Part 28: link
Gwen stirs and wakes, blinking her eyes open. How did I get here? I remember leaving church, and that’s it.
She looks down. I’m in my nightgown.
Arthur’s arm is wrapped around her waist and she can hear him snoring softly behind her. She reaches back and puts her hand on his hip, feeling that he’s in his usual sleeping attire of underwear.
One of the first things Gwen learned about Arthur after they were married is that the only reason he was wearing pajama pants to sleep at Gaius’ house was because he was around other people. He prefers to sleep in his underwear. If that. “Don’t you get cold?” she had asked.
“That’s what blankets are for. And you,” he said, pulling her close.
They’ve since discovered that despite his state of undress, Arthur is the one keeping Guinevere warm most nights.
Gwen sighs and cuddles down into the covers. Arthur squirms a little and tightens his arm around her in his sleep. What time is it?
She looks at the clock. 7:12. I can sleep longer if I want.
She closes her eyes. I should make some breakfast for Arthur. Biscuits and gravy. Bacon. Maybe scrambled eggs. Gotta make sure to get to Gaius and Alice’s in enough time so I can help with dinner. Do not forget the whipped cream for the pies! I hope they like the sweet potato pie… wait, they had it at Thanksgiving. Silly. Maybe I should have made two. I wonder what time I should call Elyan? I don’t want to wake him.
Gwen’s eyes open again. 7:15. This is pointless.
She slips out from Arthur’s grasp and out of bed. She puts her slippers and magsuot ng bata on, sighs when she sees the heaps of clothing on the floor, scoops them up, and puts them in the hamper in the bathroom.
“Honestly, Arthur, you couldn’t even put the clothes away?” she mutters to herself.
She shuffles into the kusina and starts cooking, flipping the radio on softly for some pasko music.
“Merry Christmas, darlin’,” Arthur’s voice startles her some time later. Absorbed in making gravy, Gwen jumps slightly.
“How long you been standin’ there?” she asks, turning and smiling at him.
“Not too long,” he says, walking over.
“Arthur, put some pants or a magsuot ng bata on or somethin’,” Gwen admonishes. “I don’t want your nekkid backside in my kitchen.”
“I’m not nekkid,
I got undies on,” he protests.
She puts her hands on her hips and gives him a look usually reserved for Elyan.
“All right, I’ll be right back,” he says, holding his hands up. When he returns a few minutos later in striped pajama bottoms and a t-shirt, she finally lets him come over and halik her good morning.
“Merry Christmas, Baby,” Gwen says. “I’m almost done makin’ breakfast.”
“We can’t do presents first?” he asks, pouting.
“Are you six years old? You want your breakfast to be hot, don’t you?”
He looks around. Biscuits sitting on a tray on tuktok of the stove, just out of the oven. tusino frying up crisp in the pan. sarsa waiting to be poured over biscuits.
Arthur’s stomach growls loudly, and Gwen laughs. He sits at the mesa and she gives him a cup of coffee.
“Thank you,” he says. A minuto later, Gwen is joining him, putting his plate in front of him and the sarsa bowl on the table.
“I don’t know how you like your biscuits and gravy, so…”
“That’s fine, I am madami than capable of fixing them myself.” Gwen watches as he splits his biscuits and butters them lightly before drowning them in gravy.
gravy? Arthur, you are gon’ have a puso attack before you’re 40, eatin’ like that.”
“What? It’s not like you make this every day. And it’s Christmas.”
Gwen chuckles and starts to dig into her breakfast. After three bites, her hunger turns to nausea and she excuses herself to the bathroom.
Arthur frowns after her, wishing there was something he could do. “Okay, Guinevere?” he asks when she returns, frowning.
“Disappointed,” she says, reaching into the fridge for some 7-Up she had bought special for such occasions. “I had such a hankerin’ for biscuits and gravy.”
“Can’t you try again?”
“In a bit. Gotta let things settle down a bit. Glad I didn’t make eggs, too. I think the smell alone would have set me off even sooner. Lord, I hope this don’t last long.”
“Is it every morning?”
“No, thankfully. I haven’t been able to figure out if there’s a pattern or a… a trigger yet.” She pokes a corner of biskwit with her fork, a bit with no sarsa on, and delicately puts it in her mouth.
Arthur reaches over and squeezes her hand, then lifts it to his lips and kisses it. “Sorry,” he says.
“Not your fault… oh, wait, it is, isn’t it?” she says, grinning impishly at him.
Arthur smiles at her, then suddenly stands and goes to the living room, returning a moment later with the small box he had placed under the puno last night.
“Arthur, what on earth? You bought me a car, I don’t need nothin’ else,” she says, looking at the box.
“It’s just little, no big deal,” he says, waving his hand dismissively.
She eyes him. No big deal, right. If this ain’t jewelry, I’ll eat my bathrobe.
She lets that go, but smirks at him and says, “Is openin’ gifts at the kusina mesa somethin’ you do in your family?”
Arthur laughs. “No, I just couldn’t wait. I actually like givin’ gifts madami than gettin’ them. Sometimes.”
“Oh really? Then you must be positively jumpin’ outta your skin. I saw how you tore into that gift I gave you Sunday,” Gwen says, taking the small box and unwrapping it neatly.
Arthur laughs again. “You’re one of those neat people. I suppose you fold up the paper to use it again?”
“When you don’t have much, you save everything, Arthur. It’s just what I’m used to,” Gwen reminds him gently.
“Oh. Right. Sorry.”
“It’s all right, I know you forget sometimes.” Gwen opens the box to see a pair of diamond earrings nestled inside. They are simple stud earrings, nothing ostentatious or showy, almost everyday earrings. If they didn’t have gorgeous glittering diamonds. “Oh, Arthur, they’re beautiful,” she says. “I’ve never had real diamond earrings. I don’t think anyone in my family has.”
“Will you wear them today?”
“Of course I will,” she smiles at him, setting the box gently on the table. “Are you done eating?”
He nods, picking up his plate and cup and taking them to the sink. Gwen sighs at her plate, hating to waste food, but there’s really nothing for it. She sets the plate on the counter and declares that they’ll clean up later.
“I want to give you your gift now,” she says.
“You gave me your gift already,” he says, running his hands over her stomach.
“I have another one. One that you don’t have to wait nine months for. I had it in the works before I found out I was pregnant.”
“Well, since you went to all the trouble,” he says, plopping down on the couch. She starts to pull the heretofore-unnoticed large flat parcel out from behind the tree. Arthur jumps up and takes it, afraid it’s heavy.
“Eager,” she comments.
“It looks heavy, and I don’t want you liftin’ it,” he says, defending his position. He lifts it and finds that it is heavy. He peers at her. “How did you get this up here?”
She puts her hands on her hips. “Elves.”
Arthur opens his mouth, pauses a moment, but then closes it again, giving up. “What on earth can this be?” he wonders, tearing the paper with abandon as Gwen sits beside him, still sipping her 7-Up.
He holds up a very large print, black words on ginto paper that almost looks like parchment, matted against deep burgundy and framed in polished ebony.
His eyes scan the text and he immediately recognizes it as Dr. King’s already-famous speech from this past August, the speech that has been dubbed the “I Have a Dream” speech.
The speech where he met his Guinevere. Well, technically, it was after the speech, but who cares?
The most fascinating part of it is that Gwen has chosen key phrases from within the text of the speech and had them made larger, so they stand out.
He skims, his eyes lingering over the larger words. … all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
…we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.
Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom sa pamamagitan ng drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We cannot walk alone.
I have a dream…
Again and again, I have a dream…
I have a dream today.
…we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring…
The entire last paragraph is enlarged, and sa pamamagitan ng the time Arthur’s eyes reach it, they are blurred with tears. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that araw when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to sumali hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
At the bottom is Dr. King’s name, the event, and the petsa the speech was given.
“This is amazing, Guinevere,” he whispers. He notices the phrases she’s chosen are timeless, phrases that will stand up even fifty years from now, even the one that references the year. Let’s just hope that fifty years from now this dream will be realized.
“How did you do this?”
“Well, I don’t just sit around eatin’ bonbons and watchin’ the stories on TV while you’re off fightin’ the fight, Arthur,” she says, smiling, her eyes damp as well. “It’s for your office.”
He nods, having figured as much. “But…”
“Morgana put me in touch with a printer and the printer recommended a framer, all right, Mr. Nosy?”
He chuckles, running his hands along the frame. “It’s unbelievable…”
“It’s a reminder,” Gwen says, leaning her head on his shoulder. “A reminder not only of how we met, but also of why you chose to do what you’re doin’. I know if I
had Dr. King’s words starin’ at me from my wall, I sure as heck’d be inspired.”
“It’ll be good for days when I might not be feelin’ too good or feelin’ kind of… less than Superman,” he says, smiling, still staring at it. “Not only is it meaningful, you’ve managed to find a way to make it… visually attractive as well. It’s just words, but it looks
“They asked me if I wanted to add some art, like a sunset or clouds or… oh, I don’t even remember now. I sinabi no, because it all just seemed…”
“Unnecessary,” Arthur finishes.
“Exactly,” Gwen says, pleased that he immediately understood. “After I brought it up here, it occurred to me that havin’ this in your office – which was always my intent – might help your clients feel that they can trust you, you know. That you’re not just some rich white boy, that you actually do care.”
“You think so?” Arthur asks.
“Yes. So put it someplace prominent,” she says decisively.
Arthur finally sets the print aside. “Thank you, Guinevere, I pag-ibig it, and I pag-ibig you,” he says, leaning over to halik her.
“I’m glad you like it,” Gwen manages, but Arthur is persistent, leaning her back, deepening the kiss. “Arthur…”
“Mmm,” he murmurs, pulling at the tie of her robe.
” she says firmly, pulling back. He pouts. “Behave yourself.”
“I was lookin’ to unwrap another gift,” he says, clearly still trying.
“Arthur, I am goin’ to the doctor tomorrow and he’s gonna need to…”
Arthur surrenders, holding his hands up. “Okay, you can stop there. Making pag-ibig to you under the pasko puno will have to wait.”
“You are insatiable and a little bit of a pervert,” Gwen declares.
“Yes, and I’m all yours,” he grins.
Gwen rolls her eyes, but then she sighs and smiles. “Odd thing is, I wouldn’t have you any other way,” she says.
The phone rings and Gwen furrows her brow a moment. “See, now, wouldn’t that have been inconvenient?” she tosses at him just before she picks up the phone. “Hello?”
“Elyan Thomas, why on earth are you spendin’ money on callin’ long distance?” she demands, hanging up on him. She waits a moment and picks up the handset and dials Elyan’s number now while Arthur laughs.
“I was just gonna call you anyway. I was waitin’ till it was late enough so I didn’t wake you up,” she says a moment later. “Arthur, go pick up the other phone, so he can talk to both of us.”
“That’s all right, Guinevere, I…”
“You’re just gonna ask me everything he sinabi anyway. Go,” she insists, pointing now. He gets up and shuffles to the bedroom.
“Merry Christmas, Elyan,” Arthur greets.
“Hey, Merry Christmas, man. What did you get for my big sister?”
“Gets right to the point, doesn’t he?” Arthur laughs. “I bought her a new mop and an apron.”
“You better not have,” Elyan warns.
“He bought me diamond earrings and a new car,” Gwen says, still laughing.
“Stop screwin’ with me,” Elyan says, clearly getting irritated now.
“Elyan. He bought me diamond earrings and a new car,” Gwen repeats, not laughing anymore.
“Yes, really. Daddy’s car was startin’ to go, and fast. Arthur bought me a new one, another Impala, but this one is blue.”
“Wow,” is all Elyan can say.
“I know, it’s a bit overwhelmin’,” Gwen says. “What did you get for Toya?”
“A necklace, like Miss Morgana said,” he says sheepishly. “A locket, nothin’ fancy. But she loves it.”
“And you’re gonna propose at New Year’s?” Gwen asks.
“Yes. I got Mama’s ring cleaned, too.”
“Good man,” Arthur says. “Better than I did. I didn’t have time.”
“That’s because you were in a hot rush to run away with my sister,” Elyan points out.
“Maybe,” Arthur says.
“What did Toya get for you?” Gwen asks.
“A new tool belt. A real nice one,” Elyan says.
“You like it?” Gwen asks. Strange gift.
“I pag-ibig it,” Elyan says. “Hey, what’d she get you, Arthur?”
Arthur tells him all about the print of the speech, going on about how amazing he thinks it is and how much he likes it.
“Wow, Gwennie, that’s a really… um, creative gift. Where’d you come up with that idea?”
“It just came to me,” Gwen says, shrugging. “It’s not a car or diamond earrings, but he seems to like it.”
“Well, you did give me the best gift of all—”
“Arthur!” Gwen interrupts him.
“Look, I really don’t want to know about whatever the two of you got up to under the mistletoe, all right?” Elyan huffs.
“No, it’s not that,
” Gwen says. Though it is related…
Arthur and Gwen are both silent for a moment. I can feel her glaring at me through the wall,
“I’m havin’ Arthur’s baby, Elyan. You’re gon’ be an uncle,” Gwen states. “We were gonna keep it under wraps for a bit, but someone
had to open his fat mouth.”
“Sorry. I’m excited,” Arthur says.
Then they notice that Elyan is strangely quiet.
“Elyan?” Gwen says.
“Congratulations,” he says, but his tone does not match his sentiment.
“How very underwhelmin’ of you,” she says, disappointed but not entirely surprised.
“Well, I’m sorry, Gwen, but I can’t get all fired-up excited over a child that’s gon’ have nothin’ but grief!” he exclaims.
“Don’t ‘Elyan’ me,” he says. “You are too trustin’ o’ people. Too Goddamn optimistic. This is gon’ be a mixed baby, and it’s gon’ get even madami hate than if it was full colored! You shoulda been careful. I always thought you were smarter than this.”
Gwen is crying now, so Arthur speaks.
“Do you think that hasn’t occurred to both of us, Elyan? Do you think that we don’t
see the potential problems our child might have? Do you think we haven’t discussed this?” Arthur asks softly, wanting nothing madami than to go into the living room and put his arms around his wife.
“I s’pose y’all have…”
“Yes. We have. We know that a mixed baby isn’t going to have the easiest road, just like we knew we wouldn’t have the easiest road getting married in the first place. But we’re makin’ it work. Your sister is happy. Was this baby planned? Not exactly, but you damn well know it will sure as hell be loved. Shit, Elyan, who do you know of that is better-equipped to help bring up a mixed child, or any child, for that matter, than your sister?”
“Elyan,” Gwen says, sniffling, “you say I’m too trusting and optimistic. Has it ever occurred to you that you could be a little more
trusting and optimistic? Not everyone is out to bring you down. That’s been proved to you madami than once these last several months.”
Elyan is silent for a long moment. “Toya’s been tellin’ me the same thing. She says she loves me, but she’s gettin’ tired of my attitude.”
“So change it,” Gwen says. “Make it your New Year’s Resolution. Start lookin’ for the good in people. I know
you see a lot o’ bad out there on your jobs and on the streets, but start lookin’ for some good. For Toya. For me. For your future niece or nephew. For yourself, Elyan.”
“It ain’t that simple,” he protests.
“Yes, it is. Don’t make me have Arthur read Dr. King’s speech to you over the phone,” she threatens.
“I could, it’s right here, all transcribed in black and white,” Arthur says wryly.
“Oh, ha ha, Mr. Funnyman,” Elyan says, laughing a little in spite of himself. “Okay. I’m sorry, Gwennie. I know the baby will have everythin’ a little baby could want or need.”
“Can you be happy for me, Elyan?” Gwen asks softly.
“I am happy for you, Gwen. Really. I just got a funny way o’ showin’ it,” he says.
“Thank you,” she says. “I haven’t even been to the doctor yet. My first appointment’s tomorrow.”
“Oh, so it’s brand
new news, then,” Elyan says.
“Just found out Friday,” Gwen says, “so please keep it under your hat. You can tell Toya, but don’t go blabbin’ it to Aaron and Fred and definitely not Gwaine. It’ll be all over town in a minuto if you tell him. We’ll tell you when I’m far enough along to be comfortable tellin’ folks.”
“Right,” Elyan laughs. “Thanks for lettin’ me tell Toya, though. She’ll appreciate that, and I’d feel bad keepin’ it from her.”
"Elyan, did you get our pasko card?" Gwen asks with a sigh, changing the subject. She knows full well that he did, but she's asking him anyway.
"Oh, yes, thanks. Y'all sent too much money," he says.
"Well, I noticed you didn't hesitate to cash that check," Gwen teases. "I didn't know what to get your fool self. It's for you and Latoya, you know."
"Oh, so you knew already that I got it! And yes, I saw what you wrote in the card," he says. "I'm keepin' it aside for the weddin', though, so she don't know 'bout it yet."
“All right,” Gwen says. “You goin’ someplace for dinner, I hope?”
“Toya’s. Meetin’ the whole
family,” he says, exhaling heavily.
“Good luck, man,” Arthur says.
“Thanks. I should let y’all go. I still gotta shave and shower,” he says.
“Okay. Arthur probably wants to call his Pop, anyway,” Gwen says. “Merry Christmas, El. pag-ibig you.”
“Love you, too, Gwen. Merry Christmas, both o’ ya.”
“Merry Christmas,” Arthur says.
“Better hope that baby looks like you,” Elyan teases.
“Hey!” Arthur says, laughing.
Elyan,” Gwen says.
“’Bye,” Elyan answers, and they all hang up.
“Call your father,” Gwen yells. “I gotta go pee, then I’ll be back.”
She hears a groan, then, “Okay.”
“…she likes it, Pop, she didn’t want a Cadillac or a lincoln or anything fancy,” Arthur is saying when Gwen picks up.
“All I’m saying is that your wife should be driving a top-of-the-line vehicle, if she insists on driving,” Uther replies.
“Mr. Pendragon, don’t be such a snob,” Gwen says, surprising all of them. Even herself.
“Gwen! When did you pick up?” Uther exclaims.
“Just a minuto ago, sorry. Didn’t Arthur tell you I’d be along momentarily?” she asks.
“Yes, I did,” Arthur says, defending himself. “I was just tellin’ Pop about your car.”
“I gathered. And I pag-ibig it, just so you know. He gave me the opportunity to choose something else, and I declined.”
“Was I being a snob?” Uther asks after a moment.
“A bit,” Gwen says.
“Yes,” Arthur answers, laughing.
“He also got me some diamond earrings, if that helps,” Gwen offers.
“Oh, well, that makes everything better, doesn’t it?” Uther says, laughing now as well. “I’m sorry. If you like the car, then I’m happy. Merry Christmas, sa pamamagitan ng the way.”
“Merry pasko to you, too, Mr. Pendragon,” Gwen says. “Are you going over to Merlin and Hunith’s for dinner?”
“Yeah,” he chuckles. “She keeps taking pity on me, so I keep going.”
“He pays for most of it,” Arthur says.
“I am madami than happy to buy the pagkain if someone else cooks it. I wouldn’t know what to do with an uncooked turkey or ham,” Uther replies. “And Hunith definitely does.”
“Oh, tell her the scones she mailed us are all gone,” Arthur says.
“When did you get them?” Uther asks.
“Arthur, it’s only Wednesday!” Uther exclaims, laughing.
“Well, if Hunith would give me her recipe, he wouldn’t have to stuff himself sily with them and maybe I’ll get madami than one,” Gwen adds.
“Oh, if I tell her that you only got one, she’ll definitely give you the recipe,” Uther says. “Either that or just send more…”
“I’m happy with either of those options,” Arthur says.
“Gwen, Arthur was telling me about your very creative gift to him. It sounds beautiful, I wish I could see it,” Uther says.
“Next time you come visit us, you’ll have to see it,” Gwen says.
“Is that an invite?” Uther says.
“Pop, you know you don’t need an invite,” Arthur says.
“Actually, I was thinkin’ he might be feelin’ the urge to come visit us in about nine months,” Gwen says.
“Why, what’s happening in nine months? Will your house be done then?” Uther asks.
“Well, yes, probably, but there’s somethin’ else that will be happenin’ in nine months,
Mr. Pendragon,” Gwen tries again.
“Pop, don’t think too hard about this now,” Arthur says. I guess she figured since we told Elyan, we should tell Pop.
“What usually takes nine months to happen?”
“Wait, you’re not… already?” Uther exclaims, and Arthur can almost hear the puzzle pieces slide into place.
“That’s what the nice nurse I spoke with Friday seemed to think, yes,” Gwen says.
“I’m going to be a grandpa?”
Pop. Guinevere is pregnant. We weren’t plannin’ on tellin’ folks yet, but I let slip to Elyan, so in the interest of fairness, you get to be in on the secret. It’s still pretty early,” Arthur says. “Try not to let the cat out of the bag at Hunith’s house today,” he says with a sigh.
“Your secret is ligtas with me,” Uther says.
“It had better be, because if Merlin finds out from you and not me, I’m goin’ to have to answer for that,” Arthur says.
“All right, all right, I won’t make a peep, I promise. I’m a lawyer, we’re supposed to be able to keep secrets,” Uther huffs.
Arthur laughs, because he was the one who let it slip to Elyan. Whoops.
“So you’re happy?”
“Of course I’m happy! Okay, well, it’s earlier than I would have expected, and I’ll be lying if I sinabi I wasn’t worried about your bringing a mixed-race child into this world, but I’m not going to waste my time lecturing you on something I’m sure
you’ve already talked through. You’re both adults and I trust you’ll be able to handle whatever situations that arise.” He says this in a rather you-damn-well-better-have-talked-about-this tone. Then, “You’ll be wonderful parents.” Wow,
Gwen thinks. I had no idea he had such a high opinion of us.
“Wow,” Arthur speaks Gwen’s thought aloud. “Thanks, Pop. Elyan was, shall we say…”
“A jerk,” Gwen supplies.
“Yeah. Not as happy as we would have liked, so it’s really nice that you’re happy for us,” Arthur finishes.
Gwen sighs. “It probably isn’t fair, callin’ him a jerk like that. He’s just always worried about me too much, ’specially considerin’ he’s my little
brother,” she says, feeling a little guilty now for calling her brother a jerk.
“Of course he worries about you. He loves you,” Uther says simply. “Have you been to the doctor yet?” he asks, steering the conversation elsewhere now.
“Tomorrow. Alice has recommended one,” Gwen says.
“So she knows?” Uther asks.
“Yes,” Gwen admits. “Only out of necessity. She knew before Arthur, but she’s promised me she wouldn’t tell.”
“Speaking of which, we’d better get going if we’re going to get over there in time for you to help with dinner, Guinevere,” Arthur says.
“I know, I was just lookin’ at the clock. We ain’t even dressed yet. I mean, we’re wearin’ pajamas, of course, Mr. Pendragon…” Gwen rambles.
“I knew what you meant, Gwen,” Uther laughs. “I’ll let you go. Merry pasko again. Give my pag-ibig to Gaius and Alice and Morgana.”
“Will do, Pop. Send ours to everyone at Hunith’s,” Arthur says.
They wind up telling Gaius and Morgana about the baby after all. After a brief discussion in the car on the way to their house, they decide that they deserve to know. “We’ve grown so close to them in such a short time, it just don’t feel right to not tell them,” Gwen had said.
“I thought we were gonna wait until you were a little further along. Not that I’m wishin’ anything bad, Lord knows I’m not,” Arthur said, “but what if somethin’
“Then we’re gonna need their support,” Gwen answered. “Alice already knows, and you know it’s gotta be killin’ her to keep this from Gaius. And I feel bad askin’ her to do so.”
“Morgana’d have a fit if she found out we were keepin’ this from her anyway,” Arthur sighed.
Gwen chuckled then. “And you’ve already proven that you can’t be trusted to keep this news quiet.”
Arthur was about to protest, but decided to keep his mouth closed.
So, after dinner, after the dishes are cleaned and put away, they all retire to the living room to exchange gifts, and Gwen decides that it’s time to tell them. Especially because Alice keeps fretting over her like a mother hen.
“Are you comfortable, dear?” Alice asks Gwen, who is, in fact, seated quite comfortably on the sofa susunod to Arthur.
“Yes, I’m fine,” Gwen says.
“Mom, what is going on? You have been hovering over Gwen since she got here,” Morgana asks.
“Have I?” Alice asks innocently.
“Yes, you have,” Gwen says, smirking. “It’s all right, we’re gonna tell,” she whispers.
“Tell what?” Morgana demands. “Oh, no… don’t tell me you’re sick! You’re sick, aren’t you? You didn’t eat much at dinner… Oh, God, you’re dying, aren’t you?”
“Morgana!” Arthur yells, trying not to laugh. “Cool it. She ain’t dyin’. Do you think I’d be sittin’ around here grinnin’ like an idiot like I’ve been all araw if my wife was dyin’?”
“Oh good,” Morgana says, settling back down. “Daddy?”
Gaius has a crafty look on his face now. “Hmm?”
“You know something.”
“I have simply worked out what it is that is causing my wife to cluck and fuss over Guinevere like a mother hen, that’s all, based on what you’ve just sinabi and what Arthur’s just said.”
“Okay, will someone let me in on the secret then, since apparently
I’m the only one who—” Morgana stops mid-sentence, and her eyes grow wide. “Oh, my God, you’re pregnant!” she yells.
Gwen smiles now, and Morgana tackles her, hugging her fiercely. “I’m going to be an auntie!”
“Technically, segundo cousin,” Arthur says. “I think.”
“First cousin, once removed,” Gaius corrects.
“Auntie,” Morgana declares, releasing Gwen. Then she looks at Arthur. “Didn’t waste any time, did you?”
“Hey, when you’re good, you’re good,” Arthur says smugly.
“Ech,” Morgana pulls a face.
“You brought it up,” Arthur says, laughing.
“Now, I’m only just
pregnant, so we’re not advertisin’ it to the world yet. We weren’t actually goin’ to even tell y’all, but Arthur let it slip to my brother on the phone this mornin’, so then we had to tell Uther, and…”
“Since Auntie knew already anyway, and we’re so close to you, we thought we’d just tell you today,” Arthur finishes.
“How is it that you knew already?” Morgana asks Alice.
“Gwen was looking for a recommendation for a doctor,” Alice explains. “When is your appointment again, dear?”
“Tomorrow morning. Yes, I will call you when we’re done,” Gwen says.
“So you haven’t even been to the doctor yet?” Morgana asks.
“No, like I said, we just found out,” Gwen says. “Last Friday, in fact.”
“So that’s why you were about ready to fall over last night after church and you were picking at your pagkain today…” Morgana muses.
“Have you had much morning sickness, dear?” Alice asks.
“Some. This morning, yes, unfortunately,” she frowns.
“Guinevere made biscuits and gravy, too,” Arthur says.
“That’s just a travesty,” Gaius declares. “Oh, and congratulations, I just realized I hadn’t said!” He stands and crosses to Gwen, who stands to receive his hug.
“Thank you, Uncle Gaius,” she says. Then Gaius hugs Arthur as well, slapping his back in a manly sort of way.
“Well, shall I play Santa Claus, since I’m on my feet?” Gaius asks.
“Yes!” Morgana and Arthur exclaim together.
Gwen meets Alice’s eyes and they both smirk.
Part 30: link