Author's Notes: Okay, Merlin is a big figure in Arthurian legends, I know. He just hasn't been significant in the lives of Emma and Chelsea so I really haven't touched base with him yet. So sorry for lack of descriptions, I just can't put into words what I see in my head! About Morgan Le Fay, she was mentioned by Thomas Malory in his works, but the island of Avalon belongs solely to Marion Zimmer Bradley, Arthur's mother is Igraine. Avalon didn't exist, and no one is from there according to Lemorte d'arthur. Anywho, I just want to clarify. Arthur doesn't hate women, just Emma...^_^ OH! ONE MORE THING; Avalonians and Christians couldn't have had much contact, BECAUSE AVALON DOESN'T EXIST.

Purity, Chapter Five

Arthur sighed and rubbed his long fingers across his eyelids, he felt his breath sink into the air like lead as he waited for Lancelot to speak with him. The still young king, about twenty-two was sitting slouched in his chair, his light auburn hair dirty and low on his chin. He kept his face clean shaven, despite what the Saxon heathens called him. Percival had left the court sometime yesterday, off to find Sir Tristam in Lesser Britain. Dragons and other mythical beasts occupied the mind of most knights these days, finding a damsel in distress and marrying off some beautiful princess. Gawaine himself had left to find himself a bride in the Sacred Isle, not wishing to find himself a dragon to fight. Arthur smiled and sighed again, knowing why Guenevere was cross with him. She had accused him the night before of treating women like wicked creatures, not appreciating Emma and Chelsea's aid and being rude. He opened his sore eyes and sat still, deep in thought. It wasn't that he hated women or thought them weak and unimportant, he respected Emma and Chelsea it was just that...He'd never met a woman in his life that would defy him, or stand up for themselves...It was true then, he was intimidated by her. He saw Lancelot's lanky shadow play across the floor, yanking him rudely out of his daydream. He looked up into Lancelot's light blue eyes, the dark hair cut shorter than his own, also dirty from training. He looked at his sorrowful king with concern as he sat before Arthur.

"Lancelot, you know Chelsea and Emma best, what is it that I find so revolting?" he asked, wrinkling his nose. Lancelot looked relieved.

"My king, you should not let this disturb you! Emma is quite the insolent wench, when she wants to be. She got wrong first impressions, nothing to worry about." Lancelot assured Arthur with a smile. Arthur sighed again, wishing silently his cousellor, Merlin, was there to guide him. Igraine walked into the throne, her weak shoulders dropping slightly as she caught sight of her son and Lancelot.

"Arthur! Your guest has arrived." she bowed and stepped to her side, an elderly man, stooped with his age swept into the stone room. He looked around the interior of the vast throne like Emma had done and smiled.

"I like what you've done with the place." he jested. Arthur smiled and stood, forgetting momentarily about his unreasonable dislike of Emma and Chelsea.

"Merlin! Come, sit by the fire, we must talk." Arthur insisted, pulling Merlin's feeble arm. Lancelot bowed and let himself out of the throne, leaving Arthur and Merlin to their conversation.

"My boy, you have grown plenty! If the crown of gold was not situated on your head I may have mistaken you for a page." Merlin fingered Arthur's dirty riding clothes with a smile. "I have word from Rounak that two women are living within these walls, is it true?" he asked. Arthur nodded and waved to a page for wine and bread.

"They are, and they are training my knights of Rounak's ways." Arthur said. Merlin cocked an eyebrow and smiled at the young woman walking through the court. Guenevere walked up to the young woman and cuffed her on the shoulder, frowning slightly.

"Arthur? I was talking to you, my boy!" Merlin waved a hand in front of Arthur's face. Arthur jerked his head away from the two women in the doorway.

"Sorry, when you said Rounak Chelsea walked in. She is one of the women here." Arthur looked away from the inquisitive eyes of Merlin uneasily.

"I see, may I talk to her?" Merlin asked. Arthur looked to his sword, Excaliber, and nodded, remembering Chelsea's first encounter with him. Arthur liked Chelsea, she was polite yet still dangerous.

"You may, but make sure it is Chelsea, you may regret speaking to Emma." Arthur heard himself warn. He turned towards Merlin, seeing his raised eyebrows. "I do not know why I don't like her, she is not the nicest to me, nor am I nice to her." Arthur admitted. Merliin nodded and waved to the young red haired woman skipping about the hall. Chelsea approached Merlin with an unsure stance as she bowed to him respectfully.

"Sir," she raised her eyes to meet his own, light blue. "I am Chelsea." she allowed him to take her hand and kiss it with a smile.

"Chelsea? Where have I heard that before?" he asked her. Chelsea shrugged and looked over her shoulder nervously.

"Maybe you've heard of our mother." Emma said helpfully, stepping into Arthur's throne, biting back an insult as Arthur glared at her.

"Emma, what a pleasure." Arthur said sarcastically. Emma rolled her eyes and stepped to her king reproachfully.

"Sorry, my lord, I beg of your forgiveness." Emma bowed bitterly. Arthur felt a pang of guilt as she controlled her raging rebellion. It wasn't that he needed her respect or loyalty, it was just intimidating that she didn't find him a powerful thing to be reckoned with. He shivered.

"What of your mother, Emma?" Merlin asked, intrigued by the two women, identical twins. Very uncommon at this time.

"Rain? Emma said, knowing he would have heard of her, the woman who brought scandal to the priestesses of Rounak.

"Of course! You are daughter to Philip and Rain?You have her eyes, Emma." Merlin said, after crying out softly. Emma bowed and looked at her sister, her right eye glittered brown slyly. Only way they could really be told apart was their eyes. Emma's left was brown, Chelsea's right was brown. Of course, nobody looked close enough to notice half the time.

"I barely remember Rounak, I do remember staying with the elves. That's where we stayed and I was gifted my first bow." Emma fell into a daydream as she remembered her oak bow, so strong until her father and it had been locked inside their humble home in Preston. She shook away the look of pain and fear in her father's face and focused on Arthur's confused glare.

"What?" she snapped. Arthur jerked his head away, blushing slightly. "Nothing." he muttered.

"Emma!" Lancelot called, waving an arm to her. Emma whirled about, her knee unhinging for a moment as she saw his face. She did an odd half-kneel before lurching to her feet, hand resting on the hilt of her sword.

"Yes?" she croaked, her shoulder ached dully as she tested the weight of Moonstone on her arm. Lancelot's hard stare wavered to Emma's sword as he caught his breath.

"Bors says Tristam and Percival approach, they are injured and he says you know how to-" Emma dropped her hand from the hilt of her sword and walked briskly past Lancelot and Bors. She didn't hear Arthur and Merlin follow, Chelsea already outside. She could only hear Tristam's loud moaning and Percival's enchanted sob. She turned her head in their direction, seeing the blood drip from their arms and legs to the dark stone. Emma stopped, the stone was light, only dark with the stain of blood. She took Tristam from his horse, holding his head gently and examining the spear shaft lodged in his side. Percival shrieked loudly as Emma tried to sit him up, his back was twisted at an impossible angle.

"How did they make it here alive?" Emma said, surprised they had made it so far with their injuries. A average sized knight fell inside the gate's walls, a storm of people shouting behind him. They were scared out of their minds, their king's most trusted knights mutilated and in pain. Saxons could not have done what had happened to Percival and the other knight. Sir Gawaine. "Gawaine?" she tried quietly. The knight tilted his head to Emma slowly, his eyelids burning. A vague shadow filled his mind, clouding his memory and forcing his eyes to cross. Emma seethed angrily, trying to calm all three men at once. Gareth and Galahad helped Tristam to his feet, helping him to the medical wing. Percival howled as Emma roughly tore his tunic and examined his chest for a wound as well. A dark bruise wrapped from the twist in his back to his left lung, purple and bleeding slightly. Emma cringed as she drew a dagger from her cloak, slitting her wrist. She felt her mind wander from her body as she poured her life into Percival, his bleeding had stopped, but he had lost much. Gawaine reached blindly out for something real, something not in this terrifying nightmare he was living in. He found Emma's ankle and pulled on it, opening his eyes to the light.

"Emma?" he asked, clearly confused. Emma looked back at him anxiously.

"Melea." she touched his brow, Gawaine falling asleep at her touch, collapsing to her feet. Emma hastily flipped the momentarily quiet Percival onto his stomach, seeing his broken bones pinching his muscles and nerves. She winced and tilted his head away from her, waving her hands over his back, causing it to become numb so he would not feel any pain. She very carefully realigned his crooked, broken back and sat back, sweat pouring down her brow and neck. She hadn't realized how much magic she'd been using to keep Percival alive, she was aware of her bleeding wrist. Unconsciously she waved her hand over it, feeling the wound close immediately. Emma looked nervously around to her left and right for observers, but all were watching from behind. She conjured a dampened rag from thin air, placing it on Percival's back, warming it with her magic. Galahad stood, mouth agape as Emma continued to hastily mend Percival's grotesque back. She finally leaned back from the silent body, looking her handywork over roughly.

"She is skilled, you should be proud to house her." Merlin whispered. Arthur sighed and nodded, knowing his counsellor was correct.

"I know, she just...intimidates me. I know not this feeling." He confessed shamefully. Merlin smiled, Emma brusquely taking the sleeping Gawaine's head and kissing his closed eyelids.

"Awake, dear follower, you're needed here." Emma whispered. Gawaine groaned and opened his eyes, blinking furiously.

"It is you! I knew it!" Gawaine said, feeling his ankle with some uncertainty. "Damnations!" he muttered, also not seeing their expansive audience.

"Come come! I can fix that!" Emma laughed, relieved her dearest second cousin was not hurt. He was her mother's cousin's son.

"Well hurry, it hurts more than my burns in Rounak!" Gawaine and Emma laughed relievedly. Emma set his ankle with a loud crack, Gawaine wincing and crying out. She conjured a splint and wrapped his ankle.

"I'm too tired, so sorry. Wear this for three weeks, I believe you only sprained it." A loud scream emitted from the medical wing. Emma looked horrified. "So sorry, dear Gawaine but I do believe Tristam needs me!" Emma lurched to her feet, her plain men's garb stained with Percival's blood. She sprinted to Tristam's room, ducking inside to see Lancelot hunched over him, shushing his screams and wringing his hands uneasily.

"Tristam, do stop! Emma will save you!" Lancelot shook Tristam briskly. He howled louder, blood pouring from his side onto the clean white sheets.

"Keep the wench from me, I wish never to see them again!" he turned in his bed to face the door. Emma shrank back, knowing his reaction.

"Tristam..." she came forth, knowing he had seen her. The emaciated knight whimpered, blood trailing out of his mouth.

"I know of your people, they tried to save me." he reached a hand up suddenly, pulling her loose red hair off her pointed ears. His own black hair was clotted with dirt and blood, his beard caked with the blood that had dribbled from his bleeding mouth. Emma touched his cheek, feeling the rough stubbled and smiling.

"I hope you know that my people will always try to save a pure heart." she smiled. Tristam's whistling breath slowed, Lancelot looking relieved as Emma looked at the painful spear and broken shaft buried in his side. She knew it would be tricky but if she could only borrow some magic from Chelsea, it could be done.

"R?mma, I do believe you can save him." Chelsea said, placing her necklace on Emma's neck. Emma felt the power surge into her body, her hands shaking with the intensity.

"Indeed." she whispered. She placed a hand on Tristam's brow, closing his eyes. Emma swiftly tilted his head back, reaching inside his deep wound for the spear head. It was embedded in his flesh, a near miss of his liver and other precious organs. Emma slipped it out, feeling unconcerned as Tristam squirmed in his sleep. Chelsea swayed on her feet, her magic was being drained slowly as Emma tried to save the poor fool's life. Evidently he'd wandered into Tar?forest and met the ?natiel women. They were wicked temptresses and seduced young knights into their forest unwittingly to torture and kill for their Gods. Chelsea fell to her knees as Emma finally pulled the ?natielian spear from his body, the poison having already subsided. Tristam would forever welcome new women reluctantly, Emma and Chelsea knew. Emma sighed, Tristam was unpure, having bedded unwittingly one of the seductresses. She blessed him, laying a small tatoo of his own blood on his bare chest. Chelsea took her necklace back hungrily, feeling her power flood back into her body.

"Hernama, starno." Chelsea whispered. Emma bowed her flushed face, feeling the extra power drain from her shaking hands.

"Triashna ja." Emma held her hand towards Chelsea, feeling warmth for her. Chelsea took her hand, the sisters of Rain?miling to one another again.

"Emma!" Galahad slid into the room, his eyes wild. "A man waits outside, he says he is of Rounak, he wishes to see you!" Galahad looked slightly angry, Emma smiled. Orotai, her mother's promised husband.

"Fear not, beloved husband, it is but my mother's promised husband. He did not get what he is promised, he seeks instead her daughters." Emma almost laughed as Chelsea wrinkled her nose and Galahad's mouth dropped open farther.

"Do not worry, brother in law, she is married to you! No law will permit her to marry another." Chelsea smiled at the sheepish knight. Emma slipped past him, Chelsea following swiftly. She stepped up behind the elderly warrior, his fair hair streaked with gray and white. Emma winced as the warrior spoke of Chelsea and herself like seductresses and lovely virgins.

"They are foul temptresses over in Rounak, every young girl promises her virginity to the Great Mother, but every once in awhile, one girl 'forgets' and that's when we get lucky." the elder man laughed. The other knights roared with laughter as Chelsea and Emma draped their arms on his shoulders and smiled evilly.

"Temptresses eh? Tar?leba noy maran!" Emma snarled. Lancelot gasped, stifling a louder one as Orotai turned to her, mouth agape.

"Emma! Watch your mouth!" Orotai scolded, looking her up and down. He searched quickly for her mark, tisking slightly as he did not find it. "What of your promise?" he asked reproachfully. Emma let out a laugh, pulling his mottled hands from her wrist, hearing Galahad skip the last two stone steps and jog to her side.

"The Mother has fufilled her promise, as did I. I am married." she pondered about telling him that she was meant to carry a child, decided not to and smiled.

"So you have." Orotai placed a hand on her stomach, a strip of blood red mist surrounding her still flat belly. Emma's face showed sheer amazement as the mist took shape of a small child, curled in her womb. She touched the mist, which upon it shattered and soaked into the air again.

"Great Mother..." Chelsea whispered, looking to Galahad. He was staring, unseeing at Emma's stomach, feeling quite blank.

"R?mma, are you with child?" Merlin asked, seeing her wringing hands and happy face. She nodded and looked at Galahad's now comprending face.

"Indeed I am! The magic of Rounak never lies, it shows the truth!" Emma pranced for a moment, feeling giddy. She turned to Galahad, her heart falling for a moment, his eyes disbelieving.

"How can you know so soon?" Gareth asked skeptically. Emma clucked her tongue and gestured to her stomach.

"Simple, magic!" she crowed. The Christian knights crossed themselves, Galahad included, happy as he was. He hugged his wife and smiled, his heart light. Only the smallest part of him regretted it happening so soon.

"May we dine tonight in your honor, my lady." Arthur said respectively. Emma cast him a popped eyebrow, inquisitive but unhurt by his curtness.

"Thank you, my king." she bowed low and smiled. "I am pleased to hear I have not reserved a place in your heart to be damned." she grinned. Arthur smiled, relieved his mouth did not spout off something he would regret.

"Ah, Emma! How could I hate a woman so noble as you to have married one of my knights? You will never hold a reservation in hell accountable by me." Arthur promised. Emma bowed again, looking amazed as the king she assumed had hardened his heart towards her, opened his arms in love and kindness.

"Once again, thank you." she looked to Chelsea, inquisitve cat-like eyes were blinking furiously against tears. Arthur felt his mind clear itself of worry that he would forever hate Emma. Hate, the first sin that he had to constantly confess to his priests to.

Life moved around Emma throughout the castle, people stopped her and congratulated her, she tended to Tristam and Percival, Bors healed by Chelsea fully in private, so the good Christians would not feel guilty. Emma felt an odd presence, her heart pounded with that old fear as she rounded the corner, Lancelot alone, staring out of the hall window in silence. Emma flinched as he whirled around, eyes flat and expressionless. She flinched again as he started towards her, eyes rapidly changing from flat to hungry. He touched her face, feeling her bruise gently, the hunger draining from her face as soon as she whimpered.

"Forgive me to make you uncomfortable, I am in pain to see what I have done to you." Lancelot whispered. He saw in his mind Galahad's cold blue stare, so like his own reproaching him for his sin that night. Emma pulled her face from his gentle grip gingerly, minding her bruise.

"Please, I see the look in your eye, I know it is not me you want though. It's Chelsea, go see her! She is not unreachable yet, Lancelot!" Emma pleaded. Lancelot knew she was right, he wanted to speak to Chelsea and beg her forgiveness. With that final cringe from his mind, Lancelot raced down the hall to seek Emma's twin. Emma sighed in relief, turning towards Tristam's quarters, hearing a soft noise.

"Lady Emma-" Tristam began, standing in the doorway. Emma shrieked and chased him to his bed, watching his side wearily as he twittered about fretfully.

"You fool! Stay in the bed lest you want to have that wound forever!" Emma warned. Tristam made a soft noise, remembering the seductresses of ?natiel. Emma softened, feeling his forehead warmly, smiling on his hardened stare.

"I'm sorry, my lady. I wish only to see the sun." Tristam glanced about the room, the stone walls showing no window nor sunlight. Emma smiled and looked about for something to help the poor fool. She saw an old wooden cart, broken in the halls and a broken rocking chair. With a smile, Emma handed Tristam the dampened rag she had brought for his wound.

"If you hold this to your side for about thirty minutes, I promise you'll leave the room without hurting yourself." Emma said seriously. Tristam looked skeptical but took the rag and held it to his side, the hot water drizzling into the open wound. He grimaced and watched Emma start to construct a wheelchair. After twenty of the promised thirty, Emma stood back, admiring her crude but efficient wheelchair.

"What is it?" Tristam asked, letting the cloth drop from his side. Emma helped him sit in it, laughing slighly as he fiddled with the large back wheels constructed of wood.

"It is a wheelchair, you are lucky your room is on the ground floor, you don't have to bother with stairs!" Emma laughed, pusing Tristam down the stairs, seeing Percival's silent body inside his room. "If you push the wheels yourself, it'll be easier than dragging your feet." Emma said. Tristam tested this out, laughing as he did a few 360's and wheelies.

"This is quite unique, thank you! May I go outside with it?" Tristam asked, his eyes glittering. Emma narrowed her eyes, not believing he just wanted fresh air.

"I suppose, just don't intentionally run into large stone objects such as rocks." Emma said. Tristam laughed again, spinning around and setting off for the dining hall. Emma did a turn of her own, setting foot silently in Percival's room and noting that his breathing had not improved at all. She wondered briefly what had happened to him, such a cautious knight. No Saxon or brute could've done this to him, but no beast could've maneuvered him in such a way to leave him unscathed upon his frightened mare yet so damaged. This was work of a talented warrior, such as one from Rounak. Emma cringed, feeling her mind leap into the young knight's.

She felt her feet prod her horse to move faster, her heart quicken and her breathing grow ragged. She felt an insurmountable level of fear well up inside her, her head spinning wildly. A bright light and a loud howl, her back exploded in pain, her mind screaming in agony, leaning forth to the mare's neck. The horse plodded on, not noticing. She skipped through time, one day he had traveled so. As if she was an angel, she saw Percival's perception of herself. She was surrounded by bright light, her hands quick and soft. She took away the pain and cured his sorrows by whispering reassurances in his ear. She blinked, in her own body again.

"Sir Kay comes at noon." the knight whispered. Emma nodded and looked solemnly at the scarred boy.

"He does, so indeed does Isolde, he will be weary." Emma said, her voice taking on the same echo as Percival's. So be it, she had gained ?ano. The art of traveling into another's mind intentionally. In doing so, she had given part of her Gift to the young knight. Percival stirred in his weariness, the pillows stacked around him keeping his back from twisting again in its fragile state. Emma touched his brow, blessing him softly, bowing deeply and preparing herself for the feast.