(1867-11-15) Little Sparrow
Little Sparrow
Summary: Remy and Nyssa practise their fencing… particularly the ripostes.
Date: November 15th
Related: None
Nyssa  Remy  

Gardens, Three Rivers
In set
Novembre 15th, 1867 IA

There are several layers to Three Rivers — a surface of decadence and pleasant relaxation, a family home, and beneath both of these, a training ground where the finest assassins in Couviere are groomed. For many reasons, it simply wouldn't do to have this last out in the open — and so the Wraiths and the House assassins are trained deep in Three Rivers' lands, in obscure locations. One such is a rather gorgeous garden maze, which centers on an open area of short-kept grass.

Remy t'Cauthone has brought his wife to this place on a sunny morning, practice blades tucked under his arm. The tall man has dropped his persona of affable, obedient, idiot out here in what amounts to his domain. "It's important you keep your skills sharp, blade as well as mind. I've let you slip because of the plague, but enough is enough." Stern, but deep affection running through the words. He takes a few steps from Nyssa and, without warning, hurls one of the two blades in her direction.

Remy is wearing only his vest and a pair of loose trousers, the long tooth of some animal resting against his chest. His smile is quick and predatory as the weapon leaves his hand, his own dulled rapier coming up to an en garde position.

"I can assure you, husband dear.." replies the petite brunette accompanying the former Wraith trainer, with a smile every bit as calm as her sultry, mocking tone, "..the only thing you shall find has dulled to any degree of concern is your repartee." Casual barbs, hurled with the ease and warmth of familiarity. And yet she's not a fool. Those heavy-lidded green eyes are watchful, taking calculated stock of Remy's stance and form. It would seem she's more than used to the threat of ambush or at the very least surprises, under the tutelage of this man.

Nyssa is at least a head shorter than her dashingly handsome husband, and is today attired against the mild chill, being of rather less stout build than the Swamprat. There'd be little sense training in combat leathers when she's only ever found in the delicate attire of a courtier.. and so that is what she dons. A luxurious gown of dark velvet - ebon at a glance but with an emerald hue where the light touches, upon closer inspection. The bodice is rigidly corseted about her upper body, careful embroidery in bronze thread depicting a meadow scene of varying flora and fauna. Kidskin gloves keep her graceful hands warm, without hinderance apparently, as she snatches the rapier from the air and adopts a languid, ready stance; the tip of the narrow blade levelled toward Remy in kind. Though her dark tresses are casually loose, given the circumstances, with the occasional stray tendril cast across her cheek by the frosty morning breeze, the youngest t'Corbeau has a matching half cape of fur-trimmed velvet about her otherwise bare shoulders to ward off the worst of the cold.

"Frankly, given the news regarding the t'Rannis heir, I should likely be inside, by a nice warm hearth, schemeing and plotting as my sister so fervently desires. But I suppose I can take a little time to amuse you, if it pleases…" That's a laugh. They don't come much farther removed from sweet and subservient than this one. So says the baiting smirk she offers toward the tall man.

<COMBAT> Remy attacks Nyssa with Rapier - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nyssa attacks Remy with Rapier and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nyssa attacks Remy with Rapier - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Remy attacks Nyssa with Rapier but Nyssa DODGES!
<COMBAT> Nyssa attacks Remy with Rapier - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Remy attacks Nyssa with Rapier - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

"For my amusement?" A ginger brow arches up on the deeply-tanned face. Remy doesn't waste time saluting, or warning his wife that he is attacking, or any of that foolishness which might be found in a proper fencing salon. Nor does he strike with any sort of overly-stylized manner. Instead, the former Wraith merely lunges forward with his right leg, blade following forth as he turns in profile, presenting a smaller target and at the same time driving his rapier toward Nyssa's stomach.

A twist of his wrist at the last moment has the tip arcing upward, right toward her cleavage. As it slaps solidly into place, the man — surprisingly nimble for one of his size — is continuing forward with his right leg, bringing himself out of the way of his wife's instinctive riposte. He takes a moment to gloat. "I can think of things I should rather do with you than this, wife, though it's a begin.." And before he can finish his thought, Nyssa whips her rapier in a slash that scores across his chest; were it edged, it would certainly have scarred him clean across his left pectoral.

And then there is no more talking, merely the schring of steel on steel as the pair flow into a dance. Though Remy is the older, and presumably more experienced, Nyssa's grace makes her a deadly opponent, and the two spend some time in a tangle of ripostes and parries, too fast for an untrained observer to follow. And this exchange ends with each lightly pressing the tip of their weapon into the other's chest.

Remy finally smiles — a broad, loving, grin that belies the ferocity of his attacks a moment before. "Good!"

"Remy!" The frustrated retort is more out of concern for her attire - and decolettage - than admonishing him for the innuendo. Still, Nyssa gathers herself with admirable restraint - a hard taught lesson over these past few years, knowing when to bite her tongue - and keeps her emotions from scuppering her chances of rallying. The slash to her husband's chest is a swift and precise thing, cutting through the air just as sharply as her words often can.. but it's only when the flurry of exchanges halts and she finds herself facing the tall man, mirroring his stance beautifully, that she permits herself a slow-burning smile, holding his gaze. Even after all this time, his praise is sunlight upon the skin.

"As can I.." The belated response comes, now that they've paused for breath; uttered from somewhere low in her throat, and bearing a purring quality. "..a wager, perhaps." She steps slowly, keeping her blade up and her booted feet carefully, gracefully placed upon the crunching lawn underfoot. "If you win.." She punctuates the seemingly ridiculous notion with the flash of a grin and an unhurried poke at his chest with the tip of her rapier. "..I shall forgo my duties for the rest of the day and we shall see about these.. pondering of yours." That's a kingly prize, surely?

Tossing her head, shaking a wayward lock of hair from her eyes, the young woman then quirks a brow, emboldened. "And if I win..?" Let's see if he can find a counter offer of equal measure.

Remy considers the young woman, up and down, the spark in his eyes clearly showing that he is interested. Lazily swatting away her lunge, the blond-haired assassin says, after a few beats, "If you win.." And then he smiles suddenly, so sunny and good-natured that it's easy to forget the ruthless steel of the man, "I'll give you your birthday present early." He raises his brows, looking to see if this is a satisfactory offer.

Another testing lunge, just to keep the pretence of a match on-going as they discuss terms. But he is also coiled, ready to strike and to defend himself if, deciding that his terms are acceptable, Nyssa simply springs on the attack. It wouldn't surprise him. After all, he trained her. His gaze travels over the woman's form attentively, setting his obvious desire aside for the moment, locking his eyes with hers as he waits, shifting on the balls of his feet.

<COMBAT> Remy attacks Nyssa with Rapier - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Nyssa attacks Remy with Rapier but Remy DODGES!
<COMBAT> Nyssa attacks Remy with Rapier - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Remy attacks Nyssa with Rapier - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Remy has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Nyssa has been KO'd!

"You already have my birthday present?" Credit where it's due, he seems to have succeeded in surprising his young wife; Nyssa regards Remy with momentarily startled eyes, the expression not dissimilar from the one she often tried in the past to feign innocence, to no avail. He's always been a hard taskmaster. But it's paid off, in more ways than one. "It would appear we have a deal, then. Though it best be an exquisite gift." A flicker of mischief, and then they settle back into the rhythm of the spar. Power and cunning versus grace and wild unpredictability. Well, we must all play to our strengths, after all. And the young woman is tiny in comparison to the looming Lord.

She fights carefully, as he has drummed into her; darting forward when an opportunity presents itself, dancing out of range as best she can at all other times. It works for a short while. Woefully short, really. An arc of a slice through the air lands an unintended scratch across her collarbone, rousing a hiss. And the fact that Remy easily avoids her impulsive riposte this time seems to matter to the young t'Corbeau. Stepping forward, too swiftly, she does scythe across the plane of his chest with a lunge.. but she's come too far, almost overbalancing herself in one large stride rather than taking two shorter. Never one to ignore an advantage, her husband grasps Nyssa's sword-hand and pulls her further into the momentum, the motion truly akin to a dance as he twirls her beneath his arm.

There the romance ends, alas. Having entangled the petite brunette in her own damn arms and one of his, he jerks her back against his chest and pointedly rests his rapier across the horizon of her decolette; not truly threatening, but with a certain contained ferocity and finality to the motion. Any other fight, he'd likely have slit his opponent's throat and dropped them by now. Nyssa? He keeps held until the realisation of her folly can truly sink in, letting her teeter awkwardly off balance.

"You're dead," hisses Remy softly. And the pleasant smile, the gentle manner, has entirely vanished from his face. Instead, there is a graveyard mask of horrific intent on his features, as though this has stopped being a sparring match entirely. He holds her there, off-balance, the edge of his blade playing across the hollow of her throat as he presses himself against her. It's a good thing that she cannot see his expression — certainly the last thing many another person has glimpsed.

And then, slowly, he calms. His arm grows slacker against Nyssa's body, though he still lingers there, and he turns his head to kiss lightly at her cheek. "You are still too eager to get inside. You left your balance behind and I made you my puppet." The words are gentle, but there's that steel still there — and something else, a trace of fear. "When they come for you, my love, you cannot fight them like a sparrow fighting a hawk. You need to be an arrow striking at a target. And how does an arrow fly? Straight and true."

When they come. Whoever they are. Remy's voice is sad as he adds, "..And they're always coming."

There was a time when Nyssa would have protested, loud and long, about this summary of her lacking skill. Now, however, the young woman merely holds herself still, waiting for the tension to ease from the assassin's demeanour, knowing far better than to tempt fate when his instincts are ablaze. A flash of her throat as she swallows, and then she's slowly turning her head, not yet seeking the man's gaze, given his height and position. To his view, those long lashes shadow her cheeks in a convincingly apologetic and contemplative expression. Though she won't apologise for the clumsy mistake - she never does - there's at least a contrite air about the student for the master.

"I know.." she murmurs, though her own voice suggests less concern than his, in regard to thoughts of faceless enemies. "..though few fly quite so high as you, do they. Sparrow against sparrow, I'd emerge the victor and to me would go all the spoils." She's lightening her tone, coaxing him from the cloud of his suddenly grim cares. Twisting a little within the circle of the man's arms, Nyssa raises her lashes and regards him at the awkward angle demanded by defeat. "Besides.." A flick of a glance to his jaw, his mouth, then back to his worried eyes. "..perhaps I let you win..?"

That's the wonderful thing about enjoying both offers on the table. You win, even when you lose.

Remy ought to be scolding her still — this is serious business, after all — but it's her eyelashes that win him over, the way she looks up at him. He sighs, lowering the rapier from her throat, and lets the last vestiges of his tension wash away. "If you let me win," he says, "Then it just proves I'm the luckiest killer on the Edge." And he uses the arm still around her waist, still trapping hers, to pick Nyssa up and spin her in a quick circle. Once again, they might be dancing, were it not for the blades in their hands. There is laughter in his voice as he says, "You're no sparrow."

Just what she is, he can't seem to decide for a long moment. And then, "You're the light in the fog. All you truly need to do is smile at them, and they'll stumble right off the path while you settle your steel in their ribs." He sets Nyssa down and releases her, stepping back with a fond smile. "But we're still going to practice again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. Plenty of time for scheming around a warm fire the rest of the afternoon."

Nyssa's not the giggling sort. Not here. But she does grin sheepishly as she's so easily lifted and spun about, booted toes trailing in the air. "Aren't you, though?" she replies, the rhetoric playful, despite her having been bested, soundly, once more. Once on solid ground again, the young lady steps away from Remy, straightening her cape and clearing her throat gently. Good thing they chose to practise away from prying eyes.. they certainly don't present the most formidable facade, in this sort of mood. A half-turn allows her to regard her husband slyly and sidelong, though the smile tugging at her lips in undeniably fond. "I think that only works on you, Rem. And you, I've no desire to run through. Well, most of the time."

The mention of the fire has her glancing toward the Keep, her arms folding across her tiny midsection, rapier still dangling from one hand. At rest, the cold seems more apparent now. "I heard a rumour, you know, that physical exertion.. working oneself up to a sweat.. is known to help keep the sickness at bay." The words seem pleasantly conversational, particularly when delivered with that practised veneer of the courtier, the expression of polite, innocent enquiry as she glances over a shoulder to Remy, starting off through the maze unhurriedly. "Shall we find a more strenuous way to pass the time than fencing..?"

"Believe me, it doesn't only work on me." And for a moment, there's a possessive glint in the assassin's gaze that — were he not so disciplined — might be rather worrying. As it is, at least Nyssa can be assured that Remy will get away with murdering anyone who leers too openly at her. But that glint turns to something else as she pitches her proposal, and he pauses to watch her walk away appreciatively. "I've handed over the training duties for the day. I'm a free agent, wife. And what sort of husband would I be if I didn't keep you safe from the plague, eh?"

He begins to follow, and despite his rather obvious desire, there is an alertness to the man as they move through the maze — she may be relaxed at the idea of strange knives in the night, but Remy is one of those strange knives. He knows their ways. "I suppose you mean that we'll practice our tumbling and gymnastics," he continues on, mock-innocently. "I was thinking that I might run you through the balance-beam.." And his voice trails off as the pair make their way off toward that promised fireplace.

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