The Eastern Prince, The Western Knight
Earth 53: Prince Snart/ Knight Lance
Part VI: The Resistance
“As the king’s first advisor, Druce is in the perfect position to usurp him. In the event of the King’s death he’ll be the first person they consider to take his place if the next in line is also not able to take the position.” Malcolm explains.
“You say he didn’t acknowledge Darhk as an equal.” Robert questions. Leonard simply nods.
“I doubt he considers anyone his equal, but at least in this instance, no, he sounded as though he didn’t approve of Darhk at all.” Leonard replies. He’s still leaning heavily against Sara beside him, his strength not fully returned.
“That certainly fits your theory.” Robert turns to Malcolm, who doesn’t seem thrilled to be right. Leonard can’t blame him, this is not something one wishes to be right about.
“What theory?” Sara asks.
“Based on everything that’s happened its entirely plausible that Darhk was not part of the plot against the four regions.” Malcolm explains. “In fact, I find it very unlikely that he was. A plot this wide spread, this coordinated would be calculated to the last moment, leaving no room for someone who would take revenge against an entire city over harsh words. Someone like Darhk is too self serving to be considered a good leader to an organization that requires coordination to pull off their plan.”
“Do you have suspicions on who the other dissidents could be?” Sara questions.
“A few, but we need to be careful. Accusing the wrong person or focusing on the wrong person can only benefit these conspirators.”
“So what now then?” Oliver asks.
“Now, we get Leonard to a chamber to rest and we all go about our day as if nothing has happened. Lord Wells and Bartholomew have preparations to make for the feast tonight and Malcolm and I need to meet with the council to discuss how we’ll handle whoever Central appoints.” Robert replies. “As far as anyone is concerned, Leonard is still missing and we are none the wiser to what happened to him or the plot against the four regions.”
“Discretion is still key.” Malcolm adds. “Once we have a plan we can worry about what happens next.”
Sara stops short as she enters her sleep chambers that night. Leonard smirks at her from his place leaning back against her bed’s headboard. She hasn’t seen Leonard since the meeting with King Robert and the others. After discussing the events that led to Leonard’s curse and the information he had already gathered on the coup, they had separated, tending to their other duties. Deciding it would be best to keep Leonard’s presence a secret until they could formulate a plan, he was spirited away through the secret passages to a bed chamber where he could hide until the next morning when they were to reconvene and devise a plan.
In the meantime, Sara went about checking on Debonair in the stables and getting a bit of training in with the squires. She ate a quick supper and went back to the bathing springs to relax. Now it was time for bed, an early morning ahead of her.
“What are you doing here?” she asks, bolting the door behind her. The last thing they need is someone bursting in on an emergency errand and finding Leonard.
“I wanted to see you.” he tells her simply. She tries not to let him see how sweet she finds that.
“You shouldn’t be walking around. It’s too risky.” she tells him, crossing her arms.
Leonard looks smug. “I guess I should just stay here then.” he tells her. “For my own safety.”
Sara rolls her eyes. “Leonard.” she sighs.
“I’ve missed you.” he finally says growing serious.
“I missed you too.” she replies. They share a moment, staring at each other across the room until Sara looks away.
“You know,” he says, drawing her attention. Sara looks up at him again. Gone was the soft, longing look, replaced with his usual smirk. “I’ve had to behave myself for weeks now.”
Sara huffs, rolling her eyes. “You’re incorrigible.”
“Tell me you haven’t thought the same Sara and I’ll go back to my chambers right now, leave you to the rest of your night.”
Sara takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. He watches her, daring her to tell him he’s wrong. His smirk grows when he sees the resignation in her eyes.
Sara loves Leonard’s smirk, she’ll never admit it to him, but she finds it very sexy. At the moment though, that fact irks her and she decides to wipe it off his face. Something she succeeds at as he watches her untie the sash of her dressing gown. Slowly she opens it, letting it slide down her arms, pooling on the floor at her feet.
“Fuck.” Leonard breaths as Sara saunters up to the end of the bed, crawling up his body until their face to face.
“Behave yourself now.” she challenges him, leaning in like she’s going to kiss him. Leonard leans forward to close the distance, sealing his mouth against hers. When she pulls away she slides into his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck.
“Who says I need to be a cat for you to reduce me a purring mess.” he says, his voice a low rumble as he runs his hands up her bare sides. Sara gives him a smirk of her own, leaning in again.
“You should be resting.” she tells him as he trails bites down her neck.
“I’ve been sleeping all day. If I sleep any more I’ll never need to sleep again.” he tells her. Sara’s chuckle turns into a gasp as he rolled them over, trapping her underneath him. “I’d much rather be right here, with you.”
She smiles up at him as he pulls away, studying the lines of his face, memorizing all the little changes that she’s missed since she’s been gone. “I’m sorry.” she finds herself saying, whispering in fact. “I’m sorry that I walked out on you.”
Leonard stares back at her, taking a deep breath. “I understand.” he replies. “Now more than ever.” she looks at him with sympathy and he shakes it off. “No, not right now.” he tells her. “My sister is safe, and there isn’t anything I can do for my parents. Right now is for us.”
Sara smiles and pulls him down to her.
Sara wakes with the sound of Damien Darhk’s cackle echoing through her head. She turns over to find an empty bed, the sheets cool beside her. For a moment she panics, until she catches sight of the parchment on the nightstand. She sits up, reaching for it and unraveling the paper, reading Leonard neat scrawl inside.
I’m sorry for leaving you without warning, but you looked so peaceful and I didn’t want to disturb you. I have gone to meet with King Robert and Counselor Malcolm to discuss the next course of action. Please come to the throne room when you wake to join the discussion.
Sara tossed the parchment into the fireplace to avoid it being found and quickly dressed. When she was ready she made her way to the throne room where two guards were standing watch at the closed doors. As she approached one guard turned, knocked three times against the heavy wooden door and then stepped aside, letting her push her way through and close the door behind her.
As she stepped through she noticed Malcolm, Robert and Leonard looking toward her. “Glad you could join us.” Malcolm greets her as she stops among them. She simply nods.
“We believe we have a plan if you’d care to weigh in.” Robert continue, as she takes a seat on the bench beside Leonard.
“I’m all ears.”
“We’re going to wait until the Eastern Council announces their appointment. There will be a ceremony to induct the appointee, and all of the monarchs will be expected to attend.” Malcolm explains. “Using that as an excuse to enter the city without rousing any suspicion, we’ll sneak Leonard in cat form and begin an investigation of our own. The Queen in the North has already pledged her support in whatever plan we devise, she only asks that we give her a heads up so she and the King Consort aren’t caught unawares.”
“Makes sense. At this point, this far away from Central, everything we know, save for what Leonard has told us is speculation at best. But, with all the monarchs out of their respective territories, couldn’t the conspirators use their absence as a chance to take over.”
“We’re hoping they will.” Leonard replies beside her and she turns to look at him. “King Robert and Queen Snow both have people that are loyal to them and only them. If the empire were to fall those loyalists would let it so long as their monarchs were safe.”
Sara nods. “Right, the inner circle of the Imperial Guard. Should I assume the two guards outside are apart of the inner circle.”
“Exactly, while we’re in Central they will keep an eye open for disodents. Lord Merlyn is leaving Tommy here to lead them in this task. If the conspirators make their move, the inner circle will strike them down.”
“Queen Snow has her own inner circle and has agreed to the plan. Mick will have to travel with her as King Consort, but she trusts Lord Fries implicitly and intends to leave him in charge of the inner circle’s forces.” Malcolm finished.
Sara had to admit it was a good plan. She was itching to get to Central to begin and ensuring they would need to be inside the city for the plan to work, she was more than happy to go along.
Sara turns to Leonard. “Are you going to be alright as a cat again?” she asked. It was hard to imagine him willingly shifting again, especially after being trapped for months.
“No, but it’ll be worth it to take out Druce once and for all.”
“And what are we going to do about the fact that Druce will know it’s you?” she questioned.
“He won’t be able to admit he knows it’s Leonard, then he’d have to admit how he knows that and I doubt he’ll be able to spin a believable lie to suit our suspicions.” Robert says. “I believe if we act as though we do not know its him, perhaps in the same way you did not know it was him when you first met on the road home, he may believe he found you and is choosing to stick close in the hope that someone will figure it out.”
“Do you really think that will work?” she asks Leonard.
“I do. Druce is far to full of himself not to gloat. In fact, I think we may be able to trap him into confessing if we can convince him that none of you know.”
“That’s certainly an option we should consider.” Malcolm replied. “Whatever we decide, however, you’re never to be left alone with him. No one is.”
They easily agreed.
Three knocks sounded at the door before any of them could answer and they all turned just as the door opened, admitting Oliver, Tommy and Felicity. When the door was closed behind them again, Tommy spoke up. “A messenger bird just delivered a scroll. The Eastern Counsel has appointed a leader.”
“Who?” Robert asked.
“Just as expected.” Sara replied.
“Lord Wells and his apprentice are expected to head back to Central as soon as the solstice feast is finished tonight. Wells has been chosen to perform the Coronation ceremony.” Oliver explained. “The message also came with an invitation to the Coronation.”
Robert sighed. “Well then, we best prepare for the journey.” he turned to Leonard. “Rest as much as you can, Leonard, I’m afraid you’ll have to put on the act all the way there.”
Leonard opened his mouth to protest, but Malcolm cut him off. “We don’t know who could be watching us. If they see you and report back to Druce we’ll lose the element of surprise.”
Leonard sighed, relenting silently. Sara leaned into his side discreetly, a small comfort he was grateful for. He stood from his seat. “Well then, if we’re done here, I’ll head back to my chambers.”
Leonard slipped out of the throne room through a panel in the wall behind a tapestry. When he was gone, Robert turned to Sara. “I know I don’t have to explain to you what he’s going through.” he says and Sara nods. “Keep an eye on him.”