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Reassuring Miranda

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Rufus Bennett
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 92
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5758.04 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:22 am    Post subject: Reassuring Miranda Reply with quote

There were a few things that weren't unusual on Maple Grove, but an earthquake shortly followed by torrential rain summoned out of nowhere definitely ranked among the unexpected happenings. Rufus made it back to his own home before the rain started, but spent a few minutes on the porch watching the clouds above with interest. "There is a lot of potential there," he murmured to himself, folding down the crossbow.

The door opened behind him with a creak that announced he was no longer alone, and suddenly there was a pair of very female arms making their way around his waist, a chin resting against his shoulder - or very nearly his shoulder. "A lot of potential where?" a female voice he would recognize as belonging to his wife asked from behind him.

Unconsciously lowering that shoulder to let her rest her chin more comfortably there, Rufus glanced back at Miranda with a smile. "You're not going to like it," he warned. He did know his wife, after all.

There was no reply for a moment, as she considered his statement. She'd heard that before, more times than she cared to count. "Is it going to put you in danger?" she asked, trying to hide the trepidation from her voice. He had promised he was done with the slaying and hunting. They had lost enough years together, and they had a small child to raise now.

"Not me personally, no," he promised her, setting the crossbow to one side to twist and gather her into his arms. "I promised you I would never hunt again, and I intend to keep that promise, angel. You never said anything about training other people, though."

"Training other people?" she asked, one perfectly-plucked eyebrow arching upwards suspiciously, even as she melted into his embrace. It wasn't that she didn't trust him exactly, but she knew him too well, and she knew he had a unique set of skills few others could duplicate. "What other people? What's this about, Rufus?" Not Rufio, but Rufus - which meant she meant business.

"The Storms' eldest daughter, her boyfriend, his brother, one of your Grangers - Zachary?" He tilted his head to look down at her. "They were practising combining their abilities. They want to join the fight on Earth against the people who almost killed Olivia Storm. I didn't see any point in trying to talk them out of it."

"You didn't see any point?" she echoed, both brows arching upwards now in obvious confusion and just a touch of irritation as she tilted her head up to meet his gaze. "They're little more than children!" she pointed out, though he had to know that already.

"They are old enough to make this decision for themselves, angel," he pointed out calmly. "The same age Johnny was when he decided to use his own abilities. Without training, they will be throwing themselves into a fight they are not ready for. I can't teach them everything, but I can make sure they will not die out there."

"There's a better way to make sure they don't die out there!" Miranda pointed out, pushing away from him, but not entirely out of his embrace. She hadn't felt this way when he'd offered to train Desmond or Taylor or Kaylee, but the difference there, as far as Miranda could see it, was their age. Desmond and Taylor and Kaylee had been full-grown adults, not children barely out of puberty.

"And if I say no, what is to stop them from going to Earth on their own and interfering in the plans being laid by Captain Rogers and his team?" Rufus countered calmly, letting her put a little distance between them. "They are angry, and rightfully so, but angry people don't make good decisions. I can wear the anger out of them in a day, love."

She opened her mouth to point out how angry people were often reckless, until he said basically the same thing. "We could lock them up somewhere and not let them out until it's all over," she suggested, though she knew that would only serve to make them angrier.

Rufus raised a brow at her suggestion. "How, then, are we any better than the people who have hurt them, if we take away their right to choose?" he asked her gently. "They are not children, Miranda. Someone they care for was almost killed, and they saw the way it has affected everyone around them. I won't sanction them being a part of the mission that is coming if I do not believe they can do it safely. I will not train them if they cannot take it seriously." He offered her a faint smile. "I may have already intimidated them with a small taste of what they are proposing to do."

She frowned up at him, knowing it was pointless to argue. He had already made his mind up, and so had they, and she couldn't really fault any of them for it. If she'd been in their place, she might have done the same, but she was just a mere mortal with no talent for anything but a pad and paper and sewing machine. "Why do these things have to happen, Rufus? Why can't we all just live in peace?" she asked, knowing there was no real answer to that question.

"If we could eradicate hate, love, we would have the world we wanted," he sighed, drawing her close into his arms again. "I promise you, I will not send them quietly to their deaths. I will prevent them from going if I do not think they are ready. But they have these abilities, and they understand that just having those gifts gives them a greater responsibility to stand up against injustices. I promise they will not enjoy my training, but they will learn from it. Just as Lei did."

She leaned against his chest, the beat of his heart steady beneath her hand, listening to his words. She knew he was right, and she trusted him to do the right thing, but then he had to mention the dead Slayer who had been like a daughter to him - the dead Slayer whose child they were raising. She jerked her head up from his chest to meet his gaze again. "But Lei is ..." She broke off, knowing how much that loss still hurt him - hurt them both. Her chewed at her lower lip, as if to stop it from wobbling.

Rufus' jaw clenched, but he was still calm, still quiet. "Lei lived on borrowed time from the moment she was called," he reminded his wife gently. "She lived longer than any Slayer but one. The only reason she lived so long was because she learned from what I could teach her. But we were only putting off the inevitable goodbye for her. For these young people, their death is not already a foregone conclusion, angel."

"And if they die?" she asked. She knew he would do everything he could to help them stay alive - everything short of following them into battle - but nothing was certain. Then again, life itself was uncertain. One could die crossing the street, and these children - no, young adults - were at least brave enough to face the evil in their world and do what they could to make it a safer place. "I suppose there's no point in arguing," she said, clutching his shirt in her fists.

"A great deal of what they will face depends on the people who place them," he reminded her, just as gently as before. "I do not believe Captain Rogers would put an untried team on the frontlines. They will be frustrated, but if they learn from me, they will do as they are told and understand why things are as they are." He raised his hand, stroking her hair from her face. "It is better than letting them play with abilities they do not understand without forming any kind of cohesion."

She nodded her head, her face buried against his chest. She wasn't sure what she was feeling, exactly - anger that someone had tried to hurt Liv, worry that the young people might not survive, sadness that such evil even existed. And yet, despite all that, she knew Rufus was right and it was very possible he might be their only hope for survival. "You will make sure they are properly prepared? That they know not to do anything stupid?"
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Rufus Bennett
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 92
See this user's pet

5758.04 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"They will hate me by tomorrow evening," he promised her, knowing his training techniques were effective, but not for the faint-hearted. "But they will be prepared. If there is even a chance they are not ready, I will not allow them to go."

"How will you stop them?" she asked, lifting her head to look up at him again, worry clearly etched on her face. It would be hard to stop them if they really were determined to go.

Rufus smiled faintly. "Do you remember school?" he asked her. "How there were some teachers who you would do anything for, just to avoid disappointing them?" His smile widened. "I'm that kind of teacher, Miri. Give me two days to get myself established, and not even Humphrey Granger would do anything I told him not to."

"But this isn't about Humphrey, Rufus. It's about a group of young people who are just starting out in life," she said with a sigh, knowing there was no fighting this. "I trust you. You know I trust you. And I'm proud of who you are. I just don't want to see any of them get hurt."

"They have already been hurt, love," he told her softly. "But we won't allow them to be harmed any further, if we can possibly help it. And just maybe they will be able to do more good together than separately."

"You don't need my permission, Rufus," she pointed out, but this wasn't about permission. It was about not keeping secrets, whether she liked what he was going to do or not. She couldn't argue with the fact that he was right, though. "Why can't they stay little a little bit longer?" she asked, knowing there was no good answer to that question.

He hugged her close, kissing her hair as the clouds above the Grove parted and dispersed, unable to help a faint smile at the sheer speed with which that happened. "I would rather have them old enough to reason with," he mused in amusement. "Four toddlers who can control the elements would make for an exciting babysitting experience."

"Control the elements?" Miranda echoed, her expression quizzical. "I know Fliss has some ability with fire, and Lucas has wings, but that doesn't mean they can control the elements," she pointed out curiously. There was obviously something he wasn't telling her.

"From what I have seen tonight, I would venture to suggest that all four elements are present in their little group," Rufus told her. "Fliss is Fire, obviously; the earthquake was not a natural occurrence. Matt clearly has some control over water if the downpour was any indication, but it was ended by the clouds dispersing, which suggests someone has power over the air itself. They could be formidable."

"Earthquakes?" Miranda echoed again, this time looking more than a little concerned. "What earthquakes? Rufus, what are you talking about?" she asked, clearly confused. If the ground had shaken, she hadn't noticed.

"You didn't feel it?" he countered in surprise. "Angel, why did you think I went out with a crossbow and a flashlight?" The confusion on his face was tempered with affectionate amusement; she'd seen him arm himself with little warning, but hadn't noticed why?

"Well, I hate to tell you this, Rufio, but a crossbow isn't going to be of much use in an earthquake," she teased back, a smirk on her face, not admitting one way or the other if she'd really felt it or not.

He snorted with laughter. "You are a delight, Miri," he assured her, glad to hear he was back to being called "Rufio". That meant she was far less concerned than she had been initially. "I have been manly. Do I get my treat?"

"You are the only man I know who would think to arm himself in the event of a natural disaster." Of course, there had been nothing natural about that earthquake, but that wasn't the point. She walked her fingers up his chest, that smirk still in place. "What treat would that be?" she asked, looking up at him and coyly batting her lashes.

He grinned, an expression that came more and more easily since they had found one another again, leaning down to let his lips tease against hers as he answered. "Getting to make your earth move."

"Do you think you can manage it without your crossbow?" she asked, nipping at his chin, her fingers finding their way beneath his shirt and to gently rake her nails against his back and pull him closer.

"Darling, I think you'll find I am never unarmed in the lists of love," he growled fondly, knees bending just enough to let him tuck her legs about his waist and head into the house. She might still have a few things to say about his proposed training for the young people on the Grove, but right now, he was far more interested in reducing his beautiful wife to an incoherent puddle.

Miranda giggled, seemingly forgiving him for now. "What does that even mean?" she asked, wrapping her arms around his back so that he didn't drop her, her legs already tucked around his waist. She might have forgotten about his proposed training for now, but once she had reduced him to an incoherent puddle, he could be sure she'd be bringing it up again.

She'd certainly be bringing something up, anyway. "It means, oh delight of my life, that you may not be able to string together a full sentence before morning," Rufus teased her, lightly kicking the door closed behind them.

"We'll just see about that ... my love," she replied, accepting the unspoken challenge in his voice. She was not without her own very capable talents when it came to the art of the bedroom.

It was certainly one way to end their interrupted evening. It might not have been magic, but the Bennetts definitely had their own means of making the earth move.
"I'm leaning towards blind panic myself."
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