Napoleon had always awoken early. He just couldn’t stand the feeling of wasting time on sleep. When he’d been on campaign, he would sometimes wake just after midnight to pour over his maps or wake his aides to send missives.
Now stuck, he still found himself waking early, wandering through the castle, often ending up in the Harmony Susuki’s study, where he could easily spend hours reading through the various war reports that had happened since his death.
Typically, one of the women would find him, chin propped on his hand, staring unblinkingly at the diagrams of battles long won.
However, for once he was interrupted by something far more interesting: raised voices outside of the door. Napoleon leaned back in the chair, looking over at the door.
“Are you sure you want to do this, Jerome? You don’t-“
“I have to do this, Mags. It won’t take a genius to put together that Julia’s source is me. Since Miller saw Aspen they’re definitely going to know we had something to do with this if I stick around.”
There was silence. Napoleon, cognizant of the creaking chair, stood up and padded over the door.
“We’ll miss you. Everyone,” Jones said quietly. The tall negro was facing away from Napoleon, but he could see Jenkins face. The young man ran a hand over his face and sighed.
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“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Kami said quietly.
“No, you’re not sure?”
Aspen sighed and rubbed her forehead. “No, I’m positive this is a terrible idea. The number of things that can go wrong is ridiculous. But I swore to Magpie I was going to go along with this.”
She was walking Kami and Harmony out to the transporter point. They were preparing to go pick up Cherry for the holiday break and then onto the interstellar travel depot to go to the Martian colony. The flyer was nearly prepared for its slow mission disguised a piece of junk. They had the information from Julia about the security rounds on the Bastille.
Everything was in place, but Aspen still felt a horrible sense of unease. She was sleeping poorly, expecting Chikara Haruka and Marie Rivera to break open the door of her condo and arrest her. Probably hide her on the Bastille like they did with Robespierre and leave her forgotten in the dark.
Aspen shivered and rolled her shoulders back, looking over her shoulder. Middleham was shrouded in mist, a light layer of snow and frost covering the stiffened and dead grass.
Kami touched her hand. “You don’t have to, you know. You can get out of here too.”
Aspen shook her head. “I gave my word.”
“Are we ready to go, love?” Harmony asked gently. “You’ll take care, Aspen?”
Kami walked over to the console with Harmony. She waved for a moment, face still pinched and then they were both gone. Aspen sighed and stood there for a long moment before finally about-facing to head back to the castle.
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Leonardo cursed as he cut his hand on yet another piece of jagged metal. He withdrew it and examined the slice that ran along his palm.
“Careful,” Harmony admonished, distractedly. “The dermal regenerator is on the table.”
Leonardo slid out from under the ship and rolled to his feet, staggering slightly. He put a hand up to his head. It felt slightly fuzzy and Leonardo shook to clear it.
He picked the regenerator and examined it. It was simply a metal wand, with a flat panel. Leonardo placed the panel over the cut, which was still bleeding sluggishly. He pressed the button on the top and the small machine lit up blue and hummed. Leonardo hissed as he could feel his skin knit back together. After a moment, he took it away. All that was a left was a thin pink line.
Leonardo adored the future.
He yawned as he turned back to the ship. Aspen Strong was on top of the flyer, using a laser tool to mold two pieces of metal to the top. It was blackened and already punctured with holes.
“I can’t believe I have to do this to my ship. This is butchery,” she muttered.
“It’s the Federation’s ship, Aspen,” Harmony said. He stood and stretched. “I need to go check in with Kami and Mags. Do you want anything?”
“Coffee,” Leonardo said.
Aspen looked at him sharply. “Have you had any water today, Leo?”
Leonardo cocked his head. “No. Why would I?”
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“You’re taller than I thought you’d be,” Jerome muttered against Leonardo’s lips. His tongue brushed along Leonardo’s jaw line.
In one smooth movement Leonardo used that height to his advantage. He leaned forward and rolled over, forcing Jerome on top of his legs as Leonardo made himself comfortable on the mattress.
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