Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/keeblerx/addergoole.com/forum/includes/bbcode.php on line 483
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3760: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /includes/bbcode.php:483)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3762: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /includes/bbcode.php:483)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3763: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /includes/bbcode.php:483)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3764: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /includes/bbcode.php:483)
Addergoole Forum - View topic - Fanfic!




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4
Fanfic! 
Author Message
Archivist
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 4503
Location: US of A
Post Re: Fanfic!
Zita had been curled up in the back of the car with the kids for a while, alternating telling them nursery stories with catching up with their lives - how's that garden coming, for instance? It kept their minds busy.

She felt it as her mind cleared, and only when her thoughts had that pleasant crystalline clarity (like frozen lemonade) did she address Cya.

"...Cya?" Her tone was slow, thoughtful.

Cya had been dozing in the front seat, the long midwest roads perfectly suited for a once-hourly point-and-nap. Her ears twitched before she answered. "Yes, Zita?"
"Once I have Leo... once the dust has settled... what do I do with him?"

"What have you always done with him, hon?"

She murmured for a moment, sending the children off to dreamland. It didn't take more than a nudge.

"Seems like this is different."

"Well," she glanced back at the children, "it does seem like he betrayed and abandoned the women he loves, yes. To be fair, I should have expected it.'

"Not betrayal," she disagreed dreamily. "But I never did like being traded around without my say-so. No offense, Howard."

"We have different definitions of betrayal. Possibly of love, too."

Howard snorted. "None taken, hun."

"I could've made him promise. I didn't." But that's not the point. "I could own him," she added thoughtfully.

"No, dear," Cya said gently.

Howard, sensibly, kept his eyes on the road and mostly refrained from comment on the girltalk.

"Or I could take a break from the whole thing. Everyone else manages fine."

"If you stay around the crew. Yes. It might be good for you. But that doesn't solve the Leo problem."

"Don't trust me?" Zita asked lightly.

"Know you too well, love. I trust you with my life... and you knew that... but that doesn't mean I don't plan."

"Well, that's why I asked."

"Which part?" She twisted in her seat to smile at the tiny woman. "What we do is bring him home. What you do... that's another matter. So's what I do."

"You really think it's like Shiva said, and he'll get himself killed?"

"He's walkin' through a desert 'cos he fergot to fill up his car," Howard grumbled, "Sure he'll get hisself killed sooner'r later."

"He wants to be a hero. The problem is, there's a lot of heroic deaths to be had."

"I have dibs on violence. You two have dibs on talking to him." Zita didn't even know what she'd say.

"You have dibs on non-fatal violence, at least the first round. I'll take dibs on ... talking." She snarled the word out with a rare hint of anger.

"Yeah, yeah. I might even not set him on fire."

Howard had been mulling this. "Like fightin' any other fae critter. Best bet is to get him unconscious or least mute quick as possible. Then we can haul him back to the ranch and sort him out in private."

Cya grinned at Howard, showing a mouthful of sharp.

"I know it's not sporting, but I can sneak up and knock him out as long as he's not got an Idu going."

"Fuck sporting. Howard's right. We knock him out, tie him up, and deal with him on the Ranch."

"Zita, sweetheart, him dumping you on me weren't sportin' neither. It ain't an order, but if yer so inclined, go fer it."

"Well, you know me. I don't like plans."

Zita hated plans with an abiding passion. Mindreaders and plans... bad vibes.

"That's what you have me for, sweetie. You hit him. I'll plan."

The car swooped its way through the desert heat – Zita absently murmured an unutu kwxe – and she considered what she’d do to her former Keeper first.

It seemed best to stick with the old standby of screaming and kicking him a lot. You shouldn’t mess with a brilliant strategy like that.

_________________
-Wystie


Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:57 pm
Profile
The Author
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:03 pm
Posts: 13626
Post Re: Fanfic!
The old milk house was a solid stone building built into the hill, with a slate roof that made a decent
overlook for the ranch. Gaheris had taken to sitting up there when he needed a break from the
insane herd of children, Magnolia, and the absolutely terrifying Gran.

He was sitting there the evening after Cya had left, when Yoshi flopped down next to him. “This
sucks.”

Gaheris smiled with determined cheer. “What sucks?”

“Viddie and Ruki get to go off with Mom and Aunt Zita and Howard, and I'm stuck here." The with you was at least unspoken.

“Well, Leofric is their... father?” (Assume nothing.)

“Yeah, so? My dad's out there somewhere and we're not chasing after his tail.” He gives Gaheris an assessing look. "Or your dad."

"Uhm. I know where my father is."

"Yeah." He laughed bitterly. "I know where Grandpa is too."

"...oh." Gaheris got it.

Yoshi shrugged in response. "Mom's a bit predictable. Except this. I mean... yeah."

“He's okay, your grandpa.” Gaheris was slightly surprised to hear himself defending the guy.

“Yeah? I guess one of them had to be," Yoshi grumped. "Mom's dad's a nutcase."

“Oh?"

Yoshi seemed determined to be in a bad mood. "Antlers aside... you've met mom, yeah? Duh.
Grandpa taught her all of that. Moving every year. All the planning shit."

"It, um." Gaheris paused, conflicted. "What about your dad?"

"What about him?"

"What's he like?"

"Tall," Yoshi grinned, clearly taking the opportunity to rib Gaheris a bit. "But, uh. I dunno. Sort of unreal. I mean, they all are, aren't they?"

Gaheris didn't wince at the tall comment. Not at all. (Okay, yes he did.) "They kinda are," he agreed.

"Dad's cool, though. He was in DC, last I heard." Yoshi wasn't worried at all (oh hell yes he was) "Like Viddie's dad's an anime hero? Mine's an action hero."

"Like Rambo?"

"More like Jason Statham, only, you know, he can act."

Gaheris snickered happily.

Yoshi grinned, pleased. "You're not as bad as the last one," he allowed.

"Um." Gaheris looked intimidated. "How bad was the last one?"

"Useless." Yoshi made a dismissive gesture. "Bitchy and whiny and useless. And he shoved Viddie
down the stairs."

For a moment, Gaheris showed a flash of temper. "I don't like people who f- screw with kids."

Yoshi grinned. "You win."

"Huh." Gaheris was confused. Not unhappy, but confused.

"I approve," Yoshi clarified.

He grinned. "You approve enough to help me wrangle the little girls?" Hope springs eternal.

"Ick. Sure, I guess. Mom'll be cranky if you lose one."

He winced, imagining his Keeper cranky. It wasn’t a happy thought. He grabbed the edge of
the roof, sliding himself down to the ground - only to pause halfway off the roof, eyeing Yoshi
paranoidly. It wasn't a trick he wanted Cya's kids to get into a habit of copying. Jumping off
buildings was a good way to break a leg.

Yoshi smirked at him. "Didn't see anything," he assured him, as he took the long route off the roof

Gaheris grinned again, and completed his jump.

_________________
Cruel & Unusual.


Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:14 pm
Profile
demigod
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:15 pm
Posts: 2420
Post Re: Fanfic!
Cya could find Leo anywhere, anyway; by now she was resorting to pointing with her eyes closed like a demihuman compass, too tired to really talk. "Energy bar," she slurred at Viddie as the SUV stopped.

Zita glided ominously (and invisibly) out of the car, tuepeka'ing her tlacatl. She was wearing her superhero outfit.

Howard was out with his favorite crowbar - a much larger than average one - resting on his shoulder. He followed Cya's last direction and added an idu unutu of his own to pin down Leo.

Viddie wordlessly handed Cya an energy bar. She signed a thankyou at him and slipped out of the car behind Howard and Zita.

Leofric suddenly stepped out from his hiding place, grinning. "Hey! Wasn't expecting you guys."

"Weren't expectin' to find you anywhere but on the ranch neither," Howard said, disappointed. "You gonna come back without a fuss, so's we don't wake the kids?"

The only sign of Zita was a whisper in the air - right up until she tried to take a bite of Leo's ear. On par, this was one of Zita's friendlier greetings when she was mad at someone. It wasn't even a limb he needed!

Cya leaned against the hood, watching

Leofric ducked away in startled surprise from the suddenly present Zita, but not fast enough to avoid getting chomped on. "Ow, hey!" Being bitten on the ear by Zita is rather like getting four rather unpleasantly close together beestings. That are numb (at first).

Leo started to pull her off, then froze and looked at Howard. "Wait, do what?"

"I don't 'preciate you droppin' all yer responsibilities in my lap so's you can go out skylarkin' when we already decided as a crew that ain't quite how it was gonna go," Howard grumbled, satisfied to see Zita got in a bite.

"Be fair," Cya put in with quiet venom (although not as nice as Zita's not-metaphorical venom). "He left some of them on my lap and Zita's."

Leo frowned back at Howard and Cya, attention darting around to try and locate where Zita went. "Responsibilities? What about our responsibilities out here?" He gestured widely. "You want me to just let everyone die?"

Zita dropped out of her invisibility, crossing her arms over her chest. "We make decisions as a team for a reason. So we don't die. Damn it, Leo, you know the hero only goes off on his own leaving everyone behind when it's a suicide mission."

Howard grimaced. Superhero translations were not his favorite thing when he was pissed. "What she said. You'll be a damn sight more useful runnin' missions with all our help based outta the ranch than wanderin' 'round like a lonesome idjit. Guard the ranch first, then... the Western Mountains division-a world-savin' lunatics, and then rest-a the world."

Cya had begun muttering under her breath, rather than contributing to the conversation.

Leo looked away from Zita uneasily, then turned on Howard in irritation. "But then it'll be too late and I'll have been here for nothing! I can't go back, it's... dammit it's wrong!"

"So's leaving me alone." And Zita was abruptly tired of talking. "Tempero tlacatl Leofric cy'Luca sa'Lightning hypnos."

Conveniently, what Cya had been muttering is Tempero Intinn Leofric cy'Luca sa'Lightning hypnos.

Leo looked startled as Zita started the spell and darted forward to stop her. Unfortunately, at the same moment he started feeling really, really sleepy... and fell onto the ground in a heap.

Howard stepped in to catch Leo before he whacked his head on the ground, then hauled him back to the car.

Zita didn't put the boot in. She called this sporting, but mostly she was paranoid about being away from Home. "Let's go home," she commented, getting into the car.

-----

Somewhere along the trip back, Leo slowly woke up. He moved to rub at his eyes and winced as the hawthorn rubbed against his wrists. Frowning, he looked over at Zita, pretending to be asleep. ...Zita and Ruki. And Viddie on the other side.

He went very, very still.

Howard ignored Leo. He was driving!

Cya just watched. She was twisted in the seat to watch him, her eyes dilated wide with caffeine pills.

Zita was (very transparently) peeking out through one barely open eye.

Leo finally turned to the front, catching Cya's eye and barely suppressing the anger in his voice. "Why are they here."

"Because Howard promised them we wouldn't leave them behind." She's too tired/hyped on caffeine to be tactful.

Howard is driving!

"Did he," Leo snarled. "Is that what you call 'protecting the children', Howard?"

"It's a fuckload better than what you did, Leo, so I wouldn't throw any stones if I were you."

"Shut up, Leo,” Howard finally said. “You wanted me to take care-a them, deal with it."

"Better? Better?! Bringing two small children out into a world full of monsters and evil gods is better than leaving them with people you trust? Well fuck, let's all take a road trip then! Biggest city we can find!" He barely managed to keep his voice down to a low snarl, trying not to wake the two sleeping children.

"Well now, what if I want to go monster-huntin' too? And Zita? And Cya? How long til they ain't safe no more?"

"I have never know you to be this goddamned selfish before, Leo." Cya was crying and trying not to ignore it. "You fucking asshat."

"Howard," Zita said thoughtfully, "I need to not be yours. Can you do that for me?"

Howard spared a glance for Zita in the rearview. "Only if you agree to get Kept by someone in the Crew 'gin by sundown. And hit Leo fer that fer me. We're all goin' back to the ranch to keep all the kids safe."

Leo closed his eyes and clenched his hands into fists, taking a long, deep breath and exhaling. "The world's never ended before, either. Besides, you apparently think the rest of the kids are safe enough. It's not like you brought any of your own. Just mine." He glared angrily at Howard.

Zita flicked Leo in the ear, as per Howard's instructions.

"I beg. Your. Fucking. Pardon." Cya hissed the words out. "What was that again, Leo?"

"I was talking to Howard. He's the idiot who made the promise." He looked in irritation at Zita. "Stop it."

"Ah, right. Well, when you're ready to talk to me, then, about, say, our son, let me know." She settled back into her seat and closed her eyes. "I'm the one with the keys."

"Yeah, well, when I blow off the ranch next week and leave my guilty-feelin', hurtin' kids starin' at you with big sad eyes, see if you make 'em any better promises," Howard growled.

"Yeah well if having to watch a couple sad kids is all it takes for them not to die, I think I can handle it."

Howard snarled. "Someone shut him up or I'm gonna pull over to beat the shit outta him."

"So pull over." Leo glared back furiously.

"Zita's got dibs," Cya muttered.

Zita was busy staring at the back of Howard's head furiously.

"Dibs..." Howard grumbled. "Could you knock him back out then, Cy? Rather have this out at the ranch."

"Zee?"

"Back... I can't go back!" Leo suddenly lunged forward, trying in vain to break free. "Dammit let me out!"

"Zee?" Cya asked again, deferring to the smaller woman.

"I'm not the team mascot, Howard. I'm not Gaheris. I'm a grown fucking woman, and I don't need this right now."

"Switch seats, Zee," Cya offered.

"Put Leo back to sleep 'til we get to the ranch, then I'll let you go," he grumbled, looking at the road. "Can only deal with one problem atta time."

"Sorry, Leo." Zita ruffled his hair gently away from his antlers, stroking her hand down his cheek to his neck. "Tempero tlacatl Leofric cy'Luca sa'Lightning hypnos epsilon."

Leofric looked over at her in sudden panic. "No, I don't want..." His voice fell into a mumble as he unwillingly fell unconscious. "...you to die..."

_________________
"Rationes magorum non se interpone, quod callidi et celere irascere sunt."

~ Enthusiastically Unstable; Eloquently Retrotech ~

A font of occasional and specific wisdom.


Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:51 am
Profile
The Author
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:03 pm
Posts: 13626
Post Re: Fanfic!
Howard hadn’t been very pleased to find that Cya had installed a holding cell in the back of his barn, but she’d pointed out that it was going to come in handy now and, as much as he’d grumbled, he’d had to admit she was right.

She might be lousy with figuring out men, but when it came to planning, she was almost always right.

She unlocked the heavy door and opened it, feeling stupidly nervous. What was he going to do, attack her? Granted, she had chained him to the floor and locked him in a tiny holding cell, but still. They’d been friends for a long time. She shifted the dish of soup to her off hand anyway.

Leo sat up slowly, glanced at her, then at the food, then at the door, then down at the shackles around his ankle.

She set the food down on the foot of the bed, then stepped back to the doorway and leaned in it, watching him.

He looked over at the food dish for a long moment, then abruptly shuddered and curled up around himself. "Shit."

Cya was next to him on the bed as quickly as inhumanly possible, her arms around him gently. She was mad at him, gods she was mad at him. But.

"I tried, god, why do I always..." He choked back sob and looked up at Cya desperately. "What did I do?"

She blinked slowly, handed him a hanky, and tilted her head, trying to get into Leo-brain. "Okay, Leo, where are you?" What book are we in today, Leo?

"I don't... I don't know." He looked down at the bands around his wrists in confusion. "Where's... Oh god she's dead." He wrapped his arms around himself, fingers digging into his arms to stop the shaking. "Oh god."

"Leo, Leo!" She slid her arms around him. "Leofric, I promise you the w..” The women you love. Not a safe assumption, and not one she wanted to make right now. “I promise you Zita and Ruki are alive and well."

He looked up at her uncomprehendingly. "She can't be. She...I don't know. I don't..." His expression twisted in confusion as he stared at the rest of the room. "I can't be here."

"'Here' is the ranch, Leo. Howard's barn. Zita is fine. Ruki and Viddie are fine." I'm fine, she didn't say.

"No, that doesn't..." He gingerly reached out and touched the bed cover. "It's all wrong," he said quietly.

"That's what happens when your stories don't include what other people actually want, Leo. When you play out the script and can't rely on them to play their parts like good little dollies."

He flinched, fingers clenching around the blanket. "I don't have a choice." His voice broke desperately. "Everything's falling apart."

She bit back an angry retort. "Are you talking about the apocalypse out there, our grew, or something else?" she asked, her voice far more gentle than she wanted to be.

"Everything!" He slammed a hand into the wall. "This! You. Me. Zita's not here." He looked back at Cya, eyes wide. "Are you?"

"I'm here." She paused, working her brain around his insanity yet again. "I promise you, Leofric, I, Red Doomsday... Cya... I'm sitting here with you, on a bed in Howard's barn in a room I built on the off chance one of you decided to do something stupid. Zita was, the last time I looked, in her kitchen." The air twisted and popped, again, with yet another confirmation of reality.

Leo crumpled against her, clinging desperately to her shoulder. "What did I do?"

"Signed Zita off to Howard, made my son and your daughter promise not to tell, then ran off to kill gods and left the rest of us to rot. Rather stupidly forgetting that I'm a finder... or assuming for some moronic reason that I'd be okay with you Just. Fucking. Leaving. Me. Behind."

He let go with a flinch, backing away from her anger. "I had to! You would've died!"

"Yeah, and? Did it ever occur to you that I might have preferred that to being left behind again?" She was shouting, being stupidly melodramatic, and couldn’t bring herself to care. Neither could he, either, apparently; Leo stared blankly at her.

She wiped the wetness from her eyes with the back of her hand. "If you get to chose to go off and die like a hero, you jackass, I can choose to die instead of losing you."

He slowly shook his head. "I wouldn't die." His expression flickered. "I... I can't... I didn't..."

"But you'd be gone, you moron, and I'm sort of sick of it."

Leo curled up again, burying his face in his arms. "I'm sorry... I just wanted--" His voice caught. "I just want everyone to be safe."

"Me, too, Leo." The anger was back in her voice. Nothing she said seemed to get through. He flinched at her tone but sat silently, face still hidden. She glared at the back of his head. "You left. You left us. You left me."

It was a long moment before he finally mumbled a response. "I don't have a choice."

“There's always a choice. You chose the bullshit coward's route that involved not telling me - or the rest of the crew - where you were going."

"No. No, there isn't." He looked up at her, and for a brief moment he was a lost and terrified teenage boy. "There wasn't."
She sighed quietly, and hugged him. What else could she do?

He clung to his legs, unable to let go and return the hug. "I promise..." His voice wavered, and he put his head down again. "I promise I won't leave you again."

She paused for a minute, staring at his back, shuddering. It was a real promise. What would it do to him to keep it? What would it do to her to release him from it? "Come here, Leo."

Leo glanced back up at her, then slowly unfolded.

She held out an arm to him uncertainly. Make the move. Come on, just an inch. I’ll pretend it’s a mile.

Slowly, testing the bed as if afraid it would give out under him, Leo moved over to sit next to her. She hugged him, slowly, like they were kids again hiding in Agatha's kitchen.

He hugged her back, and after a long moment started to cry.

She rubbed his back and held him, not having anything to say. This wasn’t going to be good… but he wouldn’t leave her again.

_________________
Cruel & Unusual.


Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:57 am
Profile
demigod
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:15 pm
Posts: 2420
Post Re: Fanfic!
Leo circled around the room again – or maybe the first time – stopping by the bed and the dish of food. It was still untouched; he couldn't trust his captors, they might have poisoned it. He wasn't really hungry, anyway. Even if Cya had gone to the trouble of making it for him. It was nice of her, but he was too exhausted to feel grateful.

There really was no way to escape. The shackles and bracelets around his wrist and ankle crippled him as surely as an amputated leg. He jerked at the chain fixed to the floor, ignoring his ankle protesting the continued mistreatment. Yes, it was still there. He was still trapped. He had to get out; they would come for him and everyone would die. But there was no escape. His Crew hated him now, with good reason, with no reason. They would leave him trapped forever.

Leo looked back over at the food that... who had made it? Zita. No, Zita was dead. They all were dead. They'd followed him and everything was over now, they would never forgive him. He'd been captured, they would come rescue him – no, there was no rescue, they'd abandoned him. He'd abandoned them.

He circled the room, testing his range, testing the environment. A shower. A toilet. A sink. A bed. A door. The door was locked; he was locked in. Alone.

No, he wasn't alone, Cya was there. Had been, would be? She had promised. He had promised. But she was gone, she had left, Zita had left, Howard had left, they were all gone. Dead. Left behind.

Leo huddled on the bed, trying not to think, trying not to feel reality tearing apart around him again and again and again and again and again, tearing and twisting and dissolving and leaving him drained from the grief, the guilt, the pain, the loneliness, why did he feel so exhausted?

It was just him; Leo and the bracelets and the chain and maybe a bed? There was a bed, and he was on it; was he? The hero. He wasn't a hero – had to be a hero. Wasn't. He had failed, he had let everyone die. Everyone. No one. He thought he was a hero, felt like he'd thought he was a hero, but the conviction, the knowing was gone.

Had it ever been there? He couldn't be sure of anything. Nothing felt solid, or real, or true, not him, not the room, not even his thoughts. Were they even his thoughts? There was no anchor, no core of surety for him to grab onto to orient himself. Zita... Zita wasn't there. She was always there when he needed her, something must have happened. She and Ruki...

Ruki. Leo's thoughts latched onto his daughter, sifting through all his memories of her, young and blonde and beautiful and indisputably real. Giving her his deer plushie – worn with age, repaired multiple times in its decade-long life. Her first words. Taking her ice-skating for her seventh birthday. You aren't really a hero. Packing for a trip to Howard's and remembering, two blocks away, that the two-year-old was still asleep at the apartment. Naming her, his Sigruko. The three kids playing a card game in Cya's living room. Ruki handing him a neatly written grocery list that she'd done herself, because he kept forgetting eggs.

Whatever else he was or wasn't, now or then or ever, he was her father.


Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:33 pm
Profile
demigod
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:49 pm
Posts: 3546
Location: NYS, USA
Post Re: Fanfic!
Howard had released Zita from Keeping as promised when they got near the ranch. He helped Cya unload Leo and the rest of the car, settled the kids, and then went to apologize profusely to Magnolia for dropping everything in her lap.

Mags, bless her gracious Southern heart, was understanding only demanded a thorough back-rub in compensation for this time.

"Thanks fer lettin' me off light," he teased gently as he worked down from her shoulders. "Y'know... after we get this bits we need done, like the Big House, there any extras you'd like? See if me and Cya can figger out how to work it in?"

"Mmmm...." She rolled her spotted shoulders thoughtfully under his hands. "Ah have been thinking 'bout how Ah miss my greenhouse. Maybe a nice sun room, with enough space for me to start seedlings and keep a few just-for-fun pottings?"

"Huh. Build it off the lee side of the Big House, or mebbe a lil standalone shed? Good idea, love, I'll mull on it."

Giving Magnolia a back rub ended up being the highlight of the day, as he caught up on the kids and the projects they'd dropped around the ranch. By late afternoon he finally found time to catch up with Cynara. She smelled faintly in that post-quick-shower way of Gaheris, but he could ignore that, for now. The pond wasn't going anywhere, if he ever did decide to get around to drowning the whelp in it.

"Hey, Cy, you talked to Leo? How's he doin'?"

"He's waxing crazy right now, Howard. And me..." She hesitated, looking like she still wasn't sure what she thought of what had happened. "He promised me he wouldn't leave again."

"Well. Huh. Damn, the crazy..." He shook his head. "I dunno 'bout fixin' it, but gettin' it halfway connected to reality'd be nice. But if he promised you he wouldn't leave... that's good, right? We can let him out soon?"

"We could let him out now, but I wanted him where Zita could find him."

He nodded. "Good idea. Thought 'bout tryin' to talk to him myself, 'less you thought it'd make things worse."

"I don't think it'll make it worse. Just don't go headbutting with him while he's chained. "

Howard grinned. "I'm pissed at him, but not that kinda pissed. Disappointed, y'know? I was countin' on havin' him here... well, preachin' to the choir, huh? Sorry."

"Yeah... but he's gonna try to butt heads with you."

He snorted. "You'll keep him here by that promise, that's all I need. I can shrug the crazy off with that. Ain't like I don't got practice," he added wryly.

Cya didn't quite smile at that, but she hugged him tightly anyway before they moved on to the next thing.

It was just after dinner by the time he got down to the barn and opened the prison cell door. He didn't have high expectations but he was still hoping for... something.

"Hey, Leo."

Leo was sitting on the bed against the wall. He looked up blankly at Howard for a long moment before a spark of recognition flickered into his expression. "Howard."

"Whatever you've done or end up doin' to try to get outta this cell, tell Cya how yer attempts go, alright? We ever get a nedetakaei we need to stick in here 'stead-a kill, I want this thing solid."

"Uh." Leo looks around the room in confusion. "Well... I'm still here?"

Howard grinned, and then shook his head. "Sorry. Good that yer still here, tho. I'm gonna need you to be here - on the ranch, not in this cell - at least some-a the time. Yer the only other trained fighter we've got 'side from me."

Leo frowned at the wall across the room. Out of nowhere, he jumped off the bed in a sudden panic. "Where's Zita?"

"In the house kitchen, cleanin' up after dinner with the help-a some-a the kids," Howard answered calmly. "She'll be by later to talk to you, too, I imagine."

Leo shook his head and started pacing the room - well, circling. He stopped in front of Howard and looked at him, faintly puzzled. "Aren't you mad at me?"

"Hell yes, but I figger the girls will do most-a the chewin' you out fer me, and more effectively," the bull-man rumbled.

"Did they?" Leo backed up a step, looking distracted. Suddenly he snarled at Howard and lunged at him.

"Huh? Stop it," he snapped, stepping back out of reach and half-closing the door as both break-fall for Leo and shield for himself. "'Did they' what? I was talkin' 'bout Cya and Zita chattin' with you. Dunno what you mean."

Leo stumbled to a stop, looking confused again. "What? I don't..." He held his head in his hands, backing against the far wall. "I don't know."

"Leo..." Damn "What's botherin' you? What do we gotta work out so you understand why we need you here, at least a lotta the time?"

"I don't know! Nothing makes sense!" He flung his weight against the chain and, when it did nothing, started distractedly circling the room again. "It won't stop..."

/Damn, fuck, and shittin' hell/. "Leo, get a fuckin' grip. Yer with the Crew, and our kids, on our ranch. What else do you need to figger things out?"

Leo stopped, resting his fingertips against the wall. "The world is coming apart." He looked back at Howard, eyes wide. "Tearing at the seams. Zita fixes it. Fixed it. She's gone." His expression turned suddenly desperate. "What did I /do/?"

"You ran off on yer Crew and kids, and left Zita in my Keepin'. Damnit, Leo, we'd be just fine, buildin' new seams and a safe zone startin' with our ranch, if you'd just come back to some sorta sense!"
Howard sighed. "Do you really want yer kids seein' you like this when yer walkin' 'round the ranch? Can't you pull it together fer them, at least?"

Leo wrapped his arms around himself, staring blankly at the floor. "I don't know how..." He looked up, for a brief moment almost rational again. "Is Ruki okay?"

"She is. Safe and sound on the ranch, just like the rest-a us," he repeats. If I say it enough times... Poor Ruki. Hmm... damn, could be a bad idea, but... "Y'know, even if you aint'a s super-hero, yer still a hero to her. Too bad you ain't interested in protectin' and raisin' her yerself any more."

Leo stared blankly at him. "I..." He suddenly stepped forward and grabbed the front of Howard's shirt, a torrent of conflicting emotions fighting over his expression. "You can't! Don't take... If you touch her... She's all that's left..." He staggered back and crumpled to the floor, a sob choking out of him.

"Well, fuck. Leo! Leo, I ain't gonna hurt yer girls or take 'em from you. Ruki or Zita," because the way this was going, who knew which one Leo meant, "You know that. What I was tryin' to say was, it would be a damn sight easier to protect 'em from the big bad apocalypse if you'd stick around to help me."

"But they were going to come here..."

"The girls, to the ranch? Leo, I'm gonna hafta leave the ranch sometimes, too, and I was /countin'/ on havin' you here durin' those times. 'Sides, I meant it at the Crew meeting, when I said I wanted you runnin' scoutin' missions. I don't particularly like fightin' blind."

"No, I thought... I mean..." Leo sighed, leaning back against the side of the bed and putting his head on his knees. "I don't know."

"Leo. What do you want to know? I hate seein' you like this," he grumbled, "So tell me what I can do to help."

Leo sat there silently for a long moment. "I... don't know..." His voice dropped to just above a whisper. "Zita's not coming."

"Sure she is," Howard replied firmly. And if she don't get down here 'fore bedtime tonight, I'll kick her ass down here. "She's just lettin' me and Cya talk to you first. Well. I told you I still want yer help, takin' care-a everyone and keepin' this part-a the country safe. Guess I've said my piece then, so I'll get. 'Less you got anythin' else to say to me?"

Leo looked up again, staring intently at Howard and clearly struggling with something. "...No."

"No?" That wasn't the most decisive answer ever, but was it because Leo really had something to say, or because of the crazy? "Alright, I'll go tell Zita yer expectin' her then."

Leo just turned away, fiddling absently with the hawthorne bracelets around his wrists.

Grumbling something inaudibly, Howard closed the prison door and went to find Zita.

She was in the kitchen, of course, and cleaning up by hand. She was scrubbing a pot as if it had personally offended her.

"Hey, Zita." He checked quickly to make sure that there was no kids in ear-shot, "You gonna go talk to Leo soon?"

"...do I have to?"

He snorted. "Yes. Cya said he was waxin' toward crazy, but when I talked to him just now I'd say it's full moon lunacy. But he thinks you ain't gonna go to him, or that yer dead."

"See, this is why he and I were good. Reality is... well, like an old friend used to say, sometimes reality just doesn't suit well enough."

Howard shook his head. "Ain't my style, but I know it worked well 'nough fer you two up 'til now. But now... he can't even track a conversation fer more'n a line or two, Zita. Nevermind how much I tell him, I don't think he'll believe you still exist 'til you go see him."

"Fine, fine. Anyway, it's like scuba diving. As long as you remember you're underwater, you'll be fine."

He smiled crookedly. "Yeah, don't sign me up fer those lessons any time soon, either. I know yer pissed at him, and don't blame you one tiny bit, but... 'fraid seein' might be the only thing that'll help, so thanks." He gives her a quick hug.

Zita hugged her big friend back fiercely and silently.

"Thanks, hun," he said again, and then quietly let himself back out of the kitchen.

_________________
Strong Heart
A female mercenary who insists she's a man, a naive young magician, and interesting times ahead.


Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:50 am
Profile WWW
Archivist
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 4503
Location: US of A
Post Re: Fanfic!
When Zita entered, Leo was sitting against the far wall and staring down at the floor. He didn't seem to notice her come in.

Zita sat down on the bed, and studied him.

"I'm not a zombie," she said.

After a moment he looked up, then suddenly grinned. "Zita!" He darted forward and gave her a fierce hug.

She smiled ruefully and hugged him back.

After a moment he backed off to arms length, looking at her in confusion. "You're not..." He seemed uncertain how to finish the sentence.

"The walking dead," she finished for him. "Which is cool, Dysmas was not as hot stuff as he thought he was."

Leo laughed shortly, sitting back on the floor. "I didn't think you were." His expression flickered, and he put a hand gingerly on the floor. "You... are here?"

"Seems to me, anyway." She laughed softly. "Oh, Leo-my-love, you're too good at keeping promises."

He looked up at her in puzzlement, then slowly dragged himself to his feet. Once there, he frowned at the wall. "You're..." He looked back at her. "Why'd you take so long?"

"I wanted to be sure I wouldn't try to stab you or something," she admitted.

He blinked, then slowly grinned. "It wouldn't be the first time." Sitting down next to her, he tentatively took her hand. "What are you gonna do, then?"

"Dunno." She squeezed his hand. "What do you want to do?"

"I..." He shivered and looked away. "I don't know."

Zita stroked his hand gently. "Want a jail break?"

And this was why they couldn't have this conversation with their Crew around.

"Yes. No? I don't know. Should I?" He wrapped his arms around her, voice turning desperate. "Everything's all messed up."

Zita stroked his hair soothingly.

"Tell me why,” she said.

"I don't know," he answered quietly. "Nothing feels real. Not--" His voice broke and he held her tighter. "Not even you."

"I am real," Zita assured him, still feeling gentle.

He sighed, not responding - Zita flicked his ear, for being melancholy.

He twitched away and sat back, looking at her with a frown.

"Hi,” she said.

"Hi?" Leo was completely lost.

"Are you real?"

"Um..." He looked down at the bracelets around his wrists. "I'm not sure."

"I think so."

He looked at her thoughtfully. "...Okay. What am I?"

"A deer-person. Ruki and Viddie’s dad. My...."

Her something. Ummm.

He considered that, frowning. "Your... oh. No." He suddenly curled up around himself. "No, that's wrong."

"What's wrong?"

"I wouldn't... I didn't... I didn't /mean/ to..." He trailed off and looked confused. "To... something? Zita, what did I do?"

"Gave me to Howard. To keep safe."

Leo took a minute to process that. "Yeah." He looked at her questioningly. "You... don't seem very angry."

"I was. Now I'm worried. I'll be angry again later. You can - no, I suppose you couldn't know emotions now if you wanted to, could you."

"No." He looked down at the hawthorne shackles again, angrily. "I hate these. I hate this /room/." He stood up abruptly and started circling it.

"Howard said you wanted to see me."

"I did. I do." He stopped and looked at her in sudden alarm. "Don't leave, please. I won't..." He looked frustrated. "Please."

"I'm not leaving."

She was frowning, however, fingers plucking absently at the coverlet.

Leo slowly - gingerly, even - moved back over to the bed, watching her. "Something's bothering you."

"Freedom," she said slowly. "Is. Weird."

"...Freedom?"

"I bullied Howard into letting me go."

"Oh...?" He sat down next to her, unsure how to take that. "Is... are you happy about it?"

Zita thought it strange not to be the hyperactive one in the conversation.

"I don't know."

Leo silently took her hand again. "I'm sorry. I really screwed everything up, didn't I. Even Cya yelled at me..."

"Cya's sad."

He winced, but didn't reply.

"What are you going to do?"

"I." He hesitated uncertainly. "I promised her I wouldn't leave again."
"...huh."

"I don't... remember... why..." He gazed off across the room, trying to think, then gave up with a shake of his head. "What do you want me to do?"

"Why couldn't you stay, before?"

That was obviously a really difficult question to answer, and it was a good minute before he could respond. "I couldn't. It wasn't... It's like." He struggled with the words, his whole body fighting against it. "Like orders, except it's not a person, it's everything. Was." He waved a hand jerkily.

"/I/ don't think heroes run off and leave their sidekicks behind," Zita grumped.

"You would've /died/! ...I thought. I mean, I knew. I don't know! I don't know anything..." He shivered faintly. "I'm sorry."

Leo needed hugs. Zita provided them.

He wrapped an arm around her in return, resting his cheek on her head. "I don't know what to do anymore."

"Mm. Have you eaten anything yet today?"

"... I don't think so." He glanced over at the untouched food from the morning. "No."
"We should get you something."

There was a long pause. "Can I come?"

"I think so."

"Can... you take these off?" He held out his free arm, displaying the wooden bracelet.

"Cya has the keys."

Zita was rather mournful about this obstacle.

"Oh." Leo hesitated, then slowly let Zita go. "Okay. You... I'll be here."

"Okay."

Cautiously, Zita left, glancing back over her shoulder.

Leo just sat on the edge of the bed, watching her go.

Her leaving was interrupted by a rush back inside to check and make sure he was still there.

He blinked at her sudden reappearance, then grinned. A moment later he was by the door and giving her a tight hug. "I promise I'll stay right here until you get back, Zita. But you have to come back."

"Yes, Leo."

And with that reassurance, Zita left properly. Leo proceeded to sit down in that exact spot and wait. Since he had no choice.

-----

Zita went to Cya, to get keys! Cya was picking out a spot for a cabin, not all that far away, alone.
"Hey," Zita greeted her friend, smiling oddly.

Cya studied Zita as cautiously as she'd been studying the site for a cabin, but smiled back at her. "Hi."

"Can I steal Leo?"

A pause, and a strange smile. "That would suggest he hadn't always been yours." She dug in her pocket and produced the keys. "Give me the keys back when you're done?"

"Sure."

Zita hugged Cya, for good measure. She was in a huggy mood.

Cya hugged her back, rather more than was absolutely necessary - also in a huggy mood, her.

-----

Zita smiled to herself on her walk back. Leo was sitting by the door where she left him, and opened his eyes when she returned. He might have looked relieved. "You're back."

"I'm back."

He stood up, holding out his arms hopefully.

Zita didn't make a production out of the unlocking, though she may have hummed the Mission Impossible theme tune.

Leo grinned as he recognized the tune. He shook himself vigorously once everything was off and took a deep breath. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," Zita said solemnly, and then grabbed his hand and tugged. "C'mon, I need to show you the kitchen."

"Okay, okay." He followed her out, smiling faintly.

_________________
-Wystie


Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:21 pm
Profile
The Author
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:03 pm
Posts: 13626
Post Re: Fanfic!
Interlude: Cya and Gaheris

Cya walked out of the barn, slowly, and Found Gaheris. It was him or Howard, and Gaheris was more likely to need her. Indeed; he was drowning in small children, reading a flock of them a story.

Cy had been crying, but she wiped her face before sitting down next to him. He wrapped an arm around her waist, story faltering slightly. She leaned over, scanned the book, and picked up where he faltered. She'd been reading books to small children for years; she’d been reading this book to small children for years.

He held the book over where she could read it more easily, leaning his head on her shoulder. She finished the story, and then gently shooed the children off to find Mags and Howard. She stayed leaning on Gaheris' shoulder after the last small loud thing had toddled off

He half-turned, running a hand through her hair, other arm still around her. He seemed unwilling to start a conversation.

“What's on your mind?" she asked after a while.

“I'm glad you're back," he answered.

She kissed his cheek. "I'm glad I'm back too," she answered quietly. "What's wrong?"

“I think the kids want to eat me." Not that he wass all that much older than the oldest of the 'kids.'

"Well, are we talking about the ankle-biters, my kids, Nibbles, who does, or Adorlee, who probably also does?"

“All of them?" He smiled a bit at the term ankle-biters.

"Well," she smiles gently, "probably just Dora and Nibbles. Sorry to leave you at their mercy."

"You found Leofric, right?"

"Yeah." She chewed on her lip. "He's in the hayloft."

Gaheris looked like he'd rather have the hayloft free for other purposes, right up until he took the opportunity to kiss her.

She took her time kissing him back, her arms wrapping around him, pulling him close to her. "Gods... tell me you'll never leave me," she begged.

"I never will leave you, Cya," he whispered, arms tightening around her.

She sobbed in relief for a minute, several minutes, before flushing in embarrassment. "...Shit."

He made a soft noise, holding her close and unwilling to acknowledge... well... anything.

She let him hold her, sighing softly into his shoulder. "Sorry. Gods, I'm so glad you don't want to go save the world."

"I'm... glad you don't want me to." Gaheris sounded a bit shaky.

She looked at his face. "What is it?"

He just looked lost, and tried to solve it for himself by kissing her again. Not a bad solution, and one she didn't mind trying a few times herself. But she was by nature a solver. "Tell me what's wrong, hon?"

"I'm pretty terrible at dealing with crying women," he admitted, scratching his head sheepishly.

"Aah. Well, lucky for you, I don't do it very often. And with Leo in the holding cell..." She grabbed her tail and brought it to her mouth to chew on

"Let's find some privacy," Gaheris proposed.

"Urm..." Cya pondered. "The old milk house?"

He grinned, a rare expression for him. Gaheris was /determined/ to cheer her up.

"Race you there?"

"No cheating?"

Wearing a you-caught-me expression, he nodded. "Okay. No cheating."

She grinned, the sadness put away somewhere; it was play time. "Let's go then. Count of three.. one, two, three!"

_________________
Cruel & Unusual.


Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:30 am
Profile
The Author
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:03 pm
Posts: 13626
Post Re: Fanfic!
Cya was building a town.

She needed some space, needed to get her head back on straight, so she left Leo and Zita to their reconciliation, Howard to his bulling, Magnolia to the garden, and went back to what she did best.

She drove into the nearby towns where she’d stashed, over the last decade, truckloads of supplies, bringing with her some combination of Gaheris, Yoshi, and Viddie (like the old riddle of the goose, grain, fox and boat, she felt that leaving both sons alone with Gaheris was likely to lead to some sort of doom. Besides, she liked their company). Slowly, they carter her preparations to the ranch, where she began to make corners of it feel like a home.

She got in touch with her SCA friends, made a few pointed suggestions, and put out the call for a couple job openings, got in touch with a Mormon family she’d made contact with when Viddie was still pre-verbal, and set them up with a moving van. Zita and Howard could handle the nearby town and their people, but it wouldn’t hurt them to have an entirely human face to present to any passing Ellehemaei they didn’t want Leo to kill.

She did some jobs in nearby cities; the world was still trying to run on like there weren’t gods on the doorsteps, the money would help supply the ranch, and it made her feel useful. She found a construction company that would work fast and ask few questions, and set them to work building a couple places just off the ranch.

The ranch itself would be for Crew, and their passel of children, but she needed space for the others, for the people to fill the holes in their skill set.

The mechanic e-mailed her within twenty-four hours: female, SCA, single, and wanting to get out of the big city before the would-be-deity destroyed it in a tantrum. Cya told the construction workers to hurry and pitched her War tent for the meantime.

She felt good, right, productive, in her element, but something was pestering her, eating at the back of her mind. She went over the plans for the cabins with Howard so they could break ground (so much easier with abatu eperu), hoping that having her own place would ease things, but the feeling still remained.

It took her three days to corner Leo to straighten it out. He was off sitting by the nearby creek, a ways from the house - out of easy shouting distance, at least, tossing pebbles into the water.

She flopped down beside him. “Why do you think this is useless?” she demanded.

Leo paused, hand poised to toss another small rock into the water, and looked at her blankly. "What?"

"This, Planning. Surviving. You called it useless."

He frowned. "I did? I don't think that's useless. Just..." Trailing off, he looked down at the pebble in his hand before gently tossing it into the stream.

"Just?" There was a bit of tension in her voice

He sighed, leaning on his knees and staring at the ground. "I don't really know anymore. I thought... I had to do something else."

She echoed his sigh, and hugged him one-armed. "Ah." With a smirk, she added "It's not me, then, it's you?"

Leo laughed shortly, giving her a crooked grin. "Yeah. It's never you."

She winced, not bothering to try to cover it. "Tell me about it."

His smile faded into uncertain concern, which he managed to turn back into a smile. Maybe not the happiest smile, but a smile. "There I go again. What'd I do this time?"

She shook her head, managing a smile for him. "Nothing, Leo, I'm just being stupid. Happens sometimes to the best of us."

Disbelief was written all over his expression, but he just looked back at the water. "Do you think..." He hesitated, then exhaled loudly. "Never mind."

"What?" she asked gently. "Please?"

He reached down and picked up another small stone, turning it around in his fingers. "Do you think you guys will ever trust me again?"

She waited a moment before answering, mulling it over. "I never stopped trusting you. I was hurt, and angry, and worried. But you're... well, you're Leo. There's no-one in the world I trust more than you guys."

The pebble landed in the water with a small plop. Leo stared at the spot where it had vanished, looking conflicted. "Am I...? Who is Leo? I don't know anymore."

Cya mrr'd quietly at him. "Then I guess we'll have to find out together, won't we, love?"

_________________
Cruel & Unusual.


Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:26 am
Profile
demigod
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:15 pm
Posts: 2420
Post Re: Fanfic!
Leo had been avoiding Zita. Everyone really, but especially her. It wasn’t that he didn’t want her around; the opposite, in fact. It was painful, and lonely, but he’d given her away. What right did he have to expect her to come back? She was, for the first time in years, completely free. And if, contrary to what they’d believed - what he thought they’d believed - for all those years, she preferred Belonging to herself…? He didn’t have to think about it if she wasn’t around. So, as the convenient excuse presented itself, he left her alone so as not to pressure her to go back into old habits.

To that end, he’d let her keep their room, stealing Howard’s tent with the argument that Leo rarely gets to camp out. It’d be fun! He practically was living outside anyway, coming in for meals and showers and stuff like that, because outside was empty. Outside he could avoid everyone else, avoid the unreliability of everything, avoid thinking about much at all.

By the time Cya came and found him, some things were finally starting to make sense again. It was like watching the rippling stream freeze into ice, little spars reaching out over the surface in unpredictable patterns. A random memory here, a detail about the ranch there. But there was still that lack of a foundation, the core bits that were him. And there was still that nagging sense of failure. Always.

Absently, Leofric reached into his pocket and pulled out the ridiculous pair of orange glasses, rotating it slowly between his fingers as he watched it catch the light. Kamina never had these kinds of problems. (Kamina wasn’t real, a little voice in the back of his head reminded him. Then again, neither was much of anything else right now.) Neither did Kenshin, or Ichigo, or any of the others. But especially not Kamina.

No. No, Kamina died. It was Simon. He flicked the glasses to a stop, staring down at the V-like shape as everything abruptly snapped into place. Of course he failed, it was too soon. He wasn’t supposed to protect it - he was supposed to save it. And for that, it needed to go down first. And then he - he and his Crew - they would save it. (That's impossible, you guys aren’t strong enough, the little voice in the back of his head reminded him.)

“Impossible, huh.” A wide, aggressive grin abruptly spread itself across his face, and he slipped on the glasses as he rose to his feet. “Impossible? Who the hell do you think I am?” A finger pointed dramatically at the sky as he yelled into the empty hills. “I’m Leofric, the Lightning Rod! The impossible is what I do!”

“And,” he continued in a more normal tone, “Zita needs to fix these glasses.” They still had her tooth marks in them. Still grinning, Leo stuck them back into his pocket and took off back to the house at a jog.

He was almost there, humming cheerfully to himself, when a movement in the corner of his eye caught his attention. Slowing and on the alert, he turned to look down the road. Had the Neds found them already?

No, it was a horse. …Two horses, with people riding them. And one of the people was… waving? Leofric hesitantly waved back, then took off towards the house again. Reaching the door, he skidded to a stop and slammed it open.

“Zita! We have visitors!”


Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:54 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.