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The Perils of Duty

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Put quite simply, Elyan wanted to die.

Gwaine wasn't helping.

"At this rate, there'll be an heir in no time, eh?"

"Oh, god, Arthur!"

Elyan winced, not for the first time over the last half hour or so. Weren't those doors made of solid oak? And the walls were at least two, maybe three feet of stone. This should not be possible. He should not be hearing this.

Arthur's moan just then could probably be heard in Mercia.

Elyan rubbed his forehead, and Gwaine nudged him. "Don't be like that. They've got five years of waiting and wanting going on. We're lucky--"

"Faster! Please, faster!"

"--they ever leave that bedchamber."

Elyan's fingers ran over the hilt of his sword. Suicide under certain circumstances was a noble thing, right? And what could be more noble than not listening to one's sister and her husband... well.


Gwaine shrugged. "Besides, then you'll be Uncle Elyan. That's got a nice ring to it."

"Shut up, Gwaine," Elyan muttered, although the last syllable was hard to hear over the noise from the royal chambers as things apparently reached their end.

Blessed silence descended.

"There now," Gwaine said cheerfully. "That wasn't so bad, was it?"

Elyan refused to look at him, glaring at the wall across from him with such intensity, it was a wonder it did not singe.

"Yup, Uncle Elyan," Gwaine continued. "Chasing all the little princes and princesses around the grounds."

"I am not a nursemaid," Elyan growled. "When is it Percival and Leon's shift, again?"

"Another hour or so, I think. Do not try to tell me you wouldn't romp a bit with your nieces and nephews."

Elyan let out an annoyed breath through his nose. "Of course, I'll play with them sometimes."

Gwaine grinned triumphantly. "And how do you expect to get nieces and nephews to play with?"

"Gwaine..." Elyan growled and turned his glare on his friend, his fingers finding the hilt of his sword again. No, murder was never called for.

"You know I'm right."

Maybe never called for. Elyan stared at the wall again.

"Fine, be that way." Gwaine did not seem too perturbed by Elyan's mood, but at least he stopped yammering for awhile.

Blessed silence reigned once more.

Until it was broken, and not by Gwaine.

Elyan reminded himself that a knight did not cry whilst on duty.

"Uncle Elyan."

"Shut up."


A knight praying for death whilst on duty, however-- well, nobody had ever said a thing against that.