Disclaimer: I do not own the Leviathan trilogy. It is property of Scott Westerfeld.


Picture if you will: 1920 at a cafe in Tours, France, one table occupied by a dark-haired, aristocratically featured man in his early twenties, wearing a casual white long-sleeved button-shirt and black slacks; his strawberry-blonde haired companion, who appeared to be a handsome, if androgynous, young man herself at first glance, wearing similar attire to the man, though her slacks were dark blue; and an older, though still far from elderly woman who appeared to, perhaps, be their employer, wearing a lighter blue dress that could only be described as casual due to having a mere three layers. There is an odd creature on the young woman's shoulder, looking like a cross between a cat and a monkey.

The older woman looks down the mildly crowded street, checks her watch, and rises. "Please excuse me, lads, nature calls. If Dr. Richet arrives, do be sure to mind your manners."

The youths politely stand as she leaves. "Of course, Dr Barlow," says the dark haired man in an Austrian accent.

"And whatever you do, don't mention anything about spirits."

"No problem, ma'am," replies the other, with a Scottish lilt.

"I should hope it isn't, young man" Dr. Barlow replies before walking off, leaving the other two at the table. They sit down and return to their conversation. The dark-haired man takes a sip of his drink, when a five-year-old memory slams into him with all the subtlety and finesse of an angry Russian fighting bear. He chokes.

His companion and the creature look at him in concern, then the woman finds herself leaning away slightly as he fixes her with the most intense stare she'd ever received since the day he'd confirmed his suspicions as to her gender. She cringes slightly at the memory. That had not been a pleasant conversation.

He's still staring at her. He's starting to gape, actually, and she finds it rather unnerving. She, having had more than enough of this, finds herself asking, "Alek, er... are you alright?"

Alek, for that is the man's name, simply blinks in response. She makes another attempt to break his stare, "Because that's getting really disturbing."

Again, he blinks. The creature, not liking the prospect of one of his humans being broken, leaps onto the table and touches Alek's nose. The man jumps, startled out of his reverie, and the creature begins purring in satisfaction at a job well done. The purring increases when the woman says, "Thank you, Bovril."

As Bovril clambers onto Alek's shoulder, the man coughs and affirms the expression of gratitude, before turning to his companion and saying with more than a little hesitation, "Er, Deryn..."

She waits for him to continue, raising an eyebrow in that peculiar way that only women can pull off properly. He takes another sip of his beverage, managing to not choke this time, and proceeds, "You remember Lilit?"

"Vividly," she answers dryly, "She did kiss me once."

"Erm, yes, about that... she thought you were a man then, yes?"

Deryn restrains a mischievous grin as she waits for Alek to take another drink before saying, "Oh, no, she'd long since figured out I was a girl."

Alek chokes again. Deryn continues, "In fact, that's why she did it!"

Deryn and several bystanders blink as they hear a kerplunk sound in the vicinity of Alek's brain. The older woman returns with a cheery, "So, what did I miss?"

Alek is again broken, and Deryn is taking a sip of her own drink, so Bovril answers, "Daddy broke Mommy."

Deryn chokes.


Author's Note: The older woman was Dr. Barlow, in case you couldn't tell; sorry about the scant description, I don't know dresses. The title is the name of a trope, wherein a person realizes that the behavior of a particular person, object, or plot point doesn't make sense in context, often whilst rummaging around in the fridge. Beta'd by my older brother, who does not have an account.