Day 059: A Complicated Dance
Summary: An impromptu training lesson leads to something a lot more complicated for Sev and Britt.
Date: 7/28/16
Related: Say No More. Also Snap Peas is indirectly mentioned.
Sev Britt 

The Tondc stables.
Day 59

Clearly, Sev did not have the day that Britt did. While she's off giving tours and then getting hammered, he's stayed at his stable doing his best to resupply his own equipment. Which means spending a day making salves, tonics, tinctures, and other such thing. But it's late in the evening, having not seen the archer since the day before where things happened. As odd as it might seem, he has been practicing with a sword, spent some time earlier during the day at the training grounds, making a complete fool of himself. A bow is one thing, a sword is an entirely different matter. Thankfully, Tondc is decently lit from the amount of torches used at night. And it's by torchlight that he tries to practice swinging around that practice sword he's been allowed to borrow. Oh, it's funny. His footwork is all wrong. Not even gripping the sword the right way, and his swings are clumsy and awkward. However, that old adage of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks? Apparently, he's looking disprove that one.

Britt did indeed have a day. Venturing out into the camps beyond the walls where she ran into Azgaeda and then Skaikru. Forcing herself to grit her teeth and not give the Skaikru a piece of her mind while playing tour guide (even if it was only briefly). Then she ran into Rinnan and Arlin at the pub, and not-happy things were discussed. It definitely called for drinks. Britt has never been one to drink herself silly, so she's shy of hammered but still a little intoxicated as she makes her way over to the stables in search of Sev at his wagon. Best decision? Maybe not, but see: intoxicated. Stopping at the edge of whatever area he's practicing in, she tilts her head and watches for a minute, an amused smile creeping onto her lips, before announcing herself, "What are you doing?"

Sev wasn't expecting company. Or being watched at this time of night. So when he hears Britt behind him, it startles him a little. Then again, by yourself for so long, voices that aren't his can sometimes jostle him. It might even qualify as 'cute', because thinking you're alone, you do things one normally doesn't. Like making little flourishes that have no place in real combat. So maybe his imagination was running away with him a little bit. In the midst of swinging the sword, the grip on it is not what one would call proper, and it flies out of his hands, smacking against the side of his wagon. "Uh…" Looking a bit sheepish, his eyes scan a bit, trying to think of a good excuse. "Making an idiot of myself, I think." he offers, going retrieve the weapon. "Times are uncertain, I thought maybe I should start learning to defend myself beyond my bow. And….doing a rather poor job of it."

Britt rubs her nose, trying to hide one of those I'm-really-trying-not-to-laugh-and-not-doing-a-great-job-of-it smiles. "Um. Well." Trying to think of something kind to say on a brain fuzzied by mead, she says, "Everyone has to start somewhere. I've seen Seconds do worse." Of course they were, like, twelve, so that's not perhaps not as reassuring as she meant it to be. Once he picks the sword back up, she walks over to the middle of the open area and then motions him back. "Come here, let me help you."

Oh, that's nice. Not as bad some Seconds is being said to man quickly approaching his 40th birthday. "That bad, eh? Well, you may laugh, Britt." he offers with a little smile, apparently more than aware of how he might look. "I would as well." Seems he can appreciate self-deprecation as much as the next person who's got a good grip on their humility. But he comes forward to her, practice sword in hand. "Be it far from me to deny an offer from a more experienced swordswoman than myself. It's only when he gets close enough that he smell the mead on her. Though not going to mention it out loud. Maybe she needed it after yesterday.

Britt shrugs it off, still smiling but no longer trying to hide it. "Come now, you can imagine me trying to mix together a salve and spilling things everywhere if it makes you feel any better." It doesn't occur to her that he can smell the alcohol, so she doesn't comment upon it either. "Your stance is everything," she says, coming to stand in front of him. At first her back is to him so he can see what she's doing without it being a mirror image. "Feet apart, knees bent a little. Then step and thrust." She uses the dagger on her belt for demonstration of the familiar swordsmanship drill. Once she shows him, she turns back around to watch him try it.

"Yes, but you would look much prettier doing that than myself. You would do much more trades that I do with this face." Sev remarks at her wryly, tilting his head to watch her move carefully, like he's trying to study a new form of plant. Which means she has his attention. "You know, I never actually watched how people move with these things. I knew it was important but, perhaps I didn't take time to consider it." Then he tries to mirror the action she made. It's a little awkward, like trying to learn how to dance, but the idea of it is there.

Britt slants him a smile over her shoulder at the compliment. "We spend a lot of time on footwork. Not even worrying about the weapon, just moving around. You have to be light on your feet, to get out of the way, take advantage of opportunities." She purses her lips thoughtfully. "Perhaps Wren will allow me to work with Kai on that. I worry about her. She won't last if she keeps getting hurt as she does." But not even that serious concern is enough to completely dampen her chemically-empowered good mood. "Not bad, not bad," she tells him. "Relax your arm a bit." She steps over behind him, reaching for his wrist. She means to give it a little shake to show how to loosen up his arm. "And move your front leg forward." Her boot nudges his an inch or so forward. And then all of a sudden she's conscious of how close she's standing, and an uncertain look takes hold of her face. Not enough to banish the smile, but enough to tinge it with awkwardness.

"I didn't know. Now you're making think that the beginning of every Second's training is learning how to dance. Which…just makes me try to imagine Pontus or Luther or Khesu prancing about, and find the thought…very amusing." Sec says, unable to hide his grin about thinking about such a thing. "Maybe you should ask him? I hear he holds you in high respect. Do you think he's doing a poor job as a First?" he asks, letting her take ahold of his writ. Indeed he's tense. Maybe from the fooling around with the sword, maybe a little from how close. He shakes his arm a little. "Relaxing isn't something I've done much of." he admits with a little chuckle. But when she nudges his foot, it sorta takes him off-balance. It doesn't help that his attention was distracted by meeting her gaze, uncertainness on his features as well. But he blinks when he starts to trip over himself. An arm reaches out to steady himself, which goes around her waist, which doesn't help matters any. Now he finds himself pressing up against her while he tries to regain his footer. "Er…sorry. I…uh..the footwork is new to me." he apologizes, but he sure is taking his sweet time to disentangle himself from her.

"It's not so different from dancing," Britt grants. "Except the part where you try to kill your partner." She chuckles softly at the lame joke, and then shakes her head to the question about Kai. "Not poor, no. I wouldn't say that." Even if she thought it, she wouldn't criticize him openly. "But everyone has different styles. What works for a big guy like you or Wren isn't always the same as what works best for someone smaller." Britt is a little on the short side, for all her athleticism. "It's only that I've grown fond of her. I hate to see her get hurt so much. She is older, and far from helpless, but she is still a fresh Second." But then Sev is falling into her, and Britt can't really do much to help him with one hand holding a dagger and the other bandaged and sore. It's all she can do to avoid accidentally stabbing him. "It's all right," she tells him, her voice softer.

It's kinda hard not to think about the two of them wrapped in each other's arms, making out like a couple of red-blooded Seconds. It's a good memory for all the awkwardness that it causes him. And every time they meet, things either get more awkward or they end up sucking on each other's face. Which isn't really all that bad either. Still, there's a moment where it looks like he's going to lean in to kiss her. But something stops him. She's drunk, he's not. Where she not, it might be different, but this isn't that situation. "Kai needs someone like you. I'm sure she appreciates you as much as you do her." Slowly, he'll start to pull away, resisting the urge that's in his eyes. However, she can always stop him. "Funny that you mention dancing. That was one thing my mother taught me."

Britt sees that look in his eyes, and there was definitely a moment where the temptation was mirrored in hers. But then he's pulling away and she lets him go, turning away herself to collect her scattered thoughts. It's much easier to talk about something else, so that's what she does. "I'm honored that she counts me as family. Her people have not been so kind to her. Nor have ours, as a rule, but I hope she will find a place with us." When he talks about dancing, she turns back to face him, a faint smile returning. "Well, if you can dance, you ought to be able to pick up the footwork." Holding up the dagger in a ready position, she starts to circle him like she's prowling for an opening. "Watch my feet." She fake-lunges then dances back out of the way, showing him various bits of footwork.

Sev has to take a moment to regain his composure. As try as he might, he can't rebuild the mental walls that separates himself from just about everyone else. Britt has officially become a weak spot in him, and that leaves a rather large question hanging in the back of his head, or what any of it means. "Rumor has it that Wren wishes to adopt her as his daughter into his family. That's what I heard anyways, don't know if that's true or not." he doesn't seem to have an opinion or not, he has not really interacted with the Second. But he's watching again, disregarding the dagger, on concentrating more on her feet. Perhaps in a different mindset, treating it like dancing would work better. So she circles him and he mirrors her, backing away when she lunges. "I suppose I leave myself open to you." he remarks about his lack of defenses. "Though I'm still looking for a way in to you at the moment." His sword is held upright, as if to try defend an attack. He's talking about sparring, right?

"She's a little old to be his daughter. Sister, I could see. She deserves a good family." Since he's watching Britt so closely, he can surely see the wistful sadness that crosses her face briefly there. His latter comment gets a little smirk. "Are we still talking about sparring?" she asks, before lunging in again. With his guard up, she's at a decided disadvantage on reach. She tries to avoid his sword, then deflect it away with a hand on his wrist, hopefully leaving him open to 'attack'. Should it work, she presses in close to bring her dagger up to his throat. Since she's not trying to hurt him, or even risk doing so, the mock-strike would be with her knuckles and the hilt of the dagger. The blade is kept angled away, paralleling her wrist.

"Perhaps. It's not really my place. I don't know either of them all that well." Sev admits, watching her, then her feet. Maybe he's watching her feet a little too much, looking back up at her, smirking in return. "I don't know, are we?" he answers back. While he might be getting a hang of the footwork, bladework is something else entirely. She moves in, pulling his sword, doing exactly what she thought he would, leaving himself open and finds the hilt of the dagger at his neck. Chin lifted up, he looks down at her. Then, he presses the neck against the hilt, moving closer to her. Again. "You have me, Britt. I'm yours to do what you wish." Those wanting eyes look at her. "Am I dead or am I alive?" Poke poke. The tip of his practice sword nudges against the side of her ribs. Which may kinda look like a stalemate.

She just holds the hilt there, entirely too close and meeting his stare. Seconds of longing tempered by indecision tick by, until his sword taps at her ribs. Then she smirks. "Suppose I missed my chance and I'll have to let you go." She means missed her chance to mock-kill him without getting mock-killed herself, but she might not be talking entirely about sparring either. She takes a step back, still within that personal space bubble she's so protective of, but no longer at a more intimate distance. Lowering the dagger, her hand gives it a theatrical little twirl before sheathing it. And then she just watches him. Wheels clearly turning behind her eyes, but no words come.

And no words on Sev's side either. And there's a flicker of pain behind his gaze, catching what the words mean. Is this how it really ends? Before it even starts? Is he really willing to let it go like that? Let her go like that? Again? His jaw sets and he stares at her just like she's staring at him, wheels turning. "Is this what it's going to be like every time, Britt?" he finally says. "That we do this dance every time until it drives us both mad?" He cannot bear it. It must be now or it must be never. So he throws down the practice sword with a clatter, moving towards her, reaching out for her. And if she doesn't move away from him, he will with almost complete certainty pull her into a powerful kiss.

That pained look was exactly what Britt had been dreading, and her brow creases with a guilt-induced furrow in response. She doesn't answer his question, but perhaps the fact that she doesn't knock him on his ass or back away from his approach is answer enough. No, instead she allows him to engulf her in those big arms of his, and there's an honest, almost desperate passion in the way she returns his kiss. Her bandaged left hand comes up to cup the back of his neck lightly, while the other settles somewhere on his ribs.

It's a complicated matter on both sides, one which Sev has been trying to grapple with the past two weeks. What started out as simple attraction is suddenly something…else. Not love, but something somewhere in a nebulous middle ground. Which may make all the more infuriating that he's unable to clearly describe his feelings. But at least he has a good grip on passion, heat and fire exploding from his lips once they touch her's. That flame that had been kindled starts to grow a little larger. It's not something they can no longer ignore or avoid. And when, what seem to go on for a little bit, wrapped up in each other's arms, he pulls his face back to look into her face.

"I want you."

And it is probably clear that the fire is as mutual as the confused muddle they both find themselves in. Britt's eyes stay closed for a second even after he pulls back to look at her, but then she opens them to stare into his. The smell of mead on her breath is obvious at such close range, but she certainly isn't acting drunk. Inebriated a bit, though, surely. "You must know I want you too." He's not blind, after all, and she pretty much admitted as much the other night. "But I don't want you hurt you. That look? Just now?" She continues to hold him, but gestures back to where he was standing before this started. "I've already hurt you. How can I let this go further, stringing you along, not knowing my future with him? You deserve better than that." And yet he says he wants her, even knowing her uncertain situation with Erson, and it leaves the usually-decisive and confident archer all manner of confused and conflicted. It leads to the plaintive declaration, "I don't know what to do."

How horrible and bittersweet their tale is. To want someone and yet be held back from it. "The last time, I didn't…want to take advantage of what you're going through. I still don't. But I can no longer deny how I feel, Britt. I have not burned for a woman like this in…so long. I had forgotten what I felt like." He doesn't move away, but the way he holds her is gentle, perhaps unwilling to let go. "It is a pain I have chosen for myself. I knew the risks. I knew better but…I've tried to court you anyways. And that is unworthy of me. And you. Because I thought the risk was…worth it." He kisses her again, this one softer. "I have caused you too much pain, but what you have me do? Walk away? I can't." He pauses for a moment. "I have never looked for companionship, it just so happened that I was drawn to you." A hand reaches up to smooth her hair at her words of not knowing what to do. "I may not be worthy of forgiveness, but I am worthy of you."

And here she was, hoping that he would tell her: 'no, of course you can't' and push her away. And yet, at the same time, hoping he would pick her up and carry her into that wagon. Torn, much? Britt shakes her head, then. "You're not unworthy. Not at all. I wasn't lying when I told you that other beds didn't have the draw for me they once did. Yours is the first in a long time that has, but…" Always the 'but' there, between them. She winces, trying to find the words. The drink is making it hard to do that, and also perhaps a good reason to put on the brakes a little. It is a decision that should be made sober. Finally those green eyes stare at him with a mix of pleading and longing, "I just need time. Time to think, to sort things out. Will you hate me for asking that of you?" She wouldn't entirely blame him if he did.

"Britt, I…" There's something on Sev's lips that drains into empty silence. A very dangerous thing. But even know, at this moment, it doesn't come. It's too soon, like flower that's ready to blossom after a light rain. So dangerous the way he looks at her at this moment. Or he could just be fueled by pure emotion. So maybe she's not the only one that's not thinking straight. Finally a head shake. "No, I would not hate you for that. You need time, take the time you need. Until then…" he draws a hand back, pulling something away from his neck. It's a necklace. A leather string holding a pendant sized piece of dark jade. That matches her eyes. "My father gave this to me. Told me that it always show me the way home. Wherever home happened to be. A lucky charm of sorts." He starts to put it around her neck. "I know you're going back to the Mountain. To finish what was started." And now it's his turn to look at her, longingly, pleading. "Come back to me. I can't lose you again."

Britt's eyes crease a little around the edges, not quite able to read that expression of his. But she nods in relief when he agrees to grant her request. "Thank you, Sev." She touches the pendant, which hangs a little above the other one she wears. "My mother gave me this one, so it'll be in good company. Hopefully it'll help me come back without any new scars. Though if I do - I trust you to tend them." She reaches up to his cheek, then leans in to him again. "I will see you soon." It's the only promise she can give him right now.

Sev nods to her. "Perhaps I just want you to carry a piece of me with you." Because not like she doesn't already have a hefty piece of him as it is. "I will." Another nod, head leaning into her hand, and then more when she presses against him. He risks another kiss before she leaves. "See you soon." he echoes. He will take that promise, well-aware that no warrior is cruel enough to promise they will return they really don't know.

Britt allows the final kiss, and then reluctantly pulls away. She glances back at him with a faint yet fond smile as she heads out of the stable.

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