1964-05-25 - Them's Fighting Words
Summary: Blackagar Boltagon learns something about himself. Scarlett just learns about what bruises.
Related: The Paris Cycle
Theme Song: None
blackagar rogue 

It is a place of significance, perhaps not so directly for Blackagar but even now the permanence of the death that was washed upon the shore can be felt, even if the remnants were long taken away. A few miles away the hills are littered with the white markers of those that have passed but the beach itself still holds a solemnity to it that will never truly cease to be.

Salt water washes against the shore line of Normandy, crashing against some nearby rocks to pull up the foam around them. Unlike most gray colored days the blue hues have pushed through the northern atlantic and create illuminating beams through the clouds that spot certain areas. Among those areas are the beach and a few locations out in the water.

Blackagar reaches up, running a hand through his hair, barely damp from the mists of the ocean as he glances back and forth up the shoreline before pushing his hands into the jacket pockets again. «You are certain about this? I do not wish to hurt you.» The phrase written earlier still echoing in his own mind, for it was still bothering him. Although the place was isolated he was hesitant still; to be tasked with challenging anyone, even in a recital like practice, was not a task he took to easily.


The glory of Normandy has been awash in blood as long as anyone looked at the distant white cliffs of Dover, and decided, ‘That should be my territory.’ In recent times, the place holds a hallowed quality, even to a young woman with absolutely no memory of the war or its travails.

A step behind him, Scarlett stares out onto the churning waters lacing beaches famed by their codenames as much as the produce in the marketplaces. She pulls her coat around her tighter, avoiding the wind chilling her skin. Her gloved hand trails gently down Blackagar’s arm, wordless reminder of support, whilst carefully reading the balance of expression, posture, and gesture. It’s a unique form of communication, one she practices as much as possible.

A nod is clear. «I am.» The corners of her mouth lift, and no hint of doubt burns in those surreal green eyes stolen from the heart of spring. «Together. Always better.» The idea is at least roughly translated, though she verbally says, “I have no doubts. Whatever we face, we can get through.”


The monks had been telling him as he studied in his solitude upon the mountain tops that to understand oneself, he must embrace himself. That meant next to nothing to the man but over time he’s begun to understand. His power has always been his voice but that was simply the outlet; what if such energy could be turned internally, transferred within.

Blackagar looks at Scarlett and after a minute nods his head. Reaching for his slate he writes upon it; «Safety. I do not know what may happen. If it looks like control has been lost you must regain it.» The words are then set upon the ground and he walks a few paces away to sit upon the sand, legs folded over and eyes sliding shut. In such a position the man remains for several minutes as his breathing slows further and further until it nearly stops. No movement comes and then eyes open and he rises slowly, shedding his outer coat and looking to the woman, a faint nod of his head towards her; acknowledgement of preparation being completed.


Two quick adjustments made, thus. Her fingers hook under the paper-thin leather curled over her wrist. Peeling away the glove takes but a moment, revealing pale skin. Tucking away the inverted garment in the slanted pocket of the swing coat, Scarlett flexes her fingers and removes the second. It joins its mate, safely stowed away. The bracelet on her wrist slides lower, the inert state of her curse leaving the opal dark as nightfall and shot by the heart of flames. This she carefully adjusts, pulling on the metallic threads until the stone rests against a bed of brushed teal fabric rather than her pulse point. Such does she arm herself for one kind of relief.

He waits in meditation, the effigy of a contemplative reaching for the cosmic corners of the mind. Scarlett studies Blackagar, rather than the water and the sea framing him, attuning herself to every conceivably visible nuance of posture and position. She has learned the value of watching and reading.

Minutes melt. Somewhere a gull skirls in mournful lack of French fries, and wings away. She approaches carefully at the signal, footsteps pressed into the flat sand. Anticipation isn’t killing her, yet, circling around her in serpentine coils and prompting curiosity. What’s about to happen most certainly isn’t going to be forgotten or overlooked.

How does one do it, to take energy that they feel within and channel it, direct it to a different method. His whole life that energy has simply been released outwards in a barely controlled means with his voice. Now however, the Inhuman takes a soothing breath to push down the potential sensations or nerves, settling himself and pushing the energy he can feel within himself to a different spot, throughout his body and muscle fibers.

The energy crosses over the fibers, pressing them and energizing them. Blackagar tilts his head, looking at Scarlett and takes a step forward towards her, lifting his hand to take an easy jab in her direction.

Having never touched this side of himself, enhanced his natural Inhuman-self further with his intrinsic power, Blackagar has no comprehension of what has happened. There is no understanding of crossing the space in the moment of a neuron firing, or the speed of his hand. It is only when he realizes that the sand is still settling from the spot which he left that he blinks in utter surprise.


Patience is the sixth lesson of Book of Blackagar, if any such tome existed. It does, at least in the bohemienne’s head, an ongoing series of volumes compiled based on experience and observation.

Lightly balanced on the balls of her feet, Scarlett shifts her center of gravity as a matter of habit. Her body shifts, guided by lessons in aikido and wing chun, the balance of gliding and swaying to the incoming force and not being in the way.

Those gurus in their mountain idyll and senseis in their barren dojos never anticipated the impact of inhuman strength and extraordinary resilience. Newton’s laws still apply, and like it or not, this is going to hurt. No matter how much practice a girl gets, even among seasoned teachers, it’s one thing to meet almost unstoppable force when being a more than movable object.

The sand indeed is suspended in the air, so is she. The strike comes faster than she can see, unfair advantage there, though she swivels with it, even if shoved back hard down the shoreline in a series of parallel trails dug hard into the sand and rock. Pebbles go flying. She goes airborne, uttering a sharp sound of protest, churning on the wind in a rapid rotation to face him again.

Fair’s fair in love and war, especially when indistinguishable. Scarlett gives him no time to respond: she zags down at a sharp angle, as though to collide with Blackagar, fists into chest. And doesn’t, or at least won’t intend to, dodging around him in a rapid flying circle. If the lesson of the day is focus on bruising one’s partner, then her lesson is never stop moving.


The paused shock of Blackagar as he contemplates his own movements leaves him standing there unaware. Such is the difficulty of trying to understand how he almost appeared in such speed at a point he thought would take him time to cross. Looking up, to check upon Scarlett he sees her returning to him and the punch strikes him in the chest, sending him flying backwards. The potential energy in his body, stored up becomes kinetic and strikes the cliffside resulting in an explosion of dust and rock, debris and loud compression of sounds. For a few moments it remains a cluster of disaster until through the cloud of vision Blackagar emerges, brushing dust off his shoulder.

Looking behind him, he quirks an eyebrow and then jumps towards Scarlett. It almost looks as if he might fly, the jump skyrocketing him into the air, further and further until finally he begins to descend downwards, legs flailing a bit as he tries to comprehend this movement and instead of accomplishing his goal ends up sprawling beyond the woman, tumbling through the sand several hundred yards from where he started; again the sand from his starting point just now settling back showing the mere moments that have passed since he moved. Picking himself up, the Inhuman looks around, weighing the effects of the internal redirection of his power, the sudden expansion of his normal Inhuman genes pushing even further.


It’s all she can do — being bare handed, after all, threatens much — not to break out into a sudden laugh.

The girl is sworn to nonviolence most of the time, and clearly possesses some background in martial arts, otherwise she would be paddling back across the channel in a reverse invasion of Dunkirk. But when a cloud of sand and rock fly airborne and clearly the dark-haired monk is not damaged, she halts for a moment about fifteen feet off the ground and covers her mouth, eyes alight. Softening features convey respect if bending in a bow does not, the warmth of their bond painted across her face.

The first lessons of flight: know where to land.

Her descent is somewhat more controlled and smoothly arcing, the exaggerated landing in a crouch fully intended to demonstrate how to absorb momentum without fully shattering one’s femur or tibia. Nothing quite so brutal as a landing that leaves bones splintering through the skin. Once risen, she drops back into a guarded stance, arms poised in front of her, palms downward at the hip and the other facing her chest. A quick rotation and her fingers fold towards her. «Again.»


Blackagar toes the sand with his foot, scrunching it under his boot with a twist then he steps towards Scarlett. It takes time, will take time, to fully adjust to his movements. He never contemplated the possibility of moving at such speed, to where the world seems to slow down to a static stand still but yet here it is. Stepping to the side of Scarlett, he reaches out and rather than strike at her as he did before, this time he moves to swat at her back end, stepping around to the other side and taking a squeeze of her other cheek before moving back to where he stood initially.

The breeze of his movement has his hair settling afterwards and the spray of beach sand bursting up into the air. His eyebrow, raised up towards the ‘opponent’ is challenging, and his own hand raises, beckons her forward. In his mind, it races, the energy is potent and the necessity of control will be needed.

Would that she yelps when smacked, but no such sound arises, only the widening of her eyes and the soundless rounding of Scarlett’s lips to allow for no gasp to pass. Too dangerous, now, to dare to make a sound louder than the intake of breath.

She has no promise whatsoever that the outrushing air isn’t going to leave a twenty mile crater in the beach where no harbour or bay is ever marked on a map. Caution is her watchword.

The minute jump bouncing her off the ground has to be satisfying, and she considers him for a moment or two across the distance. Poised, waiting. Dangerous. Blackagar is no average opponent in any sense. Thoughts tick over and bleed, and he cannot see into her head one assumes, else he might be worried about the whispers she does listen to.
Fingers find the march of buttons on her coat and release them one by one, disengaging the coat to slither away from her shoulders. Teal falls onto the sand as she walks to him, hand falling away from her collarbone. A glance skims to the side, almost demure. It might be worth seeing what she looks at, the sheen of the opal and gold in the light, her nails manicured, gleaming. All a ruse.

Because she launches forward into a pounce without warning, throwing her full speed — if not strength — into it. A fraction of her strength is still enough to hurl cars across parking lots, though, and the memory of a hunt and how to hunt is fresh in her thoughts. Poor man.

At least he’s properly pounced this way?

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