Fun fact: Leo and I have the same birthday (June 30)! So I just had to write something small for him.
Granted, it ended up being mostly about him and Odin, but well… it was all I could think of that I could get done in time.
It was very rare that Leo saw Odin break character.
This time, when it had happened, Leo had been sitting in a meeting with the royal council, in an effort to figure out what they would be doing now that he was King and that the war was over. It was bad enough that he barely had any time to mourn his older brother and little sister, but with how the war with Hoshido had devastated Nohr, then it was necessary.
Really, Leo felt like he was a sheep masquerading as a wolf in a den of wolves masquerading as sheep (and it wasn't because of his clothing – he'd had both Niles and Odin make sure his collar wasn't inside-out, thank you). It was hard to make any headway with his plans for progress with these nobles blocking him at every turn, and he had quickly felt a headache coming on. Right now, the only ally he had was Odin, who had been surprisingly quiet the whole time.
Finally, one noble had said something particularly stupid and Leo had decided that he had had enough, and had risen from his seat to leave the room. He couldn't stay here. If he stayed here, then he would suffocate from all of these idiots trying their hardest to destroy the very land that he was trying to build up after the war that had devastated him. He was King now, and he needed to be there for his people, not for the nobles to line their pockets.
Leo stood up, the conversation coming to a halt as he glared at them. "I don't have time to continue listen to your inane babbling. There are a multitude of other things that need to be done, and as sitting here will get none of it done, then I shall be leaving." He barely managed to hide the frustration and upset in his voice.
Unfortunately, it seemed that other forces (namely, said idiots) were not planning to allow it. "Your Majesty, we aren't done here—" One nobleman started to say.
Before Leo could even gather his thoughts to reply to his audacity, someone else did. Odin stepped forward and slammed his hand down on the table, startling all that were present – including Leo himself. When was the last time he had truly seen Odin angry?
"Are you telling your King what to do, Councillor Percivus?" Odin's posture and voice were sharp and full of authority, in a manner that Leo had never heard before, and yet — it seemed to fit him almost as much as the dramatic flair he had did. Perhaps even more so.
And it was in that moment that Leo realized that there were still many things that he didn't know about Odin.
Percivus's jaw hung for a moment (it was clear that Odin had a reputation among the Nohrians and almost nobody had ever seen him break character), before he scowled. "No, but—"
"Then," Odin said, giving Percivus a smile that was eerily reminiscent of Laslow, of someone used to giving orders and having them followed without question. "There are no problems with His Majesty desiring to leave, Councillor, so I suggest that you desist at once."
Leo had finally managed to find the words to speak, swallowing down his gratefulness for Odin's intervention, that someone could tell he needed to get out, for the time being. "As always, you are correct, Odin. Come."
He slipped out of the room without any further protest from the council and marched down the hall with Odin at his heels, only exhaling once he was several halls away, and putting his hand on his head. Odin stepped up behind him, pausing, and Leo turned to look at his retainer and friend. Odin's mouth was a thin line, his green eyes narrowed, and he looked downright irritated, which was something that Leo had almost never seen in his life – not even when Odin came back from the ridiculous missions that he used to give him back when the strange man had been thrust upon him as a retainer.
"You have my thanks, Odin," Leo said, rubbing his temples. "I was ready to strangle someone with Brynhildr."
"Think nothing of it, milord," Odin said, still sounding serious. "…Royal councils. They're all the same." That last bit was muttered under the man's breath, but Leo caught it anyways.
"You think so?" Leo asked casually.
"I know so." Odin reached out as if to put his hand on Leo's shoulder, but paused, before pulling it back. For a moment, Leo felt that he wasn't looking at his goofy retainer, but a fellow prince. "They huff and puff, but you simply have to press your authority and most of them will back down once they realize you are not afraid of them."
A prickling suspicion began to form in Leo's mind, and he slowly pressed on. "Odin… maybe I should ask you for assistance with these matters more often. You seem to have personal experience and are more likely to have Nohr's best interests far more than those buffoons."
He could sense Odin staring at him, almost as if judging what he was saying. And then, like a switch had been flipped, Odin's mask came back up. "Milord~! Perhaps rejuvenation from the foul airs that plagued that room is required to purge the gloomy taint from your essence!"
"That… would be very nice, Odin," Leo said softly, slowing his pace so that Odin could keep up, and mentally swearing at himself. He'd pushed him too far.
The young King peeked at the man that was one of the only three people that he would trust with his life, trying to pretend that he wasn't staring. He'd wondered more than once where his strange but terrifyingly competent retainer had come from, and this would be one of those times. But Odin deserved his secrets, especially as he had been nothing but loyal to Leo with his best interests in mind – indeed, so many of his tasks had been made easier only because Odin (and Niles) had been there to assist.
"Then so be it! I shall do battle with the toughest of foes in the kitchens, to defeat the tastiest of fruits which masquerade as vegetables and concoct the most divine beverage that you have ever tasted!"
Actually, now that Odin had brought it up, a break with refreshing, cool tomato juice sounded wonderful. A small comfort, and one that he enjoyed indulging in whenever he got the opportunity, which was becoming rarer and rarer nowadays given that even they were having trouble obtaining tomatoes. Truly, the man knew just how to cheer him up.
A smile crossed Leo's face, rare after what had happened in the recent war. "Odin?"
Odin beamed at him, bouncing again. "Yes milord?"
"I'm glad you are still here."
The bouncing stopped, and Leo turned to see a small smile on Odin's face, warmth in his expression. "Your Majesty, I promised that I wouldn't leave you, especially not while you need me."
"I know," Leo said, turning back, and praying that he wasn't blushing. "If it weren't for you, I don't know how I would have handled so many of the things that I have."
The crown on his head, the crown that had formerly been his father's and should have been his brother's, was heavy, but there were times when it didn't feel as heavy as it was. And such a time was like now, when he'd felt it pressing down so hard it had threatened to break his neck, before his retainer had metaphorically helped him support its weight.
"Sometimes," Odin said, his voice soft, and Leo jerked when he realized that Odin had broken character again. Twice in one day was a record, let alone twice in less than five minutes. "Sometimes even royalty needs a shoulder to lean on, especially when they believe that they're alone."
The temptation to press him again, to tease yet another detail of his past out of him was there, but Leo resisted the urge. That would be a fine way to repay his friend…
Instead, he smiled and nodded at Odin. "Let's head to the kitchens then. I could use that tomato juice that you mentioned earlier…"
This may or may not be canon to a much longer fic that I have been working on since last year. :D