Day 098: Lessons To Teach
Summary: Wren seeks Britt's advice about training Kai.
Date: 3 Sep 2016
Related: Kai Training
Wren Britt 

Coesbur Barracks
Room description
Day 098

Britt is finally well enough that hopefully the healers won't threaten to kick her ass for being out of bed. Either way, she seems to be risking it. There is only so much forced inactivity the outdoorswoman can handle. She hasn't gone far, though, just out to the front of the barracks where someone (probably Rinnan) has brought over a makeshift chaise style chair for her to lounge in. Just getting some fresh air and watching the work progress in the village.

And here comes Wren, rolling on up to the barracks, carrying what looks like a small sack in his hand. "I was wondering how you were doing. If you were up and about yet." he offers pleasantly. "Just thought I'd drop by, see how you were doing." A glance around, then at her. "Heard you almost died. Gave Sev and Kai a real scare from the sounds of it. Hope you don't plan on keeling over any time soon." The small sack is offered to her. "Peake made tarts for you. Said something about she wouldn't have the gonaheda down like this without proper pastries. And that if this didn't work, she'd come here and lecture you."

"Heya Wren," Britt greets amiably. "I'm on the mend, thanks for asking." She reaches for the sack, a brief wince showing when she inadvertently stretches her arm too far. "Tarts? Thank your mother for me." Then she wonders, "What was she planning on lecturing me about - not keeling over?"

"Oh my mother looks at anyone younger than her as her own kid. That's how she's always treated the village. And she's older than you soooo…" Wren remarks lightly. "She'd just lecture you on something. NOt surewhat. I'm stopped trying to figure her out years ago. She's like you, to be honest. It's kinda frightening to have two of you around." The bench nearby, Wren drags over to sit next to her. "Good to hear. Kai said it something with your insides. How you feeling?"

"Ah. Well, I've always heard good things of your mother, even though I did not know her well. So I will take that as a compliment." Even if it's frightening. She opens the sack and takes out one of the tarts, then offers the sack to Wren in case he wants one too. The question about how she's feeling gets a mild frown. "Yeah, apparently there's this damned thing inside you that's useless unless one day it decides to get infected and try to kill you. They had to take it out. Feels like a bad stab wound. But I'm alive, so I can't complain too much. And Erson showed up earlier, so that's nice." And yet the mention of him brings a slightly pensive look for a moment before she switches gears. "How are you then? Your head still troubling you?"

The scar that runs down the side of Wren's head just makes him look a little more attractive to the types that like that kind of thing. "Headaches sometimes, but nothing horrible. Sore sometimes, but again, but it could always be worse. I could always be dead." Wren replies, taking the sack and pulling out a tart of his own. "Mother likes you. Likely because you remind her of herself. And hey, good to hear that Erson is coming around. I wish I could say the same of Silver. But, what I wanted to talk to you about is Kai." He pauses between bites. "And I'd like your official opinion as Gonaheda in terms of her. What do you think of her? How do you think she's developing?" In this respect, Wren is still a student, even though he's a vetern. But there's something to be said about seeking the thoughts of someone you respect.

Britt nods. "Hopefully they will pass. I had headaches for more than a month after this." She gestures vaguely to her cheek. "Not so much now. Galle has been keeping mostly to Tondc, I heard, so I imagine that makes it hard for Silver." And for Wren. But since he doesn't seem to want to talk about that, she doesn't press further and merely arches her eyebrows when he says he wants to talk about Kai. A bite of tart staves off her answer long enough for her to chew, then she says, "Why are you asking me? You're her First, you should have the better idea on that score."

"Because you're her friend." Wren replies with a shrug. "She's come far in her time with me. Farther than I thought. But you can teach anyone how to fight, how to move, how to think like a warrior. But to teach her how to be one of the kru, that was the bigger focus. And for sometime that was the part I had been wondering on. Until I pressed her in a spar about it." He leans back in his bench, considering. "She beat me in a spar, Britt. And I wasn't being each on her. And I pressed her on what she felt…" he drifts off. "She didn't answer like a Skaikru. Or a girl trying to lean to be Trikru. She answered like one of the kru. And it was that moment that I started to really wonder if there was anything else I had left to teach her."

"Everyone has good days and bad days," Britt points out mildly. "Beating you sparring once means little. Now if she were constantly kicking your ass, I'd start to be a little worried about you." A faint smile there shows that she's teasing a little. "How long have you been a warrior, Wren? Ten years? Twelve? Do you really think she has learned as much in two months as you have in ten years, that you have nothing more to teach her?" Her eyebrows lift questioningly.

"Either that or I'm losing my edge. And I'd suspect she's learning too much in that case." Wren is more than happy to go along with that tease. "If you're asking how long it's been since I've been a Second? Eight years. In total? About twelve, yes. And see, that is the question. She's fought more than most Seconds I know. Hell, most Seconds are not supposed to go to war with their Firsts, yet she has. And everything else? She's answered how I'd expect any other Trikru to answer. What matters, what doesn't. She's young, yes. Will she make mistakes? Like you and I didn't our first years after being Seconds. I'm just wondering, because she's come far in these months. Done very well in developing discipline and controling her anger. Has she made mistakes? Certainly, but nothing to the point where it'd make me worry. She's just come far and I find myself wondering. So instead of sitting with my own thoughts, I thought to come to someone I respect and for their thoughts."

Britt shakes her head. "That may be true for the Seconds we have now, but it wasn't true during the Ice Wars. I fought with my uncle in the first war when I was a Second. Not when I first started out, sure, but once he thought I was ready. Hal did with his in the second war. Kai is not so unusual in that way." Britt takes another bite of tart, considering her words before speaking. "She is smart, she is brave, she is loyal. None of that is in question. She probably knows more about war strategy than either of us because of those books she's studied on the Sky Ark. That is a strength. But what would you say is her greatest weakness?" Apparently the gonaheda is not going to make it easy on Wren by just flat-out offering her opinion.

"He willingness to allow herself to be…herself. She feels like she has to act a certain way, be a certain way for the rest of the village to accept her. Because she's so afraid she won't be accepted. And she wants to be so much. By me, by you, by all of us. She strives, perhaps sometimes too much, to seek out acceptance. There are times where I don't think she feels comfortable in her own skin. She doesn't know how to let people in. She's barely let me in." Wren answers the question. "I was too young for the first Ice War, but I do know that my mother was there. And I fought with her in the second, though the injury to her shoulder took her out of the fight early. Made her retire since she can't draw a bow like used to." Granted her bow now is of a lighter poundage. "I think she wants to be given a chance to prove how valuable she can be and she believes she can't do that as a Second. And well…she's not wrong. But her ideals, her morals, her beliefs. They are Trikru. Her heart is Trikru, I believe. She doesn't lack for confidence, besides maybe in her personal relationships. I wish she'd find a good young boy to spend her time with. I think Britt, she hurts. But she doesn't know how to show it. And it's not something I can help with."

"I think you can help, by being there for her. Your family is hers now, more than her Sky Family. Trust will come in time," Britt reasons, pressing her lips together again for a moment before saying, "I do agree that she belongs more here than there, and she has learned a lot about the Trikru. But it has only been two months, Wren. Do you really think she has learned enough to stand on her own as a full-blooded member of the kru? Has she learned enough that you could send her to Polis, or somewhere else in Trikru lands and be confident that she can get by on her own with the language and the customs?" She turns a hand palm-up as if weighing things in her mind. "And in battle - yes, she fights well, and hard. But has she learned enough that you would trust her going into battle among strangers, without one of us watching her back? She has earned a lot of scars in a short amount of time." The concern in Britt's voice is obvious there, though most of the rest is spoken with a clinical neutrality.

"I know, Britt. I told she needs to stop throwing herself into battle like she does. I think she took that thought to heart. But hey, you and I have took plenty more scars in the last two months than we might've in the last year." Wren nods. "Combat, taking orders from people not us? Yes, I do. She's made that painfully clear to me, because I asked her that very question." The rest, he sighs over. "You see, that's where I find myself wondering. You took her to Polis, how did she do? I feel like she's learned a great deal from the language and the customs. And it's not that doubt, it's just that I worry. I don't know about you, but when I was released, I didn't know anything. But then again, I was eighteen, I don't really think you're supposed to know everything. Did you know everything about the kru when you were eighteen? Because honestly? I'm still learning and I've already been through two wars." If one consides the second Ice War and the war with the Maunon. "I suppose it boils down to what one views what an eighteen year old should know. A particular point of view and not everyone's the same. In the end, I know it's my decision, and I find myself at a crossroads. Because I don't want to hold her back. I want her to be able to step out of my own shadow. Do things without having to constantly get my approval on them. At the same time, I want to take care ofher."

Britt nods her agreement. "Yes, we have. Everyone has. But as you say, she takes more chances than she has to. Perhaps that is inexperience, perhaps that is a desire to prove herself and damn the cost, or perhaps that is just her way. Is it enough to hold her back? That is not for me to say. But it worries me all the same. And I wasn't speaking of her ability to take orders. I was speaking of her ability to look after herself without being reckless." When he brings up Polis, she shrugs a little. "We were only there for a short time. She hardly spoke to anyone, and I was there to guide her. It was not a fair test. I was not comfortable leaving her unattended, but I will confess to being more cautious than most. And in part that was in fear of how others might react if they realized who she was. Maybe that's not a fair burden to place on her, but it is what it is." She watches him for a moment, chewing on her bottom lip in consideration. Then finally she ventures in a somber tone, "Did you know I had a Second once?" Most likely not. She was far from Coesbur at the time, and has never spoken of it.

"I know I tended to throw myself into a fight during the war. There was an old scarred warrior. Tak, I think his name was, who about stabbed me under my ribs, saying it would 'be for my own good'. You know, getting injured enough where I couldn't fight as opposed to being killed. That made me think for awhile. Good man, wish I had known him better." Wren recalls, making it sound like that man didn't live to see the end of the conflict. "Maybe I should take her again to Polis again. As a test of sorts. Maybe you could come with, unless your duties here will keep you busy. Granted, if I didn't think she wasn't ready, I don't know if I'd be this worried. Wanting her to know everything she needs to. But no Second will ever know everything they need to." A shrug then to it all, then growing silent. "I…had a suspicion that you did. But it never seemed to be something you were ever comfortable talking about." He's cautious suddenly. "What happened? You…don't have to say if you don't want to." Because obviously for it to be a sensitive subject, something obviously did happen.

"Tak did that to you? Huh." This perplexes Britt a little. "I think you should take her. Watch how she does among strangers, without your guidance. I would come if time permitted, but I doubt it will. I've taken too much time away from my duties already." A vague gesture to her side there, frowning.

The question about her Second gets a sad nod. "He died," she confirms what he probably already guessed. "Because I overestimated his ability. I wasn't watching after him as closely as I should have been." Though the statement is matter of fact, the way her brow knits with remembered pain is anything but. "I do not say this to sway you one way or the other on Kai, but so you understand that I view these things now with an abundance -" Some might even say overabundance. "- of caution. Being a First is a tremendous responsibility, and there are rarely easy answers."

She gets back more to the direct topic. "Kai is gifted. I can see her becoming a gonaheda in her own right someday. Her situation with the Skaikru is unique, and you are right - even a Trikru Second would not be expected to know everything or be without weakness when they were released. The difference is that they have had their whole lives to learn the ways of the clan. And thousands of hours of drill and practice and time to soak up those little bits of wisdom and experience that can mean the difference between life and death."

"The Skaikru Guard did a good job with her before she came to us. Whatever our warriors will say about them, they at least did that much. But from what she tells me, she was the daughter of the gonaheda, though the gonaheda himself did not sound like a very honorable man." Wren remarks, but does allow him to reach over and put a hand on Britt's shoulder, giving a comforting squeeze. "I am sorry, Britt. I had thought it was something like that but…I never wished to bring it up. I will take your caution under advisement. As my friend and superior warrior with experience to back it up." But since she seemed to approve of the idea. "Then…perhaps this will be the final test I can give her, whether or not she's prepared. If she can handle being around Trikru she doesn't know. If she can blend in, talk and act amoung them without any suspecting. If she can pass that, observe the customs without me having to remind her, then maybe…she's ready."

There's a pause, considering for a long moment. "You've been a better friend than I deserve, Britt. I know we haven't seen eye to eye on a lot. But…thanks for being patient with the kid." He seems to mean him as the kid, less about Kai. Considering Wren might be young enough to be her own son.

Britt nods. "Yes, she has training from them, but for a different kind of fighting. She has done well adapting it. She has done well adapting, period." Another nod acknowledges his sympathies, and he seems to have enough of her trust that she doesn't even balk at the hand on her shoulder. "Thank you. It was a long time ago. I was little older than you, I think. But some wounds never heal." The sadness is palpable, probably even more obvious in her weakened state. "As for friendship - you deserve it well enough; don't sell yourself short, Wren. You are a good warrior and a good man. I respect you all the more for all you have done with Kai. You saw something in her when none of the rest of us did, and the village is better for it." A beat, then she adds with a rare sentimentality. "I am better for it."

Before she gets too sappy, she moves right along. "Anyway. I think that is a sound plan to test what she has learned about the Trikru. And as for her skills as a warrior - think back to all your First taught you, and speak to some of the other Firsts about how they train their Seconds. Perhaps you'll find some lessons you still have to teach. But in the end, the only opinion that matters is yours. You're her First."

Letting his hand drop, he grins at her. "Hey, I always liked you Britt. You remind me of my First. And if Silver had never come along, probably would've been knocking at your door." A wink to that, but that stalls at her compliments. "I…thank you. You're the first that's ever said so. I did see something in her. She stood out from the rest of those teens. There was something about her. Something more. The way she carried herself. At first I thought it was simply that she reminded me of Lark. But I know now that it was something more than that." Then a nod. "I'm better for it too. I love her dearly." Considering her agreement, he looks at his feet, partially eaten tart in his hand. "She's come for as a warrior. Personally, I would bet two bottles of mead on Kai over Tuan in a spar. But that's just me. I think, her skills have been sharpened. She is the honed blade I set out for her to be. If she gets better at dodging, that is. Though that just tie into her needing to hold back a little more."

Britt snorts a little in amusement at his first comment, though it causes her to wince. "I'm old enough to be your mother." Well, almost. Close enough for Britt's standards anyway. "But thank you. And I would not take that bet. I have seen her fight. I never had a chance to work with her on those style things we talked about. I've been hurt and useless the entire time since then. But I still mean to, at some point."

"Maybe, but that just means you're experienced? What can I say? I'm a sucker for redheads with attractive scars." Wren grins. Clearly he doesn't like the type to really act on it, more like fanciful daydreaming. "You're about as hurt as often as I am. We all have. You, me, Kai, Khesu, and others. I'm hoping that our winter is nice and quiet. One can hope at least. And you should, I'm sure she'd appreciate it." Eats a bit more of his tart then. "You've…ah, done a good job with her. Being her friend. I think she needed someone like you. Something I couldn't be. You once asked why I adopted her as my daughter. That it was strange. I hadn't intended to, really. But I wanted her to feel welcome and I thought that she needed a father figure in her life. After she told me how poorly her blood one treated her. So, yes, I know it's strange but…I would not have it any other way. Because…well, I do not know if Silver and I will work out."

Britt's amusement persists when he compliments her, but she says no more about it. "A quiet winter would be nice, yes. I do not like fighting in the cold." She finishes off the last bit of her tart, nodding silently when he talks about Kai. After chewing, she offers, "I am sorry to hear that about you and Silver. But is not odd to me that you would take her into your family. I think that was a kind thing for you to do. It is only that I have a hard time seeing you as her father, since you are not so much older than her. But it doesn't matter, really. Family is family, whatever name you put on it. Kai is like family to me, too, but I don't know what label I would call it, if it even matters. A niece, perhaps, like Ibem's children." The mention of her late friend brings another sad frown, and she asks, "Could I trouble you to get me a cup of water from the barrel over there please?"

"I just don't know where things are between her and I. She wanted to join the kru, she wanted to be with me. Perhaps it is nothing, being Second to Galle likely has her busy, I just fear that…maybe things are not for her what they are for me. She is garded, reserved. Far more than even you." Wren lets the last part seem like a friendly joke. His large frame rises, nodding to bring her back water. A cup is picked out, dunked and brought back over, catching that look on her. "I'm sorry about Ibem. I know you and her were close. She was well loved in the village." It's handed over, his seat retaken. "I think Kai is happier, I know that Peake loves having her around, even if she never says it outloud."

Britt offers a sympathetic nod when he speaks of Silver. "Being a Second is demanding enough, let alone when one is in a different village. But people change sometimes. Or maybe she just needs time. I don't know. And I am the last one to offer advice on relationships. War and teaching are where I draw the line." She murmurs a soft thanks, both for the water - which she immediately drinks - and the words about Ibem. "She was," she agrees softly.

"I'll give her time." Wren nods. "Just sometimes I find myself doubting. I'm told I do a lot of that." A somewhat bitter smile goes along with that. "Maybe that's what she needs. If she leaves me, then she will. It will not be the first time. Gideon. Thesda. I seem to lose out on all the good ones. It will drive mother mad that I can't hold a woman down." About Ibem, he doesn't know what to say, so he just nods. "Lark was good too." Well, he lost someone close too, maybe there's a little crossover there. "I understand."

"Giving time and space is hard, but they must find their own way." And perhaps the conversation has crossed from the general 'they' to the two more specific 'theys' of Silver and Erson. "Hopefully she will come around." The mention of Lark gets another nod in sympathy. "You know too what it is like to lose a sister." She finishes drinking her cup and then says, "I am glad for the conversation, Wren, but the pain is telling me it is time for more medicine and sleep. Would you mind helping me inside?" She would manage on her own if she had to, but, well, why strain needlessly when there's a strong friendly warrior guy nearby to lend her a hand up?

"Not a problem." Wren nods, getting up. Indeed he lost a sister too. And it just about destroyed him, locked up in the dropship like he was for a time. "True. If they are better without us than with us, that's…well, so long as they are happy and find their own way, that is what matter, as bitter a drink it might be. Being the better person in that regard." Trying to be realistic on that one. "Thank you as well, Britt. I'm glad we could talk." Maybe be able to view the other in a more friendly light than how things began months ago between them. A hand offered to her. "Let's get you to bed. I'll make sure to send Sev or Galle over to check in on you."

Britt certainly seems less reserved around him than she once did, though she never truly felt any animosity toward him. She accepts his hand up with a murmured thanks, and leans on his arm a little as she shuffle-steps her way gingerly back inside to her cot. The topic of bitter pills is left untouched, but she does no agreement on the other point. "I am glad also. We will have to sing again sometime." Maybe once the pub is built. She lets him escort her back to bed and kicks off her boots before getting comfortable - well, as comfy as she can, anyway - on the cot. "Thank you, Wren."

"I hear Sev and this woman who's new to the village, Briar, I think? She's brewer and so she's the new hot thing in Coesbur. Mostly because she's suppling the warriors with mead. Which they are eternally grateful for." Wren remarks with a laugh, guiding her inside and towards her bed, before easing her down. "Easy now… there we go. Anywyas, I think those two are looking to build a pub and trading post. They're thinking about building just on the limits of town. To make easier and perhaps a little more welcoming if Skaikru wish to also have a place to go in terms of a pub. I'm sure Oxfor will be the final word on it. But I don't think it'd be that bad. Some of the kru likely don't feel all that great about the idea of Skaikru walking the village and the Skaikru likely don't want to invade our privacy. So mabye a pub on the outside of town wouldn't be a bad idea?" he shrugs at it. "Then again, if it also operates as a trading post? I can see that being helpful for both sides." That all said, he smiles. "I'd love to sing with you again, Britt." he squats down next to her bed, getting on eyelevel. "You just get better. You uh…" his lips quirk. "You want me to do anything for you?"

Eyebrows lift at the talk of the hot new brewer. Britt apparently hadn't heard that particular bit of gossip. "Well, I don't know that I'm too keen on sharing drinks with the Skaikru, to be honest, but I can see where it would be good for trade." Britt is probably one of those 'some of the kru' who is not entirely comfortable with the Skaikru hanging around the village. "I will do my best." To get better, that is. "Perhaps you could bring by some of that new mead sometime," she says, smirking a little at his offer. "But otherwise, no, thank you."

"I don't much else about her, really. Older, redhead, so therefore means she's hot." Wren smirks easily. "She brought a kid with her too. About tweleve, ready to be a Second. Rumor going around it's his, though I have no idea if it's true or not. But, well, I dunno Britt. I mean, Skaikru saved your life, maybe they're not all bad." He almost has to catch himself. "'Judge the person, not the people'." It's like a mantra being spoken. And it really sounds like Oxfor's words. Like they had a talk a couple weeks ago or something. "But yeah, trade. I could see that helping us. We'll see. Not like a pub won't get built. I guess it's more of a where as it is." He smiles winder then. "I'm pretty sure I can get some for you. Alright, I'll get out of you hair. But, thanks for talking."

Britt blinks a little at the rest of the gossip, but then is quickly distracted by him talking about the Skaikru. "I did not say they were all bad," she points out mildly. "Anyway, I will speak to you soon. Be well."

Wren reaches down to give her hand a squeeze. "Hey, you too. I'm around if you need me. I'm sure Kai will be around at some point. I'm just going to sweat my ass off with some hard labor." A little dip of his head and an easy smile before he'll leave to rest, leaving the rest of tarts next to her bed for late night snaking if she needs.

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