's only daughter, the prize she was, so to allow her to marry a 'nobody' would cause great upheaval...
Thankfully an independent eye appeared at that moment as Arthur's eldest son Llacheu appeared from one end of the cloisters on his way to see Merlin.
"Father," he said as they approached each other.
Arthur swept his son over to him, one hand resting across his shoulders and the other pointing in the direction of the boy's sister, "Llacheu, do you know who that boy?"
The ten-year-old looked quizzically at his father before looking in the direction his father was indicating. He smiled, "The one with Arlais? That's Mabon, Afallach's grandson. He only came here a few days ago to visit his grandfather."
Afallach was a poor but nonetheless nobleman so it could be a lot worse. If the day came that his daughter wished to marry this Mabon, Arthur might be able to pull it off without upsetting too many royal princes throughout his realm...
But the thing that was most pleasing to Arthur's ears was this Mabon was just visiting. A few days or weeks would pass and then he would go, and his daughter would probably forget him. But what if she didn't? What if she cried? What if she fell in love with him? What if she was in love with him? No, not my daughter, Arthur thought. She was too sensible like her mother and too proud like her father to fall just like that...
Llacheu looked up at his father with a sceptical face and tilted his head. "Father, are you alright?"
Arthur snapped out of his thought and looked down to meet the eyes of his heir-to-be. He found himself considering Llacheu now, his eldest son and, one day, the future king. While his daughter had been a spring child, his eldest son had been a winter child coming just a few days after Christmas.
He had been the son the court had longed for and the chance Arthur had waited for to prove that he could be a better father to his son than Uther had been to him. And he was proud of his work so far as Llacheu was a child to take pride in. Llacheu seemed more sensible than Arthur had been at his age, (he was first to admit he had been a spoiled brat), but that was really down to the modesty encouraged by his mother. Either way, he was a son to take delight in (and a child who caused him no worry.)
Arthur smiled. "Where is your mother?"
Llacheu pointed from the direction he had come from. "She's in her quarters with Gwydre and Amhar."
"Right," the father replied, now turning his full attention to Llacheu now. He looked in the direction Llacheu was heading, the way he had come from. "Off to see Merlin, are you?"
"He said to see him before two because he has his rounds," Llacheu explained, not really knowing what he was talking about. He was an intelligent child but still as ignorant as most people to the workings of Merlin and his magic. "I best be getting on my way."
Arthur watched as his son turned and made his way down the hallway.
He smiled; in many ways he was grateful that Llacheu was ten, just half a year away from his eleventh birthday, and still had a few more years before he started to mature. The thing that startled Arthur about girls was how quickly they seemed to change from those delightful little girls that adored their fathers to rebellious creatures who started shouting after one tiny mention as to whether the shoes she is wearing are appropriate for a girl her age.
It was so easy for a father to forget what her age actually was.
There were times when Arthur looked at Arlais and wondered where the years were going. He had seen her nearly every day since her birth. Guinevere and the children had frequently travelled with him on campaigns during times of war. As a result the family had rarely been parted in the whole fourteen years of the girl's life, let alone the ten years of Llacheu's, seven years of Gwydre and four years of Amhar.
As Llacheu reached the end of cloisters he ran into Merlin who, it appeared, was just leaving. He noticed the young prince and smiled, "I told you to be here by one."
Llacheu scowled, "You said two."
"I remember our conversation this morning clear as day—I said one," Merlin replied, smiling nonetheless at the child's expression. "I've been waiting for you the last half hour."
"You said two!" the prince protested. "I'm certain you did. Besides I've been in training—I couldn't have been here any faster."
That was a fib. He had spent the last half hour with his brothers, trying to give his younger siblings the benefit of his wisdom or as his mother called it 'showing off.'
"Don't try and pull that one on me," the sorcerer told the boy, his eyes shining slightly as he recalled the days of his own youth when he would frequently try and wiggle out of trouble with Arthur by similar methods. "I invented the whole 'make an excuse to vex the master' thing."
Llacheu rolled his eyes and folded his arms. He knew Merlin was to be respected, and his mother would reprimand him if he pouted and sulked.
Merlin was very different from the boy who used to pull tricks to achieve his goals. He was a royal advisor to King Arthur, a close friend of the family, godfather to the four Pendragon children—as well as being father to his own (clever) daughter who was friends with the princess—and, above all, he was respected for his gifts and talent. But it wasn't being able to talk to Arthur had have him listen that pleased him most; it was finally having the upper hand over the Princes of Camelot even if they were just children.
Merlin sighed, "Come on, you're here now and that's what matters. You might as well come with me on my rounds; we can go over your lessons as we walk, wart."
Arthur exchanged a nod with Merlin, despite having only seen him minutes ago, and carried on towards the queen's wing of the castle to talk to Guinevere.
He turned again to look at his daughter and was relieved to see young Vivienne there too, shyly looking up at this Mabon.
As Llacheu had promised Arthur found Gwen in her study with their two younger sons Gwydre and Amhar. The boys were in the larger room through the curtains where they were pretend-sword fighting with wooden swords. Gwydre had the advantage over Amhar but he was careful with him not least because their mother was so close. He kept trying to put him right in how he was supposed to hold the sword but Amhar wasn't paying attention; he was too tired as it was nearing his afternoon nap. It was hard for Gwydre not to take it personally, though, as he had listened to Llacheu when he was there.
Gwen looked up and smiled the moment the door opened. "There you are! Good council meeting?"
Arthur scoffed but smiled. "If you believe in oxymorons..."
She smirked but was unable to say more as Amhar, at the sound of his father's voice, dropped his wooden sword and rushed up to his father who in turn gathered the boy up in his arms.
Amhar was the baby of the family at an adventurous and curious age. Arthur used to find it so hard to interact with Arlais or Llacheu when they were this age but years of experience and practise enabled him to freely play with Amhar without fear or saying or doing anything to confuse him. It was one of the glorious things about him being the youngest of four; his parents had gained experience by the time of his birth.
"Why does Gwydre uses the wrong hand?" Amhar suddenly asked.
Arthur blinked and looked to Gwen for an answer. She smiled, her look saying 'Don't ask—you'll find out soon'. He looked to Gwydre and finally back to Amhar, "What do you mean 'uses the wrong hand'?"
"Llacheu and everyone else use that one," he points to his father's right hand, "but Gwydre uses the other hand, why?"
Gwydre put down his own wooden sword and folded his arms, slightly annoyed. Llacheu had just spent the last half hour trying to explain to the youngest the difference between the left and the right.
"We've told you before," Arthur began, trying to think of a way to phrase it with more success than Llacheu had. "That's the hand he feels most comfortable with. In the army people who use that hand after very important because they are so rare..."
As he explained this he watched Gwen approach Gwydre out of the corner of his eye. She cupped the boy's face and offered him an affectionate smile to try and cheer him up before pulling him in for a hug. They then swapped, Gwen taking the tired Amhar in her arms. There were times when Arthur envied her ability to naturally apply different 'mothering' skills to each of their children. She made it seem so easy.
Arthur picked up Amhar's discarded sword to test Gwydre's defence. It was slow and clumsy because he was using his right hand now. "Why have you changed hands?" he queried.
"Because I'm tired of people telling me I'm using the wrong hand," the child said grimly back.
It worried Arthur sometimes how shy his middle son could to be. It seemed he had inherited his parents' uncertainty and coyness. Gwydre was a happy child who clearly looked up to his big brother but frequently seemed overwhelmed by Llacheu. Arthur could understand; Llacheu took it upon himself as the eldest boy to 'lead' his younger brothers. The only person who 'out ranked' him was Arlais, who as the eldest overall, took her role as big sister to keep the boys in order.
Arthur took the sword easily from Gwydre's hand before handing it back to him. "There is nothing wrong with using your left hand. The hand you choose to fight with could be the difference between life and death one day—I'd rather you use the hand you prefer, not the one Llacheu and 'the others' use."
Gwydre made a faint smile before the nurses came to take Amhar for his nap and Gwydre to his afternoon lessons. He was not very keen to go to them, as per usual, but he knew it was important that he worked hard at them. "Your brothers and I can practise together later," Arthur promised him with a wink, and Gwydre's smile widened.
After the nurses were gone Arthur turned to Gwen. After a stressful morning of dealing with matters of state, discussing his plans of action with Merlin, talking to the Privy Council and worrying about his eldest Arthur hoped he would be able to 'unwind' with his queen.
But that thought had to be put on hold as the door then opened again.
In bounded the very girl whose actions less than half an hour ago had brought Arthur to his long train of thought, considering each of his children in detail he never had quite done before. He took them as they were and never thought of why they might do things and what motivated them. Their vulnerabilities convinced him that they still needed him.
"Arlais!" Guinevere snapped, causing her daughter to pause at the door. "You know that it is impolite to enter a room without knocking first."
"That's just something we tell servants to keep them out of our private lives," Arlais joked, not really meaning the words. She never forgot that she was 'half-handmaiden'. But the look on her mother's face indicated it was not funny. The girl turned behind her and knocked on the door comically before turning around and shutting it. "Excuse me, mother. I'll remember next time—word of honour."
Guinevere rolled her eyes and looked to Arthur; he knew she blamed him for their daughter's 'sense of humour.'
Arlais practically ignored her father and turned straight to her mother. "Vivienne and I thought we'd take a walk in town this afternoon—I hope that's alright."
Guinevere nodded, "Of course it's fine."
"As long as the guard is with you," Arthur added with paternal authority.
The daughter rolled her eyes and finally turned to address her father. "I highly doubt I'm going to be attacked in broad daylight, father."
"Nonetheless," he said soft but firmly. "I'd feel much better if you had the guard with you... if it is just you and Vivienne."
Arlais bit her bottom lip and looked away, sheepishly. Her actions finally drew the attention of Guinevere who had thought nothing of it until this moment. She folded her arms and tilted her head, "Is there someone else going with you?"
The girl glanced between her mother and father as they both leant closer like two guards questioning. They were partially humouring her, and Arthur was glad to have his wife's support in this. They waited for her to reveal all. But Arlais was not so easily cracked. "No, of course not!" she chuckled, continuing to look between them. "Honestly."
"In that case," Arthur said, not satisfied with the answer and determined now to tease his daughter to gain the truth from her, "you and Vivienne can walk in the garden. You don't need the guard to walk there..."
"Father!" the girl sulked.
"Don't 'father' me in that tone," he responded with an amused chuckle. "Even if it is broad daylight I like to know who you are keeping your company with. So," he paused and tilted his head, "you can either tell me, or you can stay in this afternoon."
Arlais made an unflattering pout. She so hated not getting her way and turned to her mother. Guinevere shook her head. "If there is someone else going with you we have to know who it is," her mother told her.
"Mother..." The girl knew she was defeated. She huffed out an annoyed groan and grabbed a strand of her enviably beautiful hair, realising she would have explain. "The thing is this..." she began, and Arthur waited and wondered whether his thoughts were true. She sighed, "That boy who recently came to visit his grandfather, Mabon? Well," she paused and smiled, "he so obviously has affections for Vivienne but they're both too shy to say anything."
Gwen shook her head, "So... you have decided to play matchmaker?"
Arlais tilted her head, "No—I said I'd show Mabon around the town anyway, and given that Vivienne is one of my best friends, I thought I'd put them both out of their misery and take them on a walk together."
Arthur looked at Guinevere, and then back at Arlais. "Vivienne?" was all Arthur said.
The daughter nodded. "They met each other a few months back when Vivienne and her father went on that 'mission' thing you sent him on, to deal with those rogue warlocks. It was near where Mabon's father lives and they really hit it off."
As he thought back to the scene he had witnessed before coming here it suddenly made sense, at least in explaining why Vivienne had been so shy. "Well," he said, to complete his sentence, "I still think you should take the guards."
"But Mabon wouldn't..."
"Your father is right," Guinevere added, stroking another loose strand of the girl's hair back behind her ear. "Regardless of how good Mabon is we owe it to Vivienne's father to ensure she, as well as you, and safe when you walking around the city."
"Exactly," Arthur added, "Besides you're likely to bump into him anyway—he's doing his rounds in town."
Arlais sighed and nodded. "Fine, we'll go with the guards."
Arthur nodded as his eldest turned to leave the room and find her two friends. She then stopped and turned back, "Is Gwydre alright? He seemed a little upset when I passed him earlier."
"He's just having a bad day," Gwen replied with a smile. "He'll be fine."
"I promised him we'd pretend battle when Llacheu comes home from his walk with Merlin," Arthur informed her. He raised his eyebrows, "I suppose you think you're too old to play with us. Together Llacheu, Amhar, Gwydre and I intend to make war on your mother."
Arlais span around, tossing her beautiful curls over her shoulder. The fourteen-year-old teenager sunk away to reveal the child that still lay innocently in her. "Then you better watch out because I shall help defend her," she responded, looking to her mother with a smile. "And we shall defeat you all since we are better sword fighters than any of you!"
There once was a time in his youth when Arthur would have recoiled following a statement like that. But now he chuckled at his daughter's determinism, a quality he liked the think came from both of them not just him or Gwen alone, and nodded: "That is probably true—there is nothing more dangerous than your mother when she's holding a sword," he then turned to address Guinevere, "Especially if she is in a bad mood."
Guinevere just smiled as she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him, ignoring the disgusted moan and sound of Arlais escaping the room to find Vivienne.
Lying in bed Gwen finally found a chance to speak to Arthur. Her arm snaked across his chest and she rested her head in the crook of his neck. "There's something bothering you, isn't there?" she said, almost feeling the murmur of worry seeping off him. When he muttered an unconvincing 'I'm fine' she shook her head. "You're not fine, I can tell. I can always tell. You've been acting strange all day."
He sighed, "I've just been thinking."
"About Arlais," she asked. She could see right through him.
"Mostly, yes" he confessed, "but also about the boys, too. I've been thinking about how sensible Llacheu is, how quiet Gwydre is and how... well, Amhar is so small compared to his sister who is... growing up."
Gwen took his hand and linked her fingers with his, snuggling her head closer under his chin so that her hair tickled him. In all these moments when either one of them were plagued with worry they were just grateful the other one was still there. Feeling her hand in his made Arthur think of how much he loved her, his Guinevere.
"It's just," he finished after that moment's contemplation. "I find it overwhelming. It seems like only yesterday we were here, holding her in our arms and thinking about how we had the next twenty-one years with this person."
Gwen chuckled, "She's only just fourteen. It's not like your fatherhood is coming to an end."
"I know," Arthur agreed with another sigh. "I keep thinking of when she was twelve, how lovely and sweet she was then last year she turned thirteen and gained an attitude overnight."
"She's her father's daughter," Gwen murmured.
"Seeing her today with that Mabon," Arthur went on, purposely ignoring her comment. "I'm not going to lie that I was relieved when she told us it was Vivienne he was interested in."
The queen looked up and raised her eyebrows. "I noticed that; your face completely changed when she told you about her 'matchmaking' plans."
"He's not the wealthiest lad in the world and every prince on this damned island want to marry our daughter one day," he replied, trying to justify his paternal instinct that dictated no boy was good enough for his daughter anyway. "I'd hate for her to go through what I did."
Gwen couldn't help but laugh again and rested her head against his chest again. "They're thirteen and fourteen-year-olds, Arthur. They're just kids discovering love for the first time. It hasn't happened for Arlais but when it does you have to trust her instinct."
Arthur looped his arm across Gwen's back. "I suppose I find it hard to understand how they could start so young. When I was fourteen I was more interested in jousting and sword fighting than women..." Gwen couldn't help a 'Ha!' He shook his head, "Alright, yes! I had begun to appreciate the length of their legs and the size of their—that's why I was curious about this Mabon and was relieved when I heard there was nothing in it. I was his age once and I know what I thought about girls then."
He could feel a smile appear across Gwen's face against his skin. "So, you're saying that it's okay for Mabon to measure the length of Vivienne's legs but not Arlais's?"
"That is Merlin's problem, not mine."
"So much for 'owning it' to him to look out for her..."
Arthur laughed, stroking his hand through her hair. "My point is this—when I was their age I didn't think, or even really feel, love in that way..."
Gwen pulled herself up to look at him, her face reassuring. "Mabon has a crush on Vivienne, they're not in love! Even if they are—how sweet! Their first love... don't you remember your first love?"
Arthur tilted his head, "What a silly question! You know that you're the only woman I've ever loved."
"I think you're lamenting over lost youth," Gwen accused him with a knowing smile. She had felt the last week since Arlais turned fourteen Arthur's own mind had turned to his own birthday. He would be forty. "If it's any consolation I still fancy you."
He burst out laughing, "So you're not still sleeping with me out of pity?"
She smiled, running her palm across his jaw line. It was hard not to be moved even after all these years. Gwen leant forward and kissed him warmly on the lips, an act that Arthur pleasantly responded to.
"Good answer," he said, breaking the kiss.
"You're as good looking as you were twenty years ago."
"And so are you," he grinned, running his fingers through her hair again, "More so, in fact."
Gwen laughed, "That's because you're entering the change of life."
They both burst out laughing. Arthur shook his head: "Ridiculous! In the near-twenty years since I married you and became king I have overcome outlaws, rogue lords and kings. I united and brought peace to the whole of Albion, under the command of one king—"
"And queen," Guinevere added.
"Yes, and queen (I greatly appreciate the work you do for me)," he agreed, knowing that he owed as much to her as he did to himself. "I restored magic to Camelot by approving of the good and vanquishing the evil..."
"Almost," Gwen said solemnly.
"Almost," Arthur agreed, knowing she was thinking of Morgana and her 'band'. "Thankfully Merlin keeps her in check for me but otherwise—only good magic, and no evil. Besides that I have also fought battles and kept that damned death-trap Mercia in check..."
"You deserve a free pass to Avalon for that alone," Gwen joked.
He rolled onto his side to face Gwen better and pulled her closer. His voice became more sincere, less general: "But for all my achievements my greatest triumph was convincing you to marry me in the first place let alone have my children."
Gwen felt a warm flutter in her heart. "And we have beautiful children."
"We are very beautiful people," Arthur said with a smile as if to remind her of that fact. They were forehead to forehead, nose to nose. "I have nothing to feel a critical about—it's been a well spent life so far with no regrets."
Gwen linked her fingers with his as she did before. "Then don't worry about Arlais. We have to trust her and let her find herself. I know it's hard—she was our first and will always be our baby. But she'll always need us, especially you; you're her father."
Arthur sighed, "I just hope neither she—nor the boys—ever grow to resent me."
"That will never happen," she promised him, knowing that his fears were ridiculous. None of their children were the sort of resent and Arthur was not a man to be resented. He was nothing like Uther. She then smiled, "Just stop glaring at Arlais's 'boyfriends' if or when she has them."
He rolled his eyes. "I'm just sending the message home to them—if they touch and or hurt her, they're dead."
Gwen burst out laughing and cupped his cheek. "You could put it a little better but... that's what makes you a good father."
And Arthur smiled again. Only when Guinevere said it could he believe it.
Arlais finally found Vivienne sitting among the cloisters alone. She cheerfully skipped up to her and sat beside her, her pretty face bright and her dark eyes shining. It was enough to make Vivienne fear the worse. Her pale face was already flushing with a blush.
"Hello," Arlais began.
"Oh no," the friend groaned, tilting her head anxiously. "I know that face, I'm not going to like this... what do you want?"
"I don't want anything," the princess assured her with that smile. She then suddenly looked away in an almost gawky manner but glanced at her friend slyly. "At least... nothing for myself. It's rather more something for you."
"How'd you mean?"
Arlais's smile widened. "We've got a date."
Vivienne's eyes widened. "Not with..."
The princess nodded, "I'd have told you when he was here before he left but it... slipped my mind."
The girl's blush deepened, "Alis—I can't!"
"Yes you can," Arlais said, jumping off the wall they were sitting on and taking one of her friend's hands to tug her off the wall as well and to lead her towards where the guards were waiting for them. "I told Mabon we'd meet him in town, and don't worry; I'll be there to chaperone you..."