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these hands (if not gods)

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Oceanus likes to start his day simply. He wakes, dresses in a way that is almost certainly liable to piss off his boss no matter what he wears, makes a quick breakfast of eggs and toast before heading out the door of his shabby apartment and down the stairs of the rundown apartment building he lives in that is almost certain is in violation of Insomnia’s building codes.

Then, after commuting from the refugee district of all places, Oceanus winds up at the staff door of the Citadel and slides a carefully crafted mask of indifference on as his both his peers and the highly esteemed Lord Leon sneer at him when he sits on at his desk and begins to check the messages for Leon.

Oceanus would rather like, at times, to punch Leon in the face.

But Lord Leon is his boss, and  Oceanus plasters on a smile so false it’s a wonder it doesn’t rot his teeth whenever he has to speak to the noble. The Lord’s stance on refugees isn’t kind, and Oceanus knows that he had been a diversity hire and that although he might hate his job it pays well enough that Oceanus doesn’t have to worry about rent, which costs more than it should for his area of town, or food.

So Oceanus smiles at his boss and wonders whether if today is going to be a good day. Then Leon, the nobleman that had oh so kindly given Oceanus a job puffs out his chest like a peacock and Oceanus decides that no.

A good day is, decidedly, off the table.


 

Oceanus contemplates homicide as he listens to Leon talk about how Galahdians are taking more than their fair share of jobs. About how proper Lucian’s are suffering because of the refugees clogging their fair city. Oceanus listens, and not for the first time, he yearns for the familiar feel of the brass knuckles he gave away when he came to Insomnia.

Everything Leon is saying is nothing but slander and Oceanus hates his boss, hates the fact the man signs his cheque so Oceanus can’t just push him out the window he’s beside it’d be so easy-

No. Bad Oceanus. Homicide is not the answer. What would Lyse say?

Lyse would have punched him in the face by now, Oceanus thinks, his grip on his pen nearly breaking the fragile piece of plastic, I would have too.

Things are different now, and Oceanus does not punch Leon in the face and when Leon asks his opinion on the ‘Galahdian Problem’ as Leon puts it, Oceanus smiles at him, false and sweet, and tells Leon that he has no strong opinion on the matter.

“Of course you don’t,” Leon scoffs, the sun lighting his red hair in a way that made it seem on fire, “You’re one of them.” The last words are said with such disdain that Oceanus nearly leaps from his desk to stab the noble in the face.

He doesn’t.

Instead, he keeps smiling and wonders how someone such as Leon came to sit on the Council.

(Leon reminds Oceanus of his adoptive father in all the worst ways.)


The next day Oceanus wakes up with no high hopes for the day. He gets ready, the same as always, and heads to the Citadel where he sits at his desk and files appointments and takes messages for Lord Leon Tempest, the same as always.

Bored with his tasks, and thankful that Lord Tempest is preparing to host an important visitor Oceanus only blinks when and raises his head from his computer when he hears the door open.

“Oh,” Oceanus says voice full of bland cheer, “Lord Scientia, you’re early. Lord Tempest has yet to finish his preparations for your arrival.”

Ignis nods, his good eye scanning Oceanus before his lips quirk in what Oceanus assumes is supposed to be a smile.

It looks too charming to be a sincere one.

Oceanus raises an eyebrow at the young advisor and is surprised when Ignis shakes his head and his smile turns more genuine.

“I’m sure what your Lord has prepared will more than suffice,” Ignis replies smoothly, “I’ve no intention of waiting on him.”

Oceanus holds back a positively unprofessional snort that he’s fairly certain Ignis picks up on anyway.

“I’ll be sure to let him know.”


Ignis is surprisingly pleasant when Oceanus informs him that Lord Tempest is not, in fact, going to meet with him early.

“I thought he wouldn’t,” Ignis says dryly, his mouth quirking upwards at the eye roll he gets from Oceanus,  “Still, it was worth the attempt. At any rate, I can blame Lord Tempest for making me late.”

Curious as to what Ignis would be late for, Oceanus barely refrains from asking about what is most certainly not his business.

“I’m terribly sorry,” Oceanus says, his mask in place, “But I’m afraid Lord Tempest won’t be budged.”

Something in Ignis’ gaze softens and were Oceanus less trained in concealing how he felt the other man’s gaze might have caused him to fidget.

“Nothing to worry about,” Ignis says, “I’ve accounted for these sort of things given your employers- notorious moods.” Ignis’ words bring a chuckle to Oceanus’ lips before Oceanus realizes what he’s doing and seals his lips shut.

“Regardless,” Oceanus says when the moment passes, “Is there anything I can get you while you wait?”

“Not at all,” Ignis says, “That is unless you’ve no other matters to attend to. I wouldn’t mind a bit of company while I wait.”

Oceanus raises an eyebrow. Ignis copies him, his smirk tugging at the scar tissue on the right side of his face.

Oceanus shakes his head, more than amused at Ignis.

“Five minutes is all you’re getting from me.”

“I assure you,” Ignis says, “That’s all I need.”


Ignis is a delightful conversationalist Oceanus finds, the other man’s wit is sharp and his dry humor makes Oceanus chuckle more than once.

(If Oceanus resists the urge to make a dirty joke more often than not it’s only because Ignis sets them up so neatly.)

When Lord Tempest comes to fetch Ignis. Oceanus places the mask that he let slip around Ignis back on.

Ignis cocks a brow at Oceanus.

Oceanus stares back impassionately. And for a moment, it feels like he’s stepped on the wrong foot of destiny, but then Lord Tempest commands the other nobles attention and Oceanus gets back to work.

Surely he’s just being foolish.

Surely.