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Old 08-25-2009, 11:39 PM   #28
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Morning breaks over the mountains. The various dragons and humans of the Council's village rise out of their beds to go about their day... all but two. Sitting on a ledge, Clint watches the sun rise. Kate leans on him, her head resting on his shoulder. "Clint... say something. You've been speechless for hours. What is it?"

He blinks a few times and shuts his mouth, collecting his thoughts for a moment. "I..." he eventually stammers. "I don't... this... I wasn't ready for..." he looks at her eyes, then down to her abdomen. "I wasn't ready for this. I've been a military man all my life, Kate," he says, returning his gaze to her eyes, wrapping an arm around her. "I've fought for king and country. Now I fight for this entire land," gazing out over the hills, plains and forest, "and if I died in battle... it would be to ensure that you were safe. That future generations would be safe. But now... I don't know."

"So... I'd be safe, but our child wouldn't somehow?"

"It's nothing like that. The Council, the Empire... this child would have thousands who would keep it safe, just because of me. It's just... I wouldn't be there."

"You don't have to fight."

"I can't do anything else," he sighs as he turns his gaze downward. "I've never done anything else..."

"You had to do something before you became a soldier..."

"No. I didn't. I trained as a Paladin starting when I was six. I left there at 14 and headed east. I trained with a martial order there. I came back and joined Ehlmaris. That's it."

"What about before that? What did your parents do?"

He bites his lip, then chuckles slightly. "That would be ironic... follow in dad's footsteps." He looked up, still biting his lip, almost breaking the skin. The morning sun causes a tear at the corner of his eye to glisten. "They died resisting the Arkosians. They died... in battle. They left me alone. I swore I'd never do that... I swore I'd never have a child. I swore I'd never fall in love, just so I couldn't abandon someone like that."

"Clint... I'm so sorry, I..."

"...had no idea. I know. Nobody did. Not even Ehlmaris knows this." He wipes his eyes. "I don't know, Kate. I've got to find something else. I don't see how Thor does it... going into battle, risking his life... risking leaving his children fatherless. I can't do that."

"This baby is coming eventually, Clint, but not tomorrow. You've got some time to figure it out. And I know you will. Just focus on today." She wraps her arms around him, kissing him on his cheek. "You probably won't even need your sword today," she jokes, smiling slightly. Clint just gazes down at the valley below.

"I hope you're right."

((going to do a bunch of posts tonight... feeling creative.))
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