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 This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)   Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:48 am

Most of Victoria's conditions, he could safely agree to. He would surely be hungry by then because it was a fucking Garbage Plate. He also didn't mind shelling out the cash, not like he ever let her pay when they ate out anyway. Jackson was far from a gentleman but Merida had not raised him to let a lady pay for a meal out. No matter what species said lady belonged to.

But it was the idea of his bike having a "Winter Mode" that made the young man raise an eyebrow. That statement showed alone how much she knew about bikes, which was not much at all. "You can have my jacket," was his final offer as he began on his fifth slice. It would be a cold day in hell when he besmirched his baby with the airs and graces of one of those fancy cars.

"I wish I knew what could have pissed Harrington off," Jackson finally admitted, only halfway through chewing and therefore spattering red sauce back into the box from which he was currently eating. "Like, I thanked him and everything, invited him to all our crap like Christmas and Housewarming. And I really thought he was a decent guy but he's just been ignoring us." There was no honor in giving someone the silent treatment, that was more of a chick thing. If Kit had a problem with him, Jackson at least expected the older wizard to tell him face to face.

Still he didn't want to be in bed with the NRA any more than the Princess did. His reasons were more practical than hers though, selling out at he first opportunity ensured no one ever bid too high for you again. Right now they needed to appear strong, which was harder without money but they were still doing it. With another buyer involved the NRA would at least have intensive to up the price. And if they were going to end up becoming its bitch, they might do so for a little more than ten million.

As the witch began to speak of her own experiences with damaging spells, Jackson grew quiet. It was rare that she took up space in conversation, and he found that when she did, the Princess had something worth listening to. Whether it was about a legal matter at work or a realization as they shared one of their many, many meals together, he found himself interested in her words against his wishes. It was probably some kind of women witchcraft but with that much pizza inside a man, a little evil witchcraft hardly mattered.

"Its not about hurting something," he finally spoke up when she was finished, trying not to unsettle her more than she already was at the idea of killing something. "Its about feeling... powerful, like you can do whatever you want. It can come from anything: hunting, shooting, swimming. As long as its in the right doses and not messing with your system, I find it helps." Putting down his sixth slice, the man contemplated her fully, a glint of honesty in his dark eyes."I get that with all the workouts. It makes me feel like I can resist other... temptations."

And it also helped him deal with the fact that he wasn't getting any, but the kid didn't need to hear that. She probably wasn't even old enough to know what that meant.

"You know what, wash up and meet me down in the garden shed, I have an idea," he hinted with a cryptic smile, bounding up off his chair and leaving the pizza as it was. If his plan worked out, they would be spending the next several hours blowing things up and then heading down to Frank's for the best meal of the year.

Knowing Victoria could be trusted to clear away and do whatever it was she did to keep the place in order, Jackson exsted the door, the night chill catching him by surprise. It was February, wasn't it almost spring already? Apparently not, the man mused as the first gust of chill tore through his thin shirt. Damn he should have taken a jacket.

Still, never to turn back against all common sense, Jackson made his way to the wooden shed that he had been in charge of filling while Victoria managed the homification of the bottom floor. The shed didn't contain much save some lamps, tools, gardening equipment Jackson would probably never use and an old crate masking as a makeshift coffee table.

Looking around to make sure nothing else was out of place, Jackson moved the few potted plants from the crate and tapped his wand thrice. Noiselessly, a hidden panel slid out containing five shotguns.

Next they needed targets, which was only a matter of summoning and lining up his recycling - which once again he had to thank the chores ghost for because Jackson had never separated the trash in his life and he wasn't about to start now. But having a bunch of glass containers and aluminum cans handy was good today. Lining them all up in the garden, the man retreated to the shed to watch over his precious cargo.

Today, the Princess would learn how it felt to be like Metz and his gang of assholes, to hold something's existence into her hands. Wands were great and all but there was too much personality to them. Wands communicated with you, tried to draw on your feelings.

The shot gun in his hand simply shot, no questions asked.

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PostSubject: Re: This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)   Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:33 pm

"I'll find out what's wrong with him. Just leave it to me," Victoria replied to Jackson as he mused over what could have made Kit Harrington go so quiet on them. It needed a lighter touch, and a man worrying over the future of his career was not going to go in lightly with someone who had been ignoring him for months. So, Victoria would handle that on Monday when she was back in the office, and if Mr Harrington did not wish to help them out, she would be working against the clock to find someone else rich enough, and of the same political view point as Jackson to give them the money they needed.

That, though, could wait until Monday.

Victoria listened to Jackson try to sell the idea of hunting -- feeling powerful was not something Victoria found compelling enough to want to kill a helpless animal, but she wouldn't judge Jackson for that much. Her own version of his 'power' came in the form of beating another individual in court. Or a large corporation. Or... well, anyone. It reinstated her capabilities in her chosen field, and most of the time, she was fighting for someone who had needed the result. Or, who the result was rewarding for. There were the cases that tittered along the edge of her morals, ones that she didn't feel hugely comfortable with when she won, but the winning... the winning made her feel powerful.

"I felt the same, sometimes, when I won my cases." Victoria offered in lieu of understanding what the man meant, but she didn't elaborate upon that point. It was probably one of the things Jackson wouldn't understand enough to be able to know how she had felt, and that was okay. He didn't need to understand her completely, just in the way Victoria didn't need to understand him completely. They were friends, but that didn't meant they had to fully understand one another.

But, that conversation came to an end with Jackson getting to his feet and insisting she meet him down in the garden shed. "Jackson, you need a-"

He was gone through the door a moment later, and the witch rolled her eyes.

Taking out her wand, Victoria sent the pizza out to the kitchen, both boxes being closed up with the leftovers and heading in to Jackson's fridge. Her plate went to the sink to wash, whilst Jackson's unused plate and cutlery went back in the cupboards. It took a few minutes for everything to be back in order, before Victoria turned back towards the front door to retrieve her coat from the rack, pausing for a moment before grabbing Jackson's coat too. Tempting as it was to teach the man a lesson, and not just head out in to the cold chilly air of a February evening, Victoria did not wish to listen to a sniffly, grumpy Jackson Blake for the next week.

Wrapping her scarf around her neck for added warmth as she moved back through the house, Victoria pulled on her jacket, zipping it all the way up before finding her gloves from her pockets. Trudging down to the shed, the witch was not best impressed with being outside in the middle of winter, but if whatever was in the shed was enough to keep Jackson's mind occupied away from alcohol for the evening, she could tolerate it.

Knocking on the shed door, Victoria opened it and stepped inside. It wasn't much warmer in here, but at least the slight winter breeze wasn't nipping at her cheeks. "Here, you'll catch a cold if you're not careful!" She told him, tossing him the jacket she'd picked up, once again not expecting a thank you from the man, but knowing he would appreciate the thought no less.

It was then that Victoria's eyes landed upon the shotgun in Jackson's hand.

You could clearly see the unease upon her features. Whilst she'd asked Jackson to show her how to shoot, she had not expected him to do it tonight. Not right away. She had thought she would have time to get used to the idea. And it was dark, for Merlin's sake. This was hardly the right time to be messing around with guns, was it?

"We're not going hunting now, Jackson. It's the middle of winter!" She pointed out, smiling slightly to show she wasn't silly enough to think they could hunt, but also asking without express clarity what he was thinking.

Because Merlin knew that Jackson Blake didn't think ahead enough half the time.

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PostSubject: Re: This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)   Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:59 pm

The laugh that bubbled up inside Jackson upon seeing the midget enter the shed couldn't have been hidden if he'd tried to hide it. The contrast was real. Where the man stood in his plain white t shirt and jeans, the princess was all wrapped up for a trip into the arctic circles.

Women, he shook his head. As if a little cold could ever actually hurt anyone. Regardless, he caught the jacket the Goblin tossed his way, slipping it on and being grateful it was just his usual running jacket and not the padded parka she could very easily dig up since Victoria seemed to know more about where his things were than he did.

"Firstly, its almost spring," he grinned, correcting her in ehr assumption that they were trapped beyond the Wall in the dead of winter. "And secondly, how do you expect to feel anything wrapped up in so many layers. You need to feel connected tot eh gun and you can't do that with... all of this," he motioned to her attire, gloves and all.

"And thirdly, we aren't going hunting." With that, he moved towards the witch, putting a long finger on top o her head and turning her around like a top towards the door again where, if she squinted, she would see the bottles and cans lined up. "Unless you're an activist for recycling, which to be honest Vic, means we can't be friends anymore. Even I have my limits."

Once the kid spotted their targets, Jackson would move on to the gun in his hand. "Now this baby, is a forty caliber pistol. I have a few but I like using this the best, gives a real kick." The gun was not long, in fact it would work even in the Princess's tiny palm, its well worn holster showing signs of how often the politician favored it over the others. "The safety's located on the left and its always supposed to be on when the gun's not in use," he warned even if that part was self explanatory. There were too many idiots around to take anything for granted. If shampoo bottles had to come with a "do not drink" warning, using firearms could come with a "don't leave safety off" one.

"Now I don't have to teach you how to load it because this one's loaded, but if you like the feel of it, we can do that next," he continued, putting his weapon to the line of bottles some fifteen feet away from them. "You take aim like so," the raven haired man spoke, mist forming as his breath met the air. Maybe it was colder than he'd initially thought. Good thing he had a jacket, he supposed. "Careful with your finger, and whatever you do, do not fire until you are confident. You can take your time, but once you fire, do not let the gun go from shock or recoil. Your hand needs to be steady."

To demonstrate, the man focused his own vision, narrowing it on the tallest milk bottle in the center. Confident that he had it, his finger pressed down on the trigger and less than a second later, a small sound of the bottle disintegrating and falling upon its brethren all ready in the line of fire.

For first time shooters, the sound would probably be the biggest surprise. There were no loud bangs like in the movies, and Jackson kept his ammo quiet with an additional silencing charm. The only sound would be of the bottle falling apart upon contact with the bullet. His gun was noiseless, and all the more deadly for it.

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PostSubject: Re: This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)   Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:32 pm

Victoria didn't reply to Jackson's retort that it was almost Spring. It definitely was no, but she was not in the mood to argue the season. He couldn't deny it was cold, and hunting when it was cold was hardly going to be fruitful. But she did cuddle in to herself when he said she was wearing too much to play with the gun he held in his hands. "It's cold!" The witch countered, but she would take off her gloves when it came to her turn. If it came to her turn.

The fact they weren't going hunting made the witch relax though, momentarily. Jackson's hand atop her head made her reach up to swat it lightly away, she was small, but he didn't need to treat her like a child! Squinting out in to the semi-darkness, Victoria could just about make out the shapes of the bottles that should have been in the recycling box she'd set up for the wizard, but that were now neatly lined up just a little way away.

Jackson was talking quickly, though, explaining the gun he held in his hand as if a 'forty calibre' meant anything to her. The safety -- the witch denoted this as the important part -- was on the left, a button Victoria made quick note of because she did not want anything to go wrong. No, the idea of an accident whilst handling a gun was not something Victoria wished to deal with. Jackson continued on quickly, explaining how to aim, to only pull the trigger when she was confident in doing so. That she mustn't let go of the gun, no matter what.

The witch just about had the time to bring her hands up to her ears, covering them from the noise she was expecting to hear, but one that never came. Movies always denoted pistols as noisy, that they could be deafening, but the only sound that came was the smashing of the glass bottle outside. It still made the witch jump, truthfully, but it wasn't as bad as she had been expecting it to be. Lowering her hands, Victoria looked away from where the bottle had been, and back to Jackson, a small smile on her lips. "Well done!" She congratulated the man for hitting the target, not that she hadn't expected him to hit it of course.

But as those words left her lips, Jackson held the pistol out to her, looking much too excited for her to say no...

Buying herself some time, Victoria pulled her gloves back off, shoving them back down in to her pockets before her hand reached out slowly for the gun. The piece seemed heavier than she was expecting -- perhaps it wasn't actually heavy, but because the thing scared her she felt it to weigh much more than it did anyway -- but Victoria simply brought her left hand across to balance the gun. She kept the barrel pointed away from them, out in to the garden as she turned it slightly, taking in the pistol for a moment before she raised it.

Her heart was thudding loudly against her chest, almost deafening loud in her ears as she drew the weapon up in the same manner Jackson had. One hand held on to the grip -- worn to Jackson's hands, Victoria noted because it didn't quite sit comfortably in her own, smaller fingers, and the other sat at the base of the magazine, steadying her hands because the pistol felt much too heavy in just one. Her eyes lined up with the sight, but the shapes in the distance didn't want to focus, not properly. Taking a deep breath, Victoria tried to steady herself, looking along the barrel for a few moments as she tried to calm her body from fretting.

You're not hurting anything. It's okay.

But even as she kept telling herself that much, the witch's heart would not slow down. Adrenaline, she supposed, as one bottle firmed up in her vision...

As Jackson had done, Victoria's left hand moved forth to the safety, taking it off before her hand moved back to steady the pistol once more. The gun moved slightly with her breathing, bobbing up and down, slightly side to side. Holding her breath, Victoria checked her aim, her finger slowly squeezing the trigger...

Her eyes closed as the bullet released, a squeal leaving her lips as the bullet flew off towards the target she'd picked. The gun had jolted her arm upwards almost painfully in the same moment, but the witch had not let go of the firearm, she hadn't allowed Jackson cause to tell her off for not following instructions. Opening her eyes, Victoria looked out towards the bottle she'd been aiming for, but the glass remained untouched, the shot she'd fired ending up in the expanse behind the shooting line.

With a shaky hand, the witch quickly put the safety on and held the gun back to Jackson, not knowing what to do or say in that moment. She'd fired a weapon. She'd missed, but she'd fired it. That was enough for tonight, wasn't it?

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PostSubject: Re: This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)   Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:56 pm

The princes was jittery from the start, but Jackson wanted her to gain confidence at least at the beginning by herself. Anyone could tell she was terrified of the tiny weapon in her hand which made zero sense to him since she casually carried a wand capable of far more damage. But that was the thing about a conscience, he supposed. A wand made people feel accountable for their actions, a gun did no such nonsense.

Jackson knew she was going to miss the moment she fired, her hand shaking and her shoulders jumpy. The girly squeal made him want to grit his teeth in annoyance but the man persisted. It was her first time after all, and first times were rarely supposed to be perfect. At least she was no longer a gun virgin.

When she extended the weapon to him, he merely shook his head, his now dry hair moistening again from the cold outside. "Oh no, that was not a shot," he corrected her, moving towards the princess and rectifying her hand position, his left arm readjusting her right as she turned back to the target line once more.

"Don't be scared of the weapon," he began, this time speaking more softly and slowly, trying to instill in her that the gun would do nothing without her command. His large palm enclosed her's around the metal device, giving it a good squeeze to show her how to control what she held.

"Grip it hard, so when it shoots, you're still in control," he advised, his tall frame moving behind her and helping her line up the next shot. His free hand moved to her miniature shoulders, noting how tense she she was and then moving down to her waist to correct her posture. "Legs apart, stand your ground. The more firmly you stand, the less the gun moves in your hand."

The witch was so short, he had to be bent up double to speak into her ears and see things from her eye level. Jesus Christ how did she manage to sit at her desk everyday with this height? Still, he directed her gaze with his words. "Now let's got for that can of soup, shall we?" he murmured into her ear, helping her stretch out her hand as far as it would go to keep the shot straight and level.

"And now, fire," he instructed, making sure to keep his hands cupped around hers because he did not trust the Princess to keep hold of the gun this time either.

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PostSubject: Re: This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)   Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:28 pm

When Jackson refused to take the gun back, Victoria's eyes were looking for somewhere safe to put it back down. To get the gun out of her possession so that her heart might just stop hammering in her chest for just a moment before she tried again. But, of course, Jackson was not going to allow that as he moved to rectify her position to where she'd been before. He was gentle, but Victoria couldn't help but feel like a doll being pulled in to position in that moment.

"That's easy for you to say!" Victoria replied when Jackson told her not to be scared. He'd probably been doing this for years, he had experience, and he was comfortable. The weapon in her hand could kill something, or someone, how was she supposed to be comfortable holding it? Even if they were only firing it at glass and tin cans?

As Jackson's hand encased hers, though, squeezing it a little firmer than she'd held the grip before, Victoria took note, trying not to think about the fact Jackson was now, essentially, holding her hand. It didn't mean anything, they were friends, he was teaching her!

And yet, he was the first man who'd been this close since that night...

The witch pushed the thought away as quickly as it had come forth in that moment, her eyes focusing on the glassware and tin cans out in the dark. Jackson was not like other men, she knew that. She trusted him.

The man's hands were on her shoulders in the next moment, though, his lips close to her ears as he continued to teach her how to use the pistol with patience that she knew was supposed to help in that moment. Jackson continued on, his explanations moving around the small space they were currently inhabiting, but Victoria's mind had lost some focus, his hand upon her waist making her heart flutter with mild-apprehension in that moment. The witch swallowed as the heavy smell of mint shower gel touched her senses, her eyes focused once more on the target Jackson had picked.

The soup can was now a clear target, pushed forth because it was something to focus on that wasn't Jackson. Wasn't about his close proximity. Wasn't about the small bout of anxiety that had just made itself known in her small frame.

"And now, fire,"

Victoria squeezed the trigger, not once, not twice, but three times in quick succession, holding her breath throughout the quick surge of anger she felt in herself. The helplessness she felt when someone came too close. The power of the three quickly discharged bullets had come with the twin pings of metal against metal as the first two bullets caught the tin -- once from it's perch, the other in mid air -- whilst the third missed everything completely, made Victoria feel like she could walk through the world without a fear in the world.

Momentarily.

And then the moment later came the realisation that she had just hit the target Jackson had set. "I did it!" She said, her voice slightly shaky from the adrenaline rush, the fear of the power rush consuming her, and Jackson's close proximity. But, undeniably, beneath all of that, there was a level of pride in her voice, because she had just fired the pistol successfully in that moment.


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PostSubject: Re: This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)   Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:31 pm

The kid was uncomfortable, that much was clear to see. What Jackson couldn't figure out was why. Maybe she was still getting used to the weapon? Maybe he had been wrong in his earlier assumption that the forty caliber would be good even in her pixie hands? But whatever it was, Jackson intended for her to kick it and come out guns blazing. Literally.

Which, incidentally, was exactly what Victoria did. Upon his command, she fired three shots, making him blink in surprise at the gusto with which she'd unleashed the bullets. She must have been imagining something really nasty on the can, he figured as he finally let out a chuckle, straightening his frame from where he was bent over behind her, trying to line her shot.

"I did it!"

"Weeeeellll," he teased, looking her up and down to ensure she hand't managed to hurt herself in the process. "I don't know how much it counts if I have to help you line it up and pull the trigger... But you did," he finally relented with a grin. She could have this, even if they were far from done.

"But now you have to do it like a grown up," he informed her, moving away to disappear into the shed once more. He returned with another gun and a spare magazine in hand. "Here, let's load up your gun again and then we can compete to see who gets crowned Recycling Killer," he joked, placing his own handgun in his hip pocket before reaching for hers.

His experienced hands made quick work of the reload and within a minute, Victoria had her forty caliber back with Jackson stepping into place a few feet beside her. "What do you say Newbury, prepared to eat dirt?" With that, he lined up his own gun, aiming at an empty bottle of some kind of vinegar. His cockiness almost cost him, the shot just nicking the bottleneck to the side but the satisfying shatter was enough to make him whoop in a self congratulatory manner.

"Now you go. Easy shots are one point, difficult ones are two. So far, I'm beating you two to half."

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PostSubject: Re: This empty house seems so cold (Victoria)   Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:50 pm

As Jackson straightened, the smell of mint freshness decreasing from the close proximity, Victoria's fingers moved to click the safety back in place, lowering the gun from the targets as Jackson teased her for needing him to line up the shot. She rolled her eyes at the teasing. "Not true! I would have managed it without you!" The witch replied confidently. Whether that was true was anyone's guess, and the witch simply let out a laugh in the next moment to show she wasn't sure it was true.

Handing the gun to Jackson as he emerged from the shed, Victoria watched him reload the pistol with mild curiosity. His hands moved much too quickly for her to totally understand the process, but she was sure she could learn another time.

"Well, the odds are totally fair!" The witch replied to the challenge of a shoot off. Jackson would win, of course, he had a lot more experience than she did. But, it would be fun, a challenge was always fun, and at the moment, it looked like Jackson was much more relaxed than he had been all day.

"What do you say Newbury, prepared to eat dirt?"

"You wish, Blake!" The short witch replied, readying herself in the same manner Jackson had showed her a moment ago, though this time she didn't feel quite so on edge. They weren't hurting anything, or anyone. This kind of shooting... wasn't so bad. That didn't mean she liked guns, Victoria didn't, but it wasn't as scary as she had first thought it to be.

Watching Jackson line up his shot, it ricocheted off one bottle with a soft ping, only just nicking it. It shattered, no less, but it had been close.

"Now you go. Easy shots are one point, difficult ones are two. So far, I'm beating you two to half."

"Nu-uh, Blake! I hit the can twice! Two to one! My turn!" Victoria corrected the male, slowly lining up her shot on the bottle to the left of the one Jackson had just hit. Her process wasn't as quick as Jackson's, but this time, Victoria didn't close her eyes, not did she squeal as the shot came out of the forty calibre. Unlike last time, though, the recoil bit in to the shot, sending her bullet careering past the bottle and in to the darkness. A soft 'hmph' left the witch's lips as she readied herself, waiting for Jackson's shot before she fired her own.

An hour passed, an hour in which Jackson completely and utterly decimated Victoria due to his talent with the weapon. Snow had started to fall around them as Jackson called his victory, the small white flakes settling upon the floor. Victoria's hands were red from the cold, and they both agreed that it was not wise to take the bike out to get a Garbage Plate -- Victoria's phone denoted that the snowfall was due to continue for hours more, something that neither of them had realised was due to come in.

After retiring in to the house, Victoria had made them both a hot cocoa to warm through, and as the snowstorm turned heavier, Victoria had tentatively asked if she could stay, just for tonight, so that she didn't get caught out in the storm in the early hours of the morning. Jackson had agreed without a second thought, knowing it would be too dangerous to send her home.

Thank Merlin for the spare room being made up, though -- it was lucky that Victoria had done just one of the rooms for Merida's potential stays -- otherwise she would once again have found herself atop Jackson Blake's sofa in an emergency.

Something she never wished to have to deal with again.

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