AN: I think it's been literal years since I last posted anything. I can't say that I've been working on much other than university essays, but I have been writing a few things. This is going to be a series of interconnected pieces in no particular order from the realm of Fable 3. Please review (not that anyone actually listens to authors when they ask, but it's a formality at this point, I would say) and please don't ask me about my other fics in any reviews I may get. PM me if you really want, but you won't be getting any more information about them than you already know.

Disclaimer: Fable 3 is the property of Lionhead Studios; I'm just borrowing it for entertainment purposes.


Meeting Industry

The Queen had always been mildly amused by her daughter even as she groomed her son intently for the throne. The Queen was not precisely a kind ruler; she had been a member of the Temple of Shadows for a long time and had only thwarted them because she was highly possessive of a certain Temple of Light monk who would have been devastated to see the Temple fall to ruin. She was a fiercely devoted monarch, however, and viewed her kingdom as something to be guarded jealously from all others – akin to a jewel, was the kingdom to its Queen, and one that she wanted displayed to its best advantage.

So the people loved their Queen despite the twin black horns that poked up through her pale blonde hair and the blood-red crimson of her eyes. Under her rule, Albion prospered and if the Queen would occasionally leave her castle and return splattered in blood, then the people would overlook it.

The man she eventually took as her husband and King-consort was a rather plain man from a middle-class family named Andrew. He was well-liked by the castle staff and even the nobles could find very little to complain about. The Queen did not share her bed with him, of course, but the servants reported that she visited his quarters often enough and only rarely made use of any of the other consorts she filtered through the castle as was her right as the ruling monarch.

After the birth of her son, the Queen ceased bringing in lesser consorts and instead focussed on her dearest Logan. The young boy rarely spent time away from her side and she always kept a watchful eye over any interaction the boy had with the King. Andrew, for his part, took the suspicion of his wife amicably. He never pressed her to spend time with his son and he never said a single jealous word when she resumed her habit of bringing in her consorts.

Logan was halfway through his tenth year when industry came to the forefront of Bowerstone. His mother, the Hero Queen, had blinked curiously when Walter mentioned that someone had bought up the massive manor she'd sold off at Bower Lake and had apparently painted it an awful bright pink. Logan, at his mother's feet on the dais, had looked up to see the mostly faded will-lines begin to glow an electric blue and curl about her face and along the strange black markings near her eyes and horns.

"My manor, you say?" she murmured in the tone that meant she knew more than she was letting on and Walter had best just do whatever it was she asked him to do next. "Bring me the man behind the industry that has ensnared my Albion."

Logan had seen his mother's lips curl into a smirk and he'd been genuinely frightened for the first time in his young life.

The man Walter brought before his Queen just a week later was like no-one he'd ever seen before. Impossibly taller than even his mother wearing white lined with black fur, black gloves, and a ridiculously tall black top-hat that made him positively tower over everyone. He carried a long cane which he twirled absently as Logan's mother tittered a high, trill sort of laughter with the eerie deep echo that underscored her voice and gave it a sort of cavernous quality.

Walter eyed his Queen askance but introduced her regardless. "Reaver of Reaver Industries presented to Queen Sparrow and King-Consort Andrew."

The man raised a single eyebrow at the name of the Queen's husband and she snorted inelegantly and started chuckling again. Logan blinked at his mother warily and almost jumped when she abruptly turned to her husband and said bluntly, but not unkindly, "Leave us. Take Walter with you."

Logan made a small noise and sat very still and frowned when the man, Reaver, titled his head to peer at him with a smirk so reminiscent of his mother's that he shivered slightly. Walter grudgingly left with the King just behind and so only the Queen, her son, and Reaver were left in the throne room.

"Really, my dear: Andrew?"

"I hardly picked him for his name alone, you great pompous pirate," Sparrow drawled, startling her son with the undercurrent of dark amusement in her voice. "I picked him because he was relatively attractive and healthier than a great many people I have met. He isn't unintelligent either; good breeding for my son." Here she inclined her head towards Logan and the young boy shrank a little under the combined stare of his mother and her apparent acquaintance.

"You've spawned a brat then? Oh I am sorry I missed the act of spawning it, at the very least. You simply must invite me next time, pretty little Sparrow."

Sparrow snorted and then she was on her feet and prodding the man in the chest and he was drawing a pistol from nowhere and it was at her temple and Logan gasped when the air around them cracked and sparked as long-dormant Will rose to the Queen's call. The two stood like that, Reaver with a gun to his mother's head, and his mother with a great ball of lightning hovering just near his heart. After a long, horrifying moment, the man sighed theatrically and stuffed the pistol into a holster at his hip and his mother was smoothing some of the long blonde hair that had escaped and become frazzled in her gathering of Will.

"Reaver, you've not changed at all," she told him with a huffy little sigh.

"I could hardly mess with perfection," he said haughtily. Dark eyes gleamed from beneath wisps of dark brown hair as the man stared at the Queen before him. "You, on the other hand, look very much older than I remember."

"I'm sixty now. That's rather old for the rest of the world, you know?" His mother didn't look a day over thirty, of course, but her hips were wider and her curves curvier after the birth of her child and she seemed pleased to keep things that way. "Logan, go practice with Walter." Logan started at his name and his mother glanced down when she didn't immediately hear him leave. "I said, go!" she snapped. It was an order and the Queen was always to be obeyed.

He leapt to his feet and ran off but not before he saw his mother cock her hip to one side and set one hand propped at her side while reaching out to finger the fur at Reaver's lapels. The man, for his part, had put his cane out to tap gently at the unoccupied side of the Queen's hips and was speaking in a low voice. Logan didn't want to see anymore and shut his eyes tightly, running off to find Walter.

Reaver left that evening and settled in his mother's former Manor as his company quickly became the leader of Bowerstone industry. Princess Rosalyn – called Rose – was born a little under a year later. She was welcomed with the grandest party Logan had ever seen and his mother had smirked when she'd introduced the infant to Reaver and laughingly told him that her precious Rose thanked him for the effluent affair he'd thrown in her honour.

Logan did not like the way Reaver watched his mother and sister for the rest of the night. He spent the evening dragging his father around and clinging to his mother's side asking to see his sister. His mother's amused quirk of her lips meant she knew precisely what he was doing but she simply went along with it and obligingly passed her daughter back and forth between herself, her husband and her son whenever Logan wanted.

When the Party was done and Reaver was announcing that it would continue at his home, if anyone wished, Logan watched in silent horror as his mother carried Rose (his baby sister!) over to bid their host farewell. The tall man smirked roguishly and tweaked the baby's nose, glancing once at Logan as he did so, before dipping into an extravagant bow before the Queen. Sparrow watched him go with a somehow fond smile before she gathered Logan to her side and put her children to bed.

End