A Gift of Love

Osgary 21, 1014

“Thank you for coming to my birthday, Auntie Garnet,” said Elise, then glanced at her mother to make sure she had done right.

Because Mummy had explained it all. Auntie Garnet had been very sad after her husband, Uncle Lamorak, died. And she was going to be sad for a long time because of that. But she was doing her best to be a good auntie, and she ought to be thanked for that.

Mummy was grinning at Elise, so Elise sighed, relieved. Good. She’d gotten that right.

Auntie Garnet was grinning, too, just like she used to grin before Uncle Lamorak died. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” She extended her hand and Elise took it. “Besides — you know our birthdays are very close together, right?”

“Uh huh!”

“I think next year,” Auntie Garnet said, swinging Elise’s hand back and forth, “we should have a big party in between both of our birthdays, and make everybody treat us as the birthday queens.” For some reason she winked at Grammy Alison when she said that. Probably because Grammy was a queen, and not just a birthday queen.

“Oh, dear!” laughed Grandma Claire. “Aunt Garnet, if we start doing that, we’ll have to add in Aunt Morgan’s birthday, too — what a party that would be!”

“It would be the mother of all parties,” agreed Auntie Garnet, chuckling. She squeezed Elise’s hand. “What do you say, sweetie?”

“Um …” Elise didn’t want to say so, but imagining that kind of big party made herΒ  go shivery and cold inside. So many people! So much noise! Elise wanted to hide in her nursery just thinking about it.

But she had to say something. “We … we’d probably have to add baby Cedric, too …” she decided to say. Baby Cedric was the reason why Auntie Clarice couldn’t come today. Elise had met him just a week before. He was very small, and very red, and very loud when he cried.

“Oh, my!” gasped Mummy. “Elise, if we keep thinking like this, we’ll have to have a big party for everybody in the kingdom born in Osgary!”

That big a party? Elise’s eyes bugged. Where would they put everybody in the kingdom who had a birthday in Osgary? How many were there? And add all of their parents and their brothers and sisters and their cousins and their friends …

“And I don’t think we want that,” Mummy went on, and Elise breathed out in relief. “I think we should do something special, just for the birthday girl, on her own day.”

Elise nodded. Yes. That sounded much better.

“Maybe I’ll just take you out for a mid-birthday treat,” Auntie Garnet said. Elise found herself nodding before Auntie Garnet could even ask what she thought about that.

“Well! I’m glad you thought of that, Aunt Garnet,” said Grammy. “Otherwise I was afraid I was going to have organize birth-month parties for every month of the year. And that wouldn’t be much fun for the birthday boys and girls, having to share their day with so many other people!”

“But, but, Grammy!” Elise gasped. “Some people already have to share. Like Lionel and Evette, and Chloe and Pascal, and Corey and Celeste –”

“How in the world did we wind up with so many twins born so close together?” Auntie Garnet asked nobody in particular.

“And, and, there’s Auntie Jessie and Daddy too –”

Daddy?” came a voice from the door. “Are you talking about me behind my back, Elise?”

Elise gasped and spun to face the door. “DADDY!”

“Hello, Princess!”

She squealed and ran to Daddy, who grabbed her and swung her around. Her feet flew out, high in the air–and almost hit Grandpa! Luckily he jumped out of the way before she could.

“Sorry, Grandpa!” Elise called out as Daddy gave her a big kiss on the cheek and put her back on the ground.

“Don’t you apologize,” said Grandpa as he tried to straighten the vase he’d almost knocked over. “That big lug swinging you around like a sack of potatoes — he should be apologizing.”

“Big lug!” Daddy gasped. “Elise, are you going to let anybody get away with calling your Daddy a big lug?”

“Um …” Elise swallowed and looked from Grandpa to Daddy and back again. “Daddy …”

“Yes, baby?”

“Grammy says that it’s not smart to — to –” Elise wrinkled her brows and tried to remember how Grammy had put it. “To get in the middle when you and Grandpa are in-sulting each other. She says you’ll stop much faster if we all just stay out of it.”

What?” gasped Daddy, putting a hand over his heart like he was very surprised. Elise giggled, even as Grammy let out a loud hoot of laughter. “Grammy! Just where do you get off teaching my firstborn common sense?”

“Oh, knock it off, Tom.” Uncle Kay elbowed Daddy. “She’s half Lynn, you know. She doesn’t need anybody teaching her common sense.” He turned to Elise. “Speaking of people who are half Lynn, who has a kiss for her favorite uncle?”

Elise laughed, and when Uncle Kay bent down, she kissed him. “And you too, Grandpa!” she gasped, running to grab Grandpa around the waist.

“Thanks, sweetheart.” Grandpa kissed the top of her head. “And don’t let your daddy and your uncle get to you.”

“I don’t!” Elise laughed. “They’re funny!”

Funny?” Daddy pretended to gasp.

“Ah-ha! And the Pendragon half comes out!” Uncle Kay grabbed Elise’s hands and started to sway her back and forth. “Pendragons always get the joke!”

“As opposed to the de Ganises …” Daddy mumbled, then he stopped. Elise looked over her shoulder to see Mummy giving Daddy a look. She looked up at Daddy.

Daddy’s mouth was wide and he was sort of smiling, but it was the big smile he always wore when he’d said something that Mummy wasn’t supposed to hear. “Hi, honey!”

“Hello, dear,” said Mummy, rolling her eyes.

“Daddy’s in trouble,” Uncle Kay whispered, and Elise laughed — maybe a little too loud, because now Daddy was looking at her, and Mummy was too.

“Aww, what does it matter?” asked Daddy, tousling Elise’s hair. “It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, is it, sweetie?”

Elise giggled. “Nope!”

“And so it goes, and so it always shall go.” Daddy took a deep breath and put his hand over his heart, the way he did when he was going to say something funny but pretend it was serious. “The Pendragon men say something stu–foolish …”

“Speak for yourself,” Grandpa grumbled, and Elise had to put both hands over her mouth to keep from laughing out loud.

“And their womenfolk correct them,” Daddy went on, pretending Grandpa hadn’t said anything, “because while it’s a tough job, somebody must do it.”

Grammy’s eyebrows went up, and she looked at Grandpa. “You know, dear, every now and then, our eldest son does say something profound.”

Grandpa smacked his forehead with his open palm, and that was when Elise started laughing. The grown-ups all laughed, too, and even Wart looked up from where he’d been playing on the floor and started to laugh.

“And now that the preliminaries are out of the way,” Daddy said, turning back to Elise, “I have to ask the most important question of the most important person in the room today.”

“Daddy?” Elise asked, wrinkling her brows.

“Are you ready for your birthday surprise, baby?”

“Birthday surprise?” Elise gasped. “But — but Daddy, you already said you’d take me to the next horse fair!”

That had been Elise’s promised birthday present: a pony that she would get to pick out for herself and learn to ride on. She’d known that was going to be her present for months.

So what could this be about?

“Of course I’m taking you to the horse fair, sweetie — but that’s not your birthday surprise. You knew it was coming, so how could it be a surprise?” Daddy tucked his fingers under Elise’s chin and tilted her head up. “I’m only allowed, what, two days a year to surprise my daughter — are you going to say I can’t?”

“Oh, no, Daddy!”

“Good! So let’s go!”

“Go?” Elise asked. She looked around and everybody was getting up. Grandma had already stood up and grabbed Wart, whom she handed to Mummy once Mummy was standing.

“Aye — but don’t worry, it’s not far. Just upstairs.”

“All right!” Elise held out her hand, and Daddy took it and led her out.

Still, as they left, Elise looked over her shoulder. Her nose and brows wrinkled as she tried to think. “… Daddy?”


“… Does everybody else know what the surprise is?”

“What do you think, sweetie?”

Elise didn’t answer. But she smiled at Daddy, and Daddy winked, and Elise knew that he knew what she was thinking.

They headed upstairs, down towards Elise’s nursery, then to the stairs that were between Elise’s nursery and Wart’s. Daddy put his foot on the bottom tread, and Elise gasped. “Daddy!”

“What?” asked Daddy.

“Nurse Bonnie says we’re not allowed to go up there!” Elise swallowed and tried not to bounce from one foot to the next. “She says there’s workmen up there, and they’ve got hammers and nails and — and — and other sharp things! We could get hurt!”

“Ah!” Daddy replied. “That’s all true. But, you see, there are a couple of things that Nurse Bonnie didn’t tell you — admittedly, because I asked her not to. The first is that the workmen finished a couple of days ago, and I have been over the floors and walls, etc., personally, and I can assure you that there are no more nails or hammers or other sharp things that could hurt you.”



“That’s three things!”

Someone in the back — Elise thought it was Auntie Garnet — let out a laugh that she tried to choke back, turning it into a snort.

“… Maybe it is,” Daddy admitted, “but the next thing — or things — I have to tell you is that I asked Nurse Bonnie to not tell you that, because your surprise is upstairs, and I didn’t want you seeing it until your birthday.”

Ooh,” Elise said. “Daddy?”


“Is — is that what you and Grandpa call …” Elise wrinkled her nose and tried to get the strange and unfamiliar syllables out. “Ne-cess-ary sub-ter-fuge?”

Daddy looked up and asked over Elise’s head, “Is it bad that she’s not even four years old and she already speaks politics?”

“It’s inevitable, Tommy,” said Grammy, and that seemed to be enough for Daddy. He nodded and held out his hand.

Elise took it, and once again they started up the stairs.

They hurried down the corridor to a single door set into the wall. Daddy threw it open. “Ta-da!”

Elise gasped. Her eyes went wide. She looked up at Daddy. “… Daddy?”

“Happy birthday!” Daddy kissed the top of her head. “Do you like it, baby?”

Elise looked around, her jaw fallen. She couldn’t speak.

What Daddy had just shown her was a big bedroom, bigger than the nursery downstairs was. The walls were light green, the furniture white, the bedding and curtains gold — all of Elise’s favorite colors. When she looked around, she could see lots of big windows, giving her a view all around. There was a desk in front of some of those windows, so she could sit at it and look out. In one corner was a bookshelf and a couch, in another a wardrobe, in yet another a bed, and in the last, a carpet with three dollhouses.

Wow, Daddy!” Elise finally was able to say. “Is — is this all for me?”

“Is this all for you? Elise!” Daddy put an arm around her and held her close. “Whose birthday is it?”

“But — but that’s three dollhouses!” she gasped.

“That’s because your loving relatives aren’t very creative, Elise,” said Auntie Garnet, stepping forward. “The castle one is from me and–from me,” Auntie Garnet corrected.

Mummy hurried to add, “And the treehouse is from Auntie Clarice and Uncle Freddy, and the fairie castle is from Aunt Morgan and Uncle Accolon. She says that Chloe has one just like it.”

Wow!” Elise said again — which for some reason made all the grown-ups laugh. Elise wrinkled her nose at them.

“And I,” said Uncle Kay, sliding forward, “sacrificed my dignity and got you dolls — so, darling, if you’re going to have a whole doll village, you ought to have the dolls to populate it!”

“Thank you, Uncle Kay! And Auntie Garnet — and Mummy — and Daddy …” Elise stopped, biting her lip. “Mummy?”

“Yes, sweetie?” Mummy asked. She put Wart down (he was itching and bouncing, like he often was) and went up to Elise.

“How am I going to thank the people who aren’t here?”

“We’ll write thank-you notes tomorrow,” Mummy promised.

Elise bit her lip, but she nodded. She couldn’t write very well yet — which, since she couldn’t really read, only made sense. But when Mummy wrote thank-you notes, her writing was always so even and pretty, and when Elise wrote her name at the bottom, it was always so sloppy and big. And she didn’t know why Mummy said that wouldn’t bother anybody who got the notes.

“Uh oh,” murmured Uncle Kay.

“What?” asked Daddy.

Uncle Kay gestured — and everybody turned to look at the doll castle.

And Wart.

“Wart!” cried Mummy. “Get that out of your mouth!”

“Oh, Wart!” Auntie Garnet was the fastest, and she swooped in, took the doll from Wart’s mouth and picked him up.

“Noo!” Wart cried, grasping for the doll. Auntie Garnet held it just out of his reach.

“No!” Elise cried out. “Eat your own dolls, Wart, don’t eat mine! I didn’t even play with them yet!”

Then Elise stopped, gasping. Mummy always said she had to be patient with Wart, because he was little and he didn’t know how to be good the way Elise did. She had to wait for him to catch up with her. She looked sidelong at Mummy.

But Daddy came to her rescue before Elise could even notice that Mummy still looked a little put out — and whether at Elise or Wart, Elise couldn’t tell. “Aye! You hear that, lad?” Daddy caught Wart’s cheeks in his hand. “I will buy you all the — heaven help me — dolls you like to chew on, as long as you promise not to eat your sister’s. Understand?”

Wart turned his head to one side — then he burst out laughing. Daddy threw his hands up. “What do I need to do to get some respect around here?”

“Not ask for it from a two-year-old, for one,” laughed Grammy. “Here — Garnet, let me have him. I’ll keep him from eating anybody’s dolls.”

Garnet put Wart on Grammy’s lap, and Elise could look back at Mummy.

“Do you like it, sweetie?” she asked, and Elise saw that Mummy looked almost as nervous as Elise often felt.

Elise hadn’t answered that before? Maybe she hadn’t. “I love it, Mummy! Thank you! And Daddy!”

“Good.” Mummy looked relieved. She kissed Elise’s forehead. “I’m glad.”

“But … Mummy?” asked Elise.


“What about the nursery?”

“Ah!” Mummy replied. “Well, we’re going to have those same workmen come back, and they’re going to get it ready for the new baby, when he–”

“Or she!” said Daddy, the way he always did when Mummy called the new baby “he.”

“Or she,” Mummy added. “When the baby comes in Imsdyn, he or she will use your old nursery.”

“Ooooh!” Elise replied. She patted Mummy’s tummy. “I hope you like my nursery, new baby! I know I did!”

That’s my girl,” said Daddy, kneeling down to kiss Elise on the cheek. “Irrepressible optimism, that’s the ticket.”

Irrepressible optimism — Elise didn’t know what that meant, but she’d ask Grammy later. She knew better than to ask Daddy what words he used meant when Uncle Kay was around. Uncle Kay would shout out something that made all the grown-ups laugh, but would only confuse Elise more. Then Elise would have twice the words to take to Grammy later. It was better to just save it.

But kissing Daddy, she saw something behind him. “Daddy? Who are all the books from?”

“Auntie Jessie and Uncle Will — because they are not nearly as much as fun as me,” said Uncle Kay, winking at Elise.

Elise looked at Daddy in confusion. “Are they not storybooks, Daddy? Are they big-person books?”

“They’re not all storybooks,” Daddy admitted, “but none of them are grown-up books. Let’s see — Auntie Jessie said there was a bestiary in there –”

“A b-b-best …” Elise tried to repeat, then glanced at Uncle Kay, hoping he wouldn’t say anything.

He didn’t. Daddy was able to explain. “It’s a book full of different animals — er, well, writing about different animals. It would be hard to squeeze all those animals into a big.”

“Animals?” Elise gasped. “Like puppies and kitties and ponies?”

“And more!” Auntie Garnet promised. “Animals like tigers and dolphins and dragons!”

Dragons?” Elise asked. “Like us, Daddy? Pen-dragons?”

Kay snickered, and Daddy glared at him. “Not quite like us. But close.”

“Ooh, Daddy — can you read that book to me, please?” Elise asked.

And she regretted it. They had guests present. Mummy said that when you had guests, you had to try to make sure they were having a good time. They probably wouldn’t like to sit around while Daddy read to her.

But when Elise looked around … everybody was smiling at her and Daddy. Maybe they wouldn’t mind …

“Of course, baby,” said Daddy, closing the book on that issue even as he went to the bookshelf to open a different book.

He found it quickly, took it out, and plopped to the ground. Elise grinned and sat down in front of him. This was how they sat to read, just the two of them, even though Grammy and Grandpa and even Mummy liked to read to Elise when they were sitting on a couch, or Elise was in bed starting to go to sleep and they sat on a chair.

“So,” said Daddy, wetting his finger and flipping through the pages, “where shall we begin?”

“Begin at the beginning, Daddy!” laughed Elise, because that was something Grandpa often said — well, except for the “Daddy” part.

“The beginning! Very well! We’ll start with the alerion. Ahem!” Daddy cleared his throat. “The alerion is a huge bird, bigger than an eagle, with wings the color of fire. It is the king of all the other birds …”

Elise hunkered down, getting comfortable, grinning. And as Daddy continued to read, she could only think one thing:

This is the best birthday EVER!


10 thoughts on “A Gift of Love

  1. Awww. She’s cute. Happy Birthday, Elise. I hope you had a great day, someone deserves to.

    I love the Pendragon family dynamic. They’re just so loud and brash and funny especially for a royal family. They could be one of those royal families that have hard uncomfortable things stuffed in awkward places and they wouldn’t be near as much fun.

    So I didn’t notice a Grandfather Borther there. Too manly to go to a girl’s birthday party?

    I also loved Kay getting dolls for Elise. That just seems like something Kay would do, under protest, I’m sure, but he’d secretly like it if he knew it’d make the girl in question happy.

    And yay! No Mordred and nobody even thought about him or what he did, except maybe a little from Garnet when she had to say the dollhouse was just from her.

    • Elise did have a great day — and most of the reason I included this post was so we could see SOMEBODY having a good day. It’s been pretty much a gloom-fest since Mordred killed Lamorak. Unfortunately, this was only a break in the clouds, and the rain won’t be letting up just yet.

      πŸ˜€ I do love the Pendragons, too. I think their secret is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Makes life a lot easier if you’re always the one to get the joke, as Kay said.

      And nope, Bors wasn’t there — but this isn’t the party-party, this is just a small gathering to show Elise her new bedroom. Bors will make an appearance at the official party, because a) she is his granddaughter and b) she’s a princess.

      Tee hee! Of course Kay got stuck getting the dolls. But he probably had some fun with it — I’m sure Elise has the most eclectic crew of dolls in Albion now.

      Yup! This was a certified Mordred-free post. We needed that!

      Thanks, Andavri!

  2. Awww, how sweet! Elise is growing up to be adorable. I’m glad she had a happy birthday. πŸ™‚

    Sim toddlers and their chewing on dolls! XD It’s okay, Wart; your parents may not know for sure, but we on this side of the screen know that you’re not leaving any teeth marks. πŸ˜‰

    And I bet Kay had more fun than he’ll ever admit to when he was picking out dolls! Any daughters of his are going to be spoiled rotten.

    I didn’t really notice Bors’s absence until Andavri pointed it out. But it’s probably best for everyone that he’s not there.

    Garnet. 😦 But it’s nice that she’s made such an effort for Elise, and I do think she’s genuinely happy to be with her family.

    (Also, Tommy more than makes up for Mordred in the last post! Tommy’s the last person to have a not-so-secret other family, but if he did, dammit, both sets of kids would feel like the luckiest kids in the world.)

    • Good point about the teeth marks! Elise was lucky there. Although I guess somebody could take a page from Naroni’s (?) book and claim that it’s a new fashion in the doll kingdom? πŸ˜‰

      Yes, Kay will be spoiling his daughters — and sons, too, probably. Dilys is going to have to keep one heck of a level head in order to combat the Pendragon when it comes to child-rearing! πŸ˜‰

      And Bors — yeah, he really wasn’t welcome here. He wouldn’t have understood the point of all the fanfare about showing Elise her new bedroom. He would have just had the stuff moved and told the nurse to tell Elise around bedtime. After all, older children have to make way for younger (potentially male) children, and the sooner everyone involved understands that, the better.

      This was a bright spot for Garnet — I think, though, that being there for Elise was as much about making herself feel at least a little happy as it was about being there for Elise. I don’t doubt that the people who love Garnet are telling her that while it’s good to grieve, her life isn’t over yet and Lamorak wouldn’t want her to be wallowing when she could be having some innocent fun.

      Yay, I’m glad that Tommy is an obvious antidote to Mordred! I was noticing some similarities in the way they each spoke to their favorite daughter … but maybe it’s just me. Also, it could be that there are only so many ways you can talk to a four-year-old and have them understand. That’s probably it.

      God knows the feelings behind the talking couldn’t be more different.

      Thanks, Van! πŸ™‚

  3. This family is the awesomest royal family ever. *nods* (And no, I didn’t notice Bors’s absence, either.) But poor Garnet. “The castle one is from me and- from me,” that was so sad. And I feel like I’m ruining the party here, but I can’t help but feeling a little concerned for Elise; I don’t like the signs that some of Lynn’s Bors-induced insecurities have rubbed off on her even though she’s surrounded by such a loving family (“Mummy looked almost as nervous as Elise often felt”).(Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Lynn is a bad mother or anything like that, but kids notice things. :()

    • Elise is an interesting case. Her in-game, genetic personality (which is my starting point for creating characters out of born-in-game Sims) is very similar to Lynn’s, only even more extreme on the Neat and Nice front. (Lynn is 9/2/4/3/7, Virgo; Elise is 10/2/9/3/10, Virgo.)

      When I look at Elise’s personality, I see someone who is very conscientious, nice to a fault, serious, and hesitant and unsure in social situations. (Still trying to figure out what to do with those 9 active points, though. Other than constantly tell her to “run here” when I need her to do something on the lot.) And to me … that seems like a recipe for a certain amount of perfectionism and perhaps anxiety. And she’s got a family history of depression, a history that she witnessed, even if she was too young to really understand what Lynn was going through.

      Plus we’ve got the environment to consider. The Pendragons aren’t anything like Bors. But Elise has been a public figure from the day of her birth, and even though I see Tommy et al. trying to shield her from that as much as possible until she’s old enough to handle it, it’s going to leak through. At the end of the day she’s still a princess, she still represents Albion, and people are counting on her to do a good job — just like how at the end of the day, Lynn needed to bear a son, preferably several sons.

      Lynn and Elise both, I think, have the same underlying need to do the right thing, to be a good person, to make everybody else happy — to “do their duty.” Bors took that drive in Lynn and twisted it until she almost broke. It remains to be seen what will happen with Elise’s drive. (It could be good things! Lynn’s already turned her own desire to make others happy to good things!)

      And on that cheerful note, thanks, Nix! πŸ™‚

  4. Aww! Elise is simply lovely. It’s strange because I didn’t realise Bors wasn’t there either. But then I suppose we didn’t see Elyan or Claire or much of Lynn’s side of the family, I’m guessing this wasn’t really a birthday ‘party’ as such?

    It was so sad to see Garnet correcting herself. It really is such a shame that she had so little happy and fufilled time with Lamorak, although I’m glad she (and they all) didn’t let it overshadow Elise’s birthday. And Wart was so bless!

    The Pendragons, I have to say, are indescribably awesome.

    • Claire was there! She was a bit quiet because … well … you try getting a word in edgewise in a room full of Pendragons. πŸ˜‰ The thing is, with showing Lynn’s side of the family, is that the Pendragons usually have so much other stuff going on that there’s little time to show the domestic side of things. At some point, maybe I should do some kind of a playdate showing Claire and the younger twins, Clarice and her kids, and Lynn and her kids to show how everybody in the de Ganis family who is not Bors, Elyan, or (alas) Angelique is getting along. πŸ™‚

      But you’re right that this wasn’t the official “party.” That will happen off-screen, because pretty much nothing interesting will happen and I’m not gathering that many Sims together only to have nothing interesting happen. πŸ˜‰

      Indeed … poor Garnet. And I very much fear that things might get worse for her before they get better.

      But yay, I’m glad the Pendragons have so many fans! Especially the youngest ones — I always give such short shrift to the kids, it’s nice to see them getting noticed when they get a word in edgewise.

      Thanks, Emma! πŸ˜€

  5. Oh, the feels! That’s such a cute, big girl gift, and the room is adorable. I loved that it was done up in Elise’s favorite colors. I’m sure if her not-the-king grandfather had to decorate it, it would have been done either in family colors or whatever was on final clearance down at Ye Olde Castle Depot. And as for her is-the-king grandfather, I loved that he was there to attend the grand opening. I know of a certain other sim royal family that could take a hint from the Pendragons!

    Poor Garnet. It has to get better for her, but Mummy was right – it’ll take a while. She seems to be holding up relatively well, or as well as one might expect. It’s almost unthinkable what her family’s put her through regarding Lamorak, but she’s still hanging on even with him gone. If what you said just above is true, she’s going to need that strength going forward. (Hopefully to push her stupid brother off of a bridge over a lava pit…)

    • LOL! I certainly wouldn’t trust Bors to be decorating a child’s room! … Or anybody’s room, for that matter. It’s a good thing that Claire has decent or decent-enough taste, or else the de Ganis chateau would be an unmitigated disaster.

      However, to be fair, Elise’s other grandfather wouldn’t have a clue about how to go about decorating a bedroom either … but luckily he has people for that. πŸ˜‰ Still, he was thrilled to be there for his first grandchild, even if, at the end of the day, his only real contribution to the room was signing the check.

      At least Garnet has her extended family to help her out — while Morgause and Mordred have been horrible regarding Lamorak (and Morgan and Accolon weren’t initially enthusiastic, thinking that she could do better from a purely personal perspective, though they came around eventually), the Pendragons have always been on the Lamorak-Garnet bandwagon. Sometimes I wonder if the Pendragons and le Fays ought to be listed as Garnet’s real family … though that’s giving short shrift to Lot and hell, Agravaine. (To say nothing of Dindrane and her kids!)

      However, if and when Garnet finds out what Mordred did — and if she gets the power to get back at him — I don’t see her pushing him into a lava pit. Nope. That’s too quick and easy. She’d be lowering him in slowly, inch by inch, making him feel everything she felt.

      And on that cheerful note — thanks, Winter!

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