Chessboard, an AU story of Cya, Leofric, Luke, and an Army

A double-crack alternate universe in which Leo gets an army and then takes over the northwest.


Black Knight and White Queen from the 9th and White Knight from the 10th and
Red Queen from the 11th,
and Domination and
Captured Knight and Captured Knight continued, and several pieces by [personal profile] inventrix, most notably this one, which comes directly before the story below.

When her teleporter brought Luke to her door that evening, Cya thought he looked a little bit like he’d been punched in the stomach.

She’d been expecting something of the sort, so she was pleased not to be wrong in her impressions. “Come on in,” she encouraged him, because she was pretty sure he’d not remembered the threshold portions of being Kept — he had none, anymore; anyone could walk into any place that was his unless she claimed it as hers; in return, her threshold was open to him. “Let’s get some food in you and some first impressions out of you.”

Cya liked cooking. She hadn’t liked it when she’d started, but somewhere along the line she’d gotten very good at making virtues out of necessities. For Luke, whose Mara body (with is enviable healing factor) was still working overtime fixing the rest of the damage Leo had done to him, she’d made a heavy stew and a crusty loaf of bread.

He sat in the low-backed chair she kept around for winged guests and stared at the food as if he couldn’t imagine eating. That was normal enough, although she hadn’t expected it from him. Cya sat down on the other side of the table and started eating her own.

That got him moving. After a few bites, when the flavors started getting through his haze, he looked up at her. “This is good.”

“Thank you.” She didn’t bother with teasing him; he was hardly there enough to notice she was doing it, yet. “How did the army tour go?”

He snorted, mostly to himself. “Army.'”

Cya smirked, because he wasn’t looking at her, and because he hadn’t really internalized being Kept yet. She didn’t know if he would — and she wasn’t sure, yet, how much she’d force the process. “You’re not impressed?” She found it unlikely that was the case. Leo and his army had taken over the Northwest. They were disciplined, relatively clean, and efficient.

He made eye contact with her and seemed to be considering what he was going to say.

That was a habit she wanted to nip in the bud, especially with a Kept two centuries older than she was. “Tell me.”

He made an entirely-unconscious-sounding noise at the order. “It’s not an army, it’s a cult. A well-armed, well-disciplined armed force… and a cult.”

Unlike a younger Kept, he didn’t slap his hand over his mouth. But he did take a bite of his bread as if he wanted to tear something else with his teeth.

“It is,” Cya agreed, and did not laugh at him. “It’s been growing for a while. You should see him when he does a public speech.”

“And he knows it.”

“Yeah.” She stabbed her stew with her fork. “Yeah. He does.”

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