Eat Their Young.

Doctor Clubs smiles at her. It's a grotesque look on him, and the Queen makes the mental note to forbid him from doing it again in her presence.

"Majesty, the prince," he says, with that smile, with a bow, allowing the nanny to approach. The silly girl is all smiles and coos at the bundle of red in her arms, and she kneels by her side, offering it to her.

The Queen doesn't take it, however. "Huh," she says. "I thought it would look... different. Bigger. It felt bigger inside."

"'He', my beloved," the King says. No surprise, really. He had been oddly excited after she had the idea of having a child, as if his Excitement tea had had one too many drops.

She waves a hand at him because such a correction doesn't matter, not when she's still looking at the tiny little thing that came out of her. It had felt bigger, more powerful. She had felt oddly and too naturally content when he thought of how it kicked inside her. It was supposed to, one day, when she was too old to make people fear her, make them fear its mother instead of her. It was good that it kicked, that it showed strength.

And yet, looking at the silly, ugly little thing now...

"It's ugly, isn't it?" The Queen asks. She turns to look at the king.

"Not at all, your Majesty," Doctor Clubs answers instead, stepping forward, hands clasped behind him, still with that hideous smile on his face. "The prince's royal linage shines through and through! He shall grow tall and strong."

But it fits too nicely inside the girl's thin arms, and it's breathing easily enough, wrapped in its red blankets. It's wrinkled, its skin too red. It's also completely defenseless, completely weak. It is, she has to admit, somewhat disappointing. She had expected a champion, and yet she faces something unpleasant.

"Has it had its formula, then?" She asks, remembering something like that, about how babies don't drink tea, but milk. Not even tea and milk, but only milk. Atrocious, really.

"Oh, yes, your majesty," the nanny says with a silly looking smile on her face. Really, the Queen fears she might have to simply order everyone around her not to smile, if all the smiles turn out to be so wrong. "I diluted one drop of 'Peace' for all the prince's bottles through the day, and since he had one the prince has been but an angel."

"Good, good. If the prince cries at all, off with her head," the Queen adds the last part as a second thought, still distracted as she looks at the baby, but she does approve of the silence that follows her command. She's still waiting, though. Wasn't she supposed to feel something here? Something naturally, even?

"I don't think I shall expect much of it," the Queen decides with a thoughtful hum. She looks once more to the baby, and she shakes her head. Such a shame. Nine months working on this, all for nothing. Shame, shame, shame. "If it's already a disappointment now, I can just imagine how it will be, once it grows. Frankly, I think it would be much better if it was off with its-- "

"My love," her husband interrupts her, and even though the Queen glares at him for daring to do so, he brings over a tea cup that smells of red roses and strawberries and the first day of spring. "Your tea, remember? You have to drink this. It's important for mother and child to share a bond."

Oh, that's it. "Yes, of course," she says, accepting the Love tea, taking a sip as she looks at the baby again, waiting for the warmth of the tea and the rush of love to spread through her. "Behead whoever it was that didn't have it on time."

"... of course, my Queen," her husband says again.

So the Queen just takes her tea, eyes on the child that came from her womb, and she waits for the tea to make her love it at last.