So, today was interesting.
I got to do some decent exercise after hauling a baby around in my stomach for so long. It was quite frankly exhilarating. Tori and Topaz watched as Thomas practised with me.
He wouldn't let it go though.
“So, who's this Vasquez fella?” he asked, carving an arch with his sword.
I blocked the swing with my own sword and threw him off, “No-one,” I said, sliding down to throw in a kick.
“How can he be no-one?” Thomas jumped, “It's obvious ye know him.”
“Thomas you've been at this since last night!” I got up and sliced down, “Just drop it, okay?”
He parried the blow and rolled to a side, “What're you hidin' from me?”
I sighed, “Stop badgering me.”
Thomas gave me a look, “This is odd,” he said, putting his sword away, “Ye don't hesitate t'tell me things. What's different now?”
“We'll talk later, Thomas, I promise,” I said.
“Is it my turn now?” Topaz asked, jumping up from a bench.
“O' course, Toppy,” Thomas said.
“I'll take her this time round,” I told him.
“Are ye sure? You've a newly born, ye're goin' to exert yourself.”
I scoffed, “I'll be fine, Thomas.”
“Alright, just makin' sure,” he touched my arm and took Topaz's place on the bench.
Topaz took out her two daggers from their sheaths and took her stance - legs apart, crouching low to the ground, “You ready, mumsy?”
I held my sword in my right hand and its sheath in my left, and took up a similar stance, “Bring it, twinkle-stone,” I said.
We circled each other for a while, before Topaz sprung up and her daggers clashed against my sword. I pushed her back, and she dodged a swipe, her blades flashing as they came from a side. I parried the weapons with my sheath and swiped my leg at her feet. Topaz fell to the ground, but came up quickly.
“You need to find a more solid stance,” I told her.
She blew a raspberry at me.
A knock echoed through the gymnasium and I looked at the door.
“John?” I smiled, “Come to join us?”
“No, although thank you for the offer,” he replied with a smile.
“Your father still rambling against learning the 'art of brutes' then?”
John laughed, “Well, you know what my father's like.”
“What is it then? Rebelling, are you?”
“No, Aunt Midnight, I was actually going to tell you that there's a man at the door. I'm not sure who he is.”
“Could be one o' the deckhands or the farmers,” Thomas suggested.
“No... This man...” John rubbed the back of his neck, “He looks like he's been travelling for a while. He's old, and he's wearing really beat robes.”
“Well, you get a lot of old men that travel in weird clothes these days,” I put my weapons away, “Topaz, practice with your father. I'll see who it is.”
I walked up to John and followed him as we walked to the front door.
“Your father is a pain on the arse, John,” I muttered.
“He's only... Erm...”
“He doesn't want you to become independent of him, I've seen it before. He wants a child that will look after him now that he's old - which isn't an all-together bad thing - but it's a little selfish to enforce, if you ask me.”
“I like looking after my father.”
“Well, that's all well and good. Very good, actually. But it's nice to have options, John. And learning to defend yourself isn't exactly a bad thing.”
“Father says what he says because he cares. He doesn't want me to get hurt is all.”
“You're a grown man, John. Your father shouldn't be at all concerned with that. He sends you out to hunt, to chop wood for the fire, to fix things when they're damaged. And those skills are all extremely useful but... having some training under your belt wouldn't hurt. Well, it would - technically - but you'd get passed it quick enough. These are uncertain times... You never know when you might need to pick up a stick and defend yourself, your family. Talk to him, John.”
He nodded slowly, “I'll try.”
“I'll give him an earful as well, if it'll help.”
We made it to the front and the man who had knocked was standing inside now (Edward had opened it). It took a moment. I knew who he was, but we'd never met.
“Mr Kenobi?” I said.
“Ah,” he smiled, “You must be Midnight Shadownight. I've heard so much,” he took my hand, “A pleasure to finally meet you.”
I snatched my hand away and grabbed him by the collar, “There is so much I've been meaning to ask you. Sorry for the over-enthusiasm but I'm sure you can understand,” I pulled him along to my study.