Chapter Four

A/N: Thank you to my reviewers, EleKat and Frog1 (cool name by the way!). Also, this is not beta-read, so forgive any mistakes.

Time stopped for the King. He turned to his unconcious wife and his mouth opened wide in shock. He hadn't noticed before, but now it all made sense. His wife had been weak and tired for months, her eyes had lost some of their sparkle in sadness, and she had paled considerably. She never complained, poor soul, and if he did ask, she just simply replied that her duties were draining her. He had never even expected this. It also explained why she was so light to carry after she had saved him, lighter than Elizabeth, barely heavier than little Margaret. How could he have not known?! Tears began to fall uncontrollably from his eyes, streaking down his wife's face as they fell. The doctor bowed out of the room to give the king some privacy.

"My God, Liza, I am so sorry." breathed Bertie, stroking her brunette waves as they fanned around her on the pillow. He did that every morning when he awoke, stroked his wife's hair until she awoke, wrapping her arms around his neck. But she did not. Her eyes remained closed, her hands unmoving. Suddenly, a noise from the door made him start. He turned, prepared to tell the fretting housekeeper that he would stay with Her Majesty for the night, but instead of grey hair and fading green eyes, his gaze was met with brown curls and chestnut eyes.

"Lillibet?" he asked, his eyes straining a little to see his daughter through the darkness. "Darling, why are you awake at this hour?"

"I was worried, Papa, I'm terribly sorry to disturb you." she whispered, turning to return to her bed.

"No, Lillibet, don't be silly. Come here, darling." he beckoned, rising from his seat to embrace his daughter.

"Now, why are you so worried, darling?" he asked, his tone of voice very soft and considerate, his stammer lost in the moment.

"I worry about Margaret a little. She's quite the soldier, but I can see that she is hiding how sad she really is. She doesn't play with her horse any more, or run about the palace, or even ask for a story at night. She just sits with her doll, holding her with barely any interest whatsoever, and when Mrs. Crawford told her that she must go to bed, she went straight away, without a complaint. She won't answer me when I ask, but I know she is worried about Mama. She's so young, she doesn't quite understand what is wrong with her. In truth, neither do I." Lillibet's speech came to an end quietly, while her father looked on sadly.

"Do you want to see Mama?" he asked, stroking his young daughter's cheek.

"Yes please, Papa." whispered the young girl, taking her father's hand and walking in step with him to her mother's bedside. Bertie resumed his position on his chair and pulled Lillibet onto his lap. Her tearful face immediately broke into a sad smile.

"Hello, Mama." said the young princess, reaching for the Queen's hand. "It's me, Lillibet. I'm sorry to be up so late, but I just wanted to see that you were alright, and for you to see that we are as well, although we miss you terribly. Don't worry, I am doing my best to keep Margaret on the straight and narrow, but she desperately wants to see you well again, as do Papa and I. Please get better soon, Mama. I love you very much and Margaret will send her love as well. Goodnight, Mama." she finished, bending down to kiss her mother's cheek before rising from her position on her father's lap, kissing him on the cheek as she went.

"Goodnight, Papa." she whispered, walking tiredly through the door to return to her bed.

"Goodnight, Lillibet." he replied, walking after her, intending to put Lillibet to bed himself, stopping in the midst of the room when he heard a small rustling sound coming from the direction of the large curtains. He sighed and turned in the direction of the sound.

"Margaret?" he called quietly, smiling a little when the small girl appeared.

"I'm sorry, Papa." she apologised quickly, thinking that she was in trouble.

"Come along, Margaret, darling. It's time to be in bed." he said simply, reaching out the hand that wasn't clutching Lillibet's towards his younger daughter. She took it gladly, rubbing her eye with her other hand, before turning back towards the bed.

"Get well soon, Mama."

A/N: Review please. I wrote the majority of this earlier today and it isn't beta-read this time, so please give me feedback.