Archive | September 20, 2015

Character building: Magnolia (a drabble)

Near the end of year 5…

“You didn’t tell me!”

Mike sighed. Over the four years of school – the only four years she was supposed to be here! – Magnolia had gotten used to many of Mike’s sighs. This one, this one was new.

“I told you, Magnolia. I told you last year. I told you the year before. And Professor Pelletier and Professor Solomon told you, too.”

Magnolia leaned against the wall of Mike’s office and blew quiet raspberries. They had, she had to admit. Her classwork wasn’t up to par. She wasn’t paying enough attention in class and she wasn’t doing the homework at all. It was just…

“I didn’t think y’all meant it.” She wasn’t going to cry. That would be ridiculous. but she didn’t bother hiding the little wiggle of her bottom lip. “I mean, I took care of the graduation requirements. You helped… remember?”

She had the not-very-pleasurable pleasure of making Mike flinch. “The problem is, Magnolia, that’s never been the only graduation requirement…”

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Set ~50 years after Addergoole: the Original Series, after the “Retirement” stories.

To her credit, his owner hadn’t said “make yourself useful.”

To his frustration, when she’d said “I want to make use of you,” it hadn’t been anything like what he’d had in mind.

Rozen looked at the class – all girls, all in their teens – and then back at Kailani. “Please tell me you’re kidding.”

“You’re close enough to full strength now.” She had her analytical voice on. She was, however, also smiling. “I’m sure you can handle teaching self-defense.”

“Self-defense. Right.” He looked at the girls. They looked back at him, as uncertain as he felt. “All right. I’ve got this,” he told Kai. “I won’t hurt ’em. You can… go do whatever you do. Dean.”

She hesitated. He saw the moment where she questioned her decision to leave him alone with teenage girls. He wanted to be offended – but he didn’t want her to get into the habit of thinking he was harmless, either.

Rozen turned his back on his owner and studied the girls. “All right. We’re going to start with you showing me what you’ve got. Don’t hold back. I’m hard to hurt.”

Un-slump-me prompt call

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Character building: Eris (a drabble)

Mid year five

They were whispering again. Eris held her glass out to Aviv and waited, patiently enough, while he filled it.

He raised his eyebrows at her, at the way her free hand was drumming on the counter. “Careful. That’s your seventh.”

Eris laughed, although there was no humor in it. “What’s going to happen if I drink too many? You gonna try to grab me?”

“I won’t.” There was never a time when Aviv didn’t look serious. Eris wondered if the tentacles that made up his mouth under his Mask could even make a smile. Today, he sounded serious, too. “But I wouldn’t assume someone else is as smart.”

Eris raised her eyebrows. “Smart? You saying I’m a bad catch?”

He saluted her with a drink, the closest he might ever come to that elusive smile. “I’m saying nobody with half a brain thinks that they’d survive putting a collar on you again. If you didn’t kill them – and you probably would – well, Joff and Rafe aren’t collared anymore. It would be a mess.” He leaned back and sipped his drink, or, at least, held his drink up near his lips and some of it vanished. “I might even get involved.”

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