Others, 57

Spencer was tired, but that was just because he hadn’t slept last night.

Isaac hadn’t come home from the king’s funeral, and at first it had been fine, because Spencer and Skip had just assumed that he’d gotten distracted fucking someone, which Isaac often did. But something had felt wrong to Spencer even at the time, and by midnight when Vinnie knocked on their door to ask if they’d heard from him, it had been obvious something was wrong.

He was fine now, he and Oliver and Yancy were all fine now. Eventually Jacob had shown up and told everyone that Isaac had been kidnapped by a gang called the Rock Boys—how Jacob had known that was a mystery, but Spencer had learned to just accept that Jacob knew things, and they’d put together a cool rescue mission and Spencer hadn’t helped that much, but he’d gone with them and now they were back at the gates of the academy and everything was fine, but Spencer was exhausted and it wasn’t even suppertime.

“We have to go and deal with all these guys we arrested,” Leo was saying. He was the only knight who’d come back with them since all the others had taken the Rock Boys to prison. There was something about the city guard not being able to do it so the knights had to, but Spencer wasn’t totally sure what that was about except that Samantha’s uncle was the guard captain and she’d told Spencer once that the city guard were corrupt, so he guessed it made sense. “But I’ll come see you tomorrow?”

Slavery, 110

Daniel’s stomach hurt a little from all the juice he’d drank at breakfast, but it would pass if he just went pee somewhere and had some exercise. He was on his way to the academy, wondering if he should go in through the gates this time or climb over the wall again. They’d probably let him in if he just said he was Isaac’s friend.

He felt like he should think it was weird to just be Isaac’s friend, but it wasn’t, so fuck that. Isaac was nice in a way that nobody Daniel knew was. A little bit like Ozzy but different, somehow. And since they’d be leaving soon, Isaac wanted to see him one more time to say goodbye, and maybe thank you for helping him the other day when he’d been acting like a fucking dumbass.

“Hey, you,” said Ozzy, appearing out of nowhere to walk alongside Daniel just as the academy came into view. “Where you going? We never see each other now that you’re not legally bound to hang out with me. But I’ll remind you you’re still morally bound by the bonds of friendship. Let’s hang out.”

Slavery, 106

The snow was melting, but it was still cold.

“You doing okay?” Ozzy asked, nudging Daniel.

“Hm?” Daniel was running his fingers through some snow on the side of a building, making it fall to the ground in a shower of white dust. It was pretty, until it mixed with the slush on the ground and got gross right away. “Yeah. Just tired.”