Disclaimer: The characters portrayed within this work of fiction are my own. Any similarities to real persons are unintentional. This story contains mature subjects that some may find offensive; reader discretion is advised.


Catalyst


Leo le Roux is a third-year student of a prestigious private academy for boys, but due to a number of incidents throughout the year, has found himself enrolled into the Armistice Boarding School for Young Men, a place for the restless and disruptive to be properly educated. It is shortly after dinner when he arrives, and he is assigned to his dorm immediately – tomorrow morning will be spent selecting electives and becoming familiar with the school.

The academy is large, and it takes several long minutes to reach them, and Leo is surprised to find himself at the first-year dormitories, but before he can question the choice, he is led inside a surprisingly spacious room; a sitting area, a small kitchenette, a bathroom, and a hallway leading into a bedroom with six twin-sized beds lined up against the wall.

He turns to his guide, a question posed on his lips, but the faculty member is already shutting the door behind him, which closes with a sound of finality.

Leo sighs, not unfamiliar with being given the cold shoulder by adults, but this seems more...insulting, as the teachers at least took the time to tell him why he was being punished. This time, his guide left the room as if he were afraid of being there longer than necessary. Shaking his head, Leo decides he may as well claim one of the beds, still confused as to why he isn't being moved in with other third years.

It is then that he notices that he's being watched.

The boy is sitting in a plush armchair, a book resting open in his lap. His hair is golden like wheat, skin fair, and a light smattering of freckles are sprinkled upon his face. Curious, clear blue eyes look at Leo from behind professional glasses, and pert lips are turned down in a thoughtful frown. Considering the late hour, Leo figures that this boy must be the only other member in the dorm.

Clearing his throat, Leo introduces himself to the boy, who does not immediately respond. Leo waits patiently, for a time. When it finally appears that he will not be answered, he huffs, a little put off that he's been stiffed by a first-year, and then makes his way to the bedroom, claiming a bed by the window.

'Perhaps it is the mute boy's bed,' Leo wonders idly, then shakes the thought off – it is his now, so he goes about making himself at home.

An hour passes, lights out is called, and then there is silence.

Leo dreams of sea shores and grain fields, and sorely misses home. He misses how he and his father used to wake up early in the morning to fish and crab, how his mother would show him how to bake bread and other pastries in the afternoon, and even misses wrestling in the fields with his younger brothers in the evening. He misses being out in the sun, swimming, spending days on the beach, his skin turning a crisp golden-brown, radiating vitality. He misses the carefree days of his youth.

His dreams are interrupted when he feels his bed dip slightly, and he groggily blinks into awareness as tentative arms wrap around his waist, and he frowns, confused. A slight frame leans against his chest, and Leo feels his face heating up and he comes fully awake. He wears little but his boxers to bed, and the body he feels against him dresses similarly, small against his more athletic body.

The body, which he finally realizes is the young boy from before, is shivering, and he makes out soft whimpers, and only now does he hear the booming thunder and the crashing lightning outside, one of the famous thunderstorms common to the area.

Instinctively, Leo reaches out, as he would one of his younger brothers, pulling the boy against him. He forgets how the boy ignored him, and his earlier irritation at that fact. He simply holds the boy against him, pushing away other thoughts he has about the situation, thoughts that led to the actions which got him in this place to begin with. He holds the boy until he quiets, and then falls back to sleep.

His dreams this time have a much different flavor.


Author's Note: Calico Trayce and I have a little deal going on, where I write a chapter and she'll write four (specifically for her story Power Trip). Well, I thought I'd tip the scales a bit, buy myself some time as I work on Ardent Vice, and then this story popped in my head. Each chapter is pretty short, but I expect it to build up to a pretty lengthy bit of prose by the end.

Take a walk down the wild side and give her work a look. I'll know if you don't.