1996-03-07B: Punches And Parallax

Participants:

Jethro_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif Snape_icon.gif

Scene Title Punches and Parallax
Synopsis Severus and Siobhan meet Jethro in the Room of Requirement to spar. Discussion of a more intense variety occurs.
Location Hogwarts: Room of Requirement
Date Mar 03, 1996
Watch For Jethro gets knocked on his ass. Severus and Sio discuss identity.
Logger Snape

Schedules got shifted - as they are wont to do in any environment as volatile as a boarding school - and instead of Wednesday night, it's Thursday evening that sees Siobhan inside the Room of Requirement. It's set up as if for the MA today, complete with the 'ballet studio on steroids' look. She's been here over an hour, now - having used the time to stretch and work on a few things of her own before the boys show up. Just now, she has her enchanted Victrola playing a record of an old orchestral set. Though she has no fan and wears only the leggings and camisole she usually stretches in, Siobhan manages a decent rendition of the opening solo steps of Dom Quixote. Her movements are slower than the dance prescribes, but her focus is more on extension and balance as she moves through the seemingly basic steps and bends. Each motion is stretched higher and extended longer, her breathing slow and steady as she works on core strength through familiar steps. She is no prima dona, but still there's something elegant in the grace with which she executes each sweeping motion.

Severus enters the room, having kept his long black robes on until he arrived at his destination. He shucks them, and underneath, wears a white teeshirt and black pants. The pants are soft cotton, but not exactly nice trousers or sweats. More like the bottom of a gi or something similar. It's uncertain where he's found these, or whether he's transfigured them for the occasion. He enters, pausing in the doorway to watch his mate in motion, appreciating her movements as well as the form that moves.

When Severus stops in the doorway, Jethro runs into his back. "Snape. Move your ass, or get run over." Ignoring the professor's rolled eyes, he steps into the room around the man, and watches Siobhan move for a few moments himself. "Good for upper body strength, Sio." Who knows what brought on the use of her nickname, but it's there. "You know any stretches?" This is directed to Snape.

There are some times where Siobhan finds her magic's draw to her mate quite useful. It makes it much harder to sneak up on her, for one. And right in the middle of mid-air, front-back splits is really not when one wants to be surprised. That sense of presence allows her to continue without interruption, land on her right foot and lean forward slightly, holding her left leg straight back for a long moment before rotating her hip and bending at the knee until the bottom of her bare foot rests against the back of her other thigh. It is while holding this pose that she finally lets her gaze fall on her two companions, accompanied by a bright grin. "Upper body strength, lower body strength, core strength, balance, coordination and positional awareness." It's a list of the things her odd little hobby works on. "I took ballet and gymnastics as a kid, but this," she gestures toward the room and what she's doing now, "is all Moody's fault." Puzzle that one out, guys. There's just a brief moment where she lets herself take slow, appreciative stock of her mate once again in Muggle clothing, then it's back to the task at hand. Focus is good! A flick of her wrist silences the strains of vaguely tango-esque music and she lowers herself to stand on both feet, simply watching for the present.

Severus makes an unexpected 'oomph' sound as Jethro runs into him. He scowls at him, rolling his eyes at the comments the man makes. "I know a few from child's football." He was 'encouraged' to play as a primary school student, and learned a little about movement from it. "I do not believe you know it as football. It is 'soccer', to you, correct?" Severus turns to watch Siobhan again, then smirks. "It appears to affect your flexibility as well, does it not?" He really appreciates that. He steps into the room, moving to a corner to wait for instruction from either one of them on the 'stretches' they do, whether it merely be them going through the motions, or whether they explain.

"Know what you meant." It's not a snark to the younger man, but Jethro does roll his own eyes. He moves to his own space and begins stretching, making sure that Severus' copied movements are appropriate — that they actually do stretch the muscles. He corrects him verbally a little here and there. Things like, "Stretch that right leg forward a little more… there," make sure that the professor will truly be stretched and not harm himself when they begin working on the actual hand-to-hand.

"Flexibility. Yeah, that too." Siobhan is glad that they've each kind of moved to their own corners of the room. It means she can fold herself to sit on the floor and move through the stretches while hiding the fact that her cheeks are quite a bit pinker than they were a moment ago. Ahem. She's not bending until she feels the stretch the way she normally does - she's already been working and to do so would over-stretch the muscles and increase the chance of injury - but she is following along with their motions. And yes, judging by the way her body bends almost flat against the floor with each new fold and stretch - it does improve her flexibility, thanks.

The stretches are mostly similar. Others remind him of some of the stretches the Seekers would do to try to reach the Snitch just a little more. He follows fairly easily, keeping his focus divided between the other two people in the room. One, he watches for instruction, the other for pleasure.

Jethro snorts at her comment, glancing over at her quickly before returning to watching Snape move. "Probably enough for now. You wanna show him what you've got?" He gestures to Sio and the space in the middle which seems to be covered with mats that soften any knocks to the ass. Of which there will be a few, for sure.

"Sure, alright." Mindful of the teasing jibes she's made to her mate about Jethro's obsession with knocking her flat on her back - and arse - Siobhan stands and pads across to the mats. Cracking her neck twice - and damn if that doesn't feel better, now - she changes the way she stands. It's a subtle shift, one that most couldn't notice without a trained eye. Her weight is no longer on her heels and arches, but centered on the balls of her feet without lifting the heels. Her knees are slightly bent and her torso leans slightly forward, but despite all of this, she doesn't move or bounce the way she used to. Not yet, anyway. She wants to see if she can do without them; it's a waste of energy. "You gonna show him how to stand or you ready, boss-man?" There's a lopsided and wolfish grin that goes with that question. She's been working hard on getting back into form since her rescue and she wants a chance to see where her work - combined with the help from blending magics - has gotten her.

Severus crosses his arms and watches, unsure of whether he likes this man sparring with his lady. However, he keeps silent, eyes narrowed as Jethro moves toward her and assumes a similar position.

Jethro does decide to explain a little about why they stand the way they do. "Limbs loose and open, center of gravity a little forward, but negotiable. That way you've got room to do…" And Jethro moves, punching out toward Siobhan, expecting her to respond in kind. There's a rhythm to their sparring. It might be a bit different after her recent experiences, but they'll fall into it fairly quickly.

The fact that Jethro takes the time to explain means that Siobhan knows what he's going to do way before he actually does it. It means she gets to look a lot better at this than she actually is, which is kind of cool. When he punches out toward her, Siobhan moves to one side quicker than a blink. Weight on the balls of her feet means that she can move fast, especially since she doesn't need to move far. Just far enough, in fact, to let his punch hit empty air where she used to be, and the way she turns when she side-steps the blow lets her deliver a sharp one of her own to his closest shoulderblade as his motion carries him past her. It should - in theory - add enough force to his forward motion to knock him off balance and open him up for a simple hold. She's never quite that lucky, but at least she executes the maneuver correctly.

She does the maneuver correctly, and Jethro moves out of the way just in time. "Good one, Sio," he compliments, executing a move of his own. He slides one foot forward and lifts the other to attempt to catch her leg. He's still moving more slowly than he usually might, partially to gauge where she is, and partially to show Severus the move.

Severus watches the two of them spar, his tension lessening slightly. She is better at this than he expected, and that's a very good thing. He smirks when she nearly hits Jethro and leans forward a little when Jethro's sweep kick heads her way. It's starting to become clearer why he needs to learn this kind of thing. Most wizards and witches would be utterly surprised and unprepared for a physical attack like this one.

That slower motion means the signals in the torso for each movement are more clearly telegraphed. Even so, the sudden switch from high to low surprises her. It's enough so that she follows instinct instead of the response he'd trained her to use. Leg sweeping at her means she jumps backward, her body bending into a back handspring that - while it does get her away from his sweeping kick - startles her enough that she doesn't manage to stick the landing and ends up on her arse anyway. "Er, sorry Jet. Didn't think about it fast enough." And gymnastics responses go back years further than sparring ones.

"Moved outta the way," Jethro replies, eyebrows quirked, somewhat surprised at the response. "Does as well as an attack sometimes." He leans forward, offering her the hand up and then stands in place again. It's her turn to 'attack' should she choose to. If she doesn't shortly, he will again.

"It is often of more value to run than to press forward." The professor in Severus has something to say about it. It's pretty similar to what Jethro was saying, but there's a slight difference. He watches their moves with interest, seeing the interplay between them, and trying to draw what he can from it.

Siobhan takes the offered hand and stands again, brushing her palms off on the outsides of her thighs. She rolls her neck and shoulders, trying to rid herself of the tense ache running up the left side of her neck. Partially successful, she moves swiftly into Jethro's space. Punch flies after jab, keeping him on the defensive as she continues to move into his space, never letting him have a break, but never throwing too much of her body into one blow - it lets her watch his defenses, trying to find a loophole in them. Even with all her hard work, Siobhan is … kind of amazed at the ease with which her body falls back into these kinds of movements. Something feels too easy to a snake, it throws them off balance - sometimes literally. This time it means that she misses one good opening and then throws too much of her weight behind the next swing. It opens her up for any one of several hip throws, but it's too late to correct herself now.

Jethro grabs the first opportunity for a hip throw. He's been on the defensive for a few moments, and when she slips up, she slips up big time. He throws her, her body falling down on the cushioned floor again. "Somethin' on your mind, Noble?" He offers the hand again, ready to continue sparring. It's his turn to go on the offensive. He throws a series of punches, not full-force punches, but light jabs, changing patterns two or three times to try to keep her off guard. However, there is a moment when he, too leaves himself open. Not intentionally, of course, but every fighter who focuses purely on offensive moves leaves himself open for attack. He continues to jab, landing them mostly on her torso and arms.

When Jethro knocks Siobhan on her ass, Severus is stepping forward. However, he reaches out to her and pulls her up, and Sio seems none the worse for wear. He tilts his head, watching the man punch, noticing his movements are less than full power. Severus crosses his arms again, waiting and watching until he's the one being thrown around.

Thanks for the offer, but Siobhan doesn't need the hand this time. Hip throws she knows and is comfortable with. It's no effort at all to tuck herself inwards and take the fall on her shoulder, rolling to her feet. She's on the defensive now, maintaining the blocks against him with as little extraneous movement as possible. These movements are almost rote and so she can devote a surprising amount of focus to watching him for an opening. There. Grabbing his wrist on the off-balance shot, she twists her torso and yanks him forward like she's going to pull him over her hip, only to release her hold and slam her elbow down against his back. Panting heavily, she steps away and wipes her forehead with one arm, looking a little shell-shocked before remembering herself and turning to offer him the hand up this time. "That," she pants, looking to her instructor with concern and confusion. "That should not have felt that easy."

"Damn. Good shot." Jethro takes her hand and hops up fairly easily. "Muscle memory. Maybe that magic crap's makin' it easier." He looks over at Snape for a moment, considering. "Dunno about the affects of that kinda thing." He's not exactly clear as to which 'kinda thing' he's referring to. The wandless magic, the bonding, or the healing from her wounds. "Wanna show him somma the basics?" He grins, remembering some of the basic moves he showed her. Turning his attention to Severus, he demonstrates. "Not just about gettin' them in the face or knockin' 'em on their ass. It's about keepin' yourself movin', about stayin' on your feet and doin' what you can to protect yourself and the people you care about." He shows a couple of basic punches, just into the air, for Severus' benefit.

Severus moves over to copy Jethro's movements, considering all that Siobhan and Jethro have said. "Perhaps there is the elemnent of fine control you inherit from my magic." Unlike rays of sunshine which land wherever they will, streams of water can fill tiny little cracks. When wielded by someone with the kind of control Severus has had to maintain, they can be very effective at many things.

Siobhan's brow furrows and she considers the presented angles. "Maybe," she'll concede. "It definitely feels like I don't have to … think about things as much, like everything's organized and filed in its place and … almost does itself." Which is a bizarre but not unwelcome change. She glances toward her mate with a nod. "That sounds like your kind of control, to me." So there might be something to his theory. "I guess if you manage to knock Jet on his arse with one blow to the chest, we'll know you got my 'oomph'." Since that's what started this whole thing in the first place. Moving in closer to her mate, Siobhan can't suppress a wicked grin and catches his eye just for the briefest of instants. If you fight as good as you fuck, this is going to be fun. It's a quick flash pressed into his mind, but just as swiftly she's gone and glancing to Jethro before shifting into a fight-ready stance and looking back to Severus. "You ready?"

Jethro snorts, listening to the theory. "Hinky, but makes sense." He shows a few more kicks and punches, falling into a rhythm of moves that is one of the core patterns of semper fu. Since it appears that Severus picks up things fairly well by observation and a little experience, he continues, making the 'katas' more and more complex as he goes. The other man will probably not pick it all up in one time, but he may pick up more than most will.

Severus looks smug, feeling good that some of his strengths are shared with his mate. However, when she catches his eye and speaks into his mind, his smug expression is gone. Instead, his eyes narrow, lips thin, and his reply comes quickly. Perhaps, one will improve the other. Shall we see? The game the two of them play is extremely amusing to him. He turns to watch Jethro's moves, seeming to catalogue patterns in the movements that make up the whole.

Unwilling to let her mate's steep learning curve give him a complete advantage, Siobhan takes another step into his space and catches his eye again. Oh yes, please. This game of theirs is fun to more than just him. Leading with one foot, she lets her torso and shoulder telegraph the swing before she makes it - high and sharp toward his rib-cage. After all, it's always best to start at the bottom and work up.

When the two professors get close enough to start sparring, Jethro steps back, hands on his hips, watching closely. He smirks at Siobhan's movements. "Might not be the same sparrin' with her. Already know more than you would with most." He snorts and then falls silent, content to watch the two of them spar and offer pointers from time to time.

Surprised by her punch at first, Severus drops his hand. He nearly catches her hand, but misses, so the blow lands. He steps back a little, though, so it doesn't carry all the force she put behind it. With a tilt of his head that telegraphs his own recall of Jethro's moves, he swings his other arm, straight, but not completely full of power, heading for her ribs near her elbow.

Siobhan is ready and quick. Dropping her arm, she uses her forearm to push down on his as he swings in, spinning her arm counter-clockwise to catch his in the bend of her elbow. She's not strong enough to hold him there long and she knows it, so instead she grins - enjoying the nearness of him even this way - and brings her knee up to hit him lightly in the stomach before straightening her arm and stepping back. She wants to show him the counters to each move, not actually hurt him. "If you're not careful, your torso will give away every move you make before you make it." It's like Legillimency of the body. "Try not to think before you act. Think as you act. Otherwise your shoulders and hips will tell me what you're going to do." Which she knows might be a challenge for this very pre-meditated man.

"Got a point, Snape." Jethro points at Siobhan. "Get into a rhythm, then break it." He demonstrates by executing one of the forms, and then twisting out of it and throwing an off-kilter punch that would land in a completely different space. "Thinker like you needs to use that busy time t' make the decisions, but gotta learn t' make 'em quick." He considers the man's profession. "Get used t' all the ingredients, then you can mix and match 'em at will. Kicks, punches, throws, dodges, weaves…" He shrugs.

Severus considers the advice he's being given, then he pulls his arm back and out of her hold. "I am loathe to move too quickly before I am certain, but I also see that I will not be certain until I have moved quickly." He throws a few punches, not toward his mate, but just in the space between them. "I saw a fight or two as a child; I am wondering if the moves are similar." He doesn't specify why or where he watched men fighting.

Siobhan doesn't ask about specificity. She's spent enough time with Eileen - heard enough stories of Tobias Snape - that she doesn't want to know. She can guess, and that's bad enough to bring thunder into her expression. It's not aimed at Severus, but for him. Stepping around his punches and into his space, Siobhan lowers her voice, pitching it for his ears alone. "You know how when you're young, everyone talks about, reads about, writes about, draws about, thinks about sex to the point of near obsession?" She keeps stepping, forcing him to step back or deal with an armful of mate - she's banking on the fact that Jethro's here to keep her mate stepping back. "And after all that study you think you finally understand it, right up until it actually happens and you realize you knew absolutely nothing at all?" Cue the wicked grin. "This is exactly like that." Maybe later she'll realize that she just equated her lessons with Jethro to dalliances of an entirely different sort. Right now she's trying to slither her way through her mate's own nature to make this click for him. "So relax, take a deep breath and trust me. You won't understand it until you do it." And shifting again into a fighting-ready stance, she takes a step back and swings again - this time with no hints beforehand.

Jethro is amused. He watches the two of them, and snorts. He decides the two of them need the time to figure this out, so he moves a little further away and sits down to do a few sit ups while they spar. He can still see and hear what's going on and he can definitely make himself known if something goes awry, but the illusion of space might do the two of them more good than his hovering presence.

Severus smirks at his mate's words. He does continue to step back, knowing that now is the time to learn this discipline. Later, he can wrangle with her in a different manner. "I recall." For them, many of the children rotating through their classrooms are in that phase right now. "I trust you implicitly." He catches her eye, and the endearment slips between them without much of an effort. My Bright One. As she is still moving, he is trying to mirror her movements, to block her punches. It is slowly coming to him, but he still hasn't let go entirely. "My own responses, I am not as certain of." He doesn't want to accidentally hurt her badly.

Proooobably a good idea, Jethro. Siobhan is rather a bit absorbed in this small part of her world right now. She doesn't ever stop, never letting him rest. It's all about pushing him out of that tight control. It's always about pushing him out of the tight control he holds onto - of his mind, his body and his heart. "You could never," she assures him quietly and then takes a gamble with a whisper. "You're not your father." Adding a kick into the mix, she keeps pushing him back, keeping him on the defensive. After everything we've experienced, you still doubt this?

When one is taught one method of brewing, it takes a very long while to adapt to another. Severus' reply is quick. The rhythm he falls into of dodging and steping back forward, lightly punching and trying to block her punches seems to work. Though whenher words about Tobias sink in, he pauses, long enough for a punch or two to connect. "I fear enough of his inadvertent education remains within me." He steps forward, keeping the rhythm going, and then, as Jethro suggested earlier, he switches just a little, throwing a punch toward where her next punch leaves an opening.

She can't really fault him on that logic. Then I'll simply have to repeat the lesson until it sticks. Because she's not going anywhere. Not now, not ever. She sees the faltering that has her landing two square hits to his ribs and she pauses, watching him carefully. His response makes her mad. No, it makes her furious. It's enough that she doesn't even really register the fact that he takes the opening. She simply weaves her body to the left and then presses onward. "Don't you even dare," she snarls. Now she's mad at him. "I have been beaten up, drugged up, shoved around, called worse than filth, used to the point of pain and then kicked out of bed like a common whore," she hisses, righteous anger lending itself to her natural speed and dexterity. "All by someone who still had the audacity to say 'I love you'. Do you think that if I saw even a shadow of that in you that I would have anything to do with you?" Breaking up her pattern with another kick from the side, she pulls back into herself and gets right up In His Space. "Do you?"

As the two lovers' words are quiet, Jethro isn't listening. In fact, he's intentionally not paying attention to what they're saying. Not his problem. However, he's seen that look on Siobhan's face before, and when she starts swinging with intent, he pauses in his calisthenics to call out to her. However, something holds him back. Instead, he stands again, watching to make sure the two of them don't really injure each other.

Severus is willing to listen to the lessons she gives, because she is a good teacher, and because they make sense. They are things no one else has bothered to clearly teach him. When she gets angry, he listens to her words, the content of them making him mad for her, for having to endure all that. From somewhere, something clicks in him, and he holds up his hands, blocking her blows, seeming to see them as she throws them. It may just be that they are so linked, or it may be that he's picked up something. Either way, fewer blows land. However, because they are real blows now, and not pulled punches, they also hurt worse. When she gets right in close to his face, he inhales, wrapping an arm around her, and pulling her in, chaparone be dammed. "Fears are by their very nature irrational," he says, knowing that's not all he intends to say. "For so long, it has been the fear of falling that has kept me aloft." The fact that he doesn't have to be afraid of becoming someone he hates — that's another revelation. They keep stacking up like so much cordwood, and if he's not careful, everything he knows may fall, shattering hard. "I said once that my greatest fear was to find myself the object of a curse from one of my masters." That fear came true. "You ameliorated …" He lets her go, stepping back, moving to pace several steps away from her. "This is a far older, deeper fear. I cannot imagine my identity without it." Much like the mark on his arm. After you carry such things for long enough, they become a part of who you are. "You are assisting me in changing my core identity. I am not displeased, but it is extremely unnerving."

Pulled in, held and then released, Siobhan is not afraid. She does, however, recognize the signs of stress in the pacing and the phrasing. Glancing over to where she knows their watchful companion is, she catches his eye and jerks her head toward the door. The two of them have been circling this since she came back and it's better for everyone if there's no chance of fallout beyond the two of them. She will wait until the door is shut behind him before she speaks again. She lets Severus have that distance he put between them, but she paces outside of it. "I wasn't about to let him kill you, not even in that state." She is unapologetic about her actions, but also strangely defensive. She's been struggling with the fact that she's taken a life, now. "And your core identity is the same as its been as long as I've known you." Holding up the fingers on one hand, she ticks each item off the 'list' as she mentions it. "Protective, controlled, wickedly clever, sarcastic, grumpy, snarky, intelligent, vindictive and brave. None of those things have changed. I hope to Circe none of them ever change, because that's who I love." And, having stated her case, she falls silent, watching him with the intensity of a hunting wild thing.

Jethro catches Siobhan's nod and nods back, heading out the door. This has become something more than simple sparring, and he's really not needed here. He steps out of the room, flicking his wand to change his clothes from the sweaty exercise wear to the simple robes he's taken to wearing while patroling in the castle.

"For which, My Own," Severus replies, not even seeming to notice that Jethro has gone. "For which, I shall be grateful. I am less than pleased that you had to experience that yourself, but much as I would do for you, I understand your action." He wanted to protect her from having to kill as well. However, he is very glad to still be alive. "Your view of me is, as I have often said, much fairer and more pleasant than my own." He stops pacing, turning to face her. "Things which I had believed — in my very core — to be true of myself are proving to be either false, or less than complete. It is a natural process, I am aware, but it is not always pain free." Losing some of the things he considers part of his basic identity may be good, but often, the process is as painful as hell. "And my wise, bright, just, curious, beautiful mate, I love you as well." There are many more good things he knows of her, but those are the ones that come to mind immediately. He steps forward, needing the reassurance of her familiar touch. He doesn't actually reach out just yet, seeming to need a moment between where his mind is now and where he wants to be: enjoying the comfort of her arms.

"We always see other people better than we see ourselves. It's part of the reason no one ever survives indefinitely when completely on their own - not with their sanity intact." Siobhan's voice is soft. He's talking, he's listening; there's no need to pick a fight. "You only believed those things for so long because you spent that long without allowing anyone close enough to point out that you're wrong." She's firm on this score. "And I know you don't hear this often, but you are wrong about some things, Severus. Namely these things you say make up your core." When he steps forward but can't quite reach out, Siobhan bridges that gap for them both, raising one hand to cup his jaw. Her thumb trails softly over his cheek and her free arm wraps around his waist, the simple touches soothing them both. "I haven't changed anything, mo chridhe. You're still the man you always have been. You're just seeing him without the distortion of a mirror."

When she steps close, whatever was preventing him seems to disappear. He wraps his arms completely around her, embracing her closely. "Perhaps, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me." He does listen, taking in every word she says with the observational skills that have kept him alive She is not lying. She wholeheartedly believes every word she speaks. This says much to him. He holds her close, letting their magics twine again. "One who is on the outside can only see the outer layer of a person," he begins, thinking about whether this really refutes her words, or proves them even more. "However, I have allowed you further into my heart and my very mind than anyone I know."

Siobhan melts into that embrace, relaxing against him in that way only his touch ever elicits. His first admission makes her shiver, but she can accept his logic - with a caveat. "So far." She can accept that it's been the best thing so far. "People on the outside see a lot more than you'd like to think, love." Her thumb rubs soothing circles over his cheek and the curve of his jaw. "Even at arms length, I saw enough to like, trust and defend you." She grins up at him cheekily. "At least until you ran off with Fenrir and Bella and destroyed my faith in humanity." She's teasing, they've been through the 'why's of that whole affair before. "I don't know what made you decide to let me that far in - I can't even guess - but now that I'm here, I've got the best view." And she likes what she sees. "Should have thought that through better. You're stuck with me, now."

Siobhan Noble is the only person who can make Severus go from having a deep crisis of identity to laughing in a few moments. He smirks at her last words, though the other words make him wince for a moment. "Perhaps it is you who are saddled with me." It works both ways, and it does work. "It is difficult to understand what others may see." He admits. "Thank you." For believing in him, for trusting him, for defending him. "I am glad to have you by my side — in my arms."

Siobhan laughs at that. "I'm saddled, huh? Guess that makes you the beggar this time, then." That throw-back to conversations had over the span of months makes Siobhan come to a rather startling realization. Their superficial patterns haven't changed in years. It's the substance behind and below those patterns that has altered so significantly. Somehow, she finds that incredibly reassuring. "You say that now, but you won't be so glad when you're stranded in the middle of Italy with a pride of lions for company." Standing on tiptoe, she kisses him slowly - thoroughly. "Now, you ready to try again?" There's a glance toward the door. "Or are we turning in early, tonight?"

"Perhaps a trio of snakes shall be able to effect some sort of corralling on the lions," Severus smirks, amused. Her words referring to one of the old jokes between them makes him chuckle. "Perhaps. Though either position is pleasant." He thinks for a moment, and then nods once. "I believe I should like to try one more time. We are here, and it does seem quite beneficial to learn this." He gives her a quick squeeze, kissing her gently on the top of the head, then backing away to prepare to spar again.

"'Corralling' is a bit optimistic, Sev. I'm mostly hoping for 'salvaging something useable from the wreckage'." Dry as pale bone dust, that. Mention of pleasant positions makes something hot and playful flash behind warm brown eyes, but the whole sparring thing kind of needs full concentration. This time, she moderates her movements to let him watch, repeat and respond, gauging his progress with each repetition of a set until finally, both are satisfied with progress made and call it a night, heading back down to their dungeon nest for an enjoyable evening and a fantastic night's sleep.


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