inventrix: (prof inazuma)
inventrix ([personal profile] inventrix) wrote2016-11-14 01:31 am
Entry tags:

All According To Plan...??

Cya Red Doomsday vanished, along with her teleporter, leaving Luke with Leo, the army, and the still-unfamiliar silver collar around his neck.

Leo looked at him silently for a moment, his eyes lingering on the collar thoughtfully for long enough to make Luke flap uncomfortably. At that, Leo gave him a crooked smile.

"Welcome back, Hunting Hawk. I hope this goes better than your last visit."

The image of Leo lying half-dead and bloody on the ground came to mind. He'd felt terrible about it before, but now somehow he felt even worse, and he found himself pulling his wings in tightly against the guilt.

Hoping he could trust his voice, Luke cleared his throat and nodded. "As do I," he answered, and was relieved to hear himself sounding almost normal.

Leo's smile eased at that, looking less nervous and almost amused. "Then let's do our best. I think if I come home half-dead one more time, Cya'll just finish the job herself."

"If you think I'm pissed at you, Luca, you might imagine how angry I am at Leo."
Luke had wondered at the time why; now, he found himself wondering what she'd done, being angry at Leo. Not lock him in a hawthorn room, surely... A half-forgotten conversation, Leo casually mentioning Cya having locked him in a cell in what Luke had assumed to be exaggeration, and suddenly he wasn't so sure.

"Anyway," Leo continued, seeming to ignore the half-restrained flap of Luke's wings, "let's start with a tour. I don't expect you to be travelling with us much, especially not at first, but when you are, it'll be with the rest of the command section." He gestured with a hand, indicating the area they were standing in. "You'll get your own tent but you'll have to set it up yourself depending on if you're going to need it or not. Anyone else, I'd assume Cya would want you back every night, but..." Leo gave Luke an unreadable glance and shrugged.

Luke held back the urge to ask what that was supposed to mean, along with the unexpected dismay at the implication that Cya didn't want him to go back. This whole situation was messing with his head, repeatedly. The hawthorn, the released oaths, being Kept...

"This is where we hold strategy meetings," Leo said, interrupting his train of thought. "You'll need to come to all those, of course. I'll want your opinions in private for a while at first so as to avoid stepping on too many toes too quickly. Not everyone's too happy about you being here." He sounded apologetic.

"Of course." Luke couldn't imagine anyone was too happy about it, after he'd nearly killed their general. He flapped his wings in a mixture of guilt at the memory and resentment at being sent to work as an errand boy. "I'll try not to step on any toes. Sir." He added the honorific an afterthought; it felt strange, calling the boy he'd Mentored "sir", even if it was appropriate for the situation.

From the look on Leo's face, he didn't feel any more comfortable about it than Luke.

"I'm sure you'll do fine... So yes, you'll spend most of the time you're here either with me or around here." Leo gestured at the immediate area again, which he'd called the command section. "As chief advisor, you have full clearance, which I already made clear to everyone who might've tried to interfere otherwise."

...Chief advisor? "Wait." Luke flapped in surprise. "Cya-- sa'Doomsday said I was going to be your aide."

Leo looked surprised in turn, then assessing. "Did she... Well." He shook his head. "That would be a complete waste of your skills, so until she informs me otherwise, advisor it is."

"Part of that is so you have the time and freedom to go back and forth to Cloverleaf," Leo continued, as though nothing surprising had happened at all. "Cya has her own teleporter and can come get you herself, of course, but make sure I know if she gives you a time to come back by so I can lend you ours. He's used to the jump, so another few trips a week shouldn't be a strain."

"I doubt it'll be that often," Luke replied, somewhere between amusement and a grumble.

"Well, much less and you'll hardly be spending enough time here to make a difference." Leo grinned.

That was the opposite of what Luke had been thinking. "I'd think I would spend more time here, not less," he said carefully.

"Gods, I hope not." Leo made a face.

Luke flapped his wings, offended, and Leo hastily waved a hand.

"No, not because I don't want you around, you'd just be even more miserable and grumpy than usual. Being away from your Keeper does that, you know?"

He'd forgotten that. "I can handle it," he assured Leo. If he could handle wearing this collar, he could handle the rest of it.

"Lucky you." Leo sounded surprisingly sincere. "I don't think I could. But right; tour. This way."

Leo led him through the encampment, describing the structure of both the layout and the hierarchy with indicating gestures. The officers - marked by a symbol on the shoulder of their uniform jacket - bowed Japanese-style as they passed; the infantry, once they reached that section, all quickly snapped to attention. The looks they all gave Luke were similar; respect, suspicion, or a mix of the two. A few seemed to be looking at his collar - Cya's collar - instead of at him, which made his wings twitch in discomfort, but none of the attention they gave to him was a surprise.

There was something else bothering him about it, though, and as he focused his attention back to Leo's brief tour, that nagging sense of something not quite right finally clicked. It made sense, for an army to focus on its commanding officer when he appeared, for the soldiers to look at him with respect and admiration, but the looks Leo was getting were dangerously like worship.

Luke looked back at Leo, at the way his former-Student, current-commander, carried himself as he led Luke through the tents, and he realized Leo knew. He knew exactly what he was doing.

Did Cya know? Was this part of her plans? Or was it the situation she said she was handling?

If Luke had been worried before, it was nothing compared to now.

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