In search of an Heir, a drabble

From [personal profile] meridian_rose‘s prompt “What do you do if there aren’t enough princes/princesses to go around, and/or they’re gay or asexual or infertile?”

Though this one feels like just a beginning to me, too; I’d already gone over my 150 by nearly 3x

The King and his Consort sat studying each other over tea, a list of names on a piece of parchment between them. The King was old, his beard long and grey; his Consort, his third wife, slightly younger than his oldest son.

“Caleb doesn’t like girls,” she murmured, circling the name of his first son. “There will be no Heir there.”

“I never liked girls either,” the King murmured. “You close your eyes and think of other things, and do your duty.”

His Consort, unsurprised by this news, merely shrugged. “Caleb can’t seem to bring himself to that, and he outright refuses to marry. The people like having a Queen.” That their marriage was morgantic, she didn’t mention. Like her husband’s tastes, they’d gone over that ground long before.

“Well, Andrew. He likes women.”

“Impotent and infertile. And no woman would stand his presence long enough to marry him, except a maid who had no choice… and she wouldn’t be suitable for Queendom.”

“My brother’s son? Augie?”

“Immature, infantile, irresponsible. Prefers the company of horses to that of men or woman. And dogs.”

“Hrmf. Can’t have a puppy as heir. Damnit, woman, I’m not going to live forever.”

“Well, the way I see it, you have four choices.” She kept her voice level. It wouldn’t do to snap at him; ancient, crotchety granther or not (“not,” on the last point, really being the problem at hand), he was the King.

“Four?” he peered at her over his glasses.

“You can hope Augie grows into an adult who will close his eyes and do his duty. The second daughter of the king of Tanquir has a bit of a horsey look to her.”

“I’m not sure I have the time for that,” he admitted.

“You can put Caleb on the throne, and allow him to put his lover as Consort.”

“Grandchildren,” the king pointed out.

“Well, they do have adoption. And his Consort might be more willing to close his eyes,” she pointed out.

“Hrmf, what’s the third choice?”

“Find a practical, brutal woman willing to cuckold Augie and give you an heir.”

“We’re getting further and further from the royal line here, woman.”

She forbore to point out that the royal line seemed incapable of giving their King an heir, and, instead, moved on to her fourth option.

“Well, sir,” she offered carefully, “There’s always your daughter.”

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15 thoughts on “In search of an Heir, a drabble

  1. And I bet the daughter is intelligent and mature and thinks to the future of her country. Possibly already married? I even get the impression (though this is just a guess) that the daughter in question is not the child of this consort, and that the consort is advocating for women in general and the future of the country. I like the conversation!

    • Yes, the “morganatic” marriage means the Consort’s children inherit her ranks and titles, not her husband’s, so I assume the daughter is not the Consort’s. Why a King who doesn’t like women would enter into a such a marriage when he already has children currently escapes me. Even if the King’s daughter isn’t supposed to inherit by whatever the local rules are, her sons might be elegible to inherit — and as says, she may already have one or more, though I’d’ve guessed they’d count as “grandchildren” even if they don’t qualify as heirs.

      • Why a King who doesn’t like women would enter into a such a marriage when he already has children currently escapes me. I think he was lonely, and, after his previous wives, believed that he needed a woman’s touch around the place. Also, I felt like saying “morganatic.” 😉

    • Probably not already married, no. And yes, the Consort is advocating for the future of the country, not for her own (likely non-extant children) Thanks!

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