1965-07-06 - Pointy End Goes That Way
Summary: Archery lessons on the back lawn
Related: None
Theme Song: None
sage danielle 

With summer comes free time, and a chance to earn a bit of extra cash. Danielle has repeatedly declined to join the faculty, but isn't averse to doing adjunct tutoring now and again. Particularly when the tutoring isn't some stuffy classroom full of bored adolescents. Which is why she's out back, halfway between the mansion and the lake, with a dozen students. Giving archery lessons. "Remember what we talked about. Watch your angles. Justin, vertical.. thank you." The targets are lashed to small hay bales, roughly thirty yards away from the line of students, as Dani patrols with a careful eye.

The thing with the students in archery… a lot of them have this desire to learn these sorts of arts. Many of them had been hassling 'Ms. Valentine' (or, as some have daringly called her, Sage) to teach them some of the martial arts she learned from various training halls in London. Today is her 'day off' as it were. Dani gets the ones interested in archery now. But that doesn't mean she doesn't slowly meander outside, watching with interest. Someone else she never had the opportunity to learn, really. And Tessa Valentine is always interested in new things.

Danielle pauses by one of the students, quietly helping the girl make adjustments. "..put your other finger.. exactly. See? The arrow stays put until you're ready to send it. Good. You're doing great." None of the arrows are flying with dazzling speed, but there's a relatively steady pattering of paper being skewered. As Dani steps back to check on the group again, she lifts a hand in greeting to the strolling Sage. To the class: 'Okay… okay.. Hold your fire, guys. Put the bows down and go get your arrows. Bows stay down until I say otherwise, remember." With the teens running across the grass to 'reload', she has a moment to tilt a half-smile towards the other woman. "Cupid's in no danger of being replaced yet."

Sage nods slightly in return. "Something of a relief. I can't imagine how they'd pair everyone up, compared to a god who should have more wisdom in that respect." Teenagers. Hormones. Nothing good can come of this. She offers a hand. "We met once, I think. A few months ago. I'm Tessa Valentine."

Danielle accepts the hand with a firm grip, "Dani Moonstar. Former student, occasional moocher, adjunct.. whatever-this-is…" she gestures idly at the kids gaggling over yonder about their scores, the number of arrows, who's the better shot, all the usual adolescent posturing and whatnot. "HEY!" she barks, which breaks up the nonsense and encourages her class to trot back to their respective spots, arrows in hand. "We got time for one last round, kids. Soon as you're out of arrows, bring me your bow and you're free to escape my clutches."

"Are they showing any improvement?" Sage might have peeked in once or twice, but only to make sure everyone was where they should be. She does remember exactly those moments and who did what, but… She hasn't observed it all enough to make any useful notes. "They do seem to be enjoying themselves."

As the students start to twang in the exact opposite of unison, Dani nods slowly, bemusedly, "From where we started, they've all come remarkably far. I think showing them how to properly grip the string and release without killing their fingers helped the most." Soooo much whining in that first class. "But I'm encouraged. They are having fun, they're getting better, and nobody's been skewered yet. If this holds, I might be able to call this a win."

"And it keeps them occupied during the summer." No doubt they just have the ones who couln't possibly head back home for the summer, right? "You're welcome to join my martial arts classes in the mornings, by the way," she offers. "If you think you could stand the extra teenager-exposure." ….Was she trying to be funny?

"My patience for teens has never been super high, even when I was one," Dani admits with a rueful grin, but she considers the invite. "I might take you up on that idea, though. I have my own training regimen, but it's easy to get into an unproductive routine." One by one, the students finish peppering their targets, and Dani spends a moment with each, letting them know what to work on and what they did well, before turning them loose. By the time the last student dashes off to join his pals, she's collected all the bows and is unhurriedly strolling to the targets to gather the arrows herself. "You ever try your hand at archery, Tessa?"

Sage shakes her head. "I haven't. It does look like it would be a lot of.. fun." But fun for Tessa is different than for others. "Especially with how complicated the modern bows are." Because she LOVES complicated. "But, if I'm to be honest, there's so much that interests me I was never sure where to fit it in."

Grunt. "I'm a bit of a traditionalist, myself, but there are some amazing modern bows," Dani agrees. "My interests have always been fairly simple. It's life that got weirdly complicated on me." She returns to the firing line with all of the arrows nestled in a large sack of thick canvass, and most of the targets ripped free and wadded up in her fist. As she approaches, she considers Tessa thoughtfully. "I'm better at reading animals than people, but I would hazard a guess that the precision of archery might appeal to you more than the 'gut' of it. The angle of fire, the strength of the draw, compensating for wind and wobble.."

"Am I that obvious?" She'd always prided herself, more than a little, on being essentially unreadable to most. "I do enjoy the idea of the maths behind it all," she admits. "Even if most people do not think of it as maths."

Danielle grins and shakes her head, "Not terribly obvious at all. I'm an empath of sorts, and I do… most everything by my gut, more than my head. And you don't remind me of me. At all." She plops the bag down on the grass, selects one of the simple bows from the pile. Tests the tension of the string, then pulls a couple of arrows free. "I know there's plenty of math involved, but…" She nocks an arrow and smoothly draws. The twang of release is somehow crisper than when the students were fumbling through. The arrow sails in a clean, wobbly arc to pierce the center of the last target. "It can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it."

As Dani demonstrates, Sage is scrutinizing. Watching her every movement, getting in close to make sure sees everything oh so clearly. She could recall that memory as often as she wanted, but instead, "Do you mind doing that again for me?" Her memory tricks have freaked people out in the past.

"Not at all," Dani agrees. Yes, it's a bit odd, but given the school and all its collected weirdnesses, what's a hard peer between friends? She doesn't rush her movements, nor does she awkwardly slow them down. She simply holds the bow comfortably in her left hand, picks up an arrow with the right. Nock the arrow to the string, slide fingers just past the fletching as the bow comes up. Feet placed just so for solid balance. She lifts her arms together, drawing back with the right hand and sighting down the shaft of the arrow as her fingers move past her cheek. The upward motion continues, going from level to a few degrees up. A brief pause, then she simply releases the string with her right hand, launching the arrow just as smoothly as before. This time, it hits the target slightly below center. "That's the entire process. Repeat as desired."

Sage watches just as keenly as before. She doesn't say much for a moment, then holds out a hand. "May I try?" Assuming she's permitted, she goes through the motions as smoothly as Dani does. The difference here is, while she has the memories and can replicate the movements well enough, she does not have the experience… So the wind throws off the shot more than a little. She still hits the target, but she's wide of centre.

Danielle of course hands the bow over when requested, and takes a step back to give the other woman room. She watches from a 'teacher' perspective, then nods thoughtfully, "Very impressive. For your first shot, that was very cleanly done. Try it again, but this time…" she takes a moment to feel the wind and process how to put the adjustment into words, "hmm… Same angle, vertically, but give it about one degree to the left. That way you're shooting slightly into the wind."

Sage changes her aiming as per Dani's instructions. She tries again. Better this time. Not the bullseye, but much closer. Part of her frowns inwardly, so used to things that work precisely and perfectly the first time, thanks to her mind's powers. Ah well. "Practice makes perfect, I suppose?"

"As with most everything," Dani confirms. "It's one part physical, one part mental, and one part experience. Color me impressed, though. That was remarkably well-done." She takes a moment to loosen the strings of the class's bows, explaining tangentially, "It's bad for the limbs to be under constant tension. Sort of like relaxing a guitar's strings when you're done playing for a while."

"I confess, I am cheating just a little," Tessa says. She gives up the bow without complaint. "But I don't have the experience when it comes to compensation for the environment." Hence requiring Dani to help her on that respect. "Still… I can see why many would enjoy this as a sport."

Danielle smiles as she bundles the bows together. "It's a bit of a stereotype, I know, but my grandfather made sure I knew how to ride a horse and shoot a bow from a very young age. I think he'd be amused that I'm teaching archery to a bunch of non-Cheyenne, but he'd also be proud. I've tried shooting firearms, but that's much more.. stressful. Archery is oddly relaxing for me, and fun for the kids, I think." She trots off for a moment to fetch those four arrows and the last target, then adds, "Helps pay the bills, too. I do some trick-shot work at the Circus every now and then. Nothing terribly difficult, but it looks impressive to the rubes."

What passes for amusement passes over Sage's face for a moment. "And here, my father taught me to shoot a gun when I was very young," she says. "Hunting mostly. We lived out in the country."

Danielle pauses in her bundling, a nostaglic expression on her face for a moment. "Country living is the best. I know some folk prefer the City, but for the life of me, I can't understand why.. What part of the country? I grew up in the Rockies, myself."

"London," she says. And as a reflex she adds, "England." Not trying to be nasty, she's just noticed Americans can't pin down her accent. And there's more than one London in the world. She turns and watches the students filter into the school. "Well. Join me for lunch? Looks like someone's going to take them into the auto garage for extra lessons."

"England.. I should have guessed when you said 'maths' instead of 'math'," Dani muses, "Oh well. Sure, I could eat. Amanda's not expecting me home for a while."

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