Disclaimer: I am not Tamora Pierce. I just play with her characters.

A Strange Kinship

The Court of the Rogues had been especially worrying lately and the Lord Provost of Corus was taking a long needed respite in his office with a glass of very good wine. He was having a rather fine time of it too, until the door suddenly burst open. "My Lord, that young upstart, George Cooper, he's done it, he's killed the king and brought in his own court!" The Provost jumped up, ready for action. Privately though, the man was pleased. The former King had become paranoid and was causing trouble. Young Cooper might be a good change for the Court of the Rogue.

The Lord Provost was shocked. Prince Jonathan at the Dancing Dove? This could never end well. But somewhere in the Provost's mind, the thought of his prince mixing in the lower city as an equal caused his commoner heart to swell with pride.

The more the Prince, or "Johnny" as he's come to be known, spent time in the Rogue court, the more the Provost became concerned. The Prince and George Cooper were putting themselves in a very difficult place. How will they manage their conflicting loyalties when the time comes?

In the midst of the riot the Lord Provost caught George Cooper's eye. Cooper was fighting off a would-be assassin. The Provost decided to tip his hand for the first time in the two men's long-time game of cards. He winked.

Myles had said he discovered the plot against the King-to-be through his low-born drinking buddies, but the Provost knew better. George had broken the code of the Rogue and proven his loyalties to Jonathan. Very interesting.

The Provost had a new spring to his step as he walked out of the council chambers. He will never admit it to George, but he's awfully glad to never again hunt the newly pardoned man he's grown to respect.


A/N: Companion piece to "A Delicate Matter." I like the Lord Provost. I am madly in love with Ge-Ahem, I like George Cooper. There should be more fanfictions about their intriguing political chess match.