19th of Zi'da, 718
Cirrina followed her mentor angrily, if she had her tentacles they might be wrapped around his neck, “What do you mean, no?”
“Exactly as it sounds,” He snapped, showing a rare form of frustration with the mer as he stepped around his temporary desk, “no.”
“You gave me this! And now you refuse to show me how to even manage it!”
“When you show me you deserve to move forward,” His voice started raised then forcibly lowered though it did not stop Cirrina from gnashing her teeth in rage, “then we will but what you did in Ne’haer was dangerous and stupid. I’ll not have it again.”
“What concern is it to you?” She spat furiously, slamming the door shut for lack of anything else to door with her clenching hands, “You didn’t know him and what else would you do with this magic? Make friends?”
The words were sneered but there was genuine confusion in them. Empathy was manipulation at its core, no matter the intentions, what made him think he was so much better than her? Because she admitted her desires? Or because her desires didn’t match his? It was her magic. It was her Spark. It was hers to decide how and what she would do with it. He gave up his control the moment he'd give her a part of him.
“If you have to ask that then you were not as ready as I thought you were.”
“You said you wouldn’t interfere!”
“Exactly. So I’m not interfering.”
“Not interfering and not teaching are two different things!”
The mer let loose a snarl, lunging across the desk for her teachers throat. How dare he think he could control her! Her human fingers seemed weak though, not enough power behind the sudden attack and far too small to completely wrap around his neck. To make things worse he hardly fought back, letting them fall to the floor as he glared at her sternly, hands on her elbows as he jerked her arms away.
“You’re acting like a child!”
“Stop treating me like one and I won’t!” She snarled in his face, gnashing her too short teeth by his nose. She could feel the scrape of teeth against flesh, familiar and satisfying before she relaxed. Her body went limp with sudden mental exhaustion as he released her, letting her head flop on top of his chest.
Cirrina wanted to rage, to spit fire but she was so damn tired. “You rotten piece of fish guts. When I—“ she yawned, “when this goes away I’ll feed you to Clay piece by piece.”
“Not if you want to continue learning.” He retorted, sounding exhausted himself as he groaned and sat them both up, cradling her in his arms like a demented child and parent or like lovers seeking comfort. She'd rather he dropped her but he only held her a bit tighter, “I won’t be in charge of how you grow as a mage forever but while I am your mentor—you need to lay off the fish—“ he grunted as he lifted her onto the bed, “—you will not use it in such a disgusting way.”
“Disgusting to you. I was just eating.” Even to herself she sounded like a petulant child. That only irked her more but the feeling was smothered quickly as more exhaustion set in as if it would forcibly squish down anything other than the urge to sleep. Her own Spark protested at the defilement of control but she couldn't find the will to retaliate, her mind too exhausted to remember how to pull the ether from within, her Spark still too new to take it when even its host wanted sleep.
“You don’t require human flesh to live, and I’ve had enough of covering your mistakes. So you will temper yourself one way or another. If mediation doesn’t work then we will find other ways to take out your frustrations.”
Her eyes fell half mast, an amused smirk on her lips, “Do tempt me more, Marin.”
“That isn’t what I meant and you know it.”
It was more of a twitch than a shrug and realistically, even if he had accepted it, she never would. Not again. It was stupider than sticking with him when he did things like this, manipulating her like she some sort of science experiment. But she had to admit, he never did it unless it was for his safety, if she ate him or killed she would regret it later. But it was irksome to acknowledge that he could be right in anything, to give up the foothold of anger she had. She wasn't wrong in all she'd done and he wasn't right in all he did. As if he knew what she was thinking, feeling—and he probably did—he sighed. Again her Spark roared at her to fight back but why should she? Better to act as if this was what she wanted than fight the stronger mage. Cirrina was not as stupid as her Spark, she wouldn't be fighting a battle that would likely end with her mind in shambles. And the more the exhaustion pressed into her mind, heavy handed now, the more she knew didn't feel like fighting both of them. All she wanted to do was sleep, something Marin seemed inclined to help with as he covered her briskly. Always efficient, she thought with wariness as he sat beside her his expression unreadable.
“Cirrina, if you don’t trust me this won’t work any longer.”
“Then give me one good reason to.”
“Have I ever done anything otherwise?”
Her raised eyebrow spoke volumes and he rolled his eyes finally, “I would not be attempting to knock you out if you hadn’t tried to throttle me. Use your common sense! I have no reason to manipulate you. You’ve given me nothing but trouble while I’ve given you two paths to greatness!”
“Exactly why I don’t trust you.” The mer mumbled as exhaustion continue to weigh down on her like a lovely blanket.
“No matter what I say you will twist it.”
“And no matter what I say you would never be stupid enough to trust a mer.”
The silence said it all as her eyes slipped shut. No one would trust a mer, they knew nothing of her kind but thought they did. Land locked were arrogant and ignorant, just like the idiotic Immortals that could not even police their own. These thoughts ran through her as she slipped into a restless sleep, her teacher frowning down at her.
But she still hear him as he finally spoke, lips by her ear, "I will join you shortly."
There was no time to ponder what he meant as even more exhaustion piled on, pressing her forcibly into sleep, deeper than would be naturally in such a short period of time. Distantly she thought he better hope she didn't see him shortly, because the only thing she would be doing is slipping her stone from her bra and biting off a finger for him daring to send her to a nap like a child. So it was no surprise that he was in her dreams, tentacles razor sharp for once, trying gleefully to dice up hundreds of his stupid, stupid faces but the dream did not stick, slipping into another like water as she drifted deeper into sleep.