amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Default)
Ammie ([personal profile] amielleon) wrote2016-02-16 08:01 pm

First attempt at Leon/Zero fic

[personal profile] sollie expressed interest in seeing this.

This was my first attempt at writing Leon/Zero, and I think you can see the beginnings of some ideas that would become folded into "tenderness in winter"/"what you're looking for everywhere else"/"How to Break a Man". It was supposed to be my foray into exploring Leon and Zero, using the idea of Zero's fragmented recollection of his identity interwoven with his present to show how the difference in his past and present life and how Leon plays a role in that.

It really wasn't good.



memories like scattered pages (記憶の断片、一枚一枚)

---

Now his master is the king.

King Leon's portrait hangs solemnly next to King Garon's in the gallery, wearing the same grave expression as his predecessors. Leon studies it with an eyebrow raised in amusement and asks, “Do I really look that old?”

“Of course not, milord,” Zero says. “The artist was a hack.”

Odin would've said something florid about how the portrait reflected on their master, but Odin isn't here anymore.

“The composition is acceptable,” he says. “Well-focused and dignified. It could be worse.”

Leon is barely eighteen and it could be worse.

---

[Scenes about Zero were supposed to be woven throughout. That's what most of these unwritten scenes were supposed to be.]

---

Camilla fusses over Leon's winter coat. “No, this will never do. It's gotten too small in the shoulders.”

“It's fine, Sister,” Leon says with boredom in his voice.

“But doesn't it feel tight right here?” She lifts one of his arms up to demonstrate. “It'll tear sooner or later, you know. May I fix it for you?”

“Well, if you wish.” Leon lets her take the coat from his frame and Princess Camilla, once next in line after late Prince Marx, tosses the coat over one shoulder to refit with her own hands like a seamstress.

“You don't need to be so independent in front of your big sister,” she says cloyingly to the king, and Zero watches her smooth his hair where it falls over his crown.

“We're hardly alone,” Leon says dryly.

Camilla gives Zero a smile, warm like strong drink, and says, “Now, why would you mind if Zero sees?”

Leon turns his eyes to Zero, dark and commanding, warning him not to take his sister's side.

“I'd darn your socks for you,” Zero says.

Leon sighs and resigns himself to letting his sister comb her fingers through his hair, pulling every messy strand into place.

---




---

“You're so tense,” Zero says, laying his hands on Leon's shoulders.

“I'm trying to write a letter,” Leon grumbles, making no effort to shake him off. Zero's hands stay, and begin to knead at muscles pulled tight. “I don't know why I ever had faith in Hoshido.”

“What have they done?” he says conversationally.

“I told them we needed two-hundred thousand bushels of grain to pull our people through the winter. They sent five thousand.”

“Quite the insult.”

“If they do this to us, I'll have no choice but to bring an army to their doorstep.”

His back tightens again. Zero patiently kneads his way back up.

“Five thousand isn't even enough to keep the able-bodied youth of Vindam alive,” Leon says, willing him to understand, to share his indignation.

“It wouldn't be out of line to burn them to the ground,” Zero agrees, mostly because Leon's back is stiff, his eyes bruised, the tendons starkly shadowed on his neck.

“I don't want to burn anyone,” Leon mutters darkly. “I want that damned grain.”

---

[little babby executioner leon]



---

“I'm sorry to leave you alone,” Camilla says, holding one of Leon's hands in two of hers, clasping it, stroking it. “I am so, so sorry. Will you ever forgive your failure of a sister?”

“It's not about me,” Leon says softly. “I agree. It's what needs to be done.” He doesn't meet her eyes, his head tilted down and away, making no attempt to disguise his sorrow.

She moves her hands to his shoulders, compelling him to look back up at her, if only for a moment. “Yes, I'm going to Shirasagi for Nohr's sake, and your sake. But you are my precious little brother and I hate to leave you here by yourself.”

“I'm not a child,” Leon says, and Zero wishes that he would've said I'm not alone. I have Zero with me.

“Of course not,” Camilla says gently, “but even men need love.”

She squeezes him into a hug. Leon tentatively places his hands on her back—she is taller, engulfing Leon in her broad shoulders and the length of her arms.

Then she lets him go, tucks a stray lock of hair back into place under his crown, and says, “I'll write often.”

---





---

Zero picks up a comb from the nightstand and goes to where Leon sits by his windows, staring out over the spiraling layers of Castle Krakenstein.












OUTTAKES [I had originally written this for the first Zero scene, but realized that it "zoomed in" too much and would obligate me to write later Zero scenes in more detail than I wanted to.]

---

Zero snuck a seed into his mouth as he stole a glance at the grown-ups at work. Their target this time had a hell of a voice. Despite the rag in his mouth, his screaming was loud enough that it probably carried down the whole block.

Bug-Eyes yanked the guy back by the hair and pulled out the rag, purring, “Feel like helping us yet?”

The guy whimpered something, dissolving into frantic screams as Bug-Eyes stuck the rag back in. Fingers poked his fingers into the guy's stomach and it made the guy shit his pants and turn his eyes up to the white.

It was a pretty cool trick. Zero wish he knew how to do that. He snuck another seed, savoring the salty nutty flavor of each and every one. He didn't know what kind they were, but nobles always had good stuff.

“Zero!” barked Scut. “You gonna keep watch or gawk?”

Zero hid the bag of seeds in his palm as he looked obligingly out of the cracked-open door.

“...What's that you've got?”

“Nothin'.”

Scut, two heads taller, came up to him and pried his fingers open, grabbing the bag and peeking inside. The smack to his head came just like he knew it would. “Stealing a bite, are we?”

“Sorry, sir,” he muttered as Scut smacked him again in the other direction for good measure.

“Do your work and you'll get the cut you deserve.”

---

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