The AU is Cloverleaf-Era, and Leo has gathered an army around himself and is, uh, taking over the northwest.
Luke is sent in to deal with it, but underestimates Leo’s style of fighting and has to nearly kill him to get him unconscious….
…all while Leo’s army watches.
The messenger had been pounding on her door for nearly a minute before Cya made it down the stairs. She’d been taking a bath, the sort of long, quiet luxury she only did when she had a full hour or more to herself, and she hadn’t been in the mood for company.
He took a long moment to catch his breath when she yanked the door open. She recognized his uniform – one of Leo’s, with the blue and the lightning-bolt – and she recognized the look on his face. “Slow,” she told him. “Single words.” It wasn’t good news. It wasn’t good news at all. She drew herself up a little straighter.
“Lightning-Blade,” he gasped. “Short guy, Mara-wings. Fight.” He swallowed and took three careful breaths. “sa’Lightning Blade found himself in, in single combat with this Mara. Both alive. Lightning-Blade down.”
“Take me there.” He wouldn’t be at her door if he wasn’t a teleporter.
“Ma’am, sa’Red-Doomsday, your robe?”
She was wearing one of Leo’s kimono. “It covers. Take me.”
“The army…?” He had a point. She hated that he had a point.
“Come in, bedroom, now.”
He obeyed. He was too good at obeying, but she’d worry about that later. She threw off her robe, threw on her best red dress – which, conveniently, was nearly as easy-on as Leo’s kimono – and held out her hand to the teleporter.
He was blushing brightly. It was a good look on him. She might care, later. Then they were twisting through the void, and there was no room for such things.
Some day, maybe when she was 200 or 300, Cya might get used to the feeling of being teleported, except it was different with every teleporter. This one seemed to bend space by folding his passengers up.
When Cya had been young, before the world had ended, there’d been a book called Flat Stanley, about a child who had been flattened and learned to live that way, including being mailed to relatives for a visit. Cya felt like that right now. It did not add to her general mood in a positive manner.
The teleporter dropped them out of his folded-space between Leo – on the ground, breathing, unconscious, missing an arm, bleeding badly, one ear gone, attended by a healer in the Leo’s-Army uniform – and Luke (the short guy, the Mara) – missing three fingers, half of a wing, and, it looked, three teeth, bleeding, but conscious, “restrained” between two army guards.
It took Cya less than a heartbeat to assess all that. She spun around while those on the ground were still realizing that she was there and punched Luke in the uninjured side of his face. “You fucking asshole,” she spat. “I had it handled. And you had to… abatu eperu. You fucker.” She waved at the ground and it opened up, her Working leaving a hole just about the size of Luke and 20 feet deep as she Destroyed the dirt and stone under him. “You fucker.” She turned to Leo and dropped on her knees. “And you, you bleeding idiot, what made you be such a fucking ridiculous man? Why on earth would you keep fighting? It’s Luke, he wasn’t going to kill you, you bastard.” She touched his shoulder, the one that still had an arm attached, and raised her voice to a bellow. “Where are the rest of the healers? If there are not two more healers here in the next five minutes, I’m going to start burying people. Come on, you assholes, he’s your general!“
The healer shot her an insulted look. She returned it with a calm and un-budge-able expression. “There’s more damage than anyone but a god can repair quickly,” she murmured, quiet enough that only the healer and the unconscious Leo could hear it. “And if I know Leo — and I do — there’s a whole lot more unseen damage. You’ll need back-up.”
She stalked away before she pissed off the person saving her beloved’s life. She stared down the hole at Luke, who did not appear to be inclined to argue with her. “You asshole,” she muttered. “This is going to fuck everything up.”
Luke didn’t answer, simply stood there, damaged wings folded tightly in the cramped space, and bled.
Flat Stanley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Stanley
Cya was not talking to Leo, nor was she listening to him.
The good thing — not the only good thing, but at the moment the most useful thing — about Leo having sworn to obey Cya was that, when she was furious with him, she could ground him.
Right now, he was grounded, while the healers continued to work on repairing all the damage to his body.
The fact that she had grounded the general who had won the northwest did not escape Cya, but neither did she particularly care. He had been bad (never mind that Luke had started it), and until she calmed down, he was going to be grounded.
Hopefully, unlike her more mischievous sons, Leo didn’t try to climb out the window.
Luke had, at one point, wanted to see the cells Cya kept beneath her city.
He had not wanted to see them quite this close-up.
He’d surrendered as a gesture of goodwill, but now, locked into a hawthorn-lined cell, cut off from his magic and with his mind tingling with the effects of being surrounded by that much poison, he was beginning to regret the choice.
He sat gingerly on the provided divan. His wings had been mended, but he was still more injury than not.
He’d underestimated Leo. He’d underestimated both of them.
The letter was short, and she recognized the handwriting.
It had been delivered to her by a courier she didn’t recognize, in a uniform she was beginning to hate — blue, a lightning bolt, a sword.
Director Avonmorea, Lady of the Lake,
You have misplaced your Mara. I have him here — alive, and injured only by his attack on my people.
Meet me at the Tower in Cloverleaf to discuss terms.
Cya Red Doomsday
Next: White Queen
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1196306.html. You can comment here or there.