A Stable Relationship

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Re: A Stable Relationship

Post by Warrl » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:47 pm

Christmas day, late morning

"Thanks for the help, Sis," Durango said. "With these crutches, cooking is hard."

"And slow. But even so, you are still better at it than I am."

"There's plenty for Mom and Dad. Where are they, anyway?"

"Mom had a special project to share with Dad, up in the old mill. They left right after I got up. They are taking a long time at it - and that is a good sign. Although I won't know for sure how it went until they return. Or, I suppose, if we hear an ambulance heading that way, but that is not likely. Rowdy! Lunch is ready!"

In the next room, Rowdy grabbed his borrowed cane and leveraged himself off the couch just as the doorbell rang. Still walking with a slight limp, he opened the door. "Maple! Merry Christmas! Come on in. You're just in time for lunch, if you're interested. "

"Hey, Rowdy. Glad to see you're getting around better - just a cane, and it looks like you'll be through with that soon. Sure, I'll stay for lunch. Are Buzz and Sycamore up and about?"

"Up, but not about. They left early this morning and aren't back yet."

"Oh, excellent!" Maple grinned as the two entered the kitchen. Dawn slid another plate of spaghetti across the table and the four of them sat down to eat.

Just as they were finishing, the back door opened and Dawn's parents came in, Sycamore in human form riding on feral Buzz's back. Durango looked up and held his hands up to comically protect his eyes. "OW! The glow, it's blinding!"

"I take it everything went well?" Maple smiled at them as Dawn bopped her brother's shoulder.

"Oh, yes," Sycamore smugged.

"Dawn, Maple," Buzz said, "I understand you both had a hand in this. Thank you."

"It was Mom's idea," Dawn answered. "Thank her."

"He did - several times," she sighed happily.

"Obviously - but did he say it?"

"But" Durango interrupted, "how did this work? I mean, Mom's hip and lower shoulder - feral, she can barely stand up for five minutes!"

"A very-custom bench," Maple explained, "carefully designed to keep the weight off the weak spots. I did the structural engineering and built it, and Dawn shaped the top to fit just right. We should go up in a day or two and check it over for damage, but I expect it's in good shape. We just need to make sure we don't interrupt anything."

Buzz carefully knelt and helped his wife stand, then clopped toward the master bedroom to dress. Sycamore hobbled over to a vacant chair and sat down. "That probably won't be an issue. I think we overdid things a bit, and I'll be too sore to even consider it for several days. But it was so worth it!"

"So," Dawn asked, "are you two hungry for some food now?"

"Why do you think we came back?"

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Re: A Stable Relationship

Post by Warrl » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:38 pm

The remainder of the Hyde Park visit was uneventful. Rowdy was able to return his borrowed cane to Sycamore's collection the day after Christmas, and Dr. Smithers approved Dawn setting the neck braces aside the next day. Their return flight was delayed a day due to weather, but they had made allowances for such a circumstance in their planning.

So they arrived at the South Saint Paul Municipal Airport a bit before sunset on December 30, to an unexpected greeting as their bags were unloaded from the plane.

"Mom, what are you doing here?"

"You were injured. You think I won't insist on laying eyes on you as soon as possible? Cinnamon drove, and Buck is here in case none of you are up to driving your car."

As Buck loaded the luggage onto a trolley, Rowdy hugged his mother. "Really, Mom, I'm fine. And Dawn was fit to drive the day after the accident."

"Yes, I see you really are all in one piece and your brains aren't scrambled. And Dawn - how are you doing, darlin'?" The matriarch released her son and embraced his lady.

"Just fine, Daisy. Had a stiff neck for a week. Got over it."

"And Durango." He didn't escape unhugged either. "Now let's get going and get you off that leg." As the group headed toward the vehicles, she continued. "How long will you be on crutches?"

"Probably at least another month. We all have copies of our medical files from Waterbury in our luggage."

"Well, you can spend the next few days with us if you'd like. Next week you'll be back in classes?"

"That's right. I really appreciate the offer. The dorm dining hall is shut down until Monday, expecting everyone to be visiting family, and I'm not in good shape to walk to a restaurant in the snow."

"Well, you won't starve and waste away staying with us. Dawn, are you coming to the mansion too? - oh, of course, your car is there. Good. Now I'd like to put Buck with you boys and steal Dawn for the ride home and some girl talk."

"There are a couple things I want to pick up from my apartment, if I could."

"Not a problem, darlin'. Supper should be almost ready when we get home."

Three hours later, fed, Dawn went to her room in the centaur quarters, shifted to human form, and donned an outfit she hadn't worn in four years. Over that she put on a heavy coat and boots suitable for a Minnesota winter. She emerged from her room to discover Rowdy looking for her.

"Going outside? Want some company?"

"No, love. This is something I need to do myself." She reached up and hugged his stomach. "And I must ask you to not ask others about it."

"How far will you be going? And how long? It's pretty cold out."

"I expect to stay on the estate and be back within two hours. Maybe much sooner. I have my phone with me."

"Okay. I'll worry about you."

He watched her head toward the old mansion, until she was out of sight. Then he returned to the newer house, which was dubbed the castle.

Aware that he was watching, she walked around the old mansion. Then she headed toward the grove at the back of the property.

"Emerauld," she called out, "Ka dos ph'yor'in, Usstan orn'la telanth xuil dos, ulu ann nelgetha lu'dortho." If you are willing, I would speak with you, to beg forgiveness and aid.

She stood shivering for several minutes, but heard no response. "Ji tlu ol, t'yin. Usstan orn naut degahr dos felah." She turned around. So be it, then. I will not trouble you further.

Emerauld was right behind her, swords in hand. "Me, but not my sister?"

Dawn jumped backward and into a combat stance, but quickly forced herself to a more relaxed posture. "Your sister, too, in time. But I'm not yet ready to face her."

"Before her, you could not so swiftly bring yourself to stand down from combat."

"So swiftly, or perhaps at all."

"And why should I help you?"

"I can name no reason why you should. I offer two reasons why you might choose to. The first is that one who wishes to become a friend, while less precious than one who is already a friend, still has some value. The second, is for Rowdy's sake."

Emerauld sheathed her swords. "My forgiveness, you have. Safyr's, you must ask her. Tell me what aid you wish, and I will consider it."

"I wish you to be sensei, and train me in unarmed combat."

"How would this help?"

"A wise friend suggested that I can discipline myself to overcome that part of my past which troubles me so. The strictest discipline I know is the discipline of the dojo. And the title 'sensei' commands a place in my mind that may be strong enough to overpower the word 'drow'."

"Interesting. So where would Safyr come into this?"

"When we think I may be ready - has she not been one of your teachers?"

"She has, and I one of hers."

"Then she could come in as your sensei."

"I see. If I agree to this, when would you wish to begin?"

"At your convenience - when I am on the estate, of course."

"One student cannot spar." The elf stood a moment in contemplation. "I do not teach show-fighting; if I agree to this, I will teach you to subdue, maim, or kill, as seems fitting. Your sparring partner must be one who can recover from lethal blows. Take off your coat."

Dawn took off her coat, revealing that she was wearing her gi under it, and Emerauld took the heavy garment from her. "Now turn around."

She turned, and found a rather strange skeleton charging at her. Swiftly she struck with one foot, knocking a femur from its place; as the skeleton fell toward her she shifted one hand to a hoof and knocked the skull twenty yards away. The skeleton collapsed into a heap.

"What was that?" she demanded.

"Not bad, girl. That is my familiar spirit, J'bobur. If I agree to teach you, he will be your sparring partner. Go fetch the skull and put it on the pile of bones. Here, take your coat."

Dawn put her coat back on and retrieved the skull. Examining it as she returned, she realized it was a fox-skull. The bones, she noticed, were from several species of creature, and many of them were actually carved wood. When she added the skull to the pile, the bones shuffled themselves around and re-formed the skeleton. Which then bowed to her.

Nervously she returned the bow, and the skeleton turned and went into the grove.

"Do you still want to do this?"

"Yes." Emerauld felt a quaver of fear from the young centaur, but there was no hesitation in her answer.

"Safyr and I will consider your request. Go now; we are done for tonight. You will receive your answer tomorrow."

Dawn bowed, backed up a few steps, then turned and walked back the way she had come. Soon she was back in feral and inside the castle. Rowdy met her at the door.

"Did you get things done?"

"No. I did not expect to - but I do not even know yet if I got them started."

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Re: A Stable Relationship

Post by jwhouk » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:07 pm

Minor little nitpick - if they were flying via AHI planes, would they not fly into Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie? A bit closer than South St. Paul (which is further out than even MSP, which does have an "executive terminal").
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: A Stable Relationship

Post by DinkyInky » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:15 am

PM sent for query.
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir

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