Luke watched the waves crashing into the shore from a distance. He missed Grand Chokma. That place was huge, but the view was incredible. The city was actually the most peaceful place he'd been to, probably because of the atmosphere. That being said, he really did not like Chesedonia or Keterburg; respectively too hot and too cold. Baticul was…lonely and boring. It was difficult being there, especially considering he was no longer going to be married to Natalia, giving him no real reason to be stuffed away in a damn hole all the time.
He, of course, often wrote letters to his friends. He missed them dearly. Anise was doing much better now. He'd last heard that she had gotten a pretty nice place in Daath, her parents forgiven of their debt. From Guy…well, Guy was still doing small servitude jobs for the Emperor. That didn't surprise him, but Guy had said he didn't want to reclaim his title until later. Tear was busy in Yulia City, helping get the people there used to life without Miasma or liquefaction. Natalia….well, he saw a bit of her, but she was busy too.
A sigh escaped him again. He was the only one not really doing anything important. In fact, the only one he really talked to frequently was Jade. Of all people, he snorted to himself. The others would send occasional letter, yeah. But Luke could predict by the day when he would receive replies from the Colonel. Perhaps Jade was just as lonely, or he was under enough pressure to feel the need to talk to him. They had done their shares of secret keeping between then.
Luke looked over the last letter absently,
My sincerest apologies for the atrocious…things etched into the page. I assure you, I am not responsible for these hideous drawings. His Majesty wished to say hello through me, of course.
It is very...unusual of me to think so deeply into an unnecessary matter, but everything seems…lackluster. I feel like a parent whose child has left home. It is empty without ridiculous banter.
Some how I'm disappointed in myself for thinking that way.
Luke smiled briefly at the signature that was merely his initials. It was his easy way to prevent getting caught by anyone else. The fact that he tacked in Balfour in the middle amused him a little. Another sigh leaked through. He wanted to go back to Grand Chokma. He mentioned that a few times in his letters. It was strange how Luke felt like he learned more in that time hanging around that total dick of a Colonel, than his seven years of Van's tutoring. He found that much of the time, Jade didn't need to explain for him to catch on.
"Master Luke?" A squeaky voice echoed around his ear.
"You miss Jade, don't you?" Mieu squeaked sadly.
"N-….no….I don't miss that…." Luke stared at the letter. "Yeah….I do a little. I mean…I miss Tear and Guy and the others…but I know Tear's busy. She said she would come here when she was done there. So I have to wait. Guy is back in Malkuth…"
"Aww Master…Couldn't we go see them?"
"Mieu…that's probably not possible. Because I'm being protected away here. Damn it. I miss being able to leave and go where ever I wanted." He put the letter back on the table. He'd read over it many times and sent his own reply back. He wrote longer letters than the conservative soldier, but he had a child's mind of what he wanted to say. Telling Jade everything from his studies to his fights with the maid about his hair and how confused he was about his feelings for Tear. He had sent that out two days before and Jade probably had already received it. Yet he still found himself clinging to every letter he received.
"Come on Mieu, let's go see father. Maybe he will let us go to the Dojo in the city." Luke didn't sound in the least bit excited about it, but he was going to lose his mind if he didn't leave for at least a little while.
Mieu floated on behind him as Luke mindlessly travelled the corridors, leading out into the open air. There was a commotion going on outside and he could hear the servants with their small talk. He chose to ignore it until he heard someone slip the name Jade in. Now his curiosity was peaked.
He followed the trail of talk until he reached the gate just outside the King's quarters. Without an effort he hopped the fence and wandered up to the large doors. There was obviously something going on if the doors were opened. He spotted a Malkuth military man walking in from the port. Malkuth… Huh….
He grabbed Mieu and darted briskly up the steps. He paused when he heard his father's voice. Keeping low, he listened in, stifling Mieu with his hand.
"You wish to take Luke from us? That's an unusual request of a Malkuth soldier."
"I assure you, he would be well taken care of."
His eyes grew wide as he recognized that voice. Jade!
"He is also part of the Kimlasca royal family. That is not something easily erased."
"Perhaps that is the problem, your Majesty. Duke Fon Fabre, your son is essentially a copy of the child you initially raised. Living as a burden of such a complicated fate, is it not reasonable that he be able to live outside of the manor you've put him in? In truth, the boy you have has no name, no identity."
"Are you saying you can give him all of that, Colonel Curtiss?"
"An identity? No. I can give him a name, however."
"You want to adopt Luke?" The duchess's voice seemed almost…pleased at this. Not because she wanted Luke gone, but she understood that her 'son' was tortured there. Surrounded by nothing and unable to be around people he cared for.
"In that many words…yes. I think he would benefit from at least a temporary stay in Grand Chokma. He has lots to learn and while I dislike passing on knowledge, I've found I make exceptions frequently."
"Your will take care of Luke?" His mother asked softly, her husband speaking up quickly afterwards.
"You're considering handing over our son?"
"I want my son to be happy. If this man believes he can make Luke happy….I would gladly let him go. I see Luke writing to you all the time Colonel. He seems to enjoy what you have to say as well. If you would like to speak with him…and he wants to go…" She looked at her husband and he sighed.
"If Luke agrees to it, then I have no true right to deny him. Especially after all that he's done."
Luke stared over the edge of the stair well and nearly choked on his heart. They were going to let him free and all he had to do was hop, skip and pounce over to Jade. He nearly did that at that very moment, but he didn't want to announce his position like that. Instead he casually grabbed Mieu by the head and walked up the stairs, coming into full view.
"Ah, Luke, good timing. One of your travel companions has come for your audience as well." The Duke motioned to Jade. Both the King and the Duke were speaking with Jade. Luke had to hand it to Jade. He had the most gall he'd ever seen. Either Jade was really confident, or he was straight up toasted. Luke wondered how many drinks it would have taken….
Jade turned his pleasant smile on Luke, "Good to see you Luke. You look as miserable as ever." He said almost jokingly, but to Luke…it was true.
Luke stared the man down. He wasn't even gonna play stupid on this. He didn't want to stay, he had a place to go, with a man who was more family than the people who raised him. "So…." He started, "Will my name be Luke Fon Fabre Curtiss….or Luke Curtiss?" He asked bluntly.
"Oh well, that's all up to you, Luke." The colonel shrugged with that smile.
"So you heard…Luke…" The king said softly. "Do you want to leave for Malkuth?"
"Well…yeah…I mean…I appreciate everything everyone's done for me here. Technically, I am just a copy. But I'm still blood…Though, it doesn't feel that way to me. It seems so…strange to admit, but this huge prick over here seems more like family than anyone…I can trust him…And yeah…He's really a good guy…somewhere…some how…."
"Luke, you flatter me so."
"Oh shut up, dad."
"I would say go to your room…but currently, that's not quite effective." Jade looked back at the Duke.
"What must I do to make it official?" He sighed.
"Just a few signatures will do, my lord." Jade smiled that smile he always did. The 'I wasn't leaving with out reaching my goal anyway' smile. His approached the Duke, one hand still in his pocket, his fingers held to Luke's letter.
You need to rescue me, Jade.
A/N: Yeah. Cheesy, but I don't care. I liked the last theme so much I made a full on on it. I may do more like that if I feel inclined.