It’s been exactly three days since Gideon had anything fun to do. And if none existed, she would make it herself.
She started by sneaking into Pyrrha’s rooms. Harrow had never bothered to learn where OG Gideon slept, so it took her longer than she wanted to find the place. If there were knives anywhere else other than Pyrrha’s chambers (besides the kitchen which was to be actively avoided), she didn’t know.
Luckily, the old cavalier was gone. Gideon found what she was looking for right away: a cabinet of weapons. Most were ancient guns Gideon only recognized from that one room at Canaan. A small pile of sheathed knives occupied a small shelf towards the bottom. Gideon picked one at random and turned around—
--to find Pyrrha smirking in the doorway.
“What are you doing?” she asked, a twinkle in her brown eyes.
Gideon looked at the knife in her hand, more of a dagger really. It was almost the length of Harrow’s forearm, not super heavy, but the sheath suggested a deadly curve of the blade. She held it up to Pyrrha.
“Can I borrow this?”
“What for?” Pyrrha’s tone suggested a small list of acceptable reasons. She was not forthcoming on what those reasons could possibly be.
Pyrrha raised an eyebrow, silently goading Gideon to do better.
To Gideon’s chagrin, she gave it. “Fine. I want to tape it to a Roomba.”
Pyrrha didn’t say anything when she stepped out of the doorway and gestured for Gideon to take her leave. Gideon was suspicious about the way she bit her lips, as though she were doing her best not to smile.
Gideon took her leave anyway. At least she successfully got the knife.
Walking into the kitchen was always a risk. John—Dad?—wanted to teach Gideon to cook as a way to bond. Gideon, who never saw food as anything other than a necessity, hated those times together. JohnDad was always so . . . doting and shit. It made Gideon uncomfortable. She got strange blooms of warmth in her chest that she couldn’t understand. And there was no one on the Mithraeum to talk about them, not like she’d have anybody to talk to at Drearbruh either. At least at Canaan she had something resembling friends. Would Palamedes know what those warm blooms of feels were?
Anyway, Gideon was slow to sneak into the kitchens. There was a drawer with tape in it—a “junk drawer” DadJohn had called it—and she needed that tape. She knew exactly the drawer it was in. So as soon as she was inside the kitchen, she B-lined to the drawer. Slowly and quietly as she could, she opened the drawer, took the tape, and closed the drawer.
The Undying Emperor rounded the corner to the kitchens as Gideon was leaving them.
“Where are you off to?” he asked in that soft tone Gideon hated from the soles of her feet to maybe her hips.
“Elsewhere,” Gideon said. She trotted down the hallway, shoulders and neck stiff with tension. Thankfully, the Father She Never Knew didn’t follow.
They were gathered around the dinner table when the door opened and a Roomba came in to clean. Gideon instinctively tucked her legs up under her. Harrow was small enough that she could do this without issue, whereas Gideon wouldn’t have been able to do that in her original body. (She missed it and its taut muscles and ability to run down a hallway without getting winded).
Pyrrha lifted an eyebrow in suspicion before she jumped, cursing John’s name in the process.
John furrowed his brow. “What—” then he, too, jumped and cursed his name.
Gideon couldn’t help herself; she burst out laughing.
John looked under the table to see one of the Mithraeum’s Roombas with one of Gideon Prime’s knives taped to it. His reaction wasn’t anything Gideon-Trapped-in-Harrow’s-Body expected. His unnaturally black eyes welled up with tears, making their oily sheen even shinier. With a gasp of pride, John placed a hand to his chest.
“You made a Stabby,” he said, awe in his voice.
Gideon’s laughter faltered. “How’d you know it’s called Stabby?”
The light of Dominicus shown in God’s eyes, pride beaming off him like radiation. “You truly are my daughter.”
“I don’t like this,” Gideon said, privately liking it.
Then the Emperor of the Nine Realms, the King Undying, the Resurrecter, the Necrolord Prime, raised his glass of wine. “To the best daughter in a myriad. May she—” He gasped, Stabby getting to him once more. “—May her talents shine brighter than mine.”
“Hear, hear,” Pyyrha said, her own glass raised.
Gideon sat frozen, uncomfortable, but somehow endeared to the most powerful people in the galaxy.