Resigned To Fate
IC date: Spring 11
OOC date: April 1
Location: Blackbird's House
PCs: Blackbird Sadaka
NPCs: Tarnish
GM: Applejack

Another beautiful spring day! Similar to the one that had brought a certain energetic silvery-mottled pony named Tarnish to town to drudge up the past. It's been a week since that day, plenty of time to give the local schoolteacher room to think and ponder and come to some sort of a decision about his past, his present, and his future.

So now the time has come. Tarnish has also had plenty of time to scope out the town, figure out where all sorts of ponies live, and make a general 'black book' of the area. It should be no surprise she's quite aware of where the ex-merc lives.

And now, a knock on the door. *knock knock knock*

"Tarnish."

Surprise, surprise: Blackbird's not at home. But he's on his way there, it seems, saddlebags full of groceries. Most notably, much of the warmth and family splendor has drained from the stallion: his expression is far more familiar to Tarnish as a flat, near-emotionless stare. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised you've ferreted out where I live."

Stepping past her, he nudges a few buttons and cranks on the side of the door, until something clicks on the inside. He steps through the open door, and aside, allowing her in if she wants. "Feel free to step inside."

Hm! Tarnish spins around to the sound of her name, rather not having expected that in her little clockwork schedule. "Ah! Oh, BB. Yeah." Her head dips slightly in proper respect and all. "First thing I figured out. Second was your workplace, and then your family. Gotta do proper homework before entering a situation, y'know?"

Naturally she steps aside to allow Blackbird acces to his own door, thinking nothing of following the stallion inside and nudging the door closed behind her with a back hoof. "I see you've gotten a bit of your old gleam back." she notes, taking a few steps inside to peer around this new home. She spotted it from the outside, but didn't have much chance to recon the inside, see. "I take it that means you've been giving my offer some serious thought?"

"Of course. It's only rational." Blackbird heads into the kitchen, as he starts to pull the contents of his saddlebags out onto the counter. It's very methodical, everything arranged in rows. He pauses, mouth twitching at her comment. "I have," he says, in answer to both questions. "Would you like some tea?"

"Nah. I never could get into tea. Most of'em taste too much like poison." Tarnish offers a grin of sorts, eyeing the kitchen, counters, cabinets… Anything she hasn't seen before, for that matter. "Got anything a tiny bit harder than tea in this shack? I won't say no to that."

Scamperscamperscamperthump. Noises from overhead! Little hoofbeats scurry across the ceiling - which is the upstairs floor, naturally - and towards the stairs. "Papa? Didja finish the shopping?" Sadaka bounces her way down the stairs, though she pauses as soon as she's low enough down them to spot the pony who is most definitely not Ms. Rusty like she'd assumed it would probably be. Her ears lay back a bit and she blinks over at Tarnish. "Oh. Er… hello."

"I don't," Blackbird replies firmly. "I haven't touched a drop of alcohol since I left." Which is fairly remarkable, honestly: he was quite the depressive or angry drunk, once upon a time. Drank every night he wasn't on a mission; drank himself into a stupor when every mission was done. He could handle it well — but that's not usually the most charming thing someone could say about, well… anyone.

Still, when Sadaka comes scampering down, he stills, and puts on a gentle smile. "Hey, kiddo. I did! I got some ice cream I'm putting in the freezer. Want to spoil your appetite for dinner?" He winks at her, but it's … missing something. Some kind of gleam or good humor. Something about it is just unsettling. "Don't mind Tarnish. She won't be here long. We have water, tea, or chocolate milk." The last, of course, is offered to his ex-partner.

The noise draws Tarnish's attention away from pondering liquid beverages for a moment, a much more genuine smile crossing the mare's features. "Hello again! Don't mind me." she echoes Blackbird, idly brushing a front hoof against the flooring. "I'm just here to have a quick chat with your papa. Then I'll be out of your mane~" Her ears twist in thought. "Chocolate milk then. Sweet drinks'll do just fine."

Sadaka blinks, and nods slowly, and reflexively twitches a wing. She tries to return Blackbird's smile, but it's uncertain - something's missing from him, and children pick up on that sort of thing easily enough. All the usual childhood worries keep flitting through her mind, not insignificant among them being 'did I do something wrong?' But, there's ice cream, or at least the offer of it, so she nods slowly. "…Okay, Papa." She hops down off the last of the steps, glancing up at Tarnish shyly.

Tarnish merely smiles down at the kid. She likes kids. Honest! While Blackbird's busy getting drinks, the mottled mare distracts herself with the winged zebra. "So, you're the great rescue kid, huh? The one BB saved from certain doom?" Oh yeah, because those stories are everywhere in town, don'tcha know. "I heard about what happened…" Her eyes lower to stare at the ground briefly. "So I hope you understand why I hope your papa wants to help me keep stuff like that from happening to other nice lil' fillies, too."

That's right. Tarnish totally isn't afraid to chat up kids to make her point to the grown-ups.

"Tarnish." Blackbird gives the mare a warning look. "No need to propagandize at my daughter. There's no reason for her to relive that." He sets about making chocolate milk, and an extra one for Sadaka, too. So much to make up for. So many sins he's about to commit. "Sadaka, pumpkin, how would you like to stay with Miss Rusty for a while?"

Sadaka blinks and blushes, ears laying back a bit, ever-present seashell earing sparkling a bit as she scuffs a hoof at the floor herself. Her head snaps back up and she eyes Blackbird, though, as the 'offer' is made. "Oh… er… well… Miss Rusty's nice," she states slowly. Peering. PEER. WHAT DID I DOOOOO.

"What?" Tarnish asks innocently, looking up from Sadaka to blink at Blackbird. "I was just making conversation~" She turns away from the kid, but she can't help the grin she's got. Things seem to be going in a favorable direction. She'll get her merc troop going yet!

Blackbird sets aside his stuff with a little sigh, his countenance warming a little as he kneels down and pulls Sadaka into a hug. "Hey, everything's fine, sweetheart. I love you, and I don't mean to worry you. But I need to go on a trip for a bit, and I don't want to leave you home alone is all. Miss Rusty will be happy to have you while I'm gone." Not, of course, that he's asked her. Or mentioned this to her at all. Nope.

The little zebra all but melts into the hug, wings giving a little flutter. Papa's hugs are still Papa's hugs. Sadaka lets out a breath, and nods, and forces a small smile. "Well… okay. Where're you goin'? How long're you gonna be gone?"

Tarnish taps a hoof gently on the floor. Then she spies the chocolate milk. She tip-toes past the hugging pair, so she can get at one of the glasses. Finally a drink! Ahhhhh milk~

"Oh, not long, I expect. Maybe a week or two?" Blackbird nuzzles into her and hugs her close, letting his heart ache for his little foal. "You're a strong little zebra, Stripey. I bet you and Miss Rusty will have the best time. Plus, I bet it'll be nice to be around a girl for once, huh?" As he's holding her, he looks up at Tarnish, and with a little pointed look, he gives a small nod. But finally, reluctantly, he lets his daughter go and smiles at her, this time even with enough warmth to be convincing! He kisses her forehead. "I love you, m'girl. Now, whatever you want for dinner, it's yours. What do you want, kiddo?"

Hurray for small victories. Tarnish finishes her milk in a couple quick gulps. Refreshing! No sooner does she set the glass down than she's heading for the door again. There's preparations to make, after all. "You still got a day or two before we go, BB." she says on her way out. "Then we'll head out." She pauses at the door, glancing back at father and daughter alike, her gaze lingering on Sadaka. "Don't worry, I'll have him back home before you know it, safe and sound! Maybe I'll even remind him to bring home some souvenirs."

Sadaka blinks and nuzzles him, stepping back slightly and returning the smile. She casts a sideways glance over at Tarnish - well she /did/ say she wasn't staying long, so it shouldn't be too surprising - still looking a bit unsure about this strange pony. She gives a small nod, though, edging a step closer to Blackbird almost… protectively? Possessively? Who knows. Dinner thoughts don't seem to be at the forefront of her mind right now, though.

Blackbird gives Tarnish a flat, emotionless look, before he waves. "I'm sure you'll be able to find me," he says dryly. And with that, he turns back to Sadaka, biting his lip. Who knows what she'll think of him now?

Tarnish waves a hoof, nudging the front door open so she can trot her way out. "I'm sure I will. Have a nice night now!" With that, she's gone!

The little zebra stares after her for a moment before twitching an ear, shaking her head slightly. Dinner. Right. Food. Uh… "Do, um, do we have the stuff for a berry salad?" She likes berries. Berries are good. It's like dessert for dinner and… she glances up at Blackbird, tilting an ear nervously. "You're coming back… right?"

"We absolutely do, tchotchke," Blackbird replies, slight smile on his lips. He heads back into the kitchen to start pulling out ingredients, but he can't help but pause, arrow to the heart. "Of course! It's only a short little jaunt. I would absolutely *never* leave you for long, kiddo. How could I?" He smiles gently at her, as he readies the salad. "I'm sorry that it's so sudden. It's just…some stuff I have to do." He grimaces into the bowl.

Sadaka nods, and lets out a breath, and moves to follow him into the kitchen, though she pauses to sit in the doorway, trying to stay out of the way. "Okay, Papa." She doesn't look /entirely/ convinced. Sometimes things happen that you don't plan for - she knows that a bit too well.

"So for the next two days, you call the shots, okay?" Blackbird summons a smile again, as he starts making her a salad. "You can eat whatever you want, and sleep whenever you want, and do whatever you want." Especially since, y'know, she's a good foal. She's not about to go do something terrible with her newfound freedom. "I love you, kiddo, and I want to spend as much time as possible with you before I have to go on this trip. But I'll write you while I'm gone, too, and I'll be back suuuuper soon, I promise."

Sadaka blushes and nods again, and smiles faintly, trotting over to stand beside him. "Maybe… maybe we can go stargazing?" she asks after a moment, "If I don't have to go to bed on time? Now that it's not so cloudy all the time." She leans lightly against his leg. "…I love you too, Papa. I'll be real good… an' I'll do all my homework and everything." Even the math.

"Absolutely," Blackbird says sincerely. "We'll go stargazing, and I'll even bring my telescope!" As she leans against him, he wraps her up in one leg, kissing the top of her head. "I have no doubts," he says. "You're such a good kid, Daka."

Sadaka smiles a bit wider at this, relaxing slightly. "You're a good Papa too," she states assuredly, nuzzling him lightly. Because her Papa is the best Papa, always.

Eeeegh. Blackbird winces a little but he gives her an extra hug for that. "I sure try," he says with a soft smile. "I'll do right by you, kiddo. Promise." Even if it means killing ponies.

At least this time it's the bad ones… right?