|Scene Title||He's So Pretty|
|Synopsis||As agreed, Scrivner meets up with Dion and Vette to teach them some swordsmanship. Dion arrives with his usual flair.|
Four walls and a floor.
Late in the afternoon on a pleasant Thursday afternoon, Rufus has finished his work at his office a bit early, so he skived off instead of doing some extra paperwork or something equally as dull. The Englishman called Vette to meet him, giving her the location of a recreation centre where he'd laid claim to a practice room for awhile. The practice space has a clear floor with mirrors along the walls, and already changed into looser clothing, he crouches down beside a heavy bag where he's got his gear, wearing black athletic pants and a plain white tee shirt. There are a few face masks, some padded lames and some practice foils.
She danced here once, for practice, so she knew where it was. She comes in dance gear—blue flared sweat pants with a white stripe down the legs, and a white tank top. She comes with her workout bag and takes a swig of water, and she wears soft shoes. "This is a great spot to do this," Vette observes with a smile. "Are you looking forward to teaching?"
"Ah, about as much as I look forward to drilling a hole in my head, I suppose," Rufus drily says, but he looks up with a faint smile for the lady. "But far be it from me to shirk my duty." Standing, he reaches out to take her hand, pulling it away and up to his lips so he can brush a kiss across the knuckles. "How were your classes?"
"I'm thinking about seeing how much I can test out of at the end of the semester," Vette says with a grin. "They were built for mortals. Not godchildren whose brains run on eternal overdrive. But good, for all that. I have worked at letting the other children answer." She winks at him. Can't you just see her with her hand up and waving around, oooh oooh ooh I know this one?
Sitting in the front row, an apple for the professor every single day, a little bit of brown on her nose… Yes, he can see it. Rufus cannot help but smirk more broadly at her grin, and sliding his hand along hers, he takes her by the wrist and lightly spins her about in a circle, only to catch her around the waist with his left arm. "Will that lessen the tuition fees?" he asks, as he sways with her and rests his cheek against the side of her head. "Testing out, I mean."
"Mmmhmm. The fee is for every class credit hour. Not for every credit hour that I manage to get credited for. I'd have to pay for the test, of course, but it's still less expensive than paying for the classes itself." Vette twirls with him, and settles easily with him, happy to cuddle for a moment. "And your day?"
"Duller by the day, but I have been considering sticking with it anyway," Rufus murmurs. He squeezes tightly before he spins her about again, twirling her around the floor as if he were dancing to music. His hand slides about her waist to her lower back, and he takes her hand to lift it before settling into a swift waltz. Round and round in circles he goes with her, talking calmly all the while. "For one thing, it occurred to me that my position allows me to keep tabs on Enrique Victorino and Ash Burrows. Not that I expect they would ever do anything untoward, mind you, but it leaves me vaguely unsettled thinking I'd leave my colleagues alone with them. Secondly, the pay makes it worthwhile. Thirdly, the office grants me resources I would sorely miss, namely contacts."
"All good reasons," Vette agrees with a smile. So far she thinks the Aztec folks are the next best thing to Titanspawn and voted Most Likely to Switch Sides. Maybe the Goddess of Filth just left a bad impression. She kisses his cheek while they dance around together, and says "We're lucky really. The dullness is really just an indicator of how easy it is. We get plenty of excitement that would crush most people."
Perhaps it's the raw brutality of the gods and the suggestion of being only half a heartbeat away from violence that leaves him uneasy. "That we are," Rufus quietly says in agreement, content to twirl her around the open floor space while they wait for the third member of today's lesson. It's not often they get a moment to relax. "What do you think you'll study next? You cannot stop now."
Vette thinks about that. "I think I'd like to increase my knowledge of chemistry and metallurgy as well as building and mechanics. Fortunately there are classes on just about everything. Then there are my lessons with you. I have begun to postulate an entire littlepersonal martial artbased on my dancing based on some Capoyea vidoes I've watched lately. Perhaps it will help me to become a more well rounded fighter. I think I'd like to do some strength training, too. And I need to expand my greater academic awareness."
He cannot help but smirk at that, looking distinctly amused. "Such a long way you've come in only a few months," he murmurs. "I'm quite proud of you, my dear." He leans in to press his lips to her forehead, kissing her gently, before he tightens his arm around her waist and lifts her, spinning her around and around in twirls before setting her back down upon her feet again. "Soon you will be a terrifying force of knowledge."
Vette giggles softly and says, "That's the plan. Really I enjoy learning just about every thing. You seem to be in a good mood. I'm very glad to see it." She reaches up to brush soft fingers across his jawline, then leans in to kiss his cheek and his lips. She smiles at him. "You must have found some good things in that Louie book."
"Ohhhhh, that I have," Rufus says with a broad, vicious, shark-like grin… the sort of grin that puts a glitter in his eyes. He picks her up to twirl her around the floor again, and lightly, he says, "Remind me to tell you all about it over dinner tonight. I'm waiting on a few phone calls regarding that matter. But come to think on it, yes, I am in rather a good mood today. You cannot begin to imagine my relief… We're nearing the end."
"I think I can," Vette points out. "We're in this together, after all." She kisses him again. "But, good. I know it had to have been frustrating prowling those streets night after night without a breakthrough. Will you let me know how all these phone calls and things go?"
"Absolutely." Rufus slows his dance steps and comes to stand in the middle of the floor with the lady, looping his arm around her shoulders. He looks about the room and up onto the wall at the clock, quietly humming in the back of his throat. "Hmm." He turns his eyes back down to Vette, and he smiles, "Do you know what else I shall enjoy?"
"What else will you enjoy?" Vette asks, game to hear this as well. His other student is apparently late, but Vette doesn't seem to mind. They're having a pretty nice time just getting a few minutes to talk to one another. Sometimes in all of the explosions its hard to grab a moment to breathe.
Dion has arrived.
"James' departure from our flat," Rufus says with a broad, toothy grin. "I tell you, my dear, that I will be /so glad/ to be free of a teenager sharing our quiet time." He brushes the backs of his fingers down the lady's own cheek. "No more socks on the floor, no more food mysteriously disappearing when our backs turn, no more finding my stereo system turned to his unbearably loud music. I don't know how his mother ever managed to put up with him." The pair are standing in the middle of a cleared space of flooring, in a recreation centre that has often played host to dance lessons and the like. Rufus has his arm about the lady's waist, and they're standing all close and cosy-like.
Vette laughs softly. "Yes, I must admit I'm looking forward to it as well. He's starting to feel like the household mascot, or a puppy that chews on all of the shoes. Though he seems like a good kid, all things told. I'm sure his Mom would like to have him back as well. Orperhaps given all the listed parametersnot."
Dion is not the stealthy sort, nor does he try. He's more the 'Ta da! Look at me!' sort. For the occasion, he's wearing something… well, it's very much in the fashion of old movies. Not quite as bad as something George Hamilton wore, but still very not subtle. At east he did without the half-cape. It's hard not to look when he appears in the rec centre.
He barks a quiet laugh, Rufus does, and he is just about to lean in to the lady for a kiss when Dion makes his bold, grand entrance. The Englishman stops short and stares over Vette's shoulder, jaw hanging slack and eyes slightly widened. It's not a flattering expression on his face, to be sure. Here the man was wearing a plain white tee shirt and a pair of black athletic trousers himself, nothing at all fancy.
Vette doesn't even notice the problem. "Oh, is this your other student?" She asks, tilting her head to one side and blinking owlishly at him. "Rufus, are you okay? You look like you swallowed something the wrong way." Clothes, what? Now if Dion had showed up in body paint or something, that would have excited comment.
There is no sign at all that Dion is embarrassed by his fashion choice. He stands proud and as tall as he's able as he walks towards the pair. "Mr. Scrivner." he says with a smile, in his gentle voice.
"Nothing, my dear, save that I think I felt something burst," Rufus says quietly, in a mutter. "In my brain." He rests his hands upon Vette's shoulders and gently turns her so that she faces the young man. "Good day to you, Dion," he says, as he struggles to regain his composure. "I would very much like for you to meet Miss Vette Adams, daughter of Hephaestus. Vette, this is Dion, son of Dionysus. Since you are both just beginning in your lessons, I intend for you to be sparring partners this afternoon."
"It is nice to meet you, Dion. Oh wow, you were named after your Dad weren't you?" As if this is just such a startling revelation. "I think you must have inherited his fashion sense—well wait, that rather makes you my cousin, doesn't it? Well goodness. It's nice to meet you." She's said that already, but Vette doesn't seem to notice.
Dion turns his smile then on Vette, seeming oblivious to any pain or aneurism he's causing Rufus. "It's nice to meet you too, Miss Adams." he replies, offering his hand. It is very nicely manicured and if taken, kept properly moisturized. "I was, yes. He named me before giving me to my grandparents." he replies, then smiles more brightly. "We're cousins, yes. I actually met your sister yesterday. Erasma?"
Mention of Erasma gets a little smile out of Rufus, but he remains otherwise silent to let the cousins meet and exchange a few words. He pats Vette upon the shoulder and then steps away, walking over to a wall of the room to crouch down beside a big, heavy duffel bag full of gear he's brought for the lesson. He draws out a couple of masks and lames, and while the two are distracted with each other, he sighs and shakes his head. Bloody nancy boy.
Vette smiles and nods. "Isn't Erasma cool?" And then, suddenly, she seizes his hand and holds it up. "My goodness. How did you get such a great manicure?" Vette's hands don't even look that good. She wants to know Dion's secrets. Poor Rufus.
With a quiet chuckle, Dion replies with a light shrug "She's not allowed to be 'cool', Miss Adams. She works at my school. I'm obligated to feel repressed by her, I believe." He's obviously joking, though. When she praises his anicure, he brightens right up. "There is the most divine shop near my house in Queens." Queens. Anyone wanna take that one? Rufus? "They do wonders. Of course, I do have a strict moisturizing regimin that I follow daily, to maintain it."
Oh, now making a remark about Queens would just be too easy. Rufus actually leans forward and beats his forehead into the wall a couple of times. Put the two beginners together, his inner voice said. It would be a spectacular idea, his inner voice said. Eugh. He clears his throat as he sweeps up the gear and smoothly stands, turning on the ball of his foot. "Ladies," he says briskly, "if you please. We should begin our lesson while we've time. Prattling about manicures and moisturisers and all other such things horrifying may wait till after. Here… put these on. Over your clothes, if you please."
Vette takes the items and puts them on, blinking at Rufus as if wondering what could /possibly/ be horrifying about moisturizer? He seems to like the effects of her beauty regime, after all. But she doesn't comment, simply bows to him while he has his Moment.
Dion does not look offended at being called a lady. One might imagine he also has to think before choosing which restroom to use at school. He too seems perplexed by what might frighten someone about a good skin care regimin, and there's a brief look of confusion. And then he has to put on the accoutrements of the sport and there's a sigh of simple acceptance. However, he's not going easily in that good ni- er, that helmet. He reaches into his shoulder bag, and takes out a scarf to wrap about his hair carefully before even trying the helmet.
Rufus finds himself staring at Dion for a moment like he's not sure what to make of this boy. He blinks once, then he mentally kicks himself. Just get on with it, get the work finished, chin up and all that. He clears his throat before he briefly turns away, pulling out a couple of fencing foils that he hands over to both Vette and Dion. He also takes up one for himself. "Now then. We'll start with the very basics, covering stances, lunges and parries. Whilst its true fencing is a gentlemen's sport these days, with a real rapier in your hand, you can do some true damage."
Now Vette is paying attention (and she let her hair get messy). She tilts her head at Rufus, but there's an intensity about her. Vette: Sponge 'o Knowledge, is in the House.
Dion is fastidious in making sure his hair is as secured as possible, then puts on the helmet. He does look absolutely put-upon over having to wear it, but clearly he's accepted the necessity. He accepts the foil then, and studies it for a moment with great curiosity as he listens to Rufus.
Rufus decides not to comment upon Dion's fussing over his hair. It helps, in a lot of ways, to just think of him as a very, very flat-chested, narrow-hipped and unattractive girl. "First, we'll go through some simple exercises and stances to warm up. Follow my lead…" And here, the man firmly nudges the two to stand next to each other, and he begins with the very basics. How to stand, how to hold one's weight upon the feet, lunges and thrusts. He moves slowly and easily through it, demonstrating alongside them, deepening lunges to stretch out the leg muscles and the like.
Vette moves like a dancer becoming a fencerwith fluid grace. As usual, she picks things up quickly. She only really needs to be shown something once to be able to get itand this plays on two of her natural strengths. The practical applcation may not be awesome yet, but she gets the technique just fine.
Dion is NOT an unattractive girl. That may be part of the problem. He, too, moves like a dancer becoming a fencer, showing yet another thing that he and Vette have in common. He's exceptional, especially for his age, and limber.
By the time twenty minutes has passed and both of his students have proven themselves exceptionally agile and quick of mind, Rufus moves on. Basic techniques still, featuring lunges, parries, and how to move across the floor. By the time forty minutes have passed, he steps back, nodding his head in satisfaction. Their progress is enough to have helped him forget how brain-breaky their initial conversation was. "Excellent," he says briskly. "For the last half hour of our lesson, we'll work on incorporating these moves into actual sparring. Any questions so far?"
"None here," Vette chirps cheerfully. She shakes out her legs, ready to attempt the spar. She stretches her arms far above her head though, to work the kinks out from the somewhat unfamiliar movements.
Dion really is talented, though all his movements do seem more of a dance than anything that might easily become a fighting style. He smiles brightly to the praise, then Rufus makes the mistake of asking for questions. With a perfectly straight face, he says "I wasn't sure what to wear for my lesson, so I went conservative." Yes. That's conservative. "I do have an absolutely darking little half-cape at home. Would that be too much?"
There isn't a wall nearby for Rufus to start beating his head into. He stares at Dion for the span of several heartbeats, trying not to imagine what the kid would look like if he decided to dress /up/ for a lesson. "That… would be just a bit much, yes," he finally says, trying to cover the pain with briskness. "In actuality, Dion, dressing the way that I have would be sufficient. We are not here to impress each other with appearance. We are here to work. Come now… Face each other. We'll move at half speed at first till you have a feeling for the moves, then we'll speed it up."
Vette faces Dion and gives a little salute with the sword, then sort of waits for Dion to move first. She's only aggressive against skeery things. Dion is most certainly not scary! And she's trying to be polite.
Dion purses his lips as he looks over what Rufus is wearing. Clearly, THAT will never happen. "Every moment of our lives is an opportunity for fashion, Mr. Scrivner. I'd feel I was letting myself down." Then, he turns towards Vette and returns her salute. He's not exactly the most aggressive either, against anything. He waits, too.
The /pain./ Somehow Rufus manages to keep from screaming with it. Years of repression are a life-saver sometimes. Drawing in a deep breath, and seeing that neither of his students are aggressive enough to actually come forward at each other first, he idly contemplates just pushing them together and seeing what happens. "Miss Adams, if you will please make the first move," he says. If they can't decide, he will.
Vette comes forward with a simple, graceful lunge for the chest region. Since he said to move at half speed she does, not actively trying to score a hit so much as she's just trying to get the moves right. "Like that?"
The lunge isn't really a surprise, given Vette had just been told to do so. Dion steps back and taps his blade against hers, then looks like he has The Most Amazing idea. "Know what I'd LOVE to do when we're better at the movements?" Likely, the answer would only damage Rufus further. If he's unlucky though, Vette will ask.
He's afraid to know. He really is. "Yes, just like that, Vette," he says with a nod. "Keep going." Then Rufus' pale eyes flicker over to Dion, watching him rather warily. He can think of a whole host of things that would not be enjoyable at all.
"What?" Vette asks, lunging forward again. She seems comfortable with pressing the offense, at least, even if she's still going at that promised half speed. She aims a little lower though. However, she does not get below the belt. But oh yes. She just /had/ to ask.
Dion steps back again, when she moves forward again. There may not be a violent bone in the boy's body. Not one that's easily accessed, anyway. "We should choreograph and costume a fight. I can think of so many ways to incorporate fencing and dance, and you're obviously also a dancer. It would be absolutely fabulous. We'd record it, of course. Youtube is optional."
Yes, he was afraid of this. Rufus slowly lifts his eyes to the ceiling and sighs, his hands tucked behind his back and the tip of his own fencing foil lightly tap-tap-tapping the ground. He opens them again and tilts his head at an angle towards Vette, watching the lady and the androgynous one having their spar. "Dion, press an attack," he says quietly but firmly. "You are not going to hurt her, and she must learn to defend herself as well." He's just /not/ going to touch on the topic of this choreography.
Vette's eyes light up though. She obviously thinks this is a /fine/ idea. "I think we really must!" Between saving the world and such, everybody needs a hobby. "I haven't gotten to perform in so long." She attacks again though—Dion, she figures, is going to have to figure out how to press an attack around her attack.
Dion's exuberence bubbles further, when it meets Vette's. "I have SO many ideas. It'll have to wait until we're better, of course. It'll be incredible, though." Meanwhile, when told to press he does so, though hesitently. And it's more than a little messy when it comes into contact with Vette's attack.
Oh, God. /She/ thinks it's a great idea. Rufus only just manages not to roll his eyes as he watches the students going after each other, and he decides to save his breath for critiquing their performance. "Control, Dion," he says firmly, his voice low and brisk. "Concentrate on what you're doing. Again, do not be afraid to attack."
Vette knocks the attack gently aside and then lunges again, her steps quick and light. At least (mercifully?) she decides to stop prating on about YouTube and choreography. "Its different than I expected. There were a lot more slashes in Zorro." Perhaps not less painful discussion, mind.
Dion, too, seems to have had mercy on Rufus and focuses instead on trying to learn something. Mostly. "I know. A little disappointing really. I love those swordfights in the old movies." He does try, though it doesn't come naturally to him.
They're doing fairly good though… well, for beginners. It's only the first lesson, and Rufus expected them to more or less proceed at this clip. He watches for awhile, letting them go back and forth, back and forth, to get a feel for the weapons and a feel for the movements in a mock battle. But after awhile, he does glance up at the clock, and he calls out, "All right. I think that's enough for one day."
Vette stops and smiles, pulling off her helmet. "Thank you, Rufus. That was a very fun lesson. I enjoyed it quite a bit." So oblivious to the headache that their fashion, choreography, and theatre talk gave him. So, so oblivious.
Dion can't get his helmet off quickly enough, and immediately after he removes the scarf as well he takes a soft-bristled brush and a handmirror from his bag to survey and try to contain the damage somewhat. It's not too awful, really. The scarf helped. He still seems to be trying to hide his abject horror. "Yes, thank you, Mr. Scrivner. I appreciate you taking the time to try to help me with this." He, too, seems oblivious.
The Englishman draws in a deep, deeeeeep breath and exhales it, looking momentarily exhausted. "My pleasure," he says, once he's kicked himself a few times mentally-speaking. "Ideally, I should like to hold lessons once a week. You are, of course, free to practise and spar whenever you get a chance, with whomever you wish. Any more often is not really feasible with my schedule, unless I get exceptionally lucky. I usually don't. Any last questions for the pair of you?"
Vette shakes her head from side to side. She certainly has access to Rufus if she wants to ask more than that, or to do any sparring if she wants to do it more. So she'll let Dion speak, if he has anything.
There's a pause that might terrify Rufus. Who knows what will come out of the young man's mouth, after all. Finally though, he shakes his head. "I can't thnk of anything at the moment, no." Thank heaven for small mercies?"
Thank heaven indeed. Rufus inclines his head to both, but then he holds out his hands to Dion. He wants his gear back. "It was a pleasure then, Dion. You're a very attentive pupil." And not as annoying as some of his other peers, but he won't say so aloud.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.