Characters: Isolde, Tristan, Bragnae, OCs.
Summary: Tristan survived the ending of the battle at Castle D'or but things aren't back to normal. And when they recieve some conflicting news, things might not stay well for very long.
“Will it be his or mine?” Tristan asked knowing the answer would be one of distaste.
Ch. 1 The Horse and His Boy
Tristan gazed at Marke, the man that had for so many years been his mentor, his king, master, father, friend, the man he still felt he had betrayed. Three weeks had passed since the ravage of the castle D’or. Many warriors had spent hours of sweat and blood fighting the battle that ended in their triumph. Marke had insisted that he and Isolde not leave, he had forgiven them and demanded Tristan remain his second. But Tristan still felt sick at what he had done.
Melot was dead. Half the men he had held dear were dead and no matter what Marke or Isolde said it was his fault. He never would regret loving Isolde, never; but the betrayal and self hatred he now carried made the joy of their open relationship dwindle a bit.
“What have I done?” He whispered. Turning his steed An Mhuir Dhubh, named for his jet black coat and temper that drove him to hate all but Tristan. Cantering up the hill and into the woods he came to a long expansive field and asked Dhubh into a gallop. Wind splattered his face and for a moment all seemed lost except him and the freedom that came to him when he rode his horse.
Rain pelted out of the skies and black grey clouds blotched the horizon. Turning home Tristan ran until he hit the square before pulling up into a trot and heading into the D’or barn. The new stable hand, a young sandy haired fellow just shy of twenty years came up offering his services.
“I’m alright, thank you,” Tristan smiled at the boy. “What is your name?”
“Galahad sir, Galahad of Rowland.”
“Well Galahad of Rowland it’s nice to meet you. I’m Tristan of Aragon and this beast behind me is An Mhuir Dhubh, but be wise boy, he doesn’t like strangers.”
“Don’t worry,” Galahad said confidently, “He’ll like me soon enough.” And without any more warning he took the reins from Tristan’s fist and led the black horse into his stall. Dhubh pinned his ears and snapped his teeth at the boys audacity but Galahad seemed unfazed, “I’d watch it if I were you. I bite back.” He snapped his teeth at the horse who looked abashed and immediately bent his head down to eat.
“I’ve never seen him do that before.” Tristan admitted. “Not for anyone besides myself.”
“My father was head of the Royal Guard in north Briton. Horses were what he lived and what I chose to now.”
“Your father Rowland. What became of him? Is he here now?” Tristan inquired. He himself had heard nothing of a new horse keeper but if there was one it wasn’t surprising as Gillian the last one had died in the fight.
“He is dead, my mother too,” He said.
Shining green grey eyes looked up at him, “You can’t be sorry about what you can’t change.”
“That’s some good advice, don’t lose it,” Tristan said. As he brushed off Dhubh’s coat Tristan remembered that he had to get back to Isolde. “Would you like me to take him?”
“No sir I’m fine. Besides I think he likes me,” Galahad grinned at the scowling horse. “Good night sir.”
“Tristan,” He said. “I’m just Tristan.” And with that he slipped back into the nighttime abyss and headed for his home.
Bragnae greeted him at the door with a scowl. “Sir the lady is ill.”
Worry clenched his gut. He rushed inside, “What’s wrong?”
“She’s been ill all afternoon. Cold sweat and nausea.”
Heading over to the bed Tristan bent down next to Isolde and kissed her forehead, “Are you alright?”
“I’ll be fine,” She said smiling weakly. “Bragnae is over reacting. Give me a minute and I’ll join you for supper.”
Tristan ran his hand over her face before taking her hand, “No you need to rest. Go to sleep I’ll join you soon.” Kissing her forehead again he waited until her breathing was steady before he let go and went to the stove.
“Sir I don’t believe I am over reacting.” Bragnae said with her usual put out demeanor. “I think I know what’s wrong though.”
Tristan’s head shot up, “What?”
“Sir, I think she may be with child.”
Tristan promptly dropped the spoon he was holding. He looked over at Isolde’s sleeping form, “Are you certain?”
“No sir,” Bragnae admitted, “But it seems to fit.”
A smile broke out over his face, “This is wonderful.”
“Yes sir it is,” She snapped, “But there is one thing I’m not to sure of.”
“What is that?”
“Well—and pardon me for asking—who’s child is it?”
Tristan’s stomach plummeted, Bragnae was right, they would have no way of knowing. Sliding down to the floor Tristan felt vaguely numb. Looking up at the older woman with foggy eyes he croaked, “I don’t know.”