Title: The Scion and the Relic
Rating: PG13 (for this part)
Pairing(s): Arthur/Percival (eventually)
Character/s: Arthur, Uther, Morgana, Percival
Summary: Cyberpunk AU. Arthur meets Percival
Warnings: None for this part
Word Count: 1002
Prompt: #411, deja vu
Author's Notes: Continued on from part 2.
Arthur dressed quickly, not even bothering with a fresh comb through his hair. What was the point? Morgana didn’t care what he looked like as long as he was present, and whatever overprimed tech jock his father had scrounged up for his most recent paranoia wasn’t worth the added effort. He merely needed to not disgrace the Pendragon name or brand with his appearance.
The last to come on were the black leather gloves he wore whenever he left his sanctuary. Their presence was mostly symbolic. For the most part, they afforded no protection from the dangers that lurked at every turn. But for Arthur, they were his armor, donned whenever he needed to go into battle. So what if his war was with the same technology that helped pay for the necessary precautions in his life? The way he saw it, such was the irony of life.
He took his private stairs to the landing bay, the whisper of his feet along the treads the antithesis to his heavy mood. Cool air rushed to greet him once he exited, and he took a moment to breathe the crisp wind buffeting along the narrow strip. They were high enough for much of the pollution affecting lower Avalon to seem like a dream, but not so high that they had to create an artificial atmosphere just to get into their vehicle. He almost felt normal in these moments, like the world wasn’t prepared to kill him at the first opportunity.
At the far end of the bay, three figures lingered next to Uther’s private transport. His father and Morgana were easy to recognize, but the third elicited a frown, especially as Arthur approached them. A memory danced at the farthest corner of his mind, the image of a body similar to the impressive form in front of him leaving him with the distinct sense of déjà vu.
But then the stranger turned around, and Arthur’s heart skipped an unexpected beat.
He was tall, taller than Uther by several inches, with closely shorn light brown hair and a jawline made of stone. The mouth was set in a grim line, but the blue eyes that peered down at him were surprisingly soft, regarding him with an intelligence that was oddly off-putting considering how built the man was.
And built was an understatement. Broad shoulders filled out the dark suit that was at least five years out of style. It was impeccably tailored, however, and molded over his strong arms and thighs like a second skin. His hands hung loosely at his sides, but something about the way he held himself made Arthur feel like would be ready to react at supersonic speeds.
The new bodyguard. It had to be.
“Took you long enough,” Morgana said. She stepped forward in a rush of white and diamonds and offered him air kisses before adding in a whisper, “And thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Arthur smiled in spite of the discomfort the stranger churned in his gut. “You look lovely, Morgana.”
“And you look like you just rolled out of bed.” Disapproval dripped from every word out of Uther’s mouth. “Really, Arthur, you couldn’t have tried, just a little?”
“And here I thought you found me too trying,” Arthur commented.
Morgana laughed. “Oh, tonight’s going to be absolutely grand, isn’t it?”
Hardly the word Arthur would use, and the sooner he got it over with, the better. He turned to the stranger. “You must be my father’s latest acquisition.”
A single brow shot up, and the man looked over Arthur’s head to Uther.
Uther sighed. “My apologies for my scion. He’s not nearly as boorish as he likes to pretend he is. Arthur, this is Percival Wallis, your new security detail. Mr. Wallis, my scion, Arthur.”
Arthur waited for the inevitable handshake he’d have to refuse, but instead, Percival merely nodded. “I’m looking forward to working with you, Mr. Pendragon.”
The bowed head sent a fresh wave of familiarity through Arthur’s senses. Something about the curve of his shoulder, the slope of then cheekbone…but just like before, as soon as Percival straightened, the illusion was gone, the memory like dust.
“Call me Arthur,” he said automatically. “But I’m afraid my father is wasting your time. I have no need for security for the foreseeable future.”
Percival’s mouth softened, though he didn’t quite smile. “Considering the money being spent on the gala tonight, I would hope not.”
Morgana choked and turned away, while Uther coughed into his hand. Arthur simply blinked at Percival for several seconds before snorting in amusement. “Well, at least you have a personality.” And something more, but Arthur squelched that thought and the rest of them to focus on the moment. “Shall I meet you at the gala, Father?” Whenever he ventured out, he always took his custom-made transit. It was a revolutionary design, utilizing the newest synthetic materials. The computers were still toxic, but it had the same voice-activated technology in his clean room and gave him a semblance of autonomy that he treasured more with each passing day.
“Yes,” he agreed, but as Arthur shifted toward his transit, he added, “Though to be certain you actually arrive as agreed, Mr. Wallis shall accompany you. Come, Morgana.”
Morgana didn’t even shoot him an apologetic glance as she climbed into the back of Uther’s transit. Arthur was left standing in the bay, glaring at the vehicle as it lifted from its spot, with a hulking stranger prepared to crowd his personal space for the next thirty minutes.
“I will say this for your father,” Percival commented, watching the transit leave. “He has absolutely no idea how lucky he is to have you on his side.”
The blunt appraisal startled Arthur into staring at him. He shook it off the instant Percival began to turn toward him.
“Flattery will get you nowhere, Mr. Wallis.” Turning on his heel, he ignored the weight of the other man’s gaze on his back. “Now let’s go.”