Title: After the celebration
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gwen and Giaus, George makes a small appearance.
Summary: Nearly a year after Arthur and Gwen's wedding, things are busy for Merlin and Gaius. Nobody gives Arthur a straight answer.
Warnings: Just silly really
Word Count: 1739
Author's Notes: Sorry its long, it got a bit out of hand
After the Celebration
Arthur was a man who liked routine. He even counted on the fact that his servant, Merlin didn’t believe in routines, so he never knew if he would be woken early, late or on time. He had thought he was settling down into his new routine of married life, running a Kingdom, defending it from magical creatures and such, even having Morgana taking over Camelot from time to time, only to be overthrown was a routine of some sort. But no, for the second day in a row he had to deal with efficient George waking him up and helping him prepare for the day. His wife of nearly a year was already up and heading out the door before he could even blink. “No Merlin again?” he sleepily asked George before all manner of fruits, cheeses and meats were pressed upon him for breakfast. “No Sire, he is still very busy with Gaius.” George replied, while getting his clothes ready. George was no fun, he didn’t get any of Arthur’s jokes and Arthur didn’t understand his obsession for all things brass at all. He wondered idly wondered if this was some sort of payback for something he’d done that he was completely unaware off. However, he knew that Gaius had taken a while to recover from his ordeal, and Merlin had surprisingly, but somewhat capably, taken over quite a lot of his duties. However, he’d been told that both were busy in and around Camelot dealing with patients so payback couldn’t be the case surely?
“Is there an outbreak of an illness or something I should now about then? “ He questioned George,” and where is the Queen off too today?”
George frowned, “No illness that I’m aware of Sire”he replied. I believe the Queen is off to visit some of the women-folk in the town before the council meeting today.
“Oh well, that’s all right then, as long as there is no emergencies that I need to know about.” He said while George quickly and efficiently as ever helped him get dressed.
“I have polished your armour and sword, and the reports are laid out on the desk in order of importance for you to review before the meeting. I thought for lunch you could have roast chicken and potatoes, if you wish. Is there anything else I can do for you sire? George asked. In is officious way that was really grating on Arthur. But, he was King and would be gracious in return. “No George, that will be all for now” and so Arthur went about his day in a normal but Merlinless way.
He was somewhat intrigued as to why Merlin and Gaius were not around. Usually Gaius attended the council meetings, but he was no sign of him today. Nobody could tell him about this strange outbreak of illness. He hoped nobody was keeping secrets from him and resolved to ask Gwen, at least she would tell him.
That evening, while they were having their meal, he casually said “I haven’t seen Merlin or Gaius for a few days now.” “No”she replied. “They’ve been particularly busy as of late.”
“And you went and visited a few patients this morning? George told me” He prodded for some more information. “Patients?” she queried, looking puzzled. “I wouldn’t call them patients, but yes, I did visit some of the villagers this morning, and I’ll need to go again tomorrow morning.
“Well”he joked,” I hope you don’t catch whatever illness is going around at the moment” Only to see her face fall as she replied cryptically “I wouldn’t call it in illness, I think its quite beautiful actually”. Thoroughly confused as to her reaction, he changed the subject.
The next day, again getting woken up and organised by George, he resolved to find out about this illness that kept his Servant from his duties. He made his way down to the physicians chambers and opened to the door only to find said chambers in complete disarray. Every table was covered was covered in pots and vials over flames bubbling away. Gaius was standing at one table busily grinding way at something as he looked up at the door.
“Good morning Sire, I didn’t expect to see you here this morning, I expect you wanting a report”he said to Arthur.
“Well, yes, what can you tell me about this illness that is going around, should I be concerned, have there been any casualties? Arthur asked.
“Illness? Casualties? “Gaius questioned and then went on. “No Sire, we’ve been very lucky in that regard so far. We have been extraordinarily busy at present, I suppose that’s to be expected, what as a consequence of all the celebrations that occurred after Morgana’s defeat, and your marriage of course”
Arthur felt confused – again. “What does that have to do with any illness Giaus”
Giaus either didn’t hear him, or understand the question, as he continued speaking “Well, I suppose it’s to be expected really, but I must say, I think we may have a record on our hands. I”ll have to get Geoffrey to check his books of course, but I yes, I would stay Camelot is having quite a boom”
Arthur was utterly flummoxed at this, and decided to ask a question that may actually be met with a straight answer – hopefully. “So where is Merlin”
“Oh, I haven’t seen him since midday yesterday” came the answer. “I dare say he’’ll show up soon, he did sent me a message that he would try to meet up with me this morning to gather more supplies . It might actually be best if I waited for him so I can give you an updated report. I do so hope I’m preparing the right things here. I’m just guessing at the moment as to what we’ll need.
It wasn’t exactly the straight answer he was looking for, but he figured it would have to do for now. “Well, in that case, I’ll just wait for your report then, do you need any extra assistance for”he waved his hands around, taking in all the potions bubbling away”anything in particular”
“Oh no, no, that shan’t be necessary, we can handle it Sire, although I must say, Gwen has been wonderful with her visits and so on, the villagers have really appreciated it.”
Arthur thought it best that the just nodded as if he knew what was going on and said “Well, I’ll just leave you to it”
At that moment, the door burst open and Merlin came rushing in followed by a pretty young....girl? He didn’t see Arthur as he started looking through the bottles and talking to Gaius. “Oh Hi Gaius, do we have any more Motherwort and Fennel?” “and Rose Oil and Yarrow”the girl added. Merlin beamed at her “Oh yes, we need lots more Rose Oil!” and the three quickly became engaged in a conversation about herbs.
Arthur rolled his eyes, people were quite possibly dying and his servant was flirting? Honestly, what was going on here? Really, he was getting quite frustrated. He cleared his throat to make his presence known. All three stopped talking and looked at him. “So” he though he’d get straight to the point and hopefully get an answer this time. “Can any of you tell me what is going on, what is this illness, and who”he nodded at the girl”is this?”
All three looked suitably confused now, but Gaius recovered first, but frustratingly only answered the second part of the question.
“Sire” he said “This is Ninianne, our midwife”
Arthur was stunned. “How bad is this sickness if you need the midwife’s assistance then?”he demanded and then added. “I thought the midwife was an old crone who refused to set foot inside the castle walls”. Gaius and Merlin looked shocked, while the girl paled somewhat and said”Sire, that is my grandmother you are thinking off, but I have taken over from her now”
“Why, what happened to her”Arthur asked curiously
“She died”the girl, Ninianne answered “and I am not assisting Giaus and Merlin they are assisting me.
“Oh’ said Arthur suddenly realising what this “illness”was. “Oh, so Camelot is experiencing a number of births? Is that right?”
“Yes Sire” Giaus chimed in. ‘I’m positive we have a new record, 27 now, is that it?”He looked at Merlin and Ninianne for confirmation. “Merlin shook his head and said “No, 28, that last lot were twins”
“Yes”Gaius was beaming. “28 births in the last 3 days Sire, congratulations, and there will be more before the week is out.
Arthur felt his mouth gaping open in amazement “But”he stammered “how did that happen?”
Merlin and Ninianne snickered.
“Well, Sire, like I said, its been 9 months or so since you overthrew Morgana, and your wedding, so people”Giaus shrugged”celebrated, it what tends to happen after events like that. Now”he turned to Merlin and Ninianne, “both of you sit down before you fall down, and have some stew”
“So you mean to tell me, that after the celebrations, everybody... “he trailed of.
“Yes, Sire, its wonderful isn’t it”Gaius asked
“Yes”Arthur replied, while his mind said “ewwww.” He really didn’t want to know so much about the people of Camelot, and what they thought constituted as a celebration. “So, more on the way then”he casually asked.
Merlin nodded, “Yes, there’s a few more ladies due soon, you should be proud, already we have six boys named Arthur”he grinned.
Arthur noticed that Merlin was sporting a bruise on his cheek.
“How did you manage to get that then?”he asked, pointing at Merlin’s face.
“Oh well, one of the ladies mistook me for her husband at one point”he replied touching the bruise. “Its been a bit crazy, I’ve been punched, sworn at, covered in everything... this is my second change of clothes and I think I’ve got a broken finger” He said looking at his hand “and it was lucky I moved out of the way when...”
‘Yes, yes”Arthur interrupted, not wanting to hear any more, even if it did mean missing out on the change to tease Merlin about getting hit by a woman. He was sure Guinevere would never behave like that, and he didn’t really want to find out either now.
He made his excuses and tried not to run out the door, leaving the three behind as they started to exchange their gruesome stories.