Played- Flash Fiction – Sage & Leo: Recompense 3

*Full moons are hard, full moons without a pack are harder. But somehow Leo isn’t feeling too rotten after his first packless one*

Sage and Leo first appeared in Recompense, and also last week’s Babysitter. It’s not vital to read those before you enjoy this piece but it paints a more full picture so I would recommend it.

“I just don’t understand how it works,” Sage admitted.

“How what works?”

“This whole reparations thing.” They held out the tub of chocolate-free cookie dough ice cream, “Here.”

Leo took the proffered ice cream and spoon, digging in with gusto as he huddled under the soft blanket that smelled a little too strongly of Sage for it not to be one they slept with regularly. It had cartoon fangs all over it. He tried not to think about that. “I don’t know what you’re asking.”

Sage slumped down on the sofa next to him and flipped on the TV, letting it play low in the background – a comfort and a distraction all at once. “I just… it seems pretty out dated to send someone off for a whole year as recompense for someone’s wrongdoing. Not to mention moons.”

“What about moons?”

“You have to do your whole werewolf-moon thing with me instead of a whole pack that you can run with.”

Leo rubbed his forehead. “Did I do something embarrassing?”

Sage smiled and leaned close to wipe the smudge of ice cream off his face. “I don’t think so, but you might. We played chase.”

“You actually played with me?”

“Isn’t that what a pack does?”

“You’re not pack.”

“I’m all you’ve got.”

Leo sighed and shovelled some more ice cream into his mouth. This had been his first ever full moon without a pack at his back, without an alpha leading his way. It had been tough, he’d been snappy with Sage the entire week before and, since getting back in after his night-long rampage, all he wanted to do was eat copious amounts of junk food – which apparently Sage had gathered for him ahead of time – and cuddle under a blanket. It would have been nicer to cuddle under a pile of ‘wolves, but Sage was right, he was alone here at his alpha’s behest.

“Thank you,” he said.

“Not the point.”

“It’s a point.”

“Seriously though. The indentured servitude thing?”

“It’s an ancient law. It used to be specifically between packs; if one pack member wronged a different pack, they were sent to fix the issue but to make it one-size-fits-all it became a year long sentence.”

“But I’m not a werewolf pack.”

“No.”

“Then why…?”

“I think alpha was scared you would wreak some terrible vengeance.”

Sage laughed.

“It’s true.”

“I don’t doubt that your alpha would fear it, I’m just laughing because… well, you’ve seen how I live.”

He had. Sage lived pretty modestly, especially for a vampire. Their priority was comfort, not just of themself but the people they considered under their power: their tenants, Leo himself. For all that Sage had warned that he’d need to buy his own food, they had provided everything he could possibly need, if more sporadically than he actually needed it.

Sage came across as old, but not just old, Old with a capital O and italicization. So old that time passed differently for them than it did other people.

And yet, here they were, providing blankets and ice cream and soppy movies when Leo was in his post-full moon slump.

He leaned his head on Sage’s shoulder. “I think you make a pretty good pack, honestly.”

“I try.”

Come back next week for more from Sage & Leo.

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