Sidestory 7

~Takes place during Chapter 92~

Abigail twirled the end of her hair between her fingers as her eyes skimmed over the documents that had been placed in front of her. All of Lelouch's day to day management laid out in front of her and she still couldn't quite fathom how he managed to stay on top of it all while still performing his military duties and everything else. So on that front, she believed that having a board of advisers to go through all of this minutiae on his behalf was a good idea. But this board?

No way.

Though she did finally understand why Lelouch had been willing to surrender to her just to get her on the board. She was there to keep the peace, though what Lelouch had been thinking when he'd recruited these people she couldn't even fathom.

The Elevens were automatic write offs. Token gestures to show his benevolent side. She got that, though why on Earth he'd decided on a little girl wrapped in foreign silks, she couldn't understand. As if Lelouch would actually take the advice of a child. Even she herself was too young to act as an adviser in her opinion. But again, that wasn't her purpose here. The other Eleven lacked the confidence to make an impact on the rest of the board, so he was a write off as well. He might be smart, but he lacked charisma.

Which brought her to her true purpose within this board. She really, honestly, couldn't believe that Lelouch had put James and Lord Mars in the same room together. Everyone knew that they hated each other. Lord Mars opposed everything that Duke Hamilton embodied. Their dislike of each other had come to a point last year when Lord Mars had called the Duke an 'exploitative, money-grubbing cad' to the man's face in front of witnesses at a social gathering. Since then, she doubted they'd even seen each other, let alone been expected to work together.

Worse still, Lelouch had dragged Stephen Albertson into the council as well. She wasn't sure if Lelouch just hadn't bothered to read the notes she'd left for him on the complicated web of noble relations, or if he was doing this on purpose. Though if that were the case, he might as well just not have bothered.

Mr. Albertson would never vote on an issue that opposed Duke Hamilton because Duke Hamilton was a major financial backer of AC Enterprises and owned majority shares of the company. Anything that might compromise their working relationship would be avoided at all costs by Albertson, therefore James essentially had two votes on any decision that might require input.

Which basically left Duke Calares, who had been doing this job on his own without issue for months now. She liked Calares. He was a very prudent and practical man, if a bit serious. He'd had no problem running Lelouch's administration. In fact, it was most likely that Calares would have been named Viceroy in his own right had Lelouch never returned to Area Eleven.

So she wasn't sure why Lelouch was willing to trade in the quiet efficiency of a one-man proxy like Calares, for the inevitable inefficient bickering of this council. Unless Calares had done something to displease him, but she doubted that since he'd still put the Duke in charge of the council.

She sighed, trying to drown out the argument James and Lord Mars were having across the table. Lelouch laughed it off, easily mediating for the two before suggesting that they break for lunch. She followed Lelouch out of the boardroom even despite the fact that he was clearly discussing something that displeased him with his Knights.

"Lelouch." She called after him when he was in the corridor.

He paused and turned back immediately, whereas just weeks ago he might have just ignored her completely. "Abigail, what's up?" He asked as she joined their group.

"Where are you going? You can't leave. James and Mars will rip each other apart if you're not there to keep them civil." She protested.

"Sorry." He said with a small, apologetic smile before pressing a kiss against her forehead. "Something came up at the base. I'll be back soon."

She didn't know what hurt more, knowing that this was all just an act or knowing that if he'd acted like this from the start he could have completely fooled her and wrapped her around his finger. She hadn't honestly expected him to agree to her terms. She'd expected him to completely blow her off and never bring up the board of advisers again, but her father had been hounding her lately so she'd thought she ought to at least put in a token effort. She was probably more surprised than anyone that it had paid off.

She sighed heavily. "Hurry back then."

"I will." He said, squeezing her hand. "Let them argue in their free time if they want, as long as it doesn't interfere with business. I'll be back soon. Until then, treat it as a luncheon and entertain them."

Jeremiah sent her a sympathetic glance as he fell back into step beside Lelouch as they continued down the corridor as if she'd never delayed them. She watched them go before sighing quietly to herself and turning back toward the boardroom. Servants had come up with platters of lunch while she'd been gone. With luck, the distraction of food would be enough to entertain them, because she really wasn't sure if she was up to the task of keeping the peace no matter how much faith Lelouch had in her.

AN: I wrote this a while ago but didn't upload it with the intention of adding to it. But I figure this works well enough as an insight into the group dynamics of the council from Abigail's pov.

In other news, my computer is having harddrive problems. I managed to get my stories off of it and onto google drive, but it won't let me open Dauntless to work on it, I'm assuming because it's too big so it's difficult to work on, though I might just start the next chapter in a new document. In the meanwhile, the next chapter of WMD should be posted by this weekend.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed.