October 28, 2012 by Lyn
Friday, October 10, 2003
Just after Chapter 6: Kheper
Normally, when it was time to be bullish, angry, and pushy, Cynara stepped back and let Howard do the work. He was uniquely suited to the task, and, deep in her private heart, Cya liked having his muscle and anger between her and the world. It made her feel cherished.
Today was different. Today, her Kept had been hurt. She wanted to feel warm and protected, but she needed to be responsible and protect him.
Which meant she had to yell at Luke.
Kheper was safely ensconced in the Doctor’s office, having drifted back into unconsciousness muttering about the people downstairs.
“Let’s go talk to… hello, sir.” Luke strode into the Doctor’s waiting room as Cya was talking. “We were just coming to find you.”
Luke’s wings twitched. “Caitrin called me. Kheper was attacked?”
“Kheper was attacked.” She confirmed it with a nod. “On the third floor, coming from the Store, it looks like. Whoever attacked him wrote a message in his blood – and then healed him, leaving him helpless, bloody, and unconscious on the basement floor.” She found she was getting louder with every word, and took a couple measured breaths to calm herself down.
“Easy, Cya.” Howard’s hand on her back helped. “Mr. Luke, this don’t look like someone pickin’ a fight with Boom. Normally, they jus’ come to the front door.”
Luke was already turning towards the door. “You said graffiti? Show me.”
“Sir, do you know what’s going on?” Cya was having trouble keeping her voice level. “If someone has started something with Boom…”
“It’s not something I normally say.” Luke frowned ominously. “But this is bigger than Boom.”
Cya stifled an urge to smirk with a further grimace. “Okay. Some things are, I suppose.”
Howard grunted. “Attackin’ folks at random is gonna get somethin’ started with a whole lotta crews iffen they don’t cut it out.”
“Which is bigger than Boom,” Cya allowed. “But this is Kheper. This is my Kept.” She paused. She wanted Luke to understand, and she didn’t want Howard to glower and grumble. Which did she want more? “Look, Luke, sir, this is my lover we’re talking about. I’m responsible for his well-being and someone jumped him.”
“Cynara, if you will show me the graffiti and calm down, I might be able to explain to you what’s going on.”
She snapped her mouth shut, and then opened it right back up again. “Sir, this is calm. I am the epitome of calm.”
“Cy’s good at calm,” Howard grumbled a touch defensively, with only a small swish of his tail. That was calm for him, too, but, at least in this case, it was because his investment in the matter was at least a step removed. “The graffiti was this way, Mr. Luke.”
It was so easy to let him take charge. Cya followed them down to the basement, worrying at the problem like a dog with a bone. Kheper said he’d gone down stairs from the third floor. He said someone had attacked him, shouting at him, and then someone – possibly a second someone – had healed him. Kheper was generally well-rooted in reality, unlike this school. He could have been attacked by a Masked or disguised classmate – Boom had their share of enemies. But that wouldn’t explain the stairs.
Luke was glowering at the wall. The graffiti was still there, at least: while Kheper had his feet in reality, Boom wasn’t known for the same. If the graffiti had gone missing, Luke might have just stalked off in anger and assumed they’d made it all up.
“Suboles sine futuri, indeed.” Luke’s anger was a rumbly, wing-flappy thing. “And this is where you found Kheper?”
“Right here, sir.” She pointed at the wall and then, because she was feeling difficult, reached with her power to Find the stairs downward.
They were there, right behind that wall, but her power was a bit confused about how to get there.
And Luke had grabbed her arm, anyway, and was gesturing Howard towards the normal, visible, stairs upwards. “Sorry, kids. But this is definitely bigger than Boom.”
We didn’t reach $25 in time this week, so no bonus story, but I’m catching up on the commissioned outtakes!
This outtake was written in response to Rix’s donation and request for the scene where Cya and Howard talk to Luke.
For every $5US donated, I will write 300 words on the character or situation of your choice. In addition, every donation will bring you to a small snippet of story – a new snippet every Wednesday!