Fandom: The Bravest Knight
Summary: Cedric's in bed with a cold.
“Dad!” The bed shook as Nia jumped onto the end of it. She poked at the bulge under the down comforter with one end of her training staff.
The lump moved and stretched out until Cedric’s head emerged from beneath the covers. “Hi Pumpkin,” he said, his speech only filled with light congestion from his cold.
“I might be wearing orange, but I’m not a pumpkin,” she said, looking indignant.
“Don’t be too sure,” he said. “Things aren’t always what they claim to be. Sometimes you have to use more than just your eyes…” He pulled a hand out from under the covers as well and rubbed two fingers under his nose.
Nia rolled her eyes. Her father was able to turn any moment into a lesson for a not-yet-knight. “I get it. Sometimes I need to use my nose. But…” She sniffed at her tunic. “I don’t smell like a pumpkin either, Dad. If anything, I smell like soap.”
He shook his head. “No… hah-going to… hah ‘scuse hah-ahh-Hatchhhh!” He caught the sneeze in the crook of his arm then slid back under the comforter until it hid his nose and only his eyes and the top of his head stuck out.
“Thank sniff you.”
“You’re welcome!” She patted his feet through the comforter, as they stuck out beside her in the bed now.
“You know sniff it was important to us that you learn to be polite. A not-yet-knight might be called to perform sniff many acts of bravery, but sometimes it is politeness that makes the difference.” He coughed into the comforter, closing his eyes as each wet cough shook him, before he continued. “I can remember a time when I was a not-yet-knight and needed to—”
“Nia, are you making your dad tell you another story?”
Nia turned back toward the bedroom doorway, smiling. “Hi, Papa!”
“Hi, Sweetie. How about you go patrol the gardens for us this morning? I saw some crows eyeing the vegetables.”
Excitement flared in her eyes. She jumped up onto her feet and twirled her staff. “I’ll frighten them away!” Dramatically, she sprang off the edge of the bed, somersaulted in mid-air, and landed deftly on the stone floor before racing from the room.
As they heard her quick footsteps on the stairs, Prince Andrew sat down on his side of the bed and offered what he’d brought. “Tea?”
Sir Cedric eyed it skeptically. “Will it taste better than the soup you made?”
“I don’t think it could possibly be worse.”
“That’s what you said about the stew, and it… it was… oh no… I haveta...” His eyes closed and body tensed up. “hahh-EHPtshhhhh!”
“Bless you.” Prince Andrew patted the top of his head. Then he pulled a handkerchief out from an inner pocket of his robes and offered it.
Between it and the tea, the handkerchief was a much safer thing to accept. Though, after he had come up from under the covers to take it and blow his nose, he felt chilled. “You know, I learned a lot of lessons on the way to becoming a knight. And one of them was the importance of accepting help when it is offered.” He took the cup and sipped just a little to test the taste. The sourness puckered his mouth at once, but the warmth was quite welcome. “Is this… sniff… just hot lemon water?”
The Prince leaned over, peering into the cup with a frown. “Ah… Yes… You know, I may have forgotten to add the tea.”
He moved to take the cup back, but Cedric shook his head. Compared to the disasters that the soup and stew had been, this was almost a welcome change. “Just let me hold it for warmth.”
“May I hold you for warmth?”
Cedric smiled and nodded, feeling his husband’s hand and then arm slide around his shoulders. “This sniff!” He rubbed at his nose again. “This reminds me of a time when—”
“Hush. How about you save the stories for tomorrow and just rest up today?”
“Mmm,” Cedric agreed. After a few beats, however, he couldn’t take the sound of his sniffles in the silence. “Sniff! Or how about you tell me one for a ch-a change hahh-EMpshhh!” He smothered the sneeze with the handkerchief then lowered his head onto his prince’s shoulder.
“Bless you. Do you truly want a story?” Cedric moved his head in what constituted a nod, though it was still tilted and on Andrew’s shoulder. “All right then. How about I tell you of the time…”