A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Five: Treason! Treason! Treason! Part Three.


“Am I interrupting something?”

Leonardo did not quite sigh in relief but it was a close thing.

Robespierre looked utterly ridiculous trying to challenge Richard, who clearly a trained military man, but Leonardo found his respect for the man growing.

Not very much, but more than he had for Rain or Richard at that exact moment.

“Are the two of you fighting, already?”

She looked between the two of them, brown eyes wide and incredulous.

Maximilien Robespierre stepped away from Richard, sniffing primly.

“He started it.”

Richard aimed a look so poisonous at him that Leonardo was impressed the other man didn’t drop dead all over again.

Rain rolled her eyes.

“Okay. Definitely no royalty and revolutionaries together, ever again. That was a mistake.” She turned on Leonardo. “You’re the intelligent one Leonardo, why didn’t you stop them?”

Leonardo adopted his best look of innocence.

“It was merely a friendly disagreement, signora. Neither of these men would turn to the brutish ways of physical force.”

Rain gave him a considering look, eyes flickering over his face and posture.

“If you say so,” she finally muttered with a quiet snort.

With her typical energy, she whirled around to face Richard and Robespierre again. “Here, I replicated these,” she shoved an array of something sky blue and green to Robespierre, a white and wine red to Richard, and finally blood red and rich daisy yellow at Leonardo, “for you. Jeans, undershirt, button up, jacket and belt for all three of you. I took the measurements from the database so everything should fit.” She looked around expectantly, then rolled her eyes and snapped her fingers at them when they simply stared at her.

“Well, go change. We don’t have all day.”

Leonardo let Richard and Robespierre leave the room ahead of him, before Rain caught the crook of his elbow with her cane.

“What was this gentlemanly and ever so civilized argument about, Leonardo?”

Leonardo hesitated.

He did not want to allow her to know of Richard’s desire for his freedom or the fact that Leonardo agreed. Slowly, he said, “Well we are all very curious as to what you gained by bringing us back.”

Rain tried to interrupt. “I already told you-”

“Yes I know, but the other two seem to believe you have more sinister intensions. It sets them ill at ease.” Leonardo shrugged. “They were at odds about what to do about it.”

Rain scoffed. “Well they won’t really have a choice. Not as if I can let any of you go.”

Leonardo tilted his head. “Why not?”

“Well besides the fact you stick out like a sore thumb, I don’t think anyone will react well to the recently or, in this case, not-so-recently-deceased walking around.”

Rain released his arm, her smile thin.

“You are my discovery, and unlike so many in history I don’t intend to ruin it by telling everyone about you.” She shook her head. “No, you are my secret, and my secret you’ll stay.” She winked at him.

Heart racing, Leonardo gave her a shallow bow.

“Of course. How very…prudent.” His stomach seemed sour as he said this, twisting into anatomically impossible knots.

He felt her eyes on him the entire way back to the lab.


Richard ran his hand over the strange fabric that Rain handed him. It was denser, coarser than wool but still flexible, and it felt like it would hold up well under travel. He snorted and started shucking off the cotton pants. There was no hosiery and after a moment of confused fumbling Richard realized what was supposed to go on underneath was the smaller cotton pants. He also struggled with the tiny buttons on the shirt, fingers slipping on the slick hard material.

He was the last one done changing, Leonardo and Robespierre were already done and listening to Rain, who was explaining how the so-called ‘transporter’ worked.

“And you rematerialize at your destination. Of course, it doesn’t work over very long distances; I think the record is something like a five thousand kilometers. However it works for us, today.”

Maximilien looked perplexed, but Leonardo was nodding, only looking a little lost.  Rainbow noticed Richard. “Ah! His highness arrives!” She limped over to him. “Looking pretty good for someone who never wore pants before. Come on, we’re getting ready to leave right now.”

Richard noticed that Rain didn’t seem to need to change although, she seemed to be as improperly dressed to him as he’d been in the cotton pants. Still dressed in the brown shirt and black pants, with some kind of long white tunic over top, she seemed as strange to him as any manner of witchcraft.

Richard narrowed his eyes.

That was what this all seemed to reek of, witchcraft.

It would be exactly his luck for his afterlife to be in the thrall of a witch, Richard reflected sourly.

He bet Ned didn’t have to deal with this.

Rainbow herded the three of them into a small room, and entered after, the doors closing behind them. Richard shifted uncomfortably. This seemed all too much like a coffin of crypt for him, and the Frenchman was blinking at him, face damnably unreadable. Richard arranged his own features to be as blank as possible.

He jumped when he felt the box move. It felt disconcertingly like his insides were left below him. From the looks on Leonardo’s and Robespierre’s faces, they were experiencing something similar.

Rain chuckled. “It’s an elevator. It uses pulleys and weights, or it used to, now it’s all run electrically, to move the box,” she tapped on the wall with her cane, “from down to up and up to down.”

Leonardo smiled, looking as if this was all going to plan, while Robespierre simply looked ill.

Richard didn’t say anything, but made a firm pact that the moment the opportunity arose, he’d be leaving this box, and more importantly, this woman.

Rain seemed to see his expression and tsked. “It’s not so bad Richard, besides this is nothing. The transporters will be much worse if you can’t even handle a little elevator ride.”

The box seemed to stop moving.

“I can hardly wait,” he grit out from between his teeth.

Rain led them through a strange darkened building. It was cavernous, and filled with same delicately made crystal chairs, as had been downstairs, sitting next to long white tables, that blinked with multi colored lights. Richard had the sense it was daytime but the entire building seemed dark and quiet as a cave. He quickened his step, the back of his neck prickling uncomfortably.

“What is this place?” Leonardo asked voice hushed.

“Oh, it’s an old office building I bought out. Everyone expects a private lab hidden in a mine, in the mountains, or on a private island. It’s easier to just by a derelict building and use that.” Rain didn’t seem to notice, or possibly did not concern herself with the feeling of nervous tension radiating from the three men.

However soon Richard spotted the windowed doors, and through them, sunlight that spilled onto the floor, illuminating the dust that floated on the air.

Rain stopped in front of the doors, baring their way with her metal cane, as if it was a sword. Richard, Robespierre, and Leonardo stopped short to stare at the scientist.

“Gentlemen, through these doors is a world that you couldn’t imagine in all your dreams and days. Through this door you will stepping into a world inhabited by over 10 billion people. A world that has changed in so many ways since you died, you’ll think you are in a fantasy.” She grabbed the bar of the door and pushed on it, so the door swung out and the light spilled over their feet. “I would like you to enter the world of the year three thousand, annon Domini!”

Richard steeled himself and with his jaw clenched tight, stepped forward, natural light making him blink before his eyes adjusted. As they did, he looked around at the surroundings, and for a moment, Rainbow Miller was entirely correct, he did feel as if he’d stepped into a fantasy, some kind of fairy tale, like the ones George used to tell him and Anne.

“Dio mio,” Leonardo breathed, stepping out to his right, hand held up to his mouth. Robespierre said nothing, but the stupefied look on his face said more than an exclamation could.

The world seemed to be made entirely of crystal now, Richard thought wildly. Everything around them glittered in the afternoon sunlight, stretching high, higher than any castle battlement Richard had ever seen. It made him dizzy, looking up, trying to see the tops, but it was impossible. He was positive they were scraping the lazy white clouds that dotted the sky. Greenery cascaded down some of these shining marvels, and across from where the small group stood people periodically appeared from the doors, spilling into the street. Richard realized that overhead there was a buzz, like a nest of bees, and he realized what it was just in time to try to duck and crouch away from it, Robespierre and Leonardo doing the same.

An enormous airborne carriage went over their heads, the buzzing intensifying as it did so. Richard whipped his head around, eyes growing in size. There wasn’t just one carriage held impossibly aloft: there were hundreds, thousands. Their shadows passed over them, and Richard’s head spun, watching. Rain laughed as all three of them stood straight again. Robespierre looked abjectly terrified, face ashen, the scar periodically changing, deeping, as the shadows passed over his face.

Leonardo however, started laughing along with Rain and he clapped his hands together, delighted.

“We did it? Flight?”

Rain clapped him on the arm, grinning, eyes wide. “Leonardo. We have done things even your mind couldn’t conceive of.”

She started walking down the street, leaving them to trail behind her like ducklings. Leonardo started off, after her at once, seeming completely at ease with throwing himself into the bustle with Rain.

Richard looked at Robespierre. The man still looked terrified, but seeing he had Richard’s attention quickly schooled his features.

“Richard! Maximilien! Keep up!” Rain shouted over her shoulder. A few bystanders looked in their direction, and Richard scowled, but started to move after her. Robespierre followed, just behind.

“Given up on your ideas of leaving?” He asked.

Richard glanced over his right shoulder and set his jaw. Robespierre reminded him of a fly, buzzing far too close to Richard for his taste.

“Not yet.”

Robespierre glared at him. “I’ll tell Rain.”

Richard stopped, and turned. Some flies needed to be slapped out of the air, and it appeared Robespierre was determined to be one of them.

“Do that. And then I’ll finish whatever the person who gave that scar started,” Richard promised lowly.

“Richard!” Rain’s voice came over the crowd again, and Richard turned, ready to follow her, for now.


A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Five: Treason! Treason! Treason! Part Two.


Maximilien had returned to the storage room, temper still running high.

He paced back and forth for a moment, hands tightly clenched behind his back. He clenched his jaw, eyes set on the cluttered floor in front of him.

Even over a thousand years in the future, and Max couldn’t escape the same infuriating entitlement of the bourgeois.

Or the disgusting rumors that had followed him since Brissot had accused him of aspirations of dictatorship in 1792. His lip curled. He should have known that Girondins’ calumny would follow him, sticking to Maximilien like a stubborn burr.

Abruptly Max was overcome with fatigue and he sat down heavily, body bowing under the weight of the past 48 hours.

He hadn’t dared to look up the Revolution, or his family on the database that Leonardo had shown him. Terror of the deepest sort gripped him every time he thought of it. He was desperate to know what had become of Charlotte, but the terrible thought that she’d died as well stopped him. Max didn’t want to think of his only surviving sibling, alone and frightened, all of her fire doused in the face of his enemies. He did not want to consider what had happened to the Duplays, if Eléonore or Babet had…had…

Maximilien shuddered. He didn’t dare think it.

A soft knock jolted him from his morbid thoughts. Rain stuck her head around the door.

“Don’t sulk in here all day, Robespierre. It’s looking like we are going to have to move this tete-a-tete back to my house, and I’ll need to give you a wardrobe update. Come back to the kitchen soon,” she said cheerily and then let the door slam behind her.

Max frowned.

And Rain…

How did she factor into this? She didn’t seem like she held a grudge against him, as she’d implied so many people did. So why did she bring him back? He was not like Leonardo, a man who been brushed with the hand of Grace itself.

He was not a king either.

He was only Robespierre.

A chill went across the back of his neck and Maximilien reached up to rub a finger over the guillotine scar. He shivered and stood up.

The hallways were darkened and empty. Rain had already vanished and Max supposed that Leonardo and Richard were still in the kitchen.

It was silent as he approached the doorway, and he slowed to a stop before he entered.

Leonardo was leaning back in his chair, hand moving restlessly over the paper. With a blush, Maximilien realized it should have occurred to him sooner that this Leonardo was the Leonardo, who died in the arms of the King of France.

Richard, meanwhile, was still eating with the hunger of a man who’d been very active and hadn’t had food in a while. In a sudden flash, it seemed Max was back at the Duplays, after Phillipe Le Bas and Antoine Saint-Just returned from the army, putting away food like any other young person, talking to the Duplay’s daughters, one of whom would eventually be Le Bas’s wife. Max shivered and shook the image away.

He looked up when Max entered, eyes narrowed and mouth full of bacon.

Revolutionary and sovereign stared at each other frostily.

“I agree, I like this future as well, where a man is free to have a variety of opinions, and it is not impressed upon him by another.” Leonardo spoke conversationally, without looking away from his drawing.

“What?” Richard barked at the artist.

Leonardo looked up, a bushy eyebrow raised.

“I thought that’s what was being debated.”

Max managed a thin smile but Richard scowled.

“Are you saying that you agree with this,” he gestured to Maximilien, “revolutionary? This usurper?”

Leonardo held out a hand, palm out.

“I said nothing of the sort.” The Italian’s voice had gone hard. “I said that I was pleased to be in a future that will not force me to agree with either of you.”

Maximilien raised an eyebrow. “I wouldn’t impress my will-“

“You might think you wouldn’t, but by trying to turn my to a side, you have,” Leonardo cut across his words quickly. Richard smirked at Maximilien.

Rain returned before it could become another argument over the rights of people or the divine rights of Kings.

“Ah good, you’re back. I need to explain a few things before we leave for my house.”

She propped herself against the counter, fingers beating a rapid beat on her cane. Her brown eyes roved over each of them, her face inscrutable.

“I brought the three of you back to life, to the year three thousand.”

Promptly, Richard butted in. “Yes, why would you do that again?”

Rain stared at him blankly. “For science.”

At this Leonardo nodded his head in understanding, while Richard rubbed his temple, jaw set.

“Of course,” he growled. “Why didn’t I assume that?”

Rain waved his complaints away with an airy hand. “Well you weren’t doing anything for anyone dead. So here you are. Anyway, it now appears that we need to move this operation back to my domestic residence. And to do this I’m going to need to take you out into public.”

Her gaze suddenly sharpened.

“We’ll need to change your clothes, you can’t go wearing pajamas. I suppose your hair isn’t so out of fashion.” She frowned considering. “That can always be changed later, anyway.”

Maximilien reached up to finger his hair self-consciously.

Rain stamped her cane on the ground decisively and smiled at all of them. “That’s decided then. I’ll replicate your clothes and then explain the transporters after.” She smiled at all of them. “This’ll be easy, right boys?”

Maximilien glanced at Richard who was staring at Rain like she’d come straight from Charenton, to Leonardo who was smiling benignly at her.

“Okay, I’ll grab the clothes, stay here.”

She said the last part through her grit teeth, before limping her way out of the room.

Richard seemed to wait just long enough for the sound of her footsteps to fade before he was out of his seat, pacing like a caged bear, head set low between his shoulders and grinding his teeth.

“I’m going nowhere with that woman.”

Maximilien let out a polite cough.


Richard swung his head around to stare at him.

“Yes?” He snarled, his meaty breath invading Maximilien’s senses.

“You don’t really think you ‘ave a choice here, do you? It’s obvious that she has us captive here,” he pointed out.

“She’s one women. Between the three of us, we can overpower her and leave.” Richard said, as if Max was thick. He bristled at the tone out of principle.

Leonardo interjected.

“I will have no part in overpowering a helpless, lame woman. I’d rather go with her and try my luck leaving her at a later date. Usually if you go along with a person they more likely to be agreeable later.” He sat back and crossed his arms, as if to challenge either of them to try and move him by force. Both of them looked to Max.

“And you, Robespierre?” Richard asked, lip curling over his name just slightly, as if the taste in his mouth disgusted him.

Maximilien turned his back on the two for a moment, clenching and unclenching his hands.

On the one hand, even though Max was loath to admit it, his instincts went with Richard. Rain hadn’t given them any explanation as to why they should trust her, or even why she’d brought them back, taking their gratitude and therefore their loyalty as a given and it rankled Maximilien badly.

Loyalty is never a given, he thought to himself.

However, Leonardo was also right: Rain hadn’t done anything yet, other than bring them back to life. If this was a good or bad thing, Max had yet to decide. She was also unarmed, and he couldn’t quite justify what they would have to do to a lone woman to escape. Leonardo also appealed to a base level of Max’s philosophies: independent artisans. He’d take that any day over a former king of England.

He chewed his lip then decided, turning around to face them again.

“I agree with Leonardo, Doctor Miller hasn’t shown herself to be a threat yet, and it’s be monstrous to attack an unarmed woman.

Leonardo smiled thinly at him, but Richard threw a hand up in exasperation.

“It’s obvious that she means no good, kidnapping us like this. We haven’t seen another person since we got here. And she’s clearly mad,” Richard snorted. “For science, saint’s blood.”

Leonardo frowned at him. “Science is a noble pursuit. It explains how the world works.”

“It could explain why the sky is blue, I care not. I’m leaving,” Richard declared.

Maximilien moved to block him. Richard was taller than he was, and probably much stronger, but his stubborn nature won out.

“You’ll go nowhere, not until we find out more. I won’t let have Miller distrusting all of us, simply because you can’t accept another’s will,” he said, meeting Richard’s hard grey-eyed stare.

“I will move you by force if I have to.” The ex-king said softly. Out of the corner of his eye, Maximilien saw Leonardo tense in his chair, looking ready to separate them by force.

However all three turned when the sound of Rain’s cane came tapping out of the hallway.

“All right, here we go,” she announced grandly when she entered. She looked around at all three of them, from Leonardo gripping his chair, white knuckled to Max’s and Richard’s posturing.

“Am I interrupting something?”


A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Five: Treason! Treason! Treason! Part One.

EPISODE FIVE: Treason, Treason, Treason!


Bosworth Field, 1483.

The battle is going badly, damn Stanley and his she-wolf of a wife.

Richard regrets not killing her when he had the chance. This is what he gets for all his mercy, damn it all.

Sweat is pouring into his eyes as he swings his mace, every hit making his arms shake with the impact. He needs to survive this, regroup and come back for Henry, the dog.

His horse has long been taken, stumbled and broken its knees by the sound it made, and leaving Richard on soft soggy ground to brawl his way through. The mist rolls through the trees and everywhere the sounds of fighting echo.  

He takes a hit that leaves his whole body aching, the metal of his armor starting to buckle under the stress.

This is going quite badly, all things considered.

Richard regrets, more than ever taking the crown, but what else was he supposed to do? Let Elizabeth and her nest of relatives run roughshod over the country? Let her have all of the sway over her son? When Richard had been named protectorate by Edward himself?

Wasn’t his bloody fault Edward couldn’t ever keep it in his pants long enough to think of consequences, god rest his brother’s soul. Or that George had always resolutely been a fool, and lost his life, land and right to the crown.

Richard hadn’t wanted this circle of metal around his brow but the country, the people of London demanded a responsible ruler, a good stable king after the years of civil war and a hard won peace.

And now as he is continuously beaten by an increasing swarm of enemy soldiers, Richard realizes the price of his duty is going to be nothing less than his life. Still he fights on, teeth grit and arms sore.

He wishes he still had his damned horse.

Richard knows it over when he feels something strike his knee and the leg, not broken just bent crumps in under him and he falls to his knees. Someone kicks his helmet and the stunning effect- a defending ringing in his ears- cannot be ignored. It ripped off his head and the crown goes skittering away, landing just under a thicket of wild roses. Richard snarls, but a war hammer catches him in the shoulder and he is forced back down. Again and again treasonous bastards force Richard into the mud as Henry calmly walks over and picks up the crown to place it on his own head. The snakes turns to smirk at him. It’s over.   

There’s shouts and triumph and Richard thinks that he will at least see Anne and his son Edward again, when there’s a sharp pain to the back of his head and the world goes dark.


The violence in which Richard wakes up, sitting straight up and every muscle coiled to fight, is left over from his death. He blinks, stunned into silence at the room he finds himself in.

“I thought you were supposed to be hunchbacked?” Richard twisted to look around. A woman of Moorish looks was staring at him, lips pursed.

“Turn around again, I want to see if your scoliosis made it look like you could have been.”

Richard collected himself quickly. “Who are you? Where am I?” He demanded, raising a hand to his head, where the pain had been. Under his hair he could feel a small raised scar.

“You’re okay, I fixed all of your injuries,” the woman said, sounding very proud of herself. Richard frowned.

“I was hit with something,” he muttered to himself, confusion mounting all the time.

“Yeah I think it was some kind of pick, you should have seen the scar, tiny but it caused more or less immediate brain hemorrhaging.”

“What?” Richard snapped, more and more confused with every word the woman spoke. His head was pounding and he rubbed irritably at his temple.

“Oh well someone stabbed you and you died.” The woman nodded, dark brown hair fluttering around her face.

Richard stared at her, slowly lowering his hand from his head.

“I, died?”

She nodded. “You died and I brought you back, just now. It is the year 3000 and you are in North Dakota.

Richard stared at her, not sure who was crazier, him for dreaming such a fantastic thing or her for making such outrageous claims.

That was necromancy, it was against the laws of nature. It was impossible. Richard pushed these basic facts aside to address the bigger issue, that clearly this woman was mad.

“I’m sorry, but none of those words mean anything to me,” Richard told her seriously. The woman sighed.

“At least you didn’t have a panic attack like Robespierre did. Here, do you need help walking?” She addressed him directly, holding her elbow out. Richard ignored her. It would be a damnable day indeed, when Richard was reduced to tottering on another’s arm. He saw the walking stick she had and snorted. Especially if it was from a cripple. That was not who Richard was.

Richard swung his legs down from the cold metal table and stood as rigidly as he could, remembering the way his knee had crumple out from under him.

Much to his surprise it did, and after a few careful steps, Richard felt increasingly confident in his ability to move under his own power.

“Let’s get you some clothes, okay? Then I can take you upstairs.” The woman ordered imperiously. Richard frowned, reading to bristle under her tone. However humility and a sudden fatigue and hunger made him stop. Begrudgingly he nodded, letting her go over to a small square cut out in the wall.

“Cotton shirt, pants and trousers. Mens, size medium.”

Richard gaped, staring as the whole thing flashed with light and then a pile of clothing appeared and the woman plucked them out and handed them over to Richard.

“There’s a bathroom over there for you to change, okay? My name is Doctor Rain Miller, so just shout if you need anything.”

Richard was shoved along and the door clicked behind him.


“Everyone should still be asleep. It’s about five in the morning.” Miller whispered to him as they climbed the staircase out of the lower floor. Richard nodded, not sure how she would have been able to tell, since this place didn’t seem to have any windows.

“You’re English, so you probably want tea right?” She asked, going over to another box in the wall.

“Beer would be preferable.” Richard looked around. Like the rest of this place the room seemed to be made of white marble, with all of the lights close to the ceiling. Despite this, the air was comfortably cool. Miller was staring at him, bemused. Richard glared right back.

She shook her head, her indecently loose hair swaying. “I’m drawing the line at beer for breakfast. Tea it is. You look like an earl grey kind of guy,” she muttered.

Richard sat down in a chair that looked disquieting like crystal. Had the world run out of trees, to make chairs from rocks now?

She placed a small and delicate looking cup in front of him. Richard picked it up and released it again immediately. The cup rattled on the table but didn’t break, merely splashing liquid everywhere.

“Problem?” Miller asked.

“It’s hot.” Richard said, twisting around to stare at her.

“Well yeah, it’s tea.”

“Why would you serve it in a cup made from stone then? Even the common drink from wooden bowls,” Richard snapped.

“Oh shit, I keep forgetting, you’re from before you even had glass and porcelain and stuff. Look just wait a second, it’ll cool down.” Miller instructed. Richard narrowed his eyes slightly.

“You are very vulgar, for a lady.”

“Ha, oh honey you haven’t seen anything yet.” Her tone rankled, and Richard narrowed his eyes. He did not at all appreciate the condescendence this woman spoke to him with.

They both turned at the sound of footsteps.

The man who entered seemed surprised to see them, eyes widening slightly behind the glass circles that covered his eyes.

“I’m apologize, I wasn’t aware anyone else was up.” He said, standing ramrod straight. Richard studied him curiously. Slight build, with an unhealthy look, compounded by the scarring around his mouth. There was a curious lilt to his words, something that Richard couldn’t quite place.

“No it’s alright. Maximilien Robespierre meet Richard, duke of Gloucester and later the King of England.”

The man’s countenance changed immediately. He dropped the stiff pose and adopted a much more defensive one, eyeing Richard with something much like distrust. Richard tried a bow anyway.

“The pleasure is mine, I’m sure.” He said, dryly.

To his mild surprise Robespierre gave him nod, but no bow. Nor did he return the greeting, still eyeing him. They all three stood in silence for a moment.

Rain coughed.

“Well this is nice and awkward,” She muttered. “Where is Leo when you need him?”

“He was in the,” a hand motion for lost-ness, “ah, lab.”

“Which one?”

Robespierre gave her a hopeless and slightly annoyed look. Rain laughed slightly as she limped off.

“I’ll find him. Play nice please.”

Once again silence took the kitchen and they stared at each other. Richard realized that they were wearing the same clothing, the soft cotton garments, and concluded that they must have been brought here in similar circumstances.

He wondered if Robespierre was from the future, his future.

The other man brushed past him on the way to the box, the magical one that dispensed clothes, food, and drink.

“French?” Richard asked aloud, finally connecting the man’s name and his accent.

“Oui,” Robespierre seemed to sneer slightly when he said it, looking distastefully at Richard.

Richard rubbed his temple.



Leonardo started slightly when something touched him. He been absorbed in reading articles, as he had all last night. Spots from the light of screen danced in front of his eyes and he blinked them away.

“Hm? Oh hello Doctor Rain.”

She grinned at him, white teeth all straight and whole.

“Hey Leonardo. I have someone new for you to meet. Come on,” She gestured with her cane.

Leonardo carefully marked where he had been in Grey Anatomy, edition 201, year 2995. The screen went dark and Leonardo marveled for a moment.

He already liked this future very much.

They walked upstairs and into the kitchen. Leonardo immediately noticed that Robespierre had adopted the attitude of an angry cat, looking stiff and hands placed flat on the table, fingers twitching slightly.

He didn’t mean to think the sight was endearing.

There was another new man at the table as well. His height was in-between his and Robespierre’s, perhaps five and half feet, maybe a little over. Brown hair hung around a square and serious looking face. His body looked like the type that was used to fighting, his shoulders broad and one arm clearly trained for heavy weaponry.

A solider.

“It’s weird, the two of you were actually born in the same year? Technically Leonardo, Richard here is only six months younger than you.” Rain said, by way of introductions. “Richard could represent the end of the medieval ages, and Leonardo, you could be the bright dawn of exploration and the Renaissance.”

Richard frowned. “Excuse me?”

Rain didn’t answer, merely waving her fingers at Leonardo.

“Then I’m sorry sir, I do not recognize your name.”  Leonardo bowed from the waist.

Richard rose from his seat and returned the bow. Robespierre made a very quiet sound. Richard shot him a hard look, then relaxed and looked back to Leonardo.

“Nor I yours, sir. I’m Richard, King of England and from the house Plantagenet.”

Leonardo eyebrows climbed up.

A king?

Well not as if he wasn’t used to dealing with men of power, between the Church and the Borgia’s and Medici.

“I am Leonardo ser Piedro, da Vinci.”

Richard stared at him blankly even as Robespierre looked up sharply.

“The artist?” he asked.

Leonardo grimaced slightly. “I’d prefer engineer, to be perfectly honest.” At this Robespierre opens his mouth like he was going to protest, however, looking at the stiff way Leonardo held himself, slowly closed it again.

“I still do not recognize your name. Apologies.” Richard sat down again. Leonardo sat on Robespierre’s other side. He was still staring at Leonardo, as if seeing him properly for the first time. Rain was looking at them, amusement all over her face.

“This’ll be interesting, between the three of you.” She sipped her coffee. “You know, Richard, you and Robespierre will have lots to discuss. You can see who has the worse reputation.”

Both men whipped around to stare at her. Leonardo wondered absently, if Rain did this often. If so, he could see why Kamala didn’t stay with them.

“Reputation?” Richard growled. He was spinning the charcoal pencil that Leonardo had replicated earlier. “What exactly, do people say, about my ‘reputation’?”

Robespierre was looking like he had the awful suspicion that he already knew what people had been saying about him for over a thousand years, but he wasn’t going to like it regardless.

“Well, you Richard, are considered a child murdering backstabber, and Robespierre is a blood drinking, king-killing tyrant,” Rain said calmly.

At this both men burst into competing diatribes.

“Tyrant? They asked me to be on the Committee! I couldn’t very well say no-“

“Backstabbing? The only backstabber was Elizabeth and her brood,-“

“Capet’s execution was by voting, may I remind you-“

“Also, who the bloody hell keeps saying that my nephews are dead?” Richard snapped to the room at large.

Leonardo sat in stunned silence, and reminded himself that he was going to need to definitely look up his new company the moment he had a chance.

Rain raised her hands, looking mildly surprised at the outburst.

“Whoa, don’t shoot the messenger. I was just telling you what’s in the history books.”

Richard gave her a withering glance. “My rein hasn’t been written about yet.”

Rain returned the glare. “It definitely has. You, my friend, have some dedicated fans.”

“Some what?” Richard asked.

Robespierre looked at her expectantly. Rain shrugged.

“You have significantly quieter fans.”

Robespierre seemed to be biting his tongue in response to this.

“Excuse me but I still lots of questions about who was calling me a tyrant.” Richard crossed his arms over his chest and scowling. Robespierre scoffed. Richard turned to him. “Something you would like to say, sir?” The words were bitten off coldly, and Robespierre returned them with equal frostiness.

“Well sir, since you do not rule by your people’s permission,”


“-I’d guess it would be your oppressed citizens who called you tyrant.” Robespierre finished neatly, looking smug. Leonardo raised his eyebrows, looking between the two of them. Richard looked furious, hand clenching and unclenching at his side.

“You know, maybe I should not have brought back a revolutionary and King at the same time,” Rain mused aloud, tapping her chin. Leonardo realized she must be doing this on purpose, and frowned slightly.

Was this a sport to her, bear-baiting living and frightened men?

Neither Robespierre nor Richard had realized this however and continued their agitated sniping.

“Revolutionary?” Richard sneered. “Usurper?”

“As if I would want the power your kind wields, taken without any kind of thought to those you rule.” Robespierre bitingly replied, his face twisting.

“My rule bettered people’s lives!” Richard slammed an open palm down on the table, making all of the dishes rattle. The electronic display that Leonardo knew was under jittered. Richard drew his hand back as if burned.

Robespierre didn’t seem to notice.

“I’m sure that’s what you told them anyway, to bend and scrape and adore you. Despite this, you could never truly represent your people, because they didn’t choose you, therefore you represent nothing,” he hissed.

Leonardo stared at him with wide eyes.

The future of France believed that you could pick your leaders?

Richard looked like he was having a similar thought and it did not sit well with him at all.

“And are you who the people picked?” The king asked condescendingly. Robespierre bristled again, lifting his chin up.

“Yes. I am. Or, I was.”

Rain, still observing from her corner, snorted into her coffee cup.

“Pretty sure that’s not how history remembers you,” she muttered.

Robespierre looked away at this. “They call me a dictator, a tyrant?”

“There’s a surprise,” Richard snapped, rolling his eyes.

Robespierre leveled a flat stare at him, and stood up. “The good and virtuous will always have enemies, those who aim to drag them down with calumny, and obscure the truth. However they will always have reason and justice and the belief of the people on their side.” With this shrilly ringing pronouncement, Robespierre turned on his heel and left the room.

Richard stared after him, jaw set.

“Are all Frenchmen absolutely barking, or just the ones I know?” He muttered to room at large.

Rain giggled, but Leonardo tilted his head.

A world where you could choose your leaders. Leonardo could immediately see how this would have been more attractive than being at the whims of the families like the Medici’s, the Borgia’s the Sforza. He could have picked people who would have truly appreciated his mind, rather than just being another pretty court jewel, another curiosity for their constant game of one-upping each other.

“He has a point,” Leonardo said absently. Richard frowned at him. Rain raised her eyebrows.

“You think so? I guess that doesn’t surprise me that you think that.” Rain picked at the piece of lint on her coat. “I mean, you would have been at the bottom of the food chain, Leonardo, since you are a bastard son of some peasants.”

Richard looked at him, eyebrows raised.

Leonardo set his jaw.

“Si. Being able to pick would have been advantageous to my situation,” he said stiffly.

Rain shrugged and smiled. “But it’s not as if you did so poorly for yourself. You died in the King of France’s arms.”

Leonardo shrugged, pulling his sketchbook towards himself.

“It still would have been nice to pick.”

He didn’t miss the way Richard rolled his eyes to the ceiling, jaw set and hand clenched. Rain snorted at them again and sat down in the seat Robespierre had vacated.

“It’s just bizarre to think of you living in a world where democracy hadn’t been the status quo in hundreds of years,” she said, grabbing her tablet and turning it on. Richard watched her, eyes widening slightly when the screen seemed to miraculously go from dark to light. Rain noticed and grinned toothily.

“Here, that’s not all I can do, your highness,” she teased. Her fingers skated over the surface, and within seconds she’d pulled up one of the wiki articles that Leonardo had been studying over the past few days. She handed it over to Richard, who handled the tablet like it was likely to catch fire in his hands. The ex-King read the first line, then did a double take, looking back up at Rain.

“What is a ‘car park’ and why was my body found there?”


When she’d been young, one of Rainbow’s tutors had suggested she would have made a good professor. “If you can keep your temper,” was what they’d said to her. Rain had smirked.

“I won’t need to when I’m working for the Federation. I’ll be so good, they won’t care about my attitude.”

Her tutor had rolled their eyes and told her to get on with her work.

However now, Rain found they had a point. She was having fun.

Teaching Leonardo and Richard at the table about how to work the tablet, and what a car park was and how DNA worked was fun. Rain had the feeling that Leonardo was the only one who was even remotely following it, and that Richard had already written this off a very weird dream, but Rain enjoyed the feeling of flaunting her expertise for them. It was nice.

The expression on Richard’s face when Leonardo showed him how to bring up the holographic globe was priceless.

“That’s where you’re from.” She reached out and touched England, bring the focus in closer to the island. Richard glanced over at her, jaw slightly twisted, before touching it himself. The markers for London, York and Cambridge popped up.

Leonardo grinned and spun the globe from the other side, and Richard jerked back.

“It spins the same way the earth does,” Leonardo explained. Stopping the globe he moved to back to where it had been.

“The earth spins?” Richard asked, half distracted by zooming in tighter and tighter on London.

Leonardo looked over at Rain and winked.

“Si, it rotates, and moves around the Sun.”

Rain bit her lip to stop from laughing. Of course Leonardo would have already read about orbital movements. She could have sworn he was born for the 31st century.

She was distracted from the scathing looking Richard shot a Leonardo by a beep from her tablet. Rain frowned. It was an alert from one of the sensors outside. She snatched the tablet back, causing Leonardo and Richard to break off from their argument.

“Doctor Miller?”

Rain looked up at Leonardo.

“Looks like we’ll be moving this back to my house. Richard, I’d finish eating if I were you. Leonardo, show him how to use the replicator. I’ll go get Robespierre.” She grabbed her cane and lifted herself to her feet, tucking the tablet into her lab coat pocket. She was gone from the room before either man could ask questions.

A cold sweat had broken out over Rain’s arms and back.

She should have known. She should have expected Zebadiah to start watching the building. Rain cursed under her breath, thinking quickly.

The solution, as far as Rain could see through her adrenaline was to move the entire operation to her house. It was faster than she’d wanted to do, she’d wanted to have a longer adjustment period, make sure no ancient illness reared their bacterial heads.

She bit her lip, dithering in the hallway before setting her jaw. Rain turned on her heel and set off back down to the kitchen to inform the king and renaissance man of her decision.