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Future Regrets

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When they placed the crown on her head, (pinched from the Smithsonian two weeks ago), Rachel almost laughed at the absurdity in front of sixteen North American representatives and her own council of advisers, made up of the five people she had left to call family: Miles, Charlie, Aaron, her father and even a reluctant Bass.

Texas, California and the nano tore each other apart until all that was left was the mindless hoards of people with their humanity turned down to a simmer and fireflies buzzing around their heads. It was easy, then, for the old-fashioned Matheson-and-Monroe warfare to sweep up the mess.

But nobody wants a Monroe on the throne, and everybody's too weary of the democracy charade to keep it up.

So here they are, Rachel Matheson crowned, what? Queen of the Eastern Seaboard? Her lips twitch even now, hours later with her bare feet up on the window sill of the former Oval Office and a glass of Miles' best whiskey resting against her cheek. The ice cubes rattle quietly, almost obscuring the gentle footfalls behind her.

Miles drops a kiss onto the top of her head, sinking into the chair beside her, the moonlight shining blue on the familiar lines in his face. "Nice crown," he murmurs, threading fine, gold hair through his fingers.

Rachel chuckles, sipping at the whiskey. A little hysterical inside, perhaps. "Don't make me laugh."

"Ooh careful there, Miles. Don't piss off her majesty."

Bass has been leaning in the shadows the whole time, half-drunk and still a little ticked off that she's the one with the crown and he's the one with the tiny office and the pile of paperwork.

She tips her head back against Miles’ shoulder, drawing her finger around the rim of her glass. “Kiss my fucking ring, Bass.”

“Well look who’s power’s already gone to her head.” Bass wanders across the room to sink down at the window, grabbing her bare foot and digging his thumb into her arch.

“Just for tonight. In the morning, I tackle world peace and all that.” Rachel swirls the whiskey in her glass, staring into it with more melancholy in her eyes than in her voice. “Besides, if I only have to be better than your record, I’m golden.”

Miles and Bass exchange a glance over her head. The rest of the continent thinks it’s just a show, that she’s the pretty, too-smart-for-her-own-good face in front of the old generals of the Monroe Republic. These two know better.

Rachel’s a hell of a lot stronger than they ever were. She’s smarter and at least as brutal. She might look a bit ridiculous right now, with a stolen ring of gold on her head and several glasses of whiskey and champagne in her, but North America has no idea what it’s in for.