(TW: mental institution / prison setting, mild threats, cold)
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Swordcat, aka Leon Smith (the mostly human part) / Lenxoli (the part associated with the sword, which wants to destroy all humans) (See this post for details – tw for ableist language)
So they found out that keeping the sword in the freezer helped out Leon one day, during the coldest winter Shard City had had in decades, when the heating system in Stomlin Ward (the special security ward of Stow Prison) broke down, completely.
A little before the normal free time they herded all the prisoners that weren’t horrible security risks into the break room. There were extra blankets and electric heaters. Swordcat was usually found without a shirt 1, but today was covered up, while most of the other inmates were wrapped up in blankets (except Wild Rush, who didn’t appear to notice temperature changes of any sort).
The biggest and baddest claimed spaces in front of heaters, pulling chairs and sofas closer. Wild Rush claimed a couch and heater and curled up next to Daisy. Swordcat dropped a blanket to the floor in front of a heater, growling slightly when another inmate gave him a dirty look, and curled up on the the blanket, his tail covering his nose.
Pretty soon, people were getting cozier, forming clumps of those that could get along.
Magpie sat down next to Swordcat, scratching his shoulders. When that had no negative affect, she curled up next to him. Others joined them. Daisy pulled Wild Rush over, and he sat warming what would have been her cold side.
Finally Techrat was the only one left, sitting on a couch near a heater, with his blankets carefully positioned to not aggravate his phobia of being restrained, and bearing a look that said clearly “Do not touch me. I will turn you inside out. I have the technology” as his teeth chattered. He apparently decided that being close to others was less offensive than freezing and sat between Daisy and Gimmick who both scooted over enough that he was only barely being touched.
It was when the heating was fixed and the store room where the sword was kept rose above freezing, that Swordcat returned to what they had thought was his normal, growly, threatening self, in contrast to the purring snoozing Leon they had found as they checked the break room (It was inhumane to not let the inmates be warm – and there was nowhere they could have been shipped off to – but it would be just carelessness to not check for trading of contraband while they were all so close).
It took only a few experiments to confirm it, and from then on the sword was stored in the kitchen’s deep freezer. While Lenxoli could still be talked to (for those doctors that wanted to risk it), it was much easier for Leon to shut it out.
(Note to self – each cell has a window on the other side of the bars made of nearly unbreakable plastic that can be opened as the inmate prefers)
- Which totally isn’t author appeal / fan service, I swear ↩