The Bargain

Epilogue - Seven Months Later

Seven months later...

"Gwaine! It's happening!" Eira called as she barged into Gwaine's chambers. He was on the bed, relaxing and holding an apple he was just about to bite into.

"What are you on about?" he replied, confused as to why she was so worked up.

"Gwen's baby is coming!" she said irritatedly. "I want to support her, but I am so nervous I just make everything worse."

"And why are you so nervous?" Gwaine asked, getting up to put his arms around her.

"I...well...there's something I haven't told you. I've missed..you know...what comes each month," she said insecurely, meeting his confused gaze.

"You mean the thing that has you in a fit and crying whenever something falls on the floor?" he asked with a small grin.

"Yes, that," she admitted.

"And it can't be because of the age spell thing; you've been cursing excessively once a month for the past seven months as well. You really think so?" he asked, smiling.

"I even went to check with the midwife. I'm pregnant Gwaine," she explained, waiting for his reaction. He gathered her in his arms and lifted her up, smiling widely as he embraced her. She felt relieved that he hadn't had a bad reaction even though there was nothing he had done to make her expect one. She felt ready to take another step with him.

"In about six months it'll happen!" she said excitedly, and he kissed her as he placed his hands on her stomach. Suddenly the door swung open and someone screamed, "Gwen's had a girl!" hysterically down the hallway.

Juliana ran into the room, and spotted Gwaine, a loving gaze in his eyes with his hands on Eira's stomach. Eira and Gwaine broke apart as Juliana's mouth dropped open. She started jumping up and down, squealing with excitement.

"Oh my God, you're not!" she almost screamed, rushing over and feeling Eira's stomach.

"For how long? What did the midwife say? Do you feel sick? Are you scared?" she tossed questions at Eira, and Eira answered them as well as she could. Gwaine scrunched up his face at the two women.

"Oh my God. I can't believe it!" Juliana said, still jumping up and down.

"What?" Gwaine said irritatedly.

"Jetta's expecting too! She could tell early though, she's only a bit more than a month along! But Percival doesn't know yet, she's going to tell him after he finishes celebrating their engagement with his knight friends in the city today!" Juliana explained and Eira gasped. Juliana took Eira's hands, smiling at her and Gwaine.

"When are you going to? You'll be last!" Eira teased, laughing. Gwaine sighed at them.

"Leon and I have only been married for two months, it's sure not time yet," Juliana said with love in her voice, thinking about her husband. The first kiss they shared in the tavern the night of Eira's and Gwaine's engagement had sealed the beginning of a new relationship. Juliana had many times explained to Eira how she had fallen for Leon when they were working together in Dalry when Aymon was ruling Camelot. Leon had told Juliana that he had seen her around the castle before, but that he had been too shy to talk to her.

That made Eira think about how she still wasn't married to Gwaine. Since Arthur had been so eager to see one of his best knights get married when he had heard about their betrothal, Eira and Gwaine had made the slightly difficult decision to surprise him by waiting to get married until he returned after the twelve years. Eira didn't mind, she was happy just being engaged to Gwaine. She knew that he loved her without them having to be married. Her friends had thought it strange when Eira told them, but Eira and Gwaine felt like they wanted to do something out of the ordinary. Percival had proposed to Jetta only recently, since he had wanted to be proper and ask her father, who was travelling, for permission first. That had made Eira think about if her father was still alive, and if she would ever see him again.

Juliana left shortly after, and Gwaine suddenly kissed Eira, putting his arms around her. He pushed her up against the wall gently as they kissed, and they completely forgot that the door was open. Gwaine trailed his fingers down her body and kissed her neck. They instantly broke apart when someone cleared their throat and banged impatiently on the open door.

"Um, hello? Sorry to disturb you two, but Gwaine, we're meeting Percival at the tavern in five minutes, we need to go now!" Sir Helyas said, standing in the doorway and tapping his foot. Sir Blake was next to him, grinning as always.

"How long have you been standing there?" Eira asked them, slightly embarrassed.

"Don't worry, if you had taken anything off we would have left immediately. We just don't want Percival to hate us if we show up to his celebration late. And sorry Eira, only men!" Sir Blake added, chuckling loudly. Eira nodded, remembering Juliana mentioning the celebration. Gwaine grabbed his things and kissed her goodbye before following Sir Helyas and Sir Blake out the door, the three knights giving a loud whoop when they ran down the hallway, pushing and shoving like small boys. Eira laughed to herself. She too was excited about Jetta's celebration, which would be held later in the evening.

Two days later, a guard knocked on the door of Eira and Gwaine's chambers and came in.

"Sir Gwaine, someone by the name of Ina has requested to see you," he said and Gwaine turned to Eira, excited and surprised. He thanked the guard and swiftly picked Eira up, carrying her in his arms as he ran down stairs and out to the steps of the castle. He let Eira down a meter before the steps, and she elegantly took his arm as they slowly strode out of the castle as if nothing has happened, laughing. Ina, Isaac and Gwaine's mother stood by the stables, a small bundle wrapped in Ina's arms. They spotted Gwaine and Eira and the couple raced down the steps to greet them. Eira embraced Ina first, hugging Gwaine's sister for a long time. She had truly missed her. A baby boy was in Ina's arms and Ina passed him to Eira as brother and sister hugged. "Toad," Gwaine mumbled and Ina swatted his arm teasingly. "Weasel," his sister shot back and Gwaine laughed. "This is Neill," Ina introduced her baby as Eira passed him to Gwaine. His eyes widened and he held the small boy in his arms, smiling. Eira approached Isaac and then Gwaine's mother, and she hugged her warmly. "We have something to tell you too," Gwaine explained as he put his hands on Eira's stomach, revealing the small but noticeable bump. Ina gasped and hugged Eira, even embracing her big brother again, though he pretended to shrug away from Ina. Isaac pounded Gwaine's back as they clasped arms, wishing him good luck when the time for the birth came. "I heard Ina yell things I'd never heard anyone say out loud in my life," he said, grinning. Gwaine's mother took Eira's hands, holding them as Eira told her about the baby she was expecting.

"We're actually not married yet, even though we're engaged," Gwaine confessed, but his mother didn't seem too shocked. He then explained why, and his mother said that she thought it was a good idea; she had heard about Arthur.

"Yes, we're quite busy just as we are. I'm not sure if you know, but I have magic, healing magic. I've started a group in the kingdom for everyone who is willing to use their gifts, and we all meet together to discuss certain things. The Queen has appointed me some title that was too long for anyone to remember, so I guess I'm a kind of magic supervisor. I really love it," Eira explained. Gwaine was still in love with being a knight, and she doubted that would ever change.

Ina, Neill, Isaac and Gwaine's mother were to stay in the guest chambers of Camelot for about a week, and Eira and Gwaine really enjoyed showing Gwaine's family around the castle and kingdom, pleased that they could all reunite once more.

One day when Gwaine was showing his family the market at noon, Eira had been called to Guinevere's chambers. When she walked through the corridor, Areisius came into sight, laughing and smiling. A very pretty girl his age with light brown, flowing hair walked next to him, her hand tightly in his. Eira smiled at them, happy that Areisius was settling in so well. They stopped in front of her, and the girl looked a bit shy. "Eira, this is Lucille," he said, and Eira heard the hint of belonging and pride in his voice. Eira put her hand on Lucille's shoulder lightly, greeting her.

"Areisius, I wanted to tell you as soon as I found you, I'm with child since three months," Eira said, smiling, a bit shy herself.

"Congratulations, I expect Gwaine's sulking in a corner," Areisius replied sarcastically, hugging Eira warmly. Eira laughed, "He's as proud as ever," she told him and then hugged Lucille too.

She then hurried to Guinevere's chambers, wanting to know what was going on.

She knocked and entered, surprised that the queen was alone. Gwen's daughter Emelie, now six days old, was being cared for by some maids so that the Queen could have some time to herself.

"What's the matter?" Eira asked, slightly concerned that something was wrong.

"I've been thinking about something, and I feel like you are the only one I can tell. This must stay between us, Eira," Gwen started, and Eira nodded, giving the Queen her word.

"As you know, Arthur and I were blessed with a daughter. I know it's terribly selfish and ungrateful, but I can't stop thinking about the fact that the whole kingdom was expecting a son. A noble heir to be given what Arthur was; to follow in Arthur's footsteps. I cannot talk to Arthur obviously, and I thought that I had gotten through these seven months without him well, but now I'm not so sure. I am sure he is expecting a son, and he will think I have failed. And if we do go on to have a son later, the girl will be abandoned. She will end up like...like Morgana. The same thing will just repeat itself. I do not want my daughter to grow up to be hated by Camelot," Guinevere confessed her troubles, telling Eira each one of her thoughts.

"I can understand what you have to face; the time alone forced upon you is almost unbearable. The knights will not be able to spend time with the child in the same way they could if it was a son. Her childhood will be completely different. I confess, I am expecting myself, but I can't imagine what it feels like to raise Arthur's child, especially with a kingdom watching.

But Guinevere, you cannot allow yourself to fall into these feelings. I am certain that the kingdom will love and treasure the child, the only child that is a trace of their King. Whether it is a girl or boy should surely not matter! I am sure that another queen somewhere has faced the same thing, we just have to busy ourselves more with Emelie to make sure that she is given the best opportunities possible. Forgive me, but I don't actually know Morgana's whole story," Eira replied simply, trying to understand what the troubled queen was going through.

"Uther, Arthur's father, kept Morgana's real identity hidden from her. She was in fact his daughter, Arthur's half-sister. She grew terribly cold and upset when she found out, and his hate for magic only made it worse when she discovered that she possessed it. Uther had strict, brutal laws against the use of magic. He was afraid of it. He had used it to kill Arthur's mother in return for...a son," Gwen stopped abruptly, looking horrified.

"What if Arthur does the same thing to me? Like his own father, he could take my life to exchange it for a son!" Guinevere cried.

"Guinevere, look at me. So Arthur grew up without a mother?" Eira asked.

"Yes," Gwen said, tears starting to roll down her cheeks.

"Then I know that the King would never bring himself to do such a thing! He would not want anyone to grow up with the same fate he suffered; a life without a mother," Eira said, hoping that the Queen could understand. Guinevere seemed to see the sense in Eira's words, for her tears stopped and she nodded.

"Now all you must do is make sure that Emelie has a safe future, surrounded by people who love and cherish her. Let her do what she wants to do, give her freedom and inspiration," Eira said.

She felt like the words she gave Guinevere were ones she wished her mother had heard.

A/N: Last scene, I just wanted to add that 'In My Veins' by Andrew Belle was what I was listening to when I wrote this, you should too ;)

A few days after Gwaine's family had left, Gwaine felt something itching inside of him. He and Eira were alone in their chambers, so he approached her.

"Eira, there's this feeling inside of me, and I remember it from when I was a teenager. I need to get out. Let's just go, ride out into the forest, and tell no one where we're going! I don't have duties until next week. Just you and me. I need an adventure," he explained, hoping that she would agree. He expected a protest, but none came. "Come on then!" she said eagerly, stuffing food and other basic needs into a bag. Gwaine smiled, relieved that she had understood what he was feeling.

"What are you waiting for?" she asked him, excited, and he realized that he was just standing there, frozen. He laughed and started packing some of his own things, stopping to kiss her when he couldn't resist any longer.

An hour later, Eira and Gwaine were on the horses, and, quite a bit away from Camelot.

"My God I've been needing this," Gwaine said as he breathed in the fresh air. The trees around him moved with the wind, and he knew that this was where he felt the most at home. He looked at his fiancée and she seemed to be enjoying it too, the wind in her hair and the peace of the forest around her.

"You said that sometime, you would tell me about your past, and your father," Gwaine said suddenly and she looked at him.

"I will, if you tell me about yours," she offered and he nodded. She started explaining the first thing she could remember and very slowly, told him every detail of her childhood. Where she had lived, who she had hated, and what had made her laugh. She told him about her father too.

"Tell me the two funniest moments of your life," Eira said to Gwaine, and in their strange little questioning, he obeyed.

"Alright then. Well, there was this girl. Somehow, she managed to get herself attacked by bandits. About a day after that, the poor girl was taking a bath, hoping that it would soothe her. Some idiot who loved her went to collect bed linen, curtains, table cloths, and a dress for her. When he came back, he fumbled to find a chair to set the load down on instead of putting everything on the bed which would have made things easier, the fool he was. Blinded by the pile he was holding, he tripped on the edge of the bath and fell into it, sparing the pile, which landed safely, but got soaked. The poor girl was bewildered and the idiot wondered how she had ever even liked him. The idiot couldn't rise from the bath so he just stayed there, unable to move. The girl he loved burst into laughter, and soon after, he did too. A poor maid by the name of Lillian walked in on them, horrified when she thought they were doing some act and ran out of the chambers. The idiot and girl called after her, trying to explain but they were laughing so hard it was nearly impossible. The girl had the image of the idiot's face when he fell frozen in her mind, and she was laughing so intensely she didn't know if she would survive. I'm still not sure who to feel sorry for, the idiot, the maid or the girl. Definitely not the idiot.

The other time was when some idiot and the girl were having a playful fight, during which, by the way, she called him a troll, and the drapes of the bed came unhinged and fell on them. A very annoying manservant, George, appeared, and the idiot teased him. Poor George. That time as well, the girl didn't think she'd survive the laughter," Gwaine finished, grinning and laughing himself, remembering the moments he treasured.

He looked over to see Eira's reaction but discovered that she was on the ground, in the bright green grass laughing and clutching her stomach. "Hey you!" Gwaine called and she looked up, breathing heavily. "Did you even listen to me? I made a huge deal out of those stories, so I really hope that you listened, I'm not repeating that," he said, pretending to be angry and offended. Suddenly, he made a wild gesture with his arm and lost balance, dramatically and slowly sliding from the saddle and off the side of the horse, falling to the ground as well. Eira exploded into another fit of laughter, almost screaming, and Gwaine rolled over to her, chuckling until he understood why her stomach ached as well. The grass surrounded them and the horses started grazing, not bothering to move in the heat of the lazy afternoon. Gwaine met Eira's eyes, tear-brimmed from the laughter. He had never seen anything more beautiful in his life.

"I love you, idiot," she mumbled lovingly, stroking his cheek.

"And I love you, girl," he replied. He brushed a strand of hair from her face before their lips locked and Gwaine forgot about the world around them.

Life couldn't get much better than this.

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