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 Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]

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Roderich Edelstein

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PostSubject: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:05 pm

It was no secret that Roderich was a moody individual. His displeasure with all things he deemed horrid in the world was often written clearly on his face. This moment, spent staring at the school's pool, was no exception. A look of pure hatred had found its way onto the easily irritated aristocrat's face. There was little worse than a large pool of water. Standing in front of such a dreadful area was not something the boy wanted to do. If he had his way, we would never visit this disgusting area.

However, today, he was required to be in this disgusting area, dressed in a measly swim suit. Some bratty sibling of his had let it slip to his parents that Roderich was their only child who could not swim. Of course, his infuriating kin did not bother to remind his parents about their land-loving son's water related phobias. No, that fact had been conveniently left out, making it all feel like some cruel joke.

His parents, pitying him and his pathetic inability to swim, had quickly set to work on arranging private swimming lessons for their son over the summer holidays. The young Austrian was pretty sure they had just bribed the new teacher, but he could not exactly be sure. Bribery or not, Roderich knew the entire predicament was going to be an embarrassing one. The last time he had “frolicked” in a body of water, he had howled and clawed at the water idiotically. It was not something he wished to repeat.

So there he stood, tense and grumpy, glaring at the water and waiting for his instructor to arrive. As the minutes slid past, the high school graduate slowly grew more and more tense and his glower grew hateful as he willed all the water to evaporate before his eyes. He would not be forced into this pool without a fight.
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Francis Bonnefoy

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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:26 pm

[Francis isn't that new~]

Francis, on the other hand, had been watching Roderich for the past few minutes, taking in the boy's tense shoulders (hell, his entire body was as tight as a bowstring) and clenched fists. He couldn't see the other's face, but he didn't need to: waves of anxiety and fear were rolling into the atmosphere; he could practically taste them--thick and heavy, like overdue molasses.

Grimacing, he reflected over the past two days: this little tightwad was Roderich Edelstein, a recent graduate of Zodiac. It wasn't a surprise that he'd never met him face-to-face (Environmental Science was still outside of the core curriculum, much to his chagrin and despite his heated protests to the council), although he'd seen the cowlick and deep, amethyst eyes every time he passed the music room to chat with Gilbert--they were always buried in sheet music, or affected with something nearing bliss when the boy was off practicing by himself on the school's grand piano. As if he was in a dream, leagues away from the real world.

Elegant, aristocratic, elitist, prudent, and, apparently, unable to swim.

The question was, why? With the way the younger man was glaring at the water (of a mere pool, for heavens' sake), one would think that he was intent on eliminating it from his view from sheer will, alone.

He'd taken the hasty request on pure whim, always willing to pick up easy work for a hefty sum. But now, curiosity wormed its way into the task, and he found himself moving in from behind--silent and wispy like a quiet spring--and stopped inches away from Roderich's shivering back (more from fear than the cold, he suspected).

"Bonjour, Young Master."

And with that, he kicked the man, face first, into the water.

[/sorry quick reply I've gotta run]
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Roderich Edelstein

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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:36 am

Roderich was no stranger to the feeling of drowning. As his body roughly hit the water, resulting in an accidental gasp that only welcomed chlorinated water, the memories of drowning in the river became crisp and real in his mind. They were only memories, but a part of him felt like they were the present, happening at this very moment. That was the part that convinced the not-quite dead, but not exactly alive creature that he was once again drowning even though it was not possible for him to do so.

For a few long seconds, the petite Austrian sunk slowly into the depths of the pool. As the shock wore off though, and his memories became more crisp, life seemed to find itself in the aristocrat again. A shiver ran through his body first. Then one arm whipped out, hand clawing dangerously at the water. After that, it was hard to quite decipher what moved when. Roderich had become a panicked, writhing mess. His limbs flailed uselessly in a desperate attempt to escape beneath the dreadful pool.

The writhing limbs did not end up being completely useless. After a few more moments, the Austrian managed to poke his head above the water and latch onto the side of the pool. His body would not stop trembling as he tried to drag himself back onto the safety of the hot concrete. His hand never made contact with the concrete. It instead found itself grasping a man's foot. Roderich's clear gaze moved up his body to stare at the man in shock. Slowly, it dawned on him that this was the man who had pushed him into the water. The violet eyes narrowed into a hateful look.

“You,” hissed the Alp, no longer bothering to free his body from the cruel grasp of the pool, “You lowly, disgusting, abhorrent, unqualified to be teaching, idiotic--”

It suddenly occurred to him, mid-insult, just how clearly he could see this man in front of him. More often than not, after dunking one's glasses in water, they would be covered in water droplets. There were no water droplets obstructing his hateful gaze. There were no glasses settled on his face. His source of magic was not anywhere in view.

They were in the pool.

Suddenly Roderich's long nails were digging into the skin if the Frenchman’s foot. “You will get in this pool right now. Retrieve my glasses. Then promptly leave and never taint the air around me with you presence again,” instructed the smaller man in a falsely calm tone.
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Francis Bonnefoy

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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:57 am

Completely ignoring the sharp and sudden pain, Francis placed one hand onto the concrete and lowered himself into sitting position, reaching out to extract the talons from his leg. A slim stream of water lifted over his shoulder--from the mess that Roderich had made crawling his way back up--and wrapped gently around the other's fanged wrist; a translucent film passed over his wounded foot, healing the clawed marks. In the meantime, he rested his elbows on settled thighs and linked his fingers underneath his chin, leaning forward with an infuriating calm and genuine amusement. And perhaps a titbit of fascination.

Did this little aristocrat really think he could threaten him? It took far more than a little fury to make him flinch, especially when he was immersed in his source of power. Tilting his head slightly, his eyes flickered over Roderich's trembling frame (this time, from anger), and his lips quirked upward. "So, you can swim. One would not typically call flailing and hissing as such, but I did not 'ave to save you." A wink. "Or per'aps I should not worry at all: it is not easy to die, twice."

Drawing another silky, watery strand from the pool, Francis snapped his fingers and lassoed it around Roderich's torso; the next second, it was dragging the boy through the water and toward the middle of the pool (and it was large enough, he noted, to remind him of one of the smaller lakes off campus).

He could test limits as well as anybody else. It only mattered if Roderich himself had the willpower to stand up to his fears--be that rational or irrational.

"La première étape: va chercher vos lunettes, petit." An air of nonchalance and maybe a little pity. "Tu me fais perdre mon temps." *

A little cheating never hurt anyone, either. Shifting to let his left palm rest against the concrete, he closed his eyes and willed the currents around them (including the still waters of the pool) to relax, giving the air a tinge of warmth that dispersed prior tension. Roderich would not be dissuaded from slinging insults, demanding nonsense, or panicking, but it would lessen the intensity; prolonged exposure added to the effects exponentially (and he intended to keep the boy in the water until he was satisfied). Magical creatures were a little harder to... persuade than non-mythical beings; but by his age, the difference in power was nil.

There was the added benefit of having control over his magic, which was more than he could say for the young man glaring daggers at him. Given the sheer hate this boy seemed to have for swimming, he bypassed justifications and purified the water, giving it a little... spark. Roderich had never met a undine, he guessed; it was time for him to know what it was like, to be one.

Waving a hand, he smiled and gave the other a quick warning before the water yanked Roderich downward. "Don't be afraid. Don't panic. Breathe."

[*"Step one: fetch your glasses, little one. You're wasting my time."

*And yes, Francis cheated and changed the constitution of the pool so that Roderich could breathe underwater.]
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Roderich Edelstein

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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:10 pm

There was little time for the nightmare-loving creature to marvel over the way the other man healed the small wounds torn into his exposed foot. It fascinated and made the sadistic urge to tear the man in front of him to pieces grow immensely. However, little time could be spent entertaining that thought, as the strand of water restricting his angry hand prevented the boy from trying to flay his teacher. He did not even bother trying to struggle, knowing at this time that he stood no chance against an abomination from the murky depths.

Roderich's hopelessness did not, however, prevent the boy from giving Francis a feral growl as he leaned down in front of him. There was no longer any hope for the behavior and politeness of a gentleman. This man had destroyed all hopes for a pleasant relationship by pushing him into the pool and then insulting him. The Austrian's eyes had widened at the insults; the easy mention of his death; the pure cruelty of the entire situation. It was almost enough to make him spit in the Frenchman’s face. Almost. All the man got instead was a feral growl that promised to make the man suffer for his injustices once this was done.

A slight screech left the brunette’s lips as he was roughly torn away from the sanctuary that was the side of the pool. Terror welled up in the traumatized boy's throat as he struggled to find something to grasp, to save him. Yet, despite his horror, no words passed the aristocrat's lips as he was not sure if he ought to be breaking down and begging to be set free or threatening the man simply trying to teach him how to swim.

Words seemed like a challenge, so a simple hiss was all the Austrian bothered to do. He could feel the consistency of things around him changing, warming, trying to calm him. Roderich was no fool in the matters of magic. He was not powerful, but as the plaything of a witch, he could identify such simple changes in surroundings; changes meant to mess with how a person felt. It did nothing but scare him more. At this rate, the pale aristocrat would never come near the pool again.

The last thing Roderich needed right now, to convince him that water was not all that bad, was to be forced under the magically manipulated water. Yet, suddenly, he found a certain lucidity in his fear. While all his instincts screamed at him to get out of the water, the refined part of his mind remained clear, thoughtful, and full of soothing thoughts of vengeance. He could relax and cooperate just to retrieve his glasses—his kind would do almost anything to repossess their objects of magic—and then never return to the pool again.

Though, his calmness only extended so far. It would not take much for the Frenchman to push Roderich back into a realm of irrationality. Until then, the Austrian floated where he was held, not breathing and making sure to give Francis a glare of complete and utter distaste.
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Francis Bonnefoy

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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:21 pm

[Roderich is currently underwater, non? I ended up exploring Francis's teaching style, what he was originally intending, so it's a bit lengthy. /excite to see how Roderich responds]

The ferocity was a bit exciting, to be honest. Although his undine nature made him a warm and loving individual, Francis was still a water elemental--and the presence of great emotion sent his own ablaze. There was truth in fiction: water was turbulent, often unpredictable, both soothing and brimming with rage--it wasn't a surprise that they, the spirits of water, were represented as mischievous, fickle, alluring, deceitful, and beautifully cruel. Drowning men and tormenting on a whim, or offering gifts and granting wishes, they were a difficult species to manage. Even hundreds of years old, with experience and power gracing his shoulders, Francis still submitted to his erratic curiosity and temperament.

Oh, he knew exactly what Roderich Edelstein was. An Alp, a nightmare, apathetic to almost everyone around him, possessing an irrational heart with his overly rational mind. The school had built a profile around the boy, and he'd soaked in the information. Some details were unlisted, including the circumstances of Roderich's death, but with the Austrian's flagrant fear of water and swift resistance to his magicked manipulations, he only had to put two and two together.

If he'd been in any other state of mind, he would have embraced the child and taken personal responsibility for healing him, internally... but this, this sharp blast of rage and fear and confusion and moments of clarity, was equally. Interesting. He could practically read the boy's mind: revenge, vindication, humiliation--and he wondered if, outside of being a witch's puppet, he'd ever experienced being powerless. He knew very well what Roderich wanted to do to him: the wild, hateful glare was piercing even coming from beneath the water. Francis couldn't find it in him to mind, however. Did Roderich truly believe that a undine of his age would have never been faced with a Night-Mare? At best, he'd be a toy; at worst, a ragdoll.

What truly fascinated him was how persistent and stubborn the Edelstein--a belligerent noble--could be. Did the boy ever show this face to anyone else? How far was he from breaking? That kind of bottling up did no one any favours.

"Pauvre bébé," he murmured. "You know, if you stopped being consumed by z'at infernal pride of yours, you would find z'at water is not your enemy." He flicked his fingers and the strands that had been wrapped around Roderich's wrist and torso vanished, only to be replaced by a large net of water---transparent but for the light glinting off the liquid strands, ensnaring--that enveloped the boy but didn't suffocate him. "It can trap, ouai. It can 'urt." His own lavender irises glinted, unreadable. "I 'ave used it to 'urt." A small smile. "Et toi? It 'as 'urt you, young master."

He tilted his head and the net disappeared, leaving Roderich suspended underneath the surface, the magicked waters leaving the boy floating as if in midair. Regardless of whether Roderich wanted to breathe or not--which made Francis smile--, the moment his lungs gave out, he'd find it no less different than oxygen.

Land dwellers. He didn't understand them, sometimes.

Although Roderich was probably intent on snatching his glasses and running, Francis would have none of it--and until the Austrian stopped acting like a feral cat, he refused to conclude the lesson. With a mere thought, the waters around Roderich formed a warm, thick, bubbling blanket, even as Francis dropped his manipulation on the currents.

"But, you see, Edelstein, water can heal, as well." He'd seen it earlier, after all. His teaching side took over, and he continued lecturing, a calmness about him that even Roderich could sense. "It is neither good, nor evil. It simply exists." He pointed to himself, then Roderich. "Z'e same as you or I."

He leaned over and dove into the waters, himself, sending another ripple of magic flowing through the pool. Light, airy, warm. Closing his eyes, Francis melded into the background, turning translucent as he swam around Roderich's immobilized body.

"For z'e next two hours, you will not be able to break through z'e surface. Before you can ever learn something as..." A glint of amusement. "'Basic' as swimming, you must learn to confront your fear." He moved closer, although all Roderich would be able to hear was his voice. "And death, petit Autrichienne." A gentle touch to the other's left cheek, a world beyond the cold grip of his fingers only minutes prior.

He couldn't help it. He was a teacher, and he did want this snobbish little boy to succeed. Whether the latter would understand such a feeling was relevant, and most certainly another story all together.

One last thing. Before Roderich's very eyes, Francis held up the other's glasses. "It seems z'at z'is is your power source. You believe me to be cruel, ouai?" He tucked it into his garb, where it disappeared from sight. "For someone such as yourself--" whatever that meant to Roderich, "--drastic measures must be taken. I am not 'ere to kill you, my dear. Z'ink clearly now. Move past z'at awful cloud of anger you are currently drowning in--" if only so he didn't have to keep working to suppress it, "--and learn to control yourself."

Easily breaking through the surface--sealing it after himself--, Francis returned to his humanoid form, drying himself before gazing down into the clear blue depths of the pool. "I am not your enemy, mon petit chou." He traced the glasses sitting in his pocket. "You are."

The few strings that had been holding Roderich together absorbed back into the water, and the boy was now free to explore, like a fish in a tank. Hopefully, in the process, learning that the last thing fish realized, was water itself.

[/took artistic licences to make it more interesting /needs so much editing sigh]
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:53 pm

Roderich watched, his expression slowly relaxing into a typical look of displeasure. As the long, torturous seconds passed by, he let the undine play. His gaze followed Francis with an almost detached expression, and even as the other creature dove into the water and danced around him, invisible, Roderich's cold stare followed the sound of his sloppy combinations of French and English. For awhile, he just floated, feeling the water around him, musing over his options.

The option of vaporizing never left. Even without his glasses settled upon his pale face, he could disintegrate and put himself back together at will. He could also paralyze and tear apart the flesh of any living being that let him get close enough. Yet those felt more like things that ought to be used as a last resort, when the Frenchman came close to breaking him. He would go to great lengths to defy at this point. Once scattered into many tiny particles, he could stay in this pool for days with no qualms. It would be natural. He could think.

There was no need for the nightmare to breath. Roderich could have kept playing with the man, waiting in silence to see which one would give in first. He could have done that. Yet, there was no sport to that. This was quickly becoming a game. It was to push one person and defy the other. Cooperation no longer had any place here. The graduate was done with the water. He hated it. It killed him. He accepted it. This was now about a new hatred. The water itself was innocent; Roderich could see that. It was the things that lived within it that ought to be feared, hated, shunned, destroyed.

Eventually, as the net of water constricted around his body, and after it had been proven that he did not need the false oxygen to stay alive, the Austrian boy let the water fill his lungs. He relished in the feeling for a few moments, instantly spotting the difference between the enchanted water and the water that killed him. It was almost insulting, the way the water was made a lie. If this cruel creature meant to teach him to love water, he ought to be teaching him to love real water, not a fake, warm, emotional substitute.

“How terribly rude,” purred the annoyed man, testing his ability to speak whilst the other circled around him. “To me and your beloved element. Look at the way you taint it. You say it simply exists, and it would. Yet, you manipulate it, ruin its neutrality. You have abused a student in it. Perhaps that makes it good in your eyes, but you are only teaching me that water hates and breeds hate. Or, at least, it does in your hands. You ruin and destroy what was once beautiful. Of course, that is probably why nobody likes water spirits.”

The trapped man shut his eyes at that, not moving as Francis's hands ghosted along his cheek. He had no wish to explore his environment, to enjoy the feelings of the water. Roderich's mind drifted between subjects for a bit, before finally settling on what one he felt like addressing.

“I know you to be cruel. You also know yourself to be cruel and inclined to whims. So torment all you like in the name of teaching. I will remember your lesson very clearly. I shall just have you know though, you are only teaching me to hate something in place of water. Whether you intend to or not, your actions are only making you an enemy, not a creature representing benevolence.”

With that, the boy returned to floating, putting no effort into existing past that.
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Francis Bonnefoy

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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:22 pm

[Maybe we should make these a bit shorter so Francis actually has time to reply XD /was not expecting for you to write dialogue in the in-between]

Letting Roderich mutter those words underneath the water, underneath his own statements, Francis settled back alongside the pool and crossed his arms behind his head, slipping into an easy state of mind. "I pity z'at: all your 'atred. Your inability to understand. In z'is, you are not 'uman, as well." He open one eye, calculating despite Roderich unable to see him. "Nor 'umane." A soft snort.

"If you z'ink for one moment z'at you were born beautiful, my darling, you are sorely mistaken. When one is turned, my dear, z'ey are still themselves, with minor influences by z'eir new, mythical nature." He drawled. "I would not know, seeing 'ow I 'ave never been of your kind. Your former kind."

A lazy circle of water danced above his face as he traced nonsensical patterns in the air. "Your ugliness 'ere, with your 'ate and bitterness and aggression. Z'at, my dear, always belonged to you."

Tilting his head, he took in the sunlight, letting it reflect off of his body, not particularly concerned if Roderich was listening or absorbing his words. The child couldn't seem to see past himself, and that within itself was a mix of immaturity and pride. In that, he could relate. "Water 'as many forms. It is neutral, true. One gold star pour toi. But z'e water you are in right now is no more or less the same water z'at fills z'e oceans, or the water z'at you were drowned in. It only 'as a different shape; a different meaning. Z'is is what water is, to z'e undines, who 'ave never harmed you from birth."

He rolled his eyes. "If you do not fear water, why scream and flail like an impenitent toddler at the mere sight, while knowing z'ere is nothing within to look out at you? If you 'ate me, I could care less. You are a blemish who doesn't seem to enjoy his own existence but to lash out at others. Do you truly believe I am 'ere to challenge you to z'e death? And--" He twirled a finger and drew hearts with the strands. "We love and are loved. Can you say z'e same for yourself? Or does your world revolve around you?"

A tsk. "Such a child. Book smart, but with the brains of a soap bubble. I am surprised you managed to graduate with such a mindset."

Perhaps he was being overly harsh, but petulant children had never been his strong point. If Roderich wanted to have a temper tantrum, he was welcome to it. The overly sensitive little night-mare seemed like an animal seething in its trap, and he did not yet have the desire to shoot at its heart.
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Roderich Edelstein

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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:27 am

((I do not know if I actually gave you much to work off of here. Sorry! oTL))

Roderich recoiled as one harsh statement after another was thrown at him. He sank further into the depths of the water, hurt but at a loss. The Frenchman seemed to jab at him just for the fun of it. He had cultivated the perfect circumstances for hatred and then insulted for it. Even knowing this, it still managed to hurt, being accused of being someone that only hated. To be told he had been born hateful by a man who had probably only read a file on him, whose only interaction with him was one where he tormented, was such a great insult. It was idiocy, both of their behavior, yet he still had the audacity to feel hurt.

The pale body of the Austrian settled on the floor of the pool before managing to pull his body across the smooth tiles to the far side of the pool. Sometimes he would flinch, when he sped up and could feel the water more clearly, but for the most part, the action was done with a certain level of calmness. A resigned calmness, one that realized it was going to be bullied and could do nothing about it, but still a calmness.

There, at the far side of the pool, Roderich found the closest thing to solitude. It did not block out the slicing phrases of the Frenchman, but it was far enough to block the man's arrogant form from view. His head pressed against the cold tiles and his eyes shut. Then, he listened. The tired body of the small man spoke of a certain aloofness, uncaring to whatever partially correct lecture the teacher spewed. However, the boy was listening, absorbing each word in silence. As inclined to bursts of anger as he was, he was still capable of absorbing and learning.

White teeth sunk harshly down on his lip several times, stopping himself from speaking. Roderich knew love just as well as he knew irrational hatred. There was a good deal of pride, selfishness, and fear seeping out of the boy's pores, but he did know how to look past it. To forgive, to befriend and love. Yet, all protests, explanations seemed futile. Opinions were formed and words were not going to change them. Francis, a complex creature, did know a part of him. It was an embarrassing chunk of his personality, one he knew well, disliked, but was not willing to change.

That was how he survived, taking in information, whether he agreed with it or not and then knowing how to stay silent. It was how all of his kind stayed alive. Silent and demure when needed. Vengeful and cruel when it was safe.
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:04 pm

Sitting up and letting the strands disseminate from his fingers, Francis stretched his arms above his head before running a hand through his hair. "Petit Autrichienne," he called out, "I can feel what you feel, you realize, when you are in z'e water." A casual flip of his hair. "I am, in many ways, reflecting you. Like z'e ocean reflects z'e sky." It was an infuriating quality, to absorb and mirror. Sometimes, Francis wasn't aware if his emotions were truly his own, or that of another.

He dusted nonexistent particles off of his robe as he got to his feet, pacing toward the deepest end of the pool, where he could sense Roderich's mixed emotions broiling the water around him. "You are a curious creature, indeed. I do not know you, but I 'ave 'eard enough z'at it would not 'ave been necessary."

Stopping partway, he glanced downward at Roderich's shifting image, the top of the waters lapping moodily over one another and against the tiles. "You do 'ave friends, alz'ough I wonder 'ow z'ey managed." A tilt of his head. "I am a teacher, petit, and I would like to see you cast away z'at insolence. You are worrying z'at, for some inane reason, z'is is a life and death situation." A task of annoyance. "Honnêtement, z'e likelihood of you 'aving to defend yourself at z'is point of your life is very slim, so stop z'at nonsense."

A small smile, then. "If you can do z'at, you will finally be an adult, mon cher. So." Why not an experiment? He'd gained an interest in seeing how far the Austrian could push himself outside of his night-mare nature. "I will make you an offer."

[I'm going to write really short ones after this so they can have a legitimate conversation XD]
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:13 pm

A mildly irked expression followed Francis as the man moved fluidly across the heated concrete to approach Roderich's place in the deepest part of the pool. As the time passed, the man's words lost their impact while the younger one entered a state of peace brought on by the shaded part of the water. All the could be seen of the man that he held no respect for was a distorted blob, as though he was staring into a fun house mirror. It made the old spirit's ideas much less meaningful.

“My friends and I get on just fine, Mr...Bonnefoy, I believe?” amended Roderich smoothly, his well-trained aristocratic personality finally coming to life. “I do, of course, treat them with a good deal of respect. They 'manage' just fine. I am benevolent and generally accepting of them. Can you say the same for your relations?”

The meager form shrugged, slowly managing to ease himself into the situation. He still regarded life as perilous, filled with the knowledge that most of his kind was killed before they grew old and powerful, but this situation was less so. It was just two volatile creatures stuck together. It was easily survivable, especially if endured outside of a state of rage. Anger could be saved for better times.

“Generally, I find it bad practice to indulge in offers where both parties hold low opinions of one another. I suppose, though, that I could hear you out. I would be warmer to participating if you would stop treating me like an idiotic child. Perhaps I am misguided, yes. Your job as a teacher, however, is not to insult that, but to offer new ways of thought. I get to choose what ideas I like. It is selfish, but then I will at least listen with an open mind.”
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:56 pm

[Your Roderich is stubbbbbooooorn.]

Francis winked. "Of course, my dear. 'We love, and are loved.' Tu te souviens?" There was the high possibility that Roderich refused to remember the bits and pieces he didn't wish to take into account, of course, but that wasn't Francis's problem.

He sat down again, alongside the pool, and let his arms rest against his knees. "You may disrespect me all you like, petit. Z'e way you are now, I couldn't care less if I 'ad it. Understand z'is: as it is, I cannot 'onor your words. You 'ave not yet proved to me z'at you are anyz'ing but an 'idiotic child,'--as you put it." He clicked his tongue. "Would you like to be respected? Z'en respect me."

When Roderich seemed agitated enough to open his mouth, he put one finger to his lips. "Tais-toi. W'o was z'e one who clawed at my feet and attempted to insult me from z'e very beginning? W'o is z'e one blaming moi for 'is own obliviousness? Z'e fact z'at you have not absorbed any of my 'new ways of z'ought' heightens z'at opinion of you." A slow drawl. "You 'ave already made one step forward."

A wave toward the water, which lifted centimeters in his direction, by instinct. "If I am not mistaken, you 'ave directed all your 'atred of water..." A sly smile. "To me." He seemed rather satisfied by this. "And while your 'atred toward 'sea creatures,' as you land-dwellers put it, is equally irrational--given z'at z'e witch who killed you was not a water elemental, much less a undine--z'e very transition and your current state of calm--resigned calm, but calm, nonz'eless--speaks wonders about your current mindset."

He rested his chin on a elbow, now propped up on his leg. "My job is not to force learning into you. You must be willing to do z'at on your own. A student and 'is or 'er teacher makes a two-way relationship. And so far, you 'ave blocked my every maneuver on pride and frustration alone." A quirked brow. "Step one was to get you into z'e water. You are now in z'e water." He raised two fingers with the free hand. "Step two is to see 'ow well you can accustom yourself to its presence. You are currently in step two. Step three--" Three fingers. "Will be for you to move about it, swimming-wise or not, without panicking. Free-will will 'ave to come thereafter, since you are stubbornly resisting right now." Open mind, his arse.

"I am telling you z'is curriculum because you are now in a state of mind z'at is not entirely focused on maiming or killing an inanimate object. If you are mature enough, right now, petit Autrichienne, you are also in a state of mind z'at is not entirely focused on internally and externally cursing me and my existence, nor focused on adding more pity to your party--I can feel your moodiness all z'e way up 'ere, you realize--, nor focused on 'ow you may attempt to kill or torment me after your 'suffering.'" And very dryly put, more fact than boasting. "As you 'ave never faced one such as myself, you will meet an very ugly end, I assure you. Water is also life, and you are only existing." Somewhat philosophical, but from what he knew about nightmares and their own fears...

"To live with fear and not be afraid is z'e final test of maturity.' Edward Weeks, auz'or, essayist, editor." He stood up and crossed his arms lightly over one another as he gave Roderich a look of intent--not mocking, not even curious, but firm and direct, expecting a straight answer but not demanding--that was perfectly clear even through meters of water.

"My offer is z'is: z'e time limit is two 'ours. 'owever, I will continue decreasing z'at time, like an 'ourglass. You will be in control of z'at 'ourglass: when I ask you to stand and walk around, par exemple, you will do so. If I ask you to glide through, you will do so." Sternly. "Z'is is not a game. You must be willing to do z'ese z'ings not because I 'ave asked you to and you decide to do z'em to get away from 'ere faster--but because you would like to be enlightened. And respected for your courage. You are in z'e water, Roderich, and I will be able to sense z'ese z'ings."

He paused for a moment just in case Roderich needed another moment to weigh his options.

"I will not punish you for not following directions. When two 'ours 'ave passed, z'e surface will break and you may leave at z'at very moment, if you wish." A light shake of his head. "You are not under my control. But if you decide to choose z'e latter, you will be controlled by something more nefarious, instead. And I am not talking about being a witch's playz'ing. Z'ere is a way to rid yourself of a presence like z'at, my dear (al'zough you don't seem to 'ave realized it)."

A small smile, encouraging but resolute. He would not babysit. "You could be back on land wit'in ten minutes, but z'at is up to you, Edelstein. Now z'at I 'ave given you time to mull over my words, regardless of whether or not you care for z'em, tell me: 'yes, I accept' ou 'non, I do not accept.' C'est votre choix."

[If you want to continue the thread and go for more teacher!Francis and him actually teaching Roderich to swim, go for it <3 Otherwise, I can endthread and have Francis leave P:]
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:03 am

((Just continue, I think? Unless they cannot agree with each others methodology?))

For a few moments, Roderich stared, unbelieving of the arrogance of the man. His mind only gave him a split second to wonder if he was just as bad as him before it left him gaping again in complete disgust. With a fluid motion, one more graceful than Roderich ever thought himself able, he pushed himself off the floor of the pool to float up to the surface. Long fingers pressed against the barrier as Roderich scowled at the man. It was an agitated look, but all blood lust had finally left the pale creature.

“I am terribly sorry, but you think I have taken in no new ways of thinking? I may be stubborn and clinging to my Alp-like way of thought, but I am still absorbing. I have conceded that water is neutral and not at fault for things that have happened. I have also relaxed and moved comfortably in this element that I have not gone near for years,” hissed the Austrian. Pale digits formed talons again, clawing at the water barrier, not out of a need to hurt, but out of a desperate frustration with the man trying to teach him.

“I will even...” the proud aristocrat paused, looking hurt, “...accept that I was always a loathsome creature, hateful and fearful. Yet, I also know that I have a good deal of kindness in me too, a kindness that I refuse to bestow upon you, but is there nonetheless. I do not need you to believe it or care about it. So stop with your petty insults and attempts at repairing me. I get it. I will fix it when I am ready.” His expression darkened again, demanding, yet with a hint of respect that he had managed to dig up from the depths of his mind.

A silence was left there for a few seconds while the Austrian carefully gathered his thoughts into coherency. “I do not like you—and you specifically, do not mistake it for a hate of your species—but you almost seem to know what you are doing. I do not want to be enlightened by you, but you have already wasted enough time. So stop with the corrections, arrogance, and philosophy. You are here to teach me to swim. Stop babbling and teach.”
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:47 am

[Just sayin', as I think of what to write, that Francis already pointed out that Roderich had learned P:

A wave toward the water, which lifted centimeters in his direction, by instinct. "If I am not mistaken, you 'ave directed all your 'atred of water..." A sly smile. "To me." He seemed rather satisfied by this. "And while your 'atred toward 'sea creatures,' as you land-dwellers put it, is equally irrational--given z'at z'e witch who killed you was not a water elemental, much less a undine--z'e very transition and your current state of calm--resigned calm, but calm, nonz'eless--speaks wonders about your current mindset."

He's saying that Roderich had accused him of not offering new ways of thinking, but that that was inherently false.

o7 Hence, the future short replies so we don't miss anything. Or, now that I read it over, I guess I wasn't clear |Da /didn't want to give Francis telepathic powers, though orz;]

Well, he couldn't help grinning. To admit and confess wrongdoing, falsehoods, realizations, and internal thoughts at the risk of injuring one's reputation and pride? That was a powerful action, and Roderich had finally stepped into that arena. With great strides, at that. Maybe this boy was capable of fixing himself, after all, as he'd declared--almost promised, even. It was enough to brush off any criticisms that had been thrown his way, and Francis leaned forward, slipping into the water seamlessly and moving half a meter away from the other creature once in the water to give themselves enough personal space. (More for Roderich's sake, in his opinion.)

"Good. It seems we're getting somewhere. We'll do some tests. You can stop whenever you please, at which point I will leave z'e water and you to your own devices."

He drifted backward all the way to the other side of the pool. A sizable distance considering the length of the figurative tank, but this should be very simple. In theory. "Glide toward me. Typically I would be at your side and vice versa, but you seem unconcerned floating in z'e twenty-meters deep end." There were water elementals at the school, after all. A normal pool just wouldn't do. "Slow enough to feel z'e water moving around you. Ten minute deduction."

[We'll see, I guess XD;b /EDIT after seeing your message: I'll make him shut up every now and then.]


Last edited by Francis Bonnefoy on Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:02 am

((Blah, all of France's babbling leads to confusion. Like, here he says

When Roderich seemed agitated enough to open his mouth, he put one finger to his lips. "Tais-toi. W'o was z'e one who clawed at my feet and attempted to insult me from z'e very beginning? W'o is z'e one blaming moi for 'is own obliviousness? Z'e fact z'at you have not absorbed any of my 'new ways of z'ought' heightens z'at opinion of you."

Yet the next line is:

A slow drawl. "You 'ave already made one step forward."

And I haven't a clue what he is referring to. But I can fix it. *easily confused in the mornings*))
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:07 am

[Nah. Francis ended up talking a lot because I couldn't figure out another way to make his intentions and thoughts clear |D;a The reverse happened so, meh. My bad.]
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:11 pm

((Sorry for all the trouble though! OTL))

Though annoyed with the infernal grin due to triumph on the other man's face, Roderich still managed to brush it off. He pushed himself back a bit, avoiding the spindly creature as it dove into the water in front of him. The stubborn aristocrat watched, almost fascinated, as his teacher moved gracefully through the water. He took it all in, quite attentively, as the man gave him his instructions. When Francis finished, Roderich wasted no more time, eager to get it over with.

Roderich awkwardly pushed himself off the side of the pool and messily into the open water. There was absolutely no skill in the movements, only a graceless struggle to pull himself through the water. It was a slow process after the initial push from the wall, involving unnecessary sinking and floating. Even if Roderich had wanted to speed through the water, it would have been a futile attempt. No skillful techniques could be put into place, only meager instinct. In his case, even instinct was not much of a help.

Occasionally he cursed the water aloud, annoyed with the slow process. Eventually the Austrian did make his goal, but not without a sulky frown sent at Francis. “That in itself felt like ten minutes. What use was flailing through the water like that?”
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:52 pm

[Don't worry! \o/ I'll make sure to ask questions if I'm confused! I shouldn't write when I've gotten little to no sleep orz; For instance, i think I should clarify what the pool in my mind looks like |D;;; /d-describes below But we'll just ignore the discrepancies that arose from me not saying that beforehand orz orz orz]

"Twenty, z'en. And, to get you used to moving through z'e water." A quirked brow. "You should be proud of yourself, really. You do realize z'at you just swam fifty meters wit'out stopping."

He was pleasantly surprised, that much could be said. This swimming pool was not, after all, one found in just any recreational center. Olympic in both length and width (fifty meters by twenty-five meters), the difference was in the depth: allowing the most disadvantaged swimmers to float in the two meter end... and for the water elementals in training, a decent dive of close to twenty meters, at the other.

He held up a finger, clarifying the process to give Roderich a few minutes to catch his breath, natural skylight filtering in from above now that they were in the shallow waters (as opposed to the more artificial lighting that brightened up the depths of the other end). "I confined us within z'e water for z'is purpose--to allow for very quick adjustment in relatively little time. I figured you would ratz'er die z'an use a kickboard and be forced to come for z'e entire week. I can teach you all z'e basics all at once."

Shaking his head, he crossed his arms. "'owever, z'e fault with z'is met'od is z'at you also need to experiment wit'out z'e ability to breathe underwater, which means we will cover breaz'ing exercises under 'ere. It will seem ridiculous, but you will able to adjust faster once you swim on z'e surface as opposed to beneath it--z'e last step." He raised a finger. "Be forewarned z'at I will adjust the consistency of z'e water at z'e end of z'e lessons, to z'at of lake water. It will be colder in temperature, and not as embracing or fluid as what we are in, currently. Tu me comprends?"

"We'll start with some basic strokes for now. Will you be comfortable learning z'e backstroke for z'e first maneuver? You will not be able to see beneath you."
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:13 pm

Stubbornness was such a part of Roderich that it barely stood out to him anymore. It came up when he did not like an idea. It appeared when he was trying to complete a task. It was always there, for better or for worse. To him, the fact he had swam across the pool was little to celebrate. The student had decided to do it and thus he had done it. Not that he wanted to outwardly complain about the praise. He would gladly soak it up if the other was willing to give it.

The Austrian's head tilted, interested now that the Frenchman was calmly explaining his methodology, not just doing and pushing him around. His emotions were fickle, easy to please and displease. However, this temporary pleasure did not mean Roderich was completely happy. There was still a noticeable tinge of awkwardness about the whole situation. One, that with the correct words, could be made to flare into an irrational anger again. His own knowledge that it was there made him more uneasy than necessary, mainly due to the fact he new Francis would be able to sense the frailness of his happiness as well.

“I appreciate your...slight considerations then, in regards to teaching me to swim. Though, I still think your methods for introducing it were...foolish,” Roderich shrugged, attempting to dismiss any weight the words may have held.

For a few moments, the fearful student stared into the depths of the pool. His hand clawed at an imaginary itch before finally deeming the other man ready to hear his answer. “I think a backstroke would be for the best. I find looking out of the water more comforting than looking deeper into it.” He paused, not sure if he ought to keep speaking. “...But...are these breathing exercises really necessary? I do not exactly require air. It just feels nice. I could just...refrain from breathing when in the water.”
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:30 pm

"I am said to be unorthodox." Francis clicked his tongue, clearly unperturbed by the term--even a bit proud of the fact. Some students only needed a small courtesy to bloom; others required a more dramatic flair, even at the expense of their dignity.

In the eyes of the council, he was somewhat of a menace--most of the teachers and adjunct in this school had their little quirks, some that aided their teaching and methodology, and others that hindered, and Francis had never been afraid to employ both. Experimentation was the key; understanding and activism the goal. As logical as it was to have a tactical ruler, standardized testing was a weak indicator of success. They would experience that in their general core curriculum, for pragmatism and as preparatory for those who would make it back to the world of men, or what civilized organizations organized the realm of nature and magic.

But here, in the water, that meant nothing. This was not survival, but building character. And Francis would drill that into his subjects regardless of whether it was comfortable. New knowledge and reflection were rarely soothing spoils in the battle against ignorance and destructive arrogance. Was he wrong? There had certainly been grand failures. But there had been great gains, as well. And Francis could live with that without a shadow of guilt in his mind. Delicate maneuvers worked, yes, but for someone who had been as consumed by his fears as Roderich Edelstein--yet too proud to admit to it--a great shove was more than justified. The backlash had been rather surprising, yet the results had been worth the unruly insults and bared teeth, even if it rankled him to have to deal with a young man's irateness. (He had never been so self-possessed that an insult to his person didn't switch his underlying aggression.) If Roderich ended up exploding in anger once more, Francis would let him rage until he saw fit. He tired of resistance where it had not the lick of inspiration.

Shrugging slightly, his form melding into the water around them, Francis made to swim around and behind Roderich, toward the deep end. Such motivations were not always easy--nor necessary to convey. He had spoken more than enough, and there was no point in further dawdling--from either of them. There was the additional factor of feeling Roderich forcibly bite his proverbial tongue, stiff from his acknowledgement that Francis had access to his emotions--unbearable access, given that they were in his source of power. "Backstroke it is. Tout d'abord, loosen up. I will most certainly not intervene this time. Attempt to relax, otherwise you will sink."

He raised an eyebrow at the mention of breathing. "Mind, I can remove the spell to breathe underwater, if you are so inclined to suffer z'at. But if you so wish, we may skip z'at portion. I will teach you three strokes, and 'ave you swim a few laps to get used to z'e feeling. Z'at will be all, d'accord?" He tapped his chin, then placed one hand upon Roderich's shoulder. "Try floating on your back, arms relaxed to z'e sides of your body with z'e palms turned toward it." And somehow, reassuringly. "Z'ere are z'ree phases I will guide you through, tu me comprends?"

"You will be fine."
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PostSubject: Re: Simply Large Puddles of Water [Francis]   Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:35 pm

“Unorthodox is not always best either, liebe,” hummed Roderich softly, working out how to tread water properly. They were clumsy movements that sent the boy backwards a bit as he swam, but they served their purpose for the inexperienced swimmer. His humming became musical as he fell further into concentration. It only lasted for a few seconds, before he quickly snapped out of it, tensing. He would not allow himself to relax too much in front of this teacher.

“You did not bother to intervene with the first challenge,” he spat pettily, taking advantage of the calmness that had settled over the pool, utilizing it to shake off any residual grumpiness. The entire horror of the situation had began to diffuse, leaving Roderich only truly at odds with the Frenchman's personality. He was a creature unexpected and unwanted in his typical world. The Austrian could, and most certainly would, adjust and accept the change, but he felt no need to forgive or like Francis. At most, there would only be gratitude and respect, no adoration.

“Please skip the breathing exercises,” murmured the Austrian as he flipped over to float carefully on his back. He tensed abruptly at the unwelcome hand on his shoulder, sinking slightly, but was quick to force his body to relax in the water. Slowly, one could see his body relax, worries float away, just leaving the peaceful Alp, nearly feeling at home in this strange element. It was similar to being vaporized, floating through the air and invading dreams. He could lose himself in it.

However, it did not take the young man's thoughts to turn sour. Already so used to the Frenchman’s more gruff ways of teaching, the sudden acts of completely baffled the young man. Suspicion welled up, fearful of what tricks the elder man could pull off. He could not see beneath him. There could be things lurking in the water, unknown to him, approaching him, and he would never know because his gaze was turned toward the surface. He would be utterly helpless if something decided to ambush him, to drag him to the depths of the pool. Helpless.

Roderich flailed, maneuverings away from the Francis and adjusting his body so he could see bellow and above. He glared at the pool, as though it had betrayed him, before a look of shame took over his face which then quickly morphed into idle annoyance. He avoided looking in Francis' direction and lied bitterly.

“Sorry. Just lost my center of balance. I am fine. It is nothing. Shall we continue?”
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