To say Ulfric was surprised when he walked into the Palace of Kings after a long journey to and from Solitude would be an understatement. See, he expected it to be quiet. He assumed Zynobia would off on some adventure or somewhere in the town having drinks with the guys or something, seeing as she rarely went to sleep before two AM due to a habit started in the beginning of her adventuring days. He assumed the children would be asleep in bed. He assumed anyone that resided in the palace to be sleeping or out doing something or holed up in their rooms.
What he found was his wife standing on the large table cleared of any food holding a wooden sword in the air, her hand on her hip. Hroar, Samuel, Lucia, and Alesan, all had their own wooden swords out, standing in front of the table. They were all facing the room Ulfric and Zynobia once sat in pouring over plans to win the war, a room that was now rather useless. In front of the room was Sissel, Runa, and Francois, their swords out and pointed at the other group.
"You'll never get the princess! She's under our protection!" Runa shouted, waving her toy sword around.
"Haha, check your numbers! We over power you!" Zynobia shouted back. Lucia saw Ulfric and gasped.
"It's the King! Are you with us or against us?" she asked. Now everyone had turned to Ulfric who was raising his eyebrows in confusion. Zynobia jumped off the table and held her sword out to him.
"Choose your side wisely Stormcloak," she warned, winking at him. After a few moments, he raised his hands in mock surrender.
"I'm assuming it's Princess Sofie you're after seeing as she's the only one who's not here," he said. Sofie peaked her head out of the small room and waved.
"Hi papa!" she whisper shouted. He grinned a waved back at her.
"Silence!" Samuel shouted. She giggled and disappeared back into the room.
"It's time to choose!" Hroar told his father. Ulfric chuckled.
"Well, I can't let you get to the princess, now can I?" he asked, sidestepping to get in front of his other children.
"Wrong choice! Very well! You must suffer the consequences!" Alesan exclaimed.
Zynobia quickly made her way next to her husband's thrown and opened the toy box, pulling out another sword and tossing it to him. He caught it with ease.
"You armed the enemy!" Lucia exclaimed.
"We must make it a fair fight," Zynobia replied, making her way back over.
"Were bad guys, we don't care about fairness." Samuel frowned confused. Zynobia let out a chuckle and ruffled his hair, not bothering to reply.
"Ready, men?!" she exclaimed. Everyone cheered and they made it to battle.
Pretty soon Sissel, Runa, and Francois were all lying on the floor, fake dead, as well as Zynobia's side, making Ulfric, Zynobia, and Sofie the only active players.
"Out of my way, rebel." she warned, twirling the light sword in her hand.
"Not a chance." he smirked at her. They moved and began to clank their swords together, loud thumps echoing in the large room as they moved. Zynobia moved past him and grabbed Sofia, hugging her body in front of her as she pointed her sword at Ulfric.
"I have the princess. One move and she's gone." the Queen said. Ulfric smirked, looking at his daughter who grinned and softly elbowed her mother in the stomach. Zynobia pretended to be hurt and stumbled back, letting go and dropping her sword. Sofie turned, her sword held out in front of her.
"I protect myself!" she exclaimed happily.
"I see you've cut down the enemy. What will you do next?" Ulfric asked, unable to hide his mirth. Zynobia smiled at him. Sofie thought for a moment before raising her sword in the air.
"Take her to the dungeon!" she shouted. Ulfric chuckled and bent down scooping his wife in his arms, carrying her bridal style.
"Seems the princess has granted you mercy rather than killing you." he said.
"Well I would say this is worse but seeing as the king of this palace is so handsome, it might not be too bad." she smirked he grinned and moved his head down so that their lips connected.
The kids protests came in a chorus of disgusted voices, causing the couple to laugh. Ulfric set his wife down as all of the kids stood, keeping his arm wrapped around her waist.
"Alright, time for bed, children." he said. Considering it was one in the morning and they typically went to bed much earlier, none of them objected as they all quickly ran up stairs to their rooms. Zynobia rolled her eyes at the toys they left on the floor. Typically she would make them pick it up, not wanting her children to become spoiled and lazy, but tonight she decided to just do it herself. It was just a pile of swords anyways.
"You know, most parents wouldn't allow their children to play such violent games," Ulfric said as the two of them picked up the toys.
"Well, we're not most parents are we?" Zynobia asked, dropping the items into the chest next to her husband's thrown.
"Certainly not," Ulfric laughed. She grinned and turned, putting her hands behind his neck, he put his on her waist.
"You're a good father." she said.
"Aye, and you an even better mother." he replied. She smiled slightly, biting her lower lip. He leaned down and this time the kiss lasted much longer.
"So, how did the group of you not wake up the rest of the palace?" he asked.
"She didn't!" Galmar startled them. They turned to see him, Jorleif, Wuunferth, and Sifnar sitting on a bench on the opposite wall close to the door, clearly very amused.
"Have you been sitting there the whole time?" Ulfric asked as his wife held back a fit of giggles.
"Yes. It was quite the show." Wuunferth said.
"Well go- do something..." he said. Zynobia began to laugh falling into her lovers chest.
"We have too many people living here." Ulfric said, a hint of humor in his tone as the three adults dispersed.
"Careful, now, those are our babysitters, not many people are willing to look after eight children." Zynobia warned.
"I never thought I'd have eight children." he said, shaking his head. Zynobia chuckled, but this time it was more awkward.
"So- uh- would this be a good time to tell you I'm pregnant?"