SCALES-64

The next day I reluctantly climbed out of bed, yawning and stepping out of the tent.

I squinted as the light blared into my vision, adjusting the sleeve of my robe.

I turned at the sound of metal on metal and sighed dejectedly when I saw the troops moving out of the camp.

“Awake?”

I glanced up to see Lucifer sitting on Destroyer, armored and smirking.

“Yes. Unfortunately.” I muttered, “You aren’t riding at the front of the party?”

He shrugged.

“We have some ground before we meet the enemy. I’ll catch up by then.”

And here I thought he was letting go of that pride.

“What can I do for you?” I asked, rubbing my eyes.

“What?” he asked, his silver eyes laughing, “I can’t even say a simple goodbye?”

“No. Not when I’m this tired.”

He slid off the horse and walked closer, his movement impressively silent.

“I’ll admit I had an ulterior motive.”

Lucifer reached into the saddlebag on Destroyer’s side and pulled out a small jar.

“Might as well make it a tradition, no?”

I rolled my eyes and took it, popping off the top and dipping my fingers into the cool paint. He bent his face down so that I didn’t have to reach too far.

“Lucifer.” I started, sighing as I felt the pain replacing my grogginess, “If I could say something.”

“Of course, Commander.”

“Just…be careful, okay?” I asked, spreading the darkness down his cheek.

He scoffed.

“I would almost think you were worried about me.”

I made a face.

“Oh please. All I’m saying is that I won’t be out there to watch your back.”

“I assure you, I have many people watching-“

“Seriously.” I continued, finishing, “Hell needs you. Intact.”

“Fine,” he sighed, taking the jar and replacing it in the bag, “I promise you I will return today without so much as a scratch. Happy?”

“Yes.” I beamed, “Behead a few for me, will you?”

“Always.” He replied, kissing me on the cheek before swinging back into the saddle.

I watched him ride into the rising sun, a smile on my face. I didn’t know what Charon was going on about. Lucifer could win the war alone.

“Stubborn, isn’t he?”

I turned, quickly turning back towards the sun when I saw who it was.

Eversio.

“I can see where you got it from.” I replied coolly, folding my arms.

“How’s the pain?” he asked, unmoving.

“Hurts like hell.”

A few moments of silence passed.

“You know…what you did was pretty brave.”

“Really?”

“You risked your life…for him.”

I couldn’t read his tone of voice, but it was respectful enough that I couldn’t throw too much snark at him.

“I guess. It was instinct.”

“You care about him.”

It was a statement, not a question.

“It’s my job to keep him and the kingdom alive.” I shrugged, my voice flat.

“It’s okay.” He replied, distant, “I care about him too.”

I didn’t bother replying so he continued.

“Look…um…I haven’t been the nicest lately-“

“You think?”

“-and I want to apologize.” He continued, ignoring my jab, “I’ve been going through a lot of…change. Not that that’s an excuse.”

I turned around and his expression looked fairly genuine.

I sighed.

“Is this because of the castle invasion? You’re not going to get back the vote for the Council-“

“-No, it’s not like that.”

He ran a hand over his face.

“I just…can we be friends again?”

His golden eyes pleaded with mine and I felt the scowl slipping off my face.

In that moment I recognized our similarity – outcasts, torn between hate and love for the families that had disappointed them. We were children in the midst of a war.

“No promises.” I replied gruffly, trying to ignore the grin on his face.

THE TRIO IS REUNITED AGAIN!

"Bob?" I asked incredulously, "Where were you?"

AROUND...

The End

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