[P] Find your center
OOC: Featuring Cicely!

Abigail cherished her children to their very bones; she watched over them like a bear jealously guarding its cubs and in spite of that she had more pride in the pair of teenagers than anyone – aside from perhaps their Father – would ever know. The Archiduchessa doted on them and she would always love them.

But, as Cicely asked for the millionth time when she could begin training to fight, Abigail didn’t know how much she liked her. The girl was strong-willed and sharper than her more jovial brother; while Ajax would seek to quell any bad feeling in the wolves around him there had always been a certain wariness in his sister. Cicely especially disliked being told no – the word seemed to be repulsive to her. It was there in her haughty gaze, somehow angled down her nose at her Mother despite Abigail being a good foot or two taller.

Abigail only relented, finally, because her daughter’s badgering was wearing thin. Perhaps some part of the Archiduchessa disliked Cicely’s fire because it was exactly the same fire she’d had as a girl. She had the same will to succeed without the desire to please others to hold her back.

Abi’s arms were crossed, her verdant eyes cast down and away from Cicely as the pair of them strutted out to the training grounds. Well, Abigail stalked more than she strutted; Cicely was too pleased with her Mother’s agreement to do anything but strut.

“Lee!” Abi called when she caught a snatch of strawberry blonde in her periphery. Cicely’s tail gave a singular wag while Abigail grinned at the Haskel youth.

“If you have a moment – Cicely here has been going on and on about picking up some fighting skills.”

Cicely objected with a huff. Abigail smiled a serene smile.

“Who better to teach her than our most promising young warrior?”

[html]<center><div class="abifailsig032018">Abigail<img src="https://i.imgur.com/obp6FzZ.png" width="65px">Sadira</div><br><div class="abifailsig032018-bottom">Let me light up the sky, light it up for you</div></center>
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The cadence of practice was a comforting thing – a rhythm of muscle and breathing that Galilee slipped into without effort. She twirled and strafed and advanced on the sandy grounds, occasionally embellishing her usual simple repetitions with a new movement here and there. Thrust the spear forward, then hook its length around an opponent’s limbs. Whirl away, hold it up to parry.

A voice called her name, and Lee twirled the spear again. Its point, and her muzzle, peered over her shoulder to defend her back. She maintained this stance for a beat before twirling the spear theatrically and planting its butt against the earth, setting her free hand on her hip and grinning.

“Bonjour!” the sandy-gold wolfdog called back, and snickered at Cicely when the girl protested Abigail’s remark. She flipped her bangs and ponytail arrogantly. “Most promising, huh? I suppose I have a little time to spare.”

She fixed her green eyes on Cicely. “What kinda skills are you lookin’ to pick up? We can wrestle if you want – two legs, four, I don’t care!” She winked at Abigail. “I promise I’ll go easy, but I won’t be insulting.” That was how her father had taught her, after all; he always held back from really hurting her, of course, but she ended up with plenty of bruises and he always took their lessons seriously.
The Haskel girl was working with a spear in hand and she moved, twirling the weapon impressively, to look over her shoulder at the approaching duo. The spear twirled again and Abigail caught Cicely’s eyes widening as its butt was stamped against the sandy earth of the training grounds.

The Archiduchessa wondered if Cicely was having second thoughts now that she’d seen Lee practising with a weapon – but she restrained herself from voicing that question. Abi was sensitive enough to others that after one protest from Cicely she had no intention of embarrassing her further.

Naturally, though, she would stick around to ensure that the sparring was fair.

Galilee seemed pleased by Abigail’s rather obvious attempt at buttering her up. The Sadira woman knew that where there was pride in one’s skills little prompting was needed to show them off. Her lips still pulled up, her smile grateful, when Lee agreed to show the younger girl a thing or two.

Abi’s gaze flicked over to her daughter and there was genuine curiousity in her green eyes. Her own temptation at Cicely’s age would’ve been to take up a weapon as soon as possible regardless of how skilled she actually was with it; the younger Sadira was craftier, though.

Cicely wanted to do well more than she wanted to bear the flash of a weapon.

“Four legs,” the teenager announced, smirking. “Don’t go too easy.”

Abi stepped back with a flash of reluctance in her gaze. She had never seen Cicely in any kind of confrontation and naturally this moment was both a milestone and a cause of some concern for the protective Archiduchessa. She sighed, a wistful and dramatic sound, but she forced her tail into a wag to show that she wouldn’t get in the way of the girls’ training.

Cicely glanced at her Mother and rolled her eyes before shifting down to her Lupus form.

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Proud like her father, Galilee was eager to pass along her skills; it didn't take much ego-stroking to convince her that this was a fun idea. The Court had seen no strife since the fateful winter, and so things like training and sparring were the best way to gain experience. It would not measure up to the real thing, but one had to know a skill to teach it well. This was as good practice as she would get.

Cicely agreed to a four-legged spar, and Lee wagged her tail. Good choice. With a cheeky, if understanding, glance in Abigail's direction, she set the spear against a training dummy then crouched so she could shift, too. The twine holding her ponytail together landed in the sand at hands-turned-paws, and before long the experienced shifter was in her lean, strong Lupus form. She was still very tall in this form, much bigger than the adolescent.

So, Galilee said, shaking dust from her coat and pacing around Cicely. Her tail was flagged high and proud, her green eyes mischievous. It's best to learn to fight in this form. Instinct is your friend – your gut will tell you what to do. Every canine knows how to bite. There aren't fancy moves or stances to learn. She made a circle around the girl, dropping her head in line with her spine, her long legs covering decent distance. It gives you a chance to focus on the feel of a battle. The stuff you learn is how to stay cool under pressure, how to be confident on your feet and move fast – that's stuff you can take with you when you do weapons later.

She completed another circle. Cicely would be done shifting by now. Lee measured the girl's size and stance, thinking, grinning that shark-toothed grin.

Until then, don't think. Just – react! Rahh!

Without more warning than a growling bark, Galilee sprang for the girl, hoping to knock her off her feet. She didn't bite or linger, just kept bounding and turned back around to make another pass at Cicely, this time with teeth.

are u ready for this abi

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