This story is of questionable canonicality – it probably happened, probably about 100 years after Cya & Leo graduate from Addergoole (or about 93 years after the end of the world) – but the exact date is up in the air, as well as some details.
All Leo lines in this story are as-written by inventrix in the roleplay that sparked this
They didn’t want a war. Luke took a few breaths and tried to rein in his temper. It wasn’t working.
…avoid making unfounded accusations against my crew, Leo had snarled, as if his crew wasn’t the problem. Luke took another breath. Mike would want him to be calm.
“Your crew was a lot easier to ignore when I knew you were acting as a balance on her.”
Somewhere in Luke’s mind, Mike was putting his face in his hands. He couldn’t bring himself to care. They had been arguing about Boom and crews like Boom for far too long.
Leo narrowed his eyes. Luke wondered if he’d pushed him too far.
There were sparks of electricity jumping from the ground. That was either a very good sign or a very bad sign. Leo was angry. He still could be angry.
“Tell me honestly,” Leo began. Luke shifted his weight to the balls of his feet. “Of the four of us, individually, do you believe Red Doomsday is the most dangerous?”
Luke rolled back onto his heels. “Honestly?” He found his wings stilling. “Right now, yes.” He knew this answer, and he knew exactly how he’d reached it. “Howard stays on his ranch. You’re the most deadly in a fight, with Zita close behind. But Doomsday builds things.”
“What are you afraid she’s going to build?”
It was a good question. Still, he hesitated.
“What is she building now?” It was clear she was building something. The Foundations were going up outside of Cloverleaf – Not on the side Leo had led him to, Luke noted. What was a very important question though.
“A school. A university,” he adds. “A town, for the school to live. Society can’t grow if the only people with knowledge are those of us from before the war.”
Luke had never seen Leo so serious, or so angry. He began to wonder if the anger was covering something, and he began to wonder if he ought to stop pushing Leo.
But he had to know.
“And she’s building a power base.” The idea was just as nerve-wracking as it had been fifty years ago. “Shit, Leo, what were you thinking?”
He’d pushed too far. He was nearly shouting. And Leo was glaring at him, which was probably fair.
“Right now, I’m thinking about how little you know us.”
Luke shifted his weight. His wings rustled irritably. Of anyone from Addergoole for Leo to say that to… “I’ve been watching you for decades.” Especially when Regine was worried or when Drake thought something was wrong or their kids or their grandkids came to Addergoole and left again, different, changed. He’d been watching them more than anyone else had.
“Have you.” Leo’s shift in weight was tiny, but Luke was looking for it. “So you know all about how Cya spent decades picking up the pieces of students from your school. Or how Zita and I spent decades fighting – killing – monsters, or people, because if we ever stopped we would wind up killing ourselves. Or how Howard stays at the Ranch with people who care about him because if he doesn’t, he’ll try to kill you all and die in the process. Or how—.” He cut himself off. There were sparks of electricity everywhere.
Luke unfurled his wings, fighting a protective urge to take all of them, adults grown and sometimes-potential-enemies, under his wing and protect them. Leo’s words kept repeating in his head. Picks up the pieces…. If we ever stopped… he’d try to kill you all…
He knew his face showed horror. He knew he was proving Leo right – he hadn’t been paying enough attention. He hadn’t seen. He didn’t care. How had he missed that?
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