The Warrior Nanny

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The Warrior Nanny

Post by Jackles on Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:20 am

"Come on, Sully!"

Solomon Lewis shifted his weight, and the little French creature tightened her grip on his neck, sticking a dandelion in Solomon's ear. He twitched his head and reached up to scratch, saying, "Knock it off, Cerie. Leave me alone for once. Can I get some back up, Ryder?"

The twelve year old said nothing, kicking a bit of rubble with a little bit more vehemence than usual. Solomon's eyes trained on the boy, ticking his head. "You wanna talk about it, pal?" His voice seemed to be lacking the sympathy that the situation seemingly called for, but Ryder had become more and more sullen throughout their journeys. Some days, Solomon wished he could have ignored the two children who had been trapped by looters, but alas - they had caught him on a charitable day.

"Sully, Pablo is falling behind."

Solomon rolled his eyes. "His name is not Pablo, he doesn't have a name. He's just a cat. And he's fine, he's hunting."

"No, Sully, he needs us! We stay together!"

Solomon craned his neck and met concerned brown eyes, large and sincere. He couldn't help but laugh, which caused the four year old's face to crinkle into irritation. "It's hard to take you seriously, Master Commander, with so much dirt on your nose."

Cerie scoffed and looked away, muttering, "If Pablo gets lost, it's your fault."

"Good riddance," Solomon muttered, making sure Cerie could hear. He did not mean it, of course, the orange tabby being the only company he did not regret. But the little gasp of shock that Cerie expelled was worth it.

They were almost to Diagon... maybe. London had been pretty devastated by the... end of the world or whatever.  Solomon had not spent a terrible amount of time in England in the past five years, so his memory was a little fuzzy, and the destruction of the country was disorienting. Still, Solomon had a disciplined inner compass, and instincts he would pitch his life on, so he was following his gut. He supposed, thinking about it, his life was on the line. And not just his either. Not anymore.

A huff came out from the distressed preteen. "Ryder. Please. Enjoy this all a little less, please. You're being insensitive to the situation."

Ryder gave him a dark look, his green eyes flashing out from long hair contained in a beanie, his arms folded in his sweater. Solomon lifted his eyebrows, waiting... waiting...

God, he hated kids.

"What's your problem, man?" Solomon said, his head shaking from side to side. "I don't get it. You were fine a week ago."

"Whatever," the British boy mumbled, adjusting his backpack. Solomon stopped and waited for the boy to notice. If he did, he didn't care, just kept scuffing along. "Ay. AY."

Ryder stopped and twisted his head around, looking bored. Solomon scowled and stepped forward. Cerie tapped his shoulder but he ignored her. "Look, friend, I know this sucks, but you can't be acting so much like a... like a... a teenager. Okay?"

"Sully."

"Hang on, Cerie. I mean it Ryder. Like it or not, but we all have to grow up a bit. I'm not happy about it either."

"Sul-ly."

"Cerie, please. Ryder, look... You're a good kid-"

Cerie cuffed Solomon on the ear, causing a small exclamation of surprise. He twisted his head, eyebrows knitting together. "What, Cerie?"

She was looking forward with wide eyes. He turned back around and squinted. "What?"

Down the rubble-strewn street, there was a fraction of movement. Solomon felt his body tense and he tilted his head. There was a loud shuffling noise and suddenly, Solomon saw what Cerie had seen. Rising from a stooped position behind an overturned car... was a troll.

Ryder was still looking at Solomon with a bored expression, so Solomon subtly gestured for him to get close. Ryder gave him a classic, "no thank you" teenager look and shifted back, causing Solomon to tsk under his breath. He raised his eyebrows and those dark brown eyes, those eyes that somehow welcomed and shut out, attempted to draw Ryder in. "Leave me alone!"

Ryder turned just as the troll turned to look down the street at them. Solomon cursed under his breath and grabbed Ryder by the handle on his backpack, tightening his hold on Cerie as he turned, running for an alley.

Solomon had experience with trolls, but he figured that without magic on his side and two kids to deal with, running was probably the better option. Trolls were thick and had poor senses, and that was what Solomon was going to have to bank on if he wanted to avoid having to wrestle a troll.

He was sure he could win, but... he was tired.

They headed into the alley, which backed up to a chain link fence. Solomon whirled Cerie off of him and put her on the fence, throwing his bag and Ryder's over the fence. He began to help Ryder up when the twelve year old's grip on his arm tightened significantly. "Cerie, freeze," Solomon whispered. He steadied his breath and slowly turned his head until he could see the entrance of the alley.

The troll was tipping his head upwards, nostrils flaring. It lumbered forward and Ryder began to stretch towards the fence, but Solomon held him rooted there. "Let me go," Ryder whispered. Solomon hushed him, eyes trained on the troll. If it saw movement, it would charge...

A feline screech sounded from the street, and a flash of orange whipped around the troll's ankles. It turned around and came face to face with a lithe tabby.

"Pablo!" Cerie whispered.

The troll stumbled towards the cat and Solomon couldn't help but defy his rational mind and assume the cat had planned it all along. "Stupid cat," he muttered with a grin, turning and pushing Ryder and Cerie up the fence, following after.

They all landed on their feet and he pushed the kids towards the other side of the alley, whistling a low coo for the cat. It darted around the troll and scooted for the fence, slipping through a small hole and leaping into Cerie's arms. The troll stumbled around in confusion, before shuffling along its way.

Ryder and Cerie stared at Solomon with a quiet reverence, still catching their breath. He took the cat from Cerie and scratched it behind its ear, humming pleasantly, before letting the cat leap to the ground. He looked up at the kids, his kids, and grimaced. "Shall we continue?"

Jackles
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